The paradox of the climate change consensus

by Judith Curry

In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming. – D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg

The latest nonsensus on consensus from Cook, Oreskes et al. has been published [link].  The title ‘Consensus on consensus’ pretty much sums up what the paper is about — they claim that the combined weight of all the climate consensus papers that finds >90% agreement by scientists should convince us that ‘97%’ is robust.

I have criticized the idea of the 97% consensus many times [link], and I will leave it to others to critique this latest paper.

In this post I focus on the paradox of the climate consensus, as articulated in a blog post by D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg entitled The Paradox of Consensus. Excerpts:

Consensus, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. The more easily testable and verifiable a theory, the less debate we would expect.  But as a question becomes more complex and less testable, we would expect an increasing level of disagreement and a lessening of the consensus. On such topics, independent minds can—and should—differ.

We can use a simple formula to express how an idea’s popularity correlates with its verifiability. Let us introduce the K/C ratio—the ratio of “knowability,” a broad term loosely encapsulating how possible it is to reduce uncertainty about an idea’s correctness, to “consensus,” a measure of the idea’s popularity and general acceptance. Topics that are easily knowable (K ~ 1) should have a high degree of consensus (C ~ 1), whereas those that are impossible to verify (K ~ 0) should have a low degree of consensus (C ~ 0). When the ratio deviates too far from the perfect ratio of 1, either from too much consensus or too little, there is a mispricing of knowledge. Indeed, in cases of extreme deviations from the perfect ratio, additional support for a concept with such a lopsided K/C ratio increasingly subtracts from its potential veracity. This occurs because ideas exist not simply at a single temporal point, but rather evolve over the sweep of time. At the upper reaches of consensus, there is less updating of views to account for new information—so much so that supporters of the status quo tend to suppress new facts and hypothesis. Government agencies deny funding to ‘sham’ scientists, tenure boards dissuade young researchers from pursuing ‘the wrong’ track, and the establishment quashes ‘heretical’ ideas. Too high consensus (skewed K/C ratio) inhibits the ability of an idea to evolve towards truth.

capture1

While not always clear why the K/C ratio can become highly skewed, one interpretation is that more than just the search for knowledge is at play.

The scope of agreement achieved by the world’s climate scientists is breathtaking. To first approximation, around 97% agree that human activity, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, causes global warming. So many great minds cannot possibly be wrong, right?

Yet something nags us about this self-congratulatory consensus. Our intuition is that this narrow distribution of opinions yields a knowability to consensus ratio far removed from the perfect ratio of 1. To reach their conclusions, climate scientists have to (a) uncover the (historical) drivers of climate, (b) project the future path of these inputs and others that may arise, and (c) predict how recursive feedback loops interact over multi-decadal time horizons, all without being able to test their hypotheses against reality. 

We would, therefore, expect this limit on empirical verifiability to birth widely divergent views on the path, causes, and consequences of earth’s future climate. In other arenas, only after a theory has been empirically verified has the scientific community coalesced around it. Even then, scientists continue to subject such theories to rigorous testing and debate. 

Yet the expectation of a rich debate among scientists about climate change does not reconcile easily with the widely endorsed shibboleth that human activity will warm the globe dramatically and dangerously over the next one hundred years. Any discussion that doubts the fundamental premises of climate change is dismissed by the mainstream media and climate scientists as pseudo-science conducted by quacks or ideologues. 

In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming. Does this mean that climate change is not happening? Not necessarily. But it does mean that we should be wary of the meretricious arguments mustered in its defense. 

JC reflections

This essay provides an important insight in the K/C ratio — the ratio of knowability to consensus.

There is genuine scientific consensus on the following points:

  • global temperatures have increased overall since 1880
  • humans are contributing to a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
  • CO2 emits and absorbs infrared radiation

For the most consequential issues, there remains considerable debate:

  • whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
  • how much the planet will warm in the 21st century
  • whether warming is ‘dangerous’
  • whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being

Leveraged by the consensus on the three points above that are not disputed, the climate ‘consensus’ is being sold as applying to all of the above, even the issues for which there remains considerable debate.

For past a certain point, each increase in the level of consensus makes it more difficult for new information to surface, thereby lowering the veracity we should assign to it.

The skewed scientific  ‘consensus’ does indeed act to reinforce itself, through a range of professional incentives:  ease of publishing results, particularly in high impact journals; success in funding; recognition from peers in terms of awards, promotions, etc.; media attention and publicity for research;  appeal of the simplistic narrative that climate science can ‘save the world’; and a seat at the big policy tables.

The net result of this skewed ‘consensus’ is that inadequate attention is being paid to natural climate variability, and too many people, including scientists, assume that CO2 is a giant control knob that, if reduced, can eliminate bad weather, sea level rise, etc.

While not always clear why the K/C ratio can become highly skewed, one interpretation is that more than just the search for knowledge is at play.

Apart from the professional incentives described above, there are a range of political drivers that incentivize the consensus, including broad environmentalism, anti-fossil fuel sentiments, anti-capitalism sentiments, and a desire for world government that transcends national policies.

And finally, there is the seductiveness of identifying a simple cause of all of society’s problems, and a simple solution.

I think the Brumbergs are correct to conclude:

In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming.

Eliciting the opinion of experts is worthwhile, but it is important to clearly delineate which ‘experts’ should count:

There must be a sufficient number of others who did arrive (and continue to arrive) at the same conclusion through independent verification and testing.

A substantial majority of the individuals responding to the ‘expert’ surveys have not contributed to the primary literature on detection and attribution and have not conducted an independent assessment of this issue.  Instead they have arrived at their conclusion based on the second-order evidence that a ‘consensus’ exists.

This consensus that has been manufactured by the IPCC in response to perceived desires of policy makers “makes it more difficult for new information to surface, thereby lowering the veracity we should assign to it.”

So, what have Cook, Oreskes et al. accomplished with their new paper? They are further reinforcing a very skewed consensus that is not defensible based upon our knowledge base.

513 responses to “The paradox of the climate change consensus

  1. There was a ‘peak oil’ consensus too. Maybe 97% … Read Richard Kerr in Science over the years. Exxon gave credence to peak oil but thankfully they did not disclose the threat to investors! http://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbradley/2016/03/25/exxonmobil-and-climate-change-do-look-at-the-science/#7c4dd6a61e0d

    • The peak oil diviners have a great deal in common with the CAGW prophesiers.

      Both take enormously complex systems and reduce them to mere charicatures of themselves.

      Knowability remains very low, which causes adherents to seek solace in dogma and blind faith.

    • This link isn’t about peak oil. It’s just another waste of words by that silly Robert Bradley Jr. who Forbes keeps around for laughs. Is there such a thing as peak oil? Well, only a sap would think there’s an inexhaustible supply of the stuff.

      • Silly max10k wrote, “This link isn’t about peak oil.”

        From the link …

        Richard Kerr presented the mainstream position in his 2011 essay in Science, “Peak Oil Production May Already Be Here.”
        [ … ]
        Global cooling, global warming, or global lukewarming? Peak oil and peak natural gas? What is a company to do?

      • rovingbroker , you are the silly one here. The article has 141 lines, 120 of which are about subjects other than peak oil. So it’s a gross exaggeration to say the article is about peak oil.

      • “Well, only a sap would think there’s an inexhaustible supply of the stuff.”

        Unless the abiotic theory of oil production is correct.

        “There are two basic theories for the origin of crude oil: biotic and abiotic.

        The biotic theory predominates. It attributes oil’s formation to the decay of animal and plant matter.

        The less widely accepted – even controversial – abiotic theory denies the involvement of living organisms in the production of crude oil.

        These two theories are finding most of their adherents in two camps – the Western camp (biotic) and the Russian-Ukrainian camp (abiotic) – although there are western scientists in the R-U camp. This division is especially sharp in the 21st century, since researchers have detected hydrocarbons in space objects, where no plant life has ever existed.”

        It’s been a few years since I’ve read anything on this so I don’t know the current status of the theory. But it is intriguing.

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        “Well, only a sap would think there’s an inexhaustible supply of the stuff.”

        As Daniel E Hofford points out, there may well be an essentially inexhaustible supply of the stuff. Just as there appears to be an essentially inexhaustible supply of carbon.

        You may think the abiotic theory of oil production to be implausible, based on nothing more than your personal opinion. Consensus may be wrong in this case, just as it was when the consensus heaped scorn on Wegener for suggesting continents bob around like corks.

        Only a sap would summarily reject an hypothesis or theory based on a complete denial of the scientific process. This particular sort of sap would probably appeal to a consensus, or simply say “I can’t be bothered looking into this, so it doesn’t exist.”

        Maybe both abiotic and biotic theories are true. Who knows?

        Cheers.

      • Regarding the abiotic theory of oil, Daniel E. Wofford wrote “It’s been a few years since I’ve read anything on this so I don’t know the current status of the theory.”

        Daniel from what I’ve read, it’s status is stuck on nutty.

        Mike Flynn says “You may think the abiotic theory of oil production to be implausible…”

        Yes, Mike, I think the theory is implausible, but entertaining. I am providing youtube links to an explanation of the theory, and a Woody Woodpecker cartoon to get you in the right frame of mind for the explanation.

      • Actually they have been cooking up oil in labs from carbon rich feedstocks, heat and pressure, which are just the conditions in subduction zones.

      • I once wrote a blog post on oil seepage but I can’t find it, so I’ll start from scratch.

        From Woods Hole.

        There is an oil spill everyday at Coal Oil Point (COP), the natural seeps off Santa Barbara, California, where 20-25 tons of oil have leaked from the seafloor each day for the last several hundred thousand years.

        20 tons of oil every day for 200,000 years comes to 10 billion barrels of oil leaking from Santa Barbara.

        The low estimate for the amount of oil naturally seeping into the Gulf of Mexico is a million barrels a year. Assuming that’s gone on for the past 100 million years, that’s 100 trillion barrels, about 60 times greater than the proven oil reserves of the entire world – and just from seepage in the Gulf of Mexico.

        Another paper that has a high end estimate of about 14 million barrels naturally leaking into the ocean per year, which would give a figure of 1.4 quadrillion barrels (about 200 trillion tons) leaking over the last 100 million years, which is 1000 times higher than all proven oil reserves.

        If that leakage went on for 4.5 billion years, it would have put around 10 quadrillion tons of carbon into the ocean, which is about 20% of all the carbon present in the crust as carbonates. But if the oil is abiotic, the leakage rate in the past should have been higher, as over time more carbon gets locked up as limestone and dolomite due to the incredible crustal abundance of calcium and magnesium.

        But even in the linear model, the amount of carbonates locked up in the crust is almost matching the current petroleum seepage estimates multiplied by the Earth’s age, to within the big error bars on those leakage estimates.

    • The two most dangerous things for any oil company to admit is that oil is not a finite resource and that any dumb idiot could find oil if they drilled enough wells.

  2. I found this quote somewhere that properly explains the scientific consensus on global warming.

    If you give a monkey a peanut every time it nods its head, it will nod willingly and vigorously. If you only give fat grants to scientists who endorse global warming, they will endorse warming willingly and vigorously.

    But all you have, is a trained monkey.

    • Yeah, that’s really cleaver PA. And if we gave you two bananas you probably would stick them in your earns and moo at the moon. Moooooo …

  3. I couldn’t agree more!

  4. Id and when the scientists claiming that catastrophe will result from humans spewing CO2 into the atmosphere begin to use the scientific method that functions on the basis of evidence, whatever they claim is at best suspect and at worse fraudulent. Richard Feynman said this about the scientific method::
    • “There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science**. … It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.
    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can — if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong — to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.”
    ** Cargo cult science comprises practices that have the semblance of being scientific, but do not in fact follow the scientific method.

  5. Apart from the professional incentives described above, there are a range of political drivers that incentivize the consensus, including broad environmentalism, anti-fossil fuel sentiments, anti-capitalism sentiments, and a desire for world government that transcends national policies.

    And finally, there is the seductiveness of identifying a simple cause of all of society’s problems, and a simple solution.

    All true. Thank you mentioning the desire for world government as part.

  6. “IIn our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming. – D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg”

    that is just brilliant
    if they had empirical evidence they would not need consensus
    therefore that they need consensus points to problems with evidence
    their only empirical evidence is a correlation between cumulative values. this correlation is spurious.

    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2725743

  7. In short, believing something is not the same as knowing something.

  8. “whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being”

    That leaves aside the question of what constitutes an improved climate and improved human well being. I suspect it would be impossible to arrive at a consensus on that simple a point.

    Simplifying that further to pick a year or range of years that is the golden climate would be impossible if only because after identifying those years if they are prior to the instrumented age we probably would have difficulty in determining what the climate was then. And if after the instrumented age then getting everybody to agree to what the corrections to the dataset are would be impossible.

    Making this worse is that the golden age would be different in different areas of the world. What is (was?) good for Northern (and Southern?) areas might not be as good for mid-range latitudes or the equatorial regions.

    Possibly we could just pick an arbitrary year in the recent past, 1950? 1960? 1970? 1980? All could be justified one way or another.

  9. The following quote summarizes the so-called 9&% consensus clearly:

    “…three per cent of Americans regard climate
    change as their major concern. Three
    per cent. There is your 97 per cent
    consensus.”

    FROM: U. S. SENATE SUB-COMMITTEE ON SPACE,
    SCIENCE AND COMPETITIVENESS Hearing
    (12/8/2015)

  10. There is no “skewed consensus”. If these recent meta studies demonstrate anything, and they are so poorly executed that I think they do not, they show only that there IS a consensus on the most basic and obvious facts, those three bullet points, for example. The notion that there is another, broader consensus is a fiction. I have found that if I discuss this topic with a scientist who is a “believer”, this generally becomes clear, and he or she will say that it’s a matter of judgment to be alarmed regarding the other claims. Not Scientific judgment, but political, ethical, risk-based, etc etc. Well and good, but that is not science.

    Your remark,

    “Apart from the professional incentives described above, there are a range of political drivers that incentivize the consensus, including broad environmentalism, anti-fossil fuel sentiments, anti-capitalism sentiments, and a desire for world government that transcends national policies.”

    misses the point and displays your own political bias, amd that of many who comment here. Environmentalism yes, but what is it? There are many different varieties, and very few are seriously anti-capitalist or hoping for a Unitary World Government, despite the scorn expressed in many libertarian oriented comments that appear on this blog. If you seriously believe that the bulk of even the most liberal part of the Democratic party is anti-capitalist, you should devote time to some serious study of post WWII American history.

    Fear mixed with ignorance, and the idolatry of the computer go a long way to explaining the popularity of AGW Alarmism, which I think is a fad that is now burning itself out.

    • David Springer

      “If you seriously believe that the bulk of even the most liberal part of the Democratic party is anti-capitalist, you should devote time to some serious study of post WWII American history.”

      Straw man. Curry said these:

      1. broad environmentalism
      2. anti-fossil fuel sentiments
      3. anti-capitalism sentiments
      4. desire for world government

      are all factors underpinning the so-called consensus on global warming. She mentioned no relative degree of engagement each factor has just that they each play a part.

      Do you seriously believe that any of them are not factors and if so which and why?

      Perhaps you should devote time to some serious study of progressive politics.

    • “If you seriously believe that the bulk of even the most liberal part of the Democratic party is anti-capitalist…”

      If you think the Democratic Party is anything other than Fascist* and Crony Capitalist then you should study the Democratic Party and those people in Congress and the Administration who identify as Democrats. And by definition someone who is Fascist and Crony Capitalist is anti-Capitalist. Capitalism being a somewhat poor choice of word to describe what is merely freedom and the right for consenting adults to commit economic transactions without government interference. Something that, historically, has been wholly illegal until Adam Smith.

      *Fascism, in the popular mind is associated with goosestepping and swastikas but Fascism exists without either and only someone who was wholly ignorant of history and modern mass movements would think that if it doesn’t have goose stepping and swastikas it can’t be Fascist. Hint: A favorite phrase of Fascists is Government/Business partnerships.
      Another hint: ACA or Obamacare is wholly made of Fascist cloth. And Gruber is the sauce that proves the pudding.

  11. A thing I’ve noticed about many people gifted in maths/physics is that they tend to treat best available knowledge as if it were adequate knowledge.

    In them, the need to calculate and formulate overrides the need to know, and the compulsion can be strongest in those whose abilities are highest. (Just quietly, I don’t think talk of a “K/C ratio” helps to keep thinking suitably fluid when the very subjects are mess and uncertainty. Bringing mock-precision to imprecision is kind of missing the “duh” point.)

    This single glaring folly common among the scientifically gifted seems to be another of God’s great equalizers. Never mind. I’ve been clobbered with plenty of equalizers. We’ve all got it coming, as Clint said in Unforgiven.

    • Great comment. Your first paragraph summarizes an idea I’ve had for a while but could not seem to conceptualize very clearly.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Re those with best available knowledge –
        Could not disagree more.
        It my long and moderately broad experience, this hard science group harbours minds that think “We cannot proceed on the little we know. What can be done to gather more, critical information? ”
        Such people are at the heart of valid, bankable inquiry action.
        And at the core of making decisions with longevity and value.
        Moso, I can see where you are coming from and maybe the difference is in clarity of the terms we use.
        An example from my experience. “Does this block of land host an economic ore deposit, or is it merely an anomaly? (Response): What is the benefit/ cost of another drill hole?”

        OTOH I suspect I have met the type you mean, who draws a triple integral sign when asked an ordinary question. Separate groups.
        Geoff.
        PS I’m quite uncomfortable with the consensus knowledge concept Judith showed. Paralysis by analysis.

      • Fair enough Geoff. What constitutes acceptable evidence varies from person to person, and we each have our own experiences with different sets of scientists.

    • See also economics, finance.

  12. Is this a Poe?

    After arguing that there isn’t a strong prevalence of shared opinion among climate experts, and arguing that evaluating whether there is a “consensus” is anti-science, and arguing that whether there is a “consensus” is irrelevant (even though everyone regularly uses the heuristic of evaluating expert opinion to help with decision-making), and arguing that the research findings of a high prevalence of shared opinion are so flawed that they prrove that scientific findings that there is a risk of dangerous climate change from BAU is a hoax, now we get “skeptics” saying that we know that climate scientists are wrong because they have such a high prevalence of shared opinions?

    C’mon….it’s a Poe, right?

    • Not sure what that term means. Is it anything like PoS?

    • (even though everyone regularly uses the heuristic of evaluating expert opinion to help with decision-making),

      No, no, no!

      The vast majority of what you learn, you learn between ages 0 and 4 ( depth perception, the training of your optic nerves, gravity, hot stoves, et. al. ). You learn these things not by experts but from your own experience ( read experiments ).

      One last important thing that you learn at age four, is that ‘Because I said so!’ is not a valid answer from your ‘expert’ parents.

      Now, those who have dedicated years of study are armed with much foundational knowledge without which one cannot properly asses theories. But the method of authority is completely unscientific – ask Pascal.

      • TE –

        ==> . You learn these things not by experts but from your own experience ( read experiments ).

        Yes, you learn primarily from your experiences, and your experiences teach you that relying on expert opinion, in other words, those who have a lot of experience, is a useful heuristic.

        Look at online marketing, travel websites, etc. One of the major features is the use of reviews – where people seek information from those who have experience in order to help in decision-making. That feature exists because such a process is a fundamental aspect of how we learn.

        One of the ways in which children 0-4 learn is from watching adults, seeing what they do to accomplish tasks.

        ==> One last important thing that you learn at age four, is that ‘Because I said so!’ is not a valid answer from your ‘expert’ parents.

        You are creating a false mutual exclusivity as well as constricting the process of relying on consensus so as to confirm a bias. We learn in different ways as we age – it’s part of the developmental process, but intellectually and physiologically. You learn differently as different parts of your brain develop over time, for example. A child who learns at age 4 that “because I said so: is not a valid answer from her parents will also learn then, or more likely a bit later, that “I have more experience and perspective in this than you and so you should consider my advice even if it isn’t dispositive” is a valid answer from ‘expert’ parents.

        ==> Now, those who have dedicated years of study are armed with much foundational knowledge without which one cannot properly asses theories. But the method of authority is completely unscientific

        You have embedded in this, the argument of “you should consider the prevalence of expert opinion as dispositive on a subject.” If anyone does that, I agree that it would be wrong and unscientific. If you want to discuss whether or not it’s unscientific when someone does that, have at it, but know that it is something altogether different than what I was talking about in the comment you responded to.

      • Turbulent Eddie and Joshua,

        I think you’re both simplifying highly complex phenomena.

        The use of the words “conservative” and “liberal,” because the words have been so debauched that they have almost no meaning at all, is suspect, but take this example:

        Can Your Genes Predict Whether You’ll Be a Conservative or a Liberal?
        Scientific research shows political partisanship transcends economics, environment, and upbringing.

        The Blocks’ experiment suggested that the roots of our political orientations emerge as early as the fourth year of life. But it raised further, essential questions: Would children from different regions or socioeconomic backgrounds diverge into similar personality groups? And how much deeper are the origins of these crucial personality traits?

        When the Blocks’ findings are connected with other relevant studies in genetics, neuroscience, and anthropology, a composite image of our political nature begins to emerge. As this portrait of ourselves comes into focus, it shows what made some of those nursery-school children grow up to become liberals and some of them conservatives. It shows how deep the roots of our political proclivities extend, and why they have a similar influence on children in America, the Middle East, and most everywhere else.

        The reason for these crosscutting commonalities is that political orientations are natural dispositions that have been molded by evolutionary forces. Taken together, those deeply ingrained political orientations form what could be called “The Universal Political Animal.”

        To begin with, exactly how far down do the roots of preschoolers’ political orientations extend? Do these roots somehow spring from the hard wiring they were born with?

        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/10/can-your-genes-predict-whether-youll-be-a-conservative-or-a-liberal/280677/

      • David Springer

        Joshua | April 18, 2016 at 8:52 am |

        “Yes, you learn primarily from your experiences, and your experiences teach you that relying on expert opinion, in other words, those who have a lot of experience, is a useful heuristic.”

        You also learn that experts with a vested interest in one outcome over another aren’t trustworthy.

        Caveat emptor.

      • David Springer

        J0shua | April 18, 2016 at 8:52 am |

        “Yes, you learn primarily from your experiences, and your experiences teach you that relying on expert opinion, in other words, those who have a lot of experience, is a useful heuristic.”

        You also learn that experts with a vested interest in one outcome over another aren’t trustworthy.

        Caveat emptor.

      • Channeling Stevie:

        “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, Then you suffer,Superstition ain’t the way”

      • Glenn –

        Perhaps you could explain: what complex phenomena have I simplified and what does your excerpt have to do with that?

        Perhaps if I get your point, of course learning and intellectual/cognitive development are some measure of mixing between environment and genetics. Do you think that what I wrote implies that I think that learning and intellectual/cognitive development are only influenced by environmental? If so, then I could see how you think I simplified complex phenomena, but then again, you misunderstand my perspective.

      • Trust and Skepticism: Children’s Selective Learning from Testimony

        http://www.amazon.com/Trust-Skepticism-Childrens-Developmental-Psychology/dp/1848721862

        Children learn a great deal from other people, including history, science and religion, as well as language itself.

        Although our informants are usually well-intentioned, they can be wrong, and sometimes people deceive deliberately.

        As soon as children can learn from what others tell them, they need to be able to evaluate the likely truth of such testimony. This book is the first of its kind to provide an overview of the field of testimony research, summarizing and discussing the latest findings into how children make such evaluations – when do they trust what people tell them, and when are they skeptical?

      • ==> You also learn that experts with a vested interest in one outcome over another aren’t trustworthy.

        No doubt. Which is one of the (many) reasons why the prevalence of shared view among experts is not dispositive. It’s quite interesting how so often, “skeptics” arguments about “consensus” are stuck in that banal reality.

      • But the method of authority is completely unscientific – ask Pascal.

        When you take a basic science course you are being exposed to consensus view within the field. That doesn’t mean that the consensus view on various aspects of a field won’t change due to new evidence, but without some accepted foundation I think learning science and making progress becomes much more difficult

      • When you take a basic science course you are being exposed to consensus view within the field.

        I hope not. I hope in that text they write things such as:
        “One theory is that…”, “Another theory is…”

        I also hope they at least include a paragraph detailing the scientific method.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ask pascal?
        Ask locke!
        Pascal didnt know anything

      • Curious George

        Good decisions come from wisdom. Wisdom comes from bad decisions.

      • quote “No doubt. Which is one of the (many) reasons why the prevalence of shared view among experts is not dispositive.”

        I didn’t know this word, so had to go looking.

        The results of which are “No doubt. Which is one of the (many) reasons why the prevalence of shared view among experts is not [relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue]. It’s quite interesting how so often, “skeptics” arguments about “consensus” are stuck in that banal reality.”

        Yep, seems appropriate, what was your point?

      • David Springer

        J0shua | April 18, 2016 at 11:31 am |

        ==> You also learn that experts with a vested interest in one outcome over another aren’t trustworthy.

        =>No doubt. Which is one of the (many) reasons why the prevalence of shared view among experts is not dispositive. It’s quite interesting how so often, “skeptics” arguments about “consensus” are stuck in that banal reality.

        I didn’t imply it was dispositive. It’s an important reason and perhaps more so than any of the other (many) factors. So it remains a negation of your specific statement that experience teaches that expert opinions are useful. Experience also teaches that insufficiently vetted expert opinions can be harmful.

        Try to argue with what I quoted and answered. It’s the reason I bothered to quote it.

      • David Springer

        Greg Cavanagh | April 18, 2016 at 10:47 pm |

        quote “No doubt. Which is one of the (many) reasons why the prevalence of shared view among experts is not dispositive.”

        I didn’t know this word, so had to go looking.

        The results of which are “No doubt. Which is one of the (many) reasons why the prevalence of shared view among experts is not [relating to or bringing about the settlement of an issue]. It’s quite interesting how so often, “skeptics” arguments about “consensus” are stuck in that banal reality.”

        Yep, seems appropriate, what was your point?

        —————————————————————————-

        His (J0shua’s) point was a straw man. He brought up a weak argument that some skeptics find vested interests dispositive and by so doing implied that I thought it dispositive. He then easily defeated the dispositive straw man.

        We’re I relegated to such weak tactics I might bring up the fact that so many warmists are stuck in the banal reality of skeptics being beneficiaries of fossil fuel. Vested interests are of course a strong argument as well as a sword that cuts both ways. Given how often is used by warmunists it’s fair dinkum to turn it around on them.

    • Steven Mosher

      I vote for Poe.

      These clowns dont even realize the purpose of the consensus argument.

      Look: no scientist believes in AGW BECAUSE OF THE CONSENSUS
      The consensus is not evidence for any theory.
      It cannot be evidence for a theory or against a theory.
      It cannot count for a theory or against a theory.
      The fact of consensus is a theoretical NOP.

      AGW as a Theory has no ties to what people “think” about that theory
      If every consensus scientist died today and there was no consensus, the theory would still be good.

