Sagan’s baloney detection rules

by Judith Curry

On this 80th anniversary of Carl Sagan’s birthday.

Brain Pickings has a good post The Baloney Detection Kit:  Carl Sagan’s Rules for Bullshit-Busting and Critical Thinking.  Subtitle: Necessary cognitive fortification against propaganda, pseudoscience, and general falsehood. Excerpts:

In The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Sagan shares his secret to upholding the rites of reason, even in the face of society’s most shameless untruths and outrageous propaganda.

In a chapter titled “The Fine Art of Baloney Detection,” Sagan reflects on the many types of deception to which we’re susceptible — from psychics to religious zealotry to paid product endorsements by scientists, which he held in especially low regard, noting that they “betray contempt for the intelligence of their customers” and “introduce an insidious corruption of popular attitudes about scientific objectivity.” 

Through their training, scientists are equipped with what Sagan calls a “baloney detection kit” — a set of cognitive tools and techniques that fortify the mind against penetration by falsehoods. Sagan shares nine of these tools:

  1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”
  2. Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
  3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
  4. Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. What survives, the hypothesis that resists disproof in this Darwinian selection among “multiple working hypotheses,” has a much better chance of being the right answer than if you had simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
  5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.  Ask yourself why you like the idea. Compare it fairly with the alternatives. See if you can find reasons for rejecting it. If you don’t, others will.
  6. Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses. 
  7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.
  8. Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.
  9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified. Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much. Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.

Just as important as learning these helpful tools, however, is unlearning and avoiding the most common pitfalls of common sense.  In addition to teaching us what to do when evaluating a claim to knowledge, any good baloney detection kit must also teach us what not to do. He admonishes against the twenty most common and perilous ones — many rooted in our chronic discomfort with ambiguity — with examples of each in action.  

Examples include ad hominem, argument from authority, argument from adverse consequences, appeal to ignorance, special pleading, begging the question, etc.

JC reflections

These ‘rules’ are useful commonsense reminders for evaluating any sort of claim. Too often serious baloney detection is ignored by scientists in the interests of careerism and advocacy.  Carl Sagan’s birth 80 years ago is a fitting occasion to remind ourselves of these principles.

404 responses to “Sagan’s baloney detection rules

  1. Reblogged this on JunkScience.com and commented:
    A good set of rules. Sagan strayed from them from time to time.

    • @ Bob Greene

      ” Sagan strayed from them from time to time.”

      I was going to suggest that for Sagan specifically, a highly effective method would be to stare carefully into a mirror and see if the lips observed were moving.

      • ” Sagan strayed from them from time to time.”

        Yup. Rule #10 could be: “Try to realise when you have taken the illuminating candle and inserted where the sun don’t shine. That’s why it’s gone dark and something feels unusual.”

        Rule #11, as ever, remains the same: “Don’t get caught.”

    • Curious George

      An old East-German joke: Comrade Mittag (the Party Secretary for Economy) cries at the Central Committee entrance. The Secretary General stops and says:
      – Comrade Mittag, please don’t cry. People would see you and think that something is wrong with our economy. By the way, why are you crying?
      – I am crying because I can’t understand how our system works.
      – Comrade Mittag, that’s easy. Come with me and I’ll explain.
      – No, please don’t; I can explain it myself.

    • Sagan was right about the baloney-detection, but then completely failed to apply it to his own academic peers/culture & even himself. Blinkers “on”.

    • Reply to Bob Greene –> “Sagan strayed from them from time to time”

      He sure did, nearly every example was a mini-anti-religion tirade, in which he violated the very rules he was illustrating.

      He showed quite clearly that his entire anti-religion platform was based on an “appeal to ignorance” — his own. He obviously has never studied (or studied about) religion. If I were teaching a logic or critical thinking class, I would use the Sagan quotes as perfect examples of how even really smart people can misuse Logical Fallacies — committing each one while blabbing about how their logical opponents propositions are false based on Logical Fallacies.

    • Sagan made three bad Climate mistakes.

      1. Accepting the Enhanced GHE when this is based on falsely considering Radiant Emittance, what you get from the Stefan-Boltzmann Equation, to be a real rather than a potential energy flux, with real net IR energy flux being the vector sum of Irradiances at a plane. The models create 40% more energy than reality.

      2. Claiming in his aerosol optical physics that the hemispherical albedo of a thick cloud with Mie Scattering asymptotes to 1.0 instead of 0.5. The AIE is really the opposite sign.

      3. Claiming the Earth could go into a mythical Venusian Thermal Runaway when it is easily shown that tsi at our orbital radius is insufficient.

      Sagan was not far off being a Lewandowsky character and because US atmospheric Science has for ~50 years taught his false physics, he caused immense damage: allowing your Climate Science charlatans to gain influence over your dumb President and his equally dumb Chief Scientist.

  2. I like #4, especially this sentence “If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained.”

    Modify a little to “..think real hard, real, real hard of all..”
    And it is not even too late to do that.

  3. It reads like Science for Dummies. I think critical thinking should not be an afterthought. It’s not even skepticism, it’s check everything!

  4. I wonder what Sagan would have to say about making up statistical techniques without vetting by highly qualified mathematicians? We are so far beyond the need for simple skepticism, we need a house cleaning and a flat out rejection of shabby science.

    • Jim2, until recently I thought faulty statistical methods were a Mann peculiarity (short centered PCA). CA’s new exposure of wrong data and convoluted invented methods (imcluding ‘visual rescaling’!?!) in the newest Pages2k paleoclimate reconstruction have proven otherwise. Weird round about methods to highlight the Gergis reconstruction ‘blade’, itself ‘withdrawn’ since 3 years for using misrepresented statistical methods. It can hardly get worse for the reputational damage ‘climate science’ is doing to all real science.

    • Curious George

      Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Some people use all available tools.

    • You guys focus way too much on the technical details of Mann’s statistics. All you have to do is look at the result. As soon as his model went out of sample, it failed. This is known as the “divergence problem.” Even if he applied statistics perfectly, it is clear that another of his assumptions must be wrong. That’s why I just don’t get why the “concerned” keep defending him.

  5. “Propositions that are untestable, unfalsifiable are not worth much.”

    Mosher’s not going to like this.

    Andrew

    • Steven Mosher

      Actually he states it correctly. In principle is the key phrase.
      He also states it pragmatically not epistemicly.
      Read harder dope

      • Steven, you should almost never engage like this–‘dope’. You acuse here above Andrew of being a dope, a mere ad hom. Cited in this thread as proof of how you often engage in suchnunfortunate ways. Previously you called me a statistical ignoramous for a FACT comment about BEST Antarctica that you objected to. At least with repect to me, you were and remain sadly dopey wrong, and could have found that out before posting your ad hom denigration. Maybe next time checkout academic and professional credentials first before loosing your ad

        Do try better. You posts like this make you the ‘dope’. Yet we (well, at least I) sense you can possibly do much better than just being just another dope, making sensible BEST contributions to the climate discourse. Please take the dope chip off your shoulder, and just engage CAGW here.

      • David Springer

        @Rud

        +1

      • Actually, Mosher’s deliberate obtuseness when it comes to climate science is more offensive than his name calling.

        Andrew

      • Rud #Si

      • “Read harder dope”

        Alex, What is an example of ad hominem?

      • Mosh

        You will be delighted t0 hear that I am just trying to knock Merles Weather diaries 1337 to 1344 into a useable shape then I will contact you about assembling databases. The information I have is extremely varied and comes in many different formats..

        For those interested in sunspots-(I hold no view either way) the following extract was written By Mr Lawrence at the Met Office in 1972 concerning the Merle diaries-believed to be the earliest example of their type. It obviously covers a very warm period that seems to be on a par with the modern era for CET as regards temperature;

        “AN ANALOGUE?

        According to estimates by Schove (1955), the year 1337 had a sunspot
        maximum. The cycle (maximum to maximum) following 1337 was estimated to have been one of the longest for more than two thousand years and this cycle together with the preceding cycle was estimated to be one of the longest pairs of consecutive cycles. Alternatively, considering the cycle from minimum to minimum, which includes the year 1337, the cycle duration is about fourteen years, still well above the average. The periods of decreasing sunspots preceding and following the maximum of 1337 were eight and nine years respectively, also above average in duration.

        The present sunspot cycle had it flat maximum: the maximum was estimated to have occurred in January 1969 (Parker 1972) and sunspot numbers were generally high throughout 1968,1969 and 197o and were still fairly high in 1972 – portending a current cycle of above-average duration. It would seem, therefore, that the Merle period and the present period are possibly analogous and that both periods might have relatively high sunspot numbers during years well beyond the sunspot maximum and when the solar latitudes of these sunspots could be expected to be relatively low. The possible importance of large sunspot numbers at low solar latitudes has been discussed in an earlier article in Weather (Lawrence 1965).

        The analogy extends to weather. In particular, both the Merle period and
        the present period of decreasing sunspots to-date have had mild autumns,
        generally no severe winters and unsettled summers though not without hot
        spells. A notably cold winter like that of 1338-39 may be yet to come.
        Any similarity of weather between the two periods may become more
        apparent if synoptic pressure patterns are studied. It is believed (see, for
        example, Lawrence 1965) that during periods when solar activity or sunspot numbers are generally great, meridional (blocking) patterns are more prevalent.

        Producing evidence of this tendency in the Merle period would require further research.
        Concluding remarks

        Meteorologists- should be grateful to Hellmann for his initiative and to
        Symons and his collaborators for their work in the publication of Merle’s journal, which has certainly not outgrown its value. The journal surely merits further study.”

        —- —–
        tonyb

      • Mosher’s frequent and bafflingly pointless descents into snark come like the 13th stroke of the clock – they cast doubt on all that preceded them. Not for the first time I find myself thinking of the remark about James VI/I, attributed to Henri IV of France – that he was “the wisest fool in Christendom”.

      • On the bottle again, Mosher?

    • The Greenhouse effect is certainly falsifiable in theory. Of course, in practice, you would have a very hard time falsifying it. It is settled science. Where climate science gets into trouble is with models that contain long chains of reasoning, not all of which can be tested. There are so many models and no real way of choosing between them that almost any weather event will seem to confirm one or the other or some hand-waving intuition may be invoked.

      As near as I can tell, this confidence in the models is founded on confidence in the first result of a greenhouse effect; this confidence is in no way justified and so the actions of many climate scientists make it appear that AGW is an unfalsifiable theory. If AGW falls within the range of natural variability, it will be extremely hard to falsify or prove. Reason has its limits, as Naome Oreskes ably explained in her 1995 paper on the limits of numerical models and natural systems.

      • GHG do have a radiative effect via omnidirectional scattering. Just basic laws of physics. If you deny those, you lose–including all credibility. See essay Sensitive Uncertainty in new ebook Blowing Smoke.
        BUT, the magnitude of the effect is highly uncertain owing to feedbacks. If you deny that, you also lose all credibility. Like Naomi Oreskes, now at Harvard, already has. Which is why Harvard will not get another buck from me until they repent. Repent big time.

      • Verification and validation of numerical models of natural systems is impossible. This is because natural systems are never closed and because model results are always nonunique. Models can be confirmed by the demonstration of agreement between observation and prediction, but confirmation is inherently partial. Complete confirmation is logically precluded by the fallacy of affirming the consequent and by incomplete access to natural phenomena. Models can only be evaluated in relative terms, and their predictive value is always open to question. The primary value of models is heuristic. – Naomi Oreskes

      • Carbon Dioxide Does Not Compute

        Correlation does not mean causality. With carbon dioxide there is not even a correlation with temperature in local or global environments; therefore, to continue to state that carbon dioxide influences climate is anachronistic. If one does, however, continue to emphatically state with certainty that it is responsible for climate change then one must be able to produce a mathematical equation that exactly exhibits this relationship. Failing to do so but instead equivocating when other unanticipated variables override the “greenhouse” gas influence — resulting in real world results that do not follow computer model predictions, proves that these other variables are more important than “greenhouse” gases in determining climate.

        Of course, the fact that the only accurate predictability with climate computer models is their inaccuracy substantiates that there are many covariables, which are both known and unknown, and that the extent of their actions and interactions is speculative and not scientifically reproducible.

        The other completely immeasurable characteristic of carbon dioxide is that it exists in an open system and not the closed one that is being used in modeling. The more carbon dioxide that is present in the atmosphere, the more that is taken up by plants. The younger the plant, the more carbon dioxide that it can be expected to use in faster growth (and formation of the complex organic molecules — which are necessary for all life on earth), as with the higher rates of food consumption in young animals. Different plants of different species, and of the same species in different geographic locations and under different weather conditions also consume different quantities of all nutrients including carbon dioxide.

        Because of this, it is not possible to state that increased rates of fossil fuel oxygenation, i.e. combustion, will result in a specific increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, and water. The multitudinous number of covariables (such as solar and lunar influences, wind and ocean currents, ocean temperature, magnetic field, clouds, topography, and volcanoes) in a constantly changing open ended system make it impossible for any true scientist (and surely the oxymoron of an honest politician) to state that human caused carbon dioxide results in climate alteration. A theorem should progress to laboratory testing, then to computer models and lastly to real world experiments and observations, including affects on animals and then humans. Failure at any stage should produce either revision or rejection of the theorem and not suppositions and modification of findings to suit the theorem.

        Simply put, the climate system consists of many parts, which may or may not be existent at any one time, when present can be at always variable non-static levels, and which may not or may interact to differing degrees at all times. Most people always look for the magic bullet, i.e. a simplistic cure, to give them control of a situation even when there is no easy one or no one.

        It is very plausible that humans, even with all our hubris, have at most an infinitesimal affect on climate, with combustion and all other human activity. As Michael Crichton said in the Prologue to Jurassic Park, ” You think man can destroy the planet? What intoxicating vanity.”

      • The Greenhouse Effect (along with ‘Back Radiation’) are a very good example of Sagan’s item (4).

        ‘Greenhouse-Effect’ is 150 years old which encapsulates why people in those days had greenhouses – to stop the heat disappearing overnight which would freeze and kill their plants.

        ‘Back-Radiation’ refers to a number in a really simple beginners radiation-budget model – good for excel use.

      • David Springer

        The “greenhouse effect” is no more or less than an albedo change in non-visible frequencies. GHGs make the atmosphere “darker” in infrared wavelengths. It absorbs more light and hence has a higher equilibrium temperature. It’s difficult to find the greenhouse effect explained in this manner but here is one respected source:

        http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/phyopt/albedo.html

        The greenhouse effect, by trapping infrared radiation, can lower the albedo of the earth and cause global warming.

        It is my belief this is the cleanest, easiest way to understand how the so-called greenhouse effect works.

  6. Scientists in all fields are supposed to be educated how to evaluate a scientific study but too many just read the summary and accept it as Gospel.

  7. Almost all of these seem Feynman echos, having just finished Judith’s recommended book Genius by Gleick about him. A worthy read.
    And a worthy Sagan list. I developed a more generic, simpler version in The Arts of Truth, aimed more at sniffing out internet/mass media/political BS using simple filters to sort ‘truer’ rather than sorting toward deeper and more certain ‘scientific truth’. Same basic philosophy of healthy skepticism, ‘rapid’ filtering of incoming information using simple mental ‘scratch and sniff’ tests.

  8. Judith needs to subject her very own more-than-half-is-natural hypothesis/assertion to these rules too.

    • What makes you think she hasn’t :)

      • Mainly because it is stated without any evidence.

      • Without evidence? Lewis and Curry peg a lower climate sensitivity using IPCC methods and with the majority of warming taking place in the NH, the Stadium Wave would place more emphasis on “other” than CO2 influences. Those “others” could still be anthropogenic, but since she (they) suspect a much longer time frame, ~300 years what exactly causes what is elusive. But her general complaint is not that she is confident that it more than 50% natural/other, but she that the IPCC is 95% confidence that is more than 50% CO2 related. Remember she is an Italian flag fan.

      • captd, if you read Lewis and Curry closely, they assume that all the forcing is accounted for by the IPCC forcings with no room for net natural variability. This is in opposition to the assertion that at least half is natural which she only makes on blogs.

      • Also the Stadium Wave cancels itself out in 60 years, and can’t account for much warming since we are supposed to be in a cool phase now, as I understand it.

      • JimD, Now put your thinking cap on. Using IPCC methods, which includes assuming the actual magnitude of the forcings are known, L&C estimated a lower “sensitivity” and reduced the fat tail on the high end. It is not a testament that L&C “believe” the forcing estimates are accurate, just that is what you get playing by their rules. Should the “pause” continue, the estimate would decrease. The Stadium Wave “projects” that the “pause” is likely to continue.

        Now what is funny, is that folks that disapprove of L&C mention that they should have used HADCRUT4.C&W which would “show” a higher “sensitivity”.

        Well, HADCRUT4.C&W would “show” a slightly higher “sensitivity” but it would also indicate greater variability right in the wheel house of the Stadium Wave.

        Things are likely (66% confidence) to get comical.

    • She has, in many posts, explicitly.
      Your comment presents three possibilities. One, lack of reading or reading comprehension. Unlikely. Two, selective memory. Possible, as is a common mental bias ‘defect’. Three, deliberate disingenuity. IMO Likely.
      As for a simple example, please rationalize figures 2 and 3 in essay C(struck)AGw in ebook Blowing Smoke as anything other than a substantial degree of natural variability. Those two images suffice for thousands of words refuting your imputation that the warming from about 1970 to about 1998 is attributable to anthropogenic causes, as all CMIP5 (AR5) models presume among other ways via their parameter tuning..

      • No one has yet proposed a natural variability mechanism for the post 1950 warming of near 0.7 C, or even half of it, plus it would be difficult to separate such a variation from just being a feedback to the obvious forcing change in the period. This is where Occam’s Razor comes in. Forcing plus feedback, versus forcing plus some yet-to-be-explained natural variability that just happened to occur in phase with the forcing.

      • What about the pre-1940 warming?

      • Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. #8220;This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        We have a warming period from 1976 to 1998 which is seemingly associated with cloud change.

        And a cooling period after 1998 – likewise associated with cloud changes.

        ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

        These cool and warm regimes are periods with very different climates in the Pacific and in the Atlantic.

        With well defined periodicities that are reflected in the trajectory of surface temperatures.

        Between 1994 and 1998 – a full cool and warm period – the temperature rise was 0.4K at a rate of 0.07K/decade. Is this a problem – even if warming resumes in a decade or so?

      • Dick Hertz, solar activity increased sharply from 1910-1940, which coincides with a warming period that was too fast for CO2 to explain alone. This is because 1910 was a solar lull, something like we have now, but by 1950 the sun had reached an activity comparable with any peaks seen in the 250-year sunspot record, and with a downward trend since. The downward trend is important because now you can’t use the sun as an excuse for the post-1950 warming even if you could in 1940. To me, that is the simplest explanation for 1910-1940.

      • JimD, “Dick Hertz, solar activity increased sharply from 1910-1940, which coincides with a warming period that was too fast for CO2 to explain alone.”

        Currently, how much of an impact any change in solar might have had is extremely vague. What is less vague is that there was a decrease in “global” temperature leading up to the 1910-1920 temperature trough and a rebound in temperature from that trough. The decrease is most likely due to volcanic activity starting around 1870 which appears to have had a greater impact on higher northern latitudes which are much more sensitive to change than the rest of the world.

        Most of the world has a much higher percentage ocean area which responds very slowly to any changes in forcing. So the typical “solar done it then but can’t do in now” is pretty much nonsense.

      • ‘Since irradiance variations are apparently minimal, changes in the Earth’s climate that seem to be associated with changes in the level of solar activity—the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice age for example — would then seem to be due to terrestrial responses to more subtle changes in the Sun’s spectrum of radiative output. This leads naturally to a linkage with terrestrial reflectance, the second component of the net sunlight, as the carrier of the terrestrial amplification of the Sun’s varying output.’ http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

        The solar output seems to have increased to the middle of the 20th century and stayed high for most of the rest of the century.

        https://watertechbyrie.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=28&action=edit

        This leads naturally to wondering about internal mechanisms – at least for some.

