Wednesday, February 4, 2009

JUST 94 MONTHS UNTIL THE CLIMATE TIPS ! ! !

Check this out: A countdown clock that shows how many months we have before passing the "climate's" tipping point.
Note that they didn't say the Global Warming tipping point, or the Global Cooling tipping point.

It's just a countdown to the "climate's" tipping point, which, in spite of serious competition, is the most ignorant-assed statement I've ever seen gullible organizations sponsor (see list at the bottom of the clock page).
It started at 100 months, and now it's down to just 94.

PANIC ! PANIC ! PANIC ! THE CLIMATE IS GOING TO TIP ! ! THROW AWAY YOUR MONEY ! ! RUN NEKKID IN THE STREETS ! ! VOTE FOR ANTI-CLIMATE TIPPERS IN 2010 ! ! !


It's too bad they don't post the HTML for the clock, otherwise I'd have it in the sidebar with appropriate doomsday verbiage.

Here's The Devil's Kitchen on the topic of Climate Tipping, the motivations of Climate Tipping alarmists, and such like. Pleae, please, please hit that Devil's Kitchen link. It's glorious.
Dr. James Hansen, high priest of Anthropogenic Global Warming, comes in for well-deserved abuse in Satan's Snackbar. What most people don't understand is that Dr. Hansen isn't going to get any money to study AGW unless he can convince people that AGW exists.

(Anthropogenic Global Warming is the belief that we change the weather with our actions. It's very similar to the Pat Robertson/Jerry Falwell belief system that homosexuality causes hurricanes to hit New Orleans.)

Thanks again to NickM with the Cat Counters for telling the world about THE DAY THE CLIMATE TIPS ! ! !

40 comments:

Cedric Katesby said...

"Dr. James Hansen, high priest of Anthropogenic Global Warming, comes in for well-deserved abuse in Satan's Snackbar."

The guy who runs Satan's Snack needs to get a life. It's his blog, fo course, but why embarrass yourself on the internet like that?
Abuse? He can take his abuse and tell it to his mommy. She will be no doubt very proud.
How about some science?

Dr James Hansen is not a priest.
Global warming is not a religion.

Trying to portray climatology as a religion is a smear tactic.

A tactic copied from the creationists when they smear biology.
Here's a sample...
http://www.religionofdarwinism.com/index.php

Is this really where you want to go? Lift your game.

Dr James Hansen is not a priest.
He's the head of the NASA Goddard Institute of Space Studies. He also works down at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.
He does research on the field of climatology.
Elected to the NAS.
Recieved a rather nice award from the AAAS.
Just recently he recieved the 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Meteorological Society.

Why don't you call him a scientist? Other scientists do.
If you have a problem with what the world's scientists are telling you, then...make a scientific argument.

Nick M said...

Cedric.
As a keen follow of His Satanic Majesties rantings (and the person he stole this post from in the first place*) I can tell you DK has a hell of a grasp of the science and particularly the statistics involved.

DK has his style but beneath that there is much substance. Of course AGW might be true (though I doubt it very much) and even the "tipping point" might be true (though I doubt it enormously much) but is that slim possibility worth gambling 100s of trillions of dollars on?

That is why I offered the wager in the first place. As you link back to the Randi institute I'm sure you appreciate the methodology.

*and a former astrophysical fluid dynamcist

Cedric Katesby said...

"...though I doubt it very much..."

Why?
Do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming?

How do you think that consensus formed? Did all those millions of working scientists enter into a planet-wide super conspiracy?
What do you suppose those researchers are doing in Antarctica?
Playing cards and having an chilly long-term vacation at tax-payers expense?

It's the same thing with creationists.
They "doubt" modern biology.
They're very happy to paint the Theory of Evolution as a religion.
Yet they endlessly evade taking their case to the scientific arena.
They're more comfortable pleading for moral and political support from an scientifically uninformed public.

Nick M said...

Cedric,
Best leave evolution out if you're going to use that "scientifically uninformed public" wrt to me.

I am not calling climatology "religion". I am just saying I don't, on the basis of the evidence I have read and my own experience of simulating highly complex fluid dynamical systems buy AGW and especially not "hockey sticks" or "tipping points". Note, I have not mentioned religion here. It's you, sir, who keep dragging it up.

I find the AGW hypothesis to be too fraught with uncertainty, possibly unfalsifiable ("global warming" becomes "climate change"*) and so palpably a convergence of unscientific interests from Green ideologues to failed politicians to take seriously. If I am not cconvinced of the science I follow the money.

Riddle me this then. If CO2 is gonna kill us why the huge investment in windmills (useless) and why not invest meant in fission (proven)?

Nope. That is because an interesting but extremely tentative hypothesis has been ceased upon by scientists looking for tenure, Green lunatics, a washed-up politico and all the rest. It is not a conspiracy. It is, as I said a convergence.

Ultimately thought I do not like science, something I have studied all my life, to be decided by the *fiat* of UN bureaucrats who believe the "debate is over". In science the debate is never over - by definition. In this particular case - dealing with a system of interacting systems of spectacular complexity which is far beyond anything we have ever tried to understand before for a couple of decades of research to "decide" the debate is utterly unscientific.

Join the wager. I shall pay for your trip to Beachy Head in 94 months time if you do. AGW-types claim a faux certainty. Put your money where your mouth is.

*Will the UK get hotter or colder. Answer me that? If, as seems to be the case, nobody knows then forgive me for calling it an unfalsibiable crock to make the former Senator from TN and the likes of Monbiot and Porritt a shed-load of cash.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
Good to have you here, stirring the pot, as always.

NickM,
I've tried in vain to pin Cedric down on whether we're going to tip to the warm or cool side. You'll get nowhere. Google "An Inconvenient Test" when you get a chance. We went at it for days. Finally I agreed to go to the TCU library in search of Peer Reviewed articles from the 1970's (or sooner) that predicted Cooling. I came up with one. Cedric said that it was one of only seven such articles.
I WILL find more.

Next issue: I don't hesitate to say AGW has many characteristics of a religion.
"Faith is the substance of things being hoped for; the evidence of things not seen."
Hebrews 11:1 (King James Version, I think)

It has its priests, heretics, insiders and outsiders, a sense of urgency to "save" something, worship of the Earth Goddess Gaia, evangelistic appeals, a charming ability to deflect attacks, a disregard for archaeology and history, plus a primitive belief in our ability to change the weather through our actions or prayers.

Regarding archaeology and history, we have had four major ice ages. What caused them? A Viking cap-and-trade program? What caused them to end? Too many Cavemen in SUV's ?

Hundreds of years ago, they grew potatoes on farms in freakin' Greenland. These farms are now covered with ice. What caused it to get cold? We don't know.
But I can tell you this.... Humans didn't have a damn thing to do with it.

Cedric Katesby said...

"Finally I agreed to go to the TCU library in search of Peer Reviewed articles from the 1970's (or sooner) that predicted Cooling. I came up with one. Cedric said that it was one of only seven such articles.
I WILL find more."

To your credit, you have not quietly dropped this.
How long will you keep looking until you are satisfied that the "1970's global cooling" item was pretty much just a media beat-up?
As I mentioned in our correspondence, if you do find more papers then Connolley will be very happy to add it to his collection.
http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/

By all means do your own research, however, it's a well-trodden path.
(See the link to RealClimate on Connolley's site that gives a good overview of the myth)
I look forward to your conclusions being published here in the near future. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
................................

NickM said..."Best leave evolution out if you're going to use that "scientifically uninformed public" wrt to me."