      The theory doesnt care what people think about it.
      The theory makes no PREDICTIONS about What people will think about it.
      what people think about it carries ZERO epistemic weight.

      That said if someone comes to me and says
      “Mosh, I am not a scientist. What should I think?
      I will tell him his best bet is to side with the consensus.

      That is the only way the consensus argument works.

      • Look: no scientist believes in AGW BECAUSE OF THE CONSENSUS
        That said if someone comes to me and says
        “Mosh, I am not a scientist. What should I think?
        I will tell him his best bet is to side with the consensus.

        Shurely “What should I believe”
        Then present betting advice?
        What are the odds ?

        Could be as low as 1% if there are a lot of of 0.5% alternative bets out there, even lower really.
        Could be 51 to 49%, you know “majority” agrees.
        Surely not 97% [no scientist believes in AGW BECAUSE OF THE CONSENSUS]

        Why not tell the non scientist the facts as you know them Mosher and let him make up his own mind?
        He will not like you if the horse runs second.

      • I will tell him his best bet is to side with the consensus … and correspondingly burn the witches.

      • David Springer

        Steven Mosher | April 18, 2016 at 12:50 am | Reply

        “Look: no scientist believes in AGW BECAUSE OF THE CONSENSUS”

        Who died and made you the speaker for all scientists?

        Mosher are you a narcissist Poe?
        .

      • The consensus is a narrative which was created specifically to be used as a communications device.

        It is “evangelical propaganda” in the sense that those who deploy it are convinced they are doing good, but nevetheless they are informed by the “communication-as-domination” theories of George Creel, Harold Laswell and Walter Lippmann.

        The consensus narrative is not only used in climate science, but in economics and foreign policy as well.

        For more there’s this, available free on the internet in PDF:

        The state usually did not directly determine what scientists could or could not say, but it did significantly influence the selection of who would be the “authorities” talking in the field.

        https://historicalunderbelly.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/0195102924.pdf

      • thx, this looks interesting

      • To further explore the communicaitons theories, strategies and tactics the climatariat uses, there’s also the “Lying in Politics” conference at the Hannah Arendt Center:

        http://www.hannaharendtcenter.org/?p=669

        I would just add that human communications is an enormously complex phenomenon, and the climatariat has had mixed success with its various communications theories, strategies and tactics.

      • Here’s the link to George Kateb’s original presentation. The link above is to the question and answer session that followed his presentation.

      • Steven Mosher said:

        Look: no scientist believes in AGW BECAUSE OF THE CONSENSUS

        This assertion has no basis in facutal reality.

        https://gmuchss.az1.qualtrics.com/CP/File.php?F=F_cRR9lW0HjZaiVV3

      • David Springer

        Stehle bitch slaps insufferable clown Steven Mosher. Film at 11.

        +1

      • It’s the same thing that got JFK elected for Old Joe. Money, Money, Money.

      • Mosher,

        If they miss the purpose, why don’t you tell us what the purpose really is? You fail to do that.

        BTW – I know a lot of people who are not involved in climate science who believe AGW primarily because of the consensus argument.

      • Mosher apparently doesn’t understand why some people form their belief system. Many are not able to disentangle their thought process and most likely are not able to deal with subliminal elements of their beliefs. So if the individual scientist may not admit to his own motivation, how is it someone on the West Coast is able to make this diagnosis?

      • Total BS. The IPCC is a perfect example of how the consensus defined the beliefs of thousands of scientists. NO ONE ever checked anyone else’s work, no one knew how ridiculously bad the work is, and everyone affirmed the supposed “science”.

    • Perhaps it would be better to say, ‘consult’ experience of others rather than ‘rely’ on the experience of others. No?

  13. Third in the series of lawyers chiming in on the science (Bergkamp, Loyola and now Brumberg). Perhaps we need more economists for balance.

  14. So they look at the number of scientists that agree about the causes of the earth’s warming, without actually looking at the evidence that such warming is indeed caused by humans, is troubling in the least.

    The old rabbit would say RTFR.

    • David Springer

      Where else does one see such frequent and strenuous use of “consensus” to bolster the credibility of scientific findings?

      Nowhere I can think of except perhaps mud-to-man biological evolution via random mutation and natural selection.

      Consensus is the last resort of desperate purveyors of just-so stories (narratives) being presented as scientific theory.

      This is what troubles the authors. It troubles me and many others too. We can probably get a consensus among skeptics on the illegitimacy of consensus science. Heheh.

      • OK, David Springer does not think that there is a consensus on evolution or climate change. Curiously that adds another data point to Lewandowsky’s argument about those who engage in conspiracy theories. It also gives added weight (jest a smidgen, perhaps a microgram) to the correctness of both consensuses.

        To fill this out what are the Springarian takes on relativity and the dangers of vaccinations?

      • Eli Rabbett,

        Well there certainly is a consensus on evolution within what Stephen Jay Gould called the “Darwinian fundamentalists” or “ultras.” But beyond this circle of onanistic true believers, not so much.

        Here’s how Gould explained it:

        Darwin clearly loved his distinctive theory of natural selection—the powerful idea that he often identified in letters as his dear “child.” But, like any good parent, he understood limits and imposed discipline.

        In this light, especially given history’s tendency to recycle great issues, I am amused by an irony that has recently ensnared evolutionary theory.

        [Darwin] knew that the complex and comprehensive phenomena of evolution could not be fully rendered by any single cause, even one so ubiquitous and powerful as his own brainchild.

        A movement of strict constructionism, a self-styled form of Darwinian fundamentalism, has risen to some prominence in a variety of fields, from the English biological heartland of John Maynard Smith to the uncompromising ideology (albeit in graceful prose) of his compatriot Richard Dawkins, to the equally narrow and more ponderous writing of the American philosopher Daniel Dennett (who entitled his latest book Darwin’s Dangerous Idea)….

        My colleague Niles Eldredge, for example, speaks of this coordinated movement as Ultra-Darwinism in his recent book, Reinventing Darwin. Amid the variety of their subject matter, the ultra-Darwinists share a conviction that natural selection regulates everything of any importance in evolution, and that adaptation emerges as a universal result and ultimate test of selection’s ubiquity….

        Since the ultras are fundamentalists at heart, and since fundamentalists generally try to stigmatize their opponents by depicting them as apostates from the one true way, may I state for the record that I (along with all other Darwinian pluralists) do not deny either the existence and central importance of adaptation, or the production of adaptation by natural selection….

        But does all the rest of evolution—all the phenomena of organic diversity, embryological architecture, and genetic structure, for example—flow by simple extrapolation from selection’s power to create the good design of organisms? Does the force that makes a functional eye also explain why the world houses more than five hundred thousand species of beetles and fewer than fifty species of priapulid worms? Or why most nucleotides—the linked groups of molecules that build DNA and RNA—in multicellular creatures do not code for any enzyme or protein involved in the construction of an organism? Or why ruling dinosaurs died and subordinate mammals survived to flourish and, along one oddly contingent pathway, to evolve a creature capable of building cities and understanding natural selection?

        I do not deny that natural selection has helped us to explain phenomena at scales very distant from individual organisms, from the behavior of an ant colony to the survival of a redwood forest.

        But selection cannot suffice as a full explanation for many aspects of evolution; for other types and styles of causes become relevant, or even prevalent, in domains both far above and far below the traditional Darwinian locus of the organism.

        These other causes are not, as the ultras often claim, the product of thinly veiled attempts to smuggle purpose back into biology. These additional principles are as directionless, nonteleological, and materialistic as natural selection itself—but they operate differently from Darwin’s central mechanism. In other words, I agree with Darwin that natural selection is “not the exclusive means of modification.”

        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1997/06/12/darwinian-fundamentalism/

      • David Springer

        “To fill this out what are the Springarian takes on relativity and the dangers of vaccinations?”

        Relativity provides a useful framework for understanding certain phenomena in our local space-time and has important practical application in certain technologies where ultra-precision in space-time geometry is critical such as GPS satellites and receivers. It is flawed in some ways. It fails to accurately describe space-time at the quantum scale of the extremely small and also at the scale of interacting galactic clusters at the extremely large scale.

        The dangers of vaccinations to individuals are generally outweighed by the benefits to large populations. I say generally because isolation is safer than vaccination. For instance an individual will not contract a sexually transmitted disease if they do not engage in sexual congress. Let me pose a question to you, Professor Halpern. Suppose there is a vaccination available for HIV (which I *do* believe causes AIDS). If the vaccination caused death in 1 in 10,000 recipients would you get it? Substitute any other potential vaccination for say malaria or ebola. Would you personally want to be vaccinated?

        Thanks for asking.

      • Damn, Glenn’s on a roll.

        Just made rabett hash for breakfast.

        Poor little bunny.

      • Mark Schaffer | April 19, 2016 at 11:25 am |
        This:

        What exactly is “anthropogenic global warming”? If you mean “CO2 driven global warming”,”GHG driven global warming” why do you not say that?

        “anthropogenic global warming” “CO2 driven global warming” “GHG driven global warming”.

        If anthropogenic is the problem reduce anthropogenic not CO2.

        And how many papers explicitly endorse CAGW? If it is only 5 it is a standoff.

    • “without actually looking at the evidence that such warming is indeed caused by humans”

      And what evidence would that be, specifically?

      Andrew

      • Ever trying to not be completely blind to my own biases, I followed your link, and found this, which I’m going to explain why it’s such a blow to AGW.

        The early experiments that sent radiation through gases in a tube, measuring bands of the spectrum at sea-level pressure and temperature, had been misleading. The bands seen at sea level were actually made up of overlapping spectral lines, which in the primitive early instruments had been smeared out into broad bands. Improved physics theory and precise laboratory measurements in the 1940s and after encouraged a new way of looking at the absorption. Scientists were especially struck to find that at low pressure and temperature, each band resolved into a cluster of sharply defined lines, like a picket fence, with gaps between the lines where radiation would get through.(24) As Hulburt and Callendar had claimed, the most important CO2 absorption lines did not lie exactly on top of water vapor lines. Instead of two overlapping bands, there were two sets of narrow lines with spaces for radiation to slip through. So even if water vapor in the lower layers of the atmosphere did entirely block any radiation that could have been absorbed by CO2, that would not keep the gas from making a difference in the rarified and frigid upper layers. Those layers held very little water vapor anyway.

        So what does this really mean?
        In the denser atm, Co2 is actually smeared out into the water bands, which means the water band and the overlapping co2 bands are blocking the same bands of energy, reducing the impact from Co2., the only place it matters is at high altitude, and 3.7W/m2 at -40F, works out to -38F, while clouds can make it swing to 30-35F at times when air temps are in the 50’s or so.

      • Mark Schaffer,

        Your link is to a book promo.

        I’m looking for an answer to my question.

        Andrew

  15. JC wrote –

    “There is genuine scientific consensus on the following points:

    – global temperatures have increased overall since 1880
    – humans are contributing to a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
    – CO2 emits and absorbs infrared radiation”

    Two of these points are probably fact, and one can be demonstrated through repeatable experiment.

    There are many other statements which fall into the same categories, and may be even more relevant.

    For example –

    – heat generated by human activities has increased overall since 1880
    – creation of CO2 concurrently creates heat.

    Facts don’t care whether experts agree with them or not. Quite often, shortly after a scientific consensus has been determined, some rotten swine upsets the consensus, by throwing a few facts into the arena.

    Experts agree that the atom is indivisible, the continents don’t bob around like corks, stomach ulcers are caused by spicy food and stress, and GHGs raise the temperature of the Earth’s surface. Absolute consensus fact!

    Consensus is meaningless. It changes facts not a jot, but gives partakers a warm and fuzzy feeling of belonging. It also has the advantage of allowing believers to use the excuse of “everyone else was wrong, too”, if it turns out the consensus was just an example of people taking the path of least mental resistance.

    Monkey see other monkey, monkey do. Objective observers laugh at monkey antics. At times, the monkeys almost seem to be thinking!

    Cheers.

    • “Consensus is meaningless.”

      You don’t hear scientists in other fields go around talking about consensus, even though they all know what it is. But it isn’t meaningless.

      There’s ony one reason it’s talked about in climate science, and that’s because the issue is of such importance AND too complicated for most of the public to fully understand (including most blog commenters).

      Warming is proceeding so rapidly that societies need to make decisions about it now (and should have 20 years ago). These decisions are and will require changes in public policies, but how is the public supposed to know if the decisions are warranted? Since they’re not going to learn quantum mechanics and radiative physics, they need some other standard on which to base their reactions, and the only other thing that is available is the degree of agreement of scientists on the underlying cause(s) of global warming. And there is a consensus on that — man’s emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

      String theory need not involve the public, besides funding it. Same for almost all other scientific areas. But a few of them do present important choices in front of the public — such as tobacco’s health effects, ozone depletion, genetically modified organisms, CRISPR/Cas9, artificial intelligence — and there “consensus” is about all nonspecialists have to go on if they are to form a judgement.

      So attempts to gauge the degree of consensus are important (though personally I find them boring) and meaningful.

      • David Appell said:

        Warming is proceeding so rapidly that societies need to make decisions about it now (and should have 20 years ago)….

        …the only other thing that is available is the degree of agreement of scientists on the underlying cause(s) of global warming. And there is a consensus on that — man’s emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

        Good grief, man, you’ve certainly drank of the CAGW Kool Aid.

        So here, with resonances of Cromwell’s famous saying about infallibility:

      • Right, consensus isn’t meaningless – it is a logical fallacy.

        Argumentum ad populum

      • From the link that TE provided (btw, while employing the fallacious appeal to authority)…

        ==> It is logically fallacious because the mere fact that a belief is widely held does not necessarily guarantee that the belief is correct;

        my bold

        And

        ==> The argumentum ad populum can be a valid argument in inductive logic; for example, a poll of a sizeable population may find that 90% prefer a certain brand of product over another. A cogent (strong) argument can then be made that the next person to be considered will also prefer that brand, and the poll is valid evidence of that claim. However, it is unsuitable as an argument for deductive reasoning as proof, for instance to say that the poll proves that the preferred brand is superior to the competition in its composition or that everyone prefers that brand to the other.

        Right.

        if someone argues that a consensus “proves” something, they’re employing a fallacy, just as is when someone claims that evaluating whether there a “consensus” is antithetical to science, or even that evaluating “consensus’ isn’t a fundamental component of human reasoning.

      • I stopped reading Appell’s post at this point: “AND too complicated for most of the public to fully understand ”

        Nothing like a person who knows he’s just that much smarter than the rest of us churls.

        But it does capture at least one aspect of the “consensus” need for climate science. The one where our betters keep telling us to trust them, because they are, well, you know, our betters.

      • Glenn’s mowing them down as soon as they step up to the plate.

        At this rate he’ll have the Cy Young wrapped up by lunch.

      • “Since they’re not going to learn quantum mechanics and radiative physics, they need some other standard on which to base their reactions, and the only other thing that is available is the degree of agreement of scientists on the underlying cause(s) of global warming.”

        The problem is that not even detailed understanding of quantum mechanics and radiative physics will make one able to accurately predict the net effects of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

      • It certainly enables you to understand the observations at a basic physics level, and given an understanding you gain confidence in predicting what doubling CO2 does. We already have had half a doubling where the warming can be easily explained with known physics.

      • Jim D, What does basic physics say about how all matter was created? Now how is it all constantly held together, basically?

      • Do you think that atoms have evolved to the point they have formed a union of their own? If so, should they have to still pay dues today?

      • Danny Thomas

        David,
        “There’s ony one reason it’s talked about in climate science, and that’s because the issue is of such importance AND too complicated for most of the public to fully understand (including most blog commenters).”

        Please, pretty please, cite who it is out there who ‘fully understands’ climate science (public, blogger, or other).

        The only reason consensus is discussed in climate science is precisely because it is NOT ‘fully understood’. This in no way makes it ‘meaningless’ but does leave it’s meaning open to interpretation.

      • Glenn wrote:
        “Good grief, man, you’ve certainly drank of the CAGW Kool Aid.”

        I understand the science. Maybe you don’t.

        The 30-year trend in surface temperatures has been 0.15-0.2 C for 25 years now.

        Care to compare that to past rates of natural warming?

      • Turbulent Eddie wrote:
        “Right, consensus isn’t meaningless – it is a logical fallacy.”

        Eddie: Do you think there is a scientific consensus about the existence of atoms?

      • Science or Fiction wrote:
        “The problem is that not even detailed understanding of quantum mechanics and radiative physics will make one able to accurately predict the net effects of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.”

        Perhaps you don’t understand this physics….?

        The ironic thing is that the greenhouse gas/radiative physics is the best understood part of AGW, because it’s the most amenable to well-established fundamental physics that physicists are good at.

        Read any modern textbook on climate science. The most thorough and mathematical chapters are always about the physics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere.

        The real uncertainties in AGW lie mostly in the manifestation of the carbon cycle….

      • ” The most thorough and mathematical chapters are always about the physics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere.”
        If true, it explains why GCM’S are so bad. What they best know is the radiative physics of Co2 in a jar.

      • “Warming is proceeding so rapidly that societies need to make decisions about it now (and should have 20 years ago). These decisions are and will require changes in public policies, but how is the public supposed to know if the decisions are warranted? Since they’re not going to learn quantum mechanics and radiative physics, they need some other standard on which to base their reactions, and the only other thing that is available is the degree of agreement of scientists on the underlying cause(s) of global warming. And there is a consensus on that — man’s emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.”

        How does knowing that there is a consensus on the cause(s) of global warming help the public know what decisions must be made? How does this help the public know what standard of warming is acceptable, and how does this help the public understand how to implement that standard?

      • The consensus is for the policymakers. It is like with Zika. The policymakers don’t have to know exactly how mosquitoes cause birth defects, just the dangers and what would be effective in stopping them. Before they do anything they have to see a consensus summary for policymakers that is backed up by the science.

      • ” Before they do anything they have to see a consensus summary for policymakers that is backed up by the science.”
        The consensus is opinion, it’s left science behind.

      • It’s an opinion.

      • That’s what I thought you said. Does that mean it carries no more weight than your neighbor’s opinion?

      • Actually, in this case my neighbor agrees with me.
        But to your point, the consensus of scientific opinion has deluded itself by wishful thinking and circular logic, so it’s opinion is worthless.

      • OK, so if the scientists give an opinion on how to tackle Zika, you go to your neighbor for a second opinion? Interesting. That’s what’s wrong with this just-an-opinion meme. You’ve asked the leading international experts, and you don’t like what kind of policy that leads to, so who do you go to for a second opinion? Somebody less expert, seemingly. Nine out of ten scientists say an asteroid is going to hit, but the solution is expensive, but you will listen to the one who says it won’t because that is cheaper.

      • Now you’re just throwing stuff against the wall to see what you can make stick.
        Besides the asteroid is a fact, we’re just discussing timing, Co2 does not have such certainty.

      • You are putting your own opinion ahead of scientific consensus in some cases, but apparently not in others. How do you distinguish which scientists you don’t trust versus those you do? How do you judge people like the AGU, AMS, APS, Google, the Pope, Bill Gates, Exxon, etc. who say that there is real problem with emissions here?

      • I trust my understanding of things.

      • David Appell,

        You wrote –

        “The ironic thing is that the greenhouse gas/radiative physics is the best understood part of AGW, because it’s the most amenable to well-established fundamental physics that physicists are good at.”

        Complete and utter nonsense, of course. We’re talking about real physics, as opposed to realclimate physics.

        CO2 provides no, I repeat no, additional heat. It does not multiply energy. To claim that it does, without any repeatable experimental support, is just silly assertion.

        Of course you can heat CO2. You can also heat any other gas. Professor John Tyndall demonstrated this in the early 1800s. At any given temperature below the excitation temperature, CO2 radiates the same wavelengths as other gases. No greenhouse effect. You don’t seem to have found Steven Mosher’s missing clue, either.

        A famous physicist once said that everything in the Universe apart from gravity and nuclear processes, can be explained in terms of three things –

        An electron moves from place to place
        A photon moves from place to place
        An electron absorbs or emits a photon.

        Was he right? If not, why not? It’s a trick question, of course.

        How hard can it be?

        Cheers.

      • CO2 provides no, I repeat no, additional heat. It does not multiply energy. To claim that it does, without any repeatable experimental support, is just silly assertion.

        Well, they have run an IR experiment to measure the downwelling forcing.

        0.2 W/m2 for 22 PPM over 11 years at two latitude separated sites.

        This is a great result, CO2 forcing = about 0.64 °C for 2XCO2.

        This is low enough to disturb thinking global warmers (a tiny and elite subset of global warmers) and high enough to make the GHG warming defiant unhappy. The best of both worlds.

        If anybody thought the mythical ECS was a useful metric and was actually 4.5°C they would have proved it by now.

        Instead we have a lot of thought experiments and only 1 attempt to actually measure direct forcing.

        Instead money is wasted spinning intricate fairy tales of fantasy harm.

        If global warmers thought hard science would give them hard numbers that they would like they would be doing hard science.

        “If the facts are on your side, pound the facts. If the law is on your side, pound the law, if you have neither, pound the table.” The warmers have damaged the table sufficiently that it is time for them to adopt a factual approach…if they can.

      • ” Instead we have a lot of thought experiments and only 1 attempt to actually measure direct forcing.”
        I’ve been calculating the derivative of daily and annual average temps for years now, in particular the difference between the days solar warming and the following nights cooling, and surface data shows what we’ve experienced can not be from a global forcing. It is not possible for the effect to be from co2.

      • PA,

        You wrote –

        “Well, they have run an IR experiment to measure the downwelling forcing.

        0.2 W/m2 for 22 PPM over 11 years at two latitude separated sites.

        This is a great result, CO2 forcing = about 0.64 °C for 2XCO2.”

        A few points for your consideration.

        Giant iceberg at -3 C emits around 300 W/m2. After 1000 hours, about 300 kilowatt hours per m2. Can’t even boil up a nice cup of tea with it! A Warmist might say if you concentrate that radiation with a big lens, or clever mirror, into 1 mm2, you will have 300 Watts in one millionth of the area, or one million times the radiative intensity. Still can’t boil the kettle! Correct me if I got the arithmetic wrong. I’m not a climatologist!

        The Earth has been absorbing sunlight for four and a half billion years. It has cooled.

        If you leave a pan of water in the Sun for a day, it might absorb enough heat to raise its temperature to 30 C. If you leave it for 2 days, a climatologist might say the water will accumulate twice as much heat, and will raise its temperature to 60 C.

        No CO2 forcing. If CO2 warms during the day, it cools during the night.

        No downwelling forcing from CO2. In the absence of sunlight, the atmosphere cools. In arid tropical deserts (and quite a few other places near the tropics), ice forms on the surface before dawn.

        Put a rock in a bottle filled with 100% CO2. That’s a million parts per million, of course! How much does it heat up – even at 0.64 C per doubling of CO2? CO2 does not create heat.

        Cheers.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | April 18, 2016 at 5:34 pm |

        “It certainly enables you to understand the observations at a basic physics level, and given an understanding you gain confidence in predicting what doubling CO2 does. We already have had half a doubling where the warming can be easily explained with known physics”

        Living things are based on chemistry.

        Does knowledge of chemistry predict elephants?

        Knowledge of physics does not predict climate any more than knowledge of chemistry predicts elephants.

        So that Mosher might be able to understand I’ll rephrase the question.

        Does chemistry predict the absence of unicorns?

      • Eddie: Do you think there is a scientific consensus about the existence of atoms?

        Did you ever take physical science in junior high school?

        When I took it, part of the class was electrolysis of water to create hydrogen and oxygen, culminating in every teenage favorite, the ignition and small explosion of the hydrogen. My personal, if guided and simple, experiment with atomic theory, repeatable by my classmates stays with me to this day. It is the evidence, not the consensus that matters.

        Also, do remember Democritus ( and perhaps others before him ) had worked out atoms in 400 BC. Then came along Aristotle who said Democritus was wrong and created the erroneous consensus that lasted 2000 years!

        So consensus has an enormous history of being wrong. Some say that’s the way it works – consensus is important only because there are unknowns. When the unknowns become knowns, the consensus corrects.

        If you believed earlier consensus, you would not have believed in:
        * atoms
        * evolution
        * continental drift
        * the big bang theory
        * and a lot of other neat stuff

      • Mike Flynn | April 19, 2016 at 1:15 am |

        A few points for your consideration

        Since you are invariably polite and well mannered I will thank you for your post.

        However, we may respectfully have to agree to disagree.

        Do you believe more CO2 reduces the mean absorption distance?

      • “OK, so if the scientists give an opinion on how to tackle Zika, you go to your neighbor for a second opinion? Interesting. That’s what’s wrong with this just-an-opinion meme. You’ve asked the leading international experts, and you don’t like what kind of policy that leads to, so who do you go to for a second opinion? ”

        Shouldn’t the first question be why must there be a policy (presumably government) in regards to a virus? Why must there be a policy in regards to warming? For all the science in regards to warming, what remains fuzzy to me is all that science showing how it is government and their policies are the only proper response.

      • PA,

        Thank you for your forbearance. It’s a nice change.

        You wrote –

        “Do you believe more CO2 reduces the mean absorption distance?”

        If I understand your question properly, more CO2 will result in increased absorption per unit distance. With respect, I believe this is irrelevant, to a greater or lesser degree.

        If CO2 absorbs energy to the point where its temperature rises, it will radiate energy commensurate with that temperature. This process of absorption and emission occurs very quickly, so any form of heat storage is ephemeral, at best.

        You will note that, at night, CO2 cools along with the rest of the atmosphere. A quantity of CO2 at absolute zero will absorb energy of all frequencies, and its temperature will rise. No known matter is totally transparent.

        CO2 in a sample of atmosphere can both warm, and be warmed by, adjacent gases. Specific absorption frequencies are not necessary.

        No magic, as you may have seen me write before!

        Maybe we will have to agree to disagree, although I think, given time, I could possibly convince you of the worth of my arguments.

        Cheers.

      • JPZ, yes, there is the hands-off approach that you seem to advocate, and various levels of policy from just Zika detection, to public warnings and education about minimizing the risks, to cautions about standing water and spraying as they do in Zika infected countries, to spending money on researching vaccines. What level they choose is up to the policymakers, but no decision would be good if not consistent the science, and one option would be do nothing, but I suspect such a government would get voted out at the earliest opportunity for gross negligence.

      • “one option would be do nothing, but I suspect such a government would get voted out at the earliest opportunity for gross negligence.”

        I sincerely doubt Hillary Clinton’s email problems, which at best appear to be an example of some kind of negligence on her part, and to some it looks pretty gross, will harm her in the election. Those voting for Clinton do not seem to care about her negligence. We will see.

      • JPZ, seriously? Emails that didn’t even get out versus your ideal government not responding to Zika through a deep-seated mistrust of scientists in general.

      • “JPZ, seriously? Emails that didn’t even get out versus your ideal government not responding to Zika through a deep-seated mistrust of scientists in general.”

