Blame on Heartland, Cato, Marshall, etc.

by Judith Curry

On the Chris Colose thread,  Andy Lacis wrote:

So, like the tobacco companies before them, they have elected to muddy the waters by deliberately sowing misinformation to confuse and bamboozle the public understanding of what is happening with global climate.

The fossil fuel industries have been funding dedicated minions at the Heartland, Cato, and George C. Marshal Institutes (among others) to generate misinformation about global warming and global climate change. They have attempted to attack the climate science message (such attacks actually part and parcel of the scientific process), but without much success, since the foundations of climate science are more than strong enough to withstand such challenges. Having failed in discrediting the climate science message itself, they have resorted instead to attacking the climate science messengers with character assassination, political innuendo, stolen e-mails, etc.

Latimer Adler responds:

I’d have more sympathy with this view if I had actually ever heard of the George C Marshall Institute and the Heartland Corporation – who Andy Lacis casts as the villains of the piece. Whoever they are, they are not household names in UK.

So lets take a look. Books have been written on this topic:

Lets take a specific look at the Heartland, Cato, and Marshall Institutes.  Each of these is a libertarian “think tank”.  For background on libertarianism and the environment, see the previous thread.

Heartland Institute

Heartland hosts the International Conferences on Climate Change.  Heartland also published the NIPCC Report.  Total budget looks to be around $5M/yr, “common sense environmentalism” is one of 7 focus areas.

Cato Institute

Climate change is a relatively minor focus area for Cato, with Pat Michaels essentially being their only spokesperson, primarily through his blog World Climate Report.  Cato’s annual expenses are approximately $20M.  According to the Center for Public Integrity, between 1986 and 1993 the Koch family gave eleven million dollars to Cato.

George P. Marshall Institute

As per Sourcewatch, on its 2006 annual return, the Institute states that its total revenue for the year was $969,923 with  $308,819 spent on global warming work.  Several people affiliated with GMI are also affiliated with the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), led by Fred Singer. Correction: Fred Singer emailed me with the following message: Since the death of Dr Fred Seitz, SEPP has no common links with the Marshall Institute.  Also:  Our budget is around  $100,000 or less, thanks to the fact  that we have no employees and pay no salaries.

David vs Goliath?

Well, who is David and who is Goliath here?  My first reaction to all this is that those fossil fuel companies and the Koch brothers sure are stingy with all their $$billions in terms of spending it to refute climate change.  With only a few scientists or other analysts on staff.   Compared to 97% of climate scientists, that must number in the thousands.  Compared to $$billions spent by governments on climate research, not to mention $$billions spent by enviro advocacy groups (many of whom have annual budgets exceeding $100M).  Is Pat Michaels, Joe Bast, and whoever at GMI, with maybe a measley few $$million per year, really a match for the global climate establishment?  Can somebody please explain this to me? Yes, I’ve read all of Joe Romm’s rants on this subject (well, as many as I could stand to read).  It just doesn’t add up.

To my thinking, the climate establishment has been seriously misled into thinking that their biggest impediment is the fossil fuel industry and the libertarian think tanks.  Bad politics, bad policy, overconfidence in the science and dismissal of skeptical perspectives,climategate, and misreading of economic and technical realities seem to be more likely explanations; its not an issue of the lack of public understanding of the science.  In terms of overall effectiveness, I would say the academic skeptics such as Lindzen plus McIntyre and McKitrick have been more effective than the libertarian think tanks in terms of putting forth a skeptical view point.

The latest kerfuffle coming from one of these think tanks is this whopper described by Peter Gleick regarding the Heartland Institute, about sea ice in 2010 having the same extent as that in 1989.  And here is what Heartland had to say. Heartland picked a really rotten cherry on this one.  And somehow this kind of thing is destroying the public understanding of the science?  If the public understanding of climate science is that fragile, well climate scientists have failed massively.  And public understanding of science still won’t trump bad politics, bad policy, and misreading of economic and technical realities.

Joe Romm’s latest rant

With regards to the (forthcoming) new surface temperature data set, Joe Romm went on a tirade about the contribution of funds to this project by Charles Koch. Actually I thought the combination of Charles Koch and Bill Gates as co-funders of the project was rather brilliant in terms of representing diverse perspectives.  Sounds like all of the contributors to the Berkeley project would like to see a more objectively and transparently produced surface temperature data set.

675 responses to “Blame on Heartland, Cato, Marshall, etc.

  1. Judy – Could you supply us with figures regarding amounts spent by all the cited groups on the specific issue of climate change? Total spending, or even total environment-related spending is a difficult metric to compare.

    It is my understanding that some years ago, Exxon (I believe, but it may have been a different corporation) was advised by its technical experts that investment in efforts to refute maintream climate science conclusions was unlikely to be the wisest fund allocation, given the scientific evidence. Based on this assessment, many corporations and individuals have therefore tended to divert more of their funding to political candidates whose policy positions they favor.

  2. Fred, I got the numbers from the Sourcewatch page. If you want some info on what the enviro advocacy groups spend, see here.
    http://freedomaction.org/index.php?option=com_content&id=110

    I agree that spending $$ on lobbyists is what the oil companies and enviro advocacy groups do. This is politics, nothing to do with science or scientists.

    • Judy – I don’t really disagree with the theme of your post, but for a “devil’s advocate” position, consider that the climatology consensus view and the challengers have different goals, and that of the challengers is easier to reach. The climatologists must maintain that there is very great agreement about the main conclusions. The challengers only need to argue that the conclusions are controversial.

      Which is easier to prove by one’s own actions?

      • Fred, by being overconfident in their conclusions, climate researchers lay themselves wide open to the accusation of their conclusions being controversial. Uncertainty does not preclude no regrets type policies, which is more than we have now. Overconfidence has backfired, IMO.

      • Dr. Curry, I understand that one of your core arguments is “by being overconfident in their conclusions, climate researchers lay themselves wide open to the accusation of their conclusions being controversial.” I do get that.

        However, Fred Moolten’s comment specifically referred to the matter of which is easier to prove. This directly goes to your question of how “Pat Michaels, Joe Bast, and whoever at GMI, with maybe a measley few $$million per year, [is] really a match for the global climate establishment.”

        You asked if “somebody [could] please explain this.” I suggest your bafflement might be somewhat reduced if you took the asymmetry into account.

      • I don’t want to be misinterpreted, but the American public is less skeptical of anthropogenic global warming than of evolution. This is not because evolution is less well supported by evidence or by scientific consensus, nor because climate skeptics are less expert than creationists, but because the wish to disbelieve evolution is stronger than the wish to disbelieve anthropogenic warming. For decades, biologists have agonized over the best way to address the anti-evolution sentiment. They haven’t yet found an adequate formula. I don’t believe overconfidence has been the problem.

      • I view them as completely different challenges. Evolution runs smack into religious faith, whereas religious faith is a minor component of climate change skepticism.

      • Dr. Curry, any response to Fred Moolten’s comment, which specifically referenced the question you asked in your post?

      • Which is easier to prove by one’s own actions? i don’t understand the question.

      • The question had sentences before it. Those sentences might help in understanding the question.

        The climatologists must maintain that there is very great agreement about the main conclusions. The challengers only need to argue that the conclusions are controversial.

        So which is easier to prove through one’s own actions? could reasonably be read to mean “Is it easier for climatologists to prove that there is very great agreement about the main conclusions through their own actions, or for the challengers to argue that the conclusions are controversial through their own actions?”

        Hope this helps.

      • I think there is a bit of level jumping going on here. FM’s original question is based IMO on that the scientists are doing science – which by definition is more expensive, while the skeptics are doing PR which is obviously cheaper.

      • …scientists are doing science – which by definition is more expensive, while the skeptics are auditing it, which is obviously cheaper.

      • But it is a major underpinning of the beliefs around the idea of a CO2 caused worldwide catastrophe.

      • I agree, hunter. Rachel Carson tapped into a post-Christian angst felt by people who have had the good fortune to wind up in the box seats of life’s pantomime, and fear there must be something sinful about it. Aided by an existing human appetite for scientistic catastrophe narratives exemplified by Eugenics, she created a market/church for environmental “catastrophy” which has been satisfied by the string of unfulfilled scares of which CAGW is the culmination. And the same market/church offers “expiation” through misanthropic self-chastisement*.

        So it’s a sort of meta-religion.

        *Although unlike earlier attempts at expiation through self-castigation, which weelly weelly hurt, this is a thoroughly modern, highly-leveraged version, where all that is required of the individual to earn their indulgence is their “little bit” – the smug assumption being that everyone else will. Eventually. Even if we have to force them to.

      • I’d counter that warming runs smack into political mindset which, these days, has become as rigid and unresponsive to logic as religious faith.

      • How ironic Fred. Many skeptics see the AGWarmists, but especially the cAGWers, as the ones practicing climate religion, and are frustrated that we can’t communicate the reasons you are wrong and why you just can’t seem to grasp the science.

      • David L. Hagen

        Fred
        From a scientific point of view, the probability of both is dubious to say the least. AGW at least sounds plausible in the IPCC modeling- until you look at natural causes ignored and the uncertainties involved.

        (The origin of the first cell by stochastic chemistry is astronomically improbable beyond all rational scientific modeling basis. Advocating it as a “scientific” theory is the best example of “handwaving” every recorded. See evolutionist Hubert Yockey, Information theory, evolution, and the origin of life whose math shows it to be remote in the extreme, and then says you just have to accept that it happened!)

      • Why do you think that formation of self-replicable molecules is controlled by primitive combinatorial mathematics of “stochastic chemistry” and not by more sophisticated mechanisms of pattern formation known from nonlinear dynamics?

      • David, stipulating your premise, astronomically does not mean totally

      • Comparing evolution and climate science is ridiculous IMHO. Of course these fields are not at all related, but the certainty of evolution is in the orders of magnitude proved and established than the anthropogenic climate change will ever be, or at least will be in the foreseaable future.

        The AGW theory is based _in practice_ (never mind the ‘multiple lines of evidence’ discussed also in this blog) solely in modelling of very complex, non-linear and/or chaotic processes that not are far from being well understood. Admittable, a couple of areas like radiative transfer could be well understood, but in order to couple that into other processes and yield correct values (i.e. flux in/flux out) we actually need to get the absolute temperatues largely correct – not not just by some global average value.

        So, me and possibly many others will ‘take the bait’ once we see good studies demonstrating reasonable predictive ability of your modelling efforts. So far I haven’t seen such, but will stand corrected if such is pointed out. I am confident that the models you are working are very sophisticated, contain all the possible methods, equations and parameters so far known, and they are being developed by very compent scientists. I’m also very confident that such study, which critically evaluates the hindcasting and forecasting abilities of these efforts will be published anytime soon. Sadly, compenent scientists like Dr. Lacis cited in this article seem to busy complaining about some US based thinktanks and publishing “Control Knob” articles, whose results cannot be even remotely verified. Sure they have all the intellect, resources and probably enough observational data to do this kind study I’m looking for! Another option for the absence of such ‘golden paper’ is, that they know better – which I believe is the case: there is no reasonable preditive ability to speak of in the climate models so far, and as laid out for example in AR4, they pretty much admit we are not anywhere near getting there either (ref the known/not known feedback for example).

      • David L. Hagen

        anander
        I agree on the difficulties of non-linear chaotic AGW models.

        However, re “certainty of evolution is in the orders of magnitude proved ”
        You apparently are ignorant of the underlying mathematics, chemistry, and probabilities involved, and have been easily swayed by fast talking/handwaving arguments. The existence of life does NOT equate to proof of neoDarwinian evolution. Please read Yockey above.
        See also Sir. Fred Hoyle ‘Mathematics of Evolution’

      • David,

        A typo there (again) – what I was trying to say was that evolution is really a theory with rock solid foundations in biology with masses of empirical evidence.

        Interesting book you are offering: as a counter proposal, I’d suggest The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins in case you haven’t read it. I claim no special expertise on biology or evolution theory, but would describe myself as relatively well informed about the basics.

        Formulating evolution theory into a mathematical form or applying information theory is a strange idea indeed at a first glance; although DNA sure is by nature discrete, or “digital” in a way, even linear, I don’t really see much point in using maths to prove it.

        When comparing evolution to AGW, where the fundamental goal seems to be the discovery of the climate sensititity value (admittably other less ambitious goals surely exist), a totally different kind of proof is required, in the form of measurements compared to the modelled values of the same variables. As we’ve been told, the “models are based on physics”, so surely we’ll sooner or later will get empirical proof they’ve gotten the physics right. The evolution theory is based on biology and biochemistry – and perhaps also chemistry in general – where I see little or no use of formal maths of information theory. Are you suggesting that this is somehow mainstream biology?

      • David L. Hagen

        anander
        Thanks for your thoughtful questions.

        The challenge is to explain how DNA and the related information processing system came into being from stochastic processes and dilute chemical concentrations. There are as yet no credible theories for the Origin Of Life (OOL).

        Dawkins is an aggressive atheist, demanding naturalistic materialism – that we must exclude everything except the four laws of nature. If you a priori presume to exclude everything else, you can never scientifically test to see if there is evidence of design by an intelligent agent.

        An objective neutral scientific perspective is to allow that an intelligent agent might influence the results. Thus all crime TV shows, arson investigations etc. seek to distinguish intelligent vs natural causes.

        Advocates such as Dawkins claim to base evolution on chemistry etc. However, all the actual models of atoms forming the simplest cell, or mutations in DNA, show the opposite – the physical impossibility of their handwaving arguments. Most biologists never get into the math and just assume someone else has proven it.

        John C. Stanford, provides a good easily readable introduction in “The Mystery of the Genome”
        (He then briefly describes the major mutation models in the appendix.) If you want to actually explore the models, you can download Mendel’s Accountant
        http://mendelsaccount.sourceforge.net/
        That gives you full control over all mutation parameters in forward time stepping modeling of large numbers of mutations.

        Then see The Design of Life to get some idea of the other side of the argument.
        http://www.thedesignoflife.net/

        Happy hunting

      • Fred—You’re stating that Americans are less skeptical of anthropogenic global warming than of evolution is a statement that I would enjoy seeing you defend factually. I would guess that it really depends how the questions were asked in the individual poll.

        Overall, it is the duty of any group or individual proposing a project (in this case AGW supporters who want to shut down industries emitting CO2) to demonstrate that their position is based upon a sound analysis and that their proposed course of action is the most sensible in for the public in the long term. In the case of AGW this has most certainly not been accomplished.

        In the case of the American public, if you ask the question “should the US implement the course of action suggested by James Hansen and others to reduce CO2 emissions- that will cost $1.5 Trillion and will potentially reduce the increase in the world’s temperatures by .008 C” I believe the answer would be NO.

        The NO to the above question is not because of a big oil lobby or anyone stopping the AGW message from being communicated. The answer is no because there is no good information to support other than NO. There is no reliable information to show that a warmer planet is really bad for humanity in the long run, there is no information to suggest American actions would really impact the long term climate to a degree that warrants the expense, and there is a great deal of evidence that shows the potential problems of a warmer world can be mitigated much more efficiently.

        All of the above seems very true, and was not sponsored by big oil or anyone else. The problem is the AGW message and not who is against the message.

      • Lucian B. Platt

        I tried to get the Center for Science Education to present the cases for evolution that were well established before Charles Darwin was born. The old stratigraphic evidence for evolution is overwhelming and has nothing to do with people. They never acknowledged my letter; they are completely hung up on anti-Darwinism.
        But there is other science. In fact, of the comments here, I have not yet seen anything better than finger pointing. Why is there no discussion of evidence for climates. Best would those well documented that occurred before industrialization. I think the coolings destroy the alarmists’ claim, but I don’t see them mentioned here.

      • Lucian,

        stratigraphic evidence is a circular argument poorly supported by radiological dating that is wrong as often as it is THOUGHT to be right. It leads us to believe that proteins in bones thought to be over a million years old can survive that time without being fully fossilized. Quite doubtful, yet, that is what is now being touted.

      • Regarding overconfidence, one could say that governments and enviro NGOs have collectively spent many billions to line up a duck, for the libertarians to spend a few hundred thousand shooting.

      • I would add that when faced with controversy on a subject they may not fully understand without a strong scientific background, the natural tendency of the public is to prefer the position that allows them to conduct their lives without disruption rather than a position requiring them to make some sacrifice, even if modest, for the sake of a benefit at an uncertain future time.

      • Fred, you claim public ignorance of science for their not understanding GW. Yet, there are literally thousands of people, academics or otherwise, who are skilled at deriving quality data sets, who are world-class statisticians, who are at home with linear algebra, who have mothers and fathers and children and desire a beautiful and safe planet for future generations, that simply but correctly, do not share your views on cAGW. We are quite confident about our assessment of the state of climate science and quite cognizant about uncertainties. We desire to live in the world of Mark Twain and Thomas Edison, not one of the Joe Romm’s of the world.

      • Fred,

        As a layman, I will admit that my understanding of the technical arguments is certainly less than climate scientists. However, I do have some background in assessing credibility. Defensiveness, sometimes to the point of delusion, does not inspire confidence. I have no doubt that each side has its bugaboo element (conscienceless paid shill vs. misanthropic neo-Malthusian world government minion), but I don’t see either as making up a significant percentage of the players. Treating all who don’t immediately accept the consensus opinion as either victims of disinformation or co-conspirators is simplistic, wrong, and frankly, insulting. This behavior, coupled with understatement of uncertainties, attempts to rush the policy, and excusing the behavior of a very few bad apples all combine to undermine credibility.

        For what it’s worth, I fall more into the lukewarmer category. Credibility of the science is important to me and the issues I noted above are getting in the way of finding a workable way forward. Operatives for “Big Carbon” are far down the list of problems for the consensus.

      • Fred,
        The public can smell bs, no matter how much science and strutting appeals to authority are mixed in to hide it.
        The catastrophic consensus of climate science smells of bs.
        The arguments that this is like the tobacco industry smells worse.
        The pathetic attempts here and elsewhere to pretend it is a big oil or koch family conspiracy only add to the stench.

      • Fred,

        As a scientific semi-literate with a conservative bent and with a strong skepticism about the whole CAGW business, I might seem to be a model of your unenlightened “denier” (not the word you used, I appreciate). But since I suspect my skepticism is very much in line with the famous Joe-six-pack’s line of thought, you might be interested in its origin–an origin that has nothing to do with the Koch brothers, big-oil, or anything else like that.

        In particular, when sacrifices are urged on me, I look for leadership by example and from the front, on the part of those urging me to do the right thing. But what do I see, in that regard, from the CAGW-nags ? Preposterous hypocrisies by those (Gore, Prince Charles, Maurice Strong, Pachauri, etc.) seemingly most convinced of the peril. Carbon pig-out parties for the IPCC annually at exotic destinations noted for their sex-tourist amenities. And tenured temple priests of Gaia-science working their agit-prop rituals–charts, number magic, and computer model wizardry all aligned with the money-making and other ambitions of their most generous patrons and their big plans for the “useless eaters.”

        And I can’t get the thought out of my head that the activist, CAGW climate-scientists remind me strongly of another priestly sect–the one that just recently used their entrail-reading skills to wreck our economy with their “new paradigm of risk management.”

        And, finally, Fred I click on your name and am brought to your own website and see, to my utter astonishment, the picture of some guy with an electric guitar attached to a bank of electronic gadgetry that looks like the control panel of Al Gore’s private jet.

        So I ask you Fred, why don’t you de-carbonize your livelihood and life-style and record and perform with only acoustic instruments? And if you are not so inclined, what does that say about your real convictions with regard to CAGW?

        In summary, Fred, you and others like you that are advocates of the CAGW business with its brave-new-world policy goals, will never, in my estimation, convince me or Joe to de-carbonize our lifestyles until you destroy your own high-carbon life-styles first. Might want to pass that on to some of your comrades (and Joe is not impressed that a comrade might ride a bamboo bike–pecksniff gestures like that don’t impress Joe (though I’m more gullible)).

      • Hi Mike

        I strongly encourage people to ride bikes – however manufactured. I do not have a car, rarely use one and earn my living working for the public transport authority in London (TfL).

        But I also recognise that people powered machines are not the whole solution. My Mum is 87 – she rode her bike daily until 81 yo. But now she is virtually housebound. She could not get to the dentist or the doctor or even the hairdresser without motorised transport. The examples – even of Bart commuting to work in his compact – are manifold of the need for powerful and reliable energy sources.

        My beef with the bamboo bicycle was somebody’s ludicrous suggestion that by teaching people how to build such bikes, third world poverty would be solved without needing extra energy sources. I think he’d been overstrongly influenced by the fairies at teh botton of his garden :-)

        But as a Londoner, and student of history, the one that strikes home to me every day as I travel across the city is that without steam power, our sewerage system would never have been built…and probably our capital would never have risen to its current position as one of the great cities of the world.

        And if the price of keeping all our big cities free from cholera and other water-borne fatal diseases is burning a bit of coal or oil, then bring it on.

        Must go – I have to be on the 209 Mortlake to Hammersmith to start my day’s work.

      • You’re the man, Joe! (high-five and a fist-bump)

      • Joe Sixpack

        “My beef with the bamboo bicycle was somebody’s ludicrous suggestion that by teaching people how to build such bikes, third world poverty would be solved without needing extra energy sources. “

        Maybe I’m too skeptical.

        But could you provide some links to examples of the compelling and uncontrovertable good of your extra energy sources doing good for people without even bicycles?

        Anywhere in history would be fine, with of course the historical notations commensurate with your standing as a student of history.

        Perhaps some sociological references and welfare graphs with ANOVA tables showing the best fit of correlation between disease reduction and the leading candidate theories including energy projects. Commentaries from leading figures representative of affected communities. Engineering reports showing how the extra energy is addressing the needs of the poor.

        Or as Esther Duflo (http://vimeo.com/8911801) was shown to do in a recent page on this blog, some scientific proof — like randomized trials — of the efficacy of your recommendation?

        Show us your stuff, Joe.

        Be the man.

      • Mike – Thanks for visiting my website. If you listen to my songs (or buy them from iTunes or other vendors), you’ll notice that I favor acoustic over electronic sound. However, it’s impossible to do justice to every endeavor through a single modality, and in addition, a recording studio needs equipment for many songwriters rather than for one who, like me, writes in a particular way. (I’m not the owner of the studio, nor the guitar soloist for the recordings).

        In my personal life, I try to adhere to an energy-conservation policy, although I don’t always succeed. I drive a hybrid car, walk rather than ride when feasible, set my home thermostat high in summer and low in winter, use energy-saver devices, make sure the house is well insulated, recycle when appropriate, and try when appropriate to buy locally produced goods rather than those transported over thousands of miles. This does not seriously inconvenience me, and saves money in the bargain.

        I have also tried to contribute by becoming knowledgeable about climate science, so that my judgments will be as well informed as possible. Anyone here who reads my comments in the more technical threads can decide how successful I’ve been.

      • Fred,

        My original comment was something of a “cheap shot” and the courtesy, candor, and simple decency of your reply could not be in greater contrast. I’m chastened for what it’s worth.

        At the same time, I don’t want to abandon my original point. Let me put it this way: If every single person on this planet had your carbon footprint (with all the good choices you’ve made to reduce your carbon footprint noted) would that be enough to save us from a potential AGW catastrophe, as you understand the science of CAGW? I suspect not, though that’s not to gainsay the worth of the low-carbon measures you’ve made a part of your daily life. On the other hand, maybe you are fully doing your part.

        If so, then others with your high-profile advocacy of low/non-carbon lifestyles should follow your example. If not, then you see my point–Joe doesn’t want potentially brutal reductions imposed on his lifestyle while the “imposers” live large and with only a few painless, even self-congratulatory (the term is not aimed at you, Fred, but others might successfully wear that “shoe”) adjustments to their lifestyle.

        Fred, of course I wouldn’t want you to compromise your artistic vision to save a few kilowatts and carbon molecules. But Joe’s pick-up truck is as much a part of his life as your electrified compositions are of yours–and, for that matter, the multiple mansions, private jets, yachts, Carribean Islands, IPCC toga-parties, and the like are to the “Big-Green” nomenklatura. So if you want to Joe to be a good sport and willingly give up his “toys,” you and others like you, Fred, need to shed yours first as a leadership example to Joe–my original point.

        Likewise, I ask you to understand that Joe is not a dim-witted pawn of big oil or the nefarious Koch brothers. Rather he’s the guy that’s habitually on the receiving end of various deals dreamt up by his “betters”–Joe doesn’t get tenure, he doesn’t get a big pay-check, he probably works at a job that lacks the self-satisfactions of yours, and it’s Joe (and his kids) that fight our wars, for the most part. And for Joe his pick-up truck is his precious compensatory piece of the pie. It’s as simple as that. (In case you’re wondering at my bold pretense that I can speak for Joe–my credentials are an up-bringing in a family of Joe’s and in a neighborhood/community of Joe’s and, for nearly three decades, my working colleagues were Joe’s and his sons and daughters).

      • And, finally, Fred I click on your name and am brought to your own website and see, to my utter astonishment, the picture of some guy with an electric guitar attached to a bank of electronic gadgetry that looks like the control panel of Al Gore’s private jet.

        Mike, just so you know, that guitar rack does not use any more electricity than the average nice stereo… probably, almost certainly less than the average TV or a good gaming computer. Most of the pretty blinky lighted things are signal processors and use hardly any amps at all. They’re all low powered use devices. The only thing that would use a decent amount of juice would be the main signal amp, but seeing that this is a recording rack, that would not be turned up.

        If he’s playing live, yes, he would be drawing more juice. But even then, it wouldn’t be that much. Here is the gig rig for my San Diego band RareForm. This includes the main 2K watt sound system, 2 guitar amps (one is a modified high powered Marshal – heavier than hell!), electric keyboard and drums, and my bass amp. The stage lighting is also ours. We don’t like to do it, but in this situation, everything was plugged into one 15 amp circuit. Even with all this stage stuff, we never exceeded the 15 amp limit.

        Now, me and Fred may be a bit at odds with the AGW issue, but I mus defend him here. His recording equipment is no where near the power hog that Al Gores private jet is.

      • Thanks for the valuable instruction, sonicfrog. Actually, I was kinda just being a jerk to make a point with the comment you quoted. And Fred’s gentlemanly response, most certainly put me in my place (I’ve been dealing with ianash too much, it seems, and it shows, I regret). And your patient, good-faith, instructive comment was icing-on-the-cake. Again thanks–thank you both.

      • I’ve been dealing with ianash too much, it seems, and it shows, I regret

        Oh… That’s nothing! You should try dealing with my little brother. Anyone who doubts “the science” is, basically, evil… Period!

      • Fred, Upton Sinclair said it more concisely: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

        Now, if only I could work out which side in the debate he was talking about….

      • Fred, it is not a fair fight. Nor should it be. Your demanding my tax money to support your pet cause, against my better judgment.

        So your burden of proof is, and should be, much higher.

        If I was to claim that I need huge amounts of revenue from you to avoid certain catastrophe from a future asteroid collision, and that my computer models now predict this collision to be much more likely than previously thought, would you give me the same benefit of the doubt?

        Extraordinary claims (CAGW) require extraordinary proof. That burden of proof has not been met in my investigation of the subject. If you don’t want any of my hard earned money, than we don’t have an argument, do we?

        You can always start a CAGW foundation and raise as much revenue as you can from people you can convince to help. If the science is so solid, this shouldn’t be so difficult.

      • Fred,

        I am just wondering if you are considering the substantial sums that the corporations are spending to lobby for Green energy policies that allow them to root at the trough of guaranteed profits?

        Do you lump this under Alarmism, Denial, or somewhere in between such as pure greed? Anyway you look at it the only way they can justify the billions spent on Green Projects that they will profit from is to promote the alarmist meme.

  3. The AGW proponents boxed themselves in with the claim that the science is settled. Skepticism became counter evidence that had to be explained away. So skepticism was, and still is, attributed to a gullible public misled by forces of evil. The reality is that a lot of very bright people are skeptical, so these false claims do not work, except among the faithful.

    • AMEN to that. IMO as soon as they decided not to carry the error bars and do something other than the traditional 95%, they started the inevitable slide into dismal sciences.

  4. If Heartland and Cato did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. Every ideology needs an opponent to demonise. Sadly, the AGW debate is permeated by ideology with an overpoweringly cheliastic flavour under the guise of science. This doesn’t mean AGW is not a real issue we need to confront as a society – it’s just that we all get a bit irrational about it using the spectre of impending catastrophe as a force to unify the faithful.

  5. Fred, slashing energy use by 2035 to 20-30% below 1990 levels, as the EU has mandated itself to do/attempt, is not “modest” sacrifice. It will cause severe problems (national finance ministers and prime ministers are starting to twig to this, and tourniquet the arteries bleeding into Ozymandius’ desert.) The only progress of any significance so far is actually the contraction of economies caused by the Great Recession. No other method found to date has had any measurable influence.

    Adding insult to injury, said modest sacrifice is projected to produce an almost imperceptible change in whatever the “trend” is going to do on its own hook.

    Greater self-defeating futility and economic foolishness would be hard to find. As Lindzen said so clearly, presciently and accurately a few years ago:

    “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”.—

  6. If one had never heard of campaign contributions …

  7. I remember that the Marshall institute wad basically ilified because they hosted Bjorn Lomorg a couple of times. Makes you wonder how little it takes to put Romm’s head in a vise. But hey, he’ll link to 38 other posts he wrote on the topic so I’m sure we’ll all find out.

  8. “…funding dedicated minions..”

    OK…where do I sign up to be a “minion” so I can cash in ?

  9. Roger Pielke jr on his blog showed that the opinion of climate change deniers or skeptic mattered little to the policy maker.

    For the last 15 years the majority of people favored action on climate change. Where the problem begins for the policy maker is that it depends on how much the policy cost.

    Cap and trade is mainly seen a get rich quick scam, which the few experience have shown to be unworkable. A carbon tax on the either receives a lot more support, as long as its level is at a few dollars per ton. Few people are against investing in green energies, research of alternative energy, etc. Most people agree that fossil fuel industries shouldn’t receive subsidies. Where people disagree is on the how much. Roger presented table where at less than 5$ per ton a carbon tax was accepted by more than 75% of survey respondent. The higher the price the lower the number of people who agree with the tax.

  10. This has been noted before,but almost always avoided being addressed or, at best, subjected to euphemistic waffle:

    opinion polls in Western countries have consistently shown two attitudes pervasive within the general populaces – most want this “AGW climate thingie” fixed (they are sick to death of being constantly harangued with the scare of Armageddon) BUT they want someone else to pay for it

    This contradiction has destroyed politician after politician. It has nothing to do with “better communication” (a euphemism for improved ways of scaring people even more)

    Aus is now finally staring this bind dead in the face. The MSM are desperately trying to find a spin to hide the impost on living standards that an effective carbon dioxide tax will provoke – this task is made more difficult for them because they have just spent 20 years telling their audience that this wouldn’t happen, just a few cents/week

    Politicians are scrambling to find subsidy mechanisms to protect the bulk of their votes. This directly negates the purpose of a CO2 tax, of course

    The impossibly high costs of renewabubble schemes, together with the backup base load stations using fossil fuels, are changing whole-scale voting patterns in the middle classes. Most people are neither scientifically literate nor mathematically numerate, but neither are they stupid

    None of this is attributable to Big Oil/Big Coal demons. All of it is attributable to AGW policy propaganda, which has never had the courage to say exactly what “phasing out” fossil fuel energy really means to living standards. The UK Stern Report and Aus Garnaut Reports were specifically designed to avoid this level of detail

    Now, we watch the train wrecks pile up as the sowers reap

    To those who will reply: “policy responses are not the concerns of science”, I reply: “Then stay out of advocacy” … no hope whatsoever

  11. Heartland:

    “In December 2006, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets announced a multi-year partnership project with Heartland Institute to influence public opinion on tobacco issues. “The project is expected to be a multi-year effort beginning in 2007, and will include press releases, letters to editors and a campaign to win coverage in magazines and journals,” according to National Association of Tobacco Outlets president Tom Briant in a press release.

    The Heartland Institute’s involvement with the tobacco industry goes back more than a decade. On their website, Institute President Joseph L. Bast states that they are a “genuinely independent source of research.” This institute appears to be a far cry from independent — internal documents expose Philip Morris contributions to the Heartland Institute totaling over $150,000 in 1997, 1998, and 1999.”

    • Can somebody please explain to this Brit, exactly why every time anybody mentions climate change in the States, a bunch of people leap up and shout ‘evolution’ and ‘tobacco’. As if that somehow clinched the deal in favour of CAGW.

      I am a firm believer in evolution since I first learnt of Dawkins’s work back in the mid 1970s when I shared a student flat with his research assistant. And I am a profound atheist.

      I gave up smoking twenty-five years ago and am glad I did. I’ve seen two dear friends die slow and painful deaths from lung cancer in the last four years and don’t wish that on anybody. I am no fan of smoking!

      And yet I am still as sceptical as they come. I can’t see any logical link between the three things.

      What point is anybody trying to make? Or is it just the idea that if you shout loud enough about bogeymen, everybody will head for the hills.

      • That is because you have been brainwashed by the evil conservative out to get you just like the terrorists. The world revolves around the US./sarc

    • ianash,

      since 1940 the per capita rate of smoking has been dropping in the US. The abilities of the medical community to deal with Cancer has been somewhat increasing. Yet, in the last 20 years the deaths from upper respiratory and lung cancer has been stable.

      Would you like to explain these hard facts in the light of how we have all been assured that these cancers are primarily due to smoking and more recently how dangerous second hand smoke is??

      I would back off smearing people for connections to the tobacco industry as there is STILL no smoking gun on the connections between many items declared carcinogenic in laboratories compared to the reality in the real world. The dose makes the poison is often forgotten.

      • kuhnkat

        In poison, the dose makes the poison.

        In disease, the relationship is more complex.

        Teratogens, carcinogens and mutagens are some of the most complex of all, and still ill-understood overall — however, you are absolutely wrong about the smoking gun connecting carcinogens to disease, by the measure of a skeptical scientist.

        Though you’re not wrong that epidemiologically there are non-tobacco contributors to the conditions you mention.

      • Bart R,

        You have neglected to explain how the death rate can sty stable while our treatments improve and exposure declines. This puts my statements on more solid ground than clinical testing where the DOSE is greatly elevated and other contributing issues cannot be controlled as the disease is not fully understood.

      • ..there are non-tobacco contributors to the conditions you mention.

        See?

        All explained.

      • Bart R,

        keep running. You have supported none of you contentions that the Tobacco companies are evil and those who receive money from them are suspect. Like the lawsuits that created this monstrosity you ladle allegations and ad-homs liberally with no FACTS to support any of it. All you appear to have is plea to Authorities who are corrupt.

      • kk

        Evil?

        You mean, like objective Evil?

        Something oozing out of them like the green stuff in Ghostbusters?

        And ad-hom whom?

        And which authority did I cite, specifically, other than “the measure of the skeptical scientist”?

        What the heck are you talking about?!

      • BartR,

        HAHAHAHAHAHA,

        You are funny BartR. First you try to smear people by trying to associate them with the tobacco companies then you deny deny deny!!! You are not even willing to try and explain why all that decrease in smoking hasn’t made even one percentage point in cancer deaths in the US. Yup, that SCIENCE is just as tight as AGW!!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • kk

        Can you point me to where all this is supposed to have happened?

        Because I can’t remember being there for it.

        What words did I use to link anyone to anything?

        I don’t have a pony in that circus, or didn’t until you goaded me into this by insulting my friend Latimer.

        While I’m firmly with what Latimer Alder says above about Americans, Evolution and Tobacco, including heartily congratulating him on giving up the weed, I never actually said so here, nor am I him.. Honest!

        I’m also not ianash, too.

        And while I’m glad to own up to what I have said, however controversial, and admit when I’m wrong, I never said what you claim, and Latimer isn’t wrong in what he said above.

        You’ve caught me out here entirely with this lunacy of yours about Evil and tobacco overlords.

        Now, as you want to talk about epidemiology and cancer, delightful topic that it is..

        Here’s what the National Cancer Institute said about that in 1981, By far the largest reliably known percentage is the 30% of current U.S. cancer deaths that are due to tobacco, although it is possible that some nutritional factor(s) may eventually be found to be of comparable importance. The percentage of U.S. cancer deaths that are due to tobacco is still increasing, and must be expected to continue to increase for some years yet due to the delayed effects of the adoption of cigarettes in earlier decades. Biases in the available data on registration of new cases produce apparent trends in cancer incidence which are spurious. Biases also produce spurious trends in cancer incidence which are spurious. Biases also produce spurious trends in cancer death certification rates, especially among old people. In (and before) middle age, where the biases are smaller, there appear to be a few real increases and a few real decreases in mortality from some particular types of cancer, but there is no evidence of any generalized increase other than that due to tobacco. Moderate increases or decreases due to some new agent(s) or habit(s) might of course be overlooked in such large-scale analyses. But, such analyses do suggest that, apart from cancer of the respiratory tract, the types of cancer that are currently common are not peculiarly modern diseases and are likely to depend chiefly on some long-established factor(s). (J Natl Cancer Inst. 1981 Jun;66(6):1191-308. The causes of cancer: quantitative estimates of avoidable risks of cancer in the United States today.)

        Here’s what science further said a quarter century later, confirming that statement: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/96/2/99.full

        You speak of decrease in number of smokers, but make no effort to account either for second-hand smoke or for the delay between exposure and expression.

        You falsely claim support of data when in fact study after study shows that when any major group starts or stops smoking or enters or ends second hand exposure then too their rate of related cancers in subsequent years correlate with extraordinary reliability for a human epidemiological metric.

        You’re lying, and you’re insulting our intelligence, on top of the just plain wackadoodle accusations against Latimer Alder and myself.

        The people you do have an argument with have been countering your false argument for 3 decades already, and let’s face it, if you can’t come up with a fresh paranoid conspiracy theory at least once every quarter century, you’re just not trying.

      • Yes I can point you. Try looking up the death statistics from the CDC or any other reputable organisation. Same for smoking statistics.

        When the limitied laboratory experiments conflict with real world actuality what am I supposed to believe?? There is so much VOODOO going on in the world of Politics/Science/Courtrooms that REALITY must ultimately be the judge. Reality says that Tobacco smoking apparently is NOT closely correlated with death and disease in the population of the US.

      • You can also look in previous threads here where I did post the links to the sites.

      • kk

        Wasn’t asking about what you said, but about what you claim I said.

        See, subtle distinction; as much as I’m not the distinguished Latimer Alder or ianash, I’m not you, too.

        Your claims have been competently addressed over the past three decades repeatedly, as the links I furnished demonstrate.

        Repeating you defunct claim in the face of obvious and clear demonstration doesn’t make it any less completely defeated.

    • “The Heartland Institute’s involvement with the tobacco industry goes back more than a decade.”

      Yeah, but that was about disputing the effects of second-hand smoke, not about the effects of smoking. This fact is something that’s never mentioned when accusers point the finger at these think tanks. They know most of their audience will make that inference and they are happy not to undeceive them. (What does that say about these accusers?)

      And even though now the bad effects of second-hand smoking on cohabitants are established, Heartland wasn’t wrong (in the sense of “evil”) to dispute them at the time. The bad effects of second-hand smoking on casual contacts in restaurants haven’t been established and seem tiny, so if Heartland fights against laws outlawing smoking there, it’s no disgrace.

      • PS: Libertarians believe that it’s OK for individuals to do things that are dangerous and that the government has no right to stop them, because it’s up to individuals to assess risks to themselves for themselves. (I disagree in the case of tobacco smoking, because it’s so addictive.) Therefore, they are not guilty of cynically “denying” the evidence of tobacco’s harmfulness when they accept money from tobcco companies or oppose laws banning smoking in public spaces or in bars. And yet that is the accusation their critics insinuate.

  12. Cato:

    “Coordinating with some of the most lucrative tobacco companies to limit government regulation of tobacco products and advertising in the United States since the early 1990s, the Cato Institute continues to work directly and indirectly with the tobacco industry to prevent smokefree policies from protecting public health. This is no surprise, as media mogul Rupert Murdoch sat on the Board of Directors at both Philip Morris and the Cato Institute. Murdoch’s News Corporation owns numerous broadcasting and print media corporations, including Fox Broadcasting, which voted Philip Morris CEO Geoffrey Bible onto the board of News Corp in 1998.”

    • Wow.

      An unattributed quote from somewhere. With no commentary.

      You are right Oh Great One!

      The power of your rhetoric and persuasive skills has shown me the error of my ways!

      I bow down before your superior intellect.

      Lead me in the paths of righteousness I beg …tell me the One True Path to Wisdom so that I may follow in your giant footsteps.

      But seriously folks, it usually helps to give some source for what you are quoting, and possibly a reason for why you think the quotation is relevant.

      So far all you have demonstrated is that you have mastered the CTRL-C, CTRL-V sequence. Which is a good first step, but a loooooong way from being even peripherally relevant to the subject under discussion.

      • Lat,

        Ianash, is just point out that those tens of millions payed to those libertarian outfits does not go to fight the global warming “consensus”. I guess that means they are more effective at it than we thought!

