New Year’s resolution for scientists

by Judith Curry

Here’s a New Year’s resolution for scientists, especially in the United States: gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan. – Daniel Sarewitz

Daniel Sarewitz has provocative opinion piece in Nature entitled Science must be seen to bridge the political divide.  Excerpts:

As scientists seek to provide policy-relevant knowledge on complex, interdisciplinary problems ranging from fisheries depletion and carbon emissions to obesity and natural hazards, the boundary between the natural and the social sciences has blurred more than many scientists want to acknowledge. With Republicans generally sceptical of government’s ability and authority to direct social and economic change, the enthusiasm with which leading scientists align themselves with the Democratic party can only reinforce conservative suspicions that for contentious issues such as climate change, natural-resource management and policies around reproduction, all science is social science.

The US scientific community must decide if it wants to be a Democratic interest group or if it wants to reassert its value as an independent national asset. If scientists want to claim that their recommendations are independent of their political beliefs, they ought to be able to show that those recommendations have the support of scientists with conflicting beliefs. Expert panels advising the government on politically divisive issues could strengthen their authority by demonstrating political diversity. The National Academies, as well as many government agencies, already try to balance representation from the academic, non-governmental and private sectors on many science advisory panels; it would be only a small step to be equally explicit about ideological or political diversity. Such information could be given voluntarily.

To connect scientific advice to bipartisanship would benefit political debate. Volatile issues, such as the regulation of environmental and public-health risks, often lead to accusations of ‘junk science’ from opposing sides. Politicians would find it more difficult to attack science endorsed by avowedly bipartisan groups of scientists, and more difficult to justify their policy preferences by scientific claims that were contradicted by bipartisan panels.

 The comments on the Nature piece are well worth reading.  I like this comment from  Brian Buerke:
.

Shawn Otto illustrates well what most posters here simply don’t get–most policy choices that appear to be related to science have absolutely NOTHING to do with whether one supports science or not. The policies are based on politics and ideology almost exclusively, with science not determining the “right” answer in most cases. That most people think science can determine the “right” policy shows that their view of science is already corrupted by political ideology. Let’s demonstrate.

After showing where Democrats sometimes run off the rails (GMF and anti-vacs, but not only Dems it should be noted), Otto then says that Republican views are often ” broadly antithetical to science.” According to him, the following cases are examples.

1.) Dislike for critical thinking–Certainly this is an important scientific value, but how exactly do Republicans show this? This seems to be a concocted charge. Certainly, Republicans sometimes reject clear scientific evidence, but so do Democrats. Ever hear of political correctness?

2.) Climate change–Science can tell us about likely scenarios for the future of climate, but it cannot tell us what outcomes should be preferred. Science can’t say whether one should be concerned about polar bears or think solar power is cool. Nor can it tell us how to balance economic interests versus environmental ones. Those who think that climate science demands certain policy choices over others are confusing politics with science–exactly the problem Sarewitz highlights.

3.)Teaching of evolution–Attempts to avoid teaching evolution properly is a good example of anti-science policy, but teaching the “controversy” is not. Science should fair best when the controversy is emphasized and the evidence is analyzed, so this approach, while certainly an example of political pandering, is not antithetical to science. If anything, it is closer to the heart of science than most approaches to science education.

4.) Abstinence in schools–Science can certainly tell us what apporaches are most effective, but it can’t demand that “effectiveness” be the sole reason for choosing a policy. It is not unscientific to choose a policy approach for other reasons. Condoms aren’t very effective forms of birth control? Is their use unscientific? Does science require us to implant permanent contraceptives in all teenage girls because that’s “most effective”? Of course not. It’s not unscientific to use non-science reasons.

The bottom line is that those who call the other side unscientific because of their policy choices are themselves drawing political and ideological conclusions that have NOTHING to do with science itself. Unfortunately, when scientists engage in this behaviour, as they frequently do, it destroys the credibility of science.

Roger Pielke Jr has an excellent post on this A New Year’s Resolution for Scientists.   Excerpt:

John Besley and Matt Nisbet documented this phenomenon in a recent paper and explain how the nature of social media serves to amplify partisanship:

With an ever-increasing reliance on blogs, Facebook and personalized news, the tendency among scientists to consume, discuss and refer to self-confirming information sources is only likely to intensify, as will in turn the criticism directed at those who dissent from conventional views on policy or public engagement strategy. Moreover, if perceptions of bias and political identity do indeed strongly influence the participation of scientists in communication outreach via blogs, the media or public forums, there is the likelihood that the most visible scientists across these contexts are also likely to be among the most partisan and ideological.

For partisans, none of this analysis makes sense because their goal is to simply vanquish their political opponents. That science has become aligned with the Democratic party is, from where they sit, not a problem but a positive. Thus more partisanship is needed, not less. I have no illusions of convincing the extreme partisans of the merit in Sarewitz’s view.  I do think that there are many in the scientific community who object to the exploitation of scientific institutions to the detriment of both science and decision making, and no doubt it is to this group that Sarewitz’s resolution is offered.

There is of course nothing wrong with partisanship or with scientists participating in politics, they are after all citizens. However, our scientific institutions are far too important to be allowed to become pawns in the political battles of the day.

JC comment:  I think the point Sarewitz is raising is really important, but I agree with Pielke that the scientists who most need to hear this won’t be listening.  It is in fact a much bigger issue for the institutions rather than the individual scientists, and I applaud Nature for publishing this, which might get the attention of the institutions.

552 responses to “New Year’s resolution for scientists

  1. Have you seen RPJr’s response:

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/a-new-years-resolution-for-scientists.html

    Interesting, and disheartening. Though I suppose GA Tech has fewer leftists than (eg) Berserkley….

    • David Springer

      Interesting that Pielke included graphs showing the relative poliitcal makeups of science advocacy groups and the general public. There’s no surprises there for me. I noted years ago on a different blog that NAS scientists are bass-ackwards in religious affiliation from the general public with some 70% professing as positive atheists (how they proved to themselves there is no God is beyond me), 20% agnostics (often called weak atheists which includes me) and less than 10% who positively believe that God exists. Political affiliations strongly follow religious – only a tiny proportion of atheists are conservatives – ergo no surprise. Any scientist worth spit in my opinion is an agnostic. If he isn’t he’s a dishonest or stupid scientist because God is neither proven nor disproven. Only 20% of NAS being in that category (which is similar to the percentage in the general public) is shameful and strong evidence that these people are willing to set aside intellectual honesty for policy they view favorable to themselves. You see many scientists have convinced themselves that religion is an enemy of science. The truth is that religious scientists, what few there are, believe that science is simply the quest to understand God’s creation. In fact the Catholic church in particular has traditionally and at times been the only patron of science funding the construction of observatories, institutions of higher learning, and so forth. It is their position that God created a rational universe and made rational man in His image that man could come to know and understand the creation.

      • As one learns about the universe, as all scientists regardless of discipline, do the less space for an interventionist god there is.
        Eventually you are left with the possibilities that there is no intervention because there is no interventionist god. There is also the possibility that there reason that an interventionist god doesn’t intervene is because the deity is evil.
        The whole creationist creed, that god created all the living things in the world, is to use an English word, bollocks. Pretty much everything you observe on Earth is a product of evolution. The idea that only people on the left know that creationism is garbage and accept the centrality of evolution in the sculpting of the planet, is again bollocks.
        I am slightly to the right of Genghis Khan and I know damned well that we humans, along with every living thing on Earth, evolved.
        Don’t you dare try the ‘only a tiny proportion of atheists are conservatives’, it’s again bollocks.
        You don’t speak for Conservatives in the English-speaking world, nor for those in the USA:-

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/10/atheist-conservatives-and-libertarians-are-not-rare/#.UObl-SJvZac

      • + a lot for Doc’s comment

      • +1 is enough, Rob.

        You only have one voice.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        DocMartyn:

        The whole creationist creed, that god created all the living things in the world, is to use an English word, bollocks. Pretty much everything you observe on Earth is a product of evolution. The idea that only people on the left know that creationism is garbage and accept the centrality of evolution in the sculpting of the planet, is again bollocks.

        I know it’s probably a lost cause, but creationism and Creationism are not the same thing. The former is an old term that applies to thousands of different beliefs that share only one thing: they believe something played a hand in humans being created. It cover people who believe the world was created ~10,000 years ago. It covers people who believe the world was created last Tuesday. It covers people who believe aliens seeded this planet with genetic material to start life on Earth. It also covers every “sensible” belief that involves creation, such as those that say the universe was started by a god and then let be.

        Creationism is a cheap trick used by fundamentalist religious groups to co-opt that term to give the illusion of legitimacy. Every time you conflate the two, you encourage a ploy that serves no purpose other than to deceive people. You also insult millions of people who hold religious views that in no way contradict science.

      • Doc
        The belief that there is no god, is just as groundless as the belief that there is one. Just a lot more conceited.

      • Memphis, I would hazard a guess that, like me, you do not believe in:-
        Odin
        Thor
        Janus
        Jupiter
        Saturn
        Genius
        Mercury
        Ganesha
        Shiva
        Krishna

        We have so much in common Memphis, we almost completely agree on a list of deities which do not exist.
        The difference between you and me Memphis, is that you believe in one more god than I do. That’s all, just one more god.

      • I’m shocked, Doc. Who is this god I didn’t even realise I believed in? Does He/She/It have a name?

      • i’ve thought for years that ultimately private spirituality will be akin to Buddhism, public spirituality will resemble Confucianism, holidays and festivals will ring with jugglers, shamanic acts and juggernauts Hindmostly, and the cults of Abraham will be marginalised as too violent.
        ==============

      • Robert I Ellison

        I realised yesterday that we have festivals of renewal and festivals of reversal. The most important of these is Christmas and Halloween respectively. Christmas is a mid-winter pagan festival co-opted by Christians with the birth of Christ as a most potent symbol of spiritual rebirth in the context of renewing community and family ties. Even in Australia it is replete with spray on snow and reindeer antlers sprouting from car windows. Halloween is a safety valve where conformity is overturned and people are free to express animal spirits. Kids get to knock on strangers doors, stay up late and get sick on candy.

        In the future the most important deity will be Santa Claus and demons will still be legion.

    • Have you read and followed the instructions to the letter, enclosed in the Bible? I suspect not. If you are able to turn solution into the substance, you are able to be saved by the gospel. More people agree every day too.

  2. Chad Wozniak

    This is more than a matter of political leanings – it’s a question of ethics. Ignoring and trying to suppress the evidence that massively, overwhelmingly, beyond-totally refutes the anthropogenic global warming “theory” is proof of not only bias but lack of personal integrity and morals on the part of those “scientists” doing so. How could anyone with a conscience support the profiteering that inevitably proceeds (and is already proceeding, in the persons of Al Gore and leftist news reporters, making six- and seven- and eight-figure money spreading disinformation and playing upon the fears of uninformed people) from the lies they tell? And that’s the point – the people pushing the AGW hoax are sociopaths, period. Their mentality is indistinguishable from that of common criminals. Not to mention their determination to dictate every detail of people’s daily lives, and take from people the fruits of their labor.

    • Chad-Your response seems to demonstrate the polarization of people’s views on climate change as much as the propaganda published by those that fear global warming.
      The “theory” of AGW has most certainly not been refuted. What has been refuted is the notion that climate scientists “know” what will occur and when as a result of additional CO2 and that GCMs were well developed enough to accurately forecast future weather conditions.
      The questions are what the rate of temperature change will be over a long term basis as a function of more CO2 AND what other conditions will change that could impact the lives of humans as the temperature changes.
      The truth is that science has found that the answers are still unknown and that the range of estimates covers both a very benign temperature rise as well as one which might be of concern.

    • David Springer

      Why did I suddenly think of the late Stanford environmental science professor Stephen Schneider?

      Oh yeah. I remember. It’s because he said,

      Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

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

      • Misrepresentation – what a surprise.

        At least we know where you stand on that continuum.

      • David Springer

        Scheider’s misrepresentation bordered on heinous and I stand against it. Thanks for noticing.

      • Steve Schneider (Discover Magazine, 1988):

        “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

      • David Springer

        Actually it CAN be solved by a formula.

        LIES = 0

        A very simple formula.

      • I laugh heinously, lying out loud.
        ==================

      • Bagged some nice ice sticks,
        Comin’ into Heathrow, slow.
        Please, Mister. Hey, Joe!
        ===============

      • Dave Springer,

        Pat demonstrated your dishonesty.

        No surprise.

      • David

        Schneider could have restated that to:

        Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being ineffective and being honest an outright liar

        Max

        PS Schneider was NOT ineffective BTW.

      • Technical question: Why do defenders of Schneider think the full quote makes him look any better? I’ve seen this debate move repeatedly, but I don’t get it. To me, the full quote is equally damning and pretty much the context I would imagine from the clipped version. What am I missing?

      • > I hope that means being both.

      • willard, ‘human beans’ as George Wallace, used to say?…

      • Greg Goodman

        Schneider: “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

        It is true, that last phrase often gets ignored. However, there is a logical disconnection with the preceding sentence. If honesty and effectiveness were not opposing forces (in his mind) then there would be no need to find “the right balance” .

        Perhaps he hastily added that afterthought, having realised what he had just said. It certainly does not provide ‘context’, at best it shows him to be incoherent.

        The previous paragraph, about the need to be alarmist and hide scientific uncertainty to get media and public interest shows the context from which his ‘dilemma’ arises.

  3. “gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan. ”

    A committee is at work on that now down the hall on the left and the right in the rubber-walled Multidecadal Room. Oh, wait…Sarewitz said ‘bipartisan’ and not ‘by partisan’

    On the serious side, I agree with you that this is an important issue. But the details are not clear–to me at least. Now my view is through the media including news and blogs. I think that perception of the problem is now impossible from outside. I can not speak for the inside. I am wondering how of the that institution I knew as science in the years of my indoctrination [studies]–even imperfect at the time–exist today.

    Important issue–no ideas from this quarter.

    mwg

    • I am wondering how muchof the that institution I knew as science in the years of my indoctrination [studies]–even imperfect at the time–exists today.

  4. I am curious. How do people define who a scientist is? You often hear from government scientists or a noted professor at a university but how often do you hear from scientists working in industry? Do these scientists not count? I honestly can’t tell you if these scientists are ignored because they work for a profit making enterprise or are they silenced by proprietary agreements and corporate desire to not rock the boat with political stands. No matter, you rarely hear from them. Has anyone done a confidential survey of scientists working in industry or for small business to see how they might lean politically? Another group that has been “de-credentialed” (in some cases literally) are retired scientists such as Fred Singer. (The Washington Post did this in a rebuttal letter that Dr. Singer wrote about a year ago, even though Dr. Singer was very well qualified to write an expert rebuttal.) Perhaps the reason there are so many scientist with with a liberal political background is that is the only ones certain folks want to find.

    • John Carpenter

      “That science has become aligned with the Democratic party is, from where they sit, not a problem but a positive.”

      Where he got that idea, I don’t know. AFAICT, science…. the behaviour of scientific thinking… is politically neutral. There is no alignment with any ideology of any political party in ‘science’. By saying ‘that science has become aligned…’ only demonstrates further the inability of some people to correctly differentiate between ‘scientific behaviour’ and what political ideologies any particular scientist may gravitate toward.

    • Lauri Heimonen

      sean2829 pays attention to the real issue:

      ”I am curious. How do people define who a scientist is? You often hear from government scientists or a noted professor at a university but how often do you hear from scientists working in industry? Do these scientists not count? ” ;
      http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/03/new-years-resolution-for-scienttists/#comment-282177 .

      I am Master of Science on metallurgy. The great majority of my career has concerned to solve problems on metallurgical processes i.e. pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, production of metal products. development of their properties, corrosion of metals and so on. There always has been an objective to reach a working solution well enough. To make it possible one has to be able to apply science and empiric findings available to both further theoretic and further empiric excaminations. Whithout any sufficiently pragmatic experience it is incidental to reach any working solution for a problem.

      The problem of climate warming is analogous to the metallurgical problems above. Both of them are interdisciplinary. Both of them are mainly controlled by natural laws of physical chemistry. To make a working solution possible both of them need a cross-disciplinary approach to problem. This is the way to find what is essential in a problem. Thereafter you can direct your further excamination to true points. Properly done, a solution may be so simple that even laymen can it understand. Concerning e. g. the cause of the recent climate warming, in this way, I have proved that it can not be dominated by anthropogenic CO2 emissions; http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/26/how-might-intellectual-humility-lead-to-scientific-insight/#comment-280612 :

      ”The CO2 content in the atmosphere is controlled together by both all CO2 emissions from sources to atmosphere and by all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to sinks. Nowadays when the yearly total CO2 emissions are little over 200 GtC (CO2 as carbon) and the yearly human CO2 emissions are about 8 GtC, the influence of the human CO2 emissions on the CO2 content in atmosphere is approaching 4 % at the most. For instance, when the CO2 content in the atmosphere is 390 ppm, the manmade share of it is only about 16 ppm at the most; in the reports of IPCC the human share of recent CO2 content in atmosphere is assessed to be about 100 ppm without any proper evidence.”

      • Lauri – Looks like we have another Finnish scientist on this board. Your point about scientists in industry is very interesting. In the sixties I was with Grumman Aerospace when they were the prime contractor for the Apollo Lunar Lander program. Academic scientists looked down upon us as mere “applied” scientists who applied the “basic” principles that only academics could create. They even got the DOD who was funding us to tell us that every report should show how it is applied to the contract involved – no “blue sky” stuff from you guys! Of course we invented these connections on paper and just did what we would do anyway. There was no “publish or perish” policy in effect and what I published was what I actually accomplished which was one or two articles a year. That I regard as normal and someone who publishes an article a month or more in my opinion is stretching it out and faking it. And those with hundreds of articles are frauds. But now to your concern with carbon dioxide situation. I followed your trail backwards to get an idea where you come from. it is quite true that the human share of carbon dioxide added is very small. But we are faced with the fact that carbon dioxide is increasing year by year and greenhouse theory predicts that this added carbon dioxide will cause warming. It turns out, however, that this warming they talk about is all faked and the theory is dead wrong. Let me put it together for you. First, it is no secret any more that according to the Met Office there has not been any warming for 16 years. At the same time, carbon dioxide kept increasing but somehow it had lost its ability to warm the atmosphere. How so? Didn’t it warm the air before this happened? The answer is no, and it comes from a study of satellite temperature curves I published in “What Warming” two years ago. It turns out that there was no global warming in the eighties and nineties, just ENSO oscillations, El Ninos alternating with La Ninas, from 1979 to 1997. That is an 18 year stretch, longer than the present one. It came to an end with the arrival of the super El Nino of 1998, a complete outlier, that brought a large amount of warm water across the ocean. This caused a step warming that raised global temperature by a third of a degree in four years and then stopped. That, and not any imaginary greenhouse warming, is the cause of the very warm first decade of this century. You hear that the twelve warmest years happened this century. Not surprising because they sit on top of that suddenly created high temperature plateau, not because they themselves are in any way unusual. That step warming is also the only warming within the satellite era which now stretches to 33 years. But you probably don’t know this because in most temperature curves there is a fake warming called “late twentieth century warming” that shows a smooth increase of temperature in the eighties and nineties. It hides the fact that global mean temperature did not increase at all and blots out the existence of the step warming. No way can greenhouse warming create such a step warming. And this leaves no time at all for any greenhouse warming during the last 33 years. And if you know that there has been no greenhouse warming at all for 33 years, would you then bet that warming existed before this but then went into hiding when satellites appeared? This simply does not work. And Ferenc Miskolczi has a theory that tells us why rhere is no warming. According to him, there exists an optimum IR optical thickness for the atmosphere such that it is maintained by feedbacks among greenhouse gases when the amount of one greenhouse gas changes. For the earth atmosphere the gases involved would be carbon dioxide and water vapor. If you add carbon dioxide to air it will start to absorb outgoing long-wave (infrared) radiation. That absorbed radiation turns to heat, the air warms, and we have global warming according to IPCC. But according to Miskolczi it never gets that far. His theory tells us that when carbon dioxide begins to absorb IR the amount of water vapor in the air diminishes and thereby compensates for the increased absorption from CO2. The result is that the optical thickness of the atmosphere in the IR remains constant, i.e. the transparency of the atmosphere in the infrared stays the same. The IPCC predicts, on the other hand, that atmospheric transparency should go down. That difference is something that is measurable if you first determine the IR transparency of the atmosphere, then add some CO2, and measure it again. Fortunately we have been doing just such an experiment for years. Starting in 1948 radiosondes sent up by NOAA have been measuring outgoing long-wave radiation to determine how much is radiated into space. At the same time, we have kept an accurate record of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In 2010 Miskolczi used NOAA database of such weather balloon observations and determined that the IR transparency of the atmosphere had not changed for 61 years. At the same time, atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by 21.6 percent. According to IPCC this substantial amount of added carbon dioxide should have caused measurable absorption but nothing happened – the optical thickness remained the same. This is a decisive victory for the Miskolczi theory and a loss for the IPCC. The greenhouse theory they use belongs in the trash heap of history.

  5. In other words, don’t be a David Letterman of science.

  6. I am not optimistic that scientists can extricate themselves from their belief system that they are nobler and wiser than the general population instead of acknowledging they are just another political animal. Climate Science is but one of many areas where data is either less certain or even contrary than scientists proclaim nor wish to acknowledge as such and resort to name calling which dominates the discourse.

    Another politically charged and agenda driven public populism is obesity. More than 3 decades ago data from a National longitudinal study demonstrated that people who were overweight lived longer than those of normal or “ideal” weight. Those who are slightly obese lived just as long as those with “ideal” body weight.

    Six years ago a paper came out with a much larger population data base which said the same thing. All observational data. No cause for such a “paradox” was identified.

    Now Katherine Flagel publishes in JAMA 2013 a meta analysis from world wide data base with a population set of 2.4 million people saying the same thing.
    ” Relative to normal weight… Grade 1 obesity was not associated with higher mortality, suggesting that the excess mortality in obesity may predominantly be due to elevated mortality at higher BMI levels. Overweight was associated with significantly lower all-cause mortality. The use of predefined standard BMI groupings can facilitate between-study comparisons.”

    The howls of scorn are deafening. Like climate science, the ad hominems similar to “deniers” have been heaped upon Flagel again.

    The USA has large Federal, State, and local politically correct anti-obesity programs. We have the organic food campaigns; healthy heart diets; a dieting industry, a fashion industry and on and on. Most of the health outcome statistics employed to show obesity is bad and the obesity epidemic will drive our health system bankrupt pertain to…. the very few, the very obese.

    How did this skewing of science for the “public good” occur? Messaging by scientists who are/where only too happy to tell the public what to do as it came from the mouths of the scientist oracle; from Delphi (Harvard) no less.

    I am afraid that scientists should be viewed like everyone else: they have a biased message that fits their agenda. Ricky Nelson’s Poor Little Fool: “Fooling everyone else as well as myself.”

    • David Springer

      I’ve written about Flagel before years ago and looked into the obesity/mortality study in question. Coronary disease used to be the leading cause of death in the U.S. By the 1990s early detection, non-invasive angioplasty, and cardiology in general have bumped heart disease to the number 2 killer behind cancer. Cancer is, more often than not, a wasting disease especially when radiation and chemotherapies are considered as both the regimens, as well as the cancer itself, tend to shut down the digestive system. Those with a good amount of stored body fat after the digestive system shuts down can tolerate harsher/longer anti-cancer regimens and generally survive the insults of the disease longer than those with less body fat.

      A second factor is that diabetes is no longer so much a killer as it is an expensive annoyance so both tendencies of fatbodies (heart disease and diabetes) don’t kill near as much as they did just 25 years ago.

      The moral of the story is that if you get the cancer your survival prospects are much better if you’re a fatty while the traditional risks of being obese, diabetes and heart disease, are greatly diminished. This situation now makes it “healthier” to be what used to be considered mild obesity.

      The federal government, whose recommendations have a poor track record to begin, is as usual a day late and a dollar short with the anti-obesity initiative.

    • Good post.

      Anybody want to argue that with regard to mortality and longevity, genetics swamps everything else?

      • Yes, it doesn’t.

        Simple test – look at country by country data for LE.

        What do you find?

        Next!

    • +1

      I am afraid that scientists should be viewed like everyone else: they have a biased message that fits their agenda.

      Unfortunately, that is true. That is where science has got. Scientists are more strongly partisan than other professions such as engineering, law, economics.

      • And I wonder if that might be because too many scientists are not held accountable for their wrong calls and statements, and ar paid by government institutions, whereas engineers, lawyers etc are paid by a variety of commercial interests, and that coupled with a requirement to be right, hence requirements for indemnity insurance etc.

      • nzrobin,

        Yes. That’s probably a good explanation of the cause.

      • “Scientists are more strongly partisan than other professions such as engineering, law, economics.” – Peter.

        Any evidence that that sweeping generalisation?

    • andrew adams

      I am afraid that scientists should be viewed like everyone else: they have a biased message that fits their agenda.

      I guess that includes you?

    • RiH008,

      Let me put on my sceptical hat!

      Where to start…….

      BMI is not a good measure for this purpose. It’s limitiations are well known.

      It’s useful as a clinical tool.

      But it’s not good for research. There are better measures.

      The reason it’s used in this case is pretty clear – there’s a big data pile, with BMI as the metric used. Hard to resist.

      Some might find it curious that the most interesting result in this paper occurs in the range (overweight) where BMI is known to perform most poorly.

  7. lurker, passing through laughing

    How about “gain credibility by stop being partisan rent-seeking hacks who would make Soviet era editor for Pravda blush with shame?”

    • Just adapting to realities…

      В Правде нет известий, а в Известиях нет правды.

      f’Pravdye nyet izvestiy, a f’Izvestiyach nyet pravdy [No sure of what WP will do with the Cyrillic..been curious.]

      (In Pravda (Truth) there is no news, and in Izvestiya (News) there is no truth.)

      • lurker, passing through laughing

        Yes, a favorite phrase from my intro to Russian language back in the cold war days.
        Thanks for bringing that old chestnut up.

  8. Socrates would seem ter be the approptiate role model fer
    foolish human kind. Skepticism tempered with humour. Hey,
    What can we *know* ?

  9. John Robertson

    Tust but verify. Wise words but not good advice for the lazy.
    Government has a phenomena of meeting, If you do not understand the discussion, do not ask for clarification.
    Hours of bureaucrat speak will go unchallenged and policy emerges that no-one understands, yet as long as it sounds complicated no one will admit they do not know what is being discussed.
    Climatology and future weather prediction, (30 yrs of which means climate?) will need a new name and a complete cast replacement to regain trust.
    People who cannot run their own lives in a productive manner, preferring to live off of public largess, know what the public good is?
    Shall I consult the bedbugs as to my lunch choices?
    A group whose response to requests for clarification and further information, has been to insult and demean their questioners, have no shame and no hope of gaining credibility.
    How do you regain that which you never had?
    I predict interesting times for authority, and those who hide behind it. Once abused its lost, hence the results of opinion polls of, politicians standing with the public .
    Political activist using claims of science are simply throwing themselves into the abyss and saving the tax payer the trouble.