        Seriously as a heart attack, Jim. Perhaps you don’t take national security all that seriously, but plenty of people do. You cannot just pick and choose the “negligence” you think matters. Well, of course you can, but I hope you can forgive me for expecting more of you.

      • JPZ, you are choosing. What about Colin Powell or Condi Rice’s staff who did the same thing. No interest in that. It is completely political (and trivial by the way) and not even hidden that it is because of facts like that coming out.

      • “JPZ, you are choosing. What about Colin Powell or Condi Rice’s staff who did the same thing. No interest in that. It is completely political (and trivial by the way) and not even hidden that it is because of facts like that coming out.”

        Thank you for underscoring my point, Jim. People do not appear to care all that much about the gross negligence of government, unless you want to count the rise of Trump as some popular uprising over the negligence of immigration enforcement, but I cannot help but suspect you don’t want to do that.

        In terms of doing nothing, and in regards to a virus, that option if very much a part of the Primum non nocere principle. Consider this:

        “I would like to highlight three recent examples of how science-based pediatric medicine has made dramatic changes based on emerging evidence. One interesting aspect of these particular changes to best-practice recommendations is that they all lead to a more conservative approach to care; that is, they lead to less or even no treatment compared to prior recommendations. This is yet another significant distinction between SBM and PBM; PBM never does nothing. It always claims to have a treatment or a cure. It is another hallmark of PBM, and often what draws people to it. It is an endless fount of hope when “traditional” medicine has nothing much to offer.”

        https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/dont-just-stand-there-do-nothing-the-difference-between-science-based-medicine-and-quackery/

        “Dr. Stephen Smith, Professor emeritus of family medicine at Brown University School of Medicine, tells his physician not to order a PSA blood test for prostate cancer or an annual electrocardiogram to screen for heart irregularities, since neither test has been shown to save lives. Rather, both tests frequently find innocuous quirks that can lead to a dangerous odyssey of tests and procedures. Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and editor of the prestigious Archives of Internal Medicine, has no intention of having a screening mammogram even though her 50th birthday has come and gone. That’s the age at which women are advised to get one. But, says Redberg, they detect too many false positives (suspicious spots that turn out, upon biopsy, to be nothing) and tumors that might regress on their own, and there is little if any evidence that they save lives.”

        http://www.newsweek.com/some-medical-tests-procedures-do-more-harm-good-67291

        “Of course, every “thing” a doctor does also has side effects — rampant bacterial resistance from antibiotic overuse; major increases in radiation exposure from unnecessary CT scans; incontinence or impotence from prostate cancer treatments that may do nothing to prolong life; toxic drug interactions from multiple medications, particularly in the elderly.

        The admonishment “Don’t just do something; stand there!” reminds us that we should stop and think before we act, that there are many instances in which doing nothing is greatly preferable to doing something.”

        In order to convince the public that government officials acted with “gross negligence”, I suppose you would need some really horrific stories to tell.

      • JPZ, I listed some things the government could do about Zika, and you are probably saying no to all of those. No detection, no research, no mitigation. It’s easy because then you don’t have to listen to the scientists and can ignore the public sob-stories, and it’s free too, but you might see your government become unpopular. Republicans were even worried about Ebola, and Zika presents a much more likely chance of having an effect here, so you will lose those Republicans who are easily scared too, and I think that there are a lot of them. If there was one place they wanted big government, it was for Ebola: extensive travel bans and quarantines.

      • Danny Thomas wrote:
        “Please, pretty please, cite who it is out there who ‘fully understands’ climate science (public, blogger, or other).”

        Those with a sufficient scientific background. Especially in physics — climate science is applied physics.

      • “Republicans were even worried about Ebola, and Zika presents a much more likely chance of having an effect here, so you will lose those Republicans who are easily scared too, and I think that there are a lot of them. If there was one place they wanted big government, it was for Ebola: extensive travel bans and quarantines.”

        That’s the ticket, isn’t it? Scare the hell out of them and they’ll vote the way they’re directed to.

      • It doesn’t take much to scare Republicans. They’re even scared of some emails that didn’t get out anywhere.

      • ” They’re even scared of some emails that didn’t get out anywhere.”
        Wrong, wrong, wrong, first they traveled all over the Internet in the clear they could have been collected at any of multiple servers as the data moved around the world.
        Second, no proof of anyone collecting them is even required, just the act of negligence is a chargeable offense.

        You’ve never had a clearance obviously, I have.

      • No harm, no foul. Wasn’t even mentioned by anyone during her whole time as Secretary of State, nor was it a secret and there was a precedent to do it. It’s clearly political because she is running for President, and it would not have been even mentioned otherwise. Wikileaks (Cablegate, look it up) was an actual breach with much more potential harm, and these people should be more concerned by the scale of that one, but they can’t pin it on Hillary, so they are not interested.

      • Obviously you’ve never had a clearance, what she did is a crime.

      • So how do distinguish her from her precedents? No emails were classified at the time of being sent. They had a system for dealing with classified information separately.

      • ” So how do distinguish her from her precedents? No emails were classified at the time of being sent. They had a system for dealing with classified information separately.”
        They all had a secure device available.
        The are not marked classified, they are marked confidential, top secret, and the other various compartmentalized top secret. She had her staff remove the markings from one at least, and it isn’t a matter of markings, it’s contents.
        I would already be in jail.

      • They were not classified at the time. If a senator received an email in his normal mail that was later classified, would he be prosecuted for it not being secure? You can’t predict which of your emails will be later classified. The State Dept didn’t see any worth classifying, and it was only other agencies years later that did not want the contents of some emails released, and the State Dept still disagrees.

      • Mike Flynn | April 19, 2016 at 10:49 pm |
        PA,
        Thank you for your forbearance. It’s a nice change.
        You wrote –
        “Do you believe more CO2 reduces the mean absorption distance?”

        If I understand your question properly, more CO2 will result in increased absorption per unit distance. With respect, I believe this is irrelevant, to a greater or lesser degree.

        The fact you couch your arguments with respect is appreciated.

        My view on this is somewhat different. I am familiar with latency and buffer design.

        Unabsorbed photons travel at the speed of light. Absorbed photons travel at the speed of air which is significantly lower.

        If the mean absorption distance of thermal photons decreases the average latency to reach TOA increases since more photons will be traveling at the speed of air, and the latency from TOA to BOA increases as well.

        A data buffer for 2 milliseconds of data has to be twice as large as a buffer for 1 ms of data. Likewise, the atmospheric envelope which now has more photons in transit (energy) will have more energy per unit volume,

        The ideal gas law would seem to infer the temperature is higher if the energy per unit volume increases.

      • David Springer

        David Appell (@davidappell) | April 19, 2016 at 11:58 pm |

        “climate science is applied physics”

        Yes. In the same way that elephants are applied chemistry.

        If you understand chemistry do you find it predicts why elephants exist and unicorns do not?

      • David Springer

        David Appell (@davidappell) | April 18, 2016 at 10:12 pm |

        “Do you think there is a scientific consensus about the existence of atoms?”

        Probably. The key point here is there no need to circulate surveys asking because the existence of atoms has been demonstrated over and over again in repeatable experiments. Consensus is brought out when there’s no experimental proof of the claims.

      • PA,

        You wrote –

        “If the mean absorption distance of thermal photons decreases the average latency to reach TOA increases since more photons will be traveling at the speed of air, and the latency from TOA to BOA increases as well.”

        If I understand you correctly, I agree. This is a fair and basic description of the operation of an insulator, as photons are absorbed and emitted. I agree it may take a photon emitted by the surface may take 100 microseconds to traverse the atmosphere to space more or less directly. Obviously, an individual photon may be reflected back to a table top, thence through an open window into a room, and so on. Eventually, it will escape to space.

        Photons while not being absorbed or emitted, travel at the speed of light, because that what they are. Individual packets of light, quanta if you wish.

        I believe Ray Pierrehumbert characterised the atmosphere as having the insulating qualities of one seventh of an inch of polystyrene, but I will stand corrected if warranted.

        So, a smallish, but noticeable, temperature integrating effect due to the atmosphere, compared with the airless Moon. The effect will obviously depend on the frequency, if I may put it that way, of the photon in question. The opacity of the atmosphere depends on the wavelength of the photon involved. For example UVC is totally absorbed by the atmosphere – the atmosphere is totally opaque to this wavelength (or very nearly so).

        Still no greenhouse effect. The surface warms during the day, cools at night, and emits a little of the internal heat as well. Hence the cooling over the last four and a half billion years, in spite of the vast amounts of energy generated by the radioactive decay processes.

        Sorry to rattle on, but sometimes people, in simplifying, leave out important bits and pieces. If I have erred with facts, I welcome correction. Memory is a wonderful thing, unless you depend on it!

        Cheers.

      • PA,

        Many apologies. My use of emphasis went too far. I figure you can work out that it should have stopped after the first para.

        Cheers.

  16. JC says “A substantial majority of the individuals responding to the ‘expert’ surveys have not contributed to the primary literature on detection and attribution and have not conducted an independent assessment of this issue. Instead they have arrived at their conclusion based on the second-order evidence that a ‘consensus’ exists.”

    This is what Cook and Oreskes helped to answer. They and Verheggen before them showed that those with more direct expertise in the subject are even more certain. It is Figure 1 in the paper. Verheggen showed that the people most involved in the research give the highest human-caused percentage estimates. If it was political, you would not see such a correlation. As it is, you see what the polling would look like for any difficult scientific question with technical lines of evidence. Only the experts are more sure of the answer while others have less information to form an opinion with and give less sure answers. In the case of climate change, the more information you have and can process, the more certain you are.

    • Another area in the news regarding consensus these days is the connection between Zika and birth defects. A consensus is emerging, and this emerges because it is driven by the people who study this most closely agreeing with each other. Consensus emerges from the actual people doing the studies and testing the hypotheses, not those on the sidelines.

      • ” the connection between Zika and birth defects. A consensus is emerging.
        it is driven by the people who study this most closely agreeing with each other”
        What you mean to say is it is driven by the data people collect agreeing more closely.
        Of course you would still be wrong.
        Zika is a virus. Most viruses can cause birth defects.
        The consensus was already out there years ago.
        No proof or consensus on new problems currently exists, just wild speculations.

      • This is another case where policy depends on consensus. Without consensus, you don’t get policy. The US CDC has to think forwards on whether this can spread in the country, and what can be done, and that thinking has to be based on science.

      • There was a consensus about how to deal with Ebola. A bunch of “Republicans” thought they knew better, because of all those left-wing liberal scientists, doncha know.

        Interesting that there is a lot of cross-over between climate “skeptics” and Ebola “skeptics.”

        Must be coincidence.

      • As I recall, the Republicans had their hair on fire about Ebola. A complete over-reaction to a threat, which is their more normal tendency, at least leading up to elections.

    • David Springer

      Jim D | April 17, 2016 at 11:26 pm | Reply

      “This is what Cook and Oreskes helped to answer. They and Verheggen before them showed that those with more direct expertise in the subject are even more certain.”

      You mean to say practioners of global warming science are the most certain that what they are paid to do is both important and soundly based in good science.

      Shocking.

      • Climate Science dear David, remember what Frank Luntz taught you

      • David Springer

        I didn’t even recognize the name Frank Luntz and he most certainly taught me nothing. And please don’t call me “dear” until you’ve had that HIV vaccination.

  17. Judy:
    The consensus about a very complex process about which so much is unknown or uncertain is by definition clearly the product of something else besides knowledge of the process.
    The Brumberg’s introduction of a ratio (K/C) does nothing to shed any light on this logical requirement. In fact, I would say it serves as a distraction from the fundamentals of the situation and the Brumberg’s own elegant crystallization of the issue. In short, how can we be so certain about something that we know so little about with any certainty!
    I am always astonished at the certainty of theologians! It must have its roots in something akin to Pascal’s Wager.

    • David Springer

      Religionists generally rely on faith and make no bones about it.

      Faith is the belief in things for which there is no proof.

      Climatism is faith based every bit as much as Catholicism. The difference between the two is that the latter rejoices in and makes public admissions of faith while the former clings to a just-so story they claim is factual rather than narrative.

      • David, I believe that any ‘born again’ member of the body, anywhere in the world, would be happy to dispute your opinion. Do you think a timeless God who provided his word and gives us our faith hides from those who study diligently? He is wonderful.

      • David Springer

        Prove it.

      • I already have to my satisfaction. I can’t speak for you or anybody else as you well know. You learn by doing your own homework and taking the exams yourself. Just like he tells us in His book.

      • You speak of God as if it is guided by the same sets of beliefs as we have. Citations please!

      • He calls it all, a sin full world. What do we call it today? I tried to find error in the Bible for years, today we all have the Dead Sea Scrolls, showing the accuracy of the written texts. When you study it you might have better luck this time? The Holy Spirit, will be your own private librarian. The entire library is composed of just the seventy books needed for success. Enjoy.

      • Each of us is responsible for how we vote.

        http://theconversation.com/can-a-burgeoning-satanic-movement-actually-effect-political-change-57619

        No abstentions allowed either. It’s all in the book.

      • David Springer

        Ok Arch. If faith plays no role in your religious belief then please state it succinctly for me. I want you to say for me:

        “I have no faith in my lord and savior Jesus Christ”

        I must warn you that I studied theology for years under the tutelage of many leading lights in Evangelical Christianity. Not a single one of them, nor any true believer in Christ, would abdicate faith. Neither will you I’m sure when asked to explicitly deny it.

      • Ok Arch. If faith plays no role in your religious belief then please state it succinctly for me. I want you to say for me:

        I see no need for a God to explain any part of the Universe, not a bit.
        I think there is nothing left but Faith to believe in God.

        I can’t rule something like him out, but I would place in the Alien category, with levels of magic that are beyond us, but Alien none the less.

        Have Faith Man!

      • All these years of study and you can’t even see that faith ain’t belief, Big Dave?

      • The good news is that this is the minimum requirements.

        1Co 15:1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

        1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

        1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

        1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

        It is one thing to believe God. Another to believe in God.

      • David Springer

        @Willard

        Every definition of faith in Merriam-Webster where religion is the context calls it a belief, dopey.

        You may certainly petition Merriam-Webster to change the definitions but until then I’m using a legitimate appeal to authority by citing a top shelf dictionary.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/faith

        Full Definition of faith

        plural faiths play \ˈfāths, sometimes ˈfāthz\

        1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
        b (1) : fidelity to one’s promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
        2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
        b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
        3 something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs

        Thanks for playing. Better luck next time. Have faith that you might make a point someday!

      • Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

      • David Springer

        As I predicted Arch refused to abdicate his faith in Christ.

        So back to the main point. Climatastrophy is a faith-based belief system complete with its own version of the Apocalypse and list of sinful behaviors bringing it about.

        Classic. Mud-to-man evolution is the creation story of atheists. Climatastrophy is their version of the Apocalypse.

        You can’t make this stuff up.

      • > Every definition of faith in Merriam-Webster where religion is the context calls it a belief, dopey

        You got your years of study reading a condensed dictionary, Big Dave?

        Here are some conceptions for your consideration:

        There is no single ‘established’ terminology for different models of faith. A brief initial characterisation of the principal models of faith and their nomenclature as they feature in this discussion may nevertheless be helpful—they are:

        the ‘purely affective’ model: faith as a feeling of existential confidence

        the ‘special knowledge’ model: faith as knowledge of specific truths, revealed by God

        the ‘belief’ model: faith as belief that God exists

        the ‘trust’ model: faith as believing in (in the sense of trusting in) God

        the ‘doxastic venture’ model: faith as practical commitment beyond the evidence to one’s belief that God exists

        ‘sub-’ and ‘non-doxastic venture’ models: faith as practical commitment to a relevant positively evaluated truth-claim, yet without belief

        the ‘hope’ model: faith as hoping—or acting in the hope that—the God who saves exists.

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/faith/

        Your Merriam-Webster’s quite thin gruel compared to the Stanford entry.

        Now take a look at AK’s linky. Try to make sense of the cited passages, and see which model makes more sense to you.

        Report.

    • The Brumbergian analysis is fundamentally flawed because it does not differentiate between the core and the periphery of knowledge.

      A complex jigsaw puzzle is a good analogy. You assemble a large number of pieces for the center of the puzzle, and the consensus emerges that that part of the puzzle is finished, but the periphery has to be assembled, and there is a great deal of work that remains to be done.

      Still, the consensus about the center is a good one, perhaps a few pieces of the thousands there need to be moved, but the core remains

      • Eli Rabett said:

        The Brumbergian analysis is fundamentally flawed because it does not differentiate between the core and the periphery of knowledge.

        The “core and the periphery of knowledge”?

        So was Lord Kelvin’s arrogant parochialism, rejecting all field data and bullying geologists with his theoretical calculations based totally on a naive model of simple heat conduction, on the “core or the perifphery of knowledge”?

        In the early twentieth century, American earth scientists were united in their opposition to the new — and highly radical — notion of continental drift, even going so far as to label the theory “unscientific.”

        Some fifty years later, however, continental drift was heralded as a major scientific breakthrough and today it is accepted as scientific fact.

      • David Springer

        Oh goody. I like analogies. Let’s extend this one a bit.

        Say the core of the puzzle is flames of a fire.

        Does that predict whether the rest of the puzzle reveals the flame is a campfire surrounded by happy people or that it is a forest fire with people being burned alive?

        You did good with the core analogy, Prof. Halpern. You blew it when your narrow mind failed to consider all the potential scenes the completed puzzle might reveal.

        With regard to climatastrophe has it ever occurred to you that you and like-minded others might be so very wrong that you would lead us into a burning building rather than away from it?

      • Steven Mosher

        “The Brumbergian analysis is fundamentally flawed because it does not differentiate between the core and the periphery of knowledge.”

        Exactly

      • David Springer

        And you are wrong in presuming that the core predicts the periphery.

        Does chemistry predict elephants, dopey?

      • > The “core and the periphery of knowledge”?

        Yes, Glenn:

        The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. But the total field is so underdetermined by its boundary conditions, experience, that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to reevaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole. (1951, 42–3)

        /http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/

        “Parochialism” sounds nice, however.

  18. Jim D writes upthread:

    This is what Cook and Oreskes helped to answer. They and Verheggen before them showed that those with more direct expertise in the subject are even more certain. It is Figure 1 in the paper. Verheggen showed that the people most involved in the research give the highest human-caused percentage estimates. If it was political, you would not see such a correlation.

    But the reality is the figure he refers to is complete garbage. The authors of the recent paper assigned “expertise” levels of 1 through 5 to 16 various “consensus estimates” in a completely arbitrary manner without any sort of scale or rubric. Some of these ratings are almost unquestionably wrong, with Cook (2013) having its results assigned the highest “expertise” level even though it included authors of papers about air conditioning, paving roads and creating new polymers simply because those papers happened to do things like mention the carbon dioxide they were using in their manufacturing process is a greenhouse gas.

    Then, after having assigned these values in an arbitrary manner, Cook et al. showed them in 16 different categories. Each of the 16 data points was given its own value on the x-axis of the chart despite the fact there was only four categories being used (no papers were rated as having an “expertise level” of 4). This was so severe 9 data points were assigned to the same category but placed side by side, causing one category to cover more than half the chart, ranging from both the “higher” and “lower” half of the graphic.

    And because each data point was shown with its own x coordinate despite multiple estimates sharing each expertise value, the order of the estimates was assigned randomly as well. A person can rearrange the data points quite a bit and the result would be just as “correct” as the current chart is. The result is even without looking at the data itself (which has its own problems), this chart is completely invalid and consequently incredibly misleading: Here is an image showing just a portion of the problems with it. All I’ve done is add lines indicating where each category Cook (2016) came up with is:

    http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2016/04/strangest-chart-ever-created/

    • By the way, things are even worse when you look at this image being used by John Cook and other co-authors:

      That line isn’t a mathematical regression. It isn’t anything other than a cartoon image Cook came up with to pretend his results provide some calculable relation between group’s expertise and their consensus value.

      The only way they can show a figure like that is to intentionally present these categories with different widths, even going so far as to skip one category all together. Had they not presented each of the 16 consensus estimate with its own x-value when there were really only 4 x-values, the authors could never have created a graphic like that.

      • It’s common for anyone with a point of view to focus on the facts which tend to corroborate that point of view.

        From what I gather, the concept above human-caused global warming is one with which many would agree.
        As I understand it, that would include large numbers of learned climatology experts, including Dr. Curry, Pat Michaels, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, John Christy and most others.

        But that does not answer a litany of other questions!

        How much? Certainly trends are less than Hansen88. Certainly less than AR4 ‘all scenarios for the next few decades’. Certainly less than the High, Medium, and Low rates from AR4. And trends less than all the RCP scenarios except RCP2.6. So how much is ‘less than expected’.

        To what effect? Many that lack understanding of climate and weather imagine all ilk of phenomena, but they lack a valid physical basis for their imaginations.

        To what benefit? How are emissions falling already? How will falling populations effect emissions? How is aging population effecting emissions? What other changes are projections ignoring?

        There are numerous questions about which consensus does not exist, or for which ample evidence contrary to popular memes do exist.

      • Oh, kind of Roy Spencer’s fifth or whatever, degree polynomial.

    • If that is true, Verheggen was more quantitative about it, but had essentially the same result regarding levels of certainty, and in addition they had attribution percentages that increased with expertise. This is another area where the “skeptics” have fallen woefully behind in coming up with their own datasets on polling of various levels of expertise.

      • This is a strange response to someone pointing out the graphic you promoted is both completely invalid and highly misleading.

      • You can replot it any way you like. It’s the same result, and most people understand it. More expertise = more consensus. It is not strange to point out that it agrees with Verheggen.

      • You can replot it any way you like. It’s the same result, and most people understand it. More expertise = more consensus.

        Yep.

        Fortunately, Copernicus didn’t listen and overturned the consensus.
        Fortunately, Darwin didn’t listen and overturned the consensus.
        Fortunately, Wegener didn’t listen and overturned the consensus.
        Fortunately, the erroneous consensus around Ancel Key’s harmful theories are now melting away.

        This is not surprising. Consensus is opinion which means unknowns are present. Eventually, the curious know the unknowns and a new consensus occurs ( still with nuanced unknowns ).

      • In each case you are citing the expert who looked at the issue most closely and used data. They were the expert, and the consensus formed around them. Prior to them people were either not looking at the data in a scientific way or were fitting data in an incorrect and inelegant way (Ptolemaic epicycles). It starts with a core of experts, and consensus forms first from other people who understand their work or can repeat it, and then from others to whom the theory makes sense even if they are not looking at the raw data themselves. As I said elsewhere, consensus starts at the expertise center and builds outwards. People like Darwin, Newton or Einstein form the core of various consensuses. This is how AGW grew during the course of the 20th century.

      • Jim D:

        You can replot it any way you like. It’s the same result, and most people understand it. More expertise = more consensus.

        Yes, if you arbitrarily assign values to “consensus estimates” then plot them in inappropriate and misleading ways, you may certainly ensure you get “the same result.” This is what you’d get with the same arbitrary values assigned to those “consensus estimates,” but with them plotted in an honest manner:

        Maybe people would interpret that as “More expertise = more consensus,” but I think a lot of people would actually interpret that as, “Wow, there’s very little data, and if there is a signal in there, it’s not a very clear or reliable one.

      • Which is why I mentioned Verheggen who says the same thing in a much clearer way. They only use one point to represent Verheggen, but there was a lot more there than that. Similarly Anderegg has only one point, but his data can also be subdivided with more study because he also collected data on publication rates.

      • In each case you are citing the expert who looked at the issue most closely and used data. They were the expert, and the consensus formed around them

        Wrong.

        Darwin and Wegener were outsider’s not experts.
        Ancel Keys was a erroneous expert.

        In all cases the consensus was wrong.

      • They formed consensuses around their work with data. Prior to them no one even thought to look at the data that way. Similarly Copernicus, Einstein, etc. The status before them was not consensus, but either confusion about the data or ignorance due to lack of data.

      • Steven Mosher

        I like your version of the chart brandon

        A) it clearly shows the spread of the data by category
        B) Anyone could re produce it from the table values
        C) It raises questions about the EXACT issue: How is expertise rated?

        WRT C: for example if you used two categories as opposed to 5 what would you get? or three categories?

        basically you can see the structural uncertainty or potential for it
        in a GLANCE at your version of the chart.

      • They formed consensuses around their work with data.

        Exactly!

        Data matters, consensus doesn’t.

        And consensus can and often is incorrect as future data shows.

        And appealing to consensus is a logical fallacy known and Argumentum ad Populum.

      • Exactly indeed. The data is compelling. GHG forcing is dominant. The imbalance is positive meaning all the warming we have had so far hasn’t been enough to catch up with that forcing. Ask the questions the way that the experts do, and it becomes very clear. Terms like forcing and imbalance have little meaning among the public, so they can’t even form the question correctly, let alone have a consensus answer.

      • Don’t bother Brandon. Jim’s force field is impenetrable.

      • > if you arbitrarily assign values to “consensus estimates”

        Please take heed on Brandon, Jim D:

        I hadn’t really given it much thought as whether the result should be 1.6% or 45% doesn’t affect the point I was trying to make – that when the Cook et al study’s results are examined properly, they don’t show anywhere near a 97% consensus on the idea humans are the main cause of global warming.

        https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/consensus-on-consensus-a-synthesis-of-consensus-estimates-on-human-caused-global-warming/#comment-34034

        Whether it’s 1,6% or 45% doesn’t matter, because “same results.”

      • “In each case you are citing the expert who looked at the issue most closely and used data. They were the expert”
        With all due respect, though I don’t have a degree, I’m more an expert in data and simulation technologies than most of that 97%.
        They make false assertions.

      • David Springer

        Jim D

        The TOA positive imbalance has error bars large enough to change its sign to negative. But I’ll accept it at the generally given level of 0.5W/m2.

        If it persists for 100 years it’s enough to raise the mean temperature of the global ocean 0.2C. The ocean is the only significant reservoir for a TOA energy imbalance. In the big picture the sun heats the ocean and the ocean heats the atmosphere. Where goes the ocean there goes the continent like a dog on a leash.

      • If it persists for 100 years it’s enough to raise the mean temperature of the global ocean 0.2C. The ocean is the only significant reservoir for a TOA energy imbalance. In the big picture the sun heats the ocean and the ocean heats the atmosphere. Where goes the ocean there goes the continent like a dog on a leash.

        Oceans have a larger capacity, and longer term storage, but for us, the local environment does get a lot of warming from the ground, and humans have made a huge impact.
        My front yard.

        Look at how much warmer the asphalt and concrete!, Now spray that all over.

        But it doesn’t “overpower” the air the winds bring from their source, but it can warm it up during the day.

      • The point is that a positive imbalance logically means that warming the effect of the forcing, dominated by GHGs, is greater than 100% because we still have that warming in the pipeline. This is the attribution argument that the 50%ers miss or misunderstand.