Not at all. The mentality is exactly the same. Creationists and global warming deniers use exactly the same playbook. The same shameful hand-waving, the same bombastic smearing, the same playing to the gallary of a scientifically uninformed public.
I'm not saying YOU don't know anything about science, I'm saying the general public don't. That's why the global warming deniers take their case to the media and the Internet and yet somehow...never quite make it to the scientific arena. Just like the creationists.

If you can deny global warming, then the creationists have a seat specially reserved for you at their table too.

NickM said..."I am not calling climatology "religion"."

Good for you. I look forward to you openly condemning such a tawdry tactic here on this thread. Lets' leave that sort of rubbish to the the creationists.
http://ldolphin.org/gould.html

"It's you, sir, who keep dragging it up."

Who was it who called Dr Hansen a high priest? Certainly not me.

"I find the AGW hypothesis to be too fraught with uncertainty..."

You have doubts? So?
What do you expect me to do with that?

How many doctors or engineers are blinded by their education to consider themselves qualifed to speak outside their field and dismiss modern biology? There are tonnes of educated creationists who attack or doubt the Theory of Evolution. Their doubts are worthless. Dr Egnor, anybody?
:)

They've swallowed a PRATT point like the "hockey sticks" or "70's global cooling myth"? That doesn't change the reality of the situation.
PRATT points for creationists, PRATT points for global warming deniers. Same deal.
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Pratt

For a common list of Global warming denier PRATT points, you can go here...
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11462-climate-change-a-guide-for-the-perplexed.html

Do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming?
A simple yes or no will do.

How do you think that consensus formed?
Be specific.

Can you explain away or dismiss the scientific consensus without sounding exactly like a creationist trying to dismiss the scientific consensus on modern biology?

Nick M said...

Cedric,
I explained it in terms of a convergence of interests.

Climatology and Evolution are totally different sciences. Their histories are totally different. Darwin was born (almost exactly) 200 years ago. When was Hansen born? It makes a difference. Since then we add Mendel into the mix and Watson and Crick and the New Synthesis. We have transgenic critters and all sorts of concrete applications.

I have certain methological problems with computer modelling. It is a useful tool but to believe, as many practionners do that it is the same thing as experiment is wrong. I know of computer modelling. I know it's intricacies and it's essential "newness" as a technique. It jsu isn't bedded down well enough as a method. Sorry. It isn't.

Furthermore science relies on multiple observations. Evolution can be observed in many instances. As the Greens keep telling us we have only one Earth...

It's similar to the problem of understanding stellar structure. We have one star we can observe extremely well and billions we know little of. Yet we don't even know our star too well. Partly because we can't easily compare it to anything. Imagine doing comparitive literature between English and French and though the entire English cannon was extant all that existed in French was a single play by Moliere?

You see the big problem. If you want to classify bird markings it helps to have more than one bird. So because we don't have a whole load of planets to compare we back to building models. And models are built. They all have assumptions.

Now here is where the "scientific consensus" such as it is. It tells us that our climate is changing. It doesn't say exactly how. It doesn't say it will be good or bad or for whom it will be good or bad. I have heard claims the UK will end-up with the climate of Norway and also Spain. Forgive me for feeling that the "science isn't settled".

I'm not blaming some of the very, very smart fluid dynamicists working on this but the strange and artificial closure which the likes of the IPCC have imposed on what is a stupendously complicated problem.

Also the Greens and some others have latched onto AGW with an almost messianic zeal and used it to catapult their agenda into the mainstream. If you believe science (as actually practised) is an ivory tower uninfluenced by culture and politics then you know little of it's history or what it's like to actually apply for a research grant. You do appreciate who doles out the cash don't you?

Cedric sir. I dunno if you'll reply to this. Part of me hopes not because you are fun to debate with and I could go on all day but... Jeez I've got a life too!!!

Oddly enough I now have to clear the drive of snow! Thank you Al Gore!

And what consensus is there

Cedric Katesby said...

"I explained it in terms of a convergence of interests."

You have explained nothing and provided no evidence.

"Climatology and Evolution are totally different sciences. Their histories are totally different."

Climatology and Biology are totally different sciences. So?

"When was Hansen born? It makes a difference."

Wha...?
(shakes head in total confusion)
I'm talking about the global scientific consensus on global warming.
Do you deny that it exists?
A simple yes or no will suffice.

"I know of computer modelling. I know it's intricacies and it's essential "newness" as a technique. It jsu isn't bedded down well enough as a method. Sorry. It isn't."

No need to apologise but I have no idea why you are bringing up computer modelling.
If you believe that the computer modelling used in global warming research is faulty then...write a paper on it.
If you believe that there are no transitional fossils then...the same thing.
Your "doubts" are neither here nor there.

"It tells us that our climate is changing. It doesn't say exactly how."

I'm not asking you what you personally think global warming is. Can we please focus on this business of the global scientific consensus on global warming or is this too much to ask?

"It doesn't say it will be good or bad or for whom it will be good or bad."

This has nothing much to do with anything.

"...the strange and artificial closure which the likes of the IPCC have imposed..."

Sounds like unsupportable nonsense.
You do know that the creationists claim that they're being suppressed too, yeah?
http://www.expelledthemovie.com/aboutthemovie.php

"Greens and some others have latched onto AGW with an almost messianic zeal..."

I don't care. I'm not talking about "the greens" or Al Gore or any of the rest of it.
Let's talk about the global scientific consensus on global warming, shall we?

"You do appreciate who doles out the cash don't you?"

Ah, the ol' "they're in it for the money" line. Shameful.
:(
Yep, that's the same shtick that the creationists whip out.
Why aren't biologists prepared to accept creationism?
Why, they'd lose their cushy jobs, that's why!
It doesn't wash.
Making a slanderous, unsupportable statement like that is just silly.

You believe that the global scientific consensus is just about grant money? Then...prove it.
Simple really.
We're dealing with millions of scientists all around the world. You're accusing them of mass corruption and conspiracy. Prove it.

Let's keep this simple.
Do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming? Yes or no.

How do you think that consensus formed?
Be specific. No hand-waving. No suppositions. No wild surmises.

Sixty years ago there was no consensus on global warming.
Now...there is.
Care to give a supportable chronology of what went down?

P.S.
Do you think it's a good idea to portray climatology as a religion as a cheap debating tactic, just as creationists do with biology?

"...but... Jeez I've got a life too"

What? Preparing your escape hatch so soon? Hmmm.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

NickM,
Welcome to the world of Cedric.

He lives in a world of concensus and peer reviews, much like old time preachers lived in a world of "the faith once delivered to the saints for all time". (Jude 1:3)

His concern is not about warmer or cooler. His concern is about how many people BELIEVE it's going to get warmer or cooler.

In short, its all about faith. And you have none.

"For God so loved the planet, that he sent his only beggotten Goracle that whosoever believeth in him shall not get warmer or cooler, but have everlasting coolness. Or warmth, depending on the funding available."

John 3:16

Cedric Katesby said...

"He lives in a world of concensus and peer reviews, much like old time preachers..."

Not consensus.
Scientific consensus.
Scientific.
(I can understand why you felt the need to drop the scientific part, though.)

If you'd said...""He lives in a world of scientific concensus and peer reviews, much like old time preachers..." then that would have sounded just a tad odd.

"His concern is about how many people BELIEVE it's going to get warmer or cooler."

Wrong again. Belief has nothing to do with it. It's about the science. Evidence.
When scientists first proposed the the idea of globla warming, they got very little traction.
They had to work harder and find more data. This took a very long time. They went through the scientific process.
Exactly the same way all other new scientific theories become dominant.
There were no short cuts.
No assumptions.
No free passes.
http://community.acs.org/journals/acbcct/cs/Portals/0/wiki/PeerReview.jpg

Cedric Katesby said...

Hmm, couldn't get the link to post properly. Keeps on being cut off. Let's try that again.
Take the link and add..