      • Just some more trash from ianash

  13. George P. Marshall Institute

    Shortly before his 1979 retirement from Rockefeller University, Seitz (President of George P. Marshall Institute) began working as a permanent consultant for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, advising their medical research program until 1988 Reynolds had previously provided “very generous” support for biomedical work at Rockefeller. Seitz later wrote that “The money was all spent on basic science, medical science,” and pointed to Reynolds-funded research on mad cow disease and tuberculosis Nonetheless, later academic studies of tobacco industry influence concluded that Seitz, who helped allocate $45m of Reynolds’ research funding, “played a key role… in helping the tobacco industry produce uncertainty concerning the health impacts of smoking.”

    • Three comments and not a word about climate? Heh!

      Tobacco is irrelevant. So is evolution.

      But both are reliable guides to when the alarmists perceive themselves being defeated.

    • Phillip Bratby

      As a life long scientist and non-smoker, my BS meter goes off the scale when any article starts with linking sceptic funding to the tobacco industry. My scepticism for AGW or even cAGW is built on examining the scientific methodology used (or not) and the evidence (or lack thereof).

    • ianash

      As you seem obsessed with the Tobacco Lobby, I wonder if you can tell me this – at what point in time did the Tobacco Lobby ever have the slightest success in fomenting doubt over Tobacco’s effects. While they may have tried (and they would, wouldn’t they) to sow doubt, the general public has been in n o doubt whatever that Tobacco is a leading cause of many fatal diseases – I recall my friends sharing “cancer sticks” in the 70’s. I cannot recall, in all my 50 odd years, having seen any report giving the slightest credence to the claims of the Tobacco companies. For all their efforts, they got zero traction and zero respect

      You see, it doesn’t natter how much money you spend, if the message you are trying to sell is absurd and contrary to the evidence of peoples experience, you will fail. There is surely a lesson for the CAGW lobby in this, but not the one they want to see.

      • Well said, Peter. Regular people feel confident of figuring things out on their own…gathering and internalizing information until they feel comfortable making a decision. Whether right or wrong, they are not waiting for a panel of experts to tell them what to think–though they might accept information from the experts along with all sorts of other random and variably-accurate sources. There are many who don’t get this and some of that many will have a very tough go.

      • I like random and
        Variably accurate.
        Arrow to the point.
        ===========

  14. What a complete red herring Andy Lacis has dragged up here! Abe Lincoln’s words sum up the real problem “If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.” The climate science establishment shot itself in the foot with Climategate, and faces an almost impossible task regaining public confidence.

  15. Dr. A. Lacis can’t be serious, can he???? Fossil fuels, tobacco? Hell, he left out SO many things, like formaldehyde, alar, CFCs, Dursban, PCBs, etc., ad nauseum , ad sicko….It is getting soooo bland watching the “progressives” try to lay the blame on something else but themselves. Like Obama trying his best to blame EVERYTHING GONE WRONG on George W Bush! It is a hoot! Poor Andrew watches the public DENOUNCING his corrupt “science” and replies by lashing out against….BIG TOBACCO???? WTF, DOKTOR? Why don’t you just provide some science? I know why, and so do most Americans!

    He and his ilk are out of ammo-facts, so he/they is resorting to Hanson-style commie-talk! SAD and funny at the same time.

    Judith: My condolences for you. You will soon be burned at the stake for your heresy (or truth, depending on your viewpoint).

    • Are there still people who say ‘commie’ in the USA and actually mean it ?
      I thought this was just a joke cooked up by SNL…

      Next you’ll be telling me people still say the USA is a Christian Country!

  16. Examples of Oil Industry Funding for Cato (all years):

    Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $9,560,000
    (The Claude Lambe foundation is controlled by the Koch family)

    David H. Koch Charitable Foundation $4,043,240

    Sarah Scaife Foundation $2,037,500
    (The Sarah Scaife Foundation is financed by the Mellon industrial, oil, and banking fortune)

    • Source for your numbers?

    • Whatever these unattributed numbers may mean, the relatively small scale of them reinforces the point that the funding for alarmism vastly overwhelms that for scepticism.

    • Are you serious? Is this ALL the money they have given in (how any) years? These are pathetically small sums in comparison to the hundreds of millions spent by the CAGW lobby just last year, let alone over the past few decades – just check out the annual budgets of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, WWF, Oxfam, Pew Foundation – and many many more.

      Not to mention which CATO is involved in a lot of things besides climate change. How much of these paltry amounts went to climate research is unknown, but certainly very small

      You disprove you own point without realizing it. Sad

  17. Such pretence, pompous pronouncements and insufferable arrogance.

    The only thing certain in life is that the future is an unknown country. Climate is prognosticatable only as a probability density function – and it is absolutely certain that there are some risks of highly adverse outcomes .

    It becomes standard risk management after that. Get used to the idea – and buy into creative, pro-market and pro-people solutions. There is always a balance of risk and a need to find the best compromise.

  18. Examples of Oil Industry Funding for Heartland (all years):

    Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation $3,419,000
    (The Claude Lambe foundation is controlled by the Koch family)

    Sarah Scaife Foundation $21,235,000
    (The Sarah Scaife Foundation is financed by the Mellon industrial, oil, and banking fortune)

    The Carthage Foundation $2,559,000
    (The Carthage Foundation is part of the Scaife Family foundations and is chaired by Richard Mellon Scaife. )

    • David L. Hagen

      All those funds you cite are peanuts compared to the $79 billion Jo Novo documented for anthropogenic warming advocates.

    • Which simply shows how paltry the funds that go to skeptics, and how deceptive you are.
      Not one of these organizations devotes more than a fraction of its efforts to exploring or supporting skeptical ideas.
      That you do not see or care to admit that AGW promoters receive vastly more money for single purpose efforts is where your deception comes in, no mater how much snark you apply to hide it.

  19. http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/files/gcr_contributions_summary09.pdf

    This is the breakdown of Exxon contributions by category. I take note that the category receiving the greatest amount is that of higher education. This makes me very suspicious that the majority of climate scientists who work for these institutions of higher learning are actually shills for the oil companies and are bought and paid for to prevent drilling for oil so that price and demand causes the price for a barrel of oil to be artificially high. After all, it costs just as much to get a $20 barrel out of the ground as it does a $100 barrel. Conspiracy theories are so easy to come up with. Could it be that oil companies are huge corporations that give money to a large variety of different enterprises hoping to buy good will with as vast a consumer base as possible? Nope, that couldn’t be it.

    • … That would include, for example, the corporation’s involvement with Stanford, a notable hotbed of right-wing free-market activism:

      ExxonMobil Corporation (NYSE: XOM) is the world’s largest publicly traded petroleum and petrochemical company. An industry leader in almost every aspect of the energy and petrochemical business, we operate facilities or market products in most of the world’s countries. We employ more than 80,000 people in locations around the globe.

      ExxonMobil maintains one of the industry’s largest research and development efforts, with an annual spend of over $700 million. We emphasize proprietary solutions that solve critical business challenges and pursue research into proprietary breakthrough technologies that will not only enhance existing businesses, but also provide step changes in ExxonMobil’s competitive position.

      ExxonMobil is also committed to taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, both in its current operations and over the longer term.

      This includes investing in energy efficiency in our facilities, working with auto and engine makers on programs that could significantly reduce vehicle emissions, exploring new ways to produce hydrogen (for potential long-term applications ranging from on-board vehicles to retail stations and large production facilities), partnering with the European Union on groundbreaking research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and supporting Stanford University’s GCEP program.

      http://gcep.stanford.edu/about/exxonmobil.html

      Note that a co-sponsor of the Stanford Global Climate project is GE, which bought Enron’s wind turbine facilities when it went under.

    • Well, if the truth be known, cAGW is really a gift to the oil companies.
      After all, what has done more to push up the dollar-barrel price of their product?

  20. Between Chris’s rather immature post about how tough climate scientists have it, to Lacis’s desperate plea for help too many believers in the apocalyptic consensus of climate science are able to deal with those who point out the problems of their claims.
    If they could simply stop denying that their claims of global cliamte disruption have significant problems, pointed out by qualified scientists, they could get past this sooner than later.
    But they cannot stop being what they claim skeptics are, and they cannot imagine how ironic their obvious projections truly are.

    • At least the tone is more moderate – but the claims no less absurd. I can’t really be claimed to be a wombat – at least it wouldn’t be fair. I did make it into Marc Moranos list of ‘prominent scientists’ who spoke out against global warming – and subsequently appeared on every watchlist on the net.

      Everyone and his pet dog has a theory and they are all balderdash – at least I have some bloody evidence.

      But you (and Fred) especially are wrong – you appeal to dubious authority and then think that you can continue to blast greenhouse greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with impunity – nothing but adolescent delusions of invulnerability.

      • Chief,
        I am for doing things that actually work.
        Nuclear power will reduce CO2. Windmills will not.
        Conservation will not.
        Reducing CO2 emissions will not control climate, either, in any appreciable way.
        Building nukes and upgrading our infrastructure in a rational way will work. I am for that. If CO2 gets reduced enough to get the believers on board and let them ease out of the corner they have painted themselves into, I am all for it.
        I am hardly adolescent. I have been to End Of The World Dances before, I know how they go, and I know how they end. This one is no different than the others, except for the size of the dance.

      • And I say that you cannot possibly be certain that doubling or more of Co2 in the atmosphere will not have climatological or biological impact. I think that uncertainty is equally valid for the other case.

        Until we get past this – there is no hope for any rational progress.

      • Chief,

        Uncertainty is being held up as an AGW crutch to keep doing stupid things and now blame it that science is uncertain.
        Science does NOT want to know.
        If they were serious, then many new theories would be considered.
        But following temperatures to the exclusion of all other factors is down right insane.

      • Chief,
        We know that doubling the CO2 will help plants and the biosphere.
        And your argument that we cannot know for sure is a rather large abuse of the precautionary principal.
        BTW, I did not start the wombat metaphor. I thought it was sort of cute.

      • It was me started the wombat metaphor – somehow the idea of zombies and wombats duking it out hits my funny bone. The obscure allusion is to Australian children’s literature – the muddle headed wombat.

        How do we know it won’t harm the biosphere – because someone has a brainwave without a scintilla of evidence? Is this post-normal science? I don’t know – I have been calling it post-modernist science for years. The scientific method, scientific doubt and scientific humility are replaced by a narrative where anything that can be imagined is true.

        But – I am talking about getting run over by the logic train of chaos. Zombies like chaos as a metatheory of climate – but they seem reluctant to take the final step. Sensitive dependence on initial conditions means that there is not just a risk of abrupt climate shifts but there is a certainty. It is not about not knowing – but whoops things are more changeable than we imagined.

        But risk management is not about seeing this in isolation. There are other problems that include 5,000,000 children dying from malnutrition related conditions a year and 146,000,000 children under 5 at risk (Copenhagen Consensus). This is a much higher priority and alleviation can in fact have multiple benefits – including carbon reduction.

        Creativity rather than a fixed idea.

      • Chief Hydrologist,
        “There are other problems that include 5,000,000 children dying from malnutrition related conditions a year and 146,000,000 children under 5 at risk (Copenhagen Consensus). This is a much higher priority and alleviation can in fact have multiple benefits – including carbon reduction. ”

        I definitely agree we have much worse problems that need to be addressed. What I don’t understand is how very many of them are compatible with carbon reduction or WHY they should be?

      • There are indeed other, pressing problems, and creativity is indeed needed to solve them – but perhaps it needs pointing out that money to solve these problems, even creatively, does not grow on trees. Further – economies shrinking due to the proposed laws to reduce CO2 will provide less taxes, thus less money to spend. Add to this the huge debts burdening nations across the globe, and you’ll see that we’re in a fine mess.
        Is it so hard to understand that money cannot be spent twice?

    • accurate summary imo

  21. It seems to me that more quickly than most, this thread has deviated from the original topic into a debate about whether the conclusions of most of the climate science community are valid, whether the costs of mitigation are worth the benefits, and whether or not the motivations of various parties are honorable or dishonorable.

    If I might return to the issue of how effectively public opinion is influenced by interest groups, I would like to add to my earlier list another factor that guides how an individual responds to what these groups say – his or her ideological and political philosophy. In fact, I would argue that political overlay plays such a critical role that in its absence, opinion might swing widely toward a more favorable view of public policies aimed at mitigation. As it is, the fairly conservative bent of the American public maintains a fairly even split between belief and disbelief, and a modest imbalance in favor of societal inaction.

    Although I can’t prove it, it’s my sense that within Climate Etc., a majority of skeptics tend to be conservative and Republican, and a majority of those who support the scientific consensus tend to be moderate to liberal Democrats (or the equivalents outside of the U.S.). I suspect that the imbalance here is not extreme, but that is almost certainly not the case for the public at large. If anyone reads the comments submitted by readers or visitors to Fox News, the Washington Post, Newsweek, or a host of other members of the mainstream media, the very high correlation between political orientation and an acceptance or rejection of mainstream science is striking. In fact, if you identify the politics of a commenter regarding a political story, you can almost always predict how he or she will react to a subsequent climate story.

    I stated earlier that individuals are easily persuaded to believe what they want to believe, and very hard to influence to believe what runs counter to their general worldview, that these tendencies are enhanced if they can be persuaded that the issue is controversial (so that they can feel comfortable with their preferred choice), and that their preferences are further guided by the desire to believe what requires the least sacrifice or disruption on their part. Politics plays into this in a grand way.

    To me, it is not surprising that we currently see substantial resistance to accepting the conclusions of most within the climate science community. Rather, it may be surprising that the acceptance is as ample as it appears to be, particularly at a time of economic recession.

    • Fred,
      The AGW marketing was slick and not critically reviewed for decades.
      Now that the science behind a great deal of the climate crisis claims of the consensus are shown to be garbage, did you expect the public to remain ignorant forever?

    • Although I can’t prove it, it’s my sense that within Climate Etc., a majority of skeptics tend to be conservative and Republican

      Fred –
      I don’t fit your profile. I’m an ex-Democrat and an ex-Republican. And probably classify as a libertarian, but have never voted that way.

      OTOH, I have a number of liberal friends who are also sceptics.

      I suspect that a lot of the sceptics here won’t fit your profile.

      • Jim – Did you read what I wrote?

      • Yes, I did Fred. And my point was that political orientation is only one factor. There are others.

        Example – Vietnam – the “peasants” there didn’t care whether their government was Communist or otherwise as long as it left them alone. That’s ALL they wanted – to be left alone to live their lives, and raise their crops and children. That’s all the Afghans want – it’s all most people in this world want as a minimum. And “most people”, when confronted by those who think ALL the peoples of the world should totally change their lives, give up what little they have and mortgage their children and grandchildren’s lives ad infinitum for some intangible and unprovable (and nearly unmeasurable) benefits based on the possibilityof some indefinable future catastrophe — well, what would you expect them to do? Cheer, maybe? Or ignore (and vote against ) the catastrophists? You’re bucking human nature, Fred. It’s really just that simple. No conspiracy theories necessary. Which is why all the garbage about how much money is being spent by whom is just that – garbage. That IS political.

        Again – I “could” be wrong – but I’ve seen this in other contexts in several parts of the world. If you can’t prove your case, then sooner or later, the “people” will reject it. If it disturbs their lives too drastically, the “people” will reject it.

        And the case for shutting down the world’s power stations, giving up most transport, air conditioning, computers, washing machines, municipal water systems, flush toilets, etc – just isn’t there.

        I know there are those who don’t believe those things would happen – but then they’re generally not engineers or mechanics. They don’t know how those things operate – or the interdependencies that keep them operating.

        Did you know that the Roman colony at Vesuvius had flush toilets? Do you know how they kept them running? It wasn’t electricity, was it? But do you really want to go back to a slave society? Because for all the fine words about “saving the planet”, that’s exactly what the alarmists are aiming us at – even if inadvertently.

        See if you can find a copy of “The Logic of Failure” by Dietrich Doerner. Every warmist/alarmist should read it. Not that they’d believe it – but then, that’s part of human nature, too.

    • Fred,

      I suppose this lens of disorientation through political bias is only a one way lens in your mind. If the issue is split along political ideology then only one side is affected by bias in your view?

      This mantra that the only reason someone would question the ever evolving and moving target “consensus” position is that they are somehow brain damaged only shows arrogance and immaturity.

      I’d be interested in knowing *** specifically *** where you believe one crosses the line from intellectual purity to brain damaged anti-science big carbon shill?

      Which of the following do YOU believe must be accepted to be a member of your team, where they can bathe in the bright shiny light of the consensus? Enlighten us with what you believe the consensus is…

      Earth warming?
      Humans have an affect?
      CO2 has an affect?
      Humans / CO2 have a major affect on temperature?
      CO2 forcings are >2C?
      Sea level rise >1m by 2100?
      Climate models are trust worthy?
      Precautionary principle means taker action now?
      Climate effects are already causing major impacts?
      Climate scientists have been exonerated from Climategate?
      Climate science is as reputable as physics?
      The risks have not been exaggerated in the media?
      Uncertainty has not been understated by scientists?
      Hiding the decline was a technically acceptable process?
      Phil Jones is a victim of Climategate?
      Mann’s PC statistics are valid?
      We are now in a period of unprecedented warming?
      Catastrophic climate changes are likely to occur?
      Hurricanes are more frequent and more powerful?
      The consensus position should be accepted as truth?
      Cigarettes are dangerous, evolution is real? (just kidding)

      You may be surprised how much we actually agree on. Your problem is with your own manufactured caricature of skeptics. You are talking past everyone about a perceived group that doesn’t even visit this forum.

      • My point, Tom, was that political bias strongly influences the public in either direction, but because the U.S. is fairly conservative, elimination of the political element would reduce the influence of conservative thinking more than the influence of liberal thinking – the latter being less common to start with.

      • First you have a notion, and then you use that notion to create a correlation and then decide it is causation. Nice self-parody

    • I stated earlier that individuals are easily persuaded to believe what they want to believe, and very hard to influence to believe what runs counter to their general worldview,…

      Fred, I courteously ask… have you taken this into account concerning your own position on this issue?

      BTW. Nice recording studio.

      Mike (the bass player).

      • I try my best. I don’t know whether you want to bother visiting the “denizens” page on this blog, but if you do, and you read my bio there, you’ll see that have wrestled with this issue.

    • Fred wrote—“In fact, I would argue that political overlay plays such a critical role that in its absence, opinion might swing widely toward a more favorable view of public policies aimed at mitigation.”

      Fred- I disagree. As an independent, with many friends and co-workers who are from various political parties; there does not seem to be a case for mitigation that makes sense to people from any political party once they understand the cost/benefit analysis.

      The case for immediate action by the USA simply does not make economic sense. That is not a conservative or liberal issue. The case for mitigation is simply a bad case that looses when examined fairly. I did not reach my conclusion except by examination of the facts.

      • I’ve read your cost/benefit analyses, Rob, and while I arrive at different conclusions, I respect yours as being thoughtful and well informed. Most people are less well informed, but no less influenced by their political philosphy and world view – perhaps even more because they lack a better frame of reference. I estimated the strength of p0litical influence based on opinion surveys, but I probably should to go back and review the latest survey data correlating climate views with political ones.

      • Fred–If you see something that appears incorrect in the cost/benefit analysis I posted, please let me know. For me it is not an emotional or political issue.

        I sincerely do not understand how you can support the US implementing a mitigation plan that will be either very expensive and have little effect, or one that would cost less (but still be expensive) and have virtually no effect.

    • Fred – I’ve been lurking here for quite a while and appreciate your many thoughtful comments.

      However, I disagree on this point.

      First, I know many people that are changing their voting regarding AGW issues, many going from liberal to conservative. So your view that outside of politics there would be broad support for AGW policies is becoming less true every day. Support is waning.

      Second, I think most people generally accept some degree of AGW, so that’s really not the issue at all. The issue is: how to address?

      Third, outside of the US, AGW policies are not paying any dividends whatsoever, but they are costing alot of money.

      Fourth, while most people can’t judge the science, most are pretty good judges of costs. When the cost becomes unbearable, they will reject it. This is not a reflection of their willingness to contribute or their personal interests being biased. It’s a reflection of their estimation of cost/benefit.

      Fifth, although most people accept some degree of AGW, the scientific community has suffered serious credibility damage among the general population. In addition to climategate and some IPCC messups, several leading climate scientists have been viewed as political for years anyway (esp Hansen).

      So I think Dr Curry is right to point out that the bear is not the oil industry or the coal industry or any other specific interest group.

      • You might add personal experience to this list – the experience of a very large number of people here in the UK, for example, who have seen that the famous green windmills did not produce the electricity in the dark winter days when the country was in the freezer, and for which they have now been forced to pay with higher energy bills, because of the ‘green tax’ imposed on the utilities companies – to pay for said windmills.

        Nobody minds ‘giving up a little’ – but when this ‘little’ turns out to endanger the lives of the elderly, who cannot afford to heat their houses any longer and eat a healthy diet at the same time, then even people, who are too stupid (according to the AGW propagandists) to understand the science, understand full well the utter madness to which ‘giving up a little’ in the name of said science is leading.

    • Craig Goodrich

      To me, it is not surprising that we currently see substantial resistance to accepting the conclusions of most within the climate science community.

      To me, this is not surprising either; what is surprising, however, and depressing beyond measure, is that these highly questionable conclusions have been accepted by “most within the climate science community.”

  22. Anyone can play such childish games. Let’s try:

    So, like any other fanatics selling the end of the world before them, they have elected to muddy the waters by deliberately transforming a rational discussion in a children’s story about good vs bad characters.

    So we have two beautiful narratives now, and we can choose. Do you prefer the fanatic medieval priest who wants to tell you how to live, or you prefer “Big Oil” trying to drink your blood out of your body? It would be laughable, if it weren’t serious.

    • We have 2 appalling narratives. The unbelievable and the incomprehensible. There are so many mad theories I’ve heard lately – they may all be true for all I know because there not a lick of evidence for or against between them.

      Somewhere between all these mad theories I think I may have have totally lost the plot. They are all so utterly convinced of their own little ideas – there is not a breath of reality check, of humility or of common sense between them.

      • Would not a good place to reassert common sense and rational dialog to end the non-rational fear and hype of the alarmist community?

      • Not going to happen anytime soon. Indeed if you look at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – the emphasis is shifting to abrupt climate change. As it must in any cognitive dissonance disorder. It also makes a little bit more sense.

        Get with the program Hunter. I have been telling the wombats for years that they need to drop certainty for uncertainty. OMG – the Day after Tomorrow could actually happen. This is a warming for humanity. Actually the movie was tweaked a little bit for dramatic effect – but you get the idea. This is much worse than Al Gore and his ordinary exaggerations.

        So suck it up and start swimmin’ – ’cause a hard rains gonna fall.

  23. Andy Lacis wrote:

    “The fossil fuel industries have been funding dedicated minions at the Heartland, Cato, and George C. Marshal Institutes (among others) to generate misinformation about global warming and global climate change.

    Two problem with your thesis, Andy:

    1. Recent consensus government-funded science became as dogmatic and irrational as religion during the Dark Ages.

    2. Far, far more minions of PUBLIC funds were squandered by government scientists – NASA and DOE included – to obtain data* that was then distorted, ignored, manipulated, or hidden to promote misinformation about:

    a.) The Sun’s origin,
    b.) The Sun’s composition,
    c.) The Sun’s source of energy, and
    d.) The Sun’s influence on Earth’s climate

    *Data from meteorite analyses, solar spacecraft, nuclear rest mass data, the Apollo Mission to the Moon, the Galileo Mission to Jupiter, etc. [See: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1 ]

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

    • Willis Eschenbach

      Oliver, stop with the sun. Everything is not about the sun. Stop it, people are starting to laugh at you. You’re a smart guy, use your smarts on the topic at hand.

      w.

    • My G/F?:What did Oliver say?

      Me: Dunno – something about the Sun being made of Green Cheese. He never talks about anything else. I stopped listening months ago.

      I just blank him out like the guy who witters on about preciptation and evaporation and rotation but never explains himself.

    • Please allow Andy to respond for himself.

      1. Andy Lacis would you please address the experimental data shown as figures in the manuscript? http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

      2. Willis, Latimer, and anyone else who actually believes that Earth’s climate is independent of Earth’s heat source may want to study the first part of the first sentence in the abstract:

      “Earth is connected gravitationally, magnetically and electrically to its heat source . . . .”

      • Is Andy Lacis here? Minions of public what?

      • ‘Willis, Latimer, and anyone else who actually believes that Earth’s climate is independent of Earth’s heat source may want to study the first part of the first sentence in the abstract’

        Were I to be one, I would study the abstract with pleasure. But as I am not, I shall ignore it, and your tedious witterings about the Sun being made of Kryptonite with a clear conscience

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Oliver, if you think I will respond to any post of yours about the sun, you are truly not following the story. You are a raving single issue fanatic without any help from me.

        See the title of the thread? I’m happy to discuss that.

        And I don’t mind the sun, if you want to discuss the sun, fine.

        But not with me. You’re way to cranked up on the subject, I couldn’t stand the solar radiation, I’d be burnt to a crisp in an instant.

        And not here. This is a thread about whether Al Gore’s $300 million dollars spent on fighting for AGW is outweighed by Anthony Watts and Steve Mcintyre and Ross McKitrick and myself and Jeff Id and Donna LaFramboise and Jo Nova, who between us get … well … collectively we get a number which is statistically not different from zero.

        So if you want to discuss that, fine. If you want to discuss the sun, go away. It’s just that simple. You are problem looking for a thread to discuss it on, which is fine, but you seem to be incapable of taking a hint, subtle or otherwise. So let me make it clear to you (unseen, Willis makes mysterious hand gestures) by saying in a calm, cool manner:

        THESE ARE NOT THE THREADS YOU ARE LOOKING FOR …

        w.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Oliver K. Manuel | February 15, 2011 at 7:33 am

        … 2. Willis, Latimer, and anyone else who actually believes that Earth’s climate is independent of Earth’s heat source may want to study the first part of the first sentence in the abstract:

        “Earth is connected gravitationally, magnetically and electrically to its heat source . . . .”

        You don’t get it, Oliver. We’re not interested in answering, and we are not interested in Dr. Lacis’ answer either. Nor is he, apparently, and reasonably so.

        I doubt that there is one person reading this who believes that “Earth’s climate is independent of Earth’s heat source.”

        I also doubt that there is one person reading this who believes that what you have to say about the sun has anything to do with this thread.

        Again, Oliver, stop with the sun. If you want to talk 24/7 about how the core of the sun is really made of unobtanium, there’s two good choices:

        1. Go start your own blog where it is all solar, all the time, or

        2. As the song says, “Here’s a quarter, call someone who cares.

        There’s also one bad choice, which is to talk about it on every blog that you post on, until people are so tired of it that they start ignoring you with amused disdain, like their odd uncle, who is a good guy with a sharp mind, but who is fixated on alien abductions and can’t even go to church without bringing along his notebook containing his theory on alien abductions, complete with graphs and tables, to explain his theory to the pastor … in the middle of the sermon …

        Oliver, you may be 100% correct. The nuclear reactions going on in the core of the sun may run off of iron, instead of something else, just like you claim. And I assure you, on my very next visit to the sun’s core, I’ll be sure to see if I can tell if there’s iron there.

        In the meantime, Oliver, I for one would be glad to see you put your not-inconsequential intellect into the service of the question at hand.

        Regarding the sun, however, … not so much.

        w.

        PS – since the Earth is “connected gravitationally, magnetically and electrically” to … um … well … to just about everything, including me, how come your theory isn’t about how important I am to the Earth? I mean, you go on about the Theory of the Iron Sun, and people talk about the Iron Man, but where is the Theory of the Iron Willis?

        But all humor aside, Oliver, please stop with the monomaniacal posting about the sun. I understand that it already got you tossed out of WUWT, and from the comments, it is no more popular here than it was there. I don’t want to see you banished into the eternal darkness, because when you’re not talking about the sun, you have interesting ideas.

        When you are, however …

      • Nicely put, Willis. Oliver, please give us a break.

    • Oliver,
      Your good points are more than over whelmed by your history and your obvioius manic obsession.
      Please stop.

  24. Dr. Curry,
    All three of the AGW believer demonic organizations you list existed years before Hansen pulled his stage managed call of doom in 1988.
    They are broad based policy institutions.
    Climate skepticism came to them. Probably because the AGW catastrophe promoters had been so successful in shutting down skeptics earlier that they had no place else to go.
    But more fundamentally:
    How dare anyone pose the idea that somehow it is immoral or improper for people to give to groups that will promote the things they believe are important?
    The sick wickedness of AGW believers is this:
    They try and claim that even if an oil interest ever gave money to a group that hosts skeptics the skeptics are somehow cynical and evil. That fails on every level except that of the gullible.
    Climategate e-mails were not written by skeptics.
    Trenberth’s non-falsifiable null was not a product of a tobacco company.
    Gavin’s self-defeating management of RC is not due to a Koch family bribe.
    Hansen, by the way, has received very substantial money prizes from left wing foundations. Is he bought off?
    Each of the books you listed allegedly showing the VRWC of denialist scum is pure nasty propaganda of the sleazier sort.
    The stories of vast misanthropic conspiracies to destroy the climate of the world are nasty science fiction that would have been tossed into the round file if submitted to a SF publisher. Better has been done- as fiction.

    • In English please.

    • How dare anyone pose the idea that somehow it is immoral or improper for people to give to groups that will promote the things they believe are important?

      That’s not what is being argued – of course in a democratic society people should be able to support whatever causes they want. What people object to is supporting a cause through the deliberate spreading of misinformation and confusion and doing it in a covert rather than open and honest manner.

      • aa,
        Of course it is being argued by your side that nothing any skeptic says is valid because some big bs conspiracy you guys keep fabricating is somehow making it where only corrupt wicked people are denialist scum.
        So stick it.
        The deliberate misinformation argument is much more valid for the fear mongering crap your side selling.
        Frankly your arguemnt sucks, and you know it.

      • hunter,

        Well I wouldn’t agree with anyone who says that nothing any skeptic says is ever valid or is driven by an oil-funded conspiracy, but skeptics don’t half spout a lot of nonsense and if they don’t like receiving stick for it then they should stop wilfully misrepresenting scientists work and words.
        Whatever the sins of my “side” and I’m sure there are some, they pale into insignificance compared to the likes of Monckton, Morano, Plimer, Delingpole, Booker, North, Inhofe, Watts et al. The “fear mongering crap” as you call it is based on actual research done by actual scientists – lots and lots of it. Sometimes it gets exagerated in the media to an extent, but it is essentially sound.
        Now I don’t want to tar all skeptics with the same brush and there are certainly some more reasonable voices here who actually want an argument based on fact and evidence – maybe they are even the majority, but in general they get drowned out by the nutters. And I’m certainly not going to take lessons in civilised behavious by someone who want to see scientists prosecuted on spurious grounds becasue he doesn’t like the message they are sending.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        aa, how come I got left off your list of people committing the heinous crime of questioning authority? I wanna be a bad guy too!

        On a more serious note, I’m afraid you are confusing “actual [climate] research done by actual scientists” with “valid, replicable, scientifically-based climate research”. I can draw you a Venn diagram if you’d like. While these two sets are not entirely distinct, the amount of overlap is a long, long ways from 100% …

        w.

      • aa,
        Your list is basically your opinion, which carries zip weight.
        I think Hansens and Suzuki and other big AGW promoters calling for criminal trial against those who dare disagree is much biggern than anyone on your list of wicked skeptics.
        I think Hansen’s endorsement of ‘Time’s up!’, the climate extremist call to xenocide, is worse yet.
        And then there are the excrement-filled propganda pieces your side puts out with boring regularity, hidden by shoddy veneers of alleged science.
        For starters.
        And not one skeptic you have on your list is demanding your money. all of your promoter and profiterring pals seem to need billions and even trillions to solve the problem of that elephant in living room that only they seem to see.
        So your list is just, to make a small pun, hot air.

      • The “fear mongering crap” as you call it is based on actual research done by actual scientists
        It’s based on actual political funding, for actual political motives and actual grant farming.

      • Oh, and by people who see nothing wrong with sabotaging peer reviewing and the overall science process.

      • That’s not what is being argued – of course in a democratic society people should be able to support whatever causes they want.

        Of course it’s what’s being argued, aa. ANYONE who gives to ANY organization that opposed , for example, Cap and Trade is vilified long, loudly and publicly by your side of the dance floor. As I’ve said before – if the Kochs, for example, want to give their money to the Tea Party or to hunter (he wishes) or to Heartland or to a cat cemetery it’s none of your damn business.

        OTOH, if Soros wants to give money to RealClimate, he does it through a “advocacy group” and no one says crap because you think that’s just fine.

        Make up your mind – it’s either acceptable to give money to whatever cause one chooses or it’s not. BUT – it cuts both ways. If you’re gonna bitch about one side then you need to admit that your side is as bad. The “debate” is largely about your dishonesty, your double standard. No, not “you” personally, but your side of the dance floor.

        As for –
        supporting a cause through the deliberate spreading of misinformation and confusion and doing it in a covert rather than open and honest manner.

        Why do you think I’m a sceptic, babe? Sure, I leaned that way to start, but ten years ago it got nailed down hard when I started paying attention to the lies I was being fed.

        And little has changed since. Tell me, did you approve of the 10:10 video? How about the BS about Polar Bears being headed for extinction? Do you know how that finding was reached? I do and it was downright dishonest. How about the monster sea level rise that’s coming because of Arctic ice melt? Or are you so totally ignorant of basic physics that you believe that BS.

        In what way is your side of the dance floor NOT spreading of misinformation and confusion and doing it in a covert rather than open and honest manner?

  25. intrepid_wanders

    The tobacco narrative is always a sign of a weak mind. The statistics were as firm as in the case cAGW. But, to each their own. Chief Hydro says it well.

    Anyhow, nit pick time ;)

    “Climate change is a relatively minor focus area for Cato, with Pat Michaels essentially being their only spokesperson, primarily through his blog World Climate Report.”

    Ross McKitrick is the economist that writes for the well written “World Climate Report”, not Pat Michaels. Dr. McKitrick is very spoken like the other economist Dr. Richard Tol.

    Michaels is statistically interesting than Morano, but totally different venues (Politics) than economists. I am not sure where Michaels writes regularly… National Review, SPPI?

    • You picked an erroneous nit. :)

      McKitrick isn’t involved with WCR. Most posts are by those at this link.

      http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/personnel/

      • intrepid_wanders

        Ouch, guess I forgot to follow my ‘source-watch’ ;)

        Hit tip my friend. I still like his articles.

        But, shouldn’t the chain go straight to the top, like the topic (e.g. Koch Brothers, George Marshall, etc.). I believe there are plenty of comparables on both sides of the fence. The tricky thing is to get out of the way and ignore of all of them…

  26. The best thing that could happen would be aliens come to earth with the intent to stop or greatly slow down the absorption of CO2 into the oceans by inhibiting the formation of calcium carbonate by life forms, that by doing so are threatening the extermination of all other life, by dropping the CO2 levels below minimum plant requirements thus starving all life, these aliens show up with a toxin that is specific for coral, snails, and other calcium carbonate precipitators.

    The subsequent increase in CO2 and also Oxygen boosts the quality, density of life forms, and diversity, thus saving the earth from the CO2 absorbing death spiral it is in now.

  27. Oh goody.

    “..I would say the academic skeptics such as Lindzen plus McIntyre and McKitrick have been more effective than the libertarian think tanks in terms of putting forth a skeptical view point.”

    I know nothing at all about Dr. Lindzen, other than things that tend to recommend him highly.

    Mr. McIntyre, I know really little about, other than that though he comes from that coterie of Canadian mining executives who actually made money in mining in Canada, of which it is privately and admiringly said by investment bankers in Canada, “There’s two ways to make money in mines: the first is to be a real lucky bastard who strikes gold; the second is to be a real bastard,” he appears to in no way resemble that characterization.

    Dr. Ross McKitrick, I know a little more about. He’s a senior fellow and longstanding member of the Fraser Institute, which in Canada is second to none for funding and access to the ear of government. Where the Fraser Institute goes, so goes Canada, in Energy.

    For the UK, Lord Lawson (the man who send the armed forces in to force the coal miners back underground), who wrote the book An Appeal To Reason and has long championed attacks on climate science where the coal or petroleum interests are threatened, is inextricably linked to the coal and petroleum stakeholders. BP and the coal industry for most intents and purposes form the government of Great Britain, according to some analysts largely based on their observations of the Baron of Blaby’s activities and successes.

    To say that US government science has been pro-AGW overall, or even neutral, through the years of Reagan, Bush, and again Bush, would be a.. net unsupportable statement. Most of Clinton’s last term was wasted on squabbles and the administration of government suffered greatly in almost all areas due to that fiasco. It took litigation to force the EPA to enforce plain-language provisions of the law, and even then the Executive Branch asserted every measure to prevent EPA action until change of office.

    Certainly, in hurricane research, some of the most influential voices for many years were open and ardent critics of AGW and Dr. Curry’s likened some of the recent past as ‘warfare’ in that community, I believe.

    Individual states are even less likely to hide their anti-AGW agenda.

    So, if I’m told that the money spent by think tanks is small compared to billions in government pro-AGW spending, I’m thinking to myself perhaps these billions are coming from India or China, because they don’t appear to be originating in Western democracies.

    Well, maybe France. But who counts France?

    • Point of order Mr Bart. You say:

      ‘For the UK, Lord Lawson (the man who send the armed forces in to force the coal miners back underground)’

      It may shatter your illusions, but no armed forces were used at all by anybody in that dispute. At the end of the dispute the miners went back to work, not at the point of a gun, but by agreement – and marching proudly beneath their banners.

      Mr Lawson – as he then was – was Chancellor of the Exchequer (Finance Minister) at the time, and had little direct influence over the situation. He could not, in that role, have ordered the armed forces to be used for anything. That power was reserved to the Prime Minister and she did not use it at any time.

      The history and causes of the strike in 84/85 can be discussed at length elsewhere.

      But it is unhelpful and misleading to propagate throwaway untruths about a current AGW ‘player’ from across the Pond and with little knowledge of the subject.

      It casts doubt upon the veracity of all your other remarks.

      • Latimer

        Everyone always casts doubt on the veracity of all my remarks, it seems.

        Which I am glad of.

        Means they have questions, and might be inspired to look it up for themselves and figure out for themselves what to believe.

        You may ask Americans to believe that the British government sent men underground against their will after tea and crumpets and a brief polite discussion by mere persuasive dialogue.. But then, you’d be underestimating American skepticism by a wide margin, I think.

        I believe the threat was.. How did it go? Ten years in jail, never work again in the UK, and no dole for you or your families. Words to that effect, wasn’t it?

        Do you recall the specifics?

      • It wasn’t quite like that, but the government used pretty much the whole apparatus of the state to undermine the miners. They didn’t send the armed forces against them but the security services were certainly involved and the police were essentially turned from being impartial upholders of law and order to political enforcers for the state.

      • andrew adams

        It was quite like that.

      • In a very heated situation, the police restrained the strikers from using and threatening violence against people and property. In so doing they were indeed impartial upholders of law and order.
        To what does your “political enforcers” comment refer?

      • Punksta

        Name them, these targets of violence, and their threateners, if they existed.

        Name them, give the date of the threat, the words of it.

        Name them.

        Or withdraw your very bald lie.

      • C’mon – do you (Bart) seriously suggest the miner’s strike was an attempt at a peaceful protest? No attempts to block non-strikers, block fuel supplies? No, they got ugly.
        And Andrew still hasn’t explained his “political enforcers” comment.

      • Punksta

        Ugly?

        “Non-strikers” in a country with trade-union traditions and legislation would be acting illegally, then wouldn’t they?

        Criminals generally would be the ones one would suspect of perpetrating violence, no?

        We’re talking the UK and it’s strange laws and ways, not the USA, where American employers have for a century been legally entitled to beat the teeth out of people who won’t work for them, and then ship them out of the country while extending the right to work to anyone who wants to keep their teeth and their home.

        Until the Thatcher government turned around and changed the laws to some of the most impressively draconian measures ever enacted against civilians in a democracy outside of America.

        You were a coal miner up to 2 years before the strike, and not yet of retirement age?

        Then you were bound to go into the mines on pain of 10 years in a British prison (which the government knew well would not be much worse than a British coal mine), and the complete extinction of your family’s employment and government welfare (including health and housing). You could not quit and choose a new line of work. You could not get sick. You could not claim to be disabled.

        Considering the era of Solidarity, when the Polish equivalent of the British coal miners threw off their Russian-backed Soviet Communist overlords and began the dominoes falling to start the democratization movement that Ronald Reagan claimed to have had anything to do with, the British case stands out as one of the most brutal threats against civilians of the era by a government. It could be said to have been the template for China’s labor and student relations.

        Ugly indeed.

      • “You were a coal miner up to 2 years before the strike, and not yet of retirement age?

        Then you were bound to go into the mines on pain of 10 years in a British prison (which the government knew well would not be much worse than a British coal mine), and the complete extinction of your family’s employment and government welfare (including health and housing). You could not quit and choose a new line of work. You could not get sick. You could not claim to be disabled.”
        Oh really?
        Care to give a link for this extraordinary statement?