      • ” The point is that a positive imbalance logically means that warming the effect of the forcing, dominated by GHGs, is greater than 100% because we still have that warming in the pipeline. This is the attribution argument that the 50%ers miss or misunderstand.”
        Because the resolution of the satellites measuring the imbalance can not measure to the required accuracy, they calibrate it based on the theoretical imbalance.
        They do not know this is correct.

      • The rise of the ocean heat content is independent confirmation of a positive imbalance.

      • ” The rise of the ocean heat content is independent confirmation of a positive imbalance.”
        Most of the ocean isn’t measured.
        Okay so is the maybe, slightly higher than the previous rough approximation of sea level rise, expansion or melt run off?
        Because that’s all you have, and that also means they have crust rebound right.
        Again, the is no single lynch pin to base any of these measured proofs on, they all have some reference back to some theorized parameter. And they all just so happen are the expected CAGW value.

      • All you need is the sign. Positive imbalance (any pipeline warming) means 100% plus. Most “skeptics” have not disputed the sign (Lewis and Curry use a mainstream easily positive value), but after realizing the logical consequence, they may have to start working on that because it destroys the 50%er argument. It’s difficult because there are a lot observations to try to overturn to do that. It’s an observation-based argument for 100% attribution, no models needed.

      • ” It’s an observation-based argument for 100% attribution, no models needed.”
        You can’t distinguish between co2 warming and warming from any other source, but I can show most of it can’t be from co2 because climate change has been regional, and not global, and there’s been no loss of cooling.

      • For imbalance, it has to be forcing, not just internal natural effects. Forcing is dominated by GHGs.

      • Should be …the warming effect of the forcing…

    • > with Cook (2013) having its results

      Herewith Brandon shows he can’t read a table.

    • With regard to Cook and Oreskes, how much intellectual sophistry do they get to commit before people who want to be taken seriously stop referring to their work?

      Tolerance is a virtue but tolerating the work of these two is beyond the pale.

  19. “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming. – D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg”

    This is a truly hilarious statement that could only have been made by nonscientists. Scientists agree about a great deal in science — yes, consensus is everywhere except at the edges — and the sciences that are used to calculate global warming from the many possible physical sources is well-established science. All scientists agree on the basic laws of quantum mechanics, including the Planck Law (its integral is the Stefan-Boltzmann law), and the absorption/emission spectrums of the greenhouse gases. As well as the thermodynamics and other physics that go into meteorology, which again, are not that complicated and about which there is wide agreement.

    Given all this, it’s just a matter of analyzing and calculating. All sources besides anthropogenic GHGs have been looked at thoroughly, and the data simply do not show they can create as much warming as we’re seeing. And they theory and data *do* show the warming expected from aGHGs, within uncertainties.

    Whoever these Brumberg fellows are, they have a poor understanding of science and of the science of anthropogenic global warming.

    • David Appell said:

      As well as the thermodynamics and other physics that go into meteorology, which again, are not that complicated and about which there is wide agreement.

      Given all this, it’s just a matter of analyzing and calculating. All sources besides anthropogenic GHGs have been looked at thoroughly, and the data simply do not show they can create as much warming as we’re seeing. And they theory and data *do* show the warming expected from aGHGs, within uncertainties.

      “….within uncertainties”?

      Within “uncertainties” like this: When these highly simplistic and reductionist models make predictions, they kinda miss the target?

      • A check of the box score shows Appell 0-2, with a whiff and a weak grounder back to the mound.

      • Glenn provides the funnies, TimG the pompoms.

        The food ol’ days.

      • It’s called a program. You follow the game and keep score. What is with your weird perversion with pom-poms?

      • What kind of “program,” timg – like the ones figure skater judges marked in a blatantly biased manner?

        You’re just cheerleading. Own it.

      • Glenn Stehle wrote:
        “Within “uncertainties” like this: When these highly simplistic and reductionist models make predictions, they kinda miss the target?”

        Glenn: First of all, no climate model can ever make prediction, in principle.

        To do so they’d need to know the future — greenhouse gas emissions as a function of time, future volcanic eruptions, future changes in solar irradiance.

        No one can foresee these. So projections, based on assumtions, are the best than can be done.

        All scientific measurements have uncertainties.

      • David Appell,

        You wrote –

        “No one can foresee these. So projections, based on assumtions, are the best than can be done.”

        I’ve got a simpler set of assumptions. The future is unknowable, and tomorrow will be much the same as today.

        And so far, so good. I don’t lack for much, and leave a contented life.

        Act on your assumptions, but don’t be surprised if I object slightly if you expect me to pay for them.

        Cheers.

    • David Appell

      Given all this, it’s just a matter of analyzing and calculating. All sources besides anthropogenic GHGs have been looked at thoroughly, and the data simply do not show they can create as much warming as we’re seeing. And they theory and data *do* show the warming expected from aGHGs, within uncertainties.

      Have you really checked all of the possibilities? Does the number of possible sources of climate warming that you have seriously investigated apart from CO2 really qualify you to consider yourself “curious” in a good, scientific way?

      That’s a question for you to ask yourself. But here’s a clue as to a source you might have missed. Give yourself a holiday. Take a traditional trip to the seaside (Brighton, Blackpool, Weston Super Mare etc.) Wander down to the sea front and have a paddle, and take a look at all the green-blue stuff extending to the horizon. Somewhere out there you will find the answer to your faux quest. An answer that makes CO2 totally redundant, the biggest “spare prick at the wedding” of all time.

      • philsalmon wrote:
        “Have you really checked all of the possibilities? Does the number of possible sources of climate warming that you have seriously investigated apart from CO2 really qualify you to consider yourself “curious” in a good, scientific way?”

        What potential sources do you think have been overlooked?

      • ” What potential sources do you think have been overlooked?”
        Holmesian logic is useful to find a direction of inquiry, but it is not an answer to any question.
        But I can tell you it’s not co2.

      • DA
        What potential sources do you think have been overlooked?

        The ocean. Consider its vast thermal capacity. Then also consider the strong vertical profile and stratification of temperature. Surface temperatures up to 30C while the bottom is always 0-2 C. This means that all that is needed for significant surface warming or cooling is a change, one way or the other, in the degree of vertical mixing.

        Note also that in this analysis, total heat budget is not the issue. “Climate” is what is experienced by people on the earth’s surface, not by abyssal fish. Anecdotally we know that ocean temperatures were warmer during the last ice age, for example, in the Arctic deep sea and off east Asia. One implication of the colossal heat capacity of the oceans is that, on timescales up to centuries or millennia, climate can be a zero sum game, or “adiabatic” to use a gaseous analogy.

        Thus the point about looking out to sea to find a possible source of climate change. Hypothetically, the oceans are capable of serving up centuries of climate change, chaotic, oscillatory, intermittent or otherwise, with zero change to the total atmosphere plus ocean heat budget. Atmosphere can in this respect almost be ignored – most climate heat is in the ocean.

        Am I contradicting myself here? Is heat (or lack of it) 4km under the ocean surface relevant to climate? Well yes it is, if from time to time there is vertical ocean mixing. If Neptune swapped his trident for a spoon, and vigorously stirred the oceans so their water temperature was uniform, earth would be plunged into severe cold – something like a snowball earth. More realistically, variations in vertical ocean mixing can “adiabatically” change atmospheric climate to either warmer or colder, without any change to total heat in the atmosphere and ocean (mainly ocean).

        Why would ocean vertical mixing change? Globally and on century-millennial scales the oceans can be considered as a thin film. Physicists and chemists know quite a lot about dynamic behaviour of thin films. A lot of it is chaotic, involving phenomena such as vertical mixing and emergent intermittency thereof. This is the kind of theory that should be brought to bear on ocean driven climate.

        In fact this is already well known to the branch of geosciences / oceanography that models ocean mixing on millennial timescales. Events such as the Bolling-Allerod – Younger Dryas – Holocene inception have been very adequately modelled by processes such as inter hemispheric bipolar seesawing and (the delightfully named) heat piracy. But for some strange reason this knowledge has become disconnected from the climate debate.

        In short, the oceans by themselves, with a bit of dynamic chaos thrown in, can by themselves serve up centuries of climate change. Without needing and net geat gain or loss from earth as a whole.

        That’s not to say that CO2 might not also warm climate. It might (a bit). But so can the oceans. So CO2is not the only show in town.

      • In short, the oceans by themselves, with a bit of dynamic chaos thrown in, can by themselves serve up centuries of climate change. Without needing and net geat gain or loss from earth as a whole.
        That’s not to say that CO2 might not also warm climate. It might (a bit). But so can the oceans. So CO2is not the only show in town.

        You can see this in the temperature record when you start look at the continents separately.
        https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/evidence-against-warming-from-carbon-dioxide/

    • stevenreincarnated

      DA, of course there are other things that can create as much warming as we have experienced and a lot more.

      “A coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice general circulation model (GCM) has four stable equilibria ranging from 0% to 100% ice cover, including a “Waterbelt” state with tropical sea ice. All four states are found at present-day insolation and greenhouse gas levels and with two idealized ocean basin configurations.”

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD022659/abstract

      Careful, some college professor named Kraft wants to jail people that knowingly mislead the public about climate change and I am part of the public and you should know better by now.

      • stevenreincarnated wrote:
        “A coupled atmosphere-ocean-sea ice general circulation model (GCM) has four stable equilibria ranging from 0% to 100% ice cover, including a “Waterbelt” state with tropical sea ice. All four states are found at present-day insolation and greenhouse gas levels and with two idealized ocean basin configurations.”
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2014JD022659/abstract

        These are possible states. We’re in one of them, and we’re not switching between them.

      • Steve: The paper you cited looks at “very cold climates,” not the climate we are in today.

      • David Appell

        We are in very cold climates now. Didn’t you know that?

      • stevenreincarnated

        David, the model creates everything from an ice free world (warm) to snowball earth (cold) by changing ocean heat transport and keeping the forcing at today’s levels. So yes it looks at cold climates and also warm climates.

        There are a ton of papers on ocean heat transport. I like an old one myself because they state what would happen to that model if poleward ocean heat transport was reduced by 15%. This just happens to match up fairly well with the measured reduction recently in the AMOC:

        “We investigated the effect of increased ocean heat transports on climate in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM). The increases used were sufficient to melt all sea ice at high latitudes, and amounted to 15% on the global average. The resulting global climate is 2°C warmer, with temperature increases of some 20°C at high latitudes, and 1°C near the equator.”

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/91JD00009/abstract

        So now we’ll get to see if the models are better at OHT or radiative forcing.

      • Peter Lang wrote:
        “We are in very cold climates now. Didn’t you know that?”

        And CO2 is quite low compared to most of Earth’s history, isn’t it?

      • stevenreincarnated wrote:
        “David, the model creates everything from an ice free world (warm) to snowball earth (cold) by changing ocean heat transport and keeping the forcing at today’s levels.”

        What study or studies come to this conclusion?

      • David Appell,

        Your comment I responded to said:

        The paper you cited looks at “very cold climates,” not the climate we are in today.

        I responded

        We are in very cold climates now. Didn’t you know that?

        You should clearly acknowledge you did not know we are in cold climates now or acknowledge your comment was disingenuous and misleading before diverting to open up a new argument.

        Flow chart to help you determine if you’re having a rational discussion
        http://twentytwowords.com/a-flowchart-to-help-you-determine-if-youre-having-a-rational-discussion/

      • stevenreincarnated

        0% = ice free
        100% = snowball earth
        present-day insolation and ghg levels = today’s forcings
        The abstract tells you what they are playing around with besides forcings.

    • Mike Flynn wrote:
      “I’ve got a simpler set of assumptions. The future is unknowable, and tomorrow will be much the same as today.”

      This isn’t a serious reply, and I don’t see any need to address it.

      • David Appell,

        You wrote –

        “This isn’t a serious reply, and I don’t see any need to address it.”

        And yet you did. Maybe you adopted the Warmist method of not addressing something by addressing it, although Warmists usually employ the method in reverse. That is, addressing something by ignoring it totally, and attempting to divert the conversation elsewhere.

        Feel free to not address any matter I raise. Not commenting would seem to be a valid method of not addressing something, but that might be too subtle for the Warmist psyche.

        Cheers.

  20. The problem with surveys is they intentionally restrict the scope of the questions being asked. If you start with Judith’s three points as being agreed upon, and then ask questions specifically directed at scientists who are qualified to give opinions and reasons for opinions on the issues of the ability of climate models to forecast future climate, climate sensitivity, attribution, and uncertainty you would have a meaningful survey. Questions should try to elicit whether a respondent has prior philosophical or ideological beliefs that inform their responses.

  21. This is the most deliciously insightful post that I have read at CE. Not about climate science. Not even about science. But rather about the human condition. We have been witnessing on a global scale how the human species thinks and behaves given complex ideas and how it tries to rationalize its own reaction to mysteries not yet comprehended and how it addresses its hubris when confronted with what could be, for now, unknowable.

    This post will be xeroxed and thumb tacked to my headboard. When in need of some unimpeachable truths to start my day, I can just look up and enjoy them with a knowing smile. Right on, brother.

    • cerescokid,

      The vagaries of the human mind. For some reason, my eyes flicked from the end of your first sentence, to halfway through the first sentence of your second paragraph, drawing a mental picture of you thumb tacking a Xerox copy to your head!

      I thought your proposed action a little extreme, until I noticed that “head” had “board” appended. Obviously, I am easily amused!

      Seriously, though, I agree with your sentiments. We humans are an odd lot!

      Cheers.

  22. A biologist who has spent his career studying the black tailed jack rabbit in the southwest U.S. is not qualified to give opinions on the important questions on the future trajectory of global warming.

    • that rules out most anyone here , I guess.
      We all are just black tailed jack rabbit specialists with a job that we do and a side interest in science.

      • Having spent much of the last two decades studying the issue – I can now say with utter confidence – that I really don’t know for sure what will happen to global temperatures beyond the end of the La Nina.

      • The GMST will go up after the next La Nina, which may or may not be in 2016. There will be a continuing buildup of energy in the oceans during all phases of all ocean cycles. And that energy will haunt us.

      • @angech. My point: I expect that the 97% of scientists include many who are “scientists” in their field of specialization but are not competent on Judith’s key issues on predicting the long term trajectory of global temperatures. I’m not clear what point you are making? There are “scientists” and then there are scientists who are qualified to offer opinions on projection of long term patterns of large scale climate systems. One is really smart about the biology of the Southwest black-tailed jack rabbit or the Rocky Mountain tit mouse – these types are what I am talking about – they are not competent to make judgments on long term projections of climate systems. The reason the consensus wants you to buy into their “consensus message” is they are pushing a policy agenda. To have a ” qualified opinion” you can’t just say you accept the storyline therefore you buy into it … sort of like “yup, sounds right to me.” You need to understand what’s in the storyline, why it is what they say it is, ask whether their analysis -used in deriving their consensus conclusions – legitimate based on the analysis they have done? Are the models used to project future global temperature rigorous / sound or were they done to give the answers they want. If you are a black tailed jack rabbit specialist you can claim yourself to be qualified to have opinion on black tailed jack rabbits, but not qualified on the critical issues that drive the long term questions that drive the policy decisions, involving physics / thermodynamics, modeling large scale patterns, modeling and statistical treatment of large scale climate systems etc.

      • JCH has raised something else we now need to be afraid of – ghost warming.

        I’m sleeping with the light on from now on.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Having spent much of the last two decades studying the issue – I can now say with utter confidence – that I really don’t know for sure what will happen to global temperatures beyond the end of the La Nina.”

        I just looked at my calibrated thermometer. it reads 65.4F.I can now say with utter confidence – that I really don’t know for sure if it is correct.

        Science doesnt deal with utter confidence and certainties.
        Here is what we know with good confidence.
        Adding GHG to the planet will warm it, not cool it.
        How much?
        When?
        How bad will it be?
        We know that with less confidence.

        You wasted two decades because you started with the wrong idea of what science can give you. you need to be more sceptical.

      • How much?
        Measurements including your efforts at BEST, can give us a pretty good idea ( within measurement uncertainty ) because of the comparison of temperature trends with the directly calculable radiative forcing to date. Simple correlation with RF yields about 1.7 K per CO2 doubling. Since water vapor responds within a month on the seasonal basis, it would seem likely that water vapor feedback is already in that measure. Since Arctic sea ice has declined, regardless of what percentage is natural versus anthropogenic, the ice albedo feedback is already in there. The above correlation excludes whatever amount may ( some uncertainty about this ) be transmitted into the deep oceans. But as Pielke points out, the time scale of the oceans means that OHC increase wont’ emerge for a long time and will emerge much more slowly than the presumed uptake.

        So How Much would seem most likely to be no more than the rate we’ve observed: 1.5K/century.

        When?
        In climatological terms, radiative forcing is nearly instantaneous.
        Similarly, the negative Planck Response is effectively instantaneous.
        The mentioned seasonal water vapour feedback occurs within a month.
        Arctic Sea ice has already declined.
        It is a marketing meme that somehow there is some expected increase in global warming. The one of the major feedbacks that has not occurred is the Lapse Rate Feedback which is negative. That feedback is dominated by the Hot Spot which has not appeared, at least for the satellite era. Should it occur, that would constitute a negative feedback ( Lapse Rate ) though it might be a wash with a simultaneous WV increase in the same region. If one is

        How bad will it be?
        Bad is a subjective value judgment.
        How much warming can be more objective with temperature measurements. The above factors indicate we should continue to see about 1.5K/century, slowly declining the rest of this century ( remember, radiative forcing already peaked and CO2 emissions appear to have peaked in 2013 ). The other aspect implied by bad is to what human effect. I think that is speculative. But, there are cases to be made that a warmer climate is milder and less variable. The water vapour feedback means that the latent heat takes up some of the load that sensible heat takes up now. That would mean less extreme heat and less violent exchange of air mass from pole to equator.

  23. “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming.”
    Let’s try that again:

    “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about evolution is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for evolution.”

    “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the Big Bang is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for the Big Bang.”

    Just dumb.

    • Steven Mosher

      I generally avoid looking at an authors credentials.
      But after reading their argument I really do have to wonder.

      Just incredibly dumb.

    • Nick Stokes,

      You wrote-

      ““In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about evolution is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for evolution.”

      “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the Big Bang is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for the Big Bang.”

      Just dumb.”

      As you say, what you wrote is “just dumb”. Why did you bother writing dumb stuff? Were you attempting to deny, divert, and confuse, by tossing in dumb, irrelevant and pointless analogies?

      Making comments that you categorise as “Just dumb” is unlikely to win adherents to your cause. I agree with the authors about the need to be wary of meretricious arguments. Obviously, you don’t.

      Cheers.

      • Nick, before you attempt to answer Mike Flynn’s post, I should tell you I have found the more Mike believes something, the less likely it is to be true.

        Just minutes ago Mike found a poll showing that about one-third of Oklahoma college students believe in ghosts, and he believed the poll. Oklahoma college students are notorious kidders. Mike is embarrassingly gullible.

      • Nick Stokes,

        I don’t want to intrude upon max1ok’s fantasy unfairly, but I presume this is what he was referring to –

        “A poll of 439 college students conducted in 2006 by researchers Bryan Farha of Oklahoma City University and Gary Steward of University of Central Oklahoma, suggested that college seniors and graduate students were more likely to believe in psychic phenomena than college freshmen.[28] 23 percent of college freshmen expressed a belief in paranormal ideas. The percentage was greater among college seniors (31%) and graduate students (34%).[29] The poll showed lower belief in psychic phenomena among science students than social science and education students.”

        I don’t believe I just indicated belief or non belief, but I’m sure max1ok will put words to the contrary in my mouth, if he wishes.

        I leave it to you to decide whether you should give credence to max1ok’s assessments of things, or possibly make your own determination.

        Cheers.

      • On the Oklahoma matter, I think the survey is, as max says, implausible, and is also unlikely to be statistically significant. But mainly, I just can’t see its relevance as quoted.

        On this post, the argument cited is just silly arm-waving. But what is it doing here? The general line here, alluded to in the post, is that claims of a consensus are false. B&B’s argument is that the fact of a consensus makes AGW less believable. The fact?

        So does it work backwards? If there really isn’t a consensus, is AGW more believable?

      • Nick Stokes:

        The general line here, alluded to in the post, is that claims of a consensus are false. B&B’s argument is that the fact of a consensus makes AGW less believable. The fact?

        So does it work backwards? If there really isn’t a consensus, is AGW more believable?

        The premise that anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide has a significant effect upon the global climate – which is what “AGW” signifies in the very much unsettled kerfluffle over this matter – has to be so definitively subjected to confirmation by either experiment or increasingly refined and consistent observation that a broad consensus develops as a reflection of the phenomenal universe rather than either political chicanery or fantastical wishful thinking on the part of bloody idiots.

        The fact that there are people loudly proclaiming a “consensus” while either evading, ignoring, or purposefully striving to suppress the gathering and discussion of evidence disproving said ill-devised and increasingly untenable “consensus” provides a datum that honest, scientifically educated and experienced disputants can’t avoid considering.

      • Nick Stokes,

        How about sticking to the “Theory that CO2, H2O, and other greenhouse gases can produce energy where none previously existed.”

        You might notice that Warmists cannot actually state what their religion is all about. Some claim that greenhouse gases act like a blanket, some don’t. Some claim an actual rise in surface temperatures, some claim that surfaces are warmer than they otherwise would be.

        The Warmist consensus seems to be that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are somehow harnful, in spite of precisely no repeatable experimental evidence to support this contention.

        The greenhouse effect has apparently resulted in the Earth cooling over the last four and a half billion years. The greenhouse effect apparently only works in the presence of sunlight. Low levels of greenhouse gases apparently resulted in the world’s highest recorded surface temperatures in arid tropical desert regions, and the world’s lowest recorded surface temperatures in Antarctica.

        So what Warmist theory are you talking about? I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one that can be tested scientifically. Just saying that rises in maximum or minimum temperatures have been observed in thermometers at particular locations over time, amounts to nothing. Observing a correlation between say, temperatures and CO2 levels over a period, also amounts to nothing.

        So what’s your theory? Where has it been scientifically stated? Would you mind just copying and pasting the “Theory of AGW” (or whatever it’s called)? Shouldn’t be longer than a couple of paragraphs, I would hope.

        John Tyndall showed that the more CO2 placed between a constant source of infrared radiation, and a target, the lower the temperature of the target. He used a range of IR sources, of various wavelengths. He documented the proportion of radiation blocked by various gases, at various pressures and wavelengths.

        I hope you have some more recent experimental results to support your theory. Or is the theory nonexistent, and experimental support likewise nonexistent?

        Maybe you could launch into a series of ad hominem attacks, appeals from authority, or any of the usual attempts to avoid any semblance of actual scientific enquiry.

        Finally, you asked a question relating to AGW. Your question is not terribly useful, as you manage to avoid defining AGW. I could answer your question, as stated, with a definite maybe, or possibly “need more information”.

        So much for science!

        Cheers.

    • To paraphrase, the more people that believe something, the less likely it is to be true.

    • Nick Stokes | April 18, 2016
      “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about evolution is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for evolution.”
      Well, certainly the scientists views are not evolving [changing] so you seem to be spot on there.

      “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming.”
      There were 35 postulated causes for the pause each capable of delivering 0.5 degrees C temp drop.So many scientists enthusiastically embraced each and every one.
      Who knew there were 35 causes, Nick? Which one did you believe in, be honest now, they are on your blog, surely.
      the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming and 35 obstacles might be that evident lack of evidence.

    • @Nick Stokes

      It would be “just dumb” if you leave out the context as you have done here. Their conclusion is based on a premise of knowledge being testable. Evolution is testable, it is proven in laboratory experiments and empirically in the natural world. Climate Science is not testable in the same way, and confidence in conclusions not in keeping with uncertainties. Therefore it does not pass the “testable” criteria and by their criteria they would expect there to be LESS consensus in normal science.

      So the comment is NOT dumb. The only thing “incredibly dumb” as Mosher put it, is to ignore the context and premise of the argument, as Mosher has done.

      What you CAN argue is this; whether they are correct in the consensus arguments being “testable”, whether there really is a consensus as characterised by the media.

      Good luck with that.

      • “Evolution is testable”
        And the Big Bang? Laboratory experiments?

      • Yes!!!

        AND the Big Bang. Have you never heard of CERN?

      • “Have you never heard of CERN?”

        No. It must have worked!

      • Well the level of consensus regarding the Big Bang and evolution is entirely consistent with what is measurable and testable.

        These guys say, and with plenty of justification, that the same cannot be said for climate science. Do YOU think the level of certainty and confidence is justified by the degree to which its metrics can be empirically measured and theories tested? If so, why? You would be opposing Judith’s viewpoint as outlined in her post (something that you are more than entitled to do) but you need to give some justification rather than make the strawman apples/oranges non-comparison with evolution and big bang theories by ignoring the context of the argument that consensus for a theory is only justified when it can be confirmed by experimentation and observation, and the DEGREE to which that is possible in climate science which is at issue.

      • And the Big Bang? Laboratory experiments?

        You may be too young to have been exposed to the story of Bell Labs.

        Interesting on scientific grounds because:
        1.) it was accidental, like many discoveries, and
        2.) it was by people outside the main field who were motivated mostly by curiosity.

        Your larger point is well taken, however: Climate is not a controlled study. Other factors can and have varied. We can’t prove global warming, experts can’t prove global warming, only demonstrate the forcing, which is why opinion seeps in. But we still must reject opinion, because that’s where the assumptions live.

    • The opening statement makes no sense . How many
      or how few in agreement, re a scientific theory does
      not constitute evidence one way or another.

    • David Springer

      Ha! When Nick Stokes and Steve Mosher both reflexively call something dumb then you know you’ve hit paydirt.

    • Nick:
      So dumb that I had to read it several times to check whether it was me making no sense of it.
      But no, and I see others agree.
      It is a beyond bizarre and alternative universe logic.

      And yet….
      This what our host says of it….

      “I think the Brumbergs are correct to conclude:”

      Err ???

      • That makes at least 4 votes for dumb.

        The point Dr. Curry was making is an important one. Tying it in any way to the Brumberg blog post just diminishes it.

    • “Just dumb.” Are you kidding, really? Did you read the article or just the blurb at the top of the page?

      “We can use a simple formula to express how an idea’s popularity correlates with its verifiability. Let us introduce the K/C ratio—the ratio of “knowability,” a broad term loosely encapsulating how possible it is to reduce uncertainty about an idea’s correctness, to “consensus,” a measure of the idea’s popularity and general acceptance. Topics that are easily knowable (K ~ 1) should have a high degree of consensus (C ~ 1), whereas those that are impossible to verify (K ~ 0) should have a low degree of consensus (C ~ 0). When the ratio deviates too far from the perfect ratio of 1, either from too much consensus or too little, there is a mispricing of knowledge. Indeed, in cases of extreme deviations from the perfect ratio, additional support for a concept with such a lopsided K/C ratio increasingly subtracts from its potential veracity. This occurs because ideas exist not simply at a single temporal point, but rather evolve over the sweep of time. At the upper reaches of consensus, there is less updating of views to account for new information—so much so that supporters of the status quo tend to suppress new facts and hypothesis. Government agencies deny funding to ‘sham’ scientists, tenure boards dissuade young researchers from pursuing ‘the wrong’ track, and the establishment quashes ‘heretical’ ideas. Too high consensus (skewed K/C ratio) inhibits the ability of an idea to evolve towards truth.”