        ‘ENSO causes climate extremes across and beyond the Pacific basin; however, evidence of ENSO at high southern latitudes is generally restricted to the South Pacific and West Antarctica. Here, the authors report a statistically significant link between ENSO and sea salt deposition during summer from the Law Dome (LD) ice core in East Antarctica. ENSO-related atmospheric anomalies from the central-western equatorial Pacific (CWEP) propagate to the South Pacific and the circumpolar high latitudes. These anomalies modulate high-latitude zonal winds, with El Niño (La Niña) conditions causing reduced (enhanced) zonal wind speeds and subsequent reduced (enhanced) summer sea salt deposition at LD. Over the last 1010 yr, the LD summer sea salt (LDSSS) record has exhibited two below-average (El Niño–like) epochs, 1000–1260 ad and 1920–2009 ad, and a longer above-average (La Niña–like) epoch from 1260 to 1860 ad. Spectral analysis shows the below-average epochs are associated with enhanced ENSO-like variability around 2–5 yr, while the above-average epoch is associated more with variability around 6–7 yr. The LDSSS record is also significantly correlated with annual rainfall in eastern mainland Australia. While the correlation displays decadal-scale variability similar to changes in the interdecadal Pacific oscillation (IPO), the LDSSS record suggests rainfall in the modern instrumental era (1910–2009 ad) is below the long-term average.’ http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00003.1?journalCode=clim

      • Jim D

        There are so many uncertainties that you can’t rule out natural variability – even for 100% of the 1985 – 98 warming. Some combination of ocean currents, solar wind, solar magnetism, human deforestation, etc

      • anng, no one has got any of those past the ‘baloney detectors’ yet. What that needs is evidence that they have done anything in the past, and that they are doing whatever that was again now. Seems like a low bar, but the skeptics are having a hard time with it, try as they might.

      • Jimmy D, “anng, no one has got any of those past the ‘baloney detectors’ yet. What that needs is evidence that they have done anything in the past, and that they are doing whatever that was again now. Seems like a low bar, but the skeptics are having a hard time with it, try as they might.”

        The key variable in climate change is the ice. That is why they are call Glacial and inter Glacial periods. For the past million years or so there has been a pseudo-cyclic transition from mainly Glacial to Interglacial period with one common feature, glacial periods require land based glaciers. CO2 has lead any of those transitions and it is the glacier growth/retreat that varies a great deal of the CO2 concentration.

        Mankind has gotten good at getting rid of glaciers. Once they are gone, “sensitivity” decreases in the warmer direction. Man has spread ash, dirt and dust on snow long before CO2 was ever considered. . .

      • Captain Dallas

        The earliest reference I can find regarding soot on glaciers and the snow was during Scoreby’s expedition to the Arctic-sponsored by the Royal Society- around 1820 to examine the substantial melting that had been reported by whalers over the previous few years.

        He wrote that it had been attributed to the rapid industrialisation of the United States. These days we would blame China.

        I do think that soot has a part to play in the melting but how great its contribution I cant say
        tonyb

      • tonyb, “I do think that soot has a part to play in the melting but how great its contribution I cant say.”

        It has been acknowledged by Hansen and plenty of others that Black Carbon forcing has been underestimated. That doesn’t stop the minions of the great and powerful CO2 from ignoring that BC would have a much larger impact on snow than it would on water. Once you are out of easy snow to melt, the forcing value of BC would decrease. It is pretty obvious there is a non-linear “sensitivity”. But we cannot “prove” it to the minions, they have to convince themselves that something is missing. Unfortunately, they aren’t the sharpest tacks in the box.

      • Jim D,

        Unfortunately, baloney num 4 is a bit difficult to do “… think of all the different ways in which it could be explained. Then think of tests by which you might systematically disprove each of the alternatives. …”

      • anng, that says that skeptics do have to consider CO2 too, and not only why their own alternative is better, but also why it is not CO2 despite that having enough forcing to do the job by itself according to most climate scientists.

      • Jim D said: “skeptics do have to consider CO2 too, and not only why their own alternative is better, but also why it is not CO2 despite that having enough forcing to do the job by itself according to most climate scientists.”

        But CO2 doesn’t “have enough forcing to do the job by itself”. You need to imagine a positive feedback from water vapour.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | November 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm |

        “No one has yet proposed a natural variability mechanism for the post 1950 warming of near 0.7 C”

        Wrong. At least one explanation is on offer. Solar magnetic field strength variation. The period 1950 to 2000 is considered a solar grand maximum.

        Henrik Svensmark, solar physics professor at Technical University of Denmark, proposed the Cosmoclimatology theory of climate change where solar magnetic field strength changes throttles the number of high energy particles impacting earth’s upper atmosphere and where said impacts produce nucleation sites for high altitude clouds. Record high (during 400 years of sunspot observation) field strength from 1950 – 2000 reduced number of high energy particles impacting upper atmosphere thereby reducing number of high altitude clouds that reflect sunlight allowing more warming illumination to reach the lower atmosphere, land and ocean surfaces.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Svensmark#Cosmoclimatology_theory_of_climate_change

        I know you’ve read about it here. So how is it “Jim D”, whoever you are, that your memory fails you in saying that there is no proposed mechanism for natural variation to raise GAT by 0.7C since 1950?

      • David Springer

        Video “The Cloud Mystery” detailing how the sun and stars have impacted the earth’s climate through large changes in the number of high energy particles (cosmic “rays”) that impact the upper atmosphere producing more or less nucleation sites for cloud formation.

    • The Asymptotics for the Wiener sausage are well known,the evidence ie the proof in the pudding, is the observations,the asymptomatic divergence of the northern and southern hemispheric observations.

    • It’s very unlikely more than half is natural. Natural variation causes around 0.1C/decade change. There’s nothing in the available record which is not inconsistent with 100% natural variation. We expect CO2 to cause around 0.6C rise for a doubling AND we expect negative feedbacks.

      Everything else is just confirmation bias and group think.

      • “There’s nothing in the available record which is not inconsistent with 100% natural variation. “

        Meaning “There’s nothing in the available record which is consistent with 100% natural variation. “?

        If so, that is incorrect.

        The uncertainty of planetary albedo measurement ( clouds ) is much larger than the forcing theorized by GHG increase. That doesn’t mean albedo has varied, and it doesn’t mean GHG forcing is not ocurring, but it does mean that 100% of the observed warming could easily be caused by albedo variation within the uncertainty of its measurement.

    • Jim D mumbled:
      Judith needs to subject her very own more-than-half-is-natural hypothesis/assertion to these rules too.

      You don’t understand much about science, do you? There’s this thing called the “null hypothesis,” which is what one requires evidence to disprove. In this case, the notion that anthropogenic contributions contribute more than 50% of the 20th century warming has the burden of evidence. In the absence of convincing evidence, then Dr. Curry’s position should be the default.

  9. Steve McIntyre has a pretty good baloney detection system, too. He’s censored my rankest sausages from the gitgo(resisted gutgo), with gusto. Of course, back then I wanted to talk about politics and religion more than I do now.

    There’s another rule for the Pagans, er, Sagans. If it reeks of politics or religion, it’s probably bad meat.
    ===================

    • Small steps, Ellie.

    • Kim, not necessarily ‘bad meat’. Just not scientific ‘truth’. My book The Arts of Truth goes into subtle distinctions in some detail. Some examples were intentionally intended to ‘offend’ those who argue purely political or religious views as general ‘truth’. There is no doubt that those views are true for them. And I have no problem with that, given the first amendment. But not objectively true, so again viamthe first amendment not extendivlemto or imposable upon the general populace. The Church v. Galileo is a famous example, where both sides have twisted the actual written history to either exaggerate or exculpate. Intelligent design’s impossibility of the evolution of the eye as ‘irreducably complex’ is the example given in detail in the book. And that example it itself just a short ‘Cliff Notes’ summary of the evolutionary details that the ID gang never cite, for obvious selection bias reasons. I mostly just write the Readers Digest summary, with footnotes.
      Whether ID or CAGW, my issue is imposing ones fervent beliefs on others. Society should be governed as much as possible by ‘objective truth’ as defined by among others St. Thomas Aquinus. See chapter one of the Arts of Truth book.

      • David Springer

        Rud… I’m not aware of any academics involved in Intelligent Design claiming that evolution of the eye by law & chance is impossible.

        Certainly not Michael Behe who coined the term.

        It’s not outside the realm of possibility for a top shelf digital camera to self-assemble by law and chance. The probability of it happening by law & chance alone is simply so small in our finite universe as be ludicrous.

        Yet we have digital cameras and lots of them. How? Intelligent agency. Intelligent agents make the nearly impossible routinely possible.

        What’s your source for that impossibility claim? If it isn’t legit statement from a recognized academic in the field my respect for you is going to drop through the floor.

      • Point taken in cardia. Better would have been ‘bad scientific meat’.
        ===============

  10. I suspect that the world of science, politics, business, industry and cultural memes is entering another Internet / World Wide Web driven era similar in its many effects to that of the post Gutenberg era where knowledge through the increasing availability and steadily decreasing costs of producing the printed word became the medium where the middle and lower classes of society both accumulated knowledge previously limited to the small coterie of the upper classes.and could analysis and disseminate that knowledge to a very broad range of society of the times.

    That access to knowledge and a very broad range of opinion led to a much wider and expanded section of society taking a keen interest in past strictures used by the upper echelons of society to control the masses below and with that a consequent overturning of the old ruling order in the century or so following Gutenberg’s printing press of 1439.

    I will quote from Wikipedia which in this case unlike many other Wiki commentaries, is I think a quite legitimate and illustrative comment;

    ———- “In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. The relatively unrestricted circulation of information — including revolutionary ideas — transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities; the sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class.” —————.

    Just change some of that wordage to reflect our current societal structure and you will find that the rise of the Internet / WWW are having a similar effect on our global society today.

    Sagan’s rules were reflective of the pre Internet era.
    They are aimed at the personal attitudes of the scientists themselves and their need to individually and personally maintain their own strict standards of scientific standards, research protocols and endeavor.

    Those rules still apply but today, if the individuals or grouping of scientists fail to adhere to those standards they are already being increasingly called out for bad, biased and bigoted science by the rise of the citizen scientists and well versed opinion of the skeptics, the questioning, doubting, increasingly knowledgeable ones now found via and through the Internet in every branch of science.

    A lot of scientists including a few on “Climate Etc” who still have a rather large superiority chip on their shoulders when their expertise or lack of is challenged, disputed and pointed out by well versed lay persons and citizen scientists. They come from a school of science fast fading into the pre Internet past and are having a lot of trouble adapting to the new norms of scientific responsibility and behaviour that are appearing and expected and demanded by the increasingly sophisticated lay public.
    Standards and public expectations that will govern the way in which both science is carried out in the future in a full public exposure and the way in which the personal behaviour and scientific standards of individual scientists will be analysed and judged in the future by the increasingly science savvy internet based public.

    That is already starting to occur and future science reputations will no longer be established by the scientist’s associations and status or where one studied and under whom but by the citizen science opinion makers assessments of their science and their impact on the real problems and solutions required by the society that funds and supports those same scientists.

    The world’s of science, politics, business, industry and nationality and ethnic origins are turning over as we enter an era where the lessons of post Gutenberg times could well point to and indicate a world where most of what we have understood to be the pre Internet / WWW norms are rendered impotent and a new global societal structure is created to drive the global society including the science of the future.

    • ROM, I think you are right. Evidence is provided in this blog.
      But it gives rise to a much bigger problem. If ‘Gutenberg’s’ printed word was a massive ‘data’ river, then the Internet is a biblical ‘data’ flood of Noah proportions. Of stuff. MSM, PR, blogs, talking heads…Factoids and opinionoids from ‘authority’ not necessarily any valid true information. I skip in this comment the philosphy of ‘data’ versus ‘information’ versus ‘true understanding of truth’. The problem is how sort wheat from chaff. That is, to simply filter truer from less true. That filtering was the aim of writing The Arts of Truth. Regards.

      • Greg Cavanagh

        One must also have faith in, and give due credit, to the reader.

        Yes, any given item you read on the net isn’t known as a truth or a lie. It could be either, or neither. The web is full of statements. The more you read around the net, the more you learn. Eventually you will find lists of common fallacies, and some lights will start coming on for the reader.

        It’s a slow and haphazard leaning method, but overall I think ROM is correct. Society will begin to take ownership of itself and what it is fed.

        In this new web based Gutenberg revolution, any given individual may not seem the wiser. It’s the societal difference that ROM is pointing at.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Rud
        I think maybe the wheat and the chaff can co-exist in cyber space possibly for an eternity
        each faction able to build it’s own cathedral in the clouds
        look at what goes on here
        the same shouting match over scientific integrity since the HADCRU e-mail scandal
        each side with it’s own cyber army that can never meet in decisive battle
        perhaps there is a King James out there to settle the matter

    • ROM, thanks for a very interesting and provocative comment

    • I hope we do a better job of handling ‘the rise of knowledge’ than they did after Gutenberg’s toy. At the risk of sounding elitist, I hope judgement is wrapped in the same Amazon package as the data.

      • Tom, even though Amazon accepted all three of the ebooks my publisher presented to them, I dread to think of Amazon as an arbiter of ‘truer’. They are a commercial machine desined to sell. Not to sell ‘truer’. They follow the old ‘print’ aphorism, if it bleeds, it leads. Just slower. Regards.

      • Tom, the limiting factor is all those styrofoam peanuts.
        =====================

    • ROM,

      I agree. I believe we can look forward to living in interesting times.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

      PS I posted this in the wrong place before. Now fixed, I hope.

    • Yup.

      It seems like many climate scientists who believe in strong anthropogenic warming believe they are immune from the “baloney detection kit”.

      Scientists who don’t publish their data and methods and fight to the death to keep study information from skeptics, deserve disbelief and skepticism of their work.

    • Curious George

      I am afraid that the Internet can be used easily for purposes I don’t like:
      a) Dr. Goebbels’s “A lie repeated thousand times becomes truth”
      b) Orwellian “1984” world with a history fully controlled by rulers.

      • “a) Dr. Goebbels’s “A lie repeated thousand times becomes truth”
        b) Orwellian “1984” world with a history fully controlled by rulers.”

        That’s the Main Stream Media (MSM) that you are talking about.

        The Internet has a diversity of opinion… although there is far too much reechoing of churnolistic MSM stories.

      • Curious George

        PA – right on. There is a story about a French abbe who put together the first thesaurus of the French language. A lady chided him for including indecent words. The abbe reproached her: Madame, you have been looking for them.

    • ROM

      Do you have any opinions as to who will mimic Martin Luther and his The Ninety-Five Theses in the post-internet/www era.

      Are there likely iconoclasts who summarize and articulate the abuses of a current paradigm? As science has many subsets, perhaps a single individual is too much to ask for although Albert Einstein played such a role.

      • The light weight reply to the the question of the “Luther” of the future;

        Luther was the end product of a whole transformation of society of the times that had been under way for a century or so previously but had always been severely repressed by the religious based elite.
        Luther broke the nexus with the 1500 year old historical debris of the Roman Empire.
        In breaking that hold Luther through his 95 theses broke the hold of the religion based elite and opened new windows for western European thinking.
        He could have only done so when the times and pressures on the old guard were reaching a point where something was going to crack and break open.
        Luther was the trigger and today we in the west are still benefactors of that period of which Luther was the final trigger for that immense European societal change from which the new free thinking religion free paradigm allowed science to prosper and led to the advance of the western civilisation’s influence across the world.

        Today the equivalent for a goodly part of the global peoples would be a “Reformation” for the Islamic faith and the final repudiation of the dream of an all powerful elitist Caliphate running everything under the flag of the Star and Crescent.
        So you will have to ask the Islamics that question as they haven’t had their Reformation as yet nor is there any sign that such an Islamic “Reformation” is even possible.

      • ROM

        Thank you for reply.

        Hmmm, I hadn’t thought along the Islamic lines so I will have to learn somethings as well.

        What I had in mind, specifically regards Climate Change, the current religion in science, that is: CO2 is the driver of climate, the world is warming at an unprecedented rate, with a likely catastrophic outcome for humanity and man is to blame. Dante?

        Are the times right for a Reformation in Climate Science? Are the heroes of change just accidents of timing? the right people being in the right place at the right time as with Lincoln and Churchill? Does your assessment of the present suggest that in the near vs far future, with the Internet/WWW and its rapid information dissemination, will this “instant” information outstrip the need for such a convulsive Reformation as had been necessary in prior times? And who might those heroes/heroines be? i.e. the right people being in the right place and right time?

        Again, Thank you.

    • The internet continues its decline into rubishness. It is gummed up with greedy merchants eager to milk the cash cow of intellectual property. It is terrorized by unstoppable snooping which snuffs expression and leave vulnerable to real tangible documented liability.

      Everything done is monitored. Everything expressed is immediately available to scrutiny challange and redress. Everything is copyrighted. Everyone is selling and abusing the essential meaning and value of ‘information’.

      It’s over. The internet is dead … Instead of transmitting, disbursing and diseminating packets-of-information … The internet sought to transmute those sublimely efficient information-vesicles of replication and distribution into the most quanta of gold dollar coins.

      • So it can only be one thing or the other?

      • The nternet died when AOL joined in the early 90’s. They ruined the internet forever. OK – I’m not really being serious, but such comments were indeed made back at the time. Things are always bad but somehow never quite as bad as you think.

      • The internet as an information postal service will persist but as an increasingly private conduit. This is already occurring in the net neutrality debate.

        As it becomes easier to transmit information inexpensively, we get overwhelmed with messages, junk mail, email, phone messages … And respond by shutting it all out. Think of the rise and fall of the 200 channel cable TV universe and video rental stores.

    • ROM,

      It will all seem a bit more believable when the ‘citizen-scientists’ launch their first satellite, or some such.

      At the moment it looks like not much more than than a high tech version of drunken arguments down at the pub.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        “It will all seem a bit more believable when the ‘citizen-scientists’ launch their first satellite, or some such.”

        They don’t make aircraft the same sloppy way as they do climate science.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Hiding the decline of parts would be a criminal venture.
        Not in climate science

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercialization_of_space#Space_transportation

        The commercial space transportation industry derives the bulk of its revenue from the launching of satellites into the Earth’s orbit. Commercial launch providers typically place private and government satellites into Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). In 2002, commercial space transportation generated 6.6 billion dollars, which made up 6% of the total gross of commercial space activities.[citation needed]

        The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has licensed four commercial spaceports in the United States: the Virginia Space Flight Center/Wallops Flight Facility, Kodiak Launch Complex, Spaceport Florida/Kennedy Space Center/Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the California Spaceport/Vandenberg AFB. Launch sites within Russia and China have added to the global commercial launch capacity. The Delta IV and Atlas V family of launch vehicles are made available for commercial ventures for the United States, while Russia promotes eight families of vehicles. The three largest Russian systems are the Proton, Soyuz, and Zenit.[citation needed]

        Between 1996 and 2002, 245 launches were made for commercial ventures while government (non-classified) launches only total 167 for the same period. Commercial space flight has spurred investment into the development of an efficient reusable launch vehicle (RLV) which can place larger payloads into orbit. Several companies such as SpaceX are currently creating new RLV designs.

    • ROM, Nate Silver considers parallels between the Gutenberg revolution and the internet revolution in “the signal and the noise”. He points out that Gutenberg presaged a century of religious war in Europe.

      Greater sharing of information does not necessarily mean greater agreement – it can mean more polarized beliefs and conflict. Looking at issues from abortion to AGW, that seems to be happening. As scientific evidence accumulates on AGW, opinions should be converging. I don’t see that, among scientists, politicians or the public.

      There is much more information available to everyone than when I was a student in the 80s, and it seems to me, much less appetite for rational debate.

