Positioning skeptics

by Judith Curry

What use is science to society, if its advocates are not brave enough to point out the nonsense that is produced in the name of the scientific consensus? – Ben Pile

Ben Pile has a very interesting article The GWPF, Crok & Lewis, and positioning skeptics.  It is a long article, well worth reading.  Excerpts:

 So let’s get back to the current story, which is Lewis and Crok’s paper, published by the GWPF. What does the response to the report tell us about the politics of today’s climate debate?

The Science Media Centre soon followed with an attempt at ‘expert reaction to new report on climate sensitivity published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation‘. The SMC’s approach to climate is less about getting clear scientific advice to the public debate than it is about getting rehearsed soundbytes from scientists into the press as quickly as possible.

The SMC trades on the view that ‘science’ produces single answers to simple questions, whereas in reality, science — especially climate science — is a messy process, to poorly understood, and even less clearly defined problems. Being ‘half way’ on the question about the appropriate balance of opinion (yes, opinion) in the media is not half way between the two opinions, but is ‘half way’ between censorship and editorial freedom — i.e. not ‘half way’ at all.

The SMC’s emphasis on ‘expert opinion’, reflects the ‘values’ recently evinced by Lewandowsky, that debate about the climate and criticism of his own work is valid only when ‘addressed through proper channels’ — it ‘should take place in the scientific literature’. Lewandowsky is a demonstration of the academy’s failure, and the SMC a demonstration of the need for climate scepticism, right or wrong.

From Reiner Grundman:

‘This raises the interesting question how much of the Lewis/Crok paper is actually endorsed by the GWPF. Providing a platform for an IPCC critical analysis does not mean the organisation shares the details, or the broader message of the paper. Maybe the motivation was to undermine the IPCC’s authority.

This seems to be the reasoning:

1. Lewis and Crok assess the IPCC’s assessment of the science on climate sensitivity.
2. Lewis and Crok determine that the IPCC over-estimates climate sensitivity.
3. But Lewis and Crock’s estimate is not radically different to the IPCC’s.
4. The GWPF published Lewis and Crock’s report.
5. But the GWPF are deniers of climate change.
6. The GWPF is must commit to the implications of Lewis and Crok’s proximity to the IPCC estimate.
7. The implications are still that a lower estimate of climate sensitivity means ‘there is a reason to act’.

It seems that many are surprised that the GWPF seem to have published a report that doesn’t say that ‘there is no such thing as climate change’. Yet of all the reports published by them, not one expresses a view of the debate as has been portrayed.

Jonathan Jones from the University of Oxford was the first to point out the obvious problem, in this superb comment:

It has been amusing to watch the apparent surprise of many climate scientists at their discovery that many “climate sceptics” are actually lukewarmers. Taking a rough and ready definition, that lukewarmers believe in AGW but doubt catastrophic AGW, one could reasonably place many of the more famous sceptics (Liljegren, McIntyre implicitly, Montford, Watts explicitly) in that camp, together with a number of “maverick” climate scientists (Curry, Lewis, Lindzen).

What does not follow from this, however, is Ed’s suggestion that “the debate can crucially move on to what action is needed to deal with a warming planet”. Or to be more precise that is, as it always has been, a reasonable question, but a perfectly reasonable answer at the moment would be “little or nothing”. Many lukewarmers are also “policy sceptics”, and their view that current policy responses are hopelessly ineffective, with costs far exceeding any conceivable benefits, remains unchanged.

And straying briefly into more dangerous territory, lukewarmers can and do remain highly critical of the IPCC, the hockey stick, the climategate fiasco, the Lewandowsky nonsense, and the bizarre idea that sceptics are a bunch of “fossil fuel funded deniers”. True peace in our time requires mainstream climate science to acknowledge a few uncomfortable truths.

Similarly, Benny Peiser responded,

“I’m afraid both Matt McGrath and Reiner Grundmann misunderstand the GWPF and our work. They should know better.”

“Our mission statement and philosophy has been known ever since we launched the GWPF in 2009 and is prominently posted on our website:

* We have developed a distinct set of principles that set us apart from most other stakeholders in the climate debates:
* The GWPF does not have an official or shared view about the science of global warming – although we are of course aware that this issue is not yet settled.
* On climate science, our members and supporters cover a broad range of different views, from the IPCC position through agnosticism to outright scepticism.

As a matter of fact, we don’t even have a collective view on the excellent new report by Nic Lewis and Marcel Crok.

We are promoting an open debate, our opponents are trying to close it down.”

And reiterated the point later:

“GWPF members have different views on most subject matters. The only issue we all agree upon: that there is a manifest lack of an open, frank and critical climate debate.”

“To encourage open discussion and critical assessment is the main raison d’être of our work and existence.”

Which was denied by Grundmann:

“You are trying to paint the GWPF as a group without clear direction as every member has different views. I think this is misleading. The GWPF occupies a well defined space in the ecosystem of climate change discourse.”

As is discussed here often, the most powerful misconception of the climate debate is that is divides on the proposition ‘climate change is happening’. This is presented as a scientific claim, though when one tries to understand what it means, and what its consequences are, unpacking it reveals that it means precisely nothing, and could mean anything between a trivial change in the weather, through to the collapse of civilisation and the end of all life on Earth. This turns nuanced arguments and analyses into cartoons, and would seem to put Lewis and Crok opposite the GWPF, who have published broad criticism of climate policy and also of some particular scientific questions. Worse, it is this tendency — the prejudice — which allows politics or ‘ideology’ to be presented as ‘science’, and thus preclude debate. All Ed Davey has to do, for instance, to wave away criticism of his energy policy is claim that it is the expression of denial of climate science.

How do political sociologists develop such blind spots in the climate debate, such that publishing a “lukewarm” report means a tiny organisation with few resources has radically altered its presumed position? The presumption is the key. If the GWPF had stated a position on the matter of climate sensitivity with respect to the necessity of political action prior to Lewis and Crok, Grundmann would be right to demand some revision of it, or remain ‘IPCC-bashers’. But they seem more interested in the putative transformation in the GWPF than in reflecting critically on the new role of academics, and the diminished understanding of the public.

JC reflections

Well, after reading this, I feel much happier about my decision to write the Foreword to Lewis and Crok’s report.  In the midst of all this noise I wasn’t sure what GWPF was all about.  Now I have a better idea, and I certainly support their objectives.

Well, I’m not so surprised by the mainstream media oversimplifying this situation, but I agree with Ben Pile that it is rather astonishing that such a large number of academic papers by sociologists  get this so wrong.

And finally, Jonathan Jones’ statement bears repeating:

True peace in our time requires mainstream climate science to acknowledge a few uncomfortable truths.

270 responses to “Positioning skeptics

  1. The models of the global warming alarmist are like Magic 8 balls that only give answers the modelers want to see. Reality doesn’t matter. “Matthew England,” says Ben Pile, “accused them [skeptics of global warming alarmism] of lying about the hiatus [lack of any warming since 1998] as recently as 2012. In the space of less than a year, England changed his mind about the stall in global warming, made it the object of a study, and found a way to explain it. It seems that climate scientists like England lack the cool, rational, and value-free approach necessary to investigate the material world.” (Ben Pile, Spiked, The global warming pause: the dangers of politicising science)

  2. I loved the list of the six things. “This, but that…”
    Reminded me of the logic Kirk used in the episode of Star Trek to defeat the all too logical M-5 computer. Overall, Ben Pile’s written a really great post that should be read by many.

  3. While I understand what you are saying, I still think that Reiner Grundman may yet be right. GWPF’s denial may not change the facts: whether or not all of them agree on the science, their goal may still be to sabotage the “consensus” view of what needs to be done. They may feel that this paper furthers that goal, and I would agree with them.

    • […] their goal may still be to sabotage the “consensus” view of what needs to be done.

      That’s my goal too.

    • … the “consensus” view of what needs to be done.

      And what is that “consensus” view?

    • Mike –

      FWIW – I continue to appreciate the consistency of your skepticism (w/o quotation marks).

      There. I just gave you the official Climate Etc. kiss of death.

    • miker613 – Apparently you’ve been asleep. The “consensus” torpedoed itself. It doesn’t really need any help in this area.

    • Jim Cripwell

      AK, you write “That’s my goal too.” Ditto.

    • “And what is that “consensus” view?” I think Ed Hawkins articulated it nicely: “So you decrease the sensitivity a little. Whatever. Can we implement mitigation now?”

    • By the way, that’s a paraphrase, not a quote; I couldn’t find his words quickly.

    • miker – please feel free to begin mitigation immediately. Just leave the rest of us alone.

    • Can we implement mitigation now?

      Just don’t raise the price of energy doing it!

    • “Can we implement mitigation now?”

      Sure. If you know what to do.
      What is being done, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, is totally useless and does not mitigate anything.

    • Matthew R Marler

      miker613: I still think that Reiner Grundman may yet be right. GWPF’s denial may not change the facts: whether or not all of them agree on the science, their goal may still be to sabotage the “consensus” view of what needs to be done.

      We have a “may be”, a “may not change”, and a “may still be”.

      You are singing my song, so to speak.

      I think a fairer inference about GWPF might be that “GWPF may believe that the IPCC is doing an incompetent job.” That would be more along the line of “trying to correct errors of IPCC” than “trying to sabotage the consensus view.” If it is true that the IPCC SPM was biased by the IPCC’s founding belief that greenhouse gas induced warming was in fact occurring, and if it is true that the GWPF paper is closer to the truth, then IPCC has sacrificed some of its credibility and authority. If Science Media Center (SMC) is inaccurately defending IPCC, then SMC stands to lose credibility as well.

      Or maybe not.

    • Isn’t the goal of every scientist to “sabotage the consensus view”?

    • The question is, “mitigate what?” The “climate” over the last decade-century-millenium-million-hunred million-years has warmed and cooled dramatically and repeatedly at every scale. Just what is going to “mitigated” and how will anyone know the measures taken to mitigate whatever is to be mitigated even work?

  4. It has been amusing to watch the apparent surprise of many climate scientists at their discovery that many “climate sceptics” are actually lukewarmers.

    Really? The find it “surprising?” Interesting how he manages to get inside people’s heads, isn’t it?

    I think that (for at least some) it isn’t that they find it “surprising.” It’s that they see the logical incoherence between someone identifying as a “lukewarmer” and making arguments that are logically incoherent with “lukewarmerism.”

    For example, those who argue that there has been a “hiatus in global warming” even though we continue to emit ACO2.

    Or those who say on one hand that climate modeling is useless, and on the other hand say that they find climate modeling credible (once they’ve cherry-picked some modeling with lower “best estimates,” and then even there discarded the higher ranges of that modeling so as to be completely certain that any efforts at mitigation will be hugely costly relative to the benefits).

    Or those who say that there is no meaningful way to measure global means of temperature, even as they rely on global means of temperature as the foundation for their “lukewarmer” opinions.

    Or those who say that all the various metrics for assessing climate change are fatally flawed, yet argue that they don’t doubt that “the earth is warming,” (apparently, even thought that warming can’t be measured).

    • Rob Starkey

      Joshua

      You wrote- “the logical incoherence between someone identifying as a “lukewarmer” and making arguments that are logically incoherent with “lukewarmerism.”
      For example, those who argue that there has been a “hiatus in global warming” even though we continue to emit ACO2. “

      My response- I do not understand how you view this as inconsistent much less incoherent. A “lukewarmer” can point out the fact that there has been a hiatus in global warming while humanity continues to emit CO2. It simply means that the climate system has been dominated by factors other than CO2 during the period being considered. How is this difficult to follow?

      You wrote- “Or those who say on one hand that climate modeling is useless, and on the other hand say that they find climate modeling credible (once they’ve cherry-picked some modeling with lower “best estimates,” and then even there discarded the higher ranges of that modeling so as to be completely certain that any efforts at mitigation will be hugely costly relative to the benefits).”

      My response- I agree that it would be inappropriate to state that climate modeling is useless, but it would be very reasonable to point out that models that have been demonstrated to be highly inaccurate in matching observed conditions should be disregarded for use and that it is much more appropriate to consider the future forecasts of models that have reasonably accurately matched observed conditions thus far. A reasonable person would have a very difficult time “justifying” the costs vs. the benefits of climate mitigation actions because it is impossible to quantify “if” benefits will ever occur, much less to identify what benefits will occur, when or where.

      On the issue of “global warming” vs. “climate change”. I am sorry, but this simply seems to be an attempt to better market a desired course of action. The climate has always been changing.

      In order to claim that humans emitting CO2 is leading to climate changes that would not have occurred if humans had not been emitting CO2 and that those changes are negative for humanity overall over the long term, (or for any place in particular); shouldn’t there be reasonably reliable evidence to support that claim? Shouldn’t that evidence be generally accepted as valid before it is accepted and massive behavioral changes that are expensive are implemented?

    • Gotta run, Rob. I’ll answer later.

    • Steven Mosher

      Rob you wont find joshua able to articulate his argument with any quotes or arguments from real lukewarmers.

      Lukewarmerism rests on one number and one number
      Only. Climate sensitivity. There is no logical connection
      Between this number and the hiatus. Hence there can be no logical incoherence.

      Lukewarmers say. The median value for sensivity is less than 3c. That does not logically commit one to a view on the hiatus in surface temperature indices. Joshua knows
      Nothing about logic or about the logical implications of a viewpoint.

      For example. The hiatus in surface temperature indices can be explanied by natural variation or heat sequestation.
      Neither of these are inconsistent logically or otherwise
      With the viewpoint that the median value of climate sensitivity is less than 3c.

      • David Springer

        IMO a lukewarmer is someone who doesn’t deny that CO2 can produce some amount of surface warming. Observationally speaking the amount of warming appears to range from none (Antarctic interior) to more than 3C (Arctic) and everything in between. In some regions this may be quite desireable as it appears to have the greatest effect over land in high northern latitudes in the winter where farmers want milder winters, fewer killer frosts, and people in general want less not more snow and cold to raise their heating bills and block their driveways.. The obvious (to me) rhyme and reason for where and how much CO2 forcing takes place is it’s indirectly proportional to how much water is available to make CO2 warming redundant by overlapping absorption with water vapor and liquid water in clouds. In high latitudes over land in the winter water vapor is mostly frozen out leaving CO2 with uncontested access to each photon in its absorption bands.

        Mosher is no authority on what is and is not a lukewarmer. Who does he think he is, Merriam Webster?

    • Don Monfort

      Joshie’s little gotcha game is really stupid. He generally starts off by misrepresenting what some “skeptic” has said. Most often, he pretends that an opinion has been stated as a fact and he demands evidence. Those who are skeptical of CAGW, to be logically consistent, are obliged to be disbelieving of everything. Don’t express an opinion that the IPCC does not give proper weight to uncertainty. You will be forever obligated to include a disclaimer that you are uncertain about everything you ever say. Tedious little boob.

    • Also, the obvious argument in the alternative interpretations go by the board as usual. For example, if one uses a model that a critic believes unreliable to advocate Urgent Mitigation, there is nothing contradictory about the critic also arguing that you have misinterpreted your own model: “Your model is too unreliable to use for these purposes, but even if it were it says we’re better off not undertaking mitigation.” The same types of arguments are logically available to critics of the thermometer or paleoclimate records. These points have been made to and acknowledged by Joshua in the past, but he keeps recurring to these fallacious claims of inconsistency nevertheless.