      • “Are you kidding, really?”
        So what does all that mean? Care to interpret? Is knowability knowable?

        How is the Big Bang more knowable than Earth’s climate? Maybe climate is knowable after all. B&B say AGW is a shibboleth. They know.

      • @Nick Stokes:

        “How is the Big Bang more knowable than Earth’s climate? ”

        How can you write that and claim that what B&B have said are “dumb”?

        The opening remark is merely provocative. Taking it out of context of the article is “dumb”. I recommend reading the article again a little more objectively this time and trying to understand the point being made.

        The level of consensus surrounding the Big Bang is consistent with what we know about it. That does not mean everyone agrees exactly on all points, and it also has no impact on public policy (other than what to fund to look at next). The Big Bang is vastly more mysterious but also far simpler than climate science.

        The level of consensus surrounding climate science is not as consistent with what we know about it, especially on the issues that matter to public policy. It is not the only theory that has developed a broad consensus entirely unjustified by the science. I have just been reading about Hi carb low Fat diet, how it came about and the consensus that has had a demonstrably detrimental effect on health in western societies.

        The point of the article is to frame how we should understand and view consensus. It draws a relationship between what is knowable, ie what can be empirically measured or tested, and the consensus on the knowledge. If you can’t easily test or measure something, then there should be less consensus and a greater degree of disagreement.

        The Big Bang is easily measured, by working out how fast the universe is expanding and inferring reasonably that it did just suddenly start to expand one day but has been doing that since creation. Some of the details about what occurred in the early days of the universe can be tested in particle accelerators. There is a “reasonable” consensus about that we can measure and test, and lots of healthy argument about that we cannot.

        In climate science, the consensus view as we understand it, that man is causing the warming we have seen and it will be dangerous to allow it to continue, is not easily measured or tested. The level of consensus is unjustified by the criteria set out by the authors. We can have a consensus about warming, but not about attribution, nor whether it will continue, nor whether it will be dangerous, none of which is easily testable or measurable – which isn’t to say that it hasn’t been attempted, but surely you must acknowledge that it is argued over very much by those who actually pay attention to it, and accepted without sufficient due diligence by those who do not.

        The surety with which the climate science holds with these poorly measured and tested metrics is unjustified particularly in terms of public policy.

        Finally, you may disagree; 1) that defining “knowability” as requiring measurement and testing as criteria is necessary or sufficient, you may want to include theorising or statistical analysis or modelling or whatever, and 2) you may disagree that knowledge is even required for a consensus to be formed over a certain issue, but that’s what you have to rationalise and justify. Because based on the criteria of the article as it has set out, it makes a perfectly justified observation that the degree of confidence that global warming is manmade is evidence that the theory is wrong.

        Argue with the criteria, but the statement is justified.

  24. “I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”
    – Michael Crichton

  25. Government agencies deny funding to ‘sham’ scientists, tenure boards dissuade young researchers from pursuing ‘the wrong’ track, and the establishment quashes ‘heretical’ ideas. Too high consensus (skewed K/C ratio) inhibits the ability of an idea to evolve towards truth.

    Interesting. Are these the real deniers?

    • They’re argument assumes that nothing is known. They know nothing, they assume no one else does either.

      As Nick said

      “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the Big Bang is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for the Big Bang.”

  26. Do we have 97% consensus on climate sensitivity? Seems we should if we have 97% for that number too. If we don’t then what should be done with the Cook reports?????

    • I am looking forward to seeing the Alarmists’ answers to that question.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Do we have 97% consensus on climate sensitivity?

      The question of ECS was not explicitly asked. However, from some formulations of the consensus you might be able to derive it. I suspect
      >90% of scientists would agree with the IPCC.. The true value lies in between 1.5 and 4.5 C. Most formulations of the consensus dont address
      ECS. That is the consensus is that Warming is happening and man is the dominant cause. These are the import claims for the consensus because
      Anti scientific types like to argue that the world is NOT getting warmer
      or that the Sun is the cause of everything.

      “Seems we should if we have 97% for that number too.

      1.. Its not a number, Its a RANGE
      2. Why should we? The science says its very hard to pin Down.
      If you believe the authors, This value ECS shows exactly
      what we expect. Wide disagreement. 1.5C to 4.5C and many positions
      in between.

      If we don’t then what should be done with the Cook reports?????

      You are free to read them. They play NO ROLE WHATSOEVER in physical science. We dont believe in the physics of climate change because of Cooks work. Its a NOP. I think the consensus is correct so I dont care what Cook writes. The physics was true before cook wrote, and will be true even if you choose not to read him.

      1. GHGs warm the planet
      2. The planet has been warming
      3. Man is the dominant cause of the observed warming

      The consensus is pretty damn boring as far as science goes.
      The interesting bits are the details of ECS..
      its complex, its hard to test
      And as the authors predict….. There is wide disagreement 1.5-4.5C
      and that disagreement is decades old

      • 1. GHGs warm the planet

        Except when the planet cools.

        2. The planet has been warming

        And cooling

        3. Man is the dominant cause of the observed warming

        Mere assertion.

        Andrew

      • Exactly. The consensus includes people who think it’s ridiculous to argue that we need to mitigate emissions (the 1.5 end of the range) to those who believe it’s absolutely imperative (the 4.5 end of the range).
        In short, there is no consensus- it’s a political declaration. Note that the 1.5-ers are described as “deniers” and Mosher has already declared they’ve “lost” the debate even tho the entire world acts as if 1.5 were right (maybe even high).
        This is political spin. It’s like pointing out that there is a 99% scientific “consensus” that we have not identified every species on the planet and then declaring that bigfoot deniers are anti-science.

      • There is a class of 1.5ers, which is a very small minority, that thinks the center of the range, 3, is not even remotely possible, and those are the ones against action. Most people accept that 3 is very possible, even if the range is that wide for them. It is wrong to characterize each person as being at some small part of the range. They all have wide ranges, because otherwise they are displaying much more certainty than the IPCC often while at the same time those people are complaining about the IPCC’s level of certainty.

      • GHGs warm the planet “Except when the planet cools”.

        No, you speak of the atmosphere and not the climate system. Check the heat content of the oceans and the TOA imbalance.

        The planet has been warming “And cooling”. No see above.

        Man is the dominant cause of the observed warming “Mere assertion”.

        No, backed up by overwhelming evidence that is increasingly becoming hilarious to see ABCD “contrarians” deny.

      • “Most people accept that 3 is very possible, even if the range is that wide for them.”

        Where is there a documented 97% consensus for 3? Define “very possible.”
        The fact of the matter is that you get to 97% with a range that says global warming is no big deal, and then you try to sell that as a consensus about catastrophic warming (Bernie Sanders’ belief). That is a political declaration, not a consensus. Asteroid strikes and super volcanos are also “very possible” – facts that are almost useless to policy.
        The flip side is also true. I’m willing to bet global warming is a higher priority to people than where it consistently polls (at the bottom of the list). Why? Because poll respondents don’t like your “solutions” and don’t want to greenlight your policies.

  27. JC wrote
    “For the most consequential issues, there remains considerable debate:
    ▪whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    ▪how much the planet will warm in the 21st century
    ▪whether warming is ‘dangerous’
    ▪whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being”
    ______________
    I’m not sure the above issues are good reasons for inaction on climate change. I will comment briefly on each issue.

    If there is debate over whether the warming has been dominated by human causes, why don’t the professional societies of scientists say so in their position statements on climate change?

    There is no alternative to projecting temperature. Is it not possible to project a range of warming for the 21st Century?

    Should we be experimenting with whether warming is dangerous? We know the temperatures of 20th Century weren’t dangerous.

    When we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions.

    • David Springer

      “We know the temperatures of 20th Century weren’t dangerous.”

      Yes. No one died from exposure to the elements in the 20th century.

      Oh wait…

    • Max, the concept here is not whether these arguments are logical, but whether they are supported by the science. To contribute to the discussion here you would have to asses the state of the science on each one of these arguments. Not simply test if they track logically.

      • I would have to “asses the state of the science on each one of these arguments.”
        Right here in this thread? Are you kidding?

      • Sure, for instance:

        ‘When we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions’

        Is this a weak theory, or established science? (Or maybe just one of your favorite arguments?)

      • Well froggy, I think it obvious that breathing clean air is healthier than breathing dirty air. Of course, some people may think it’s a matter of preference, and prefer air they can see and taste rather than bland invisible air. These may be the same people who like to inhale model airplane glue.

        After recent experiments with both clean and foul air, the Chinese have decided they prefer the former. I agree with the Chinese.

        Thank you, froggy, for giving me the opportunity to look good.

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        “Well froggy, I think it obvious that breathing clean air is healthier than breathing dirty air.”

        Unfortunately, you seem to think CO2 is dirty. In point of fact, it makes no difference what you think. You exhale the dirty air of which you speak, and are mightily thankful for it, especially when you need to take another breath.

        The plants which depend on CO2 for their continuance, also love the fact that air contains as much CO2 as it does. They also seem to grow much better when provided with more food, in the form of CO2. Plants also need that most prolific greenhouse gas, water, also known as H2O.

        You may consider H2O a dirty pollutant – I don’t. Please don’t try to deny, divert and confuse by trying to pretend you weren’t really talking about GHGs, but particulate emissions or something else.

        I am aware that the essential dogma of the Warmist Church of Latter Day Scientism is that Coal is Evil. It is transported in Death Trains, it is Dirty and Filthy, and Poisons the Air.

        Keep up the proselytising. The world needs more Warmists. They were created to serve as an object lesson showing what happens when you abandon rationality, logic, and science, and blindly follow a pack of bumbling fumblers, sharing a common delusion.

        You occupy the position of Warmist exemplar, par excellence! Keep up the good work!

        Cheers.

      • Why am I always having to explain things to Mike Flynn? Why can’t he read my comments before replying

        Mike, I’ll repeat what I wrote earlier. Do you see, the point was “reducing other emissions” READ IT !

        “When we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions.”

        Your entire reply was a silly suck up to CO2. Of course we need CO2, but too much ain’t a good thing. If I said too much water ain’t a good thing, I’m sure you would feel a need to explain the obvious, and go on and on about how animals and plants can’t live without water. Please resist the urge.

        _______

        Daniel E Wofford doesn’t believe my assumptions are warranted and thinks I answered a point that wasn’t raised. Daniel, I believe all my assumptions are warranted. If you don’t like my assumptions, make your assumptions, so I can tell you yours aren’t warranted. And who put you in charge of determining raised points?

        Daniel, because you don’t agree with the climate change statements of any of science professional societies, you think there is something wrong with them rather than you. I urge you to consider the possibility something is wrong with you.

        Daniel you entirely missed the point of the following statement: “There is no alternative to projecting temperature.”

        When you project that’s a forecast, when you don’t project, that’s a forecast too, because essentially you are saying things aren’t going to change. Regardless, you have a forecast useful for planning. You may be thinking couldn’t we just have a forecast that says there will be a change of some kind, but who knows what kind of change, and leave it at that? Sure, but that kind of wishy-washy forecast is not useful for planning.

        Daniel, I forget what else you said, but I’ll bet it was silly or boring. I’ll say this for you, you are a better reader than Mike Flynn.

      • max1ok,

        Here’s what you wrote –

        “When we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions.”

        I apologise if you think CO2 is not a dangerous or unhealthy emission. I thought you were opposed to burning things such as coal, which generates CO2 and H2O.

        If you are only opposed to dangerous and unhealthy pollutants (demonstrably so, of course), then I am with you.

        Just as a matter of interest, I believe from EPA figures, that 1000 ppm CO2 poses absolutely no health risk to humans. H2O from combustion likewise appears to pose no health risk.

        Plants love it, at levels up to 1200 ppm, at least. I presume you have no evidence to the contrary, but you still don’t like it (CO2). You might be one of the Witless Warmists who mindlessly demand less CO2 in the atmosphere, probably because they have an irrational fear of compressed or fossilised plant matter known as coal.

        Cheers.

      • Mike, you aren’t the only one who can think of silly things to say. Try topping this for a silly question:

        If you think CO2 is so good, why are you always trying to get rid of it?

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        “If you think CO2 is so good, why are you always trying to get rid of it?”

        A pointless question. Skin is good. Fingernails are good. Food is good. Why shouldn’t I get rid of skin flakes, trim my fingernails, and discard my liquid and solid wastes.

        On the other hand, I’m responsible for the production of quite a lot of CO2 in various ways. If I could produce more without extra cost or effort, I would. Plants need more food, not less, and we depend on plants. No plants, no people. To advocate removing CO2 from the atmosphere is to condemn not only the human race, but all animal life on Earth, to a slow lingering death.

        Of cours, that is the unstated aim of those suffering from an irrational hatred of coal.

        Maybe you could start by getting rid of Warmists. The human race might be better off – to say nothing of our good friends the plants.

        Cheers.

      • Hey Max, I think we’re talking pat each other. Let me clarify what I’m asking.

        This post is about the state of climate science; what elements are known vs those that are unknown.

        Taking your statement about radically reducing CO2 emissions. Considering how much this has been looked into at this point – the studies and data, what is the maturity of the science? What is the state of the debate?

        After all every decision we make comes with its own set of pros and cons. If we reduce CO2 emissions what is the cost/benefit of any particular scheme? Should the scheme include methane emissions, land use and carbon sequestration? What is the most beneficial global average temp and who/what benefits? Is drastically reducing emissions enough, or do we need to eliminate them completely? If we were to eliminate emissions and still be at the mercy of chaotic, nonlinear global and local weather, what have we gained? By the time climatologists, paleoclimatologists, biologists, physicists, economists, sociologists, politicians etc weigh in, are they all in agreement?

        Or is ‘reducing CO2 emissions drastically to prevent climate change’ a closed case?

      • Mike Flynn says

        “Skin is good. Fingernails are good. Food is good. Why shouldn’t I get rid of skin flakes, trim my fingernails, and discard my liquid and solid wastes.”
        _____

        Yes, Mike, too much of good thing can be bad thing, and so it is with too much CO2.
        But not everyone agrees about trimming fingernails.

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        ‘Yes, Mike, too much of good thing can be bad thing, and so it is with too much CO2.”

        So tell me max1ok, what concentration of CO2 is a “bad thing”? And bad for what, precisely? Do you have anything to back up your figure?

        Steven Mosher doesn’t know, but you might be smarter and more scientific than him.

        No irrelevant and pointless analogies, if you don’t mind. Just your maximum scientifically demonstrable concentration of CO2, at the point where CO2 changes from “good” to “bad.” No assumptions about the future, you can’t test the future (by definition).

        I you feel like avoiding the question, and performing the Warmist lateral arabesque, feel free!

        Cheers.

      • Re smokinfrog | April 19, 2016 at 2:02 pm

        Hello, froggy. I’m sorry I overlooked your comment but I have been occupied with trying to talk some sense into Mike Flynn.
        Now that persnickety pedant insists I tell him exactly how much CO2 is too much. Apparently, he thinks I’m climate scientist, but how he ever got that idea I don’t know.
        I guess he has trouble comprehending the IPCC reports and wants to be spoon fed. But enough about silly Mike.

        You raise some interesting questions, most of which would be better answer by a climate scientist. However, I will give you my opinion on your question as to what’s the most beneficial global average temperature. My answer is the averages of recent years and my reason is they are what I’m used to and have caused me no significant problems.

        From your questions, I get the impression you aren’t convinced doing anything about climate change is worthwhile and you are challenging someone to change your mind. I don’t think anything I or anyone else could tell you would change your mind at this point it time.

    • “Thank you, froggy, for giving me the opportunity to look good.”

      That’s because you made a wholly unwarranted assumption based on rationalistic thinking and then answered a point that was never raised. But I’m sure in your mind that was just splendid.

      “If there is debate over whether the warming has been dominated by human causes, why don’t the professional societies of scientists say so in their position statements on climate change?”

      That’s because the position statements of professional societies are written by the bureaucratic hacks who run them and they make a political calculation which attempts to avoid bringing a sh*t storm down upon their heads. That’s the favorable interpretation. Can you imagine what the least favorable interpretation is?

      “There is no alternative to projecting temperature. Is it not possible to project a range of warming for the 21st Century?”

      Based on what? Our not understanding how the system works? Our not knowing all the inputs and what’s negative and positive in feed backs? Our best ‘expert’ guesses? How many times has science made linear projections based on the assumption that all things remain constant that were totally wrong? And you think we should just spend a few trillion dollars using the same methods that have proven so ineffective time and again? Destroy cheap, clean energy sources and turn energy into an iffy proposition and double or triple the price based on some ‘expert’ guess? And I thought theologians had faith.

      “Should we be experimenting with whether warming is dangerous? We know the temperatures of 20th Century weren’t dangerous.”

      That’s simply a cartoonish mischaracterization of what is going on. What we should do is pay attention, do research, and adapt as need be. Nothing in the science that I’m aware of shows any reason to project catastrophe unless we plan on being deaf, dumb and blind. Not a good choice in any case. In fact, there is a good argument that things will be calmer all around.

      “When we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions.”

      This is nothing more than assertions. What evidence do you have that reducing CO2 emissions reduces any other emission of and by any significance? If you have an extremely dirty coal fired plant that you close motivated by CO2 reduction then that will end the particulates of that plant but that can’t be used as an argument for CO2 reduction as that plant could lower the particulates without reducing CO2. Ergo, particulate reduction has nothing to do with CO2 reduction in the justification for CO2 reduction. And what do you mean by ‘radical’ and what evidence do you have for this isomorphic relationship in all types of emissions with CO2? Just more propagandistic pap creating more intellectual sophistry.

      • Daniel, sorry, but my reply to you is up thread along with my reply to Mike Flynn. I’m trying to combine my replies as an economy (well, this messes that up).
        But as long as I’m here, I’ll address one of your misconceptions I didn’t cover previously. When you replace a coal-fired power plant with nuclear or renewable power, you eliminate or darn near eliminate not only the CO2 but reduce other emissions as well. When you use a fuel efficient motor vehicle rather than a gas guzzler, you produce less CO2 and less other emissions. Why would you think otherwise?

    • “Daniel E Wofford doesn’t believe my assumptions are warranted and thinks I answered a point that wasn’t raised. ”

      You don’t read much, do you? It’s Hofford, not Wofford, but after reading your comment I confess that I can’t compete with you. You have the market on silliness entirely cornered and I see no way to challenge your dominance, nor do I care to. It’s all yours.

      By what manner of thinking do you assume that a reduction in CO2 is isomorphic with a reduction in anything else. That seems a pretty silly assumption to me.

      And the point you responded to was never raised, you sashayed away from it and answered by babbling about something that wasn’t mentioned.

      But as I said, you’re the engineer on the Silliness Express. Let her rip.

    • What you said was this: “When we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions.”

      Then you compounded the error in that statement by saying: “When you replace a coal-fired power plant with nuclear or renewable power, you eliminate or darn near eliminate not only the CO2 but reduce other emissions as well. When you use a fuel efficient motor vehicle rather than a gas guzzler, you produce less CO2 and less other emissions. Why would you think otherwise?”

      I’ve noticed you do this sort of thing all the time. It really shouldn’t be that difficult to grasp. What you said in your 2nd paragraph may be true but isn’t an accurate reflection of what you said in your first paragraph and I even explained that the reduction in CO2 may reduce something else but it in no way justifies saying ‘The radical reduction of x produces the radical reduction of y.’ It boggles the mind that you can’t figure that out.

      So let me try again: You claim that a radical reduction in x equals a radical reduction in y. It doesn’t, of any necessity, which is what you are suggesting. It may. But as I pointed out, reducing y can be accomplished without reducing x so using the reduction of y as a justification of reducing x is hair brained at best. And since the relationship is not isomorphic it would have to be taken on a case by case basis which means you can’t utter ‘radical’ generalized statements about it. Get it?

      • Here’s the problem, hofford. You aren’t good with words. Despite what you think, the word “radical” does not indicate a measured amount. So when I said “when we radically reduce CO2 emissions to prevent or moderate climate change we also improve human well being by radically reducing other emissions” I did not mean reducing both kinds of emissions by the same measure. That would be pretty hard to do anyway.

        BTW, did you notice I spelled your name beginning with a lower case “h.” That’s because if I use an “H” my computer automatically changes your name from hofford to Wofford. I’m not making this up.

  28. Despite many powerful critiques of the consensus studies, the CAGW proponents still believe them and viciously defend them…I have never seen one who, when faced with compelling evidence of the studies’ weaknesses, would admit to one iota of an issue with those studies. I realize that it’s frustrating to debate with such people, but it’s important to realize that their intransigence is not the problem…it is revelatory of their true nature.

    For you see, this is not the behavior of a group of scientists. This is the behavior of political activists. Q.E.D.

    • +1

      Moshua is two of them

    • Steven Mosher

      “Despite many powerful critiques of the consensus studies, the CAGW proponents still believe them and viciously defend them…I have never seen one who, when faced with compelling evidence of the studies’ weaknesses, would admit to one iota of an issue with those studies.”

      Cooks study is a pile of Dung.
      Said so from day 1. You need to read more

      You can conclude NOTHING about the state of the science
      from cooks study
      from agreement with cooks study
      from Disagreement with it.

      Example: Folks like Me and Richard Tol, both believe in AGW
      Both recognize the danger
      Both think Cooks study is Poop.

      So much for your theory.

      • You and Tol both know that there is a strong consensus, many people in the US do not, thanks to agitprop that at best is much further from the truth than Cook et al 15 and 16.

        So yes, Cook et al is boring mole whacking, and as any survey it is really wrong, but still a useful approximation.

      • So yes, Cook et al is boring mole whacking, and as any survey it is really wrong, but still a useful approximation.

        Science by logical fallacy?

        Oreskes should really consider her long term embarrassment from engaging in this worthlessness.

      • Endeavor to persevere.

      • Interesting that Eli thinks that something which is “really wrong” is still a really useful approximation.

        So should I take an exam from you and put down really wrong answers, I still get a passing grade, right?

      • Timg56,
        I think you have to take a few prereqs before you can register for one of the Rabett’s classes.

        Though he might give you a point for correctly marking your name and probably will grade on a curve.

      • I doubt it bob.

        Have 3 degrees. 2 of which are graduate degrees (MS ESE and MS MST)

        though the latter is basically an MBA program modified for technology based businesses. The math was a lot easier than Transport and Atmospheric Physics.

      • You may doubt it Timg56, but you do know what the Rabbet teaches?

        Try this one, it may be one a bunny should be able to solve

        x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = 1

        in polar coordinates, please.

        you have 30 seconds

        I would bet you are lacking in the chemistry prereqs, though you may have the physics and math.

      • Cook’s survey was specifically intended as a climate communications tool. What is odd is that anyone denies or even downplays this fact. Even Cook placed his own paper in this context.

        The goal was a precise and politically useful numeric (turned out to be “97%”). In the latest round of defending the paper’s flawed methodology they’ve added cooks but haven’t improved the broth.

        The paper may be mostly merde but it has been a very useful meme.

      • > What is odd is that anyone denies or even downplays this fact.

        Indeed, not only anyone denies, but they even downplay:

        Third Concern

        Isn’t the GOAL of (Cook et al) political?

        Answer to the Third Concern

        The short answer is: no and yes.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/consensus-on-consensus/#comment-76463

        It would be odd to deny or even downplay opluso’s concerns for Sound Science ™ and Sound Science ™ alone.

    • “For you see, this is not the behavior of a group of scientists. This is the behavior of political activists. Q.E.D.”

      +10 This is why only paying attention to the ‘science’ is insufficient in dealing with this process, this breakdown in Western Science.
      The science is important, obviously. But the science doesn’t inform us on the best way to respond to whatever the science says. That comes from a different place and one would have to be really obtuse not to notice that most calls for action from those most passionately devoted to the CAGW meme, are of a draconian nature. Why is that?

      The people who push and support the CAGW meme are of at least two types. The True Believers to whom no amount of evidence can dissuade them and the cynics like Al Gore who do it to line their pockets. Or like Hillarious Godham Clinton who put their fingers to the political winds and run to get ahead of the wind. If I had nothing to go on but the writings of a Mann or Hansen, or of Green Activist organizations or of journalists who push this meme, or of politicians doing RICO and other nefarious deeds, I’d be a skeptic because all of that behavior screams anti-science, propagandistic, consensus building in the face of no knowledge. Their willingness to take on board junk science if it supports the meme, and their inability to entertain adaptation or approve of hydro power or nuclear power just adds to the pathological mentality that surrounds this issue. And the statements put out by people like Strong and Schneider and the papers written by people like Thomas Karl just reek with the stench of political ideology driving the science. And the fact that the ‘scientists’ don’t disavow the junk science of John Cook or the pap written by Naomi Oreskes is just more of the same mental set.

      It appears that the best way to understand what is truly a phenomenal process in Civilization Pathology is by reading someone like Gustav Le Bon in his 1895 work, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.

      • Thank you very much for the book recommendation.

        I think it’s important to understand defining characteristics of a politicized science. It doesn’t do us any good right now, but maybe future generations will benefit. From that point of view, we are very lucky to be right in the middle of a politicized-science event of historic proportions.

  29. max1ok,

    What is your evidence that the temperatures of the 20th century weren’t dangerous? Nobody died as a result of high or low temperatures? Or just nobody important! Strange.

    If you prevent climate change, will the weather become fixed and unchanging? Will this prevent 400,000 people dying each year as a result of preventable medical mistakes? Maybe deaths from boredom will increase!

    In any case, to affect the average of the weather (climate), you have to change the weather. I don’t think you can, and if this is the case, you’re talking nonsense. Maybe a change of tack would be useful. I’m not sure what you are trying to achieve. Are you?

    Cheers.

    • Curious Mike Flynn asks “What is your evidence that the temperatures of the 20th century weren’t dangerous?”

      Because, Mike, dangerous temperatures wasn’t one of the top one-hundred news stories of the 20th Century.

      If you did your homework, you wouldn’t have to ask so many question. Now you probably are going to ask what were the top one-hundred news stories of the 20th Century. I’ll give you the first twenty and you can follow the link for the rest

      1945 U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima, Nagasaki: Japan surrenders to end World War II
      2 1969 American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first human to walk on the moon

      3 1941 Japan bombs Pearl Harbor: U.S. enters World War II

      4 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright fly the first powered airplane

      5 1920 Women win the vote

      6 1963 President John F. Kennedy assassinated in Dallas

      7 1945 Horrors of Nazi Holocaust, concentration camps exposed

      8 1914 World War I begins in Europe

      9 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ends “separate but equal” school segregation

      10 1929 U.S. stock market crashes: depression sets in

      11 1928 Alexander Fleming discovers the first antibiotic, penicillin

      12 1953 Structure of DNA discovered

      13 1991 U.S.S.R dissolves, Mikhail Gorbachev resigns: Boris Yeltsin takes over

      14 1974 President Richard M. Nixon resigns after Watergate scandal

      15 1939 Germany invades Poland: World War II begins in Europe

      16 1917 Russian revolution ends: Communists take over

      17 1913 Henry Ford organizes the first major U.S. assembly line to produce Model T cars

      18 1957 Soviets launch Sputnik, first space satellite: space race begins

      19 1905 Albert Einstein presents special theory of relativity: general relativity theory follows soon after

      20 1960 FDA approves birth control pill

      http://cgi.stanford.edu/~dept-ctl/tomprof/posting.php?ID=115

      • max1ok,

        What is the relevance of a list of news stories to anything I said?