      • Very, very few ever stop to think about just how incredibly recent the now all pervasive global Internet really is.
        My son was the 40th person on the Internet in 1994 here in Horsham, a city of 13,000 residents located in western Victoria, Australia.

        Only a very short quarter of a century has passed since the the internet / WWW became a new technological tool that enabled a very large percentage of our global peoples to have direct access in seconds to a vast and increasing source and store of knowledge, opinion, propaganda, ideologies and sometimes straight out lies.

        [ The lies and propaganda side of the Internet was promoted in a post above as making the “Internet” a somewhat evil piece of technology but I noted that rather ironically the poster was using that same Internet to promote his low opinion of the Internet. ]

        The complete range of human beliefs and ideologies found on the internet is no different to what one will hear in a bar or on the street if one is prepared to listen long enough.
        It just needs a retuning of the BS detectors which occurs as those exposed to the Internet’s excesses gain experience and can sort the BS from the kernels of knowledge and truth, a point again made by posters above.

        With a only a quarter of a century having passed since the Internet became a universal knowledge tool and comparing that period of time with the spread of information, knowledge, politics, propaganda, lies, falsehoods, ideologies and everything else that is part of humanities psyche following the introduction and spread of the Gutenberg’s printing press and the printed word we still have a century or so to go in the great flow of human affairs before we can point to the true historical impact of the internet on humanity’s history.

        As for the probability of religious wars, do you follow the news?

        The best we can expect in foretelling the future is that famous quote from the Nobel Prize winning Danish physicist Niels Bohr.

        “Prediction is very difficult; especially if it is about the future”.

        A quote which should be deeply engraved above the entrances to every
        [ climate ] modellers and [ climate ] scientists place of work.

        And one I should perhaps have engraved in my own bathroom mirror!

    • Chronologically, between the printing press and the internet lies the extensive influence of radio and, very potently, television as mass “communication”

      TV is still the most potent of these technologies by several orders of magnitude

      Nor do I think that the internet will unseat TV – because the WWW requires input effort on the part of the consumer, TV only requires an on/off button + a remote

      • Ian18888;
        “Nor do I think that the internet will unseat TV – because the WWW requires input effort on the part of the consumer, TV only requires an on/off button + a remote”
        ———————
        True, but the advent of radio and TV were the mere appetizer’s, the entertainment technologies that are like the politician, the expert, the preacher who from their pulpit and soap box selects the information which they will pass onto their audience according to their own biases and tastes,
        But those technologies conditioned people for the advent of the Internet.
        They are not, never were and never will be the technologies to ever come close to matching the role of the internet. They are additional to and are now turning into just another branch of that same increasingly ubiquitous internet.

        The real impact of the Internet on the global citizens is now starting to appear through the medium of the mobile phones which are now penetrating into and appearing in the most isolated parts of the planet and amongst the poorest and most ill governed nations and peoples of the world.

        The mobile phone with first it’s extraordinary opening up of a world no longer limited by the distance a person can walk in a day to an ability to talk to a whole planet-full of people has still not sunk into the western academic analysis of factors that are now driving our society and civilisation into the future.

        Couple the increasingly ubiquitous mobile phone and the inevitable upgrades into the smart phone [ generally used and discarded models upgraded for a later model in western nations ] penetration into the poorer and lower standards of living of less advanced nations and the smart phones ability to become a part of the World Wide communication Web in conjunction with the now universally accessible knowledge base of the Internet and humanity, all of humanity of every class, nation and caste is looking a whole new ball game unlike any period that has ever existed in our past history.

        Where it will lead us?
        Who knows?

      • Input effort is the attraction.
        ========

      • TV? Never watch it. Nor do any of my teenage kids. Facebook; gaming; online movies; anime; youtube; blogging – who has the time or the patience to watch TV these days. TV is boring and slow consisting of 95% rubbish and 50% ads. What was your point again?

  11. “Whenever possible there must be an independent confirmation of the “facts””.

    Finding Mr/Ms Independent must be the tough part.

    • There are lots of engineers, statisticians, and other professionals in the private sector who have no career interest in climate science grants, and are not members of a climate/environmental activist group.

      Since their careers are unaffected by the outcome of their findings, they can be trusted to give a reasonably unbiased opinion.

  12. ROM,

    I agree. I believe we can look forward to living in interesting times.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

    • Michael | November 10, 2014 at 1:39 am

      “It will all seem a bit more believable when the ‘citizen-scientists’ launch their first satellite, or some such”

      _____________________
      They did !
      They still do !
      Beginning all of close to 60 years ago now
      They actually built things like rockets and satellites and created fuels and systems and made them work.
      NASA, the media, the politicians and the public called them “Engineers”.
      And those “citizen scientists” otherwise known and highly respected as “Engineers” still create and build systems and make rockets and launch satellites and space stations and get them to work.

      • And engineers hafta’ practice under the Hameradi rules of
        feedback engagement, contrary ter the Stiglitz Syndrome of
        no – personal responsibility – no -chickens – comin’ – home –
        ter – roost – from flawed ‘expert’ predictions or from the public
        consequence of those confident, costly cli – sci -black – swan – projections.

      • ROM,

        I think NASA calls them “employees”.

      • Michael “I think NASA calls them “employees”

        What a narrow minded statement! The Wright brothers were not employees, nor were the initial citizen scientist rocket people. No credence is given for some of the latest in innovations in funding – such as many people funding citizen scientists for future exploration. Has it happened? Not to my knowledge. Is it likely to happen in the future? In my opinion, very likely. The government model has disadvantages which private funding of citizen scientists will not have. The new “crowd” funding model will have its own problems, but as a useful method it appears to be a success, just not in the particular application you are taking about yet. Give it time!

        A prediction.
        1. The government model of funding science will eventually give way to private massive participated funding (crowd funding).

        The reasons that I have for this are the following.

        1. Government funding restricts individual choice. I can not fund biology and not physical science for example. Whereas with “crowd” funding choice is inherent – you fund exactly those projects that you think have potential and invest in them. With government funding the only choice you have is at the ballot box.
        2. The current system rewards high volume and low value. Sort of like American’s fad with cheap plastic stuff in the past. Crowd funding will reward high value science. It will (again in my opinion) evolve into profit sharing with investors for marketable ideas and goods.
        3. We have seen the commercialization of exploration to some extent in very wealthy people paying for trips to space, etc. This trend will likely continue and become more inclusive. This is not likely to be good news for some or even many, but I see the mining of resources beyond the earth as inevitable.
        4. It will become easier to raise funds based on ideas rather than politics. For instance, instead of a cooperation between Russia, the U.S.A, and others for the space station, where governments have to play well together, a crowd sourced project could get investors from the entire world, and not have to involve power players with other conflicting interests.

        I could go on, but I think I will stop here and let others comment to be consistent with my trust in “crowd” sourcing. ; )

      • Most satellites and satellite launches are commercial.

      • Michael,

        Robert Goddard pre dated NASA by a considerable margin.

        You would be up to your ears in your own poop if someone didn’t wash out your stall from time to time.

      • Michael,

        And NASA have proved their superiority by being unable to manage to do anything except pay outsiders to achieve things, recently.

        On the other hand, NASA was apparently responsible for Tang, and ball point pens which would operate in microgravity. Orange juice and pencils are apparently better and cheaper.

        Individuals innovate. Organisations take the credit. Genius is random.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Mike,

        Virgin- Spaceship Two.

        Orbital – Antares.

        That’s just the last two weeks.

      • ANTndB,

        Nice idea. Will work for a few high profile ‘sexy’ science projects…..and not at all for a whole lot.

        Getting back to ROMs idea – that there is something new and interesting in the concept of the ‘citizen-scientist’ is weird.

        That’s pretty much where science started, though those citizens did tend to belong to an educated minorty, especially those with some means.

        And it’s continued, even with the advent of the professionalisation of science. Plenty of fields have worked hand-in-hand with interested amateurs, who have made important contributions.

        Then we have climate-science and the ‘skeptics’ and a bizarre new dynamic of ideologicaly-driven oposition to science meeting the wonders of the internet and the proliferation of on-line, increasingly toxic, forum flame wars. The result is a head-spinning fusion of personalised on-line attacks on scientists and their work and proclaimations of a new way of doing science based on these on-line exploits.

        CE provdes a hint of the reality – Judith wanted a ‘cutting edge e-salon’ , but what we have is a bar fight at an e-saloon.

      • Michael,

        You are a little cryptic. It must be a Warmist affectation. Are you talking about the crashed Virgin, and the Antares which managed to explode shortly after liftoff?

        If so, what is the relevance? Does this indicate competence or incompetence in your view? Maybe you could say what you mean, although Warmists tend to obfuscate and prevaricate. Is it part of the collective delusional syndrome?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

    • David Springer

      Meh. Michael Dell and Bill Gates are both college dropouts. They buy and sell professional scientists like boys used to trade baseball cards. Engineers and technicians build and launch satellites. Climate scientists don’t seem to do anything other than fail to produce usefully predictive models of the natural world. Spare me, “Michael”, whoever you are and buy a friggin’ clue.

  13. Besides his 9 baloney dectection tools, Sagan also lists 20 fallacies to watch out for. I find number 14 to be particularly interesting:

    14. excluded middle, or false dichotomy — considering only the two extremes in a continuum of intermediate possibilities (e.g., “Sure, take his side; my husband’s perfect; I’m always wrong.” Or: “Either you love your country or you hate it.” Or: “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”)

    Whenever I hear the words “false dichotomy” used in any type of climate context, it is usually by some warmist arguing that there is no conflict between fighting poverty and fighting climate change. They’re not arguing for some balance that lies within some excluded middle. They argue that both can be done by going outside of this excluded middle and getting resources, presumably from Bill Gates or the military. However separate these two goals are, they are still part of a larger polichotomy.

    • Warmers believe in a false monochotomy (the science is settled) and hate dichotomies, true or otherwise (they also hate trichotomies, tetrachotomies, pentachotomies, etc.)

    • Congratulations, you’ve discovered a basic belief of progressives/greens that “there is always money to do good/make the environment more green.” The belief is fundamental to their approach to problems and the proof is in the almost complete lack of discussion of costs by progressives/greens except to either claim that the alternatives to their approach will cost more (with no evidence) or to excuse failures by claiming not enough money was spent.

      If Sagan were an engineer, he might have demanded no project should be undertaken without a proper cost/benefit trade study including a funding plan.

      • http://www.csiro.au/Portals/Media/Deserts-greening-from-rising-CO2.aspx
        CO2 is provably making the planet bloom.

        If we really interested in greening the planet we would offer a carbon tax credit for adding more CO2 to the atmosphere.

        The “Faux-greens” oppose more CO2, are negative on nuclear (the cleanest energy after hydro and geo), and love biofuels which are grown on the ashes of the rainforest.

        It would be hard for the environment activist “Faux-greens” to be more of a self-parody than they are now.

      • “On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said.

        “Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.”

        Provably greening is necessarily a good thing?

      • Rob Ellison | November 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        “On the face of it, elevated CO2 boosting the foliage in dry country is good news and could assist forestry and agriculture in such areas; however there will be secondary effects that are likely to influence water availability, the carbon cycle, fire regimes and biodiversity, for example,” Dr Donohue said.

        “Ongoing research is required if we are to fully comprehend the potential extent and severity of such secondary effects.”

        Provably greening is necessarily a good thing?

        Huh? CO2 is allowing plants to grow in deserts (which were too dry under low CO2 regimes) and this might affect water availability? Really?

        There are more animals in the desert because of the new food source and this will affect biodiversity in a negative way? Really?

        The main sources of reduction in biodiversity are biofuels, invasive species distribution, and non-biofuel related habitat destruction.

        There are currently 437 gigatons of carbon dioxide released by forest fires annually (and absorbed back into the vegetation annually). A few more gigatons released and reabsorbed is mostly a bookkeeping issue.

        The climate catastrophe folks seem to think 1900 was the golden age of the planet and must be preserved at all cost. All the animals, all the temperature, etc. This belief is strange and disturbing.

        Debating the claims of the climate catastrophe folks is like going down to St. Elizabeth’s and arguing with the inmates.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_Earth's_atmosphere
        “For example, the natural decay of organic material in forests and grasslands and the action of forest fires results in the release of about 439 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide every year, while new growth entirely counteracts this effect, absorbing 450 gigatonnes per year.

        Wiki says wildfires (and natural decay) release 439 gigatonnes of CO2 (119 gigatons of carbon) with 450 gigatons of CO2 reabsorbed.

        It is what it is. Natural land processes absorb 11 more gigatons of CO2 annually than they create.

      • I was quoting your original source PA – in case you hadn’t noticed.

      • Rob Ellison | November 10, 2014 at 5:08 pm |
        I was quoting your original source PA – in case you hadn’t noticed.

        Well, CSIRO is losing 110 million over the next 4 years in climate change funding so expecting them to publish anything good about CO2 without an homage to climate catastrophe is unrealistic.

        The Abbott government has made the wise choice to eradicate most of the global warming program and only fund science programs.

      • So you approve of 1 aspect of the discussion but not the others. Seems typical.

        The basis of the concern is the changes in terrestrial hydrology, fire regimes, nutrient cycling, etc. Unknowns in effect.

      • I mostly used the link for the pretty picture:

        Given that CSIRO has articles on their site such as: “Why The Great Global Warming Swindle is wrong” I’m not expecting their presentations to be fair and balanced. Was very surprised they had a report even remotely positive about CO2.

      • With the CSIRO desert link, I am guess they will be funding more loss of deserts is bad studies.

      • Rob Ellison | November 10, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        So you approve of 1 aspect of the discussion but not the others. Seems typical.

        The basis of the concern is the changes in terrestrial hydrology, fire regimes, nutrient cycling, etc. Unknowns in effect.

        http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.AGRI.ZS/countries/1W?display=graph

        Well, 37.7% of the global land area is agricultural, about 3% is paved (urban/suburban), there are numerous hydrology projects that have messed up drainage, and 33% is desert.

        There is about only about 26.3% of the land area that is usable and we haven’t messed with yet.

        Hydrology/fire regimes/nutrient cycling from CO2 is the least of our problems. If people were really interested in saving the soil biofuels would be banned.

      • PA, Can’t be land use,

        The CONSENSUS says so

      • CD2 – nice chart … and it did make me recheck my data.
        The chart is northern hemisphere above 30° and I believe includes water.

        http://www.en.uni-muenchen.de/news/newsarchiv/2014/zabel_landnutzung.html

        Globally 54 million km2 is under cultivation according to this AGW article with a total 148 million km2 land area roughly 37% is cultivated.

        This doesn’t include forests or abandoned preused rainforest.

        It just beggars belief that the subject of land use doesn’t get mentioned much as a climate influence. I didn’t realize how much land had been repurposed.

        IPCC says that a 1/10000 change in atmospheric composition has 10 times more influence than over 40% (urban+agricultural) of the land area…

      • Pielke Pere has been pounding the land use drum for a long time.
        ========

      • PA, That is off of Climate Explorer. They also have pasture land fraction. I stuck with 30 to 90 North because there is a larger long term hydrological impact.

        http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

        One of the problems with land use is there is an initial cooling effect in most cases that turns into a warming after erosion and compaction unless there is added consistent irrigation.

      • One of the things with CO2 is a change in evapotranspiration – thus prima facie a change in terrestrial hydrology. I don’t much like pulling climate narratives out of my arse – it always strikes me as pissing into a wind of profound ignorance.

      • Well, an interesting fact is that 91% of potentially arable land is currently arabled.

        This would lead one to conclude that much of the 20th century climate story is land use changes. If that is true the 21st pause is representative of the future since there isn’t that much land left to land use change.

      • kim | November 10, 2014 at 9:56 pm |
        Pielke Pere has been pounding the land use drum for a long time.
        ========

        Well, CO2 is a proxy for human activity. There was a lot of human activity in the 20th century. Land Use is a human activity that has sort of flat lined in the 21st century so it could be argued that some/most of “CO2 Warming” was actually land use changes. This would suggest that climate modelers used the wrong proxy (CO2) for the post 50s warming increase due to human activity.

      • David Springer

        Rob Ellison | November 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm |

        “Provably greening is necessarily a good thing?”

        Higher productivity by the primary producers in the food chain is a good thing only if one values life more than death.

  14. “Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.”

    This has always seemed to me, from what I suppose one would call a philosophy of science point of view, to argue for a natural variability explanation for recent warming. But is it really a simpler explanation than Co2? My intuition says that it is, unless and until one can demonstrate that what’s happening is unprecedented…or if not unprecedented, then at least extraordinary.

    Thoughts?

    • I thought about that too, my conclusion was that CO2 was simpler. CO2 drives temperature higher is the proposition. Natural variability not only includes many factors (ocean, sun, clouds etc.) It also involves the positive and negative of each.

    • As far as the simpler, oceans as the reason for the recent warming. Simpler can relate to volume, which oceans have. We might say the really big thing caused the smaller thing (the atmosphere) to change.

      • Is the ocean really larger in volume than the atmosphere?

      • No it’s not. I meant mass.

      • The ocean has about 1030 times the thermal mass of the atmosphere.

        5.3E18 kg of air, 1.4E21 kg of seawater.

        The specific heat of seawater is about 3900 J/kg-K and air is around 1000 J/kg-K.

      • “The ocean has about 1030 times the thermal mass of the atmosphere.” The oceans are changeable as we often read. They have solar uptake which is significant. They have mass. Simplicity: candor, clarity, directness, integrity, modesty, purity, restraint, unity. Sounds like the oceans to me.

    • pokerguy,

      Here’s a thought. Maybe seven billion humans and all their works oxidise quite a lot of carbon, generating heat and carbon dioxide.

      I guess they would generate at least seven times the amount of both, that one billion would generate.

      Unless the additional heat generated by the six billion humans is somehow hidden, stored, accumulated, or otherwise sequestered, it has to go somewhere. If it interacts with matter, temperatures will be raised.

      It seems reasonable to assume that thermometers may be able to detect raised temperatures, regardless of the origin of the heat.

      There may even be research that correlates rises in temperature with output of CO2. Both should show rises as population increases, and increased rates of rise as per capita use of energy depending on heat obtained from oxidation of carbon, increases. Temperatures should increase in industrial boom times, and should decrease somewhat as manufacturing, transport and so on, reduce – say in a worldwide depression.

      It seems that more people equals more heat and generally more oxidation products – allowing for non oxidative heat or electricity generation processes.

      Occam’s razor having been applied, I await a simpler explanation which fits the largely rubbery supposed facts evident to date. Changes to energy distribution within the atmosphere and so on, ice increasing or decreasing, droughts, floods, etc., are another matter, and neither decrease or increase the total energy content, in and of themselves. Chaos rules.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • David L. Hagen

      Einstein’s Razor
      “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
      Occam’s razor is helpful but insufficient.
      Occam’s “simplest” solution – eg CO2 – is inadequate. Emissivity is not behaving as IPCC expects.
      We need a sufficient model – that incorporates both natural and anthroprogenic causes, which is skillful, and which can be validated.

    • Don’t forget that the IPCC has said that sensitivity without feedbacks is about 1.2 C. CO2 is mixed evenly in the air everywhere. That looks to me like the simplest forcing. Trying to figure out the variability looks like trying to model a lava lamp.

    • That CO2 caused the current warming may appear to be the simplest explanation. The problem is the further back in time you go the less explanatory it appears to be. In my opinion ocean heat transport, either solar forced or internal variaibility, is the simplest explanation. Solar forced would be ideal since that could not only explain things like the MWP and the LIA, but would also explain how solar forcing could be amplified enough to take the planet into and out of ice ages.

    • “Occam’s Razor. This convenient rule-of-thumb urges us when faced with two hypotheses that explain the data equally well to choose the simpler.”

      CO2 is simpler, but by itself does not fit the temperature data.

    • I think what is relevant about Occam’s Razor here is that it is known that climate in the past went up and down a lot (we don’t know why necessarily and don’t need to know to invoke it). If it went up after 1970, the default assumption should be that it could be natural. This would then need to be disproven but has not really. This was why Mann’s first hockey stick was so critical to the IPCC–is showed a nice linear handle with very little variation over time. Of course reconstructions since then have rarely been so linear or smooth.

