Doubt has been eliminated (?)

by Judith Curry

In a speech before the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, Gro Harlem Brundtland, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, said:

So what is it that is new today? What is new is that doubt has been eliminated. The report of the International Panel on Climate Change is clear. And so is the Stern report. It is irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation. The time for diagnosis is over. Now it is time to act (Brundtland 2007).

Brundtland‘s quote provides the motivation for a chapter entitled Doubt Has Been Eliminated by Roger Strand   in a book called “Sacred Science?” (h/t Jeroen van der Sluijs).

This chapter is not easy to summarize with excerpts, but I will attempt to do so for those that don’t want to read the entire chapter (it isn’t too long, about 4000 words).  Some excerpts (bold, except for section headings, is my emphasis):

Elimination of doubt and the ethos of science

“Doubt has been eliminated,” according to Brundtland’s statement, and the reason for this was that the “report of the International Panel on Climate Change” (AR4, the Fourth Assessment reports of IPCC) and “the Stern report” (the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change) were “clear”. In other words, these publications were seen (by Brundtland) as carrying sufficient authority to be able to eliminate doubt in the competent and rational reader. It also seems obvious that their authority is based on their scientific character and credibility.

The problem, however, is that most contemporary philosophies of science  would tend to grant continued discussion, open criticism and methodical doubt a central place among their ideals for scientific practice. Indeed, in the very center of twentieth-century expressions of belief in Enlightenment and Progress, thinkers such as Karl Popper and Robert K. Merton argued that a critical mind-set and the organization of skepticism are essential to Science and necessary for the maintenance of open and democratic societies.

Unsurprisingly, Brundtland was indeed accused of anti-scientific attitudes in her embrace of IPCC and the Stern report; accused in a quite literal sense. In a great moment of late modern irony, the Norwegian Research Ethics Committee for Science and Technology (NENT) received a complaint in November 2009 about Brundtland’s speech, arguing that it violated basic principles of research ethics: academic freedom, anti-dogmatism, organized skepticism.

In plain terms: her utterance violated the norms of the Ethos of Science. It would be a serious underestimation of actors at Brundtland’s level, however, to think that her speech was a careless mistake or a result of ignorance. Of course she knew that it is “more scientific” to qualify statements; to appreciate the plurality of perspectives and expert opinions; to show awareness of the essential fallibility of scientific facts, theories and advice. Her task was a different one than being scientific: it was to argue for the supreme authority of science in order to combat doubts about the authority of the advice from IPCC and the Stern report.

The unscientific belief in science

Justification of a comprehensive doctrine from within that doctrine can be anything from quite difficult to completely trivial. For instance, doctrines that postulate their own origin in revelations made by an omniscient, loving and truthful deity can have strong self-justificatory features. Of course we should believe God’s words if they tell us that he is always right. Proponents of doctrines about the proper role and authority of science can choose a number of justificatory strategies. Sometimes, justificatory resources can be found within the perspective itself, as in the intriguing debate on the evidence for the utility of evidence-based practice in medicine. At other times, it has been found convenient to emphasize that justification in the last resort resides outside the perspective, as when Karl Popper points out the need to decide upon the role of rationality and the choice of critical rationalism. Critical rationalism is not consistent with claiming the necessity of its acceptance, if we are to believe Popper.

This is a relevant observation when discussing Brundtland’s speech. There can be a scientific belief in Science – but if Science is defined epistemologically as fallible and praxeologically as an activity that embodies norms of doubt and self-criticism, the belief in Science cannot be too dogmatic and too hostile towards criticism raised against it without becoming unscientific. This problem is indeed what one may observe in the Brundtland quote. It claims not only that “doubt is eliminated” in this case but also that to raise further critical questions is immoral. It is very difficult not to see this as expressly unscientific and even at odds with the norms of the institution from which she borrows authority. 

There is little reason to fear that climate scientists will become dogmatic just because Gro Harlem Brundtland made an unscientific claim about climate science. The interesting question is rather: if Science is not the source of authority for this type of belief in Science, what exactly is the source – as seen from within this type of perspective? Mere trust in IPCC and Stern and his team, however brilliant they may be, appears insufficient for such strong claims. If I am allowed to speculate, I would think that many observers would find it hard to trust such a complex and worldly endeavor as the IPCC qua institution to the degree that it eliminates doubt. Bearing in mind Brundtland’s experience as former Head of Government and former Director General of WHO, it becomes even more counter-intuitive to imagine that she holds naïve beliefs about big international institutions. On this ground, “Doubt has been eliminated” appears less as an expression of reasoned trust in the worldly IPCC and more as an expression of faith in Science. What kind of phenomenon is that faith?

Livssyn – life philosophies

There is an abundance of potentially useful concepts for the problems I am discussing here. Comprehensive doctrine is one example. Ideology, metaphysical position and worldview are others. For instance, we could have followed in Georges Canguilhem’s path and discussed how scientific concepts are exported and distorted into non-scientific contexts and become scientific ideologies. The point I wish to pursue, however, is not so much one of epistemology or political theory as one of “life philosophy” in Fjelland’s definition. In the following, I shall discuss his analysis, as well as the Norwegian context into which it was introduced.

Fjelland argues that Kant’s four questions of philosophy are the suitable point of departure for defining a life philosophy:

  1. What can I know?
  2. What ought I to do?
  3. For what may I hope?
  4. What is a human being?

Rather than reproducing Fjelland’s argument, I shall apply his conclusion in the latter part of the chapter: one’s particular answers to the three latter questions form a life philosophy. The answer to the first question – What can I know? – does not form an intrinsic part of the life philosophy, but may be central to its justification.

In this way, the concept of life philosophy is placed on a different level than religion and science. Religion and science may provide answers – inputs – to (or justifications for) the life philosophy, but they are not identical to the life philosophy. Fjelland shows how not only a religion such as Christianity but also a cosmology as found in Ancient Greek philosophy can provide answers to Kant’s questions, and in this way justify particular life philosophies (from within the perspective itself, of course). Next, he argues that belief in science and progress can easily provide other answers to Kant’s questions and in this way produce a science-based life philosophy. “Science- based” is a dangerous term in this respect, however. Within the proper domain of science, the quality of being “science-based” may endow a claim with superior epistemic authority. But Kant’s questions are philosophical and not scientific ones; a categorical mistake happens if one believes that current biological theories can produce the unique and final truth about what is a human being, or if one uncritically embraces the technological imperative and concludes that we ought to develop and implement all technologies that can be delivered by science.

First or second modernity

Can one appropriately talk about life philosophies while discussing climate change? I think so. The issue of climate change cannot be separated from a number of huge questions about our responsibility for future generations, for global equity, for non-human species, and for our choice of lifestyles and therefore our values. I believe Brundtland and the author would agree on this point. In her speech, she was not trying to be a philosopher of science. She wanted to deliver a message about what is important and what we ought to do as societies and individuals.

Brundtland’s speech borrows the answers to Kant’s second and third question – what we ought to do and for what we may hope – from the IPCC and the Stern report. We should reduce emissions, and this can be believed to have a good effect. What a human being is, she in a way answered herself in the Brundtland report “Our Common Future”, which not only states our responsibilities for future generations and across borders, but in that way also defines our roles and identity as intrinsically bound together on Planet Earth. Many would agree with her.

The problem appears with the relevance of Kant’s first question: what can we know? By expressing her unscientific faith in Science, Brundtland undermines the authority of her life philosophy. It remains science-based, but no longer justified and endorsed by Science in its canonical expression. Nor is it supported by religion.  The problem is that many 21st century citizens are endowed with critical skills and so little fear for authority that they no longer obey when leaders such as Brundtland say that doubt is eliminated and moreover immoral. Interpreted as an empirical statement, “Doubt has been eliminated” is quite simply false. One falls into ridicule and one’s communication remains ineffective.

NENT (2009) called for a Second Modernity type of approach: to admit that there is uncertainty in the climate models and still argue that this does not justify the lack of action; indeed the uncertainty may be a reason for precautionary action. Brundtland’s problem is that she does not find strong enough power in a discourse of “and”: science is telling us that the climate problem is really urgent AND Science may be wrong. Apparently unable to acknowledge Second Modernity, and no longer able to scare the people into silent obedience, leaders of 21st century democracies are simply left in deadlock.

Can we make constructive suggestions about how to get out of the deadlock? There are many already: epistemological ones (uncertainty and complexity management); political ones (deliberative democracy and a new social contract of science); legal ones (principles of precaution); ethical ones (eco-philosophy etc.). This short chapter shall end with a perhaps somewhat unusual suggestion: to think twice about our concepts of life philosophies. We have seen how even the Norwegian Prime Minister could not avoid quasi-religious concepts such as “belonging” and “guidance” when trying to describe life philosophies. As long as this submissive flavor prevails, secular life philosophies will remain too much a Coca Cola Light. One will be likely to fall into science-based but unscientific dogmatism and then into ridicule. Accordingly, I will end by making the claim for piecemeal, reflexive, self-critical and tentative life philosophies, allowing for the “and” of Beck and for doubts and smiles. A proper argumentation would require another chapter, or indeed a book series; still, let me forward the claim that a life philosophy of Beck’s “and”, fit for Second Modernity, would need to maintain hope in the absence of guarantees from God or from Science, and to see the questions of what we should do and what it is to be a human as deeply entangled and relative to each other.

JC comment:  Strand’s chapter provides an interesting perspective that goes beyond the typical science and/or policy debate that we have on the climate issue. I look forward to your discussion of these ideas.

I don’t usually post anything this esoteric on the weekend, but this one landed in my mailbox this morning, and I am otherwise busy with some hurricane posts (stay tuned).

710 responses to “Doubt has been eliminated (?)

  1. Know wonder you read the Bible,

    1.What can I know?
    2.What ought I to do?
    3.For what may I hope?
    4.What is a human being?

    otherwise think of the money you would not be making now.
    You understand, even if you don’t want to say it. Just deny it?

    • Tom, please explain your comment.

      The book, “Sacred Science? –On science and its interrelations with religious world views” edited by Simen Andersen Øyen, Tone Lund-Olsen and Nora Sørensen Vaage seems to represent exactly the type of fresh input needed to help resolve the protracted debate over the global climate scandal.

      The rapidly collapsing confidence in world leaders and the world’s economy makes this matter urgent. The book is available to everyone as an open pdf file.

      Roger Strand’s chapter, “Doubt has been eliminated” and Jeffery C. Alexander’s “Current commentary: The arch of civil liberation” independently dovetail with my own conclusions from a half-century of research in nuclear and space sciences:

      The instinct of survival and fear of the “nuclear fires” that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 convinced world leaders to act in unison to:

      a.) Establish the United Nations in October 1945
      b.) Obscure nuclear energy information in 1946
      c.) Become rulers rather than leaders of society
      d.) Slowly eliminate constitutional rights of citizens

      The AGW debate, the hiding of isotope data from the Galileo probe of Jupiter, the upcoming Presidential election, the Egyptian demonstrations at Tahrir, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement are all about one dominant issue; Respect for the rights of citizens:

      The unalienable Rights of citizens to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness – with access to factual information – so they can abolish any Form of Government that becomes destructive of these ends.


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

      • The Bible is all about Him. If you love what is inside the Bible, you love what you will learn about Him too. You & I are all here to give God pleasure. Christ is always going to bat 1,000. Go have a nice visit with the creator. Stop worrying, love the Lord, today. We are free. See.

      • Rob Starkey


      • Rob-Star-key

  2. Nothing new here. Al Gore told us the science was settled years ago.

  3. “Bearing in mind Brundtland’s experience as former Head of Government and former Director General of WHO, it becomes even more counter-intuitive to imagine that she holds naïve beliefs about big international institutions. On this ground, “Doubt has been eliminated” appears less as an expression of reasoned trust in the worldly IPCC and more as an expression of faith in Science.”

    Another interpretation is that such statements are known lies by those making them. They have contempt for the public’s intellect and are willing to exploit any fear as a means of grabbing power.

    At the heart of the Left (and Greens) is a profound dislike of people. They mask this in a facade of “concern” for the well being of Society — and try and justify their right to make decisions for others based upon consensus.

    • John Carpenter

      “At the heart of the Left (and Greens) is a profound dislike of people. They mask this in a facade of “concern” for the well being of Society — and try and justify their right to make decisions for others based upon consensus.”

      According to Jonathan Haidt, liberals strongly rely on three moral foundations; the care/harm, fairness/cheating and the liberty/oppression moral foundations. Conservatives rely on six, the three mentioned above as well as loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation moral foundations. Liberals don’t hate people per se, they hate what they do instead of understanding why they do it. They only use half the moral tools available to form their conclusion and it’s one reason they have a hard time keeping people united for a cause over a sustained period of time. As a result, they have difficulty pulling a majority of diverse thinking people together to solve a problem. Ironically it is opposite of what they want to achieve. As Haidt points out ‘they often pursue policies that promote pluribus at the expense of unum which leave them open to charges of treason, subversion and sacrilege’.

      • This was an interesting set of discussions about the moral tools/categories people use when it came out. It was interpreted at a superficial level though and misused in the media with both “sides” trying to say the other was stupid or evil or unable to access the proper moral codes.

      • John Carpenter

        Haidt is a liberal. The work he did was to determine why liberals were so bad at winning the White House. Conclusion, they don’t use enough of the moral foundations that appeal to the majority of Americans. I thought his book was very interesting.

      • And Libertarians rely one one moral foundation – respect for the individual as an end within himself.

      • Jim S
        Bruntland could alsohave been deceived or swayed by the IPCC’s rhetoric without having seriously evaluated the IPCC’s evidence and compared it with the the ignored evidence.
        What is the source of your moral foundation? How does it compare / differ from Bruntland’s “End of doubt?”
        How does your libertarian moral foundation compare with “Love your neighbor as yourself”?
        How do you place that in the context of Western civilization’s “Rule of Law” or evolutionary dogma that “Might makes right”?

      • David L. Hagen: You didn’t ask me, but I don’t seem to fit the liberal, conservative, or even libertarian categories: I have problems with them all, and I’m getting very tired of this “liberals are psychopaths/conservatives are psychopaths” pseudo-psychology/sociology.

        I think I know how you’ll answer, but I’ll ask anyway, how can one love everybody, unconditionally, and still have any meaningful concept of love?

        I’m fine with Rule of Law–although it really only works well in the context of a government whose sole purpose is the protection of individual (i.e., natural) rights–but then you go on about “…evolutionary dogma that ‘Might makes right,” which practically nails you as a religious conservative creationist. And you want to write science curricula for public schools?

        Let me politely inform you (with no expectation that it will make any difference) that the theory of evolution is science–and therefore not “dogma”–and that survival of the fittest does not logically lead to any human ethical norm that “Might makes right.” Both Darwin and Aristotle recognized that we are animals, but the latter defined us as thinking animals. And that makes all the difference.

      • RobertG
        Re: “the protection of individual (i.e., natural) rights”
        Note that nature cannot “grant” rights. Rather, the Founders of the USA appealed to the highest law where all people “are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”.

        Bruntland’s effort to “end doubt” is to systematically eliminate each of those unalienable rights to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” by imposing centralized coercive planning by the few privileged IPCC “true believers”. By contrast, Jesus taught responsible stewardship by each individual.

        Bruntland’s “end of doubt” advocates unquestioned acceptance of IPCC policies mandating maintaining current climatic conditions, and imposing global UN control requiring burying hundreds of trillions of dollars of our wealth to “mitigate” “global warming” (regardless of natural forces driving natural climatic variations). By contrast, Jesus warned against burying our resources in the ground.
        We have the choice of tyrannical government under Bruntland or seeking government founded on law motivated by love, and directed to stewardship for the common good. “Love your neighbor as your self” is the common transcendent command for all people.

        Re: “loving unconditionally”: Jesus’ command is within the context of his new covenant, which is empowered by his Holy Spirit: Jn 3:34-35

        “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

        Richard Dawkins emphasizes the importance of rejecting Darwinism as the basis for society:

        Nature really is red in tooth and claw. And when we sit down together to argue out and discuss and decide upon how we want to run our societies, I think we should hold up Darwinism as an awful warning for how we should not organize our societies.

        Having rejected both Darwinism and transcendental law, Dawkins can only appeal to common Western culture, which reflects the residual standards of Judeo-Christian culture and law.

        Re: “science curricula for public schools”
        It is important that students know the true facts of history, not liberal revisionism. e.g. that 96% of the founders of the scientific revolution were Christians . e.g.,

        The scientist JOHANNES KEPLER described science as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.”
        ALBERT EINSTEIN said, “Everyone who is seriously interested in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe- a spirit vastly superior to man, and one in the face of which our modest powers must feel humble.”

        If the “theory of evolution is science”, perhaps you can enlighten me as to evolutionary population models that quantitatively show how the origin of life, DNA for new proteins, and macroevolution come from known stochastic chemistry and biochemistry within the known dimensions and time of the universe! All the quantitative models I have read find that AFTER formation of the first reproducing cell, harmful mutations steadily drown out “beneficial” mutations. See Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome and Mendel’s Accountant where you can test the models yourself. I prefer to stick to quantitative science based on objective reproducible observations, and recognizing where evidence indicates departures from such stochastic evidence and models.
        Those evolutionary models are only “a little” more challenging that predicting chaotic nonlinear climate based on little known starting conditions, little known cloud physics and solar dynamism, and unknown future economic conditions, energy use and composition! Good luck with both.

      • But of course some Libertarians can take that too far and not recognize that they are part of a society of which they have an obligation to support through their work, time, and money. No person is truly an island unto themselves, but some Libertarians would like to live as if they are.

      • David L. Hagen: So, I ask you a couple of simple questions and mostly you quote from the Bible, which is argument from authority–an authority I don’t even recognize because I’m not a believer.

        As for the stuff by Sanford, I have no desire to get involved in the “ wars” again as I got my fill of it in the 80s and 90s. It’s like playing Wack O Mole. Sanford thinks he can decide, at the moment a mutation enters the genome, without any consideration whatsoever of the organism’s environment or other competitive conditions (now or in the future), whether the mutation is “good” or “bad.” He’s also a young earth creationist who apparently thinks humans used dinosaurs like horses.

        If you also think that thus the Andromeda galaxy can’t be two million light years from earth–or that light from it didn’t take two million years to get here–then we really have nothing to talk about. But this alone shows that Sanford is willing to dump practically the whole of astronomy and geology just because he decided to become a fundamentalist Christian. Is it the same with you?

        Your group was crushed by a very good Republican judge at the Dover trial. I suspect that you are trying to get creationism back in the public consciousness by riding on the back of reasonable doubts about AGW. That’s not good for science, and it’s aleady damaging the credibility of the better AGW skeptics by getting them lumped together with creationists.

      • RobertG
        Sanford is a world premier biotechnologist and inventor. He reviews all the major evolutionary population models. He provides the variables so you can test the theories yourself using the best literature values you can find or wish to explore. Apparently you avoid the evidence, refuse to validate models, mischaracterize experts, and appeal to rhetoric and authority. You further don’t address the primary topic of Bruntland and the threat of tyranny. I was hoping you might uphold the scientific method and the foundations of Western civilization.

      • I have a different take on conservatives and liberals. I see conservatives as stodgy old coots who whine about the way the world is changing around them. Constipation makes them cranky and they pass a lot of gas, so I would prefer not to be around them. I see liberals as youthful and energetic, and wiling to embrace change. They are refreshing to be around. Of course these generalizations don’t apply to all conservatives and liberals.

      • You are entitled to your opinion, no matter how divorced from reality it is.

      • If conservatives aren’t predominately older angry white males, the GOP needs to re-think its strategy.

      • Max_OK See:
        Bobby Jindal
        Nikki Haley
        Suggest you rethink your strategy to following such dynamic leadership.

      • John Carpenter

        Liberals may be good at embracing change, but that is not what stabilizes a community. Haidt argues that communities, like superorganisms, compete for resources to turn into more offsp.ring. Communities that are more stable, more loyal, with some authoritative hierarchy are more likely to survive to future generations compared to communities that value individualism over the group. Diversification is and change do not promote a group mentality necessary for the group to survive stress.

        So, though you think liberals are refreshing, they are not as cooperative with one another to complete complex tasks. Too many chefs, not enough cooks. How will liberals unite the world community to address climate change? They have to understand the majority of people operate on more than three moral foundations. This is true for most of the world outside the Western, Industrialized, Educated, Rich, Democracies (WEIRD) countries. Until they are able to do this, liberals will not have the appeal to take on such a task.

        So it will have to be a combined effort between liberals, conservatives, and libertarians… Which seems like an obvious answer, but one that has eluded liberal environmentalists so far.

      • Conservatives are largely older Americans who eventually will die off, and although I wish everyone a long life, I think the world will be a better place with fewer conservatives. Of course some of today’s liberals may be tomorrow’s conservatives, but hopefully not the ugly kind (i.e., the racists and homophobes).

      • Speaking of old farts who never have a new idea, he just keeps dredging up the same ol’, same ol’. Paul Krugman says:

        “But look, I mean, whatever it takes because right now we need somebody to spend, and that somebody has to be the U.S. government.”

      • WUWT highlighted this, but it was said on Bill Maher’s show, which is a satirical look at politics. It is like believing The Onion to take this as an actual truth (as I said over there). Satire highlights a political view by exaggerating it to a ridiculous extreme, but some people don’t notice this in todays political environment because Krugman’s bringing in aliens didn’t make it obvious enough to them that it was satire.

      • Mr. K. was joking about the aliens, but the point I made is that he wants the government to spend more money. He isn’t joking about that. He could write a single-sentence book. It would simply say the government should spend more money. Like I said, he hasn’t had an original thought in decades.

      • He is a Keynesian: spend in bad times, save in good times. The idea is that this evens out the bumps. It is pro-stimulus and the opposite of austerity that doesn’t propose saving, and just cuts spending when income goes down.

      • Max_OK,

        Yr. “…today’s liberals may be tomorrow’s conservatives but hopefully not the ugly kind (I. e., racist and homophobe)”

        Curious that your concern, Max_OK, with discriminatory attitudes does not prevent you from employing disparaging, racist, sexist, and agest references to the age, gender, and race of “conservatives” (“older angry white males”–see your 27 May 1:32 a. m. comment). An obvious blind-spot, on your part but not one I’m surprised to find, given the likely profile of the crowd you run with.

        Let’s play a little game, Max_OK. I speculate the crowd you run with:

        is made-up of a bunch of snotty kids with a pumped up view of themselves that is based on nothing more than the conclusions drawn from their sheltered, absurdly pampered existence–a hot-house life-experience, protectively overseen by a mom who is likely to remain a smothering fixture into their adult life, and conditioned by a steady diet, since infancy, of un-earned and un-deserved, effusive praise for their every cutie-pie, little darlin’, spoiled-brat antic.

        is made-up of a bunch of impressionable, bird-brain, little geeks, with unresolved zit, personal hygiene, and awkwardness in social settings issues. And, currently, they are in thrall to one or more manipulative, lefty youth-master who assures them, on-the-cheap, that they’re all the things they want to be, but are not. Of course, the little, needy, brainwashed tyros of the crowd you run with make themselves useful to their kiddie-controller(s) as a recompense for his addictive ego-caresses.

        is made-up of a bunch of monumentally incompetent, useless-eaters who can’t fold their clothes, make their bed, fix a car, keep up a house, fill out a tax form, run a business, lead a platoon, raise a family, or care for those in need, to mention only a few of their many, many in-capacities. And, yet, they’ve convinced themselves that they are clever, little smarty-pants fit to think the “big thoughts” and “call the big plays.”

        And, Max_OK, let me finish up this little game by speculating that the crowd you run with is made up of shallow, self-absorbed parasites who don’t pay their own bills, or if they do, sorta, their income is substantially supplemented by regular hand-outs from mom and dad, obtained by playing off mom against dad.

        That’s pretty much the whole of the game, Max_OK. All that’s left to wrap the game up is for you to compare my speculations to the crowd you run with (be honest), and tell me my score.

        You like playing games, Max_OK, and I like playing games. Great, that we have that in common across the generational divide, right, Max_OK?

        And, for what it’s worth, Max_OK, most of us “older angry white males” also took our own sweet time about growing-up and becoming a man. Though, I must say, for most of us, we didn’t begin our journey nearly so far behind the starting line as that crowd you run with.

      • The Alien train thing is kinda funny. It is a good example of incomplete logic. Government spending on large infrastructure projects is a good economic stimulus if the infrastructure projects happened to be worth while long term investments. High speed rail in California is not a worth while project if it is intended to mass transit for the local population. It could work as a tourist transit system. Liberals need to get in touch with their own culture before stealing solutions from other cultures. Based on countries with high speed rail that are not going broke, about 15 kilometers per million population seems to be a reasonable investment. California has a population of 37million with LA at 3.7 and San Diego at 1.3 million the two highest density populations. There is 90 miles from Sea World to Disney Land, that would be a reasonable high speed rail investment. Other than that, the population density of California does not justify high speed rail.

        New York to Chicago could be justified for real local transit, but other than that, HSR is a tourist attraction, a Mickey Mouse solution if you will :)

      • Speaking of high speed rail and new ideas to fund it:

        “FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Imagine heading from North Texas to Houston on a train doing more than 200 miles an hour. The concept of making the trip, on the ground, in 90 minutes, could soon be a reality.

        Robert Eckels is the head of Texas Central Railway and says the trip could be possible in less than a decade.

        Texas Central Railway is raising private investments to try and fund a $10 billion high-speed rail system connecting the metroplex with Houston and San Antonio.

        “We are not looking for a government subsidy on this project,” explained Eckels, “that’s one of the key elements to make this project work and is distinguished from others is that we would be a privately operated system.””

      • capt. dallas, yes, the point Krugman was making was that you need the public to buy into infrastructure spending, and one way to do that is via threats (which also works for defense spending). If you could say we all need better public transport and faster broadband internet for security reasons, and it creates jobs as a side effect, that would get broad approval as something the government should spend money on. But if it just creates jobs and helps non-wealthy people, you would only get Democrat support.

      • Pretty limit point of view Jim D. General economic welfare is good for all the income groups, low income group centric polices tend to widen the divide between income groups. The “help the poor” mantra is pretty played.

        Let me tell ya a little story about food stamps. The average household on food stamps get around $180 US. On average, about 50 dollars is spent per household per month administering the food stamp program. Approximately 30% of the money per household is used to buy high end food items to sell for cash for 50 cents on the dollar to buy things not allowed to be bought with the food stamp card, like toilet paper, hot prepared food, beer and wine. Of the children of families on food stamps, a disproportionately large number are obese and malnourished.

        By just giving the families the money, without strict regulation, the administration costs could be halved, more obese malnourished kids could buy hot meals and become less obese and malnourished and even the dishonest recipients would get a better return on your money. A little selective enforcement should things get too far out of hand combined with a little better education which could be afforded with lower administrative costs, the system would work better than the ridiculous mess that is in place now.

      • Mickey Reno

        I understand your point, and it’s well made. But it’s also shallow. One can look at “conservatives” as older and wiser people, who’s idealism is tempered by experience, and the youthful, energetic people who are undoubtedly more attractive, as fundamentally naive, unconstrained by a reality about which they (as yet) have little understanding. This generalization is exhibited in the world of politics and parenting. You don’t let your child eat ice cream for every meal, and every wish of the political majority is not necessarily good public policy.

        This is why the founding fathers of the U.S. wrote a Constitution that called for Republic over a pure democracy. I doubt most high school seniors in 2012 could write a decent expository on the meaning of the term “tyranny of the majority.” Author P. J. O’Rourke once brilliantly commented that the U.S. political system was designed to respond to “the will of the people but not the whim of the people.

      • Max_OK: Simply not true. In 2010 Gallop found that 42% of Americans describe themselves as very conservative or conservative while only 20%consider themselves liberal or very liberal. I doubt that 42% of Americans are constipated, flatulent, old coots.

        I am a card-carrying member of the 38% which are none-of-the-above (flatulent, but not liberal or conservative, energetic, but not youthful).

      • RobertG, about 45% of the U.S. adult population is age 50 and older, so it’s not surprising Gallop found 42% of Americans describe themselves as conservative.

        If you watch TV programs that appeal to older people , you may have noticed lots of commercials for laxatives. So I would say that’s a constipated demographic group.

      • Max_OK: I think you’re forgetting that more than half of that over 50 demographic are women (who are not “old coots” by definition). And according to a recent article in the New York Times, thousands of children across the nation are being given Miralax by their parents, usually on the advice of their pediatricians, sometimes for years on end, so I’m not so sure about that “constipation demographic.”

        The real question is what have you got against older people. If you said similar things about certain other demographic groups, you’d be branded a racist or mysogynist. I’m 61. I suspect most of my older friends (real and virtual) would identify as liberals–or at the very least–“not conservative.” You should grow up and stop stereotyping people you know nothing about.