        An excellent example of the Warmist tactics of deny, divert confuse. Deny that anyone died due to either high or low temperatures, divert the conversation into a US-centric list of “news” stories, and confuse the reader into thinking you have found Steven Mosher’s lost clue.

        You still give the impression that you remain clueless.

        Maybe if you can introduce a relevant fact or two, I might be able to help you understand the difference between weather and climate, and the difference between real physics, and realclimate physics. Do let me know if you need help.

        Cheers.

      • “Because, Mike, dangerous temperatures wasn’t one of the top one-hundred news stories of the 20th Century.”

        Wow! And they accuse Justin Bieber of being shallow. That reasoning has as much depth as the intellect of Bill Nye. This is truly laughable.

    • Those 400,000 deaths are in hospitals only. Add medical errors outside hospitals, and the number must swell even higher. This means medical errors are at least the 3rd leading cause of death in the U.S., and could even be the 1st.

    • mike, all inclement weather poses risks but there was nothing extraordinary about the climate of the 20th Century. If you disagree,
      I see an opportunity for you to author a book titled The Dangerous Climate Of the 20th Century. I think the title is pretty catchy, don’t you?

      • Ever hear of the dustbowl?
        Hurricanes hitting the northeast? That big hurricane that hit Texas?

        No, no extreme weather back in the day.

      • Danny Thomas

        Micro,

        But more frequent, more intense, and exacerbated. It’s amazing positioning. How can it be proved as incorrect (or correct)?

      • ” But more frequent, more intense, and exacerbated. It’s amazing positioning. How can it be proved as incorrect (or correct)?”
        I don’t believe it possible to know. The data needed to have enough data to have equivalent uncertainty doesn’t exist, people just didn’t live is as a diverse area as now, nor was it recorded equivalently.

      • Danny Thomas

        Micro,
        Therin in part, lies the paradox. Cannot be proven correct, nor incorrect yet by ‘consensus’ it must be.

      • max1ok,

        From November 2015,

        “Since 1986, when NOAA began keeping temperature-related fatality statistics, there were a total of 3,839 heat-related deaths, compared to 1,940 cold- and winter-related fatalities.

        The highest number of heat-related fatalities during the past 29 years occurred in 1995, when 1,021 people died, according to NOAA.

        “1995 was a disastrous year for heat-related fatalities,” the agency noted. Many of the deaths that year occurred in Chicago during a record July heat wave.

        “The July 1995 heat wave at Chicago and Milwaukee was a highly rare, and in some respects, unprecedented disaster,” the agency noted.”

        1995 – disastrous year
        1995 – unprecedented disaster.

        A minor example of 14 years of your Golden Age. Nothing extraordinary – only the US, only since 1986 – only 1021 people died from heat in 1995.

        Keep digging. You might come across Steven Mosher’s missing clue. Did you ever have one yourself? You might find it instead.

        Cheers.

      • Well, this is really interesting. Skeptics have been saying unusual weather events are not related to climate change.
        Now they seem to be saying that the warming climate of the 20th Century was extraordinary and dangerous because there was lots extreme weather.

        Have skeptics changed their minds or are they just confused?

      • max1ok,

        You wrote –

        “Well, this is really interesting. Skeptics have been saying unusual weather events are not related to climate change.
        Now they seem to be saying that the warming climate of the 20th Century was extraordinary and dangerous because there was lots extreme weather.

        Have skeptics changed their minds or are they just confused?”

        Not at all. Climate is the average of weather. As the weather changes, so does the climate, as a consequence. Do you have a different definition of climate – possibly a secret Warmist definition?

        Cheers.

      • Well, it seems logical that the early 20th century had more violent weather due to real (natural) warming.

        But much of the late 20th century/21st century warming is virtual (CGAGW) and the physics says that virtual warming should have a statistically insignificant effect on weather.

        Reasonable analysis can only be done for the era of carefully recorded history. So they can study this or study that but the conclusions are only as good as the data and good analysis can’t go back very far.

        The only thing for certain is the US is setting record lows for hurricane activity.

  30. I agree that the statement on concensus being evidence of no evidence seems logically wrong and Judith’s support of it wrt climate science is IMO inconsistent with the level of concensus accorded to other major scientific theories such as evolution and the big bang hypothesis.

    The suggestion that knowability may have a functional relationship with concensus appears to have superficial merit but in truth, science is yet to produce anything of a non-trivial nature that has the quality of being perfectly understood and remaining immutable over time?

  31. The 97% papers are like a microcosm of the way climate science seems to work and why trust with the scientists is so low. Firstly, the baseline result 97% agree that the earth has warmed since 1880 and humans have been responsible in part (how much varies by the study) is fine. That’s a definition that seems to include a wide group out to Anthony Watts – it also means it’s not very useful as a result.

    The problem is this is that like many climate science findings, this is then projected to mean more than this simple statement. Its used to imply and infer that consensus science says we’re facing disaster and action is needed right now – the result is overprojected and then oversold.

    When looked at closely then by critics, problems emerge with the methodology. This doesn’t change the basic result, but it does bring into question the science-ness of the result. When this is pointed out, the authors rather than take the criticism on the chin, dig-in, continue to overclaim and throw names at those querying their ‘result’. They back this up with further dodgy papers (eg Lewandowsky) and make second and third goes to say their paper is correct in spirit, and the methodological flaws don’t matter.

    Meanwhile data-based papers are emerging that reflect a more nuanced position. One third of climate scientists expect climate sensitivity to be less than 2.5C for instance. Unfortunately the ‘meme’ has to be defended so nuance is not discussed.

    To interested outside observers this does not look like science. And when otherwise credible individuals stand up and support this type of project, it means they lose credibility too. Climate science has to stand up for quality – low-rent, half-cocked but on-message papers published in the name of ‘communication’ are the cause of the reputational damage.

  32. The problem with this idea of “consensus” is that consensus only really belongs in the whelm of politics where yes … having 97% of people agreeing that we ought to do something means it is right.

    But science isn’t a democracy. We don’t vote for which ideas we want to be right and which we don’t. Instead science is a tyranny of the facts. Just one fact that goes against even a 100% consensus overrides the consensus.

    And if, e.g. we found that black people had smaller brains (or indeed they had larger brains), then that would be the scientific fact despite the fact that most academics would be extremely squeamish about admitting that fact.

    Science is amoral, it is blind to people’s prejudices as it is blind to their anti-prejudice. It doesn’t care whether the “greatest” scientist in the world or some primary school kid discovers the fact that over turns previous knowledge. Whether everyone agrees or no one.

    Indeed, about the only thing anyone can really say about those claiming a 97% consensus is that they totally lack any understanding of how science works.

  33. Since AGW is not a scientific theory so you do need to use consensus at some point to sell it. This obviously creates problems.

  34. The skewed scientific ‘consensus’ does indeed act to reinforce itself, through a range of professional incentives: ease of publishing results, particularly in high impact journals; success in funding; recognition from peers in terms of awards, promotions, etc.; media attention and publicity for research; appeal of the simplistic narrative that climate science can ‘save the world’; and a seat at the big policy tables.

    The net result of this skewed ‘consensus’ is that inadequate attention is being paid to natural climate variability, and too many people, including scientists, assume that CO2 is a giant control knob that, if reduced, can eliminate bad weather, sea level rise, etc.

    While not always clear why the K/C ratio can become highly skewed, one interpretation is that more than just the search for knowledge is at play.

    Apart from the professional incentives described above, there are a range of political drivers that incentivize the consensus, including broad environmentalism, anti-fossil fuel sentiments, anti-capitalism sentiments, and a desire for world government that transcends national policies.

    And finally, there is the seductiveness of identifying a simple cause of all of society’s problems, and a simple solution.

    I like to pick off apt quotations from articles and texts, online and elsewhere, for retention in a readily searchable file I keep as a sort of vade mecum, but this whole entry in Dr. Curry’s Web log must be retained for such future reference.

    The few paragraphs recapitulated above, however, warrant engraving with an electrician’s screwdriver and a barkeep’s bungstarter upon the echoing skulls of las journalistas and their owners.

    “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”

    — H.L. Mencken, “The Divine Afflatus,” New York Evening Mail (16 November 1917)

  35. B.B.A. (Before my B.A. and before plate tectonics) I had great difficulty with the consensus theory of mountain-building, a theory based on isostacy and geosynclines, a holdover from Werner’s Neptunism that somehow survived the challenge of Hutton’s Plutonism. I had studied enough physics to know that isostatic (vertical) movement of continents cannot build mountains. I was also convinced by geological and biogeographic evidence that continents are mobile laterally. But I memorized the theories and won a prize in physical geography.

    By the mid-1960’s plate tectonics and mobile continents had replaced geosynclines as the consensus view and isostatic theory had been modified.

    Two lectures from 1958 stick in my mind. The first ended with a warning that anyone who intended to teach at an American university must conceal any skepticism about fixed continents, any support for “continental drift”. Don’t oppose the consensus if you want to work in academe.

    The other lecture began with an introduction to climate during the Holocene, with the statement that, following the hypsithermal (Holocene Climate Optimum) around 5000 years ago, the Earth’s climate has been constant. I remember being shocked that the professor could make such a claim, for I had already studied the work of archeologists and prehistorians who claimed otherwise.

    I had helped my mother with gardening and had read research that showed frost-sensitive crops could be grown much further north in the US and Canada by 1940 than in 1880.

    Around 1890 my maternal grandfather had built a horse barn near the city center. But by 1940 there was no horse in the barn for he had bought a van (truck). However, he still kept the big sleigh that he had formerly used in winter to deliver groceries to his customers and I knew that by 1940 our winters no longer allowed my grandfather to operate like Santa with his sleigh.

    Based on my own studies unconnected with the course in physical geography (now Earth Science) I learned the consensus views for which they awarded me the prize. But I knew these views were based on dogma rather than sound science.

    Almost 20 years later I read Kuhn’s book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and understood why my professors were teaching what they were teaching and how they were teaching it. (Unlike many other readers, I have always regarded Kuhn’s work as descriptive rather than prescriptive.)
    URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Kuhn

    According to Kuhn, professors and administrators of science are keepers of the consensus paradigms. They ensure that all study and research is confined within the bounds of orthodoxy. The prevailing paradigm may be modified to resolve anomalies, but must be guarded to ensure the integrity of “normal” science, the research program that will elaborate the key concepts and theoretical content of the paradigm.

    In Kuhn’s view prevailing paradigms (consensuses) are replaced by revolutionary overthrow, never by transition by which a consensus morphs into a new paradigm. (Similar to religious conversion?)

    Kuhn’s model of science seems to apply to climatology, although it is not clear how we should measure the consensus. Do we restrict surveys to recipients of research grants intended to elaborate the “normal” science of the prevailing climate paradigm?

    Astrophysicists study planetary climates in general, including Earth and they study stars, including the Sun. The climatologist James Hansen, recently retired from NASA, trained as an astrophysicist. Do we include astrophysicists in the survey?

    If we take Kuhn seriously, we should be asking: What new paradigm would be incommensurable with catastrophic anthropogenic climate change?

    I have been exploring this question by reading more extensively in astrophysics, beyond the work by Svensmark and Shaviv and their colleagues, Veizer and Kirkby.

    While Svensmark and colleagues focus on Earth’s climate and Solar modulation of cosmic ray flux, astrophysicists are studying the structure of the local interstellar medium(LISM).

    There are at least three potential modulators of cosmic ray flux: Earth-based: Sun-based; and the stream of cosmic rays flux as the solar system passes though the cloud. The LISM may be wavelike or composed of cloudlets. A relatively dated sample of work by astrophysicists follows. The research continues as more data accumulates.

    Abstract:
    The interaction of the heliosphere with interstellar clouds has attracted interest since the late 1920’s, both with a view to explaining apparent quasi-periodic climate “catastrophes” as well as periodic mass extinctions. Until recently, however, models describing the solar wind – local interstellar medium (LISM) interaction self-consistently had not been developed. Here, we describe the results of a two-dimensional (2D) simulation of the interaction between the heliosphere and an interstellar cloud with the same properties as currently, except that the Ho density is increased from the present value of n(Ho )~0.2 cm-3 to 10 cm-3 . The mutual interaction of interstellar neutral hydrogen and plasma is included. The heliospheric cavity is reduced considerably in size (approximately 10 – 14 au to the termination shock in the upstream direction) and is highly dynamical. The interplanetary environment at the orbit of the Earth changes markedly, with the density of interstellar Ho increasing to ~2 cm-3. The termination shock itself experiences periods where it disappears, reforms and disappears again. Considerable mixing of the shocked solar wind and LISM occurs due to Rayleigh-Taylor-like instabilities at the nose, driven by ion-neutral friction. Implications for two anomalously high concentrations of 10Be found in Antarctic ice cores 33 kya and 60 kya, and the absence of prior similar events, are discussed in terms of density enhancements in the surrounding interstellar cloud. The calculation presented here supports past speculation that the galactic environment of the Sun moderates the interplanetary environment at the orbit of the Earth, and possibly also the terrestrial climate.

    Zank, Gary P.; FRISCH, Priscilla C. Consequences of a change in the galactic environment of the Sun. The Astrophysical Journal, 1999, 518.2: 965.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/9901279.pdf

    Since these interstellar clouds are “ghosts” of supernovae, this exchange seems appropriate.

    HORATIO (who has just seen a ghost, Hamlet’s father)
    O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!
    HAMLET
    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  36. Genuine scientific consensus on the first three points,
    most of us would likely agree.

    Regarding that big-scarey-giant-CO2-knob, how does
    that fit with the IPCC, ARS 2nd Order Draft Models’
    “big fail” to match obs?

    • Steven Mosher

      You should see some Shakespeare First drafts.
      You’d judge his work by that.. Correct?

      • Fiction is not fact, Steven.

      • You should see some Shakespeare First drafts.
        You’d judge his work by that.. Correct?

        We have reason to believe that temperature trends will decline going forward, because trends of radiative forcing have declined.

        What reason do you have for believing increasing trends?

      • No. The creative process for Shakespeare’s fictional
        drama might require many rewrites too get it to the
        bard’s satisfaction. Why did the AR4 above need
        a redraft spaghetti-scribble graph, an improved, or
        was it a camouflage effect?

      • No such thing Mosher. He just took what people wrote for him and claimed it as his own.

        I believe there may be a consensus on that now.

      • Where would the last three years temperatures go on that graph?

        I don’t know what to call that post, but own goal, kicked ball, dropped punt and DNE come to mind.

  37. What was the definition of madness again, repeating the same action and expecting a different result..?

    The Doran survey/paper, was supposed to be the definitive paper, showing a consensus of previous papers , and asking a better survey.

    “The major objective of this study is to collect and assess information about the opinions and attitudes of professionals within the field of geosciences (earth sciences) regarding global climate change, and the climate “consensus” debate, as well as to understand the rationale the participants use when forming their opinions by directly surveying a large number of earth scientists. In particular, this study endeavors improve on past survey attempts and provide a more rigorous dataset
    from which to draw conclusions on the global climate change debate. “ – M Zimmermann – The Consensus on the Consensus [the Doran survey]

    So Cook is just repeating the past – Cook tried to do the best 97% consensus paper (repeating the Oreskes paper),

    Then we have this new consensus of consensus paper (repeating Doran)

    I count 5-6 co-authors of previous consensus papers (Doran, Oreskes, Carlton, Cook, Anderegg, Bart, etc), as co-authors of this consensus paper – truly recursive..!

    quoting from the press release:

    https://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2016/04/consensus-consensus-97-of-experts-agree-people-are-changing-climate

    “Mr Cook said he hoped this latest finding, which he has termed “consensus on consensus”, will enable scientists to focus on the real work – addressing climate change.” – Queensland press release

    Funny, Cook seems incapable of original thought, as The Consensus on the Consensus”, was the title of the MSC thesis, for the Doran/Zimmerman consensus paper. (and Doran is a co-author of this nonsense)
    http://www.lulu.com/shop/m-r-k-zimmerman/the-consensus-on-the-consensus/ebook/product-17391505.html

    It is pure PR/marketing, dare I say propaganda, because they see the 97% of scientists sound bite as a gateway believe to persuade the public.

    See Lewandowsky’s blog post on this paper:
    http://www.shapingtomorrowsworld.org/lewandowskyConC.html

    “Given that recognition of the expert consensus is a gateway belief that determines the public’s attitudes toward climate policies, and given that informing people of the consensus demonstrably shifts their opinions, it is unsurprising that attempts continue to be made to deny the existence of this pervasive expert consensus.” – Lewandowsky

    It doesn’t matter to them, if academia laughs at this, or it gets loads of criticism, they have “peer reviewed” science to wave, to general newspaper headlines and persuade politicians.

    look at the some of headlines (and the silly graphic)

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160412211610.htm

    http://phys.org/news/2016-04-consensus-expertise-agreement-human-caused-climate.html

    http://thebulletin.org/yes-there-really-scientific-consensus-climate-change9332

    https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/04/13/2328213/consensus-on-consensus-climate-experts-agree-on-human-caused-global-warming

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/04/13/3769104/climate-scientific-consensus-real/

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/04/13/scientific-consensus-on-climate-change-still-overwhelmingly-high/

    https://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/its-settled-97-percent-of-experts-agree-on-human-caused-global-warming/

    NASA were very quick to update their 97% consensus reference with Cook’s new paper

    http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

    J. Cook, et al, “Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming,” Environmental Research Letters Vol. 11 No. 4, (13 April 2016); DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/11/4/048002

    Quotation from page 6: “The number of papers rejecting AGW [Anthropogenic, or human-cause, Global Warming] is a miniscule proportion of the published research, with the percentage slightly decreasing over time. Among papers expressing a position on AGW, an overwhelming percentage (97.2% based on self-ratings, 97.1% based on abstract ratings) endorses the scientific consensus on AGW.”

    LOL – Dana (co-author) calls it an – All Star Team – (but politically with Oreskes as an author- this is true)
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/apr/13/its-settled-90100-of-climate-experts-agree-on-human-caused-global-warming

  38. So where does the Recursive Consensus go from here?
    Well, perhaps they might start counting the number of co-authors on their own papers. Or something.

  39. Our intuition is that this narrow distribution of opinions yields a knowability to consensus ratio far removed from the perfect ratio of 1.

    Empirical studies of how K, C and the K:C ratio can be measured, and how they are distributed in other fields, would be informative. As they are presented in this essay, they are vacuous.

    In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming.

    I think that is totally unwarranted by their essay..


    There is genuine scientific consensus on the following points:

    global temperatures have increased overall since 1880
    humans are contributing to a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
    CO2 emits and absorbs infrared radiation

    For the most consequential issues, there remains considerable debate:

    whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    how much the planet will warm in the 21st century
    whether warming is ‘dangerous’
    whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being.

    Granted that they seem to agree with me, do they have K/C ratios for all those, reproducibly (i.e. much better than Cook/Lewandowsky) calculated?

    • Steven Mosher

      Yes.

      The idea rests on the notion of complexity. How do you measure it?

      • Steven Mosher: Yes.

        The idea rests on the notion of complexity. How do you measure it?

        You know that for a fact? Have they published their evidence for reproducibility of their measures, such as inter-rater reliabilities?

  40. It’s probably true that 99% of scientists who believe in man-made catastrophic global warming have never done a bit of research on the physics upon which the hypothesis is based. They are accepting the hypothesis on faith for a variety of reasons.
    In my layman’s opinion the earth is not a greenhouse and the true impact of increased CO2 levels on global temperatures is not understood by anyone. The correlation between CO2 levels and global temperatures has certainly beeen brought into question by actual observations over the past century or more. Yes, temperatures have gone up slightly since the start of the industrial age. Yes, some of that increase may be due to more CO2. But causation is not proven from what I can tell. To predict future temperature levels based on an unproven hypothesis and models that seeimingly have failed is the opposite of sound science.

    • I think that is an important consideration. It´s extremely complex to reliably predict the net effect of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. It is not even certain that it can be done in a precise manner. Certainly no single person can claim to understand everything involved in a such prediction. The following might serve as an illustration of the uncertainty:

      «The Earth’s energy budget closes, with substantial uncertainties, even over the short present-day Argo record. That is, the heat gain in the ocean of 0.4 to 0.6 W m−2 is in the range of the difference between the effective radiative forcing (1.1 to 3.3 W m−2 downward in 2010 relative to 1750) and the radiative response due to the increase in Sea Surface Temperature (0.7 to 2.1 W m−2 upward), and is better quantified than the radiative terms. As measurements of the Earth radiation budget are relatively accurate for estimation of changes over time but less so for the absolute difference of incoming minus outgoing radiation, an important step in closing the energy budget is to ‘calibrate’ the net radiation with a period of well-measured global ocean heat uptake. Beginning with the present Argo-only analyses and going forward with planned enhancements to systematic ocean sampling, it is feasible to quantify the total energy budget of the ocean, reducing uncertainties and accounting for the possible sinks of missing energy … , including the deep ocean.»
      – Unabated planetary warming and its ocean structure since 2006; Dean Roemmich et al. 2015

      Add to it that short term and long term natural variation are also uncertain.

  41. “For the most consequential issues, there remains considerable debate:

    whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    how much the planet will warm in the 21st century
    whether warming is ‘dangerous’
    whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being”

    I’d add the question, whether added (anthro ) CO2 could actually be a net benefit. I didn’t see among the short list of things actually pretty much universally accepted, that Co2 contributes to a greener earth. Given what we know about the effect of Co2 on plants, is that genuinely in doubt? Also, I”m not sure there’s much doubt that up to some undefined limit, cold is more dangerous that warmth,,,,which is to say cold is more deadly. If we accept that most of the warming since 1950 is anthro, how many lives have been saved thereby?

    (aka poker guy)

  42. If a solar minimum lowered global temperature would that mean the theory is incorrect?

  43. There was never a doubt among Pharaoh’s scientists as to the wisdom of Pharaoh.

  44. The global warming debate has come full circle. AGW theory of Western science has become a house of cards with the new issue being how best to put an end to the systemic fear and ignorance that typifies the government-education complex. Western academia’s supposed “97% consensus” about the legitimacy of its cause — essentially to put an end to modernity for our own good – is a form of revanchism against the public’s growing skepticism of AGW and the never ending funding of global warming research.

  45. Steven Mosher

    ” To first approximation, around 97% agree that human activity, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, causes global warming. So many great minds cannot possibly be wrong, right?

    Yet something nags us about this self-congratulatory consensus. Our intuition is that this narrow distribution of opinions yields a knowability to consensus ratio far removed from the perfect ratio of 1. To reach their conclusions, climate scientists have to (a) uncover the (historical) drivers of climate, (b) project the future path of these inputs and others that may arise, and (c) predict how recursive feedback loops interact over multi-decadal time horizons, all without being able to test their hypotheses against reality.

    We would, therefore, expect this limit on empirical verifiability to birth widely divergent views on the path, causes, and consequences of earth’s future climate.

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

    This is quite confused.

    1. ” To first approximation, around 97% agree that human activity, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, causes global warming. So many great minds cannot possibly be wrong, right?”

    A) this doesnt even come close to being a first approximation.
    B) all science is ALWAYS ‘Possibly wrong” THAT is what
    it means to be “science”. Recall, truths of science are unlike
    truths of math.

    Our intuition is that this narrow distribution of opinions yields a knowability to consensus ratio far removed from the perfect ratio of 1. To reach their conclusions, climate scientists have to (a) uncover the (historical) drivers of climate, (b) project the future path of these inputs and others that may arise, and (c) predict how recursive feedback loops interact over multi-decadal time horizons, all without being able to test their hypotheses against reality.

    A) you dont need to uncover the historical drivers. You just need
    to understand the laws of physics. We knew this in 1896.
    C02 will cause warming. no history needed. Zero.
    B) you Dont need to PROJECT the future path to know that GHG
    cause warming. To project the future you need to know
    HOW MUCH warming.. and this figure IS hotly debated.
    C) You can test against reality. Predictions were made in 1896
    the 1930s, up until today. The theory IS tested against
    reality. In all cases the theory is confirmed by the observations.
    If I predict WARMING of 5C per doubling, and there is only 4C
    That does not entail that GHG cause NO WARMING as skeptics
    assert. In entails that the theory is on the long long road of refinement

    “We would, therefore, expect this limit on empirical verifiability to birth widely divergent views on the path, causes, and consequences of earth’s future climate. ”

    A) Why?
    B) there IS WIDE DIVERGENCE on the PATH
    C) There is WIDE DIVERGENCE on the consequences.
    D) 97% agree on the causes: GHG cause warming.

    • David Springer

      It wasn’t confused at all. It was very well written.

      Your points all suck.

      97% believe human activity causes global warming. That’s the frickin’ assertion! A given. It is by definition a first approximation. Your complaint about it is what’s confusing.

      Secondly, you most certainly do need to uncover historical drivers. Climate changes and changes a lot without anthropogenic interference.. Yet it has never become so warm that life didn’t flourish and this despite CO2 ppmv being hugely larger in the past. In fact terrestrial life flourishes more as CO2 increases and high latitudes have increasingly long growing seasons. We could be heading into climate paradise with anthropogenic global warming and trying to curtail it accelerating into an ice age which history teaches us we should expect if all else remains equal. The terrestrial biosphere is greatly reduced by ice ages.

      It seems entirely illogical to me that we should trust that the climate dealt to us by mother nature is the best climate. We know mother nature deals out some harshly cold climates and it’s probably too cold now to call it ideal if your metric is how “green” the earth. After all we’re in the depths of a 4-million year-old ice age. In a brief intermission of relative relief from the snow and the cold. But not nearly so warm as when the earth is green from pole to pole. When life was so abundant it deposited all the extra good times in high-energy hydrocarbon fuels. The fossil fuels that have made global civilization possible at all weren’t deposited during an ice age.

      The most problematic aspect of global warming is sea level rise. That is indeed inevitable and if you’re not some stupid species that made huge permanent nests right at sea level then it’s not really a problem. There’s only one species that stupid that I’m aware of and if the tradeoff for having to migrate away from the shore is a luscious green earth from one end to the other it seems like an excellent trade especially if it takes many centuries to happen.

    • Steven Mosher: If I predict WARMING of 5C per doubling, and there is only 4C That does not entail that GHG cause NO WARMING as skeptics
      assert.