  15. I didn’t read his book, but the twenty fallacies listed in the article with examples are kind of pathetic (assuming they mirror the book). Almost every example given pointed in the same direction: anti-conservative. I get a strong impression of someone who was incapable of seeing any point of view but his own, and who had contempt for anyone who didn’t agree with him.

  16. 10. Do not, as Al Gore did to Roger Revelle — in what may have been the first official government act of Leftist McCarthyism in the sordid history of CAGW alarmism — suggest your mentor has, “become the victim of Alzheimer’s disease,” because your old professor had become skeptical of humanity’s role in global warming.

  17. Geoff Sherrington

    Occam’s Razor has never appealed to me. There is no logical reason why the simple explanation should be the most likely. It leads to support for a simple ‘CO2 heats’ hypothesis when others are noting Lorenzian complexity.
    My main field was in finding new ore deposits. When mined, they invariably exposed more complexity than we envisaged from prior measurements.
    Besides, the simple explanation merely becomes simple as a result of more and more study and understanding. Simplicity is a moving feast in which I have not really seen Occam to have helped. Anyone have examples?

    • The standard examples of Occam’s razor really mean, Don’t include extra parts that serve no function. They used to think that angels pushed the planets around in their spheres. Then Newton and others demonstrated that an inverse square law gravitational force could explain planets’ movements exactly. So now you have a choice: inverse square law gravity operating on its own, or angels pushing the planets _according to inverse square law gravity_. It becomes pretty clear that you should probably leave the angels out.

    • Well, Occam’s Razor says the simplest answer is the most likely – not that it is correct. Rube Goldberg theories, because of all the moving parts, are less likely. They aren’t wrong per se, just less likely which means you have to disprove simpler explanations first.

      In engineering you do find that Rube Goldberg explanations are sometimes correct, however you waste a lot of time if you explore the least likely causes first.

    • The problem I have always had with Occam’s Razor is that it is so often invoked before the facts are completely known, which is I think, your point.

    • Plus, in climate, there is no simple explanation doing a bang-up job explaining the facts.

    • Goeff, I have no quibble with your interpretation. But have always interpreted it somewhat differently, at perhaps a larger ‘mental model’ scale. You asked for examples. Beyond initial geophysics of ore deposits. There are several in The Arts Of Truth. Supposed Enfamil contamination is the intro example in chapter 1.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        This brings to mind a truck crash in which the driver was pinned to the ground. While rescue authorities awaited a crane from far away, a passing farmer took his shovel and dug the soil away from under the driver.
        That’s a case of the simple answer being a good one rather than the most likely. In retrospect, it seemed unlikely because none of the experts thought of it.
        Does Occam’s razor have a reverse side as well?

    • > When mined, they invariably exposed more complexity than we envisaged from prior measurements

      Always, and without exception

  18. To answer the implied question “how do you spot baloney”, the answer is simple … when merely asserting facts illicit an emotional rather than reasoned response.

    So, e.g. I once stated: “It has not warmed in the last five years”. It resulted in a torrent of abuse. From that I learnt that the facts were not what was driving it.

    The statement “it has not warmed” was purely factual. The appropriate response would have been to discuss the time period when a lack of warming was significant. Instead, there was a simple plain denial of the facts and attacks for asserting simple facts. For the next 8 years, I kept asserting the simple fact “the warming has paused”, and almost every time the response has been emotional rather than reasoned. That’s the easiest way to tell when something is not based on science.

    • D o u g  C o t t o n 

      You’ll never get anywhere arguing with lukes and warmists over temperature records because natural warming will start again after the year 2029. You need to attack the false physics – see this comment for example and note that the calculation of the 255K temperature is way out and it should have been 30 to 40 degrees higher because they forgot to take out the reflection by clouds and they used emissivity of 1.000 instead of 0.88 or less for a rocky planet which would have been hotter than current temperatures (not 33 degrees colder) because of a lack of water vapour, clouds, oceans, carbon dioxide, vegetation, methane etc..

    • it has not warmed is not factual.

      1. ‘it’ what thing do you refer to?
      2. ‘warmed’ requires a statistical model

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: it has not warmed is not factual.

        1. ‘it’ what thing do you refer to?
        2. ‘warmed’ requires a statistical model

        “It has not warmed over the last 18 years, 1 month” is a pretty accurate statement, “it” being the global mean temperature, or Earth climate system. What requires a model is some sort of inference, such as “therefore the previous warming can’t have resulted from the accumulated CO2, … ,” or “therefore the physical basis of the IPCC projection of 1990 is disconfirmed” or “therefore the influx of energy has been rerouted somehow to the deep oceans.”

      • “It has not warmed over the last 18 years, one month is a pretty factual statement”

        Just pegged my baloney meter

        Is stratospheric cooling messing with your global warming metric of choice or not?

      • Something funny happened to clouds and the stratosphere around the turn of the century.

        Hard to make the argument that the earth is getting warmer this century.

      • Matthew R Marler

        bob droege: Just pegged my baloney meter

        That’s appropriate. I mistakenly omitted the qualification that I was referring to the Earth surface and troposphere temperatures. Here is a reference, a blog entry by a flamboyant but frequently accurate writer:
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/07/on-climate-the-right-is-right-global-temperature-update-the-pause-is-still-18-years-1-month/

        Luckily for us, he references raw data, and that cite permits critical comments that the writer can respond to. Here at ClimateEtc our own FOMD has alerted us that those data may not be as accurate as the writer has thought up til now, and you can follow his link to the paper announcing the corrections.

        And at the end of that, you may reflect, and maybe report to us, that my unacceptably vague “pretty accurate” is really inaccurate by as much as 0.2C per decade, or whatever you work it out to be. Then, we shall review what you have presented, as a bunch of us have “reviewed” the presentations of VaughanPratt, WebHubTelescope, and numerous others.

        Like every other measuring instrument, baloney meters have their inaccuracies; and like every other writer I make mistakes. If you correct me and provide links, I shall read those links and respond. You’ll want to, Fenyman style, bend over backwards to find your own mistakes first, or the writers here will find them, if there are any.

  19. Carl Sagan allowed me to publish an unpopular finding in Icarus in 1980: “Strange xenon accompanied the primordial helium in diverse types of meteorites.”

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1980Icar…41..312M

    Three years later we predicted that the Galileo probe of Jupiter would find “strange xenon” there, and fifteen years later the Galileo probe observed “strange xenon” in Jupiter’ He-rich atmosphere.

  20. “Strange xenon” (Xe-2) was the first isotopic anomaly from nucleosynthesis reported in carbonaceous chondritic meteorites in 1972:

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1972Data.htm

  21. Well, in the engineering field this is known as a BS meter. You don’t necessarily need one since your design will work or fail all on it’s own.

    But employers will pay “big bucks” for engineers with a functioning BS meter since you can save a lot of time/money not building “stuff” that likely will not function as advertised.

    Speaking of stuff that does not function as advertised, where is the warming ????

    Cheers, Kevin.

    • Well, yeah.

      From an engineering perspective a theory is only as good as it’s useful (falsifiable) predictions.

      No one really cares about theories that don’t make useful (falsifiable) predictions since they aren’t useful. Theories that make useful (falsifiable) predictions that aren’t correct – are failed theories and no one cares about them either.

    • Yup. But now sadly lacking in political and regulatory discourse. So help redesign same.

  22. daveandrews723

    Several of Sagan’s tools refer to hypotheses. But the warmists claim their CAGW belief is beyond hypothesis, that it is a proven theory, unchallengable now. They will go down kicking and screaming until the last nail is put in the coffin of their “theory.”

    • @ daveandrews723

      “But the warmists claim their CAGW belief is beyond hypothesis, that it is a proven theory, unchallengable now.”

      Actually Dave, you have described the problem with Climate Science: ‘ACO2 is causing the Temperature of the Earth to rise at unprecedented rates AND the temperature rise will prove catastrophic unless coordinated political action is taken to curb ACO2 emissions, worldwide.’ is NOT a theory. It is the central AXIOM of the climate science consensus and is treated as such by consensus climate scientists. Any ‘climate scientist’ who casts the slightest shadow of a doubt as to the axiomatic nature of either subsection of the central axiom is instantly shunned by the Climate Science Nomenklatura. Ask Dr. Curry.

      From Wikipedia: A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation.[1][2] As with most (if not all) forms of scientific knowledge, scientific theories are inductive in nature and aim for predictive power and explanatory force.

      From Wikipedia: An axiom or postulate is a premise or starting point of reasoning. As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.

      • Bob, I don’t agree with you that AGW is an axiom. It is a theory, derivable from other theories. Axioms are not derivable from theories.

      • @ Jim D.

        “Bob, I don’t agree with you that AGW is an axiom. It is a theory, derivable from other theories. Axioms are not derivable from theories.”

        Where we differ is that you SAY that AGW driven by ACO2 is a theory, as it should be. It should be questionable, confirmable, or falsifiable, based on empirical evidence.

        The reality is, and this where I see most of the controversy between the skeptics and the consensus, that consensus climate science TREATS ACO2 driven CAGW (including the C) as axiomatic, per the Wikipedia definition above. And treats any putative ‘climate scientists’ who question, or produce data that would call into question, even slightly, the FACT OF (axiom) CO2 as the primary driver of planetary temperature OR the FACT OF (axiom) its catastrophic consequences if we don’t abandon fossil fuels as pariahs.

        Within Climate Science it is unquestioned. And, more importantly, UNQUESTIONABLE. Look what has happened to Dr. Curry and her reputation within the climate science community since she suggested that maybe climate change WASN’T ACO2, all the way down, that MAYBE other factors COULD BE working to mitigate the influence of CO2, and that our straits may not be so dire after all. It hasn’t been pretty, but it HAS highlighted the stripes of the consensus cabal rather starkly.

      • Bob, a hypothesis is in principle confirmable or refutable by experiment. For climate, we are doing that experiment now with an accelerating forcing increase that is already at 2 W/m2, and a positive result would be if it warmed in line with that forcing, and the answer is yes it has. Is this proof? No. But it is not refutation and more results are needed. A hypothesis supported by observations becomes a theory to explain those observations. There are more lines of evidence than current observations, from the simpler models like Arrhenius to more complex GCMs to paleoclimate, all giving the same support of the theory albeit with error bars.

      • Don’t give up, jimmy dee. The fate of Mother Earth depends on your dedication to doggedly bombarding a climate skeptic blog with dogmatic doggerel.

        Meanwhile, in the real world:

        http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/environmental-groups-election-2014-climate

        Climate alarmism is not selling, jimmy.

      • Bob Ludwick | November 10, 2014 at 12:27 am | Reply
        @ daveandrews723

        “But the warmists claim their CAGW belief is beyond hypothesis, that it is a proven theory, unchallengable now.”

        CAGW isn’t a hypothesis. It is a proposition that is unproven and based on inconclusive data that for the last 14+ years don’t support it.

        Venus is a planet with over 91000 times the CO2 at the surface (9,100,000% more CO2), no water vapor, and almost as much hydrogen sulfide (119 PPM) as the earth has CO2 (160 PPM) during the depths of the ice age). CAGW for Venus is a hypothesis.

        CAGW for earth is a conjecture.

      • David Springer

        CAGW is an article of faith in a new age religious cult “Climate Scientism” with roots in the failed prognostications of disgraced Stanford Dingbat Professor of Population Studies Paul R. Erhlich whose seminal book “The Population Bomb” (1968) was embraced by contemporary moonbats, flower children, and war protestors all across the western world epitomized in the anti-humanist pseudo-religious cult “Zero Population Growth”.

  23. Reblogged this on Marplescope’s Blog.

  24. Maybe put “define terms so people are agreeing or arguing about the same things” at number one.

    Do I “hate climate change” (an expression actually used in an article linked on previous post)? Do I “believe in global warming”? Why not ask me if I’m for baby kingfishers, or believe in sunrise, or I’m against rain?

    I can’t answer those questions in any sensible fashion, especially when they are posed in nonsensical and crudely manipulative fashion, quite often by people pretending to scientific specificity.

    I don’t think definitions have to be exquisite in their precision. Barely adequate would do, and in the climate debate would be a big advance. But I wouldn’t want to hear such slob terminology as “conservatives don’t hate climate change” in a pub let alone in a (groan) science communication, especially one which is just being nice to me so I’ll swallow my daily warmie pill.

    Don’t need a terminological masterpiece. Just adequate clarification of terms will do.

    (Speaking of clarification, I actually am for baby kingfishers in all possible senses. Also gnocchi.)

    • mosomoso,

      Gnocchi with pan fried baby kingfishers! Yum!

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Mmm fer one
      yum fer the
      other. Ter
      make it
      perfecktly
      clear, moso,
      the ‘mmm’ is
      fer the
      kingfisher.

      Azure Kingfisher.

      Like some knights of old,
      you flag fealty by your
      blue coloured plummage.

    • mosomoso | November 9, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Reply
      Maybe put “define terms so people are agreeing or arguing about the same things” at number one.

      Do I “hate climate change” (an expression actually used in an article linked on previous post)? Do I “believe in global warming”? Why not ask me if I’m for baby kingfishers, or believe in sunrise, or I’m against rain?

      I can’t answer those questions in any sensible fashion, especially when they are posed in nonsensical and crudely manipulative fashion, quite often by people pretending to scientific specificity.

      Well… this isn’t that big a problem. Unscientific questions should be answered unscientifically.

      1. Do I “hate climate change” I love climate change. I want it warmer. The projected climate change is 1°C (driving 60 miles south) to 2°C (driving 120 miles south). It usually is listed as 90 and 180 but from examining Brazil temperature data the warming effect is 2/3 at night. So a 1°C rise in temperature is only a 60 mile drive. The only people that are marginally effected are people that can’t drive further south (people near the equator). Living further south without moving is good.

      2. Do I “believe in global warming”? This question needs context. I don’t know if they are asking if:
      a. Am I a member of the Cult of Anthropomorphic Global Warming? (NO),
      b. Do I believe it is getting warmer? (I used to but I quit believing it was getting warmer 17 years ago when it quit getting warmer),
      c. Do I believe CO2 warms the atmosphere? (some, but not as much as people would like you to believe).

  25. Judith, … “Baloney detection” … You are drifting and drifting without purpose.

    Your blog is wonderful. In your journey you have put a reasonable and effective composition together. Yet one key aspect is missing. You seem stuck without it. Maybe I can help provide it to you.

    You are lacking a motive. What is Judith Curry’s motive in all this slagging of climate change science? Why is Judith hell bent on wrecking the case for AGW.

    You lack a tangible substantive reason to contradict the precautionary.

    Okay … Your critics search this out from you. You yourself have earched for the motive etensively in this blog.

    … For the love of science, for the pursuit of truth, for monetary gain, for ego or pride, for posterity … No, none of these typical motives will compel with force.

    You need a motive which is of sufficient worth as to override the damage that the criticism creates.

    ======================
    Here is a feasible motive for calling baloney to climate change science

    UNCERTAINTY/VARIABILITY

    This is in main conclusion in this journey …. The uncertainties and variabilitirs are huge. At present we have very little idea as to the qantitative envelope for AGW.

    This is the essence of your critique of the science. That’s not enough to override the precautionary principle. Not knowing is not an excuse for not acting.

    BIG VALUE MOTIVE: Yes the uncertainty and variability is very large. In fact the uncertainties, magnitude of variation and duration of excursion are so great that they overstep and outdistance the human scales

    The magnitude and fluctuations of climte variability is an order or more greater than the fluctutions of population and evolution/development of technology and societal expectations.

    The danger of mistating climate change is that it will overstep and corrupt thr expectation of the future. That will cause real harm

    Human society is changing much faster of its own accord than climate is changing in response to human society.

    • “Not knowing is not an excuse for not acting.”

      A preference for rational action is not “an excuse for not acting.” This is the warm advocates’ “big lie”- the claim that anyone who dares to think about their assertions is trying to prevent action. It’s not true, never was true, and the list of people believing it dwindles every day (as it should).
      This dwindling is not due to merchants of doubt on the science side. Journalists, businessmen and politicians have been able to evaluate the “action” warm advocates want and actions that the warm oppose. The result is something akin to the Occupy Wall Street movement- a message many wanted to get behind, but which turned out to be so incoherent, outright dumb, and/or overtly partisan that it lost any momentum it could muster. Couple this with the fact that advocates demanded incoherent policies based on an “urgency” so ridiculously exaggerated that even advocates are embarrassed by it (Google “Peter Wadhams”).
      Now, think for a minute about how someone who wants actual action on AGW might be able to turn this thing around.

    • Curious George

      Would the pursuit of truth be a sufficient motive?

  26. Geoff Sherrington

    “What is Judith Curry’s motive in all this slagging of climate change science?”
    I cannot answer that question, but I can propose an alternative framing.
    “Why is Judith showing readers some aspects of climate work and suggesting that people read them with this filter or that filter?”
    The inherent damage is already there in the writing of the climate workers. Many of us simply analyse it.
    Have a look at the latest Climate Audit essays to see the style.

  27. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Sagan’s ‘baloney detection’ rules!
    Satellite-data errors corrected …
    … good agreement found with land-data
    !

    SkepticalScience embraces Sagan-style skepticism!

    Simply put, when we eliminate the effect of clouds, the atmosphere is warming faster than we thought and the divergence between land thermometers and satellites largely disappears.

    Of course, whenever a study that is this significant is published, there is deserved skepticism.

    We have to be guarded in our acceptance until further work is done and until other teams have had a chance to review the findings.

    Good on `yah, Team Skeptical Science, for exemplary Sagan-stye ‘baloney detection’.

    Is this yet another scientific nail in the coffin of climate-change skepticism? The world wonders!

    \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}

    • AFOMD,

      ” . . . when we eliminate the effect of . . . “.

      Indeed.

      When we eliminate all the corrections, distortions, assumptions, infilling, averaging, interpolating, etc., we discover that there is no warming at all.

      Surprise, surprise!

      You, and the 0.02 % of the world’s population that still believe in climatology as a science,, are becoming more irrelevant by the hour.

      Good on yah, AFOMD! Pray hard. Keep the faith.

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • ‘Christy explained that the scattering effect is real but that the impact on temperature is “tiny” in terms of the time scale and spatial scale involved. “We’ve been doing this for 25 years now and we’ve gone over and over this issue,” Christy explained. He pointed out that the UAH team have balloon data from when it is raining and when it is not raining and that the temperature readings from the balloon instruments match the satellite-derived readings “almost perfectly”. Christy said that he and his team have “a lot of confidence” in their data.’

      Of course there is no real problem with the satellite data – http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/plot/uah/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/trend

      A bigger problem is with the effect of the changing balance of latent and sensible in the surface record. This makes the surface record obsolete – it is unsuitable for climate monitoring given the better alternative that exists.

      Nonetheless – the surface record is what we have for most of the 20th century. The warming from 1944 to 1998 was 0.4K at a rate of 0.07K/decade. Always presuming that warming restarts in a decade or so – is this a problem?

      • MontanaVeteran

        You haven’t been in a gen ed. natural science class in a while have you Mike Flynn. Because the sad fact for you, is the majority of college graduates are now coming out a with solid understanding of the scientific CONSENSUS, and would probably laugh at whatever drivel you could possibly add to a discussion, just like I am doing right now. Ha Ha Ha.

    • Problem –
      UAH, RSS, and RATPAC tend to agree. Model? Not so much.

    • THANKS!!!!

    • This is a really important piece of work.
      So many people simply accept satillite data at face value without DIGGING down to the original bits. With the land temps digging down to the original bits was pretty straight forward. With Satillite data its orders of maginitude
      more complicated. The downloads can take weeks, the disk size requirements send me back the store frequently and the processing is complicated and easy to get wrong.