        I’ve never heard of such a thing – and seeing that I lived then (still do) near the famous coal valleys in South Wales, I suspect we’d have heard of this …

        Here’s a reasonable overview of what happened, not forgetting to mention the 1970s and the miners’ strikes then, well before Mrs Thatcher:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_miners'_strike_(1984%E2%80%931985)

      • Viv Evans

        I’m not sure of the etiquette on blogs when two posters practically simultaneously post the same link to support opposite conclusions.

        Does one call ‘Jinx’?

        I can tell you my source for this claim was hearing it from people who told me why they chose to fold and go back to the mines.

        Where they heard it from, I cannot say, though do you really expect, given how monstrously poisoned the political atmosphere of the day was, that such things wouldn’t have been said or believed at the time?

      • Your story gets less and less believable each time you embellish it. Earlier you had it as being well known but ‘undocumented’ from Lawson, Mcgregor and Ingham (I note that you left the PM out).

        Now some ‘mysterious miners’ you bumped into told you all about it. H’mm. Were they carrying picks and shovels accompanied by Snow White?

        And the words you use look suspiciously like some Welsh pontificating by Neil Kinnock from 1992 on the topic of the NHS. Suggest that you sty away from recent UK political history. Not your forte. Try fairy stories instead.

      • Case in point of monstrously poisoned atmosphere.

      • Bart you have outdone yourself here – this is priceless, fathomlessly stupid drivel. I’m keeping a copy, in case I ever see anyone at risk of taking your deluded ramblings on climate seriously.

      • TomFP

        Be my guest.

        But I expect I’ll outdo myself quite soon again, so don’t see much point in bothering.

        However, if you have any particular pointers as to what’s the best of Bart R, one imagines it’d be illustrative and educational.

        Please, crystalize some Bart into a single pithy turn of phrase or sound bite.

      • Tempting though this is, I think you had enough attention recently. Any more would be bad for you.

      • “Non-strikers” in a country with trade-union traditions and legislation would be acting illegally, then wouldn’t they?
        No. Even the horrendous distortion of the UK labour market legislation doesn’t go that far. Violence used to force people to strike, though, isillegal, and that was the obvious big danger there, hence the police presence.

        American employers have for a century been legally entitled to beat the teeth out of people who won’t work for them
        Yeah, right. And cut their arms and legs off too if the mood takes them.

        the Thatcher government … draconian measures…[miners were not allowed to resign their jobs, on pain of prison]
        Can you provide a reference on that?

      • Punksta

        Look up the definition of “closed shop” in the horrendously distorted UK prior to Thatcher.

        In a contract where the employer has settled on closed shop terms, as the NUM had with coal miners, the right to work in that shop is exclusive to the registered bargaining unit. Outsiders to that bargaining unit violate the privity of the contract, and are thereby committing too civil as well as criminal trespass. Since in their dealings, the employer has consented to transfer that right to the bargaining unit.

        So, the people allegedly complaining of violence against them were criminal trespassers under the laws that the police were not only not enforcing, but also were aiding to violate with all the armed force of the state backing them, including specific, purpose-tailored strike-breaking training and equipment premeditated and pre-planned only and exactly to break the trade unions.

        While the trade union attitude of those times was insane, and I don’t find myself unhappy in the least that the attitude adjustment appears to have taken root, it’s still an example of the armed force of the government (as distinct, to satisfy Latimer Alder — who apparently has never read Thomas Paine) being used to determine the outcome of an essentially political decision.

        Now, as for employer-employee relations in the USA, by all means feel free to Google the terms “Knights of Labor,” and “Haymarket Riot.”

        To summarize the two sides (the one generally taught inside the USA by the righteous, and the one generally taught outside the USA by naughty lefties):

        either

        A) a group of unarmed lunatic radical anarchists and their wives and children threw a bomb into the center of their own peaceful rally and then forced the Chicago Police who just happened to be nearby with more ammunition on hand than regulation to stand and fire at them for two full minutes but luckily adept police investigation found the eight culprits among the leaders of the lefty radical anarchist criminals (all but one not even in the city at the time) and got most of them speedily hung or suicided in police custody;

        or

        B) a sort of union/political party/social club called the Knights of Labor (700,000 members) allegedly was targeted by the corrupt Chicago political machine of the late 1800’s, framed as ‘anarchists’, and dismantled in the aftermath of a riot staged by the Chicago police by show trials and a media circus promoted by allies of Chicago’s mayor, ignoring the evidence against a known associate of the Chicago police, and forced expulsion of its mainly American-born members from the USA if they would not repudiate the group.

        Take your pick which you believe.

        Maybe follow up with the Pennsylvania Coal Strike of 1902 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_Strike_of_1902) which certainly shows the superiority of the American approach over the British, although the 1902 strike was certainly far bloodier, the giggling school-girl admiration of the historical figures by historians leading a skeptic to gag on the improbable truth of the extant accounts, and the outcome still contentious.

        As to the irony that strikers were being required to hold their jobs until the strike was resolved, when one key strike issue was that the government was to let go of a large number of the strikers from their jobs, no. I don’t have such a reference.

        Can you provide me one from the actual mouths of those actually involved on the time about what else they might have said, to induce the radical leftwing coal miners back underground?

      • crumbs..

        ..as distinct, to satisfy Latimer Alder, from The Armed Forces, a noble and august assemblage of the finest tradition of honour and dignity, with the traditions of upholding the highest moral standards, some few of whom I count myself priviledged to know.

        Gah, the editing software here is.. somewhat stringent.

      • In a contract where the employer has settled on closed shop terms, as the NUM had with coal miners, the right to work in that shop is exclusive to the registered bargaining unit. Outsiders to that bargaining unit violate the privity of the contract, and are thereby committing too civil as well as criminal trespass. Since in their dealings, the employer has consented to transfer that right to the bargaining unit.

        Even if this had been a truly voluntary contract – ie not under the duress of industrial legislation – outsiders to the contract would not be commiting any civil offence, still less any crime. Their beef, if indeed they had a legal one, would have been with the employer (the Coal Board).

        And as it happens the strike was of course illegal, since the NUM refused to ballot it. Which made sense, since many if its members did not wish to strike.

        So the overal position was that strikers were attempting to use violence to enforce the strike on their fellows who did not agree. The police presence was to restrain this aggression. Did the police overreact? Quite possibly. But the root cause was still the strikers.

        And the even deeper cause was the state propping up the mines for 50 or more years beyond their usefulness. Had they been allowed to gradually close of their own accord, there would not have been the sad situation with so many miners at once having to find new careers.

      • Bart R,
        You speread a fib. Were you paid to do it by the Koch family or Soros?

      • hunter

        Please expand on how, “be inspired to look it up for themselves and figure out for themselves what to believe,” constitutes a fib.

        What about the coal strike did I say that is a fib? At all?

        Source this extraordinary claim.

      • I think my memory of that dispute – since it was the big news all over the country for a year is probably rather better than yours.

        I do not recall any such threats being made…nor any at all. Perhaps it is another of your myths that spring up whenever you want to spread an untruth around the world before truth has its boots on.

        If you’d like to give your confirmed source for these remarks, I’d be happy, of course, to withdraw my scepticism, but I don’t remember any such. a lot of hot-headed words were said by a lot of people, so you need to show that a serious player said it and was believed to be serious.

        IMO the strike collapsed because the miners leadership, stubborn to the end, lost support of their membership. Scargill never called a ballot to cement his position so had nothing to fall back on as a ‘rebel’ union carried on working and attracted increasing numbers of his members. Once the strike ended, the NUM;s days were numbered and it collapsed too as an effective force. Scargill was a great orator no doubt but as strategic thinker he was certifiably bonkers.

        Look forward to your reference.

      • Latimer Alder

        I’m happy if people read something like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_miners'_strike_(1984%E2%80%931985) and decide for themselves what went on.

        Six strikers died. Three kids looking for coal. A cab driver trying to run the picket lines with a non-striker.. How’d those six strikers die if not by the armed force you den.. Oh, sorry, claim in a history-altering manner to not have happened, again?

        Yes, I have offered some simplifications of something far too big to sum up in a few lines.

        However, you’ve countered simplicity with simple untruths.

        Some of these untruths can certainly be excused, as they were promoted through the (mostly) very anti-strike, pro-Thatcher media and the reports, though skewed and untrue, must have seemed credible to the sort who believe everything the read in the newspaper. So the challenge ‘name them’ is not a disengenuous one; it’s because most of these stories were so false as when the names in them were tracked down they were found to be made up.

        While I acknowledge this puts the credulous Latimer Alders in the difficult position of having believed these lies for a quarter of a century because they weren’t terribly skeptical when they were younger and now have to live with the cognitive dissonance, it doesn’t mean I have to repeat the same old lies to make them feel better about it.

      • I don’t think this even deserves a reply, but I well remember the death of the taxi driver who was killed when a couple of strikers dropped a large concrete block on his car from a motorway bridge. Just a regular guy like Joe Sixpack guy trying to earn his living.

        Lot so of bad things happened in that dispute. Use of the Armed Forces (your initial point) was simply not one of them.

        If you can identify specific untruths that you believe I have written, please do so. Otherwise I’ll charitably assume that you are having an off day.

      • Latimer

        Sorry for my elision. “Armed police forces with special mobility, tactics and weapons trained under the Ridley Report recommendations of the Selsdon Group in 1978″.

        My bad for shortening that to armed forces (not Armed Forces).

      • Your very bad indeed. You really must learn this stuff about details. They are important. Getting them wrong about another country’s recent history makes you look like you are talking through your hat. Especially to people who were actually there.

        And your source is? And it relates to what exactly? Just putting quotes around something does not imbue it with supernatural powers of persuasion…at least not to this observer.

      • I’ve gone back to your original writing. It clearly says
        ‘the armed forces’. Capitals or not, this was not an error.

        This was deliberate writing on your part meant to give the misleading impression that the Army were involved in the dispute. They weren’t.

      • Latimer Alder

        Asked. Answered. Believe what you will.

      • I will. And it won’t be anything you say.

      • That much was pretty clear at the outset to all, one imagines.

      • There is something deeply ironic about a warmist outraged at the treatment received, or allegedly received, by people trying to stop the closure of coal-mines. Shouldn’t you be writing to the irredentist Thatcher-haters and pointing out all the green jobs they missed out on by their purblind attachment to Big Carbon?

      • TomFP

        Oh.. I’m a warmist?

        You mistake me. I’m a non-consentist free marketer.

        I just happen to be willing to skeptically look at both sides of an issue, and admit the faults that make even my own opinion look bad.

        I’m pleased as punch about many of the accomplishments of Margaret Thatcher, and liken her to the Richard Nixon of England in the scale and scope of her achievements. But, like President Nixon, she’s pretty clearly played outside the lines as the Selsdon Group Ridley Report abundantly evidences.

        The coal strike cost something like $4 billion (or 2 billion of whatever the British spend) directly, twice again that much in the following five years, and possibly much more, according to various (some dubious) analysts.

        It could have been settled for much less, and at much lower cost in lives, if the point of the thing had been a simple transaction between an employer and some of its employees.

        So, clearly we see how a small think tank can lead a government to seriously costly actions.

        Am I saddened that there’s less coal burned now because of it?

        Heck no. Though I think an honest government would have even then dropped the amount of coal dug up and used in the UK even further given how unprofitable the stuff was there then and is there now still absent subsidies.

        Do I therefore subscribe to dishonest governments acting illegally at the prompting of cliques of corporate philosophers and political demagogues?

      • Latimer Alder

        You forgot to point out that the two miners convicted served time for manslaughter and were released before the 80’s were over.

        The people who killed the other nine were never identified publicly (as it is illegal to name agents of the police in the UK) or tried, one thinks. You know, those six dead strikers, doing nothing more nor less than asserting their right to decent working conditions and decent right to work, killed by trained armed men at the design and behest of an unelected think tank’s elected puppets.

      • ‘It is illegal to name agents of the police in UK?’

        Another interesting part of our legal system that I have previously been unaware of. But then I’ve only lived here 50 odd years. Please elucidate. You can start by telling us how you define an ‘agent of police’. And where they are made immune from being identified. And that any such law was in force in 1984/5.

        And you’ll also need to identify what were the findings of the Coroner’s inquests on each of the nine dead guys. Coroners have big powers to do and say much as they like over here. If somebody finds a dead body, it’s not like CSI where the coroner says ‘dead’ and Gil and Sarah rush him off to be sliced and diced, then cremated. We have public inquests.

      • Latimer

        You’re really unfamiliar with.. what’s it called, “The Troubles” and the penalties for naming those serving and in what capacity they serve?

        And that the same law as applied in “The Troubles” (What a nice euphemism. Makes it sound like constipation or flatulence.) applies generally across the UK at the discretion of the police?

        Wow.

        Are you sure you’re from the UK?

        Because you don’t sound too informed about your own country.

      • Reasonably familiar with ‘The Troubles’. One of my childhood friends mother’s was blown to bits by the IRA at Wellington Barracks. She was a cleaner trying to keep body and soul together. And, ironically, an Irish Catholic. I need no lectures from you on that topic either.

        Do you have any supporting evidence at all to back up your claims of the six (or was it nine?) dead miners? That six striking miners died during the dispute is not really new news..there were about 100,000 of them and the dispute lasted a year, so maybe that number is not too far out of line from any other group of that size in that time.

        But that they were killed by ‘agents of the police’ – (whatever that may mean) is a stretch for which you’ll need to provide some evidence beyond your usual wild conspiracy theories and speculation.

        Which, as usual, you have failed to do.

      • Latimer Alder

        The source you seek would be in the wiki link provided by both Viv Evans and myself provided.

        As you repeatedly ask for and then ignore sources, one must conclude you simply ask for sources to beset others with woe, not to discuss in good faith.

        By the way, the source of the information on the how the Selsdon Group (the think tank behind much of Margaret Thatcher’s thinking) and the Ridley Report premeditated and engineered the coal strike and the violence that followed — to amply demonstrate that even puny think tanks can have huge influence — is better covered in the link to the book I referenced, and which you’re also ignoring, if we want to make your ignorance on the topic of this page more complete.

      • I checked. Wiki says nothing about the miners being killed by ‘agents of the police’. It is silent on that topic.

        Are you still hallucinating – or did Grumpy Sleepy and Dopey reveal themselves to you in a dream?

      • Latimer Alder

        Right.

        Must’ve been svartneblin that killed the miners.

        That whole strike thing was just coincidence.

      • Bart R,

        you are talking about the same Thatcher alledged to have helped start this whol AGW fiasco to break the unions??

        (snicker)

      • kk

        I’m not pretending things over in Jollye Olde Englande make particular logical sense, then, am I?

        Though to be fair to her, it’s more credible that if she started anything about AGW, she also was cunning enough to have some chief lieutenants like Lawson promote the other side, so her party could use both to their political advantage..

        Not sure how well that worked out for her when she was turfed by the same party.

    • Further point of order Mr Bart:

      You state:

      ‘BP and the coal industry for most intents and purposes form the government of Great Britain, according to some analysts largely based on their observations of the Baron of Blaby’s activities and successes’

      I’d love to know which analysts have come to this conclusion. For I would not touch their work with a barge pole!

      First – the UK coal industry is now vanishingly small – production about 25 million tons, compared with US production of about 1200 million tons (figures from respective Energy Ministries). Once upon a time coal powered our industries, but those days are long gone.

      BP is one of the top ten companies traded on The Stock Exchange but is capitalised at less than Shell (another oil company) and a bank (HSBC). It is undoubtedly a major player (7% weighting in the FTSE 100 index – April 2010), but not a dominant one in our economy. Its actual interests are largely overseas. Britain is the place where the shares are traded, but it is an international company. Which is why they changed the legal name from ‘British Petroleum’ to ‘BP’ in 2001.

      As to coal and oil providing the government of Great Britain, the last Labour government (1997-2010) under first Tony Blair, and most recently Gordon Brown, were no friends of energy interests. There has been some interesting recant discussions about how the energy ministers of that time had meetings in the ratio 50:1 between anti-energy groups like FoE and Greenpeace compared with producers. And those meetings had strong influence on policy and legislation like the Climate Change Act 2008.

      And to be really picky, the government is that of the United Kingdom, not just of Great Britain (an island). Google will tell you why.

      Please do not make throwaway remarks about British politics about which you seem to be very ill-informed. You may mislead your American readers into believing them if they go unchallenged.

      • Bart:
        The tens of $billions don’t come from China or India, they come from taxes.

        Adam:
        Government has a huge vested interest in CAGW being believed. That the climatology they choose fund is not biased to this conclusion, beggars belief.

      • Punksta

        The pro-AGW, or the anti-?

        I’m not saying American taxpayers aren’t being tapped for propaganda and slant..

        I’m saying the direction of the slant’s being wildly misrepresented..

        And it’s a shame there’s (expensive) slant at all, when there’s better uses to put money from your pocket, I think you’ll agree.

        Now, could you explain what the Republican government’s vested interest in cAGW being believed is?

        Especially since they spent so much money and so many soldiers’ lives scaring people about, y’know, other things, like to be afraid of their oil being cut off?

        That makes so little sense it almost could be true.

      • …could you explain what the Republican government’s vested interest in cAGW being believed is?
        Same as any other government’s – promoting itself. They’re perhaps just a little less totalitarian than the Democrats, on this issue at any rate.

      • Punksta,

        What huge vested interest do government’s have? Elected governments more than anything else want to be re-elected and so don’t like anything which may force them to do things which won’t be popular with voters. And unelected governments can do pretty much what they like anyway.
        Why do you think the Bush government eventually signed up to AGW despite previously refusing to accept it (to the extent of doctoring scientific reports)?

      • What huge vested interest do government’s have?
        CAGW provides an ideal excuse for the state to extend its control over society.

        Elected governments more than anything else want to be re-elected and so don’t like anything which may force them to do things which won’t be popular with voters.
        So what they do, is pay scientists to try and popularise CAGW.

        And unelected governments can do pretty much what they like anyway.
        It’s still easier for them if the public agree.

        Why do you think the Bush government eventually signed up to AGW despite previously refusing to accept it (to the extent of doctoring scientific reports)?
        Same as any other government – because it justifies them having more power.

      • Punksta

        Simply put, AGW is such small fry compared to where a government would want to go to extend its power most cheaply and deeply as to make laughable this paranoiac line of reasoning.

        And I say this as someone profoundly opposed to such growth of government as happened under.. Well, for example, every Republican president of the past century.

        Wouldn’t a government with a thirst to sink its fangs more brutally and deeply into the necks of America be trying to control social media, interfere in telecommunications, build an infrastructure of surveillance of American private lives, justify suspending constitutional protections within America and abroad?

        Why would a government with your motivations work to sink the very industries they have for over a century to build up and make indispensible to every American as much as possible.

        Why do you let the people who kick you down become your heroes?

        Look at poor Joe Sixpack, whose mother is housebound by the very infrastructure built by those governments during her lifetime to the extent she must either use motor transport or not leave her home at all?

        The man actually believes the government that did this at the behest of the oil and auto companies is the good guy, it appears.

        How backwards does your head have to be on to thank your victimizers in this way?

      • My Mum is housebound because she can’t walk more than about four paces without falling over. Her balance has been severely affected after a stroke. And her stamina is very poor.

        How you manage to blame this on the oil industry baffles me. But so do most of your remarks which seem to come from a planet different to this one.

      • So why have government efforts to combat AGW so far been so feeble?
        Because despite the $100 billion or whatever spent on promoting CAGW, the few pennies spent by sceptics show it to be unconvincing.

      • Simply put, AGW is such small fry compared to where a government would want to go to extend its power most cheaply and deeply as to make laughable this paranoiac line of reasoning.
        Other options are beside the point. The relevant facts here are
        (a) that is climatology is politically funded, an
        (b) its funder – the state – has a vested interest in CAGW being believed.
        It would require a miracle angelic conspiracy amoungst scientists for there to not an alarmist bias in state-funded climatology. Especially given the lack of scruples and integrity shown by the IPCC cadre in Climategate.

      • Punksta,

        So why have government efforts to combat AGW so far been so feeble?

      • So why have government efforts to combat AGW so far been so feeble?
        Too many eyes in the electorate, not enough wool.

      • Latimer Alder

        I don’t pretend to try to explain the British relationship to its coal lords any more than I pretend to explain the British relationship to cheese.

        It makes no sense for so small a clique to wield so large a share of the power.

        But I think Americans are familiar enough with the concept of a small group of people subverting and controlling others by devious means to not be persuaded it can’t happen in Britain.

        By the way, that UK thing of yours, does it still include Scotland or not? Fuzzy on how that works exactly. Is it like how Puerto Rico works?

      • ‘Then you were bound to go into the mines on pain of 10 years in a British prison (which the government knew well would not be much worse than a British coal mine), and the complete extinction of your family’s employment and government welfare (including health and housing). You could not quit and choose a new line of work. You could not get sick. You could not claim to be disabled’

        Where on earth do you get this crap from? Especially the 10 years in a British prison? I asked you before for a source and you haven’t provided one.

        I can only assume that you are hallucinating. Seek help now. Before it really is too late.

      • Latimer Alder

        Source?

        Try Winterton and Winterton, The 1984-85 Miners’ Strike in Yorkshire for some of the details of how Margaret Thatcher, in breach of the Plan for Coal* (at the time the law of the land) prepared for the coal strike, provoked it, and then used it to break the union for the political agenda of breaking unions, not for the interests of the British people but of her party.

        While Thatcher was and is popular, and while she did much good and has much to commend her in the face of many union excesses, the Selsdon Group’s (on the topic of think tanks) Ridley Plan’s premeditated and deliberate actions were simply illegal and simply calculated to produce a political effect by deeply drawing on the public purse, backed by a friends in media, the police, courts and corporations, to stage a sham.

        The threat of legislation to jail strikers if they did not settle was very real on the lips of Nigel Lawson, Bernie Ingham and Ian MacGregor, but compared to what actually happened overall, so minor as to be largely lost in the sway of history and swept under the carpet by the documenters now.

        Who won the war writes the history.

        *I’m no fan of the heavily subsidized Plan for Coal, or of the totally insane attitude of the coal miners in the early 1980’s, and hey, from my point of view anything that shuts down insanity, coal mines and subsidies all at once isn’t all bad. But this was not what you’d call honest government. It was what you’d call a conspiracy.

      • ‘The threat of legislation to jail strikers if they did not settle was very real on the lips of Nigel Lawson, Bernie Ingham and Ian MacGregor, but compared to what actually happened overall, so minor as to be largely lost in the sway of history and swept under the carpet by the documenters now’

        This is a very long and convoluted way of saying that you can produce no evidence at all to back up your assertion. The miners strike was documented extremely well in print, on television, on radio – as it happened, blow by blow. It was teh number one item on the news for nearly a year. All day, every day. Players have since written their (auto) biographies and have all been endlessly interviewed about their actions. That such threats could have been made by such senior figures, and yet never documented, recorded or commented on by either side is quite frankly laughable.

        That you claim to know of something that nobody else does, but can produce no evidence at all of it when challenged is entirely a sequence of events that I am becoming tediously familiar with.

        I think you objected a while back to my using the word shyster to describe some climatologists. I’m tempted to use it again, but in the interests of propriety will restrict myself to reflecting that you may be suffering from ‘veracity issues’.

      • Latimer Alder

        By all means, provide me any strike-related quote, sourced and linkable, from Nigel Lawson, Bernie Ingham or Ian MacGregor in 1984.

        You’re making unreasonable demands for evidence by a standard you yourself come nowhere near to living up to.

        I’ve cited the Ridley Report, talked about the Selsdon Group and referred to an authoritative book on the topic, as well as offered the same wikilink as Viv Evans promoted, in the interest of neutral reading of the events.

        You talk about your fond and foggy memories of something from a quarter century ago as if you’re the only living authority on the topic.

        I’m not on the whole concerned about my credibility coming into question on such a basis.

      • Bart R,

        ‘Then you were bound to go into the mines on pain of 10 years in a British prison (which the government knew well would not be much worse than a British coal mine), and the complete extinction of your family’s employment and government welfare (including health and housing). You could not quit and choose a new line of work. You could not get sick. You could not claim to be disabled’

        I am absolutely GOBSMACKED that you would consider the prisons of Britain so much WORSE that the prisons here in the colonies?!?!?

      • kk

        Like I would know from first hand experience half so well as some of Thatcher’s cronies?

      • Bart R,

        thank you for admitting that you have no idea whether the stories that you are carrying have ANY basis in fact. It is good to clarify these issues.

      • Yup.

        I’ve never been to jail in the UK or the USA.

        Which doesn’t particularly mean anything, all in all.

      • I need to prove nothing.

        You made some very strange assertions about the miners strike. I challenged you to produce evidence for those assertions and you couldn’t. You waved your hands around a bit but had nothing to say. You were shown to be ‘economical with the truth’. You should now withdraw those assertions.

        End of story.

      • Yep – end of story indeed, Lat.
        Mind – it never fails to amuse me when people who weren’t actually there at that time try to teach those who actually were there as to what really happened, and what they should now think about it.
        Leaving out the years of union conflict under the Labour governments of Wilson and Callaghan leading up to this confrontation are conveniently left aside. Reminds me a bit of the saga of the ‘unprecedented warming’ of the last 30 years, which conveniently leaves out the climate changes of the rest of the planet’s long history …

      • Bart, I surmise you are a bit behind the times.
        Here in the UK – which still includes Scotland, a bit like the individual states making up your federation, I think – we all know, have known for the last five years, that this and the previous government are and were owned by the Big Bankers.
        Sorry to disillusion you, but no ‘Big Coal’ nor ‘Big Oil’ in this country.
        Oh – you do know that the majority of BP is held by US corporations?

      • Viv Evans

        Thanks for that clarification.

        I now know if I want to get the UK government to hand over huge sums of cash to me to convince bankers it’s in their best interests; this means if I want governments in the UK to allow me to do whatever I want on someone else’s land I shouldn’t be talking to King Coal any more?

        And as much as I’m sure we all enjoy the irony of BP not being majority owned by British money, just how uninfluential are you asserting the oil industry to be in the UK again?

        Powerless? No more influential than the florists or bakers? Where would you peg them?

      • Thanks for that clarification.
        You’re very welcome!
        I now know if I want to get the UK government to hand over huge sums of cash to me to convince bankers it’s in their best interests; this means if I want governments in the UK to allow me to do whatever I want on someone else’s land I shouldn’t be talking to King Coal any more?
        Spot on!
        Here’s a nice graph, on top of the page, why this would be a waste of your time:
        http://openlearn.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=398856&section=5

        And as much as I’m sure we all enjoy the irony of BP not being majority owned by British money, just how uninfluential are you asserting the oil industry to be in the UK again?
        Powerless? No more influential than the florists or bakers? Where would you peg them?

        As florists and bakers on the High Street have been going to the wall during the last three-four years, I’d guess BP and the other oil companies are a bit more influential, no?
        Not as influential, mind, as the energy companies, like e.on or NP – which are sadly in the hands of foreigners as well.

        Oh, and please do not overlook the EU. That is where you should look for influence. Their politics on AGW will find your applause, I am sure. Good old Britain has to follow their directives – not much wriggle room for our government.
        But then, such supra-national governance is what is desired, isn’t it?

      • Viv Evans

        A pleasure to correspond.

        While I don’t deny the EU has influenced the UK (by the way, is being behind the times on the UK a double negative?) greatly of late, I’m not a huge fan of the way the Cap and Trade lobby has gone.

        I’m in favor of a measure to compensate the individuals who have a stake in the CO2 budget (ie all of us) for intrusion into that budget directly per capita. Charge a fee for rent of the CO2 budget. Pay it to us all equally. 70% of us will come out ahead. The 30% who don’t will have to adjust their free-riding (that is, pocket-picking) ways, or go broke for their excesses.

        As for the form of government you Europeans choose for yourselves, why would an outsider stick his nose into that?

    • Bart R,

      So, if I’m told that the money spent by think tanks is small compared to billions in government pro-AGW spending, I’m thinking to myself perhaps these billions are coming from India or China, because they don’t appear to be originating in Western democracies.

      I think the “billions in government pro-AGW” spending comes from the absurd assumption that the money spent by governments on funding climate research is spent for the purpose of “promoting” AGW.

  28. Big Oil (and the others) jumped the AGW bandwagon big time. Almost everybody was on few years ago, especially the rich. It was a total media assault and very sickening.

  29. At least in Europe, traditional energy companies have not appeared all that reluctant for this new carbon trading system and the opportunities it creates. I’ve long suspected that they are funding advocacy groups for sure, but not the ones Mr. Lacis et all suggest. For instance in hydro-power dominant Sweden, and less so for instance in Finland, a whole new concept of will fall profits is now wide known; as the price in the electricity trading system was set by the most expensive coal-fired backup plants, the profit margin for hydro and nuclear skyrocketed and naturally created amazing profits. Hence the wind fall profits — nothing was changed in the energy mix, only the price rose. The traditional power companies have been quite active towards renewables, particularily wind and solar. Although they very well know that either won’t solve much, they have been keen to get the heavy goverment subisides.

    So at least here it appears that energy sector is actually more _pro_ AGW and anti. By doesn’t mean “really interested in cutting emissions” but rather “really interested in keeping their hands in taxpayers pocket, risk free”.

    • @Anander

      ‘So at least here it appears that energy sector is actually more _pro_ AGW and anti. By doesn’t mean “really interested in cutting emissions” but rather “really interested in keeping their hands in taxpayers pocket, risk free”.’

      I suspect that we’d disagree about a lot of things, but that business is interested in being given government (ie taxpayers) money risk-free is hardly a big surprise. Making money is what they are set up to do. That is their primary purpose.

      The role of government is more dubious. They are supposed to act as ‘wiser custodians’ of the taxpayers money than the taxpayers themselves.

      It is arguable that by setting up hugely wasteful and illusory schemes for ‘green energy’ such as the Feed in Tariff in UK, they have created not only the general nvironment for the energy companies to make shedloads of cash, but the regulatory and financial regime that requires them to do so.

      That businesses act as businesses causes me no great collywobbles. But that governments should wilfully waste our money to encourage them is very morally questionable.

      • Spotted a couple of crucial typos in my post (quick writer and very quick proof reader). What I meant to say was that I have not seen the big energy business being very sceptical about CO2-indused end of world, but rather the contantry. My critique is targeted towards politicians: the opportunism with carbon credits, windfall profits and all are something inevitable. Of course they are not in the best interests of energy users and taxpayers, but for sure a CEO of a large energy company, say E.ON would find himself escorted out of the office quite soon if he hadn’t taken the opportunity to make money out of them.

        In this light it is interesting to see scientists complaining about the big oil and thinktanks, whereas the reality in Europe at least seems to be that the ‘AGW’ camp is making all the money, have the MSM, most academic organizations and e.g. national weather agencies in their back pocket, have received more than ample research funding etc etc. It might be the opposite in US though. I find it rather ironical that the ‘rednecks’ refusing to sign the Kyoto and letting go of their gasoline hungry trucks might be right after all.

      • I cannot disagree with Latimer Alder’s misgivings about European business backing the European tax-and-subsidize.. Er ‘cap and trade’ schemes, unless it is to say he does not go far enough in some ways about the loopholes big enough to drive oil tankers through.

        They’re not all always as bad in all ways as some claim, but they’re pretty lame compared to easier, cheaper, more effective measures, and with some significant tightening up could become acceptable. By European standards.

  30. There is indeed a close parallel between what happened with tobacco research before, and what happens with climate research now.

    The vested interest of tobacco companies lay in saying that smoking poses no heath risks, since this would help their sales. They science they chose to fund supported this.
    The vested interests of governments lies in saying global warming poses large risks, since this allows them to extend their reach over society. The science they choose to fund supports this.

    Neither is coincidence.

  31. oh please, government spend in research, heartland-cato etc.. spend in propaganda that’s a huge difference…..

    • Which propaganda have these guys put out that has influenced me?

      I’ve never heard of them (see Judith’s introduction) this side of the North Atlantic, and hence never seen any of their TV ads or their poster campaigns. The MSM in UK is pretty strongly institutionally AGW-friendly and sceptic-hostile. It bangs the drum about it all day every day.

      So how have these institutes’ subtly influenced me to be a sceptic?

      Do you credit me with enough savvy to have looked at the evidence and come to my own conclusions? Perhaps you reserve that respect only for true AGWists?

      • Latimer,

        I’ve never heard of them (see Judith’s introduction) this side of the North Atlantic, and hence never seen any of their TV ads or their poster campaigns.

        I think you’re being just a bit naive here. Leaving aside the question of whether you have been personally influenced by them, the whole point is to try to get “skeptical” ideas into the mainstream without people realising they are being pushed by advocacy groups – ie without such blatant and obvious methods as TV ads and posters.

        The MSM in UK is pretty strongly institutionally AGW-friendly and sceptic-hostile. It bangs the drum about it all day every day.

        I think it is fair to say that TV generally represents the mainstream view but “skeptical” views certainly get plenty of space in the press.

      • Andrew,

        Sadly the press is all-for-AGW here with very little dissent; the local, very-AGW-commited meteorilogical agency even holds courses for journalists on how to counter sceptic points! Getting anything critical into say, major newspaper in Finland is very hard while headlines connecting completely natural phenomena into the AGW hypothesis are fed into press every day, all day as Latimer reported from the UK.

        IMHO there is a huge contrast between the public opinion and the media coverage; my interpretation is that this exaggeration has backfired seriously. It has already resulted in distrust towards media, which makes it hard to report the real concerns about the state of our planet.

        Has anybody read anything about _positive_ aspects of warming from MSM – surely there are also them? No, what we get, for instance just recently in a popular science magazine “Science” (not the international, prestigious one, but a Finnish paper “Tiede”) is SciFi-stories like “What is the planet like in +8C” – usually with little discussion about how possible that kind of development might be.

      • When was the last time you saw a ‘sceptical’ article in the MSM in UK? Please name it and who wrote it.

      • Here’s a good example – it’s not neccessarily the last one I saw (and I tend not to read to parts of the MSM which are the worst offenders) but it’s one that particularly sticks in the mind.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1335798/Global-warming-halted-Thats-happened-warmest-year-record.html

      • Good article.

        But over two months old. If that is the best that you can bring to the table, you’ll have to admit that the UK MSM isn’t exactly overwhelmed with scepticism.

      • I think it is fair to say that TV generally represents the mainstream view but “skeptical” views certainly get plenty of space in the press.

        ROTFLMAO!!!

        If that’s what you think, then it’s evidence that you’re not thinking. TV certainly represents the “consensus” view of AGW, but whether it’s “mainstream” or not is doubtful after the results of the last election. As for the press, I’d suggest you provide some references to publications that present the sceptical POV in any but a negative way. There are some, but I have serious doubts about your ability to find them.

      • By “mainstream” I mean the mainstream scientific view. Obviously the public is more divided.

        Regarding press coverage I’m writing from a UK perspective so can only comment on what is in our media. But of our newspapers the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph (respectively the biggest selling mid-market and “quality” newspapers) and the Daily Express all have plenty of “skeptical” coverage, the Times certainly runs skeptical pieces (albeit dubious ones – google “Leakegate”) and even the generally pro-AGW Independent has Dominic Lawson as a columnist. Also the Spectator (the biggest selling political magazine) gave a bit plug to Ian Plimer when he came over here to plug his nonsensical book.

      • Have you heard of a paper about the Medieval Warm Period being warmer or as warm as today?

        It was all in the climategate emails.

        Big Controversy.

        The two authors were paid consultants of one of the three listed above.

        The one with the typo.

        Has no one noticed the typo?

        It’s a C not a P.

        Such a weak paper, yet so many take it as gospel.
        It’s even irrelevant to the matter at hand.

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

      • Craig Goodrich

        Actually, “Medieval Warm Period being warmer or as warm as today” was not controversial at all until Mann decided to play mumblety-peg (emphasis on the mumble) with tree-ring statistics to help the IPCC “get rid of the MWP”. The S&B paper was exactly what it said it was, an accurate literature survey, with their methodology and data plainly presented. It got the usual RealClimate treatment in print by the Team for the same reason that RC was founded: to defend Mann’s effort to hide the MWP.

        If the science were defensible and solid, why exactly is it absolutely essential to mount immediate attacks — in print or elsewhere — on anything that questions its conclusions? One of the most striking things about the Climategate correspondence is how terrified and panicked these pscientists are at the mere thought that their assertions might possibly be questioned or audited.

      • Which came first?

        The S&B paper or Real Climate?

        Audited by someone who doesn’t know the difference between radians and degrees, or someone peddling trendless red noise?

        I don’t think you can come up with any real evidence that Mann tried to hid e the MWP.

      • bobdroege,

        you are absolutely right. Mann didn’t try to HIDE the MWP he simply erased it with noise from inappropriate proxies and methods.

      • Audited by someone who doesn’t know the difference between radians and degrees,

        Are you one of those who think that there IS a difference, that what can be done in one unit cannot be done in the other? Just checkin’ the ignorance level here.

    • oh please, government spend in research, heartland-cato etc.. spend in propaganda that’s a huge difference…..

      Government ‘research’ on climate is no different to tobacco company ‘research’ on smokng. Both are to a degree propaganda by another name, designed to promote the fortunes of their sponsor.

      The only real difference is that noone else could ever match the funding levels of governments.

    • I do not think that the heartland sent satellite to space, deploy buoy in the sea etc….so there is little doubt that government fundings are higher but this has nothing to do with the media visibility/propaganda so it is an improper comparison.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Yup, the government put out the satellites and buoys — the very ones providing the data that says all the predictions of the AGW models are wrong. So perhaps these funds should count as “skeptical” funding from right-wing robots…

  32. Whenever I see such discussions, I go to the Amazon page for that poor fellow Stephen H. Schneider, lead author of the infamous PNAS article “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” which created a blacklist of climate deniers and a whitelist of climate asserters whose pronouncements could be trusted.
    The book I look at is called “The Patient from Hell,” in which Schneider describes how he treated the cancer experts who treated his own disease. He said that while they’re not bad people, they are caught in lazy, formulaic thinking, and laypeople need to push them, prod them, treat them without dignity and ask assertive, inconvenient and rude questions to get them to really think about one’s own individual cancer.
    How sad that Professor Schneider didn’t live to be asked the question of why he so fervently believed that the oncologists at Stanford University Medical Center needed to be treated as if they had no credibility (and had a huge invesment in the narrative provided by pharmaceutical companies, etc.)- while climate scientists are to be treated with reverence, whose various predictions ought never to be compared with reality (or one another) and whose motives and wisdom are never to be questioned.
    My own experience, having spent most of my life living in various top-1o university community in the States, is that the most fervent climate scientists are regarded as lightweights by their most serious colleagues in the physical sciences and mathematics, – lightweights whose complete discrediting would be momentarily amusing, but would bring doubt and wobbly funding for the entire university-based scientific research enterprise. What a tragic waste of energy and funding – and the wrecking of the mind of an entire generation of students, akin to teaching millions of Russian and Eastern European university students “Scientific Marxism,” before 1989.

    • “the most fervent climate scientists are regarded as lightweights by their most serious colleagues in the physical sciences and mathematics, – lightweights whose complete discrediting would be momentarily amusing”

      Sam – For outsiders to a specific field to express contempt for the top professionals in the field is a risky undertaking, although it’s often attempted. Being expert at one thing does not necessarily translate into an ability to judge other who possess superior expertise in their own areas.

      Certainly, there are no dearth of experts outside of climatology per se who do not share the contemptuous attitude you attribute to unknown colleagues, but who strongly agree instead with the conclusion that we are warming the planet at a potentially hazardous pace. These include Stephen Hawking and Phyics Nobelist Steve Chu. That by itself does not make them right, but puts your attributions into a better perspective.

  33. oh please, government spend in research, heartland-cato etc.. spend in propaganda that’s a huge difference…..

    Yes, a huge difference:

  34. As a conspiracy believer, does anyone think James Hansen told Lacis to write this BS?

  35. The earth is getting warmer, and scientists conducting research on global climate change overwhelmingly agree: most of the warming since the mid 20
    th century has been caused by humans, primarily through burning fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. Climate model projections suggest that average global temperatures could increase from 3 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, the range reflecting the amount of carbon dioxide and other
    greenhouse gases that might actually be put into the air, plus uncertainties in the climate models.

    • So, ianash, could you please provide the names of those big-green multi-millionaires/billionaires that have been so impressed with your conclusions that they have voluntarily reduced their lifestyles to the level they advocate for the rest of us? I’ll even accept the names of a couple of hot-shot climate-scientists or even some has-been hollywood type. And while you’re at it–are there any academic institutions you can name that have banned all air-conditioning and heating of dorm, office, and lecture hall spaces? Just curious.

      • What dont you like about the statement? It is simply stating the facts.

      • Good point, ianash. You didn’t offer a personal approval of the view with which you claimed “the scientists conducting global climate research overwhelmingly agree.” So let me adjust my above question: Can you name any individuals or academic institutions who have been motivated by the overwhelming scientific agreement you posit to take the actions described in my above question –names, please.

      • Mike, I agree with the statement I posted. It is a simple statement of fact. How can you sensibly argue against it?