Portals/0/wiki/PeerReview.jpg

Nick M said...

Cedric,

So if I'm going to make a comment on a blog about the difficulties of computer simulation of complex dynamical systems I have to write a paper on the subject.

... and then have it peer-reviewed

... and presumably then be elected an FRS.

WS,

I'm so stealing your new translation of John 3:16.

Cedric Katesby said...

"So if I'm going to make a comment on a blog about the difficulties of computer simulation of complex dynamical systems I have to write a paper on the subject."

Until then you're just some anonymous guy talking to some other anonymous guy claiming to have expertise.
What do you expect me to do?
Just take your word for it?
Be serious.
All you're doing is just repeating a PRATT point.
Hardly original.

Same deal with transitional fossils. Some anonymous creationist wants to claim that there's a critical flaw in evolution because he knows all about engineering and Darwin blah, blah, blah...
Fine.
(shrug)
You've found a flaw that millions of other biologists have not.
Great.
Get off your lazy armchair-bound butt and write a paper. Put up or shut up. Your Nobel Prize awaits.
Otherwise it's just hapless handwaving.

NickM, do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming?
Yes or No.

Why do you seem to be so reluctant to talk about this?

If you do acknowledge that there is indeed a global scientific consensus on global warming, then are you aware of how that came about?

If you're going to claim that all of those scientists did not follow the standard scientific process that marks all newly dominant scientific theories then present your evidence.
If you have a money trail of greed and corruption that has somehow magically tainted all of the global scientific community then...present it.
Did they all fudge their figures going back all these decades and no scientific community noticed?
How did this global conspiracy come about?
No conjecture, no suppositions, no unsupported slander. Just the evidence please.
How are you different from the HIV deniers or the creationists or the anti-vacc people?

An index to climate change denialist's claims
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/05/an_index

Please add _to_climate_change_den.php

Nick M said...

Cedric,
I would reply but like the self-employed sex-worker of Babylon I am drunk on the blood of the IPCC

Cedric Katesby said...

"...I am drunk on the blood of the IPCC."

Oh, um....right.
(shrug)

NickM, why do you seem so reluctant to engage?
Are my questions on the scientific consensus somehow unfair or unreasonable?

How much do you actually understand about the history of how the theory of global warming became dominant in scientific circles?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
I'm not speaking for NickM, but please allow me to interject here.
You seem to be impressed with concensus, majority opinions, appeals to authority, etc.

I'm impressed with thermometers and predictions. I've repeatedly asked you (elsewhere) to wager on ANY verifiable aspect of warming or cooling, and you keep circling back to votes and opinions from the hogs lining up at the trough.

Which gets me to my next point.... There is a massive amount of funding coming toward those who make up this concensus, if only they can get into my pocket with their panic appeals.
Hell, for that amount of money, I'd claim that we should increase defense spending to ward off an an alien attack from the planet Nekthor. IF anyone should ask me my opinion on the invasion, and I stood to profit by that statement.

Next, the vast majority of scholarly opinion in Baptist academic/theological circles is that God is a Trinity composed of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The three are indivisible, yet seperate. Bucketloads of peer-reviewed Doctoral Dissertations and publications have been written on the subject for decades. None of them have ever been discredited.

Your thoughts on this concensus, please?

Cedric Katesby said...

"You seem to be impressed with concensus..."

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Is your position so weak that you cannot bring yourself to address my position directly?
Why are you trying to build a strawman?
I am not impressed with "consensus".
I am impressed with....scientific consensus.
Scientific consensus.
Repeat it with me slowly.
Scientific consensus.
Are we clear on this now?

"...appeals to authority"

No. Stop it. Address what I am saying. Not what you think I am saying.
I am not making an argument from authority.
I am trying to get a straight answer from NickM about the scientific consensus on global warming...and that's it.
He, however, has bugged out.
So now what?

"...and you keep circling back to votes and opinions from the hogs lining up at the trough."

Vote? Opinions? Hogs?
Oh so now you're calling them greedy animals who are just in it for the money, who have nothing more that "opinions"?
Listen to the words you are using.
Think about it.
Why are you calling scientists childish names?
Why are you trying to smear them as corrupt? As a religion?

What is so hard about calling scientists by their proper title?
Scientists.
What is so difficult about calling their scientific research as...scientific research?

"There is a massive amount of funding coming toward those who make up this concensus, if only they can get into my pocket with their panic appeals."

This is conspiracy theory.
You have no evidence.
Don't you get it?

The "moon landings were a hoax" people do the same thing.
They have this insane idea that the whole of NASA back in the sixties faked the moon landings because all the money was actually siphoned off by the CIA to fund a secret war in Asia.
Silly? Well yeah.
We're talking about thousands of people...engineers, administrators, contracters, maintainence workers, astronauts all involved in a mass conspiracy to defraud the American public.

Just on sheer numbers alone, the whole conspiracy breaks down under it's own wieght.

Yet you and NickM have gone quite a bit further.
Much further.
Your conspiracy doesn't just cover a few thousand people in one American organization.
Oh no.
Your conspiracy is literally global, encompassing millions of professional scientists across multiple scientific disciplines for the last several decades.

Yours is a super conspiracy.
They're all corrupt, right?
They're all laughing up their sleeves, yeah?
Because they're durned scientists, that's why! They can't fool you.
Nossir!

If they're doing if for the money, then...prove it.
If they're dodging the standard scientific process...then prove it!
How are they all doing this?
How are they all co-ordinating this evil plot?
Where are the memos? The payoffs?
The smoke-filled rooms?

Let's try this step-by-step.
No paranoia.
No hand-waving.
No infantile name calling.

You want to have a sensible discussion on global warming.
Like an educated adult interested in the science rather than spin?
I'm up for it.
Are you?

Step one: Do you deny that there is s global scientific consensus on global warming?
Yes or no?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
Of course there's a global scientific concensus on AGW.

For the same reason that Willie Sutton gave for robbing banks.

That's where the money is.

Now that we have that out of the way.... Are you willing to get any of these guys to predict ANYTHING about what the temperature is going to do ANYWHERE?

Or are we just going to have climate "Change" ??

Cedric Katesby said...

"Of course there's a global scientific concensus on AGW."

A straight answer.
Congratulations.
You are one up on NickM.

"For the same reason that Willie Sutton gave for robbing banks.
That's where the money is."

...and now we're back to conspiracy theory.
It doesn't work.
Grand conspiracy theories never work.
:(

How did they get to a scientific consensus?
This is not a trick question.
Please honestly think about this.

The history of how science slowly came around to the idea of global warming and the research involved is easily researchable.
Compare that history with the history of how the theory of plate tectonics came to become dominant or how prion theory became accepted.
They're the same.
No trickery involved.

The same old plodding, boring, scientific process that is responsible for prions, plate tectonics, DNA coding etc. is the same one that is responsible for global warming theory.

There is no difference.
I'm not kidding.
It's EXACTLY THE SAME.

If you get to wave your arms and magically proclaim that it's a conspiracy...then the creationists get to play that exact same card too in order to blithely dismiss the theory of evolution at the next school board meeting.
It's evidence free.
It's a very dangerous thing to do. Can't you see the damage you are doing?

There are two links that I want to leave you with.
I promise not to post here any more and let you have the last word.
One link is to a video that gives you a potted history of the scientific consensus on global warming.
The other is to a site where a working scientist demonstrates how impossible it is for scientists all around the world to enter into some mysterious conspiracy.

All I ask is that you grab a cup of coffee, watch the video and check out the site.
Thanks for your time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T4UF_Rmlio

http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/denier-conspiracy-theories-more-paranoid-than-thou/

NickM said...