      • Said mike in his comments on May 27, 2012 at 7:16 pm:

        “Let’s play a little game, Max_OK. I speculate the crowd you run with:

        is made-up of a bunch of snotty kids with a pumped up view of themselves that is based on nothing more than the conclusions drawn from their sheltered, absurdly pampered existence–a hot-house life-experience, protectively overseen by a mom who is likely to remain a smothering fixture into their adult life, and conditioned by a steady diet, since infancy, of un-earned and un-deserved, effusive praise for their every cutie-pie, little darlin’, spoiled-brat antic…. ”

        These sound like fledging libertarians. When mature (if libertarians can be), they will think everything is about them, and they will whine about how government is keeping them from being happy.

        I’m not sure anyone I run with is going to become a libertarian. I hope not. The world doesn’t need more of them.

      • Max_not so OK,

        The world doesn’t need libertarians? Such a breezy self-assured opinion from some goof-ball kid who’s never done anything other than be the best darn, symbiotic, little snookums, mommie-dumpling there ever was.

        Tell you what, Max me boy: Tell mom you’re leaving the nest and want to make your own way in life, get a job, grow-up, grow a pair and then get back with me. You might have a worthwhile opinion at that point worth a listen.

        Max, I don’t really blame you, but rather those adults, who should have known better, who made the bumptious little brat you are today.

      • As the old saying goes, if you’re not a liberal at 18 you have no heart, but if you’re not a conservative at 40 you have no head. “A conservative is just a liberal who’s been mugged by reality.” Many of the most powerful spokesmen for conservatism were red-diaper babies. There is a reason why conservatism is the philosophy that people grow into, and liberalism is a philosophy that they grow out of.

        Again, of course, these generalization don’t apply to everyone.

  4. doubt is eliminated and moreover immoral
    That destroys any and all other messages in the presentation.

  5. Judith Curry

    Thanks for this post. I’ve not yet read the full “4,000 words”, but your post conveys the message.

    Questions of “life philosophy” quite aside, I believe the key observation by Strand is the one you highlighted:

    There can be a scientific belief in Science – but if Science is defined epistemologically as fallible and praxeologically as an activity that embodies norms of doubt and self-criticism, the belief in Science cannot be too dogmatic and too hostile towards criticism raised against it without becoming unscientific.

    IOW, rational skepticism, doubt and conflicting viewpoints are integral parts of the scientific method – without them it is reduced to dogma.

    Brundtland’s “belief” in CAGW is admirable in a religious sense. It is tantamount to “blind faith”, as Jesus tells “doubting Thomas” in the Bible:

    “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

    Rational skeptics, on the other hand, insist on empirical scientific evidence to support a hypothesis.

    That’s the difference between religious belief and rational skepticism in a nutshell.


    • Max, good to highlight this, and nice points. Yet, yet…

      I smell radical relativism lurking around the next bend. I remember Richard Dawkins saying Yes, by all means be open-minded, but not so much that your brain falls out (or something like that, during the Sokal Hoax brouhaha).

      The funny thing about Enlightenment and Scientific values of skepticism is that, taken too far, they lead into these odd self-referential paradoxes. And maybe they can’t avoid those. Like “tolerance” taken to the extreme of “tolerating intolerance” and other culturally relativistic weirdness. Or a dognmatic insistence that “the Scientific Method” (whatever that is) is the only road to truth.

      And so on. It’s a strange loop thingy.

  6. Tom Schaub

    Her task was a different one than being scientific: it was to argue for the supreme authority of science in order to combat doubts about the authority of the advice from IPCC and the Stern report.
    If by ‘the supreme authority of science’ is meant the superior reliability of conclusions reached by ‘doing science,’ then her task was largely irrelevant. I have yet to hear an ‘anti-science’ basis for climate skepticism from an actual skeptic. This is an irrational fantasy held by Peter Gleick and others.
    One’s political (or other) values may be responsible for a bias in which scientists one believes, but the prevalence of this meme among skeptics is based upon a justified suspicion that the political biases of the IPCC consensus supporters have distorted their conduct of science. In the event, the primary issues of debate and doubt are over the actual science and over allegations of scientific misbehavior.
    By contrast, note the debates over intelligent design where non-scientific values actually have import. Climate science is not cursed with this sort of controversy. Pretending that skeptics are ‘skeptical of science itself’ is an unjustifiable rhetorical trick to support the supreme authority of specific scientists against criticism of their sloppy science.

    • Tom Schaub

      Climate science is not cursed with this sort of controversy.
      On second thought, I may be wrong about this. Is there not a tendency to equate “anthropogenic” with “evil” and “natural” with “good”? If it were determined conclusively that global warming was 99% natural, would those who support policies to prevent it still do so? Would they support “anthropogenic cooling” to offset natural warming? Given the outcry against “geo-engineering” of anthropogenic cooling to offset anthropogenic warming, I suspect not.
      Perhaps the real debate has nothing to do with science. Is mankind allowed to have any footprint, carbon or otherwise? That debate is ethical or religious; not subject to resolution by science.

      • Their holy is nature. And they are hysterical about fingerprints on their holy.
        It not anywhere close to rational.
        It’s simply anti-human.

      • I think this is right on the mark with some of the very extreme people, and there is even a whiff of it in the mainstream of AGW belief. It has a name: The “naturalistic fallacy.”

        However I don’t think it explains everyone with AGW beliefs.

    • Interesting, given the topic, that no one yet has mentioned and taken something actually relevant said by people about doubt.

  7. A parody, “Ding dong the doubt is dead” might be in order. Moral, ethical, spiritual, etc aspects are covered at the 1:10 mark and lead to an official decree at 1:35. :-)

  8. The older I get the more troubled I become about how inflexible we humans tend to be in our thinking, and how unwilling to challenge our own beliefs. Worse, how angry we can become when confronted with differing view points.

    I’ve already lost one old college buddy, a fellow leftie who though he tried to be polite about it, became deeply angry at what he saw as my traitorous views on “climate change.” And to be fair, I became just as angry at him, and what I saw as his abysmal ignorance on the subject.
    There we were, a pair of supposedly civilized 21st century, college educated homo sapiens at the mercy of the same primitive emotions that drove our ancestors to routinely bash each other over the head with clubs.

    • I find it troubling that 21st century man still severely underestimates the raw power of the hormones and peptides which drive what we know as emotions and beliefs.
      A person who’s highly charged with these chemicals is no more capable of rational thought than a drunk who has consumed a bottle of vodka is of walking along a straight line.

      • Welcome to the mind body problem. What do you propose? That we stop feeling, stop believing, or both? Conviction is not an illness.

      • Albert Stienstra

        No, conviction is not an illness; it is a state of restricted space to move…

      • No, that we start recognising these things for what they are, and stop tearing the world and each other apart because of feelings and beliefs.

    • pokerguy,

      You might want to read David Horowitz’s autobiographical Radical Son. I think most conservatives were progressives to one degree or another at some point in their lives. Horowitz was in the thick of the activist left though, and has a great perspective. The reactions you have received are not unusual at all.

  9. I remember yelling at my neighbor, a civil engineer and dance professor, 4 or 5 years ago, that the globe was cooling. Her response, without missing a beat, was ‘No doubt’.

    • Doesn’t that just get your goat? Passive/aggressive arguers are beyond infuriating :-)

      • Heh, I think she was tired of the yelling.

      • Which says something about me. I see a dirty, lowdown passive aggressive where most other people see nothing more sinister than fatigue.. This climate stuff is gonna drive me round the bend one of these days….

    • I once told a patient my assistant thought of me as a demigod. My assistant responded “oh. god”. I said ‘see”.

  10. Willis Eschenbach

    Judith, thanks as always for posting interesting prose and puzzles.

    I was amused by this quote from the chapter:

    This problem is indeed what one may observe in the Brundtland quote. It claims not only that “doubt is eliminated” in this case but also that to raise further critical questions is immoral. It is very difficult not to see this as expressly unscientific and even at odds with the norms of the institution from which she borrows authority.

    There is little reason to fear that climate scientists will become dogmatic just because Gro Harlem Brundtland made an unscientific claim about climate science.

    I liked the part about how we don’t have to fear that climate scientists “will become dogmatic”. The only reason we don’t have to fear climate scientists becoming more dogmatic that is that in far too many cases, it’s not physically possible—they’re already reached their dogma limits.

    The author also says:

    Brundtland’s problem is that she does not find strong enough power in a discourse of “and”: science is telling us that the climate problem is really urgent AND Science may be wrong.

    First, “science” is not telling us that “the climate problem is really urgent.” Some alarmist scientists are making that claim. For the author to mistake them for “science” indicates a deep lack of understanding.

    Second, I do not see the contradiction between the fact that some scientists are saying there is a huge problem, and the fact that they may be wrong. That is a common situation in climate science, not a logical contradiction.

    The author continues:

    Apparently unable to acknowledge Second Modernity, and no longer able to scare the people into silent obedience, leaders of 21st century democracies are simply left in deadlock.

    That’s the good news. Deadlock is where we should be until climate science climbs out of the hole it is in and until people like Brundtland stop claiming that the science is settled.

    I must confess, however, that I find the author’s whole analysis deeply flawed. From my perspective, Gro Brundtland is just another pathetic victim of Noble Cause Corruption, one of a host of AGW alarmists, who is willing to say and do just about anything to try to get people to act the way that her Highness has decided and decreed that we should act.

    Trying to excuse that corruption as somehow part of her “life philosophy” seems like a pathetic attempt to smooth it all over and make it reasonable that she should make such an outrageous statement.

    I have a much simpler explanation—she drank the Koolaid, she fell victim to the lure of the Noble Cause, and now she’s making statements that obviously stem from her desire to continue to justify her increasingly unjustifiable belief system … statements that even the author says thatBrundland knows very well are not true.

    In other words, trying to explain her knowingly false statements is not a job for philosophy, as the author holds—it is a question of psychopathology.


    PS—I fear I have to number myself among those who are “unable to acknowledge Second Modernity”, because I haven’t a clue what that might be …

  11. Don’t be silly. The only way to get rid of doubt is to cap and tax it.

  12. Doubt has been eliminated

    It should be:

    IPCC has exaggerated!

    1856-2005 => 0.05 deg C per decade
    1906-2005 => 0.07 deg C per decade
    1956-2005 => 0.13 deg C per decade
    1981-2005 => 0.18 deg C per decade

    1895-1925 => 0.05 deg C per decade
    1925-1955 => 0.06 deg C per decade
    1955-1985 => 0.07 deg C per decade
    1985-2015 => 0.08 deg C per decade

  13. Gro Harlem Brundtland was the first VP of Why on earth would we be listening to her recommendations and trying to implement them?

  14. The idea of a Constitution is to put limits on the power of government, irrespective of the grand conclusions and a holy consensus resulting from the machinatiions of a deliberative democracy. Individual liberty, economic freedom and personal responsibility comes first and must remain foremost as rights given to all humanity by God not men.

    • Bruntland’s “end of doubt” seriously threatens to make government supreme over all individuals.
      Thomas Jefferson admonished:

      “The two enemies of the people are criminals and government,
      so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.”

  15. I tell you the truth, it is hard for a Leftist to enter the world of reality. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a Leftist seeker of liberal Utopianism to provide value to society here and now.”

  16. How much longer will it take for Western Leftists to admit that it is not altruism to consign the third world to an energy-deprived existence of misery, poverty and death? The AGW hoax of the Leftist-libs tramples on the rights of man and all secular, socialist bureaucrats that continue to facilitate the hoax and scare tactics of global warming alarmism belong under an oversize picture of Mao and should have Castro and Chavez on speed dial to share their philosophy.

    Global Warming is Politically-Correct Voodoo

  17. “Of course she knew that it is “more scientific” to qualify statements; to appreciate the plurality of perspectives and expert opinions; to show awareness of the essential fallibility of scientific facts, theories and advice.”

    If it’s scientific to qualify statements, then politicians are scientists.

    A scientist should rather quantify statements.

    Nor is it scientific, “to show awareness of the essential fallibility of scientific facts”

  18. “Doubt has been eliminated” appears less as an expression of reasoned trust in the worldly IPCC and more as an expression of faith in Science.”

    Neither. It is a battlecry.

    Brundtland is a politician, and politicians know this ‘debate’ is more political than scientific.

    • cui bono | May 26, 2012 at 6:07 pm |

      Perhaps you have something there, when you speak of battlecry. At least enough to get you into the right country, if not the right ballpark.

      Ruckelshaus was the US member of the Brundtland Commission. What Bruntland called “doubt” is, given the context of what was actually said, more like “indecisiveness”.

      Indecisiveness has been eliminated? Doesn’t scan as well for the poets in the crowd, but it comes closer to the aspirations of those working on issues of public health, natural resources, and the human environment.

      Though I doubt decisiveness is very high, given the evidence.

  19. As doubt decreases, the need for action increases. This is a standard thing the brain has to do when making decisions. Let’s take the example of a deer crossing a road and seeing headlights. It freezes while it decides if those headlights are coming towards it or not. At some point the doubt decreases enough that it jumps away, or it doesn’t decide in time, either through fear or stupidity, and it becomes roadkill. Are we at the deer in the headlights stage, and when will we certain enough to take action that at least reduces the damage, even if it can’t prevent it any more?
    This is what the debate is about: doubt and standing still versus action.

    • “This is what the debate is about: doubt and standing still versus action.”

      In same sentence involving the UN and governments and we talking about action? For UN personnel, action is stealing silverware.
      Kyoto Protocol and Oil for Food Program is what action the UN does.

      • Action will be, and already has been in some cases, on the scale of individual governments mitigating or adapting in their own countries. Unfortunately some poorer countries can’t do much for themselves, and, while the UN can point them out, it can’t do much without support from governments.

    • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

      Jim D: As doubt decreases, the need for action increases.

      What action?

      Against what threats?

      It isn’t hard to think of 10 doubtful threats to human civilization. According to you, we must mobilize all our resources against all of them; the more doubtful the threat, the more urgent the need, and the more energetic the required action — even if no action has been demonstrated to be effective.

      Who, exactly, is like a deer looking into headlights? You? I don’t claim that you are, I claim that no one is.

      • MattStat/MatthewRMarler

        oops. I misread you slightly. It could be that the reduction of doubt that you describe is increased evidence that human action to adapt is better than human action to prevent warming. In that case, the need for “action” would not require following IPCC prescriptions; it would require ignoring them.

      • I don’t think we can stop the temperature rising by 3 degrees or more this century, so the threats relate to that. These would be increasing energy demand and prices, decreasing food and water resources in areas, increased potential for droughts and coastal flooding. Some governments are aware, and already trying to figure out what to do in terms of getting revenue sorted out to tackle these things not just in their own countries. In the US, there are still people in high places saying it is all a hoax, so don’t do or plan for anything different from the 20th century, which will be unfortunate if it persists as a national policy.

  20. For a minute there, I thought there was some substance to the topic. Imagine a scientist saying something so unscientific sounding as “doubt has been eliminated”.

    Except, not a scientist. Not even a practicing physician, but a politician said it. FIVE YEARS AGO. And in a completely different context than is implied.

    “At the Toronto climate conference in 1988, I used the occasion to propose that an international convention be established, to deal with science, technology transfer and concrete measures to reduce emissions of harmful gases. We signed that convention four years later… So what is new today?”

    Between 1988 and 2007 had doubt been eliminated?

    Somewhat substantially in relative terms, yes.

    I challenge anyone with the least mathematical aptitude to say the uncertainty about GMT value, direction of GMT trend, value of GMT trend, CO2 level, direction of CO2 trend, value of CO2 trend did not in the two decades being discussed dramatically drop within the published and generally accepted science. The literature of climatology more than quadrupled between 1988 and 2007. The field of climatology in total in 1988 had fewer scientists self-identifying as part of it then than now make up the 3% who do not agree that GMT has risen over about the same period.

    Do you even remember the sorry state of the data in 1988?

    Not saying it inspires praise even now, five years later and with BEST pending publication, with satellites and their corrections and adjustments entering their, what, sixth generation since, but to claim a whole order of magnitude of doubt hadn’t been reduced in those 19 years is patent nonsense.

    Mountain. Molehill. Misdirection.

    • Bart R

      Between 1988 and 2007 had doubt been eliminated?

      Somewhat substantially in relative terms, yes.

      Since you stipulated “2007”, you might be correct.

      But in the ensuing 5 years “doubt” has been anything else but “eliminated”, with the Watergate revelations, Himalayagate, Amazongate, Africancropgate, etc. and a growing public awareness that something is very rotten around IPCC and in parts of climate science plus as the record shows that temperature has stopped rising since 1998, despite ever-increasing CO2 emissions and levels.

      There is more “doubt” today than there was in 2007, when IPCC issued its AR4 report to slobbering media attention and hoopla.

      Gone are the days of Oscars and Nobel Peace Prizes.

      Instead we have polls showing us that close to 70% of the US public is convinced that climate scientists are fudging the data.

      I’d call that a very high level of “doubt”, Bart.


      • manacker | May 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm |

        Manufacturing doubt is like manufacturing sizzle.

        People want some steak. And you just got none.

        People will figure that out for themselves.

      • Rob Starkey

        You are certainly correct that people will figure it out for themselves. In 20 years we will all know alot more. CO2 levels will undoubtedly have risen substantially and we will be able to witness conditions.

      • The 5 year running mean of doubt is definitely heading downwards, OLS shows -0.2 doubt/decade

      • lolwot…:)

      • Doubt is likely to go down as the climate sensitivity estimates continue to be lowered. If the trend continues much longer there will be nothing for the majority of skeptics to complain about since they will find themselves in the consensus.

      • Bart R

        Manufacturing doubt is like manufacturing sizzle.

        People want some steak. And you just got none.

        “Doubt” (or better stated) “uncertainty” does not have to be artificially “manufactured” when it comes to climate science, as our host here has emphasized repeatedly.

        “Certainty” (on the other hand) does.

        Examine your plate closely, Bart – you’ll ask (as I do):

        “WHERE’S THE BEEF?”


      • Some dispute your claim.

        Doubt and uncertainty are by no means the same thing. Uncertainty has definitions long struggled over but generally accepted in Statistics and Game Theory, Probability and like fields.

        Doubt is a religious manifestation.

      • Beliefs and doubts of the US public:

        1997 – CNN/TIME MAGAZINE POLL (June)

        80% believe that the government is hiding the existence of extraterrestrial life forms

        54% believe intelligent life exists beyond earth

        64% believe aliens have contact humans

        50% believe that aliens have abducted humans

        93% have never been abducted

        91% have never had contact with aliens

        75% had never seen a UFO or knew of anyone who had

        37% believe that aliens have contacted the US government

        75% believe that a UFO crashed near Roswell

        26% believe that they would be expected to be treated as an enemy

        39% believe that aliens would appear very humanoid

        35% believe that aliens would look somewhat human

      • 7% believe they have been abducted by aliens- wow!

      • Krugman believes we need to build high speed rail due to aliens. At least, that’s what he said.

      • Jim2 would the high speed rail be used to return the aliens of bring them in?

        Louise, 87% believe the aliens look Hispanic :)

      • “64% believe aliens have contact humans”

        Meanwhile only 62% believe there is solid evidence the average temperature of earth has been getting warmer.

        You know if the government started denying global warming I bet a whole bunch of those people who don’t believe the world is warming would change their minds. Because some people just want to believe they are being deceived by authority.

      • lolwot

        Abe Lincoln was right about:

        You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all of the time.

        Wise man.

        Too bad IPCC has not yet learned that basic lesson.


        PS Apparently you, lolwot, plus Bart R are two of that “some of the people” who have been “fooled”, but it appears that there are several posters here, who have not been.

      • 40% believe in catastrophic AGW!

    • “Do you even remember the sorry state of the data in 1988?”

      Do you mean the very same data that was used to make the claim that the science was settled during that 1988 Congressional hearing? The very same data that underpinned this whole bullying movement egged on by Al Gore, Hollywood and the Nobel Committee? is that the data you’re talking about? Now, suddenly, it was “sorry”? We’ve been telling you it was sorry all along and certainly didn’t justify any of the wild claims made on it’s behalf. But instead of admitting that at that time, it was simply an excuse to bully harder, lie more egregiously, and turn a scientific question into a political witch hunt. I hope you’re proud.

      • I think you’ve missed the point – by a very wide margin.

        Our data and knowledge is significantly better now than in 1988 – but even then, there were some pretty good projections (eg Hansens).

        The difference now is that we have a much higher level of confidence.

      • kcom | May 26, 2012 at 9:27 pm |

        Politcal witch hunt?

        Please, enlighten me.

        Who was burned at the stake? Who imprisoned? Who persecuted?

        Name them, and name specifically who did it.

        I’d love to hear this explained.

    • Molehill? Kiehl and Trenberth published a set of Earth Energy balance papers, peer reviewed, the Cadillac of Energy Balance estimates. Their papers had one common error that was glossed over in the peer review process, the accountants doing the budget couldn’t count. K&T missed 20 Wm-2 of outgoing radiation absorbed by the atmosphere. Let’s see, a doubling of CO2 causes about 4Wm-2, 4 time 5 is 20, yep! that’s a significant error. Because the accuracy of the measurements were not up to the task of even finding the missing 20Wm-2, (That would have required a consultation with the NASA team that also had an Earth Energy Budget), K&T elected to us a modeled value of 0.9 Wm-2 TOA imbalance with a nearly unbelievable accuracy of +/- 0.18 Wm-2. :) If it sounds too good to be true Bart R, it probably is.

      A grad student at the University of Wisconsin, Millwaukee elected to do his dissertation on minimum local emissivity the Arctic. It seems that about 20Wm-2 of outgoing longwave radiation that was assumed to be instrumentation error was actually absorbed by mixed phase clouds. Those are clouds that contain liquid phase water well below the expected temperature assumed to limit water to solid phase in clouds. Basic thermo tends to imply that unexpected water phase change may create a tad of a error if you are measuring heat flows. A Dr. Curry, J seems to have a paper somewhere on atmospheric thermodynamics, or is it a book, that the grad student may have had in his library.

      While the Dr. Curry, J knew about the Arctic, she was somewhat dismissive of the significance of mixed-phase clouds in the tropics impacting minimum local emissivity variance. The data seems to indicate that something may be significant, so much so that this Dr. Susan Solomon published a paper on the impact of stratospheric water vapor on surface temperatures.

      The stratosphere is pretty chilly near the tropopause but increases with altitude. So water vapor that was ice crystals can exist as liquid water in the stratosphere under some conditions. Kinda weird huh?

      Luckily, you haven’t much doubt in the science so you can remain comfortably trivial in defending the collective mediocrity of pre-2007 climate science.

      • Your version of what I said: “you haven’t much doubt in the science”

        What I said: “Not saying it inspires praise even now..”

        What I have is an amount of confidence appropriate to the data, based on its statistical properties and understanding of the methods of data collection and analyses, and a plentitude of skepticism about the people on both sides, influenced as they appear to be by their respective biases and fallacies, outside influences and ulterior concerns.

        So I line them all up, based on their statements and actions, and I weigh them all so far as I can.

        While there’s substantial uncertainty on the AGW side, it pales in comparison to the rabidly, outrageously, monumentally contrived countercases, where those cases are not almost instantly detected as patent fraud or mistake. Scafetta? Really, the ZODIAC?!. Orssengo? A line he arbitrarily decides the start and end of based on his _feelings_ and no more? Wu et. al? Hand-picked Economics graphical analyses methods cross-applied to climate data without foundation or validation? Wouldn’t it be great if they’d taken the nice step of finding someplace — anyplace — in climate science where the methods did work first?

        So while you may want me to not have much doubt, as it would make me seem unreasonable, I have plenty of doubt in the science. Moreso of the bad science. Do you?

      • BartR, I don’t limit my doubt to just the “bad” science. There is a truism, “If your experiment needs statistics, design a better experiment.” That doesn’t mean statistics are not useful as much as if you have to squint to see the statistical significance, your experiment needs to be better planned.

        The “Zodiac” of Nichola is like the REGEM thing of Steig, unproven and questionable. You doubt Nichola, but accept the Antarctic has been warming since 1950. You doubt Girma’s “projection” based on one data set but accept that ice cores for one region of the Earth accurately represent the entire Earth. You accept a heavily northern hemisphere land weighted surface temperature record and doubt a satellite based temperature record.

        That is a very good paper on the state of the Energy Budget. After reading that , I don’t find Girma’s claims any more outrageous than Trenberth’s :)

      • “but accept the Antarctic has been warming since 1950.”

        Uh what? I don’t recall commenting on the temperature of the South Pole at any point. It doesn’t sound particularly like anything I’d say. Are you sure you’ve got the right Bart?

        And while I do accept that ice cores can be considered evidence of certain things in certain ways, it’s a wild mischaracterization to say I accept tham as accurate representations of the entire Earth. How little you must think of my rational faculties to paint me with such a brush.

        And your comments about, I presume, my approach to BEST (pending review which they have embraced), vs. UAH (which instantly attacks all reviewers on specious grounds), may reflect better my view of the approach of the two to criticism and review, than to their content.

        And again, I do not make much issue of Mr. Orssengo’s claims, but mainly of his methods. His methods are so bad, his claims aren’t really something that can be commented on much.

        Oh, I recommend‘sEnergyFlows.pdf for your linked document. It’s slightly more up-to-date, I think.

        Of course, no one’s going to be much impressed by a two-sigma confidence level literature survey, but that Mr. Orssengo claims a five sigma for his ideas tells us why, a little, his claims are the more outrageous.

    • On cue, Bart misdirects us from the ‘settled CAGW’ meme of the article, to temperature measurements.

      • Greybeard | May 27, 2012 at 3:20 am |

        By quoting the original in context, and reminding of what the facts actually were?

        Yeah. “Misdirects.” Sure.

  21. Curious George

    To question a settled science about the superiority of German race used to be not only irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral, but outright criminal. I hope a Nordic attitude is not making a comeback.

  22. Richard Feynman concluded his The Value of Science with:

    It is our responsibility as scientists, knowing the great progress and great value of a satisfactory philosophy of ignorance, the great progress that is the fruit of freedom of thought, to proclaim the value of this freedom, to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed and discussed, and to demand this freedom as our duty to all coming generations.

    If there is no doubt, there is no science.

    • I agree with Richard Feynmen that doubt is not to be feared. However, I doubt he thought doubt is always good, Obviously, doubt than results in complacency or lack of action can turn out to be damaging.

      • Latimer Alder

        You would prefer action despite legitimate doubt?

        If so, suggest that you make further study of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

        If there is legitimate doubt, then IMO it shows that we do not really understand the system we are studying. And tinkering with a badly understood system can have consequences far worse than we imagine.

        The way to deal with doubt is not to ignore the doubts or simply abuse the doubters, but to work on understanding the system better. Which means doing the science more rigorously and more thoroughly and confronting the doubts head on.

        .A lesson that climatologists have failed even to attend, let alone adhere to .

      • “If there is legitimate doubt, then IMO it shows that we do not really understand the system we are studying. And tinkering with a badly understood system can have consequences far worse than we imagine.”

        You mean tinkering such as elevating CO2 to 600ppm in a matter of centuries?

      • Latimer Alder

        Or dramatically changing economic and technology systems that have evolved over time to bring huge benefits to many people on the planet.

        See for example

        And nobody has convincingly shown that 600 ppm or 1000 ppm (1 part in 1000) would be a real problem, We do not understand the climate system enough even to know if CO2 has any actual influence at all,

        Come back when/if we do.

      • Latimer Alder


        But hey, who cares? Its just an academic argument nowadays anyway. No government that I know of (apart from in Australia – where the life expectancy is very limited) really takes ‘cutting emissions’ seriously any more. When times were good they could all indulge in their fantasies that they were somehow ‘saving the planet’ with their futile gestures about ‘climate change’.

        But recent sharp doses of realpolitik and.economic bad times means that they now need to concentrate on saving their countries and economies for today’s voters and their children…not on worrying about hypothetical dangers to future great great great (xn) grandchildren that they may or may not have.

        ‘Climate change’ and the CO2 bogeyman have fallen right down the list of things that our pollies now worry about. Even in Germany – spiritual and and intellectual home of the European greens – they are concentrating on building new coal-fired (yes coal fired!) power stations to keep the lights on and the factories working.

        So it is to all intents and purposes a busted flush as a spur to political action for at least the next generation. Maybe in the next 20 years there will be a new generation of climatologist who can slowly and rigorously (re) build trust in their field of study. Maybe they will learn from the extraordinarily inept mistakes of their predecessors. Perhaps they will embrace the ideas of the internet..with openness and information access and replication and widespread review. Or perhaps they too will huddle under the shelter of the arcane umbrella of outmoded and irrelevant academic convention..emerging only to speak with all the authority of their own self-proclaimed expertise … and the complete indifference of anybody who matters.