      • Please, ianash, I’m not suggesting any argument with your purported fact. Indeed, I’ll treat your claim that there is an “overwhelming” scientific agreement as a given. My question, rather, was whether someone like yourself, with your apparent inside-knowledge of current climate science thinking have observed anyone among the “agreed-ones” who have taken the lead and modified their behavior in a manner that should logically follow from their professed convictions? Again, names, please–I want to be inspired to do the right thing and I want to be able to report to Joe, with names, that the “agreed-ones” are leading by example and from the front. It’s for the children, you know.

      • Great! You agree that global warming is real. Thank you.

      • Yes, there has been net warming since ~1850. But
        – There is scanty understanding of natural effects.
        – And even Climategate crooks and other state stooges who form the IPCC only attribute post ~1975 warming to man. And this is based on models, not physical science.
        – Warming has more or less stopped for the last ~15 years.

      • “And this is based on models, not physical science.”

        (Psst, hey punksta…they invented this little thing called a thermometer…it ‘s what they call a measuring device. Been using ‘em for a few years now…)

      • they invented this little thing called a thermometer

        Why you chose to ignore my “Yes, there has been net warming since ~1850″, is a mystery. The physical science that is missing, concerns how much effect CO2 is actually having. Right now all they have is some basic radiative physics, but very little on eg cloud effects. All they have is models, a, rough correlation and a “er…well what else could it be?” attitude.

      • I find objectionable the use of`the term ´crooks´to describe climate scientists. A `crook´ is another word for a criminal, and a criminal is a person who has been tried in a court of law and found guilty. To my knowledge there is not one single climate scientist to whom this term correctly applies.

        In our free democracy we must uphold, as a fundamental principal, the right of a person to be deemed innocent until proved guilty by due process of law.
        If we do not do this, we subvert the principle of justice itself and descend into barbarism.

        However justified you feel in using the term ´crook´ to imply wrongdoing, until it is deemed so by due process you are subverting the principle of justice by using this term in public forums. The internet must not be abused as a kangaroo court.

      • Sarah, this sounds like good news for Richard “I am not a crook” Nixon–too bad he didn’t live to hear it. But seriously, does it really plunge us into barbarism to refer to infamous genocidal-maniacs, like you-know-who, as “mass-murderers” even if they were never tried and convicted of their crimes?

      • If Punksta had wanted to use the word ‘criminal’ I;m sure he would have done so. But he didn’t. He used the word ‘crook’.

        If you have objections to his using the word ‘crook’, please let us have them. But not to a word that he didn’t use.

      • Jeez ianash! Just when you were showing some real spunk (that Dr. Curry trick was a good one), you come up with this last lame-brain comment. C’mon, guy, this is a quality blog.

        I agreed with your purported statement of fact for the sake of argument, as I carefully noted. Not quite the same thing as agreeing that “global warming” with all the nuances and associations entailed in that loaded term is real. Right, ianash?

        Keep sharp guy. You’ve raised the bar for yourself and we’ve come to expect better. And, oh, by the way, you still haven’t answered my question.

      • Mike,

        C’mon big fella, a little bit of CD wont hurt you every now and again. Dont be angry – Dr Curry only comes here to study her specimens and I can understand that it confuses and annoys you when she says something…sensible…that breaks the fragile denialist relationship that exists.

        Your question is not a question (and you know it) – it’s a cheap attempt at sidetracking, used often by those incapable of sticking with the topic at hand:
        – the right wing lobby groups listed by Dr Curry are simply front men for oil and coal companies. They have in the past been front men for the tobacco industry.
        – the simple statement from Dr Curry that I posted and the subsequent responses -showed you and your ilk for what you are: more interested in attacking scientists than in studying the evidence.

      • Let me see now, ianash. Although your last was a little hard to follow, I think you’re trying to say, in that uniquely unpleasant way of yours, that you’re not going to answer my question. And also, I think you’re saying that you didn’t appreciate the compliment I so generously offered to you. And then you started going weird on me (I thought you’d put such things behind you, ianash) with some references to “fragile relationships” and “specimens” and good stuff like that. I guess it’s just impossible to completely take the “ianash” out of the “ianash.” But I respect that you’re tryin’, ol’ buddy.

        Well, it looks like I’ll just have to accept that I’ll not get an answer to my question from you, ianash. But do you know any of your “good comrades” who can answer my question? Remember, it’s for the kids.

        And by the way, you’re not some “kid” are you? Cause, I’m beginning to think I’m wasting my valuable time on some teenager with an unhealthy addiction to the internet.

    • Phillip Bratby

      Anyone can cut and paste. What do you think your propaganda messages achieve when scientists read your posts? You may not realise it, but you achieve the opposite of what you presumably intend.

      • What do you dislike about the statement?

      • Phillip Bratby

        You did not answer my question.

      • You made a rhetorical statement; it was not a question.

      • Phillip Bratby

        I asked the direct question “What do you think your propaganda messages achieve when scientists read your posts?” There is nothing rhetorical about my question.

      • I posted a fact, not propaganda.

        The fact, was in fact, written by Dr Curry. If ‘scientists’ do not like the words, they can take it up directly with her.

        (Hey so you’re that anti-windpower ‘scientist’. How’s that all going? )

      • Phillip Bratby

        We win some and we lose some. It depends mainly on the Government appointed Inspectors and how anti-science and ant-technology they are (if they don’t approve their quota of wind farms they are likely to lose their cushy jobs and pensions). Generally speaking Inspectors are planners who don’t have a clue about the technology of wind turbines and energy in general, so it is difficult to get them to see beyond government propaganda.

    • You stated an opinion of scientists who cannot back up what they claim.
      As usual.

  36. scientists conducting research on global climate change overwhelmingly agree: most of the warming since the mid 20 th century has been caused by humans
    Same paymaster, therefore same conclusion.
    That just happens to benefit the paymaster.

  37. Punksta
    What do you dislike about the statement? It is a verifiable fact.

    • Judged by the humbug lip-service given to CAGW by certain climate scientists (and their money-bag patrons) you may be right, ianash. Judged by their deeds, however, they think you’re full of it.

      • Cant see how anyone could sensibly argue about the statement I posted.

      • As a follow-on to an earlier discussion, my last sentence should read: “Judged by their deeds, however, they think they, themselves, are full of it.” Again, I agree, ianash, you have been a mere reporter of fact not an advocate of the consensus CAGW scare-mongering and its attendant hypocrisies and hustles.

    • What do you dislike about the statement? It is a verifiable fact.

      Yes, it’s a veriable fact that government stooge scientists agree.

      • “The earth is getting warmer, and scientists conducting research on global climate change overwhelmingly agree: most of the warming since the mid 20th century has been caused by humans, primarily through burning fossil fuels such as coal and petroleum. Climate model projections suggest that average global temperatures could increase from 3 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, the range reflecting the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that might actually be put into the air, plus uncertainties in the climate models”

        By
        Dr Judith Curry
        Local Warming: Consequences of Climate Change for Atlanta

      • That’s very clever, ianash. Good stuff! My compliments. But you still haven’t answered my question.

      • mike,
        Trolls are not good at questions.
        Unfortunately many of us have broken our vow of starvation and feeding the troll.

      • You know, hunter, this is killin’ me, but I have to give the devil his due. Ianash earned his chow, this time, with that Dr. Curry quote trick. No one quite took ianash’s hook, but the bait got nibbled at pretty good. Why can’t ianash be this good all the time? Then he’d be a troll worth feeding on a regular basis. But you’re right, trolls tend to avoid questions–I mean, ianash still hasn’t answered mine (except, of course, to say he won’t answer).

    • No it isn’t. For example Oceanic Oscillations have contributed since the mid 19th. And FYI science doesn’t produce facts. Facts are for religions.

  38. Steve Milesworthy

    The “David vs Goliath” is a strawman. None of your quoted comments quote the amounts of money being spent by the lobby organisations. Comparing with the total amount of money spent on climate science is also dubious as much is spent on the science that is then equally used (cherry-picked?) by the lobbyists as much as anyone else.

    A well-connected organisation with a pallatable message to sell and a set of willing pubicists (The Telegraph in the UK, Fox News in the US?) to sell it does not need vast amounts of funding.

    In the UK a huge scare was kicked up about the measles (MMR) vaccine by one doctor and one newspaper.

    • Steve

      You’re supposedly meant to pretend that one activity is equal to the other – that scientific investigation is the same as lobbying for big business.

    • The Telegraph????

      Whose environmental correspondents are Louise Gray and Geoffrey Lean.

      Whose purpose in life is to regurgitate the press releases of FoE and Greeenpeace as truth and wisdom. Louise is quite amusing as she has no filing system and even recycles the press releases every six to eighteen months, hoping no reader will remember already having had such propaganda thrown at them.

      On Sundays in the print edition Chris Booker has a column which he occasionally uses to advance the sceptic case. And for bloggers Delingpole is good fun. But the mainstream part of the Telegraph is about as Warmist as the Guardian is Catastrophist.

      Maybe this will change. The government (like all European governments) are beginning to show signs of sanity in this area. But there is still an awful lot of insanity to overcome.

  39. Compared to $$billions spent by governments on climate research, not to mention $$billions spent by enviro advocacy groups (many of whom have annual budgets exceeding $100M). Is Pat Michaels, Joe Bast, and whoever at GMI, with maybe a measley few $$million per year, really a match for the global climate establishment?

    Thanks Judith for that.

    I sometime think I live in a parallel universe where science and truth has started to have entirely different meaning.

    I cannot believe what has become of the “scientific community” which does not stand for the truth any more:

    “The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.

    http://bit.ly/6qYf9a

    That was no warming for 7 years. Now, it is no warming for 13 years.
    http://bit.ly/fMwWl1

    It is really sad.

    • Poor Girma

      “no warming since [insert year here].”

      You’ve fallen at the first hurdle!

    • Girma, not all data sets agree with you, try this one

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1986/to:2010/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1998/to:2010/trend

      Then try them all

      more data = better answers

      • Craig Goodrich

        “more data = better answers” — thus, of course, since it has been steadily cooling — albeit in fits and starts — since the Holocene Optimum, there is nothing at all to be concerned about and we can all go home now.

        Finally.

      • gistemp data can not be believed with its several adjustments after publishing.

      • Bobdroege

        There is no doubt about the little global warming in the last 13 years.

        Here is what the “Team” says in private:

        Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a longer – 10 year – period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc.

        Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also. Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent cold-ish years.

        http://bit.ly/ajuqdN

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

        http://bit.ly/eIf8M5

        How does the “scientific community” come down to this low?

      • I think the sulfates fall out of the atmosphere faster than CO2, and I think the second email you posted speaks to that and that we don’t know how much sulfates China and India are putting in the air, and they certainly didn’t predict it well for their scenarios and models.

  40. John Costigane

    Hi Judith,

    The only David and Goliath scenario I see is between yourself (poetic license) and the Team. I have benefited from a science-based education in the UK, giving me a belief in the future. At no time did scare-mongering ever feature during those years. My question is: what has gone wrong?

    The constant flow of supposed scare stories, and their shrill tenor, fits neatly into the “high stakes” / “time is short” features of this post-normal approach to science. Posterity will not be kind to these people.

  41. Dr Curry, Having read through this post and the comments, some of which need reality checks I think, I am struck, once again, by the fury with which ‘Big Oil’ and ‘Big Coal’ are labelled, attacked and denigrated as being the ‘Bad Guys’ to be destroyed, driven out and …

    But the absolute paucity of suggestions of a truly practical and pragmatic kind, like how to power vehicles, heat homes and generate electricity when the windfarms aren’t producing or the solar panels on my roof are buried in two feet of snow, is striking. This is, perhaps more than any other, the reason many people are so skeptical and AGW/CAGW/cAGW … the alternatives are all extremely costly, very damaging to the economies of the developed nations – and hence the pockets of those living in them – and usually do not provide the full replacement needed. To ‘replace a single coal powered plant here in Germany it would be necessary to cover 200 square KILOMETERS of the countryside with wind turbines. Its not that big a country either. Nor could you actually close down and dismantle the power station because it needs to be kept on ‘stand-by’ for when the turbines aren’t able to generate the power – according to the studies here, between 37 and 43% of the year.

    Yes, I am a skeptic. My skepticism is founded on an understanding of the use and abuse of ‘statistics’ in many different situations. At best they predict what has happened – 20:20 hindsight – and while they may indicate a trend for the future, it can hardly be taken as ‘proven’ in any sense of the word. Especially when unlike datasets are combined, manipulated and then adjusted to fit ‘models’ which are far less robust than the system they are trying to model.

    The public are not stupid as the commenter driving the 209 bus in London proves beyond any shadow of a doubt. Only a fool would think so. As I believe Abraham Lincoln once remarked: “You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” If there are, as Mr Lacis claims, billions being invested in “denial” I’m afraid I can’t see any evidence of it, what I can see is the eco-terror groups like Greenpeace and Fiends of the Earth campaigning to destroy the western economies and funded very effectively by our own governments.

    The propaganda has reached the point where it has overwhelmed the science and far too many can now see it for what it is, a political scam and a game about extracting the maximum subsidy for ‘research’ from governments. Certainly the politicians pay the ‘Danegeld’ to these and other groups, because it distracts the public (Look! We’re doing something!) and it keeps the Greenpeace and other eco-campaigners off their backs and hopefully off the streets.

    It was suggested earlier in this thread that there would be greater support for the CAGW ‘message’ if people could see the example being set by its advocates, and this is true, but when I look at the skinny, badly dressed, ill fed and self-flagellating supporters and foot soldiers of this movement and then at the IPCC ‘beanos’ and the billions wasted on policing the ‘demonstrations’ by AGW supporters at each of these (And how did the Demo rent-a-mob get there? They surely didn’t walk to Kyoto, Sydney, Copenhagen etc…) and the lifestyles of those telling me to cut my ‘energy use’ by 30% or to walk the 30 kms into Wiesbaden and back – I turn my back on the entire argument, thank you very much.

    • In Western Europe, in the preindustrial Middle Ages, man’s life expectancy was 30 years. In the nineteenth century, Europe’s population grew by 300 percent—which is the best proof of the fact that for the first time in human history, industry gave the great masses of people a chance to survive.

      If it were true that a heavy concentration of industry is destructive to human life, one would find life expectancy declining in the more advanced countries. But it has been rising steadily. Here are the figures on life expectancy in the United States (from the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company):

      ■1900—47.3 years
      ■1920—53 years
      ■1940—60 years
      ■1968—70.2 years (the latest figures compiled)
      Anyone over 30 years of age today, give a silent “Thank you” to the nearest, grimiest, sootiest smokestacks you can find.

      http://bit.ly/9kBhdo

  42. Judith,

    No matter how much hard physical evidence, it will never be good enough.
    I can show how we evolved from the planet by the chemical composition of our bodies and the minerals we need to survive.
    But that would not be good enough for the “bible thumpers” that are focused on faith and not evidence.

    • Stop attacking religion – is this really allowable under the blog rules?

      People have a sense of the oneness of the universe, a respect for the sanctity of life and a knowledge of good and evil. I choose to embrace that rather than the neuropathology that is evangelical atheism.

      Poor little things are naturally upset at the evolution doesn’t need God nonsense. Eh – I say – the space/time continuum doesn’t need evolution.

    • Joe,

      “I can show how we evolved from the planet by the chemical composition of our bodies and the minerals we need to survive.
      But that would not be good enough for the “bible thumpers” that are focused on faith and not evidence.”

      Actually you and no one else can even get close to this and that is part of the problem. Consensus makes wild claims they have no chance of backing up yet gang up on people and force it through anyway.

      When scientists can “cook up” from scratch, without using preexisting homochiral proteins, more homochiral biological proteins, you will have my attention. Until then you are blowing smoke.

      Now, this bible thumper is waiting for your experimental evidence.

      PS: I do believe that eventually we probably WILL be able to synthesize these proteins, but, at this point we don’t know how to do it, don’t know why we can’t do it, and have no idea how to approach the problem so have no idea how it could have happened in the wild. This is exactly the type of BS that I am talking about. Claims of certainty when a little humility goes much further.

  43. “Compared to $$billions spent by governments on climate research, not to mention $$billions spent by enviro advocacy groups (many of whom have annual budgets exceeding $100M). Is Pat Michaels, Joe Bast, and whoever at GMI, with maybe a measley few $$million per year, really a match for the global climate establishment? Can somebody please explain this to me? “

    I find it simply impossible to believe that someone who’s worked as a scientist needs it explained to them.

    The billions spent on climate research is spent on…climate research.

    The money spent by single issue advocacy groups is spent on…advocating their particular issue.

    Unless you’re willing to come clean about having actually spent your grant money trying to lobby politicians and media outlets to a pre-determined and unchanging point of view instead of actually examining the nature of reality you understand the difference perfectly well.

    • Ok, compare the $$ for the enviro advocacy groups vs the libertarian think tanks. Enviro advocacy groups have budgets more than one order of magnitude greater than the libertarians. In terms of how much $$ gets spend on lobbying by both sides related to energy and the climate change issue, i have no idea, but it is probably comparable. Lobbying is politics, it does not trash scientists or the science. Lobbying against energy legislation is only attacking climate science and climate scientists if you buy science=politics and are promoting truth to science. To the climate scientists and their supporters who view the issue this way (and there are certainly many), i say “get real.”

      • ” In terms of how much $$ gets spend on lobbying by both sides related to energy and the climate change issue, i have no idea, but it is probably comparable.

        You have no idea but it’s probably comparable?

        “Lobbying against energy legislation is only attacking climate science and climate scientists if you buy science=politics and are promoting truth to science.”

        Have you actually looked at the output of these organisations? You’re making an enormously naive argument which only has even the appearance of truth if you’ve never looked at what gets produced.

        It would seem quite sensible to at least investigate the topic before declaring what’s what concerning it otherwise you’re just projecting your prejudices onto it.

        You can start the GPPF which gets very regular posts at WUWT, for example The Temperature claims of 2010

        Please read that article and then try to tell me with a straight face they’re simply lobbying against policy and not attacking climate science. By all means tell me climate scientists have “overreached” by concluding 2010 is either the warmest, equal to the warmest or close to the warmest on instrumental record and that organisations such as this are needed to correct the issue with their superior analysis.

      • FYI Greenpaece, a pure advocacy group spends between $250M and $300M per year on its causes. ‘Climate change’ is an important one, so I guess it probably gets about $100M of that.

        Compare with the sums mentioned above for the demonic whoever they are and the whatdoyomacallit institute for something or other and you’ll see that there is a considerable difference in resources applied (10x??) to propaganda.

        Maybe FoE and greenpeace just aren’t any good at it which is why they are (supposedly) being overwhelmed by smaller organisations with far less reosurces……….

      • Well making up numbers is fun but you could just look at their annual reports, the one for 2009 says €27.5m out was spent on Climate and Energy out of a budget of €200m

      • Now to Greenpeace add the money spent on climate activism by the WWF, the David Suzuki foundation, the Sierra club and countless others. Add the free press that Greenpeace receives for there act of vandalism on coal plant, or the promoting of pseudi-scientific paper from the WWF. There are at least equal sum spent from both side with the balance leaning toward environmental organization.

        But this is not where the problem lies. Pielke jr demonstrated that there enough support from the population for action on climate change in each country. But there is a limit to that support and it is the cost of those actions. There are also better reason than climate to promote decarbonization of the economy.

        Yet, people like Joe Romm only want decarbonization if it is associated to climate change. They don’t accept that decarbonization could be achieve for other reasons.

        The failing of implementation of climate policy is the own failing of the catastrophists. Of course, it is easier to blame it on some other evil doers than come to peace with your own action.

      • So still 3 times more than the evil whoevertheywere.

      • This meme of ‘skeptics are attacking science’ is total bs. To attack some specific science as being junk, is not to attack science itself. Quite the opposite in fact.

      • “To attack some specific science as being junk, is not to attack science itself. “

        If the attack is invalid and/or politically motivated then yes it is attacking science itself because it’s simply an attack on facts you dislike. Special pleading ala “Sometimes it’s ok to attack science” is not going to wash.

        Let’s see how things are looking over in the rugged individualists simply challenging policies camp

        Professor Claes Johnson Dissects the Failed Greenhouse Gas Theory

        “This conversation is mainly related to the challenges and interaction at Dr. Judith Curry’s (PhD of Geophysical Sciences and chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology) influential Climate Etc. blog in a thread called Slaying the Greenhouse Dragon …a vigorous conversation that attracted nearly two thousand comments in less than two weeks.”

        With, of course, a nice prominent picture of Dr Curry to go along with it.

        Who runs CCD.com? No idea but it’s an example of what you can easily do when you’re peddling falsehoods.

        Selling the truth is difficult, discovering truth is expensive. Selling comforting lies is easy.

      • As several of us hidebound skeptics commented on the thread in which the book was discussed, publication of that unfortunate volume served the purposes of warmists much better than of skeptics.

        The real problem for warmists is that whenever a scientifically-literate layman looks at the actual facts relevant to public claims — sea level rise, ice-free arctic, ocean acidification, whatever — the catastrophe completely disappears within known natural variation.

        Until and unless the billions and billions of consensus climate scientists can come up with actual evidence for their doomsday pronouncements, the public will continue to laugh. The tiny libertarian think tanks have nothing at all to do with it for the public at large.

      • Except that is how we know some of the catastrophic scenarios are plausable, by looking at past natural variation.

        That is how we know that an increase of 5C in global temperature will cause the greenland and antarctic icecaps to melt.

        The problem is we don’t know how close we are to an ice-free arctic, but we do know that in the past when there was an ice-free arctic, sea levels were a bit higher than they are today.

        My bet is we will see an ice-free arctic before we can slow the growth of carbon emissions, much less reduce them.

        Sounds to me like you have not looked at the evidence, maybe you could look at Hansen’s 1981 paper, and give an honest appraisal of what he got right and what he missed on.

        http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=ha04600x

      • Craig Goodrich

        Interesting paper — particularly in how it reveals that, in three decades, essentially no progress has been made in either the warmist arguments or their actual evidence. Many thanks for the link.

        What he got right:
        p. 5: “Another conclusion is that global surface temperatures rose ~0.4 deg C in the past century, roughly consistent with the calculated CO2 warming. The time history of the warming obviously does not follow the course of the CO2 increase … , indicating that other factors must affect global mean temperature.”

        p.6 “A crucial intermediate test is climate change on time scales from a few years to a century.”

        Interestingly, the paper is structured much like the IPCC ARs, with a “scenarios” and “probable consequences” section — once again demonstrating that thirty years and $100 billion has gotten remarkably little in the way of improvement in either AGW theory or methodology.

        What he missed on — spectacularly — shows up in the abstract:

        “It is shown that the anthropogenic carbon dioxide warming should emerge from the noise level of natural climate variability by the end of the century.” — still waiting.

        More specifically, on p.8 “The predicted CO2 warming rises out of the 1 sigma noise level in the 1980’s and the 2 sigma level in the 1990s …”

        Another questionable conclusion —
        p.6 “The radiative warming of the troposphere decreases the ‘convective’ flux (latent and sensible heat) from the ground by 3.5 W m-2 as a consequence of the requirement to conserve energy.” — No evidence for this yet. It appears that if anything a warmer LT increases convection; notice the increase in W Pacific cyclonic activity as the La Niña concentrates heat in the Pacific Warm Pool.

        Hope that answers your question.

      • “The real problem for warmists is that whenever a scientifically-literate layman looks at the actual facts relevant to public claims — sea level rise, ice-free arctic, ocean acidification, whatever — the catastrophe completely disappears within known natural variation.”

        Mmmm yes once you torture the data for a little while it tells you anything you anything you want to hear.

        Sea level rises? Not so bad on a 7000 year long graph in which you can barely see the 20th century!

        Ice free arctic? Well some guy said it might be ice-free by 2014 a few years back so who cares if its melting much much faster than mainstream science said! Plus if you pixel count PIPS images its actually recovering!

        Ocean acidification? But it’s still not acid so it can’t really be “acidifying”

        The ease with a “layman” can take research which itself cost tends of thousands of dollars and years to complete (not counting the investment in training for those who completed it) and replot to provide the impression of the opposite conclusion on his blog is exactly why you don’t need huge sums of money to push anti-science.

        I gave the example of the greenhouse thread here because it shows the asymmetric nature of the debate.

        A number of scientists with decades of training and research behind them engage in pain staking effort to enumerate the flaws in a book about the greenhouse effect.

        Meanwhile a randomer with a well-read blog can throw up in a post in five minutes which gives the opposite impression without even saying anything directly challengeable as “wrong”.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Ocean acidification? But it’s still not acid so it can’t really be “acidifying”

        No; because the (statistically questionable but widespread) average is said to have moved from 8.1pH to 8.0pH, when the seas adjacent to an atoll might vary by 0.4 over the course of a day, and when nobody has ever found any sea life anywhere damaged by a gradual change of a couple of points.

        And this is just one example.

      • And it will never become ‘acidic’. There just isn’t enough carbon to ever make it so.

        ‘Ocean Neutralisation’ is a more accurate description for the process by which seawater nay be becoming marginally less alkaline.

      • Way to make sharper00‘s point, guys.

      • You’ll need to explain that one, pls. And if you aren’t already familiar with acid/base chemistry and the meaning of pH, suggest that you become so before replying.

      • Craig Goodrich

        To return this subthread to the topic of the main post, sharpy is displaying what amounts to the real communication problem (if one exists) for the cAGW side: they have fallen victim to their own propaganda. They honestly believe that there is a near-unanimous scientific consensus, that distinguished and experienced researchers like Lindzen, Michaels, and Singer have been corrupted by their funding source (whereas Mann, Trenberth, Santer and the like have not), that all skeptical arguments are disinformation aimed at the ignorant, and so on. This is simply not true, and as long as the warmist side fails to realize that its stereotypes have no relation to reality, their efforts at “communication” are doomed to failure.

        For every scientifically-illiterate skeptical argument you can find — and there are plenty — I’ll see you and raise you a dozen unhinged urban journalists’ articles, something with “Oreskes” in the author list, and two WWF scare pieces, cleverly holding my Greenpeace in reserve. Glaciers gone by 2035, anyone?

        This is why, much as I hate to say it, the warmist camp should be prostrate on the naked earth thanking Gaia for Dr. C instead of subjecting her to the full Rommulan denunciation and RC excommunication. If she can’t make you see what is actually happening, I doubt that anyone can.

      • LA, a hint: sharper00‘s post wasn’t about acidification.

      • Difficult to understand what he meant by

        ‘Ocean acidification? But it’s still not acid so it can’t really be “acidifying” ‘

        if he was discussing the price of Big Macs or the migratary habits of the lesser spotted titweevil.

        Looks pretty much like ‘ocean acidification’ front and centre to me. Convince me otherwise.

      • It is just the number of hydrogen ions on a logarithmic scale. So it is acceptable to talk about acidification – the increase in the number of ions. Acid and alkaline are simple comparisons of hydrogen ion concentrations to that of concentrations in a ‘neutral’ reference material.

        The eastern Pacific has the most acidic ocean waters on the planet as sub-surface water upwells. It is one of the most productive biological systems in the world (not because of the acidity) but corals have a hard time.

        As well as being a hydrologist – I am a trained environmental scientist. Ecosystems are chaotically fragile. Small changes can trigger dramatic change in populations and assemblages.

        Sigh – if you are going to talk ecosystems you need more than a few facts gleamed off the internet. Is there a serious problem – potentially. But to claim you have a special insight into this complexity – well it defies credulity really.

      • ” Ecosystems are chaotically fragile. ”

        Ahh yes, that must be why Ice Ages and Optimums wipe out corals and polar bears. Or not.

      • ‘Acid and alkaline are simple comparisons of hydrogen ion concentrations to that of concentrations in a ‘neutral’ reference material’

        Umm. You have have half the story. And understood some of that.

        But you have missed out on considering the effects of the hydroxyl (OH-) ions. They too do chemistry. Not just their ‘opposite’ as H+. Acid/alkaline are more like ying and yang than hotter/colder, east/west as you seem to think.

        If you don’t understand this then I fear your ecology studies as they relate to chemistry will have been very
        difficult for you.

        I claim no special insight beyond that of any A level Chemistry student.

      • http://staff.jccc.net/pdecell/chemistry/phscale.html

        So the reference material is ‘pure’ water.

        ‘A base in chemistry is a substance that can accept hydrogen ions or more generally, donate electron pairs. Bases can be thought of as the chemical opposite of acids. A reaction between an acid and base is called neutralization. Bases and acids are seen as opposites because the effect of an acid is to increase the hydronium ion (H3O+) concentration in water, whereas bases reduce this concentration.’

        If you can’t get this simple concept right – and are rude and arrogant at the same time – well you get the message.

      • Sharperoo

        In science, if recent observation is similar to past observation, we don’t need a new theory to explain the recent observation.

        This applies to “Man-Made Global warming” according to the following observed data from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

        http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

        RECENT OBSERVATION: 0.48 deg C increase in global mean temperature in the 30 years period from 1970 to 2000.

        PAST OBSERVATION: 0.45 deg C increase in global mean temperature in the 30 years period from 1910 to 1940.

        The above result shows that the recent global warming, after human emission of CO2 for 60 years, is nearly identical to the past global warming in both magnitude and duration.

        As a result, the recent global warming is not anomalous and “Man-made global warming” is an invalid scientific problem.

        In addition, there has not been any global warming since 1998 as shown in the following chart, with the average global mean temperature anomaly flat at 0.4 deg C for 13 years!

        http://bit.ly/e4Nk93

        In summary, man-made global warming is not supported by the data.

        I challenge any AGW advocate to disprove the above results!

    • Enviro advocacy groups have budgets more than one order of magnitude greater than the libertarians
      And both are a number of orders of magnitude smaller than the biggest vested interest of all – the state.

    • Shaper00,
      You are misleading on this. That seems to be an important tactic of the AGW promotion community.

  44. ianash writes “The earth is getting warmer, and scientists conducting research on global climate change overwhelmingly agree”

    Many people have already commented on this. Let me try another aspect. I agree that the earth has warmed recently; this is past tense. I do not agree that the earth is still getting warmer; this is present tense. No-one can predict the future unless they have some form of validated model.

    I would be interested in ianash’s data on which he/she bases their claim that the earth is still warming.

    • Jim,

      When you strictly base climate science to temperatures to the exclusion of all other evidence, then of course it would show warming. Then the projection has to show continued warming no matter the physical changes that have occured on this planet. As the physical changes cannot be calculated into temperatures but they can show how any why the planet is currently cooling.
      Unless you beleive the current cooling was done by prayer alone.

      • Joe Lalonde writes “When you strictly base climate science to temperatures”

        Sorry, Joe, I cannot see where I have used the word “temperature”. So I do not understand your comment.

  45. Cant resist, but:

    ‘So, like the tobacco companies before them, they have elected to muddy the waters by deliberately sowing misinformation to confuse and bamboozle the public understanding of what is happening with global climate.’

    I guess Andy forgot the to put the last word into last sentence which would have been ‘models'”.

  46. If it wasn’t for the guardian, I would never have heard of Koch, Marshall, cato, etc…

    Greenpeace alone, raised 200 million Euro’s alone last year..
    http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/greenpeace/2010/Annual_Report_2009/AR2009.pdf

    How much does Watts Up get
    Bishop Hill
    Jo Nova

    arguably more effective, than any imagined Koch funding
    and my own little contribution…

    realclimategate.org..
    in my case ZERO.. ( net loss, blog hosting buying a domain name..)

    and in the UK we have the Chief scientist, saying to civil servanyts, that they should be as intolerant of ‘bad scince’ as we are too racists and Homophobes…

    I wonder if any brave journalist will ask him, who he is reffering to, including some of his thoughts on journalists…

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/2/14/beddington-on-warpath.html

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100076055/climate-scepticism-not-just-the-new-paedophilia-but-the-new-racism-and-homophobia-too/

  47. Does anyone honestly believe that the piddly amounts of money listed as being spent on climate change by conservative think tanks represent the real level of funding against mainstream science?

    Fred Moolten’s suggestion that a lot of anti-AGW funding is going to political candidates sure rings true when you look at what’s happening as the anti-science republican majority is busy trying to trash the EPA and anything else to do with climate change science.

    Steve Milesworthy brought up the money being funneled through lobbyists and the vast audience for the misinformation from conservative- funded mouthpieces like Fox news and the Telegraph. A lot of people clearly believe anything they hear on Fox; it’s quite scary.

    I don’t see anything near the same amount of money being spent by pro-AGW lobbies etc. The talk of vast amounts of money to be made by the pro-AGW forces sounds like nonsense. If alternative energy research got funded at anywhere near the rate that is needed, we could afford to reduce our fossil fuel use WITHOUT being forced to live lives of wretched deprived squalor. We have the technology – but lack the political will to deploy it.
    Does anyone really think that fossil fuel funded organizations, lobbyists, publicity groups and politicians are going to give any support to what appears to be a huge threat to their profits? That’s the bottom line.

    • But what about Europe? The political class in Europe have embraced CAGW – in Britain all the main 3 parties are wholly committed to massive carbon emissions cuts.

      Yet there remains a strong undercurrent of scepticism, much of it (by observation and personal experience) from people who are wholly committed to science. They’re not deniers of evolution, or 9/11 conspiracy nuts or religious zealots; just people who have felt compelled to challenge (what we see as) climate alarmism.

      You would have to look very hard for the kind of massive funding in Europe that would buy this challenge; it can only have come from within the individuals.

      If you’re a proponent of CAGW, continuing the deluded belief that all opposition is funded by Big Oil or whoever is the most unproductive thing you can do. Rather than casting us all as stooges of some monied conspiracy, it might be better to try to understand why we think what we think. Here’s a hint: there are some pretty well-regarded scientists (e.g. the author of this blog) who think the same way. You may think we’re wrong, but (if you sincerely want your CAGW taken seriously) it’s a mistake to assume we’re all idiots.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        I think I and cgl24 are arguing that the Big Oil money buys some good arguments, but the sceptic movement is dependent on bigger organisations to spread those arguments.

        In the UK there are stronger rules regarding funding of parties and candidates, and there are rules about balance in TV media. For example, you’d never get 10 minutes of a political interviewer agreeing with his interviewee in the UK like you seem to do in the US.

      • Uh, Steve – I don’t watch much TV, but when I do, the “big Oil” ads are entirely related to CAGW, generally in relation to mitigation or adaptation.

        And then there are all those “bigger organizations” you talk about – WHERE? WHAT BIGGER SCEPTIC ORGANIZATIONS? NAME THEM.

        Frankly, those statements make you look stupid because the “bigger sceptic organizations” are people like Anthony Watts, Steve McIntyre, Bishop Hill, Jo Nova and, yes, even Marc Morano. They’re people who generally fund their own blogs, sometimes with contributions from those who agree with them.

        When was the last time anyone saw an anti-science TV ad? Show it to me.
        When was the last time anyone saw an anti-science magazine or newspaper ad? Show it to me.
        When was the last time anyone saw an anti-science movie? Show it to me. Unless you want to count the presently showing stage play “Heretics” – which is something that only those willing to pay for would see.

        The organizations being discussed in this post have little or no public visibility in the US – and even less in the UK and Europe. And I have yet to find where they support the massive PR campaigns that are implied by the AGW supporters. In fact, I have yet to find any of those massive PR campaigns. Since y’all think they’re so effective, why don’t you show me one.

        So…..where is all this sceptic, anti-science PR money going? Inform me about that, please.

    • Oh my. ‘anti-science republicans’.
      How ominous it all sounds.
      How ignorant it makes you look to invoke such tripe.

  48. People have different political ideologies.

    Business leaders try to stop processes damaging to their companies.

    They all argue using sometimes factually and logically correct and sometimes less correct arguments.

    Something new?

    Still it is sad that that blaming others for wrongdoings appears to be one of the most effective motives for writing comments even here, not to mention sites whose purpose of existence appears to be attacking others for their opinions and for their legal ways of advancing what they want to advance.

  49. Steve Milesworthy

    Judith Curry said:

    “The latest kerfuffle coming from one of these think tanks is this whopper described by Peter Gleick regarding the Heartland Institute, about sea ice in 2010 having the same extent as that in 1989. And here is what Heartland had to say. Heartland picked a really rotten cherry on this one. And somehow this kind of thing is destroying the public understanding of the science?”

    If relatively well-informed sceptics I come across on forums and blogs regularly repeat cherry-picked results such as this (including writers for mass news organisations) what chance does the general public have?

    Regardless of how little or much funding or influence you believe these groups have are you willing to justify their cherry-picking skills?

    Or are you arguing that these one side feels justified in repeating lies and half-truths because the other side started it first?

    If certainty is being overstated why couldn’t the two sides keep all their arguments to a civil and sensible level. The big-bangers and the steady-staters managed to keep their arguments largely scientific despite the strong personalities involved.

    It seems naive to believe that the escalation of the argument is due to anything other than the difficult political issues required to deal with the scientific findings.

    • If relatively well-informed sceptics I come across on forums and blogs regularly repeat cherry-picked results such as this (including writers for mass news organisations) what chance does the general public have?

      And as the skeptics and bloggers are keen to point out, they don’t even get paid for such dissembling – they are quite happy to do it for nothing, so no need to spend so much $$.

    • Craig Goodrich

      One point of this is that Arctic ice data is easy to cherry-pick — the New York Times published a sensational article about the potential for massive Arctic ice loss … in 1922. I’ll cheerfully trade one 2009 cherry for the thousands of hysterical articles and speeches based solely on 2007.

      But Arctic ice is much more dependent on ocean currents, storms, and so on than on air temperature anyway; it’s basically irrelevant to the controversy.

      As to Greenland, mentioned by one commenter above, the best estimate is that an ice-free Greenland would require a global average temperature rise of more than 5 deg C above the present, maintained for thousands of years. We have plenty of time to get ready…

  50. Just the $300 million campaign by Al Gore puts the funding on the skeptical side to shame.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/31/algore.uselections08.climate

  51. I didn’t realize that “skeptics” work wasn’t funded by the federal government:

    Roy Spencer:
    “The TMI sea surface temperature product is produced by Remote
    Sensing Systems and is sponsored by the NASA Earth Science REASoN DISCOVER Project. The CERES
    data were obtained from the NASA Langley Research
    Center EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive
    Center. This research was supported by NOAA Contract
    NA05NES4401001 and DOE Contract DE-FG02-
    04ER63841.”
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Spencer-and-Braswell-08.pdf

    check

    Tsonis and Swanson:
    “AAT and KLS are supported by NSF grant ATM-0438612,
    11
    SK is supported by DOE grant DE-FG-03-01ER63260 and by 231 NASA grant NNG-06-
    232 AG66G-1.”
    https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/kravtsov/www/downloads/GRL-Tsonis.pdf

    check

    Lindzen:

    “This work was funded by Korean
    Center for Atmospheric Sciences and Earthquake Research
    2010–1178, and US Department of Energy grant
    DE-FG02-01ER63257. The MODIS and CALIOP data
    were obtained from LAADS (Level 1 and Atmosphere
    Archive and Distribution System) at the NASA Goddard
    Space Flight Center and ASDC (Atmospheric Sciences
    Data Center) at the NASA Langley Research Center, respectively.”

    check

    Curry:

    “ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis
    and Intercomparison for collecting and archiving model outputs for the
    Fourth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This
    research was supported by the National Sciene Foundation Polar Programs
    (0838920) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    Energy and Water Cycle Study (NEWS).”
    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/08/09/1003336107.full.pdf+html

    check

    Christy:
    “Thomas Peterson (NCDC) and
    Graham Bartlett (Hadley Centre Library) were indispensable
    in locating several of the BEA records.
    Christy and Norris were supported by NOAA Grants
    NA06NES4400009 and NA05NES4401001. McNider
    was supported by NSF Grant CMG 745144.”

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008JCLI2726.1

    check

    Pielke:

    “The study benefited from DOE ARM Program (08ER64674; Dr. Rick Petty and Dr. Kiran Alapaty), NSF CAREER (ATM-0847472, Dr Liming Zhou and Dr Jay Fein); NSF INTEROP (OCI 0753116, Dr Sylvia J. Spengler and Dr Douglas James), NASA IDS (G. Gutman, J. Entin), NASA LCLUC (J. Entin), and NOAA JCSDA (NA06NES4400013). R. Pielke Sr. was supported for his part in this study by CIRES and ATOC at the University of Colorado in Boulder. E. Kalnay was partially supported by NASA grants NNG06GB77G, NNX07AM97Gand NNX08AD40G, and DOE grant DEFG0207ER6443. A. Gluhovsky was supported by NSF grants ATM-0514674 and ATM-0756624.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.1996/full

    Seems to me that the government is doing a pretty good job of funding “skeptics”.

  52. “The only thing certain in life is that the future is an unknown country. Climate is prognosticatable only as a probability density function – and it is absolutely certain that there are some risks of highly adverse outcomes . ”

    “….then think that you can continue to blast greenhouse gases into the atmosphere with impunity.”

    These two quotes from the Chief Hydrologist caught my attention. I pay particular attention to what the Chief Hydrologist says because he has a knack of cutting through the verbiage. And I hope that amid the noise and din his voice is heard which is why I wish to highlight these two quotes. To put them into context, please refer to his two posts on this thread.