Cedric,
I shall make this short. You seem to believe that "scientific consensus" equals truth.

Let me tell ya a story. I witnessed in a seminar on applied maths at Leeds University a pincer move on an Indian mathematician. An American and a Russian skewered him. Why?

Because he was a visiting lecturer who was the guest of a guy who was not popular. His talk was on the dynamics of (I'm not making this up) a convective cylinder of fluid about the size of a tin of beans.

And he was eviscerated. Not for the science but out of politics. And this could be done because the science for that sort of tinker-toy convective flow was not settled.

So you ask me to believe a scientific consensus is correct about a vastly more complicated system and vastly more politicised system.

Computer models ar things you make. They are Lego models. You can make a model of the Bismark or clapperboard house. It's up to you. Of course, ultimately, if you're selling a pony you will be found out. But the science here is not settled so enter stage-left the politics.

In anycase I urge anyone who cares for science to reach for their Browning when they hear the word "settled".

Cedric Katesby said...

"Of course, ultimately, if you're selling a pony you will be found out."

Exactly. If the scientific community is "selling a pony", then the honest thing to do is to demonstrate this.
BEFORE making accusations!
That's the decent thing to do.
If there is a conspiracy...then present the evidence.

We're not talking about a spat between a couple of egg-heads at a convention.

We're talking about the global community of scientists, covering all the physical sciences who have followed the scientific process and signed on to global warming.

If you want to believe that they are "selling a pony", then how do you organise something like that and...not leave a paper trail a mile wide and a thousand miles long?
How do you physically get down and actually do it?

All grand conspiracies fail.
All of them.

The papers that have been produced on global warming go back decades.
They're in the public sphere.
They're checkable.
So are the requests for grants.
So are the cheque stubbs.

Where's this vast web of deceit?
Think of the sheer, enormous scale of it.
It's the biggest conspiracy in human history and the most successful.
How do you even start to organise something like that and keep it all totally leak-proof?
Millions of people.
MILLIONS.
It beggars belief.

Check out any global warming denier blog. Can any of them even begin to explain how the conspiracy operates?

"They're in it for the money"
"They're all commies"
"It's all a plot by the electric car companies".

Fine. Whatever.
(shrug)
It's easy to proclaim it...but where's the actual connecting of the dots?
The hardcore investigative reporting?
Who reports to whom? How are orders passed down?
How do you fudge the figures to stay "on message". Where are the deathbed confessions or the disgruntled ex-wife who is ready to spill the beans to get back at her cheating husband?
Where's the lost laptop left in a parked car by mistake?
Where's Deepthroat?
If the CIA/the Mafia/The IRS/The French secret service can screw up like that then...why not the global scientific community?

There's an old Italian proverb..."Two people can keep a secret if one of them is dead."

It's been at least thirty plus years. No gaps? No leaks? No wreckage of "black ops" helicopters bought and paid for by the scientific community?

Without actual evidence, how can you believe that there really is a conspiracy?
At least the 9/11 nutjobs have the imagination to mention c4 explosives and pore over blueprints of the Twin Towers, trying to retrace the path taken by the government operatives.
That's a start.
How does the scientific community "do it" without other scientists scratching their heads?

"But the science here is not settled..."
The last time I heard somebody arguing like that was Ted Haggard arguing with Richard Dawkins about evolution.

If the science isn't settled then why is there no science community on the planet that agrees with you?
The NAS? NASA? The APS? The Royal Meteorologial Society? etc.
Every single scientific community on the planet is on board, representing all the physical sciences.
All scientific communities.
ALL OF THEM.
There are NO exceptions.
NONE.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

(bad link. please add wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change)

That did not happen overnight.
It took many years.
Years to find the flaws.
Years to reveal this sordid conspiracy of yours.

I find this whole conversation very disturbing.
There are plenty of things that I agree with on this site.
Yet I don't understand why you both apply a double standard on science topics.
The same clarity and regard you hold for biology should serve you equally for all sciences.
Don't cherry pick.
As a thought experiment, switch the topics around from global warming to evolution for a second.

"Let me tell ya a story. I witnessed in a seminar on geology at Leeds University a pincer move on an American Christian scientist. An Indian and a Russian skewered him. Why?

Because he was a visiting lecturer who was the guest of a guy who dared to believe in God. His talk was on the dynamics of (I'm not making this up) xenoliths found near the Grand Canyon.

And he was eviscerated. Not for the science but out of politics.
This is how far these atheists will go to supress creation science and the evidence for a 6000 year old Earth."

Let't try another...

"I find the 19th century Darwinian religion to be too fraught with uncertainty, possibly unfalsifiable ("No Cambrian Fossils/marco-micro evolution"*) and so palpably a convergence of unscientific interests from atheist ideologues to failed ivory tower-types to take seriously. If I am not cconvinced of the science I follow the money.

Riddle me this then. If we all came from monkeys, then how come there are still monkeys? Hmm?"

Is this really how you want to argue about something as important as our planet? We're not getting another one.
The only way we can figure out what's happening to it (or not) is by scientific investigation.
Complete with active research, peer-review and multiple, independent lines of evidence across as many physical sciences as possible.
Stop shooting the messengers.
If they're all corrupt liars, then prove it.
Am I being somehow unfair by insisting that you look at how the scientific consensus came about instead of you waving your hands and playing guessing games?

If I was lying to you, then surely the better tactic would be for me to rely on PRATT points and homespun wisdom in the form of anecdotes?

Did anybody actually bother to check out the two links I provided?
The video lecture is long I'll admit, but it does give a very understandable picture of how scientists built up a picture of global warming and later, why the public keeps coming back to PRATT points.
Ok, I promised I'd leave the last word to the site host.
(I didn't think NickM would come back so...sorry about putting up another post.)
Just do me a favour.
Look at what I linked to at the end of my previous post and tell me what you think.
Come on guys.
Please?

**Unless specifically invited, I promise (again) that this will be my last post. I know you've got other things to do**

Pa Annoyed said...

My word! What a fine discussion you've got going here Nick!

Cedric,

You may be able to help me out here. You say there is a consensus of scientific opinion. (Personally I think "scientific consensus" an oxymoron, but there you go.) Can you tell me exactly what percentage of scientists, in and out of the field of climatology, are sceptical of the theory that anthropogenic global warming poses a significant risk? (Note, that's not the same question as asking whether there has been any warming, or whether the Greenhouse Effect exists.) And also cite your sources?

Because all the surveys I've seen give figures in the range of 20%-30% sceptical. For example, Von Storch's survey available on the website of Nature.
(And to save time, the Oreskes paper has been debunked.)

There is actually a fairly wide paper-trail of science on the other side, and things are far from leak-proof. (If you're going to insist on examples, I'll start with the Wegman report, but it would take too long to go through a lot.) Scepticism is alive and well, and quite popular. Everyone knows it's there.

It's dealt with by simply repeating over and over that there is a 'consensus' against it, and denying the credibility of anyone and anything who supports it. (Often using the fact they support it as evidence.) If contrarian voices are by definition not credible, of course you're going to find there is no credible disagreement. A bit circular, but it works for some people.

I'd also be very happy to discuss the science and maths with you, too. That is, if you actually know any of the science, as opposed to being able to cite papers - which some poor deluded people believe to be the same thing. Argument from Authority is a logical fallacy, and the very antithesis of science, and I will not tolerate it. Nullius in Verba, as they used to say in London.

I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who claim to have been convinced by the "science", but turn out to not even know how the Greenhouse Effect actually works (or even how a greenhouse works, in some particularly sad cases), let alone be able to comment on any subject of genuine scientific controversy.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Cedric,

"The papers that have been produced on global warming go back decades.
They're in the public sphere.
They're checkable."