        Climate change was yesterday’s ’cause du jour’. It is dying on its feet. That so many were seduced into positions of (supposed) power and influence on its coattails means that it’ll be a long time a-dying. But it will.

      • andrew adams

        Or dramatically changing economic and technology systems that have evolved over time to bring huge benefits to many people on the planet.

        That’s not tinkering with the climate system, that’s tinkering with our economy. lolwot is right, we are currently conducting a massive experiment with our climate – you have claimed that this is could have “consequences far worse than we imagine”. So why aren’t you concerned?

        We do not understand the climate system enough even to know if CO2 has any actual influence at all,

        So you have come out as a “Skydragon”?

      • Latimer Alder


        We do not KNOW that CO2 has any influence at all on the climate. We’ve never done an experiment that shows that it does. Some people claim to have some pretty weak circumstantial evidence that they suggest can be explained by assuming that it does. But they can’t put any good numbers on how much, nor, after 30 years of trying, can they make reliable predictions of future climate using that evidence.

        So I’d suggest that if there is an influence at all it is proving very hard to track down. And assuming therefore that CO2 acts as the sole control knob for climate is, at best, a vast oversimplification. Which brings me back to my original point that we just do not understand the climate system.

        And whether there is one CO2 molecule for every 2499 others in the atmosphere or one for every 1666 others is increasingly seeming to be pretty irrelevant to the patterns of climate. The GAT has hardly changed in the last 13 years while the CO2 concentration has increased by about 7%. If the warming trend ain’t showed up yet it is being remarkably elusive..or masked by other effects of at least equal magnitude. And if the latter then the ‘sole control knob’ argument goes out of the window. Those who suggest that it is have to resort to increasingly convoluted and desperate means to explain why the GAT is not continuing to rise as it did in the past.

        Since I don’t know what a skydragon is…something to do with back radiation (or not) as the case may be I think. I don’t know whether to plead guilty or not. Would I be awarded a nice badge if I was one…or do I get the usual opprobium and insults?…along with my nice big fat paycheque from the Well-Funded Evil Big Oil Anti-Science Denier Machine? Which for the umpteenth consecutive month must have been misdelivered elsewhere. You’d think that all those slavering plutocrats
        could manage to get my address right once in a while……

        Here it is again guys

        Latimer Alder MSc
        Sceptic Towers
        Realism City

      • andrew adams


        A “Skydragon”, broadly speaking, is someone who disputes the existence of the greenhouse effect. Dr Curry often uses the term and has devoted several posts to the subject, some of which attracted over 1,000 comments, so I’m surprised that you are not familiar with the term being a regular reader of this blog.

        I’m also rather surprised that you think thatnbo experiments have been performed which demonstrate that CO2 has an effect on the climate. I can only suggest you look here

      • @andrew adams

        Re your comment of May 27, 2012 at 5:37 pm:

        I read the Science of Doom article you linked to, but I didn’t see any references to experiments that demonstrate that CO2 has an effect on the climate. The only controlled experiments referenced in the article were those which demonstrated that CO2 was a greenhouse gas. I do not consider that to be the same thing as demonstrating CO2 affects earth’s climate. The dominant GHG in Earth’s atmosphere is water vapor and, until experimentally demonstrated otherwise, there remains the possibility that the H2O GHG effect completely dominates any CO2 GHG effect.

      • Latimer Alder

        @andrew adams

        Will makes my point for me – and very eloquently. That you can do experiments in a lab that show that CO2 is a greenhouse gas seems pretty well established to me. You can also do such experiments and show that water vapour does the same as do methane and nitrous oxide and a whole host of other organics. Looks like I don’t qualify for my Skydragon badge.

        But it’s one heck of a long way from a lab level demonstration that a greenhouse effect exists to the assertion that CO2 (and CO2 alone) is the main driver of the global climate. And AFAIK there have been no experiments done to show this.

        Lots of assumptions that it does, lots of findings ‘consistent with’, lots of theories that CO2 somehow acts as a ‘detonator’ to set off the more powerful effect of water vapour…a ubiquitous gas anyway (so why do you need the CO2 to set it off, guys?). But no actual experiments to show that it is true. No real attempts by our paid academic servants to contemplate any other possibilities. And little beyond scorn and derision on others who do.

        Anybody with any background in complex systems and/or engineering will have experienced many times that what you see ‘on the ground’ isn’t always what the lab experiments have led you to believe. Not because the lab experiments are ‘wrong’. But because they focus on just one small part of a much bigger picture. And in seeing the individual tree, they miss the forest.

        So I stand by my original assertion that there has been no experimental evidence that CO2 has any effect on the climate at all. IMO Arrhenius was probably right (he was a chemist after all and chemists are usually competent and meticulous scientists) and the effect of doubling CO2 is about 1C – which is pretty much noise level stuff. But there are no experiments to show this to be true.

      • andrew adams


        Did you look at the diagram taken from Goody & Yung? It shows measurements of outgoing longwave radiation compared to model predictions and they match pretty much exactly, and there is a big dip at the wavelengths at which CO2 absorbs LW radiation. So this proves that CO2 does have a measurable effect on the amount of LW radiation emitted at the top of the atmosphere. Also, see the diagram from Wisconsin, Ellingson & Wiscombe showing measuements of downwards LW radiation at the earth’s surface, showing a peak at the same wavelengths.
        And not only know at which wavelengths the different greenhouse gases absorb but we can measure the amount which is is absorbed at different wavelengths and therefore estimate the relative contribution made by each GHG. Due to overlaps between the different gases it can’t be done with absolute precision but we can get a pretty good idea. There is another SoD piece in the same series which covers this.

      • andrew adams


        As I mentioned in my reply to willb CO2 in the atmosphere does have the effect that was anticipated based on experiments in the laboratory – the measurements of outgoing longwave radiation demonstrate that.
        WRT your question about the relationship between CO2 and water vapour, the level of water vapour in the atmosphere varies according to temperature so increases or decreases in noncondensable GHGs such as CO2 will drive corresponding increases or decreases in the level of water vapour, see here –

        IIRC Arrhenius initially estimated climate sensitivity to be 5C for a doubling of CO2 and then revised his estimate down to 2C. Obviously his calculations were rather basic and have been superceded by more detailed and up to date research but his figure is still within the range quoted by the IPCC today. The figure of 1C you mention is the “no-feedback” response, ie the influence of CO2 alone without any amplifying feedback mechanisms. This is textbook stuff and is accepted by about every prominent “skeptic” I can think of, even if you will find numerous people in the blogosphere who will dispute it. And 1C isn’t a lot in geological terms but it’s about as much as temperatures have varied during the history of human civilisation, and that’s before any feedbacks take effect.

      • andrew adams,

        If the atmosphere had no GHGs present (imagine H2O, CO2 etc being transparent to the Earth’s surface radiation), what would be the net effect of this?

        The atmosphere couldn’t radiate to space significantly and would be much warmer? The only way for the climate system to lose the energy would be the direct surface radiation to space. The non-radiative fluxes at the surface would decrease. Tricky…

      • Latimer Alder


        The experiment that you cite does exactly what you say it does:

        ‘this proves that CO2 does have a measurable effect on the amount of LW radiation emitted at the top of the atmosphere’.

        Sure. Not a problem. We agreed that there is such a thing as the greenhouse effect a while back.

        But it is still a long long way from showing that CO2 is the sole control knob on the earth’s climate.

        Think of it like an episode of CSI. So far, you’ve identified a suspect and found some reasons to believe that he might be a shifty sort of a cove. Maybe he has unwholesome friends or eats peas off his knife or wears brown shoes with a pinstripe suit.

        But you are still a very very long way way from proving that he – and he alone – was responsible for the horrific mass murder that we saw in the opening. You could be right in your hunch that anybody who wears a Guards tie when he was in the Pay Corps is a total bounder and a swine and therefore is bound to have done it. But you ain’t proved it and you might still be backing the wrong guy.

        I looked again at Arrhenius. My error – he predicted 1.6C. But until somebody can come up with something better than running around and squawking like Chicken Little that we’ve never been so hot before ..or other such vapid fear-mongering, I ain’t gooing to lose a lot of sleep. Suhc a change is predicted to occur very slowly and as a race humanity is extremely good at adapting to temperature changes. That is how our range is from the coldest part of Anatarctica to the hottest part of the Tropics.

        And I’m also reminded of an incident from history. Before the coming of the railways a vanishingly small proportion of humanity had ever travelled – even for a few seconds – at above about 15 mph. And the famed opponent of railways Dr Lardner opined in much the same way as the ‘hotter than ever’ idea that dreadful things would happen if they tried.

        ‘In Bavaria the Royal College of Doctors, having been consulted, declared that railroads, if they were constructed, would cause the greatest deterioration in the health of the public, because such rapid movement would cause brain trouble among travelers, and vertigo among those who looked at moving trains. For this last reason it was recommended that all tracks be enclosed by high board fences raised above the height of the cars and engines.

        Rail travel at high speed is not possible because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia’
        – Dr. Dionysus Lardner (1793-1859), Professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy at University College, London.

        Dr Lardner was proved wrong, despite his academic status.

        Just because (if it is indeed true) we would be moving to a warmer regime than we have been used to, I really cannot believe that the end of humanity will come because the GAT increases from say 287.2K to 288.8K.

        If you have any better reasons to show then please do so.

      • “…..showing that CO2 is the sole control knob on the earth’s climate.” – Latimer.

        I’m sure Lati isn’t throwing up convenient and absurd straw men, and will now demonstrate climate scientists making this claiming……..

      • Edim says this :

        “If the atmosphere had no GHGs present (imagine H2O, CO2 etc being transparent to the Earth’s surface radiation), what would be the net effect of this?

        The atmosphere couldn’t radiate to space significantly and would be much warmer? The only way for the climate system to lose the energy would be the direct surface radiation to space. The non-radiative fluxes at the surface would decrease. Tricky…”

        So Edim not only does not believe that excess atmospheric CO2 has a man-made origin, but he also believes that none of the +33 degree C excess warming is due to the greenhouse gases of CO2 and water vapor.

        That’s why none of the comments on Climate Etc are indexed by the Google search engine (recently nothing is being indexed). You routinely find ridiculous statements like that stated by Edim.

      • Web, nice twisted logic :) The 33C is an assumption based on assumptions. It is not a hard scientific fact. Edim is basically proposing that people consider the assumption involved in the 33C.

        If there were no greenhouse gases what would the surface temperature be? Higher or lower? The 33C assumes that radiant cooling from the surface would greater out perform other thermodynamic properties. In actuality, there would still be conductive transfer of heat from the surface to the atmosphere. Since there is Oxygen in the atmosphere, there would be a tropopause with a stratospheric temperature inversion. Conductive transfer between molecules in the atmosphere is extremely slow but convection is relatively quick. There would be heat transferred to the atmosphere that would slowly diffuse around the globe. Since the rate of cooling is much slower than the rate of warming, the atmosphere would be warmer and approach an isothermal state.

        Like most of the situations in a complex non-linear dynamic system, GHGs produce a cooling effect and a warming effect based on the initial conditions. That would be why Manabe theorizes that the GH radiant effect may be on the order of 70C.

        Of course Edim could have used the k= a e^e/RT panacea and just called it good.

      • Web, what’s your answer? How would the atmosphere cool, without the radiative properties?

      • Latimer Alder


        I’m happy to rephrase it as

        ‘ a control knob with such a major and overriding influence on climate that it really is worth our while concentrating all our ‘climate change’ efforts just on adjusting its setting’

        if it’ll make you happier.

        Because that has been the major thrust of policy for decades. See, for example. Kyoto, The Hilarious Copenhagen Snowstorm Fiasco, the Doozie in Durban, The Cock Up in Cancun and now the talking shop (round 173) in somewhere…………….

        If however you contend that this is not the case, then WTF has everybody been doing for the last 20 years? How have climatologists managed so badly to deceive our politicians that they believed there was some point to all this hoohah ….and wasted all the resources and money on chasing a phantasm?

      • @andrew adams

        Re your comment of May 28, 2012 at 7:31 am:

        I did study the Goody and Yung diagram and found it interesting for what it portrays. However, I think you’ll agree it has nothing to do with a controlled experiment, which in your previous comment is what you are claiming has been conducted. Rather, it shows that IR measurements of Earth have been taken in order to gather evidence to support an hypothesis (the hypothesis being that atmospheric CO2 affects Earth’s climate). This type of measurement does _NOT_ constitute an experiment!

        And I don’t think you are justified in the conclusion you draw, that “this [Goody and Yung diagram] proves that CO2 does have a measurable effect on the amount of LW radiation emitted at the top of the atmosphere”. What the diagram shows to me is that CO2 is in fact acting as a greenhouse gas in Earth’s atmosphere. The diagram is strong evidence that CO2 affects the spectral content of LW radiation emitted at the top of the atmosphere. But it is weak evidence that CO2 has, per your conclusion, a measurable effect on the amount of LW radiation emitted at the top of the atmosphere. In fact, from what I understand of the arguments put forward regarding energy balance, proponents of AGW seem to suggest that GHGs do not at all alter the amount of LW radiation leaving the TOA.

      • Edim, the direct answer to your question about what happens to a non-GHG atmosphere is this. Its temperature is governed by convection from the surface. The surface would be 33 K cooler due to not having the blanketing effect of a GHG atmosphere. Basically everything is 33 K colder including the atmosphere. It gets complicated if you let the atmosphere warm due to solar radiation (absorption by dust, clouds, etc.) because then it would have to stay warm and it could only lose its energy by contact with the surface.

      • Jim, so the atmosphere transparent to the Earth’s surface radiation (but with clouds and dust) would be warmer than the opaque one?

        Even without clouds and dust, the atmosphere would warm by convection from the surface as you say. How would it cool? It can’t cool. You just assumed a GHG blanketing effect, without any reasoning. Reducing GHGE should result in global cooling, but I don’t see how it works. I see warming.

      • Edim, OK forget clouds and dust and say the atmosphere is transparent to IR and solar radiation. Then the surface will be cooler because of no blanketing effect (this is the 255 K equilibrium temperature idea). The atmosphere would be kept warm by convection from the surface, but its lapse rate would mean the warmest layer would be the surface at 255 K.

      • Edim, OK forget clouds and dust and say the atmosphere is transparent to IR and solar radiation. Then the surface will be cooler because of no blanketing effect (this is the 255 K equilibrium temperature idea). The atmosphere would be kept warm by convection from the surface, but its lapse rate would mean the warmest layer would be the surface at 255 K.

        Jim, again you just postulate the GHG blanketing effect, without reasoning or mechanism. How will the surface lose the energy? If it’s much colder without the blanketing (at 255 K), how will it radiate all the absorbed energy to space? Being colder it cannot radiate as much and the atmosphere is dead end in this case.

      • Edim, I thought you had been around here long enough to know where the 255 K comes from. It is the temperature a rotating spherical surface, with an albedo of 0.3, at earth’s distance from the sun can radiate at, on average, to balance incoming solar radiation. With GHGs, this governs the top-of-atmosphere temperature. Without, it is the surface temperature. Do I have to explain this?

      • Jim, I know the story, I’m trying to look at it from another point of view. I have no more questions at this point, thank you.

      • “Jim, I know the story, I’m trying to look at it from another point of view. “

        Whatever his point of view is, it won’t matter as long as Edim can’t articulate these into a cogent mathematical argument that builds up from just the building blocks that JimD suggested.

        “I have no more questions at this point, thank you.”

        Translation: “I will now take my toys and go home”

        Edim tries to act the contrarian but remains a professional time-waster.

      • Latimer Alder (May 27, 2012 4:04 am) asks:

        “You would prefer action despite legitimate doubt?”

        If the not acting is likely to result in something worse than acting, yes. I have done so many times.
        Sometimes, yes.

      • In my last post the “Sometimes, yes.” should be deleted.

      • Latimer Alder

        So how do you assess ‘likely’ and ‘something worse’?

        And all those unintended consequences of your proposed actions?

      • I asses it on whatever seems most likely, based on the information available to me. Sometimes the information is statistical probability, sometimes it’s not.

      • Latimer Alder


        Your decision process is little different from ‘gut feel’. And for really complex problems where the uncertainties are high and the variables are many, that’s probably the best any of us can do.

        FWIW my gut feel after about four years of informally studying ‘climate change’ is that it is most likely a vastly overblown religious scare. It has all the classic symptoms of a crock…dubious (hem hem) practices, hysterical fire-breathing advocates, a closed group of ‘leaders’, assertions of self-appointed authority, denunciaton of apostates and heretics. And a big black book written by themselves that proves to their satisfaction that they are right. So my gut feel is that if these guys tell me the time of day, I need to check it with at least three independent sources before I accept it.

        As to all the Bad Things that they so loudly predict will come to pass if we do not Mend Our Evil Ways, I have yet to see anything convincing that suggests we will not be able to adapt if and when they occur.

        So my gut feel is that the best thing we can do with AGW is keep a small watching brief on it, close down the remaining 98% of the alarmist industry and be prepared to take action at a generational timescale if and when anything significantly unpleasant starts to happen.

        After 30 years of intense trying nobody has found anything yet, so I’m not holding my breath.

      • Latimer, I get climate change information from sources I believe I can trust, such as the National Science Foundation , National Academy of Sciences, and the Congressional Research Service (CRS).

        The subject of doubt or uncertainty about the causes of recent global warming is touched on in a 2011 CRS report titled Climate Change: Conceptual Approaches and Policy Tools (see link at end of post). In discussing the “Research and Wait-and-See” approach, which best describes current U.S. policy, the report questions whether further research can narrow uncertainties and eliminate all doubt about the causes of the warming. To me this suggests further research may not lessen controversy over the causes.

        The report also sees the controversy as over-blown. “In public media, the controversy over causes may appear much greater than the broad scientific agreement that exists: the scientific evidence best supports rising atmospheric concentrations of “greenhouse gases” (GHG) (particularly carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides) and other air pollutants as having contributed to the majority of global average temperature increase since the late 1970s.”

        IMO, much of the public is not interested in the controversy over the causes of climate change and in the possible consequences of anthropogenic climate change centuries into the future. Continued global warming over the coming decades, however, could make more of the public interested in addressing anthropogenic causes. Unfortunately, there is the risk of “too little, too late.”

      • Latimer Alder


        ‘the scientific evidence best supports rising atmospheric concentrations of “greenhouse gases” (GHG) (particularly carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides) and other air pollutants as having contributed to the majority of global average temperature increase since the late 1970s.”

        ‘as having contributed to the majority of’

        That’s a weasel worded statement which allows for the contribution to be anywhere between 0% and 100% . The 100% is useful if you want another grant – the low end if you want a ‘broad scientific agreement’.

        But given that it is an essentially meaningless proposition, are you going to use it to to justify huge economic changes? With consequences that you cannot begin to know? You’d be a brave or foolhardy man if you did

        You also state:

        ‘IMO, much of the public is not interested in the controversy over the causes of climate change and in the possible consequences of anthropogenic climate change centuries into the future. Continued global warming over the coming decades, however, could make more of the public interested in addressing anthropogenic causes.’

        You got a bit of it right. The public is bored witless by talk of climate change. That is why it regularly scores bottom of polls about things people worry about. They’ve had twenty or thirty years of sicentists telling them that today is their last chance to save the whale or the polar bear or the planet or the lesser spotted underwater fruit fly or the coral reefs or whatever the scare of the day is. And every time it doesn’t happen, their faith in climatology and climatologists drops another little notch.

        Some of them got to hear about Climategate and learnt that rather than being objective searchers after truth, climatologits were just as venal and scheming and ambitious and mendacious as anybody else in pursuit of their goals. And at that point they stopped listening at all. Newspapers don’t publish stories about climate change any more because it harms sales.People will not pay good money or waste good reading time on the latest hysterical outpourings from Climatology Central.

        And if you, as a concerned individual, are really still worried about climate change the the most productive thing you could do to advance your cause is to get your fellows to realise that nobody listens any more because nobody trusts them. And to persuade them to start again with some rigorous, whiter than white, opener than open, fully disclosed and debated science. Not just one bunch of public paid academics writing about how wonderful another similar bunch is and sharing the resulting grants between them. A dose of humility might be very welcome as well. But until that happens, and I ain’t holding my breath, the chances of you making any progress with the climate change mantra in the next twenty five years are zero. Little by little the power and influence of the alarmists is being chipped away. You won’t get it back by publishing stupid statements like

        ‘as having contributed to the majority of’….

        Do you really think that we are all illiterate innumerate fools?
        Big mistake if you do.

      • Latimer,
        I was so astounded you think majority means “anywhere between 0% and 100% ” that it was hard for me to take anything else you said seriously. But if you are afraid putting a cost on carbon will wreck our economy, you might want to consider Germany’s experience with taxing carbon, how revenue from the tax has been used, and the fact their economy is much better off than ours.

      • Max_OK,

        A point of view you might want to consider. When dealing with someone of Latimer’s formidable erudition and accomplishments–not arrived at by coasting through life on a rentier “mineral rights” income–trying to score cheap-shot “points” on the basis of an obvious typo only makes you look the ass.

        You know, Max_OK, I kinda get the feeling that immediately after you launch one or another of your smart-mouth comments you rush, all eager-beaver like, to show-off your latest to your new, hive-babe girlfriend hoping she’ll provide you that approval you’re obviously so desperately seeking. You know, that reassurance you crave that you’re a hip kinda guy, after all, even if you are a self-conscious Okie with “Mr. Cool” status-anxiety issues.

        I mean, that is what’s going on isn’t it? I mean, like, you see yourself as the bumpkin from the sticks and you’re dazzled by all the flashy, lefty narcissists, you’ve lately fallen in with, and their so-unlike-Oklahoma “sophistication.” And you do so much want to be one of the “beautiful people”, don’t you, Max_OK?

        You know, Max_OK, you will probably out-grow all the silly-shit you’re going through right now, and, when you do, you’re gonna feel like a complete, used idiot. See, Max_OK, us old-guy “coots” aren’t really so dumb, after all.

      • Max_20,

        Well, it looks like my earlier comment to you, Max_20, has fallen to the moderator’s scythe. Let me try to profit from that last misadventure and attempt a more acceptable replacement comment.

        You know, Max_20, using an obvious typo to score cheap-shot “points” on someone with Latimer’s formidable erudition and real-world accomplishments only serves to make you look the ass. You now, that, don’t you?

        And, since you’ve shared some of your biographical details with me, Max_20, I’ll reciprocate and share one of mine with you. You see, Max_OK, when I was a just a tyke I lived in Oklahoma, myself, for a couple of years–long enough to acquire a pronounced Okie accent. And when I moved to a school, far, far away from Oklahoma, the kids all laughed at my Okie accent. True story.

        And given my recollections of those childhood trials with my Oklahoma accent, such as they were, I can only imagine how I would have handled myself if I had left Oklahoma at a much later stage in my life–as a young man, say. Left Oklahoma, that is, to fall in with a fast-crowd, of flashy, narcissistic, so-unlike-Oklahoma, lefty “sophisticates.” Who knows? I might have even felt so self-conscious about my bumpkin-from-the-sticks origins that I might have acted the fool and rejected the wholesome values I was raised with trying to win the approval of my new-found, shallow, superficial, self-absorbed, but “beautiful” friends. And, if that had been the case, then in my later years, I would have been left looking back on that part of my life and thinking of my young-man self as a complete, used idiot. You know what I mean, Max_20?

        But fortunately, for me, I got all that business all out of the way as a youngster.

      • Latimer Alder


        Thanks. I understood the phrase

        ‘as having contributed to the majority’

        perfectly thanks. But I wonder if you did?

        Let me give an example. A charity I support was appealing for a million quid. I gave fifty – that was all I could afford as my paycheque from Big Oil Well Funded Denier Shill Central Burn The Planet Destroy Humanity has gone astray yet again.

        Did I contribute to their appeal? Yes. Did I contribute *to* the majority of their appeal? Yes. Did I contribute *the* majority…clearly not.
        The phrase does not say…’contributed the majority’, which would bear the interpretation you put on it, but ‘contributed to the majority’. There is an extra word in there which hugely modifies the meaning.

        And you will not persuade me that something written for your Congress..populated by a bunch of lawyers and their close associates….has not had every word pored over and poked and prodded from every conceivable angle. The extra word is there for a reason. It is not an oversight or a misprint. And the reason is to allow a hugely broad interpretation of what it means. Heck, even I wouldn’t strongly disagree that their list of gases has ‘contributed to’. The question is ‘how much’? The 50 quid in a million like my charity contribution or ‘the majority’, which you seem to have been seduced into believing they have said. Please read it again carefully and reconsider your position.

        That’s the thing with climatology and climatologits. Even when they are not outright mendacious, you have to watch very very carefully what they are doing.

      • Latimer Alder


        You also suggest

        ‘you might want to consider Germany’s experience with taxing carbon, how revenue from the tax has been used, and the fact their economy is much better off than ours’

        though a bit of a student of the European energy market, I clearly don’t understand Germany’s experience as well as you do. Because my understanding is that the carbon tax has been EU-wide (via the Emissions Trading mechanism), and has fallen into considerable ill-repute

        see here for example

        I don’t know of any specific German carbon tax, nor of any especial ways in which it has been spent.

        But what I do know about Germany is that their dash to reduce emissions has come to a shuddering halt – partly due to complete incompetence on the pat of their politicians and partly because of the huge resistance to the enormous energy cost increases that are pricing industry out of the country. You can read about all this, for example, here (In German)

        or here (in translation)

        So maybe you can enlighten us on all the good things that you claim have happened in Germany?

      • Max_OK,

        I don’t want to further detract from your and Latimer’s close engagement, except to say that I learned a thing or two from Latimer’s last two comments and even got “straightened out” about what I took to be a “typo”.

        But, then, that’s one of the pleasures of this blog–learning something new and getting “straightened out”. I mean, like, there’s lots of folks on this blog know their stuff–even some of the old “coots.”

        As Michael famously says, “Enjoy”

      • Re Latimer Alder | May 29, 2012 at 2:06 AM

        I’m sorry Latimer, but your interpretation of ‘as having contributed to the majority’ makes the sentence nonsensical, as it implies up to 49.9% of the increase in global warming did not result from anything, man-made or natural.

        Re Latimer Alder | May 29, 2012 at 2:31 am

        Latimer, your links are to reports by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. As an objective source, this organization is hardly better than the Heartland Institute. But anyway, one link is about the ETS, which you may be confusing with carbon taxes levied by individual European countries. These taxes not uniform across countries.

        If you want to learn about Germany’s economy and carbon tax, Goggle “German economy” and “German carbon tax.”

      • Re mike | May 29, 2012 at 3:06 am

        I’m not sure Latimer is an “old coot”. He has youthful tendencies. He is impulsive and doesn’t always do his home work.

      • Latimer Alder


        I’ll take no lessons in doing my homework from you, Sir.

        You state that the links I provided are to ‘reports by the GWPF’.

        Had you bothered to even click on them you would see that one takes you to a story published last week in the Sunday edition of the respected German broadsheet ‘Die Welt’ . (Die Welt am Sonntag) And in my usual helpful way, and not knowing whether your German is quite up to snuff, I provided another link to an English translation of that article by Philip Mueller. I chose this route as I have a busy day and translating broadsheet German is quite taxing for me when I am not totally immersed in the language. No doubt you find the same? But in case of any dispute there are both the original and translation for your study.

        The other link is to a interesting blog entry by

        ‘Thomas A. Hemphill, Associate professor of strategy, innovation, and public policy at the University of Michigan-Flint’s School of Management’, which I found relevant to our discussion.

        But, hey ho, you can’t even be bothered to click on them before accusing me of ‘not doing my homework’.

        Next you suggest that my interpretation of the published sentence makes it nonsensical. It seems to me that you should address that concern to its authors, not to me. Having, yet again, done my homework, I presented my interpretation with a worked example for ease of understanding. Either you have some reason to suppose that I am wrong (in which case, please state it). or ask the authors.

        Finally you suggest that I should Google ‘German carbon tax’, I did. Which of the many thousand articles that are presented would you now suggest that I should most fruitfully study that will reinforce your argument?

      • MAX_OK,

        So, Max ol’ buddy, the we’re-smarty-pants-and-everyone-else-isn’t game seems so easy to win when you and your hive-mates have the game set to the grope-think, just-us-cooties, feeler-weelers free-play, full-six heavy-petting, pupae-bonding mode of play, doesn’t it? But when the game setting is then adjusted so that top-predator vertebrates are allowed into the game, then you greenshirt wanna-bees kinda get handed your collective, rear-most body-segment each and every time. Ever notice that Max_OK?

        I mean, like, Max_OK, suggesting that Latimer doesn’t do his home work–hooo boy!