    My own thoughts on this is that it is moot whether or not the think tanks mentioned above have influenced public thinking by their campaigns. Their stated objective is to defend corporate enterprise from government interference and that includes environmental regulation by government. The bottom line for corporations is to maximise profit and they are beholden to their shareholders in this regard. Their argument seems to be that any attempts to regulate their activity on environmental grounds will affect profit and then make the leap to suggest that this will therefore adversely affect the economy. This naturally gives rise to concern- (though it seems to have escaped most peoples´notice that it was not environmentalism that caused the global economic recession but rather unregulated activity in pursuit of short term profit.)

    All defenders of the free market ideology will be naturally suspicious of any whiff of environmental concern that may lead to regulation of their activities and will seek to stamp out all objections that challenge their perspective. This is well documented in Sharon Beder´s book- Global Spin- for anyone interested in learning more about the corporate assault on environmentalism.

    Given that the warnings coming from the disciplines of the Earth sciences regarding global warming and the potential for disruption to our climate system are more than a just a whiff of concern, it does not surprise me that free market think tanks take up positions to defend corporate activity and protect corporate profit.

    There is without doubt much disinformation, some of it willfully propagated. And anyone with a moderate level of education and a computer has access to a vast amount of opinion, viewpoint, analysis and data, and if one is to be sceptical, one must approach all of it with an open mind and be as rigorously objective as scientific method demands.

    As the Chief Hydrologist has pointed out, the only certainty is that the future is uncertain, that there exist some risks of highly adverse outcomes, and that it is erroneous to believe that putting radiative gases into the atmosphere will not have consequences.

    Dr Curry is right to highlight uncertainty, she is also to be supported in her quest for reconciliation. That means in first place the recognition that there is a problem. Environmental concerns regarding the air and water are valid and are not going to go away. Dumping waste products into the air and water is called pollution and this has consequences which must be addressed.

    • CO2 is not pollution.

    • It was the same community that stopped nuclear energy in its tracks in the 1970’s with a large amount of “anti-science” propaganda.

      Imagine where we could be now had that not happened.

    • “Environmental concerns regarding the air and water are valid and are not going to go away.”

      Of course they are valid. That is one of the sceptical points! Wasting energy and money on CO2 hysteria, will not reduce CO2 emissions and it will make valid concerns regarding the air and water “go away”. Reducing real polutants usualy results in increasing CO2 emissions, it is not free lunch.

      And even if we reduce CO2 emissions, it will (might) not significantly influence CO2 concentration. And even if we reduce CO2 emissions, it will not significantly influence natural climate changes. That is the point!

      • “…CO2 concentration, it will not significantly influence natural climate changes.”

      • I take it then that you are in favour of allowing CO2 emissions to increase?

      • It’ll be a bit warmer and the plants’ll grow better. What’s not to like?

        Plus as the sea comes up, it’ll be less far to the beach.

      • So ……how many people are you willing to leave in abject poverty?

        How many people would you have die in order to achieve your CO2 concentration goal (whatever it is)?

        How would you stop CO2 emissions without those small side effects?

        Tell me about it. I’m listening – but sceptically.

      • Will you deign to give some source for the assertion that reducing carbon emissions will kill and impoverish? Or is this an article of faith, and thus as far above the petty rules of evidence as is the triune nature of God, the omniscience of Brahman, and the sacred pipe of White Buffalo Calf Woman?

      • Tell me PDA, do you deny that there are NGO’s/environmentalists out there convincing Third World governments that they shouldn’t build coal plants to supply electricity to their people? And that they shouldn’t allow GM food or seed?

        If you deny that then you haven’t been paying attention. Try reading sometime.

        If you don’t deny that, then the question is answered because without electricity, there is no significant development, no education beyond the minimum, more disease, less food, less potable water – and therefore more poverty and death.

        If you can’t follow the logic, then you should try living in one of the poorer nations of the world for a while. It then becomes self-evident to even the densest of us.

      • the assertion that reducing carbon emissions will kill and impoverish
        It will increase the cost of power, thereby reducing what we can spend on other things. If this were not the case, people would do it of their own accord, and no coercion by government would be needed to achieve it.

      • It will increase the cost of power, thereby reducing what we can spend on other things.

        Good. Back up an assertion with another assertion. It’s turtles all the way down.

      • PDA,

        “It’s turtles all the way down.”

        You believe the earth is held up by Turtles too?? Must go with AGW.

      • CO2 emissions are irrelevant IMO. Natural CO2 scources and sinks are overwhelming. Even if our CO2 emissions had some significant influence on the “global” CO2 concentration, this concentration has no significant influence on the “global” average temperature. Evidence for this is overwhelming.

  53. In the UK, we have the Global Warming Policy Foundation, (stated aim: to challenge “extremely damaging and harmful policies” envisaged by governments attempting to mitigate anthropogenic global warming) which claims that it receives no money from energy companies – http://www.thegwpf.org/

    Its accounts show that £8,168 of its £503,302 income for 2010 came from members. This suggests that it has 80 members, which is small compared to its ability to lobby. It also has former UK Chancellor Nigel Lawson as director, who is considered a world class political debator.

    http://mitigatingapathy.blogspot.com/

  54. Heartland, Cato, and the George C. Marshall Institutes (and throw in Heritage, Fox News, National Review, talk radio and the Internet), promote skeptical views of the CAGW. I don’t care if every cent they received came from big evil oil, their combined efforts are minuscule compared to exposure of the pro-CAGW megaphones.

    Compare their influence and exposure to ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, L.A. Times, the London Times, BBC, the UK Met Office, Time, Newsweek, AP, UPI, Reuters, Nature, Journal of Climate, the National Academy of Science, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, two major Hollywood movies, the UN IPCC, the U.S. EPA, and the governments of virtually every European country, not to mention the curriculum of almost every grade school, high school and university. Every single one of them preaching the CAGW gospel in lock step for over a decade.

    The problem for the climate activists isn’t that they are being outspent. It is that they are blind to the weaknesses in their own arguments. From surface temperature records, to climate models, to paleo climate, there are significant disputes and uncertainties in all of these areas. The public just hasn’t been sold on the desperate need to radically alter society based on claims of a purported “scientific consensus.”

    It ain’t the messengers, it’s the message.

    • Agreed, it’s the message. Scientists “on the warm side” or as you say climate activists still do not seem to get it. They are not aware it’s nature they’re running against.
      Even if we see definite evidence of global cooling in the next decade (including the last one), sea ice increase and even sea level drop or CO2 concentration decline, they will still be parroting their message.

  55. It is a shame that Judith decided to waste bandiwdth on this anti-science tripe.

    Ad hom, ad verc, ad hoc, ad cons, ad bacc … regular ad agency you got going here Judith. That is the point though, isnt it?

    • I agree it is anti-science tripe. The idea that the integrity of scientists with a skeptical point of view should constantly be called into question because in some shape form or manner they receive oil money while many of those doing the accusing also receive oil money is hypocritical to put it politely. You probably agree with me that those putting forth such accusations should either provide real evidence to support these claims on an individual basis or make public apologies. Or isn’t this what you meant?

      • If you want specific examples with evidence you can read “Merchants of Doubt” or “Climate Cover Up”. But then the comment by Chris Colose which Judith quoted was attacking libertarian think tanks not skeptical climate scientists.
        I agree though that it is wrong to make sweeping accusations about the integrity of scientists – it would be nice if some of the skeptics would remember this.

      • I always use the word ‘some’ when casting doubt upon climate scientists integrity and abilities. I’m sure that there are some good ones hidden away out there and wouldn’t want to upset them.

        I’m sure you will agree that this covers your point.

      • I think both sides need to remember it. But as far as the books go could I get a readers digest version of actual evidence? Or are we just going to say: look they got money and they don’t agree with us so they are lying? I’m not interested in foolish unsupported claims. Certainly by now there would be a letter to a non-skeptic offering money for services that were offered by mistake or at least some form of real evidence that it is happening at all much less what should actually be presented: real evidence regarding specific individuals.

      • Making any comment on a post like this is to participate on one side or the other of a virtual Rorschach exam.

  56. Dear Dr. Curry,

    I sometimes come away from your blog with tears of relief in my eyes. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I’m a progressive Democrat for the most part. My friends and family tend to be as well. It’s lonely being a “climate denier” and deeply, deeply frustrating. Your courage, integrity, and fairness mean a great deal to many of us on this side of the debate.

    All I can do is say, “thank-you.”

    Pokerguy

    • Dear Poekerguy,

      Don’t feel lonely. I am not American, but if I was, I would probably be a very progressive Democrat for the most part. I know the frustration.

      Another “thank-you” for Dr. Curry!

  57. When will they get it? Well, at least it’s good to see that Judith understands.
    The reason skepticism is increasing is nothing to do with those ‘think tanks’, which, like Latimer Alder, I never hear about except when the activists rant about them and attack them (foolishly giving them publicity).
    The reasons skepticism is increasing include the misleading exaggeration of global warming by people like Lacis, combined with their use of fake analogies like tobacco.

    • “The reasons skepticism is increasing include the misleading exaggeration of global warming by people like Lacis, combined with their use of fake analogies like tobacco.”

      Exactly! They are forcing it, but the feedbacks are strongly negative.

    • PaulM,
      Part of the problem the believers face is that they cannot accept that their wonderful shiny belief is called out for pile of garbage it is by a bunch people they know they are better than.

  58. I’ve never received a penny from anyone for my anti-AGW cult efforts and fully expect I never will. So no danger of anyone cutting off my funding if I express a dissenting but honestly held opinion.

    On balance, I think I prefer it that way.

    Pointman

  59. If Andy Lacis wants reasonable rational people to subscribe to his view of a fast approaching Armageddon when the predictions generated by complex computer models include …

    Values for predicted sea level rise over the course of this century typically range from 90 to 880 mm, with a central value of 480 mm. (Wikipedia)

    … then he’s going to have to present a convincing refutation of Balázs M. Fekete’s reasonable and easy to understand numbers and conclusion:

    Someday, mankind will need to move to renewable energy sources (unless nuclear is widely endorsed), but that transition needs to be well planned. Acting in panic mode will probably do more damage than good. (Balázs M. Fekete at Pielke, Sr.,) http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/a-guest-post-some-back-of-the-envelope-calculations-about-energy-by-balazs-m-fekete/

    • Refresh my memory.

      Unless I am wrong in my sums, 480 mm is about 19 inches in real money. So the predicted rise in sealevel over a century is just over a foot and a half. Big friggin’ deal.

      For comparison, I looked up the rise for the last century and it was 200 mm – about 8 inches. Since we all managed to deal with last century’s 8 inch rise without actually noticing, I am really hard pushed to understand how anybody can consider that an extra 10 inches is going to lead to global catastrophe and the extinction of humanity as we know it – or other such alarmist twaddle.

      Can somebody (Sarah would be good) please explain. Coz I am baffled.Tx.

      • Sea level rise over the last century is officially estimated at about 180mm, or 7 inches. However, this is an “absolute” estimate that measures – glossing over some large uncertainties in the process – how much sea levels have risen relative to the center of the earth. If we measure sea level rise relative to the earth’s coastline, which is a much more robust and useful metric, we get only about 4 inches, with most of this rise occurring before 1950.

        There’s also no evidence to suggest that AGW had anything to do with sea level rise in the 20th century. Sea levels have been rising at or around current rates since at least 1870, but man-made greenhouse gases didn’t begin to have a significant forcing impact until about 1970. And since 1970 there has been no correlation between GHGs and sea level rise, or at least none that I can see.

        FWIW, I predict four inches of sea level rise in the 21st century, the same as what we got in the 20th.

      • I don’t need to invest in extra high wellies quite yet then?

      • Maybe in 2350

      • Don´t worry about it Latimer, it is as you so eloquently say- all twaddle. What difference does it make if the sea levels rise by such a piddling amount? Apart from being an indication that the planet is actually warming, there is no evidence according to the sceptic side that this has anything to do with rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. In fact rising CO2 concentrations are in fact proven to be beneficial to plant growth and the higher the CO2, the better, because crops will flourish because of it and provide abundant food to feed humanity. You know all this, you know with absolute certainty that the theory of AGW is flat out wrong and that the changes to our climate system are entirely due to natural variability. You must be so tired of pointing this out to those dimwit alarmists who just don´t seem to `get it´. But it must also be a constant source of amusement to you to see them so worked up and concerned.

        The sceptics are clearly winning the debate – there is no need for policy decisions that would seek to deprive us of our fossil fuelled lifestyle. You know that having a bigger, more pumped up car, for instance, will benefit the poor, because they too long for things like big pumped up cars and why should we deny them and subject them to a life of catching buses or god forbid, walking, when they too can have oil to burn, provided of course that their governments will subsidize this commodity through taxation. I don´t believe you actually want to cough up your hard earned money to help them out of poverty- and indeed why should you.

        You are not baffled at all- you are just being coy. You know you are right and the cAGWers are wrong. End of argument. The climate is nothing to do with us and you know full well that there is no cause for concern that a mere 10 inches of sea level rise will lead to global catastrophe or the extinction of anything at all, least of all humanity. It is simply a natural process and we can blithely ignore the doom mongering treehugging lying warmist scientists who are only trying to achieve world domination through deceptive practices, and it is just as well that the world has clever people like you who see through this sham.

        You must be pleased to learn that the US House of Representatives are planning to cut funding for climate research, we clearly do not need any more information on future climate scenarios as we already know that all the current information is too uncertain to be of any value anyway and is therefore a complete waste of money. It is also heartening to know that the temperature record will be put into the safe hands of the Koch foundation at the Berkely project, which can be guaranteed to be impartial and unbiased and will no doubt show that the temperature record has indeed been tampered with by the alarmist warmist scientists and will likely prove beyond all shadow of doubt that there has been no warming, but rather a slight cooling.

        I am relieved to bow to your greater wisdom that there is no cause for concern on this issue.

        I am however, a tad concerned about rising food prices that are apparently the result of the recent extreme weather events around the world that have adversely affected harvests and have left millions of people vunerable to starvation. But I guess that won´t affect you will it?

      • I think you’d be shocked at how much truth there is in your comment – and how much nonsense. The problem is – I don’t think you know which is which.

        But the saddest part is –
        I am however, a tad concerned about rising food prices that are apparently the result of the recent extreme weather events around the world that have adversely affected harvests and have left millions of people vunerable to starvation.

        – that I don’t think you understand how your own proposed solutions would leave hundreds of millions vulnerable to disease and starvation. Or that those extreme weather events you bemoan are nothing new – or that the only defence against those “extreme weather events” is a better infrastructure. Which in turn, REQUIRES the energy consumption, and thus CO2 production, that you want to shut down.

      • Dear Jim Owen,

        Firstly, why would I be shocked at how much truth there is in my comment? I think it sums up the `denialist´ `side´ pretty accurately- Perhaps you would be kind enough to enlighten me as to what is truth and what is nonsense as I don´t appear to know the difference in your opinion.

        With reference to our previous exchange; I asked if you were in favour of allowing CO2 emissions to increase. You contested with the question- how many people would I be willing to leave in poverty or die by pursuing a `concentration goal´ (whatever that is.) Highlighting clearly that you believe that any attempt to stabilize emissions would of necessity disable attempts to bring people out of poverty, as development is so dependant on the use of fossil fuels. I don´t doubt that electricity, infrastructure, transport etc are vital to reduce poverty so I do not wish to argue that point.

        But I will take you up on your offer- of listening- albeit sceptically. I would not come to this forum if I did not want to engage with sceptics. I too am sceptic, but would like to qualify that term. I follow the debate with great interest- I read the science and I read the blogs. I have I have more than a passing interest in keeping up to date with the issue of AGW as I am an elected official in local government and head a commission on the environment.

        I am, what I believe is termed- convinced by the science: I understand that it is a fact that human activity is altering the composition of the atmosphere and that this has the potential of affecting the climate in the long term, possibly adversely. I understand that the physics behind the hypothesis is sound, and further understand that there is a great deal of uncertainty in predicting how the climate will respond to the atmospheric alterations of GHG concentrations. I accept the mainstream view that climate sensitivity is high and that doubling concentrations of GHGs will lead to global temperature rises of between 2º to 4º C, taking into account the positive feedback mechanisms. I also accept that this might be an underestimation rather than an overestimation and recognise that this is still contested by a few prominent climate scientists.

        I reject arguments that state that increased CO2 concentrations will be good for plant life: see: Latimer Alder | February 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm
        “It’ll be a bit warmer and the plants’ll grow better. What’s not to like?
        Plus as the sea comes up, it’ll be less far to the beach.”

        as it fails (miserably) to take into account the other factors that affect plant growth such as temperature, water availability and soil health. Given that CO2 concentrations are higher, it would appear that this claim of Latimer Adler´s is false, as we are currently experiencing a world wide food crisis due to extreme weather events such as drought and flooding- which has resulted in reduced harvests and has put thousands of people at imminent risk of starvation. Those people who are most at risk are the poorest. No doubt if they had had the infrastructures that we have in place in developed countries, thanks in no small part to the use of fossil fuels, they would be less vunerable.

        I concur with the idea that the poorest of the world are the most vunerable to disruptive climatic events and that those of us who reap the benefits of industrialized modern society are well buffered, therefore attempts to alleviate poverty should be in aiding the most vunerable to develop and thus become more resilient. I totally support the plan to increase aid to developing countries and believe that rich Western countries should put their money where their mouth is and act on this, rather than simply wheeling out `the poor´ as an excuse for non action, whilst maintainning that CO2 is going to bring agricultural benefits by increasing plant growth. This is too cynical for my taste. “Buy a big SUV and benefit the poor” reeks of derision.

        The argument of the so called `sceptics´ that action to stabilize emissions is going to affect the poor is always one of the most strident objections to action on climate change.

        No-one ever openly admits that it is corporate profit that will be adversely affected. It is always; the poor, the economy, jobs etc that are hailed as at risk, but the risk that is the danger to profits of the corporate elite is glossed over and yet, becomes blindingly obvious when one studies the arguments of the right-wing-think-tanks such as those mentioned above.

        You say

        “..that I don’t think you understand how your own proposed solutions would leave hundreds of millions vulnerable to disease and starvation. Or that those extreme weather events you bemoan are nothing new – or that the only defence against those “extreme weather events” is a better infrastructure. Which in turn, REQUIRES the energy consumption, and thus CO2 production, that you want to shut down.”

        As to your idea of what you think my proposed solutions are: I would like to remind that I have not put forward any proposed solutions. I am primarily concerned with achieving recognition of the problem by everybody concerned so that we may get on with the business of addressing that problem to the advantage of everyone concerned. The problem being- the effects of likely climate disruption through the alteration of the atmosphere by human activity

        Agriculture and thus food production depends on the climate first and foremost. Even while concurring that the climate is variable, we have been able to develop and prosper and form civilsations during this relatively benign climate condition called the Holocene. The probable continuation of a benign climate is being called into question, and as CO2 rises the likelihood of more severe disruption rises with it. That is of great concern.

        As far as proposed solutions go I would like to start with the idea of increased energy efficiency. Broadly, this would reduce emissions by saving energy.

        But it would also reduce corporate profit

      • Sarah Jones,

        I only wish to address one issue now:
        “I reject arguments that state that increased CO2 concentrations will be good for plant life: see: Latimer Alder | February 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm”

        Your rejection is a little hasty. There is no research that shows noticeable degradation of most plants from increases in CO2 over 1000PPM. Increased CO2 allows plants to have smaller stomatal pores. This allows less evapotranspiration making them more resistant to high temperatures, drought, and lower temps. In numerous laboratory and real world experiments it has been shown that this is not theoretical. It is REAL. It has contributed to the greening of the earth and to the large outputs from agriculture that has been able to keep up with feeding the world.

        In this respect even if we did increase temps by 4c over 100 years we would have no problems as the increased hardiness of the plants would counteract the totally minor temperature effects. Here is a link to a plant growth data base:

        http://www.co2science.org/data/plant_growth/plantgrowth.php

        There are those here who will tell you the Idsos, who run the site, misrepresent the papers. I would recommend that you read the papers themselves if you are uncertain and come here or find others to help you understand them if needed.

        I would also suggest that you check current greenhouse technology where they routinely use 1000ppm to increase speed of growth and total mass of plants. It would be hard to believe so many people waste so much money on CO2 enrichening systems of they do not get a payoff!!

        http://www.bing.com/search?q=greenhouse+co2+systems&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IE8SRC

      • There is no research that shows noticeable degradation of most plants from increases in CO2 over 1000PPM.

        That’s a good point. Unfortunately, the last time there was that much CO2 in the atmosphere was in the late Cretaceous, with average temps about 30° warmer than today’s, most of the ice caps melted, dinosaurs wandering around Alaska, etc. So there could be, um, other problems in addition to just higher CO2.

      • PDA,

        as I explicitly stated I only wanted to address her rejection of CO2 being beneficial to plants.

        As you have stated:

        “So there could be, um, other problems in addition to just higher CO2.”

        it would behoove you to explain your vague comment as what you have stated is the equivalent of a Witch Doctor mumbling about evil in the air.

      • And it would behoove you to read what you’re commenting on. As Ms. Jones “explicitly stated,” merely focusing on CO2 does not “take into account the other factors that affect plant growth such as temperature, water availability and soil health.”

        Also… perhaps you should not meddle in the affairs of witch doctors, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

      • PDA,

        as usual your illiterate responses are non-sequiturs. I explicitly pointed out that increased CO2 buffers plants from drought and heat. The observations shown in the papers exhibit much more hardiness in limited minerals environment.

        You really need to get out more.

      • CO2 is taken up by plants, broken down and combined with H2O to produce carbohydrates which we call food. This not in dispute.

        Other factors are however, vital for plant health. Commercial growers, who use CO2 to boost plant growth are very careful to keep all the other factors at an optimum. Particularly temperature.

        If you were correct in your assumption that CO2 alone is responsible for optimum plant growth then 2010 should have produced a worldwide bumper harvest due to elevated concentrations of CO2.

        It did not- in fact- harvests have failed all around the world. We are most categorically not feeding the world.

        This should lead you to perhaps rethink you assertion that elevated CO2 will `green the Earth´ and to consider what other factors might have come into play, and why.

        As to your assertion that plants adapt to new climatic conditions by altering stomata. I think you will find that the rate of adaption of plants, particularly those plants which we use as food, is at a slower rate than that of the current rate of warming.

        If the world continues to warm at the present rate and if extreme weather events detrimental to agriculture, such as drought and flooding, persist or even increase then we run a high risk of increased food insecurity.

        Do please feel free to dispute the science in support of your “increasing -CO2- emissions- are-beneficial- to plants- agenda.”

        But please do not even try to suggest that the present situation is somehow not REAL, or that it does not give rise to grave concerns which must be addressed.

      • Sarah,

        and during the dustbowl I should attribute the lack of plant growth to a lack of CO2 also??

        If you check, there were unseasonable COLD periods, floods and I believe some other minor issues. I woudl recommend that you talk to some experts on your own side before trying to attribute WEATHER to what is being discussed here.

        With a lower CO2 level the disasters we had this last year and this year would have been worse. Now, please go talk to the Pielkes and others as to exactly how muh EXTREME WEATHER can be blamed on increased CO2 levels.

      • You are almost there, Sarah, but you do not yet realize it.
        Now if you can just stop reading certifiably kooks who think the recent food prices are due to CO2, you might just make the break through you so desperately need.

      • Ah dear Hunter- your patronising tone does little for your credibility. Which `certifiably kooks´ do you suggest I stop reading? Those who link extreme weather events to man made global warming? Or those who fail to see the obvious connexion?

        Are you perhaps suggesting I need to misunderstand the link between cause and effect, so basic to our scientific understanding of the world, and inhabit some magical place where actions have no consequences, in order to make the breakthrough that I , in your considered opinion, so desperately need?

        What universe are we inhabiting here that looks so much like `One Flew over the Cuckoo´s nest´? A rational one or a magical one?

        You may think it necessary to compromise the science in exchange for political expediency. I however, do not. So please inflict your misplaced concern on someone or something more deserving.

      • @sarah jones

        ‘What difference does it make if the sea levels rise by such a piddling amount?’

        Well, that’s the question I keep on asking…and nobody has yet given me anything approaching a convincing answer. Since this is supposed to be one of the dreadful consequences of global warming that must be prevented at all costs, I still want to see a convincing case that anybody need give a tinkers cuss about it.

        Whereas I thin it is a small inconvenience, you are of the opinion that it would be a major disaster. The difference is that I have presented some evidence for my views. Yours – like all other alarmists – are simply asserted.

        Similarly CO2 leading to warming. Frequently asserted by alarmists, but no actual evidence that it is the case. Elsewhere a noble researcher has bored himself stupid trying to find it in IPCC AR4, and failed. The best that anybody can come up with is that any such evidence doesn’t need to be referenced because ‘it is everywhere’.

        I hope I will not show my age if I recall the Top Ten hit of the Sixties
        ‘Everywhere and Nowhere’. But that seems to be the sum total of the actual evidence for CO2 warming, however much anybody likes to assert otherwise.

        FYI – and despite your unpleasant remarks – I do not own any form of motorised transport. I use a pushbike and public transport. And earn my living on the London Buses.

      • <i.Similarly CO2 leading to warming. Frequently asserted by alarmists, but no actual evidence that it is the case.

        …whether atmospheric gases such as CO2 (and H20, CH4, and others) warm the planet is not an issue where skepticism is plausible.

      • PDA,

        physics also shows that an oxyacetylene torch will boil away water very quickly, unless that water happens to be a tidal wave. Saying the physics shows it is a quite empty assertion.

      • My point was that however attractive a theory may be, until it has been experimentally determined to be actually true in practice, it remains a theory only (This is basic scientific method FFS, or was when I was at University just before the birth of climatology as a ‘science’).

        And in the rush to blame carbon dioxide as the sole cause of any observed warming, actually proving this essential step in the argument has been neglected (if you are charitable), or avoided (if you are not).

        And though I have a high regard for Judith in many ways, that does not mean that I need to agree with her on every point. This is not RC where participation is permitted only so long as you are compliant and complicit with the blogistas views.

        But even in the remark you quote, all she says is that greenhouse gases have a warming effect. She does not attempt to quantify that, nor place particular blame on one gas or another for all or any of the observed (adjusted) warming. I have no reason to doubt that she is right and that such an effect does exist.

        But until some actual work is done on the structural foundation of the whole theory – some definite proof that CO2 is responsible for all the warming that has been reported, then all other conclusions drawn by further reasoning from this are dodgy at best and invalid at worst. And I reserve my position as a sceptic of the attribution until that work is done.

        PS – arguing that lots an lots of clever people believe it to be true, that there is a consensus. that everybody knows it to be true, that I am ‘denying’ something or whatever handwaving you may wish to come up with to avoid discussing the evidence issue will cut little ice.

        As was so well described by Hans Christian Andersen, the Emperor has No Clothes. Show me the evidence.

      • If you were to bestir yourself to read the link, you’d see where Dr. Curry provides sources for sites that “provide empirical evidence for the existence of the greenhouse effect.” Is this evidence incorrect? If so, how? What would be an example of a piece of evidence that you would find convincing?

        I invite you to consider that you may not have found evidence because you haven’t specified what that evidence would look like.

      • I already said that I had no reason to believe that Judith was wrong. Nor do I suggest that there is no greenhouse effect.

        My question was, and remains, about the attribution of observed warming solely to the greenhouse effect caused by CO2, which is a much sharper and more difficult point.

        Arrhenius way back when made some estimates based on physics. Others have added an idea of feedback/sensitivity to amplify that effect.

        But nobody afaik has actually done the work to prove that the physics of the test tube actually scales up to atmospheric level without any other factors coming into play.

        At least, if such work has been done, it isn’t referenced anywhere by the IPCC in AR4.

        Which is a big failing. And as one who started as a theoretical chemist but moved into ever more practical matters after that – solving real problems and making them work, I know that great theories often underpin great practical applications. But that there is a world of difference and complexity between showing something in a lab – or on a drawing board or in a computer model – and making the self same thing work out there in the real world.

        Climate theory seems to me to be one of the biggest ‘scales up’of theory to practice it is possible for us to dabble in. That this essential step as not been done amazes me.

        Judith writes elsewhere that she believed all the stuff the IPCC told her because everybody else she worked with believed it – not because she had studied the raw science, And when it was found wanting she was shocked and disillusioned. I think the attribution of CO2 is one of those that everybody knows about, but nobody has actually seen.

        If you have evidence that the work has been done, please present it. Proposing a reading list and saying ‘I’m sure its in there somewhere’ would not be very helpful. A definite link to one of the most important (the most important?) paper in climatology would be better.

      • My question was, and remains, about the attribution of observed warming solely to the greenhouse effect caused by CO2

        And your question did, and continues to, indicate that you don’t have any clue what you are talking about. How on Earth did you come up with the idea that “the attribution of observed warming [is] solely to the greenhouse effect caused by CO2?”

        And if you’re not going to bother to read links provided by Dr. Curry, why should I waste my time finding more links you won’t read? Come on. If you’re going to troll, at least be a little creative with it…

      • ‘How on Earth did you come up with the idea that “the attribution of observed warming [is] solely to the greenhouse effect caused by CO2?”

        Umm. Becasue that is standard AGW theory. All of the reported warming is attributed to CO2 afaik.

        If there is some other piece of work that says something like

        ‘Of the reported warming we attribute

        10% (0,06C) to cause A
        25% (0.15C) to cause B
        15% (0.09C) to cause C and
        50% (0.30C) to carbon dioxide’

        I;d be delighted to see it.

        But nobody can tell me where it is.

        The best argument I have yet heard for the 100% CO2 attribution is

        ‘we can’t think of anything else it can be’

        which is a long long long way from any experimental proof of this relationship.

        And this is a very important omission.

        I;m not averse to going through reading lists about the existence of a greeenhouse effect, but as I have tried to explain, I don’t doubt its existence. But I am looking for the experimental proof that it works that way in practice. Which seems to have been omitted.

        Way back when I was a grad student in Chemistry, I wrote some primitive computer models about atmospheric recation kinetics of ozone and methane and other stuff under the influence of strong radiation in the high atmosphere. The models were great and I was very proud of them. And as nearly as I could get them, they matched the theory. Trouble was that the pesky experiments showed that the atmosphere didn’t actually behave that way at all. There was something else going on. Great models – just wrong.

        Which is why I want to see some experimental proof of all the theory in practice in the big system we call climate.. Not just the theory.

      • Latimer, What difference do piddling amounts of sea level rise mean? (Piddling- I believe was my contribution!-yours was -frigging.)

        This is the question you keep asking, According to you it is insignificant. According to me , according to you, it would be a major disaster- despite the fact I have never actually said that.

        I simply state that sea level rise is an indication of warming. What´s more, sea level isn´t just rising , the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. Slowly but surely.

        I prefer to remain open minded as to the effects of accelerating sea level rise. You may or may not give `a tinker´s cuss´whatever that might mean. But it is entirely up to you what you do with the information.

        I remain concerned.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Sarah, you say “What´s more, sea level isn´t just rising , the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. Slowly but surely.” I fear you have been misled by the nattering nabobs of negativity. Please see here for a look at the deceleration in the rate of sea level rise.

        w.

      • Dear Willis. with all due respect I prefer to to get my information from qualified sources.

        You no doubt have `credible´ information that the planet is cooling, the permafrost is not melting, arctic ice is recovering, seasons are not changing, extreme weather events are not extreme , and can reassure that the benign climate fairy will make everything come all right in the end.

        The problem is Willis, that I do not believe you. I am a sceptic, and what´s more I have been warned against accepting the assertions of `kooks´.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        I, like you, prefer to get my information from qualified sources. So that’s what I did. In the web page I referred to, I list the source of the data, at CSU.

        If you would care to go get the data and plot it yourself (or just look at the graphs on the page) you can see that the trend has been decreasing. This decrease has been verified as being real by Cazenaves et al.

        You truly should look at two things, Sarah. The first, as you point out, is the actual data. When you make foolish statements about increasing sea level rise, when in fact the original data show that the rate of rise is decreasing, people just point and laugh. I doubt if that is your intention.

        The second is your attitude. I try to point you to the original data, and you want to abuse me …

        You’d get further if you opined less, looked more at the data, and cut back on the attitude. People here are happy to assist you. But when you make simplistic claims that are easily shown to be untrue, and then want to get aggro when people point that out … well, people stop paying attention, except to chuckle at your naiveté. I don’t want that. You don’t want that.

        w.

      • Sarah,

        here is the University of Colorado at Boulder Sea Level page. Pick any of the 4 charts to peruse. In the last 4 years they have DECREASED from a 3.4mm/yr to a 3.2mm/yr and a 3.2mm/yr to a 3.0mm/yr. Of course, you can take the negative view that we have an INCREASED trend from 20 years ago, but, which hand do you want to hold the water?

        That is some really strange acceleration where the TREND IS DECREASING.

        Of course, like the Antarctic warming, when the trend is stretched long enough we can see a significant warming from decades ago spread over current decades minimal warming.

      • Your point? I am sure you are trying to make one, but all that you said seems a little contradictory….

      • Sea level rise – from the source –
        http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

        As for Willis, he’s quite qualified. Nor is he a “kook”, although you might qualify for that designation. If you haven’t figured that out, then you haven’t been paying attention.

        And finally, real skeptics “check the numbers” before using them. You’re not a sceptic at all, just a parrot for others, who have their own agenda.

      • Sarah,

        Why would I have a point when you are obviously only here to disparage others and claim absolute veracity of your side?

        http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/index.htm

      • Sarah

        Firstly the indications seem to be that sealevel rise is not accelerating at all. If anything the rate at which it is rising has been decreasing over the last few years.

        Secondly you are clearly concerned about this. But, assuming that you are not suffering form a nervous disease (if so I sympathise), people are usually concerned about some practical aspect of this. Being concerned about something without being able to articulate your concern is not going to get very far. What, exactly, casues you the concern?

        Projections even from ths IPCC show that by the end of your lifetime, (assuming that you are still young) sealevel will have risen by a little less than 18″. That’s about five rows of standard UK housebricks laid normally with mortar. Or the depth of one housebrick every twenty years.

        Thinking as hard as I can, I really really can’t come up with any good reasons to worry too much about this effect. An inconvenience and a nuisance certainly. But so are a zillion other things.

        Not a big deal, unless somebody can come up with really bad things that I haven’t noticed. So far, asking this question pretty regularly, they haven’t.

  60. There is another answer:
    1) Libertarians and libertarian theory are economic disciplines with economic history that they rely upon for judgement. Economics is a chaotic and mathematically rigorous discipline. It also consists of a long and deep history of narratives and logic within the history ideas.

    2) Libertarians have, and continue, to represent the branch of logic that advocates that economic models are not predictive. Not only that they are not predictive, but that they CANNOT be predictive. Not only that they cannot be predictive but that statistical analysis is only relevant to closed systems – and economies, due to innovation, the plasticity of utility of resources, and changing human wants, renders categorical forecasting impossible. This logical framework is supported by the fact that economic models are in fact, not predictive. And this is one of the issues with current political methods: that we rely upon economic models for policy purposes despite the fact that they are decidedly not predictive.

    3) External entities with economic interests fund libertarian institutions because they are disposed to view government solutions as detrimental to the economy, and because libertarians are naturally hostile to models which purport to be predictive. They are highly agitated because of the rapid increase in external competitive forces run by non-market governments, and their advantage is being weakened by both external competition and an increasingly academically unprepared and uncompetitive work force.

    4) Libertarians do not generally take the position that AGW is true or false. Their position is that (a) the AGW models are highly questionable, (b) there are alternative explanations that seem more probable, and certainly that previous climate movements to date have been false, and (c) even if AGW is true, that the solution is to create a green social movement rather than a system of increased taxation.

    The current green movement is working.

    It has become a generationally dominant social value. People will not pay for the long term, whether it is saving, retirement, health care. They will not pay for what they suspect.

    The AGW movement will do far better and make better progress if it does not seek legislation and in fact, actively does NOT seek legislation, but eschews legislation. This will make it more acceptable. Otherwise all libertarians and conservatives hear is that it is an excuse to fund abusive government. It is hard for liberals to understand that they are the minority of 20%, and that libertarians are the thought leadership of the conservative party, and while they, like convicted marxists, are a minority, they provide the thought leadership of the majority and are more likely to, and have consistently created, more conservative policies – ie: policies that do not empower government to make economic decisions.

    We are in a period of economic and cultural and even political uncertainty. Until we exit this period (which according to economic history, may or may not ever happen) people will have nearer term priorities. They will not be charitable to future generations in the face of current circumstances of decline and uncertainty.

    • “Libertarians have, and continue, to represent the branch of logic that advocates that economic models are not predictive”, LOL—that is a silly, inaccurate statement. Libertarians have a wide variety of views and many use models for a variety of reasons.

      Libertarians like government to have as minimal a role as reasonably possible in individual’s lives. Where government plays a role, they would like government to be as efficient and effective as possible.

      Please look again at the proposed “mitigation policies”. Do you think it makes sense to spend $1.5 Trillion to “potentially” save the world from getting .008 C warmer??? How does this makes sense for the United States?

      • RE: “Libertarians have a wide variety of views and many use models for a variety of reasons.”

        If so, then name them. And then demonstrate that they use the for prediction versus for description of causal relation, and for the purpose of testing assumptions derived from data. Or are you saying “people with libertarian sentiments” instead of “libertarian social scientists practicing in the field of economics”. I’m pretty sure you’re stating the former and I the latter. And by that criteria my argument stands against the topic of this article: 1) Libertarian think tanks that are hired to debunk AGW are populated by economists or at least individuals with significant economic training. 2) Their position is that Economic models are not predictive, and that models of complexity are highly questionable human activities. 3) evidence is that economic models are not predictive. 4) the corpus of intellectual thought from Keynes (ATOP) through recent populists such as Taleb, warn that probability may not apply to economic models, or (Taleb) that economic probabilism creates systemic fragility. If you think otherwise, then cite something to the contrary and I’ll happily refute it. The best anyone in the field can do is say ‘but we have no better tools’. They will not say that the models are predictive. They are not. So much so that there have been calls for forcing the Nobel committee to withdraw a number of nobel prizes for awarding probabilism in economics, because of the damage done to the economy by the use of probabilism to justify complex financial instruments. The best current models can do is expose informational asymmetry. That is it. For investment reasons that may be sufficient. For policy reasons it creates systemic economic vulnerability.

        RE: “mitigation policies”: It makes sense to make the world a cleaner place. It makes sense that the USA will be significantly poorer in the future relative to the rest of the world. It makes sense that there are many priorities to choose from. It makes no sense to ask a question like “the value of spending 1.6T” without also listing EVERY OTHER USE of 1.6t”. So the logic of your question somewhat invalidates the question. But then that’s the purpose of political discourse: to argue for the preference of your ambitions over the preference of the ambitions of others.

        The real question is: why don’t people believe AGW advocates? And given their obviously political behavior, why should they? They may not be able to judge the data. They may not be able to sense atmospheric composition. But they can sense a charlatan.

      • Curt,

        you ask Rob to support his assertions then you turn around and make a series of unsupported assertion yourself.

        Nope, I am not asking you to support them and will not support Rob’s. Just pointing out the silliness. I do the same thing at times.

      • @kuhnkat,
        Thank you. Although technically, I defined a class, and I made a statement applicable to the entire class. Therefore I am pretty sure that, again, technically, names are not required since the definition effectively includes all potential members of the class. Since I cannot list all members of the class, the argument is easily attacked by finding one or more members of the class that do not fit the criteria. Anyway, thanks for commenting. :)

      • Rob,

        Where do you get the figure of 0.08C from?

      • Sorry, 0.008C

  61. Latimer Alder — “I’d have more sympathy with this view if I had actually ever heard of the George C Marshall Institute and the Heartland Corporation…”

    Let me remind you of where you read about them a year or so ago, Latimer…

    Guardian: Victory for openness as IPCC climate scientist opens up lab doors – by Fred Pearce. 9 February 2010 (link to one of your own comments there)

    To quote from the article…

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Frederick Seitz, a physicist who headed the US National Academy of Sciences backed in the 1960s and later chaired the right-wing George C Marshall Institute, accused Santer of “the most disturbing corruption of the peer-review process” in 60 years.

    The most unpleasant – and certainly for Santer most disturbing – language came from the Global Climate Coalition, a body representing the interests of the American oil and automobile industries.
    [...]
    Douglass persisted and produced a new version of his findings, published online at the International Journal of Climatology just over a year later in December 2007. It was widely publicised. Fox News reported it. Douglass told the National Press Club in Washington DC that it was “an inconvenient truth” about climate change, which proved that “nature rules the climate. Human-produced greenhouse gases are not responsible for global warming.” The right-wing Heartland Institute took up the argument.

    I trust your memory is refreshed.

    • I guess that I don’t have a photographic memory like you do. But now I know that you remember every word that you have ever read – or expect others to.

      But I’m deeply flattered that you found it necessary to scour every page of the Guardian CiF to find an article where you say I made a comment. And that another comment on the same thread mentioned these institutes. I can Perhaps it was a rainy afternoon and there wasn’t much on the telly for you.

      BTW – no point in looking further at CiF. I’m barred there for reasons I know not, but probably to do with daring to question AGW orthodoxy. Comment is Free must be a post-modern ironic title.