  10. John Robertson

    Trust, may as well misspell it cause I have lost it.

  11. Hey Judith, just a note here.

    There is just a lot of funding pressure. Nothing says “not a priority” like saying you are doing something for scientific interest. If there is a crisis or doom or possibly money to be made; poof funding can be made. Consequently you have the current enviroment.

    Not sure you can fix that. Electronics gets lots of funding. We don’t have to make up a crisis to do it. Because there is money to be made.

    Enviromentalists, at least a number of them, play on fears and human guilt feelings to get funding. That is the “we are destroying the earth and haven’t even fixed poverty” line that floats out there.

    I think we need more effort put into the field but… well… it’s a tougher sell in these times.

  12. The notion of partisanship in science seems an alien concept. If the science is right, fine. If it is not right, say so and move on. Time to lose the whole science by consensus idea and get back to Feynman basics. Don’t act on science ghost tales. If the error bars are more significant than the observations, bin it. An agenda, even a well-meaning agenda, is not supported by bad science, no matter how good that bad science might sound. It is still bad science. The era of Mann science is finished. I’d sooner trust the Mayan calendar.

  13. Sarewitz demonstrates an overly narrow focus when he says “To connect scientific advice to bipartisanship would benefit political debate.”

    Scientific advice should be non-partisan. From what I’ve seen neither dems or reps have demonstrated they have cornered the market on the sharp tacks in the box. There are generally more than two positions on unsettled scientific matters. You limit your ability to solve problems when you aren’t open to more than two positions.

  14. So now Judith wants scientists to be more overtly and deliberately political as a strategy for wielding influence??

    Wow.

    • “JC comment: I think the point Sarewitz is raising is really important, but I agree with Pielke that the scientists who most need to hear this won’t be listening. It is in fact a much bigger issue for the institutions rather than the individual scientists, and I applaud Nature for publishing this, which might get the attention of the institutions.”

      Michael’s comment: “So now Judith wants scientists to be more overtly and deliberately political as a strategy for wielding influence??

      Wow.”

      Huh?

      • “Huh?” – Peter.

        Huh?

      • In other words: citation please. Where did Judith say what you said she said.

      • That is one of Sarewitz recommendations – and Judith says “I think the point Sarewitz is raising is really important…..”

        I guess ‘really important’ could mean – I don’t agree.

      • Such as this point by Sarewitz? “As scientists seek to provide policy-relevant knowledge on complex, interdisciplinary problems ranging from fisheries depletion and carbon emissions to obesity and natural hazards, the boundary between the natural and the social sciences has blurred more than many scientists want to acknowledge.”???

        No, I don’t think so. Please show me the point of Sarewitz’s that Judith had spoke as being “most important” in the sense that she endorses the principle that scientists should be “more overtly and deliberately political as a strategy for weilding political influence” (your words, Michael not Judith’s)

        This is the second time that we read the same thing but each come up with something completely different.

      • “Please show me the point of Sarewitz’s that Judith had spoke as being “most important” ” – Michael.

        Only if you can point to where i said – “most important”. Hint – I didn’t.

        Let’s revist some the excerpts Judith posted;

        “The US scientific community must decide if it wants to be a Democratic interest group or if it wants to reassert its value as an independent national asset……..support of scientists with conflicting [policital – it seems] beliefs”
        “…it would be only a small step to be equally explicit about ideological or political diversity”

        That’s one hell of a huge ‘small step’!

        and,

        “…avowedly bipartisan groups of scientists”

        To which Judith comments;
        “I think the point Sarewitz is raising is really important…”

        I assume that this is a statement of the affirmative, rather than, ‘this is importantly wrong’.

        If you think the latter, I’d be fascinated to know how you come to this conclusion.

      • Thank you for your response Michael. It seems to hinge on what interpretation one places on Judith’s comment but my interpretation was certainly different from yours. Cheers.

      • fan has already cornered the market on emoticons. So Michael is taking the next best action to acting like a teenager with his “Wow” line.

      • Peter,

        Some people exhibit a great ability to read into others words whatever they want to. So far, Michael has demonstrated this ability. The only one beyond braying that he has demonstrated.

      • David Springer

        Michael’s interpretation seems to rely on “bi-partisan” meaning the same thing as “partisan”. The author advocates scientists become model bi-partisans. To most people that means they should eschew political parties and platforms and simply deal with the unvarnished truth regardless of which party or platform the truth supports or contests.

        In Michael’s sadly common and defective mindset bi-partisanship is just another political affiliation. Evidently. Don’t try to make sense of it. There’s no sense in it.

      • ­> Michael’s interpretation seems to rely on “bi-partisan” meaning the same thing as “partisan”.

        Not at all.

        All it needs is that “bi-partisan” entails “partisan”.

        I’d like an argument to the effect that a bi-partisan process ain’t partisan.

        One could argue that it’s twice as partisan as a partisan one.

      • Willard,

        Yes. Bi-partisan is definitely twice the partisan.

        I’m sure this guy means well, but…..NFW (no f’ing way).

      • Willard said, “One could argue that it’s twice as partisan as a partisan one.”

        LOL Non partisan would have been a better word choice, but there are still some readers that grasped the meaning of “bi-parisan” since non-partisan is a tad rare today. Where have all the agnostics gone?

      • I’d be a hemi semi demi partisan, but quaver at the prospect.
        =================

      • Is partisanship a cyclical property? Sarewitz seems to believe so:

        > But even Nobel prizewinners are citizens with political preferences. Of the 43 (out of 68) signatories on record as having made past political donations, only five had ever contributed to a Republican candidate, and none did so in the last election cycle. If the laureates are speaking on behalf of science, then science is revealing itself, like the unions, the civil service, environmentalists and tort lawyers, to be a Democratic interest, not a democratic one.

        Reality has a liberal bias while Energy is conservative.
        So we need either an energic reality or real energy.

        But what about Goldilocks?

      • She’s fooling with the van de Graaff generator and enjoying herself.
        ==========================

    • John Carpenter

      No.

      wow.

      • We use the term “scientists” for people who correctly identified fossil fuels as a major contributor to global warming but who didn’t recognize that the heat of combustion was the cause. We now have other “scientists” using correlations of CO2/temperature to determine “carbon sensitivity” when no correlations show CO2 to be a cause, rather than the result of the real cause.

    • From Keith Kloor’s blog:

      Kloor: KK: You have a new piece out in Nature that takes a dim view of those who mix science and politics…

      Sarewitz: I don’t take a dim view of mixing science and politics at all….

      • As through a glass, grimly.
        =========

      • So long as the scientist is non partisan!

      • Peter –

        I’m assuming sarcasm – but in case not, how can one be political in today’s world w/o being partisan (or at least judged as partisan)?

      • I’m rarely sarcastic Joshua. In the above comment I implied that good science, like good medicine, should be able to be practised by anyone of any political or religious (if any) persuasion so long as the practicioner remains objective and free from bias. Some people might think that this is impossible but I am always willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

    • Politics and science will always be mixed, whether we like it or not.

      I suspect what Judith has in mind, is the idea that political affiliations should be brought out into the open instead of (as now, in government climate science) being sneakily hidden, with politically-laden science and scientists masquerading as being politically neutral and objective

  15. New Year’s resolutions are a joke, just promises to yourself that you are almost certain to break. Break promises to other people, not to yourself.

    But if you feel you must start the new year with a self-improvement plan, make only one resolution, a simple easy-to-keep resolution, and then forget about it. That way failing won’t make you feel so guilty.

  16. And if this is the problem it appears to be (or, maybe, is acknowledged to be) in the ‘hard’ sciences….just imagine what it is like in the softer and social sciences.

    Even medical science is riff with political ideologies masquerading as ‘solid science’.

    The most recent massive review in the Fat Wars finds overweight and slightly obese person live longer….and the vested health interests are up in arms spinning and twisting to try to ‘explain’ the findings away. Hilarious really….sort of like the CliSci folks trying to explain away the last decade and a half of temperature records.

    • I thought the study was based on BMI, which doesn’t distinguish between fat mass and muscle mass.

      Also, some underweight people are underweight because they are sick.

      • i’m planning a post on this article in the next few days

      • Good. I look forward to it.

      • It’s been known for ages – most of the effect is at older ages, ie if you are over 60, being overweight is definitely better than being thin. Being underweight significantly increases your chances of dying.

        On the other hand, being obese and young is definitely not a good thing – increased rates of a variety of health conditions, from cancer to NIDDM to stroke.

      • Not to mention the fact that tall people tend to have higher BMI – because weight tends to increase as the cube of height rather than as the square – by which BMI is calculated

      • Maybe some are sick because they are underweight, too.

      • David Springer

        The study doesn’t compare underweight to overweight. It compares a BMI considered optimal with a BMI considered mildly obese. Turns out the mildly obese have the lower mortality rate. So the fact that some people who are underweight are fighting a wasting disease is irrelevant.

        Try to keep up. On a more positive note I’d like to take this exceedingly rare opportunity of discovering Max_OK to be in possession of a bona fide fact to congratulate him on the acquisition.

      • David Springer

        Michael | January 3, 2013 at 6:12 pm |

        “It’s been known for ages – most of the effect is at older ages, ie if you are over 60, being overweight is definitely better than being thin. Being underweight significantly increases your chances of dying.”

        If by ages you mean less than about 20 years then yes that’s correct. It wasn’t even true before then. The swing factor is the relatively recent mainstreaming of non-invasive angioplasty. Heart disease is no longer the #1 killer because of that. Clogged arteries are not a big deal if you can get the moral equivalent of a roto-rooter threaded up from a vein in your thigh that cleans out the pipes nearest your heart. Cancer took the pole position as the #1 killer and it wasn’t very long ago. Being mildly obese is a huge advantage in fighting a great many forms of cancer. It’s not complicated and it’s a relatively recent development that cancer took over as the #1 killer in the west.

      • David Springer

        And if the liberals really wanted to solve the health care problem in this country they’d subsidize hang gliding, parachuting, binge drinking, bacon, whole milk dairy products, and anything else that helps people live fast and die young and by young I mean before they’re old enough to begin collecting social security and medicare. Michelle Obama had to take up some first-ladylike cause I suppose. Too bad it’s such a stupid one. Ladybird Johnson liked flowers. That’s stupid too but it at least didn’t compound the fiscal problems facing the nation’s increasingly long-lived and increasingly unhappy populace. I’m not sure what the advantage is in living longer if you’re the nattering nabbob of negativity especially exemplified by climate catastrophists. That’s no way to live.

      • Procrustes now runs a fat farm with guaranteed results.

        I’ve said for years that when the government runs out of money to pay for the drugs to treat obesity, hypertension, atherosclerosis and diabetes, it will tell us to ‘Work for Food’.
        ========================

      • Throughout human history, being overweight meant you were healthy or prosperous, or both.

        Skinny cherubs? Not!
        =================

      • I’m afraid that some respondents are looking at the current Flagel JAMA 2013 study as” new and revealing”; that overweight and mildly obese people live longer. The data over the past 3 decades has said the same thing, long long long before rota-rooter angioplaty became chic. The cancer story is murky at best. The confusion of cancer and body weight confuses the scientists so they say things confusing. Typical.

        Being big is better. Being very big is bad. Being very skinny is also bad. Who’d a thunk it.

        There is >30 years of data that says that overweight and mildly obese people live longer than the “ideal” body weight people; the Flagel study is just the most recent iteration. The bad health outcomes of being obese occur to the significantly and morbidly obese people. There are no certain age data for being big. The age issue in popular and politically correct press is speculative and has data to refute it. Besides, BMI in children, especially young children is non-sensical; i.e., not a scientific characterization of children’s weight issues.

        The politicalization of the science of obesity by scientists is identical to the that surrounding climate science. Both are driven and financed by political correctness to the detriment of many people (150 million Americans) and to world economies as well as USA (EPA Endangerment Finding).

        My current practice for reading science: I look for the agenda first, then results, then methods, then introduction, then discussion. And of course, I discount conclusions, going back to my first step, looking for the agenda. Finally, I take a deep breath, exhale and ask my self: does this piece make sense?

      • Agree RiHo08 with your approach to the reading of papers. The smell test is best and if one is to be honest, this applies to papers from both sides of the debate.

      • RiH008 ” I look for the agenda first, then results, then methods, then introduction, then discussion.”

        Once Michael gets a hold of that it could be entertaining :)

      • It makes sense to take a deep breath before reading, which gives you the time to think of something better to do.
        ===========

      • Dave Springer makes the common misconception about dying young saving on health costs – it makes little difference.

        The major costs associated with death are around the time of death (surprise,surprise), regardless of age, ie whether you are 40 or 80, doesn’t matter much.

        Dave does get something half-right – the increased survival rates with IHD. But misses the very important other half – that we have an increasing number of people living for very long periods with chronic disease / disability and the significant costs associated with that.

        This is where overweight/obesity is a problem – sure they don’t die of MI as much, but we have the long term sequelae to deal with.

      • I look for the agenda first, then results, then methods, then introduction, then discussion.

        So, what is the “agenda” of the authors of this study? Does it differ from the authors of other studies published in the same or other journals? How do you distinguish the different agendas of different authors (whom you presumably have never met, never talked to) who might otherwise seem to be similar in approach, in professional affiliations, in expertise? I wonder if you might look at results first and then determine “agenda?”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Professor Curry,

        This meta-study I think is had 1/4 million people.

        The meta-study of mortality is curious here, as they exclude studies where nobody died.

        When the studies are taken from the viewpoint of decision making wrt say, a patient with spreading cancer, it could make sense, but as a cudgel against antioxidants use, maybe not?.

        “Database searches yielded 16 111 references. Exclusion of duplicates and irrelevant references left 1201 references describing 815 trials. To obtain additional information we wrote to authors of eligible trials. Seventy authors responded. We excluded 816 references (747 trials) due to the following: mortality was 0 in both study groups (n=405 trials, including about 40 000 participants [http://ctu.rh.dk]); did not fulfill inclusion criteria (n=245); was not a randomized trial (n=69); insufficient data (n=24); or still ongoing trial (n=4). We included 385 references describing 68 randomized trials fulfilling our inclusion criteria and able to provide data for our analyses”

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, I am taking a stab that RiHoo8 meant ‘abstract’ rather than ‘agenda’? I am not familiar with technical papers having an ‘agenda’ section… no?

      • Springer — Dear Old Lady Bird Johnson got the USA to clean up the litter — mostly along America’s roadsides — and replace them it with wildflowers. . Because of her, I still religiously carry a litter bag in my car and stuff candy wrappers in my back pocket if no trash can is to hand.

      • Re: thisisnotgoodtogo: On Meta Studies.

        The whole topic of Meta Studies (or review studies, as they are sometimes called) is that they have to be studying the same thing in mostly the same way, or you can’t combine the results in a meaningful way. You can’t study mortality, of course, if no one dies. But, in a large enough group, there are always people dying.

        It can be a valid viewpoint to say studying mortality against a disease or condition is not desirable — maybe one just doesn’t want to know. But many many studies have been done on this particular issue — BMI or simply weight/height (the generally used measure of ‘fatness’, though most everyone agrees it is far from perfect) and the results used to push the political/social view that everyone must be forced (through manipulation of food laws, the schools, social pressure etc) to be skinny — because (they say) being fat makes you die younger.

        Remember the Food Police issuing the statement that the current generation of children will be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents based on the obesity issue. (That, of course, isn’t true — wasn’t true — but they did publicly make the claim and it is still echoing in the MSM).

        The above description of the Fat Wars situation has its parallels in the Climate Wars, of course.

      • Dunno John,

        Joshua, I am taking a stab that RiHoo8 meant ‘abstract’ rather than ‘agenda’?

        I remain dubious (not that I think it isn’t important to consider the “agenda” behind analysis).

        I guess I’m just more of a skeptic than you?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Kip Hansen
        “The whole topic of Meta Studies (or review studies, as they are sometimes called) is that they have to be studying the same thing in mostly the same way, or you can’t combine the results in a meaningful way. You can’t study mortality, of course, if no one dies.”

        Right. My point is that the study was being trumpeted as showing increased mortality with antioxidant therapy. Take antioxidants, live fewer years.

        The approach is about mortality in sick old people taking antioxidants, not about life expectancy of those taking antioxidants..

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua,

        “I guess I’m just more of a skeptic than you?”

        snicker… maybe so, I’m just sayin of all the published papers that I have had a hand in and of all the technical papers I have ever read I have never seen one with an ‘agenda’ section…. abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, conclusion… yes, agenda no.

        Upon a closer reading of what RiHoo8 said…

        “My current practice for reading science: I look for the agenda first, then results, then methods, then introduction, then discussion. And of course, I discount conclusions, going back to my first step, looking for the agenda. Finally, I take a deep breath, exhale and ask my self: does this piece make sense?”

        perhaps I should join your skepticism wrt to why one would scrutinize a technical paper in that fashion and particularly in that order. I’m not sure what ‘agenda’ one would look for before reading the paper, I would think that would be determined… if it could be determined at all…. after reading the paper.

      • The structure :

        – abstract
        – agenda
        – introduction
        – methods
        – results
        – discussion
        – voting recommendation
        – anonymous tip jar

        would work well for a bi-partisan collaboration.

        The donations could go to the Goldilocks Fondation.

    • Let’s see – a quoted RR of just 1.06, with the CI probably encompassing 1, and in all probability at a 95% CL.
      Colour me deeply sceptical.

    • First, the study does not find that “slightly obese” people live significantly longer.

      Second, the study looks at overall mortality, which is basically useless from a clinical or practical perspective.

      For example, higher BMI (at the level of being overweight as opposed to level “normal” BMI) is associated with risk for diabetes. Diabetes is not only associated with mortality, but it is also a chronic disease with significant comorbidities. The cost of treating chronic diseases like diabetes are huge.

      There is a lot that is relevant to discuss w/r/t the limitations of that study is not even reasonably characterized as “up in arms spinning and twisting to try to ‘explain’ away the findings.

      This kind of meta-analysis are important, but they should be viewed within proper context, and not used to advance tribal wars.

      • Joshua

        The incidence of diabetes is not associated with being overweight nor slightly obese. Diabetes incidence increase begins with moderate obesity (BMI 36 to 40 and escalates rapidly when BMI is over 40 and beyond.

        Then the paradox: already having diabetes and being overweight (BMI 26 to 30 and mildly obese (BMI 31 to 35) leads to lower mortality than those of “ideal” body weight. Same is true for cardiovascular disease. Once you have cardiovascular disease, being overweight and mildly obese are associated with longer life than CV disease and “ideal” body weight. Ditto for renal disease. All a real paradox.

        But the issue is the messaging by scientists who preach “big is bad”. We have hundreds of billions of dollars invested in “big is bad”, and without the qualifiers, the message is wrong, and that in and of itself is bad. Which means of course, the scientists have corrupted the message for their own purposes. If that ain’t bad, I don’t know what is.

        Climate scientists are in the same category as the purveyors of obesity alarm and are to be viewed with similar chagrin.

      • RiH008 –

        Looks like I’m going to have to dig a bit deeper. I ran this by an epidemiologist student/client (who has worked with one of the authors of the study in question). She indicated that being overweight, controlled for distribution of fat, is a risk factor for diabetes. It should be fun to research this a bit.

        Do you have some links? In particular ones that discuss the paradoxes you mention, including the limitations of the rather blanket statements that you just made?

        The bottom line here is whether or not this kind of meta-analysis of “overall mortality” has any clinical implications. Do you think that on the basis of this study, doctors should tell people with “normal” BMI that they should begin gaining some weight?

      • So, the digging begins:

        Flegal: overweight people may have lower mortality because they get better medical care, because they show symptoms of disease earlier or because they’re screened more regularly for chronic diseases stemming from their weight, such as diabetes or heart problems. She also proposes that perhaps being thin doesn’t make you sick, but instead being sick can make you thin. In this study, people who lose weight because of diseases such as cancer contribute to earlier death among the ‘low BMI’ category.

      • The digging continues:

        It’s also worth mentioning that Flegal’s analysis includes WHO international reports – and it’s fairly intuitive that in developing nations, having a low BMI is often linked to chronic illnesses and STARVATION as well as higher mortality.

      • “Climate scientists are in the same category as the purveyors of obesity alarm and are to be viewed with similar chagrin.” – RiH008

        Excellent…..example of what is wrong with the purported ‘sceptics’.

        Look at one study.

        No critical appraisal.

        Leap to conclusions.

        Make significant errors.

      • “Excellent…..example of what is wrong with the purported ‘sceptics’.”

        And because the BMI was put together by a government panel of those who stood to gain financially by having the most people found “obese”, the thing is suspect.

        You do know that Lance Armstrong, in his prime, winning the Tour, was “overweight”? And that Barry Sanders was “obese”… right? The BMI has little scientific value, but immense funding value.

      • You do know that Lance Armstrong, in his prime, winning the Tour, was “overweight”? And that Barry Sanders was “obese”… right?

        Well now, that settles the debate, doesn’t it?

        What next, twiggy being skinny proves that anorexia isn’t a health risk?

      • I do understand the term “Non sequitur”, and wonder what argument you were trying to rebut?

        What I am saying is that AGW, obesity, population control, holes in the ozone, styrofoam cups, peak oil, etc etc all have a predictable pattern. And in all cases you have people who scarcely are scientists, who scarcely care about the science, grabbing money and power with the hysteria of the thing.

        And of course, we have the true believers who claim that we’re evil, or stupid, or both when we doubt them.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        If I recall correctly, a meta-study of mortality and vitamin E showed increased mortailty for vitamin E dosing people.

        However, many of the individual studies were done with seriously ill old people, and any study that did not have deaths was rejected.

        because it was a study of mortality.

      • The incidence of diabetes is not associated with being overweight nor slightly obese

        Type 2 diabetes is linked to (over)weight.

    • States with a high obese percentage have shorter lifespans. This one makes more sense to me. I guess it is not surprising that there is a correlation.
      E.g. ( this shows an even better correlation than the uninsured percentage)

      http://www.cuug.ab.ca/branderr/usamed/

      • Comparing the metrics of lifespan to mortality rates (as used in the study) is interesting.

        Does anyone think that people with a lifelong history of being overweight or stage 1 obese have longer lifespans than people of “normal” BMI?

      • Another comment stuck in moderation for no apparent reason.

        Comparing lifespan to mortality rate as a measure of health outcomes would be interesting.

        Anyone here want to argue that people who are overweight or stage 1 obese over a lifetime live longer lives?

      • To the point of the article, is it too political to point out that the lifespan correlates with insured percentage, or is it just science? Depends what you read into it in terms of action, doesn’t it?

  17. Neither Democrats nor Republicans will respond when I express the view that it is the heat produced by our energy use, not the CO2 by-product that causes global warming. I’m not sure they actually receive the correspondence since their staffs try to protect them from inane or trivial content, nevertheless the net result is that our government, as well as the rest of the world, bases their energy policies on the presumption that CO2 must be removed by all means possible and many are foolish enough to promote nuclear power as an acceptable alternative fuels. I have ranted long and hard on previous blogs and won’t elaborate unless someone wants more specifics.

    • Touche. Selective policies at work? Based on selective science?

    • I would say if one worried about CO2 and one worried about lessor greenhouse gases, to be consistent should worry about waste heat as
      it somewhere in the same ballpark of effects.
      But I don’t think one should be too concerned about greenhouse gases.
      Another minor warming effect one could worry about is irrigation.
      But I think a 1 C warmer world is a better world. And I think 500 ppm is better than 400 ppm of CO2. And I don’t we get 500 ppm or 1 C warming in less than 50 years [and don’t think it’s so important that we should in a rush to get to this “better world”. More than 2 C warmer and more than 1000 ppm would not be optimal.
      Rather than global temperatures, I think some regions would better if there a more extreme warming- say +5 C and I don’t know any regions that need an average temperature lower. Though some regions could improved with more rainfall.
      I think from condition of being space faring, we could have get economically sound means of controlling regional climate- so cooler region could buy warmer conditions at a low cost.

      • I would not argue with you on whether we would be better off with a warmer climate. I am just saying if global warming is a concern, let’s focus on the real cause.

      • “I would not argue with you on whether we would be better off with a warmer climate. I am just saying if global warming is a concern, let’s focus on the real cause.”

        The real cause is in my view the same cause that caused global cooling as evident by glaciers advancing global until about 1850 to cease. At this point in time the glaciers began receding and we left the Little Ice Age.

        It seems the causal element is that whatever was causing the somewhat unusual cool period called the Little Ice Age, ceased causing to make the planet cooler.
        So we have a condition of returning to typical warmer periods during any number glacial periods of which we have had many times in the last few millions of years.
        And the last few millions year could be characterized as damn cold and some periods which is warmer, but even in warmer periods still having glaciers all around world and large ice caps in the polar regions [which have been generally more permanent in the Antarctic- a couple million years worth of permanent, and less permanent in Greenland.]

    • @Philip Haddad
      [my] view that it is the heat produced by our energy use, not the CO2 by-product that causes global warming.

      So the heat from the sun is a mere side-issue ?

      • The heat from the sun has been here forever and is our primary source of heat. Now within the past decade we find temperature rising. The heat emitted by our energy use (primarily fossil fuels but also nuclear”) is more than enough to cause the measured rise plus melt glaciers. Where else is can this heat go? It has not raised the temperature enough to be dissipated by radiation. The only reason we are concerned about CO2 is because Kyoto noticed a correlation between temperature and CO2 rise and did not consider that burning of fossil fuels is to produce heat and simply declared CO2 to be the cause. In the past the heat was balanced by the cooling effect of CO2 being converted by photosynthesis to trees; 5000 btus per pound of CO2.

      • @Phillip
        According to others who have responded, the radiative imbalance due to increased CO2, is estimated to be 100 times larger than the heat from burning fossil fuel.

      • If so why has the temperature risen such a slight amount? where is all this heat being “stored”? The geothermal heat flow is about 44 terrawatts and will raise the earth’s surface temperature to maintain the thermal gradient between the atmosphere and the surface. An accurate measure of the increased surface temperature and thickness of the “surface” is necessary to calculate the increase in stored energy. Frankly I’m not sure my comment addresses your response, but it’s the best I can do.

      • Philip Haddad

        The heat emitted by our energy use (primarily fossil fuels but also nuclear”) is more than enough to cause the measured rise plus melt glaciers. Where else is can this heat go? It has not raised the temperature enough to be dissipated by radiation.

        This is gibberish. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

      • I am quite certain that you have no idea what I am talking about.