  5. R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

    Really? Suggesting any honest neutral broker position by the GWPF is simply silly. A simple glance at the headlines in their “science news” section makes it clear what perspective on the issue they want to advance:

    http://www.thegwpf.org/category/science-news/

    The GWPF exists for one key reason: to affect policy related to climate change, and more pointedly, to protect certain economic interests in the process. In this regard, Heartland and the GWPF remain close analogues, and the key tools they have is to magnify the size of the uncertainty about anthropogenic climate change, either its very existence, or it’s scale and scope.

    • Rgates

      As I have said to you before, I hold no brief for Heartland, GWPF, Monckton et al. However I have never heard GWPF deny climate change as was quoted in the article. I know of no one that denies that climate changes.

      However I was most interested in your assertion that the gwpf exists to protect certain economic interests. Can you clarify what these economic interests are, and how a tiny, badly funded group such as the GWPF are protecting them? thanks

      tonyb

    • However I have never heard GWPF deny climate change as was quoted in the article.

      Do you think that they are not, clearly, an organization of “advocates” w/r/t climate change-related policies?

      • David Springer

        You mean like the IPCC or the Obama administration or the majority of Democrats in congress? Yes, I’ll agree that the GWPF is like that only more honest and doesn’t spend any public money in advocating their position wrt climate change.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Judith said:

      “In the midst of all this noise I wasn’t sure what GWPF was all about. Now I have a better idea, and I certainly support their objectives.”
      —–
      I would have thought you’d have done your research on the GWPF prior to putting your name on a paper they are fronting. But again, the GWPF is a close cousin of Heartland. It is all about affecting and stalling policy related to AGW with specific financial interests backing each respective organization. Your Uncertainty Monster is a valuable tool in this regard.

    • Joshua

      I have already said I have little time for GWPF. There are many advocates of which by far the most powerful and effective are those pushing the AGW line. The GWPF are a flea on the back of an elephant in comparison.

      My question to RGates remains unanswered.

      tonyb

    • R. Gates –

      I would have thought you’d have done your research on the GWPF prior to putting your name on a paper they are fronting.

      Indeed.

      Just as I would have thought, even if she were going to do a largely after-the-fact assessment, – that she’d express a bit of skepticism about the perspective of someone as overtly politically-oriented as Ben Pile with reference to the political nature of the GWPF.

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      Tony, for starters see:

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/mar/27/tory-donor-climate-sceptic-thinktank

      Look, even the revelations about who was funding Heartland did not really shock anybody. When billions of dollars are at stake, of course you want to try and influence policy. It’s only human nature to protect your interests. But never should anyone be under the illusion that the GWPF or Heartland are neutral. Nor are the lawmakers on either side who invite “expert” testimony at their hearings. They all have a policy perspective they want to support and they hand pick their experts to support that. Sometimes their policy is just to keep from doing anything as long as possible. In this regard, Judith’s Uncertainty Monster can be very useful.

    • tony –

      My question to RGates remains unanswered.

      As does mine to you.

      Let me try again:

      Do you think that they are not, clearly, an organization of “advocates” w/r/t climate change-related policies?

      I’m still hoping that you’ll answer that question.

      And if you do, and if your answer is “No.,” I hope you will say whether you think that climate scientists affiliating with organizations of advocates for climate change-related policies undermines trust in the objectivity of those specific scientists, and science more generally.

    • Well I did what you said and didn’t get that feeling. I understand where your coming from but it seems close minded. Btw if you look below the headline about Tibetian glaciers it actually critiques the article challenging thee supposition by pointing out how much it shrinks each year in comparison to growth. Why shouldn’t they show contradictory material? And why shouldn’t I read it? I’m sure you don’t just read consensus stuff otherwise you would’nt be here. I know your trying to point out there is an agenda there but thats the way all the consensus guys think. How dare they question me!

    • tonyb, you shouldn’t underestimate the ability of these lobbying groups to be heard in Parliament or Congress. They have the connections.

    • Rgates

      For starters? Then you quote the Guardian of all sources. On climate related matters?

      So someone I have never heard of may be providing a tiny amount of money to a sceptics grouping . An amount which is dwarfed by that which AGW groups receive.

      So what?

      What economic interests are the GWPF protecting and how effective do you think they are? This is a tiny group. I think your knowledge of them must come from the Guardian who are building them up as some large, well funded and subversive threat to humanity.
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “The GWPF are a flea on the back of an elephant in comparison.”
      —-
      Maybe or maybe not, but not a neutral flea. Judith”s affiliation with the GWPF, even as small a step as it was, is a further step away from the appearance of neutrality. Even if someone can appreciate her lukewarmer stance on the science, in the policy arena this gets translated as “climate change skeptic”.

    • tony –

      Are you going to answer my questions?

    • Joshua

      My reply at 1.04 surely clearly said that they were advocates-as are other groups with opposing views to them. So what?

      It is essential that other views are put over in a system such as ours where there are few dissenting views. I still would like to hear what economic interests it is believed GWPF are protecting and more importantly how effective such a tiny ill funded group are compared to those ranged against them.

      I had said on a previous thread that I thought Judith was unwise to write a foreword. But then again I am one of those naïve people who believe scientists should stick to science and not be involved in advocacy or politics. A view which Mosh , amongst others, has previously ridiculed.

      tonyb

    • Joshua

      Good grief man. I was busy composing a reply whilst you were busy complaining I had not replied to you. :)

      tonyb

    • You look silly, RGates, trying to threaten with the meanings of words. These misused words and phrases, ‘climate change, global warming, and weather wierding’ as well as ‘denier’ and ‘skeptic’ are slowly coming to be better understood and your technique exposes your bare, uh, brain.

      Skeptics doubt the catastrophic implications of man-caused climate change. Some of us don’t doubt the already catastrophic economic effects of the Madness of the Crowd which is the narrative of CAGW.
      =================

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “This is a tiny group. I think your knowledge of them must come from the Guardian who are building them up as some large, well funded and subversive threat to humanity.”
      —–
      I actually could not care less what the Guardian or the GWPF are all about. Just as I pay no attention to Heartland. I spend my time and eyesight on reading actual scientific research papers. I simply am aware of the political spin factories on all sides and am quite familiar with the rather predictable nexus of money and politics when it comes to making policy that can affect deep pockets.

    • JimD

      Have you any idea of the size of the Parliamentary consensus on the Climate Change Act?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Change_Act_2008

      We have some 640 MP’s. Only 5 voted against it. Lobbying against that sort of majority will take an awful lot more resources than the GWPF can muster.
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      “You look silly, RGates, trying to threaten with the meanings of words.”
      ——
      What? Humans are likely changing the climate. It could be beneficial or it could be catastrophic or something in between. How is this consistent stance of mine “threatening”?

    • RGates

      Your 1.27.

      I do not disagree with much of what you wrote. I am not interested in the politics or groups like GWPF or Heartland.

      However you have not answered my question except with generalities.

      “What economic interests are the GWPF protecting and how effective do you think they are?”

      If they are protecting the interests of consumers who pays through the nose for their energy putting many households into fuel poverty and yet do not have energy security then the GWPF have a place.
      tonyb

    • R. Gates, a Skeptical Warmist

      ““What economic interests are the GWPF protecting and how effective do you think they are?”
      ——
      There are some hints that the old fossil fuel interests are associated with the GWPF, but they remain quite secretive about their donors. Effectiveness? Hard to gauge— but again I don’t pay much attention. Heartland is not that effective, so maybe neither is the GWPF. More illustrative for me is Judith’s recent association with them, even as tangential as it is. But that horse is already out of the barn, best to just wave goodbye.

    • David L. Hagen

      R. Gates
      Re: ” all about affecting and stalling policy related to AGW”
      On what evidence?
      “Your Uncertainty Monster is a valuable tool in this regard.”
      That is the essential tool for the primary goal of Science – To improve model accuracy. Reevaluate – what if heartland & GWPF are actually trying to improved Science – to provide a solid ground on which to debate policy.

      You cannot arrive at objective policy without sound science – including ALL uncertainties – and clearly evaluating presuppositions.
      e.g., compare focusing on the impact of actions on the poor vs spending all wealth on nature regardless of consequences. See the Cornwall Alliance. for a Christian alternative to impoverishing the poor by climate mitigation.

    • “…But again, the GWPF is a close cousin of Heartland. It is all about affecting and stalling policy related to AGW with specific financial interests backing each respective organization…..”

      You’re formidable bias is showing once again, Gates. Some day when your self avowed skepticism kicks in, you might re-examine your preposterous beliefs regarding skepticism being funded by the fossil fuel industry.

    • tonyb, it is encouraging that the UK is not swayed by lobbyists, which is different from the US where lobbyists also come with help from groups that have money, and that money funds congressional elections. However GWPF can be heard, and I am sure most MPs know what their message is, even if it is to no avail.

    • Steven Mosher

      Huh tony.
      My position is that scientists have every right to be involved
      In politics and advocacy. But some should stick to science because

      A. They SUCK at advocacy
      B. they are wimps and cant take the street fighting
      Involved.

      Others are better off doing policy cause they suck less at that then they do at science.

      Take mann. Which does he suck less at?

    • R. Gates, A Skeptical Warmist

      Mosher said:

      “Others are better off doing policy cause they suck less at that then they do at science.”
      _____
      Wow, one of the most on target things I’ve seen in a while. But to be fair, there are many reasons, both personal and professional, why scientists drift over to policy other than just because the “suck less at that”. Though to be sure, it does pay a few bills (though very few), and gets them a brief 5 minutes of fame.

    • R. Gates, A Skeptical Warmist

      Please don’t misunderstand my position on scientists casting their lot with policy groups and/or political sides. It is simply the way things are done. I sure would not want Lacis testifying in D.C. unless Curry was there as well, regardless of which one’s scientific perspective I happen to agree with. The best policy comes from balanced perspectives all around.

    • R. Gates

      The GWPF exists for one key reason: to affect policy related to climate change, and more pointedly, to protect certain economic interests in the process.

      Let me add:

      The GWPF IPCC exists for one key reason: to affect policy related to climate change, and more pointedly, to protect certain economic political interests in the process.

      Right?

      Max

    • I have seen many claim that the IPCC conclusions are more conservative than what the science would call for, If their purpose is was to protect political interests, then they would exaggerate the potential negative consequences.

    • Joseph

      I can exclusively reveal a photo of the gwpf world head quarters. This powerful lobbying group has unlimited resources and are striking fear into the heart of every warmist

      http://media.photobucket.com/user/enigmalady_2010/media/100_1468.jpg.html?filters%5Bterm%5D=garden%20shed&filters%5Bprimary%5D=images&sort=1&o=52

      Tonyb

    • RGates,

      I don’t believe Ben Pile said GWPF are honest brokers just that they support an open debate on the subject.

      It’s possible to believe in free speech as a basic fundamental right while holding strong viewpoints on many subjected, supporting particular interests or even being biased/wrong..

      As it happens the consensus view has so strongly attempted to demonise the critics that a support of free speech/debate is very likely also a very strong argument for the GWPF’s position as well but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are cynically holding this position.

    • “I don’t believe Ben Pile said GWPF are honest brokers just that they support an open debate on the subject.”

      Like creationists. But the reason they want an open debate has nothing to do with the science.

      The GWPF pushed that Turney Antarctic ship story a lot didn’t they. What did that have to do with science? No it was revealing of their true agenda.

    • Sometimes their policy is just to keep from doing anything as long as possible.

      The policy needs to be to just keep from doing anything stupid as long as possible. More CO2 makes green things grow better with less water. Less CO2 will harm green things, will use more water and would kill some life on earth. That would really be something stupid for us to do. Temperature is well inside the bounds of the past eleven thousand years and not headed out. If you disagree. show real data and climate model output is not real data and does not come close to real data.

    • R. Gates writes: The GWPF exists for one key reason: to affect policy related to climate change, and more pointedly, to protect certain economic interests in the process.

      Your hypocrisy here is really stunning; in your “attack-the-people-not-the-evidence” diatribe you illustrate exactly what is wrong with climate science these days.

      Your warning to Dr. Curry that she should beware being seen
      associating with the wrong sort of people is actually kind of scary, as it implies that you hold a worldview that is amazingly McCarthy-like.

      In your mind, how one treats the evidence (and the evidence itself) is completely irrelevant. All that appears to matter is which side you are on: the good guys or the bad guys.

      The argument you make here is that if you are on the side of the “bad guys,” then no matter what evidence you produce your conclusions can be dismissed out of hand. Likewise, if you are on the side of the “good guys,” then it doesn’t matter what evidence your produce because only an idiot could fail to see how true your argument is.

      We see this a lot from both sides, but I would say on balance, at least in this blog, the warmists tend to indulge more than the so-called skeptics.

      The issue in climate science is about the integrity of the science, not in which team wins.

  6. Judith –

    Well, after reading this, I feel much happier about my decision to write the Foreword to Lewis and Crok’s report.

    Interesting. So because of an article written by an overtly political observer, you feel better about affiliating with an organization that is widely viewed by the public to be an overtly political organization. Despite that you have repeatedly talked about your concern about scientists affiliating themselves in the political debate related to climate change – because when the public sees scientists as being politically oriented, it undermines trust in the objectivity of their scientific output.

    climate scientists should avoid advocacy related to public policy related to climate science research findings.

    I have long stated that scientists advocating for public policy can lead to distrust of scientists and their scientific findings.

    Scientist involvement in climate policy advocacy doesn’t seem to be needed at this point (as per Amy Luers), and is arguably making things worse (not to mention damaging the integrity of science). So I remain with Tamsin Edwards on this one: climate scientists should avoid advocacy related to public policy related to climate science research findings.

    Given the overall lack of effectiveness of climate policy advocacy by climate scientists to date, scientists should reconsider what the heck they are doing in this regard.

    • Joshua

      Our hostess is right, of course, even if you are not astute enough to have grasped it.

      Ben Pile points out that Lewis & Crok have exposed a weak point in the CAGW meme, which has led to a circling of the wagons to defend the political agenda driving the consensus science behind the CAGW meme.

      The cockroaches always scramble when the light is shined on them.

      And shining the light is what our hostess likes to do.

      Max

    • Judith I’d caution here as well., Ben says he’s less interested in the report, whether Lewis and Crok are right or the GWPF and more in the response of the consensus. Don’t confuse Ben’s critique of the GWPF critics for support for the GWPF. His greatest concern is the anti-democratic, anti-humanist nature of the broader environmentist movement. If you want to judge the GWPF then look elsewhere.

    • Publishing an article in a magazine, journal or on a website does not in any way constitute endorsement of the publication’s philosophy. This used to be so commonly acknowledged that feminists had no issue publishing articles in girly magazines and conservatives in liberal magazines and vice versa.

      As I recall, a certain carpenter consorted with the wrong sort of folk and was taken to task for it by the Pharisees. His reply was more pithy than my comment.