        Let me switch metaphors and offer you some “ol’ codger” good advice, Max_OK. It is generally a good idea to perform a reconnaissance of the terrain and an evaluation of the opposition before launching your cavalry attack–kinda saves a whole lot of horseflesh wear-and-tear that way. And, also, it usually helps if you check to see that you’ve remembered to strap on your saber before you gallop off to glory. You know what I mean, Max_OK?

      • mike,

        if you have nothing to say, at least indulge us with some brevity.

      • Michael,

        Some while ago, I threw out a little zinger that I’d liked to recyle since it is a perfect reply to your last.

        Michael, you are a de-oxy oxy-moron.

        Brevity enough, Michael?

      • Dearest mike,

        Don’t listen to Michael. Your comments are one of the main reasons why I keep reading. Besides, it might inspire magnus, who sounds too much like an HB Gary agent:

        I hope you forgive me for having shown my exasperation toward Brandon,

        Please keep the dashes flowing,


      • Better mike.

        See you can learn!

        And don’t listen to Willard – he just wants more crazy quotes for his blog.

      • “Besides, it might inspire magnus, who sounds too much like an HB Gary agent:”

        Is magnus another one of Latimer’s sockpuppet identities?

        From the HB Gary leak, it appears they had plans for managing multiple sockpuppet ID’s.

      • I have never even heard of Magnus nor Gary HB

        @web hub telescope

        You ask

        ‘Is magnus another one of Latimer’s amusing and witty identities?’

        No, LA.

        PS It seems very very strange that somebody who lurks behind the moniker of ‘Web Hub Telescope’ should be so obsessed with others’ identities. If, of course, it is actually your real given name, then I understand the root of your fixation and please accept my commiserations :-(.

        Your parents would have done well to have read this article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph

        FYI I understand that (in UK at least) it is a relatively easy legal process to change it something less bizarre. Good luck.

      • Anyone who uses quotes around something I did not say is beneath contempt.
        You simply make stuff up just like other run-of-the-mill climate skeptics.

      • Latimer Alder


        Just a quick note to say how much I admire your good humour, your ready smile and your cheeky wave. Through all the adversities you keep on coming up with the witty quips, the easy one-liners and cement yourself as the life and soul of the party.

        ‘No angry old fart he!’ shout the adoring multitudes. ‘Just a 24 hour full on chucklebunny and japester’.

        And yet you still find time to develop the world’s leading website on something or other, save the planet with your other hand and often advise us mortals on our conduct and morals. Surely a lesser man would wilt under the load, crave anonymity and post under a pseudonym. But no – good old Web Hub Telescope is determined to keep the party alive.

        We know exactly what to expect from WHT’s writings, And we always get 100% of it.

        /sarc (if anybody really needs to be told).

      • Max, whatever, German taxes:

        The German tax system has undergone a comprehensive reform in the year 2001 and later in 2008. This reform is intended, in principle, to ease the actual rate of tax for both individuals and companies.
        Taxation of an individual’s income is progressive. In other words, the higher the income, the higher the rate of tax payable. In 2012 the Germany tax rates for an individual are 14% – 45%.
        Singles pay on income above EUR 250,731 (couples, on income above EUR 501,462) income tax of 45% before 5.5% solidarity tax and 8%-9% church tax.

        Let’s see single pay on income above 250K euros which is about 300K US. How does that differ from US taxes? Hmmm? Kinda like comparing apples to mangos doncha know.

  23. All I can do is challenge science from within science. It is hard to pin the IPCC down because in the end they did not come up with a single scientific principle to justify their cause. Nor did they have a single mathematical model, but rather about 20. So they did a poll of their members which is not a scientific way of completing an investigation, but is more likely to result in a lowest common denominator result. That is the way the UN works!

    A scientific approach can be found in my paper ‘An alternative theory of climate change’ at: .

    • Alexander Biggs,

      The problem with your theory, like so many others, is that there is no accounting for the effects of human aerosol emissions which peaked during the 1940-1970 period during the U.S. and European wartime and post-war industrialization, but fell greatly in the 1970’s after the Clean air act and European action to cut aerosol emissions. They have only recently risen again from the rapid Chinese and other Asian (mainly India) industrialization, (2000-present). A very good fit to the 20th and 21st century temperature data can be made when accounting for the sum of all known forcings and natural variability (solar, volcanic, ocean cycle, human aerosol, and anthropogenic greenhouse gases), but the very best fit is only achievable when human aerosols and their negative impact on temperatures are included.

      • R. Gates

        Trotting out the “aerosol card” to make the observations fit the theory?


        Bring facts (i.e. empirical scientific data), not fabrications.


  24. We can not fully know ourselves let alone the world around us. We can make estimates bases upon the knowledge we have accumulated. The more information we accumulate, the more likely we will have better estimates of ourselves and the world and how the world works. We are, however, dependent upon the filters we choose for the incoming information. These filters we have accumulated over a life time. We are also dependent upon the constructs we have and those we develop in the life’s process. What we can not eliminate is doubt itself. Doubt is an integral part of our personal religion; i.e. faith. Belief in something where information tells us “not true.” Gro Harlem Brundtland is foolish, not just for her religion, but also for her professed science. Her’s and mine religion do not match. Her’s and mine view of science are not alike. I remain skeptical, as she apparently is convinced. Catechism lesson over.

  25. The report was duly rubbished by the experts, just as Anderson’s foot-and-mouth model was two years ago. But politicians continue to admire him, including of course the former Norwegian PM. And where is Gro Harlem Brundtland now? By happy coincidence, she is director-general of the World Health Organissation.


    To help us cast our minds back to 2007, here’s a 2008 presentation on doubt in climate science.

    And here’s the 1988 state of climate science:

    • Great vid,

      All the denizens should be made to watch the whole hour and a half.


        A bit shorter, and helps people remember back to what was happening in the same era. Have fashions really changed that much?

      • Yes, it is no longer fashionable to blame hurricanes on global warming. Fashions do come back and as soon as we have the next bad one it will be back in style.


        Nope. It never went out of fashion. It just was so persecuted by Bill Gray that no one who works inside the field says it out loud. Instead, they just get better technology to measure the heat in the ocean, and underestimate the trend almost half the time.

        Say, might William Gray be why don’t people talk about how the start and end of hurricance season appear now to have shifted by weeks from their former range, with the warming of the oceans?

        And did they just talk about El Nino? Why are hurricane experts talking about El Nino for 2012-2013? Do they know something the Australians don’t?

      • What a powerful person this Gray fellow must be to cower the ranks of climatologists all over the world. Did you listen to the last verse of the song I linked? I said that was written just for Bart when I was listening to it.

      • steven | May 27, 2012 at 8:50 pm |

        Only the subset of climatologists who were in the hurricane field, for the most part, if the stories are to be believed. And yes, he was by all accounts a powerful person in that little fiefdom. Ask anyone who knows about the ‘hurricane wars’ and his role in that period.

        As for a life of illusion, so long as one remembers that there are people out there spreading illusion and confusion, all one need be is properly skeptical to immunize oneself and avoid becoming a carrier.

        You should try it.

      • Bart, I caught my skepticism from the main stream literature not from other skeptics. It leads me to suspect that anyone who has been immunized were injected with belief not skepticism.

      • steven | May 28, 2012 at 6:02 am |

        A weakened or dead virus is used as an innoculant in medicine. Weak or dead belief provokes a like immune response of skepticism.

        But even I know, every human being needs to host countless microbes to be healthy. So with skepticism, it’s got to let some beliefs through — the healthy ones.

        After that the analogy gets pretty lame, because in Science one always has some grain of skepticism about any hypothesis, and knows any theory could be replaced with a better one.

        Part of the job of Science is to skeptically polish that grain little by little to reduce the uncertainty remaining, or magnify the clear truth contained in that tiny bit of doubt; part of the work of Science is to seek actively to replace current theory with new one.

        But here’s the trick. Skeptical as the Scientist always remains, they commit to the appropriate level to accept and act on the best of the current hypotheses, and build a body of knowledge on the most current accepted theories that rise to accepted standards.

        You don’t get to just dismiss experimental data and results that don’t agree with your prior beliefs, your policital values, or your nebulous feelings, and still call yourself a skeptic. That dismissalism is patently irrational, and dressing it up as something reasonable is painting a turd.

        So I’m not sure where ‘main stream’ comes into your thinking. If it’s in the mainstream of Science, it’s already skeptical. If it’s not already amply skeptical, it’s not mainstream Science. Maybe you were reading science journalism, or just journalism?

      • Bart, don’t bore me with ever lengthening comments saying nothing. Keep them short and meaningless.

      • Much better Bart, cute cartoon instead of a long boring comment. So what part of your comment do you believe I had trouble understanding? The part where you were explaining science to me or the part where you were making assumptions about me?

      • The part where you think it’s about you?


    • Note that Wasteland 2 is under production based on Kickstarter crowd-sourced funding. The graphics will be much improved.

  27. Warning–long comment:

    Understanding people like Brundtland and their adherence to a self-contradictory notion of science requires understanding their basic value commitments and ideology. Fulfilling that requirement, unfortunately, will offend the sort of sensibility that found the Heartland billboards inappropriate.

    There is no way to square this circle. (The main evidence adduced that Ted Kaczynski was crazy was that he lived a lifestyle advocated by Al Gore, Kirkpatrick Sale, Bill McKibben, etc. in their preachings. Only crazy people would live in a shack, off the grid, killing squirrels and porcupines for food, and avoiding market purchases as much as possible. See

    A broad coalition of influential people fundamentally abhors the 1) unplanned, 2) dynamic evolution characteristic of our 3) technological, 4) individualist-valued, 5) market-respecting, 6) nature-modifying, and 7) materialistic civilization. Different parts of this coalition have different bones out of these six to pick, and they differ on the degree to which acting against any particular feature is a means or an end, but they all happily gang up to use political and cultural means to fight the “system.” In order to advance their agenda, they also make alliances with private material interests who can gain by rent-seeking within their reform initiatives (e.g. venture capitalists getting subsidized loans and/or demand for their ventures).

    Agrarian reactionaries, such as Wendell Berry and Eugene Genovese, object to 2), 3), 4), 5), and 7), but don’t think we’ve gone far enough on 1). Deep ecology greens, such as E.F. Schumacher and Bill McKibben, dislike all seven aspects, but are especially concerned with 2), 4), 6) and 7). Neo-Malthusians such as John Holdren and Donella Meadows often see themselves as preserving the maximum possible 4) against 2), 6), and 7), even though they may propose restricting personal freedom in various ways. Technocracy lovers (who vary greatly amongst themselves in where they want to steer society), such as Tom Friedman or Donald Berwick, despair mostly over 1) and 5). Classic Marxians disdain 1), 4), and 5) (but actually celebrate 2), 3), and 7)). Rousseauian romantics don’t like 3), 4), and 5). Egalitarians are especially exercised about 4) and 5).

    The overlapping policy agenda of all these tendencies is to substitute a more collective, political-bureaucratic resource-allocation process for the somewhat decentralized, market-oriented process that currently obtains in the developed countries. The general intellectual tide against statism and for free markets (only weakly reflected in policy) that has grown since the late 1970s has been a major problem for the purveyors of this agenda.

    Environmental threats are seen as a powerful motor for sailing against this tide, as even committed liberals (in the European sense) recognize the need for clean air and water, etc. Catastrophic global warming is especially puissant for the agenda opposing 1)-7) because its mitigation appears to require a global network of enforcement that will both collectivize resource allocation and reduce material consumption. There’s something for everyone, which makes CAGW a very valuable opportunity for otherwise-declining ideologies. (It is a sign of the intellectual strength of the pro-market tendency that even the Kyoto accords were cast in the form of a cap-and-trade system, something that was an anathema among most members of the coalition only a few years before. They conceded both because a) it made it easier to rope in financiers and others who planned to profit from trading these credits and because b) control over the number and allocation of credits was judged to be a powerful step in trammeling the market and transferring power to a political/bureaucratic system.)

    Since scientific research is universally recognized as the means by which societies should decide what is environmentally threatening, having scientific warrant for one’s agenda is a trump card in political debate. Hence, doubts about the science behind purported environmental threats are not acceptable to the coalition, even if those doubts are by definition integral to science itself.

    • Thanks for your comment

      • And then there is the plain egregious crap – such as Al gore wanting everyone to live in a cabin eating porcupines.

        But Judith appreciates it.

        Go Team!

      • At this late date, there is little point trying to pretend that the leading public advocates for reorienting our society on environmental grounds have not made radical proposals.

        *President Obama’s science adviser advocated–in a textbook–that a global authority should control population and dictate to families whether they should be allowed to have children.

        *Al Gore wrote “The struggle to save the global environment is in one way much more difficult than the struggle to vanquish Hitler, for this time the war is with ourselves. We are the enemy, just as we have only ourselves as allies,” and “Adopting a central organizing principle–one agreed to voluntarily–means embarking on an all-out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution, every treaty and alliance, every tactic and strategy, every plan and course of action–to use, in short, every means to halt the destruction of the environment and to preserve and nurture our ecological system. Minor shifts in policy, marginal adjustments in ongoing programs, moderate improvements in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change–these are all forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public’s desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle, and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary.” It gets better if you read the rest of Earth in the Balance.

        *Kirkpatrick Sale’s slogan is “Back to the Pleistocene.”

        *E.F. Schumacher (father of the whole clan ) wanted the world to go back to a sort of medieval village system.

        *Donald Worster, writer of a leading textbook on the history of environmental thought, believes “A stable, enduring rural society in equilibrium with the processes of nature cannot allow much freedom or self-assertiveness to the individual….A farmer acts within a severely constraining network of duties and obligations that allow little personal initiative. That is the best way, people all over the world have understood, to avoid too much risk and preserve the rural community in harmony with the soil.”

        *In a 1989 review of Bill McKibben’s End of Nature, David Graber, Chief Scientist of the Pacific West Region of the National Park Service wrote, “That makes what is happening no less tragic for those of us who value wildness for its own sake, not for what value it confers upon mankind. I, for one, cannot wish upon either my children or the rest of Earth’s biota a tame planet, a human-managed planet, be it monstrous or–however unlikely–benign. McKibben is a biocentrist, and so am I. We are not interested in the utility of a particular species, or free-flowing river, or ecosystem, to mankind. They have intrinsic value, more value–to me–than another human body, or a billion of them.

        Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line–at about a billion years ago, maybe half that–we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth.

        It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil-energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”

        I could go on with greatest hits from Paul Ehrlich, Barry Commoner, James Hansen, Donella Meadows, John Gray, and so on. I am not killing straw men. These are not fringe figures, or oddballs in cabins. They are the intellectual and public leaders of an environmentalist ideology antithetical to the seven features of our civilization I described.
        Trying to deny the extremist core of the green movement is futile–its basic nature has been noted by everybody who’s studied the issue seriously.

      • Shorter srp: Al Gore didn’t say everyone should live in cabins eating porcupines.

        Just more polemics from the ‘skeptics’.

      • Pollution advocates are so creepy.

        GO GREEN !

      • Go Team!

      • correct, Al Gore doesn’t want everyone to live in a cabin eating porcupines. Those who can afford very expensive green technology can do as they please. Also, those who buy carbon indulgences are also exempt.

      • I think it’s pretty clear that Al didn’t think in much detail about food supplies in his post-resource-intensive world. Does porcupine taste like chicken?

        Seriously, though, some of this literature is purchased as what my wife calls “eco-porn,” where people fantasize about how cool it would be to live a simple, self-contained life with the added bonus of saving the planet. (Survivalists have a similar thing, but there the added fillip is looking down on all the unprepared folks.) The readership doesn’t really intend to live that way, or start a revolution to make everybody live that way, but they enjoy playing with the idea and feeling virtuous at the same time. Then when regulatory proposals that fall well short of the fantasy come around, they think, “it doesn’t go as far as we really should, but it’s obviously a reasonable step in the right direction.”

        I kind of hope Gore is being insincere, since the alternative is pretty alarming.

      • Shorter srp: let me continue to misrepresent Gore, or I’ll have nothing much to say.

        Go Team!

      • Have you seen pictures of Al Gore twenty years ago and today?

        He has definitely put on several kilograms (his net worth has also added considerable mass).

        He didn’t get this from living in a cabin and eating porcupines.


    • Curious George

      Doubts have been eliminated. Now eliminate the deeply immoral doubters. A word “endloesung” (German for a Final Solution) comes to mind. It is not a new ideology.

    • Srp


      Thank you.

      Here is something similar Professor Richard S. Lindzen wrote:

      “When an issue like global warming is around for over twenty years, numerous agendas are developed to exploit the issue. The interests of the environmental movement in acquiring more power, influence, and donations are reasonably clear. So too are the interests of bureaucrats for whom control of CO2 is a dream-come-true. After all, CO2 is a product of breathing itself. Politicians can see the possibility of taxation that will be cheerfully accepted because it is necessary for ‘saving’ the earth. Nations have seen how to exploit this issue in order to gain competitive advantages. But, by now, things have gone much further. The case of ENRON (a now bankrupt Texas energy firm) is illustrative in this respect. Before disintegrating in a pyrotechnic display of unscrupulous manipulation, ENRON had been one of the most intense lobbyists for Kyoto. It had hoped to become a trading firm dealing in carbon emission rights. This was no small hope. These rights are likely to amount to over a trillion dollars, and the commissions will run into many billions. Hedge funds are actively examining the possibilities; so was the late Lehman Brothers. Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions. It is probably no accident that Gore, himself, is associated with such activities. The sale of indulgences is already in full swing with organizations selling offsets to one’s carbon footprint while sometimes acknowledging that the offsets are irrelevant. The possibilities for corruption are immense. Archer Daniels Midland (America’s largest agribusiness) has successfully lobbied for ethanol requirements for gasoline, and the resulting demand for ethanol may already be contributing to large increases in corn prices and associated hardship in the developing world (not to mention poorer car performance). And finally, there are the numerous well meaning individuals who have allowed propagandists to convince them that in accepting the alarmist view of anthropogenic climate change, they are displaying intelligence and virtue For them, their psychic welfare is at stake.”

      • “Goldman Sachs has lobbied extensively for the ‘cap and trade’ bill, and is well positioned to make billions”

        Environmentalist Henry “Honk” Paulson
        Former Head of Nature Conservancy

        One thing Paulson makes clear is that it’s in everyone’s interest to promote clean technology and energy efficiency in China, to curb global warming. According to Paulson, if China today was as efficient in its use of energy as the U.S. was in 1970, it would save the equivalent of 16 million barrels of oil a day, or almost 10% of the world’s daily oil consumption.
        All of the world must learn to make do with less, he argues. “There simply are not enough energy resources to allow the world’s entire population, or even the third of it represented by the Chinese, to lead the resource-intensive lifestyle that Americans currently enjoy,” Paulson says.
        Paulson’s an environmentalist – he is the former chair of the Nature Conservancy and the reason why Goldman Sachs, under his watch, became the first investment bank to call for federal regulation of greenhouse gases. But his influence on Bush administration climate policies has been limited, judging by the fact that the president still opposes mandatory regulation of greenhouse gases.

        Re-Energize Iowa: An Opportunity to Lead the Nation in Stewardship of the Earth and Creation
        Jim Hansen, 5 August 2007
        A price on carbon emissions is needed to stretch oil and gas supplies as we develop technologies needed for the world ‘beyond petroleum’. The carbon price will drive efficiency and low-carbon or no-carbon energy sources. If instead we continue business-as-usual, addicted to more and more fossil fuel use, as oil begins to run out we will be unprepared,

    • Great contribution, thanks.

  28. Stern Report would have being correct; if GLOBAL warming is for real; but is not!!! Therefore, Stern report was a dirty trick. It’s exactly the same as: ”if the moon was supposed to fall on Manhattan; as economist – with his calculator, he can predict precisely the cost of the damages. But the question, before he started using his calculator on taxpayer’s expense, is: ”is the moon going to fall on New York / are the constant big / small climatic changes related to the phony GLOBAL warming”?!?!?!

    More than half of the members in UN are not democratic, one expecting from them openness – is same as expecting honesty / openness from Steven Mosher, Tony Brown and WebHub the fanatic telescope. I had to grow up east of the Iron Curtain = I know how they operate – can predict in advance any of their moves. Their end result is scary. The phony GLOBAL warming interpretation is nothing but the new version of ”Das Kapital” in Green Covers, but all the pages in are still in red. Why am I including Tony Brown? Tony stands for ”Skeptics and against carbon tax” same as East Germany was called Deutsche ”Democratishe” Republic / ”Democratic” Republic of Congo / ”People’s” Republic of North Korea – where people can say something critical only ones. (Tony / Vuk are skunks in a cuddly sat’s skin) Nothing personal, just the truth

    Experiment: guess what the temperature is in your room first; then look at the thermometer = on most occasions, you will be wrong by 1-2-3 degrees.

    Between Antarctic – Christchurch – Hawaii and Easter Island is not a single thermometer monitoring – 30% of the planet’s surface area – Tony & Co know if it was ”warmer or colder than normal there” – not just for this year and last; but on the same area for 300y ago, and for 1000y ago, and for 2000y ago and for 6000y ago…??? I wander why people waste money for thermometers, when we have Tony, Mosher, Vukcevic…?! Just ask them, they have lots and lots of thin air inside their crystal balls for harvesting from… Damages to the kid’s brains in school, trillion of $$$ spent to STOP the climate from changing – compare them, with Bernard Madoff. Better not, because Mr. Madoff can get you legitimately, for defamation.

    Climate didn’t stop changing, for one day in 4 billion years – but they are presenting it as the phony GLOBAL warmings. In couple of years, when most of the secular people realize that: climate keeps changing / but not a hint of any GLOBAL warming – criminologist will have lots of evidences; that they have being skilfully avoiding my proofs; on the expense of humanity. (90% of the people are secular believers / secular Skeptics. The percentage in the blogosphere fundamentalist is different than on the street) Time is against the fundamentalist from both sides of the sandpit

    • Stefan

      How many times are you going to misrepresent me? Did you see my long reply to you in the last thread. Did you read it? Stop writing complete nonsense about other people and actually take time to find out the views of those you quote, denigrate and insult.

      • @@ climatereason | May 27, 2012 at 4:05 am was winging: Did you see my long reply to you in the last thread. Did you read it?

        Yes Tony I did read your reply, and your post. I suggest; for you to read your post also. it’s overflowing with bull manure = which means: YOU ARE SHOOTING YOURSELF AT YOUR FOOT WITH A MACHINE-GUN, INSTEAD OF WITH PISTOL. On other people’s and children’s expanses shame, shame, shame!!

      • Stefan said;

        ‘Why am I including Tony Brown? Tony stands for ”Skeptics and against carbon tax” same as East Germany was called Deutsche ”Democratishe” Republic / ”Democratic” Republic of Congo / ”People’s” Republic of North Korea – where people can say something critical only ones. (Tony / Vuk are skunks in a cuddly sat’s skin) Nothing personal, just the truth.’

        WHAT? I no longer -if I ever did-have the faintest idea what you are talking about.
        your friend

      • climatereason | May 28, 2012 at 2:49 am said: WHAT? I no longer -if I ever did-have the faintest idea what you are talking about. your friend

        G’day Sargent Schulz, ”you know nooooothging”… oh yes you do. Still promoting the original lies; as an original Con; using Sargent Schulz trick, it proofs the lot

    • To prove there is no plot why doesn’t science plot the leaders of the AGW movement over the past fifty years and see if there is an anomaly in the numbers. We know numbers never lie. It would be like looking for the lost heat. How hard would this be? There is plenty of paper trail to see too. David could see the trees from the nodes.

  29. What happens when governments dismiss risks because of scientific uncertainty?

    An interesting argument from seismology applicable to doubt in climate due Type I Error:

    ..And yet look at what a 6.3 earthquake has done to this city. That knowledge was not used, and scientists are responsible for that. They were conscious of the high risk in the area, and yet did not advise the people to take any precaution whatsoever,” he said.

    The problem is in part a scientific one, Mualchin said. The Italian scientists based their analysis on the frequency of earthquakes in the area. This is known as the probabilistic seismic-hazard analysis (PSHA), a method that is state of the art in many countries, but that, in Mualchin’s view, systematically underestimates seismic hazard because it does not consider extreme and rare events.

    “Frequency is not important, what really matters is the largest earthquake we can expect, the strongest one that has happened in the past. Risk prevention should be based on that,” he said. This is the philosophy behind deterministic seismic-hazard analysis, a method that Mualchin says has been mostly abandoned by the scientific community, to the point that younger seismologists do not even learn about it.

    “PSHA is a bad model California has exported elsewhere, and we see the results here in L’Aquila,” he told Nature after the hearing. Mualchin worries that the new building codes approved in Italy after the L’Aquila earthquake show no improvement. “They never consider the worst-case scenario for any particular area, and this can lead to new disasters in the future”.

    • What happens when governments dismiss risks because of scientific uncertainty?

      The take-home lesson here being that governments must simply ignore uncertainty. It must always treat danger as certain, no matter the cost of doing so. Well we can all relax, this is already happening with gusto on the global warming front.

    • Prove the scientists “not advise the people to take any precaution whatsoever.” That looks like a bogus claim.

    • From your article, Bart:

      “Guido Bertolaso, former head of the Department of Civil Protection and De Bernardinis’s direct superior, had not been indicted and was originally expected to appear as a witness. But a few weeks ago a wiretap revealed that he had apparently set up the meeting to convey a reassuring message, regardless of the scientists’ opinion. He also seemed to be the source of the “discharge of energy” statement. He thus found himself under investigation and, at the beginning of the hearing, he was officially notified that he too may soon be formally indicted for manslaughter.”

      So it was solely the government at fault. This is typical. Just like the US government forced banks to make home loans to people who couldn’t afford them, then when the housing market blew up, the government blamed the banks. Politicians always dodge blame for the mess they make. And socialist programs like the home loan one tend to blow up with a greater frequency than lethal earthquakes.

      Here is another article on Italy’s earthquakes.

      “Many “modern” buildings of the city in contrast were build previously of 1984, before modern anti-seismic buildings standards were introduced in Italy.
      However there was and still is a widespread disregard of building standards and the ignorance by people and (in part corrupt) authorities of the seismic hazards. Many concrete elements of the collapsed buildings (like the hospital) “seemed to have been made poorly, possibly with sand“, a common tactic to build fast and cheap by building enterprises controlled by criminal organisations.
      The earthquake of L’Aquila was therefore only in part a natural disaster and the manmade catastrophe was strongly misused by Italian politics and many promises made shortly after the earthquake are still unrealized today.

      Most alarming were the legal repercussions of the earthquake on science. Based on a general lack of understanding of science by the public and authorities various persons were accused (“Scientists on trial: At fault?” Nature September 14, 2011) to have ignored “premonitory signs” of the earthquake – in form of pseudoscientific claims of dubious veracity and “warnings” mostly published by individuals in the internet.”

      • I think these articles illustrate why you lefties’ reliance on government is misplaced. You may believe they will do what YOU want, but they will do what THEY want after you have handed over your power to them.

      • Some seem to forget that the spirit of both the Constitution and the foundations of the Republic based on that Constitution is a government by the people, for the people, of the people. It is only when that government becomes an end in itself, or the power and authority contained in that government is usurped by individuals or groups that do not represent the collective will or interests of the people. With the majority of the U.S. Senate being millionaires or multi-millionaires, and the campaign process being such that big money is required to become elected, and corporations now being defined as “people”, one can see the roots of the corruption of the spirit of our Consitution quite clearly.

      • Rob Starkey

        By the people, for the people, of the people, also implies that with individual rights there also come individual responsibility for a person’s actions. This means that people must bear the responsibility for their own failures and not overly rely upon government to take care of them.

        This is not the thinking of many Americans today who seem to believe that government owes them a minimum standard of living. This concept is a very recent belief and one that is a fundamental concern economically.

      • Rob,

        Undoubtedly true that there is a element of an entitlement mentality that exists when a government extends its services to become the caretaker of those who are unwilling to take care of themselves. Certainly the distinction must be made in any enlightened society between those who either for a short period, or for a long-term period are unable to take care of themselves, but these, one would think, and hope, would be a minority, and would tend to have some kind of severe short term hardship, or a physical or mental disability.

        But in the best of worlds the primary function of government is not as a caretaker of course, but simply an extension of the collective will of individuals who wish to create and maintain a society in which individuals are afforded the opportunity to achieve their maximum potentials. Being a caretaker of otherwise able bodied individuals does not give them the opportunity to achieve their maximum potential, but quite the opposite, diminishes both the individual and reduces the overall resources of the society.

      • “Just like the US government forced banks to make home loans to people who couldn’t afford them, then when the housing market blew up, the government blamed the banks.”