      • Haddad, do you not recognise the complete physical incoherence in what you write? Consider (by which I mean *think*) about this rubbish:

        Where else is can this heat go? It has not raised the temperature enough to be dissipated by radiation.

        Heat that does not raise temperature ‘enough’ to dissipate by radiation yet melts glaciers and raises GAT by ~0.7C in a century?

      • Are you so unaware of physics that a glass of water with ice cubes in it will stay at the same temperature basically at 32*F, until the ice has melted from the heat? C’mon Man you can do better than that. That is what glaciers are doing for us at present. Last year Greenland’s ice sheet melt rate was almost 290 billion tons a year compared with 55 billion tons a year in the 1990’s. That is a big reason why temperature rose only one fourth the potential rise from 16 terrawatts of heat from energy use. If you had not heard that CO2 is the cause of global warming this might sound much more believable to you. I’m afraid the CO2 myth has become ‘too big to fail” One more thing, If we add 50x10E16 btus per year, under the greenhouse cover, how can it differentiate between “waste heat” and solar heat? I’ve about had it with our “discussion”. Neither of us will change.

      • Haddad, repeating incoherent rubbish doesn’t stop it being incoherent rubbish. You are a crank. End of.

  18. Bipartisan should be replaced with Nonpartisan.

  19. I think some of the politicization should be laid at the doorstep of the parties, which energetically hijack both scientists and science to make their points for them, with or without the permission/cooperation of the scientists themselves.

    Once that process starts, some scientists will go along to get along, as it were. But I bet it doesn’t start on that side of the fence.

  20. Two interrelated topics seem to be the golden thread of this post: the politicization of science (and scientists) and the creep of social sciences into natural science.

    Sarewitz writes

    the boundary between the natural and the social sciences has blurred more than many scientists want to acknowledge

    This is an unfortunate truth.

    It has opened the door for concepts such as “post-normal science” (Funtowicz and Ravetz) which are intended to bend the rigorous rules of the scientific method where a high level of uncertainty exists regarding the hard scientific evidence yet purported urgency exists to solve a problem of high social impact.

    As far as the politicization of science (in particular, climate science) is concerned, Mike Smith posted this comment on the Roger Pielke Jr. site that sums it up pretty well, and also touches on the “post-normal science” concept:

    Politicization of science is a major problem regardless of the perpetrators. Science should be based on facts and the scientific method — period.

    There is no doubt that the IPCC forced “consensus” process is politically motivated. This process deviates from the scientific method in that it rejects dissenting opinions and scientific studies in order to defend the “consensus” view.

    This has been very unfortunate for the objectivity of climate science and, as a result, the public confidence in climate scientists in general (as polls have shown).

    New Year’s resolution?

    How about: Trash the “consensus process” and open up climate science to all legitimate scientific views.

    (Just a thought.)

    Max

      • I’ve just been re-reading Mike Smith’s ‘Warnings’, which ages well. He’s another, though this one’s about the failure of the tornado warning network in Joplin, Missouri’s lethal twister.

        I treasure his photo of rain curling up and about, confirming microburst theory.
        =================

  21. Must(?) learn something… thought that science was about science and politics was about politics… Anyone knows a difference of ‘em…?

    Cheers/TJ

  22. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.

    ~Michael Crichton (“Remarks to the Commonwealth Club,” San Francisco, September 15, 2003)

  23. But what if the consensus position on AGW is correct and the right wing of American politics is wrong? That the way most scientists would see it and , of course, most right wing types see it exactly in reverse.

    Sometimes agreement is just not possible.

    Having said that, there is the possibility of common ground on the question of nuclear power. But, not if the attitudes of the Peter Langs of this world are anything to go by!

    • tempterrain

      You like these rhetorical “what if” questions, don’t you?

      A forced consensus is wrong, regardless of whether or not some aspects of the subject matter may be correct.

      Rational skepticism and dissention are key to the scientific method – if they are excluded by edict, we are talking about “dogma”, not science.

      This is particularly true in an infant science, such as climatology, where the unknowns still exceed the knowns by an order of magnitude.

      Max

    • Max,

      …where the unknowns still exceed the knowns by an order of magnitude.

      That’s what Biblical creationists say about Evolutionary science.

      The chances of anyone, scientists or otherwise, bridging the gap between Creationists and mainstream science, and between radical right wing AGW rejectionists and mainstream science, are pretty much equal and very close to zero in both cases.

      • tempterrain

        What “Biblical creationists say about Evolutionary science” has absolutely no bearing on the discussion here and is of no interest.

        I am rationally skeptical of both “Biblical creationism”, and the “IPCC CAGW premise”, for exactly the same reason: neither is supported by empirical scientific evidence.

        Let’s stick to the topic.

        Max

    • @tempterrain
      But what if the consensus position on AGW is correct and the right wing of American politics is wrong?

      I think what he means is : but what if the leftwing consensus position is wrong and the open minded skeptical position is right ?

  24. New Year’s Resolution!

    To demonstrate that it is an “equal opportunity employer”, the University of California In Berkeley is hiring a token Republican, whose office will be located near the entrance of the Political Science Department

    • Bazooka Joe. He’ll tell riddles and fortunes, too, but not if you leave your chewing gum on the bedpost overnight.
      ===========

  25. Scientist may sink to whatever level, or rise to whatever heights they will; I shall endeavour to never be both scum and dregs at the same time, lest old tiljanders be upset.
    ===============

  26. Well, here’s a good test for this New year Resolution:

    Just read through Beenstock et al, November 2012 (not easy for me with my middle-level stats):

    http://www.earth-syst-dynam.net/3/173/2012/esd-3-173-2012.pdf

    NOT paywalled

    I’m waiting for Tamino’s head to explode

    • Interesting paper ianl8888. Spurious co-relations between moving time series data with only T in common is IMO one of the main issues that AGW science has not adequately dealt with.

  27. Daniel Sarewic says: ”bipartisan groups of scientists, and more difficult to justify their policy preferences by scientific claims that were contradicted by bipartisan panels”

    Daniel, take the wool off your eyes!!! You can see that: Warmist AND Fake Skeptics are promoting ”localized” warmings / coolings. as GLOBAL. That’s where the precursor of all evil is..

    The Fakes are using the original lies for the last 150y,as their own proofs – it suits the Warmist; the ”Skeptics” to be bigger liars than themselves.
    Unless my ”REAL PROOFS” are faced… both camps are dead WRONG!!! so much for ” bipartisan” to be reliable…

    So, what’s the difference, for example: between Jim D and Manaker, and similar? There must be some difference between them two, but is impossible to notice – same as two cheeks on a same ar/se.. Both camps are Carbon Molesters – both camps use ”LOCALIZED” warmings, as global – both camps are scared from my real proofs – both camps ”PRETEND” to know what was the GLOBAL temperature, for individual year / for the last 1000years – even though: NOBODY KNOWS WHAT WAS LAT YEAR’S global TEMPERATURE.

    ”proxy” warmings used by the Fakes – and ”projections / predictions” by the Warmist are ”sandpit jobs” which will destroy the western economies and democracy – only I have real proofs; that can be proven NOW and can be replicated in controlled environment as experiments – all proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. Both camps are scared from real proofs, are you too?

  28. Here in North Carolina, the state legislature voted to only use historical sea level data in projecting future sea levels. Immediately, the usual suspects on the Left had a field day with it, labeling the NC people as rubes, hicks, etc.

    What *really* happened is that the state agency in charge of planning tried to use a factor of 3x the IPCC projected sea level rise, itself higher than historical averages (but not by much). In so doing, the agency hoped to preserve wetlands, gain funding, etc — in other words, accomplish goals they otherwise had using, at best, suspect science.

    In that little scenario, you have the AGW discussion in a nutshell — people claiming that those who doubt the most dire predictions are ridiculed, and those who use such assertions can easily use them for money and power. And any hope of good use of science is thereby lost.

  29. Hey Dr. Curry, here’s an interesting perspective from an academic who is now an editor at the Ottawa Citizen.

    {But it should also change the way academics work as well. One of the more poorly-kept secrets of the academic world is that humanities professors and social scientists are the most ideologically committed members of society. People like to complain about journalistic bias, but journalists are in fact far less politically biased than most professors. A great deal of what passes as academic political commentary is little more than partisan opinion-mongering }

    From this blog – http://authenticityhoax.squarespace.com/blog/2013/1/2/a-comment-on-glen-mcgregors-toward-a-dogme95-of-political-re.html

  30. It seemed to many of us in Australia that Al Gores infamous sci-fi film on the evils of carbon dioxide was a result of him still smarting from his defeat by George Bush. Apart from politicians of like mind taking up his call, significant support came from economists who were probably surprised that they were so influential seeing that they were far less successful in their financial predictions.
    At the time and since, the IPCC could only show good correlation between CO2 concentration and global average tenperature by being selective in the periods they examined – like ignoring the fall in temperature between 1940 and 1970. Yes, there was a rise in temperature between 1910 and 1940 due to increasing concentration of CO2 but then it stopped for reasons that can only be explained by Quantum theory as does the constant average temperature since about 2000.

    • You assume that the rise in temperature was because of the rise in CO2. That is the problem. People let this same misinformation keep them from examining the possibility that maybe it is heat and not CO2. It’s easy to calculate.

      • Okay Philip, let’s remove all the non-condensing GHGs from the atmosphere. Would it:

        – Cool down
        – Stay the same
        – Warm up

        See Lacis et al. (2010) for the correct answer.

        Please tell me your comments here are tongue-in-cheek, a bit of a wind-up for the po-faced consensual types.

        Please.

      • Perhaps it would warm up since photosynthesis would cease. but who would know since everyone would have already starved to death.

      • BBD wrote: “…let’s remove all the non-condensing GHGs from the atmosphere”
        ———————————————————-
        Reductio ad absurdum doesn’t prove anything

      • RTFL phatboy. You do too much talking and not enough reading.

      • BBD, you know nothing about me

      • I know that you haven’t read L10.

      • Phats, you have finally prompted me to *find* the Climate Etc guest post by Lacis.

        Now you don’t even need to bother with L10 ;-)

      • These people cannot or will not calculate the amount of waste heat from anthropogenic sources and admit that this amount of heat will overwhelm any net heat gain from CO2. Don’t just quote “experts” that’s our problem. We let Kyoto ‘experts’ cram CO2 down our throats.

      • BBD, there never has been, nor will there ever be, zero CO2, or, for that matter, zero non-condensing greenhouse gases. Not by a very, very long shot.
        You’re not even comparing apples and oranges, you’re comparing a single apple with an orchard of artificial oranges.

      • I am not comparing the waste heat to the amount of solar heat. You are missing the point. The anthropogenic contribution is about 0.03W/m2, enough to account for all the measured increase by a factor of fouir

      • Phats, either GHGs provide the framework for the terrestrial ‘greenhouse effect’ (see L10) or they don’t. If they do, then increasing/decreasing the atmospheric fraction of GHGs will affect the rate of energy accumulation within the climate system. If they don’t, L10 and much conventional physics is wrong.

        Rather obvious rhetorical wriggling is beside the point. Do you argue that L10 is flawed and much conventional physics is wrong? Then by all means publish your hypothesis. The world needs to know.

      • Certainly adding CO2 should increase the amount of heat absorbed. Increased amount of solar heat or increased amount of heat from our energy useage?. The CO2 can’t differentiate where the heat is coming from. Furthermore CO2 can cause a lowering of solar energy,
        through photosynthesis, of 5000 btus per pound of CO2 converted to trees, etc. Actual net increase of solar heat is infinitesimal or perhaps even negative.

      • BBD, If you took the sun away we’d all freeze to death, ergo the sun is hot. Nobody’s arguing basic physics – but neither can you deny that the signal is currently masked by noise which is poorly understood and unquantified.
        There’s a lot we don’t know.

      • The sun has always been here. no one denies that most of our heat comes from the sun. The question is how much of the present temperature rise can be accounted for by man’s activities. The answer is all of it. Is it CO2 or heat?

      • Philip Haddad

        According to Flanner (2009) anthropogenic waste heat is equivalent to a forcing term of 0.028W^m2. In other words, not very much. There’s more, including links, at the ever-popular SkS.

      • phatboy

        There’s a lot we don’t know.

        Phats, we know enough. Pretending it ain’t so isn’t going to make it go away.

      • BBD, if I pretend you’re not real, will you go away?
        Anyway, it’s friday so I’m on my way out – speak later

      • “maybe it is heat and not CO2. ”

        Heat is energy that has to come from somewhere. It has to come from increased temperature of something. The oceans were the most obvious source, but they take decades to heat or cool, but according to my old Encyclopedia Britannica the sea surface temperature was falling during the middle of the 20th century. So that is not the culprit. There was no rapid reduction in aerosols, indeed the opposite was more likely. So that left only Carbon dioxide. CO2 is a fairly ordinary gas, but it was (and is) less than one percent of the atmosphere, so in classical physics it would have to nave an extraordinarily high specific heat which it has not, to qualify. But it does have so-called vibrational modes that can absorb and release large amounts of heat as photons of energy, best studied and understood in quantum physics.

      • The source of heat is the heat of combustion of fossil fuels. Why is that so hard to understand and accept

      • Why try to make something so esoteric out of something so simple?

      • Alexander Biggs | January 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm |

        “But it does have so-called vibrational modes that can absorb and release large amounts of heat as photons of energy, best studied and understood in quantum physics.”

        And how much is “large amounts of heat as photons of energy”

        As guess somewhere around 1/1000th of the solar energy which reaches Earth’s surface?
        Or would better guess be somewhere around 1/100th of energy of the photons from a sun?

        Now, to be in agreement with greenhouse theory, most of this large amount photon energy of all the greenhouse gases is being absorbed and released by H2O gas molecule.
        But we also have H2O molecules in the form of droplets of liquid water,
        in terms of global scale, what the difference in term total quantity of photons being absorbed and released by H2O gas as compared to H2O liquid [droplets/clouds]?

      • Philip Haddad

        The source of heat is the heat of combustion of fossil fuels. Why is that so hard to understand and accept

        Because it is incorrect. And you have now had a link to an explanation of *why* it is incorrect. Yet here you are again. Why?

        From the linked article:

        the contribution of waste heat to the global climate is 0.028 W/m2. In contrast, the contribution from human greenhouse gases is 2.9 W/m2 (IPCC AR4 Section 2.1). Waste heat is about 1% of greenhouse warming.

        What do these numbers mean? They refer to radiative forcing, the change in energy flux at the top of the atmosphere. Or putting it in plain English, the amount of heat being added to our climate. Greenhouse warming is currently adding about 100 times more heat to our climate than waste heat.

        That’s it Philip. End of. You must find another lever with which to overturn the scientific consensus.

      • If you would bother to think about it we are dealing with the small amount of heat required to shift the balance that we have been blessed with. Don’t cite your “experts”, that is the whole basis for these discussions. Your experts have proved nothing.

      • “overturn the scientific consensus”

        It’s already been done, BBD. You are just slow on the uptake.

        Andrew

      • Thanks for your rebuttal!

      • That’s just your opinion BA. And you aren’t very bright.

      • (Apologies for butting in)

        “the contribution of waste heat to the global climate is 0.028 W/m2. In contrast, the contribution from human greenhouse gases is 2.9 W/m2 …”

        Another difference: Waste heat is being absorbed directly at the Earth’s surface. The forcing contribution from human greenhouse gases occurs at TOA. Does anybody know what a forcing at TOA does to the lapse rate? If the forcing were to heat the upper atmosphere more than the lower atmosphere and the lapse rate were to be slightly reduced, the forcing contribution at the Earth’s surface would plummet.

      • The figure of 2.9 W/m2 must be incorrect. That is 100 times the factor of 0.028W/m2 (which is the amount of heat released by 16 terrawatts of energy. 2.9 W/m2 has the potential to raise atmospheric temperature by 17*F per year. I would appreciate it if you can provide the source of this figure. Thanks

      • I already have. Read the link provided – twice – above.

        Being an aggressive crank is even worse than being an amiable one btw.

      • I don’t know what reference SkS used but this is the one I had in mind, which is why I accepted the SkS figure without quibble.

        Reference: NOAA annual greenhouse gas index (AGGI).

        See here. Look down for the table headed Global Radiative Forcing 1979-2010 (W/m^2). 2011 total value: 2.838W/m^2.

      • Thank you for the reference. The constants for the other gases are apparently based on the relative absorption as compared to CO2, and the constant forCO2 is based on the assumption that CO2 is the cause of global warming The NOAA. published “A Paleo perspective on Global Warming” http://www.ndc.noaa.gov/globalwarming/temperature-change.html. I hope you will check this out. In the graph showing rise in temperature and CO2 over a span of 400,000 years NOAA contends that this shows that whenever CO2 goes up, temperature does too. This is an incorrect interpretation. The cycles are caused by increased solar impact due to shifts in earth’s orbit, tilt, and wobble.(Malenkovitch cycles). Note that after the peak temperature has been reached temperature drops faster, by decades and centuries faster than CO2 showing that CO2 is not supporting or causing temperature rise. On the contrary, temperature rise causes CO2 rise. This incorrect interpretation has prompted NOAA to state that climate sensitivity to CO2 can be determined by comparing a given rise in temperature to the rise in CO2. The constant for CO2 was determined emperically by forcing the equations to match the measured data. No one really knows how much heat is picked up by absorbed radiation or how much heat is prevented by absorption of CO2 through photosynthesis. On the other hand expected rise in temperature from waste heat can be readily calculated, (all energy becomes heat), and is within less than a magnitude of measured values, and any excess explainable due to glacial melting and cooling through photosynthesis. Please consider this before accepting and citing “experts” who try to reenforce the CO2 myth. I am sure they are sincere in their beliefs.

      • Philip Haddad

        The constants for the other gases are apparently based on the relative absorption as compared to CO2, and the constant forCO2 is based on the assumption that CO2 is the cause of global warming

        The radiative forcings for the various GHGs in the index are derived from radiative transfer calculations which are considered robust. So what you say here is both confusing and apparently confused. If you read the AGGI link, you will find an explanation of the methodology used.

        I hope you will check this out.

        Unfortunately, the link is broken.

        In the graph showing rise in temperature and CO2 over a span of 400,000 years NOAA contends that this shows that whenever CO2 goes up, temperature does too. This is an incorrect interpretation. The cycles are caused by increased solar impact due to shifts in earth’s orbit, tilt, and wobble.(Malenkovitch cycles).

        That would be ‘Milankovitch’, I presume?

        It is well understood that CO2 is a *feedback* to orbital forcing. It therefore *lags* changes in orbital forcing.

        The dynamics of the last deglaciation are explored in Shakun et al. (2012). The lagged climate response to increasing summer NH high latitude insolation and the globalising role of GHG feedback are investigated in some detail. But of course, these studies are merely the work of “experts” and should be ignored in favour of sages such as yourself.

      • What is meant by”orbiital forcing”? Is it not clear that the lag of CO2 following temperature by decades and centuries indicates that CO2 does not cause nor support increased temperature. At least you are familiar with Milankovitch cycles (even though I misspelled it.) Do you acknowledge that Milankovitch cycles caused the rise and fall of temperature? If so can you see how NOAA misinterpreted the data? Increased solar heat caused the rise in temperature, which in turn, caused the rise in CO2. In our present day combustion of fossil fuels produces both heat and CO2. The heat causes the rise in temperature, the by-product CO2 causes the rise in CO2. Nowhere can it be shown that CO2 is the cause of heat. I will try to understand and refute your positions and hope you will do the same for me without invective and name-calling. Let’s keep it civil.

      • Philip Haddad

        What is meant by”orbiital forcing”? Is it not clear that the lag of CO2 following temperature by decades and centuries indicates that CO2 does not cause nor support increased temperature.

        Orbital forcing is synonymous with Milankovitch forcing. This is or should be extremely obvious from my previous response to you.

        What is also obvious from this exchange is that your topic knowledge is marginal at best. It is clear that you haven’t read any of the linked material I have provided, preferring instead to plough on repeating your mistaken and palpably ill-informed ideas. I am striving for civility, but there is no politer way to express these facts with the necessary clarity and force.

        I have already explained that during deglaciation under orbital forcing, CO2 is a *feedback* to that forcing. I have linked you to full version of Shakun 12. I am simply not prepared to continue this exchange while you ignore what is said and refuse to read the links. It is a total waste of *my* time.

        Believe any old nonsense or be prepared to learn. These are mutually exclusive positions and at present you are wedded to the former.

  31. How to produce the bi-partisan process (BPP) in four easy steps:

    1. Take a list Nobel prizewinners with political preferences that are willing to be signatories of some bi-partisan process BPP.

    2. Inspect they public record to check their political affiliations and put them into two piles of partisans, P1 and P2.

    3. Take the lowest number from P1 and P2 and substract it from the other.

    4. Publish BPP.

    Sarewitz wanted a bi-partisan process. Here’s one.

  32. New Years Resolution for Scientists? What would it take for scientists to achieve a resolution with their critics and “gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum” ?

    The phrase in italics is code for the ultra – right , it would seem.

    IMO there isn’t anything they can do except say that Lindzen was right all along and maybe award him a Nobel prize. Is this is what is being asked of them?

    • New Years Resolution for Climate Scientists?

      Start behaving like scientists.

      Instead of being the propaganda arm of the Democrats.

    • tempterrain | January 4, 2013 at 12:14 am | Reply

      New Years Resolution for Scientists? What would it take for scientists to achieve a resolution with their critics and “gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum” ?

      The phrase in italics is code for the ultra – right , it would seem.

      No, it means exactly what it says. “Code”, if you insist, for for everyone except the ultra-left (aka the Consensus)

  33. Suggesting that progressives who are scientists should become less partisan is like telling kleptomaniacs to steal less. Progressives (including progressives who are scientists) are progressives first and everything else second.

    The correlation between the high incidence of atheism and progressive political ideology among scientists, and academics in general now, is no accident. Once man abandons religion, he looks for something to take its place. Right now, the most fashionable church substitute is progressivism. You get the benefits of religion: a substitute morality and something to belong to. All without the need for humility or that cumbersome personal responsibility.

    Conservatives are evil, stupid, and to be shunned. The “consensus” is the equivalent of an oracle not to be questioned. And the “principles” of progressivism – “fairness” and “for the children” are sufficiently amorphous to justify any policy.

    “Bi-partisanship” in our current culture means those who disagree with progressives abandoning their principles and following the “elite” like good little sheep.

    • GaryM

      Progressives (including progressives who are scientists) are progressives first and everything else second.

      One reason why scientists are progressives is they are all on salary and nearly all on the public payroll. They do not understand where the money that pays them comes from. They have no understanding of that at all. They’ve never had a real job. Never really worked for a living. Never had everything they own at risk of their business failing. They just don’t understand.

      The majority of employees, especially public sector employees, are progressive. They believe the world owes them a living whether they do anything to improve productivity or not.

      That’s a bit harsh, but it’s time some of the ‘Progressives’ here, who hurl most of the abuse, woke up to themselves.

      • “They just don’t understand”

        Yes they do, Peter. They simply prefer to avoid risk … don’t underestimate the power of fear of risk, please

        I once asked a Professor of Geology at a well-regarded Aus university why academics fought each other so viciously (we had observed just such an incident at his uni)

        “Because there is so little to fight about”, he answered. Without risk, there is not all that much reward

      • Ianl8888,

        What I meant is that the ‘Progressives’ don’t understand business, nor the real consequences of the restrictive and regulatory policies they want to impose on businesses.

        They don’t understand because (mostly) they haven’t had extensive real life experience in it, certainly not at the top levels of management and ownership. They don’t really understand that everything society has – and their salaries – ultimately comes from the income and profits businesses earn and the taxes the businesses and their employees pay.

        The ‘Progressives’ pay lip service to saying they understand, but they don’t really in that they haven’t experienced it.

      • Peter Lang,

        I think you are mistaken on the issue of cause and effect. Most academics do not become progressives from receiving government paid salaries or grants. It is their progressivism that leads them to choose such positions.

        The vast majority of progressives are what they are because that is almost all they have ever heard. It is what they were taught since grade school on. Almost all of their friends and family were progressives, whether they called themselves that or not. When everyone around you believes the same thing, and you are taught not to question the “consensus,” progressivism becomes the default position for anyone with an education.

        Once you complete college and learn that government is the primary source of prosperity and good, then it only makes sense to find a job with government. If you are interested in science, and already a progressive, where else would you go than a state university or college. or at least one funded by government research grants?

        Climate scientists in particular are not progressive because of their positions, they are in their positions because of their politics. If government is “where it’s at,” then climate science is the place in ‘science” where the interaction with government is at its greatest.

        A progressive climate scientist (OK, that’s redundant) gets to pursue an area of interest, while also furthering the unrestrained growth of government, and his/her own power. Except progressive scientists don’t think on terms of power, but of “impact.” They get to “impact,” ie. force changes in the lives of other people, through their work. But it is the same thing.

        What more could a good progressive want?

      • John Carpenter

        Peter Lang,

        “One reason why scientists are progressives is they are all on salary and nearly all on the public payroll.”

        This is a bit too general of a statement to be true. I am a scientist, I work in the industrial sector and would not consider myself a progressive. I am aware of thousands of scientists like me working in industry. Perhaps what you meant are ‘academic’ scientists?

        GaryM

        “I think you are mistaken on the issue of cause and effect. Most academics do not become progressives from receiving government paid salaries or grants. It is their progressivism that leads them to choose such positions.”

        I would hazard that is not the case for most. Most choose to stay in academia to either teach or to continue doing research in the field they enjoy within an environment that allows them the freedom to pursue such research. When I was in graduate school, most of my classmates went on to work in industry somewhere and did not choose to stay in academia because they were, like me, motivated to make money. Those that I know that chose to stay in academia certaintly did not choose for the reason you offer.

        “Once you complete college and learn that government is the primary source of prosperity and good, then it only makes sense to find a job with government.”

        Except that, again from my experience, most graduates do not look at the government as a source of prosperity and good and that most graduate do not seek out government positions.

        “A progressive climate scientist (OK, that’s redundant) gets to pursue an area of interest, while also furthering the unrestrained growth of government, and his/her own power. Except progressive scientists don’t think on terms of power, but of “impact.” They get to “impact,” ie. force changes in the lives of other people, through their work. But it is the same thing.”

        There is some marginal truth to what you say here. Yes, a scientist interested in studying climate can typically only pursue that career within an academic or governement position, but I don’t think they are actively trying to further unrestrained growth of government or his/her power to ‘impact’ changes of other people through their work. Most probably pursue such careers for the interst of the type of science first and a whole host of other reasons next with desire to ‘impact’ changes to other peoples lifestyles much later.

        Your and Peters take on scientists and academic scientists I find a bit cynical.

      • GaryM,

        Good point. I agree that is the predominant cause.