      I don’t care who the GWPF is, what their philosophy is nor who funds them. Those are irrelevant to this debate, to what Ben Pile wrote and to Judith’s decision to write a forward to L&C’s paper.

      Introducing those irrelevancies in a conversation about the topic is just trying to distract us all and detour the conversation away from more salient points.

    • John Carpenter

      Joshua… Is affiliating and advocating equal? You appear to be placing a new word into Judith’s mouth.

  7. Sociology should be banished from presenting themselves as scientists until they do a thorough house cleaning and enunciate a solid set of standards required to publish a paper. It’s tough to find a shoddier “discipline” than sociology.

    • Sociology should be banished from presenting themselves as scientists until they do a thorough house cleaning and enunciate a solid set of standards required to publish a paper.

      What’s this? Authoritarianism? Statism?

      At Climate Etc.? From a “skeptic?” Say it ain’t so!!!!

      LYSENKOISM!!!1!!!1!!!

    • Thrash on, Joshua.

    • Duck away, jim2.

  8. Jim Cripwell

    As I see things, the major problem in the debate between the warmists and the skeptics, is that the warmists refuse to accept that CAGW was, is and will be into the indefinite future, a hypothesis. And the only thing I can put this down to is a misunderstanding of the scientific method. Now, in many languages the use of the definite article means that there is only one. In English, “popping the question”, means a proposal of marriage. “El Nino” in a Catholic nation like Peru, means the Christ Child. So, there is only one scientific method.

    Richard Feynman has put this into words much better than I can, but with respect to CAGW, the scientific method is the only way in which it can be transformed from a hypothesis into a theory. The reasoning goes something like this.

    1. Make observations; late in the 20th century both CO2 concentrations and global temperatures both increased.

    2. Make a hypothesis; The increase in CO2 caused the rise in temperature.

    3. Deduce something quantitative which ought to be true; climate sensitivity is how much global temperatures (or OHC) increase as a function of CO2 concentration.

    4. Measure climate sensitivity.

    It is when we come to 4 that, for CAGW, the scientific method breaks down; we cannot do controlled experiments of the earth’s atmosphere, so we cannot measure climate sensitivity. Where the warmists make their major error is claiming that estimates of climate sensitivity are a substitute for measurements. They are not.

    To me, this is the fundamental reason why there is no debate between the two sides. Unless and until the warmists agree that CAWG is merely a hypothesis, no scientific discussion can take place.

    • Jim Cripwell

      +100

      You have described the essential dilemma here.

      Rational skeptics of the IPCC CAGW premise point out that it remains an uncorroborated hypothesis, because it has not been (or cannot even be) validated by empirical scientific evidence (Feynman) because of the many unresolved uncertainties involved.

      Those who support the IPCC CAGW premise (plus some luke-warmers like Mosher) suggest that model predictions (or estimates) based on theoretical principles of physics are essentially the same as physical measurements, therefore they count as empirical scientific evidence.

      There is no way to resolve this dilemma by a simple debate.

      The only way this dilemma will be resolved is for the pause in warming (or even slight cooling) to continue for another two decades or so, despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, thereby physically falsifying the CAGW premise of IPCC.

      And that may well happen.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      Manaker

      Predictions of warming are not essentially the same thing as measurements. They are predictions.

      What will the temperature be in 2050.

      There are a couple ways of answering that question
      Cogently.

      What is your bet and how do you make it

    • Higher if we’re still recovering from the LIA and lower if we ain’t.
      =============

    • Lets see, 2050. By then we should be going into a warm AMO and the cooling scare will be wrapping up. The residual trend will still be down since evidence indicates poleward heat transport is solar driven and solar activity is in decline, but that trend takes hundreds of years and will be hardly noticed by then with all the cooling blamed on the negative AMO. I say 0.2 C lower average global temperatures than today.

    • “Rational skeptics of the IPCC CAGW premise point out that it remains an uncorroborated hypothesis”

      Which means the ones calling it a fraud must be irrational.

      Just to point out the obvious: CAGW is an acronym invented by “skeptics” to mischaracterize the subject. There is no “IPCC CAGW premise”, you’ll be unable to back that concept up with an actual passage from the IPCC report.

    • Joshua – isn’t it your position that if we do not act quickly and decisively/intensely to mitigate CO2 levels, the resulting warming will be catastrophic?

      Do you believe that the IPCC predictions/projections for the scenario you want to mitigate against are not catastrophic?

      Have I misunderstood your position?

    • Can you give us a more accurate description of the IPCC premise, if it ain’t GAGW, lollie? If they ain’t claiming that AGW will be C, what is the problem they are hollering about? Is AGW going to just be semi-catastrophic? Very likely, very bad? Extremely likely, very bad? Very likely, extremely bad? Damn nasty, with a 95% certainty?

    • Steven Mosher

      You ask me:

      What will the temperature be in 2050.

      There are a couple ways of answering that question
      Cogently.

      What is your bet and how do you make it?

      I’ve just gone through this for the year 2100 for Jim D (who appears hung up on IPCC’s RCP8.5 scenario) – see comment #481733 below.

      But I can pull out the estimate for 2050 and tell you its basis, since you ask.

      Following the UN population growth forecast, I get 9.2 billion by 2050. With global per capita fossil fuel consumption growing by 13% to around 5.1 tons CO2 emitted, atmospheric CO2 increasing by 2.8 ppmv per year, reaching around 490 ppmv. On this basis, temperature could increase by around 0.6C above today’s value.

      You got a better estimate?

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      Would you agree that the CAGW premise (or “hypothesis”) as specifically outlined by IPCC in AR4 (and slightly watered down in AR5) will be falsified if:

      Global average land and sea surface temperature anomaly (let’s say HadCRUT4) does not increase for another two decades despite unabated human GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels?

      If not, why not?

      Thanks (this is NOT a trick question).

      Max

    • Jim Cripwell

      I would like to thank all those who have responded to my original post. But let me point out the obvious.

      The most important point that I try to make, is that climate sensitivity cannot, at present, be measured and, therefore, CAGW, or whatever anyone likes to call it, remains a hypothesis. No-one has challenged that claim.

      Are there any warmists who are willing to claim that any numerical value of climate sensitivity has been measured?

  9. Dr Curry. Thank you so much for committing a post to Pile’s terrific article.

    It’s interesting the increase in anger and agitation coming from the alarmist community the more calm and reasoned the sceptics remain. It says a lot when one group tries to project their own failings onto those they disagree with

  10. Don Monfort

    J. Jones: “Many lukewarmers are also “policy sceptics”, and their view that current policy responses are hopelessly ineffective, with costs far exceeding any conceivable benefits, remains unchanged.”

    I wonder if any of our resident alarmists disagree with ” current policy responses are hopelessly ineffective.” I won’t hold my breath waiting for an honest reply.

    • Interesting –

      The notion that someone who is certain about the cost/benefit ratio would call themselves a skeptic. One would think that skeptics would respect the huge uncertainties involved.

    • Don Monfort

      No certainty was mentioned there, joshie. You are just making crap up, again. Do you have an opinion “current policy responses are hopelessly ineffective”, or are you just going to keep making crap up?

    • Are you asking whether we need to do more? If so, my answer is yes.

    • Don Monfort

      You know what I asked, joey. You didn’t answer the question. I will help you. You know that current policy responses are hopelessly ineffective. You just are not honest enough to admit it.

    • I did answer the question. I think they are ineffective because not enough is being done.

      • David Springer

        What do you mean “ineffective”?

        There hasn’t been any statistically significant warming in 17 years. The hybrid electric vehicles, the compact flourescent light bulbs, the 10% ethanol in our fuel, the wind turbines, these have all evidently combined to bring global warming to its knees. Stopped it dead in its tracks man. What the heck to you mean ineffective? What data are you using to make that determination?

    • Joshua

      Sure, there are “uncertainties” not only whether or not there even is a CAGW problem, but also, if there is one which will result in a perceptible global warming of our planet, what the economic benefits versus costs will be to humanity of this warming.

      Richard Tol has done a study on the impacts on humanity of the effects of AGW, as postulated by IPCC.

      This study suggests that the next 2C warming above today’s temperature will be of net benefit to humanity, with that upper limit increasing if energy costs can be kept low.

      One can argue with these conclusions, Joshua.

      First of all, they are based on the CAGW premise being correct, as outlined specifically by IPCC in its AR4 report (and in a watered down version in its AR5 report). If these are wrong, then so are the Tol conclusions.

      And, even if the AR4/AR5 IPCC predictions are correct, it could well be that Tol has overlooked a potential benefit (or negative impact) of the postulated global warming.

      Life is full of uncertainties, Joshua.

      One just has to watch out that one doesn’t get terrified by this fact.

      Max

    • Joseph

      You seem to fret that “not enough is being done” to fight against CAGW and its impacts.

      What specifically do you have in mind?

      Please list specific actionable proposals for initiatives with some sort of cost/benefit analysis (how much global warming will be averted by when at what cost to be incurred when by whom?).

      Thanks for your thoughts on this.

      Max

    • manacker, if you want to stop warming at only 2 C above today (2.8 C net), you would need to stop CO2 at one doubling (560 ppm). This requires action starting very soon because our path is towards 700 ppm by 2100 at a conservative estimate. Yes, I know you don’t agree with 700 ppm. In any case fossil fuels will have to be left in the ground to stay at your target, just so you know.

    • Your answer is both dishonest and trivial, joey. You should have kept quiet, like the rest of them.

    • “The notion that someone who is certain about the cost/benefit ratio would call themselves a skeptic. One would think that skeptics would respect the huge uncertainties involved.” – Joshua

      Joshua, stop being an idiot.

      Of course there is much uncertainty about the science; aerosols, the sun, CS, whether the GHE actually exists etc, but eveyone knows that implementing any policies to mitigate CO2 will destroy the free-world as we know it, lead to a one-world government and having us all living in caves by the end of next week.

      Of these things, there is no doubt.

    • “The notion that someone who is certain about the cost/benefit ratio would call themselves a skeptic. One would think that skeptics would respect the huge uncertainties involved.” – Joshua

      Joshua, stop being an idi0t.

      Of course there is much uncertainty about the science; aerosols, the sun, CS, whether the GHE actually exists etc, but eveyone knows that implementing any policies to mitigate CO2 will destroy the free-world as we know it, lead to a one-world government and having us all living in caves by the end of next week.

      Of these things, there is no doubt.

  11. Don Monfort

    7 of 30 comments are from one particular boob

  12. Don Monfort

    Thanks for raising your hand, boob.

  13. Thanks for stressing out the world’s children by subjecting them “global warming theory” and it’s severe consequences. Would Captain Gore, XO Hansen, and first officer Mann and the rest of the CAGW crew sail the Jolly Roger back to Neverland and spare the children unneeded stress.

  14. Theo Goodwin

    The very brief version of Mr. Pile’s powerful and nuanced argument is that “consensus science” holds that any skeptic who associates himself with a position that can be interpreted as maybe being in the same ballpark as the consensus postion, or maybe the ballpark next door, can be anointed as one who has cast aside his/her earlier irrationally motivated views on climate science. Mr. Pile points out that this position requires attributing to the “prodigal son” views that he never held. Once again, “consensus science” is shown to have a delusional view of skeptics. Some sociologists of science are convicted of treating their own biases about skeptics as hard won data. Good work, Mr. Pile.

    There is the additional very interesting point that the “consensus position,” which holds that skeptics can be rightly banned from the MSM is a clear violation of free speech rights. Consensus science has no moral high ground.

  15. “True peace in our time requires mainstream climate science to acknowledge a few uncomfortable truths.”

    Peace in our time? Seriously? Don’t any of the people who use this term so glibly understand its history?

    The debate, excluding self described luke-warmers/moderates/independents, is between those who are using science, the media and politics to centralize power in the government. In this instance, they are pursuing their goals through decarbonization and other euphemisms for centralized control of the energy economy.

    “Mainstream climate science?” Who is that?

    “Peace?” What is that in this context?

    The U.S. and the world don’t need some kumbaya, Rodney King style verbal peace in our time. We need an open, full, rancorous debate about the means these people are using to maintain, and expand power.

    This is not a genteel discussion in the MIT faculty lounge about forcings and radiative imbalance.

    This is politics, about control of the national and global economy.

    There will be peace in our time when one side wins.

    Either the left will prevail and enact their devastating economic agenda, or they will be beaten back by those who prefer liberty, and who also have an actual understanding of economics.

    When one party is obsessed with power, peace in our time is only a tactical reprieve while they build more tanks, ships and guns.

  16. The IPCC was never supposed to be about advocating, only presenting.
    Then why the Meme about 2,500 world experts when for instance in AR4, there were only 57 contributors to Chapter 9, of Working Group 1. ‘Attribution’
    The chapters before that were about physical evidence of change, not about cause and most everybody should agree that a climate constant is change. I realize that I am oversimplifying a bit, but then sometimes there are quantum leaps between the science and the summary for policy makers.
    I maintain that the initial mistake was made in the charge given to the IPCC which then the climate science world, and with it money allocations, followed.
    The two part charge,
    1) Has their been warming, then look at reports 1 and 3 and the testimony before Congress, ‘we have to get rid of the medieval warm period’ and say ‘Hockeystick’
    2) Has CO2 caused the warming? It should have been ‘What are the factors which may cause the warming? IT IS HARD TO REACH AN HONEST CONCLUSION WHICH MAY ELIMINATE YOUR CHANCES FOR WORK.
    Honestly, well over 75% of science climate work is done by scientists who have no clue about all the parameters of the so called greenhouse effect. They simply appeal to authority for justification (and money) for what they do!

  17. Oh.

    I misread that as “Poisoning Skeptics”, and wondered whom they’d poisoned this time, and with what?

    Imagine my embarrassment when I discovered it’s just the same-ol’.

    • Bart R

      Not atypical that you “misread” something.

      But I doubt if you are truly embarrassed about it.

      Max

  18. ceresco kid

    “The SMC trades on the view that ‘science’ produces single answers to simple questions, whereas in reality, science — especially climate science — is a messy process, to poorly understood, and even less clearly defined problems.”

    For all too many in climate science, it is a scavenger hunt of binary questions and answers.. If they want nuance, subtlety or complexity, they watch an episode of Seinfeld. For the truly good climate scientists, they know it is a thigh burning slog through Okefenokee Swamp, not knowing where they are going and never sure when they will get there.

  19. David young

    Yes Judith, I was surprised at some of the reactions at Hawkins, but there is an echo chamber out there populated by some of the moe shrill and prejudiced refugees from climate etc. the most pernicious is that there are no ethical problems with climate science.

    • I made the point on BishopHill that what Richard Betts and Ed Hawkins declaring that they have scored a victory is the same as the Egyptians did in 73.
      They have just decided that ‘deniers’ now believe in AGW and can go for the ‘one more push’ strategy of converting us all in to CAGW Thermoddedonists.
      Anyone noticed how cool the Pacific is at the moment?

    • maksimovich

      Anyone noticed how cool the Pacific is at the moment?

      Yep.

      • David Springer

        I was too busy noticing how cold the United States is to notice how cool the ocean thousands of miles away from me is. I did notice how lukewarm the global averate temperature was in February… 0.17C above the 1981-2010 average. Woo woo!