        And now I guess the government wants the banks to lend again

      • Rob Starkey

        The government did not force the banks to makes loans to people to buy homes. Banks made loans based on the assumption that home price inflation would continue and therefore they could make loans to people with a very marginal means to repay the loans.

      • But what caused the home price inflation in the first place?

      • Rob Starkey

        There was a combination of factors. There was the long term perspective that there was/is a limited amount of property so as the population rose there was the idea that more people were chasing a limited supply of housing. There was/is the idea that real estate is a hard commodity and as such a protection against long term inflation. There was money flowing into the US from foreign countries that was being used to buy properties. There was also pure speculation, where people believed the curve would continue.

      • That might have been the case in the US, but not on my side of the pond.
        Inflation was low here, and the govt encouraged the banks to give out high-risk mortgages in a deliberate attempt to drive up property prices and so make the worth of the UK look so much better on paper.

      • The US government SAYS it wants banks to lend again, but at the same time it is keeping interest rates low. This results in a flat yield curve making it very difficult for the banks to make money on loans. This is why it is difficult to get a loan from a bank right now.

        If the government truly wanted banks to make loans, they would raise interest rates.

        Instead of the spendthrift policies of the current lefty government in the US, we should have instead raised interest rates and slashed government spending. This is what has worked in the past.

        “A devastating US economic collapse

        During World War I, US government spending ballooned, financed by borrowing and by a compliant Federal Reserve. During the war, the Fed was, in the words of New York Federal Reserve Governor Benjamin Strong: “[the Treasury’s] agent and servant”.

        By 1919, the war was over, but inflation had surged to an annual rate of 27%. In response, the Wilson administration slashed spending. By November 1919, the federal budget was balanced, with federal spending down an astonishing – by 2012 standards – 75% from its peak.

        The Fed had only been established in 1913, so the post-war inflation of 1919-20 was the first test of the new system. Under Governor William P Harding, they set about their inflation-busting task with vigour. The various Federal Reserve banks raised interest rates by 244 basis points over the course of eight months, with rates peaking at 7% in June 1920.

        The Fed’s aggressive tightening seems to have yanked the economy to a halt. Output peaked in January 1920 when the Fed raised rates by 1.25% – still the sharpest single rise in the entire history of the system. Employment and output fell slowly at first, then collapsed in the summer after the final rate rise in June 1920. ”

        “This severe deflation, combined with high nominal interest rates, meant that real (adjusted for inflation) interest rates were exceptionally high. This led to widespread bankruptcies – farmers who’d borrowed to expand their output in response to high food prices during the war and the inflation which followed found they could no longer keep up with interest payments, as high real rates combined with falling prices for their output made the debts unbearable.

        Yet the terrible years of 1920-21 aren’t burned into folk memory in the way that the Great Depression is. Why not? The reason that the 1920-21 depression wasn’t ‘Great’, with a capital ‘G’, is that it was short. The economy went from sickening free-fall to rampant roaring ‘20s growth without pausing at the bottom.

        And that sudden recovery is what’s sparked so much interest in 1921 today.”

      • Rob Starkey

        It is not difficult to get a loan if someone has a solid business plan and fundamental financial strength.

        The good news about the low interest rates is that the cost to finance the US debt has been reduced. A very important and little noticed indicator are long term rates on US bonds. Demand it still high for these bonds at under 3% for a 30 year bond. This indicates that major investors are willing to bet that investing in something that will only yield less than a 3% return over 30 years is still a good investment. This would seem to mean that these major investors are viewing the situation from one of two perspectives.

        1. They believe that there is a significant danger of deflation (or depression) in the world.

        2. They believe that it is better to get a safe 3% return from a US bond than it is to take the risk of investing in an alternate product that is feared to lose fundamental value.

        The situation is very interesting because the way the US and other major governments are spending more than they are generating in revenues. It would typically have been thought that long term yields would be quite high because investors would believe that long term inflation was inevitable. Under that senerio, you would expect home prices to be increasing as a protection againest long term inflation. The fact that this is not happening is telling and frankly a bit scary.

      • Sure Rob, that is simply an OUTSTANDING way to handle our printing of money to subsidize our OVERSPENDING. So we keep interest rates low, nuke the economy, so the watermelons can spend money like there is no tomorrow. What a GREAT plan!!

      • The feeling i get – which is more of a suspicion as i don’t understand these things – is that the real economic collapse is yet to come and everything the US and Europe has done so far is delay and stalling.

      • Rob Starkey

        I would like to have focused on the fact that I have been communicating about the concern over deficit spending for over 20 years, but your watermelon comment made that impossible. Can you please explain? I take it to mean something about Obama being Black, and if it was so intended then I find it to have been a stupid prejudiced comment.

      • Rob, Watermelon is a term used to describe today’s greens: green on the outside, red on the inside.

      • I think watermelon a label Monckton made up, it means green on the outside, red (communist) on the inside. It’s meant to mean greens are secret communists. Its use in a climate context doesn’t refer to race in any way and its use isn’t racist.

        Monckton comes from the UK where I don’t think the word has any historical racist connotations so he probably didn’t realize what it could vaguely be mistaken for outside the UK.

      • Rob Starkey

        Thank you for the explanation on watermellon. The depth of my ignorance is great…lol.

        lolwot–regarding the economy getting worse that is my fear and why I have been so disappointed in the current administration in the US economically. As you might have noted I am an independent politically.

        I strongly believe a dire future can be avoided and the solutions seem relatively simple, and unfortunately politically unpopular.

        1. US spending growth must be dramatically cut on many so called entitlement programs. In this area people have unfortunately gained the belief that once they reach a certain age the government will take care of them, and support them at a minimum lifestyle. This expectation now includes near limitless healthcare and becomes unaffordable to society because of how it has been implemented. It is not popular to address this, but it is a fact. The US needs to implement a plan to balance its structural budget within 4 years. It would be acceptable to have a deficit if the deficit spending was solely for construction of long term infrastructure.

        2. Invest in the building of long term infrastructure. Imo this should be for things like new power plants and a significantly more efficient power grid. It should not be invested in promoting specific companies or technologies. The government should issue requests for proposals to industry to design and build things that will have desired attributes and then select the best overall proposed solution. Great effort would be needed to clear delays typically created by government in the approval process.

      • Rob – I’m glad you understand the term “watermelon” now. I’m not sure the origin. As I see it communism, fascism, and socialism are just different flavors of government that all have in common centralized control. Even if some greens are not formally socialist or communistic, their solutions to the global warming problem almost always involves government control and the force at the point of a gun that comes with it.

      • lolwot, I may be wrong but i don’t think it was Monckton who coined the term – I first heard it being used around 15 years ago, and that was long before I heard of Monckton

      • jim2 – my solution to AGW is more nuclear power. No guns necessary.

        However, because I accept the science that says that AGW could be catastrophic if we continue to burn fossil fuels, people call me a watermelon. I vote right wing (Conservative) here in the UK.

      • Rob Starkey

        For worldwide CO2 emissions levels to be impacted to significant amount nuclear plants would have to be constructed in currently undeveloped countries with unstable political leaderships. There is the issue of access to nuclear materials and who has to pay for the added cost of construction. CO2 levels would still continue to rise.

      • Rob – you assume that those with access to nuclear weapons at present are stable governments. It doesn’t take much for that situation to change and I see no reason why the largest and fastest growing populations – India and China – (whose governments already have nuclear weapons) should not build more nuclear power stations.

      • Lord Monckton borrowed the term watermelon from his equal Lord Lawson, who derived it from a form of conspiracy theory about a non-existent parasite philosophy of ‘anti-capitalism’, on the theory that Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan had routed Marxism, which was infested by these imaginary ‘anti-capitalists’, and likened the anti-capitalist symbiote pixies and goblins to rats abandoning a sinking ship, scuttling over to the innocent and naive unicorn-prowed vessel or the rainbow-cult naturalists and latching onto their ankles.

        But how to camouflage their reddish pinko taint (presumably a disease caught while the ‘anti-capitalists’ were pretending to be Marxists)? Why with a coat of green paint.

        Hence ‘watermelon’.

        There is incipient racism in the thinking behind the term, of course, but I have no appetite for wandering that far down the twisty little tunnels of demented conspiracy theory mentality. So I’ll let James Delingpole demonstrate for you, without comment:

        What would be the symptoms of such a switch from Marxist to Greenist, or any similar parasitical flip-flop once the original vessel was sunk? Well, one supposes it would be easy to spot:
        1) Start with what we know of these verminous pests, they’re all Alarmists.

        So we look for alarmism that spans several causes or fields. Let’s take the example of “What is really Endangered, Your Lungs or your Freedom?” Well, that well-known alarmist message, dismissing medical experts and decades of unbiased and confirmed science, infiltrating politics and accompanied by what were later revealed to be cunningly contrived back-channel funding of operatives, made America and the world think there was some connection between the fight against cancer and tyrannical socialim.
        Me, personally, I can be free and cancer-free at the same time; anyone who can’t, if they choose it freely as their own personal business then they’re weak and deserve neither my pity nor my concern. If they are enslaved to it because they’ve been purposely addicted to something that will kill half of all of the people who use it under the guise of alarm, then the assault on freedom is coming from the very people who cloak themselves in the whited sepulchre and drape themselves in the flag of the cause of freedom.
        Imagine if I have no pity for someone dying of cancer by their own free choice how much less warm my thoughts toward the duplicitous low-life alarmist scum who force by deception and intentional marketing calculated to have exactly that effect innocent people to become addicted to something that will cause them to become cancer-ridden while blasphemously hiding behind the highest virtues of the most sacred document on the planet, the US Constitution. I think them traitors and grinning hypocrits.

        2) Our parasites have either a publicly well-known or avowed dedication to some motive, and then when that motive is sunk, jump ships to something with no plausible connection whatsoever. Gee, who do we know like that? Well, there’s Lord Monckton, Lord Lawson, Fred Singer. What? Back up a bit. Two of the people resonsible for coining and disseminating the word ‘watermelon’ as a practice for wolves who change their skins when their old flocks were fleeced to fit in with the new onw.. are wolves who changed their skins when their old flocks were fleeced, on AIDS (Monckton wanted everyone with the disease rounded up and locked up in gulags, you’ll recall. Lawson used to campaign against “Big Labour” in the UK on the alarm call that, get this, the British might become Socialist. Well, that ship sailed a long time ago.)

        3) They latch on to something new with each move. It’s in the nature of a parasite to waste away without a host. In the UK, it’s the GWPF that allows them to sink their probosci into donors tax exempt. In the USA, it’s the Republican Party, or for the ones that have been caught by Republicans who can do math and science, the Tea Party.

        What do they actually have in common? What makes this ticks tick? The answer is in their methods. Fear. They trade in fear, in alarm, because they are afraid. They latch onto bigger things than themselves because they can’t stand on their own. Yellow on the inside, and after all isn’t that all we need know?

        I’m a dyed-in-the-wool Capitalist. I’m further toward the Capitalist extreme than most by far. And yet, science holds no terrors for me. Nor does it for most Capitalists, except those sucked into the alarmist message of the ‘anti-capitalist’ conspiracy theorists.

        When science tells a Capitalist that something must be taken into account to safeguard future profits, the Capitalist integrates that knowledge, makes use of it, looks for opportunities from it, and moves on. When these bloodsuckers hear science may change the behavior of their host, they put out venom to confuse and cripple the host’s natural immune response.

        Don’t look at the people, or the labels, but at the actions and the data.

      • Rob Starkey


        I make no assumptions about any countries currently with nuclear technology other than they are independent nations that will do what they believe is in their own best interest. I do not disagree with the use of modern nuclear power at all. India and China had the capability to build these plants independently. Most other nations would not and would require vast outside support.

      • Another update:

        Who would have predicted that people wouldn’t have taken the warnings of scientists seriously, with so much obvious evidence of the risk?

    • Bart R

      Earthquakes are REAL.

      They occur somewhere in the earthquake prone regions with regular frequency, although the timing of individual earthquakes is not predictable.

      They have been responsible for millions of human deaths and for trillions of dollars of damage over history.

      CAGW is a hypothesis, which is backed by model simulations based on theoretical deliberations but has yet to be supported by empirical scientific evidence, such as actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

      There have been no human deaths or property damage, which can be attributed directly to CAGW.

      Get the difference? It’s about as basic as it can be.


      • manacker | May 27, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

        Faulty parallelism. Earthquakes are real. As are droughts, floods, blizzards, heat waves, monsoons, hurricanes, bad growing seasons, late or early frosts, and a hundred other effects of climate.

        The trial in Italy is based on an incident where some crackpot claimed online he could reliably predict earthquakes based on some really improbable methodology, causing local populations to pressure government bodies for guidance, causing a couple of government officials to pressure seismologists to come up with an answer to the online prognostication, and then when the scientists responded with something that didn’t work out well as a soundbite, the government official replaced what was actually said by the seismologists with utter nonsense that turned out to be wrong.

        Given Italy’s vast problem with corruption in the construction industry and in the government officials responsible for enforcing building codes, it’s hardly surprising the result was widespread death and destruction.

        Hey. Wow. Look at all the parallels between Italy in an earthquake and Louisiana in a hurricane, and Texas in a drought, and on and on.

        Extreme weather events are no less real than earthquakes.

        The theory behind our understanding of earthquakes attracts just as many crackpots as the theory behind climate. I wouldn’t be surprised if Scafetta had a theory of seismology based ont he Zodiac, too, for example. Is the scientific uncertainty about our understanding in either field more or less real?

        Apparently, to you, there’s absolutely no doubt about climate. You’re absolutely sure it’s any theory that doesn’t involve GHE.

  30. ferd berple

    The truth about globull warming and record temperatures:

    Indianapolis 500 records
    Highest Race Temperatures
    Races with air temperatures equaling or surpassing 90°F (32°C)
    Year Degrees Race Winner Notes
    °F °C
    1937 92° 33° United States Wilbur Shaw
    1919 91° 33° United States Howdy Wilcox
    1953 91° 33° United States Bill Vukovich
    With anecdotal, “unofficial” testimony placing air temperature at the track during the race near or surpassing 100°F / 38°C, potentially the hottest race in history, with at least one fatality, United States Carl Scarborough, due to heat exhaustion
    1977 90° 32° United States A.J. Foyt
    1978 90° 32° United States Al Unser
    Note 96°F / 35°C, claimed for the start of the 2010 race, but subsequent data reviews indicate an inaccurate reporting

    Coldest Temperature at Start of Race:
    51°F / 11°C, 1992
    ^ National Weather Service archives for Indianapolis, up to 26 May 2012.

  31. “We have seen how even the Norwegian Prime Minister could not avoid quasi-religious concepts such as ‘belonging’ and ‘guidance’ when trying to describe life philosophies. As long as this submissive flavor prevails, secular life philosophies will remain too much a Coca Cola Light.”

    Liked. +1. And so on.

  32. Beth Cooper

    Thx srp; for 2 excellent comments.

  33. She quoted the Stern report as evidence? Stern is an economist, and his report was a series of (flawed) economic projections that have nothing to do with science. Better economists have since shot it full of holes, starting with the late, great Ian Castles who pinged him for using fallacious discount rates to magnify the point he was trying to make about impending economic catastrophe if we don’t stop the planet from warming.

    There is plenty of economic catastrophe going around at present, but the only connection with CAGW is the billions that have been wasted and the lost productivity and growth due to ill-conceived ‘save the planet’ policies such as Brundtland et al advocate.

    If you strip the verbiage out of the chapter, it just restates what has been said a thousand times before in less pretentious language about what science is and what it isn’t. As for Brundtland, she is a socialist/green politician and her words are just what you would expect – and they have nothing whatever to do with science.

    • You might say that “green” energy is the Agent Orange of our time. It kills the tender shoots of business as well as the established trees, and its toxin spreads from there to the people, who are forced to live off the government teat, forever dependent upon the upper class: the bureaucrats and politicians.

      • Don’t panic ! I’ll leave all my lights on tonight to boost the economy. Pollution advocates tell me the more fossil fuel I consume, the happier I will be. I kinda doubt that, but if my being wasteful helps others, I guess I’ll just have to try harder.

  34. Paul Dunmore

    The point, it seems to me, is that Gro Harlem Brundtland was speaking as a politiican. Politicians are responsible for getting changes made in society. We often disagree about what changes are needed, whose interests should be protected, and how to achieve the goals but, despite the vitriol heaped on politicians, politics is not inherently a disreputable activity.
    But politicians are not scientists; their job requires them to assess and overcome oposition, and to get the best result they can in the circumstances. Their search is for effectiveness, not for truth.
    Dr Brundtland had clearly decided that it was desirable to advance the agenda of the UN Framework Convention, and the problem facing her in this speech was to find arguments that would best achieve that. She appealed to the authority of science as a way of reducing opposition; whether she believes that is impossible to tell and is irrelevant to her purpose in saying it.
    Appealing to Science has generally been an effective rhetorical tool since the mid-20th century, and will continue to be as long as that appeal is credible. If appealing to scientific authority ever starts audiences laughing, politicians will find other arguments. Contrary to Strand’s claim, using it does not (yet) bring politicians into widespread ridicule.
    A more interesting question might be to ask why we voters are such suckers for this argument, not why politicians use it. Strand seems to want to talk about this, but by going to Kant he stays too far away from talking about actual 21st-century voters and opinion-formers.
    One may object to what Brundtland wants to achieve – I certainly do. But to object to her speech on the grounds that she was not following the practices of science seems to miss the point. She was not following the rules of baseball, either; so what? What she was doing was politics. To oppose her effectively would require political action, not philosophical analysis.


    Confusion in monitoring the GLOBAL temp is same as monitoring the amount of water in 6 creeks in your area; if this year those 6 creeks have 25% more water – to declare that: the WHOLE planet has 25% more water. Would you believe that? If not, why do you believe that they know if the WHOLE planet is warmer, with precision, by 0,135C; that is, to a one thousandth of a degree’’?! Which means: if is warmer where they are monitoring – it’s colder some place where nobody is monitoring. Not necessary by 0,135C; if your creek behind your house has 25% more water this year – doesn’t mean that Amazon river has 25% less water. Same as; if Europe is warmer by 0,75C, Oceania needs to get cooler by only 0,013C, because is much larger area than Europe.

    B]It proves that: in the 70’s wasn’t colder planet, in 90’s wasn’t warmer planet, is not cooling again (missing heat). It means that they have being lying / cherry picking EVERY time!!! The Fake Skeptics are looking for sunspots, galactic dust and other crap; to create backdoor exit for the extreme Warmist. Fundamentalist Skeptics are doing the Warmist dirty job = Hansen, Mann, Al Gore must be saving themselves millions, on toilet paper; because the Fakes don’t want to admit that: they have being duped by prof. Plimer, Tony Brown and Lord Monkton; and by the education

    Fear from the truth is experienced, only by liars. If your lie is exposed, should you hate me, and try to silence the truth? The cat is out of the bag – the sooner you acknowledge the truth = the sooner your insomnia will disappear. Fear only the fear, not the truth and reality

    • Stefan

      You put me in the same company as prof primer and lord monckton. I’m deeply flattered That you think I have such influence

      • climatereason | May 27, 2012 at 4:50 pm said: ”Stefan You put me in the same company as prof primer and lord monckton. I’m deeply flattered That you think I have such influence”

        Hi Tony, what are friends for? My grandma used to say: ”deviates are proud of same things that honest people are ashamed off”. For you popularity is the most important – the truth is irrelevant, actually for you, the truth is irritable. Many people in history are popular and remembered for bad things. Tony, time is against your lies – laws of physics are against your lies – logic and common sense is against your and Plimer’s lies. Lies have shallow roots, get exposed to daylight, sooner than you think

      • Correct me if I am wrong, but you argue that the atmosphere can’t get warmer or colder because the oxygen and nitrogen just expands to maintain the same temperature?

      • @@ lolwot | May 27, 2012 at 10:41 pm asked: Correct me if I am wrong, but you argue that the atmosphere can’t get warmer or colder because the oxygen and nitrogen just expands to maintain the same temperature?”

        Yes lolwot; if my two hurdles are not crossed; all the rest in the GLOBAL warming blogosphere is two mountains of destructive crap !!!!

        1] expansion of O+N when warmed – increases the VOLUME of the troposphere = enlarges the cooing space; as doubling the size of your car radiator. Troposphere can double in volume in few seconds, not 100y. Can also shrink, and prevent ice age on the whole planet. Experiment: put two blankets in boiling water – one blanket leave on the lump in the yard – the other spread – monitor which one can cool first. Into the space the troposphere expands, when warmed; is much colder than in your backyard

        2] always the extra heat is created close to the ground (reason dogs suffer more than human from heat / thy are closer to the ground). Anyway, the warmer that air gets -> the faster the vertical winds get. Ask the hang-glider people. Hot air balloon lifts 500kg up; hotter air inside than outside is lifting it up. The flames turn into CO2 + WATER VAPOR INSIDE THE BALLOON. Percentage of those two molecules after 10 minutes is imaginable; but hotter air inside the balloon goes up with 500kg load. CO2 + H3O are NOT a GLOBAL warming gases – go back to my blog

        Unless your mob abolishes the laws of physics; the whole conspiracy about the phony GLOBAL warming is a two mountains of destructive crap!!! The fakes will have to learn the hard way that: same laws of physics were 150y ago, 300y ago, 1000y ago, 6000y ago and 15000y
        ago; during the pick of the ice age SAME AS TODAY!!!

      • “reason dogs suffer more than human from heat / thy are closer to the ground” – stefanthedenier.

        Someone tell me that this is a joke???

      • Michael | May 28, 2012 at 5:55 am said:Someone tell me that this is a joke???

        Michael!! I was referring about heat = it means: in hot areas; if you are in England or north America; you are forgiven for not understanding. Plus with your narrow mind; spoiled for arguing; you cannot understand that: in couple paragraphs is impossible to fit ”all the details”; for adolescents like you to understand. Grown ups don’t need to smallest detail

        sunlight produces the heat on the red clay, bitumen and is the hottest where is closest to the ground, same as; closer to the oven or heater is hotter. I’m in the tropics – short animals suffer a lot; because people presume; that their dog feels what heat he feels on 5feet up. Mick, you will grow up and start understanding better = hopefully then you will make less fool of yourself.. People only learn when first they try to understand what others are saying. Otherwise, you will stay as the little bigot you are now -wasting your life in your cage. Try to broaden your knowledge, lad

      • OMG!, you were serious.

        And dopey me thought it was because they have fur and can’t sweat.

        I guess children must suffer more from the heat too!!

        Nobel Prize for stefan.

      • Stefan

        Do read my earlier reply. I cited material at some length to you that demonstrated what you say about me is patent nonsense.

        You seem to ignore facts so I have come to reluctantly believe that you’re actually a warmist and your intention is to consistently and deliberately misrepresent what I and other sceptics say. By the way, if I wanted to be popular I wouldnt be a sceptic would I?

        Now what about reading what I actually say instead of what you THINK I say, and stop shooting from the hip at people that should be your natural allies IF you are a sceptic.

      • climatereason | May 28, 2012 at 2:13 am

        Tony, I’m your friend – you are your own and my enemy. I just tried to find your blog and tell you important things that are not for public; but your name doesn’t lead to any. What you promote, I did know to the letter, before first i heard your name. Everybody knows what you know, from Plimer. Everybody knows what IPCC promotes also. What I have is original and correct. Warmist castle is built on the lies that Plimer promotes. Without the lies you promote = Warmist castle collapses by itself. It’s my responsibility and obligation to expose the original scam.

        By you saying that I’m Warmist; please do it – it only proves my case that you are obsessed with manipulation and misleading / truth relevant. People know that I stand for: previous ”warmings / ice ages” were ALWAYS localized – GLOBAL warming in 100y is ZERO!

        Because your mob in the past 100y presumed that: one cannot travel into the past = produce interesting stories for the education, F the truth. Leading Warmist were part of that – that’s why they are not worried from your lies. From the original lies (that you promote), they concocted; warming in 100y, for rip-off and to minimize pollution. Your & Plimer’s lies gives oxygen for the Warmist / booby-traps for me.

        2] your approval of my proverb about ”the girl and the cow”, proves that I’m correct, proves my point. You are approving, because you think that is addressed to others (made me lough, when I got it in the mail) If you go to the previous post – you will see that: in my large comment to lolwot; about you, inserted my proverb; he just copied and pasted it where you found it They are clever people, they are doing it for profit – you on the other hand are assisting them – when I must point that you are OVERDOING It; with doing their dirty job – you use ”Sargent Schulz tactic – I know nooothing / I don’t understand what you are talking about” Yes you doo!

        It’s hearth-bracing for me; to use Plimer’s name. But, he had 2y to come up clean – he doesn’t (more than that I can’t say in public on the subject) but, the truth is paramount – I will point the finger at every lie associated with ”the original sinners”

        If you did read the lot, when you went to my blog (you would have remembered my proverb) and realized that I have ALL the real proofs; by using the laws of physics, can travel and know / prove that ”the phony GLOBAL warmings in the past were localized = Warmist don’t have a case for GLOBAL warming in 100y.

        Napoleon said: ”wining officer will be the one, who knows what the opponent HAS AND KNOWS” Instead, you must have read up to some sentence, where doesn’t fit your fairy-tales and run away. It’s in your interest to know the real proofs – then you decide if you are going to use it – or at least you can have real shield and ammunition to use against me. You wouldn’t have telling me about the Greeks in Iceland. If you use real proofs -> you can put a heat on the Warmist – they will start to fear you, instead of using you. That ”heat” would have melted / disintegrated the ”skeletons in your closed” Otherwise, seating on the truth and constipating = it will stink much more, after. Tony, if you read every sentence there, you would have understood how big friend I’m to you. (if one is warned; not to use in public / in court of law, that the universe is spinning around the earth /fairy-tales – is not your enemy) .

        You are standing between me and the Warmist. When I point to you and Vuk that Santa is not for real – as adolescents, both of you are trowing big tantrum, ”that tantrum will not make Santa for real.” The sooner you grow out of it – less foolish you will look. Plus your ”Sargent Schulz tactic” is not comical, doesn’t cover up your sins; only amplifies them. Tony, if you want to go for the real proofs; or continue to shoot yourself by machine-gun in your foot, is your choice. It’s time for the truth, nothing but the truth. I wish I can send you an information / not for public, while I still have some respect for you…. Nevertheless, remember: the truth is the only policy – unless you get read off the rotten part in your apple, the rot will start to stink, to you


    Another one: Greenland and Antarctic are as large as USA. On Greenland, and Antarctic are few thermometers, clustered on a very small area. B] if the weather bureau was reporting the temperature for few places in Florida – as the temperature for the WHOLE of USA, many people wouldn’t believe that is same. In the evening when they report the weather for the whole of USA; remember what Stefan was saying: compare yourself if: when the temperature in Florida goes up by one, or two degrees for next day, does the temperature in all of the states goes up, by EXACTLY that much. Or, some places goes up, some down. Some place by more some by less. Plus, they report the temp ONLY for the cities – in-between those cities, there is much more variation in temps that nobody reports. Therefore: not having data collected on every kilometre on Antarctic / Greenland = is blatant misleading.

    B] Then see on how many places the temperature is monitored in central Pacific for IPCC? Central Pacific is 15 times larger than USA + Europe combined. That is for temperature on the ground. Unwritten rule is: when close to the ground is cooler than normal > upper atmosphere is warmer than normal. Q: upper atmosphere is 90% of the troposphere… occasionally they send a balloon… to monitor on 1m3…?! Satellite takes occasional ‘’TWO DIMENSIONAL’’ infrared photo; in a 50km thick troposphere…?! The ‘’fake Skeptics’’ are Al’s fig leafs. KING Al IS NAKED!!!
    Q: can the Warmist realize that: heat distribution on the earth is 3 dimensional? A: of course they can, but is against their theology. Q: can the fake Skeptics realize the truth? A: only if is a secular Skeptic. ‘’Closed parashoth brains’’ don’t function.

    Leading Skeptics ridiculing the Warmist is same as: when the cow was ridiculing the young girl for flashing herself. Not because the girl had a mini skirt / but because the cow didn’t have a capacity to see that her shame is fully exposed. ”I prove everything I say; beyond any shadow of a doubt”

    • What is Judith incubating in her little petri dish here?

      • @@ Michael | May 27, 2012 at 1:14 am said: What is Judith incubating in her little petri dish here?

        I don’t understand your question. I have respect for the host; because she allows different opinions. On strictly Warmist / Skeptic’s blogs – they don’t allow different opinions; because they are ALL scared that an opposition might have some real proofs. It’s same as used to be east of the Iron Curtain.