      • John Carpenter,

        All good points. I need to clarify what I meant.

        Some of my scientist friends claim that people who do science degrees and then move into industry and use their degrees such as chemistry, geology, etc for work but do not publish research papers in science journals, are not scientists. They say scientists publish in scientific litterature, not just in reports. I was making that distinction. I am not sure if that distinction is generally accepted or not. Based on that distinction, I suspect my statement that “most scientists are progressives” is correct.

      • John Carpenter

        Peter Lang

        “Some of my scientist friends claim that people who do science degrees and then move into industry and use their degrees such as chemistry, geology, etc for work but do not publish research papers in science journals, are not scientists.”

        Well, if the scientists in industry who put their talents into producing products, medicine, materials, chemicals etc… are not really scientists because they aren’t published in journals….. then what are they? I know of no requirement that a scientist has to publish in journals to be considered a ‘scientist’. That would not be a distinction I would accept.

      • John Carpenter,

        Your term “academic scientist” is better. It removes any ambiguity.

    • So “progressives” don’t understand business because they don’t own businesses or are top managers in businesses. And they don’t understand that CO2 has no warming effect on the atmosphere, because, ..er they don’t own businesses. Is that the argument?

      You mean they should be more like Bill Gates?

      http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/05/13/how-bill-gates-would-solve-climate-crisis

      • tempterrain,

        Being a successful capitalist does not mean that you have a clue about the conservative principles that have lead to the richest, freest, most generous society the world has ever known.

        Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and the quintessential example, George Soros, have all become billionaires under the capitalist system they now seek to undermine (Gates and Buffett I think unintentionally, but Soros intentionally and with relish).

        Progressivism is not uncommon among corporatists. Jeffrey Immelt and Lee Iacoca come to mind as the type of crony capitalists who love government as a means of gaining advantage over their competitors. Gates on the other hand probably suffers from PTSD from the decades long progressive assault of government on himself and Microsoft. Going green for him is probably just his way of buying off the thugs.

        “Nice multi-billion dollar multi-national company ya got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it…again.”

      • Bill Gates isn’t stupid.

        US DOE is waving around ‘free green money’ to just about anyone with an idea as to how to create ‘clean energy’.

        Toss in 20% of your money for a 100% equity stake in the project. Get US DOE to toss in the remaining 80% with no equity stake. If the invention works you pay back US DOE your original loan.

        The ‘green game’ is a venture capitalists dream. The government assumes the majority of the risk but doesn’t get to share in the ‘success’.

        Then we have the ‘genius’ progressive Warren Buffet…he manages to get the ‘Climate Concerned’ to protest an oil pipeline that will cut into his business of hauling oil. He’s a regular ‘climate hero’…his trains only haul around 400 million tons of coal per year.

        Hansen calls ‘coal trains’ death trains…Buffet is the biggest owner of coal trains….Tooo Funny…

        That’s the great thing about many ‘religions’…as long as you ‘talk the talk’ you can sin all you want.

    • Say Gary,

      It’s been about 2 months since the election, and I’m wondering if I’ve missed your post explaining how you could have been so wrong about the conspiracy to rig polls to inflate Obama’s chances of winning (in fact, on the whole the polls were inaccurate in that they projected Romney’s vote count to be higher than what occurred).

      Any chance you’ve decided to accept accountability for being so laughably wrong?

      • There is one way to put it Joshua,…

        Senator Dianne Feinstein,

        I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own. Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime.

        You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain. I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

        I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free. I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve. I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

        I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned. I am an American. You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

        I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

        We, the people, deserve better than you.

        Respectfully Submitted,

        Joshua Boston

        Cpl, United States Marine Corps

        2004-2012

        right on.

      • > You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

        You bet she could.

        She’s representing citizens with the same rights as this soldier. She’s serving his country too. And Democracy, and Freedom.

        Have you noticed the switch from “I” to a “we, the people” at the end of that letter, Tom?

        An honourable rhetorical gambit, though.

    • On modern progressivism as the new religion, this from the Times Literary Supplement (by way of NRO):

      “In its predominant forms, liberalism has been in recent times a version of the religion of humanity, and with rare exceptions – Russell is one of the few that come to mind – liberals have seen the Communist experiment as a hyperbolic expression of their own project of improvement; if the experiment failed, its casualties were incurred for the sake of a progressive cause. To think otherwise – to admit the possibility that the millions who were judged to be less than fully human suffered and died for nothing – would be to question the idea that history is a story of continuing human advance, which for liberals today is an article of faith. That is why, despite all evidence to the contrary, so many of them continue to deny Communism’s clear affinities with Fascism. Blindness to the true nature of Communism is an inability to accept that radical evil can come from the pursuit of progress.”

      http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1186584.ece

      “millions judged to be less than fully human….”

      Brings to mind two tenets of the progressive church – abortion and euthanasia.

    • John Robertson

      The name for this cult, Secular Anti-humanism.
      The cult that must never say,”I don’t Know”.

  34. How to gain more balance of power in a bi-partisan process such as proposed by Sarewitz in four easy steps:

    1. Become an independant voter.

    2. Win a Nobel prize or something that earns you klout.

    3. Give your change to the Blue Elephant.

    4. Participate in a Bi-Partisan Process, like the signing of a petition.

    There. More balance of power.

    I trust that Kerry Emanuel will enjoy such processes.

  35. Chad Wozniak

    Mr. Starkey:
    If my opposition to dishonesty and fascistic tactics makes me polarized, then so be it. I’m also polarized when it comes to Nazism, mass murder and sexual abuse.
    I makde no apologies for being thus polarized – and I stand by my statement, which coincides with that of 31,000+ scientists signing the Project Petition, that AGW is utterly without basis in fact.

  36. For anyone outside the US this issue looks very parochial. It is myopically constrained by the local political context. For much of The globe the idea that science needs to be ‘bipartisan’ politically makes no sense. China is the obvious example where the idea that scientists should be balanced in their political views to reflect the binary nature of politics is meaningless.

    Obviously the idea that scientists should reflect the dominant one-party political outlook, and any science that implies policy choices in conflict with the political ideology is discouraged would be viewed as wrong by rational observers. But it is equally wrong to think that science moulded by two opposing political ideologies is better.

    Evolution, fluoride in the water supply, vaccinations and climate change have a global body of peer reviewed scientific research that in each case is overwhelmingly {>90%} on one side of the issue. It is a very local US attitude that not just the policy, but the scientific conclusions must conform to political dogma. Oddly, given its enthusiastic embrace by the right in the US politics, the idea is originally a neo-Marxist concept, with the argument that all human activity is politically embedded and scientific facts cannot be divorced from the ideological context.
    The basic tenet of post-normal science.

    • andrew adams

      Very good points. It bears repeating that to the extent that science is influenced by political factors there is no reason to believe those political factors would be the same in every place, or indeed stay the same in the same place – contrast for example the political climate (sic) under the Bush government with the current one. Yet the mainstream scientific position on climate change (and indeed the other issues you mention) has been entirely consistent over recent decades and across different locations.

    • David Wojick

      Except the evidence for the hypothesis of AGW and the threat of CAGW is by no means “overwhelming.” Far from it. Your 90% is just a goofy number.

      • I await with interest your evidence that the scientific literature is less that 90% in support of the AGW theory.

        The issue of whether the known changes so far, {warming, ice loss, sea level rise} are ‘catastrophic’ and whether the projected changes under business as usual are dangerous to the agricultural infrastructure of human civilisation are going to be significant is less clear cut.
        To a large extent it depends on how resilient human civilisation is, which in turn is mediated by the adaptivity and mitigation that it carries out in response to the past, present and future climate changes.

      • I await with interest your evidence that the scientific literature is less than 90% supporting the AGW theory.

        The issue of how catastrophic the present and future changes in temperature, ice loss and sea level rise may be is less clear cut.

      • “I await with interest your evidence…”

        I’ve been waiting about 10 years for evidence that AGW is true. So far, nothing.

        Andrew

      • izen, you write “I await with interest your evidence that the scientific literature is less that 90% in support of the AGW theory.”

        You are half right. In the peer reviewed scientific literature, there is your 90% support for CAGW. The lack of support comes, not from the scientific literature, but from the empirical data. Here, we accept that if the methodology by which the data is collected has been peer reviewed, then the data is accepted to be scientific fact.

        The empirical data gives a strong indication that there is no CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph, from which we can conclude that the total climate sensitivity is probably indistinguishable from zero. Please note that an absence of a CO2 signal does not prove that no CO2 signal will ever appear. It is quite possible that a CO2 signal; could appear in the future. It is just that no such signal has, as yet. appeared.

        This brings up two questions that the warmists refuse to address.

        1. How much longer do we have to wait for a CO2 signal to appear, and when no such signal actually appears, do we conclude that no CO2 signal is ever going to appear?

        2. Will you admit that there is no empirical data which proves that as you add CO2 to the atmsophere frem current levels it causes global temperatures to rise?

        My bet is that you will studiously refuse to address either of these questions.

    • izen

      Agree that the Republican/Democrat discussion is rather meaningless for anyone not living and voting in the USA.

      But the fact that climate science has become highly politicized, mostly as a result of the IPCC forced “consensus” process and the “agenda driven science” that fuels it, is of international interest.

      However, just from reading the leaked AR5 draft material, it does not appear that IPCC has made a “new year’s resolution” to abandon the “consensus”.

      IMHO the key will be whether or not IPCC recognizes the new studies that were published after AR4 (mostly based on actual physical observations, rather than simply model predictions), which show that climate sensitivity is much lower (around half) than estimated in AR4 and previously:
      Lewis (2012), Schlesinger et al. (2012); Lindzen + Choi (2009/2011); Spencer + Braswell (2007).

      If IPCC not only recognizes this new data, but also revises projections of future warming accordingly, it will have taken a major step to regain the public credibility and trust, which it has lost over the past two years.

      If not, it will become increasingly irrelevant IMHO.

      Max

    • izen,

      “For anyone outside the US this issue looks very parochial. It is myopically constrained by the local political context. For much of The globe the idea that science needs to be ‘bipartisan’ politically makes no sense. China is the obvious example where the idea that scientists should be balanced in their political views to reflect the binary nature of politics is meaningless.”

      “Bipartisanship” is indeed a meaningless term “outside the US.” In most other countries there are no real conservative parties, although the Czechs and Poles might have grounds to disagree. (There isn’t really one in the US either, but there are at least conservatives here trying to push the Republican Party in that direction.)

      And trust me, conservatives are more contemptuous of the term than you are. You are just sadly mistaken that conservatives in the US believe that “scientific conclusions must conform to political dogma.” You shouldn’t believe all the propaganda you read. Please feel free to quote and link to a genuine conservative politician or media outlet making any such claim.

      Your pointing to China as a good example of where “bipartisanship” is a foreign concept is quite revealing. Any guesses why there is no need to even discuss bipartisanship in a totalitarian communist country? Europe isn’t a single party, totalitarian country yet. But give the bureaucrats in Brussels (and Bonn, and Paris, and London…) time….

      But your comment is a neat piece of projection.

    • Andrew Adams,
      The reason that government climate science under the Bush and Obama administrations are essentially the same, is that they are both still state-funded, and hence primarily focussed on promoting the interests of the state – which in this case means creating acceptance of the a ‘science’ that justifies more taxes and a general expansion of the state.

    • lurker, passing through laughing

      Since skeptics are active in all countries, and Russia has just ditched Kyoto, I would suggest that the difference between your assertion about parochial Americans is indistinguishable from garbage..

  37. Tom Choularton

    It is very obvious that US politics is very different from anything this side of the pond. I vote in a secret ballot each election for the party that has the ‘best policies’ at that time. No government would reject the overwhelming evidence from the scientific community on climate change and a raft of other issues. The elected government would them formulate policies informed by the science but taking account of more factors that just the science. It is in those policies that political differences emerge not in the science that underpins them.

    Science is by its nature non partisan. What on earth does bi-partisan science mean ? The laws of physics are not voted on by parliament and not a matter of democracy

    • David Wojick

      Except the evidence for the hypothesis of AGW and the threat of CAGW is by no means “overwhelming.” Far from it. Americans are not led quite so easily as others and this is a central feature of our system.

    • Tom Choularton

      You appear to be describing an “ideal world”, where “science influences politics”.

      But, as David Wojick and others here have emphasized, we are living in a world where (unfortunately) “politics influences science”.

      And that is the basic problem here.

      Max

      • Tom Choularton

        I have been asked to give advice to both Conservative and Labour governments on matters of science. I have given both the same advice and it was equally accepted. In the UK the government have scientific advisory bodies whose membership does not change when the ‘other side’ get into power. The policy may change but not the advice. Among my colleagues there are strong conservatives, strong socialists and liberals too. The physics does not change.

      • Tom Choularton

        Congratulations on your objective, non-political approach to science.

        As sad as this may seem, it appears to me that your approach is the exception to the general rule, when it comes to “climate science”.

        Max

    • Max,

      You say that “we are living in a world where politics influences science”.

      As izen points out, that’s a Marxist concept. And we don’t have to agree with Marx on everything!

      It goes without saying you feel the AGW scientific consensus is directed politically, but what else? Surely you can’t think that “politics influences science” solely on this one issue.

      • tempterrain

        Our topic of conversation here is “climate science”.

        My statement, “we are living in a world where politics influences science” relates to our topic here.

        Whether or not “politics influences science” to the same extent or at all in other scientific fields is another matter, about which I have no specific opinion. – but it is irrelevant to our discussion here, in any case.

        Max

    • Tom Choularton

      Science is by its nature non partisan. What on earth does bi-partisan science mean ? The laws of physics are not voted on by parliament and not a matter of democracy

      Quite so. But here in the netherworld of ‘climate scepticism’ it is widely believed that ‘the science’ is partisan. More specifically, it leans to the left. Note that proponents of this (conspiracy) theory are universally of the right and generally express other, highly partisan right-wing views.

      To the uninitiated, they might appear to be teetering on the brink of extremism or even actual paranoia.

      • It might be more accurate to suggest that what is widely believed by climate sceptics is:
        that many of the journals are partisan (there appears to be ample evidence that this is so);
        that most scientists accept CAGW because they do not perceive this partisanship;
        that those who personally investigate CAGW rapidly come to the conclusion that there is something wrong somewhere with how climate science is done and/or published and/or reported.

        So, while “science” may be non-partisan, those who publish and report it most certainly can be, and since publication and reporting affect scientists perception of reality, distortions – even fabrications – can be introduced and be widely accepted as “true”. Add govt. funding to research the “problem” and many – as I know from personal experience in a govt funded research environment – will “adapt” and re-cast the grant proposals so as to maximise the chances of being funded. It has certainly happened before and no doubt will again. It is my belief that it is now, and has been for some time, happening to climate science.
        YMMV.

    • Tom Choularton,

      “It is very obvious that US politics is very different from anything this side of the pond”

      It’s easy to accept science that says using an imported product is bad.

      The UK has to import coal, the price is more then double the average US domestic price. The same is true for gas.

      Take any ‘climate policy’ speech ever given in the UK and replace the words ‘climate change’ with the words ‘energy security’…you will end up with a similar policy result. Get off of ‘imported fossil fuels’.

      In the US if we replace ‘climate change’ with ‘energy security’ then making oil from our inexpensive($10/ton) abundant coal reserves in the Powder River Basin becomes a viable option.

      Very different policy result. The only fossil fuel we import is oil, and we can make that from coal.

      Hence the science becomes much more politicized.

    • Steady Eddie

      Tom Choularton
      Science does not grow on trees – someone has to pay for it. As such it is controlled by the attitudes of those who pay for it. Drug-company-funded science seeks to advance the interests of drug companies, government-funded science seeks to advance the interests of government.

  38. David Wojick

    This is almost funny. The Republican House is looking for big budget cuts and the scientific institutions that have been riding the Democratic bandwagon are running scared.

  39. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A comical example of flaming partisanship is today’s curiously nonspecific rejection by WUWT/Willis Eschenbach of PNAS manuscript #2012-16073R, by Gavin Foster and Eelco Rohling, titled (?) “The relationship between sea level and climate forcing by CO2 on geological timescales.”

    The (?) is because the Foster et al. article (apparently) hasn’t been posted yet … which (apparently) is why Willis’ lengthy critique never quotes directly from it, nor provides any link to it, nor even mentions its title. Namely, no-one in WUWT land has ever read it! Or if they have, they’re being super-careful to show no evidence of it!

    Yet somehow, Will (and 87 WUWT commenters) just plain *KNOW* that it’s wrong!

    This is denialist Klimate Komedy at its finest! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    The WUWT New Year’s Resolution  Kontinue the Klimate Komedy! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • You write a New Year’s resolution:

      Kontinue the Klimate Komedy!

      From the leaked AR5 draft, it appears that IPCC is going to do just that, Fan.

      Max

  40. I think climate activists should resolve to step back and take a more critical look at green energy, especially wind. I havn’t heard many good comebacks to Matt Ridley’s points against wind:

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/the-true-price-of-power.aspx

  41. @- Andrew
    “I’ve been waiting about 10 years for evidence that AGW is true. So far, nothing.”

    Ten years is too recent.
    The scientific evidence for AGW was developed in the late 50s and 60s when direct measurement of the radiative propagation of energy in the atmosphere was measured and the underlying theory was established by Plass et al. But the hypothesis predates this confirmation by fifty years.

    http://cambridgeforecast.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/arrhenius-and-the-origins-of-the-theory-of-greenhouse-gases/

    • “The scientific evidence for AGW was developed in the late 50s and 60s when direct measurement of the radiative propagation of energy in the atmosphere was measured and the underlying theory was established by Plass et al.”

      And the evidence presented that AGW is true was what, specifically?

      Andrew

    • izen

      There seems to be a disconnect here (if I understand your exchange with Jim Cripwell and Bad Andrew).

      Jim and Andrew are asking for specific scientific evidence (based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation in our atmosphere system) that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations result in a perceptible overall net increase in global average temperature.

      You are referring them to lab studies on the spectroscopic properties of CO2 and to old theories on “the radiative propagation of energy in the atmosphere” and resulting GH warming, which is not what they are requesting.

      Just my observation here.

      Max

      • Denial, Max, denial…

      • BBD

        I don’t think izen is in “denial”.

        I also do not think that Jim or Andrew are in “denial”.

        I’m not in “denial”.

        That leaves you. Where do you stand on being in “denial”?

        Max

      • manacker

        You are spectacularly, hilariously in denial Max. You are so far gone that you even deny being in denial.

      • BBD

        “Denial” is in the eye of the observer, BBD.

        A wisdom you will learn when you grow up.

        Max

      • Max, you simply are not in a position to even imply that you are capable of more mature or profound thinking than me ;-)

  42. The Actuaries at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company have a dog in the weight/height and longevity fight; the amount you pay in premiums depends on them getting their calculation correct. If they screw up their company goes bust and they are out of a job. MetLife is still doing well, based on their work in predicting how long people will live.

    The original tables are here

    http://www.bcbst.com/MPManual/HW.htm

    and a more easily used set of tables is here, with frame type calculation;

    http://www.halls.md/ideal-weight/met.htm

    Phenomenology, don’t you just love it.

    • DocMatyn, since I spent the first half underweight and the last half overweight that means I have had the ideal “average” BMI right?

      • Capt.

        Which “half” is overweight?

        (You’d better hope it’s the right half.)

        Max

      • “Which “half” is overweight?” Generally the back half, but a Gaussian distribution appears to be developing if you tilt the chart just right. Of course, it is all due to Coke, pork products, transfats and adult refreshments forced on me by aggressive and misleading advertising.

      • capt.

        When you refer to the “back half” is this the “fat tail” IPCC keeps referring to?

        Max

  43. Seems that some Denizens (go team!) might be in violent agreement with Brian and Eli at Eli’s:

    > It’s not “science” that matters most at the intersection of science and policy but scientific consensus that does. If there’s a well-established consensus with very few expert dissenters, then you’ve got factual conclusions as far as policymakers are concerned. The consensus could be wrong of course, but that’s not really relevant to policymakers – they don’t have a choice of waiting for a perfect consensus because that won’t happen. What’s missing from the commentary I’ve seen is that policymakers also don’t have the choice of second-guessing the consensus by becoming their own Galileos. ..

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2013/01/brian-has-made-excellent-statement-of.html

    I propose that Denizens (go Team!) and Rabbits (go bunnies!) sign a bi-partisan letter denouncing scientific bi-partisanship.

    For sake of coherence, I also propose we call this a Violent Agreement, not a bi-partisan process.

  44. Willard

    How about an agreement denouncing forced scientific consensus (also on a non-partisan basis, of course)?

    Sign me up!

    Max

  45. Government climatists believe it is beyond question that industrial man’s CO2 is destroying the Earth and all of its creatures. And yet… Leftists do not understand that everything they do destroys the socio-economic system that gives everyone the liberty to question anything.

  46. @- manacker
    “There seems to be a disconnect here (if I understand your exchange with Jim Cripwell and Bad Andrew).
    Jim and Andrew are asking for specific scientific evidence (based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation in our atmosphere system) that increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations result in a perceptible overall net increase in global average temperature.”

    That is a request for descriptive evidence for AGW which is adequately fulfilled by the direct observations of rising CO2 and rising temperatures. The problem with that is that without an explanatory theory of WHY rising CO2 causes warming such direct actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation in our atmosphere system provide nothing more than a correlation.
    If Jim and Andrew are really only prepared to accept descriptive evidence then they will always be able to find a loophole in observational error or alternative explanatory theories.

    @- “You are referring them to lab studies on the spectroscopic properties of CO2 and to old theories on “the radiative propagation of energy in the atmosphere” and resulting GH warming, which is not what they are requesting.”

    The problem then is that it is not at all clear what evidence they could accept as strong support for the AGW theory. If they do not accept theories that involve explanations, but will only accept descriptive evidence then there is ALWAYS the option to reject the correlation between CO2 and rising temperature and invoke alternative descriptions {natural cycles, albedo changes} because without an explanatory level to the theory there is no means of judging between such theories.

    I can detail what evidence would lead me to doubt, and investigate alternatives to AGW as an explantion for the recent observed climate changes. Perhaps Jim and Andrew could explain what evidence could cause them to change their views, or at least reconsider them.

    • izen,

      “adequately”

      This is a personal judgemment. What I want is the evidence to base my own judgement on and you refuse to present any specific evidence.

      Andrew

      • There is more than adequate descriptive correlation between risng CO2 and temperature. See this analysis –

        http://blog.chron.com/climateabyss/2012/10/carbon-dioxide-and-temperature/

      • izen,

        Telling me that a correlation is “adequate” is simply your opinion.

        Andrew

      • BA

        Read what JN-G actually writes about CO2 forcing. Read the link izen provided you. Read the words. Your seizing on a word in what izen says is just denialist avoidance tactics.

        Read the link.

        Twit.

      • BBD,

        Your cite, your quote.

        Here would be mine:

        > We can confirm that the amount by which observed global temperatures HAVE changed since 1978 is in the same ballpark as the amount by which global temperatures SHOULD HAVE changed, if current estimates of climate sensitivity are correct.

        It’s a smell test.
        CO2 smells nothing.

        This frightens Goldilocks
        Who ends up running and running.

      • Climate sensitivity to CO2 is based on the incorrect assumption that rising CO2 is the cause of rising temperatures. The factors thus derived will assure that the models will predict the temperature. Suppose all energy was obtained through nuclear power. CO2 would fall but temperature would still continue to rise.

      • willard

        Your cite, your quote.

        Fair enough – here’s a pretty picture from the linked article to go with the text you were good enough to use to illustrate the point.

        BTW thanks for bringing up the long discussion between Robert Brown and JN-G. Really interesting stuff.

        I am doubly indebted to you, it seems…

      • “Your seizing on a word in what izen says is just denialist avoidance tactics.”

        Blah, blah, blah

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew

        Your response to being criticised for not saying anything was:

        Blah, blah, blah

        Top one, matey.

        Happy New Year!

      • Willard

        You seem to be stumbling head long onto a slippery slope when you cite a short “blip” in our planet’s temperature record (1976-2000) as “evidence” for accelerated warming resulting from AGW.

        Doing this raises the question, “what about the rest of the global record (for what it’s worth)?”

        Specifically, there are the repeated multi-decadal periods of warming and slight cooling of around 30 years each, all on a slightly tilted axis of around 0.6-0.7C warming per century.

        We have the 30-year period just before the warming cycle, which you cite, which showed slight cooling. IPCC has tried to rationalize this away with the uncorroborated notion that rapidly rising post-WWII CO2 emissions were “overwhelmed” by human aerosols.

        Then we have the fact that since the end of 2000 there has been no warming, despite unabated CO2 emissions and concentrations reaching record levels.

        But even more problematic is the early 20thC warming cycle (~1910 to ~1940), which is statistically indistinguishable from the late 20thC warming cycle, to which you refer.

        IPCC has conceded that its models cannot fully explain this warming cycle.

        The logic goes as follows:

        1. Our models cannot explain the early 20thC warming cycle.
        2. We know that the statistically indistinguishable late 20thC warming cycle was caused by AGW.
        3. How do we know this?
        4. Because our models cannot explain it any other way.

        A dilemma.

        Max

      • > You seem to be stumbling head long onto a slippery slope when you cite a short “blip” in our planet’s temperature record (1976-2000) as “evidence” for accelerated warming resulting from AGW.

        Please don’t put words in my mouth. As NG said, it was a smell test. That AGW is an accepted fact comes from all those smell tests.

        And the sand-castle virtues are all swept away in
        the tidal destruction
        the moral melee.

        Thick as a Brick.

      • Thick as a Brick

        Yeah. It’s a “smell test” all right.

        Stinks to high heaven.

        Max

      • That is simply your opinion.

        (H/T Bad).

    • izen writes “Perhaps Jim and Andrew could explain what evidence could cause them to change their views, or at least reconsider them.”

      Certainly. We have good emprical data on global temperatures in the form of the CET (Central England Temperatures) from the 17th century, and evidence such as HAD/CRU since the middle of the 19th century. These show that there has been a steady rise in temperatures, basicaly linear, since records became available. We surmize that temperatures have been similarly rising since the end of the LIA.

      Now if CAGW is correct, then before the end of the 21st century, global temperatures are forecast to rise to unacceptable levels. What these are, you can put in your own estimates. All I note is that if the rate of rise of global temperatures which has been observed in the empirical data persists, then global temperatures will not rise to unacceptable levels by the end of the 21st century.

      Therefore, if CAGW is true, then sometime in the near future, global temperatures must start to rise at a rate greater than has been historically observed, and must maintain this new rate of rise of temperature for some significant time period. So far, there is no empirical evidence that this excessive rate of rise of temperature has been observed.