  62. I don’t understand why you seem to continue to fix the parameters of discussion in advance, Judith.

    There is alot more to following the influence of money than ‘funding.

    And it helps to recognize the need to pragmatically assess the quality of information and sources, if nothing else.

    Take Heartland, for example. Thanks for the link. As the link and its links document, Heartland extensively distributes and circulates their own and others’ right-wing policy position ‘reports’ on climate change, to government, the press, and over the internet. They have no scientists with climate knowledge on their staff. They do not disclose their corporate funders anymore. The newsletter is headed by an admitted plagiarist with no oversight of the accuracy of data or expert quotes. They circulate and lobby using not only their own material, but material from other conservative lobby groups tied to big corporations – such as the Hudson Institute. The assorted groups’ funders are an industry Who’s Who. Most have Board members who are directors of corporate affairs for the industries that give some money to them. Etc.

    I’m afraid I can’t ignore evidence of the type, but also extent, of influence. Obviously, the net result is not proportional to the size of grant money –it is proportional to the net influence of the associated and cumulative market interests of the assorted companies that provide grants. Even someone with no media insight or math skills can appreciate this, at a common sense level.

    The net result of grants to science is also a very interesting and complicated calculation, and also involves interests. This, too, is documented, especially among academics who study science from the perspective of sociology of science and the bureaucratization of science in a capitalist economy. However, the basic economic analytics involve far more differences than similarities — not only in term of motivation, influence and results, but also with respect to the existence of effective control mechanisms.

    What you are left with once you appreciate the economics, is the claim that there is comparable ideological bias in the climate science community and that it is this ideological bias that has had signficant influence. Many people on the internet insist (note: insisting is not documenting) that the climate science ‘community’ is tied to socialism and/or the goal of world government. Since that’s just silly, I prefer instead to give serious consideration to the possibility of a more realistic type of bias. What is it? It’s not that scientists are tied to dominant industry. Are you saying climate science has been tied to … well, what? Tell me. And please be specific, and provide documentation and a coherent analysis. In America, the lobbying for diversification is increasingly driven by new companies and NGO’s, so why don’t we start with the obvious. What would you say is the economic and social extent of this? Given all the documentation of industry influence, in terms of circulation of capital as disinformation via media and also capital as money, the burden is on you to demonstrate the nature and extent of this secret ideology.

    You also offer links to books with analyses you continue to misrepresent. Yes, Shadow documents parallels with the tobacco lobby — but the parallel with climate change is largely in relation to propaganda techniques, not similar extent of massive funding of the tobacco lobby by industry giants — all well documented in this book, and many objective sources. However, as I have taken time to explain to you before, fFunding and propaganda are related but separate issues of analysis. Propaganda is now often more powerful than direct financing of interests. The book explains these things, as will any good book on modern propaganda. You continue to get it wrong, by focusing only on ‘funding’. It’s basic.

    Those who oppose action use a variety of propaganda techniques discussed in this and hundreds of other books on the topic. It is key to understanding the communications climate. It’s complex. The money, propaganda and interests at play, are only one aspect of having a coherent assessment of what’s going on, in addition to the science.

    Your blog is providing a rich international source of sociological examination of the nature of race/ class/ gender dynamics of climate change denial. The American internet media and its presentation of American social issues, dominates suspicion of climate change science.

    Those who do not accept the basic science have frequently cut and paste their ideas, often word for word, from websites that circulate pseudoscience from Heartland e.g. ClimateAudit, among many. I have looked at dozens of your threads, and this type of scientifically illiterate comment constitutes about 80% of your comments base. Maybe more, on non-technical threads.

    And a major demographic pattern (majority white male, often retired, often engineers) is strikingly evident. They frequently are very vocal in a defence of their class rights. Many clearly spend most of their time on the internet trying to prove they know more about the complexity of global climate climate scientists.

    The ‘arguments’ used by those who support you are almost all of this nature. They lack any objective credibility in the science. And since you show little to no insight into the relevance of these micro-level social dynamics (never mind bringing some breadth and depth to your understanding of the broader social and political context) I am concerned that you do not have much insight into the influences on your own thinking, for the purposes of discussion and resistance of propaganda. You might only be reproducing it. :-(

    • Here’s a diagram of some and how they interlink.

      ‘You are in a maze of twisty little think-tanks, all alike’

      • Unannotated diagram. No provenance. Not even pal-reviewed, let alone peer-reviewed.

        What is it supposed to be telling us? Why the IP addresses? What do the dashed lines mean? Why have you drawn it to our attention?

      • Gatekeeping LA?

      • ??

        Just asking sensible questions. Any replies?

      • So that’s a ‘no’ then.

        You posted a link to a diagram with no explanation, no commentary and not much attribution.

        Presumably you wanted to make some point or other. But point there is not.

    • ‘And since you show little to no insight into the relevance of these micro-level social dynamics (never mind bringing some breadth and depth to your understanding of the broader social and political context) I am concerned that you do not have much insight into the influences on your own thinking, for the purposes of discussion and resistance of propaganda’

      Is there going to be an English translation of your remarks?

      You lost me at ‘micro-level social dynamics’. But then, I’m just a Chemist turned IT guy. How should I be expected to follow sociology?

      • Latimer,

        I ran Martha’s comment through bablefish and here’s what I got:

        ” White guys bad and stupid–especially retired engineers. Martha good and really, really smart. Hundreds of books. ”

        Can’t make out that last exactly, but you know bablefish’s limitations.

      • I was just amazed that she can tell somebody’s race from a blog. But then she’s very good at learning things for us and vociferously pointing out the error of our ways. I feel well and truly told off for not doing exactly as I’m told.

        Funny that with all that expertise she hasn’t published her bio on Denizens so that we can all read about her many achievements. Or is Martha, like the Hearthtrob institute, such a household name in US that I really should know?

        There was a Martha Stewart, but wasn’t she caught out in some malarkey…not the same one , surely?

    • Sorry Martha, I don’t understand most of what you are talking about. Propaganda from Institutes like Heartland, how is this as massively influential, as you claim? How are the evil geniuses at places like Heartland so much smarter and effective than their counterparts at, say, Greenpeace? There are advocacy groups (propagandists, if you insist) on both sides of the issue. Somehow, only propagandists on one side of the issue are effective, the side that is contrary to the scientific consensus?

      • Judith- what is it you believe there is a scientific consensus regarding?
        1. that CO2 is a GHG–ok
        2. that science understands the basic physics of how additional CO2 would effect warming in a controlled system- ok
        3. that scientists generally agree that a given atmospheric percentage of CO2 will equate to a future average temperature- ???

      • Judith, it’s partially about the time and resources it takes to spread sophistry, misinformation and disinformation (not much), versus the time needed to be spent in refuting it (quite a lot at times). Have Heartland retracted their post attacking Huff Post, partly based on Harrison Schmitt’s two data point proof of sea ice recovery, for example?

      • Nope. their post on their website was mostly indignant about Gleick’s accusations.

      • Judith
        I really was serious is asking you to identify where a consensus existed in the science community TODAY regarding CO2. It appears to me that there is not a broad consensus today.

        1. There is consensus that CO2 is a GHG? (I’d say yes)
        2. There is consensus that additional atmospheric CO2 will lead to a warmer planet if all other factors remain unchanged. (not really possible, but in theory)
        3. Is there a consensus that a warmer planet is bad for humanity in the long term? I do not see how this could be true based on the current climate models

        It would be interesting (imo) to ask people what they believe there is a consensus regarding.

      • Asked and answered.

        I mean, if your questions have been rhetorical in nature, then I apologize for misconstruing them.

      • i have a forthcoming post on disagreement, which addresses this topic

      • Judith,

        The fact that there are advocacy groups on both sides does not neccessarily mean that they are equally effective or that their methods are equivalent. I don’t know if the influence of Heartland etc. is “massive” but it is not zero, and I think it is reasonable to question the effect it has on the public debate. Martha argues, and I would agree, that the information put out by Heartland is (to say the least) of highly dubious scientific merit and that it is often echoed uncritically around the skeptical blogosphere and in the media. If that is true then clearly that should be a concern because in a debate which is already extremely heated the dissemination of misinformation from any source can only hinder any attempt at real understanding and make any agreement between the two sides even less likely than it already is. There is also the point that it would further demonstrate (as if this wasn’t obvious already) that the claim made by some skeptics that the fault for the bad feeling between the two sides lies entirely with the pro-AGW scientists is false.

        So I find your apparent lack of real concern on the issue at best worring and at worst irresponsible. To just wave it away because there are also advocacy groups on the other side is missing the point and amounts to little more than whataboutery. I don’t doubt that there are fair criticisms that can be made of Greenpeace and WWF and if you want to devote a thread to discussing that then fine, but for me the issue here is not that advocacy per se is a bad thing or who spends the most money but that the tactics of any groups who have influence in the debate should be open to examination and judged in their own right regardless of the sins of others.

      • Andrew, the issue is this. Groups such as Heartland have a small impact. By all means, challenge them when they are wrong, such as Peter Gleick has done (which i publicized). However, pretending that this kind of stuff plays any kind of a major role in the conflict over the science or the policy results in the community pointing their arrows in the wrong direction. That is the point my article is trying to make.

      • Judith,

        Well I agree that such groups have little impact on the scientific arguments as they produce no material of any scientific merit, but I think you underestimate the influence they have on the public debate – especially Heartland with its NIPCC report and annual denialist bunfest.

    • Martha,
      At first I was very irritated by your continual pseudo-intellectual social science nonsense. Now I just find it hilarious and actually look out for your comments to have a bit of a giggle. This change of heart comes with the realization that you are actually serious about what you write. I have to tell you, I read out your posts to my family and we all have a good laugh at your expense. I am sorry that your efforts attract such mockery because I am sure you must think they have deep meaning and context. Unfortunately, they don’t, but don’t be disheartened and do keep us amused. Thanks.

    • Martha my dear you have always been my inspiration
      Please Be good to me

      Where can I join up? Will I get a Che tee-shirt too?

    • Martha, what can be said about what you claim that our hostess would not find offensive?

    • Thanks for the link. As the link and its links document, Heartland extensively distributes and circulates their own and others’ right-wing policy position ‘reports’ on climate change, to government, the press, and over the internet. They have no scientists with climate knowledge on their staff. They do not disclose their corporate funders anymore. The newsletter is headed by an admitted plagiarist with no oversight of the accuracy of data or expert quotes. They circulate and lobby using not only their own material, but material from other conservative lobby groups tied to big corporations – such as the Hudson Institute. The assorted groups’ funders are an industry Who’s Who. Most have Board members who are directors of corporate affairs for the industries that give some money to them. Etc.

      In what way is this different from what Greenpeace, WWF, the Sierra Club and other alarmist organizations have been operating for the last 30 + years? Why do you think they’re not following the pattern set by the alarmist organisations?

  63. Merchants — not Shadow. ;-)

    • Martha,

      I hope you read this. Honest opinion: you’ve been a bit brain-washed by some academic youth-masters specializing in that sort of thing. Further honest opinon: You keep firing back–good for you! While I’ve been one of the ones piling on (and you deserve every bit of it), by golly, you keep getting back in the ring. Final honest opinion: You ain’t up to the old guy’s standard yet, but you’ve got real potential (we were all cocksure (forgive the sexist language) young-pups once). So unless you’re the kind of frail, girlie-girl better suited for the shewonk-blog (in which case, I’ve mis-judged you), I look forward to your next comment (when you want to motivate Marines, yah make ‘em mad–and I think you’ve got that Marine-like spark, Martha).

      Motivational hint: My daughter (who I suspect is about your age and just finishing up her second combat-tour) thinks “Dad” is full of it, too. On the other hand, my son, recently a Sgt of Marines, but now a college-boy trying to pay his bills, is suddenly facing the horror that “Dad” might be right about a few things, after all (heh! heh!). And my dear sweet wife? “The kids have a point, you’re a hard person to live with.” (Where does my love-princess come up with these notions?)

      Don’t disappoint me, Martha–hear? Semper Fi.

  64. Martha– Please try to make your case for mitigation in the United States.
    1. Where is your evidence that a warmer planet is bad for the US
    2. What specific actions do you propose the US to take (and what would be the cost and benefits of those proposed actions?

    This is a short, direct question– it should take you fewer words to answer than you used in your last post. Once you do, we can discuss the merits of your suggested approach.

  65. Science by Think Tank
    http://www.faqs.org/periodicals/201001/2173359651.html
    “… There is need of a second factor in addition to the free marketplace of ideas, and this is that for the best ideas to win the competition the judges must be, well, competent. But the judges here aren’t indisputable facts that can be verified by anyone; they are the opinions of a generally badly informed and undereducated (with respect to the relevant issues) public. This is a public that has little time for the sort of in-depth analyses and research ….”

    The Rise of the Dedicated Natural Science Think Tank
    Philip Mirowski
    http://www.ssrc.org/workspace/images/crm/new_publication_3/%7Beee91c8f-ac35-de11-afac-001cc477ec70%7D.pdf
    “… it is one thing to generate policy-relevant knowledge to bolster your side in the political arena, it is quite another to have the ambition to change the very nature of knowledge production about both the natural and social worlds. Analysts need to take neoliberal theorists like Hayek at their word when they state that the Market is the superior information processor par excellence. The theoretical impetus behind the rise of the natural science think tanks is the belief that science progresses when everyone can buy the type of science they like, dispensing with whatever the academic disciplines say is mainstream or discredited science.”

    http://sss.sagepub.com/content/40/5.toc
    http://sss.sagepub.com/content/40/5/659.short
    “… a more careful examination of neoliberalism. These common outcomes include: the rollback of public funding for universities; the separation of research and teaching missions, leading to rising numbers of temporary faculty; the dissolution of the scientific author; the narrowing of research agendas to focus on the needs of commercial actors; an increasing reliance on market take-up to adjudicate intellectual disputes; and the intense fortification of intellectual property in an attempt to commercialize knowledge, impeding the production and dissemination of science. …”

    Ecologic Institute, Washington DC | Ecologic Institute: An …
    As an environmental think tank, Ecologic Institute uses its extensive project … in the US raise certain challenges for an operational market link, …
    ecologic.eu/washington –

    Rule Breaker: In Washington, Tiny Think Tank Wields Big Stick on …
    Mercatus’s rise owes much to the oil-and-gas company Koch Industries Inc., …. the think tank make the broader case that many environmental rules are more … mercatus.org/…/rule-breaker-washington-tiny-think-tank-wields-big-stick-regulation

    • Your point is????

      • > If I had actually heard of …
        You could have. Google wants to be your friend.
        Try reading on the subject at least when, if not before, discussing it.

      • PS, seriously, a posting like this reveals a serious lack of awareness of how search tools can be helpful in figuring out how the world works:
        > I’m deeply flattered that you found it necessary to
        > scour every page of the Guardian CiF to find an
        > article where you say I made a comment.

        Similarly for your opinions — could they have originated at a PR site rather than at a science site? Well, look them up. You don’t have to re-read every page of everything. Just http://scholar.google.com/

      • ‘Similarly for your opinions — could they have originated at a PR site rather than at a science site?’

        My opinions did not come from a PR site. They originated as I was studying Atmospheric Chemistry to get my MSc , including writing some early models of atmospheric reaction kinetics. And were solidified in thirty years working in IT solving real world problems. And developing a very highly-trained BS detection mechanism.

        Where did your opinions originate for interest?

        PS – I do know that jbowers can probably use google. I was using ‘irony’. :-)

      • when one’s argument is “former chemist and IT guy Latimer Adams has not heard of X therefore X cannot be influential, QED” then Google is most certainly not one’s friend.

      • PDA,

        I think the proof of whether these think tanks and other types have any influence can’t be based on just what happens and is known in the US. How much have they influenced the rest of the world, eg. Latimer?

        I would also suggest their influence even in the US doesn’t generally extend as far as their political constituencies since there are numerous Republicans and Libertarians who believe, or at least believed, in AGW before their pocket books started disappearing and it got cold.

      • Yes, the supposed outrage of the US taxpayer, despite the fact that for most of the last decade a Republican was in the White House. If their “pocket books started disappearing” it certainly wasn’t because of taxes.

        Laying blame for the recession is unquestionably OT, not least because the climate and climate policy had absolutely nothing to do with that.

      • Why yes PDA, you are absolutely right. When the costs of energy go up due to unavailability in the middle of a gubmint caused recession it has absolutely nothing to do with WHY they decided to make energy expensive!!

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Dunno who Latimer Adams is.

        My remark was that since I’d never heard of them, it was difficult to understand how they had managed to make *me* a sceptic. They may be big news in USA, but are unknown in UK – like Ofrah only even less so. Lacis was arguing that they were the origin of all scepticism.

        But as long as you guys go on wetting your knickers about the mouse in the kitchen, the less time you’ll spend on the elephant in the living room.

        Which is that you’re losing all credibility with the public..who just don’t believe you any more. The more you shout and huff and puff, the less they believe. And that filters through into reductions in government money…which I guess is why you’re all so upset?

        But misdiagnosing your problem is not the way to fix it. Thought you’d have learnt that by now………..

      • Lacis was arguing that they were the origin of all scepticism.

        No, he wasn’t. He observed that fossil fuel interests are funding a particular messaging strategy (which is rather indisputable), but he certainly didn’t say or suggest that “they were the origin of all scepticism.” That’s a reductio ad absurdum that does little to enhance your argument.

        Sorry for getting your name wrong. It was my lazy fingers typing a capital A and getting lost on the way, no intended slight on your family.

      • Fine. Whether I agree or disagree with Lacis is probably neither here nor there. And won’t change much either way.

        Concentrate on the mouse and miss the elephant. Your choice.

      • Well, if there’s really a mouse in the kitchen, it’s probably better to deal with that, rather than someone telling me there’s an elephant in my living room despite the evidence of my own eyes. (And nose: can you imagine the smell in a little apartment?)

      • Yep. Carry on missing the point. Fight the wrong battles

        Bye now.

      • Really? Your sign-off line is “I am rubber, you are glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you?” Oh well, have it your way.

      • Missed the subtlety of that remark somewhere. Must be a language difficulty.

        Blaming all your woes on these evil institutes misses the point that the public doesn’t believe you any more. If the institutes were abolished with a magic wand instantaneously, they still wouldn’t. That is your problem. Your elephant.

      • Again, no one is “blaming all their woes” on these groups or saying “they were the source of scepticism.”

        If you find yourself constantly resorting to strawman arguments, it may be an indication that you have not thought things through.

      • PDA,
        You hit nail on head: The alarmist community claims there is an elephant of a problem, when the evidence is there may be a mouse at most.
        The odd thing is most people would be happy to find out there is no elephant in the house. The alarmist community resolutely sticks to the elephant story, no matter how tiny the droppings and no matter how much it looks like a mouse.
        The real question to ask yourself is why you need to have an elephant in your house so badly and based on such paltry evidence?

      • Well, to go back to the original analogy: there are little droppings in the pantry, packages are gnawed open, and the cat’s acting funny and sniffing around. I’m thinking about buying a mousetrap, but strange people on blogs are telling me I have no direct evidence of a mouse, that it’s all circumstantial, and I’m just using the “mouse” story to cover up the fact of a large land mammal in the living room which I’ve never seen.

        Cleverly, the complexity of the conspiracy required to get the elephant into my second-floor apartment without my knowledge is used as further evidence of the seriousness of the issue. They’re tryin’ to pull the wool over yer eyes!”

      • PDA,
        It is the skeptics who say there is a mouse.
        Alarmists say in fact it is an elephant.
        I hope your knees are good on the 2nd floor and everything, but why do you believethere is an elephant up there?

      • Latimer said there was an elephant. Don’t go trying to steal his metaphorical animals, man.

      • The 600lb Gorilla in the attic is feeling very left out. ;-)

      • “Which is that you’re losing all credibility with the public..who just don’t believe you any more.”

        What was that about an elephant in the room?

        Jan. 31, 2011 – Public belief in climate change weathers storm, poll shows

        Events of past 18 months have little effect on Britons’ opinion, as 83% view climate change as a current or imminent threat
        [...]
        A large majority of people think that humanity is causing climate change, with 68% agreeing and 24% choosing to blame non-man-made factors,

        Sep. 8, 2010 – Large Majority of Americans Support Government Solutions to Address Global Warming

        Large majorities of the residents of Florida, Maine and Massachusetts believe the Earth has been getting warmer gradually over the last 100 years (81 percent, 78 percent and 84 percent, respectively), and large majorities favor government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…
        [...]
        Majority believe warming due to human activity

        Mirroring the national survey, the statewide research conducted in July shows that very large majorities think that if the world has been warming, it has been due primarily or at least partly to “things people do” – 72 percent in Florida, 76 percent in Maine and 80 percent in Massachusetts compared to 75 percent nationally.

        Jan. 5, 2011 – Scientific American -“Bulge” in Atmospheric Pressure Responsible for Cold Winter Amid Global Warming

        But Jon Krosnick, a professor at Stanford University, said the only group affected by cold weather in terms of belief about climate change is the 30 percent of the population who distrust scientists. And then they only consider how the most recent season compares to the previous three years in terms of worldwide temperatures, he said.

        If this winter is unusually cold, he said, you would expect to see a “small drop” in the percentage of people who think global warming is happening.

        “People don’t use their local temperatures as a benchmark,” he said. “They are not dodos.”

        Sorry, LA. Put your feet up.

      • ‘The recent Ipsos Mori/University of Cardiff survey on public perceptions of climate change found that one third of Britons think the science on climate change has been exaggerated’ Statement by the Energy Minister, Charles Hendry.

        From the recent shock news that the government are reviewing the way – and the amount – that they are prepared to pay for ‘renewables’. Anybody taking bets that the subsidies will be going up needs their head examining.

        And to have a third already believing that the pudding has been over-egged is not good news. As I stated earlier, they do not trust you guys any more.

      • Hmmm. From “you’re losing all credibility with the public..who just don’t believe you any more” to “one-third of Britons… believing that the pudding has been over-egged” in a couple hours.

        Extrapolate that trend and there’s a 84% ± 5% probability that we’ll end up with “me Uncle Dave and five other guys said it was all stuff ‘n nonsense in the pub the other night” by the end of the day.

      • Enough to worry our government enough to comment on it at the beginning of a very controversial and unwelcome statement (to the warmists) about renewable energy futures.

        A few years ago I think the number would have been nearer 10%, not 1/3.

        But if these matters are of no concern to you, carry in in your own little dream world of warmist propaganda. I should worry.

      • At no point did I say “these matters are of no concern.” I merely pointed out that you went from arguing that there was no support for mainstream science (“losing all credibility”) to acknowledging that just “one third of Britons think the science on climate change has been exaggerated.”

        And as far as the trend, a more recent poll than the one you quote (the link provided by J Bowers) shows that proportion remained flat over the past 18 months, despite “Climategate” and the attendant histrionics.

        So am I concerned? Of course. Do I think the vandals are at the gate and that the future is all weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth? Not so much.

      • Note the different questions involved between the Guardian poll and the one that has frightened the s..t out of the government.

        The one that should worry the warmists is the one where 1/3 think that the scientists have overplayed their hand = lack of trust.

      • J. Bowers,

        I believe anything out of the Woods Institute about as much as you believe something out of the Cato Institute, or, possibly less. Please don’t bother.

      • You’re welcome to your opinion, but I’ll bother as much as I like.

      • This from the article describing the second poll. “Krosnick’s research also revealed that more than half of the respondents in the three states would vote for a law to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent by 2050, if the cost to their household would be a $150 tax increase per year. And even more said they favored a law to accomplish emissions reduction at an annual cost to them of $100.”

        Everyone who thinks that green house emissions can be reduced by 85 percent by 2050 at a cost of $150.00 per year per family raise your hand…then go stand in a corner with a dunce cap on.

        The whole point of cap and trade is to force people to change from using fossil fuels to “alternative energy,” regardless of whether the alternative technology is available yet. A tax of less than $12.oo per month per family will not do that (regardless whether that amount is descriptive of the gross tax, or the gross tax minus any “rebate.”) And of course no self respecting CAGW mitigation proponent actually expects the taxes to be so limited.

        All those polls show is that if you hide from the public what you really want to do to them, you can fool them into answering a poll the way you want them to. Ask them an honest question for a change: “Do you think that the dangers of global warming are sufficiently great that you are willing to pay increased taxes that will be so high they will force you to stop using gas and oil for your car, and kerosene, natural gas or coal to heat your home, with no guarantee that the massive taxes will achieve any really meaningful reduction in emissions world wide (since our leftists can’t control the leftists in Russia, China, India and the rest of the developing world)?”

        Get 50% plus one to answer THAT question in the affirmative, and you can consider resurrecting Copenhagen, but I won’t hold my breath. Push polling is just not very instructive.

  66. Sorry Hank, I think you have missed the point.

    Way back when on another thread, A. Lacis was trying to make out that all us ‘evil sceptics’ were only sceptical because of the these institutes or whatever. and I pointed out that I had never heard of them and gave a set of other reasons why I was sceptical. That is the background to this thread.

    Now we have learnt that they have almost no money and don’t really do veyry much at all, I’m not really surprised I’ve never heard of them.

    And the more I hear hysterical denunciations of them – and of us – like from Martha and others, the more sceptical I get. If they (and we sceptics) are hated that much, we must be doing something that they feel very, very threatened by. I just wonder why……..

    • I just wonder why……..

      Well, this is not an unfathomable mystery. Some people have looked at the evidence and concluded that scientists have a strong case in saying that the climate is likely to go through wrenching, potentially dangerous changes in the future. These same people look at skeptics arguing that the case is not strong, or in fact is being made fraudulently, and note that most of these are not scientists in relevant fields. Some of these people then conclude that skeptics are mistaken, and that the inaction that they advocate could potentially be a danger to their, or their children’s, well-being. You don’t have to agree, obviously. But I hope you can see that the reaction is rather easily understandable.

      The other alternative is that people who object to skeptic arguments are being disingenuous, only discussing climate issues as a way to advance a preconceived political agenda. This is certainly a perspective, but it sort of suggests that you can’t act all insulted when people accuse skeptics of being primarily driven by politics.

      • Could be the former. But all extremely altruistic.

        Could also be that sceptical ideas are a danger to things far closer to their immediate interests than possible upsets for their kids or grandkids. The usual suspects are sex, religion, power or money. Let’s look:

        We can probably rule out sex.

        ‘Religion’ is quite possible, since many alarmists seem to have a near-religious devotion to their cause.

        Power is definitely a possibility. The AGW lobby has become quite powerful over recent years, many posting here are influential members, and I guess that they would not enjoy any reduction in that.

        And money – whether by employment, investment or other means is clearly much on the minds of the Green Lobby. Al Gore set a great example.

        Just some thoughts as to why……

      • I was suggesting self-interest: “their, or their children’s, well-being.”

        Again, you’re obviously free to imagine other people are motivated by ideology, power and money, while your own side is driven only by a humble quest for the truth. I’d be a bit embarrassed to make such a proclamation, but I’m a curmudgeonly New Englander.

      • Difficult to see where the power or money is to be made by being a sceptic. No jobs, no research money, no IPCC jollies, no government subsidies.

        Maybe we do it all for being ‘very vocal in defence of our class rights’ as Martha suggested. If she ever lets me know what she meant, I’ll tell you if she was right in my case.

      • I made no such allegation. In fact, I was saying exactly the opposite.

      • Neither did I see any such allegation. Just musing round the subject of motivations in this discussion.

      • “…Difficult to see where the power or money is to be made by being a sceptic….”
        How much did Monckton make off his tours of Australia and the US? Does Fred Singer finance his own trips to the UK to appear on UK news like Newsnight? What was Lindzen charging per day as a consultant to Exxon? Pat Michaels didn’t get $100,000 from Intermountain Rural Electric Association? Does Morano do it all for free inbetween Swift Boating?

        “…No jobs,…”
        Who works for CATO?

        “…no research money,… “
        Lindzen and Spencer do fine, as does Dr Bas van Geel.

        “…no IPCC jollies,…”
        Unless you’re a part of Americans for Prosperity and a Tea Party activist, in which case you’re up for an all expenses paid trip to Cancun and have fun in the sun. Of course, you have to put up with Tim Phillips constantly mouthing off about climate science fraud, but it’s a small price to pay I guess.

        “…no government subsidies…”
        Tax exemption for think tanks, and how much has Cuccinelli’s emulation of Lysenko cost the Virginia taxpayer so far?

      • JBowers,

        that is an interesting series of allegations. Not one solid piece of data in it, just slanderous type comments that can not be rebutted. How about putting some actual dollar figures to those accusations and we will e-mail the gentlement for confirmation. Then we can talk to Mister Death Coal Trains who got at least on $250,000 award for being a sweet guy and Mr. CRU who got a few hundred mil for his University, not to mention the money from BIG OIL mentioned in their E-Mails…

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      • Maybe 100 people worldwide. Big deal.

        Most local councils in England have at least one ‘climate change officer’. There are about 400 local councils in England alone. 30 people in CRU. Hundreds in the Met Office. Lots in NASA. Bart R. A recent estimate that the US government spends $8 billion annually on ‘climate change activities’. That funds a lot of jobs.

        Do the math and you’ll see that there are far more opportunities to make a good living on the warmist side of the agenda than on the sceptical.

        A recent estim

      • Latimer

        Can you see to it that my share of that $8 billion get sent in small bills?

        ;)

      • I seem to see a lot of skeptics demanding more research into “natural variability”, or are they just trying to get in on the scam as well?

        Seriously though, do you think that the likes of Phil Jones, Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann would lose their jobs if AGW was suddenly discovered to be false? The way our climate works still has a huge impact on human civilisation, especially given, for example, the expectation of future population growth and the increasing stress on water supplies we are seeing now. So there will always be a need to pay people for scientific research into climate.

      • PDA,
        You forget the third, most likely reason why believers hate on skeptics:
        The believers have involved a great deal of their sense of worth and self-esteem in the idea that they are on the right side of the climate issue.
        so much so that those who disagree must either be ignorant or cynical or both. The emotinal equity, so to speak, in the idea of CO2 causing a great crisis and that they are on the rishgt side of it: they get it. And those knuckle draggers who don’t get it are unworthy- they are deniers of the great truth about CO2. Their denial is a direct assault on the intelligence and wisdom of the enlightened believer. In fact it is an assault on enlightenment itself.

    • Latimer,
      I had a similar experience like you. The discussions at Realclimate and the answers to my questions over there when I tried to learn about climate science made me skeptical. The „climate debate“ even when scientific arguments where discussed, reminded me from the beginning much more on political discussions we had in the university parliaments in the eighties than on a scientific discussions. A lot of “ad hominem” arguments even when hard facts were discussed. That is why I don’t trust the “climate science community” as a whole, if something like this exists. However, I don’t care about the Heartland or Cato Institute and don’t trust them either. Therefore I guess I trust individual scientists like Prof. Pielke, Prof. Curry, Prof. Lindzen or Prof. von Storch who have my respect as individuals. I do not trust organizations or “communities” or “institutes” or “panels” or a “consensus” whatsoever.
      The only “consensus” I trust is the one from a free and independent election in one of our democracies.
      So I agree it is really telling that you have to defend yourself for telling honestly how you think.
      Regards
      Günter

  67. I don’t think that this is a topic that is worth wasting much time on. As noted by Judy, a number of books have already been written on this topic, and much additional material can be found on the internet. But I never stop being amazed by the extensive funding efforts by Charles and David Koch as described in the New Yorker article by Jane Mayer

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

    and the Greenpeace compilation of the Koch Industries funding efforts

    http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries/

    This is what keeps places like the Heartland, Cato, and George C. Marshal Institutes operating full steam to lobby Congress on behalf of the fossil fuel industries and to promote public confusion and misinformation about climate change. There were several impressive compilations on the web of coal and oil lobby contributions to the leading Congressional critic of global warming that were there a year ago, but which I could not locate at this time.

    The NIPCC Report put out by the Heartland Institute is a real piece of work in this respect. I happened to chance upon a copy that someone had apparently thrown out in the trash. Out of curiosity I decided to look it over.

    It is some 855 pages in length, about the same size and weight as the real IPCC AR4 Report. It is unclear as to who wrote what, but the Lead Authors are Craig Idso and Fred Singer. Of the Contributors and Reviewers there are perhaps a half-dozen of the usual suspects that I recognized. I was perhaps a bit surprised that neither Pat Michaels nor Dick Lindzen found it worthwhile to participate. But they are listed among the 31,478 Americans with university degrees in science, including 9,029 with PhDs, who signed the petition to reject the Kyoto global warming agreement (A bonus listing at the end of the Report).

    The NIPCC Report is listed as selling for $154 per copy. However, if you choose to order 101 or more, you can get them at the bargain price of $79 per copy. A real steal in either case.

    Clearly, the NIPCC Report represents a lot of work (and expense) on the part of somebody. But there is no list of sponsors or acknowledgements other than thanking the Heartland Institute for their editorial skill and technical assistance.

    The NIPCC Report attempts to mirror the IPPCC AR4 Report in having 9 chapters ranging from 1. Global Climate Models and Their Limitations to 9. Human Health Effects. I have absolutely no interest to wade through all of the verbiage. If it took real effort to locate the few factual errors in the IPCC Report, it is quite clear that real effort would be required to find anything that might be significant in the NIPCC.

    My interest is in radiation, of which they had a couple pages in Chapter 1, and Chapter 2 was supposed to be on Feedback Factors and Radiative Forcing. In my cursory look, I found nothing that was blatantly erroneous. The overall writing style I would characterize as being ‘purposefully clueless’ in that nothing substantive is being said.

    There is a collection of uncertainty testimonials like: Harries says “we must exercise great caution over the true depth of our understanding . . .”, or anecdotal disagreements between models and localized observations such as “ In another revealing study, Wild (1999) compared the observed amount of solar radiation absorbed in the atmosphere over equatorial Africa with what was predicted by three GCMs and found the model predictions were much too small.” Aerosol effects are also cited as a major source of uncertainty, including supposed problems like “mineral aerosols have complex, highly varied optical properties” and that “only a few large-scale climate models currently consider aerosol IR effects”.

    Basically, there is no overview of what the climate problem is really about. There is no discussion of climate physics other than stating that “Today’s state-of-the-art climate models fail to accurately simulate the physics of earth’s radiative energy balance”. No mention of what “accurately’ means, or what the specific processes are that need to be simulated.

    Chapter 2 on Feedback Factors and Radiaive Forcing is really a work of art in what it fails to say. There is no mention of water vapor feedback at all, nor is there a sub-section on CO2, not even a lot of the Keeling CO2 trend. But there are sub-sections on Carbonyl Sulfide, Diffuse Light, Iodocompounds, Nitrous Oxide, Methane, and Dimethyl Sulfide – all minor contributors. Clouds are mentioned only briefly as providing “thermostat-like control”, with a folklore summary statement that “as the earth warms, the atmosphere has a tendency to become more cloudy”, and that there appear to be a number of cloud-mediated processes that help the planet ‘keep its cool’”. They seem to be unaware of the fact that cirrus clouds have a strong greenhouse effect and produce warming, while for low clouds, the albedo effect predominates.

    A big deal is made of ‘diffuse light’ as if were some major negative feedback. Diffuse light is what happens in multiple scattering, and is fully accounted for in radiative transfer. Climate models with interactive vegetation actually take changes in diffuse illumination into account.

    The aerosol discussion is not all bad. They summarize many of the uncertainties and cite anecdotal examples of localized aerosol variability. What is missing is the more quantitative information on aerosol radiative properties, geographical distributions, trends, and observational results (including uncertainties) that can be found in the IPCC AR4 Report. Aerosols and aerosol radiative properties continue to be a major source of uncertainty in understanding climate change. But I found nothing here in the NIPCC Report that helped to could be considered as a new perspective on this topic.

    All in all, I would consider the NIPCC Report as a subtle type of misinformation – painting a picture by deliberately leaving out information, rather than the directly erroneous statements as in the G&T, Miskolczi, and Claes Johnson publications. Having found the NIPCC Report of such little use, I should probably throw it back out in the trash where it came from in the first place.

    As I have state before, critiquing of climate science is more than welcome. That is the way that science gets done. If you have a better way of doing climate modeling, let me know. We are in the business of climate model improvement. But I see no useful critiquing coming from the likes of the Heartland, Cato, and George C. Marshal Institutes. Their objective is not to improve our understanding of global climate. They are being paid to lobby for the perceived interests of the fossil fuel conglomerates.

    • I don’t think that this is a topic that is worth wasting much time on.

      Then why bring it up? Do you truly believe “Big Oil” propaganda is more of a factor than those Dr. Curry listed?

    • The New Yorker article is quite a story. One quote from there attributed to David Koch: “If we’re going to give a lot of money, we’ll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent.”

      In their case “a lot of money” is apparently at least millions if not more.

      • Pekka,

        Recently here in California the Koch brothers spent MILLIONS to try and pass a law to overturn a Cap and Trade type bill that had been previously passed. They were easily outspent by a group of organizations which included corporations and environmental groups.

        I am unceasingly amazed by those thinking all the money is on the side of the sceptics when I see the money spent daily on the side of the environmentalists and Green Energy that those corporations are making billions from. Yes, here in Californai is an excellent place to see this type of corruption happen wtih our lack of coal and nuclear and requirements for green generation raising our power bills while forcing us to buy coal generated power from out of state at premium prices due to lack of generation capacity in state.

        The corporations are fat and happy on subsidies, guaranteed energy prices, and general high energy rates due to limited supplies. They have absolutely no reason to improve the energy situation and many regulations to keep them from it.

  68. Willis Eschenbach

    A Lacis | February 15, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    … But I see no useful critiquing coming from the likes of the Heartland, Cato, and George C. Marshal Institutes. Their objective is not to improve our understanding of global climate. They are being paid to lobby for the perceived interests of the fossil fuel conglomerates.

    Dr. Lacis, while I appreciate your comprehensively listing the evidence on one side of the case, you claim to be an honest scientist, and I want to believe that you are one.

    If in fact you are an honest scientist, you will realize that you have only done half the job and will want to finish it. If so, you will make a comparable listing of the millions in funding for the AGW side (including funding for advocacy as well as science), and end it by saying something like:

    But I see no useful critiquing coming from the likes of the Greenpeace, Al Gore and his $300 million dollars, and the World Wildlife Fund. Their objective is not to improve our understanding of global climate. They are being paid to lobby for the perceived interests of AGW supporters.

    That’s what an honest scientist would do, present the facts on both sides of the issue and make an informed decision based on all the facts. A shill who doesn’t want to “improve our understanding”, on the other hand, would only present the facts on one side …

    So what will you do?

    w.

  69. Seems like Heartland likes my post
    http://blog.heartland.org/2011/02/climatologist-judith-curry-sticks-up-for-heartland-other-warming-skeptics/

    Not surprisingly, they cherry picked my statements and ignored my criticism of their handling of the 1989 sea ice issue.

    • If the public understanding of your views on The Heartland Institute are that fragile then I guess you’ve failed massively.

      • well my larger point is that the public understanding of the Heartland Institute is of little consequence, in spite of the fact that some people try to make a big deal of it.

      • The same Heartland that published Watts’ Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?? You were just saying the other day that the surface temperature records ” [continue] to be scrutinized and questioned. “, where do you think this scrutiny originates?

        The various bloggers who actually work on temperature records (Mosher, Hausfather, the Clear Climate Code team etc) have all done a great job of genuinely scrutinising and analysing the data, their answer is that the existing records are basically correct.

        However Heartland and SPPI (via “Steve Goddard”) are constantly pushing the unreliability of the records. You don’t need to be any sort of conspiracy theorist to see the clear agenda that’s being pushed there.

        Your view appears to be that these guys have no impact and if they do you don’t care anyway – it’s all the fault of the climate scientists (somehow).

      • Sharper,

        leaving out the issues with the nightlights that Mosher is working on, the records have been shown to be relaible IF you accept that the methods used are appropriate. I accept that they aren’t terrible, but, could be better.

        The real issue that continues to be argued with little action taken is the appropriateness of how the adjustments are determined and applied. The poster child for ridiculous adjustments are NCDC and GISS. GISS actually reverses an NCDC adjustment before applying their own for a slightly lower trend.

        Until there is a full airing of the adjustments that sre supported by single, shallow, papers there is no trust in the temp records.

        Then there are the satellite records where we don’t even get to look at the adjustments…

      • “Until there is a full airing of the adjustments that sre supported by single, shallow, papers there is no trust in the temp records.”

        Well that’s what the new record aims to do but don’t expect the answer to be any different and don’t expect Heartland or SPPI to attack it any less vigorously for not reaching the answer they already know is the right one.

        Personally I have a limit for how much of the detail I need to see before I stop thinking there might be a bias problem. Multiple records, different methodologies, different teams, different instruments, freely available source code, independent rewrites from scratch. All pointing the same way. Yet most days of the week you read on WUWT all about how you can subtract this bit of warming for bias and this bit of warming for UHI and this bit of warming for errors and this bit of warming for natural cycles and hey presto no warming left!

      • Sharper,

        please point me to where they are redoing the research on which the adjustments are based. I missed that.