  20. Political Junkie

    If one believes that some evil enormously wealthy fossil fuel organizations are pulling strings behind GWPF to protect their vital interests some consequences logically follow:

    If the interests are really vital, the task of protecting them must be taken seriously – resources are not a problem to doing exactly that.

    Therefore GWPF must have a huge well paid staff of researchers and lobbyists in a GWPF owned office tower. Since publicity is vital, they must also own a TV channel as Al Gore did until he sold it to the oil sheiks. All of GWPF publications will have high cost production values have ready access to wide distribution. Because the conspiracy is global, lobbying globally is a must – a corporate jet, or perhaps a fleet of them must be hidden in some hangar at a major airport.

    These evil fossil fuel organizations don’t operate on a shoestring when their vital interests are at risk!

    • They don’t put all of their money into one organization or one activity (e.g they also lobby)

    • Clearly they are not doing it right, which is why they have failed to get the UK Parliament to do anything. In the UK, since politicians can’t be bought, you would need a grassroots approach to get the people to elect the right MPs. GWPF is far from a grassroots approach.

  21. The warmists understand full well the concept of luke-warmer sceptic but it suits their narrative to portray all sceptics as so called deniers. The term is deliberately imprecise to stifle any uncomfortable debate.

  22. Judith Curry

    Thank you for posting this, including the direct link to the Ben Pile essay. t is very interesting indeed.

    I hope your denizens will read the entire article, because it tells us a lot about how this debate is being managed by the climate orthodoxy in support of the consensus viewpoint and the political agenda to act now.

    It appears that Lewis and Crok have not only exposed weaknesses in the consensus science itself, but also in the political agenda driving this science.

    Max

  23. Generalissimo Skippy

    I read – better late than never – the notorious foreword if not the ‘report’. It find it deeply disingenuous in the full sense of the word.

    ‘… not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.’

    If climate is a coupled non-linear system – and it is – then sensitivity depends on the distance to tipping points. Not something that we can divine with much reliability. This is antithetical to the notion that ‘evidence of low sensitivity is piling up’.

    How is this not known by Judith with all the emphasis on non-linear systems and the support of ‘hypothesis III’? Badly thought through or disingenuous as I say. The emphasis on low sensitivity masks the toss of the die likely to occur with climate shifts several times this century. The question I have is whether going explicitly where the science of dynamical complexity leads is one bridge too far for Judith to burn.

    Low sensitivity encourages complacency – dynamic sensitivity cannot. Dynamic sensitivity brings the problem of what to do about emissions – multi gas emissions – front and centre.

    On the other hand taxes and caps are anathema – for a plethora of reasons. How do they not get that? It seems to go well beyond technical issues to a worldview that is profoundly antagonistic to the ideals of classic liberalism. It has for a long time in the culture wars in which the climate war is the latest manifestation. So – down with progressive liberalism – and we will see you on the barricades. Unless you want to negotiate a surrender – and the world might then move on to practical and pragmatic responses.

    • Hmmm, might not the evidence for low sensitivity mean that we’re a long distance from a tipping point?
      ========

    • I don’t usually agree with the Generalissimo, but I share some of the sentiments he posts here. Namely
      – pretending that you don’t know that a large climate change is very possible is what it appears like to me too,
      – promoting only low-sensitivity studies encourages a do-nothing or wait-and-see strategy whether deliberate or not.
      We come to this by different paths, for sure, but there is common ground here.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Well that’s sorted that then – these are not the droids you are looking for – move along.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      That’s because you are typically wrong Jimbo – and have a proclivity to pull impossible numbers out of your arse in support of a progressive liberal political agenda.

    • GS, thanks, nice to see you are back to normal after an excursion into lucidity.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Lucidity is something that progressive liberalism finds hard to muster.

      • David Springer

        C’mon man. Call them s p a c e c a d e t s. You know you want to. Allinsky urges you to ridicule your enemies. Just do it.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I hesitate to draw a distinction between groupthink and the old cultural struggle between progressive and classic liberals. Possibly a little cerebral and subtle. It is less than the difference between the smartest dickwad in the room syndrome and just being a dick.

  24. I suspect that this will all turn out to be moot if the global temperatures during this year are indeed lower than last years.

    Which is what this is suggesting

    http://climatedatablog.wordpress.com/uah/

  25. michael hart

    The BBC don’t employ journalists with the scientific background, or even the will to try, to understand the debate.

    This is reflected in the BBC’s attitude to the GWPF. They signed up to the Fossil-Fuel-Funded-Deniers meme simply because he is a possibly-influential Conservative ex-politician.

    I formed my thoughts without any influence from the GWPF at all. The BBC, and Mr. McGrath, are just digging harder and faster.

    • michael hart

      “He” being Lord Lawson, the big ‘name’ behind the GWPF, and Margaret Thatcher’s ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer.

      I wasn’t in the UK when the Conservatives were voted out of power in 1997, but the empty champagne bottles at the BBC were legendary. I might have emptied them too, but it’s not in my charter that I have to try to be impartial.

    • Why is everyone so nervous Of poorly funded and minuscule gwpf and its 82 year old de facto leader? Surely they are not seen as a threat to the well organised and well funded status quo which saw the climate change act voted into law with only 5 dissenters out of some 640 MP’s?

      The importance and influence of this organisation continues to be greatly exaggerated.

      Tonyb

    • tony b

      I agree with you that it is strange how IPCC supporters get so totally freaked out about Lewis + Crok, the GWPF and Ben Pile that they have to resort to personal attacks on them and attempts to discredit them (and by insinuation also our hostess here, who wrote a foreword to the Lewis + Crok paper).

      Desperate behavior?

      Max

  26. “What use is science to society, if its advocates are not brave enough to point out the nonsense that is produced in the name of the scientific consensus? – Ben Pile”

    What is the use of science to society if its advocates are not brave enough to point out the nonsense produced in the name of Ben Pile/GWPF?

    Let me.

    Ben Pile – ‘independant climate reseacher’ – ha! Former (?) paid political adviser to some minor MEP who is an anti-AG nut, to produce anti-environmental FUD.

    Runs a FUD blog as can be seen from it’s guiding princples;
    “unfounded sense of crisis dominates public discussion…. shrill demands for urgent action to mitigate …expense of genuine, illuminating, nuanced debate about …an uncertain future”.
    “evidence is not fact”, “evidence for anthropogenic climate change is neither as strong …as is widely claimed.”, “ability to mitigate, … is even less certain, and may itself be harmful”, “Environmentalism …blind faith and bad politics.” and so on, increasingly ranty on “environmentalism”

    Someone describes Pile’s wrting, very succintly,as “vacuous hyperbole”.

    But FUD too.

    and an obsession with Lewandosky, thi artcile being consistent with his style (and content);
    “Lewandowsky Nails his Faeces to the Door
    Lewandowsky’s lair, …the academic-psychologist-turned-propagandist….if he isn’t liar, he is master of self-deception”

    “In the midst of all this noise I wasn’t sure what GWPF was all about. Now I have a better idea, and I certainly support their objectives.” – Judith Curry

    Oh Judith. Playing naive, deosn’t suit you.

    FUD.That’s what they are about. And you really exect them to come out and say that?? (Did the tobacco lobby come out publicly and say they were against any and all regualtion, or did they put a publicly palatable face on it, which said they wanted more research, a better understanding blah, blah, blah???)

    It’s all about delay, delay, delay. As someone has accuratley caled them – not deniers, but delayers – heck, they’ll accept anything, as long as the message is – INACTION.

    Don’t do anything. Poltical/policy inaction is the primary goal. any discussion, concern, critiique, rejection or acceptance of any part of the science is secondary to that.

    • Michael

      For shame.

      An ad hom attack on the messenger.

      How silly.

      Max

    • Michael, after lots of scrutiny from Dr. Curry, I posted three things here in 2012.Two were on why the AR4 models run hot. One was on why model and IPCC sensitivity is too high even according to the wrong information in AR4 itself. Longer versions are in my last book. Plow through the arguments and the 200 plus footnotes, then get back about FUD. Last year I posted two pieces on coming peak oil production. That is a mitigation of sorts unforeseen by the IPCC. Won’t be good.
      And posted several exposes of truly dodgy CAGW ‘disasters’ including sea level rise (By Land or By Sea) and oysters (Shell Games). If the models run hot (they have for the entire 21st century), if the pause now falsifies them ( Ben Santer himself said that would happen about now in his 17 year paper published 2011), if other explanations for the pause are bogus speculation (missing ocean heat, discussed here previously in several posts, volcanic aerosols (Santer and Solomon’s newest paper says 15% of pause explanation), and now if per Lewis and Croc the IPCC’s own data and criteria say TCR is on the order of 1.3 rather than 2 with ECS on the order of 1.8 rather than 3, then there is no immediate need to do anything at all.

      Intermittent renewables are no a viable large scale grid substitution. You don’t like coal, even Hansen says go nuclear.

      I suggest you get rid of your cars, eat only organically grown food from your back yard dug, seeded, and harvested by hand, never take another plane trip, and go off the grid. No electricity for you to use posting inanities and insults like above here. Lights out back to candles and whale oil for you.

      It’s not about delay. It about not doing things that are not only not called for, but are downright stupid. Please do inflict those stupidities on yourself if it makes you feel better. Tell Hansen the next time he commutes to DC to get arrested over KXL, he should live up to his principles and walk there from NYC. Ditto McKibben from Vermont. Leave the rest of us alone.

      Saying Judith plays naive just outs your true colors. Green for sentiment, yellow for failure to engage with facts and logic.

      • Intermittent renewables are no a viable large scale grid substitution. You don’t like coal, even Hansen says go nuclear.

        The intermittency of renewables is a straw man. If solar power continues its exponential price decline, within a decade systems of combined solar/pumped storage may well be the cheapest available solution, since they will effectively cost little more than hydro. Cheap hydro, since you don’t have to go looking for a source of water at high elevations.

        Of course, it’s perfectly plausible that some breakthrough or other will result in a dramatic reduction in costs of some other sort of energy storage. There’s a plethora of potential candidates.

        As for nuclear, the dangers from nuclear terrorism (and rogue nations), the costs of measures to combat it, and the potential for demagogues to play on fears of those dangers in ways every man can feel in his testicles, will all probably (IMO) combine to keep it pretty much a non-competitor.

        But even without nuclear, there’s no reason for measures that raise the price of energy. Just foster lots of research. And even that doesn’t necessarily need to be paid for by the government. Some tweaking of IP laws might be sufficient.

        And if people want more, perhaps a solution involving letting businesses divert some percentage of their tax bill to specified types of R&D, to which they get limited rights to any results: less than patent rights from R&D funded through normal investments, but enough to offer an incentive.

    • Curious George

      Don’t dispute uncomfortable facts. Shoot the messenger.

    • Rud,

      Thanks for your advice.

      Would it be rude to suggest that your “get rid of your cars” etc, is a giant strawman based on a need to attribute conventiently simplistic positions to those you disagree with. What’s my car got to do with anything?

      And I might give your book a miss – I read, and commented on, several of your posts which were characterised by a disregard for the facts, inattention to detail and convenient leaps of logic. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything here that makes me expect any improvement in longer versions.

    • Max,

      You might need to look up what “ad hom” is.

      Glad to help.

    • Michael

      No need to “look up what ‘ad hom’ is”.

      I know it perfectly well.

      Do you?

      Max

    • Yes,

      Maybe you should try and point out some specific ‘ad hom’, and we can dissect your misunderstading.

    • How about the nonsense produced by these people?

      http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/SummaryPrelimReport.html

      Finally someone from NASA calls out Hansen

    • Rather unimpressive – i can understand why they don’t advertise their identities.

      • David Springer

        I certainly understand why you’re an anonymous coward. Here’s the group that began “The Right Climate Stuff”, by the way:

        /s/ Jack Barneburg, Jack – JSC, Space Shuttle Structures, Engineering Directorate, 34 years

        /s/ Larry Bell – JSC, Mgr. Crew Systems Div., Engineering Directorate, 32 years

        /s/ Dr. Donald Bogard – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 41 years

        /s/ Jerry C. Bostick – JSC, Principal Investigator, Science Directorate, 23 years

        /s/ Dr. Phillip K. Chapman – JSC, Scientist – astronaut, 5 years

        /s/ Michael F. Collins, JSC, Chief, Flight Design and Dynamics Division, MOD, 41 years

        /s/ Dr. Kenneth Cox – JSC, Chief Flight Dynamics Div., Engr. Directorate, 40 years

        /s/ Walter Cunningham – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 7, 8 years

        /s/ Dr. Donald M. Curry – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Leading Edge, Thermal Protection Sys., Engr. Dir., 44 years

        /s/ Leroy Day – Hdq. Deputy Director, Space Shuttle Program, 19 years

        /s/ Dr. Henry P. Decell, Jr. – JSC, Chief, Theory & Analysis Office, 5 years

        /s/Charles F. Deiterich – JSC, Mgr., Flight Operations Integration, MOD, 30 years

        /s/ Dr. Harold Doiron – JSC, Chairman, Shuttle Pogo Prevention Panel, 16 years

        /s/ Charles Duke – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 16, 10 years

        /s/ Anita Gale

        /s/ Grace Germany – JSC, Program Analyst, 35 years

        /s/ Ed Gibson – JSC, Astronaut Skylab 4, 14 years

        /s/ Richard Gordon – JSC, Astronaut, Gemini Xi, Apollo 12, 9 years

        /s/ Gerald C. Griffin – JSC, Apollo Flight Director, and Director of Johnson Space Center, 22 years

        /s/ Thomas M. Grubbs – JSC, Chief, Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Branch, 31 years

        /s/ Thomas J. Harmon

        /s/ David W. Heath – JSC, Reentry Specialist, MOD, 30 years

        /s/ Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr. – JSC, Flight crew training and operations, 3 years

        /s/ James R. Roundtree – JSC Branch Chief, 26 years

        /s/ Enoch Jones – JSC, Mgr. SE&I, Shuttle Program Office, 26 years

        /s/ Dr. Joseph Kerwin – JSC, Astronaut, Skylab 2, Director of Space and Life Sciences, 22 years

        /s/ Jack Knight – JSC, Chief, Advanced Operations and Development Division, MOD, 40 years

        /s/ Dr. Christopher C. Kraft – JSC, Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center, 24 years

        /s/ Paul C. Kramer – JSC, Ass.t for Planning Aeroscience and Flight Mechanics Div., Egr. Dir., 34 years

        /s/ Alex (Skip) Larsen

        /s/ Dr. Lubert Leger – JSC, Ass’t. Chief Materials Division, Engr. Directorate, 30 years

        /s/ Dr. Humbolt C. Mandell – JSC, Mgr. Shuttle Program Control and Advance Programs, 40 years

        /s/ Donald K. McCutchen – JSC, Project Engineer – Space Shuttle and ISS Program Offices, 33 years

        /s/ Thomas L. (Tom) Moser – Hdq. Dep. Assoc. Admin. & Director, Space Station Program, 28 years

        /s/ Dr. George Mueller – Hdq., Assoc. Adm., Office of Space Flight, 6 years

        /s/ Tom Ohesorge

        /s/ James Peacock – JSC, Apollo and Shuttle Program Office, 21 years

        /s/ Richard McFarland – JSC, Mgr. Motion Simulators, 28 years

        /s/ Joseph E. Rogers – JSC, Chief, Structures and Dynamics Branch, Engr. Directorate,40 years

        /s/ Bernard J. Rosenbaum – JSC, Chief Engineer, Propulsion and Power Division, Engr. Dir., 48 years

        /s/ Dr. Harrison (Jack) Schmitt – JSC, Astronaut Apollo 17, 10 years

        /s/ Gerard C. Shows – JSC, Asst. Manager, Quality Assurance, 30 years

        /s/ Kenneth Suit – JSC, Ass’t Mgr., Systems Integration, Space Shuttle, 37 years

        /s/ Robert F. Thompson – JSC, Program Manager, Space Shuttle, 44 years/s/ Frank Van Renesselaer – Hdq., Mgr. Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters, 15 years

        /s/ Dr. James Visentine – JSC Materials Branch, Engineering Directorate, 30 years

        /s/ Manfred (Dutch) von Ehrenfried – JSC, Flight Controller; Mercury, Gemini & Apollo, MOD, 10 years

        /s/ George Weisskopf – JSC, Avionics Systems Division, Engineering Dir., 40 years

        /s/ Al Worden – JSC, Astronaut, Apollo 15, 9 years

        /s/ Thomas (Tom) Wysmuller – JSC, Meteorologist, 5 years

    • I did try to read their stuff – yet another reminder that being in expert in one feild is no guarantee of not being a fool in another.