Many have been checked. And debunked, e.g. Mann et al's "hockey stick". The "hockey stick" was accepted by scientific consensus and loudly trumpeted by the IPCC -- indeed, it was a central plank of their following report.

McIntyre and McKitrick found (roughly speaking) that, no matter what data you fed in, the result was a "hockey stick".

Such was the debunking, that the "hockey stick" was quietly removed from the next IPCC report.

Whoops!

If you would care to look further into the problem that affected the Mann et al's investigation, you find a severe problem that affects not just the "hockey stick" report, but several other reports -- it's called the "divergence problem".

Put simply, since we cannot directly measure past temperatures (beyond about 1880), we have to use proxies. One of the proxies that Mann et al used was cores taken from bristle cone pines.

A lot of past temperature reconstructions have used these trees (partly because they are extremely old), but there is a problem.

The tree ring progression which was assumed, and from which the temperatures were extrapolated, has been shown to be incorrect.

How? By the simple expedient of measuring the ring progression against known, i.e. measured, temperatures.

This, as you might imagine, has put the scientific community into a bit of a lather and many people are now scrambling to try to update their previous reports.

Whoops.

There are two clear (though inter-related) examples of why peer-review and consensus are not infallible.

For more fun and frolics, you may care to look into some of the other problems affecting measurements, e.g. surfacestations.org.

"Millions of people.
MILLIONS.
It beggars belief."


Not really. First, there are not millions of scientists doing the research. It's maybe a few tens of thousand at most (and I doubt that it is actually that many).

Second, when a scientist wants to do a comparison of temperatures now and in the past, he does not recreate the past temperatures himself -- he refers to previous reports and takes their data. In this way, you get replication errors: if one person's report is wrong, then so are loads of others. See the bristle-cone pine problem cited above.

Third, in defiance of all conventional scientific practice, many climate scientists have refused to release their data, e.g. see here. Much of the time, the taxpayer has actually paid for the research and the only way in which it has been released is through repeated Freedom of Information requests.

Fourth, many climate scientists are making outrageous claims for the accuracy of past data, e.g. one example summarised here.

Finally, the point is that it only takes a few scientists to claim to be in agreement because the vast majority of people know absolutely nothing about either science or data collection and analysis.

Most of them don't even question the media and, in turn, few journalists will actually read the original papers, much less understand them -- for instance, not a single one of the BBC's science editors, to my knowledge, has a science degree. Indeed, it is an unusual journo who will dig any deeper than the press release that he is issued with.

Is that enough for you to contemplate, Cedric, or shall I go on?

DK

P.S. It has been said before, but it really does bear repeating: the majority of the IPCC Report signatories are not scientists. Fewer still are climate scientists.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Mr. Kitchen,
It's an honor to have you here sir.

Cedric,
No conspiracy theory is necessary. It's almost like Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand", trying to gather resources when some government doofus chooses to make them available to likely supporters.

For instance, there is a massive concensus amongst 10-year-olds that they should all own a pony. No collaboration necessary.

Devil's Kitchen said...

A pleasure to be here, Mr Sepulchre: I do drop in quite often, but I get little time to leave comments these days.

But sometimes one just feels the need...

DK

Cedric Katesby said...

"Can you tell me exactly what percentage of scientists, in and out of the field of climatology, are sceptical of the theory that anthropogenic global warming poses a significant risk?"

No idea.
Nor do I understand what "a significant risk" is supposed to mean.

"That's not the same question as asking whether there has been any warming, or whether the Greenhouse Effect exists."

Indeed it's not.
Yet global warming deniers seem to have a problem with this question.

"Because all the surveys I've seen give figures in the range of 20%-30% sceptical."

Surveys? I have not mentioned surveys. Nor opinion polls.
I'm talking about scientific consensus. Different thing.

"And to save time, the Oreskes paper has been debunked."

To save even more time, let's just call it a PRATT point.

"There is actually a fairly wide paper-trail of science on the other side..."

Of course there is.
I believe you. I really do because I'm a very trusting person.

However, I'm not talking about the paper-trail of "the other side".
I'm talking about the paper trail of the conspiracy from "this side".
There is none.

"Scepticism is alive and well, and quite popular. Everyone knows it's there."

Wonderful. Then let them do the work. Let them enter the scientific arena with their research and convince their collegues.
That's how you get to overturn current scientific thinking. The old-fashioned way.

"It's dealt with by simply repeating over and over that there is a 'consensus' against it, and denying the credibility of anyone and anything who supports it."

Pure handwaving.

How do biologists conspire to defraud the American public about Darwinism? It's dealt with by simply repeating over and over that there is a 'consensus' against it, and denying the credibility of anyone and anything who supports it. These atheist materialists will stop at nothing.

"I'd also be very happy to discuss the science and maths with you, too."
Thanks for the offer but I'm just an anonymous guy over the internet.
If you have the goods on the global scientific conspiracy then then the correct venue is not a blog thread but rather the scientific arena, preferably in the form of active research and peer-reviewed papers. Good luck.

"Argument from Authority is a logical fallacy."

Yes it is. Which is why I am not making such an argument.
Read my posts carefully.

I am asking if NickM or the host denies that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming.

This is not an argument from authority. It's just a query.

Then, assuming they accept that there is indeed a scientific consnensus on global warming, I want to know how it came about.

Once again, this is not an argument from authority.

So far, the global scientific consensus on global warming is being waved away by saying that they're hogs at the trough trying to get grants cause them there durned scientists are in cahoots to grab my money.
It's a conspiracy.

"I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who claim to have been convinced by the "science", but turn out to not even know how the Greenhouse Effect actually works"

I agree. I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who claim to have been convinced by the "science", but turn out to not even know how DNA/nuclear physics/gravity/computer software/plastics manufacture/geostationary orbits/off-shore drilling and game theory actually work.
Wierd huh?

"...any subject of genuine scientific controversy"

What does a genuine scientific controversy look like?


Take Intelligent Design for example.
Is there a scientific controversy over that too?
Or is it just one small group playing on the suspicions of others, using media campaigns, talking heads, and PRATTs?
How about the MMR scientific controversy? Is it real or is it contrived?
http://www.ageofautism.com/2008/02/mmr-and-the-sim.html

Cedric Katesby said...

"Many have been checked. And debunked, e.g. Mann et al's "hockey stick".

Not true. The correct venue for checking a scientific theory is in the scientific arena.
Not global warming denier sites or coffee-table books or media releases.

The hockey stick.
PRATT point.
Please refer to "How to talk to a sceptic" at the blogsite "A few things illconsidered"
The hockey stick PRATT is filed under Climate Change is Natural/It Happened Before.

"Many have been checked. And debunked, e.g. Pitdown and Hackel's Embryos."

"First, there are not millions of scientists doing the research. It's maybe a few tens of thousand at most..."

The research is made publically available. It has convinced the global scientific community completely. How?
At any time, any scientific community could have spotted a conspiracy. This did not happen.

"Second, when a scientist wants to do a comparison of temperatures now and in the past, he does not recreate the past temperatures himself -- he refers to previous reports and takes their data."

Nothing stops any scientist from gathering the data independently.
Nothing stops scientists from cross-referencing data from different independent fields.
In such an environment, a conspiracy is unworkable.

"Third, in defiance of all conventional scientific practice, many climate scientists have refused to release their data..."

Many? I count one, judging from your example.
If we take your rough number of a few tens of thousands on faith then...where are the other cases?

Even if 30000 or 40000 scientists mysteriously refuse to release their data, what stops the critics from mounting their own expeditions to gather their data first-hand? Straight from the source. Untainted by the conspiracy.

"Fourth, many climate scientists are making..."