        I have proven that Hansen and Plimer are WRONG. Which one of those two is the Emperor, which is the Emperess for you, depends on which side of the sandpit you are. I have respect for Judith – I don’t have respect for Hansen & Plimer. Judith should get a Nobel Price, not Gore. Democracy and freedom of speech are paramount. If you have being reading my comments – you should know what I’m saying. Unless you are a Desperado, trying to muddy the water

      • Yes, I’ve read your comments (from morbid fascination), but have no idea what any of it means.

      • Michael | May 27, 2012 at 3:00 am SAID: Yes, I’ve read your comments (from morbid fascination), but have no idea what any of it means

        Mick, you should read my comments with joy, I have proven that; the whole circus evolved because in the past they misinterpreted localized warmings as GLOBAL – now that is exploited for fearmongering. Localized warmings can and will happen – human can improve for milder climate – can deteriorate climate (more extreme) but possibility of GLOBAL warming is zero, zilch.

        Your ”morbid” must be coming, if you cannot stomach the truth… it will pass, Michael – you will outgrow out of it. I have to read couple of your comments, to see what is bothering you. Can you tell me: if Al Gore or Plimer is your king / idol – so that; the other one is the queen. Maybe I have a medicine for your bitterness. I’m in-between the both extremes. Golden middle / no panic. Sounds as if you cannot be honest to yourself, am i correct? There are many problems ahead; but not the phony GLOBAL warming. I hope it’s simple enough for you? Cheers

      • stefanthedenier | May 27, 2012 at 4:14 am |
        “…I have proven that…”

        ….oh, you’re a crank!

        I see.

      • Michael | May 27, 2012 at 4:44 am said: ….oh, you’re a crank!

        Mick, you must be talking to your mirror.

      • Well, Michael, at your suggestion, I directed my attention to the “petri dish” that is this blog, as you would have it. And what did I find?

        Well, Michael, I found, for the most part, a “petri dish” populated with wholesome, mentally healthy, competent, responsible individuals who are productive members of society. Men and women of good-will, high-intelligence, and prudent judgement. Fine folks with a knowledgeable interest in genuine science (vice agit-prop science) as it relates to climate and a noble, principled opposition to the incessant make-a-buck hustles and make-a-gulag intrigues of the greenshirt, anti-science, CAGW scam industry.

        And I further observed in the “petri dish” a few zany nutsos; a few loose watermelons; a couple of gentlemanly contrarians; an occasional, drive-by, empowered man-hater or two; one or two worthwhile trolls, and then you, Michael.

        So, how to describe you, Michael, as you blob-about there in the “petri dish”? Hmm… How’s this Michael? A wad-like, lefty-tool, booger-phagus, mutant, flocculate life-form, possibly alien in origin, with a gift for really STOOPID, full-bore tedious, hive-brained, utterly moronic, Al Gore-philic, blog comments.

        I dunno, Michael, but I think I got you pretty well pegged there with my last–don’t you think?

      • Yes, you and stefan would have much in common.


      • Michael, just out of curiosity, what makes you tick? I mean, like, here you are on a tear through this blog, as usual, and putting on, as usual, your one-roach imitation of a cucaracha infestation and leaving in your wake your habitual, tiresome, witless, humorless, at-least-people-pay-attention-to-me-when-I’m-being-an-annoying-pest, snippy-little-geek comments that have more in common with an arthropod’s fecal pellets than anything else.

        So where is all this vacuous, vapid weirdness of yours, coming from, Michael? I mean, what drives you guy?

      • Well, you know how people use to have to pay to sneak peek in Bedlam?

        Now it’s free.

      • Ah, Michael, I can see why the Troll-Team limits your duties to inconsequential odd-jobs, hive-bot trolling, and assignments requiring a patsy and plausible deniability for the rest of the team. I mean, you’re such an expendable doofus, Michael.

        I mean, like, consider you last:

        “Well you know how people used to have to pay to sneak peek at Bedlam. Now it’s free.”

        Can you see the problem with that comment, Michael? Can you? I mean, like, Michael, you know, there’s a little more to being a troll worth his salt than simply ripping off verbatim ripostes from an indexed file of pre-fab, hive-approved, limp-dickhead, come-back zingers without stingers. Among other things, a good troll checks for ambiguties in his reply, prior to firing it off, that might turn-around and bite him in his doom-butt. But too late for that, Michael.

        Ah, yes, Michael, the freak-show here is, indeed, free, unlike those in Bedlam of yore. And the freak-show is you, Michael. Enjoy.

      • Brevity is your friend mike.

      • This is a pretty funny comment. I know Dr. Curry wants to spark honest dialog on these issues, but the notion of her tossing out some little bits of subject matter into the agar, and then sitting back in some neutal dispassionate way and seeing what grows from it is rather humorous.

    • “Leading Skeptics ridiculing the Warmist is same as: when the cow was ridiculing the young girl for flashing herself. Not because the girl had a mini skirt / but because the cow didn’t have a capacity to see that her shame is fully exposed. ”I prove everything I say; beyond any shadow of a doubt””


      • lolwot | May 27, 2012 at 8:35 am what said…

        lolwot, you using my comment – is the time coming, for you to start agreeing with me; or is it sarcasm, or are you pirating… my camarad lolwot the buccaneer…? I told you; if you go to my blog – should read all 8-9 post, Also, use your brains for good, instead of evil. If you continue to work for evil; agent 86 will get you! P.s. my comment you quoted above is in my book also – with thousand others. Broaden your knowledge – instead of wasting your life in the the IPCC’s septic tank

      • Jim CripwellD, if you choose not to listen to scientists who have seen a lot more data than you, I don’t think I can guide you. Lindzen , Trenberth, Stieg, Mann, Dessler etc. I would not trust, because he has been wrong before and distorts or ignores data to suit his pet theories, but that’s just my advice.

        Actually, to be wrong they had to have been at least trying. Failures can be more valuable that successes, the trick is recognizing which is which. Lindzen’s Iris theory needs some work, but still has potential.

      • capt. d., so you still have patience with waiting for Lindzen to get something right. Do you think he can just ignore aerosols because he doesn’t understand them? They didn’t fit his idea, so he swept them under the rug. However, a consequence is that he does believe most of the current warming is anthropogenic, right in line with IPCC, so I think some skeptics who think that there is an aerosol cooling effect may be dismayed, if they are keeping up with his contorted logic.

      • Jim D, aerosols are the second least understood element and they impact the least understood element clouds. So yes, I do have a great deal of patience, which a problem this complex deserves.

        Another not well understood element is variation of the average rate of convection. When the ERL changes the rate of convection changes which should change the lapse rate, a negative feedback, but it appears to be improperly considered or the increase in the rate of tropical convection would not have been so surprising. Since there is a wind velocity gradient with altitude there is a dynamic feedback that is not easily modeled that impacts the distribution of heat and rate of the rate of cooling. The impact of wind shear on hurricanes is well known and should have a similar impact on atmospheric cooling globally, but it is not so easily measured. But general warming, what ever the cause, should produce a negative feedback and vice versa. That is kinda Lindzen’s forte.

        While most CAGW advocates squint to see the direct impacts, they seem less curious about the indirect impacts

      • As you imply, the missing or weak tropical hot spot is a negative feedback if it occurs as expected, and therefore seems less negative than expected, which is not a cause for comfort. Other areas like land and the Arctic are warming faster than expected. I am not going to buy the wind shear idea. Do we know what happens to this with climate change? I think not. However there are mid-latitude jet effects and blocking-high changes that seem plausible as the Arctic warms relatively faster.

      • Jim D, I imply nothing, the data implies. The Arctic changes are totally consistent with the Greenland ice core data, the northern hemisphere has larger temperature swings because it has less thermal mass (more land less ocean). Energy from the southern hemisphere and tropical oceans feed into the northern hemisphere because of the orientation of the continents and the thermohaline current. Greater seasonal variation of sea ice just increase the volume of the thermohaline flow which will have a delayed impact on climate. That is a natural ocean oscillation.

        More energy transferred to the atmosphere raises the average radiant layer where greater advection at higher altitude acts as a negative feedback to warming. Less energy transferred to the atmosphere results in a lower radiant layer exposed to less advection which is a warming feedback. Those are all just natural responses that have help maintain relatively limited ranges of temperatures.

        How those natural responses are effected by or effect anthropogenic impacts of land use and atmospheric chemistry change are the issue.

        Land use change is likely responsible for the greater than anticipated northern hemisphere land warming. The Arctic warming should not have been unanticipated nor should the lack of Antarctic warming. The surprises indicate a lack of understanding which is good for advancing the science and bad for defenders of “consensus” science.

        So you don’t have to “buy” wind shear or even concern yourself with the impacts of varying turbulent flow patterns in a pseudo chaotic system because your consensus doesn’t require further thought. Perhaps you and Web should start a brokerage firm together since you both seem to think that current trends guarantee future performance :)

      • capt. d., how does advection act as a negative feedback? I never heard of that one before.

      • Jim D, pretty much the same way higher altitude winds spread out a thunder cloud. If the heat energy is spread over a larger area with more turbulent mixing, the rate of cooling increases both in radiant and in conduction. When water vapor is present, there can be latent loops where the water vapor cycles through solid, liquid and gas phases. This is well documented in the Arctic with the mixed phase clouds which spread the radiant spectrum. When the clouds are spread over a larger area by upper level winds, advection, more heat can be dissipated.

      • OK, this is part of the cloud feedback. If the shear increases the cirrus area, there is less radiation to space leading to a warmer climate (positive feedback by my reckoning). Now, if you could get climate change to reduce the shear, you might be onto something, but like I say, there is no evidence climate change is doing anything significant to the shear.

      • …actually in the shortwave, increasing cirrus has the opposite effect (cooling) and overall cirrus changes are a wash with regard to the energy budget. Low clouds are much more important.

      • Jim D, clouds are not that simple. Their impact depends on condition above and below them. Winter low level clouds have a strong surface warming impact under relatively calm conditions.The higher the winds the lower the warming impact in the long wave. In the shortwave, high cirrus can reflect the reflection from lower level clouds plus absorb outgoing long wave. The optically thin cirrus can absorb OLR and incoming solar. All clouds absorb some incoming solar, so lower level clouds would reduce the impact of solar absorbed by higher level clouds. The differing relative velocities of the cloud layers tend to complicate things :)

        In general though, the higher the average cloud layer the lower the positive feedback with cirrus being problem children. That creates issues with the “rising ERL increases surface temperature.” A higher ERL in the presence of clouds increases the upper level convection rate which exposes the clouds to more advection.

        The theoretical no feedback sensitivity is like a perfect sweet spot where most of the things that don’t remain equal have some small reduction in impact. The advection issue is just another small negative feedback which tends to seriously reduce the potential water vapor amplification of CO2.

      • capt. d., you seem a lot surer than anyone else about the sign of the cloud feedback. There is evidence of a reduction of cloud cover with warmer years, and before you say caused and effect, you can also see that the trends are opposite over years (climate4you Cloud and Climate pages), os if there is a negative feedback, it is taking a long time to do anything.

      • Jim D, Yep, I am pretty confident that warming due to CO2 at the surface will be 0.8 +/- 0.2 for a doubling. If you take the maximum slope of the UAH southern hemisphere oceans it is 0.14 C per decade. That is from the low point after Pinatubo. For the entire series the slope is 0.076 C per decade. After 2000 it is too short to be significant, but just for grins, from 2000 the slope is 0.047 C per decade. ARGO hasn’t been around that long, but it tends to agree with the 0.047 C per decade. The oceans wag the dog and the SH has the most oceans. The forecast on solar nearly guarantees a reduction of 0.1C over the next few decades and could be as much as 0.25 C per decade if it last long enough.

        The majority of the warming has been over land in the northern hemisphere, warm air over land does not warm the oceans. The only area of the oceans that even appeared to be impacted by land based warming was the northwestern pacific which has started cooling.

        See the big blue blob off China? That used to be a big red blob.

        Even HADSST does look like anything over 0.8 C anytime soon in the southern hemisphere starting in 1980.

        The pipeline seems to have started running dry :)

        My favorite though is the southern hemisphere paleo.

        That looks kinda ominous but I added a Wm-2 scale. With a range of about 5 Wm-2 over the last 1100 years we are not out of the background noise except for the little ice age period which, from what I hear, was not the best of times. Note that there have been down turns much like what is projected by solar, Tsonis and Douglas at all the previous peaks. Those proxies are based mainly on tree rings which tend to clip the highs and lows, BTW.

      • “Except for the little ice age period which, from what I hear, was not the best of times.”

        Careful Captain. You are showing your age, or at least the age of your friends. :)

      • Wrong, you can’t establish sensitivity from time series data alone as that is taken in the middle of a transient response.

      • Web, the sensitivity estimate is based on more than the time series. The 1.4 was from the middle of the time series response as an illustration as was the short period from 2000 which I mentioned was too short. My original estimate was based on the totally unproven and controversial modification of the Kimoto equation, a simplistic model using atmospheric R-values with the tropopause as the heat sink, and a cumulative sum of linear regressions for the GISS and Hadcru surface data which gives a worst case of 1.5 C by 2100, pretty close to the 1.6 everyone including Arrhenius is coming up with (I did that just because Tamino said something catty about linear regressions).

        As I told you before, the 5.35*ln(Cf/Ci) is basically an estimate of perfection. It would need to be modified for temperature and pressure and even then it would not consider convective and advective impacts that are both negative. Also the other side of your energy saddle is the latent heat of evaporation. Water vapor, whether as clouds or not absorbs solar which changes the atmospheric/surface solar absorption ratio. With an annual solar variation of +/- 40 WM-2 and only a +/- 0.5 degree annual variation is SST, clouds and water vapor respond rather quickly.

        That is the true Earth solar in blue from SORCE with the AQUA SST

      • iolwot said succinctly;

  37. Chad Wozniak

    Gro Brundtland’s speech is all too reminiscent of Hitler’s harangues at the Munich Ratskeller. Fascism is as fascism speaks, and the same applies to hate speech and hate crime. Those who want to silence skepttices should be charged and tried for conspiring to violate our civil rights.

    The Declaration of Independence said it all: “inalienable rights . . . life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The AGW crowd intends purposefully to deny all of those rights – yes, life as well as liberty and the pursuit of happiness, because what the AGW hatemongers are pushing will result in many deaths attributable to the disrupted economy.

    • You can say that again. The right to pollute is an “inalienable right.” I may just burn a few old tires tomorrow to exercise my rights and help our economy at the same time.

      • You will have to take care of your twins yourself.
        If you don’t want kids, practice birth control or celibacy.

      • If anyone wonders what my post is about, it’s a reply to an offensive post by Wagathon in which he suggests throwing unborn babies on a fire of old burning tires. Wagathon, in an uncharacteristic display of good judgement, removed his disgusting post.

      • More likely it was removed for him – there isn’t a self delete option

      • Thanks. I didn’t know there’s no self delete option.

      • The self-delete option, seldom used apparently because either no one reads the House Rules or no one has any doubt about anything they’ve ever posted, is to send our host an email and request she strike-out one of your past posts.

        It’s by far a superior option, as it doesn’t mess up threading.

      • I have doubts about everything I post, including this.

      • Doubt is uncomfortable, certainty is ridiculous.

      • We now live in a society that considers nothing more threatening than a free man. You can believe it.

      • I seriously doubt that. :)

      • You misquoted me so I presume you also have reserved unto yourself the freedom hide from the facts.

      • Wagathon, if you think I misquoted your post, post it again.

        You might also clarify whether you removed your post, or it was removed for you.

      • …are you nuts?

      • Shhhhh! If he is nuts, he won’t know it!!

      • Thankfully he apparently does not have the law at his disposal or I’d be guilty of something.

      • Wagathon, are you guilty of fearing to repeat the post you deleted?

        Do you have the courage to repeat your deleted post?

      • This is a repeated attempt at a gothcha – not tolerated according to the rules and just not very clever. Time to let it go.

      • Max isn’t really OK, and probably not from Oklahoma, either.

      • Hi Krazy Kim,

        I haven’t talked to you in a long time. Are you still butchering Haiku?
        I was born and raised in Oklahoma, and still have business interests in the State, but no longer live there.
        BTW, it’s that other Max here who is not OK. One reason I use Max_OK is so I won’t be mistaken for him.

      • Mini-Me_not so OK,

        So Mini-Me, you’ve still got “business interests” in Oklahoma? “Business interests”?!! Wow! I mean, like, all that guarded language about your (ahem) “business interests” and all. I mean, like, that kinda makes me think, Mimi-Me, you’re, like, maybe one of those “International Okies of Mystery” that are such a staple of pulp spy-thrillers and Grisham knock-off pot-boilers.

        So, I’m, like wondering, Mini-Me, just what “Great-Game” intrigues are encompassed by your evasively termed “business interests” in the Sooner State?

        On one end of the speculation spectrum, Mini-Me, I’d say we could very well be talking about that vast oil-field business of yours just outside Tulsa, that sits next-door to your 10,000-acre cattle ranch. You know, a couple of down-home hobby amusements there for you to dabble in when you’re between your serious-business, out-of-state “Big Scores”.

        Or, on the other end of the speculation spectrum, Mini-Me, we might just only be really talkin’ ’bout some former college room-mate who still owes you for that last bag of grass you sold him on credit. You know, that kind of “business interests”.

        Gotta say, Mini-Me, it’s little tricky figuring out where your “business interests” lie on my little “roll-your-own” speculative, Mini-Me, “business interests” scale. But given the booger-eater, zits-for-brains character of your comments on this blog, Mini-Me, I’d tend place your vague “business interests” in Oklahoma some where near the “former, college-dorm supplier of home-grown “mary jane” still trying to collect from his dead-beat pals” far end of the spectrum.

      • Oops! Looks like I didn’t get the above comment properly attached to Mini-Me’s original comment. My comment refers to Max_OK’s (Mini-Me’s former moniker) 27 May 12:51, stupid comment.

      • Mike,
        Mineral rights. The scale is relatively small.
        The glut of natural gas hasn’t been helpful.
        Fracking should be outawed in every State except Okla.

      • Max_OK,

        Yr. “Fracking should be outlawed in every State except Okla.”

        Like your humor, Max_OK. Now I think we’re on the same wave-length. Look forward to future chit-chat.

      • Max,
        There are people working very very hard to achieve that ban. They have no intent to allow you to profit from their hard work, by the way.

      • The glut of natural gas hasn’t been helpful.

        That depends on which end of the gas pipeline you’re on. For gas consumers it has been very “helpful”.

        Assume from your message that you must be an OK gas man (note I did NOT say “gas bag”).


      • Max_OK

        I’m definitely NOT from Oklahoma (although I have had business there in the past and find that State to be quite scenic in spots).

        But my “Weltanschauung” (to use a world that’s not too common in Oklahoma) is more “OK” than that of the other, misguided, Max.

        In addition to the well-known “Oklahoma guarantee”, it is rumored that the most nefarious “snake oil salesmen” of old came from that scenic state.

        Max_OK’s confusion is NOT the result of having been brought up in Oklahoma; he has simply fallen victim to the pseudo-scientific bamboozle of the IPCC “snake oil salesmen”.

        I’ll “guarantee” it.


      • Re comments by manacker

        “quite scenic in spots”
        Yes, like Curate’s egg. I guess you wouldn’t call weather scenery, but I miss the spectacular electrical storms

        “snake oil salesmen”
        I don’t think you mean Hadacol. But that was some snake oil that had a devoted following.

        “for gas consumers it has been very helpful”
        Yes, it has. However, I’m a capitalist first, and an altruist second. Besides, low priced gas means faster consumption and faster depletion, and consequently less left for future generations, including my descendants.

      • Max_OK,
        If one is a sincere and committed AGW believer, one should not be trading in or profiting from any sort of fossil fuel interests. Especially if they involve frakking..

      • Max_OK

        (Hadacol commercial).

        Old man in straw sombrero and overalls: “Before ah took Hadacol, ah cudn’t even spit over mah chin.

        Now thet ah take Hadacol ever’ day, ah spit all over mah chin…”

      • Max_OK

        Fretting about “using up” the natural gas resources and, consequently, leaving less for “future generations, including my descendants” is a silly waste of time.

        “Leaving it in the ground” is the dumbest thing we can do. Let’s produce it now and use it, not only as a clean domestic and commercial heating source, but also to drive trucks, buses and even private cars as a low cost, clean alternate to gasoline or diesel from imported crude oil.

        Don’t worry about your descendants. They will be using energy sources you haven’t even dreamed of.


      • YMMV?:o)

      • Which future generation(s) are you going to save it for? Don’t you think your children are not, in turn, going to save it for their children, and their children … so, logical conclusion, it will never get used.
        OTOH, it’s going to be used up sooner or later, whether it be in 1 generation or in 10 generations – after which there will be nothing left for future generations.
        So why not just continue to use it in the meantime, so as not to overburden ourselves financially, while we’re developing alternatives?
        If you don’t think it’s possible to develop viable alternatives, then the future of our descendants looks pretty bleak – so we might as well start planning for some kind of ordered extinction of the human race.

      • “If you don’t think it’s possible to develop viable alternatives, then the future of our descendants looks pretty bleak – so we might as well start planning for some kind of ordered extinction of the human race.”

        What a strange remark. As if the human race cannot do without the current abundance of fossil fuels. We have done so for most of the time. And even if that would mean that out lives turned a tad harder, that is not a marker for extinction. People may die, but keep that *everybody* will die one day. Almost none of us peacefully in our sleep.

      • There’s nothing “gothcha” about me wanting to know why a reply to one of my posts was deleted? I don’t know if the author (Wagathon) deleted it or a moderator deleted it. I would like to know. There is nothing in the rules that says I am not supposed to ask or am not supposed to know.

      • You know perfectly well that it was deleted by Judith.

      • Hold on there Captain! You don’t know what I know or don’t know. If I knew, I wouldn’t have asked.

      • It was explained by Bart in a typically convoluted way – so I suppose you’re excused.

      • I saw a bumper sticker oncet on a big ol’ Buick sedan in sooner land that said: ‘If you don’t have an oil well, get one.’

      • “The growth of knowledge and the growth of civilization are the same only if we interpret knowledge to include all the human adaptations to environment in which past experience has been incorporated. Not all knowledge in this sense is part of our intellect, nor is our intellect the whole of our knowledge. Our habits and skills, our emotional attitudes, our tools, and our institutions – all are in this sense adaptations to past experience which have grown up by selective elimination of less suitable conduct. They are as much an indispensable foundation of successful action as is our conscious knowledge.” ~Friedrich A. Hayek

        Your objection to individual liberty on grounds that you might use your freedom to burn tires is expressing the Left’s fear of a free man.

      • No, it’s expressing my experience with people too self-centered to give a damn about how their behavior effects anyone else.

      • Richard Patton

        Don’t you exercise your right to pollute every time you breathe out CO2? Do you believe that you should not have that right?

      • Richard, I believe the CO2 I exhale is already a part of the carbon cycle.

      • Yes, the pollutin’ scum should be prohibited from exhaling until some sort of CO2 sequestration device can be attached to them. And big earl should pay for it.

  38. Don Aitkin

    Like Johanna, I welcomed srp’s two comments. For me, the science of AGW is by no means settled, and it is the politics of it that is so fascinating. Why do all these influential people dislike what we have done in improving the lot of humanity over the past 250 years?

    I have argued here before that the root causes are the decline of organized religion, the rise of environmentalism to provide a quasi-spiritual alternative, and the failure of material abundance to offer a satisfying way of life.

    As I see it, those who ‘believe’ that ‘we’ have a duty to conserve and preserve the natural environment support measures like the carbon tax and global treaties even if the science proves finally to favor natural variability as the basis for ‘climate change’. Why? Because such measures point in the right direction. We should be doing even more…

    I’m unmoved by environmentalism as a religion, and remain agnostic about that just as I am about the existence of some supernatural Creator. For me good data and good argument should always be the basis of good public policy. But there are a lot of environmentalists about in Western democracies, and they are in every political party, not just the Greens. Politicians have to take notice of them, especially if they are influential!

  39. I suggest you read the comment above – it nicely encapsulates what we think of pissant climate leftists.

  40. Beth Cooper

    +1 Mike. Yer prose is excellent and has a lovely rolling cadence to it,
    as well. Form counts.

    • Considerate thinker

      Beth I doubt that Michael “can” count, but that is just “my” observation.

    • Don Aitkin


      It was your comment, not Johanna’s, about srp’s two posts, that I joined in commending. But I know you won’t mind, either of you – both good birds (and being from Oz, you’ll know that I mean that in most complimentary terms).



  41. OT, but I would like a thread (or some comments) regarding the current state of comparisons between climate change on different planets (Theme: “what do they know of Earth who only Earth know?”).

    A few years back there were reports that other solar system bodies were also warming, leading to sceptic comments such as “where are the SUVs on Mars?”. Mars Orbiter spacecraft and astronomical measurements of atmospheric thickness on outer solar system bodies suggested all bodies in the solar system were heating up, clearly fingering a common non-anthrogenic cause.

    Pro this idea:

    Against this idea:

    Is this idea dead, or still current?

    • Would climate skeptics accept polar mass loss on Earth as proof of global warming on Earth?

      How many surface stations do we have on Mars?

      • Would climate skeptics accept polar mass loss on Earth as proof of global warming on Earth?


        Not “global” warming.

        “Polar” warming, maybe – if Arctic plus Antarctic landed ice mass and sea ice were REALLY shrinking.

        It appears that Arctic sea ice has a shrinking trend since NSIDC measurements started in 1979, while Antarctic sea ice is growing.

        As far as the landed ice caps are concerned, the last long-term study of 24/7 satellite readings covered the period 1992-2003. These studies showed that over this period both Greenland (Johannessen 2005, Zwally 2006) and Antarctica (Wingham 2006) gained mass.


      • “As far as the landed ice caps are concerned, the last long-term study of 24/7 satellite readings covered the period 1992-2003. These studies showed that over this period both Greenland (Johannessen 2005, Zwally 2006) and Antarctica (Wingham 2006) gained mass.”

        Quite a lot of studies you are omitting to mention:

      • @@ lolwot | May 27, 2012 at 9:07 am asked “Would climate skeptics accept polar mass loss on Earth as proof of global warming on Earth?”

        lolwot, average temp on Antarctic is minus -34C – the planet needs to warm up by 34C, before heat STARTS to melt ice there! Other factors melt the ice there, as: salt, geothermal heat. The geothermal heat is melting the ice there, every day and night in the year – needs replenishing (it’s all on my blog, why, what, how and when)

        There is permanent ice 1000miles north of Antarctica, in New Zealand, Patagonia; 1000 miles closer to the equator. If is no ice on some places on the polar caps; is not because of temperature. Permafrost is minus -60C, but no ice. Permafrost is desert in a cold country. Confusing the already confused Fake Skeptics is not any success. Everything you need to know correctly, is on my blog. Stop playing with your own water pistol – you will get blind!

      • What about where the ice meets the ocean?

      • Tlolwot | May 29, 2012 at 8:08 am asked: ”What about where the ice meets the ocean?here are 3 explanations why is no ice on some beaches on Antarctic:

        My explanation: there are strong winds most of the time there – picks salty seawater and is spraying it in the wind direction inland (salt is anti-freeze). Similar as on some tropic’s / subtropics’ beaches and deep inland; only salt tolerant bushes trees and grass would grow. B] both camps are ignoring the geothermal heat released in the air that the ‘’earth’s cooling system’’ has to get read off, not just the heat from the sun. On Antarctic that heat is constantly released on the bottom of the ice – crated lots of lakes / creeks. Most of the water at 2-3-4C ABOVE zero is leaching trough the soil to the beaches – and that temp above zero melts completely the ice, on places close to the beaches. C] geothermal heat travels sideway under the ice; because ice full of air is perfect insulator and is preventing it to go vertical = melts on the end – end of the ice is close to the beaches. If anybody interested, I can suggest a backyard experiment

        FAKE Skeptic’s explanation: sunspots and galactic dust is melting the ice on Antarctic’s beaches! 300y ago, melted ice on Antarctic was up to over there – 1000y ago the psycho’s phony GLOBAL warming melted the Antarctic ice right up to behind that rock… during the LIA, ice on Antarctic was definitely more over there; they have seen/ they know. {the Fake Skeptics are prevented by the concert on the bottom of the septic tank, of sinking any lower. They are safe and comfortable where they are – on the bottom of the septic tank}

        WARMIST explanation: for the first time in 674 000,5 years, some ice on Antarctic beaches ALREADY started melting, look, look; eyes don’t tell lies! 30000 scientist agree that some ice on Antarctic’s beaches is already melted – start to panic; what are you waiting for?! (Urban Sheep has ‘’fear fatigue and confusion’) Warmist need to ‘’calibrate fear’’ = how much people’s knees to shake/ rattle of fear – from 1-10, some similar calibration as the Richter Scale. So that every time when the Swindlers announce a new fear via the politically bias / corrupt media; to be ‘’scientifically precise‘’: the fear is only 3 on the Fear Scale… or is 7,3 on the Fear Scale- panic, panic, boo, BOO!!