      For grins I cannot count the number of times I have had to correct Monkton on his view of satillite data and yet he persists in his ignorance.

      • If the lowest channel has more cooling due to water than the upper channels, that would tend to make the Tropical Troposphere Hot Spot even more cool with respect to the surface. It would also make kriging surface temperatures with satellite data in very low moisture environments a bit futile. I can see quite a few things going back to the drawing board.

      • 1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.”

        The satellite data is at least independent of the Bowen Ratio.

        Bing – there goes the baloney detector as it inevitably does with FOMBS and the mad, naked Emperor Moshpit.

      • “For grins I cannot count the number of times I have had to correct Monkton on his view of satillite data and yet he persists in his ignorance.”
        _____
        I salute your perseverance to continue to attempt to educate the willfully ignorant. They want things to be a certain way– and by golly, no facts or science is going to stand in the way of that!

      • The problem is with the surface land temp in particular.

        http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-17.html

        I see Randy the video guy chimes in with an opinion on motivated thinking based on a single – and most probably unread – paper. Superficial as usual.

      • R Gates

        “I salute your perseverance to continue to attempt to educate the willfully ignorant. They want things to be a certain way– and by golly, no facts or science is going to stand in the way of that!”

        you could be talking about monkton or Rob Ellison.

      • “It would also make kriging surface temperatures with satellite data in very low moisture environments a bit futile. I can see quite a few things going back to the drawing board.”

        Actually not. Out of sample testing shows you why.

        you cant beat verification with words captain. you need numbers.

      • So linking the IPCC – showing the minimal difference in trend between UAH and HadCRU4 – comparing RATPAC and UAH – quoting John Christy on why the effect was minor – linking to the Bowen Ratio and the essential and unresolved problem of the surface temperature record – etc. etc.- is factless? Glad we sorted that out mad, naked Emperor Moshpit.

      • Steven Mosher, after they make the massive adjustment to the satellite temperature data I guess they will need to adjust the OLR data.

        Funny how the high northern latitudes started leaking more energy around the start of the “pause”. Increased SSW intensity, strong Arctic Winter Warming, unstable polar vortex, nah, must be the satellite and radiosonde data are wrong :)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: For grins I cannot count the number of times I have had to correct Monkton on his view of satillite data and yet he persists in his ignorance.

        Quote something specific. Here is his latest at WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/07/on-climate-the-right-is-right-global-temperature-update-the-pause-is-still-18-years-1-month/

        short quote

        In 1990, the IPCC’s central estimate of near-term warming was higher by two-thirds than it is today. Then it was 2.8 C/century equivalent. Now it is just 1.7 Cº equivalent – and, as Fig. 4 shows, even that is proving to be a substantial exaggeration.

        On the RSS satellite data, there has been no global warming statistically distinguishable from zero for more than 26 years. None of the models predicted that, in effect, there would be no global warming for a quarter of a century.

        What difference do those corrections make? The paper is behind a paywall, and I can’t read it.

    • The thing about data is to compare and contrast – RATPAC-A and UAH for instance.

      • And this – http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-3-17.html

        We have the usual nonsense from the usual suspects based on a superficial reading of a paper and motivated reasoning. The motivation being to discredit satellite data because it doesn’t agree with the narrative. Or just that the mad, naked emperor Moshpit needs to defend an obsolete data series because he has invested so much in it. So sad too bad.

        The increase is still 0.4K from 1944 to 1998 – at 0.07K/decade – using the obsolete data sets. Even presuming that warming recommences in a decade or so – is this a problem?

      • Rob

        “So sad too bad.”

        Reminds me of the story:

        Son writes home “No Mon, No Fun, Your Son”
        Dad writes back “Too bad, How Sad, Yout Dad”

        Keep warm,

        Richard

    • Matthew R Marler

      A fan of *MORE* discourse:
      Sagan’s ‘baloney detection’ rules!
      Satellite-data errors corrected …
      … good agreement found with land-data!

      good catch. from the abstract: It is shown that the global mean temperature in the low and middle troposphere has a larger warming rate (about 20–30 % higher) when the cloud-affected radiances are removed from AMSU-A data. Full article is behind a paywall.

      The recent warming rate is close to 0; so is that 20-30% higher than 0?

      The appropriate NASA web page is down now, but here is a recent discussion by Bob Tisdale.http://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/on-the-differences-and-similarities-between-global-surface-temperature-and-lower-troposphere-temperature-anomaly-datasets/

      Credit where it is due: good catch.

  28. “Too often serious baloney detection is ignored by scientists in the interests of careerism and advocacy. ” – JC

    Especially advocacy.

    Seems to be a lot of that around.

    • Only among Otters.

    • Scorecard for Michael’s comment

      1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.” Fail.

      2.Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
      Fail.
      3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
      Success. he didnt appeal to authority.
      4. Spin more than one hypothesis.
      Fail

      5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.
      Fail.
      6. Quantify.
      Fail
      7. If there’s a chain of argument, every link in the chain must work (including the premise) — not just most of them.
      uncertain.
      8. Occam’s Razor.
      Does not apply
      9. Always ask whether the hypothesis can be, at least in principle, falsified.
      success.

      • “Too often serious baloney detection is ignored by scientists in the interests of careerism and advocacy. ” – JC

        Steven, let’s look at the scorecard for JC’s statement

        1. Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts.” Fail.

        2.Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
        Fail.

        3. Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future. Perhaps a better way to say it is that in science there are no authorities; at most, there are experts.
        Success. .

        4. Spin more than one hypothesis.
        Fail

        5. Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.
        Fail.

        6. Quantify.
        Fail

        I think statements by actual scientists is even more relevant than some blog comment by Michael

      • I think statements by actual scientists is even more relevant than some blog comment by Michael

        Or blog comment by Joseph.

        You realize that you just claimed you are not relevant

      • Interesting logic:

        Joseph: “I think statements by actual scientists is even more relevant than some blog comment by Michael”

        Mosher: “You realize that you just claimed you are not relevant.”

    • Joseph,

      You have to forgive Steven – he thinks blog comments are science.

  29. Francisco Saez

    Interestingly, Sagan “…also perceived global warming as a growing, man-made danger and likened it to the natural development of Venus into a hot, life-hostile planet through a kind of runaway greenhouse effect” (Wikipedia). What would he think nowadays about the “Pause”, the “97% Consensus”, the war “Skeptics/Negationists” vs. “Alarmists”, and, of course, Polar Bear Cubs? ;-)

  30. A brilliant list. But as always application of just one item the throws up many more questions.

    For example:

    Quantify. If whatever it is you’re explaining has some measure, some numerical quantity attached to it, you’ll be much better able to discriminate among competing hypotheses.

    Apply as many methods as possible? Then which one should you use in the end.

    Personally I think the greatest threat to science is money and ego. The latter is no short supply.

  31. Carl Sagan’s rules belong to a different era from that in which the climate battle rages. Climate is a dynamic problem of immense complexity, beyond the human brain capacity to solve. Like most dynamics it is best solved by mathematical models set up as a simulation on a computer. The IPCC supports some 50 models, none of which can simulate present climate let alone make predictions for the future.

    Nevertheless Sagan’s rules are good advice as far as they go, so I would add some extras to the list to cover mathematical modelling.
    (a) The model should include every process that could effect its output.
    (b) The model can only be validated as a whole when each and every process has been separately validated.
    (c) It follows that model validation is usually a new research field.
    (d) In modelling each process, stationarity should not be assumed. data tike the 1940 climate singularity needs to be identified.
    (e) linearity should not be assumed, although piecewise linearity is sometimes useful.
    (f) feedback loops need to be identified and properly simulated – a good example is the diurnal effect of clouds, day and night.
    (g) Spatial and temporal integration intervals need to be small despite the cost in computer time.

    • Alexander

      Climate is a dynamic problem of immense complexity, beyond the human brain capacity to solve

      That is probably true of many areas of science; hence the reductionist approach.

      Like most dynamics it is best solved by mathematical models set up as a simulation on a computer.

      The reason we rely on computer simulations is typically because we cannot run an experiment (we can’t in Global Earth Systems) or as you say it’s impractical.

      Computer simulations themselves are no better at finding solutions if their implementation is poor and will actually give you the wrong result in all likelihood. I think there is a chap called Prof. Essex who has comprehensively explained why climate models fail. He doesn’t say we shouldn’t keep working on them but we shouldn’t be placing much trust in them.

      • Planning Engineer

        This goes way back, but has broad applicability.

        How do you tell a good forecaster/modeler from a bad forecaster/modeler?
        The good ones are the first to recognize it when they are wrong.

      • Like most dynamics it is best solved by mathematical models set up as a simulation on a computer.

        Numerical solutions perform poorly,in comparison to analytic solutions due to initial conditions.This is well seen in GCM outputs with stochastic resonance and complex eigenvalues,where no gcm can get into and out of an iceage due to the Diophantine approximations.

        Guaranteed resonance increases certainty almost surely.

        http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/470/2171/20140488.abstract

    • Curious George

      I would add one more point:

      (h) don’t even try to run a model with a spatial resolution over 1 km. Developing a model is OK – but for a real run wait until a sufficiently powerful computer becomes available. Meanwhile assess what spatial resolution you really need; the figure 1 km I used is my uneducated guess.

      • Models should tend towards a mote accurate solution as temporal and spatial resolution improves. In my own judgement, I would think a spatial resolution of 50km in the horizontal plane and temporal of half an hour should be small enough. Of course vertical resolution in the atmosphere and oceans needs to be better. A good test to apply is that in N, Queensland waters in the southern summer, cyclones should occasionally pop up on the simulation. That is, the simulated climate should be a bit unstable.

      • typically still over 100 km

      • ABiggs said:

        In my own judgement, I would think a spatial resolution of 50km in the horizontal plane and temporal of half an hour should be small enough.

        In my neck-of-the-woods (southeastern US) about half of the year is dominated by pop-up cumulus/cumulonimbus which are typically less than 5km in diameter and regularly disrupt local temperatures in 10 minutes or so by 15 deg K without rain and maybe 20 degrees when discharging buckets of rain and/or hail. With tops from 20-40,000 feet I suspect that there is also some effect upon albedo far above most of the atmospheric C02. How would your 50KM/30 minute model reflect such common activity?

  32. Judith,

    Combining this post with your recent one on Russell’s Ten Commandments provides a powerful strategy for any heated scientific debate: simply ask any proponent or antagonist to list both the pro’s and cons of a given theory or hypothesis.

    Someone who understands how science works and who is knowledgeable about a given topic should be able to answer that.

    If someone is unwilling or unable to answer that question, then he or she either has ulterior motives (personal, political etc.) and/or simply ‘hasn’t got a clue’ what he or she is talking about (OK, that may be a bit too strong, but you get my point). And surely does not want to play the scientific game by “the rules”.

    It is also a powerful question that any layman could ask, as it does not require in depth knowledge about a certain topic. And any layman should be able – without detailed knowledge about the actual science – to judge whether the person is open and honest and thus can be trusted.

    (btw, it is a lot of fun to ask non-scientists this question in case of climate science …)

    My experience is that often climate scientists will openly discuss the pro’s and con’s of a given theory or hypothesis among their peers (although there are definitely scientists uncapable of even doing that; been there, done that …), but that they are unwilling re-iterate that in the public domain, often because of ulterior motives they sometimes are not even aware of that they are ulterior. With the strange result that I hear claims in the public domain that I know are not supported by scientists, but without those claims being countered by those same scientists, even though they know the claims are not true.

    My other experience is that you definitely will not become popular among your peers by asking that question. But then again, if your motivation for doing science is to become popular …

    J.

    • “ask any proponent or antagonist to list both the pro’s and cons of a given theory or hypothesis”

      +1. Better yet, ask oneself – a key component to being healthily sceptical. Akin to Mosher’s call to make your opponent’s best case.

  33. When Sagan got caught violating these rules in his attempt to merchandise ‘nuclear winter’ there was some brief hope his embarassment would lead to climate scientists and economists swearing off dodgy PR schemes in the Climate Wars.

    Instead they were adopted as ‘Best Practices” by both sides,

  34. This thread reminds me of John R. Christy’s article where he asks the question: “Why do we argue about climate change?”

    His answer is streaightforward:
    “The reason there is so much contention regarding “global warming” is relatively simple to understand: In climate change science we basically cannot prove anything about how the climate will change as a result of adding extra greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. And so we are left to argue about unprovable claims.”
    http://www.centredaily.com/2014/03/20/4093680/john-r-christy-climate-science.html

    • nottawa rafter

      I suspect regardless of trends that will be true for many decades to come, especially so if the divergence between the models and observational data keeps growing.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        many decades?
        damn, I was hoping the hat eating would begin sooner

      • John Smith

        Do not trevail. Yesterday was the 25th anniversary on the fall of the Berlin Wall and it reminds us that changes in society are not always slow. The seeds for a new debate on climate may have already been planted; targeted research as advocated by Steven Koonin may change the premises.

  35. #7 is the offender in the climate realm that I see most abused…

    • Indeed, the argument for CAGW is complex, in fact far more complex than a simple chain of steps. Even the data is debatable and debated. This complexity explains why there are so many different skeptical views, as different people question different parts of the CAGW argument.

      • True, and due to this I would be inclined to give the arguments a break except for the egregious nature of the assumptions (e.g. such as the Mann paper a few months which assumed separability of internal and forced temperature signals)…

  36. I’ve been quoting Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit lot lately, particularly with respect to the 97% consensus claims and most of the people I’ve engaged who are pushing the consensus argument either don’t grasp its fallacious nature or don’t care.

  37. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    Naomi Klein detects ‘billionaire baloney’

    Naomi Klein:
    the hypocrisy behind the big business
    climate change battle

    I denied climate change for longer than I care to admit.

    I knew it was happening, sure. But I stayed pretty hazy on the details and only skimmed most news stories.

    I told myself the science was too complicated and the environmentalists were dealing with it.

    And I continued to behave as if there was nothing wrong with the shiny card in my wallet attesting to my “elite” frequent-flyer status.

    Surviving is not the same as thriving, not the same as living well.

    Good on `yah Naomi Klein, for spotlighting globalized corporate baloney!

    \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}

    • Reads like a ad for Climaholics Anonymous

    • Wow, I couldn’t write a more stereotypical neurotic greenby article if I tried. Keep reproducing, though, to save the species!!!

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: BREAKING NEWS

      Baloney to the right of them, Baloney to the left of them, volleyed and thundered.

      Naomi Klein opposes vitamin A enriched rice, does she not? Naomi Klein avoids selling beef, wheat, or fuel at a profit,and she thinks everyone else should do the same.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Canman froths  “FOMD, you need to read this Naomi Klein piece”6700 words frothing against Naomi … and ZERO words quoting Naomi?

        In fact, no science-driven discussion of ANY kind?

        That kind of ideology-driven polemic is more likely to make its readers dumber than smarter, eh Canman?

        \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}

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: … and ZERO words quoting Naomi?

        Uh oh. You didn’t read it. there are enough quotes from Naomi Klein.

        “From the young climate activist breaking down and weeping on my shoulder at the Copenhagen summit, to the climate change deniers at the Heartland Institute literally laughing at the prospect of extinction…” [451] — Klein lays out an alarming panorama of climate change. Carbon dioxide levels are soaring; temperatures are rising; inundation, famine, pestilence and war — or even worse tipping points — threaten at two-, four-, or six-degree benchmarks; catastrophe is assured if urgent but fuzzy deadlines are not met. (“If we do not get our emissions under control by a rather terrifying 2017, our fossil fuel economy will ‘lock-in’ extremely dangerous warming.”)

      • FOMD, I am not frothing. I was merely linking to an article by Will Boisvert where he presents a lot of facts and figures that dispute a lot of claims and notions from Naomi Klein’s book. To be fair, Klein is obviously not a scientist or engineer and appears to have taken a very superficial overview of energy. While Boisvert doesn’t source his figures, they look about like what I would expect. Are you disputing any of his facts and figures? For example has Boisvert made me smarter or dumber by informing me that:

        Cloudy, northerly Ontario manufactured solar panels, but it produces virtually no solar power, less than 1 percent of the province’s electricity in 2013. Contrary to Klein’s deceptively worded suggestion, solar energy played no role at all in shutting down Ontario’s coal-fired power plants. Which low-carbon energy sources did? That’s right: the province’s refurbished nuclear power plants, which generated 59 percent of its electricity in 2013, and hydro generators, which contributed 23.4 percent. (Wind farms chipped in 3.4 percent.)

      • “inundation, famine, pestilence and war”, Ah yes, the Four Horsemen!

    • Spruiking Naomi Klein, eh, Fan? Hmmm … here’s a letter I sent to The Australian on 26 Pct:

      Jane Gleeson-White and Naomi Klein are completely off the wall (“Dire tales of climate change drive call for urgent action,” Review, 25-26/10). They see the urgent and defining battle of our age as between “resource extractivists” and those opposed to the mining and transport of fossil fuels.

      The battle is urgent and defining: but it is between those who understand how billions have been lifted from poverty, illness and servitude by human ingenuity, capitalism, free trade and economic growth, and those who decry the processes which have brought about this great transformation in human well-being. The pair see – correctly – the issue of climate change as not about climate per se but as a mobilising force for those who wish to impose their dystopian view of the world on those who do not share it.

      It is increasingly clear that those who warned of global warming doom have not first attemped to understand the drivers of climate, and have exaggerated both the link between CO2 and warming and the alleged net harm which might arise from it. It is time for reason to prevail, for us to step back and stop further damaging our economies while learning more about the complexities of our always-changing climate.

      • +1 Faustino. We have a cure without a cause.

      • Well stated. Unfortunately, I fear the cancerous lie that is agw has metasticized beyond a cure for a generation or two. The msm, gollywood, and the green blob are too invested in it to back off their agenda any time soon.

    • “And I continued to behave as if there was nothing wrong with the shiny card in my wallet attesting to my “elite” frequent-flyer status.”

      From September through November, Klein will be in most major Canadian cities, New York, Washington DC, Seattle, Los Angeles, Wisconsin, Chicago, London, Amsterdam, Belgium, and Berlin.
      http://www.naomiklein.org/tour-dates-2014

      Klein is on a “world tour” to relentlessly hawk her anti-capitalism/pro-environment book like a used car salesman at a compulsive buyers convention. According to greenies, this world tour should, in terms of CO2 emitted, just about beat out the carbon footprint of everyone reading this blog, for this whole year.
      And FAN wishes to highlight her noble stance on air travel. Good on ya FAN, I couldn’t have described your philosophy on global warming any better than you have!

      It’s just too easy when they parody themselves.

    • For someone who is so against fossil fuels you create a lot of oil. But one wonders, FOMBS, did you even read Klein’s book. Well, did ya?

  38. “Italian scientists cleared of failing to predict L’Aquila earthquake: Charges of multiple manslaughter and of failing to predict the devastating tremor, which affected the mountain city of L’Aquila are overturned”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/11221825/Italian-scientists-cleared-of-failing-to-predict-LAquila-earthquake.html

    • Sanity can prevail. A pity about the length of time it sometimes takes, though.

    • I am actually somewhat sympathetic to the sentiment behind the trial.

      If scientists could be brought up on legal charges when they are wrong they would be right more often and peer review would be taken more seriously (peer reviewers could be named accessories after the fact).

      If scientists could be brought up on charges when they are wrong CAGW proponents would be very nervous now.

      • Right! Lets criminalize all workplace mistakes. Especially those mistakes that fail to predict what is impossible to predict.

      • Bad Science that affects public policy could come under the fraud statutes.

        Bad Science that affects public policy that results from membership in environmental organizations could come under the RICO statues and allow pursuing charges/damages against the environmental organizations and their backers.