Many? Hmm. That word again.
And from the same web-site as before.
Hmmm.

If bloggers such as Watts want to examine the science then that's great.
If he's discovered something then...wonderful.
I look forward to his peer-reviewed research in a scientific journal, in the standard old-fashioned way.

"Finally, the point is that it only takes a few scientists to claim to be in agreement because the vast majority of people know absolutely nothing about either science or data collection and analysis."

Excellent point.
So how do you know that your group of scientists are not just "a few"?
If the global warming deniers are legitimate, then why do they gear all of their work to appeal to the vast majority of people who know nothing about the science?

The scientific consensus did not come around to global warming via Foxnews and web-blogs. It had nothing to do with Al Gore or politicians. Global warming theory went through the normal channels. No short-cuts.

Yet global warming denierism?
Where does it make it's case?
In the public arena, appealing to the masses.

"...few journalists will actually read the original papers, much less understand them -- for instance, not a single one of the BBC's science editors, to my knowledge, has a science degree."

Another excellent point.
One that global warming deniers can use to their advantage.
Journalists often get their facts wrong about science either through ignorace or deadlines or for the sake of making a more exiting story.
Our host is even now researching the "1970's global cooling myth".
His findings should be interesting.

Cedric Katesby said...

"No conspiracy theory is necessary. It's almost like Adam Smith's "Invisible Hand"...

Nonsense. How do the "scientists" all become corrupt at the same time? Or how did they seduce the other scientists to the dark side?

"For instance, there is a massive concensus amongst 10-year-olds that..."

You're not getting this.
The scientific process is not the same as the desires of 10 year-olds wanting ponies.
Honest.

The scientists produce research.
The research process can take years.
The scientists publish their results.
All other scientists get to see them if they want.

I ask you again...How does the conspiracy work?

How does the logic of your evidence-free explanation differ from the anti-vacc people or the creationists?
You are handwaving.
You have nothing.

Did anybody read the links I posted or was I just wasting my time?

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
You must learn to edit.

For instance, "warmer or cooler?" "When and where?"

How much are we betting?

Mike Rouse said...

The only thing I know is that it's bloody cold with all this global warming going around.

Cedric Katesby said...

"The only thing I know is that it's bloody cold with all this global warming going around."

"The only thing I know is that I've never see a new species just pop into existence by random chance."

PRATT point.
Please refer to "How to talk to a sceptic" at the blogsite "A few things illconsidered"
The "It's cold today in Wagga Wagga" PRATT is filed under Stages of Denial/Contradictory Evidence.

Besides, how can 43 degrees Celcius be cold?
Those are record temperatures.

Pa Annoyed said...

DK, WS,

Honoured, too.

Cedric,

"Can you tell me exactly what percentage of scientists, in and out of the field of climatology, are sceptical of the theory that anthropogenic global warming poses a significant risk?"

No idea.
Nor do I understand what "a significant risk" is supposed to mean.

Wonderful! You repeat the "consensus" line like a parrot - you've no idea if it's true, or even what it means. It apparently hasn't occurred to you to actually check it. I can tell we're going to get on fine - most of the faithful dodge around that point for days before admitting that!

Significant means "worth wrecking the global economy to prevent". Or at least, "worthwhile doing something about".

"Indeed it's not.
Yet global warming deniers seem to have a problem with this question."

I wouldn't know. I don't know any.

Every sceptic I know is of the opinion that the climate has indeed warmed slightly, that it goes up and down all the time naturally, and that the current rise - following the Little Ice Age, is well within natural variation, to the extent that it is possible to tell. (The data early in the century is too poor quality to be certain.) "Global warming denier" is a strawman.

The scepticism is about the causes and consequences, not about whether it has warmed. Only the ignorant who have been fooled by the propagandists imagine otherwise.

"Surveys? I have not mentioned surveys. Nor opinion polls.
I'm talking about scientific consensus. Different thing."

Now I'm confused. What do you imagine "scientific consensus" to mean, if not the beliefs of scientists?

"Of course there is. I believe you. I really do because I'm a very trusting person."

I know you are. You believe whatever you're told by your Green priests. But you really shouldn't, you know.

In this case, you don't need faith, since I gave you an example. I realise that you're subconscious mind will probably blank that bit of the screen out, but it's there.

"I'm talking about the paper trail of the conspiracy from "this side".

I'm not sure I follow this. You're trying to say that unless the believers in AGW publicly confess to lying, then in your head they're not guilty?

But if you mean, is there any evidence in the public record - that's there too. You can look at all the critical comments ignored in the IPCC review process, or Caspar and the Jesus paper, or the whole Hockeystick saga. It's all in the public record. But there are people who shut their eyes and deny the light.

"There is none."

See?

How do you know, if you haven't looked?

"Wonderful. Then let them do the work. Let them enter the scientific arena with their research and convince their collegues."

They have done. And a lot of their colleagues have been convinced. Hence that 30% figure.

"That's how you get to overturn current scientific thinking. The old-fashioned way."

Actually, no it isn't. Relatively few scientific revolutions have happened that way. What usually happens is that the old guard of tenured old buffers until they all retire. See, for example, the case of Eddington and black holes. If Bohr and Pauli operated this way, why do you imagine modern scientists are any better?

"How do biologists conspire to defraud the American public about Darwinism? It's dealt with by simply repeating over and over that there is a 'consensus' against it, and denying the credibility of anyone and anything who supports it."

A real biologist would respond by providing the evidence. Those who cite 'consensus' are doing a great disservice to science - the predictable consequence of which is junk science like AGW getting a foothold. Science is not about consensus, it is about evidence. Anyone who tells you different isn't a scientist, whatever it might say on their office door.

"If you have the goods on the global scientific conspiracy then then the correct venue is not a blog thread but rather the scientific arena, preferably in the form of active research and peer-reviewed papers. Good luck."

Thanks.

"Yes it is. Which is why I am not making such an argument. Read my posts carefully."

Citing consensus is an argument from authority. You do it repeatedly. It stands out, even without careful reading.

"I am asking if NickM or the host denies that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming. This is not an argument from authority. It's just a query."

First, you'll have to define what you mean by "consensus", because you appear to be using a definition not in the dictionary.

To try to clarify what you mean - Al Gore tells the story of Wegener and his theory of continental drift, and how a majority of the scientific community scoffed. At the time, would Wegener's view be "the consensus", or that of his critics?

"Then, assuming they accept that there is indeed a scientific consnensus on global warming, I want to know how it came about."

Oh, that's easy. The UN was infiltrated by Green zealots like Maurice Strong, who backed it with taxpayer's money. With a thousand times more funding than the sceptics, and media campaigns run by slick PR companies like the Soros-backed Fenton Communications, only the cooperative scientists were visible, and then everybody followed what they perceived to be the crowd. Everyone knows that. ;-)

"I agree. I'm constantly amazed by the number of people who claim to have been convinced by the "science", but turn out to not even know how DNA/nuclear physics/gravity/computer software/plastics manufacture/geostationary orbits/off-shore drilling and game theory actually work."

They're convinced by the fact that it visibly works.

If I sell you computer software, but you have to wait a hundred years before you see whether it will do what I say it does, they might be a bit more sceptical.

You wouldn't, but most people would.

"Take Intelligent Design for example. Is there a scientific controversy over that too?"

No. There's evidence against it. It's not even very complicated evidence. I've looked.

"Not true. The correct venue for checking a scientific theory is in the scientific arena. Not global warming denier sites or coffee-table books or media releases."

Err, No, actually. Any venue is correct for checking a scientific theory.

It's simple: you look at the evidence and see if it proves what it is claimed to prove. If it does, it doesn't matter if you're in a public toilet, and if it doesn't, it doesn't matter that you're in a meeting of the Royal Society.