        If you, just joined the circus; be our referee

      • …..and dogs are hot ’cause they’re closer to the ground.

        Geothermal cause?

  42. We have orbiting satellites around both planets.

    • we don’t have temperature measuring satellites around mars.

      “global warming on mars” was a conclusion made by global warming skeptics after NASA reported a retreat in southern polar ice on mars over a few years.

      It seems very little evidence is needed to establish a convenient global warming trend on another planet. I didn’t see any skeptics questioning that trend.

      • “It seems very little evidence is needed to establish a convenient global warming trend on another planet”

        That’s because they aren’t sceptics, but credulous not-IPCC dittoheads.

    • No, but you’re apparently trying to use “the retreat of the polar ice caps” as “proof” of global warming on Earth.

      • nope

      • Would climate skeptics accept polar mass loss on Earth as proof of global warming on Earth?

        Ring any bells?

      • You have a reading comprehension problem. That isn’t me using the retreat of polar ice caps as proof of global warming on Earth.

        That’s me asking whether skeptics would accept it as proof of global warming on Earth.

        Because they sure seem to accept polar ice loss on Mars means global warming on mars.

      • sorry, that’ll teach me to read the whole thread before jumping to conclusions :-(

      • it looks like all the comments have got split up and disconnected somehow so i can see why you would miss the original part of the conversation so im sorry for being rude with the snide “reading comprehension” thingy…i wish i had left that out…

      • I must’ve missed that bit as well ;-)

  43. Spartacusisfree

    To falsify a scientific hypothesis, all you have to do is to disprove one of the components: there are 5 serious errors in climate science.

    1. The Earth’s surface does not radiate IR as a black body in a vacuum: Every process-trained engineer sees this error immediately – it’s crass.

    2. There is no ‘back radiation’ capable of thermodynamic work: 2nd Law.

    3. Hansen’s claim of 33 k present GHG warming should really be ~9 K.

    4. Direct thermalisation is an assumption based on an incorrect analysis of Tyndall’s experiment. Replace the brass tube with a Mylar balloon and there’s no IR warming so it’s indirect thermalisation.

    5. There’s a serious mistake in the heat transfer at TOA which even some eminent physicists make; to assume Kirchhoff’s Law of Radiation applies to as non-equilibrium a situation as is possible [the changeover from convection to radiation means emissivity DOWN approaches zero.].

    The net result is to create a Perpetual Motion Machine of the 2nd Kind, increasing heating by 2.4 times, IR by 15.5 times. The biggest mistake appears to be from a literal assumption of Houghton’s treatise which is plain wrong at the lower and upper boundaries. This is because the two-stream approximation is wrong, only net radiative transfer applies.

    Also, it’s quite clear that none of those associated with the modelling have knowledge of the most basic IR physics and statistical thermodynamics which would have stopped at source the direct thermalisation claim. The most likely solution constant IR optical depth regulated by clouds via indirect cloud droplets. The models and the science will have to be reformulated on the basis of proper physics, No forcing, only potential differences and impedances! Start again from scratch!

    • I agree all but the point #2 (no warmists are claiming that it’s capable of thermodynamic work). So, it’s the warmists are denying basic physics. It’s all a projection.

      • Spartacusisfree

        I checked this point with a Met. Office modeller. by asking him/her whether the 333 W/m^2 was assumed to heat the atmosphere. There was no reply from which I assume the answer is yes.

        Look art the Trenberth 2009 cartoon and it specifically claims the back radiation is absorbed by the surface. The reality is that pyrgeometers are pyrometers, not energy meters.

      • Spartacus, I kinda know what you mean, back-radiation is misleading in many ways – it’s just atmospheric radiation. The net effect of atmospheric CO2 is not properly estimated and it doesn’t necessarily reduce the cooling rate of the climate system to space, which is what warmists claim.

        Anyway, theoretically it is possible to warm a system by reducing it’s cooling rate (like closing windows to warm the room), so the 2nd Law doesn’t matter.

      • Spartacusisfree

        Claes Johnson and I are working on the radiation physics Planck didn’t solve. Only net radiation does work defined as being converted into extra kinetic energy. Houghton’s two stream approximation is very misleading because it fails at boundaries.

        I am frankly horrified that the pyrgeometer is considered to measure real energy!

      • Yes. it’s ok, just drop that 2nd Law argument – it’s a strawman. Yes, only the net flux counts and that’s how it’s done in the heat transfer textbooks and taught at universities.

      • Ahhhh, Claes Johnson. How cute a little one he is. Isn’t it interesting to see what a mess he can make with his fingerpaints?

      • Spartacusisfree

        I notice Web etc that you are not trying to overturn my analysis.

        I have no axe to grind except that as a process engineer of great experience I don’t like seeing anther discipline purport heat transfer at the most absurd end of the spectrum and claim omnipotence.

        Houghton made a big mistake when he mixed up equal Planckian and kinetic temperature with black body radiation, or was it just an error which was misconstrued by the modellers?

        They have also failed to understand that the textbook S-B equation always has the fine print, ‘at equilibrium’.

        And from this you completely change the IR physics to get Miskolczi! More later: an exciting time to counter $100 billion of mis-spent money……

      • I have argued with the skydragons before and they really do believe that a photon emitted by the atmosphere cannot be absorbed by a “warmer” surface atom, despite the concept of temperature being only definable as a macroscale property of multiple atoms, and photons and atoms being quantum scale individually. It is a complete disregard for how quantum physics operates between individual particles.

      • The Sky Dragons are an embarrassment to humans.

    • To falsify a scientific hypothesis, all you have to do is to disprove one of the components..

      Uh, no.

      You’ve confused a truism of Logic by a simplification. In Mathematics and pure Reason, your definition is adequate. In Science, as it appears you have neglected to revisit first principles when extending the idea to a new domain, you are simply wrong.

      To falsify a scientific hypothesis, you must validly show the improbability of the hypothesis based on sufficient evidence to confidently establish acceptance/rejection with low enough probability of error in conclusion.

      All of this is, one notes, subjective and relative, hence why Science will always harbor doubt, however small.

      As your argument is essentially one appealing to Pure Logic, one mistake in it is sufficient to reject it.

      So we stop here, at your first mistake.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Bart R –

        Your description of science is technically accurate. However it might be useful to have a falsification requirement for ‘hard’ science and a subjectivity stipulation for ‘soft’ science.

        Consider that according to AAAS, publisher of the journal Science, parapsychology is a scientific discipline! And it is as impervious to falsification as climate alarmism. Interestingly, both fields owe their status as ‘science’ to the efforts of Margret Mead (social scientist) during her tenure as AAAS president. Ironically, she easily succeeded in achieving formal AAAS’ affiliation with parapsychology despite strong opposition by the late John Archibald Wheeler, one of the great 20th century physicists.

      • Huh.

        I’d think parapsychology has sufficient basis for categorization as a scientific discipline: it suffers a similar number of frauds, loons, crazies, skydragon slayers and bamboozlers as Physics, though with parapsychology the number of practitioners is about equal to the number of frauds, loons, crazies, etc. in Physics.

        I’m fairly certain its ratio of quacks exceeds the ratio of quacks in Medicine.. but I’m open to convincing on that point. ;)

        The hard sciences hold no special place above the social sciences for their purity, certainly not today with Dark Energy and Dark Matter, String Theory and Quantum Gravity theories so far outside the realm of verifiability or even of validation as to make them more like ghosts, magic, hexes and invocations than scientifically testable theories .. who am I trying to kid? Yeah, the soft sciences are still worse.

  44. Like an earlier commenter, I have to disagree that Brundtland is actually taking a stance on the philosophy of science. She takes certainty from ‘the science’ not because she has a particular scientific world-view, but because it happens to accord with her political aims. That is, she is just using ‘the consensus’ as a rhetorical tool. This has nothing to do with the nature of uncertainty in science. It is far more similar to the Marxist concept of historical inevitability. It is an assertion meant to end debate.

    • It the science was separate of the politics, that would be so true. When sceince becomes political…

      Andrew Dessler is a climate scientist that used novel methods to determine that clouds are a positive feedback. Science is the place for novel methods, but they have uncertainties. Publicly, Dessler is proud of his methods and defends them with confidence. That confidence has nothing to do with the “confidence” in his method, just his confidence in himself. Eric Steig with the assistance of Micheal Mann used novel methods to fabricate a temperature record for the Antarctic. Fabrication is not a harsh term, it is a correct term. Large section of missing data were “imputed” and the “imputed” data used to “imput” data for large areas of the Antarctic with no coverage at all. Steig had great confidence in his work which he expressed publicly, which turns out to be unfounded because the “confidence” intervals reported in his work were miscalculated. This has nothing to do with a skeptical paper that noted other issues with the method, the original paper itself was flawed and corrected before the peer reviewed skeptical paper. There is of course the “hide the decline” issue and the multiple cases of Trenberth missing heat.

      In typical science, all these issues would have been addressed, science would progress and the public would have taken little notice. However, these flawed papers are used to promote a political agenda. So you cannot separate science from politics when the scientists or their work are used politically.

      So PTTT!

    • MarkB | May 27, 2012 at 11:20 am |

      It sounds like some of us have actually been paying attention, reading, researching and thinking about the real events and people behind the topic.

      Well done MarkB.

      Formally known as the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), the Brundtland Commission’s mission is to unite countries to pursue sustainable development together. The Chairman of the Commission, Gro Harlem Brundtland, was appointed by Javier Perez de Cuellar, former Secretary General of the United Nations, in December 1983. At the time, the UN General Assembly realized that there was a heavy deterioration of the human environment and natural resources. To rally countries to work and pursue sustainable development together, the UN decided to establish the Brundtland Commission. Gro Harlem Brundtland who was the former Prime Minister of Norway and was chosen due to her strong background in the sciences and public health. The Brundtland Commission officially dissolved in December 1987 after releasing the Brundtland Report in October 1987. The organization, Center for Our Common Future, was started up to take the place of the Commission. The Center for Our Common Future was officially started in April 1988.

      The commission was as much about public health as science, about observed deterioration in natural resources as about the human environment.

      Anyone read the Brundland Report?


      Then why have you formed an opinion in ignorance and prejudice, much less spread it online?

      • Of course I have – I might even have to have another look at Silent Spring because people are talking about endocrine disrupters. Rachel Carson was right in the wrong way? Someone tell the WHO.

        ‘One of the most pressing arguments for continued economic growth, is that it is necessary to meet the needs of poor people. Jim MacNeill, the secretary-general to the Brundtland Commission, argues that:
        The most urgent imperative of the next few decades is further rapid growth. A fivefold to tenfold increase in economic activity would be required over the next 50 years in order to meet the needs and aspirations of a burgeoning world population, as well as to begin to reduce mass poverty. If such poverty is not reduced significantly and soon, there really is no way to stop the accelerating decline in the planet’s stocks of basic capital: its forests, soils, species, fisheries, waters and atmosphere. (1989, p. 106)’

        ‘Both the Limits to Growth approach and the Sustainable Development approach have neglected the ethical and political dimensions. The limits to growth advocates of the 1960s and 70s tended to avoid the social implications of aborting economic growth in low-income countries and the issue of which nations were responsible for most resource use. The sustainable development advocates of the present similarly want to avoid the ethical issues by falling back on economic calculus to make decisions as if values can be determined by doing the sums correctly. They also avoid the distributional issues by advocating economic growth for all in the hope that this will solve the problem of equity.

        On top of this the sustainable development approach makes further environmental degradation inevitable. It is apparent there is a need to go beyond these two failed approaches and find a third one which embraces the ethical dimension. This will involve getting beyond the current preoccupation of governments with economic growth as the overriding priority for all nations at all times. Our endeavours need to be focused on new ways of achieving a reasonable level of comfort in all nations, without the environmental damage normally associated with economic development.

        We need to find ways of ensuring the fruits of this development are more evenly distributed within populations. This cannot be done if decision-making is based on the premise that any development that provides a net monetary benefit to a nation should be approved. Even if the calculation of the benefit incorporates measures of environmental damage, environmental amenity is likely to decline and equity issues will still be ignored. We need new forms of social decision-making that integrate the ethical dimension – neither limits to growth nor sustainable development offer the answers.’

        This is from an article by Sharon Beder – by chance one of my environmental science lecturers back in the early 90’s. She is at least honest and coherent.

  45. …what is important and what we ought to do as societies and individuals is realize that the secular, socialist liberal Utopianism of UN-approved climate scientists has zero respect for universal human rights and that is why they consider America the enemy of humanity.

    • Can you give an example of a human right issue that the US and UN fundamentally disagree upon?

      • Yes, liberal fascism is the reason the global warming debate goes on. It’s the only reason.

        AGW has long since ceased being about scientific discovery. It’s all about politics. That’s why we now see global warming playing itself out as a Democrat v. Republican issue.

        Global warming alarmism showcases the self-defeating and anti-American intolerance that is symbolic of the tyranny of the Left. Americans have many rights: some are specifically enumerated and some are acknowledged to have been granted to all of humanity by God, a Judeo/Christian God—i.e., human rights that are personal to free individuals that cannot be diminished by contractual fiat.

        Additionally, Americans have many other rights — penumbral rights emanating from the Constitution – rights that are not specifically enumerated but are nonetheless fundamental to the American experience. These rights are what the Leftist-libs would destroy from within and from without.

        The Leftist-libs would use their democratic freedom to deprive others of theirs: using the democratic process to prevent others from employing their own mental, physical and psychic vitality as their own personal and individual interest shall dictate. The Leftist-libs’ undermining of personal and individual freedom is Liberal Fascism.

      • Wagathon,

        You seriously don’t understand either the terms Liberal or Fascism, do you? No two groups could be more in opposition to each other from the pure roots of their philosophical foundations. I suggest you at least do some cursory review of these terms and their histories before using them in a nonsensical way together. “Liberal Fascists” is an oxymoron, and perhaps with a little true research and education on your part, you can discover why and resist spewing forth your “sharply dull” comments..

      • R. Gates

        “Liberal” in US political jargon means “left-leaning”, “socialist” or what is currently touted as “progressive”.

        “Liberal” in the older European political jargon means an ideology espousing “free market capitalism”.

        “Fascism” has been defined as a “radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology” while “communism” is a “totalitarian ideology structured upon state ownership of the means of production”.

        In theory, “communism” is an international movement, but in its practical manifestation, “communism” is often “nationalistic”

        Neither “fascism” nor “communism” is “liberal” in the European sense – while either one might be in the US sense.


        (Me too).


      • Whether you wish to use labels like “sharply dull” or “darkly illuminating” while commmunism may be to the left of fascism both are far to the left of respect for individual liberty, economic freedom and personal responsibiliy. perhaps you should look more the “pure roots” of your argument and reconsider as to whether it was the national socialism of the workers party or more the result of a wilfully blind German population that 6 million Jews were killed in Europe.

      • Manacker,

        Such distinctions would be lost on Wagathon anyway. In no context could the terms Liberal Fascist really make sense except if one were trying to conflate two selectively negative stereotypes for the purpose of making a political statement, no matter how nonsensical, which is exactly what Wagothon appears to be doing for precisely that ultimate effect– being nonsensical..

      • You’ve got to be amazed when the delusions of the Left force you to notice that their concept of individual liberty is freedom to burn tires.

      • Richard Patton

        A book was recently written called “Liberal Fascism”. In it the author shows that Progressivism and Fascism (Mussolini variety) were basically different names for the same set of ideologies. I think the author makes some pretty cogent points. And the more I see how Progressives are acting these days the more I think his thesis has some merit.

      • So can you give an example of a human right issue that the US and UN fundamentally disagree upon? I asked actually in case you knew of one. I couldn’t think of one.

        “The Leftist-libs would use their democratic freedom to deprive others of theirs: using the democratic process to prevent others from employing their own mental, physical and psychic vitality as their own personal and individual interest shall dictate. The Leftist-libs’ undermining of personal and individual freedom is Liberal Fascism.”

        Again give an example. Without examples I don’t know what you mean. Perhaps you refer to laws undermining people’s freedom to run drug factories, sell and possess drugs? Or perhaps you mean laws undermining people’s freedom to gay marriage? Or perhaps you mean laws undermining people’s freedom to store radioactive material? Are you saying people should be able to do whatever they want?

      • Ok, let’s assume a legislative intent to foster the growth of the automobile by taxing horse feed and using the tax revenues to build asphalt roads. Sound Ok to you? Let’s further assume that taxesthat only effect horse-owners are approved of my the mass of the population who do not own horses by promising a Volt in every garage. But, instead of giving everyone a Volt the money is diverted to pay pensions of government retirees. Still Ok with you

      • Guantanamo Bay?

  46. It is interesting that anyone would take a statement by a parasite such as Bruntland and associate his words as anything other than farce or rent seeking.
    The only possible note of seriousness he offers is that people with his point of view might actually get significant amounts of their policy demands turned into something other than wishful bloviation. The only thing we know with certainty about the IPCC is that it is a corrupt organization that is self-selecting, ignoring critiques of its procedures and work product. The only thing we know about UN bureaucrats like the one quoted here is that they make a very good living off the IPCC work product. Making up bs about weather in a century is a lot more fun than actually doing something to help people today. The social mania of AGW allows lucrative amounts of the former and holds no one accountable for doing the latter.

  47. FUD hates first-hand records of what really happened.

    Obscuritanists hate simple, truthful statements of what people are thinking and why they think it, while going about their work of discovery and understanding in research.

    Alarmists hate youtube when it shows what people actually said, because they then can’t uncover WMDs by misquoting and changing the original.

    I urge any researcher, any scientist, working on anything to begin from the cradle of their researches to record not just the data and the methods, but also by video their thinking, at each stage, and make and keep it all public.

    Then the FUD will die, the obscuritanists dry up and blow away, the alarmists wither to nothing. Fight the anti-scientific impulses of ignorance, dismissalism, and the zealous conspiracy theorists who believe to their core that you are part of a worldwide collusion to cost them their freedom by costing their free-riding donors the opportunity to get something from all of us for nothing.

    Even if you don’t agree with me about their motivations, you know they’re out there. You see them spreading ignorance and FUD all the time. Fight it by keeping your data and methods public from the beginning. And do like Stephen Schneider, and just speak publicly about what you’re doing.

    In ten years time you’ll be glad you did.

  48. Doubt has been eliminated

    And with it, the scientific method. The latter does not exist without the former except that it shall have another name – politics.

  49. There are three standards of legal proof in the US:
    preponderance of evidence; clear and convincing evidence; and reasonable doubt. . . . . .

    Preponderance of the Evidence: the greater weight of evidence, not necessarily established by the greater number of witnesses testifying to a fact but by evidence that has the most convincing force; superior evidentiary weight that, though not sufficient to free the mind wholly from all reasonable doubt, is still sufficient to incline a fair and impartial mind to one side of the issue rather than the other.

    Clear and convincing evidence: Evidence indicating that the thing to be proved is highly probable or probably certain. This is a greater burden than preponderance of the evidence, the standard applied in most civil trials, but less than evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, the normal in criminal trials.

    Reasonable doubt: The doubt that prevents one from being firmly convinced of a defendant’s guilt, or the belief that there is a real possibility that the defendant is not guilty.

    The IPCC reports at a minimum meet the clear and convincing evidence standard. The NIPCC not even close, just a bunch of incoherent pasta thrown against the wall, well it could be this, no it could be that. Oh this rules out that, never mind.

    • I’m having a bit of difficulty even getting it to the preponderance of the evidence stage. How are you measuring the evidence? Stratosphere behaving as modeled? No. Troposphere? No. OHC? No. I suppose you can point to the global temperatures and say they haven’t quite fallen out of the 95%, yet. Let me borrow your blinders. I want to pretend I am as handsome as my mother thought I was.

    • I see no call for raising legal epistemics here. They are mostly medieval, relative to 20th century epistemics.

    • Eli Rabett confuses “outputs of model simulations” (based largely on theoretical deliberations) with “evidence”.

      We are not talking about a court of law here, we are talking about science.

      In science, “evidence” is based on empirical scientific data derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation.

      The IPCC reports do not meet the “clear and convincing evidence standard” as the Rabett claims.


    • Oy vey.

  50. tempterrain

    The question is more whether there reasonable doubt, rather than absolute, has been eliminated on the climate question.
    Doubt works both ways of course. Humanity, on its present course, will cause a doubling of GH gases, from pre-industrial levels, over the course of this century.
    Is that a safe thing to do? Even Judith ( or should that be ‘especially Judith’?) must have doubts about that.

    • Rob Starkey

      Ultimately, the true question is whether specific actions recommended to influence a potential outcome make sense. In 2050 does it matter if CO2 levels are at 445 ppm vs. 460 ppm? Since there are limited resources, how should those resources be invested to help a country?

    • “Doubt works both ways of course. Humanity, on its present course, will cause a doubling of GH gases, from pre-industrial levels, over the course of this century.”

      pre-industrial levels is a vague number of say 260 to 290 ppm, a range of 40 ppm. The measured range increase since the year 1959 has been about 80 ppm.
      If one double pre-industrial levels [260-290] you get 520 to 580 which has a difference 60 ppm.
      Over course of this century is 2013 to 2100 [within 87 years].

      At 1959 there was about 318 ppm.
      If starting point is 260 ppm, there was a gain of 58 ppm of period to 1959.
      260 to 318 is a 20% increase.
      April 2012: 396.18 ppm
      260 to 396 is a 50% increase.
      So from the 260 ppm level to present time we had 1/2 of warming effect from the increase of CO2. One has range numbers this could: 0 C to say
      .8 C? higher numbers such 1 or 2 C seems difficult to argue whereas few even arguing the effect as a much as .8 C.
      Therefore if reach this point of doubling, another .8 C would be be a higher estimate.
      Will reach 520 ppm before the end of the century?
      If simple assume 2 ppm per the 87 years, an addition of 174 ppm, which more than double 80 ppm increase from 1959 to 2012 [more than 50 years]. So get 396.18 + 174 ppm, which 570.18 ppm. And at such rate
      we meet the 520 point by 2075, but not the 580 level before the end of the century.
      I think it’s reasonable that increase could be less than 2 ppm per year, some could say that is unreasonable and that it must be higher than 2 ppm
      per year. But rather than whether it’s 1.8 or 2.8 ppm per year, the more important issue is do have any idea of technology or human activity 50 year into the future. Can we predict 5 years into future in this regard?
      Is the idea of peak oil or coal, wrong? Can say whether at the moment this has already happened.
      A related question is how long can China continue with level air pollution it currently has. Can anyone say whether air quality is getting worst or improving at the present time? And if simply assume it stays about the same, how long will the Chinese suffer this condition?
      With existing technology can anyone predict 5 years into the future.
      Other than sheer incompetence, can anyone explain why any state or federal worker needs to go to an office every work day?
      LEDs for lighting is dropping in price, if not now, in 5 years isn’t compact fluorescence lights going to be obsolete?
      These are some current technologies.
      What about future technologies?
      I suppose you noticed the news regarding SpaceX and the Dragon docking with ISS. Space “experts” were saying a decade ago that would not be possible. Do have a clue what that means?
      We can’t predict now, rather more implausible of trying to know 50 years from now.

      But the worse seems like a 1 C rise next 100 years. Or more serious consequences, a decline of .5 C in next century. But more unlikely, is that within a century time temperatures would remain within some narrow confine of say, .2 C of present temperature or constantly increase at some rate like, .2 C or greater per decade.
      And I shouldn’t have to say this but 1 C increase in a century is not important or bad: no polar bears dying, no flooding cities,
      and no differences in weather [other than it’s constantly changing[. Unless you think that last century or two has had such consequences- unless you misinformed of what has already occurred.

      • “pre-industrial levels is a vague number of say 260 to 290 ppm, a range of 40 ppm”-
        Should be 30 ppm.
        Need more coffee:)

    • tempterrain

      You fret about “doubling of GH gases [principally CO2] from pre-industrial levels, over the course of this century”.

      “Pre-industrial levels” of CO2 (according to ice core data) were 280 ppmv.

      A doubling would put us at 560 ppmv.

      We are now at 392 ppmv and rising.

      So we have already increased the principal GHG, CO2, by 1.4x with no noticeable adverse effects whatsoever that could be attributed to this increase.

      An increase to 560 ppmv would be another increase of 1.4x today’s level.

      As the GH warming relation is logarithmic, this means we should see the same impact from today to the date when we reach 560 ppmv as we have already seen to date, namely no noticeable adverse effect whatsoever that could be attributed to this increase.

      Doesn’t sound too scary to me, tempterrain.


  51. Chad Wozniak

    Max OK –
    No one ever said that the “pursuit of happiness” included engaging in destructive behavior. You’re using a straw man to attack liberty. Do you propose to do away with liberty because someone burned some tires?

    As far as pollution goes, the AGW kleptocrats can be blamed for diverting monies away from cleaning up dirty electric power plants, developing clean fuels, and such. AGW aggravates, not mitigates, pollution.

    • I agree with your statement that “AGW aggravates, not mitigates, pollution.” But I wonder if you know AGW means anthropogenic global warming.

      One person’s pursuit of happiness can make another person unhappy. Playing your music loud, for example, might make you happy but make your neighbor unhappy.

      • “Playing your music loud, for example, might make you happy but make your neighbor unhappy.”

        If it’s good music it could make the neighbors happy.
        They don’t have to be unhappy.

  52. Can anyone come up with a test that would determine if the IPCC AGW theory can be falsified?
    If no such test exists then we are discussing an unprovable belief system .
    If so, the theory does not qualify as being a scientific one.
    Believers in such conjectures are no doubt sincere and their belief system should be respected.
    Trying to explain to them that they are in error is pointless since no test of their theory is accepted by them.

    • Bryan | May 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm |

      State specifically “the IPCC AGW theory” in objective terms.

      I’ll take a whack and what might constitute a falsification of an objective statement, that any reasonable IPCC would accept.

      • Bart R

        State specifically “the IPCC AGW theory” in objective terms.

        The IPCC premise can best be summarized as follows:

        Anthropogenic greenhouse warming (caused principally by CO2) has been the primary cause of late 20th century warming and represents a serious potential threat to humanity and our environment unless actions are undertaken to courtail human GHG emissions.

        This has also been referred to as the “catastrophic AGW” premise (or CAGW).

        Unfortunately, this premise is not directly falsifiable.

        It is also not supported by empirical scientific data derived from actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation, IOW it remains an “uncorroborated hypothesis”.


      • Spelling correction: curtail

    • Rob Starkey

      You can prove that the models that the IPCC used to predict future conditions as a result of it being warmer are of insufficient accuracy to be used to actually forecast the conditions around the world 50 to 100 years from now.

      You can prove that sea level is not rising at the rate the IPCC predicted.

      You can prove that there is more evidence to suggest that the IPCC’s predicted rate of warming associated with additional CO2 is wrong than there is to suggest it is correct.

      You can prove that the overwhelming majority of harms projected by the IPCC are unsupportable speculation and not based on any reasonable science.

      • What is the IPCC prediction for the rate of SLR in 2012?

      • Rob Starkey

        JCH- I agree that the IPCC gave itself a wide error range in the estimate for the initial years. Do you acknowledge that the rate will have to drmatically increase to achieve what the IPCC predicted and that there is no evidence that this is happening

      • Oh but there is evidence, GRACE shows that there is accelerating mass loss from the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps, which currently contribute about 0.2 mm per year to sea level rise (IPCC 2007). Hansen has shown that the doubling rate of this acceleration could be between 5 and 10 years in one of his recent papers.

        Anytime you talk about glaciers you need a Zwally cite.

        An interesting thing to note is that there are enough glaciers that are grounded below sea level to raise sea level by 5 meters, and their response to rising sea levels will be anything but linear and predictable.


        Bob, have anything to support your comment dated after the disputes over isostatic rebound began?

      • .. so if sea level rises by 1 meter, then the percentage of ice not currently under water is large enough, and the melt rate of submerged ice different enough from above-water ice, that there’s a feedback, meaning a 1 meter non-submerged rise equals a 2m-3m or more actual rise, with feedbacks?

        Why does this sound familiar?

      • bob droege


        How would the effect of isostatic rebound affect my post?

        I was referring to the rate at which glacial melt is entering the oceans, not the actual change in the size of the oceans. The fact is the oceans basins are getting larger due to isostatic rebound, which would tend to lower sea levels.

        And your cite still has mass loss from the ice caps in question, right?

      • Bob, the same problems with isostatic rebound that question the sea level rise also question the glacier melt. Grace has to base both of these on the modeling of isostatic rebound being correct. Until such time as we have other more reliable measures of determining what is loss of ice mass and what is movement below the ice the GRACE measurements are highly questionable. I know they are working on the problem. I am unaware they have achieved a solution.