      If someone predicts 5C per doubling and someone else puts the upper bound at 1C per doubling, and if the evidence strongly supports 1.5 C or less, I’d ignore the warning of 5C per doubling. That’s closer to the believer/skeptic debate.

      If in addition someone says that warming has been dangerous and will be catastrophic, and someone else says not so; and if the reviews of the evidence largely support that the warming since 1880 has been mostly beneficial to biota, I’d gnore warnings from the alarmist claiming that warming will be really terrible really soon. That’s closer to the believer/skeptic debate right now.

      If it were true that the skeptics did no research, that would be irrelevant if the skeptics wrote better-informed, more thorough, more reliable etc reviews of the published literature than the believers. At this stage, the skeptics have written the more reliable reviews of the joint effects of increased CO2, increased temperature, and increased rainfall since 1880. If the “researcher believers” (h/t to the Monkees) continue to lag behind the skeptics in the overall quality of their reviews, they’ll become even less influential than they have shown themselves to be in the Paris conviviality.

      I have been reading your comments for years now, and although I respect your work for BEST, you are falling way behind the accumulating evidence.

    • “A) you dont need to uncover the historical drivers. You just need
      to understand the laws of physics.”

      Therein lies the rub. They do not understand the applicable “laws”, and you most certainly do not. “Hey man, it absorbs and radiates strongly in a few bands of the earth spectrum” doesn’t cut it.

      It is far more complicated. CO2 is actually too good. It has gobbled all earth LW radiation in it’s fundamental bending bands at 280 ppm (preindustrial) level. These fundamental bands represent nearly 90% of CO2’s absorptive and radiative potential.

      Don’t believe me?

      Check MODTRAN, CO2 only, 280 v 400 ppm “background”, tropical atmosphere.

      100 meters = zero signature. Earthlight extinguished.

      5 km = you begin to see a NEW energy source lighting up CO2. That new source is probably water absorbing solar near IR.

      20 km yet ANOTHER energy source lights it up very strongly at the blackbody temperature of the tropopause. That would be ozone.

      Hoping you have noticed that the 280 and 400 ppm plots are virtually identical. The reason is that 89% complete absorption at 280 ppm and 89% absorption at 400 ppm are virtually identical.

  46. not reconcile easily with the widely endorsed shibboleth that human activity will warm the globe dramatically and dangerously over the next one hundred years.

    I think if you replaced “will” with the belief that there is a “risk” of dramatic warming and dangerous consequences from climate change, that you would find widespread agreement. I say this because it is consistent with the statements made by the major scientific organizations and the conclusions of the IPCC.

    • We know that weather events can be intense and sometimes deadly.

      But we also know that as a cause of death, weather and climate are irrelevant.

      We also know that more die during winter and fewer die during summer.

      We also know that humans are irrational at assessing risk.

      That would include the ostensible humans of the IPCC.

      • That would include the ostensible humans of the IPCC.

        I think humans would include you Turbulent. I guess I will have to pick my poison and go with the vast majority of experts and hope they aren’t delusional.

      • guess I will have to pick my poison and go with the vast majority of experts and hope they aren’t delusional.

        I’m as susceptible as anyone to the evolutionary thought traps.

        But I will point out the statement above is a two-fer:
        Argument from authority and
        Argumentum ad populum

      • Note that “appeal to authority” is only logically fallacious when the “authority” is not the expert in the subject at hand. For example saying that the Pope believes in AGW, so it must be true, is an argument from authority fallacy. But you can correctly argue from authority using expert consensus views. Just making that clear.

      • I wasn’t saying that humans are causing is true solely because there is a consensus. I am not an climate science expert and don’t pretend to be one so I have to depend on others to base by my opinion on. You might believe you are an expert and don’t have to depend on others to base your opinion on. I don’t know.

      • That should read “humans are causing climate change”

      • I wasn’t saying that humans are causing is true solely because there is a consensus. I am not an climate science expert and don’t pretend to be one so I have to depend on others to base by my opinion on. You might believe you are an expert and don’t have to depend on others to base your opinion on. I don’t know.

        You don’t have to be an expert to examine data and discount erroneous statements of so called experts.

        Hansen says climate change is “worse than we thought”.
        You don’t have to be an expert to perform linear regressions of the data and compare them to the models and see that Hansen is wrong – observed trends are all less than even low end predicted trends of Hansen and the IPCC.

        Hansen is a presumed expert, but it’s worth noting that he does not have a formal education in climate or even atmospheric science. As the cross field examples of discovery remind us, sometimes that is not a bad thing and certainly he may have accumulated informal education in the same way we all may, that guide him. But by the measure of formal education, he is not an expert.

        Hansen also dropped the recent paper intimating superstorms were a comin’ because warming would lead to a general increase in kinetic energy. You don’t need to be an expert to read paleo-climatology and observe that it was the ice ages which probably had much greater kinetic energy as indicated by all the dust deposited in the Antarctic ice. By contrast, the warmer interglacials were periods of much reduced kinetic energy as witnessed by the distinct lack of dust in the Antarctic ice for those periods.

        Think for yourself. Use what information you have and can assimilate. And challenge all ideas with data.

      • TE,
        thanks for continuing to engage. Your comments are respectful but full of information and perspective.

        That makes you a target from trolls but what you say makes sense.
        Scott.

      • You don’t have to be an expert to perform linear regressions of the data and compare them to the models and see that Hansen is wrong – observed trends are all less than even low end predicted trends of Hansen and the IPCC.

        It looks like they have been running hot for the past 15 years but that seem to be changing and basing your conclusions on a short term time frame doesn’t seem appropriate in terms of climate models which are used for long term projections.

    • The problem with that statement, is that in isolation, it says nothing of man’s ability to adapt. I think we can safely assume from past history and the very wide environments man has already adapted to, that we are more than capable of adapting to much more than the “scarey” 1.5 degC many (alarmists, ecomentalists and politicians) fear.

    • Think of all the lights we could turn off.

      http://theweek.com/articles/618141/big-science-broken

      Poll or Study, what should be done next?

  47. David Springer

    In seeking an opinion of how well your government is doing its job do you give more weight to the opinion of the government or to the opinion of the governed?

    Keep in mind those members of the government are the experts in government and you are not.

    Now make an analogy between the unwashed masses and the climatariat. Exactly the same principle at work except the climatariat are self-annointed rather than elected.

  48. It was interesting and noteworthy that you did not include the most central statement in your 2 lists “genuine scientific consensus” & “remains considerable debate” that the consensusites hold dear, and that is “CO2 causes warming”. Very sensible.

  49. David Springer

    We’re the climatariat and we’re here to help.

  50. Good to see some real math / “quant stuff” *finally* applied to the knowledge vs. consensus problem. Now that someone has done it, the implications are profound: there are a host of theories ranging from Newton’s laws of motion to thermodynamics to evolution that we now know we should put no credence in whatsoever, as the K/C ratio has plunged to quantitatively deplorable depths. This changes everything. #thingsIlearnedontheclimateresistanceblogs

  51. ‘While not always clear why the K/C ratio can become highly skewed, one interpretation is that more than just the search for knowledge is at play.’

    A sound interpretation. The reason is that wherever strong culture is in play, a socially enforced consensus will appear. It is part of the ‘job description’ of cultures to enforce consensus in the face of the unknown, via a raft of fundamental mechanisms. Such consensuses have provided a big net advantage over our evolutionary history, so are strongly reinforced. The mechanisms are domain independent (systemic bias, emotional investment etc) but will encompass the kind of things Judith notes for the climate domain.

    • ( /irony : and yes, invoking Einstein is an implicit appeal to authority ).

      • TE “yes, invoking Einstein is an implicit appeal to authority”

        I would think it’s not so much an appeal to authority as it is to experience. Here is a man who sits athwart a scientific revolution, has been severely criticized, has had to defend himself, has had to think through the arguments hurled against him, has ‘experienced’ the full warp and woof of the ‘scientific process’ and he is offering a perspective. It doesn’t make his comment/insight correct but it sure as hell is worth noting. That isn’t based on hero worship but just acknowledging someone who has traveled the path and fought the fight. That should be worth something.

        OTOH, I wouldn’t listen to anything he had to say about child rearing, violin playing or politics.

  52. How much more warming does there have to be since 1950 until skeptics accept that most of it is very likely due to human emissions?

    Do we have to see another 0.5C? 1C warming? Or will be still be sitting here at 10C warming all dead with skeptics saying “I am still not sure enough the cause is man”

    • “How much more warming does there have to be since 1950 until skeptics accept that most of it is very likely due to human emissions?
      Do we have to see another 0.5C? 1C warming? Or will be still be sitting here at 10C warming all dead with skeptics saying “I am still not sure enough the cause is man” ”
      The warming is irrelevant, what’s important is the response in surface temps when the sun goes down everyday. And it isn’t a trend, it’s large regional swings of the derivative of min temp, that isn’t Co2, it isn’t global.

    • “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming. – D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg”
      I just read a story, about a guy trying to evade detection while he blew up a network hub being used to spy on the population.
      But he was caught, and he was caught because he went out of his way to avoid detection, as he traveled over many different modes on his way there, they used the lack of information being collected as he traversed across the city as evidence someone was there trying to hide something, and where he went while doing so.

      • I’ve read that one can supposedly track stealth aircraft this way. But that it takes an immense amount of computing power.

        And those calculations are nothing compared to the calculations needed to improve GCM’s.

      • “And those calculations are nothing compared to the calculations needed to improve GCM’s.”
        What’s so seductive about this is they have GCM’s, and they run fine, give them the results they expect.
        The problem is when you look at what they’re actually doing, they don’t have the fidelity to tells us anything that’s worth knowing (regardless of the protesting they do).
        It is easy to believe them, but what they definitively lack is the resolution regionally to make believers accept they are wrong. They’re wrong, but they make excuses for them.
        It is how it was early on in circuit simulations, to quote Clint Eastwood, “A man has to know his limitations”.

    • I would say about 5C.

      During the last interglacial, the temperature was about 5-6C higher than present. Sea level was about 8 – 9 meters higher than present.

      So that would do it for me.

    • RE: “Or will be still be sitting here at 10C warming all dead with skeptics saying “I am still not sure enough the cause is man””

      It is exactly because of drama queen comments like this that my level of skepticism gets raised.

      When I agree it is warming and that human activities are very likely responsible for half or more of that warming, what is it about the “consensus” I am disagreeing with? Until it can be demonstrated that we are on a certain path to disaster, all of the scary stories about 10 meters of sea level rise, 10C of warming, oceans acidifying to the point of killing most species, etc are on par with scary stories about the bogeyman.

    • Do we have to see another 0.5C? 1C warming? Or will be still be sitting here at 10C warming all dead with skeptics saying “I am still not sure enough the cause is man”

      You and I will be long dead, but most likely from any number of other things having nothing to do with what the global average temperature is.

      Were forcing to continue at current rates ( which remember, requires an exponential increase in the accumulation of GHGs, which won’t happen ) 10C would occur some 800 years from now.

      I think you have more productive uses of your time ( of course, so does everyone ) than to fret about things that won’t occur.

    • At 1 C above preindustrial we are now five standard deviations above what natural forcings can do (the sun and volcanoes). In other fields of science 5-sigma is enough, but our “skeptics” in this field are “special”, and nothing will be enough if it means they have to conclude that GHGs are doing it.

      • Jimd

        Do you really think that the often chilly climate of parts of the 19th century were normal, in as much it was the prevailing temperature of the Holocene?

        Crops, tree lines, glaciers, observations, all give the lie to that. do you really want to dial us back to suffer the climate of say 1880 because you think that is the natural temperature of the globe before we ‘ interfered’ with it?

        Tonyb

      • All that was with global temperatures only a couple of tenths of a degree below normal for the millennium. It was within natural variation. Add a solar slump, Milankovitch orbital effects, and a few volcanoes at the right time, and that’s what they can do.

      • Jimd

        Glacier recession and advances, tree lines moving up or down hills, crop types and ripening times altering, all whilst observations demonstrate these cold and warm times, can all happen with a temperature differential of a few tenths of a degree? Really?

        Tonyb

      • Maybe you are conflating global averages with regional temperatures.

      • Jimd

        We live in a region not the whole world. Denying the real extent of natural variability is something even the met office and CRU gave up doing a decade ago. In 2006 Phil jones admitted that natural variability was greater than had hitherto been realised.

        Tonyb

      • When you look for effects of global forcing changes, you have to look at the global average, because regional changes tend to cancel themselves out over larger areas, and the noise is too large to detect the signal. You can barely get that the temperature has warmed at all from the CET, and that is because it represents such a minuscule fraction of the earth’s surface. It becomes very clear in a global average, which is why the UK Met Office says we have just crossed the 1 C warming mark because that is what they are looking at.

      • https://micro6500blog.wordpress.com/2015/11/18/evidence-against-warming-from-carbon-dioxide/
        Compare the max temp signal to the min temp signal, that is not noise.
        And look at the seasonal rates of change, and if you don’t like the area I graphed, I have the whole plane diced up 3 or 4 ways at the source forge url.
        When the sample size shrinks, yes it does have more noise, so it’s a trade off noise vs resolution, but you know what you’re trading off, and I provide all the info you need to decide the uncertainty, and if I don’t, ask and I’ll try to add it.

      • Planet, not plane.

    • Steven Mosher

      “How much more warming does there have to be since 1950 until skeptics accept..”

      Luckily we dont have to wait until they accept it.

      • Skeptics are still trying to figure out what caused the warming from 1800 (or maybe even since 1700) to 1945.

      • Steven Mosher

        Err no they are not trying to figure it out. That would be science.
        They dont do science. They do doubt.
        There is always doubt to do.

      • who is ‘they’? Does this include e.g. Pat Michaels, Roy Spencer, etc.?

      • Roy Spencer has done research on warming on any period from 1700 to 1945?

      • True. However, exactly what have “we” done?

        Have you passed any laws yet?

        Not in America.

        Our treaty (Paris) is non-binding.

        I guess the market is working for “us”.

        It would be nice if “we” would put forth a plan.

        I would like to read that.

      • Skeptics don’t do science? Scientists don’t do (much) science either.

        The appeal to consensus/authority/caution is encouraged by ‘climate change’ being a perfect storm of junk science.

      • 75% of the 1 C warming has occurred since 1945, so that is the more pertinent period to describe. In 1950 the sun was at its most active in a couple of centuries, but has since declined, during which time we got this much warming, and the skeptics are still looking for clues as to why. I take them at their word when they say they are clueless, and it is a real head-scratcher for them. They have rejected the one answer put forwards by climate scientists, but that is all they have done so far.

      • Skeptics are still trying to figure out what caused the warming from 1800 (or maybe even since 1700) to 1945.

        ice extent has decreased and caused the warming since the little ice age.
        Many skeptics do know that. I do not understand why everyone does not know that.

      • ” ice extent has decreased and caused the warming since the little ice age.”
        What? It isn’t possible to know which direction causality flows.

      • data shows which direction causality flows.

      • What data shows that?
        Because my best estimates show open arctic water looses more energy than it gains for at worse all but a month or so in the summer, the rest of the time it’s cooling the planet.
        For instance, a couple nights ago it was about 50F out, and yet the grass was in the 30’s when measured by a ir thermometer. The sky was -50F.

    • David Springer

      The earth has had far higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere than all the recoverable fossil fuels could possibly add. Living things flourished in that environment. Antarctica was covered with temperature forests and the US was tropical.

      You don’t understand that greenhouse warming isn’t the same everywhere. There is a ceiling to how warm it gets in any one location. Nowhere do oceans get higher than 30C for example. Strong convection begins before that point and prevents further temperature increase. What happens as a practical matter is no new climate zones are created. Existing zones expand and polar zones disappear. Tropics reach into higher latitudes displacing sub-tropics. Sub-tropic expands into higher latitudes displacing temperate. Temperate expands into higher latitudes displacing polar climate.

      Currently the whole earth is, on average, about 17C. If it increased 10C (unlikely in any event) the actual increase at the equator would be zero and the increase at the poles 50C. If the whole planet were 30C it would be solid clouds, sunlight would be reflected from them, and temperature stabilizes there. Water makes all the difference and there’s an essentially infinite supply of water to keep the entire atmosphere saturated.

      The only real bad news is sea level increase but the consensus is that it would take thousands of years to melt all the glaciers. So even humans have plenty of time to migrate port cities to higher ground and abandon low lying islands.

      • ” Water makes all the difference”
        Water is the working fluid of out planet.
        A low temp/low pressure boiler.

      • Dave

        You don’t understand that greenhouse warming isn’t the same everywhere. There is a ceiling to how warm it gets in any one location. Nowhere do oceans get higher than 30C for example. Strong convection begins before that point and prevents further temperature increase. What happens as a practical matter is no new climate zones are created. Existing zones expand and polar zones disappear. Tropics reach into higher latitudes displacing sub-tropics. Sub-tropic expands into higher latitudes displacing temperate. Temperate expands into higher latitudes displacing polar climate.

        Absolutely – it is cold that causes aridity. In the last glacial maximum (LGM) Europe lost 63% of tree species. East Asia which was by contrast unglaciated, lost only 4%.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Glacial_Maximum

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyashio_Current

        Probably, CO2 starvation during the LGM (<180 ppm) contributed to the destructive aridity.

    • Nebhaket,

      Like most alarmist you completely miss or avoid dealing with the relevant facts.

      1. Temperature change is irrelevant unless you can demonstrate and quantify the impacts.

      2. We know next to nothing about the impacts of global warming other than that life thrives as the planet warms and struggles and dies when it cools

      3. The planet is currently in a cold period – there have been only three periods in the past 1/2 billion years when there has been permanent ice sheets at the poles

      4. There is no persuasive evidence there is anything unusual about the current rate of warming

      5. Life thrived when the climate warmed much faster than anything that has occurred in the past 10,000 years.

      6. It’s cooling you need to worry about, not warming.

      7. GHG emissions are delaying the next abrupt cooling event and reducing its impact when it does come. Look at the Bond Cycles if you don’t believe cooling what we’d be experiencing now if not for the GHG emissions.

      8. For the past 30 years, scientists have done very little work on what is relevant to support policy analysis and to justify mitigation policies.

    • How much more warming does there have to be since 1950 until skeptics accept that most of it is very likely due to human emissions?

      Do we have to see another 0.5C? 1C warming? Or will be still be sitting here at 10C warming all dead with skeptics saying “I am still not sure enough the cause is man

      That is an interesting question.

      http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/spmsspm-direct-observations.html
      The IPCC says the warming trend is 0.13°C/decade for the last 50 years.

      The GISS CGAGW (computer generated anthropomorphic global warming) is 0.24°C over the past 8 years or a trend of 0.3°C/decade.

      The CO2 IR forcing study was 0.2 W/m2 for 22 PPM. So about 0.286°C of past warming is anthropogenic.

      Let’s pick 2050 as a convenient milestone. The warmers (RCP4.5) think it will be at least 486. That is 0.183°C.

      What is a fair standard… Well global warmers keep saying the warming is accelerating, so lets use that as the standard.

      0.13°C (IPCC) + 0.3°C (CGAGW) = 0.43°C/decade. Times 3.5 decades is:
      1.5°C.

      So if it is more than 1.5°C warmer in 2050 we may have a problem assuming the CGAGW adjustment rate doesn’t increase. 1.5°C represents a real increase of 1.3°C/century and would give us plenty of margin for safety.

      • The 50-year trend is now little different than the 40-year trend and the 30-year trend. As for the 8-year trend… lol.

  53. Is it possible that 97% of scientists are just not too smart?

    • John Costigane

      Nova,

      These ‘97%’ of scientists are ‘worried’ about the climate. The answer is to provide them with worry beads, 50 beads to a set. A possible chant for these poor souls is: ‘the climate is changing, we’re all gonna die’ . Maybe then skeptic sites would have less of the unreadable alarmist pollution!

    • 97% of scientists really are only about 97 actual people. They only count themselves and three other people who disagree.

      They are really smart people, look at how rich they got from all this alarmism.

  54. 97 red beads, and 3 black beads ? ;-)

  55. Appeal to consensus – argumentum ad populum
    (Appeal to authorative voice? Hehe)

    It is used by WHO in regard to the zika virus
    “Based on a growing body of preliminary research, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome.”

    http://www.who.int/emergencies/zika-virus/situation-report/7-april-2016/en/

    Uncertain arguments bolstered in science by appeal to consensus / peer review / precautionary principle / solidarity / maintaining appearances

    When appeal to consensus fails to cower dissent, there are threats of censorship and prosecution

  56. I post this as a reminder. http://theweek.com/articles/618141/big-science-broken

    Climate Science seems to be particularly plagued with this phenomenon. One of the most bothersome things in the article was this statement: “Amazingly, the reviewers who were warned that they were in a study and that the paper might have problems with it found no more flaws than the ones who were in the dark.”

  57. Using consensus as evidence?! ROFL

    You “skeptics” must really be desperate. In science that’s tantamount to a declaration of evidentiary bankruptcy.

    In the deathless words of prolific writer and accomplished scientist Michael Crichton, MD, the argument from consensus is “the last refuge of scoundrels.”

    Opinion—majority, expert, popular, unanimous, whatever—is NOT A FORM OF EVIDENCE. No ifs, ands or buts. Disobeying this dead-simple law is grounds for scientific seppuku.

    How embarrassing.

    Science has nothing to do with consensus. Never has, never will. Congratulations, skeptosphere: you’ve officially dropped out of the science debate.

    Time to raise the white flag.

  58. It would be really interesting to get a list of names from alarmist consensus scientists, with their actual signatures or electronic signatures, along with an actual statement or survey that explains what it is that they believe and support. I have seen a list of 3 thousand skeptics and another list of 30 thousand skeptics. I have seen lists of a dozen or two of alarmist scientists.

    I do want the skeptic and alarmist scientists to tell what they believe and sign their names to it. Later, when Climate is understood, we can go back and see who was wrong and right.

  59. Apart from the professional incentives described above, there are a range of political drivers that incentivize the consensus, including broad environmentalism, anti-fossil fuel sentiments, anti-capitalism sentiments, and a desire for world government that transcends national policies.

    If the evidence proved GHG warming was going to be catastrophic, the discussion of CAGW wouldn’t be split along political lines. That means the evidence is ambiguous and open to interpretation.

    If CO2 forcing was driving climate like a bus, the question, “Is CO2 forcing the primary driver (more than 50%) of post 1880s warming?” would appear on all the surveys. It would be the question Cook’s studies would be looking for agreement with. They don’t, he isn’t.

    Unless there is a 97% consensus that CO2 is driving the climate like a bus (more than 50%), and that is the question that is asked and responded to, the “consensus” discussion is pretty pointless.

    Consensus that there is some warming is not an endorsement of CAGW. A gentle breeze is not a hurricane.

    • “the discussion of CAGW wouldn’t be split along political lines. That means the evidence is ambiguous and open to interpretation.”

      You could say the same about evolution.

      • Nick Stokes,

        Deny, divert, confuse. I believe the comment related to CAGW (whatever that is). What’s the theory of evolution got to do with it?

        The theory of CAGW seems to be that Coal is Evil. Have you an alternative?

        Cheers.

      • ” What’s the theory of evolution got to do with it?”
        The stated argument is a deduction. Split along political lines implies ambiguous. If that holds for AGW, then it does for evolution.

      • Nick Stokes,

        I believe the original comment was –

        “If the evidence proved GHG warming was going to be catastrophic, the discussion of CAGW wouldn’t be split along political lines. That means the evidence is ambiguous and open to interpretation.”

        You wrote. –

        “The stated argument is a deduction. Split along political lines implies ambiguous. If that holds for AGW, then it does for evolution.”

        What is the relevance of the Theory of Evolution to the thing that the original commenter refers to as CAGW (but you appear to have renamed or redefined as AGW.)?

        There is precisely no evidence at all to show that you can warm anything at all with CO2. Trying to deny this, and then attempt to divert and confuse the issue by introducing an irrelevancy, is the mark of the Warmist.

        Have you any repeatable experimental evidence to back up the assertion that you can warm something by wrapping it with CO2? It doesn’t seem to be physically possible, and Professor John Tyndall demonstrated the complete opposite, but maybe he was wrong.

        Please provide some evidence, if you know where it is hidden.

        Cheers.

  60. “I do want the skeptic and alarmist scientists to tell what they believe and sign their names to it. Later, when Climate is understood, we can go back and see who was wrong and right.”

    Done, I signed the Oregon Petition and provided my credentials (practical measurement of actual optical wavelength radiation to NIST standards) many years ago.

    In summary; “There is absolutely nothing to be alarmed about re the climate and particularly humans impact thereupon”.

    Cheers, KevinK

  61. While it makes some sense to argue that on complex topics a scientific consensus is not as easily achieved, it doesn’t make any sense to argue an inverse relationship between scientific consensus and evidence.

    Consider the analogy of smoking and health, the human body being a complex system as well. Does expert consensus mean lack of evidence?

    • Bart Verheggen,

      You wrote-

      “Consider the analogy of smoking and health, the human body being a complex system as well. Does expert consensus mean lack of evidence?”

      This apparently was in response to the authors writing –

      “In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for global warming. Does this mean that climate change is not happening? Not necessarily. But it does mean that we should be wary of the meretricious arguments mustered in its defense.”

      Your comment might appear to be a Warmist pointless and irrelevant analogy, following the Warmist tactics of deny, divert and confuse.

      If you disagree with the authors’ view, why not just say so, and provide justification for your contrary opinion?

      Why do Warmists spend so much time attempting to avoid providing repeatable experimental support of the warming effect of CO2? Surely there must be some real science behind this mad desire to rid the world of humanity by removing all CO2 from the atmosphere.

      Just for fun, what do you consider the optimal level of CO2 in the atmosphere?

      What would be the resultant climates in California, Nepal, and Argentina? Maybe you haven’t thought this through? What do you think?

      Cheers. The

    • Consider the analogy of smoking and health, the human body being a complex system as well. Does expert consensus mean lack of evidence?

      Sure it does.

      If the US spent $2.5 Billion a year to prove that anti-gravity exists, or aliens, or that second hand smoke is awful, or that the Antarctic is melting, and to get repeat funding required publishing successful studies, we would get published studies that prove that anti-gravity exists, or aliens, or that second hand smoke is awful, or that the Antarctic is melting. Or global warming.

      The reason emails keep getting subpoenaed is to show ala climategate, that top scientists or the government are putting their thumb on the scales of scientific truth.

      The majority of scientific studies would indicate that the Antarctic is melting. A recent NASA admission and LOD studies would indicate that belief is wrong. If the Antarctic is actually gaining ice what exactly are the scientists using data from numerous satellites that claim a loss of scores of gigatons of ice a year looking at. Are the scientists cross-eyed or the satellites?

      http://members.iinet.net.au/~ray/TSSOASb.html
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2013/12/12/study-finds-no-link-between-secondhand-smoke-and-cancer/#36fd9c47623f

      The article in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute details a study of 76,000 women over more than a decade, which found the usual link between smoking and cancer. Lung cancer was 13 times more common in current smokers, and four times more common in former smokers, than in non-smokers.