      • That’s a bit extreme and impossible to enforce. However, losing funding for ten years for deliberately exaggerating and making false predictions might be do-able. :)

  39. John Smith (it's my real name)

    just have to interject
    just heard on NPR about the major snow laden vortex descending on CONUS
    record cold expected in Texas
    not one word about “climate change”
    if it were a heat wave?
    kim, call your office

    the 4 horsemen await

  40. Compliments to almost all the posters on this topic. Interesting comments. I have a couple of things to add:
    1) If your favored theory encounters serious failure (e.g., divergence of one sort or another), you are obliged to reconsider the theory.
    2) Handwaving and eyeballing a curve and declaring it is a “good result” is not statistics and is not proof, nor does it convince anyone.
    3) Since the various GCMs differ from each other in absolute global mean temperature by 3 or 4 deg C, they can’t exactly be “just physics”.
    4) Failure to observe conservation laws at grid boundaries or within a grid square are serious issues.

  41. It’s not the rise nor the absolute rise but the speed of the rise except that given the hiatus of from 16 – 26 years depending on how you measure it, there has been no rise. So, never mind?

    The record indicates that warmer temperatures were the norm in the earlier part of the past 4000 years, including century-long intervals nearly 1°C warmer than the present decade (2001–2010). Therefore, we conclude that the current decadal mean temperature in Greenland has not exceeded the envelope of natural variability over the past 4000 years. ~Kobashi, T., et al.

  42. Curiously enough, it was Sagan who, ignoring his own advice here, did much to popularize the notion of a “radiative greenhouse,” raising the spectre of AGW. Appearances on the Johnny Carson Show do not sound science make!

    • Yep it’s ironic that JC would post this when Sagan was definitely no skeptic.

      • Clearly Sagan was one of those evil scientists playing ‘power politics’ with their expertise and thus undermining the very integrity, yes integrity, of science.

      • I don’t see any irony on display. I see a possible lack of reading comprehension.

      • Sagan’s solutions are horrifically draconian:

        Increase fossil fuel efficiency
        clean energy research, esp solar
        reforestation
        end *third world* poverty to curb population growth

        Not too far off the No Regrets policy of Ramanathan with a dash of Freeman Dyson.

        OMG we will have to junk the Hummer, fund engineering, plant some trees and help the poor. I’m pretty sure that is the most anti-christian totalitarian hell one could possibly imagine.

        Back in the real world beyond the gravitational influence of Fox News, Sagan’s conclusion stands up solidly based on his best 1980 swag. It’s no wonder his Barbara Streisand Detector has the Multiple Working Hypothesis coupled to Occam’s Razor.

      • Sagan was “concerned” about global warming in 1980. We know more now than then, yet the science still isn’t settled.

      • Joseph –

        ==> “Yep it’s ironic that JC would post this when Sagan was definitely no skeptic.”

        Actually, I think that Judith highlighting the views of someone that “skeptics” generally attack is to her benefit. It could be a sign of applying consistent standards. Now all she needs to do is follow through – with applying Sagan’s “baloney detection rules” to the arguments of “skeptics,.” and as mentioned above, to her own advocacy.

        Hmmm. I think I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen,

      • More ironic is the fact that Judith publishes papers that admit man plays a part in climate change.

        After all she’s a denier.. Right?

      • IIRC, Dr. Curry thinks it is likely about half of the observed warming of the roughly last century is due to ACO2.

      • Does she, like Sagan, accept the potential for “widespread disasters” in this century due to AGW?

      • Judith could say that the oceans have salt in them and Joseph, Michael and Joshua would find a way to criticize her for that. It’s possible that she always admired or was inspired by Sagen somehow and decided to honor him on the aniversary of his birthday. Tribalism much?

      • Mark how cold we’d be without man’s efforts.
        ================

      • Joseph, “Does she, like Sagan, accept the potential for “widespread disasters” in this century due to AGW?”

        There is always the potential for wide spread disasters and always the potential that are over estimated. Astrophysicists, like Sagan and Hansen, then to be very good at over estimating.

      • Joseph – maybe you should read some of Tony B’s postings. There has been weird/extreme weather probably since there’s been weather. Climate, it changes, so what?

      • “Judith could say that the oceans have salt in them and Joseph, Michael and Joshua would find a way to criticize her for that. It’s possible that she always admired or was inspired by Sagen somehow and decided to honor him on the aniversary of his birthday. Tribalism much?”

        Long ago I used to add the following to my comments.

        Global warming is real. Man is the cause. and Mann’s HS is broken.

        Or in the same vein

        Global warming is real. Man is the cause. and hiding the decline was wrong

        or

        Global warming is real. Man is the cause. and we should focus more on adaptation..

        You get the idea: Basically, the belonging to the tribe involves more than just the “Science”. If you accept the core beliefs– c02 warms the planet, man is the cause of more than 50% of warming, the danger is high enough to warrent action on adaptation and mitigation– thats NOT ENOUGH. If you disagree with Mann’s poor practice– you are a denier.
        If you say FOIA should be followed– you are a denier. If you were shocked by climategate– you are a denier; if you criticize hide the decline–you are a denier. If you TALK to skeptics, if you engage them in rational discourse, you are a denier or consorting with the enemy.

        Now these rules, are never said openly. If they were, people would laugh.
        But the rules are enforced. What Micheal and Joshua and Joseph and others ( willard, bart, mann etc ) are all involved in is boundary enforcement. Suppose you are a luke warmer and have no view on policy. That’s not allowed. No view on policy is translated as “wants delay”.

        There are two key figures here.

        Start with Curry. Look at the reaction curry got when she first came to CA. Look at the mistrust her opponents had. Now look at the reactions.
        She’s an interesting figure because she is liminal.
        Next look at Muller. follow the reactions. He too is liminal.

        You can learn a lot about tribes by the way they identify and regard liminal figures. So watch how tribes handle their fringe players. For example Wadhams. A good comparison would be the treatment Wadhams gets ( being on one end of the fringe) and the treatment Curry gets being on the other end. Watch how skeptics treat their fringe.

      • I’m a skeptic of skeptics and warmers (guess that makes me a skeptic). Having survived (if barely) my initial journey on to W.U.W.T. I know skeptics of skeptics aren’t treated well. Having not survived at RealC, I know how skeptics of believers are treated. It ain’t pretty and when it’s pointed out it doesn’t improve.

        Interestingly, I’d venture that by far, most of us (society)(not scientifically researched) are much like I am. And those on the fringier fringe would just as soon beat us about the head and shoulders than to approach us with understanding communication.

    • And even more irony at the end when he advocates for specific policies outside his expertise.. ha ha

    • So we have a 1990 excerpt that suggests models predict catastrophe.

      1. Energy efficiency
      2. Energy research
      3. Reforestation
      4. Bringing affluence to the very poorest to curb population

      Do Michael and Joseph have a shred of self awareness?

      • “Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate. How will we use this power? Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth?

        Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished.” – Sagan.

      • These are his four essential steps.

        1. Energy efficiency
        2. Energy research
        3. Reforestation
        4. Bringing affluence to the very poorest to curb population

        I’d suggest we ignore the flowery moral posturing and focus on the practical.

      • When you are right, Rob, you are spot on.

      • Yes, the practical is far superior to moral posturing. I advocate for the practical – ain’t I great.

      • Rob, I would be happy if people here accepted the science and the potential for climate change to inflict great harm to our global society as Sagan does. We can then discuss the solutions that will effectively mitigate this potential harm.

      • Everyone would happy if we accept that the greening and warming that man can do will be net beneficial, sustaining as it will greater total life and greater diversity of life.
        =================

      • er, ‘everyone would become happy(er)’.
        ==============

      • ““Our intelligence and our technology have given us the power to affect the climate. How will we use this power?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)
        Basically, Sagen presupposes there is some “we” . But there is no
        “we”. There are people who are right about global warming and people
        who are wrong and think it isnt real. The question is, how do “we” who are right engage with those who are wrong? Do we try to convince them?
        and failing there, then what. Do we use our power to silence them?
        Do we enforce our will on them? how? what means are allowed?
        Do we steal their documents? do we hide data from them? do we attack people who invite them to speak at universities. How do we use our power.. Not only our power over the climate, but our power over other people. We have a just cause, everything is allowed. right?

        “Are we willing to tolerate ignorance and complacency in matters that affect the entire human family? ”

        Here we see Sagan’s elitism. Those who disagree with him are ignorant and complacent: dummies who want to delay. Now see the questions raised above. What are our obligations to the dumb? We are smart we want action. They are dumb. they want delay. What’s the final solution?

        “Do we value short-term advantages above the welfare of the Earth?”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reification_(fallacy)

        The earth has no welfare. Notice how he hides the intergenerational justice question. When he does this he hides the real question:

        “Or will we think on longer time scales, with concern for our children and our grandchildren, to understand and protect the complex life-support systems of our planet? The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished.” – Sagan.”

        longer time scales begs the question of the real discount rate. What is the right time scale ( longer can be worse ) and what is the right discount rate? These are not science questions. Sagan doesnt speak for any “we” on these issues. And of course he ends with anthropomorphism. You cant cherish the earth..

      • Steven,
        “There are people who are right about global warming and people
        who are wrong and think it isnt real. ”

        Ah. The unknown variable is missing from this equation. There are (and I think the vast majority fit this) those who don’t know. I am currently wearing those shoes.

      • Trouble is ‘The Science’ is total BS. At the simplest level warming was 0.4K between 1944 and 1998 at 0.07K/decade – a rate likely to decline as the Sun cools this century. Even presuming warming resumes in a decade or so.

        Models are utter nonsense – used in categorically the wrong way.

        Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        On such a flimsy basis wild and improbable catastrophes are routinely foretold to support mad ambitions to transform economies and societies in some nebulous but bucolic and utopian wet dream.

        As I said – practical and pragmatic is the bottom line – something that involves continued economic growth. Which is where I suspect I lose most of these latter day millennialists.

      • Rob

        I would add a fifth: Climate Research as advocated by Steve Koonin.

        Richard

      • Well, stress is one of the most harmful things you can do to yourself.

        It doesn’t make sense to be complacent when there is a clear and proven problem that will have disastrous consequences if not addressed.

        Then there is global warming. Proponents can’t predict when it will happen, how much, and whether it will be on balance harmful or beneficial (so far it is provably beneficial).

        According to progressives it should attacked as an urgent problem with massive spending… as though there weren’t other things to worry about.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/1675/most-important-problem.aspx
        Environment/Pollution is #17 on the non-economics list.
        Global warming isn’t mentioned. This is odd and hard to explain. I guess people don’t think about global warming a lot.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/178268/voters-give-gop-edge-handling-top-issues.aspx
        On a poll of “top issues” global warming was 13 out of 13.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph: Rob, I would be happy if people here accepted the science and the potential for climate change to inflict great harm to our global society as Sagan does. We can then discuss the solutions that will effectively mitigate this potential harm.

        You can see problems right there. What do you mean by “accept”? Do you accept that there are important debates around some propositions and the evidence for and against them, or do you select a few propositions and “accept” them as true?

        Next, what do you mean by “the science”? A fair number of people restrict “the science” to a few propositions about radiative energy transfer, and some calculation based on equilibrium assumptions; I constantly harp on dyamics, such as the increase in water vapor pressure with temperature, likely and likely increase in evaporation rate, and the lack of realistic accurate computations based on those; do you exclude them from “the” science?

        Now on to “potential” for climate change to inflict great harm: do you give any consideration to the “potential” for a reduction in solar activity to produce a reduction in global mean temperature? Why not,as long as you emphasize “potential”? If you elaborate your position into evidence with respect to particular harms to particular outcomes, what evidence of “harm” from warming, past and future, do you consider “accepted” or “acceptable”.

        There is lots of “science”. There are a lot of “potential” harms. The case that CO2 has caused harm or will cause harm is full of holes; that is the status of “the science” right now.

        Your post omits reference to the “potential” of benefits from CO2 and warming. There is science about those potentials as well, not least increased productivity and drought resistance for crops and natural forests. Are those aspects of “the science” that you have personally decided not to accept?

        Of course you would be happy if everyone agreed with you — there is nothing profound or moral in such a common sentiment.

      • Matthew Marler

        Looks like you agree with Koonin and Curry; the science is not settled and more effort has to go into climate research and observation capability.

        Richard

      • There is lots of “science”. There are a lot of “potential” harms. The case that CO2… will cause harm is full of holes; that is the status of “the science” right now.

        According to you and a small minority of scientists. What is that worth? How should we weigh the opinion of a small minority?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph: According to you and a small minority of scientists. What is that worth? How should we weigh the opinion of a small minority?

        Of the things I wrote, which do you think are false, and why? Everything that I wrote of as “science” has been published in peer-reviewed journals. If some of the scientists who are widely cited ignore outright the effect of temperature on the vapor pressure of water, without telling anyone why, shouldn’t you and the public find out why?

        How should you weigh the opinion of a small minority? Investigate how much of what they write is true. They are counting on you not to, for their own purposes.

      • Steven Mosher | November 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm |

        A dull and long-winded fisking, even by Mosher’s standards.

    • Joshua enters the room? Time for a quick breath of fresh(cold) outside air.
      =============

      • Let me cue the music that accompanies his whining.
        whenever I read him I hear the 해금 play in the background

    • Joshua said “Actually, I think that Judith highlighting the views of someone that “skeptics” generally attack is to her benefit. It could be a sign of applying consistent standards. Now all she needs to do is follow through – with applying Sagan’s “baloney detection rules” to the arguments of “skeptics,.” and as mentioned above, to her own advocacy.

      Hmmm. I think I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen,”

      I had suggested in my response to his post to me in the Week in Review thread that he should be doing much more of his logic audits on John Carter, Michael and others so that he could be considered to be impartial.

      I never hold my breath but I am still waiting for his response.

  43. Went to the APC site and learned that Koonin left his job there, because he wants to be involved in the public debate on climate. Also learned that the draft APS statement on climate has been made available to members. What will happen next?

  44. Bill, Kim,

    I used this at Realclimate “Correlation does not mean causality.” in trying to get anyone to state that there was no chance that our current changing climate was not good old Mom nature at work, and I can do the physics no better there than I can here. Just trying to get an understanding as even though I’m no scientist I am a voter and therefore a decision maker if one step removed. I’m persona non grata now.

    It was either that, or when I asked for their scientific proof that “big oil” is funding “skeptics” (which I count my undereducated self as one) as why would any self respecting scientist make such a statement without substantial back up unless that person was just being political.

    Kim, I address this to you as I’m still thinking of your comment about my behavior being a “shtick”. I’m no different here, there or anywhere and am an unintentional Pyrrhonist (which I was unaware of until recently). My philosophy class is school was logic, but that was many years ago (and I made an A! :). As I’m early in my journey to an understanding of our changing climate I’ve found that by asking questions of both sides I’m learning. So, again, if I in any way stray inappropriately I invite any/all to please address it with me.

    I find this to be an important venue and in no way wish to wear out my welcome.

    • I don’t look at it as “causation” necessarily but I am getting a couple of million per year to question AGW. Isn’t everybody? But, my next SUV will be a green diesel so… I’m willing to do my part in saving the globe from evil America… if it doesn’t mean the Third world is forever destined to live in energy-poverty. I must be a liberal!

    • DT, please don’t overinterpret my use of the word ‘schtick’. Everybody’s got one; it’s what we beat reality with. I meant it as a compliment.

      Stay curious, my friend.
      ================

      • Bless you for that.

        I realize I’m in a gun fight here and only brought a knife, so maybe I’m looking over my shoulder a bit too much. That, plus the other “schticks” I see here are far more entertaining than than I. And I think I’m funny!

      • Don’t underestimate your edge. Sometimes Ockham’s blade slits these blazing saddles to shreds.
        =============

    • Pyrrhonist

      ἀταραξία is only fleeting.

      and you can’t achieve it until you actually know what you dont know.

  45. Shoot. Forgot to set up the notification, so using this post to do so.

    • DT, realize am very late to this post. Plus slight self aggrandizement. I came to this fight also late, and also carrying only a knife…in re my specialty in energy storage. What a wonderful few years have past. Hence my new ebook with a gracious foreward from Judith. A small, late contribution.
      Please, figure out your own once you figure out the ‘science’. Regards.

      • Vorpal blades are good.

      • Rud,

        Hope you don’t mind a long, long wait for ME to figure out the science, but you’ll be the first to know. I’m working on vocabulary, a foundation, a politics removal machine (having a real problem with the science here), and now beththeserf has been kind enough to make me realize I’ve gotta learn how to properly wield a vorpal blade.

        I’ve really got to get caught up!

      • Rud –

        Did you write a book? Wow! I hadn’t heard!

        Does it have chapters?

        What about a forward? Does it have a forward?

        Did you really write a book? You know, if you did, you should mention it in a few of your comments! And if it has chapters, don’t forget to mention that, also!

        Everyone will be so impressed!

      • Joshua,

        I assume you meant foreword, although I realise Americans and Warmists assign new meanings to English words, in an endeavour, presumably, to avoid clarity and accountability.

        I’m probably being a little forward here, so please excuse me.

        Is the rest of your comment meant as supercilious sarcasm, or are you trying to be gratuitously offensive? What do you intend to achieve in either case?

        As an unbeliever in the Wondrous CO2 Greenhouse Effect, (primarily because it’s a complete and utter load of nonsense), I allow myself a little fun at the expense of Witless Waffling Warmists, just in case you are interested.

        Maybe the Bearded Balding Buffoons might like to do a little juggling and stick balancing for my benefit. You can’t have too much fun, can you?

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • NIce catch, Mike. Your grammar nanny skills are appreciated deeply.

      • Joshua,

        You wrote –

        “NIce catch, Mike. Your grammar nanny skills are appreciated deeply.”

        You are most welcome. It’s my pleasure.

        I guess you will appreciate me even more deeply when I point out that you probably meant to capitalise only the initial letter of nice, rather than writing Mosherish, and casting such niceties as capitalisation and definitions to the wind.

        Bye the bye, as is normal with Warmist Waffling, you don’t appear to be willing to answer my questions. I can but that Rud Istvan will summon up the fortitude to withstand your feeble attempts at puerile sarcasm.

        Have you managed to increase the temperature of anything at all by surrounding it with CO2 yet? This might be the easiest way of convincing unbelievers such as myself, but I rather think that Hell might freeze over first.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Wow, Mike – this is truly impressive. NOt only are you a grammar nanny par excellence, but you double as a capitalization nanny of great skill as well! Just wow! What’s next? Punctuation? Syntax? Spelling? Is there no end to your areas of expertise?

      • Joshua,

        You wrote –

        “Wow, Mike – this is truly impressive. NOt only are you a grammar nanny par excellence, but you double as a capitalization nanny of great skill as well! Just wow! What’s next? Punctuation? Syntax? Spelling? Is there no end to your areas of expertise?”

        Thank you for your appreciation of my many and varied skills. When discussing CO2 induced warming, very little expertise is needed. No one has yet managed to demonstrate the existence of such a nonsensical thing.

        Warmists, in general, cannot cope with basic English expression in many cases, as you have demonstrated most ably. Their ability to cope with basic physical concepts is similarly lacking.

        Keep on with the fact avoidance if it makes you happy.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Excuse me while I intercede as an interloper, but how many angels dance on the head of a pin? While the obviously well educated scientists on this site are focused on irrelevant to the political class math and physics, the epistemology has received an episiotomy to deliver the god of climate change. When facts meet faith, faith wins.
        I have been to the belly of the beast, the UN in Bonn, Germany, and there is no discussion about science but there is literature that overtly states that capitalism has failed and globalism is the answer to climate change, biodiversity, sustainability (and every other manufactured crisis of the Left). You are all fiddling, although Rome cannot burn since it will omit carbon dioxide.
        We will neither live long nor prosper, but we will all (for fairness sake) die cold and poor, except for the crony fascists.

  46. The linked article concerning the CO2 limit, growers keep CO2 levels at 1,000 to 2,000 ppm in Earthly greenhouses, which is about the level you’d find in a lecture hall full of students and pretty much what has been normal over most of Earth’s 550 million year history.

    • Where do the greenhouse growers get all the students? Is a lecturer needed?