      Here are some of there conclusions;
      “Carbon based AGW science is not settled” – let’s ignore the weird new nomenclature. How did they arrive at this conclusion? – they take one quote from Hansen and Alley saying there is AGW and then another from Lindzen with his ‘no worries’ approach and, voila, we don’t know.
      I’ve seen some awful false balance in my time, but that is one of the best/worst.

      “Natural processes dominate climate change” – but now have sudden and inexplicable ceratinty. Why didn’t they just find someone to diasgree wthis this and turn it into ‘that natural processes dominat climate change is not settled’??

      And then they go off the deep end into mad screaming nonsense;
      “Non-Carbon based AGW anthropogenic forcings are significant. These include….Urban Heat Island (UHI ) effect”

      The UHI effect is a significant forcing??

      I didn’t bother going any further, they’d wasted enough of my time.

    • @ Michael

      “I did try to read their stuff – yet another reminder that being in expert in one feild is no guarantee of not being a fool in another.”

      So, Michael, what is YOUR field of expertise?

    • See what trouble appeal to authority gets you Bob?

      These guys, by their own admission, have no background in climate.

      But you’ve elevated their importance ie, – Oh, NASA!. – which is irrelevant, only the quality of their analysis matters, which is demonstrably poor.

  27. I wondered at some point what was the threshold value for climate sensitivity that would cause some one to be classified a denier. Was it 1, 1.5, 2? It didn’t seem it would be zero since so many “deniers” thought it was some value greater than 0.

    Then I realized it has nothing to do with climate sensitivity. It has to do with your belief in consequences and the compelling need to take severe action.

    I could believe in a sensitivity value of 1 but if I thought droughts and famines would result I wouldn’t be a denier.

    I could be believe in 4 and if I thought only good would come of it I would be a denier.

    • Better to be a denier than a fabricator.

    • Jim 2 plus 1

    • If only everyone would see that business as usual can in all probability result in 4 C warming, and then just debate whether or not to do anything about it. I think the “skeptics” see that as a losing tactic, and it is a slippery slope to even concede that 4 C is possible at a significant probability, which is why we don’t see these people publicly conceding this possibility at all, even if internally they think it. It is not fully honest of them, but that’s how debates work in the political sphere.

    • maksimovich

      If only everyone would see that business as usual can in all probability result in 4 C warming, and then just debate whether or not to do anything about it.

      The probability for BAU is for a natural decrease in energy intensity due to the future population decrease.

      this is clearly evident in population demographics,and hence the 8.5 storybook is incorrect in its assumptions.

      http://www.economist.com/news/21589151-crashing-fertility-will-transform-asian-family-baby-boom-bust

    • maksimovich, population projections have it flattening out at 10 billion later this century. Yes, advanced countries have lower birth rates, but they also have at least twice the per capita energy needs. Flattening of the birth rate doesn’t stop advancement, and the resulting growth in per capita carbon output.

    • Jim D

      4C warming is science fiction.

      So why should we even discuss it?

      Come back down to Earth, Jim.

      Let’s talk about 2C (maybe) over the next 100 years (as economically and environmentally competitive new technologies replace fossil fuels and atmospheric CO2 stabilizes at around 650-700 ppmv).

      OK?

      Max

    • 2 C is tough to hold to and requires a deliberate policy of leaving fossil fuels in the ground. See my answer to you elsewhere recently.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      There is zero warming sensitivity, because, as I have proved with valid physics, all the carbon dioxide has a net cooling effect of less than about 0.1 degree. See this comment and several of mine following it …

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/03/christy-emanuel-have-a-conversation-on-climate-change/#comment-107848

    • Jim D

      maksimovich is right, of course.

      Start with the premise that the UN and US Census Bureau projections on population growth are correct, and that we will see a population of slightly over 10 billion before this levels off.

      And that most of the growth will come in nations or regions, which have a very low per capita carbon footprint today, which will increase, while the high per capita carbon footprint of the slower growing industrially developed nations will continue to decrease as it is now doing.

      Do the simple arithmetic, Jim, and you will see that it would be reasonable to estimate that the overall global average per capita carbon footprint could increase by 30% (it increased by 15% from 1970 to today, with very little pressure to conserve energy or “decarbonize”).

      This would put us at around 650 ppmv CO2 by the end of this century with no climate initiatives.

      This could be reduced by, let’s say, around 80 to 100 ppmv by implementing a few no regrets initiatives (no carbon tax but specific actions) on a global basis, such as:

      – replace all new coal-fired plants with either nuclear (by making it more competitive) or natural gas (where readily available or where there are proliferation concerns)

      – replace all Diesel driven heavy transport with natural gas

      – replace all automobiles with hybrids

      – install energy saving technologies (home insulation, etc.) plus some “lifestyle changes”

      – maximize recycling of materials

      So it is reasonable to estimate that we will see CO2 concentrations of 570 to 650 ppmv by the end of this century.

      And this could be much lower, of course, if new technologies are developed, which are economically and environmentally competitive with fossil fuels (and there are a few in the pipeline already and others very likely to emerge as a result of human ingenuity and economic pressures).

      What do you think, Jim?

      Max

    • manacker, your scenarios require 2-3 ppm per year through 2100. Today’s value is 2 ppm per year, so it is a no-growth to weak-growth scenario. Then at 2100, without mitigation you are still adding maybe 30 ppm per decade, then what? Or do you foresee a significant reduction to almost zero without policies by 2100? Think where you would like to be at 2100, not just in terms of ppm, but also in terms of emitted ppm/decade in that year.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The temperature projections remain a sad joke – the reality is the virtual certainty of no warming for a decade to three yet – and very little certainty beyond that. The focus on CO2 is inadequate as well – where CO2 is a small part of the emissions/land use/population and development picture. There are multiple gases and aerosols, way better ways to use agricultural lands and conserve ecologies and better outcomes possible for population and development pressures.

      Much of this emerges naturally from economic development and social stability. Much of that is not even nearly merely energy innovation but involves free trade, implementation of effective models of democracy and the rule of law, effective and transparent economic management, a focus on health, education, safe water and sanitation, implementing the newer agricultural methods and better management of common pool resources.

    • The characteristic of deniers is the adamant belief that nothing needs to be done to cut emissions, because there is no danger. It’s denial of the threat. That could be done by denying warming, or denying man is causing it, or denying that it will cause a problem.

    • I don’t adamantly believe that nothing needs to be done about CO2 emissions, lollie. I am open to being convinced. Am I excused? Do I get into the 97% Consensus Club, or do I have to swallow the entire dogma to avoid being a denier?

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      I keep insisting that the risks are much worse than either side realizes.

      And keep suggesting real ways forward – i.e. just above.

    • Jim D

      You write:

      manacker, your scenarios require 2-3 ppm per year through 2100. Today’s value is 2 ppm per year, so it is a no-growth to weak-growth scenario. Then at 2100, without mitigation you are still adding maybe 30 ppm per decade, then what?

      You are totally wrong.

      Let me correct you.

      I am going by the UN estimate that world population will grow to around 10.3 billion by 2100.

      Global per capita CO2 emissions were 4.5 tons in 2013 (up by around 13% from 1970).

      I have ASS-U-MEd that global per capita CO2 emissions will grow by a further 30% from today to 2100, to a level of 5.9 tons. So there is growth, both in population as well as in per capita fossil fuel consumption.

      On this basis, following the population growth curve, annual CO2 emissions by 2100 will reach around 60 Gt. This equates to an annual increase in atmospheric CO2 of 3.9 ppmv (compared to today’s 2.0 ppmv).

      And CO2 concentration will increase from today’s 395 ppmv to 650 ppmv by 2100 under this scenario. This represents a total CO2 emission 2013-2100 of 4000 Gt.

      Your “then what?” question is rhetorical, because no one has any idea what the world will look like after 2100 (new technologies, etc.).
      _______________________________________________________

      As a comparison IPCC RCP8.5 (so-called “business as usual” case) ASS-U-MEs:

      Same population growth, but global per capita CO2 growing to 18.3 tons by 2100. CO2 concentration reaches 1075 ppmv under this scenario (a higher value than would result from combusting all the estimated fossil fuels remaining on our planet!). This represents a total CO2 emission 2013-2100 of over 10000 Gt.

      Annual CO2 emissions would be 188 Gt by 2100 with an annual increase of 12 ppmv by 2100.

      The “industrially developed nations” today (USA, Canada, EU, other W. Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) emit a total of around 13 Gt CO2 today, with a total population of 1.05 billion, or a per capita CO2 emission of around 12.5 tons. This is decreasing slowly year by year.

      So this means that IPCC ASS-U-MEs that the entire world will be emitting around 50% more CO2 by 2100 than the “industrially developed nations” emit today.

      I’m sure that even you can see how absurd this assumption is.

      Jim, when making projections for the future, it is always best to start with today’s actual statistics and published forecasts for things like population growth, estimates of increased per capita consumption based on past increases, etc. and take into consideration any constraints (like the total fossil fuels remaining).

      When you do this (and do your arithmetic correctly) you can get a fair estimate of what the future will look like. Of course, there could be factors that reduce future use of fossil fuels, which would result in a lower estimate for 2100.

      IPCC obviously did not do this, when it cobbled together the RCP8.5 scenario.

      It is “science fiction”

      Max

    • Belinda @ 6.43, do you mean “Jim 3”?

    • Responding to Faustino for Belinda.

      …’at least–at least I mean what I say –that’s the same thing
      you know.’

      ‘Not the same thing a bit!’ said the Hatter – ‘You might just as well
      say that “I see what I eat” is the same thing as “I eat what I see.” ‘
      Lewis Carroll.

    • @ James Cross

      Exactly! The ‘denier/believer’ sorting criteria have nothing to do with science and EVERYTHING to do with politics.

      Whatever your opinion of the influence of ACO2 on the TOE, if you do not believe that fossil fuels are intrinsically evil and that the effects of ACO2, WHATEVER the ‘sensitivity’, are so calamitous that amelioration requires that governments control and/or tax any activity has a ‘carbon footprint’, i. e., everything, you are a ‘denier’.

      If you recall the ’70’s, when the catastrophe du jour was cooling, the ‘treatment’ was to control the use of fossil fuels. There were others proposed, like coating the Arctic/Antarctic with soot to melt the icecaps, but the key was government control of fossil fuel production and consumption.

      There is a common thread running over the last 50 years (at least): We face future calamity, the looming catastrophe was identified by progressives, immediate action is required, salvation requires that consumption of fossil fuels be severely restricted or halted through government control of energy production and consumption, and only ‘renewables’ (hydro is also bad) can be considered for replacement. The ultimate result of ‘treating’ the ‘catastrophic threat’ posed by our consumption of fossil fuels, whether the threat be warming or cooling, is that energy will become much more expensive and its supply limited.

      Dr. Jerrry Pournelle has said often, and accurately, that the key to freedom and prosperity is the availability of cheap, plentiful energy. Which leads me to wonder why the ‘progressives’ have embarked on a 50 year long (and counting) crusade to enact policies which are absolutely guaranteed to increase the cost of energy AND reduce its supply, whatever their efficacy in averting catastrophe.

      • There is a common thread running over the last 50 years (at least): We face future calamity, the looming catastrophe was identified by progressives, immediate action is required, salvation requires that consumption of fossil fuels be severely restricted or halted through government control of energy production and consumption, and only ‘renewables’ (hydro is also bad) can be considered for replacement. The ultimate result of ‘treating’ the ‘catastrophic threat’ posed by our consumption of fossil fuels, whether the threat be warming or cooling, is that energy will become much more expensive and its supply limited.

        While I pretty much agree with you here, IMO these problems are usually not made-up fantasies, they’re mythic elaborations on real potential problems seen by real scientists. The key element is converting a problem that can be solved by technology to one that requires shutting down the Industrial Revolution.

        The appropriate response, IMO, is not to deny the problem, but to properly define it in terms of viable solutions. The problem is that our industrial civilization is digging up massive quantities of fossil carbon and dumping it into the biosphere/climate where we can’t even evaluate the risks involved. The solutions will involve a variety of technological innovations to:

        Replace fossil-based power with forms with less eco-footprint.

        Accelerate the natural evolution of technologies to extract CO2 from the air/ocean surface both for profitable use (e.g. fuel and construction material) and sequestration if necessary, which latter determination we have decades to advance the science to determine.

        Do all this WITHOUT raising the price of energy!


    • What do you think, Jim?

      Max

      Since Manacker has a very small aperture into reality, he can not see that future fossil fuels will be of lower quality and therefore have very poor EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested). That means companies will use much more fossil fuels just to extract what is available. So that it is not inconceivable that 3 to 4 times as much natural gas or oil will need to be used to convert the bitumen or kerogen to something that we can use. Not to mention the energy it takes to blow off mountaintops to get at coal, or to do all the environmental restoration on the tar sands land.

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

      This has absolutely nothing to do with population growth but everything to do with our ability to work off of small margins.

      More than anything else this has scientists spooked.
      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/02/u_s_shale_oil_are_we_headed_to_a_new_era_of_oil_abundance.html

      Imagine a EROEI of 1.1 operating on the vast quantities of oil shale (not shale oil, a different beast). This would mean 10 times the usable energy would be a form of waste. Could happen. Our demand for energy is real, whether you like it or not Manacker.

    • Webby

      Your sidetrack of EROI of future fossil fuels does not change the fact that RCP8.5 is grossly exaggerated science fiction. Jim D is basing his long-range projections on this sci-fi stuff.