      The study found no statistically significant relationship between lung cancer and exposure to passive smoke, however. Only among women who had lived with a smoker for 30 years or more was there a relationship that the researchers described as “borderline statistical significance.” Over at the Velvet Glove, Iron Fist blog, however, journalist Christopher Snowden notes “there’s no such thing as borderline statistical significance. It’s either significant or it’s not,” and the reported hazard ratio was not.

      I’m not a fan of smoking But the second hand smoking thing was a witch-hunt. If you have a smoker blow in your face for over 30 years there is an almost significant effect. The annoyance alone could be the cause.

      This doesn’t justify the hysteria over second-hand smoke. Or the hysteria over global warming.

      • David Springer

        Second hand smoke is objectionable because it literally stinks. The particulate pollution makes your clothes and hair smell like an ashtray. By that measure it becomes a legal nuisance that may be regulated.

        Whether or not the effects are deleterious to health is not confined to carcinogenic properties. The concentration in the air and the sensitivity of the individual breathing particulate irritants (the same odiferous particles that lodge in hair and clothing) . Asthmatics for instance are harmed by lower levels than most others. This is based solely on irritant properties of particulate pollutants and disregards carcinogenicity.

        As far as raising the risk of cancer that’s dubious to any significant degree except perhaps under extreme exposure. But that doesn’t matter. It’s subject to regulation merely as a nuisance.

    • it doesn’t make any sense to argue an inverse relationship between scientific consensus and evidence.

      Yes – evidence matters, consensus doesn’t.

  62. Richard Lindzen provided a good summary of the motivations for the various groups involved in climate alarmism advocacy.

    Global Warming and the Irrelevance of Science
    http://euanmearns.com/global-warming-and-the-irrelevance-of-science/

    Guest essay by Richard S. Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences (Emeritus) Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This is the text of a lecture delivered on August 20, 2015 to the 48th Session: Erice International Seminars on Planetary Emergencies

    Excerpt:

    “The current issue of global warming/climate change is extreme in terms of the number of special interests that opportunistically have strong motivations for believing in the claims of catastrophe despite the lack of evidence. In no particular order, there are the
    Leftist economists for whom global warming represents a supreme example of market failure (as well as a wonderful opportunity to suggest correctives),

    • UN apparatchiks for whom global warming is the route to global governance,

    • Third world dictators who see guilt over global warming as providing a convenient claim on aid (ie, the transfer of wealth from the poor in rich countries to the wealthy in poor countries),

    • Environmental activists who love any issue that has the capacity to frighten the gullible into making hefty contributions to their numerous NGOs,

    • Crony capitalists who see the immense sums being made available for ‘sustainable’ energy,

    • Government regulators for whom the control of a natural product of breathing is a dream come true,

    • Newly minted billionaires who find the issue of ‘saving the planet’ appropriately suitable to their grandiose pretensions,

    Politicians who can fasten on to CAGW as a signature issue where they can act as demagogues without fear of contradiction from reality or complaint from the purported beneficiaries of their actions. (The wildly successful London run of “Yes, Prime Minister” dealt with this.) etc., etc.

    All of the above special interests, quite naturally, join the chorus of advocates. Strange as it may seem, even the fossil fuel industry is generally willing to go along. After all, they realize better than most, that there is no current replacement for fossil fuels.”

  63. David Springer

    If you can’t prove your argument meritoriously then try to prove it by consensus among your peers.

    The problem with that is peers are susceptible to the same motivated reasoning that causes the reach for the consensus fallacy in the first place.

    Crichton remains true:

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

    • I think a consensus in science is a reflection of the scientific evidence for a view. So if you ask me why there is a consensus on the shape of the earth or heliocentricism, I would say that the overwhelming evidence supports that conclusion. I think a consensus in science follows the evidence and not the other way around.

      • Joseph said:

        I think a consensus in science follows the evidence and not the other way around.

        Nah.

        When you take as many liberties with the evidence as the climatariat does — massaging it, custom tailoring it, reconstructing it, selectively picking it, etc. — it’s easy to make the evidence follow the consensus.

      • Well do you have any other examples of that in science. I am not saying that earlier findings might have been subsequently overturned but at the time there was

        no

        or little evidence to support a particular consensus?

      • “I think a consensus in science is a reflection of the scientific evidence for a view.”

        It’s an indication of a lack of evidence. If you have evidence, there is no need for a consensus. Just present the evidence, if it supports your claims.

        Andrew

      • So there is no consensus on heliocentrism?

      • So there is no consensus on heliocentrism?

        Excellent – the consensus before Copernicus ( and even after ) was earth centrism.

        So was earth centrism correct? It was consensus after all.

      • In recent history of modern science, can you name something that had a consensus with no or very little evidence to support it?

      • “In recent history of modern science, can you name something that had a consensus with no or very little evidence to support it?”

        AGW.

        Stepped right in it, Joe.

        Andrew

      • Joseph | April 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

        sorry mis-threaded see my April 20th 4:16 am below.

      • David Springer

        The shape of the earth and the orbital parameters are not matters of consensus. These are empirical observations of fact. Read Crichton harder.

    • Joseph | April 19, 2016 at 1:54 pm

      Theory of static continents, consensus broken around end 60s, start 70s
      Theory of stress/diet causing peptic ulcers, consensus broken in the 80s
      Theory of Eugenics, even after WW2 this took a long time to fade, was used to justify sterilizations continuing into the 70s in the US
      Theory of saturated fats being major cause of heart disease, consensus breaking down since around 2012 yet still not worked through the system…
      …ditto for obesity and diabetes

      All social consensuses of various scope / strength posing as scientific consensuses, all working on very little evidence. Some causing much social harm, the last adversely affecting the health of hundreds of millions of people over several decades, via inappropriate public dietary advice.

      Older ones include superfluous hand-washing for doctors, miasma, motion of blood, Ptolemaic system, bloodletting, and more.

      These are the biggies that we get to know about because they escape domain into larger society. Yet whether it be in astro-physics, evolutionary studies, psychology, or wherever else that it can be difficult to collect evidence, then I guess there’s a lot more that don’t really make it into a major public awareness.

  64. Beta Blocker

    David Appell, Eli Rabett, Bart Verheggen, Jim D, Joshua, Joseph, max10k, nebakhet …….in the fight against climate change, wouldn’t your time be spent more productively if you mounted a campaign to convince Barack Obama and Gina McCarthy to start enforcing the Clean Air Act against all sources of America’s carbon pollution, not just against carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants?

    The US Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA has authority to regulate all of America’s carbon emissions. The EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon makes the climate science of IPCC 2007 AR4 the law of the land for purposes of regulating carbon pollution. President Obama says that climate change is a more dangerous threat than terrorism to America’s national security interests. America’s climate change activists say that strong US leadership in reducing its own carbon footprint is the key to enabling worldwide action against GHG-driven global warming.

    It’s all but certain that Hillary Clinton will be elected President in 2016. But it’s still possible for Barack Obama and Gina McCarthy to make up for lost time.

    Before he leaves office, President Obama can issue an executive order declaring a carbon pollution emergency. Using the President’s declaration as a legal basis for action, Gina McCarthy can initiate the process of writing a Section 108 Endangerment Finding for carbon to complement 2009’s Section 202 finding. Once Hillary Clinton has been inaugurated as President and has chosen her own EPA Administrator, the EPA can then move forward with setting a NAAQS for carbon and with developing an anti-carbon regulatory framework which targets all sources of carbon pollution, not just those from coal-fired power plants.

    David, Eli, Bart, Jim, Joshua, Joseph, max10k, nebakhet ….. your assignment, should you decide to accept it, is to convince Barack Obama, our current president, Gina McCarthy, our current EPA administrator, and Hillary Clinton, our next president, to carry out their responsibilities as described in current environmental law.

    If you aren’t working hard to convince President Obama and Gina McCarthy to do their duty under the law; if you aren’t putting strong pressure on Hillary Clinton to use the Clean Air Act to its maximum effectiveness once she assumes office, then you can’t honestly claim to be concerned about climate change and the long-term impacts of global warming.

    • Beta Blocker,

      Are you advocating for what you’ve urged David, Eli, Bart, Jim, Joshua, Joseph, max10k, nebakhet to do?

      • Beta Blocker

        Yes Peter, I am strongly advocating that the Clean Air Act be used to its maximum possible effectiveness in limiting the supply and availability of all carbon fuels and in directly or indirectly putting a price on carbon..

        Putting a price on carbon is the only way to re-energize the nuclear renaissance here in the United States. It isn’t going to happen any other way.

        And if we don’t put a price on carbon, America will end up being covered from one side of the country to the other with fracking wells and with windmills.

      • Beta Blocker,

        We are poles apart on this.

        First, carbon pricing is not going to happen. It almost certainly can’t succeed. I explain why here http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/ . I hope you’ll read it and consider it carefully. If you find a serious flaw in it that is sufficient to show the reverse is the case please explain it.

        If you want nuclear power, the way to do it is to remove the factors that caused the reversal of learning rates around 1970. That’s where you should focus your efforts. Increasing the cost of energy, as you are advocating, cannot succeed.

        Second, advocating as you are doing”to re-energize the nuclear renaissance here in the United States” is picking advocating to get governments to select the technology you support. What you are doing is just as bad as what the renewable energy advocates are doing. It’s economically irrational and, therefore, cannot succeed over the long term. USA industries cannot be competitive with power prices that are much higher than in other countries, and that’s what you are advocating for whether you realise it or not.

        I am advocating for policies that enable energy suppliers to meet the essential requirements of the electricity system at least cost. I argueew the way to achieve that is to remove the impediments that have caused nuclear to be much higher cost now that it would have been if not for …

      • Beta Blocker

        Peter Lang: “We are poles apart on this.”

        No question about it. When it comes to identifying what has to happen in the United States for nuclear power to once again become competitive with gas-fired generation, I am a realist and you are not.

        Peter Lang: “First, carbon pricing is not going to happen. It almost certainly can’t succeed. I explain why here http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/ . I hope you’ll read it and consider it carefully. If you find a serious flaw in it that is sufficient to show the reverse is the case please explain it.”

        The basic flaw in your analysis is that it has no applicability to the United States. My basic assumption here is that President Obama’s goal of an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2050 is one that will be seriously pursued. That is to say, the 80% goal is a real commitment on the President’s part; i.e., it’s not merely an exercise in attracting the support of environmentally conscious voters.

        Here in the US, unless the Federal Government strongly intervenes in the energy marketplace to put a price on carbon, market forces and renewable energy mandates will combine to force the adoption of gas-fired generation supplemented by the renewables.

        The result? That portion of rural America not covered with fracking wells will be covered with windmills and solar panels. Unless the Federal Government puts a price on carbon, this is the future of energy production in America.

        Peter Lang: “If you want nuclear power, the way to do it is to remove the factors that caused the reversal of learning rates around 1970. That’s where you should focus your efforts. Increasing the cost of energy, as you are advocating, cannot succeed.”

        The economic analysis done in the mid-2000’s which justified a restart of nuclear construction in the United States assumed that the price of all carbon fuels, especially the price of natural gas, would continue to rise; and that public policy decision makers would eventually recognize that the renewables alone can’t do the job of displacing coal and natural gas.

        A decade later, neither of those two assumptions have come to pass. Natural gas is much cheaper than it was a decade ago, and public policy decision makers in most regions of the country remain just as committed to the renewables as they ever were.

        Peter Lang: “Second, advocating as you are doing”to re-energize the nuclear renaissance here in the United States” is picking advocating to get governments to select the technology you support. What you are doing is just as bad as what the renewable energy advocates are doing. It’s economically irrational and, therefore, cannot succeed over the long term. USA industries cannot be competitive with power prices that are much higher than in other countries, and that’s what you are advocating for whether you realise it or not.”

        Here in the US, with our low natural gas prices, the decision to abandon coal is a no-brainer. It’s a no-brainer as a public policy decision; it’s a no brainer as a rational economic decision on the part of energy sector private investors.

        On the other hand, a decision here in the US to go with some combination of nuclear and the renewables is strictly a public policy decision. A decision to build more nuclear is a decision to hedge our public policy bets on the future price of natural gas and on the future price and availability of the renewables, wind and solar.

        So far, only the US Southeast has made that public policy decision. In contrast, the US Northeast and the state of California — almost a nation in and of itself — are in the process of abandoning nuclear in favor of the renewables. Both of those regions should be encouraged to do their best in making it happen, as their success or failure in going mostly with the renewables will generate many lessons learned for the rest of us to draw from.

        Peter Lang: “I am advocating for policies that enable energy suppliers to meet the essential requirements of the electricity system at least cost. I argue the way to achieve that is to remove the impediments that have caused nuclear to be much higher cost now that it would have been if not for …”

        Peter, I have the advantage in this argument that I know from direct personal observation what the true sources of the high cost of nuclear construction in America actually are. For me, the topic is not merely an academic exercise in analyzing questionable numbers supported by questionable assumptions, as those numbers and assumptions might apply to the situation we find ourselves in here in the US.

        The high costs of nuclear construction in the US are mostly structural in nature and will not be greatly affected by a retreat from imposing strong regulatory oversight on the industry. The only practical way to improve the competitiveness of nuclear power in America is for government to put a price on carbon, doing so strictly as a public policy decision being made in opposition to natural market forces.

        Will the Federal Government put a price on carbon?

        Congress will not impose a legislated tax on carbon, even a Congress controlled by Democrats. It’s too politically risky. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is certain to become our next president, beating Donald Trump in a landslide election of massive proportions.

        These are the facts ….. 2009’s Endangerment Finding for carbon has made the science of IPCC 2007 AR4 the law of the land for purposes of regulating America’s carbon emissions. The EPA now has unquestioned legal authority to regulate all of America’s carbon emissions, not just those of the coal-fired power plants. The Clean Air Act has not been utilized anywhere nearly to its maximum effectiveness in reducing America’s carbon emissions.

        2016’s landslide election can and should be interpreted as a mandate from the voters for Hillary Clinton and the EPA to move smartly forward with a truly comprehensive anti-carbon program. A key feature of that program must be to force an increase in the price of all carbon fuels, directly and indirectly, thereby making both the renewables and also nuclear power much more competitive with natural gas than either are today.

      • Beta Blocker,

        No question about it. When it comes to identifying what has to happen in the United States for nuclear power to once again become competitive with gas-fired generation, I am a realist and you are not.

        That is a statement of your personal opinion. It is not supported by any evidence. Therefore, it is most unhelpful. I disagree with you; 30 years of failure of command and control policies support my point.

        The basic flaw in your analysis is that it has no applicability to the United States.

        You seem to think US can implement, and then maintain over the long term, policies to limit its GHG emissions in isolation from the rest of the world. Or you think US can tell or force other countries to do as the US tells them. The US is militarily the most powerful country in the world, but that doesn’t mean they can force countries to sign up to international agreements that will damage the economics of the participating countries. There are 195 independent sovereign states in the world. They all act in their own self interest. There will inevitably be countries with leaders like Putin from time to time who will pull their country out of international agreements for their own self-interest. There will always be players like China who look after their self interest by taking the opportunity offered by the US and other rich countries to send their money to China for some irrational purpose – such as subsidized solar power. You seem naive about the economic consequences for the US of trying to implement and maintain a carbon price and naive about international politics and diplomacy.

        My basic assumption here is that President Obama’s goal of an 80% reduction in America’s GHG emissions by 2050 is one that will be seriously pursued.

        That’s your assumption. I interpret that as you wish rather than a realistic assumption supported by objective, rational analysis. But it is highly unlikely to be achieved and to be sustained for the time needed to achieve the intended objectives of the policy – I explained the reasons why and you have not shown anything seriously wrong with that analysis.

        I get the impression you have no experience in policy analysis, design, development and implementation.

        That is to say, the 80% goal is a real commitment on the President’s part; i.e., it’s not merely an exercise in attracting the support of environmentally conscious voters.

        Yes. Obama believes in CAGW. He surrounded himself with advisors that believe that stuff. He’s poorly informed and driven by beliefs in far left ideology and command and control approach to getting his way. But he leaves office in a few months having achieved nothing of significance in 8 years and having been by far the worst US president in my life time.

        Here in the US, unless the Federal Government strongly intervenes in the energy marketplace to put a price on carbon, market forces and renewable energy mandates will combine to force the adoption of gas-fired generation supplemented by the renewables.

        WRONG!!!. Intervention in the wrong approach. It can be implemented for a while and take you in the wrong directions – as has been the case with anti-nuke and pro-renewable policies. But that is not sustainable. If it continues US power and influence will continue to decay as it has been doing during Obama’s presidency, or the bad policies – command and control policies – will be overturned. Not all at once of course, but progressively over time.

        Unless the Federal Government puts a price on carbon, this is the future of energy production in America.

        It wont happen – or if it is implemented, it wont be politically sustainable and therefore wont last – for the reasons explained here http://anglejournal.com/article/2015-11-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed/ . It seems you didn’t understand this, because you haven’t been able to show anything seriously wrong with it.

        The economic analysis done in the mid-2000’s which justified a restart of nuclear construction in the United States assumed that the price of all carbon fuels, especially the price of natural gas, would continue to rise; and that public policy decision makers would eventually recognize that the renewables alone can’t do the job of displacing coal and natural gas.
        A decade later, neither of those two assumptions have come to pass.

        You seem to be missing the scale. The difference in LCOE for the total system costs between gas and nuclear is perhaps 10%-20%. But the cost of nuclear has been raised by around an order of magnitude by the impediments loaded on the industry. We could return to the very high learning rats achieved up to 1970 if we removed the factors that caused the cost increases. It will take time for the costs to come down and we have lost 50 years of progress that can never be recovered. But once we start removing the most important impediments and send the signals that nuclear is open for business again, innovation and competition will ramp up and burst forth. New products to meet different market requirements will be developed and products will improve. The solution is to unleash innovation and competition, not keep adding band-aids to bury the wounds ever deeper.

        I’ll leave it at that.

  65. Geoff Sherrington

    We have a major definition problem.
    Most of the comments here are about a consensus on what is best told to the people.
    Very little deals with consensus at the heart of the science. Observations and so on.
    As ever, there is conflict and misunderstanding because of too much emphasis on selling the message and not enough on the message.
    In science, there is no concept of consensus because proper scientists separate emotional matters like group approval from the science work of hypothesising, etc, along the lines of the scientific method.
    There is not a consensus, there is more a gathering of people who judge one way to progress the science as better, for the time being, than competing paths. When scientists misbehave intellectually, they try to suppress the competition usually for more money.
    So what is the dominant science meme re global warming? It is dominated, for no good scientific reason, by the early work and emphasisbought with $$from the IPCC. CO2 shall be assumed to be the main driver of climate change.
    Now I guess, but I no not think that there is strong agreement among scientists who matter, that this emphasis on CO2 should remain dominant. There is evidence for this in the disparity of mechanisms in papers explaining the Pause. There is evidence from the disagreement of scientists about the best value for the various climate sensitivities. Recall that sensitivity is the fundamental plank in all this. If in the atmosphere, as opposed to the gas, a long-lasting heating happens from more CO2, then there is value in emphasis on that path.

    If, OTOH, there is no demonstration that the atmosphere warms from CO2 addition, all concerned should not be concerned and that path can be abandoned.
    Personally, I have no interest in consensus science. The main reason I continue to dabble is to try to reduce the damage that is flowing from the obscene use of megabucks for inquiry into the CO2 effect before it is demonstrated to be real.
    Most of all, I regret the damage done to the public understanding of Science. One day, people might realise the adverseconsequences of pushing heaps of money to quasi- scientists promoting through “consensus” arguments the further conduct of rather poor science.

    • > In science, there is no concept of consensus because proper scientists separate emotional matters like group approval from the science work of hypothesising, etc, along the lines of the scientific method.

      There you go:

      Intersubjective verifiability is the capacity of a concept to be readily and accurately communicated between different individuals (“intersubjectively”), and to be reproduced under varying circumstances for the purposes of verification. It is a core principle of empirical, scientific investigation

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersubjective_verifiability

      You’re welcome.

    • But we find now, that in the pre-political, pre-UN era of the 60’s and 70’s, Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute had already signed on to the science of projected rising CO2 levels having a significant warming effect and were starting to wonder what impact that would have on their own future, and what they could possibly do about it. They weren’t doubting it, but very concerned, as a business based on fossil fuels should have been.

  66. Judith, with all due respect (and believe me I have great respect for you and am in fact an enthusiastic fan), you sometimes have a way of making a very simple issue unnecessarily complicated. In my book, “The Unsettled Science of Climate Change,” I make essentially the same points much more briefly, clearly and forcibly (if I say so myself — ahem):

    Really? 97%???? For anyone with any critical thinking skills that figure should automatically raise eyebrows. 97% sounds more like the results of a Soviet election during the Stalin era than the findings of a scientific survey.

    The 97% figure stems from a study by climate change activists John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli et al., “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature,” as published in Environmental Research Letters, May 2013. The study was based on the systematic rating of abstracts from 11,944 published papers “matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’.” The authors found “that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming.”

    Yes, the quote is taken directly from their abstract. And yes, you read it right: the great majority (66.4%) “expressed no position on AGW.” Only 32.6% endorsed it. So how could that possibly “show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree,” as claimed by NASA, or that “Ninety seven percent of scientists agree,” as claimed by our president. This is not the result reported by Cook et al.

    Based on their methods, which focused exclusively on abstracts, there is no way of knowing how those 66.4% might have felt about anthropogenic global warming at the time their work was published. Those papers were conveniently discarded, however, in favor of those “expressing a position on AGW,” a completely different matter. If the survey had been conducted by objective investigators instead of committed activists, we would not be hearing that 97% of scientists agree, but 32.6%, with most of the remainder undecided.

    [Moreover, of the three basic categories of their rating system] only category 1 includes cases where AGW is claimed to be the primary cause of global warming. Abstracts falling into one of the other two categories would have to either state or imply that “humans are causing global warming” OR refer to warming “as a known fact.” Since even climate change skeptics agree that a certain amount of atmospheric warming is generated by greenhouse gas emissions –and no one has ever denied that warming and/ or climate change is a known fact – the assertion that this study represents some sort of meaningful consensus supporting the orthodox view of climate change is clearly misleading, if not outright wrong.

  67. Pingback: The non-Paradox of Consensus | Diagram Monkey

  68. Climate scientist John Kennedy has written a blog post about this, see pingback above. He says “The argument that leads to this conclusion is not clearly laid out and verges on complete incoherence”.

    My reply to him is in moderation.

    • Do you have a link for John Kennedy’s post

      • David Springer

        I found Kennedy’s post earlier this morning and left a comment there (in moderation) as well. It was a brief comment saying I didn’t find “knowability” to be at all confusing and suggested perhaps the author was easily confused by unfamiliar terms.

        The original paradox authors were lawyers. I get along with famously with lawyers so long as I’m not in an adversarial relationship so maybe I’m just better at understanding attorneys. In any case I found the original paradox article informative, accurate, and well written. Unsurprisingly the objections all come from those who disagree with the premise so I’d take the criticisms about incoherence with a grain of salt.

      • David, thanks, sounds like your comment is very similar to mine!

        I have given JK a nudge on twitter regarding comments in moderation. I think his post arose from a twitter discussion including Gavin and Jim Bouldin.

      • Hello, I’ll probably moderate them later this evening. I don’t get many comments on my blog so I tend not to check the in-moderation queue frequently.

        Cheers,

        John

      • > The original paradox authors were lawyers.

        I thought this was the theme of the other thread.

        From the assumption that AGW is untestable and complex, they conclude that a consensus about AGW shows a poor K/C ratio. Since AGW is testable and not that complex (NG solved it using one post to respond to one broker’s nonsense), you bet it’s question-begging.

        The trick was not to talk about AGW directly.

        The main advantage I see of the K/C ratio is that it sounds better than to talk of pathology, something Judy considered a while ago.

        There might be other problems with the authors’ function, if you can call it that. The endpoints look fishy. The curve too.

      • David Springer

        @Willard

        GW is perhaps testable given a robust global average time/temperature series. AGW is not testable as there is no empirical means of separating natural from artificial forcing.

      • ” GW is perhaps testable given a robust global average”
        It’s testable with a derivative of the surface data we have now.

  69. Pingback: Bulletin des climato-réalistes n° 27 | La Terre du Futur

  70. Reblogged this on Climate Collections and commented:
    “There is genuine scientific consensus on the following points:
    – global temperatures have increased overall since 1880
    – humans are contributing to a rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
    – CO2 emits and absorbs infrared radiation

    For the most consequential issues, there remains considerable debate:
    – whether the warming since 1950 has been dominated by human causes
    how much the planet will warm in the 21st century
    – whether warming is ‘dangerous’
    – whether radically reducing CO2 emissions will improve the climate and human well being” –Dr. Judith Curry

  71. I will second the following remark by Judith Curry at : https://judithcurry.com/2016/04/17/the-paradox-of-the-climate-change-consensus/

    “The net result of this skewed ‘consensus’ is that inadequate attention is being paid to natural climate variability, and too many people, including scientists, assume that CO2 is a giant control knob that, if reduced, can eliminate bad weather, sea level rise, etc.”

    When we look at reanalysis data surface temperature variability according to the month of the year is more extreme (not just a little bit but one hell of a lot) in the months of January and February north of 30° south latitude while in the remainder of the globe it is more variable in July and August. The inter-annual variability in January and February is almost as large as the whole of period variability even where the variability is greatest….in the highest latitudes of both hemispheres.

    This variability is entirely natural in origin. What is its source?

    In general, in most interdependent systems the largest disturbances are found close to the source of those disturbances.

    An introduction to the subject of natural climate variability is available here: https://reality348.wordpress.com/2016/01/15/8-volatility-in-temperature/

    Nothing so diminishes our curiosity and disables our critical faculties as violently as the assumption that the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes surface warming. The data indicates that this is highly unlikely. The bulk of the globe exhibits very little warming at particular times while some parts are cooler than they were fifty years ago. Carbon dioxide is uniformly distributed and is supposed to act via down-welling radiation. No part of the Earth should be exempt from its impact at any particular time.

    • Writes erl happ:

      Nothing so diminishes our curiosity and disables our critical faculties as violently as the assumption that the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes surface warming. The data indicates that this is highly unlikely. The bulk of the globe exhibits very little warming at particular times while some parts are cooler than they were fifty years ago. Carbon dioxide is uniformly distributed and is supposed to act via down-welling radiation. No part of the Earth should be exempt from its impact at any particular time.

      This observation serves to advance nothing of the Social Justice Warrior “narrative” with regard to the advancement of left-socialism’s political advantage, and is therefore to be treated as criminally actionable under whichever RICO statute prevails in the author’s locality.

      This message is brought to you courtesy of the National Socialist Democrat American Party and Acela Republicans everywhere.

  72. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #223 | Watts Up With That?