      • If you check their methodology section you’ll see they’re basically going from scratch starting with raw data.

      • Ok Sharper, this must be one of my duller days.

        Would you please point to one paragraph in their methodology that you linked that says ANYTHING about redoing the original research to verify the homogenization adjustment and how it should be applied to diverse locations with various instruments and issues? All I see is talk about filtering and verifying data. As data at individual locations can vary by 6 sigma that should be really interesting in itself without years of verification!! (yeah I read that somewhere)

  70. Just for novelty, I thought I would address the topic of this post. There is an overwhelming asymmetry of power and publicity on the side of alarm and the IPCC. Media coverage is nonstop, Nature and National Geographic feature doom on the front page…and yet sceptics seem to be advancing their case better than the good guys. Mike Mann wants to blame their being well-funded. Not quite. This is why they are effective: 1) when you make ridiculous statements, it is indeed easy to shoot that down, which damages your credibility–as a simple example, the IPCC says 8.5 inches sea level rise and James Hansen says 20 feet in interviews, looks absurd. 2) When you make statements projecting rock solid certainty when no such certainty is possible people are VERY alert to being pressured by people who are way too sure of themselves since we all encounter this everyday in TV ads and pundit speeches, and 3) when critics make reasonable criticisms and you go nuts and call them names, not such a good strategy. So per unit effort sceptics I think are getting more for the buck than alarmists, but MOST of the damage to the warmist cause is self-inflicted, IMHO. And we thank you for that mr Gore.

    • We also call it overplaying the hand.

    • there is an overwhelming asymmetry of power and publicity on the side of alarm and the IPCC.

      And there is an overwhelming asymmetry of effort on the side of skeptics. One side has to show convincingly that most of the temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and that this trend will accelerate as accumulations increase. The other side just has to find something, anything that looks like an error and use it to cast doubt on the entire enterprise.

      So yeah, skeptics are getting way more bang for the buck, because their job is far, far easier. This has something I have been trying to draw attention to since Fred Moolten made the same point at the beginning of the thread. Thank the Lords of Kobol someone else is finally pointing out the obvious.

      • PDA,
        “And there is an overwhelming asymmetry of effort on the side of skeptics.”

        Oh I wouldn’t say that. I mean, how many sceptics do you know who are going to jail to get their message out like a certain Astro-Physicist cum modeller cum Climate Scientist who likes to keep changing his temperature record on a monthly basis or who is willing to make a total fool of himself like Al Bore?? Admittedly Al has cash money as an extra incentive.

      • Hey, we need to keep changing the temperature records because they are not really very reliable. We know the models are spot on with their predictions, so when the data differs from the models, that shows us where we need to correct the data. We published all this in peer reviewed papers and the folks that rely on us for future funding all agree so there can be no doubt that it is correct.

      • “Astro-Physicist cum modeller cum Climate Scientist who likes to keep changing his temperature record on a monthly basis or who is willing to make a total fool of himself like Al Bore??”

        Ah, I really should read people’s other comments before bothering to address their questions.

      • aaaaaaaaaand that contradicts my statement “their (skeptics) job is far, far easier” how exactly?

      • PDA,

        the fact you THINK you made a case that the sceptics job was so much easier is totally in you own fevered imagination (too much CO2?). Just two years ago Steven McIntyre had no chance of getting a decent quote in the press. Now it is only slightly better. Yet, you now announce to the world that sceptics have an easy job. Apparently not so much as the governments, media, Universities, Corporations… are still pumping their propaganda out full volume daily. If believers weren’t their own worst enemies the sceptics would be lost in the noise.

    • When someone tell you sea level is rising deangerously, then they buy expensive property at the beach or on small islands, your average citizen gets the message. It was BS to drive the price down ahead of the purchase. From then on they won’t believe anything you have to say.

    • To expand and confirm the validity of what Dr. Loehle said, here is what nudged me to the skeptical side of this debate.

      Back in 1992, I had the extreme privilege to see Carl Sagan give a lecture here in Fresno. I enjoyed it immensely, except for the part where he was comparing the environment of Venus to Earth in relation to CO2 and global warming. Sagan was a very ardent supporter of the dooms-day wing of climate science. He glossed over the vast differences of the atmospheric system, but, to his credit, did expand on that during an answer and question period. The Venus / Earth comparison was used to make a point. However, the Earth / Venus connection was a very popular theme in the press, with many a story concluding that if we weren’t careful, we would maybe end up like Venus! Few articles of the day bothered to expand on why it wasn’t a very good comparison… I mean… Come On… It’s FREAKING CARL SAGAN!!!!! He was the smartest, most noble man on the planet!!!! If those details were important, then he would have surly mentioned them in his lectures! So, even though there were so many flaws with the comparison, everyone just ran with it.

      Fast forward a few years. During the unusually hot year of 1998, not only did you have James Hansen appearing on Capitol Hill scaring the bejuesus out of everybody, but you also had Michale Mann and the Hockey Stick graph break this whole thing wide open. The El Nino phenomenon and its effect on temps was already fairly well known, yet article after article skimmed over this and blamed the very hot year on global warming. As for the Hockey Stick, I am still amazed that this one study, with it’s unique methodologies was able to singlehandedly overturn decades of scientific understanding in one fell swoop! It was breath-taking!!!

      One more bit about Sagan. Hardly anyone questioned his strong belief in nuclear winter either. Interestingly enough, climate modeler Steven Schneider contributed to the studies which showed that Sagan’s scenario, which was portrayed as most likely, turned out to be highly improbably at best.

      • Oh… Last paragraph was horrible! I really need to proof read more!

      • SonicFrog,

        you left out Mr Sagan’s promoting the Drake equation alledgedly showing the likelihood of life in the Universe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_equation
        Back then I was somewhat impressed with it but not sure. Now anyone with a reasonable knowledge of math should be able to expalin why it is meaningless. We are coming out of a century of unbelievable distortions and propaganda meant to push us in directions for our own good. One has to wonder if the new direction was so much better why it couldn’t be laid out directly instead of requiring so much lying and obfuscation.

      • Sonicfrog,
        The ‘tipping to Venus’ was on Nightline at least once.
        There was talk about how the CO2 would trigger a runaway, breaking out the CO2 tied up in carbonates and other geology.
        Hansen proudly carries on that sci-fi tradition with impunity today.

    • The reason those folks can be convincing is because they are telling people what they want to hear: that they don’t need to worry about this. That the worries they already have are enough to worry about, so don’t worry about something else. How many among the public read Nat Geo and Sci Am anyway? And Nature? Drastically fewer than see TV commercials telling us how good coal and oil are for us. Does Hansen do TV commercials?

      Also, most people watch far more local news than national news and I almost never hear anything about climate change on local news. Most of these organizations and institutions that support the IPCC consensus speak to the choir.

      • I can’t recall seeing a commercial from an oil or coal company stating climate change isn’t real. They all seem to talk about how they are helping to combat the problem with clean coal or investing in alternative energy sources. This should be a reinforcement to the desired (from an AGW point of view) message. I would suggest that the problem does not rest with countering propaganda but with the propaganda from the AGW side. (note this is a political/messaging argument not a scientific one so if the term propaganda offends you feel free to insert a word of your own choosing) The inconsistant messaging exhibited by the AGW side of the argument is what is doing the damage. You can’t claim that everything that happens is due to global warming especially when the claims often contradict eachother. People will think you are idiots or even worse they will think that you think they are idiots. The AGW side would be better served by forming a cohesive message regarding what is an indicator of global warming and just blame everything else on weather or, an even better idea, stop talking about weather as anything but weather and stick to the trends.

  71. There is a lot of junk science in circulation and not just in climate science. No doubt there would be a lot less if academics were not required to publish constantly. MacIntyre calls his site climate audit because there is no effective quality control mechanism in climate science. All the temperature measurements aimed at following climate change are either shaky or suspect. The models are highly suspect and it is even more suspect that the IPCC presents the model results in a fashion designed to make it appear, dishonestly, that the models work really well (e.g. figure 9.5 in AR4). All the claims of big sea level rise on hundred year time scales are absolutely unsupported by any remotely plausible science. The same for the notion of tropical diseases creeping north and south. It is really sickening that the science advisor to the president is an environmental extremist. All the schemes for reducing CO2 emissions ignore the reality of Chinese development that will absolutely swamp any such measures by us. Yet, ignoring this reality the climate change fanatics want to plunge ahead. Given this reality is is not so surprising that minor organizations speaking these truths are getting an audience.

  72. Willis Eschenbach

    PDA | February 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    And there is an overwhelming asymmetry of effort on the side of skeptics. One side has to show convincingly that most of the temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and that this trend will accelerate as accumulations increase. The other side just has to find something, anything that looks like an error and use it to cast doubt on the entire enterprise.

    So let’s see here. One side has to actually falsify the null hypothesis. And they haven’t been able to do that despite a quarter century of trying … I agree with you, PDA, that is a tough job.

    The other side merely has to point out that the first side hasn’t made their case, that they haven’t overturned the null hypothesis, much less established an alternative hypothesis.

    So yes, the balance is way out of whack, PDA. You are 100% correct about the asymmetry. But out here in the real world, we have a name for that situation.

    We call it “Science”.

    You seem to be unaware that if you want to establish a novel and somewhat sketchy claim that CO2 is warming the world by something on the order of two hundredths of a degree per decade, it is YOUR JOB to dig the signal out of the noise … and it has proven to be a very tough job.

    But complaining that your side has the hard job? Sorry, but if you believe in the AGW hypothesis, that’s what you signed up for. Complaining that it is unfair merely emphasizes that you don’t understand what is going on here.

    w.

    PS – You also overestimate the magnitude of your task when you say:

    One side has to show convincingly that most of the temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century has been caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and that this trend will accelerate as accumulations increase.

    In fact, you face a much easier task than that, which is to falsify the null hypothesis that the changes in climate we are seeing are the result of natural variations.

    However, despite the fact that it is a much easier task, it is not an easy task … as the last quarter century of fruitless search by your side for just such a falsification has shown. (Now, recognizing that abysmal failure of millions of dollars and man-hours of labor in a vain attempt at falsification, Trenberth wants cheat and reverse the null hypothesis … yeah, that’s the ticket, that’s how real scientists do it.)

    • I’m familiar with that argument, Willis, but I’d expected better of you. So yeah, um, sure: if you choose to stipulate that the null hypothesis is that warming was caused by some vaguely defined process called “natural variation,” then yay, you win! But most people consider a hypothesis to be, you know, a hypothesis: rigorous and testable. Merely saying “well, gee whiz, we don’t know what caused it, it’s random,” is not a null hypothesis, but a nil hypothesis.

      Anyway, I don’t know of any “real world” where the definition of science involves sitting on one’s ass, folding one’s arms and saying “if you can’t disprove this vague thing I am asserting then it has to be true by default.”

      I do enjoy your theatricality and your cheek, but this is beneath you, frankly.

      • As has been noted in several other threads, one of the most regrettable consequences of the politicization of science by the AGW controversy is the promotion and spread of scientific illiteracy by AGW advocates. The above post provides yet another shining example.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        (Sigh. Not entirely sure why I have chosen to fight ignorance in this field, it is a long trail. But I persevere …)

        PDA, Trenberth knows what the null hypothesis is, as does most everyone else in the field. That’s why Trenberth is trying to reverse it by fiat. He is risking his reputation by even making the call … do you think he would do that without knowing what the null hypothesis is?

        It’s not clear from your writing whether you know what a null hypothesis is. If not, please read up on it. If so, what do you think the null hypothesis should be for claims that the climate variations are not natural, but are caused by humans?

        Which all makes for an interesting and valuable exercise for you, but of course what you (or I) think about the null doesn’t matter a bit. Because either way, the null hypothesis in the climate science field has been established for years, and it is that the climate variations we see are natural. And as Trenberth’s attempt to overthrow it shows, that null hypothesis is accepted by nearly everyone, including everyone on the AGW side like Trenberth. Except you, perhaps you didn’t get the memo.

        Is that “vague”? Not at all. All you have to do is show that the current situation is outside of what has happened in the past, that some aspect of the climate is anomalous or unusual or acting all weird and strange.

        Then (and only then) you can advance your theory as to why it is anomalous or unusual. Because you see, until you show that there is something anomalous to look at, you are just a solution in search of a problem, speculating about what is causing an effect you haven’t established even exists.

        Hope this helps. If you have questions, I encourage you to ask them, because your lack of familiarity with the field and the relevant issues is showing …

        (I need a cape, and a bunch of loyal minions, and some dang-blanged effective super-powers, if I’m gonna get this job done in less than geological time … Lamont Cranston, better known as his alter-ego The Shadow™, reputedly had the power to cloud mens’ minds. What I want to know is … is there a corresponding super-power to make men’s minds clear?)

      • Willis Eschenbach

        All you have to do is show that the current situation is outside of what has happened in the past, that some aspect of the climate is anomalous or unusual…

        Willis, let me post some data that supports your statement:

        Here is the data that shows recent global warming rate nearly identical to past one:
        http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

        Here is data that shows recent global SEA warming rate nearly identical to past one:
        http://bit.ly/ggntoQ

        The above data shows the global temperature is not anomalous or unusual. As a result, no new theory is required to explain the recent warming. The null hypothesis of natural global temperature variation applies.

      • “that null hypothesis is accepted by nearly everyone, including everyone on the AGW side like Trenberth.” Willis I’m surprised to see you write this. I could have sworn I had seen you argue persuasively that the null hypothesis is an alien concept to climate science. Whether my memory serves me well, this is surely true, as PDA and many other warmist contributors to this blog attest. Who can forget (and I certainly won’t let him) Bart Verheggen’s “the consensus becomes the new null hypothesis”? And isn’t that all his coreligionist Trenberth was saying, months after he did? To climate science the null hypothesis is a doctrine to be breached, not honoured. Most of the foot-soldiers of warmism, like PDA, genuinely don’t understand the notion, so climate “science” has been free to operate with a reversed or disregarded null for years simply by not allowing it to be talked about. He just asked for retrospective permission for something that’s been going on for years. In doing so, he broke the golden rule of climate science – to date, at least – which is not “reverse the null hypothesis” or “disregard the null hypothesis, but “don’t TALK about the null hypothesis”. Presumably KT is realising that simply not allowing the words “null” and “hypothesis” to be uttered in the same sentence is no longer working, and that the nettle must be grasped.

      • Willis, merely continuing your bombast and attempting to turn the question around does nothing. Those that are already convinced that you’re the second coming of Feynmann won’t read your post with any care, and those that notice the hand-waving will use it as further evidence that you’re a mountebank. So the theatrics are pointless, though entertaining.

        Anyone who’s paying attention can see the three-card monte: unless and until you define “natural variability” with any rigor, you’ll always be able to move the card. You say you’ve eliminated solar? What about PDO? Oh, you’re saying that won’t account for it? How about orbital variations, or sunspots, or some mysterious process we haven’t thought of yet? No answer to that? Ha ha, you lose!

        You’re putting on a show for the groundlings, I understand that. You can do better. When you play rhetorical games like this, it just makes you looks silly, and by extension everyone who gives you a platform.

      • Craig Goodrich

        PDA, one of the most important and well-known experiments in the history of modern science was Michelson-Morley. What was earthshaking about it was that it failed to disconfirm the null hypothesis.

        What was that null hypothesis?
        ===
        Although the Web is a fantastic medium, there were still some real advantages to the ancient Internet newsgroups, one of which was a local “killfile” facility for handling the clueless and/or vituperative.

      • simon abingdon

        “What was that null hypothesis?” At the time of their experiment it was the assumed existence of the “luminiferous aether”, was it not? And what was earthshaking about their experiment was that it failed to confirm (not disconfirm) this null hypothesis, giving way (Einstein) to a replacement null hypothesis of constant speed of light.

      • Craig, here ya go. Let not your eyes be troubled by heretic questions.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Thanks, interesting scripts. But my eyes actually are less troubled by heretic questions than by the lack of warmist answers. Speaking of which, Michelson-Morley? Or do you agree with Abingdon’s answer above?

      • Willis Eschenbach

        I haven’t been able to get PDA to answer the most simple and relevant of questions – what does he think the null hypothesis should be for climate science.

        Which makes a Michelson-Morley answer unlikely … but not as unlikely as PDA answering my question.

        w.

      • Oh, my goodness. I’m a little embarrassed at myself, Willis: I actually thought you were good at this.

        I showed how you were ducking the question in my first reply, and how turning it around was a cheap ploy. Trying that gambit twice in a row? Yikes.

        No, Willis: you posited the challenge, it’s on you to define “natural variability.” What’s the test to confirm or reject this amorphous quality?

      • “What’s the test to confirm or reject this amorphous quality?”

        1) Look up “natural” and “variability” in any dictionary of English.

        2) Take careful measurements of the following:
        — Two oak trees no less than 15 meters apart. Be sure to carefully count the number of leaves.
        — The air temperature one meter above a grassy surface in Raccoon, Indiana on two successive days at exactly local apparent noon.
        — The precise length of the tailbone chains of two cats of the same sex from the same litter.
        — The total snow accumulation at some selected point in Lions Park in Bismarck, North Dakota at sunset on Groundhog Day in two successive years.

        Determine whether all of the pairs of measurement results taken as above resulted in identical figures.

        If so, you have provided powerful evidence that the phenomenon described by “natural variation” does not, in fact, exist, and you can write a groundbreaking paper for Nature.

        If not, you have demonstrated that “natural variation” does in fact exist, and if you don’t understand what that means, you may wish to consult the catalog of a local community college to determine the availability of “Remedial Semantics 101″.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        I answered that already, PDA. Three sigma events.

        I didn’t “posit the challenge”, by the way. Natural variability” was the null hypothesis before I ever said a word. See Trenberth on the subject, and I can guarantee you he didn’t copy his ideas from me.

        w.

      • He’s only one of a crowd who won’t anwer inconvenient questions. You’re not alone.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        PDA | February 16, 2011 at 7:33 am

        Willis, merely continuing your bombast and attempting to turn the question around does nothing. Those that are already convinced that you’re the second coming of Feynmann won’t read your post with any care, and those that notice the hand-waving will use it as further evidence that you’re a mountebank. So the theatrics are pointless, though entertaining.

        Bombast? I asked you a very specific question, PDA, in an attempt to move the discussion forwards. It has not been answered. Here it is again:

        It’s not clear from your writing whether you know what a null hypothesis is. If not, please read up on it. If so, what do you think the null hypothesis should be for claims that the climate variations are not natural, but are caused by humans?

        You go on to say:

        Anyone who’s paying attention can see the three-card monte: unless and until you define “natural variability” with any rigor, you’ll always be able to move the card. You say you’ve eliminated solar? What about PDO? Oh, you’re saying that won’t account for it? How about orbital variations, or sunspots, or some mysterious process we haven’t thought of yet? No answer to that? Ha ha, you lose!

        Since climate science is a science that studies averages, the general definition of exceeding natural variability is statistical in nature. When you get out to three sigma events, people tend to sit up and takes notice. That’s why Mann and Jones tried to spin the Svalbard temperatures into a six-sigma event … see my peer-reviewed paper on the subject. And yes, before you say something foolish, E&E is peer reviewed, even Dr. Trenberth says so, and my paper went through peer-review. In any case, something in the three-sigma range would be worth discussing.

        Finally, you seem to be conflating falsifying the null hypothesis, with eliminating alternative hypotheses.

        Falsifying the null hypothesis doesn’t involve showing what or who is responsible. You don’t have to show it’s not solar, only to have someone move goalposts. Actually, it works the other way around, from the effect rather than the cause.

        All you have to do is show that some aspect of the climate of the last hundred years is historically unusual. To date, there hasn’t been any studies I know of that show that some aspect of our current climate is strange, or unprecedented, or unusual in a statistical sense. A new study just out says the same thing, no change in storms or extreme events over the last century. My own research shown here has not revealed any.

        So, the ball is in your court. Point us to where the climate is going off of the rails, outside of the historical bounds.

        w.

        PS – You say that people compare me to Richard Feynmann? While I am surely honored by being even mentioned in the same sentence as the man, I’d say the comparison is out by more than an order of magnitude in Feynmann’s favor. Or in mathematical terms that he might have approved of, I assert the inequality F > 10 E …

        PPS – I see that I actually asked another question, which was, if “natural variation” is NOT the current null hypothesis, why does Trenberth think it is? Not really a question, I guess, just more evidence that natural variation is the accepted null hypothesis.

        PPPS – You say:

        Anyway, I don’t know of any “real world” where the definition of science involves sitting on one’s ass, folding one’s arms and saying “if you can’t disprove this vague thing I am asserting then it has to be true by default.”

        Mmmmmpfh … lots of issues in there …

        First, it is you doing the asserting, not I. You assert that after millions of years of climate swings being the result of natural variation, the modern climate is now being drastically affected by human actions. I assert nothing.

        The null hypothesis is not something I am inventing or asserting. It is the logical opposite of a claim. The logical opposite of your assertion is that what we are seeing is still the result of what it was for a million years before that, natural variations. That’s the null hypothesis to the general AGW hypothesis.

        Second, natural variation is far from a “vague thing”. While our data isn’t the greatest by any measure, we have kinda reasonable data on the historical variations in a range of climate phenomena (e.g. temperature, droughts, river flows, global ice area).

        Third, the idea that climate changes are the result of natural variations is not “true by default”. There’s several logical errors in with the idea of “true by default”, so it may take a minute to parse your statement.

        A. Nothing in science is “true”. Science is concerned with statements about how the world works, and their falsification.

        B. Nothing in science is “true by default”. Some things have never (yet) been falsified. These are considered provisional scientific truths. But that is at the end of often exhaustive investigation, not “by default”.

        C. The “null hypothesis” is not the null hypothesis because it is “true”, nor because it is “true by default”. It is the null hypothesis because it is the logical opposite of what you are trying to assert. You are asserting that humans are the cause of the warming at the end of the 20th century. The logical opposite of that assertion is that natural variation is the cause of the warming at the end of the 20th century.

        End of digression on “true by default”.

        Fourth, at the end of the day, it’s kinda like what you described, a very unbalanced system. A scientist may work for years on a theory, and it may get totally demolished a week after publication by someone’s five-minute analysis … you see, the amount of time either side spends on a theory is meaningless. Doesn’t matter if one person just “sits on their ass” in your words and points out a flaw, as long as it is a real flaw.

        And not being able to falsify the null hypothesis is a real flaw. That’s why Trenberth is scrambling so hard to reverse the null hypothesis. He sees the gaping hole. He knows that until he can show that there is something unusual or anomalous to discuss, all he has is an explanation in search of a problem to explain. That’s not worth much.

        Is that fair?

        Nope. It’s science, and the nature of the null hypothesis.

      • That’s funny. When you first posed the challenge, I wondered if you were talking about “null hypothesis” in the statistical sense, knowing you were a stats guy. But no, you said “We call it Science,” and referenced Trenberth’s talk asserting that

        Prior to the 2007 IPCC report, it was appropriate for the null hypothesis to be that “there is no human influence on climate”

        so it seemed clear you were talking about a null hypothesis with regards to cause, as Dr. Roy Spencer does: i.e. “natural, internal climate cycles as the cause of most of the recent warming in the thermometer record.” And indeed, you went on to state that “the null hypothesis [is] that the changes in climate we are seeing are the result of natural variations” (emphasis mine). So there was simply no reasonable interpretation of your null as being any different than Dr. Spencer’s: that the cause of warming is not anthropogenic.

        In your last post, however, you changed the definition of the “null hypothesis” that you claim scientists have failed to falsify. Now you define it as “no aspect of the climate of the last hundred years is historically unusual,” using null hypothesis in the statistical sense of “no trend.” And in place of “natural variation” as a cause, as Dr. Spencer uses the term and as you used it in your prior post, you say the “general definition of exceeding natural variability is statistical in nature,” talking about a three-sigma natural tolerance in a particular value: temperature, in the Svalbard example you note above. This makes absolutely no sense in the context of the first formulation of your null: using this definition of “natural variations,” you end up saying “the changes in climate we are seeing are the result of the changes in climate we are seeing, but those changes are within three standard deviations of the historical mean.”

        So it’s a muddle. You are saying that the null hypothesis for human-caused climate change is that there is no climate change at all. And that’s not a null. That’s a different hypothesis.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        PDA, I answered your question. Now, as in your previous posts, you have done everything you can to answer mine.

        You also still seem to be in some confusion about the null hypothesis. You think (I believe, the writing is unclear) that if someone somewhere makes some statement about natural variation being the cause of something, that natural variation can’t be a null hypothesis. I say again, arguments that natural variation is not the null hypothesis should be referred to Dr. Kevin Trenberth.

        PDA, I’m not trying to defend the null hypothesis. I’m trying to explain what folks in the field (with the notable exception of … well … you) accept as the null hypothesis.

        Next, you make the astounding claim that I end up saying

        “the changes in climate we are seeing are the result of the changes in climate we are seeing, but those changes are within three standard deviations of the historical mean.”

        I have checked this thread from beginning to end, PDA. The only person who said that or anything like that is you, not me. Perhaps you are unclear on the use of quotation marks, I’d recommend Strunk and White as a reference.

        Next, you again try to put words in my mouth:

        You are saying that the null hypothesis for human-caused climate change is that there is no climate change at all.

        No, PDA, I’m not saying that. You are unable to understand me, it seems, but that is as far away from what I’m saying as can be.

        Let me try again in small words. Suppose for a hundred years, sea level is rising at the rate of around 8″ plus or minus a couple inches per century. Then, it starts rising, and before long, it is rising at three times that rate, a rate never seen in the historical record.

        That is the kind of thing that the null hypothesis being natural variation is designed to detect. It is also an effect that is forecast to result from increasing GHGs. The null hypothesis is that the sea level rise is from natural effects … but if it suddenly triples, the null hypothesis is falsified.

        (Note, however, than instead of the sea level rise accelerating, it is actually slowing down. This is why the null hypothesis is important. Regarding sea level rise, we have no evidence at all that the observed sea level is the result of anything but natural variation.)

        Note also that the null hypothesis does not mean “no climate change at all”, a claim that you have most ungraciously attempted to stuff into my mouth as though I had said it, but that I invite you to stuff elsewhere …

        In any case, I’m still waiting for your answer to my question, I answered yours even though you don’t like my answer.

        w.

      • Willis, I completely understood you the first time. I also completely understood you the second time. You said two different things, but they were both clear.

        The first time you said “the null hypothesis [is] that the changes in climate we are seeing are the result of natural variations.” You did not say they are natural variations. You said they are the result of natural variations. The two statements are clearly different, as anyone with a passing familiarity with the English language can see. Things happen as “the result of” some cause. I asked you for a definition of that cause. In response, you insulted my intelligence.

        The second time, you said the null hypothesis is that “no aspect of the climate of the last hundred years is historically unusual.” This is a different statement from the first. I pointed this out and asked you for some accounting of the difference. In response, you insulted my intelligence.

        You’re now sticking with the second definition, which is at least progress. If you agree that I am correctly interpreting your statement of the null hypothesis as “no aspect of the climate of the last hundred years is historically unusual,” then we can proceed.

        The hypothesis I thought was under discussion is that “climate change in the latter half of the 20th century was primarily due to human causes.” It seems to me (and again, I am stating my perception for your review, not attempting to put words in your mouth) that you believe the hypothesis is “historically unusual climate change took place in the 20th century.”

        If I am correct, this is a simple misunderstanding. If we are talking about two different hypotheses, it stands to reason that we would be talking about two different nulls. Yours would be – as I stated above – “no aspect of the climate of the last hundred years is historically unusual.” Mine would be “climate change in the latter half of the 20th century was not primarily due to human causes.” And hopefully, it’s clear that falsifying or confirming one has nothing to do with falsifying or confirming the other. Changes could be caused by humans that are not historically unusual, if the causes of those historical changes are no longer present and heat is being added to the system as the result of human actions. And changes as the result of non-human causes could be historically unusual: what if there were a sudden, unprecedented change in solar output, for example?

        Finally, to go back to the topic of this sub-thread, I am not “complaining that it is unfair” that the work of scientists is hard. The reason I brought that up is directly responsive to Dr. Curry’s supposed confusion about the asymmetry of money spent defending and attacking mainstream science. It is much easier to make statements that cast doubt on scientific findings – whether those statements are valid or not – than it is to defend them. As you and I agree, that is merely a fact. Dr. Curry seems to be unaware of this, which was my only reason for pointing it out.

      • PDA,

        Can you tell me, what would be the logical opposite of the following statement: “the Earth’s climate is now behaving in a way that is demonstrably different from previous climate patterns”?

      • Saaad, I’m hopeful of getting a response from Willis Eschenbach. Unless and until that happens or appears like it’s not going to happen, I hope you won’t mind if I hold your question in abeyance.

      • Fair enough PDA. To be honest, whilst I’m a lover of syllogisms, venn diagrams etc from a philosophical perspective, I have various reasons why I think my question to you was rather unfair….I was just curious to see how you would view it.
        On a purely scientific level you and Willis are far better off without my interference.

      • unless and until you define “natural variability” with any rigor..

        Yes, until this can be done properly, any claims about what is man-made are just hokum.

      • Willis,
        The is a different null hypothesis for every hypothesis. To get support for solving different questions different hypotheses (and null hypotheses) are needed.

        You may prefer asking, whether proof exist for a anthropogenic influence that exceeds some specified threshold. For that you may have your null hypothesis. Somebody else is asking, do we have evidence that the anthropogenic warming does not exceed some other threshold for which they give significance. His null hypothesis is completely different. A third person may ask, do we have support for a specific action to influence the emissions. For that neither of the previous hypotheses or related null hypotheses is optimal.

        Fighting on correct null hypothesis is not sensible unless the issue has been defined on which we wish to get evidence.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Pekka Pirilä | February 16, 2011 at 7:59 am | Reply

        Willis,
        The is a different null hypothesis for every hypothesis. To get support for solving different questions different hypotheses (and null hypotheses) are needed.

        Of course there is, Pekka, I’ve had to simplify things greatly to keep PDA from falling off the bus. But for climate science, they all involve in some way the idea that the observed climate variations are natural in origin. The details of what it takes to falsify the hypothesis will be different in different cases, but that’s the basic thread that encompasses them all.

        Trenberth, on the other hand, thinks that the null hypothesis should be that the climate variations are man-made until shown otherwise.

        Do you agree with Trenberth, Pekka?

        w.

      • I sympathise with your wish to keep things simple for PDA, but hold little hope that you will be gratified. PDA doesn’t grasp the concept of the null hypothesis and probably never will.

        Pekka’s point is important, though. To the tiny extent that N0 is entertained in climate “science”, it is treated as some kind of separate logical construct to N1, to be given a periodic airing over coffee and biscuits, rejected by the third chocolate finger, and put back in its box so the real work can continue unhindered by such troublesome notions. In real science the “presumption of nullity” applies at EVERY stage in the experimental process, even as positive alternatives are being tested. Pekka’s point, that there is a No for every N1, may be a harder one for the CAGW fraternity to grasp, but given that they show little understanding of nullity as such, that further difficulty may be moot.

        Some people are good at erecting in their minds this Chinese Wall, but most aren’t, which is why we’re not all scientists, and why not a few who are scientists shouldn’t be. Even fewer, if any, can achieve the completely dispassionate state of mind required by science. That is why we the Scientific Method was developed, and why wise scientists cleave to it, even when the immediate consequences are disagreeable.

      • Willis,
        I am in the third group. I do not think that it is right to ask, whether the strength of the evidence on AGW is decisive (it is the null hypothesis rejected at a highly significant level). A proof against it would be, but lack of it again is not. The null hypothesis of Trenberth is not either rejected at highly significant level.

        When neither you nor Trenberth can disprove the other side strongly enough, the rational question is, what is justified based on the limited evidence. That takes into account both the limited evidence on the climate change and the knowledge or evidence on the action being considered.

        I side with Trenberth to the extent that it is not correct to deny the need for further studies and potential of sufficient reasons to decide on some actions.

        I disagree on proposal of replacing one wrong argument by opposite wrong argument.

      • Surely one objection to Trenberth’s null hypothesis is that it violates Occam’s Razor? I realise this is normally applied to rival alternative hypotheses, but I don’t see why it should not apply to Trenberth’s proposal – of the two available hypotheses, his counterfeit null hypothesis contains more assumptions than the authentic null, which assumes no relationships between the variables being observed.

      • As to evidence —
        As Willis has repeatedly pointed out, the null hypothesis requires no evidence. This is why Trenberth is so desperate to get rid of it.

        Consider that the CO2-driven AGW hypothesis is most rigorously expressed in the various famous computer models.
        — They predict that surface temperatures will correlate highly with atmospheric CO2 levels. This is vaguely true for two decades in the late 20th century and wildly false for any other time period, on a planet four billion years old.
        — They predict that the tropical upper troposphere (above the convective boundary layer) will show a faster rate of warming than the surface. It does not.
        — They predict that heat energy from downwelling IR which does not show up in atmospheric warming will be stored in the ocean. There is absolutely no sign of ocean heat content increasing over the last decade, when the surface temperature has been more or less static.

        So how much more evidence against the CO2 hypothesis do we need? Every testable prediction of the hypothesis has been shown by measurement to be false; nothing is supporting it other than money and politics; without massive infusions of money and politics, the theory would have been laughed off as completely wacko years ago.

      • As null hypothesis requires no evidence, you cannot either use the null hypothesis to support any claims.

        Thus skeptics defy logic when they say that inability to disprove a specific null hypothesis is a valid argument for not acting – or for any other conclusion. For any conclusion you need some evidence to support it. The well known negative proof fallacy is being used in this erroneous argumentation.

  73. A challenge to any AGW advocate!

    In science, if recent observation is similar to past observation, we don’t need a new theory to explain the recent observation.

    This applies to “Man-Made Global warming” according to the following observed data from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

    http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

    RECENT OBSERVATION: 0.48 deg C increase in global mean temperature in the 30 years period from 1970 to 2000.

    PAST OBSERVATION: 0.45 deg C increase in global mean temperature in the 30 years period from 1910 to 1940.

    The above result shows that the recent global warming, after human emission of CO2 for 60 years, is nearly identical to the past global warming in both magnitude and duration.

    As a result, the recent global warming is not anomalous and “Man-made global warming” is an invalid scientific problem.

    In addition, there has not been any global warming since 1998 as shown in the following chart, with the average global mean temperature anomaly flat at 0.4 deg C for 13 years!

    http://bit.ly/e4Nk93

    In summary, man-made global warming is not supported by the data.

    I challenge any AGW advocate to disprove the above results!

    Girma Orssengo, MASc, PhD

    • Oh, I forgot, with 30-years of increase in human emission of CO2, the global mean temperature decreased from 1940 to 1970!
      http://bit.ly/epk88B

    • Girma makes an excellent point. The early century warming from 1910 to 1940 is unexplained. There are weak attempts to blame it on solar changes based on sunspots, but those attempts are not particularly convincing.

      The obvious question is how do we know that the late century warming from 1970 to 2000 wasn’t caused by the same unknown effect? The IPCC really says that the late century warming was caused by CO2 because they can’t think of anything else. They need to think harder.

    • Girma
      Your challenge has been disproven time and time again (embarrasingly so in some instances as you well know). You understand this yet you still perpetuate this lie. What thrill do you get from this? Perhaps the same sort of thrill when you said you had solved global warming in a few days?

      The power of UNSW engineers knows no bounds!

      • You understand this yet you still perpetuate this lie.

        Where is the lie in the following?
        http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

        1) A global warming rate of 0.48 deg C per decade for the 30-years period from 1970 to 2000
        2) A global warming rate of 0.45 deg C per decade for the 30-years period from 1910 to 1940
        3) Recent warming is identical to past warming. As a result, the recent warming is not anomalous or unusual and natural global temperature variation applies.
        4) As recent warming is identical to past warming, man made global warming is not supported by the data.

    • In science, if recent observation is similar to past observation, we don’t need a new theory to explain the recent observation.

      Well I don’t profess to be an expert in the basic principles of science, but surely that rather depends on the extent to which there are different possible explanations for the past and present observations.
      If a forest fire in the past occurred naturally it doesn’t mean that a present one was not the result of arson.

      • Andrew

        I mean to say regarding natural laws.

        I am applying Occam’s razor where the hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions is selected.

        Recent global warming rate is identical to a past one.

        http://bit.ly/eUXTX2

        According Occam’s razor, we don’t introduce a new assumption that the recent warming is due to human emission of CO2. Instead, we assume the same mechanism that applied in the past also applies in the recent one.

      • Girma,

        That logic simply doesn’t hold when there are a number of potential influences on the climate.
        As it happens we have a pretty good idea that early 20th century warming was due to increased solar activity, with a bit of help from low volcanic activity. But there have been lots of studies which have shown that solar activity can’t account for modern warming, so we are in need of a different mechanism.

      • Andrew

        In an extremely complex subject, we need to question causes ONLY when the observed 30-years global warming trend is significantly different from any past ones.

        It has not, and no new assumption of CO2 driven global warming is required.

  74. Girma

    It’s very simple.

    The rationale for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is to reduce the risk of the possibility of catastrophic outcomes. Making the transition to cleaner fuels has the added benefit of reducing the impact on public health and ecosystems and improving energy security — providing benefits even if the risk is eventually reduced.

    • The rationale for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is to reduce the risk of the possibility of catastrophic outcomes.

      According to the data, there is NO risk of the possibility of catastrophic outcomes.

      Why?

      Because the recent warming rate is identical to the past one.

      You start to worry only when the recent warming, for the same period, becomes much greater than any past one.

      • You start to worry only when the recent 30-years global warming rate, becomes much greater than any past 30-years period.

  75. ianash,
    Its very simple. We have no real idea whether or not CO2 poses a credible risk of catastrophe. All we have is politically funded people with political motives claiming it does; on flimsy evidence, and with little or no respect for honesty and integrity, as the cover-ups and denialism regarding Climategate show.

    What we do know, is that reducing CO2 emissions by changing energy delivery systems will be extremely expensive – perhaps catastrophically so – especially for poorer countries.

  76. “The rationale for reducing emissions of carbon dioxide is to reduce the risk of the possibility of catastrophic outcomes. Making the transition to cleaner fuels has the added benefit of reducing the impact on public health and ecosystems and improving energy security — providing benefits even if the risk is eventually reduced.”

    By Judith Curry
    Wednesday, October 10, 2007; 6:55 PM

    • Ia

      You may not have noticed, but this is a blog for discussion of different views. Not everybody here agrees with Judith about lots of things. Wow! Big deal! Like crikey!

      Are you more used to heavily-moderated blogs where only a single party line is tolerated?

      Or do you have some more subtle post-modern point to make?Because if so it just ain’t getting through. Try another approach.

      • Maybe not getting thru to you Latimer but it never hurts to remind the guests what their host stands for.

        I’ve moved on to post post normal science – where the blogs define the science and peer reviewed science is subservient to the god of Dunning-Kruger.

      • ‘Maybe not getting thru to you Latimer but it never hurts to remind the guests what their host stands for.’

        Would be a funny old discussion if everybody agreed with everybody else. Just like at some other blogs. Once powers in the land, but now in disrepute and decrepitude….

        I”m sure that Judith – as any other poster here – is quite capable of making her own points, whether or not you choose to remind us of them.

        But I confess I am still utterly baffled why you felt the need to do so. Some form of projection perhaps? Or just a lack of anything to say?

      • it never hurts to remind the guests what their host stands for
        Restating what everyone already knows, does hurt. It’s spam, clutter. Try and earn your keep here by being a vastly better class of smartass.

  77. As noted, just a pity we have no real idea whether or not CO2 poses a credible risk of catastrophe. Just the word of the Climategate Crooks.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      The climategate crooks are of course the people who stole the email and hacked realclimate to try and post them up.

      Curiously most of the people involved in the climategate are involved in surface temperature observations and reconstructions. These have had, so far, little impact on the various estimates of sensitivity (remember that sensitivity estimates have not changed much since at least the 1980s – when the record of warming was less distinct).

      Still, if one believes what one reads on Heartland, Cato etc….

      • Craig Goodrich

        “… remember that sensitivity estimates have not changed much since at least the 1980s – when the record of warming was less distinct …”

        Yes, indeed, it is very interesting that the sensitivity estimates have not been changed at all — particularly in their uncertainty — by the expenditure of a hundred billion dollars or thereabouts on research. Seems these estimates are highly resistant to change by scientific discovery. Odd, that; rather like political ideologies, utterly impervious to any actual facts.

        As to the record of warming being less distinct, it could hardly be any less distinct than it’s been over the last 15 years…

    • Climategate Crooks : yes, the people who tried to sabotage the science process are not crooks at all, they deserve the highest political praise. Sigh, if only taxpayers had stayed in the dark as regards how their own money was being used to dupe them into being poorer and less free, the world would have been a far better place by now.

      And that estimates of temperature sensitivity to CO2 have not changed much, does not make them any less questionable. We still have no real handle on natural forces, or what effect there are from feedbacks, water vapour…

    • Yes. I should have said : not only those like Jones and Mann who worked so hard to sabotage the science process, but also those who worked so hard to cover it up afterwards, and those many whose deafening silence on this rampant corruption also serves to cover it up.