      It ASS-U-MEs that WORLD-WIDE average per capita CO2 emission will be 150% of the current per capita emission of the industrially developed nation., In other words every Somali, Bengladeshi and Haitian is going to use half again as much fossil fuels by 2100 as Americans, Europeans and Japanese do today.

      All the EROI offset in the world isn’t going to cause that, Webby – use your head and try a little basic arithmetic. Don’t be a dummy.

      Max

    • manacker, RCP8.5 is extreme, I would give you that, but I think 700 ppm is very likely to be crossed around 2100 with business as usual, with emissions past that continuing at a rate several times more than now. 700 ppm gives you 4 C instead of the 2 C that the skeptics seem to think is good. The RCP8.5 scenario was looking at an increase in coal as a percentage of all energy and a global population of 12 billion, but the expansion of tarsand oil would be even more dirty and raise the per capita carbon of its users too.

    • The Swiss Miss can’t comprehend that economic growth as it is defined now depends on cheap energy. The path that we are on right now for cheap energy is to continue to extract fossil fuels at whatever margin is feasible. That opens up new resources such as oil shale .

      So low EROEI resources will compensate for the reducedpopulation increase, and the CO2 growth will continue.
      But then again, we may move toward alternative and renewable energy sources on the way there.

      Rejoice, MAnacker, your deepest fears that the environmentalists are right might materialize!

    • Jim D

      Glad you agree that the (so-called “business as usual”) IPCC RCP8.5 scenario is exaggerated.

      So you now think that 700 ppmv by 2100 (rather than over 1000 ppmv) is more realistic.

      This implies that the average global per capita CO2 emission will increase by around 80% from today to 2100 (it rose by 13% from 1970 to today). Looks like a bit of a stretch to me, but let’s say it is an upper limit of what could happen.

      2xCO2 TCR (70 years) is between 1.35 (latest observation-based studies) and 1.8 (older IPCC model predictions), with 2xCO2 ECS (at some hypothetical “equilibrium”) between 1.8 and 3 (same bases as TCR).

      This means that the observed warming from increased CO2 over the next 76 years would theoretically be between:

      1.35 * ln (700 / 395) / ln (2) = 1.1C and
      1.8 * ln (700 / 395) / ln (2) = 1.5C, or
      1.3C +/- 0.2C

      increasing to an “equilibrium” value (some day in the far distant future) to somewhere between:

      1.8 * ln (700 / 395) / ln (2) = 1.5C and
      3 * ln (700 / 395) / ln (2) = 2.5C, or
      2.0C +/- 0.5C
      (an added 0.7C waiting “in the magic pipeline)

      The study by Richard Tol tells us that the next 2C warming above today will be beneficial for humanity. .

      I’d place more faith on the latest several independent observation-based studies showing lower climate sensitivity than the earlier model-based predictions used by IPCC, which show higher sensitivity, so even this worst case scenario is no big deal, Jim, as I’m sure you can see.

      Max

    • manacker, even 2 C may well mean 1 C over tropical oceans, 4 C over land, which is not so good, especially as it may be even more over the Greenland glaciers and the sea-ice season would be limited. 700 ppm just requires 100 GtCO2 by 2100, three times today’s emission rate. So far emission rates have been doubling every 33 years, so this would be a slowdown in the growth rate. Continued doubling at that rate gets you to 1000 ppm.

    • Webby

      Sometimes even you make sense, for example when you write (bold type by me)

      economic growth as it is defined now depends on cheap energy. The path that we are on right now for cheap energy is to continue to extract fossil fuels at whatever margin is feasible. That opens up new resources such as oil shale .

      AND

      But then again, we may move toward alternative and renewable energy sources on the way there

      Yes on both points.

      Jim ASS-U-MEs that the world in 2100 will look like it does today, and therefore that per capita fossil fuel consumption will continue to increase inexorably, to a level 80% higher than today, reaching a concentration of 700 ppmv by 2100, as a result. (Keeping in mind that it rose by around 13% from 1970 to today, 80% increase until 2100 is a mighty big jump.)

      I, on the other hand, ASS-U-ME that, as a result of human ingenuity and economic pressures, new non-fossil fuel technologies will emerge (as you write), which are economically and environmentally competitive with fossil fuels in many locations, thereby gradually reducing human consumption of fossil fuels, rather than increasing it by 80% as Jim ASS-U-MEs.

      So Jim’s 700 ppmv are very likely on the high side.

      Glad we agree, Webby.

      Max

    • Webby

      (re-posted with correct formatting)
      Webby

      Sometimes even you make sense, for example when you write (bold type by me)

      economic growth as it is defined now depends on cheap energy. The path that we are on right now for cheap energy is to continue to extract fossil fuels at whatever margin is feasible. That opens up new resources such as oil shale .

      AND

      But then again, we may move toward alternative and renewable energy sources on the way there

      Yes on both points.

      Jim ASS-U-MEs that the world in 2100 will look like it does today, and therefore that per capita fossil fuel consumption will continue to increase inexorably, to a level 80% higher than today, reaching a concentration of 700 ppmv by 2100, as a result. (Keeping in mind that it rose by around 13% from 1970 to today, 80% increase until 2100 is a mighty big jump.)

      I, on the other hand, ASS-U-ME that, as a result of human ingenuity and economic pressures, new non-fossil fuel technologies will emerge (as you write), which are economically and environmentally competitive with fossil fuels in many locations, thereby gradually reducing human consumption of fossil fuels, rather than increasing it by 80% as Jim ASS-U-MEs.

      So Jim’s 700 ppmv are very likely on the high side.

      Glad we agree, Webby.

      Max

    • Raymond PierreHumbert argues that if we start to exploit the resources of the oil shale areas such as the Green River formation, our fate is clouded. This is 3 trillion barrels equivalent which would require energy intensive cooking to recover oil from kerogen, not to mention water from who knows where.

      If the EROEI is only barely above 1 and we don’t sequester the co2 waste, all that will go into the atmosphere.

      When you read that the USA is fossil fuel rich this is what they are referring to.

      Thus is not meant to scare poor Max, but to show how planning for the future is done.

    • manacker, the easiest path is using all the fossil fuels up, and more to be found. That will not get you to your 2 C ideal, but will overshoot it by rather a lot. You credit human ingenuity for getting us out of this, but that is only if that ingenuity includes a realization of where the fossil fuel path leads, which maybe it does (skeptics on this site excluded). Incentives and disincentives, preferably on a global scale, get us out of this, no less.

    • Jim D

      Population has been growing at a compounded rate of 1.6% per year.

      It is expected to slow down to less than one-fourth of this rate.

      You cannot just expect human CO2 to continue growing at the same rate when human population growth rate decreases to one-fourth.

      This is the basic problem with these IPCC forecasts. They are not based on reality.

      We’ve agreed that 700 ppmv is a more likely “worst case business as usual scenario” than over 1000 ppmv, as projected by IPCC (and which even exceeds all the CO2 in the remaining fossil fuels – OUCH!)

      And this means that the projected warming from AGW will be within the limit estimated by Richard Tol to be beneficial for humanity.

      All your wiggling and squirming doesn’t change this, so give up on it.

      Besides, it is very likely (as Webby also believes) that new, economically and environmentally competitive, non-fossil fuel technologies will develop over the course of this century, which will reduce the increase in atmospheric CO2.

      CAGW is an imaginary hobgoblin, Jim.

      Max

    • manacker, you keep saying 1000 ppm is what you get when all fossil fuels are burned. Some estimates say we have only used 5-10% of all fossil fuels so far, so we can easily exceed 1000 ppm if we try.
      E.g. this is from one of Hansen’s recent papers.
      “Are there sufficient fossil fuel reserves to yield 5,000-10,000 GtC? Recent updates of potential reserves (GEA, 2012), including unconventional fossil fuels (such as tar sands, tar shale, and hydrofracking-derived shale gas) in addition to conventional oil, gas and coal, suggest that 5×CO2 (1400 ppm) is indeed feasible. For instance, using the emission factor for coal from IPCC (2007b), coal resources given by GEA (2012) amount to 7,300-11,000 GtC. Similarly, using emission factors from IPCC (2007b), total recoverable fossil energy reserves and resources estimated by GEA (2012) are ~15,000 GtC. This does not include large “additional occurrences” listed in Ch.7 of GEA (2012). Thus, for a multi-centennial CO2 airborne fraction between one- third to two-thirds, as discussed above, there are more than enough available fossil fuels to cause a forcing of 9 W/m2 sustained for centuries.”

    • Jim D

      When I want to find out how much fossil fuels there are left on the planet, I go to reliable sources, such as the WEC or IEA, not to CAGW advocate (and “coal death train” hypster), James E. Hansen.

      Most studies tell us that the remaining recoverable fossil fuel resources on the planet are less than 60% of what was originally there; some are even more pessimistic. But I have taken the most optimistic estimate, namely that made in 2010 by WEC for all “inferred recoverable fossil fuel resources” ( a much higher estimate than that for “proven recoverable reserves”, which is often used to paint “peak oil” disaster scenarios).

      These estimates tell me that by 2008 we had used up 15% of the total recoverable fossil fuels that were ever on our planet, leaving 85% to go. It includes tar sands, shale, etc. On this basis, I can calculate that the remaining fossil fuels could get us to 980 ppmv CO2 when they are all 100% used up.

      This will, of course, never happen because, as they become scarcer and more expensive to extract, their use as fossil fuels will be replaced by new economically and environmentally competitive technologies and they will be reserved for higher value (non-combustion) end uses, such as petrochemicals.

      Boswell & Collett 2011 estimated that an added 1,200 trillion cubic meters methane could some day possibly be recovered world-wide from methane hydrates. This is still a long shot, but could add another 150 ppmv CO2 to the atmosphere, bringing the total to 1130 ppmv when “the lights go out”.

      But the caveat above still holds and I believe we can see 1000 ppmv as the maximum ever possible CO2 level from human combustion of fossil fuels.

      But, hey, if you want to believe in bogus numbers put out by advocates, go right ahead. It’s a free world. Just don’t expect me to swallow that BS.

      Max

    • Hansen has references too. Those aren’t his own numbers.

    • To pull an ace on MAnacker, I did write an authoritative reference on fossil fuel depletion called The Oil Conundrum.

      Our issue is that the high quality oil is disappearing fast and we are left with bottom of the barrel sludge that requires the equivalent of energy cannabalism to exploit effectively. That is we may have to waste 2 units to get 1 unit of practical fuel out of the deal.

      This EROEI deflation is compensating for the lack of population growth. And so we continue to accelerate emissions. It is very amusing that MAnacker can not understand what everyone else sees as obvious — when the stuff is lousy, you need a lot more of it.

      • David Springer

        Yes but there is a frickin’ huge incentive for improvement in extraction efficiency as any gain goes directly to the bottom line. It also raises the price commensurately which is why oil that was $30/bbl ten years ago is now $90/bbl. The high price drives conservation which is why we have hybrid vehicles and TSI diesels which get up to 50mpg. It’s all good. Stop sweating over it.

      • David Springer

        The bottom line however remains that not enough of the world’s population are willing to throw themselves under the bus to make an appreciable difference in global CO2 emission. A few guilt-ridden western democracies marginally reducing CO2 production won’t do the trick. The only solution is to find an alternative that is cheaper than fossil fuel. As fossil fuel becomes more expensive due to exhaustion of low hanging fruit alternatives become more competitive. But it’s pretty friggin’ unlikely that wind or biomass or ethanol from agriculture is going to be one of those alternatives. A breakthrough technology is needed. I expect it’s going to come by way of harvest of sunlight and conversion to synthetic fuel for distribution, storage, and consumption.

    • David Springer

      You are spot on.

      If and when recovering fossil fuels becomes less economically attractive than an environmentally acceptable alternate energy source, we will switch to that other energy source.

      So far this is not yet the case. Solar and wind just don’t hack it, except for small-scale local applications. Corn ethanol is a loser (except for the few that have cashed in at taxpayer expense).

      But it is inevitable.

      The alternates you have described seem quite reasonable. The sun is the sole source of energy for our planet, and it is reasonable to ASS-U-ME that this energy will some day be directly harnessed effectively, rather than simply by recovering fossil fuels from the ground, which the sun put there millions or billions of years ago.

      Doomsayer crackpots like Hansen talk seriously of 8xCO2 and an “uninhabitable planet” as a result, but this is just BS – even alarmist, Jim D, agrees that 700 ppmv by 2100 is more realistic than IPCC’s 1000+ ppmv, let along 8xCO2 (or 3200 ppmv).

      And, based on latest estimates of climate sensitivity plus the Richard Tol study on the impact of warming on humanity, even 700 ppmv is nothing to worry about.

      The sting is gone from CAGW.

      But, instead of rejoicing, we hear “wailing, lamenting and gnashing of teeth” from the doomsayers.

      Strange.

      Max

  28. I am an unbeliever. I also don’t believe the Earth is flat, that the luminiferous ether is necessary for the transmission of radiant energy, or that climatology qualifies as a science.

    At best, one could describe climatologists as natural philosophers – although that might be considered to be holding the rich and vibrant history of natural philosophy in low regard.

    “Scientists say . . . ” is a particularly pernicious and insidious phrase, and ascribes to any group of fools or frauds a mantle of respectability which may or may not be deserved.

    Interestingly, many so-called scientists place heavy emphasis on the possession of a PhD, whether their degree relates to their pronouncements of doom or not. Of course, the degree is one of Doctor of Philosophy, because in most cases it would be absurd to award a Doctor of Science degree to most PhD graduates. However, Philosopher doesn’t sound as convincing as Scientist, does it?

    There is precious little evidence of any scientific method used by climatologists. There seems to be only some mad theory that increasing the amount of CO2 in the the atmosphere will cause the atmosphere to warm, and that the warming will in some way be detrimental humanity.

    A guess about about an assumption based on a delusion.

    Can the proponents of AGW guarantee that their exhortations to follow a certain course of action will not result in disastrous outcomes? Of course not.

    Will they accept any responsibility if they are wrong? Of course not.

    It’s all a giant charade, which has fortunately provided a good living and undeserved accolades to those clever enough or lucky enough to enjoy the ride on the bandwagon.

    Nature will be the final arbiter – why waste time and effort arguing about the future? On the other hand, most people derive enjoyment by immersing themselves in fiction of one sort or another. Gullibility runs rampant, and people possess an innate desire to believe that the Golden Age is just around the corner, that the latest beauty treatment will make you look younger, and that some foods are good, and some are bad.

    Add to this the bizarre belief held by some that facts occur as the result of a consensus, and one can sit back, relax, and marvel at the rich tapestry of life without losing one’s equanimity.

    Climatology? Nonsense. Not a science, never will be, and of equivalent practical use to phrenology or astrology, at best, and less useful at worst.

    Live well,and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • For you, I particularly like the variant: Speak well, and prosper in understanding.
      =============

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      Given the six other impossible things Flynn believes – the litany of non-beliefs is unconvincing.

    • Well stated Mike. I studied Meteorology and Oceanography in the late 60’s and I keep looking for the meat in the current arguments that would convince me that we now know all we didn’t know 50 yrs ago. It just ain’t there.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      Yes Mike. I quote from my book …

      Essentially the concept dates back to somewhat primitive experiments conducted in the nineteenth century, but soundly rebutted in the mid twentieth century by several eminent scientists who explained that carbon dioxide and water vapour could do nothing but cause cooling. However, from around 1980 a relatively small group of climatologists rekindled the idea, supposedly supporting it with what amounts to totally invalid and misunderstood physics.