This dependence on venue is another example of Argument from Authority. It's not science.

"Please refer to [...] at the blogsite[...]"

This is your idea of the scientific arena?

You're arguing from Authority again. I've personally looked at the Hockeystick maths, and it's wrong. They did it wrong, and the result is invalid. They normalised the data on the wrong time interval. Any statistician can confirm it, and many have.

When people start trying to defend a claim that I know for a fact is wrong, and where I know they have been told so, I am forced to the conclusion that they're being deliberately dishonest.

"The research is made publically available."

Actually, no it isn't. They assert the results, but hide the data and algorithms. Mann even went so far as to try to claim it was "proprietary".

Dragging the data out of them is one of the important things the sceptical scientists are working on.

"It has convinced the global scientific community completely."

No it hasn't. See above.

"At any time, any scientific community could have spotted a conspiracy. This did not happen."

Actually, yes it did. A few years after the paper was published, a statistician called Steve McIntyre tried to download the data and check the results. He found the maths to be invalid, the data to be corrupted, and the 'result' almost entirely the consequence of a small group of trees in North America that were already known (and reported in the peer reviewed literature by the person who sampled them) not to be related to temperature.

Exactly what you claim would happen, happened.

And the response was to stonewall, obfuscate, smear, and deny. It's still going on to this day. And it's on that basis that I judge AGW "science".

"Even if 30000 or 40000 scientists mysteriously refuse to release their data, what stops the critics from mounting their own expeditions to gather their data first-hand? Straight from the source."

Steve McIntyre did, a year or so ago. He went and resampled a number of Greybill's bristlecones. What he found was very interesting - if you take several cores from the same tree but at different places, the results come out completely different. The rings are not circular, they're asymmetrical. Apparently, what happens is that the tree gets damaged on one part of its circumference, and the remainder goes into a growth spurt to compensate. These growths spurts always appear at the end of the record. They already knew that the growth spurts didn't match local temperature records, but nobody was sure why.

"If bloggers such as Watts want to examine the science then that's great. If he's discovered something then...wonderful. I look forward to his peer-reviewed research in a scientific journal, in the standard old-fashioned way."

His research was published at the CIRES/UCAR conference in August 07.

It was taken seriously enough that a major effort to update the climate monitoring network in the US has been funded, although it will be decades before we get any data out of it.

"So how do you know that your group of scientists are not just "a few"?"

I already gave you a link to one example of a survey of scientists.

"If the global warming deniers are legitimate, then why do they gear all of their work to appeal to the vast majority of people who know nothing about the science?"

They don't. ClimateAudit is currently heavily into RegEM and using Principal Components Analysis to pick apart the recently re-analysed Antarctic temperature data. (And incidentally finding that the biggest step in the data was due to the British Antarctic Survey screwing up the coordinates of the stations and wrongly splicing two different stations' data together.)

Gavin's running around in a panic trying to get fixes in and reassure everyone.

And the sceptics managed to do that despite Steig refusing to publish the algorithm and working.

The fine details of Tikhonov regularization and PCA are not exactly geared to the majority of people who know nothing about science.

Al Gore, on the other hand...

CountingCats said...

To sumarise -

There is no consensus, and there never has been. The claims to the contrary are false.

Whether there has been a consensus or not is of no relevance.
Consensus is not a tool of science, it is a tool of politics. Anyone who tries to argue from the basis of consensus is not arguing science, by definition.
A scientist will argue from the data, and only from the data. If the data is insufficient to convince then there is no other basis on which to continue discussion, unless he is instead a politician and wishes to obtain political advantage.

In other words, on a matter of science, a claimed consensus is of no relevance to the discussion and if that is the basis of your argument then you have no argument.

As a convinced Darwinist I argue from the data. Whether a majority or a minority agree with me has no influence on the facts. As I find the arguments for AGW as the basis of climate change to be unconvincing I have no interest in the head count of those who disagree with me. If they wish to convince me otherwise then their only option is to provide better data to support their case.

Cedric Katesby said...

"You repeat the "consensus" line like a parrot - you've no idea if it's true, or even what it means."

Not true.
I typed in "scientific consensus" in a search engine and found out that every single scientific community on the planet was on board with global warming.
Not some. Not most. All of them.
ALL OF THEM.
This is really easy to find out.

”You're trying to say that unless the believers in AGW publicly confess to lying, then in your head they're not guilty?”

No. I’m saying that a grand conspiracy of the likes that our host is supporting is…impossible. Physically impossible.
If somehow, by superhuman means, scientists all over the world had created a conspiracy…then where is the paper-trail?
No confession is needed. Just detective work. Perhaps helped out by a lucky break in the form of a lost lap-top or a an angry ex-wife seeking revenge.
How do the scientists, without actually knowing each other, co-ordinate or fudge their data repeatedly and continuously for decades so that other scientific communities with expertise in multiple scientific disciplines don’t figure out the con?

”You can look at all the critical comments ignored in the IPCC review process…”

Critical comments? That’s it? Come on. We’re talking about a global conspiracy here. Think of the sheer awesome scale of it.

Creationists can do the “critical comments” thing too. It requires little effort.
PRATT points such as “Hockey sticks” are easy to come up with, yet they hardly crack the case wide open. Hackel’s embryos, anyone?


Previously I said…”Wonderful. Then let them do the work. Let them enter the scientific arena with their research and convince their collegues."

Pa Annoyed said…”They have done. And a lot of their colleagues have been convinced. Hence that 30% figure.”

No they have not. Where is the work in the scientific arena overturning the theory of global warming? Surveys of “opinions”? Who cares what they believe? Or what they “doubt”. Where’s the work?


Previously I said…"That's how you get to overturn current scientific thinking. The old-fashioned way."

Pa Annoyed said…”Actually, no it isn't. Relatively few scientific revolutions have happened that way. What usually happens is that the old guard of tenured old buffers until they all retire.”

*FacePalm*
Ok, fine. We’ll play it your way. This is how science really operates.
(grimace)
Decades ago, nobody in the scientific community accepted global warming.
Now, they all do.
What happened. How did the conspiracy take hold?
How did they circumvent the scientific process?

”Those who cite 'consensus' are doing a great disservice to science - the predictable consequence of which is junk science like AGW getting a foothold. Science is not about consensus, it is about evidence. Anyone who tells you different isn't a scientist, whatever it might say on their office door.”

Fine. Wonderful. So how did they get this scientific consensus? It must have been fiendishly clever. When did it start? Who started it? When did the data first start to be fudged?

"Wegener and his theory of continental drift, and how a majority of the scientific community scoffed. At the time, would Wegener's view be "the consensus", or that of his critics?"

"Some truly revolutionary scientific theories may take years or decades to win general acceptance among scientists. This is certainly true of plate tectonics, one of the most important and far-ranging geological theories of all time; when first proposed, it was ridiculed, but steadily accumulating evidence finally prompted its acceptance..."
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/wegener.html

Wegener did not enter into a conspiracy with the global scientific community. Nor did he promote his ideas by giving interviews on TV and writing coffee-table books in order to skirt the scientific process.
He did research. Presented it to the scientific community. He took his knocks. He managed to pursuade his collegues of the soundness of his science.
He won them over.

The science of global warming has gone through exactly the same process. No short-cuts were taken.
There is no conspiracy. “Junk Science” by its very nature, cannot do this.

"Oh, that's easy. The UN was infiltrated by Green zealots like Maurice Strong, who backed it with taxpayer's money. With a thousand times more funding than the sceptics..."

At last, somebody is trying to put some meat on the bones of the conspiracy theory. Well done.
Now, when did this happen?