      The benefits for greenhouses to crowd in the students is obvious:

  47. While Sagan was clearly a leader in the field, he did not always lead by example in the ethics of science. He put forth in the public arena ideas that he knew would be misinterpreted in such a way as to make the ideas more significant. Specific examples are nuclear winter and the likelihood of finding life on other planets. Nuclear winter was just bad science, plain and simple (no oceans on Mars). The likelihood of finding life on other planets doesn’t sufficiently contemplate discrete statistics or uniqueness (there is only one number pi). Nonetheless, striving for excellence and correctness should be in all of us. I was once in the office of one of the denser scientists that I knew. The fact that he had written on his whiteboard a set of goals directing him to better science gave me hope for him. So, the fact that the author of the rules may not have always followed them, doesn’t make the rules any less valid (kind of like the Bible). It’s a lot easier to be right when you are writing the rules. Its a lot harder to be right while following them.

    • Except when you have scientists who criticize other scientists while committing the sins they are accusing the other guy of as here:
      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/10/the_wall_street_journal_and_steve_koonin_the_new_face_of_climate_change.2.html

      • At Daniel’s link above:
        “He (Koonin) does a lot of hand-wringing about the uncertainties in ocean behavior, but doesn’t seem to appreciate that oceans cannot be a cause of long-term warming because almost all of the mass of the oceans is colder than the lower atmosphere. Oceans can delay warming by taking up heat (indeed they are, as ocean observations confirm), but the warming will be made up with a vengeance once the oceans stop taking up heat, as they eventually must.” – Raymond T. Pierrehumbert
        Cold oceans (4-5 C) warms the Earth how? Large solar uptake. Storing the heat near the surface and in the middle latitudes, and releasing over long time frames on average as much as it absorbs. Any comments that Pierrehumbert is correct?

      • Also at the link:
        “As Koonin rightly notes, the past 30 years of intensive research in climate science has not managed to narrow the uncertainty range in climate sensitivity. What he fails to note is that this uncertainty provides an argument for ‘more’ rather than less action on emissions control, since it means that no scientifically credible argument advanced in the past several decades has been able to rule out the risk that climate sensitivity is at the high end of the range.” – Raymond T. Pierrehumbert
        I think Lucia wrote about something related to this using a practical and useful example:
        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2014/no-lew-we-dont-need-that-level-of-flood-defenses/
        The answer may be that we should do something now, adaption locally, and see how things play out.

      • Well, Ragnaar, lets look at the heat and see if it is significant.

        Survey says 200 zettajoules since 1960. 2000/3800*1.37 billion cubic kilometers… so about 0.70 billion km3. The density of seawater is about 1025 kg/m3 and the specific heat is about 3850 J/kg-C.

        0.0724°C since 1960. Its actually cooling below 2000 meters but we’ll ignore that. The ocean surface is 510,082,000 sq. km and 1960 is 54 years ago… so the ocean is absorbing 0.2 W from the about about 2 W Hadcrut says air on average has warmed (0.55°C).

        The ocean is absorbing about 1/5 of the heat from the change in air temperature above it. CO2 warming heat transfer (since air temps have been flat for 14 years) is less than 20% effective.

        From what I can tell the ocean hasn’t hit equilibrium with the current temperature and will continue sucking heat for the foreseeable future.

        YMMV.

  48. John Smith (it's my real name)

    I notice that
    “climate change” causes violence
    and affects birth rates in Japan
    but not Polar Vortex
    dang, that’s WEATHER, not climate
    I pray you, your lordships, how many weathers before I earn a climate?

    R Gates, if the internet had been produced only in Latin, I would not have become a heretic
    I appreciate your goodly efforts to save me
    Damn that accursed Reformation

    Tonyb
    Have I become a Ranter, a Raver, a Leveler, a Sub-leveler, or a Digger perhaps?
    I was born a Methodist
    oh wait, I am a Denier… no escaping one’s heritage

    gentle quotes from good Lord Sagan

    I got me own noble to quote
    Lord Pete
    “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”

    espresso breeds malcontent
    God bless it

    • John Smith

      Don’t worry, you are far ahead of your time, a visionary. At least you were in 1688… from which this reference comes. It would have been very important as your namesakes invention/refinement would have immediately helped to record the sharpest drop in temperature and its subsequent recovery in a most hockey stick like manner from 1690 onwards

      “1688. “A complete discourse of the nature, use, and right managing of that Wonderful instrument the Baroscope or Quick-Silver Weather- Glass by John Smith. ” 8vo. London, 1688. An excellent manual for. the construction of barometers, the author being fully aware of the capacity error and urging the adoption of large cisterns in order to minimize it. He proposed two brass scales, one graduated to inches and tenths, with a sliding pointer; the other with the usual words, fair, etc., but “change” was to be 30 inches, not 291, as is now usual. He further urged strongly the importance being of the mercury very pure.

      It appears that in those early days the tube was sent empty, as full instructions are given as to how the frame was to be suspended, the tube and the mercury cleaned (through chamois leather), and the tube filled on its arrival at its destination. Mr. Smith was evidently far ahead of most persons of his time. He, in the last three pages of his book, explains why Dr. Wallis’s barometer did not rise so high as that of the Hon. Robert Boyle (want of capacity in the cistern), why Dr. Beal’s read higher in cold mornings and evenings than at mid-day (air at top of tube), and why a barometer was reported in the ” Philosophical Transactions” No. 55 to have two errors : (1) for the first three years it usually rose in the beat of the day, (2)- subsequently it did the reverse:

      The cause did undoubtedly proceed from the Quick-Silvers being not well purged from air, and that air in the body of the mercury being expanded by the Heat, did cause the Quick-Silver to swell, and by consequence rise higher, it had whereas, when by time, got free into the head of the glass, by expanding there, the contrary effect did follow.”

      tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tony
        your line of inquiry is very interesting to me, enjoyed that
        namesake only
        it was originally Schmidt… Bavaria
        mother’s side Scot
        Inverness area, apparently after Culloden
        only English family are Yorks
        loosing side again

  49. Baloney
    1. Trying to define a limit for natural variation.
    Natural variation means we do not know what is causing a change.
    It can be as big as a house or as small as a mouse.
    It is indefinable and has no set range.
    If things go as expected we think we have all the answers and the variability is nil. If things are off the rail it is the reason for the whole shift away from the expected.
    2.Trying to define a pause or hiatus as a slowdown in a trend
    A hiatus has to be zero sum anomaly over the duration of the pause.
    3. Expecting people to be nice to each other here.
    Not when they disagree with me?
    at least Rob and Steve have each other’s backs when they defend Judith.
    “Out of sample testing shows you why” what?
    It shows you that beating up a lousy method to prove a failed hypothesis by confirmed believers (cringe, Krige) can be proven to be true, yes true! By vigorous application of baloney otherwise reserved for convincing share traders to purchase (wink,wink nudge, nudge) an unfailable stock trading system.
    C and W did not do proper out of sample testing. The fact that they got 100% correlation on their back runs gives a suspicion that they either were rigged ( krigged?) or that all the historical data had already been incorporated in the data models they were comparing to and in their own model anyway.
    No one Steve, gets 100% fit in real life! face it like a scientist.

    • you dont beat science with words.
      you need numbers.
      you have no numbers.

      • From the web site:

        Description of natural systems is a prerequisite for understanding them. Darwin and Margalef are two examples of people having a tremendous background in natural history, thus being able to understand ecology and evolution. The pressure and fashion to publish analytical papers is a gateway for bad science.

        http://www.researchgate.net/post/Why_is_the_descriptive_approach_so_neglected_lately_in_scientific_society

      • Steven.
        Not trying to beat science with words. I am doing what most people at this site do. Trying to get a rational debate (yes, with words) going.
        I use intemperate language at times to try and knock an idea through the barricades of thinking.
        Note science is ideas and numbers, not numbers on their own.
        The idea here is simple, when people sell a pig in a poke they tell you everything is perfect with the pig.
        In this case Cowtan and Way,
        More generally AGW and climate sensitivity.
        But pigs are rarely perfect, they all have some imperfections.
        With Cowtan, and you have worked with the numbers and backfilling you say, everything matches. You said so yourself.
        Perfectly.
        This is weather we are talking about.
        When you have the perfect algorithm for past weather it either includes all the past data already so it is not predicting, just regurgitating, or it does not include all the past data in which case it should deviate in it’s predictions due to natural variability.
        It would also be faulty for predicting the future precisely because it did not have all the information from the past.
        I am sorry you have to work with people who have pulled the wool over your eyes.
        The other possibility does not compute with the great effort you put into these sites and your work in general and is dismissed.

      • Thanks Jim2
        Also I understand the Kriging approach has good maths behind it with bright people, but the intent of the input algorithms is suspect and proven by the output. Not GIGO, just Data in, perfect garbage out, but absolutely perfect and to be admired for that as it’s perfection shows it is garbage at the same time that it tries to hide it.

      • angech – I also had Tony B in mind. If Tony finds a given weather phenomenon is noted by multiple sources, I would take it as truth.

        Also, Tony’s compendium could be made semi-quantitative in some cases. The Earth is a sphere and the various land or ocean areas can be described quantitatively. If region A was cold, region B warm, and region C wet at the same time, we might recognize that same pattern in modern times.

        If any such patterns exist in history, then we might know what to expect the regional weather was at that time, based on modern patterns. One could do “out of sample” testing. For example if region D in the above pattern is dry in modern times, one could check historical observations to see if region D was dry in the historical case.

        If we could put together a series of patterns, who knows, we might see the stadium wave in times of old.

      • Jim2

        If you go here, and also see the comments below it

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

        You will see I am providing information that might enable RGates to identify sudden stratospheric warming in the 14 th century and that CET has a wider correlation than just for Britain.

        Tonyb

      • Angech.
        You can’t debate.
        You have no quantifiable statements.
        This ain’t high school debate.
        It’s pretty simple

      • Next we are not talking about the weather.
        We make a prediction.
        We test the prediction.
        The prediction is correct within the margin of error.
        Done.
        The way you can disprove this is by showing the prediction is wrong. With math.

        So. Go to Korea. Get the 400 stations we didn’t use.
        Test the prediction.
        Go to China. Buy their data we didn’t use.
        India. Buy their data
        Go to any service in the US that has hidden data you have to pay for. Buy it.
        Test the prediction with data that is out of sample.
        Do science.

      • Mosher

        Do you ignore that some very bright people believe language more related to truth than math and logic?

        Regards

        Richard

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Steven
        I would agree with this
        except for the hiatus
        there are numbers for this, no?
        yet both sides throw computer graphs at each other to no conclusion
        it strikes me as no better than the “word” debate
        this is really a battle of culture
        math is just another language
        with many possible interpretations

        us right brained folk deserve to be heard as well :)

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tonyb
        please take of yourself
        your work is important
        you are one of the few rational voices I hear in this craziness
        In my gut I know you are right
        the world is not ending
        in fact it is the best of times
        I really do not understand the fear mongering

      • John Smith, the “hiatus” isn’t a obvious with kriging into the nether regions of the frosty north winters. So by focusing solely on “Global Average Temperature Anomaly” and not bothering with whether a surface is water land or ice, they can determine GAT to a remarkable degree of accuracy. However, warming due to increasing a well mixed gas would increase GAT and decrease DTR, the diurnal temperature range. So as long as you don’t concern yourself with the actual fingerprints of what you are trying to provide proof of, kriging one of a kind corners can create some great data.

        I was under the impression though that “science” was looking for all the evidence not just what blows wind up your skirt. Perhaps not.

      • John

        The best of times?

        It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…..

        http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/29595.html

        I am inclined to believe that as far as climate, health, prosperity and many other measures of human happiness are concerned, that we are truly livimg in the best of times and hopefully that percentage of the global pulation not as fortunate as us, will also be allowed to clamber on to this pinnacle of human achievements. I feel sorry for those who believe this is the worst of times.

        Tonyb

      • ‘Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.’
        Albert Einstein

        Some things are countable – but at the core of climate is the dynamical mechanism that is inscrutable. The temperature rise between 1944 and 1998 was 0.4K at 0.07K/decade. But why 1944 to 1998? The answer comes back to dynamical shifts in climate at multi-decadal intervals in the 20th. These are demonstrably shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices – linked in sychronous chaos in a global systems network model. It is also evident in changing trajectories in global surface temperature in the 20th century. A cool regime from 1944 to 1976 and a warm regime to 1998.

        Discerning how this comes about – and the implications for the future – requires inductive reasoning from data in a high level scientific synthesis.

      • Aha! Chaos is only Chaos until it’s not!

      • Captain

        IMHO trying to understand global climate by averaging data is flawed. When trying to understand the economy I found it more useful to study individual/family longitudinal analyses than the macro numbers. My guess, similarly, is that it would be more useful to analyze global climate by first trying to understand changes at the local level; its my understanding that the influences of clouds can only be understood at the local level.

        Regards,

        Richard

      • Tonyb, so the obvious answer to yours is why, then, do we insist on proceeding with changing the climate at historically high rates into unknown territory? And that is not even considering the rising sea level, as many don’t, some even for political reasons.
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/10/ready-for-rising-seas_n_6133598.html

      • Jimd

        We need to exceed the climate parameters of the past before co2 can be proven be the likely culprit. That has not happened so co2 is innocent until proven guilty

        Sea levels oscillate arond 50 cms either side of an average meanThe last high water stand was in the late 1500’s and water then got locked up in ice by the lia for some 150 years or so. It is that ice that is now melting and raising sea levels. It remains some 20 to 30 cms below the previous high water stand. That depends on region and what the land itself is dong

        Tonyb

      • “Mosher

        Do you ignore that some very bright people believe language more related to truth than math and logic?

        Regards

        Richard

        ###################

        Richard,
        Do I ignore these very bright people?
        no.
        I usually destroy their arguments or turn their arguments against their own position. It’s easy.

        But tell me, what does “more related to truth” mean exactly.
        More is a quantitative term.

        read your sentence again and see how it destroys itself by using the very structure of thought it seeks priority over

      • Mosher

        “But tell me, what does “more related to truth” mean exactly.
        More is a quantitative term.”

        These people believed that truth is impossible to achieve through math and logic but that language comes closer to meeting this goal. How can you quantify “more in love”? Or “richer life”?

        Regards,

        Richard

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Tonyb, so the obvious answer to yours is why, then, do we insist on proceeding with changing the climate at historically high rates into unknown territory?

        The warming over the past 150 years has been, net, beneficial to humans and other biota.

        The CO2 that is the hypothesized cause of some of the warming is, net, beneficial to agriculture and forest growth; future CO2 will be beneficial up to the concentrations that are projected.

        Evidence that future warming, of the size hypothesized due to anthropogenic CO2, will be bad for anything is slim to none.

        According to the science, which has been reviewed here often, the hypothesized warming due to anthropogenic CO2 will occur slowly, if it occurs at all, taking about 150 years per 1.5C.

        Alongside the prima facie case that increased CO2 causes climate warming, there is a prima facie case that increased CO2 causes increased rainfall.

        Alongside the prima facie case that increased CO2 causes climate warming, there is a prima facie case that all of the warming of the last 150 years has occurred independently of the increase in CO2 (that is, they may be correlated, but they are causally unrelated.)

        The preponderance of the evidence is that some of the propositions above are undecidable right now, which leaves us policy-wise with one of the “precautionary principle” exhortions: disastrous cooling may occur, and we must prevent it all costs; or disastrous warming may occur, and we must prevent it at all costs. Alternatively, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”; or solve the solvable problems first, such as by enhancing flood control.

        You wrote that post as though none of these topics had ever been discussed, and as though there was no evidence or only your cherry-picked evidence.

      • tonyb, even if you want a criterion of exceeding all of known or purported history, which is a sure recipe for being too late by the time we start to do anything, a global temperature rise of 0.8 C in a century is rather exceptional. But this change is understood in terms of things we are doing and continuing to do, that are also equally exceptional in a historical context. Should we continue to push the already high CO2 and GHG level further upwards to values not seen in millions or tens of millions of years, as could occur by 2100. This would not seem like good stewardship of the environment that we like. Since just 1980, sea level has risen nearly 10 cm, and land temperatures have warmed nearly 1 C. These are warning signs not to be ignored.

      • The obvious fact is that most warming since the 1800’s is quite natural. The rise between 1944 and 1998 – a period where CO2 emissions started taking off – was 0.4K at 0.07K/decade. Even in the unlikely event that all of this was anthropogenic – and presuming that warming resumes in a decade or so – is this an problem anytime in the time frame of the evolution of human technologies?

        CO2 in the atmosphere was most likely more than 400ppm at the last glacial transition – not even remotely millions of years.

      • Angech. You can’t debate.
        You have no quantifiable statements.you dont beat science with words.
        you need numbers. you have no numbers.
        This ain’t high school debate. It’s pretty simple
        Steven Mosher | November 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm |

        Next we are not talking about the weather. [Sorry, everyone here is talking about the [measurement][ of the weather]
        We make a prediction. [about the weather*]
        We test the prediction.[about the weather*]
        The prediction is correct within the margin of error. [Duh!, as you would say. The correct statement is the prediction is either right, wrong or unclear]
        Done. [No, read above]
        The way you can disprove this is by showing the prediction is wrong. With math.
        [Or logic, If you tell me it is warmer in Texas than ever before and I see it snowing, I do not need Math to conclude you are wrong.]
        [and the way you can prove this is with Math, show me one prediction of Cowtan and Way which is lower than expected, not one ? got it]

        So. Go to Korea. Get the 400 stations we didn’t use.
        Test the prediction.Go to China. Buy their data we didn’t use.
        India. Buy their data Go to any service in the US that has hidden data you have to pay for. Buy it.Test the prediction with data that is out of sample.

        Do science. Thank you for doing science, it is needed. As I recall you did this well before C and W existed. Since you agreed then that it fitted the existing data there would be no way for C and W when they came along, using this for their models, to have any cause for disagreemen, would there? So since you already knew it would fit, there was no real out of sample surprise , was there, there could not be.
        Heck the data you bought was already incorporated in their models if they were any good and you had it all this time before. So grow up.
        Stop the baloney.
        Debate?, you are doing a Grade 2 Primary school job of it at the moment. You ignore the facts, You ignore the maths.
        You play on your superiority of access to deny me the right to question your results.

        Let’s both agree that C and W will never be able to be corroborated by Out of sample data as it just does not exist and will not exist for the Arctic. Unless you buy it from the polar bears or the Inuit. There are no stations for heavens sake
        For the very area they most prognosticate on.
        How fortunate are they that that it gets miles warmer, just enough to compensate for the pause and never ever gets colder.
        Wake up, man.

      • Steven, Frank Lansner did just what you are suggesting and went to a lot of trouble to liberate data for stations that BEST didn’t use from about a dozen countries:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/06/the-original-temperatures-project/

        Your retort to Frank’s criticisms of BEST based on his research was lame:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/06/the-original-temperatures-project/#comment-1526618

      • Jimd

        You said

        ‘tonyb, even if you want a criterion of exceeding all of known or purported history, which is a sure recipe for being too late by the time we start to do anything, a global temperature rise of 0.8 C in a century is rather exceptional.’

        Jim, We must set some criteria and being within previous high or low temperature within recent history (i.e the Holocene) seem pretty good benchmarks.

        Am I surprised that we are slightly warmer than the end of the mis-named LIA? No. Thank goodness we are. Are you surprised about that fact? If so why?

        As for sea levels, as has been stated they oscillate around a mean average. We remain well within that mean. Simon Holgate confirmed that sea levels rose faster in the first half of the 20th century than they did in the second half (although the difference was statistically meaningless )
        The LIA was supposed to have been the severest era of ice and snow this side of the Holocene so there is a lot to melt. A process that started around 1750.

        We are seeing the earth behave much as it has done at various times in the Holocene, although this time at the benign end rather than at the freezing cold end..

        tonyb

      • Matthew

        You said

        ‘Alongside the prima facie case that increased CO2 causes climate warming, there is a prima facie case that increased CO2 causes increased rainfall’

        Matthew, going back through some 800 years of records (I am currently at around 1200AD) what comes over loud and clear are the greater incidence and ferocity of severe events in the distant past compared to today and most especially the prodigious amount of rainfall we received over very extended periods.

        tonyb.