      The level of water vapour varies between about 1% and 4% and so it is by far the most dominant “greenhouse gas” with about 25 to 100 times as many molecules as there are carbon dioxide molecules. It is a relatively simple matter to show, as in the Appendix, that regions become cooler as the level of water vapour increases, but climatologists would have us believe the exact opposite.

      But it gets worse. We can assume that when climatologists applied the SBL they then realised that the amount of energy shown as entering the surface was nowhere near enough to explain the actual observed temperatures for the surface. If they applied the same concepts to Venus there would be only 2% to 3% entering the surface and a far greater discrepancy between calculated and observed temperatures.

      So, somewhere along the line, someone got the idea that we needed to explain the “33 degree” difference as being due to back radiation, which they claimed doubles the amount of radiation going into the surface.

      How have so many scientists been so misled by this conjecture that radiative forcing supposedly warms a planet’s surface well beyond any temperature that direct Solar radiation could achieve? Perhaps it is because of a growing mentality that all we need is a bit of First Year university physics to grab a formula and that, without understanding the limitations and prerequisites, we can just plug values into that formula and get right answers.

    • Curious George

      Mike, I partly disagree with your statement “Not a science, never will be.” It COULD be, but only with new people, and a new name.

    • Mike, well said.

      Kim, I tried “Live well and prop, sir” the other day, but didn’t get a bite. Obviously more work needed.

    • How about: Endeavour to give sweetness and light satisfaction?
      =======================

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      ‘Although it has failed to produce its intended impact nevertheless the Kyoto Protocol has performed an important role. That role has been allegorical. Kyoto has permitted different groups to tell different stories about themselves to themselves and to others, often in superficially scientific language. But, as we are increasingly coming to understand, it is often not questions about science that are at stake in these discussions. The culturally potent idiom of the dispassionate scientific narrative is being employed to fight culture wars over competing social and ethical values.’ http://www.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/mackinder/pdf/mackinder_Wrong%20Trousers.pdf

      Did you hear the one about the Earth cooling from the inside out for 4.54 billion years? Science has not moved on in 50 years? Greenhouse gases are cooling the planet? The atmosphere automatically compensates by expanding? etc. etc. We are well down the rabbit hole.

    • Faustino,

      Many apologies for not saluting your wonderful usage more promptly! I was temporarily overcome with wonderment at your mastery.

      My flabbers were well and truly gasted. I cannot better you, not that I would want to.

      I can only abjectly revert to . . .

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Faustino,

      Please note, I wasn’t being sarcastic. I gave thought to attempting to engage in a verbal light hearted jousting competition, but – possibly reading more meaning into your word play than was intended – I realised that my lance was limp, and my shield had all the protective qualities of wilted lettuce.

      Combine that with being mounted on an ageing steed afflicted with an attack of the linguistic staggers, and you will appreciate why I ceded the field. Needs must.

      I will bide my time, sirrah! In the meantime, sincerely,

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mike, just a play on words with no implications or deep meaning.

      Leave well and find another water source.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      “Did you hear the one about the Earth cooling from the inside out for 4.54 billion years? ” writes the good General.

      Yes I heard about it, but there are three main “old wives tales” of climatology that are brainwashed into climatology students by climatology teachers who learnt them from their climatology teachers. And this is one of them.

      If you do the calculations, Earth and Venus (being similar in size) cool by 5 to 10 degrees every night. So they could easily have cooled right down in the first few hundred years of those 4 billion years. So too could the Uranus core which is 55% the size of Earth, but still about 5,000K at its surface. Why hasn’t it cooled as much as the Earth?

      The planets and satellite moons of our solar system are not still undergoing long-term cooling.

      They all absorb solar energy from the Sun every day which warms them back up by the amount they cooled the night before. Solar energy even supports crust mantle and core temperatures, as I have proved, and you cannot disprove. Try to do so, without disregarding the gravito-thermal effect which you also cannot disprove.

      Isothermal postulates are the second of the old wives’ tales, and back radiation supposedly heating water below the surface is the third load of fictitious fissics from these weather folk who do not understand physics sufficiently well to know when they are being bluffed.

    • Generalissimo Skippy

      The cooling core – along with radioactive decay in the mantle especially – is neither here nor there. An unimportant sideline wrt climate.

      No one posits an isothermal atmosphere – and no one believes that IR penetrates more than a few microns.

      These are straw men invented by Doug Cotton – not worth the bandwidth discussing further.

    • D o u g    C o t t o n   

      General Skippy

      IR that makes up nearly half of the Sun’s insolation does penetrate water far more than a few cm – as the scientists who wrote this paper measured. That’s the big difference between what the Sun can do in warming water and what the back radiation cannot do.

      In regard to the gravito-thermal gradient, very few (least of all yourself it seems) understand the implications of it being a state of thermodynamic equilibrium, thus enabling solar energy to “creep” up the thermal profile and into the core of Earth and supplement (as required) the minimal supply of nuclear energy etc that is not what is sufficient to keep it as hot as it is. Likewise in the 5,000K core of Uranus. ,

    •  
      General Skip

      You will find Dr Roy Spencer advocating isothermal conditions in item 6 of this article.

      So too do IPCC authors when they blame “pollutants” like carbon dioxide and water vapour for raising the surface temperature from what it would be in isothermal conditions to a temperature “33 degrees” warmer. (Actually, we can measure the cooling effect of water vapour.)

      So don’t forget your lessons for today …

      (1) The Sun’s IR does penetrate well into the oceans, and so not much of it is warming the surface layer which, being nearly fully transparent, thus has extremely low absorptivity.

      (2) The whole greenhouse conjecture depends upon falsifying the gravito-thermal effect. Because this effect is a reality, the greenhouse conjecture is not.

  29. Lewis and Crok peel back the officially stated warming a bit. Shows to me that IPCC has been up to minor cheating that does not change a lot. “What does the response to the report tell us about the politics of today’s climate debate?” says Judy. I actually don’t care, I am a scientist. My response would be a yawn simply because their report does not change a lot. There are no challenges to putative mainstream climate science in it. Mainstream science, if I am allowed to define it, is that global warming is taking place. And that the cause of this warming is greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels. And if you still remember, it got started by Hansen in 1988 when he reported detection of the greenhouse effect. He testified about this to the Senate in 1988. Very quickly IPCC was established the same year and took up the cause of anthropogenic global warming. That is mainstream, and not one of their foundational claims is true. Their global warming “science” is a pseudo-science that makes claims that are demonstrably untrue. Sometimes these are reinforced by falsified temperature curves. Lets begin with Hansen. He testified under oath to the Senate that he had detected greenhouse warming. He showed a rising temperature curve starting in 1880 that peaked in May 1988. That was the highest temperature point in 100 years, he said. There was only a 1 percent chance that it could have happened by random chance, hence it followed that greenhouse effect had been detected. Problem is that Hansen had no idea of what he was talking about. It so happens that May 1988 has nothing to do with global warming but is part of the 1987/88 El Nino. El Ninos are repetitive parts of the ENSO oscillation, and this particular one belongs to a group of five El Ninos in the eighties and nineties. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand that calling an El Nino the peak of a hundred years of warming proves no such thing if there is a new El Nino formed every five years. But Hansen got away with that and nobody bothered to check it afterwards. As a result, greenhouse warming is the driving force of the IPCC anthropogenic warming scam. It is a scam simply because greenhouse warming does not exist as proven by the falsity of Hansen’s claim in 1988. The same conclusion comes from the Miskolczi theory of greenhouse gases in 2007. His work has been neglected and suppressed by the global warming “scientists” working for IPCC because it contradicts their doctrine. But it so happens that Miskolczi theory is the only theory capable of explaining why we have no warming now and why there has been none for the last 17 years. And from that observation it follows that there has never been any greenhouse warming at all, just as the Miskolczi theory requires. Applying Ocham’s razor tells us then that the few instances of warming still claimed to be greenhouse warming that are left are simply natural warming, misidentified by over-eager pseudo-scientists working for the IPCC. This makes all of the twentieth century greenhouse free. Thanks to the hiatus-pause the twenty-first century is also greenhouse free. It follows that there is no such thing as anthropogenic global warming, AGW, that the IPCC pseudoscientists are trying hard to make us believe. It is time to put an end to their shady operation and close it down.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      No Arno.

      “Mainstream science, if I am allowed to define it, is that global warming is taking place. And that the cause of this warming is greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels.”

      Valid thermodynamics and radiative transfer theory, in conjunction with the current valid statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory (such as used by Einstein) can be used to prove that a gravito-thermal gradient evolves at the molecular level in planetary tropospheres as is blatantly obvious on Uranus.

      I throw down the gauntlet to you too to try to be the next to prove with valid physics that carbon dioxide has any warming effect at, all once the gravito-thermal effect is acknowledged as being a reality – and you cannot prove it not to be. Furthermore, you cannot prove that (one way) radiation can transfer heat from a cold atmosphere to a warmer layer of water just below the surface. Solar IR (making up about 48% of the Sun’s incident radiation) can penetrate water so does It from the cold atmosphere?

      Yes or no?, Arno … ah! … no.

  30. R Gates, a Skeptical Warmist wrote: “The GWPF exists for one key reason: to affect policy related to climate change, and more pointedly, to protect certain economic interests in the process.”

    Substitute the IPCC for the GWPF in that sentence and you will be stating the actual truth. The GWPF exists to challenge the IPCC mitigation racket around the world which has already cost billions in virtually every country that subscribes to it and takes it’s “findings” as gospel.

    The IPCC scientists who are engaged in promoting these mitigation schemes should not have their scientific findings, which are afflicted with high levels of uncertainty, accepted without intense scrutiny. Much of the IPCC’s scaremongering is meant to hurry along mitigation schemes that are often too expensive, ineffective and destructive of economies. The GWPF exists to point this out. Mistakes have been made, in both the science and the policy. It’s time to stop barging ahead until we get more of a handle on where the climate is actually going and why.

    • We all should be sheltering fossil fuels businesses from regulators. I’d say that’s job one. Reason being – survival.

    • D o u g   C o t t o n   

      pottereaton

      Valid physics gives us that handle, and shows us why the whole carbon dioxide conjecture is totally false. You don’t need to wait for the expected 30 years of slight cooling, partly because that will be followed by 30 years of moderate 100% natural warming not unlike 1970-2000.

      You can discuss the physics with me now if you wish, and I am prepared to debate and correct anyone in the world on this and bring them up to date with 21st century breakthroughs in thermodynamics and radiative heat transfer theory.

      Or you can read it in my book in April.

  31. why the ”Fakes” are called lukewarmers? their comments are always loaded
    Fakes / Lukewarmers are a buffer zone for the Warmist, they are Warmist’ Fig Leafs

  32. D o u g   C o t t o n   

    Richard and any lukes or warmists left here …

    If you want to prove climate is sensitive to CO2, the first thing you have to do is prove the gravito-thermal gradient can’t exist, even though it’s obvious in the Uranus troposphere. You need to prove that the state of maximum entropy could be isothermal, with more potential energy per molecule at the top. Then you have to prove that, despite this total energy gradient there are somehow no unbalanced energy potentials. Go to it> You’ve got an uphill battle.

  33. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    XKCD sure “gets” earth-science

    GreenPeace sure “gets” earth-science

    Conservatives sure “get” earth-science

    As for faux-skeptic faux-conservative ideology-first neo-libertarians (etc.) … not so much.

    They just don’t “get it”.

    And that is why they lose … at the polls, especially … again-and-again. Good!

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Perhaps it is because we are upside-down in Australia, but after imminent elections in SA and Tas, we will have Conservative governments in every state as well as nationally, heavily back-tracking on anti-GHG policies. Come and visit, you might like it here.

    • Ahhh Fan of More Trolling…there you are! Have you heard about these people?

      http://www.therightclimatestuff.com/SummaryPrelimReport.html

      They don’t agree with you, and they don’t agree with Hansen. Unlike you and Hansen, they have have a record of using science properly – they did place a man on the moon after all.

      NASA grownups speak – Hansen and FOMT discredited – again.

      Link by tomdesabla – misguided hero worship of Hansen by FOMTrolling

      Glad to have increased your understanding of climate science one more time FOMTrolling!

  34. Climate Models say that dangerous warming is accelerating.

    Mother Nature says “Show me the Data” “The actual Real Data”

    Climate People say “We don’t have any, yet, but we will in 5 or 7 years, oops, 12 or 15 years, oops, 17 years, oops, 30 or 50 years.

    It is really not working out for the Consensus Climate People.
    The got NO DATA THAT SUPPORTS THEIR ALARMISM.
    Natural warming was supposed to happen, it did, they tried to use it to prove their alarmism, but it really did not work out for them.

    Climate Data is well inside the bounds of natural variability.
    They show that natural variability did not happen without CO2 and their hockey sticks are all broken up with a climate cycle that they do not understand and that they cannot explain

  35. Generalissimo Skippy

    “We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courage. What we lack is a liberal Utopia, a programme which seems neither a mere defence of things as they are nor a diluted kind of socialism, but a truly liberal radicalism which does not spare the susceptibilities of the mighty (including the trade unions), which is not too severely practical and which does not confine itself to what appears today as politically possible. . . . Those who have concerned themselves exclusively with what seemed practicable in the existing state of opinion have constantly found that even this has rapidly become politically impossible as the result of changes in a public opinion which they have done nothing to guide. Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost.” –F. A. Hayek

    Should we read Greenpeace and the WWF for unions in Hayek’s soaring rhetoric? What we have instead of a liberal utopia is a seemingly endless stream of utterly different reasons for why anthropogenic emissions is not a problem. Frankly – not only can they not all be right – they are all the product of a profoundly misguided mindset guaranteed to be all wrong.

    They just don’t get it according to FOMBS. Of course what they don’t get is FOMBS simplistic groupthink memes. The real problem is the concern for the poor oft expressed but still lacking a liberal utopia to bring that concern into focus. Instead of solutions there are quixotic quibbles. Instead of science there is mad theorizing. Instead of data there is a void. There is nothing here to capture the imagination and nothing to shape the future.

    Where to hence? Emissions at 4%, 8%, 16% of natural flux is not a problem? With utter certainty? Sufficient to leave the field to progressives?

  36. thisisnotgoodtogo

    The oceans began to slow their rise several years ago.

  37. Schrodinger's Cat

    The insistence that the science is settled when it is clearly not; the claim that the models are correct when they fail to simulate reality; these are typical of the stand taken by climate scientists that drives other scientists to question the whole belief system.

    The point here is that scientists and most other members of the public can tell, once provided with the observational data, whether scientific claims are likely to be correct, wrong or requiring further research.

    For climate scientists to cling to “facts” that are just not credible is to prompt doubts about their scientific integrity and the quality of their science. This leads to comparisons with religious fervour and belief, rather than with scientific conviction.

    The suppression of those who question the science using bullying, threat of removal of funding, unemployment and public ridicule, together with insulting name calling, further alienates climate science from the scientific community.