      So what will convince me that CAGW is real, is a rate of rise of global temperature significantly greater than the historical data for a significant period of time. I can find no empirical data that this has started. So the question arisies, how much longer do we have to wait for this excessive rate of rise of temperatures to start, before we conclude that it is never goung to start?

      Please note that as I have remarked many times, I regard this as negative data. I cannot prove that the excessive rate of rise of temperature has not occurred. All I can report is that I cannot find it. I can very easily be proven wrong by someone producing the empirical data showing that this excessive rate of rise of temperaturess is, in fact, occcurring.

      • Pardon me for interjecting my comments but if you will calculate the heat released by combustion of fossil fuels, you will find that it is about four times the amount to raise the measured atmospheric rise. The rest of the heat is mitigated by glacial melting and photosynthesis. There are no correlations for CO2/temperature for which it can be shown that CO2 is a cause.

      • If you think the CET before about 1750 (and that is pushing it) was good data, you are not engaging in denial, but illusion. To quote from the dread MBH 98

        “”Manley1953) published a time series of monthly mean temperatures representative of central England for 1698-1952, followed (Manley 1974) by an extended and revised series for 1659-1973. Up to 1814 his data are based mainly on overlapping sequences of observations from a variety of carefully chosen and documented locations. Up to 1722, available instrumental records fail to overlap and Manley needs to use non-instrumental series for Utrecht compiled by Labrijn (1945), in order to mate the monthly central England temperature (CET) series complete. Between 1723 and the 1760s there are no gaps in the composite instrumental record, but the observations generally were taken in unheated rooms rather than with a truly outdoor exposure….”

      • It has been said by supporters of CAGW that if we wait for evidence of “rate of rise of global temperature significantly greater than the historical data for a significant period of time”, then we will have waited too long.
        And/or that we have waited too long already, we are doomed.

        I have always found this aspect of their propaganda rather interesting and it seems that many believer hold this belief.
        If this were something believed, rather then merely said for some propaganda purpose of agitating fear, then if honest the consequence enterprise of IPCC and Kyoto has been failure.

        In addition it seems people who believe in CAGW tend to ignore the trillions of dollars spent in the pursuit of the idea that reducing CO2 levels is something which should be part of public policy- which based
        upon idea that rising CO2 level is a threat to human existence.
        The campaign or war against CO2 in terms of public policy which result in reduction of global CO2 as been quite massive and quite ineffective.
        A key part of this campaign has been the increase use of what has been labeled “green” alternative energy. In includes such things as “bio-fuels”,
        wind energy, and solar energy.
        The poorly solar illuminated country of Germany, becoming the solar energy capital of the world, can only be explained by the degree that the German public was convinced of the necessity of reducing CO2 due to the future threat of CAGW.
        The political support in the US of ethanol production predates Kyoto and IPCC, yet this subsidy was greatly encouraged by public fear of increasing CO2 levels, which ethanol production was said to be a something which reduce CO2 [despite the obvious reality].

      • Philip, you write “There are no correlations for CO2/temperature for which it can be shown that CO2 is a cause.”

        I agree completely. What I am trying to do, is to get at least one of the warmist denizens on Climate Etc is to ADMIT that this is true. That is the problem. How to do this is not easy.

      • Good luck with that! If people will consider that the mass of the atmosphere is 1166x10E16 pounds and its specific heat is 0.24 btu/#-*F., and the heat released in 2008 from our energy use was 50x10E16 btus, they can calculate for themselves that the potential rise is 0.17*F. Measured rise was one fourth that due to cooling by glacial melting and photosynthesis. Imagine what it will be like when the glaciers are gone. Nuclear power is not the answer. It emits twice the total heat as its electrical output. It will take decades to be free of our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power, but in the meantime let’s at least recognize what the problem is and develop an energy policy that recognizes this both for the short term and the longer term. In the short term we should pursue maximizing production and use of fossil fuels to replace imported. Along with that we should focus on conversion of fossil fuels to consumer goods. Sorry for the long comment, but I do it every chance I get.

      • Cripwell

        Zachos curve. No other forcing changed so much across the entire Cenozoic as did CO2. I’ve linked Hansen & Sato (2012) enough times for you. Try reading it FFS. Your laziness feeds your ignorance which enables your denial.

      • Eli

        Sorry, but you are wrong about cet. I made a reconstruction of cet from 1538 to 1659′ the start of the instrumental record.

        http://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

        The reasons that the temperatures fell then Rose in the periods you cited is because they did just that. It’s not an instrumental fallacy.

        How do I know? I took the trouble to look at many thousands of contemporary accounts from physical research at such places as the met office library and archives, medieval cathedral records, county records, crop records etc.

        I came across notes by Manley himself as well as some from Parker.

        Cet is probably the most scrutinised data set of its type in the world and has been cross referenced many times. Lamb did a lot of work in relating events to records and whilst any old record has its problems (modern ones have none at all of course) cet to 1659 is pretty accurate as long as we remember lambs maxin that ‘ we can know the tendency but not the precision. ‘ to believe we know any temperature record pre satellite to tenths of a degree is hubris.I cite in the article the many scientists that believe cet is a good, but by no means perfect, proxy for global temperature

        I am currently trying to extend the cet back further but the number of records falls off pre reformation so it’s a long job

        Tonyb

      • BBD, you write “Your laziness feeds your ignorance which enables your denial.”

        I have read the Hansen/Sato piece on paleo data, and I find it to be completely unconvincing. They even use the word “infer”, instead of “prove”, since the paleo data proves nothing. That is why I specify I want data from the 20th and 21st centuries

      • > Proof theory can be described as the study of the general structure of mathematical proofs, and of arguments with demonstrative force as encountered in logic. The idea of such demonstrative arguments, i.e., ones the conclusion of which follows necessarily from the assumptions made, is central in Aristotle’s Analytica Posteriora: a deductive science is organised around a number of basic concepts that are assumed understood without further explanation, and a number of basic truths or axioms that are seen as true immediately. Defined concepts and theorems are reduced to these two, the latter through proof. Aristotle’s account of proof as demonstrative argument fits very well to the structure of ancient geometry as axiomatized in Euclid. The specific form of Aristotle’s logic, the theory of syllogism has instead, so it seems, almost nothing to do with proofs in Euclidean geometry. These proofs remained intuitive for more than two thousand years.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/proof-theory-development/

      • Philip Haddad | January 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm |

        “Good luck with that! If people will consider that the mass of the atmosphere is 1166x10E16 pounds and its specific heat is 0.24 btu/#-*F., and the heat released in 2008 from our energy use was 50x10E16 btus, they can calculate for themselves that the potential rise is 0.17*F. Measured rise was one fourth that due to cooling by glacial melting and photosynthesis. Imagine what it will be like when the glaciers are gone. Nuclear power is not the answer. It emits twice the total heat as its electrical output. It will take decades to be free of our dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power, but in the meantime let’s at least recognize what the problem is and develop an energy policy that recognizes this both for the short term and the longer term. In the short term we should pursue maximizing production and use of fossil fuels to replace imported. Along with that we should focus on conversion of fossil fuels to consumer goods. Sorry for the long comment, but I do it every chance I get.”

        The thermal energy produced by nuclear power is twice amount of electrical power made. Or nuclear power has an efficiency of about 50% in regards to electrical power generation. But is about same with other system that generate heat to make electrical power- coal, natural gas, or
        oil. With nuclear energy one could get into the aspect regarding nuclear waste and it’s heat generation. One talk about energy used isolate radioactive isotopes which used to in reactors and/or breeder reactor which can transform fertile fuels such as thorium. A transformation of a substance which isn’t “naturally” radioactive, though such fertile fuels *could* “naturally” become radioactive. And all radioactive decay is as natural or more natural, than natural “organic foods”.
        And speaking organic foods the natural decay of organic material is another source of heat- as any compost pile would illustrate. For larger scale examples of such heat, one has swamps and/or peat bogs. And in the ocean, the deep water sediments cook to become sedimentary rock- which is both chemical and geological heated process.
        Life is chemical process that generates “waste heat”- mammals and their warm blooded nature is only a matter of degree of the heat generated- reptiles, fishes, plants, and microorganisms also generate heat in order
        to live [though some microorganisms may be {more} dependent on external heat {largely involving exothermic life processes}].
        So in general terms, a warmer world has more life, and a colder world has less life.

        One could say that using nuclear energy may add more “waste heat”
        one could even argue that at some point in time, all fossil fuel will eventually be combusted. Assuming oxygen remains in the atmosphere and earth geologic tectonic progress continues- both could continue for billions of years [or until earth ends as a planet].
        In such an basis, one could say burning fossil fuel is not strictly speaking added heat, rather it’s added heat sooner than natural processes will eventually do. Whereas the generation of energy from fertile fuel, could be a release of heat which may not occur within the lifetime of planet earth. And so one count it as a “net” addition of heat.
        But such an argument is rather academic or the counting of angels on the top of the pin type stuff. Or not of any significance for practical purposes.
        More practical is we need a lot of energy for human beings to be “happy” or not poor, cold, and miserable.
        And in terms of energy which humans could use, using nuclear energy is safe and cost efficient. And there isn’t a shortage of nuclear fuel on the scale of thousands of years into the future.

        And if you are concerned about global CO2 levels [and I am only concerned about what could be considered by some as very high levels of global CO2 levels] and one say we are concerned about CO2 levels as *is proven* by spending trillions of dollars over last several decades trying to limit levels of global CO2 level. Then using nuclear energy is a solution to this problem that so many dingbats are worried about.

      • Cripwell

        I have read the Hansen/Sato piece on paleo data, and I find it to be completely unconvincing. They even use the word “infer”, instead of “prove”, since the paleo data proves nothing. That is why I specify I want data from the 20th and 21st centuries

        You find HS12 ‘completely unconvincing’ do you? Then refute it. Demonstrate the errors. Much can be inferred from data and science doesn’t deal in proof.

        As for modern data, try OHC.

        Now, which forcings changed enough over the ~50Ma since the Eocene Optimum to account for the general cooling trend over the period as a whole (see HS12 fig 1a and section 2 Cenozoic climate change?

      • BBD, you write “Then refute it.”

        There is no need for me to refute it. If it is right, then global temperatures will rise at an alarming rate in the 21st century as we add more and more CO2 to the atmosphere. If it is wrong, then global tmeperatures will not increase at an alarming rate. I can afford to wait and see what happens.

      • Cripwell

        I can afford to wait and see what happens.

        This isn’t about you, Jim.

      • > There is no need for me to refute it.

        Then it stays on the table.

        Thanks for not playing.

      • Eli

        Yeah.

        Looks like they had poor “station siting” and the UHI distortion even back in the 18thC (although arguably not quite as bad as in the 20th/21stC).

        Max

      • Eli Rabett | January 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm said: ””Manley1953) published a time series of monthly mean temperatures representative of central England for 1698-1952, followed (Manley 1974) by an extended and revised series for 1659-1973”

        Eli, if you are so bias / so dumb; to believe that: anybody knows the GLOBAL” temp, by ”pretending’ to know what was the .temp in some corner of England, few hundred years ago… better find yourself a better shrink. the one that is treating you, is not doing his job!

    • izen

      You still seem to misunderstand.

      It is not “descriptive evidence” that global temperature has risen concurrently with atmospheric CO2 (at least from around 1970 to around 2000), which Andrew and Jim have requested.

      [It has also risen concurrently with McDonalds’ sales of “Big Macs”; IOW “correlation does not provide evidence of causation”.]

      What both Jim and Andrew have requested (as I understand it) is empirical scientific evidence from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman), which supports the premise that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations result in a direct perceptible global warming effect.

      It is a BIG request, to be sure.

      And the IPCC hypothesis of CAGW is a BIG premise.

      If it were real, it could have BIG effects on humanity and our environment.

      The steps that are being proposed to mitigate against it would certainly have BIG impact on humanity (particularly on the poorest on this planet).

      So the BIG request is justified.

      It is NOT up to either Jim or Andrew to posit an alternate theory to explain the observed 1970-2000 global warming – they are simply asking for this evidence as rational skeptics of the AGW premise.

      I cannot speak for either Andrew or Jim as far as what they would accept as the “empirical scientific evidence” (above), but that is how I understand their request.

      If Jim or Andrew see this differently, they should correct me..

      Hope this helps.

      Max

      • izen

        My post and that of Jim Cripwell crossed.

        There is no disagreement between the two.

        Jim has simply gone a step further in describing to you what he would consider to be the “evidence” he has requested.

        Max

      • “What both Jim and Andrew have requested (as I understand it) is empirical scientific evidence from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation (Feynman), which supports the premise that rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations result in a direct perceptible global warming effect.”

        Strange. Last week you were claiming Nic Lewis had shown 1.7C/doubling of CO2 from empirical observations.

        So why aren’t YOU providing that answer to Cripwell?

      • actually nevermind, I’ll try and push it on him, the result might be funny.

      • lolwot

        In case you have missed it (after all, you’ve been quite busy), I have never personally raised any doubts about whether or not CO2 is a GHG, nor that GHGs can trap outgoing LW radiation, potentially leading to warming (all other things being equal), nor that humans emit CO2 primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, nor that global temperature has been on the rise in what appears to be 30-year “fits and spurts”, at least since the start of the modern global temperature record in 1850, and probably much longer, based on the CET record.

        Where I am rationally skeptical is of the claims primarily by IPCC that this effect (AGW) could lead to potentially catastrophic consequences (CAGW), as IPCC has outlined..

        The Lewis study (among other recent studies based largely on physical observations) seems to show that my skepticism was justified.

        At the level of climate sensitivity from this study (and others) there is truly nothing to worry about from human CO2 from fossil fuels, and the “C” is gone from CAGW.

        Hope this clears it up for you, lolwot.

        Max

  47. A politician who made his (first) fortune in climate “science” is making his second as a news mogul:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/report-al-gore-made-100-million-in-the-current-tv-sale-and-hoped-to-close-the-deal-last-year-before-taxes-jumped-2013-1

    A true success story of someone “doing well by doing good”.

    Warms the heart.

  48. Jim Cripwell writes:

    “Will you admit that there is no empirical data which proves that as you add CO2 to the atmsophere frem current levels it causes global temperatures to rise?”

    What about Nic Lewis’s study that found 1.7C/doubling of CO2. Do you accept that study is based on empirical data or not?

    • lolwot, you write “What about Nic Lewis’s study that found 1.7C/doubling of CO2. Do you accept that study is based on empirical data or not?”

      I accept that Nic Lewis estimated climate sensitivity from empirical data. My reading of his physics is that his estimate is a maximum value. There is a chance that much of the warming he assumed was due to additonal CO2 was, in fact, caused by natural effects. He never proved that all the warming used to calculate climate sensitivity, was actually caused by the additional CO2.

      Until we know all the parameters of natural effects which alter global temperatures, we cannot actually calculate climate sensitivity using the sort of methodology that Nic Lewis, and I have used. There is a chance that unknown natural effects are having a massive negative effect on global temperatures, and thus masking the effect of CO2. Until someone can actually prove that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise, you cannot measure climate sesnitivity from the empirical data. And you will not admit that there is no empirical data which proves that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes global temperatures to rise; which I acknowledge.

      Nevertheless, the lack of any CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph gives a strong indication that the total climate sensitivity of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero.

      • “Until we know all the parameters of natural effects which alter global temperatures, we cannot actually calculate climate sensitivity using the sort of methodology that Nic Lewis, and I have used.”

        In which case you must regard Nic Lewis’s calculation as junk. As it tells you nothing. Climate sensitivity could be anything, Nic Lewis’s work doesn’t constrain it.

        Climate sensitivity remains indistinguishable from 7C per doubling of CO2.

      • There are several known natural effects having a recent negative effect on global temperatures: (1) no large El Ninos, just La Ninas recently, (2) a cool phase PDO leading to cool East Pacific, (3) solar decline. This makes it require a warming effect to account for what we have now, which is temperatures still matching the massive 1998 El Nino year.

  49. manicbeancounter

    Consider the three alleged “links” between climate change and obesity

    . Rising inactivity rates because of hot temperatures
    . Drought-induced high prices on healthy foods
    . Food insecurity promotes unhealthy food choices

    Rising inactivity is commonly thought to be due to less manual work, the rise of the car and more the TV/computer. If a rise of 0.8 C in temperature were a major factor then in Britain you would see (for instance) the Scots being more active than those in the South of England, or people being more active in winter than summer. In both cases the opposite is true.
    Drought-induced high prices would have to show that droughts were the main cause of high prices of health foods compared to junk foods. Maybe convenience, and taste have something more to do with the preference for unhealthy diets. Also you would need to show that rising food prices are connected to decreasing crop yields. Biofuels may have more to do with it.
    Food insecurity diminishes as per capita income rises, whilst obesity increases. That is the poorest of the world have hunger as a problem, whilst the rich countries have obesity as a growing problem. Obesity may be a problem of the poor in the developed nations, but food as a whole is not a problem.

    To summarize, the link between climate change and obesity seems to be made by ignoring other, more important, factors.

    • manicbeancounter

      Dr Curry,
      What happened to the posting “Is fat good?” to which the above comment applies?

      http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/04/is-fat-good/

      One of the articles linked to is

      http://www.care2.com/causes/climate-change-obesity-epidemic-linked.html

      The above article is a very extreme example of

      The underdetermination thesis – the idea that any body of evidence can be explained by any number of mutually incompatible theories.

      Kuhn Vs.Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science – Steve Fuller 2003 Page 46

    • manic

      Ah, but there is a potential problem: the miracle molecule, CO2.

      As you know, all plants, including all crops, need CO2 to exist. Greenhouse operators often enhance CO2 levels to increase plant growth and yields, since the “natural” CO2 level appears to be suboptimal.

      The data out there tell us that increased CO2 levels act to enhance crop yields of both C3 and C4 crops, with a higher impact for C3 crops, which include 95% of all plants and most crop plants. Interestingly, most weeds are of the C4 variety, which show somewhat lower response to increased CO2.

      As a side benefit for regions suffering from chronic water shortage or droughts, both C3 and C4 plants improve their water-use efficiency significantly with increased CO2 levels while reducing evapotranspiration.

      http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/06/13/photosynthesis-and-co2-enrichment/

      The study also shows that at higher levels of CO2, the optimal temperatures for photosynthesis increase.

      And, at slightly warmer temperatures, arable land surface area in higher latitudes should increase, as should growing seasons.

      But how has this worked out in practice?

      Over the period 1970-2010 we had the following observed changes:

      1970
      Population: 3.7 billion
      Global temperature (HadCRUT3 anomaly, 10-year average): -0.12 °C
      Atmospheric CO2: 324 ppmv
      Global yields of major crops (million tons corn/wheat/rice): 788

      2010
      Population: 7.0 billion (up 1.9x)
      Global temperature: +0.42 °C (up 0.54 °C)
      Atmospheric CO2: 390 ppmv (up 66 ppmv or 20%)
      Global yields of major crops (million tons): 1912 (up 1124 Mt or 2.4x)
      In addition, global starvation rates were down significantly and (despite HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa) world average life expectancy increased from ~55 years to ~68 years (up by 13 years).

      So over 40 years with a 20% increase in CO2 we’ve seen a 140% increase in crop yields!

      http://bigpictureagriculture.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-does-need-to-double-world-crop.html

      More food per capita means less starvation, to be sure.

      But it could also lead to more gluttony.

      We must, therefore, curtail CO2 emissions immediately and dramatically, in order to mitigate against the threat of global obesity!

      Max

  50. Bi-partisan quotas on science panels are probably not a good idea, for the same reasons such quotas would be problematic for ethnic, religious, sex, or social class categories. A number of predictable pathologies would result.

    The funny thing for those who can remember back to the 1980s and 1990s is that Republicans tended to be more in favor of allocating money to basic research and Democrats to “applied” research at the “pre-commercial” stage. (There were obvious philosophical reasons for this having to do with the role of government in a free society.) So you’d find Republicans favoring Superconducting Super Colliders and the National Institutes for Health, while Democrats wanted to vector research funding into commuter versions of the V22 Osprey and semiconductor manufacturing technology. There were furious ideological debates about the legitimacy of “industrial policy” (Republicans against, Democrats for). Our current solar and wind pork programs are the evolutionary descendants of those earlier, more abortive efforts, achieved by the blotting out memories of the catastrophic 1970s Synthetic Fuels effort under Carter.

  51. Stephen Pruett

    The problem with CAGW with CO2 as the major driver is denial of the existence or importance of unknown unknowns and denial of the potential quantitative importance of some of the known influences on mean global temp. Phil Jones said he was convinced CO2 is the main driver of climate change because we couldn’t think of anything else that could be the cause. If you don’t recognize this as the weakest possible form of scientific inference (a type which has failed to provide correct conclusions many times in the past), then we probably have little basis for further discussion. I can assert, however, that our differences have nothing to do with denial, they have to do with the importance placed on assumptions. Most skeptics agree that CO2 should increase temperature, all other things being equal, but all other things are not ever equal and the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 is not known well enough to justify wrecking the world economy with draconian measures to decrease CO2 emissions.

    Just in casual conversations with colleagues in the life sciences, virtually all of them who have taken some time to examine the literature in climate science are astounded that this is somehow transmogrified to near certainty of CAGW in IPCC summaries for policy makers. In fact, the primary literature in climate science include many, many papers that do not support basic tenets of CAGW and those which do typically include valid caveats that make their conclusions highly uncertain. This isn’t denial, it is realism.

    • “are astounded that this is somehow transmogrified to near certainty of CAGW in IPCC summaries for policy makers”

      Can you give an example, ie a quote from the summary from policy makers that is CAGW.

      As you know CAGW is a denialist strawman rather than any official concept, so it would be nice to see just what kind of sentence in the IPCC report you think represents CAGW.

    • As you know CAGW is an accurate description of the IPCC position.
      It’s just that, as a devious and blinkered advocacy group, they lack the necessary honesty and integrity to use the term.

    • AGW says 4 C by 2100 is quite a possible outcome. Whether this counts as Catastrophic is the area where the debate should be. IPCC WG2 gives some of the negativities associated with such a rapid climate change, but these are much harder to be certain about because we have no analogy for it in the past, so I would say AGW is certain, CAGW less certain because C is not a defined concept in the first place. C for some is not for others.
      On the “we can’t think of anything else” meme, obviously that means that of everything else they have considered, none fits the bill, and they have thought of everything the skeptics have come up with and found them easy to dismiss.

      • David Wojick

        But the skeptics do not dismiss them, pointing to obvious evidence for them instead. And there we stand with a scientific debate.

        You have AGW wrong. It is about the past so says nothing about 2100. CAGW is about the future. That is the essential difference. As for CAGW it is necessarily vague because it stands for a vague set of ideas. The threshold is that action must be taken to curb emissions or some such. (Pretending not to understand is a weak argument.)

      • How can you say AGW is not about the future? The CO2 projections enable forecasts of future warming of 4 C by 2100 with realistic CO2 growth rates. Whether 4 C is catastrophic or not is the difference between CAGW and AGW, but many automatically would say 4 C is catastrophic, so I can see the confusion.

      • David Wojick

        I am telling you how we use the terms. They are our terms. AGW is the attribution issue while CAGW is the action issue.

      • None of the skeptic evidence is ‘obvious’. They can attach all the game-change and bomb-shell monikers they want, but each time they do that, it fades away, and it makes them even less credible the next time.

      • David Wojick

        But the skeptics do not dismiss them, pointing to obvious evidence for them instead. And there we stand with a scientific debate.

        No you don’t. You stand with a pile of multiply-debunked contrarian claims. Hard to believe you can muster the chutzpah to pretend otherwise.

        You have AGW wrong. It is about the past so says nothing about 2100. CAGW is about the future. That is the essential difference.

        This is just rubbish. ‘It is about the past so says nothing about 2100’… noise. Obfuscation? Most likely.

        As for CAGW it is necessarily vague because it stands for a vague set of ideas.

        Jim D addressed this much better than you do.

      • Yes, CAGW would be an action issue, but is too tied to politics and local effects to even define. The climate science stops at AGW (4 C by 2100). After that, it is whether anything can be done about it, or whether we can just prepare for the worst, or just ignore it.

      • David Wojick

        Belligerence does not make the debate go away. It just makes you both look stupid.

        As for the meaning of AGW and CAGW if you refuse to use the terms correctly you can expect to not be understood. You do not own the language (Humpty).

      • David Wojick

        As for the meaning of AGW and CAGW if you refuse to use the terms correctly you can expect to not be understood. You do not own the language (Humpty).

        But ‘sceptics’ try to own the language. They have misappropriated the term ‘sceptic’ for their own brand of rejectionism. They get very huffy when accurately described as deniers for doing so. They unilaterally place the C in front of AGW for argumentative purposes.

        You are on thin ice with this line of argument.

      • Belligerence does not make the debate go away. It just makes you both look stupid.

        And now I think of it, ‘sceptics’ use the term ‘debate’ in a unique manner too.

      • Jim D

        You write:

        ” The climate science stops at AGW (4 C by 2100).”

        “Science” actually stops a long way before “4C by 2100″.

        Anything over around 1 to 2C is simply “hype” (not “science”). And even that appears shaky, if we look at the past decade or so of no warming.

        (This has been explained to you previously, so I see no need to repeat).

        Max

      • manacker

        Anything over around 1 to 2C is simply “hype” (not “science”). And even that appears shaky, if we look at the past decade or so of no warming.

        Using the best estimates endorsed by the scientific consensus on AGW, the transient climate response to 2xCO2 is ~2C. Doubling is expected to occur around 2060, so a rise of above 2C by 2100 is not hype.

        You are being assertively wrong, again.

  52. Judith,

    I’d really like to know what you mean by this;

    “I think the point Sarewitz is raising is really important”

    It could be interpreted in a variety of ways.

    Do you think Sarewitz’s idea of linking scientist to their political affiliations in some circumstances, is a good one??

  53. The fundamental problem is that state-funded science will inherently have a statist bias whenever there are political implications.

    And since the Democratic party is more statist/totalitarian then the Republicans, state science will tend to serve the agenda of the Democrats.

  54. I seem to have silenced izen and lolwot with my logic, but maybe it is too soon to assume I am not going to get any replies. We will see.

    • Speak dibbukbuk,
      Speak yuck yuck.
      =============

    • @- Jim Cripwell
      “I seem to have silenced izen and lolwot with my logic, but maybe it is too soon to assume I am not going to get any replies. We will see.”

      Only the naive would think that a lack of reply in an argument implies success. But then perhaps you lack insight, your claim to use logic might perhaps be a little optimistic. You might want to consider why the vast majority of the scientifically literate find the combination of descriptive and explanatory evidence that has been developed in relation to the physics and chemistry of climate persuasive. It is only a very small minority that cling to the inevitable uncertainties of scientific knowledge as spurious justification for their rejection of the consilence of the evidence.