  78. Lacis undoubtedly can have an opinion about Cato’s and Heartland’s intent, unless he has the facts, he has no basis to conclude whole stole the e-mails.

  79. There is a fundamental difference between establishing THAT global warming is a general valid theory and establishing HOW MUCH global warming will occur and how and when. Many advocates are satisfied with the THAT question and ignore the question of HOW MUCH, which is the one which I think gets most of the sceptics going. We can look at plate techtonics as an example. This theory is undoubtedly true, but it does not enable detailed earthquake predictions to be made, which is what we might like to know. Just because we understand the Gestalt does not mean the job is done, but that is how the human mind works. Alarmists I think are big picture people, whereas many of the prominent sceptics are nuts and bolts statisticians or engineers who are bothered by hand-waving. It is not just left-right politics. This other dimension is ignored. And yes, many academics love big theory and big ideas, even if they do detailed work at times.

    • Craig,
      According to Trenberth and his pals the only thing that has to be proven is that humans in fluence the climate.

    • Craig Goodrich

      Notice that if you make a “big picture” of your beautiful wife through, say, a fisheye lens, what you get is a photo that is 90% nose. This is not necessarily a useful contribution to understanding of your wife’s Gestalt, unless you have a highly unusual relationship.

  80. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    Great Post Judy but I have a different theory. I think most of these people that complain about oil companies and tobacco companies know full well that their side massively out funds them. I think they just don’t care. I’m 25 and I have been telling my friends for the last 10 years that the science on global warming is junk, specifically that Michael Mann made a fake graph. None of them care. This is exclusively a political issue. I think since we can’t comment at realclimate and some other places, you should not allow people like dhogaza to comment here.

    • Censorship is a bad policy or practice. It is better to openly discuss/debate proposed policies.

      It is quite interesting that when you actually get into a discussion of specifics (like what they believe should be done) with someone who believes that AGW is a problem. They never seem willing to discuss the merits of their plans

    • “I’m 25 and I have been telling my friends for the last 10 years that the science on global warming is junk, specifically that Michael Mann made a fake graph.”

      You reached a conclusion about a scientific topic when you were 15, haven’t changed your mind since and that’s supposed to be a good thing?

    • Craig Goodrich

      Without the dhogazas providing ample evidence here, how could the total vacuity of the cAGW case be demonstrated?

  81. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    Oh, ho ho ho ho. Let’s not forget this one either. Apparently, there is a “controversy” surrounding Dr. Happer’s firing. They are trying to cover up the fact that Al Gore fired Dr. Happer. Don’t believe me? Try asking dhogaza. I can guarantee 2 words you will not see in his post are “yes” or “no”. I do predict to see these keywords “oil” “Koch brothers” etc.

  82. sharper00,

    and you think basing a decision on facts is a problem?

    Or, do you think he should change his mind like his clothes with the current popular leftist attitude, which you seem to be suggesting is a good thing?

  83. So. What does “sourcewatch” have to say about RealClimate.org?
    Exactly nothing. Which is precisely how unbiased their claims about these outfits are to me.

  84. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    @ Fred Moolten

    No Fred the problem with evolution is that it is an incomplete theory. I accept most of evolution theory but nobody has explained why there are still apes. Explain that one to me, Fred. Did some apes evolve and some just didn’t? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense now does it?

    • I reached the conclusion that evolution was real when I was about 15, and haven’t changed it in about 40 years. Should I be worried?
      And I ‘got’ gravity when I was about 9 or 10.
      Hmmm…big trouble.
      ;^)

      • Dr. Jay,
        The above post was for shaper00.
        The nesting / posting here is very sensitive.
        Your point about evolution is that you might have missed the point.
        Modern apes and humans evolved from common ancestors. we did come from chimps and chimps did not come from us.
        We evolved seperately from a common source.
        That is why a tree image is frequently used to show evolutionary relationships. Trees grow seperate branches from a common trunk or bough.

    • It does make a whole lot of sense to biologists, because evolution does not stipulate that a new species may only appear when the one it evolves from has become extinct.
      Have a look around – there are whole hosts of species which came before primates on the evolutionary ladder: worms, insects, fish,reptiles … why do you think they’re still around??
      I don’t know in which subject you earned your doctorate – it most certainly was not in biology.

    • What are you a Dr of, Jay?

    • nobody has explained why there are still apes…Did some apes evolve and some just didn’t? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense now does it?
      Why not? The agent of evolution is random mutation, so some change, some don’t. Nothing says only one can survive.

  85. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    @Orson

    Hahaha, right on my man. I have an even better one. Kathleen Sebelius the health and human services secretary claimed that rising healthcare costs was one of politifacts 2010 lies of the year. Nice source, Kathleen. She may as well have just said Keith Olbermann said it wasn’t true.

  86. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    @Viv and Fred

    I earned a doctorate in environmental fraud. Why there are other animals around, I have no idea. I do know the earth is an inanimate object that does not care. Explain this one to me, though. How come humans are so exclusive? Why can we invent things and why do we ponder our own existence? How come no other animals do that? There’s your problem with evolution right there. And please don’t tell me that beavers building a dam is an example, that does not count.

    • ‘Scuse me for butting in and all, but it seems to me that evolution doesn’t attempt to answer the question ‘why’. It talks about ‘how’ things happen in response t external changes. Evolution is not a predictive theory, it is explicative.

      So I don’t see how

      ‘Why can we invent things and why do we ponder our own existence?’ is a problem for evolution, any more than coffee pots or fluorine or cricket or Newton’s Laws is a problem for evolution. Evolution has nothing to say about such matters.

    • ‘How come humans are so exclusive?’
      Are we really? Looks like a case of wishful thinking to me … Ever heard of physiology? Morphology? Comparative anatomy?

      ‘Why can we invent things and why do we ponder our own existence? How come no other animals do that?’ How do you know that? If whales can sing, and remember up to 70o different lines in a song – how do we know they don’t ponder their own existence? If animals can grieve for their dead (elephants, for example) – why should they be incapable of pondering their own existence?
      ‘There’s your problem with evolution right there. Evolution has nothing to do with this at all. What you are referring to is a question of enculturation, starting with learning by observing. It may surprise you, but this happens in many species of mammals.
      You seem to confuse the fact that we have reasonably large brains, and have evolved the physical mechanisms of language with the supra-evolutionary development of human cultures, which are based on such physiological developments.
      But never mind – you’ve got half a century in front of you in which you can strive to learn more about evolution, and why humans are not ‘exclusive’.

      • Craig Goodrich

        The point here is that the area being touched on remains a mystery to science. We understand more and more about brains, but still very little about minds. When we speak of whales “singing”, are we being anthropomorphic? If whales were shown (suitably slowed) Beatles videos, would their interpretations be cetaceomorphic? Or would they just do the cetacean equivalent of giggling? Is there a cetacean equivalent of giggling? How do you spell “LOL” in Tropical Pacific Dolphin?

        Are we getting a little off-topic here?

      • Yes – a nice conundrum: is using anthropomorphic language ok to describe something an animal does .. I’d say it works as shorthand expression because we can relate to ‘singing’ better than to cetceanic sound iteration.
        as for this:
        ‘How do you spell “LOL” in Tropical Pacific Dolphin?’ Well, I’d guess it might be an almighty slap with the tail fin … which would make spelling a tad difficult …

        ‘Are we getting a little off-topic here?’
        Not just a little, imho – but its fun to get off the straight-and-narrow once in a while.

  87. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    @Sharper00

    Oh okay, I see what you were referencing. Yeah, my belief has always been that since it is a fact the earth has been warmer, colder and had far more co2 in the atmosphere that global warming is a hoax. Even if the theory were true, there is no evidence that a warmer planet is going to kill us. People act like the temperature is going to be over 100 degrees or something. I’ve been on the beach when the temperature was in the high 90s and I didn’t die. Furthermore, the dubious testimony of James Hansen in 1988 and the firing of Dr. William Happer by Al Gore further confirmed my correctness.

    • ” I’ve been on the beach when the temperature was in the high 90s and I didn’t die.”

      I think you have an extremely poor grasp of the issue and what’s being claimed.

      • I’m thinking this “Dr. Jay Cadbury” is a put-on, like an Andy Kaufman shtick. I mean, “I accept most of evolution theory but nobody has explained why there are still apes” has to be a joke. Right?

        Although… these are the days when someone can go on national TV and ramble

        The sun comes up, the sun goes down. The tide comes in, the tide goes out. There’s never a miscommunication.

        and people just nod sagely. Sooooo… maybe not.

      • Don’t know about “Dr Cadbury” but I’ve hiked 16 hour days through the California, Wyoming and New Mexico deserts on 100 deg days. But the Oregon desert and northern California were only in the high 90’s. Care to tell me I don’t “know”?

  88. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    @Rob Starkey

    This doesn’t have much to do with climate change except that the grand dragons of the movement claim it is equivalent to denying evolution. How do I claim to know what animals think? I have not seen a cross or a temple erected by bunny rabbits my friend, have you? Also, humans go way beyond using tools. We have created artificial intelligence. Humans are the most exclusive beings on the planet.

  89. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    @Latimer Alder

    I agree with most of what you said but I think you are just echoing my overall point. Evolution does not answer the question of human exclusivity? Or if you are saying these questions are not in regard to evolution, then what if anything, has something to say about such matters?

  90. Dr. Jay Cadbury

    The earth is below it’s historic levels of both temperature and atmospheric co2. Those who believe 380ppm of co2 will cause significant temperature rises are essentially saying that the historical evidence is useless because something new and different will happen this time. Yawn.

  91. Please reread my post. Evolution does not answer the question ‘why’. It is not predictive. It is pretty good at explaining what we have observed to already have happened.

    But Newton’s Law does not answer the question ‘Why does the force of gravity vary as the product of the two masses divided by the square of their distance apart’.

    And even though we cannot answer the ‘why’, we can use Newton to do lots of very useful and impressive things. Like get a first handle on the size of the universe, send men to the moon and bring them back home safely and get stuff like GPS working.

    So saying that ‘evolution does not answer ‘why’ therefore evolution has a problem’ is to miss the point bigtime. Evolution does not have a problem. It does what it says in the tin, which does not include answering ‘why’ questions.

    So far, nobody has come up with any convincing answers as to the ‘why’s that you pose. Maybe one day they will. Maybe they won’t.

    Until Einstein nobody could answer the question ‘why is there a photoelectric effect’. It was a complete mystery until he showed the way to a better understanding. Perhaps some great thinker is working on the problem today and the front page of Nature will have a splash headline in its next edition ‘Why is Known!’

    But whatever the answer, it does not impinge on the rightness or wrongness of evolution.

  92. Dr. Cadbury: Since everyone seems to be OT, I guess I can be also. You might be interested in this: http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2011/02/disputing-darwin.html

    (I know VERY little about all this, so I am not supporting anything).

  93. We still on about evolution? Until someone explains time dilation to me – I am reserving judgement on the arrow of time.

  94. No doubt that warming is happening. I don’t think it is correct to say “global,” but certainly warming is happening. I have been to Greenland a year ago and saw it for myself. And that’s where the warming is most extreme. And it’s spectacular, no doubt about it. And glaciers are shrinking and so on.

    But, there are all sorts of things that are not said, which decreases my feeling of alarm. First of all, the people in Greenland love it. They tell you it’s made their lives a lot easier. They hope it continues. I am not saying none of these consequences are happening. I am just questioning whether they are harmful.

    There’s a lot made out of the people who died in heat waves. And there is no doubt that we have heat waves and people die. What they don’t say is actually five times as many people die of cold in winters as die of heat in summer. And it is also true that more of the warming happens in winter than in summer. So, if anything, it’s heavily favorable as far as that goes. It certainly saves more lives in winter than it costs in summer.

    So that kind of argument is never made. And I see a systematic bias in the way things are reported. Anything that looks bad is reported, and anything that looks good is not reported.

    A lot of these things are not anything to do with human activities. Take the shrinking of glaciers, which certainly has been going on for 300 years and has been well documented. So it certainly wasn’t due to human activities, most of the time. There’s been a very strong warming, in fact, ever since the Little Ice Age, which was most intense in the 17th century. That certainly was not due to human activity.

    And the most serious of almost all the problems is the rising sea level. But there again, we have no evidence that this is due to climate change. A good deal of evidence says it’s not. I mean, we know that that’s been going on for 12,000 years, and there’s very doubtful arguments as to what’s been happening in the last 50 years and (whether) human activities have been important. It’s not clear whether it’s been accelerating or not. But certainly, most of it is not due to human activities. So it would be a shame if we’ve made huge efforts to stop global warming and the sea continued to rise. That would be a tragedy. Sea level is a real problem, but we should be attacking it directly and not attacking the wrong problem.

    Freeman Dyson
    http://bit.ly/fMX5nQ

  95. Andy –

    I personally don’t think much of any of those groups, but at the same time, WTF? With the billions in grant monies the pro-AGW people get, the $7M, $5M and $1M of these isn’t even worth talking about. OOOOOOH, a cool 11 millions bucks. How hard did you have to look for that? Now take the same effort and look up how much Michael Mann and CRU are drawing in – of OUR tax money.

    Get real. This is like the imaginary welfare queens of Ronald Reagan’s campaigns, who take a few thousand, while corporations reap billions in corporate welfare – only this time it is reversed, Liberal-vs-Conservative.

    You actually think $300,000 makes a dent against those billions being spent to push AGW down our throats?

    You are delusional, Andy, delusional.

  96. P ekka has it about right : we can’t prove CAGW is true, and we can’t prove it isn’t either. Heck, we can’t even prove or disprove ordinary AGW.
    So the alarmists and deniers are both wrong. Only the sceptics are right.

    • Most of policy decisions must be done without proof that they are correct in some precise sense. Still they must be done.

      I am deeply disturbed by the common attitude of skeptics that no significant decisions can be made without formal proof or because some complicated rules of logic are not followed.

      This does not mean that I would any more happy with the other extreme of using precautionary principle to justify anything.

      To me the evidence for risks of climate change is strong enough to be taken seriously. It must be accepted that also rather strong actions must be considered, but being considered does not mean that they should be implemented before their consequences are understood well enough. It is pointless to initiate something that does not work and some proposed actions have their own risks comparable to the positive effects they are supposed to produce.

      Presently I see the EU decision making to err sometimes to the other side (i.e. to initiate processes, which do not produce positive outcome with any certainty) and the U.S. decision making to be too weak to take steps that should be taken.

      • Forgive me if I appear flippant, but a decade or so ago you could have said much the same things about WMD

      • Steve Milesworthy

        The WMD theory lasted a few years at most, most of the world was not convinced the evidence was strong enough to take action, the evidence was far more secret, and the underlying agenda for invading Iraq was widely recognised.

        AGW theory is much older. The “consensus” is broader. There is a lot more evidence and a lot more accessible evidence. There is no underlying agenda at high levels of power as the issue is problematic for most governments despite claims that they are all looking for ways to tax us etc. etc.

      • The WMD theory was killed off only because the invasion of Iraq showed it to be patently false. If not for that invasion, I have little doubt that it would have persisted for decades, and taken on a life of its own, just as AGW has.
        The thing is, the AGW theory has become unfalsifiable. Because it’s stated in probabilistic terms, eg global temperatures will probably increase, we could have a thousand years of cooling without the theory being falsified.
        And, just like the Iraqi invasion, the war against emissions will surely result in ‘collateral damage’.

      • I read Richard Butler’s book (Saddam Defiant: The Threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Crisis of Global Security) about his ordeal as a UN weapons inspector. In it he describes in considerable detail being shown by the Iraqis disassembled and/or wrecked weapons, and lamenting, not their absence, but the fact that the Iraqis had so messed them up as to make COUNTING them impossible. His hosts weren’t trying to say they had no WMD material, still less that they had never had any. Rather they were trying to persuade him that he had seen ALL the material there was to see, while he was afraid he was only seeing PART of it. That he was indeed looking at the remains of a WMD development program he seemed in no doubt. A few months later, after the invasion, the WMDs had vanished, not only from Iraq, but from Richard Baker’s account of the matter. How do we reconcile these contradictions? Is it simply a question of a case of lecture-feeitis on Baker’s part? But if so, the fact remains – he found elements of WMDs, and found them in a readily transportable form. Can anyone shed any light?

      • There is no underlying agenda at high levels of power
        The undelying political agenda is 95% of it.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        No, because all the politicians are more concerned about the coming alien invasion.

    • Most of policy decisions must be done without proof that they are correct in some precise sense. Still they must be done.
      Yes; reality is post-normal – most human action is premised on imperfect information. (Which means post-normal is normal?)

      To me the evidence for risks of climate change is strong enough to be taken seriously.
      Yes, I suspect most would agree it is something worthy of investigation.
      But as to the evidence of risk being enough to warrant action …..

  97. I think it is right and proper to consider how much the various lobby groups with vested interests receive.
    But to systmatically ignore the biggest one of all – governments (by many order of magnitude) – is a monumental mistake.

  98. Willis Eschenbach

    Pekka Pirilä | February 17, 2011 at 5:04 am

    Most of policy decisions must be done without proof that they are correct in some precise sense. Still they must be done.

    I am deeply disturbed by the common attitude of skeptics that no significant decisions can be made without formal proof or because some complicated rules of logic are not followed.

    I am deeply disturbed that you think that is a common attitude of skeptics. I find it quite uncommon, and I certainly don’t hold those beliefs myself. Most folks know that we never have certainty. What skeptics are you talking about? I’ve never heard anything like that from any of the noted sceptics, thats for sure. Citation?

    Look, Pekka, we don’t have any evidence that there is any threat. For example, we have models that say that extreme events will increase … but another recent study just showed no increase in extreme events. Observations trump models in my book. At best any scientific support for the AGW theory is very vague and ambiguous at best, and trivial at worst.

    The attitude that I find deeply disturbing is the idea that we should spend trillions, not billions but trillions, on some untested, unproven hypothesis.

    In all of this, the thing I find most galling is the false sense of urgency. Ravetz and his disciples claim that when decisions are urgent, we need post-normal science … and so the AGW advocates do all they can to whip up a false sense of urgency. Jim Hansen, in 1988, predicted that parts of Manhattan would be underwater in 20 years. Prince Charles, on the other hand, thinks we have only 37 months left to save the planet.

    To me, all of this urgency is absolute nonsense. There is real urgency to get clean water to children around the world – kids are dying every day. There is no urgency in climate science. Jim Hansen claimed the warning would be visible in ten years, and clearly visible in the record in 20 years … and he said that in 1988. That was why he thought there was urgency, and from his perspective, the fact that it hasn’t happened yet only makes it more urgent …

    Now, when I go to make a deal, and the other guy keeps saying “C’mon, I need an answer right now, there’s real urgency here, in a few years it’ll be too late”, I get suspicious. And if I come back in five years to discuss the deal, and he says “You should make the deal right now, in a few years it’ll be too late”, well, after a quarter century of him doing that, I begin to think that perhaps, just perhaps, the urgency is not real, but only reflects the man’s urgent desire to get rid of some shoddy goods …

    So no, Pekka, I don’t agree that skeptics say no decision should be made without formal procedures. We are, however, unwilling to buy shoddy goods being hustled by the “make the deal now, tomorrow will be too late” crowd …

    The problem is not just the lack of evidence after 25 years of looking, Pekka. It is that the people doing the looking have been lying to us for 25 years, telling us every year that they’ve found the new, you-beaut smoking gun that proves that in just a few years, we’ll see the clear signs of global warming, any day now …

    Most skeptics that I know don’t think that it requires an ironclad case to impel one to action.

    However, we are very reluctant to move with no evidence, on the advice of people who have either lied to us, or who sat by silently while we were lied to.

    That’s the part about the Heartland etc. debate that AGW supporters don’t seem to get. Heartland/Cato/Marshall aren’t winning the debate. Many folks I talk to aren’t attracted by the political or philosophical positions of Heartland et al.

    Those same people who might not care for Heartland are repulsed, however, by the actions of a number of the most reputable, leading AGW scientists, and they are distressed and confused by the silence of the rest of the AGW supporters.

    That’s why the AGW side is losing. It’s not because of the money, the AGW side has much more money than the skeptics. It’s not because of the science, the science provides no clear-cut answers for either side. It’s not because of the numbers, there are more AGW supporters than those who doubt the claims.

    The AGW side is losing because folks have looked at the evidence, and they have correctly come to the conclusion that far too many AGW scientists are crooks who have gamed the peer review system and corrupted the IPCC, and most of the other AGW scientists seem have become so used to the actions of those crooks that they’ve lost their gag reflex, nothing turns their stomachs any more …

    w.

    PS – The AGW side is also losing because they don’t want to admit why they are losing. They keep claiming that it is a problem of money, or of skeptics being better at PR, or of scientists not being able to get their message out, or because skeptics have an easier job, the excuses are endless. Guys, the first step to getting out of the hole is to honestly face what got you into the hole. It wasn’t the Heartland Institute, no matter how many times you might want to repeat that.

    However, I’m overjoyed that so many AGW supporters believe that, it means that their side won’t be listened to for quite a while, they’ll be wasting all their time and money trying to fix their PR or something else that ain’t broke …

    • Willis,
      The claim that here is no evidence is nonsense. There is most certainly some evidence. You may argue on the value of that evidence, but claiming that there is no evidence prevents all rational discussion on real value of the evidence. You try to change a issue of quantitative evaluation to a issue of absolute truths.

      This is precisely the point that I find deeply disturbing and you tell now that you are in that group contrary to your claim.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Pekka,

        The question is not evidence of warming from the mid-70s to the mid-90s, there clearly was some. The questions are
        a) was that warming outside the reasonable bounds of historical climate variation; and
        b) is there any actual evidence that CO2 contributed measurably to that warming?

        I have carefully read all of the IPCC’s AR4 WG1 Ch.9, which is the only piece of the report relevant to these questions, and have been able to find no actual evidence (or citation thereof) for either of these questions; the sole argument — after 20 years — seems to have remained the same as it was in 1988: “The models can’t reproduce the warming without CO2.”

        I have presumably missed something important. Please provide a page reference for either the pdf or html version of the report. Thanks.

      • Steve Milesworthy

        a) Fair question. But just because historical climate variation has occurred for no known reason does not mean that its cause could not have been detected if we were able to go back in time with our observational systems.
        b) Given a) the fact that CO2 is (arguably) the only observable cause of the warming is evidence. Reasonably, though, the CO2 “forcing” can be calulated in radiation models, and there is also validation of these radiation models for measurements of the earth with different CO2 concentrations:

        Harries, J., H. Brindley, and A. Geer, 1998: Climate variability and trends from operational satellite spectral data. Geophys. Res. Lett., 25:3975–3978.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Given a) the fact that CO2 is (arguably) the only observable cause of the warming is evidence.

        Sorry, I wasn’t aware that argument from ignorance was a valid logical form, or that it could provide actual evidence. In fact, I don’t recall any such assertions anywhere before the AGW issue arose. Do you have any references on the logic or philosopy involved here dating from before, say, 1987?

        Thanks.

      • Can you expand a little on sentence:

        ‘Given a) the fact that CO2 is (arguably) the only observable cause of the warming is evidence’, please.

        especially on the point ‘is evidence’. I have totally failed to understand the link. Spell it out for me so that I can explain it to my man Joe Sixpack, who is a highly intelligent guy, just not well-educated’ in a formal academic sense. Thanks.

      • Reasonably, though, the CO2 “forcing” can be calulated in radiation models, and there is also validation of these radiation models for measurements of the earth with different CO2 concentrations
        What do these methods have to say about clouds and the overall feedback effect?

      • But just because historical climate variation has occurred for no known reason does not mean that its cause could not have been detected if we were able to go back in time with our observational systems.

        That part may be true although I doubt it. BUT – we know that CO2, as presently underestood, was NOT the cause of the early 20th C warming.

        b) Given a) the fact that CO2 is (arguably) the only observable cause of the warming is evidence. Reasonably, though, the CO2 “forcing” can be calulated in radiation models, and there is also validation of these radiation models for measurements of the earth with different CO2 concentrations:

        Given the fact that CO2 was NOT the cause of early 20th C warming, the assumption that CO2 is the sole cause of warming of the same magnitude for the same period of time in the late 20th C is not logical.

        Also reasonably, AFAIK, the models don’t match the observed warming/lack thereof. .

        Also reasonably, the CO2 level keeps on increasing while the temp has flattened. Your 1998 paper certainly doesn’t explain the last 12 or 13 years of observations.

        The phrase “the only observable cause of the warming” is an ASSUMPTION that doesn’t match the facts. It is, therefore, an invalid assumption.

      • Craig,
        Many things are stated to form evidence in the IPCC report. It is so obvious throughout the reports that asking for a specific page is pointless. Evidence is not synonymous to proof. Evidence can be strong or weak. These points can be argued, but claiming that no evidence is given is contrary to clear facts.

        When IPCC reports contain hundreds of pages listings of evidence and this listed evidence is given in more detail in thousands of pages of scientific publications, basing arguments on a claim that none of this exists or that it can be disregarded by some general argument of logic or other sophistry is not a valid way of proving a opposing stance. The critique must succeed on totally different level to be worth taking seriously.

      • ‘It is so obvious throughout the reports that asking for a specific page is pointless.’

        ‘Scuse me for interrupting, but teh ICC report is supposed to be a review of existing scientific work, with references. Criag has drawn your attention to a very very important piece of the jigsaw – the evidence (or lack of it) – that CO2 actually contributed to any warming. And he says he can find no reference or citation in the relevant section of the IPCC report beyond ‘we can’t think of anything else’.

        It is not a sensible reply to say ‘it is everywhere in the report but has no direct attribution’, as if the matter in question were the Holy Spirit.

        Either there is a referencable piece of scientific work that show sthe point that there is a definite link. or there is not. It is not (with apologies to Schrodinger’s Cat) a probability density argument.

        Can you point us to a definite reference, or is Craig’s point that there is nothing better than ‘Oo err missus, we can’t think of anything else’ correct?

      • Latimer,
        Your request is against my logic. The evidence comes from bits and peaces, which form the whole report. The report as whole is an expression of evidence. You may argue against it, but you must argue against each part of it. You cannot just say that it doesn’t exist or that it is something else.

      • Sorry chum, that is an entirely inadequate reply.

        I think what you are really admitting is that:

        ‘There is no referenceable science that shows a link between a supposed increase in temperature and the increase in CO2′,

        but you are going a long handwaving way about it and hoping that nobody will notice.

        If there were such a piece of work, which would be an extremely important part of the AGW jigsaw, I feel certain that they would have brought it to our attention. And that it would have received great play in the MSM.

      • I;d just add that the christian old testament is written assuming that there is only one true and all-powerful god, jahweh. In the new testament it is assumed that jesus is his son. That the bible was written in such a way does not constitute a proof of anything other that its own assumptions.

        I see no reason to believe that the IPCC report is any different in this regard.

      • Yes, does rather seem like handwaving.
        Though one argument I’ve seen in this connection (was it here?), is that when there are numerous arguments for some idea (“hundreds of pages”), then, even though each one is weak, the combined effect of all of them together is/can_be great. Like lots of circumstantial evidence in a court case.

      • Circumstantial evidence is what you sort of collect as you go along. Not what a real investigator tryingto prise open the secrets of nature would accept.

        A real science does not need to rely on circumstantial evidence. I assume that, since it is the absolute bedrock of AGW that this link exists, that somebody has been going out there trying to come up with some experimental demonstration.

        That no such thing has yet been published (25 years of study I guess) suggests that it can’t be found and that Craig;s comment that the best argument that can be found is ‘we can’t think of anything else’. Which is incredibly weak.

      • expression of evidence….
        Synonym for waffle?

      • When IPCC reports contain hundreds of pages listings of evidence and this listed evidence is given in more detail in thousands of pages of scientific publications, basing arguments on a claim that none of this exists or that it can be disregarded by some general argument of logic or other sophistry is not a valid way of proving a opposing stance. The critique must succeed on totally different level to be worth taking seriously.
        Isn’t it rather the case that the IPCC report needs to succeed on a different level to be taken seriously? Hundreds of pages do not an arument make….
        As others have noted, all it seems to amount to is “The models only work if we assume xyz CO2 effect”. The physical science is still in its infancy.

      • Pekka,

        actually Latimer is being nice. Only WG I presents any facts to back up so called global warming or climate change or whatever. This section is badly flawed due to the paleo section and other distortions. The “fingerprint” still has not been exhibited with any reasonable observations. And NO, I do not accept the apologists who claim the observations are not good enough to show them. If the observations are not good enough to show the “fingerprint” they are not good enough to show we have a warming at all. The error bars are too high and quality observations are too short in respect to known cycles.

        You really have nothing and need to reorganize and present SOMETHING to show we have an issue. Claiming that this is all based on real physics is disingenuous at best.

      • Craig Goodrich

        Many things are stated to form evidence in the IPCC report.

        Yes, indeed, AR4 contains no shortage of uunsupported assertions, and presents actual evidence that global surface temperatures have risen (at least mid-1970s to mid-1990s), which nobody seriously disputes, and that atmospheric CO2 has risen substantially since WW2, which nobody seriously disputes either.

        Then in Chapter 9, “Detection and Attribution”, which is supposed to present evidence for a causal connection, no actual evidence whatever appears, as I said above, simply opaque prose and the usual argument from ignorance.

        The reason I ask for a specific page (Ch.9 is less than 100 pages long) is that I am weary of the evasive armwaving typified by your post, which is all I have ever seen in response to my question. Not only is no firm evidence presented, there is no actual evidence presented that suggests that the CO2 hypothesis even might be true.

        So the central portion of AGW theory remains pure speculation — at best, since evidence against the models is growing rapidly.

      • Graig, so very well summarized my sentiments on the issue and I believe for also many that of many others.

        While I recognize some value in the report, the argument of many supporting lines of evidence boils down to just the following two points:
        1. The warming of global climate, something in the order of less than 1C during the past 100 years is “unprecedented”, of which human influence affected the climate most strongly after the WW2 (total of around 0.5C), of which “most” is due to mankind.

        IMHO, this is not the case, as climate has changed before, and also fluctuated at a similar frequency and amplitude during the period of measured history, namely 1910-1930 and 1975-1998; both periods are virtually the same although the latter starts from a higher baseline. There is ample evidence of vastly warmer eras in the past, not necessarily lasting that many centuries, so it is safe to say there is no such thing as “normal” average temperature. The currently observed, albeit currently flatlining trend well fits inside the estimated yearly, decadal, centennial and millennial variations. NO satisfactory explanation has been given in the AR4 or anywhere else to my knowledge for this obvious observation anybody can nowadays do, thanks to the Internet, and which used to be the common knowledge now being obfuscated by proxy statistics, which have received lots of critisism for mathematical erros, sample picking biases and other shortcomings, let alone the recent media coverage surrounding their publications.

        2. The only possible explanation for this rise (some portion of 0.5C or so) is human activity, CO2 emissions in particular.

        Admittably, CO2 has rather well known radiative properties and there is not much to gain in trying to dispute them. Anyway, whereas in laboratory settings the radiative properies of a gaseous mixture can be quantified, in planetary scale it is known that the CO2 itself does not even nearly suffice for the observed deviation of assumed “static” baseline, which is a ridiculous and indigenous assumption to start with. A figures of around 1C per doubling (assumable per the first doubling) has been presented, but my feeling (and also that of many others e.g. on this site on recent related debate) is that such figure is basically useless.

        Rest of the report starts from the points 1&2 being proven or at least reasonably well demonstrated – which they are not – and paints doom & gloom about worlds end with polar bears, drowning Maledives and monster storms, all as a result of very questionable climate models whose predictive skill is already demonstrably practically non-existent. If the feedbacks and radiative part of the “heat engine planet earth” were as strong as claimed, surely we would have noticed more.

      • Willis Eschenbach

        Yeah, you are right. I realized when I read that sentence after posting that it was an exaggeration, but I couldn’t call it back … I figured that my other statement, that the AGW side is losing because the people have looked at the evidence and aren’t impressed, would be a clue that my statement was in error.

        In any case, you are correct. There is little evidence.

        Now, can you deal with the actual issues that I brought up? I find this kind of response far too common, where someone picks on a minor point, addresses that, and doesn’t comment on the elephant in the room. Now that you have successfully clarified the “no evidence question”, how about the important stuff?

        Thanks,

        w.

  99. I don’t regard myself as a ‘climate sceptic’ in the conventional sense (for a start I don’t consider that I yet know enough about the subject to come to a definite conclusion, although I’m still learning), but when I read passages such as that attributed at the head of this post to A.Lacis it certainly pushes me in a ‘climate sceptical’ direction. If that is the best argument the CAGW camp can offer then they have a big problem.

    • Steve Milesworthy

      Coldish,

      The Lacis comment is one argument. It’s far, far, far from “the best argument”.

      Did you read it in the context of the discussion or did you, as you imply, read just the bit Judith Curry picked out for you. Maybe Judith Curry picked it out because she thought it would have the effect that it had on you.

      • Remind us all of what ‘the best argument’ is please. Saying that it is not that advanced from Lacis doesn’t really help us very much to understand what is. My man Joe Sixpack is gagging to know.

  100. Dr, Jay Cadbury, phd.

    @TomFP

    Tom, excellent post. WMD’s were in fact found in Iraq, it just wasn’t reported. I do not know if Iraqi forces used them in a weaponized form but I know there is a soldier who has a lawsuit pending because he became sick after investigating an abandoned chemical plant. I believe the Iraqis had coated some of the areas with agent orange. It may have been another chemical but I am too lazy to look up the story once more. Point is, Saddam was a bad guy who was absolutely trying to make some nasty weapons.

  101. Dr, Jay Cadbury, phd.

    @Jae

    That was a good read, thank you. Yeah, it is time to move off of evolution. Chief hydrologist said it best when he mentioned time dilation. How does anyone know we have the correct time and date? It is just an assumption that works. Also Latimer, you can’t say evolution explains how man evolved from apes but then say well but the fact that humans are so much different isn’t supposed to be answered by evolution. And Viv, an elephant mourning a dead baby elephant does not prove they ponder their own existence, nor does a whale singing. Anyway, I don’t really care. If you can’t realize how exclusive we are from anything ever born on this planet you are a fool.

    • ‘Latimer, you can’t say evolution explains how man evolved from apes but then say well but the fact that humans are so much different isn’t supposed to be answered by evolution’

      I said no such thing. I merely said that evolution did not discuss questions like ‘why’.

      Please do not put words in my mouth that I neither said nor would necessarily agree with.

    • you can’t say evolution explains how man evolved from apes
      What seems to be the difficulty not answered by random genetic mutation ?

      • Put some mumbers in.

        Assume that man and apes parted company about 5 million years ago. Assume also that a human generation is about 20 years.
        Divide one by the other and you get about 250,000 generations in that time. That’s a lot of generations and a lot of possibilities for random mutation to add up.

      • To add to this OT, the evolution is more than just mutations; for example (as you probably know) very high percentage of chimp and human DNA are the same. For the difference, not that many mutations might be even needed, and actually the seek for common forefathers might have several tracks along the way.

        Essentially it is about both mutations – which might positive, negative, nothing until another mutation occurs etc — and the natural selection/survival of the fittest. The recent book by Dawkins (The Greatest Show on Earth) is a recommended read as ‘basics’ of evolution.

      • anander,

        since Dawkins has admitted on camera that he would accept our design by aliens as long as the aliens evolved I think we can pretty much put to rest any thoughts of, well it COULD HAVE HAPPENED LIKE THAT!! There are simply too many mutations with low chance of survival to allow for the evolution to have happened on the earth. This means you are looking for evidence that is simply not there to support your hypothesis.

        What the evolutionists have moved on to is some form of punctuated equilibrium which actually matches the fossil record where we have extremely long periods of large numbers of species with catastrophic die offs. The problem with this is that you are left with altogether too limited of a period to EVOLVE all those new species. There has simply been no new mechanism proposed that could possibly generate enough positive mutations without the proportionate number of negative mutations that would most likely wipe out all life instead. The typical waving of the arms saying what else could it be simply is not scientific and does not impart any knowledge.

        If you have read about any new mechanisms I would love to read about them. Please post links!!

  102. Latimer,

    check into the proportion of negative mutations to positive mutations and then explain to me why we evolve instead of devolving.

    WE ARE DEVO!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    • I don’t think that it is possible to classify a mutation as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’. Because you would need some form of abstract reference frame to do so. What would yours be?

      But it seems a reasonable proposition that a mutation that allows the organism to better live and procreate in its surroundings will end up with more ‘offspring’ than one which does the opposite. Hence ‘survival of the fittest’.

      And that’s just about evolution in a nutshell. No more, no less. I genuinely can’t understand why so many in the US get so het up and excited about it. In Europe its a non-issue.

      • Latimer,

        “I don’t think that it is possible to classify a mutation as ‘negative’ or ‘positive’.”

        So, if a mutation increases the chance that an organism does not propagate or doesn’t propagate as much and what it does propagate isn’t hardier to make up for the reduced propagation you wouldn’t consider that a negative mutation in relation to that organisms long term survival on earth?

        The opposite would generally be considered for positive.

        One of the ridiculous extensions of survival of the fittest is that it reduces to the ability to flood the environment with descendants with no consideration for length of existance. So, based on survival of the fittest there should be nothing left but organisms that are fast, voluminous propagaters. We see there aren’t so there must be a little more to it than that. Survival of the fittest actually is the selection of optimal gene patterns that already exist in the genome. There is no evidence of positive mutations in 100 years of May Fly research which is a heck of a lot of generations. Not saying there will never be, but, there are simply too many issues of what can actually enhance an organisms chances of survival.

        Basically, all the imaginative changes to an organism that would move a fish with fins to a crawler to a walker WILL reduce its ability to survive. Mutations do not happen a few million coordinated positives at a time, over and over and over. They happen a couple at best. Those mutations are almost certain to reduce the current high level of function of whatever is being modified to a lower level of function until the next few , or a lot of, positive changes happen. How many generations does it actually take to change a fin into a leg and foot with all the circulatory, nerve, musculature, skin, claw… and the organism is not functioning as well as a fish or a crawler or a… yet.

        When looked at from a realistic perspective mutation and survival of the fittest do NOT fit together. Survival of the Fittest edits out mutations that are sub-optimal. As virtually no single mutation will be even as good as the original there is no advantage.

        Then there is the whole issue of how the mutation is transmitted to the offspring. I believe you will find that the testes and ovaries are separate from the rest of the genome after the initial growth. If the mutation happens to parts of the grown organism they will not be transmitted. If the mutation happens in the testes or ovaries then they can be transmitted. Will they be recessive? Will the mutation even be expressed in the child? Will the mutation cause damage? The odds of a positive mutation being passed to the child on its own has large odds against. Many mutations require a complementary mutation in the other parent to even be expressed as geneticists have found that
        many functions are controlled by the genes from the opposite partner.

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

        Exactly how would this ever develop through the assumed mechanisms of mutation and survival of the fittest?

        There is so much that has been discovered in the last 20 years that puts successful mutation practically into the realm of fantasy. The Evolutionists, like the Warmers, need to sit down and come up with new groups of FACTS and new hypothesis to develop into an testable theory. What they have right now is disjunct and useless, an embarassment to the idea of Science.

  103. Dr, Jay Cadbury, phd.

    @Latimer

    I am not trying to put words in your mouth. Sorry if you took my comment that way. Anyway, I have gotten off the topic thread and we mostly agree on this subject anyway.

  104. JFI I note that The Telegraph reports today that UK councils (local government) spend £10M (US$13M) annually on employing ‘climate change officers’

    I wonder how many of them promote sceptical views in their workplaces and in council propaganda? O whether only convonced warmists are likely to be appointed?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/8332107/War-on-thousands-of-local-borough-council-non-jobs.html

  105. Willis Eschenbach

    PDA | February 18, 2011 at 9:01 am | Reply

    Willis, I completely understood you the first time. I also completely understood you the second time. You said two different things, but they were both clear.

    The first time you said “the null hypothesis [is] that the changes in climate we are seeing are the result of natural variations.” You did not say they are natural variations. You said they are the result of natural variations. The two statements are clearly different, as anyone with a passing familiarity with the English language can see. Things happen as “the result of” some cause. I asked you for a definition of that cause. In response, you insulted my intelligence.

    I fear that you are overanalyzing my words, Bart. I see very little difference between saying that the climate fluctuations are natural variations, or that they are the result of natural variations. What is the difference between saying “The fact that day is warmer than night is a result of a natural variation in the sun’s input to the earth” and “day-night temperature cycles are natural variations in the temperature”?

    And if saying that “insulted [your] intelligence”, I fail to see how, but you have my apology, that was not my intention …

    w.

  106. Dear Dr. A. Lacis:

    You should stop blaming others for the failure of the “main-stream” earth science. Because this science is simply wrong. Observations preceded good science and the main-stream science is based on no valid observation.

    The main-stream science assumes a warming planet earth, which is not the case. The surface of the earth is warming, but the upper atmosphere is simultaneously and equally cooling, and the planet as a whole is not warming. In fact mathematics show that it can not warm due to solar radiations. Please see references and Article 12, Earth’s Magic, http://www.global-heat.net. Therefore, the very first step of the main-stream earth science is wrong, and this science will die.

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