    Surprisingly, climate science still appears to enjoy the support and approval of governments, scientific establishments, the media and politicians. I suspect this is more to do with the freedom and leverage a good public scare story facilitates, especially in the areas of taxation and control.

    The climate scare is now a world wide industry. This is unsustainable, particularly because the green solutions to the perceived threat are likely to damage our lives more than any warming of our environment.

    The credibility of the more extreme claims of climate science has peaked. the scientists have a choice, get real or get blamed.

  38. D o u g   C o t t o n   

    The now proven existence of the gravito-thermal gradient in any planet’s troposphere and even sub-surface regions completely over-rides any effect of radiation, because the pre-determined thermal profile sets the supporting surface temperature. Back radiation and also conduction at the surface-air boundary slow the rate of cooling in the early pre-dawn hours as the supporting temperature is being approached. Without it, rapid cooling would continue all night through. Radiation plays only a minute role in slowing that portion of surface cooling that is itself due to radiation, but non-radiative cooling accelerates to compensate anyway. It is the supporting temperature at the base of the troposphere which determines mean temperatures in the surface, not radiation which passes through the transparent thin surface layer of all the water surfaces anyway

    • David Springer

      How does this relate to the topic “positioning skeptics”?

      Can we have some moderation please?

  39. Jeffrey Eric Grant

    When I was younger and an engineer aboard a merchant ship, far away in some ocean, I got my news (and opposing viewpoints) from two sources: Voice of America and Radio Moscow. I knew the “truth” lay somewhere between them. At the time the BBC was somewhere in between.

    Similarly, today, on one side is IPPC, with perhaps Heartland on the other – In between is? There really is no “in between”, unless you count Mother Nature, the final arbiter.

    And the cards are stacked well in favor of the IPCC. Funded by all governments throughout the world, who spend countless $Billions on the effort. Heartland relies on donations (from Mr Koch?). Really, that is a fair fight.

    I am still trying to understand Global Warming science. After I get there, I’ll tackle: Climate Change, Climate Disruption, Climate Extremes and Social Cost of Carbon. I may have come to the party late, but I am interested in uncovering the scientific “truth”.

  40. Jim Cripwell

    I find it interesting that the warmists will not claim that climate sensitivity has been measured, but at the same time they will not admit that climate sensitivity has not been measured. It seems to me that until there is an understanding on both sides of the issue as to whether climate sensitivity has or has not been measured, then there can be no meaningful scientific debate.

    Will any of the warmist denizens of Climate Etc. admit that climate sensitivity has not been measured?

    • The Left has a hard time admitting simple things–e.g., that the LIA and the MWP ever existed, the Maunder minimum — when solar activity was very low — is associated with global cooling, that increases in the atmospheric CO2 level is unrelated to global warming on any time scale, that a ‘hiatius’ going on 20 years exists and we’re presently are in a period of global cooling that may last for decades. Global warming is not a problem. More and more government is the problem. It’s the only problem.

  41. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


    In the midst of all this noise I wasn’t sure what GWPF was all about. Now I have a better idea, and I certainly support their objectives.

    OK – I’m with Judith on this one.

    First, I endorse a policy group by writing for them.

    Then, I check them out for consistency with my policy advocacy.

    And (gosh, golly, what a surprise!) the more I learn about non-science from Ben Pile, the more I think it’s the way forward for “positioning skeptics”.

    Now, I totally support them – Hell, I’ve even ‘friended’ them!

    The world needs a heavy dose of this, as the hiatus and the stadium wave become the go-to memes for delaying action.

    Dare I hope to be the next “academic advisor” for the GWPF?
    (- if the deal with Heartland falls through…)

  42. Walt Allensworth

    Anyone catch “Cosmos” last night?

    They managed to slip in references to global warming several times.
    I was very disappointed, but after seeing our POTUS give the lead-in, it was not surprising in the least. The administration sees this as a ‘teachable moment,’ and the media, as usual, are complicit.

    It was however very interesting, and highly ironic, that they spent a lot of time trashing the early scientific ‘establishment’ and ‘consensus.’ They made heros of the early heliocentric champions who at the time were ridiculed, denigrated, renounced, and/or killed by those in a position of power. It reminds me very much of what’s going on right now. Obama, Kerry, the IPCC, EPA, and virtually the entire academic world is standing by with the full power and funding of the government behind them to trash anyone who would dare challenge the CAGW meme. How ironic that they do not see themselves playing the very role that they so venomously denounced in ‘Cosmos.’

    • Yes, one of those mentions was that Carl Sagan had realized the importance of high GHG concentrations in explaining paleoclimate, and that was back in the 70’s.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Imagine referring to global warming in a series about science!

      The irony! It burns!

      Everyone (who isn’t part of the conspiracy) knows that all the modern-day Galileos hang out on blogs, and they are much too smart too be fooled by the entire academic world with their ‘knowledge’, ‘expertise’, ‘studies’ and ‘evidence’. Good thing too – or people might vote wrong, and we’d all be taxed back to the stone-age. The less wary among us might even be led to consider (gasp!) mitigation!!!

      I can understand your disappointment.

      The ‘establishment’ may even burn you at the stake in retribution for your heretical comment.

      I would avoid the rest of the series if I were you. It might corrupt your vision.

    • Reverend

      As a man of the cloth, it may have escaped you that, unlike in your profession where faith in Scripture is of paramount importance, rational skepticism lies at the very heart of scientific discovery.

      The British Royal Society used to live by a motto: “Nullius in verba” (as a man of cloth, I’m sure I do not need to translate this for you).

      This is in direct contrast to your guiding principle, “Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe”.

      Max

    • Yes Rev,

      Repent of your sins!

      Turn away from the golden calf of climate ‘science’.

      Accept the spirit of ‘skepticism’ into your heart and you will realise that there is only one path to the truth – The Judith,The Sun and the Holy Monster.

      Come, join the flock and rejoice in the one true science!

      Have faith in natural variation.

      Amen.

  43. Paul Vaughan

    This isn’t going to be popular, but it should be said at least once.

    Leadership in the “skeptic” ranks has been thoroughly sabotaged and 100% hijacked by “warmist” interests.

    Political activists attempt to frame the “lukewarmist” perspective as being rational & prudent, but their activism has become a formidable obstacle to truth.

    Administratively defensible political optics are prioritized at the expense of truth. For example, at WUWT the relentless campaign of coordinated hostile thought-policing has reduced commentary to whatever’s volunteered by submissive, obsequious functional innumerates. The truth means nothing at all to the community leaders. They appear only concerned with the political reality they face in a political battle and the steps they believe they must take to bring about the political context they believe most conducive to the political outcomes they desire.

    • Paul

      One of the greatest strengths-and biggest weaknesses-of sceptics is that we all tend to be independently minded people.

      Consequently we do not always agree on cause and effect or how our views should be best presented. Most of us would be hard pressed to say who our ‘leaders’ are.

      Certainly Anthony Watts, Joe D’aleo, Chris Monckton, Willis Essenbach and many others do not speak for me, although sometimes what they say might be valuable.

      If a couple of sceptics were to be given a proper open minded hearing at the UK Climate Change Committee of Parliament for an hour, I do not think I could nominate anyone.

      tonyb

    • Matthew R Marler

      Paul Vaughan: For example, at WUWT the relentless campaign of coordinated hostile thought-policing has reduced commentary to whatever’s volunteered by submissive, obsequious functional innumerates.

      Oh shucks. And I thought that I was doing such a good job over there.

  44. Tony, interesting that you say that no one comes to mind. As a skeptic, I am an independent thinker. I am swayed by critical thought and empirical evidence. The other side (CAGW) seem to revel in group-think and coordinated action, led by certain luminaries.I do remember the original Cosmos as presented by Sagan; I watched it faithfully, but took many of his arguments with a large grain of salt — but, I did not counter (how could I, since I was only a student?)

    It is hard to counter the CAGW crowd these days, since it takes money to fund projects that would help develop (or confirm) theories of the natural world. So we struggle in defense of the knowledge built up over the centuries that envelops the basic laws of science, with thought and reason. Extremely little effort is spent (by comparison to CAGW) on understanding the ‘natural’ processes’.

    I think I would nominate Lindzen,, Spencer, Pielke, Dyson, Curry, Christie and others – who have the scientific background to hold the mantle for us. From a political standpoint, we have no chance of overtaking them; we may be able to have our voices heard, but that is all. They have all the cards, except one – scientific ‘truth’.

    And, the scientific truth will win in the end. But, by that time, will we have already given all of our money and power to the CAGW crowd, who will use it in pursuit of their own dreams!

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


      I am an independent thinker.

      You don’t need to follow anybody.
      You’re all individuals.
      You’re all different.


      The other side (CAGW) seem to revel in group-think and coordinated action, led by certain luminaries.

      Your comment is reproduced by 95% of the other commenters here.

      And then you go on to discuss your chosen ‘skeptic’ luminaries.

      Funny.

  45. tekguyjeff

    Religion doesn’t play well over here so you can discount Spencer. Dyson has had a great career but he is 90 and like Christie doesn’t seem to be too good at cut and thrust questioning.

    Much as I admire Judith I would not count here as a sceptic. So out of that list only Lindzen would qualify but that gets away from the basic fact that Britain has been a leader in climate science for 20 years AND is a signatory to Kyoto and any candidates really ought to come from Britain..

    The fact that we have such a short list-none of whom are British- sadly makes my point.

    tonyb

  46. OK, Tony
    So, here’s where we are:
    1. At least 35 years lead by the CAGW crowd in political posturing
    2. Absolute capture of governments worldwide to their cause
    3. All of the MSM on their side
    4. Most, if not all (97%) of all atmospheric scientists on their side
    5. Every scientific society on their side
    6. Indoctrination of every kid in high school science to their way of thinking
    7. Funding at least 15:1 in favor of their side

    And you give up? Not me.
    and, you forget Peilke?

    Reverend:
    I do not have the credentials to oppose the CAGW. Do you? My list of luminaries (as you call them) shows you just how much I know (not very much)….But, if we keep searching, in the end, we might get closer to the truth. I suppose I could be called a “resister”, rather than a “denier”.

    • tekguyjeff

      There are a number of criteria I would apply, one of which is ‘credibility’ another being knowledge, another is ‘gravitas’ and last but not least ‘appearance.’

      Some one with great knowledge who can’t speak well is no good. Someone who has the knowledge but is not credible-perhaps because they are not a ‘scientist’ is no good.

      A final criteria would be ‘ British.” bearing in mind the venue.

      I certainly don’t ‘give up.’ just merely stating current realities.
      tonyb

    • Vive la resistance.
      ============

  47. Endless debate about nothing is a standard practice of AGW. Who is a lukewarmer and who isn’t and what does that mean anyway? I don’t really care. The IPCC and associated crowd has practiced media control for so long now, have belittled, shouted at and defamed anyone that has questioned any of the so called science they trot out, that the only response I have is, “WHERE IS THE WARMING?” You mean your infallible models couldn’t predict this? How many times have they shifted the focus from hurricanes to drought to shrinking ice caps, all to see the situation return to normal or near normal conditions? All the while engaged in a debate that shows their view of weather is proof of climate change and yours isn’t. At this point I have to question the qualification of the scientists that have made those predictions. I have to question the institutions that support AGW as to whether they are interested in science or are they just a political action committees So after dumping tons of co2 into the air, and if co2 really has the effect they say it claims, “WHERE’S THE WARMING?”

  48. Ah, yes – but, they could form a coalition whereby each can contribute their expertise. All we need is another Thatcher to gather it all up. I read (and mostly agree with – at least in principle) all of the GWPF blogs. I nominate: Benny Peiser!

  49. Rishrac:
    You must have warming before you state the reason for it.And the warming must be unusual and very large, something we cannot adapt to. Then the reason: only one thing can cause it, atmospheric CO2. I have been searching ever since AR4 for the empirical evidence that concludes that atmospheric CO2 causes an increase of atmospheric temperature of more than about 2 C/ doubling of CO2. Can’t find it. I’ve asked just about every CAGW scientist for a smidgen of help finding it – to no avail. I don’t think it exists.

    If there is no evidence (first, that there is actually a large increase in atmospheric temperature, and also that atmospheric CO2 is the cause), how can we let them ‘bet the farm’ in an effort to limit atmospheric CO2?

    Everything else is window dressing.

    Jeff

  50. I am astonished at the unrealistic stereotypes being trotted out about the GWPF. It is a policy-think-tank set up by an ex-Tory Chancellor of the Exchequer (the guy who was always quarrelling with Margaret Thatcher) being given some funding by a philanthropic Financial Hedge-Fund Manager who also supports (surprise-surprise) the Tory Party. So what? As far as I can see, GWPF has the same idea as the majority of British people – our CO2 emissions are miniscule in the scheme of things and China & India aren’t going to stop emitting it, so why should we litter our over-crowded countryside with windmills and solar panels and kill our industry with carbon-taxes on our power supplies?

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  52. Heh, ‘Dr. Mann holds the Nobel Prize in hashtags’.

    H/t, that’s Mark Steyn via Rebel Yid.
    ===========

  53. When I asked Dr Mann for assistance in finding the CO2/Temp ‘proof’, he told me there is no such proof – that only exists in mathematics, not science. Anyway, he told me to go search for it on my own. (i.e. – “Go pound salt”)

    That was a nice “Howdee” from an eminent government funded scientist

  54. [video src="http://cdn.cato.org/archive-2013/cpf-11-13-13.mp4" /]

    Richard Lindzen gave this talk in January. The length of the video is about an hour and a half. If you are interested in an advocate that is brave enough to point out the nonsense that is produced in the name of the scientific consensus, you will enjoy watching it.

    I am a fan of Dr. Lindzen. I was surprised (I don’t know why) by the skill with which he answered audience questions after his talk.

    Dr. LIndzen is affiliated with both CATO and GWPF.

  55. Mark, thanks for posting this video. Lindzen is not the most exciting talker. But the details he provides tells an amazing story of the history of the political manipulation of science.

    • Actually I find him very exciting. But then again I come from the same place he does culturally. I too am a New York Jew who grew up in a family that idolized FDR and JFK. I studied Meteorology and Oceanography in the 60’s at NYU but went in a different direction professionally. I am appalled at what has happened to Science as a result of the CAGW fiasco, and I am thrilled that Richard Lindzen has the courage to tell it like it is.

      You may also be interested in his recent interview http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/what-catastrophe_773268.html

  56. To the Reverend Jebediah:

    Thank you for some amazing comments:
    “Everyone (who isn’t part of the conspiracy) knows that all the modern-day Galileos hang out on blogs, and they are much too smart too be fooled by the entire academic world with their ‘knowledge’, ‘expertise’, ‘studies’ and ‘evidence’.”

    I am a modern day Galileo. And you comments just earned you a copy of my book, Vortex Phase. It won’t be available until June. But I want you to know that you are free. Thank you for some excellent comments.

    Jim McGinn
    Author of Vortex Phase.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Jim:

      Cool!

      Congrats on getting published.

      “Vortex Phase” by a modern day Galileo – Dare I ask: What’s it about?

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