      It is a character trait I have encountered before in discussions with YECs, an inability to alter their beliefs in the face of increasing knowledge. I would regard the present call for politically ‘bi-partisan’ science as about as ridiculous as the calls made for bi-partisan educational approaches to the teaching of evolution.

      I learnt long ago that in the face of such congnative rigidity further discourse is tedious at best.

      • The YEC analogy is actually spot on. Cripwell’s insistence that there’s no empirical evidence that rising CO2 has a warming effect is much like Creationist insistence that there’s no empirical evidence for evolution.

      • David Wojick

        Izen, if by scientifically literate you mean people with science and engineering degrees then my estimate is that the proportion of skeptics is about the same as in the population as a whole, which is much greater than a very small minority. In any case it is many millions of people whom you are in no position to speak for.

        Nor is there a consilence (sic) of inductions. There is a scientific debate. You keep making unsupportable universal claims about the science. The climate literature is several hundred thousand journal articles and conference presentations at least, relatively few of which you or any single person has read and seen. It is epistemically preposterous to make universal claims as to what it all says. If you have specific arguments you should make them rather than these grandiose claims.

      • I want some of dat native congdam style. Rigid!
        ===============

    • Manacker disagrees with you Jim Cripwell.

      So how about convincing other skeptics before even dreaming you can convince realists?

      • David Wojick

        No one is trying to convince you lolwot. We are not that stupid, just happy to point out your errors.

      • so you think climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero. Can I quote you on that?

      • David Wojick

        Yes lolwat, sensitivity appears to be zero. There seems to be no GHG warming in the entire 34 year UAH record, just a single warming step coincident with the 1998-2000 ENSO cycle. No warming before and none since. I have said this repeatedly. Please do quote me.

      • lolwot writes several things.

        1. “Cripwell’s insistence that there’s no empirical evidence that rising CO2 has a warming effect is much like Creationist insistence that there’s no empirical evidence for evolution.”

        There is all sorts of empirical evidence for evolution. However, this is a blog on climate, so I dont want to get into a discussion on this issue. Let me just note that bacteria have a wonderful ability to mutate so that they obtain immunity to antibiotics. We know how this happens, and it is perfect empirical evidence for evolution. And the flu viruses evolve every year, so that they have a better chance of infecting us, and so proliferate.

        2. “Manacker disagrees with you Jim Cripwell.”

        I have no doubt at all. On some issues, I disagree with Max. What matters is what he disagrees with me about, and until you make this clear I cannot comment.

        3. “so you think climate sensitivity is indistinguishable from zero. Can I quote you on that?”

        Providing you dont misquote me, with the utmost of pleasure. Let me be quite clear what I claim. I cannot find a CO2 signal in any modern temperature/time graph. From this I deduce that there is a strong indication that the total climate sentiviity of CO2 is indistinguishable from zero. If someone can show me such a CO2 signal, then my claim is clearly wrong. By total climate sensitivity, I mean the relationship between CO2 levels in the atmosphere and global temperatures.

        Let me ask you a question. Do you agree that there is no empirical evidecne that proves that CAGW exists? I agree that there is no empirical evidecnce that proves that CAGW does not exist.

      • David Wojick

        Perhaps the *sceptical* thing to do would be to look at all temperature data sets over that period rather than focus only on one. Perhaps there is something unusual about UAH? Have you done that? What did you find?

      • David Wojick,

        Amazing how that 1997-98 El Nino worked back through time to cause all that warming going back to the 1970’s:

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut4/diagnostics.html

        Your perspective on this is quite unsupportable from the data. Suggest you stop listening to Bob Tisdale on this (if that is where you are getting your silly notions) about it all being an ENSO related issue.

        Human activity is warming the oceans and atmosphere and cryosphere. The only issue is how much it will warm over various periods of time going forward which will be based on short and long-term sensitivity and how high GHG concentrations end up going.

      • R Gates

        So you are linking to a Met office graph showing gobal temperatures have been on the slide since 1998 to demonstrate what point?

        That no one born this century has experienced global warming?

        That none of the last three western governments elected have known global warming?

        That we are all suffering unhelpful and expensive energy policies based on something as elusive as a will o the wisp?
        tonyb

      • climatereason

        That no one born this century has experienced global warming?

        Oh come on Tony! Was the last decade the warmest in the instrumental record? Look at the pretty picture ;-)

      • Hi Tony,

        Happy New Year to you. No, I was linking the the Hadcrut4 data to show how the El Nino of 97-98 could not have caused the warming since the 1970’s.

        Your point about “no one born this century has experience global warming” seems rather an odd point to try and make. Because global near surface temperatures have flattened at record high levels, you could also make the equally accurate statement that anyone born this century has experienced the warmest decade on instrument record with every year being above the longer-term average.

        So what is the point of making either of these points? Do you seriously doubt that over the next 20, 30, of 50 years that temperatures will march higher? The probability is toward the side that they will, even with periods of natural variability showing entire decades of flatten temperatures with the overall long-term trend being higher.

        My point in challenging David W. is that this “ENSO” as the cause of long-term warming is nonsense. ENSO is internal variability, not an external forcing on climate. It may fluctuate over decadal, multidecadal, and even century scale time frames, but it is not the cause of a long-term external positive forcing on the climate. Furthermore, that external forcing (such as from GH gases) might actually cause an alteration in the character of ENSO variability (and NAO, AMO, PDO, etc). Stay tuned for more on that…soon.

      • BBD and R Gates

        My tongue was slightly in my cheek (its nervous hysteria having just received my last quarters fuel bill) but here is the definition of ‘warming’

        http://www.macmillandictionary.com/thesaurus/british/warming_5#warming_8

        So as the temperature is not increasing it is not warming. In fact, dare I use the word, its cooling. I make no claim at all that this is a long term trend

        A happy New Year to you both

        Ps I am inclined to agree with you about Enso
        tonyb

      • Tony,

        I really do feel badly for those paying high heating and energy bills and believe that localized and decentralized energy sources can reverse this. My sister lives in Maine and they have heating oil as their source for home heat and it kills their budget every winter. Here in Colorado where I live, we have natural gas heat and of course with the current glut of natural gas from all the fracking, our bills have been lower and lower the past few years (not to mention the fact that I’ve put about $20,000) into making my home more energy efficient over the past few years).

        But, with all respect to you, I don’t like to mix my viewpoint about AGW with what is going on in the political/energy front. Whether or not humans are warming the planet through our activity and what the effects on climate will be is a scientific question, which I am interested in greatly– what we should do about those effects is a political/policy debate which I care about very little (at present), and unless it turns out that AGW is going to be catastrophic (as in human species ending or civilization destroying), then I would favor less government intervention in the issue and let the marketplace work. Anything that Great Britain can do to foster marketplace driven localized, decentralized, renewable, and green energy should be encouraged if you want to keep your prices of energy down in the long-term. Energy policy and a marketplace dictated and controlled by centralized energy conglomerates is generally poor policy and leaves the consumer at the mercy of a few very wealthy companies.

      • R Gates said

        ‘Anything that Great Britain can do to foster marketplace driven localized, decentralized, renewable, and green energy should be encouraged if you want to keep your prices of energy down in the long-term.’

        Britain is a world leader in renewables/green energy. It is also a world leader in high energy prices.

        At present here in the UK ‘green’ and ‘affordable’ are mutually exclusive words, with generally the phrase ‘heavily subsidised by taxpayers’ appearing somewhere in the same sentence, together with ‘companies looking to relocate to cheaper energy climes’ also likely to be prominent.
        tonyb

      • climatereason

        Britain is a world leader in renewables/green energy. It is also a world leader in high energy prices.

        The horrible cost of energy in the UK has little to do with renewables. Ofgem states:

        Higher gas prices have been the main driver of increasing energy bills over the last eight years. As the graph below shows, Britain enjoyed a period of falling gas prices until 2004/05. This is the year that Britain first imported more gas than it produced itself. Becoming more reliant on imported gas has meant that British gas prices have become increasingly influenced by global events

        Detail here.

        I’m not a great fan of windmills (sic) but every plausible analysis I have seen suggests that ~25% nuclear and ~25% renewable are optimistic cases for 2050. The rest FFs.

        We need it all.

      • Tonyb

        I’ve just re-read the above and realised that I have been unintentionally rude and failed to wish you a…

        Happy New Year!

      • BBD

        I personally favour renewable horses for courses. In the case of the UK windmills and solar (ha!) are expensive and unsightly dead ends.

        The ocean showing its awesome power off only 500 yards from my door is a part of the answer for us here. But not of course for Max in Switzerkand (those geographically challenged souls who can’t understand that reference lose 10 points.)

        All the best to you

        Tonyb

      • Tony B

        Yeah.

        We’ve got out share of nut cases here in scenic Switz, as well.

        A few years ago there was a major protest movement to remove high tension electrical lines and poles from some scenic areas of the Jura Mountains here.

        After much noise, these were finally removed to restore the pristine landscape.

        Now the very same mountains are being defaced with unsightly wind turbines (that appear to be idle most of the time).

        Go figure.

        Max

      • R. Gates and tony b

        Whether those born in this century “have experienced global warming” or not may be a moot point.

        [In actual fact, the record shows that they have experience “warm global temperature levels” that have flattened out “with no further global warming”, but this is not very important.]

        Important is that there have been no net human deaths or suffering that can be attributed to this “global warming”.

        [Don’t bring up the current Australian heat wave – there are still more people dying from the effects of extreme cold weather globally than from extreme hot weather.]

        Global warming in its present incarnation remains a paper tiger.

        Max

      • David Wojick

        BBD & Gates, what you call the instrumental record is the output of some statistical models which I find to be incorrect. The satellites say that the 1978-97 warming these models output did not happen. The community is trying to explain something that does not exist. Measurements trump models.

        These models (HadCRU, GISS, NOAA and BEST) have known problems. The input data is not representative, is subject to heat contamination, and comes from the boundary layer not the atmosphere making it subject to simple circulation changes. The area averaging method is an approximation technique not a scientific statistical method. Any of these might explain the observed inaccuracies. (AGW is about the atmosphere not the boundary layer, nor the ocean for that matter. Climate change is atmospheric.)

        Tisdale has in fact pointed to the ENSO step but he does it in all the data sets. I go further and reject the surface models as innaccurate. My point is not about the step but about the complete lack of warming in the 34 year period, other than the step warming.

      • The surface and satellite records are consistent over the 1978-1997 period. Both respective 95% confidence intervals for trend overlap very well.

        The reason there isn’t a significant warming trend over 1978-1997 for satellites but is for surface is probably because the variability in the tropospheric temperature fluctuates far more wildly than at the surface and so the satellite trend 95% interval for 1970-1997 is much wider and so the lower end is prone to cross below zero whereas the surface confidence interval is less so.

      • Wojick

        BBD & Gates, what you call the instrumental record is the output of some statistical models which I find to be incorrect. The satellites say that the 1978-97 warming these models output did not happen. The community is trying to explain something that does not exist. Measurements trump models.

        An impressive display of assertive wrongness!

        – The MSUs do not directly measure tropospheric temperature. The tropospheric temperature reconstruction is modelled. It is *inferred*. It is the output of a methodology. Your argument collapses at this point, but I cannot resist pointing out how gloriously egotistical this is:

        BBD & Gates, what you call the instrumental record is the output of some statistical models which I find to be incorrect.

        So you, David Wojick, have spotted fundamental errors that all the climate scientists in the world have missed. Gentlemen, we are in the presence of true intellectual greatness. Let us show the proper respect.

        Measurements trump models.

        Indeed they do, which is why the NH land surface data are by far the most interesting.

        But denial trumps all, eh David?

      • David Wojick

        Lolwot, there are no actual 95% confidence intervals for the surface models because they are averaging averages. They compute a 95% interval by taking the grid cell averages are data but they are averages not data. Confidence intervals are based on probability theory and so far no one has figured out how to apply probability theory to averages of averages.

        Moreover, if we could compute such intervals and they overlapped that would simply mean that we would not know whether it had warmed or not during the 1978-97 period. So assuming the surface model means to be correct would still be a statistical fallacy, which it is.

      • Didn’t even Pat Michaels advise ‘sceptics’ not to engage in flagrant data denial as it looks stupid? Or was that some other thing he was cautioning against?

      • David Wojick

        BBD, all measurement involves methods but it does not follow that the satellites are not measuring atmospheric temperatures while the surface statistical models are not. HadCRU measures nothing. The satellites are clearly measurement instruments, designed specifically for that job. Your sophistry falls.

        BTW unlike most climate scientists I do measure theory and data theory, not climate theory. I wonder if any climate scientists have actually probed the mathematical foundations of the surface statistical models, as I have. Mathematical foundations was part of my Ph.D. training.

      • *My* sophistry fails? You are made of pure chutzpah.

        Here’s a question for the Greatest Scientific Mind of Our Time: NOAA and BEST use very different methodologies – yes?

        So explain this remarkably good agreement.

        Two methodologies; same result. What can we *infer* from that? With specific reference to your sophistry above…

        And satellites don’t measure temperature btw. You really don’t know how MSUs work, do you?

        ;-)

      • David Wojick said:

        “… what you call the instrumental record is the output of some statistical models which I find to be incorrect…”

        _______

        This of course is a prime example of a denialist mindset. Those who would suggest that it is rude or improper to call certain skeptics “deniers” would do well to understand the mentality behind this kind of thinking. What is happening is classic– if you don’t like what the data are telling you, then deny the validity of the data (and if you can’t do that, then deny the credibility of those who gather the data).

        As a true denier David, you will of course not alter you opinion of the AGW issue no matter what information is brought to you to consider. It is thus quite a waste of time to bring you such information as you’ll simply dismiss it with a wave of your denialist wand.

      • This is confidence interval for the trend, not for the data. If you can’t calculate the confidence intervals for the trend then no claims can be made about the trend.

        That goes for the satellite record too.

      • R. Gates

        This of course is a prime example of a denialist mindset. Those who would suggest that it is rude or improper to call certain skeptics “deniers” would do well to understand the mentality behind this kind of thinking. What is happening is classic– if you don’t like what the data are telling you, then deny the validity of the data (and if you can’t do that, then deny the credibility of those who gather the data).

        I’ve come to recognise that the ‘sceptics’ are trying to own the language. I think efforts should be made to recapture it and return it to pre-‘sceptic’ norms of meaning and usage.

        This will involve describing denial as denial and standing by both definition and usage. Otherwise, one side of the non-debate is getting away with making up its own definitions and throwing great bales of straw at the other.

      • David Wojick

        BBD, all five statistical models use the same basic area averaging methodology, as originally pioneered by Jones and Wigley in the 1980’s. Some do more interpolation than others. HadCRU uses he least and BEST uses the most. Some use more data than others, BEST using the most. But the data is all from the same non-representative places. Mathematically these models are all clones of HadCRU so they cannot verify one another. The satellites are truly independent of the surface models and they falsify the models. It is very simple.

        I know how the satellites work and they are measuring instruments designed specifically to take atmospheric measurements.

        Lolwot, you have missed the point. You cannot determine a confidence interval for averages of averages. This is true for trends as much as for individual values, probably more so. Each of the grid cell averages has a confidence interval based on the number of samples and the variance among them. When you average all these averages to get a global average there is no known way to combine these cell confidence intervals.

      • David Wojick

        But the data is all from the same non-representative places. Mathematically these models are all clones of HadCRU so they cannot verify one another. The satellites are truly independent of the surface models and they falsify the models. It is very simple.

        So if we compare, say, GISTEMP and HadCRUT4 with UAH and RSS we should see enough divergence to falsify GISTEMP and HadCRUT4 – yes?

        Let’s have a look.

        I’d call that pretty good agreement myself. I’d also be wary of treating the satellite *estimate* of TLT as the last word. It is not. Sceptics know that there are many questions about the accuracy of the instruments, the splices over the full period and the methodology used to model a TLT temperature estimate.

        It’s odd that you have no doubts about the satellite estimates but dismiss the surface temperature reconstructions as flawed. Especially as they are in such close agreement.

      • BBD | January 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm said: ”So if we compare, say, GISTEMP and HadCRUT4 with UAH and RSS we should see enough divergence to falsify GISTEMP and HadCRUT4 – yes?”

        It’s SAME as: ”if we compare the bible with the Koran”’ … will not tell you anything about Darwinism. all those mafia establishments you pretend to believe, are laundromats for the sucker’s brains. nothing reliable, no reality… Compare them all, with what i have; don’t be scared from the best challenge. Don’t waste your life on their lies and outdated pagan beliefs!! Truth always wins on the end – stop supporting, promoting losers / SHAMELESS liars

      • The opposite of a denier is a pretender – someone who pretends the data is telling him what he wants to hear, for political or other some unadmitted other agenda.
        This is more or less what the Consensus is.

      • R Gates : if you don’t like what the data are telling you, then deny the validity of the data (and if you can’t do that, then deny the credibility of those who gather the data).

        The credibility of Climate Science as a whole is indeed a massive issue. And an issue that Climate Science has entirely brought on itself by by not cracking down (or even distancing itself from) the kind of activities exposed by Climategate, and made worse by the the fake Inquiries into it. Indeed, the “nothing to see folks, move along” pretense has moved to a new level, with the fraud Peter Gleick being actually being honored now (see Climate Audit).

        The longer crooks and dirty tricks go unpunished, the more skepticism in the general public grows. What I cannot understand is why sincere believers in CAGW cannot or will not see this, and cannot or will not do anything about it – skepticism would be hugely reduced if a stand was made against the underlying dishonesty that currently underpins the CAGW Consensus.

      • Lots of denialist clap-trap. No substantive response to the comment you have posted below. This comment. Has nobody anything substantive to say? If not, be quiet, or I will be forced to mock you for your short-comings. And I do mean mock.

      • Here’s an even better graph. Wojick is talking nonsense. You all are.

  55. New year’s resolution for climate scientists – to stop regurgitating fake fisics memes and begin to think like scientists, rationally with joined up logic.

    “Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob
    Governing Earth’s Temperature
    Andrew A. Lacis,* Gavin A. Schmidt, David Rind, Reto A. Ruedy
    Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. This is because CO2, like ozone, N2O, CH4, and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current
    climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can and does. etc.”

    What a lot of gibberish created out of “non-condensing” …

    Carbon dioxide precipitates out of atmosphere every time it rains, all rain is carbonic acid.

    Taking rain out of the Carbon Cycle and pretending it doesn’t exist in this fake fisics gibberish meme of “non-condensing gases” is sleight of hand science fraud.

    Or, simply such utterly ludicrous thinking which proves these are not scientists at all – it certainly proves they are not climate scientists who not only haven’t noticed there is no rain in their Carbon Cycle, but no Water Cycle at all in their AGWScienceFiction’s “The Greenhouse Effect” dogma.

    These are not scientists, they are a bad joke – and the joke’s on us who give them any credibility at all.

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/12/28/can-we-avoid-fooling-ourselves/#comment-281144

    • @- Myrrh
      “Carbon dioxide precipitates out of atmosphere every time it rains, all rain is carbonic acid.”

      Difficult to avoid the suspicion this is a Poe intended to discredit AGW rejectionists…
      if CO2 was removed from the atmosphere by rainfall where would rain forests get the CO2 to grow?!

      @-“Taking rain out of the Carbon Cycle and pretending it doesn’t exist in this fake fisics gibberish meme of “non-condensing gases” is sleight of hand science fraud.”

      Actually the science of the Carbon cycle does include the effect of rainfall, but as the CO2 is in dynamic equilibrium with the oceans any CO2 removed by rain will be re-released by the oceans into the atmosphere to maintain the balance.

      • “Difficult to avoid the suspicion this is a Poe intended to discredit AGW rejectionists”

        It’s easy for me to avoid that suspicion given the number of ludicrous pet theories advanced by skeptics. Even in this thread, see for example the stuff about waste heat.

        What this blog is missing are alarmist equivalents of these skeptics. Ie a group willing to propose ideas such as:

        The commonly accepted dogma that the warming from rising CO2 is logarithmic is WRONG. Climate scientists have overlooked (insert gibberish here) which means rising CO2’s warming effect is in fact closer to linear than logarithmic in current climate conditions. Therefore AGW will be far more extreme than the IPCC predict (because the IPCC are funded by governments who want to downplay the problem)

      • izen | January 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm | said: ”Actually the science of the Carbon cycle does include the effect of rainfall, but as the CO2 is in dynamic equilibrium with the oceans any CO2 removed by rain will be re-released by the oceans into the atmosphere to maintain the balance”

        izen, instead of being ignorant AND dogmatic, here is some truth:

        #1: rain washes CO2, as carbonic acid – the coral absorbs it -> keeps the carbon for itself, releases the oxygen from the CO2 in the water, for the fish. Coral dies, on the top new coral grows. In the dead corral carbon is trapped for millions of years / as limestone made from dead coral and shellfish. .

        #2: algae / plankton collect CO2 – when dead, get cemented on the bottom; new ones grow on the top. more carbonic acid in the water => more algae, coral and plankton. or, they get eaten by other marine critters and their poo is cemented on the bottom. that’s how oil and gas has being created in the past on the bottom of the sea. New years resolution should be: to open your mind / defrost it. Happy new year!

      • “Actually the science of the Carbon cycle does include the effect of rainfall, but as the CO2 is in dynamic equilibrium with the oceans any CO2 removed by rain will be re-released by the oceans into the atmosphere to maintain the balance.”

        Agree about the ‘dynamic equilibrium’ and any CO2 (above the equilibrium) emitted into atmosphere will be absorbed by the oceans to maintain the balance. Observations agree with this.

      • izen | January 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Reply @- Myrrh
        “Carbon dioxide precipitates out of atmosphere every time it rains, all rain is carbonic acid.”
        @-”Taking rain out of the Carbon Cycle and pretending it doesn’t exist in this fake fisics gibberish meme of “non-condensing gases” is sleight of hand science fraud.”

        Actually the science of the Carbon cycle does include the effect of rainfall, but as the CO2 is in dynamic equilibrium with the oceans any CO2 removed by rain will be re-released by the oceans into the atmosphere to maintain the balance.

        Oh do stop this constant BS in replies – the point is that “non-condensing” is a fake fisics meme – YOU AGW/CAGW religionists use this to create the idiotic idea that carbon dioxide “accumulates for hundreds and thousands of years in the atmosphere – because it is non-condensing, so does not precipitate out” – exactly as described in the paper I quoted from – you are pretending that rain does not have any carbon dioxide in it.

        You don’t have rain in your Carbon Cycle.

        Here it is again: “Atmospheric CO2: Principal Control Knob
        Governing Earth’s Temperature
        Andrew A. Lacis,* Gavin A. Schmidt, David Rind, Reto A. Ruedy
        Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. This is because CO2, like ozone, N2O, CH4, and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current
        climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can and does. etc.”

        In the real world all water vapour that condenses out is carbonic acid – SO, whenever water precipates from the atmosphere so does carbon dioxide!

        You don’t have carbon dioxide in your rain.

        That’s the whole point of AGW/CAGW pushing the gibberish “non-condensing” meme.

        You live in a totally different world of impossible physics.

        In which carbon dioxide has been deliberately taken out of the rain to make it appear to have other properties..

        Therefore, pay attention, you don’t have rain. Because in the real world all rain is carbonic acid.

        What does it take to get people here to think in joined up logic long enough to see how this is a deliberate science scam?

      • izen | January 5, 2013 at 8:42 pm said: ”if CO2 was removed from the atmosphere by rainfall where would rain forests get the CO2 to grow?!”

        izen, logical question for under 7y olds. BUT, if you ask an 8y old, would tell you that: never rains on the WHOLE planet simultaneously – second hint: the good lord invented the winds for many reasons; one of those is to spread the CO2.

        2] From me: rainforest releases same amount of CO2, as it absorbs. All the dead leaves, roots, twigs, branches and logs are decomposed by the fungi – they release the co2 back in the air! That’s why rainforest is ”carbon neutral”. Nutters believing that: rainforest absorbs co2, but doesn’t release any… in 5y rainforest would have exploded as an atom bomb!. {rainforest is the biggest factory for producing methane also – which is badmouthed by the nutters from both camps}

        3] rain washes CO2 on the land -> germination starts, because is better amount of co2 in the soil. b] any farmer will tell you this: crops are much more prosperous from 3 inches of rain, than from flood instigation of same amount of water; because rain brings the essential CO2. can you start realizing: how far away away, you and the propaganda are gone from the reality?!

      • Edim | January 6, 2013 at 2:20 am said: “Actually the science of the Carbon cycle does include the effect of rainfall, but as the CO2 is in dynamic equilibrium with the oceans any CO2 removed by rain will be re-released by the oceans into the atmosphere to maintain the balance.”

        ”dynamic equilibrium” is same as: positive / negative forcing, albedo and similar Warmist invented crap, as fodder for the fakes. listen very carefully: if dynamic equilibrium existed – it wouldn’t be any limestone, which is made of carbon and calcium. wouldn’t be any gas and oil on the bottom of the sea…

        coral, shellfish, algae, plankton absorbs the CO2 from the water – keep the carbon for themselves / replenishes oxygen from the co2 for the fish. More co2 = more coral, shellfish, algae, plankton – WHEN DEAD => more carbon cemented for millions of years. Edim, using words from the Warmist gospel confuses you even more. Compare the surface area of all the sea / oceans, where coral, or plankton, or algae can grow – compare it with the amount of remaining carbon in the fossil fuel. therefore: your heart is on correct place; but your brains is, where the Warmist want you. scary….

      • lolwot and izen

        The most “ludicrous pet theory” is that of CAGW (as outlined by IPCC in AR4).

        Max.

    • New Year’s Resolution for Myrrh : produce a non-gibberish posting. No longer than one page.

  56. Let me check if I have got this argument straight.

    Climate science, at least in the context of the AGW issue, isn’t accepted across the entire political spectrum because it’s partisan. Ideally it should be bipartisan. Presumably the accusation is that Democrats like the idea that increasing CO2 emissions is likely to cause environmental and economic damage whereas the Republicans don’t.

    So, rather than scientists writing papers on just what they calculate the effects to be, 3 degrees warming from a doubling of CO2 levels etc, maybe they should be decided by negotiation? The Democrats would suggest one figure and the Republicans would suggest another, and then no doubt there would be a last minute compromise to avoid falling over some climatic cliff rather than a fiscal cliff?

    Maybe the religious right would argue that it needn’t warm up at all if everyone prayed hard enough, and that if it did warm it would be God’s punishment on America for allowing Gay rights and decriminalising ab*rt**n so shouldn’t be interfered with?

    I do have my doubts that any sort of reconciliation is possible. The only solution might be for each side to take it in turns to decide just how much the atmosphere should warm up, if at all.