      • tonyb, the LIA was part of a general Holocene downward trend that favors Arctic ice more with time as part of the precession cycle. Contrary to heading towards being the warmest part of the Holocene, it should be the coldest with Arctic ice increasing, not going away. This sudden Holocene trend reversal is unexpected in the general Milankovitch scheme of things while the LIA was more as expected, being the coldest since the Holocene Optimum. So, yes, it should be very surprising that this is the warmest since the Holocene Optimum and trending upwards for more than a century now, unless you expected it from CO2 changes, the timing of which matches the warming upturn, not by coincidence.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Jim D

        Sorry, I screwed up the blockquote. Try again.

        This sudden Holocene trend reversal is unexpected in the general Milankovitch scheme of things

        The Milankovitch scheme needs fixing, see Science of Doom, Prof. Muller, etc. Surely you know this, no?

        …it should be very surprising that this is the warmest since the Holocene Optiattendentmum and trending upwards for more than a century now, unless you expected it from CO2 changes, the timing of which matches the warming upturn,

        Heinrich and Dansgaard-Oeschger events

        Each of the 25 observed D-O events consist of an abrupt warming to near-interglacial conditions that occurred in a matter of decades…

        Unexplained aperiodic and dramatic warming appears to be an irrefutable fact of the natural climate system. And to further confound the assignment of attribution is the fact that LIFE in general and human activity in particular with its attendant land use changes plus GHG and particulate emissions also waxes and wanes (or not) in concert with the vagaries of changes in the warmth.

        …the timing of [CO2 changes] matches the warming upturn, not by coincidence.

        Baloney! The admixture of causation and coincidence goes to the heart of the attribution problem.

      • David Springer

        Rob Ellison | November 11, 2014 at 5:45 pm |

        ‘Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.’
        Albert Einstein

        +1

        May I also add that numbers are easily made to lie. Reference:

        http://www.amazon.com/Lies-Damn-Statistics-Manipulation-Opinion/dp/0393331490

      • David Springer

        Florence Nightingale was a pioneer in applied statistics. To draw attention to the problems of sanitation in the Crimea war she created some interesting graphics.

        http://understandinguncertainty.org/coxcombs

        She then ensured that 100 influential people saw her data realising that saying something is one thing but getting it noticed and actioned is another.

        Perhaps there is room for a book entitled ‘the politics of statistics’; in which the misuse of it in sciences such as climate would feature prominently
        tonyb

  50. Where is Sagan on the ERL raise from increased CO2?

    I have his book, Cosmos, there’s nothing explaining the science concerning the enhanced greenhouse effect.

    I also have a question, it concerns the ERL (Effective Radiation Level) and I’m familiar (as most climate etc. bloggers) with Lindzen’s slide show explanation of the enhanced greenhouse effect.

    I understand I’ve not the qualifications required to pose my question, as I’m sort of, totally uneducated….went to school, played football, distracted by cheerleaders, graduated from art college, but my father, who cared, was an aeronautical engineer, but I’ll ask it anyways.

    Here’s Lindzen’s part, slightly edited and the parenthesis are mine…“To be sure, adding greenhouse gases (CO2) to the atmosphere raises the ERL (effective radiation level) where outgoing long-wave balances incoming short-wave (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). This means the new emission level is colder than the original emission level. This reduces the outgoing infrared radiative flux, which no longer balances the net incoming solar radiation. Thus, the troposphere because it’s dynamically (which means forcefully) mixed, must warm as a whole, including the surface while preserving its lapse rate (the rate of decrease with height for temperature)”.

    However!…..IMHO, both the elevation increase of the new emission level and the time required to establish the new equilibrium are unknown, ergo (I guess!) how much it warms and what impact the phenomenon has on climate is yet to be determined.

    Here’s my question (also asked at WUWT): Since the new level is higher it’s also larger, as if an expanding balloon, hence more OLR, thus equilibrium is somewhat maintained. Yes? No? Who cares?

    • The tropopause is warmer and dryer than models predict.

      As far as the emissions – for any spherical surface the emitted energy is the gray body energy emission times the surface area.

    • As long as albedo and solar irradiance doesn’t change the “average” ERL would be ~236Wm-2 which would be a isothermal surface at 254K degrees if there was a neat ideal black body situation. In reality there is a water vapor effective radiant layer and a “dry” gas effective radiant layer with a partial clear window where radiation can be emitted from close to or at the physical surface. The reason for “dry” in quotes, is that there is a water vapor continuum where water vapor and.or ice crystals exist in small concentration where they absorb and emit like a dry greenhouse gas.

      Since the atmosphere absorbs and reflects solar energy throughout, what would be the ideal energy of the ERL is lower than the 236 Wm-2 closer to 200-220 Wm-2 depending on your source, since the entire 236Wm-2 doesn’t actually make it to the physical surface. So depending on the actual “forcing” applied by “dry” GHGs there are a number of “surfaces” that would warm to restore any imbalance caused by reduce OLR.

      With atmospheric GHG forcing since there isn’t an ideal ERL, you can have a dry gas layer that would rise to a normally cooler altitude based closely on the dry adiabatic lapse rate ~9.8K/km and the moist water vapor ERL that can rise at closer to the saturate lapse rate ~5.5K/km, remain close to the same with increase area, think of a moist air balloon expanding uniformly, or lower with pole ward expansion of the moist air “envelope” more like a water balloon. .

      So as far as your balloon expanding analogy, the “dry” gas portion is small enough to ignore, it is the moist air envelope that is the beyatch.

      Beware that my “moist air envelope” is frowned upon by many, but since water vapor is limited by condensation and more saturated air has a higher dew point, don’t expect it to change very much, just expect more super cooled water in mid level clouds. But then that is our hostess’s forte.

      • Sorry, that comment was for Phil.

        Here is a OLR map which shows just how un-uniform the ERL actually is.

      • CD your map shows about what is expected. Water vapor is the big greenhouse gas so deserts and other dry areas that have low humidity have a lot of OLR (such as the Sahara, Saudi Arabia, the Gobi, the American southwest, and parts of Australia)

      • PA, “CD your map shows about what is expected.”

        Right, which is why I am not all that fond of the generic simplification of the ERL. The “ERL”, if it did exist as a discrete layer, would be in the upper troposphere not quite at the tropopause which is in the more chaotic portion of the atmosphere. Couldn’t be a worse frame of reference. If you back away from the standard analogy, the Stratopause temperature is right at 0 C degrees and ozone and water vapor advected poleward in the stratosphere cause the poles to be ~50 degrees warmer than they would be otherwise. So a fair chunk of the “Greenhouse effect” is above the ERL and typically not included in basic climate models, after all the stratosphere and above is a measly ~10% of the atmosphere.

        So If you go up to the turbopause with a fairly constant temperature of 184K degrees (~67Wm-2) and no real convection, you have a more realistic “dry” gas effective radiant layer which is actually close to an isothermal atmospheric “shell”. Check Venus and its Black body temperature is close to 184K and the coldest temperatures in the Antarctic is …. yep, about 184K (65Wm-2).

        The difference between the “dry” ERL and the moist ERL ~200 Wm-2 is the actual “window” that massive amounts of CO2 would close. The estimated incorrectly 40 Wm-2 “window” is actually from above the atmospheric boundary layer with clouds/water/water vapor blocking all but ~20 Wm-2 of that window from the true surface as shown in the Stephens et al Earth Energy Budget. If the deserts greened, water vapor would block more of that window without appreciably changing the net radiant balance. Since the current average OLR is ~236Wm-2, about 67 Wm-2 is due to “dry” gases and ~169 Wm-2 is due to water in various states.

        That ~169 Wm-2 just so happens to be about equal to the SW that actually reaches the true surface, indicating to me that water/water vapor and clouds regulates the SW that reaches the surface. What can I say, we do live on a water world.

      • Thanks captd. I’ve read your replies several times now, it is sinking in. The map and chart are a great help.

        Regards, Phil.

      • Phil, one thing you will probably notice is that the old guard warmists don’t like to stray far from the classic simplifications. Classic simplifications are useful as analogies but not very useful as physical models because the system is dynamic and the “forcing” small, ~ 1%. Even at 1%, the expansion of the dry gas envelope or shell is negligibly small, expansion of the moist air envelope, i.e. retreating snow/ice field and general changing of precipitation patterns and associated cloud cover is not negligible. Since water vapor is not well mixed, average atmospheric water vapor is not all that useful and the simplified analogy requires a meaningful average that can be approximated as an “equilibrium” condition. That is a huge assumption.

        I hope that doesn’t confuse you more, but “surface” response isn’t a very simple problem.

    • Phil, see essay Sensitive Uncertainty in my newest ebook. Tried hard to explain all the basic physics without any math. Including your very apt expanding balloon analogy on CO2 (which does not apply to water vapor due to temperature lapse rates, so involving a different atmospheric constraint governed by the Clausius/Capeyron equation.).

      The net result of your very good question (higher, therefore colder; bigger emitting surface, therefore more emission–but at colder IR, is the proven IR log curve. Again, see the ebook essay for a longer prose explanation.

    • ‘All other things being equal the equilibrium surface temperature of a planet with a greenhouse gas in
      its atmosphere must be greater than that of a planet without a greenhouse gas, in order to radiate
      away energy at a sufficient rate to balance the absorbed solar radiation. The key insight to be
      taken from this discussion is that the greenhouse effect only works to the extent that the atmosphere
      is colder at the radiating level then it is at the ground.

      For real greenhouse gases, the absorption coefficient varies greatly with frequency. Such
      gases act on the OLR by making the atmosphere very optically thick at some frequencies, less
      optically thick at others, and perhaps even optically thin at still other frequencies. In portions of the spectrum where the atmosphere is more optically thick, the emission to space originates in higher (and generally colder) parts of the atmosphere. In reality,then, the infrared escaping to space is a blend of radiation emitted from a range of atmospheric levels, with some admixture of
      radiation from the planet’s surface as well. The concept of an effective radiating level nonetheless
      has merit for real greenhouse gases. It does not represent a distinct physical layer of the atmosphere, but rather characterizes the mean depth from which infrared photons escape to space. As more greenhouse gas is added to an atmosphere, more of the lower parts of the atmosphere become opaque to infrared, preventing the escape of infrared radiation from those regions. This increases the altitude of the effective radiating level.’

      Try Chapter 3 – http://cips.berkeley.edu/events/rocky-planets-class09/ClimateVol1.pdf

      The planet tends to warm or cool to a temperature at which incoming and outgoing radiant energy at top of atmosphere is balanced – the ‘effective radiating level’ is a secondary consideration that is not all that relevant to the energy budget.

      The atmosphere warms almost instantly with added CO2 – and all other things being equal equal – something that is exceedingly unlikely – the ocean heat loss slows and the oceans warm over time given their much greater thermal inertia. Ultimately the oceans and atmosphere equilibriate at a higher temperature and the balance of radiant energy at TOA is restored. In reality TOA radiant flux varies so much that this conceptual model seems wholly inadequate. Changes in ocean heat content seem to follow TOA radiant flux closely.

      Let me suggest – however – some far more interesting physics at the core of climate system dynamics.

      http://www.fraw.org.uk/files/climate/rial_2004.pdf

      • Wow!….asked and answered, with charts, maps and links too.

        PA, captdallas, Rud Istvan, Rob Ellison…thank you all for a very thorough answer. I was going to ask another question, but I have to absorb what’s been said before I can do that.

        Regards, Phil.

    • David Springer

      Lapse rate is not necessarily maintained. That assumption of a fixed immutable lapse rate in the very dynamic troposphere, if false, knocks the legs out from under the catastrophic warming argument.

      • Mr. Springer, thanks for the reply. I’m flattered to be included in your perusal of this thread. I wonder what Lindzen would have to say.

        Regards, Phil.

      • David Springer

        @Phil Brisley

        Lindzen and everyone else that knows snow from shinola acknowledges negative lapse rate feedback. Both models and observations show it. Measurement is too inaccurate to reveal its magnitude but not its sign. Recent observations indicate it’s being underestimated by models.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_feedback#Lapse_rate

        The atmosphere’s temperature decreases with height in the troposphere. Since emission of infrared radiation varies with temperature, longwave radiation escaping to space from the relatively cold upper atmosphere is less than that emitted toward the ground from the lower atmosphere. Thus, the strength of the greenhouse effect depends on the atmosphere’s rate of temperature decrease with height. Both theory and climate models indicate that global warming will reduce the rate of temperature decrease with height, producing a negative lapse rate feedback that weakens the greenhouse effect. Measurements of the rate of temperature change with height are very sensitive to small errors in observations, making it difficult to establish whether the models agree with observations.

        It’s highly likely that the flaw in the climate change ointment is underestimation of negative feedback from water vapor. Clouds are a positive feedback in models but everywhere we actually measure the mean annual surface temperature it is higher where there are the fewest clouds at the same latitude. Tropical deserts are warmer than tropical rain forests and tropical oceans. Cloud reduce diurnal temperature variation at the surface and they also reduce mean annual temperature. Albedo change due to cloud change is poorly understood. Cloud formation in climate models isn’t modeled from first principles in physics like radiative transfer is modeled but rather it’s parameterized (estimated) from observation. Global albedo due to clouds is estimated to be invariant but observation (very limited to date) shows that global average albedo changes year over year. The opportunities for mistakes to enter climate models are legion. They’re clearly running too warm. No one knows quite how much too warm. My impression is that CO2 doubling triggers no net positive feedback therefore the so-called equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.1C per doubling which is exactly what radiative transfer models that are not parameterized predict to be its effect.

      • The idea of a positive cloud feedback is that in a warmer climate there are less clouds, less albedo, etc. Same kind of thing as the ice positive feedback. Observations also suggest clouds have reduced during the warming.

      • blueice2hotsea

        Jim D

        No. A better over-simplification of the decades old clouds feedback ‘idea’ is that with warming/cooling there will be a redistribution of clouds in type, space (vertical, horizontal) and time (e.g. seasonal, etc). Of course, the actual ‘idea’ is a much more interesting and complex work-in-progress.

        David Springer’s point, Lapse rate is not necessarily maintained. is very important to the accurate estimation of CO2 sensitivity wrt the raising of the ERL.

  51. I look for lying rather than baloney. Is there something that you know is wrong that the field fails to reject, and in fact supports?

    Then it’s all to be ignored. The experts are expert in something weird.

  52. Wonderful humiltyreflection that can be applied to much work.

  53. Ah..,. I assumed the threading was broken again… a reply to Danny Thomas

  54. I think mine would be:

    1) A theories power is in what it excludes or says is not possible. More powerful theories exclude more possibilities. E.g. conservation of momentum excludes all physical situations where momentum is not conserved. A baloney theory is one this able to explain every possibility.

    2) Baloney theories do not agree with ideas/fact previously understood or ideas/facts from other disciplines. E.g.
    – GCMs do not agree with basic ideas in numerical modelling
    -the idea that GCM models have very low numbers of errors does not agree with previous research into software quality.
    – The idea that there is no medieval warm period does not agree with previous climate theory
    – The idea that GCMs can simulate climate does not agree with commonly understood notions of “proper computing” from numerical modelling and also does not agree with the inability to numerically model the Navier-Stokes equation or to simulate weather over long periods.

    3) The need for experts/true believers to make an experimental method work is a sign of baloney. If the theory needs experts or true believers to interpret it and can only be made to work by experts its a horrible theory. e.g. In general tree ring chronologies can only be made to work by experts.

    4) Throwing away evidence because it does not fit the theory especially using subjective judgement or “expertise”
    – tree rings
    – temperature reconstruction adjustments

    5) The extensive addition of adhoc hypothesis when the theory fails e.g. Ocean heating, epicycles

    6) Effects that diminish with time or with more careful measurements e.g. climatic sensitivity

    7) Methods that have extensive pre-conditions or preparations which themselves change over time such that any failure of the method is explained away as being caused by the failure to satisfy its many preconditions

    8) The inability of independent/non-believers to replicate methods or results especially where the methods are obscure and not fully specified.

  55. “you dont beat science with words”

    This is the same guy who “estimates”, “unicorns” and “you’re wrong”‘s his way to answers he likes.

    Andrew

  56. David L. Hagen

    Intention vs Obligation
    Bjorn Lomborg highlights the legaleze:

    Lots of attention to the climate promises of China and US, but little substance.

    As Reuters point out, “the operative word is “intend” or “intention”, which makes clear the statement is not meant to create any new obligations. . . .China intends to achieve the peaking of CO2 emissions around 2030 and to make best efforts to peak early and intends to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030.

    E.g. China is working to develop thorium power. In 2012, China and India have been installing about 4 coal power plants/week. Russia and China are expanding Siberian coal production.

    • Not to mention the fact that under the “deal,” the US reduces emissions now and for the next 11 years while China increases now and increases them for the next 16 years.
      In short China is promising that once the US completes its transfer of all industrial production China as well as it’s economic primacy, China will stop increasing emissions- maybe, unless there’s something else going on that day.

    • David L. Hagen

      China’s coal availability will be declining
      Gail Tverbeg finds China is just declaring its expectations of declining coal.

      “The climate researcher of OurFiniteWorld.com says that she was the author “of one study that’s been done with respect to the amount of coal that China has available to it.”

      “We looked at it to see how long they can keep growing their coal production,” Tverberg explained.

      “What we found was that the amount of coal production would have to reach a limit and start decreasing between 2025 and 2030 just because of supply issues, but it very well could decrease much sooner than that because of some pollution issues or water issues,” she said.

      They are facing a situation where coal supply, which is what they depend on, is disappearing away from them whether they do anything or not,” she contends.
      “We can be sure that they are going to keep their part of the agreement because it’s disappearing,” she added.

  57. I offer the following information in the interest of ending the sixty-nine year reign of rule-by-deceit:

    We – like admirers of the Emperor’s new suit of imaginary cloth – produced world tyrants by our own mental laziness and willingness to accept nonsense as consensus science that we understand (because we don’t want to appear stupid).

    The Big Bang, Black Holes, Dark Energy, Hydrogen-Filled Stars, Quarks, Gluons, Oscillating Solar Neutrinos, AGW, etc. are all threads in the deceit of these arrogant but foolish world tyrants that use consensus science to control the public.

    “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    P 3 of “Solar energy,” Advances in Astronomy exposes their deceit:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

    The weakest nuclear force – neutron-repulsion – is the most important nuclear force in heavy atoms, some planets, ordinary stars and galaxies.

    1. Because neutron repulsion is the weakest nuclear force

    2. That is why the nuclear structure changes at ~150 amu

    3. Alpha-decay occurs above ~150 amu (atomic mass units), because alpha particles (i.e., He-4 nuclei, or pairs of n-p pairs) are on the nuclear surface and neutrons are confined to the core when the mass number is greater than 150 amu, A > 150 amu

    4. Spontaneous fission begins when the nuclear core has 52 neutrons surrounded by 45 alpha particles in Th-232, or 46 alpha particles in U-236, or 47 alpha particles in Pu-240.

    5. Neutron-induced fission is possible when one additional neutron is added to the 51-neutron core surrounded by 46 alpha particles in U-235 or 47 alpha particles in Pu-239 or 48 alpha particles Cm-243.

    6. Spontaneous fission is the dominant decay mode when the nuclear core has 58 neutrons surrounded by 48 alpha particles in Cm-250 or 49 alpha particles in Cf-254 or 50 alpha particles in Fm-258

    Thus, neutron-repulsion usually determines the stability and decay mode for every physical structure composed of neutrons and protons more massive than 150 amu (atomic mass units) – no matter whether the structure is a heavy atom, planet, star, galaxy, or the entire universe !

    These truths leave absolutely no room for world tyrants to rule the world with deceitful, consensus “science.”

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