      • ScienceDaily (Mar. 16, 2012
        “The Greenland ice shield had to cope with up to 240 gigatons of mass loss between 2002 and 2011. This corresponds to a sea level rise of about 0.7 mm per year.”

        No mention of how much Antarctic is gaining.
        The loss on Greenland is increasing and maybe it will get to 1 mm per
        year within a decade.

      • “You can prove that …

        You can prove that …

        You can prove that …

        You can prove that …”

        Yet you don’t do any of these things. You simply make assertions. Why? Are you scared to lift a pencil and do real science, instead of posing as a wannabe?

      • Rob Starkey


        Are you scared to even post your name?

        Are the conclusions incorrect- no? The real effort is evaluating what various scientists have done and determining what is likely to happan and what makes sense to do as a result. This seems to be an ability you lack based on your extensive reaserch on the fossil fuel situation and then being wrong

      • “The real effort is evaluating what various scientists have done and determining what is likely to happan and what makes sense to do as a result.”

        Where? Look at the monkey!

        “This seems to be an ability you lack based on your extensive reaserch on the fossil fuel situation and then being wrong”

        I noticed a typo. Change “wrong” to “correct”.

      • WHT

        “You can prove that” doesn’t work either way.

        One can demonstrate that most of Rob Starkey’s points are valid.

        You have not been able to demonstrate (so far) that they are false.


      • So if you can demonstrate that they are valid, why don’t you?
        The answer is that neither of you has the skill.

      • Rob Starkey | May 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

        I can? Hrm. I suppose I could take on your four challenges. I’ll look into them more once someone tells me exactly and in objective terms what this one single IPCC hypothesis is, as it sounds like an interesting puzzle.

        However, at first glance:

        Accuracy of source models is not particularly always a precondition for forecasting. Pretty much all of the models of gravity before Newton predicted the apple would end up on the ground eventually. It’s more a matter of convergency, and the conditions that must be met for it.

        The rate of sea level rise? Please specifically cite the exact prediction you’re referring to. I spent a half hour chasing down a similar statement by manacker the other day, only to find he’d fabricated most of what he said about it, and don’t want to repeat such a fiasco again so soon. I’m sure you understand.

        As to what “You can prove that there is more evidence to suggest that the IPCC’s predicted rate of warming associated with additional CO2 is wrong than there is to suggest it is correct.” I’m pretty sure any idiot could prove so specious and pointless an assertion based on mere volumes of claimed evidences. I get suggestions all the time about improving my tact, but I don’t think much of them, either. I want evidence to understand, not to suggest. Evidence that clarifies, not that obscures. Evidence that is valid and verifiable. Once validated, verified, corroborated and analysed, I’d be delighted to tote up the evidence and assess for myself what case best fits the observations and body of knowledge.

        The majority of harms? I’ll have to wait until I get a chance to read and think about before I can get a start on that question. So hard to keep up with overwhelming majorities.

      • Bart R

        You wrote to Rob Starkey

        I suppose I could take on your four challenges. I’ll look into them more once someone tells me exactly and in objective terms what this one single IPCC hypothesis is, as it sounds like an interesting puzzle

        I have done this in an above post to you (May 28, 2012, 5:51 pm), so I am awaiting your response in defense of the IPCC “CAGW premise” and to Rob Starkey’s four challenges.

        Ball’s in your court, Bart.


      • manacker | May 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm |

        If Bryan backs up your posit, I can work with it.

        What will you do if his version differs from yours?

    • I would tell you how AGW could be falsified, but instead I would prefer skeptics believe that it cannot be falsified and start arguing this. At least then they couldn’t claim, in 1001 different ways, that AGW has been disproven.

      As far as I am concerned it’s a great deal, swapping 1001 bad arguments for just 1 bad argument.

      • lolwot

        IPCC’s “CAGW premise” does not have to be “disproven” by skeptics of this premise.

        Instead it should be validated with empirical scientific evidence by supporters of the premise.

        So far, no one (including IPCC) has been able to do this.

        Would you like to try?


    • Of course–the rational approach the scientific method and the test is the null hypothesis. AGW Theory fails to reject the null hypothesis that all climate change can be explained by natural causes, tra-la. Everything else is dogma.

      • The null hypothesis fails to explain the rise in the ocean heat content, and the general surface warming over the past century, especially over land and the Arctic, and why the stratosphere cooled too. AGW does, so I would put it at about 5-0 for AGW at this point, but we could wait for more evidence.

      • You cannot score anything until you demonstrate that you have a clue as to what the the use of the null hypothesis in the scientific method is all about. It’s function is not to explain anything. Just the reverse: it is used to show that you have not explained anything at all.

      • The null hypothesis says “natural variability’ explains everything. There is no mechanism of natural variability that explains an integrated quantity like ocean heat content increasing as much as it has. The Argo OHC measurements are basically killing the natural variability idea, so most skeptics have moved on from there.

      • Wagathon and Jim D

        The null hypothesis is that natural factors, both known and as yet unknown, have been the principal drivers of our planet’s climate both over the long term history of the Earth as well as most recently.

        To argue “we can only explain what happened recently if we assume…” is an argument from ignorance and hence invalid.

        We do NOT know everything there is to know about our climate and what makes it behave as it does; to claim otherwise is both ignorant and arrogant.


      • Not an argument from ignorance. It was an occurrence predictable since the days of Arrhenius, and therefore very much expected. Why is a correct prediction called ignorance? I would say it is science working as it should. It predicted something from scientific principles, and that happened.

      • Jim D

        You have apparently missed the point.

        It is all about UNCERTAINTY.

        Inasmuch as we do not know everything there is to know about what makes our climate behave as it does, there is great UNCERTAINTY regarding attributing climate changes to the few drivers, which we think we do know.

        Therefore, concluding “we can only explain the observed changes since 1950 if we assume they have been caused principally by AGW” is an “argument from ignorance” rather than an “argument from evidence”.

        We have a nice (but poorly quantified) hypothesis regarding the impact of GHGs on our climate (as you have pointed out), but we do not have empirical scientific data to tell us what the magnitude of this impact might be. Nor do we have knowledge of the impact of all the many natural factors on our climate.

        As a result, we DO NOT KNOW what could have caused these observed changes, due to the large UNCERTAINTY concerning natural climate drivers.

        It’s just that simple, Jim.


      • manacker, yes you can attribute ‘very likely’ or ‘likely’ to AGW, and they do. Why is that not sufficient? Do you attribute ‘very unlikely’, ‘more likely than not’, or have no clue at all? This is regarded as ‘very likely’ because all the independent science strands back it up from Arrhenius to paleo to actual measurements and physics.

      • Those who stared at shadows on the wall of Plato’s prison cave “very likely” also believed their vision of reality was correct. They were afraid to step outside of their preconceived notions into the clear light of day and preferred their delusions because their superstition and ignorance had blinded them to truth.

      • Jim, just a couple of things. The stratospheric cooling that hasn’t happened for 15 or 16 years now, I’m assuming volcanic eruptions are still considered natural and not co2 induced

        The OHC from 0-700m, about half of the warming from 1980 to the present took place during the calibration period to the ARGO system. Do you really believe that isn’t eventually going to suffer a huge correction?

      • This also happened with the thermometer trend. For a long time, people didn’t believe it, but now it is consensus. Same path for stratospheric cooling and OHC. There are few hiding places from AGW after that.

      • You wil have to point me to the 1-2 years where half the warming in the temperature record took place from 1980 to the present. I am too stupid to see it.

      • I didn’t say that, but now you mention it. Half the CO2 increase took place since 1980. The warming in that period is about half a degree, so yes, maybe half the warming has also occurred since 1980. These don’t have to match, however.

      • Ok, you are just stating that people initially didn’t belive the temperature record not that the circumstances between the OHC and the thermostat record are simlar in having a huge jump at one spot. Might be true but doesn’t address my comment.

      • And you are just stating that even though observations show something, the opposite might still be true with a high probability.

      • JIm, look at the jump during the ~ 2002 time frame where we switched to the ARGO system. No raised eyebrows from you I assume?

      • OK, doesn’t that explain why the atmosphere didn’t heat up as much as expected in the last decade? It was quite a deep change.

      • Jim, to me it screams out calibration error which is why I expect it will eventually be adjusted down.

      • The older data would be less accurate, and more likely to be adjusted up if evidence supported it.

      • Older adjusted up, newer adjusted down, same difference really. It’s the change we are mostly interested in.

  53. Beth Cooper

    Discourse on Method
    Rene Descartes

    If I think, I am.
    If I don’t exist, how do
    I know about me?

    H/T David Bader.

    • Kind of narcissistic, no?

    • Thinking is a flow within a body which is a flow of ever-changing particles which arise and pass away with great rapidity. The “I” as a solid, ongoing entity is a supposition not supported by evidence.

  54. Chad Wozniak

    R. Gates –
    Sorry, but Wagathon is spot on regarding liberal fascism, if you consider what “liberal” now means in the public mind. Of course this is a gross distortion of the term “liberal.” People who call themselves “liberal” are amything but liberal in the literal meaning of the word. These people are not liberal because of their tyrannical ideology and impulses. They are not progressive because they cling to inhumane ideas long since discredited. What they are is REACTIONARY. They look backward to a time when a tiny elite dictated every detail of people’s lives, confiscated people’s earnings for their own dubious purposes, and controlled all the wealth of society. Again, REACTIONARIES, not “liberal” in the true meaning of that word.

    • The gross distortion of the word Liberal in the “public mind” of course, is really the mind of the far right. Those in the public who are Liberal, do not take the “gross distortion” definition of it, but rather, the actual definition. Gross distortions exist out of political myopia, and it is exactly this kind of myopia that could take a gross distortion of the word “liberal”, in the political meaning, and try to combine it with “fascist”. In the real (non-myopic, non-distorted) world, “Liberal Fascist” is an oxymoron, and would not be seen as such only by someone on the far right, who might wish to combine one word (Liberal) with another that is loaded with historical negative connotation (Fascist) and thus try to push the negative connotation onto the word Liberal. In the real world, and throughout history, real Liberals and Fascists have always clashed, and always will. Of course, there is an entirely different history of fascism and it’s close alliance with the Corporate state, especially in Italy, whereby, corporate interest and government interests were one in the same, much to the exclusion of any sort of personal liberty. From this perspective, those who would insist that “corporations are people” would be more aligned with this historical association between corporate and government interests and thus in the Fascist state of Italy immediately before and during WWII. In the modern context, those who would grant personhood and political power to corporate interests, for whatever reason, fail to mention that in doing so, they are granting political power to foreign nationals and other non-citizens of the U.S., who hold controlling interests in many of the largest corporations and that are now seen as equals in participation in the U.S. political process. A very dangerous and unfortunate turn of events. Something I doubt many of those who have died in service of our nation would be proud of. They died so that foreign nationals might participate openly (through corporate personhood) in the U.S. political process?

      • “The gross distortion of the word Liberal in the “public mind” of course, is really the mind of the far right. Those in the public who are Liberal, do not take the “gross distortion” definition of it, but rather, the actual definition. Gross distortions exist out of political myopia, and it is exactly this kind of myopia that could take a gross distortion of the word “liberal”, in the political meaning, and try to combine it with “fascist”. In the real (non-myopic, non-distorted) world, “Liberal Fascist” is an oxymoron, “:

        No, it seems to me that politician called themselves and were called liberal, but they weren’t liberal, they were socialist.
        JKF didn’t like what he called east coast liberals, which actually were socialists.
        Nixon was called liberal republican- he imposed price controls- is that liberal or socialist? Everyone called it liberal. But price controls is socialism. In war as WWII it was regarded as necessary as was rationing.
        In non war situation such things are socialism.
        So it was the liberal politicians who wrecked the definition of liberal by wearing the label, and so they now call themselves “progressive”, and the have already wrecked that word. If they were honest [funny, right?] they would claim the are socialist, just like the socialist in Europe do.
        So is a socialist fascist, make sense to you?

      • I think you have made an excellent point, R. Gates, in the extension of personal liberties and rights to corporations and may I add, religious institutions, championed by the conservative wing of the US Republican party is actually much closer to Fascism.

        Where the conservatives want to force people to pray in schools, prevent access to birth control and prevent abortion to name a few personal liberties they would infringe upon, the liberals believe that my right to swing my fist ends at the corner of your jaw.

        Also the conservatives believe that as long as you provide nebulous jobs, you can do anything, even though the constitution remands the regulation of interstate commerce to the government, meaning that if the government determines that CO2 is a fertilizer, it has the duty to regulate the transmission of that good across state lines.

        Tax the fertilizer.

      • bob,
        You missed your medcheck time.
        You trigger Godwin’s law and then trundle on over the line from speculation to delusion without even slowing down.
        So in bob-land Republicans are fascists for supporting religoius liberty and allowing all corporations and groups of people, instead of only media and unions, to freely express themselves? Your confluence of ignorance and spittle-flecked anger is breath taking.
        As for taxing fertilizer, what a simple minded distortion you depend on.

      • Godwin’s law is about Hitler, not fascism. Do you think Hitler was the only fascist?

        Republican’s are fascists because they support religious freedom as long as it’s Christian. They are not supporting the free expression of my religion or lack there of. Are you deluded in thinking that a corporation can have a religion?

        And I said nothing about suppressing freedom of expression.

        It is your side that is calling CO2 fertilizer. If it is, then I say the government has the duty to tax it as it crosses state lines. At this point it is clear that continuing to burn CO2 will have an overall deleterious effect on the environment and the costs of those effects should be factored into the benefits provided by burning that fuel.

      • “Tax the fertilizer.”
        Sounds like great campaign slogan for the dems.

        Thing is, if taxes need to be increased, a politician can campaign saying he/she/it is going to raise taxes. But I think few people think taxes are too low. Considering the government spend 40% of GDP it should not be surprising.
        As far as religion, Clinton campaigned on:

        “In 1996, President Bill Clinton started down the slippery slope toward a constitutionally questionable form of faith-based aid when he signed a welfare reform bill that included a “charitable choice” provision allowing religious groups to compete for grants.
        “When he took over the White House in January 2009, President Barack Obama quickly adopted much of the “faith-based initiative” put into place by his predecessor, President George W. Bush. The initiative was designed to expand the role of faith-based and community organizations in the delivery of social services.”

        At this point there is a dem senate and dem president, and for couple year dems had all three.
        And what did do with all that power? Pass ObamaCare.
        Now sure ObamaCare would dramatically raise taxes, but wasn’t sold as a tax increase. It was sold as lower costs for all Americans.
        Your fertilizer tax wasn’t their priority.

  55. Beth Cooper

    PE 7.47pm
    Narcissism? Well that’s Descartes on seeking a secure starting point for knowledge…yer doubt everything except that ‘doubting’ denotes ‘a doubter.’
    See, that’s yer secure starting point, yer here…wait…where’s ‘here?’ …hmm …

    • Beth Cooper | May 27, 2012 at 8:12 pm |

      Once you have a starting point, you number it. This requires you postulate the existence of at least the number one, which equates to the number of starting points you have.

      From one, you can derive the existence of zero, being what you would have if you didn’t have even a starting point.

      With zero and one, so long as you accept Logic, then by induction and the Peano Postulates, you can derive all of Mathematics.

      With Logic and all of Mathematics, you have statistics, which allows you to decide on confidence level, and from there define belief or doubt in anything you can apply statistics to.

      Pretty much, you can construct a rational foundation for understanding the Universe from Descartes. Though you need Hawking to adequately understand the Universe without the need for a Starting Point.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, this is about the dumbest way to respond to criticism of Descartes, in no small part because it shows a horrendous lack of understanding of mathematics. I won’t try to describe everything you get wrong, but I’ll provide a couple amusing examples. First, you say:

        This requires you postulate the existence of at least the number one…

        And follow it with:

        With zero and one, so long as you accept Logic, then by induction and the Peano Postulates…

        There are nine Peano axioms. That means you are saying ten different assumptions must be made but acting as though only one is made (the assumption of “one”). There is no inherent reason the Peano axioms must be accepted, yet you act as though it’s a given they are.

        But it gets worse. The first axiom given by Giuseppe Peano was, “There is a natural number 1.”* This means you’re saying we must assume the existence of one, then we must accept the assumptions which include assuming the existence of one. That’s more than just silly. It makes your comment nonsensical. You take as an inherent given the Peano axioms, yet you explicitly state we must assume one of those axioms. That makes no sense.

        Incidentally, the induction axiom is the ninth Peano axiom.

        you can derive all of Mathematics.

        This is complete garbage. The Peano axioms only cover natural numbers. That is, they cover integers from one to (positive) infinity. There is no possible way to “derive all of Mathematics” from them. You are just making things up.

        It’s hard to imagine a dumber defense of a logician’s statement than making up baseless and nonsensical claims, especially when you do so in such an obvious way. Anyone who typed “Peano postulates” into a Google search bar would find you were wrong within seconds.

        *Since Peano’s time, the axiom has often been changed to use zero instead of one because there is disagreement over whether or not zero should count as a natural number. It changes nothing about the axiom, but it does offer a point of humor. How could one hope to derive all of Mathematics if the existence of zero isn’t even covered?

      • Brandon Shollenberger | May 27, 2012 at 9:13 pm |

        Whoa. A bit too much caffeine there, cowboy?

        Learn to parse, or to relax, and all will make sense.

        You’re criticising a simple transition in narrative from the conversational mode, following on Beth’s “where’s ‘here?’ …hmm …” metaphor back to the objective correlative.. in an intentionally amusing way. Are you seriously that sense-deficient in the of humor department?

        Descartes gave Beth that there is a existential one. Actual, not postulated, and proven beyond any rational doubt. Beth exists. To Beth. And let’s face it, Beth is all that matters to Descartes. Those French guys, always cheeky that way.

        So we can map between Peano’s one and zero to Descartes’ one and zero. See how you’d need both sets, to have a mapping? (Trust me, later we’ll see why I brought the zero along too.)

        And while we don’t need to accept postulates, it’s like improv. A string of “yes” leads to an improv show. The first “no” leads nowhere. So I do indeed act as if we’ve chosen to accept Peano Postulates, because a terrible night at the improv would result otherwise. That’s your problem. You’re just not serious about the craft.

        And to derive all of Mathematics from Peano, I commend Halmos’ Naive Set Theory as a starting point. It’s not a hard read. It should get you a goodly portion along the way to the rest of Mathematics. The remainder is left as an exercise.

        And as you point out, Peano did leave a dispute about zero. Which, I purposely brought along from Descartes, just in case. Like packing an extra shirt.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bart R, you didn’t address anything I said. Indeed, you claim I am “criticising a simple transition in narrative from the conversational mode,” yet I did nothing of the sort. I provied two examples. One example highlighted the absurdity of you saying if we assume something, then failing to point out you were assuming far more. It also highlighted the fact you said if we assume one, then took as a given Peano’s axioms, which include assuming one…

        My second example provoked nothing by hand-waving from you, where you say:

        And to derive all of Mathematics from Peano, I commend Halmos’ Naive Set Theory as a starting point. It’s not a hard read.

        The title of the book alone is enough to show anyone you’re wrong. Set theory is not constructed with Peano’s axioms, as that would be impossible. Peano’s axioms only cover natural numberfs. Anyone who has read that book will see the author discusses the Zermelo–Fraenkel axioms, a different set of axioms than you discussed. Heck, they could just look at the Wikipedia articles on any topic brought up, including the article on the book itself!

        You are flagrantly making things up about basic concepts in math which anyone can check given 30 seconds and an internet search bar, and you have the audacity to say:

        Brandon was just a bit confused. He skipped class that day, or something, maybe.

        It is completely impossible to construct sets with Peano’s axioms. Hand-wavingly offering a source which directly contradicts you won’t prove otherwise just because you can trust people not to look at it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        To demonstrate my point, I’ll quote from a section in the Wikipedia article on Peano’s axioms which discusses set theory:

        The Peano axioms can be derived from set theoretic constructions of the natural numbers and axioms of set theory such as the ZF.

        If the Peano axioms can be derived from a limited version of set theory (limited to only cover natural numbers), they obviously cannot be used to derive set theory!

        Though really, I don’t know why we’d need any demonstration when the fact is Peano’s axioms only cover natural numbers, so they couldn’t possibly speak to non-natural numbers.


        Each of my actor friends say the same: learning to say “yes” is the essence of acting. I have many actor friends. “Many” here means more than a fifty.

        Allowing oneself to say “yes” is also essential to action. The Old Ones called this courage.

      • > Set theory is not constructed with Peano’s axioms, as that would be impossible.

        While “constructing set theory” deserves due diligence, Bart R was not talking about constructing set theory with Peano’s axiom, but mathematics.

        Thus spoke Halmos on p. 47: “[the Peano axioms] used to be considered as the fountainhead of all mathematical knowledge.” On p. 48 we read that they can be used to define integers, rational numbers, real numbers, complex numbers, and derive their analytic and arithmetic properties.

        Do anybody knows if Ayn Rand read Paul Halmos?

        Brandon should go take a walk and return to tell us that he was right all along.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        willard never seems to make much sense:

        While “constructing set theory” deserves due diligence, Bart R was not talking about constructing set theory with Peano’s axiom, but mathematics.

        I’d be curious to hear how Bart R wasn’t talking about constructing set theory, but mathematics, when set theory is a part of mathematics. And when he explicitly referred to using set theory.

      • > I’d be curious to hear how Bart R wasn’t talking about constructing set theory […]

        He was talking about “deriving”. You’re the one who introduced constructing. If you don’t know the difference between derivation and construction, all is well: let’s just assume they’re synonyms. And in that case, let S be your favorite set theory, and from S, derive S.

      • “God you’re dumb.”

        Brandon is a running gag, ala the Chewbacca defense.

        It really doesn’t matter if anything he says makes any sense. It’s really a matter of how deep he can get himself into pretzel logic, and how we can marvel at the result.

        To keep that up is some serious craft.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        I wonder if you read these threads:

        With these threads and the current discussion, I do rest my case: you can’t deny that Brandon is ready to talk à la Vaughan Pratt.

        Speaking of which, and to connect with Bart R’s answer to Beth:

        > Motto: Even more skeptical than Descartes.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        I believe you are right about the similarity between parsomatics and the Chewbacca defense. But I believe the actual implementation was more like the second round:

        > Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!

        That would explain why my head exploded.

        I am sorry, mike. I failed you.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I love this comment from WebHubTelescope:

        It really doesn’t matter if anything he says makes any sense.

        What have I said here? I’ve said, repeatedly, a set of axioms limited to natural numbers (positive integers) cannot be used to derive all of mathematics. If that’s enough to provoke criticism and mockery from you, that says a lot about you.

      • > When talking about “Peano axioms”, there are at least four different
        contexts: […]

        None of these contexts are here relevant to Bart R’s spirited remark.

      • “I wonder if you read these threads:”

        Looks like he is extremely inexperienced and way out of his depth. It appears that he is not able to make sense of causality in coming up with a windowing average. For any experimental curve, the most recent data points have the least weight because (with the lack of an underlying temporal model) one can’t peer into the future. Thus the end points have less weight than the rest of the data.

      • “What have I said here? I’ve said, repeatedly, a set of axioms limited to natural numbers (positive integers) cannot be used to derive all of mathematics. If that’s enough to provoke criticism and mockery from you, that says a lot about you.”

        What I don’t get is how you can lay claim to understanding the foundations of mathematics when you have trouble intuitively understanding how a windowing function average works on a time series (per the links that Willard provided).

        Of course it makes sense if all you are is a poseur.

      • Brandon Shollenberger


        What I don’t get is how you can lay claim to understanding the foundations of mathematics when you have trouble intuitively understanding how a windowing function average works on a time series (per the links that Willard provided).

        The two issues aren’t even remotely related, so your comment here is silly, but it gets really bad when you realize the links provided actually show my intuition was right all along.

        Of course it makes sense if all you are is a poseur.

        I gave an explanation showing how Bart R was wrong. You ignored it, posting solely to mock me. I did an analysis which showed Tamino made arbitrary, undisclosed decisions which significantly altered the visual impacts of several graphs. You ignored it, posting solely to mock me.

        For a person who constantly posts about the importance of people doing work to support their claims, you act in a very strange manner. One could easily get the impression you tell people to do work with no intention of actually looking at it. In other words, trolling.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        By the way, this site’s rules specifically say:

        Respond to the argument, not to the person. What another participant stated on another blog in another context should not be used to discredit or otherwise challenge the participant.

        So even if one believes the posts over on Lucia’s website were bad in whatever way, that’s not relevant to this blog.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Please bear in mind that Brandon’s threads at Lucia are only relevant here to show how charitable and gentlemanly Brandon can be.

        Also, do mind your manners. Never say:

        > You’re silly.

        This is against blog rules. Say instead:

        > Your comment here is silly.

        or, if I can find my inner mike:

        > This is the silliest comment I’ve ever heard, it’s so silly I think I’m […]

        No, I just can’t channel my inner mike.

        In any case, the last two comments seem to be allowed by blog rules.

      • “By the way, this site’s rules specifically say:”

        Rules? This is a glorified Twitter feed. Nothing here is indexed by Google, because about half the stuff is wrong, and someone is being very smart about making sure that it doesn’t spill out.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        WebHubTelescope makes an interesting comment:

        Rules? This is a glorified Twitter feed.

        Apparently his argument is, “This site sucks, so it’s okay to break the rules.” It’s an interesting position to adopt.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Oh, I forgot to comment on another amusing thing:

        Nothing here is indexed by Google, because about half the stuff is wrong, and someone is being very smart about making sure that it doesn’t spill out.

        Who is this mysterious person “being very smart about” filtering the content indexed by Google? WebHubTelescope doesn’t say. However, we have a clue. If you View Page Source, you can find a noindex tag in the HTML. That tag tells Google not to index any of the comments.

        This means whoever is behind this dastardly plot has access to this site, and can configure it how they want. Is it Judith Curry herself, in an a dastardly plot of manipulation? Or perhaps, is someone who helps her secretly “making sure” the comments on this blog don’t “spill out”? Or did someone at WordPress secretly distribute a different version just for Curry’s site? Or maybe someone hacked in just to disable indexing.

        You and I may never know, but apparently WebHubTelescope is privy to some secret knowledge we lack. Not only does he know what they are doing, he knows exactly why they’re doing it. We should all be jealous.

        Or filled with disbelief.

      • For whatever rationale is behind it, I am actually glad that this site is not indexed by Google.

        To me it doesn’t really matter, because if I find something significant, I place it on my blog and that gets indexed by Google so I can easily do keyword searches to find something.

        This place is a black hole, OK for refining arguments but not as any kind of archival knowledge base.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Aww, he backpedaled.

      • When it comes to rhetoric, I can backpedal as much as I want.
        That’s what you don’t seem to understand, and why the poseur stance never works for long.

      • WebHubTelescope,

        Notice how the discussion switched from the blog rules to the indexation of this site. And now that you are backpedaling, readers might get the impression that Brandon was right all along. Because that’s what matters, right: being right all along.

        Notice how he took your reply (“see if I care”) as an argument. This has the interesting effect of not having to deal with my own reply, which was an argument, which questioned Brandon’s invocation of the blog rules. Brandon is quite obviously applying a double standard here, don’t you think?

        Here is for instance his first paragraph to Bart R:

        > Bart R, this is about the dumbest way to respond to criticism of Descartes, in no small part because it shows a horrendous lack of understanding of mathematics. I won’t try to describe everything you get wrong, but I’ll provide a couple amusing examples.

        I’m quite confident that Brandon could parse the blog rules in a way that makes that paragraph quite alright. I’m even more confident that he could argue that what I’m saying right now makes no sense. Look at the silly monkey!

        Notwithstanding the fact that you could not care less, please consider, dear WebHubTelescope, the value of staying polite and to remind to whom you believe are poseurs to keep that information to yourself and simply show how they could be judged so. I know I breached this policy above, by calling Brandon dumb, for which I already apologized to mike, who expects better of me. What I gain in temporary relief did not advance the discussion, which is the main sin of a conversation.

        Speaking of which, notice how Brandon never really answered any argument, and how he kept repeating how his interlocutors were unresponsive, incomprehensible, or just plain silly… No, that’s inaccurate: how their comments were silly.

        Penultimately, notice how Brandon himself backpeddled when he restricted his claim to a very small one, as if everything else that he offered as arguments for that claim has never been said.

        And finally notice how Brandon never accepts that he assaulted Bart R for a comment made tongue in cheek, even after Bart R said so.

        If I were to show the perfect example of an uncharitable and ungentlemanly streak of comments (let’s not say commenter, for it would be against blog rules), that would be it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | May 28, 2012 at 1:37 am |


        One can ‘derive’ Set theory in a naive axiomatic approach using pure Logic. However, i