    • tempterrain
      Let me check if I have got this argument straight … Presumably the accusation is that Democrats like the idea that increasing CO2 emissions is likely to cause environmental and economic damage whereas the Republicans don’t.

      Another impressive piece of wilful deception from one of the masters.

      But No – Democrats just like any old excuse to raise taxes and advance the totalitarian agenda – whether CAGW is actually true or not is quite secondary them. Republicans are a little less wilfuly gullible and a little more thoughtful.

      • i thought the conspiracy theory was that scientists accept CAGW because they want funding not because they want higher taxes.

        Climate skeptic conspiracy theories sure are confusing

      • You’re the one who’s confused lolwot. It’s just the good ol’ confirmation bias, group-think and other interesting phenomena.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink#See_also

      • That contradicts what Memphis claims. You are confusing each other.

      • don’t worry lolwot, skeptics can handle a bit of disagreement. You can’t, obviously. Conspiracies (if any) don’t exclude other interesting psychological phenomena.

      • All conspiracy theorists have the problem of explaining why the mainstream don’t accept their ideas.

        The flailing by individual theorists for an explanation often results in disagreements.

      • What? Why would the mainstream accept their ideas?

      • Chomsky would say, “If I’m analyzing capitalism and I point out that General Motors tries to maximize profit, that’s not a conspiracy theory. That’s analysis”.

      • Dear oh dear, the tired old ‘conspiracy’ theory strawman brought out once again. It really isn’t complicated:
        1. The state will be the major beneficiary of CAGW theory being swallowed
        2. The state is funding the CAGW theory.

        Coincidence? All we have here is an organisation – the state – trying to advance its own interests. Exactly like any other other person or organisation does.

        Where exactly is the ‘conspiracy’ ? There isn’t, it’s just a devious trick used by people with no real argument.

      • lolwot | January 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
        > i thought the conspiracy theory was that scientists accept CAGW because they want funding not because they want higher taxes.

        Why do you imagine the two cannot both be true?? The only confusion here is the one want to you pretend exists.

        You basically fall at the first fence by trying to suggest skeptics are promoting a conspiracy theory.
        The only real conspiracy theory, is the one put forward that government scientists are conspiring to be honest rather than promoting the interests of government – you know, the profession that routinely uses lies and deception as revealed in Climategate. And which is utterly unrepentant about it, as evidenced by their refusal to discipline Mann and the other frauds.

      • “Chomsky would say, “If I’m analyzing capitalism and I point out that General Motors tries to maximize profit, that’s not a conspiracy theory. That’s analysis”.”

        There would be no disagreements, because it makes sense.

        In contrast here’s a conspiracy theory:
        “1. The state will be the major beneficiary of CAGW theory being swallowed
        2. The state is funding the CAGW theory.

        Coincidence? All we have here is an organisation – the state – trying to advance its own interests. Exactly like any other other person or organisation does.”

        Climate skeptics need to explain why most climate scientists accept AGW. Moon landing conspiracy theorists need to explain why most NASA scientists accept man landed on the moon. Creationists need to explain why most geologists accept the Earth is billions of years old.

        Claiming it’s for money is easy. Or jobs. People just nod and accept this. But examination of these ideas often reveals them to be absurd.

        1. Promote AGW despite knowing it’s false
        2. Assume other scientists will do the same thing
        3. Assume this will convince society to increase taxes
        4. Assume more taxes mean more money for climate funding
        5. Assume more climate funding will mean more funding for self
        6. Profit?

        Who wakes up one day and thinks this makes a good 5 year plan? According to the conspiracy theorists it is not just one climate scientist but most of them thinking like this.

      • lolwot, not only that, but the best way to get funding is to claim a lot of remaining uncertainty, and the skeptics are only helping with that. If the skeptics said the science is settled, fund something else, that might be more effective if they want to reduce the funding in climate science.

      • And yet again you wheel out the tired old ‘conspiracy’ theory strawman.
        To sumamrise, one does not need a conspiracy to explain why and organisation is pursuing its self-interest. The state funds CAGW thinking, and the state stands to benefit from its acceptance. Just follow the money.

      • Lolwot : Climate skeptics need to explain why most climate scientists accept AGW.

        None so blind as those who will not see. The answer was in the very post you responded to, staring you in the face.
        – the state preferentially funds people and projects that it calculates will most advance its interests. Which in this case means people and projects most likely to pretend that CAGW is a settled conclusion.

      • What lolwot seems to be struggling with, is the idea that state lackies (including its scientists) tend to do their best to promote the state. And equally the that the state seeks to employ scientists eager to do so.
        He who pays the piper chooses him too.

    • And temp also carefully ignores that most scientists, being state employees and hence biased in favour of more state controls, are Democrats.

  57. Let me check if I have got this argument straight.

    Climate science, at least in the context of the AGW issue, isn’t accepted across the entire political spectrum because it’s partisan. Ideally it should be bipartisan. Presumably the accusation is that Democrats like the idea that increasing CO2 emissions is likely to cause environmental and economic damage whereas the Republicans don’t.

    So, rather than scientists writing papers on just what they calculate the effects to be, 3 degrees warming from a doubling of CO2 levels etc, maybe they should be decided by negotiation? The Democrats would suggest one figure and the Republicans would suggest another, and then no doubt there would be a last minute compromise to avoid falling over some climatic cliff rather than a fiscal cliff?

    Maybe the religious right would argue that it needn’t warm up at all if everyone prayed hard enough, and that if it did warm it would be G*d’s punishment on America for allowing G*y rights and decriminalising ab*rt**n so shouldn’t be interfered with?

    I do have my doubts that any sort of reconciliation is possible. The only solution might be for each side to take it in turns to decide just how much the atmosphere should warm up, if at all.

    • “Let me check if I have got this argument straight…..”

      Hard to know what is meant.

      I was hoping that Judith might clarify it, but no luck so far.

      • tempterrain

        I think it’s g*y. I had a comment with that particular g-word nipped. Bit old-fashioned round here, don’t you think?

    • Just a word of explanation on the use of * to replace some vowels in the above comment. My first thought, when it fell foul of Judith’s spam filter was that it didn’t like the mention of abortion. That didn’t make any difference so G*d and g*ys lost their vowels and it was accepted. So I’m not sure if the spam filter is anti G*d or anti G*y or maybe both :-)

    • David Wojick

      Temp, he is talking about scientific advisory bodies and lobbying orgs which are presently seen as Democratic not democratic.

    • Maybe Judith has realised what a stunningly awful idea it was, and just wants to let it go.

  58. @- stefanthedenier

    the process you describe involving coral and plankton certainly do sequester Carbon that is rained into the oceans. However the rate at which CO2 is sequestered by this process is around two orders of magnitude slower than the rate at which burning fossil fuels is releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

    It will take several thousand years for this slow part of the Carbon cycle to remove the additional CO2 humans have added just as it took millennia for the extra Carbon to be removed after the during the PETM.

    • izen | January 6, 2013 at 1:52 am said: ”It will take several thousand years for this slow part of the Carbon cycle to remove the additional CO2 humans have added just as it took millennia for the extra Carbon to be removed”

      WRONG! see the surface area in the sea where algae can and do grow – compare with the amount of carbon reserve in the remaining fossil fuel.

      2] before human invented how to start fire artificially – there were almost no deserts. Mulch in the forest was between 1-4 feet thick (in it was lots of nitrogen – reason all the plants prefer today nitrogen in the roots area) b] burning forest with lots of mulch and turning them into deserts; produces much more CO2 than today’s industry (you should see the amount of CO2 now released in Australian bushfires).

      The mongrels 4000 -60000 years ago didn’t have helicopters, to put the fire off. All that CO2 released, crated good environment for prosperous coral / algae / plankton. izen, forget dogma, stand back and see that is all propaganda crap regarding CO2! CO2 has nothing to do with the climate – H2O controls the climate, on many different ways ==== oxygen & nitrogen regulate to be ”overall” SAME heat in the troposphere at any time. c] ice ages / warmings were N E V E R global! :::

      http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/hello-world/

  59. Chad Wozniak

    Arno Arrak –
    You make many excellent points here, but I should point out that the years that were actually the warmest of the last century were 1934, 1935 and 1938, at the height of the Dust Bowl. These years were several degrees warmer than 2012 or any other year since that time.

    • Chad,

      You are confusing continental U.S. temperatures versus global temperatures. You might want to compare:

      http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcrut3/diagnostics/comparison.html

      To:

      The past 10 years have been the warmest 10 year period globally on instrument record. An inconvenient truth for some…

      • R Gates

        The 15 year decline in global temperatures you reference with your Met office chart (too short to be a trend but interesting because it started from a record high point) raises some intriguing points about individual stations. This from Paul Homewood’s excellent CET Blog;

        “Two things stand out:-

        1) Current temperatures are less than half a degree above the long term trend.

        2) The last five year average of 9.86C is lower than the run of years from 1729-1739, which peaked at 10.01C.

        There is no doubt that the sharp uptick in temperatures from the late 1980’s through to 2006, which was exacerbated by the colder interlude in the 1960’s and 70’s, convinced many that this was the start of a linear, or even exponential, trend. Events, however, in the last few years must now be casting real doubt on this assumption, particularly with the AMO due to turn negative in the next few years.”

        We must be careful of cherry picking of course, although it was interesting that the 2010 mean average was exactly the same as the first year in the CET record in 1659.

        Cet is an interesting but by no means perfect proxy for Global temperatures, as can be seen here in this comparison with the BEST figures

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/14/little-ice-age-thermometers-historic-variations-in-temperatures-part-3-best-confirms-extended-period-of-warming/

        CET also appears to be a precursor of temperatures. Also that one third of global temperatures show cooling (to some degree or other) but how many of the rest are affected by Uhi we need Mosh to fully explain.

        Personally, I must assume that any upward trend in temperature evident from the start of the instrumental record in 1659 (not from the GIss start point of 1880 or of Hadleys) is likely to continue and this current cooling of CET of half a degree centigrade in 10 years will be seen to be a short term blip.

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadcet/

        Why it started warming in 1660 or so is an interesting subject for a paper once we recognise that Giss is a staging post and not a starting post for upwards temperatures.

        tonyb

      • “Personally, I must assume that any upward trend in temperature evident from the start of the instrumental record in 1659 (not from the GIss start point of 1880 or of Hadleys) is likely to continue and this current cooling of CET of half a degree centigrade in 10 years will be seen to be a short term blip.”

        Tony, why do you think the long term upward trend is likely to continue? The cooling IMO will be much longer (few decades at least), the longer term cooling since the Holocene plateau/optimum is more likely to continue IMO. I find the correlation between solar activity and temperature very remarkable, it is not just by chance, especially considering there must be other factors influencing temperatures.

      • EDim

        We have a 350 year long warming trend. There needs to be a real climatic shift to reverse that, as we had in the 1200’s from warm to cooler and 1380’s cool to warmer, the late 1500’s warm to cooler, the 1700’s, cool to warmer etc. Co2 explains none of the foregoing and instead we focus on Giss from 1880.
        Whether the year 2000 will be a turning point is as yet unknown.
        tonyb

  60. Chad Wozniak

    If Izen thinks >90 percent of scientists (in the US at least) support the AGW t”heory,” he should visit the Petition Project website and see the names and credenmtials of 31,000+ scientists who don’t buy it. That’s a good many more scientists than are involved with the IPCC and other scaremonger organizations.

    • With the criteria for scientist used by the petition project there are over a million people who would qualify as scientist, so the signatories represent much less than 1% of US scientist. There are more scientists named Micheal than there are signatories to the petition project.

      Citing the petion project is itself an argument that damages your case given the duplicitous and dubious history and source of the project.

      • izen

        Chad Wozniak simply showed you how meaningless the statement is that

        90 percent of scientists (in the US at least) support the AGW theory,”

        First of all, one has to define what is meant by “the AGW theory”.

        If it is simply the IR absorption capability of CO2, the fact that humans emit CO2 and the theory that this should result in some global warming (all other things being equal), you won’t find many who disagree with these statements in principle.

        But, izen, that is NOT what is being debated here.

        What is being debated is whether or not this theoretical effect has had and will have a major negative impact on our climate (i.e. the “CAGW” premise, as outlined by IPCC).

        Many scientists, who are qualified to have an opinion, have openly gone on record that they do NOT support this premise.

        I have not seen a list of qualified scientists who have gone on record saying they support the entire CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC – have you?

        Even if there were such a list, and even if that list were 10 times as large as the list of scientists who have gone on record against the CAGW premise, it would still not mean much.

        Why is this?

        For two reasons:
        – Science is not a “consensus” game, like politics
        – The “politically correct” position today is “CAGW”; as a result, that is the position of those providing the political funding for climate research work, so we are simply following the Golden Rule: “He who distributeth the gold, maketh the rule”

        So my advice to you: drop the “90% claim” – it is meaningless.

        Max

      • David Wojick

        Polls suggest that among scientists Dems outnumber Reps about 4 to 1. If you usethis ratio with polls on public beliefs about simple AGW by party (humans cause most of thewarming) you get an estimate of 80% for scientists, which I think is about right. Ideology is the key variable. Engineers may be far more skeptical.

        We have no decent public data on CAGW belief so who knows? The science orgs refuse to poll their members and most polls are very bad on these issues. It is a research issue on which no research is being done.

      • > Science is not a “consensus” game, like politics.

        Politics is not a consensus game, but an electoral game. It can also be modelled as a redistributive game:

        http://web.posc.jmu.edu/congresselect/readings/topic3c_constituencies/cox%26mccubbins.pdf

      • willard, the BBC is paid for by the little people, so that the star can…

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/jimmy-savile/9783638/Jimmy-Savile-Abuse-extended-to-hospice-for-the-terminally-ill.html

        it’s always about the kids. Now that he is dead, they will investigate. Ballots please.

  61. @- manacker
    “First of all, one has to define what is meant by “the AGW theory”.
    If it is simply the IR absorption capability of CO2, the fact that humans emit CO2 and the theory that this should result in some global warming (all other things being equal), you won’t find many who disagree with these statements in principle.”

    I would cite the main originator – Arrhenius, that a doubling of CO2 from fossil fuel use would warm the climate by several degrees. present estimates of sensitivity put it between one and three degrees C.
    A significant percentage of the observed warming since the theory was advanced in 1896 (half?) has been caused by the observed rise in anthropogenic atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.

    While globally I suspect the percentage of scientists who would agree with these statements in principle is higher than 90% it is clear that there are many posting here that do not even accept that the changing IR absorption capacity of increasing CO2 has any influence on the climate.
    Clearly this forum is unrepresentative. (grin)

    @- “What is being debated is whether or not this theoretical effect has had and will have a major negative impact on our climate (i.e. the “CAGW” premise, as outlined by IPCC).”

    Wrong.
    One aspect of the debate is that a very vocal minority question the basic principle that some of the observed warming is from rising CO2 and that because the transient sensitivity is lower than the equilibrium sensitivity a continuation of raised and rising CO2 levels will result in further warming.

    What you call a ‘theoretical effect’ is about as theoretical as the observed cooling from major volcanic eruptions and the observed ozone destruction by CFCs.
    I think it is logically indefensible to claim that the warmer ocean temperatures, the higher sea level and disrupted convergence zones with summer Arctic ice melt have had absolutely zero effect on the severity of the weather that the altered, Lance Armstrong climate has generated.
    As delusional as arguing that the rising CO2 has had zero role in the observed warming of SSTs, sea level rise and ice melt.

    That CO2 plays a role in observable climate change from warming is more than theoretical, where I would agree is that the argument is about the price. (actress/bishops come to mind…)

    As others have noted the CAGW meme is a rejectionist strawman.
    The degree to which climate change is ‘catastrophic’ is mediated by two factors. The amount of change, and how resilient the infrastructure and logistics of our civilisation is to change. To an amazing degree the discussion seems to focus on the former factor, with all its ‘flagged’ uncertainties, rather than the second factor, the robustness of our agricultural, power and cultural support systems in the face of disruption.

    It matters much less if AGW was a small or major factor in the severity of events like the Sandy or the ongoing drought in southern parts of the US or the flooding in Asia than whether our society finds such dramatic weather catastrophic. There is an extremely small amount of evidence in support of any hypothesis that predicts that the climate will remain as stable as it has while human society has exploited fossil fuels to expand the agricultural base and become a high tech city based global culture. Defending the present form of human global civilisation from the inevitable changes in the physical conditions from whatever cause is the arena of the policy debate, of which one rather small part is the impact and role of CO2 on the climate.

    Quibbling over a couple of degrees in the climate sensitivity is scientifically interesting, in any rational view it should be a rather arcane and esoteric corner of scientific research. But the problem is that such angel counting has become a means of avoiding the bigger question of how robust our societies are to inevitable change and how to make them better.

    @- “- Science is not a “consensus” game, like politics…
    So my advice to you: drop the “90% claim” – it is meaningless.”

    Wrong.
    a simple poll of expert opinion is a proxy measure of the consilience of the evidence.
    It represents an indirect measure of the best guess, by the best informed using the best method for deriving accurate information about the material world.

    • izen,

      You must be new here to try to correct MiniMax’ harangues. Thick as a Brick was his previous nickname, but then he stole it from me. The fun starts when he’ll insist talking about the CAGW premise and model prediction and keep asking about evidence while refusing everything you might think of because that’s not real evidence to him. Thick as a Brick.

      Best of luck anyway,

      w

    • Izen

      Thanks for your long response.

      Since you obviously took time to go through all the points in some detail, I think I owe you the same.

      No question that Arrhenius was the “originator” of the GH theory, at first estimating that a doubling of CO2 would result in several degrees warming and later backing down on the amount of warming. But that is all old stuff. Arrhenius’ argument was based on the premise of “all other things being equal” as are the present climate sensitivity predictions of the models.

      You state, “A significant percentage of the observed warming since the theory was advanced in 1896 (half?) has been caused by the observed rise in anthropogenic atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.”

      That may well be so, depending of course on what percentage can be attributed to natural factors. But let’s say you are right, and that it is 50% of all the ~0.7°C warming since the modern record started in 1850.

      CO2 rose from an estimated 290 ppmv in 1850 to 393 ppmv today.

      So that would put the portion attributed to CO2 to: 0.5*7.0 = 3.5°C

      And the 2xCO2 transient temperature response would be ln(2)*0.35/ln(393/290) = 0.8°C

      But wait!

      IPCC AR4 tells us that 0.6°C is still “in the pipeline” (this estimate was made based on a model-derived 2xCO2 equilibrium climate sensitivity of 3.2°C)

      So the 2xCO2 climate sensitivity at equilibrium would be 0.8°C plus 0.6°C = 1.4°C (actually somewhat lower since the 0.6°C estimated to be “in the pipeline” would be lower at this lower ECS.

      This checks out pretty well with the low end of the range of Lewis (2012) and Schlesinger (2012) (both also based on actual observations rather than simply model predictions). Other physical observations made since AR4, such as Spencer + Braswell (2007) and Lindzen + Choi (2009/2011) have come up with even lower estimates for ECS, but let’s leave it there for now.

      There may be some posters here that do not accept such an estimate, as they want to see empirical evidence to support your claim of “50% of past warming caused by CO2”.

      I’d also like to see some empirical evidence, but I realize that this does not exist

      To your next point, I am really not too interested in whether 90% of scientists accept the principle of AGW or not. It could well be correct, but is a figure that is difficult to prove

      I wrote “What is being debated is whether or not this theoretical effect has had and will have a major negative impact on our climate (i.e. the “CAGW” premise, as outlined by IPCC).”

      You write, ”Wrong”

      Sorry, izen, you are the one who is “wrong” here. The IPCC CAGW premise is precisely what I am debating here. Whether others are also debating the AGW theory itself is of no interest to me. I am not interested in debating the AGW theory (as I pointed out), only the CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC.

      All the other points you raise are interesting (sea level rise, melting Arctic sea ice, etc.) but they have no direct bearing on IPCC’s stated CAGW premise, of which I am rationally skeptical, as it is not backed by any empirical scientific evidence. None of these observations provide empirical evidence to support the IPCC CAGW claim.

      The speculation that CO2 may have had something to do with Sandy or recent US droughts (or the harsher than normal winters across much of the northern hemisphere) is conjectural, as I am sure you will agree.

      The “robustness of our agricultural, power and cultural support systems in the face of disruption” is certainly an interesting topic (which has come up on other threads here), but I do not see how it has anything to do with the robustness of the IPCC CAGW premise, which is the point we are discussing.

      I agree with you that there is no evidence that our climate will remain stable; it never has been (think Roman Optimum, Dark Ages, MWP, LIA, just to name some significant recent changes).

      You write: ”Defending the present form of human global civilisation from the inevitable changes in the physical conditions from whatever cause is the arena of the policy debate.”

      I would agree. As an example, the Dutch have been “defending” against rising sea levels for centuries. I would fully support any local or regional adaptation measures to whatever climate challenges are thrown at us, if and when it becomes apparent that such challenges are imminent. But that is not the topic of discussion here: it is the “science” supporting the CAGW claim as posited by IPCC.

      You write: ”Quibbling over a couple of degrees in the climate sensitivity is scientifically interesting, in any rational view it should be a rather arcane and esoteric corner of scientific research.”

      In itself this may be true, izen, but a high climate sensitivity (mean value of 3.2°C for 2xCO2) is the cornerstone of IPCC’s CAGW claim. Without it, CAGW crumbles. In fact, even at the lower level as established by the recent studies cited above (or from your estimate), the “C” has been removed from CAGW, and there is nothing to worry about.

      To my point (see above) that the “90% claim is meaningless” you say, “Wrong” adding a rationalization of why you believe this is wrong.

      I disagree. Science is not based on consensus – especially not on a contrived consensus.

      But I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

      Hope I’ve addressed your points to your satisfaction.

      Max

      • typo in sentence:

        So that would put the portion attributed to CO2 to: 0.5*7.0 = 3.5°C 0.5*0.7=0.35°C

      • “So that would put the portion attributed to CO2 to: 0.5*0.7 = 0.35°C”

        Not necessarily. The 0.7C figure is a net figure. The total amount of CO2 warming could be 0.5C with 0.5C warming from something else and 0.3C cooling from something else. Which adds up to net 0.7C, but CO2 can be said to only explain half the warming.

      • lolwot

        “Could be”.

        However, I have accepted the IPCC AR4 premise that all anthropogenic forcing factors other than CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols, etc.) since pre-industrial times cancelled one another out, so that the CO2 forcing = total anthropogenic forcing,

        Max

      • 1C CO2 + 1C CH4 – 1C aerosol = 1C warming.

        I would say CO2 caused half the net warming and CH4 the other half, even though CO2 has actually caused about 1C warming.

      • lolwot

        You should really learn to improve your reading skills (there are courses available).

        izen wrote

        ”A significant percentage of the observed warming since the theory was advanced in 1896 (half?) has been caused by the observed rise in anthropogenic atmospheric Carbon Dioxide.”

        The ”observed warming” was 0.7°C. (I used a “starting point” of 1850, rather than 1896, but that does not change things perceptibly.)

        “Half” of the ”observed warming” of 0.7°C equals 0.35°C, which according to izen has arguably ”been caused by the observed rise in anthropogenic atmospheric Carbon Dioxide”.

        The ”observed rise in anthropogenic atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” was from ~290 ppmv in 1850 (est.) to 393 ppmv today (Mauna Loa).

        It’s all pretty simple, lolwot, if you read what is written and use your head.

        Max

    • izen | January 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm said: “First of all, one has to define what is meant by “the AGW theory / the fact that humans emit CO2 and the theory that this should result in some global warming (all other things being equal), you won’t find many who disagree with these statements in principle.”

      you wan’t find many here, because of fanaticism from both camps; but on the street is different story.

      2] CO2 absorbs more heat than O&N, BUT, that’s ONLY during the day!!! At night CO2 releases more heat / or absorbs more coldness, what normals would say – reason CO2 is used to make dry ice!!! b] only the Flat-Earthers believe that is sunlight 24h on every spot on the planet. c] CO2 absorbs more sunlight / heat during the day, high up – where cooling is much more efficient. CO2, same as metal pipe, absorbs more heat during the day than a lump of wood, BUT: metal same as CO2 – absorbs much more coldness during the night. THOSE TWO FACTORS CANCEL EACH OTHER!!!

      So, you are in ”majority” believing that CO2 increases the global temp… majority used to believe that the universe is spinning around the earth; But, MAJORITY in the blogosphere are just fanatic nutters

  62. Monckton has his usual sayings over at WUWT in a new post “The logical case against climate panic”. One that I never understood is how an appeal to authority is a fallacy. If you go to Wikipedia and look it up, an appeal to authority is OK on two conditions. (1) the authority is an authority in the relevant subject, and (2) the authority represents a consensus view. Both these hold for AGW, while the skeptical petitions from various groups fail on both counts and represent exactly what this fallacy is about. Another thing Monckton seems not to understand is how a feedback can multiply an effect by 3 and not be unstable. He says that climate has varied by plus or minus 8 C in 64 million years, and that this demonstrates that the climate is stable. I suppose if you consider the Eocene hothouse part of the stable state, OK, but I suspect he wasn’t thinking it through that this can happen again. How does he think it happened before? The CO2 range going with these fluctuations can be used to show a high multiplying factor too, but he didn’t mention the CO2 correlation, possibly because he just forgot. His is a fallacy of omission, and he is quite expert at that.

    • Jim D

      There is a third prerequisite: the “authority” is unbiased.

      Oops!

      Max

      PS Regardless, the “appeal to authority” is a logical fallacy in the scientific method, as Feyman points out. What counts is “evidence” (and this is lacking for the CAGW premise of IPCC).

      • It’s even simpler. The Appeal to Authority is not fallacious when the authority is correct. What’s correct about climate science? Mebbe we should talk about what is correctable. Adapt the discussion a bit, we could say.
        =============

      • There is also a lot of paleo evidence, but the public doesn’t understand that yet, while those in climate science have it as part of their basic knowledge.

      • Lots of paleo knowledge that the public doesn’t know about, Jim D ?
        Like upside-down graphs, fake hockey-sticks, etc.

      • There is also a lot of paleo evidence, but the public doesn’t understand that yet, while those in geology have it as part of their basic knowledge.
        ==============

      • andrew adams

        Appeal to authority is only a fallacy where it is a false authority.

    • “If you go to Wikipedia”

      So Climate Science appeals to Wikipedia for authority?

      You are a skeptics dream.

      Andrew

      • Indeed Wikipedia (not just the climate parts) is part of the conspiracy. Sorry I mentioned it. Those climatologists get everywhere.

    • Jim D

      Monckton has a way with words in the English language.

      You don’t. Nor do I.

      Monckton concedes that he is not a climate scientist.

      He is, however, gifted with at least above-average intelligence and an ability to think rationally.

      He has stated that he is rationally skeptical of the IPCC GAGW premise (as are many intelligent people out there).

      Now to your point:
      The “Eocene hothouse” or “iceball Earth” could conceivably occur again, although the odds are extremely high that neither will be the case in the next several thousand years.

      Neither of the two events had anything to do with human activity, so the odds are even greater that neither of the two will be caused by anything that we puny humans do today or in the near future.

      Forget all the silly predictions of “4C warming by 2100″ and other imaginary, model-generated hobgoblins and come back down to Planet Earth, Jim.

      We’ve seen 0.7C warming in 150 years, a portion of which might possibly have resulted from higher GHG concentrations. GCMs make all kinds of projections, but we don’t even know what caused 20thC warming nor why warming stopped so far this century.

      Until we know a bit more it is silly to project future warming (as the failed short term projections by both Hansen and IPCC have shown).

      And it is downright foolish to do so for the next 90 years or even longer.

      As Judith has emphasized repeatedly, let’s clear up the “uncertainties” before we jump to any conclusions of what the future holds.

      Max

      • Admittedly Monckton is clever in a lawyer-like way. He can imply things that are not true without actually lying. This is usually done by omission of relevant facts or twisting the meaning numbers like the way he artfully uses linear trends to imply the current warming rate is not the 3C/century that was predicted. Lots don’t see how he pulls his verbal and numerical tricks, being somewhat spellbound by the message.

      • The GHG concentrations of the Eocene occurred without human help, but can now occur with human help. Given several times the CO2 level, and that it happened to be warmer and ice free, and science can explain why these are related to each other, a skeptic has a hard time explaining why the Eocene was so warm taking out the CO2 factor, and so far I haven’t even heard of one trying. Monckton did omit this somewhat pertinent fact, but has conceded that the 8 C warming occurred and is within his stable climate bounds. According to the no-feedback sensitivity that he adheres to, it would take 8 doublings to get 8 C, which is 256 times 280 or nearly 72000 ppm. Nobody believes CO2 levels have even been close to a tenth of that in the last 64 million years, and I think this leaves him clueless about the cause of the Eocene climate.

      • Jim D

        Fake sceptics really do have a problem with this. It’s all in Hansen & Sato (2012) section 2, Cenonzoic climate. No other forcing has changed so much over the Cenozoic as CO2. A reduction in the order of 10W/m^2. There is no other explanation for the *overall* cooling since the peak Eocene Optimum ~50Ma. None.

        Over to the deniers

      • BBD pretends, just like all who believe in AGW, to know all the forcings (known unknowns, unknown unknowns and unknown knowns), in this case over the Cenozoic. Wow!

      • Primus inter pares of our little bunch of pretenders I would say.

      • No, I’ve just bothered to read HS12, and read the references therein from which the estimated forcings were derived. I’ve also done a literature search to see if there have been published replies to HS12 calling this aspect of the paper into question. I couldn’t find anything.

        I check things because I’m a sceptic. You are simply deny that with which you disagree because you are deniers.

        You may find this truth unpalatable, but it is true nonetheless.

      • BBD: “I’m a sceptic.”

        AHAAahahahahha! ROTFLOL!

        Andrew

      • No BBD, I didn’t check that particular paper, but it seems (from your description) that it assumes that all the factors (and their variation over the entire Cenozoic) influencing global climate are known (argument from ignorance, ludic falacy…). That’s absurd and illogical. Of course you can play with that idea and even use it as a scenario of some kind for further analysis, but you cannot use it as evidence of anything.

      • Edim, you write to BBD “it assumes that all the factors (and their variation over the entire Cenozoic) influencing global climate are known ”

        I am afraid you are wasting your time. I have tried to made this point to BBD before, but he takes no notice, The warmists only take note of what agrees witht he hypothesis of CAGW. Nothing else will ever be discussed by them. I persist in asking them whether there is any empirical data which proves that as you add CO2 to the atmosphere from current levesl, this cause global temperatures to rise. I have never, and probably will never, get an answer to that question; even though the answer is clearly no. The warmists will not admit to any evidence that tends to show that CAGW is merely a hypothesis, and not “settled sceicne”.

      • Oh you couldn’t make it up.

        – Clown Edim admits he can’t be bothered to read the reference
        – Clown Edim then proceeds to accuse *me* of arguing from ignorance!
        – Clown Cripwell pops up and praises clown Edim (and we know that Clown Cripwell is too lazy to bother to read anything that does not support *his* blinding bias)

        Thanks chaps. Priceless. Know thyselves, eh?

        Now, I have given you a referenced hypothesis explaining the overall downward in T since the Eocene Optimum. You have gone into your usual denialist tizzy and flapped and quacked but said nothing of substance.

        Let’s hear two things:

        – falsification of HS12
        – an alternative, referenced hypothesis explaining the difference in T between the Eocene Optimum and the late Holocene

        Off you go.

      • Jim D

        In the debate surrounding IPCC’s CAGW premise there are those on both sides who exaggerate, bend the truth and omit dissenting viewpoints.

        Monckton is an individual who (as far as I know) finances himself.

        IPCC, on the other hand, is a government-sponsored body, it plus the studies it compiles into its reports are financed by taxpayer funding and it is supposed to act as a “gold standard” body assuring that we are getting an objective and complete picture on how our planet’s climate is influenced both by natural and anthropogenic influences.

        IPCC is not delivering what it is supposed to.

        Instead it is simply “selling” its CAGW premise.

        It omits or ignores studies or views, which dissent from its forced “consensus” view. It underplays uncertainty across the board.
        It exaggerates impacts, in some case even fabricating data that are not scientifically based at all.

        IPCC MUST be held to a higher standard than Monckton (or any individual).

        Gore can lie all he wants to (as long as his film is not used to frighten schoolchildren).

        Even Hansen, as an avowed advocate, can also lie all he wants to (as long as he is not doing it at taxpayer expense).

        The same would be true for Monckton.

        But NOT for IPCC.

        It MUST be held to a much higher standard.

        And, unfortunately, it is not living up to this standard.

        Max

      • Jim D

        You can jiggle trend lines around all you want to in order to try to come up with a 3C per century warming trend, but when you do you are only fooling yourself.

        The ~0.16C per decade linear trend of the 1980s and 1990s has slowed down to no statistical warming since the end of 2000. Over the period 1940-1970 there was actually a slight cooling trend. And prior to that there was a warming trend from 1910 to 1940 that is statistically indistinguishable from the late 20th century trend, despite the fact that CO2 increase was less than one-third.

        There is no indication that the current flat trend will suddenly switch to a warming trend of greater than 0.3C per decade (to reach 3C warming over the century).

        Give me a call when it happens, Jim.

        Until then, I will remain rationally skeptical that we are headed for 3C warming this century.

        Convince me I’m wrong, Jim.

        Max

      • If you think HS12 is a lie manacker, then falsify it. Otherwise your insinuations merely reveal *you* to be the dishonest one here.

        So, off you go…

      • manacker

        There is no indication that the current flat trend will suddenly switch to a warming trend of greater than 0.3C per decade (to reach 3C warming over the century).

        You cannot extrapolate from the C20th in the way you do. GHG forcing was *not constant* over the C20th; rather it rose sharply post-1970.

        GHG forcing will continue to rise (as far as we know) over the C21st. So the bulk of the climate response has yet to happen. You never seem to grasp this.

        Btw, check out the heatwave in Australia. And note that 2012 was the hottest year in the instrumental record for the lower 48. I think your confidence is borne of scientific naivety and bias. I’m also beginning to wonder if you are being paid for your work here.

      • BBD wrote: “There is no other explanation for the *overall* cooling since the peak Eocene Optimum ~50Ma. None”
        ———————————————————————————-
        Two events just off the top of my head:
        1) The opening of the Drake passage
        2) The closing of the Panama Isthmus
        Those events both had a game-changing effect on the world’s ocean circulation, but no – it must have been CO2

      • phatboy

        The current view in paleoclimate which is that the ocean gateway hypothesis cannot explain a cooling trend spanning 50Ma. It seems unlikely that *discontinuous* gateway events could be responsible for such a long-term phenomenon. See Barron et al. (1981); Kennett (1977); Maier-Reimer et al. (1990); Mikolajewicz et al. (1993).

      • manacker, it is a little known fact that the Hadcrut4 dataset that shows no warming for 15 years also averages 0.17 C per decade for the last 30 years which includes the no-warming period. This indicates that the flat period followed an unusually sharp rise, so the overall warming is the expected amount.
        Meanwhile skeptics try to spread their ignorance back to the Eocene or even Mesozoic era by saying science can’t explain them. Undoing established scientific knowledge is becoming a specialty of this group, even spreading to areas where no skeptics existed before. They are breaking new ground in unknowledge.

      • I’m also beginning to wonder if you are being paid for your work here.

        What!? – Manacker as well as BBD now ?

      • Just because the “Consensus” is bought and paid for, doesn’t mean bloggers are.

      • B/B,

        By who??

      • BBD, it seems you have more faith in the findings of those papers than the authors themselves.
        And, FWIW, HS12 doesn’t even reference them.
        HS12 only mentions the controversy over the timing of the closing of the Panama isthmus, and does not even mention the closing of the Drake passage, even though this led directly to the Antarctic glaciation.
        But hey, we have our culprit!

      • …sorry, that should be opening of the Drake passage

      • You are just wittering phatboy, and we both know it.

      • BBD, I don’t care what you think

      • phatboy

        It’s not what I think that is at issue here. You are the one at odds with the entire field of climatology, not me. Interesting that you have chosen to frame your denial as some kind of failure of comprehension on my part.

        It is your denial. Have some moral courage and own it.

      • BBD, I’m not denying anything – if anyone’s doing any denying around here, it’s you.

      • Rubbish and we both know it. Stop being such a coward. Own your denial.

      • This ceased to be a discussion the moment you started attacking me personally. It can only go downwards from here, so perhaps it’s better if we stopped this right here.

      • You stated that you did not care what I thought. So attempting to frame your denial as my intellectual failing. Now you are trying the same trick again. I’ve got your number now phatboy, and I am going to be ringing it, frequently.

      • No, it started with you accusing me of wittering. That was the end of all pretence of meaningful discourse, so now you can go play in the traffic.

      • You were wittering. And you remind me so much of Latimer Alder it’s uncanny.

      • Actually Lattie wouldn’t have read anything, so you can’t be a synonym ;-)

      • Instead of wittering, you need to address the central point (HS12):

        The fact that CO2 is the dominant cause of long-term Cenozoic climate trends is obvious Earth’s energy budget. Redistribution of energy in the climate system via changes of atmosphere or ocean dynamics cannot cause such huge climate change. Instead a substantial global climate forcing is required.

        But you chose instead to witter. So don’t get pissy about being called out for it.

      • My apologies for giving you the benefit of the doubt. I thought you just might be a bit more than a nasty little troll. I won’t be making that mistake again.

      • Oho! So now I restate the question you dodged (with witter) earlier, I am a ‘nasty little troll’.

        You are a denier in a corner, aren’t you phattie?

      • I didn’t dodge the question – I actually only saw your last comment after I had submitted mine.
        And what’s wittering about pointing out that Hansen just might be a bit overconfident in his findings?

      • It’s not just Hansen. The *majority view* in paleoclimate is that the overall downward trend in T from the Eocene Optimum to the Holocene cannot be explained without reference to the change in CO2 forcing. HS12 section 2 *summarises* the standard position; it is not making a novel hypothesis.

        HS12, again:

        The fact that CO2 is the dominant cause of long-term Cenozoic climate trends is obvious Earth’s energy budget. Redistribution of energy in the climate system via changes of atmosphere or ocean dynamics cannot cause such huge climate change. Instead a substantial global climate forcing is required.

        […]

        […] atmospheric CO2 during the Cenozoic changed from about 1000 ppm in the early Cenozoic (Beerling and Royer, 2011) to as small as 170 ppm during recent ice ages (Luthi et al., 2008). The resulting climate forcing, which can be computed accurately for this CO2 range using formulae in Table 1 of Hansen et al. (2000), exceeds 10 W/m2. CO2 was clearly the dominant climate forcing in the Cenozoic.

      • So exactly what were the effects of massive and fundamental changes in global ocean circulation then?
        Virtually nothing, if Hansen is to be believed.

      • Classic denialist twofer! Misrepresentation and evasion in a single short sentence. Polished. But worthless.

        Read the quoted text.

      • Here’s a big, phat clue:

        Redistribution of energy in the climate system via changes of atmosphere or ocean dynamics cannot cause such huge climate change. Instead a substantial global climate forcing is required.

      • Actually, while we’re on papers deniers love to hate, how about Royer et al. (2006), CO2-forced climate thresholds during the Phanerozoic.

        Yup, we are painting on a really big canvas now ;-)

        Abstract:

        The correspondence between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and globally averaged surface temperatures in the recent past suggests that this coupling may be of great antiquity. Here, I compare 490 published proxy records of CO2 spanning the Ordovician to Neogene with records of global cool events to evaluate the strength of CO2-temperature coupling over the Phanerozoic (last 542 my). For periods with sufficient CO2 coverage, all cool events are associated with CO2 levels below 1000 ppm. A CO2 threshold of below 500 ppm is suggested for the initiation of widespread, continental glaciations, although this threshold was likely higher during the Paleozoic due to a lower solar luminosity at that time. Also, based on data from the Jurassic and Cretaceous, a CO2 threshold of below 1000 ppm is proposed for the initiation of cool non-glacial conditions. A pervasive, tight correlation between CO2 and temperature is found both at coarse (10 my timescales) and fine resolutions up to the temporal limits of the data set (million-year timescales), indicating that CO2, operating in combination with many other factors such as solar luminosity and paleogeography, has imparted strong control over global temperatures for much of the Phanerozoic.

      • And for good measure, let’s slap one more on the table. Here’s Tripati et al. (2009) Coupling of CO2 and Ice Sheet Stability Over Major Climate Transitions of the Last 20 Million Years.

        See? It’s not just old Crazy Train Hansen!

        Happy reading!

      • OK, this ends right here and now.
        When you’ve expunged the ‘D’ word from your vocabulary then maybe we can talk again.

      • Nice dodge!

        When you stop your denial I will stop calling you a denier.

  63. Vassily 7/1/13 re ‘Pretenders.’
    Hmm … a new version of ‘The Great Pretender’ sung by
    Michael Mann could be a hit.

  64. And mebbe sheeple?

  65. R Gates 6/1/13,
    I have no issue with yr postings at Climate Etc, why would I.,
    up to now, but i do take issue with the perjorative ‘denier’ label,
    as with Fan of …, not jest because of historical connotations,
    but because of the implied presumption in the word ‘denial’ of ESTABLISHED truth …huh? Think Einstein, Feynman and good
    ol’ Socrates. What the f… do we KNOW!!

    • Yep Beth we all know SFA. ;) Happy new year

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Hi Beth

      You said: “… do take issue with the perjorative (sic) ‘denier’ label…”

      _____
      Beth, do you not agree that there are some who are not real skeptics (honestly open to changing their minds) but instead will not change their minds no matter what facts you give to them? Eric Hoffer had a name for this type of person…he called them the “True Believer”. They are not subject to rational discourse but have taken up a psychological position based on dogmatic beliefs, emotionally held with their personal view of the world. Now, in regards to the AGW issue, there are two types of these “True Believers”…those who believe that humans are altering the climate of the planet and will not change that belief no matter what information you give them, and those who believe the exact opposite– they deny that humans are altering the climate and will hold that belief no matter what the data. Do you not agree that both types exist? You could call this second group “True Un-believers” if you want (instead of deniers), but they share more in common with “True Believers” than with real skeptics in that they are guided by emotion and world view rather than rational consideration of facts. The most important thing is for honest skeptics to clearly define these two groups as separate from a rational skeptical viewpoint. If you prefer “True Un-believer” then I could use that, but some distinction should be made between these emotionally ruled groups over skeptics for the sake of real discussion among honest skeptics.

      • Yes, skeptics would accept that the IPCC position is possibly true but are less certain (JC would be in this category). There is another class who are sure that the IPCC consensus position is not true, and we see those here far outnumbering the skeptics. I am not sure what to call them to distinguish them from skeptics. Any suggestions?

      • Robert I Ellison

        The IPCC is wrong on projections, attribution and even on how climate works. The models are chaotic – diverging over time from relatively contiguous starting points. The potential solutions in 2100 are legion within the bounds of feasible inputs and the projections are thus chosen based on post hoc qualitative assessment of solution plausibility. Attribution is incorrect based on what is known about secular changes in planetary albedo. Climate itself is chaotic – exhibiting abrupt changes in the planetary system.

        The chances of the IPCC being correct in 2100 are similar to the chances of me being correct when placing a bet on black 21 at roulette.

      • Robert, there is a class that claim they know nothing so that prediction is impossible. Should we call them know-nothings?

      • The Skeptical Warmist

        Jim D.,

        Given that the field of climate science and the issue of anthropgenic climate change is far bigger than the IPCC, I prefer to focus on that larger body of science, rather than on the smaller failings of an international organization. Granted, the IPCC has become the defacto policymaking body on the subject of climate change, but that can and should be changed– and even the “warmists” such as Trenberth argue that greater plurality is needed.

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        Not really. Merely that – given the nature of both models and climate – prediction must be treated as probabalistic and that the range of possibilities is yet to be systematically explored.

        I realise this is a whoile new way of looking at things for many people and many seem incapable of making the conceptual leap into this broader perspective – but it is what it is.

      • R. Gates, without the IPCC putting forwards a consensus we would be in an impossible situation of telling policymakers about individual journal papers, and debating them on this blog. I think a lot of scientists view their consensus as too weakly stated, but it is all there is. What I meant, to be more specific, is the AGW theory that doubling CO2 gives 2-4.5 degrees of warming, all other forcings being equal. Perhaps it is wrong to equate this to the IPCC consensus because that includes other things like sea level and impact studies and mitigation strategies. So, yes, point taken, I mean the AGW range put forwards as part of the IPCC consensus.

      • Robert, the range they give for CO2 by 2100 is 500-1000 ppm, and for this range the temperature increases by between 1.5 and 6 degrees in the 21st century. This already accounts for uncertainty as you can see from the two ranges here.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | January 7, 2013 at 11:54 pm said: ” in regards to the AGW issue, there are two types of these “True Believers”…those who believe that humans are altering the climate of the planet and will not change that belief no matter what information you give them, and those who believe the exact opposite– they deny that humans are altering the climate and will hold that belief no matter what the data”

        Gates, let me help you: the misleading data is making fools of both camps / who’s fault it is?.

        HERE IS THE CORRECT VERSION: human can change the climate; BUT, cannot produce GLOBAL warming!!! Climate is controlled by H2O, not by CO2. Therefore: building more dams on dry lands => improves the vegetation -> attracts more, regular clouds from the sea = better climate:

        b] human can chop the Amazon rainforest -> regular rain will stop going on land => will become as Australia – bigger and bigger bushfires -> turns into desert; that is ”Climate change” BUT nothing to do with any phony GLOBAL warming. Yes, days will get hotter / BUT nights become colder – those two factors cancel each other. of course not in the Warmist & Fakes camps – because they are only interested in the hottest minute in 24h

        That makes both camps as ‘Arsonist” ”premeditated mas murderers; for the devastating Australian bushfires.

        If the truth was known – more dams would have being built, to produce humidity for the previous 11 months, instead of dry heat. Green senator Bob Brown imposed Water Embargo on Australia, in 82, since then no dam was built, on the driest continent on the planet. Actually, now they are repossessing farmer’s water, to drain it into the estuary during storms => will be even more dry heat produced.

        Farmers were irrigating when is hot days – that water evaporates and fights against the dry heat – minus that contribution => even bigger bushfires / deserts… thanks to the brainwashing that CO2 is bad…

      • Gates
        The real question is, are there ANY honest alarmists?

        Or are they all pretenders like the IPCC, dogmatically tied to their positions, prepared to hide data, hide the decline, sabotage the peer-review process, destroy evidence of the above, run fake Inquiries to cover it all up?

      • A curious question, Memphis. Certainly, there are many genuinely alarmed, such is the nature of the madness fired by the fears of catastrophe and the sulkiness of guilt. Certainly, also, there are the manipulators who are not alarmed, but rather more salivated at the prospect of a frightened human herd.
        =============

      • Memphis,

        Define: Honest

        Define: Alarmist

        And then I can answer your question.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Jim,

        ‘Uncertainty in climate-change projections has traditionally been assessed using multi-model ensembles of the type shown in figure 9, essentially an ‘ensemble of opportunity’. The strength of this approach is that each model differs substantially in its structural assumptions and each has been extensively tested. The credibility of its projection is derived from evaluation of its simulation of the current climate against a wide range of observations. However, there are also significant limitations to this approach. The ensemble has not been designed to test the range of possible outcomes. Its size is too small (typically 10–20 members) to give robust estimates of the most likely changes and associated uncertainties and therefore it is hard to use in risk assessments.’ op cit

        Merely asserting that uncertainly is bounded by the ‘ensemble of opportunity’ doesn’t increase understanding.

        ‘In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

        Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

        This all seems fairly obvious and is disussed in the literature in quite uncertain terms. The models are chaotic without a doubt and this imposes limitations on the precision of models. There is no unique solution and the limits of imprecision are yet to be systematically explored through model families.

        There is no unique solution possible with these models. The range of chaotic uncertainty is unknown and the members of the ensemble are chosen, after the fact, based on the subjective plausibility of the solution.

        The otther element are the ‘regime-like structures’ in the atmosphere and oceans discussed by Slingo and Palmer. These are unpredictable as thay say – and we are really at the beginning of understanding these mechanisms.

        2100 is not testable – but theoretically there are significant limitations on predictbility using non-linear nodels. Closer to the present are the ‘regime-like structures’ that seem likely to result in a lack of warming over the next decade or three at least.

  66. Peter Davies,

    I am happy u don’t dis – approve of me Oz outspoken-ness.
    And a Happy New Year to U too :)

    Beth

  67. Say, and while we’re on the subject of eggs …
    today I wrote re me Book of Feathers:

    Two haku

    Progenesis from
    dinosaur to tree rooster,
    eggs in need of nests.

    Fragile universe,
    within the egg shell sphere,
    yoke of everything.

    BC

  68. OMG, idjit! Wrong thread fer eggs, should have been re *oh- bee-sit-y* comments by Peter Davies and Kim (

  69. Link:

    New Year’s resolution

    New Year’s Eve

    Egg Nog

    Eggs

    Right on, Beth!

    Max

    PS What came first: the resolution (by the chicken) or the egg?

  70. Gee, I dunno, Max … I give in, what came first?
    Beth

    • Beth

      Ah dunno neether, but Ah reckon a chicken c’n make a re-so-lew-shun ta lay an aig, better’n an aig c’n make a re-so-lew-shun ta be a chicken when it grows up.

      Whadda think?

      Max

      PS Happy New Year to you. May your eggs be nogged.

    • Now, Bethsheba, don’t count your eggs before they’re nogged.

  71. lurker passing through, laughing

    A strong indicator that the dysfunction of American science is not improving is the acceptance and apparent laudatory treatment of Gleick at the recent AGU convention. Imagine an investment management convention allowing Stanford or Madoff to speak and be honored.

    • Yes, the foundation value in climate science still seems to be dishonesty in the pursuit of political correctness. And a code of silence or denial to protect the guilty.

    • Heh, note the distribution of attendees @ one of the Gleick viewings as captured by StevieMacs camera. Yikes, downright radioactive, that young fella.
      ===============

    • The fact you make that comparison says more about you than about Gleick.

    • lpt,l, if imitation is the highest flattery, then yes, we honor Ponzi above all other Social Securitans. Peter Gleick is a poster boy, forever caught in his moment, emblematic of his cause. Hey, Daddio, make that Cause-O!

      He’ll ever, ever, ever gonna drive again.
      ========

  72. An a Happy New Year ter yew Max.
    Beth
    Ps Don’t count yer chickens before theyer hatched, and don’t
    put all yer eggs in one basket … (kinda like CAGW Climate
    Science theyer ah reckon.)

  73. Eggsellent advice theyer, Palindrone.

  74. Skeptical Warmist, 7/1/13 @ 11.54pm:

    Hi SW,

    Thx for yr response re my ‘denier’ comment which i hadn’t read till now.
    I agree with you that the psychological position of some on either side
    of the climate debate is likely based on dogmatic belief and rigid
    positions held regardless of physical evidence presented. The history
    of the evolution of scientific theories cautions us to view all ‘knowledge’
    as tentative and provisional. Re evidence, I ‘d argue here that the onus
    is on the ‘for’ case to line up the evidence in support of their hypothesis rather than the skeptical null hypothesis side.)

    For supporters on either side of the climate debate who hold their
    views as certain, I’d say the term, ‘dogmatist ‘equally applies, who can
    read ‘The Black Swan ‘ and not recognise the pervasive influence of confirmation bias in human thinking. i still maintain that we can
    dispense with the term ‘denier’ for the reasons stated, we can’t claim
    that we ‘Know’ a theory to be true, neither can we claim with confidence that we ‘know’ the motives of others. Have to say that I do this meself
    in the case of Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri on the basis of their lax statements on the science and their substantial financial gain from
    positions of stated certainty concerning apocalyptic projections.
    Cui bono may sometimes be an illuminating question to ask about
    human behavior.

    Beth

    • The Skeptical Warmist

      I would agree with this Beth and do accept all truths as “provisional”.

      I do try to then focus on anything that would disprove that position which of course is the correct thing for a skeptic to do, but leads one down many interesting rabbit holes…

  75. ” Jim D | January 9, 2013 at 12:52 am |

    manacker, it is a little known fact that the Hadcrut4 dataset that shows no warming for 15 years also averages 0.17 C per decade for the last 30 years which includes the no-warming period. This indicates that the flat period followed an unusually sharp rise, so the overall warming is the expected amount.”

    Now over the last 30 years US CO2 emission has risen, but over last 15 years US emission has lowered.
    Maybe it’s just the US CO2 emission that is the only emission that really matters.

    “Total emissions for 2012 are estimated to be 35.6 billion tonnes, researchers said in the study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

    Current emissions growth is placing the world on a path to warm between 4C and 6C, says the study, with global emissions jumping 58 percent between 1990 and this year. The study focuses on emissions from burning fossil fuels and cement production.”

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/12/02/climate-emissions-india-china-idINDEE8B107B20121202

    I am not sure when we suppose to get this 4-6 C warming, no doubt it’s really soon.

    As Ted foretold in 2008, we have reduce amount of people, too many people and got to stop committing suicide. And we going to be cannibals
    And 8 degrees hotter in 30 to 40 years.

    I just wish more media executives come out and give us the facts, just as Ted Turner did- it’s a personal issue on this very important issue. It’s even more important, since Al Gore forced to his network before end 2112 to get a tax break.

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  77. “Science should fair best ” fare