Regarding Intelligent Design…

Pa Annoyed said…“No. There's evidence against it. It's not even very complicated evidence. I've looked.”

Wait a minute. Stop there for a moment.
I’m glad you don’t accept Intelligent Design. Honestly.
:)
Yet I was not talking about the evidence, per se. I was talking about the “controversy”. Remember the media campaign the Discovery Institute launched? The media buzz they created? It was gigantic.
Now you know and I know that it was all a tissue of lies. Smoke and mirrors.
Yet they had their “dissenting scientists” too. They had their PRATT points. They had their talking heads with PHd’s being interviewed on Foxnews.
And they had/have their web-sites. Lots of web-sites with sciencey sounding language. They discovered all sorts of 'glaring flaws' with the theory of evolution. We know this because…they blogged about it and gave seminars and presentations and wrote books and even made a movie or two. Pity those poor fools that still believe in the antiquated 19th century religion of Darwin. Right?

So how do you know that there really is no controversy on ID?
Pretend that you are not qualified to examine the evidence. You have never had to distinguish between science and pseudo-science before.
How do you figure out that the Intelligent Design “controversy” is false?
How does Joe Average do this when he cannot examine the evidence?
Seriously, tell me what you think. Please.

“It's simple: you look at the evidence and see if it proves what it is claimed to prove.”

No. Think about it. Who looks at the evidence? Joe Average?

“If it does, it doesn't matter if you're in a public toilet, and if it doesn't, it doesn't matter that you're in a meeting of the Royal Society.”

Did Wegener present his evidence in a public toilet? Did Einstien? Did Crick? Prusiner? Shubin? What scientific discoveries or theories are you aware of that became dominant via a toilet wall?
Is that how science is done in today’s world?
Can you think of why scientists are expected to present their evidence in a scientific arena? Is it just a good excuse for a party or what?


Previously I said.."Please refer to [...] at the blogsite[...]"

"This is your idea of the scientific arena?"

No. Of course not.
:)
It’s a blog. I don’t rely upon blogs or media interviews for my science information. Unlike some people.
The list of PRATT points do save time, though. I use it for the same reasons why I use talkorigins.org

I said…"The research is made publically available."

”Actually, no it isn't. They assert the results, but hide the data and algorithms. Mann even went so far as to try to claim it was "proprietary".

Who are this “they” you refer to?
Mann? Ok. Ben Santer too, perhaps? Fine. Are these the “they” you refer too?
Is this the “many” that DK refers too?
That’s it? Huh? Out of how many?

”Dragging the data out of them is one of the important things the sceptical scientists are working on.”

This 'dragging' seems to be rather slow process. However, I look forward to their results in the future. Less blogging. More peer-reviewed research.

I said…"At any time, any scientific community could have spotted a conspiracy. This did not happen."

”Actually, yes it did. A few years after the paper was published, a statistician called Steve McIntyre tried to…”

Steve McIntyre is a scientific community? Wow. Who knew?

I said…"Even if 30000 or 40000 scientists mysteriously refuse to release their data, what stops the critics from mounting their own expeditions to gather their data first-hand? Straight from the source."

”Steve McIntyre did, a year or so ago. He went and resampled a number of Greybill's bristlecones. What he found was very interesting - if you take several cores…”

Steve McIntyre again? He certainly gets around.
I congratulate Steve McIntyre on his endevours. It’s good to see a statistician interested in bristlecones. I had no idea that he was good at that sort of thing.
I look forward to his work being presented in the scientific arena and vetted by experts who know a lot about bristle cones.

I said…"If bloggers such as Watts want to examine the science then that's great. If he's discovered something then...wonderful. I look forward to his peer-reviewed research in a scientific journal, in the standard old-fashioned way."

”His research was published at the CIRES/UCAR conference in August 07.”

It’s nice that Watts took the time to give a presentation at Dr Roger Pielke’s conference. I look forward to his peer-reviewed research in a scientific journal, in the standard old-fashioned way.

I said…"So how do you know that your group of scientists are not just "a few"?"

”I already gave you a link to one example of a survey of scientists.”

A survey? Surveys are interesting but…that’s not how you find out if there’s a scientific consensus. For example, how do you know if there’s a scientific consensus on the theory of evolution? Do you take a survey or…is there a better way?

Previously I said…"If the global warming deniers are legitimate, then why do they gear all of their work to appeal to the vast majority of people who know nothing about the science?"

”They don't. ClimateAudit is…”

ClimateAudit? You mean the…blog?
Oops. The blog run by…(what was his name)…Steve McIntyre? That one?
Yep. That fits the bill nicely. Global warming denier appealing to the general public who know nothing about science via a blog.
(yawn)
If he has something to say, then let him enter the scientific arena. That’s what it’s there for.
William Dembski has a blog too. Big deal.

Do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming?
Yes or no.

I am not claiming that if there is a scientific consensus that that therefore I am right.

It’s a question. Nothing more.
Do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming?
Yes or no.

How was this scientific consensus created? A scientific consensus that is supported by every single scientific community on the planet.

Once again, this is just a question. Not an argument from authority.
Perhaps the scientific community is totally wrong.
Fine…but that doesn’t answer my question.
How was the scientific consensus created?
How did the scientists get all the various scientific communities to come on board?
Was it the money? Blackmail? Communists?

How do you go about circumventing the scientific process on that scale and not have anybody notice?
How is your position logically any different from the anti-vacc people or the creationists or the homeopaths?
I'm sure that you're and you've looked at the evidence. Unfortunately, that's exactly what the creationists say too.

(Oh, has anybody else noticed that the creationists are wholeheartedly behind global warming denierism too? Why do you suppose that is?)

Cedric Katesby said...

Countingcats said…“There is no consensus, and there never has been. The claims to the contrary are false.”

Yet our host said…”Of course there's a global scientific concensus on AGW.”

One of you is wrong.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Cedric,
Yes, on a broad, broad level, one of us is wrong.

Nick is arguing from a more scientific perspective, and is more aware of how many respected climatologists are global warming debunkers.

I'm arguing from a psychological/historical perspective, with my belief that if you dangle billions of dollars in front of any group to use as they please, they'll say anything that they're expected to say.

But one thing NickM and I probably agree on wholeheartedly?

We don't need to spend billions of dollars researching which of us is correct.

Just like we don't need to spend billions researching whether or not climate changes are cyclical. We already know the answer to that.

Cedric Katesby said...

Either there is a scientific consensus on global warming or there is not.

If there is a scientific consensus on global warming then it would be...BIG.
Big things tend to be easy to spot.
People would notice, even without the help of surveys.

How that consensus came to be there is a separate yet very important question.

"...with my belief that if you dangle billions of dollars in front of any group to use as they please, they'll say anything that they're expected to say."

I would be the last person to suggest that people cannot be corrupted.
Scientists are as human as anybody else.
The trick is to demonstrate that they have been corrupted.
Not just be suspicious.
Otherwise you are being unjust.

If a creationist tried to tell you that all biologists were corrupt and that's why they didn't accept creationism, would you accept it or would you regard that kind of thinking as paranoid fantasy?
Ignore the fact that you know something about biology.
Pretend you don't, for a moment.
Is there something else that would make you still think that the idea was ridiculous?

For example, do you accept the MMR conspiracy?
Is it all "Big Pharma?

Did anybody watch the video I posted?
Anybody? Somebody? Hello?
A little feedback, please.

..............................
Look, I'm sorry about the big post before. Believe it or not but I actually stripped out about 40% of it before posting.
:(
AP Annoyed brought up many points and I didn't want to be accused of dodging them. However, I had to leave some of them out to at least try and save some space.
I appreciate your tolerance.
Tell me to go and I'm gone.

Pa Annoyed said...

"AP Annoyed brought up many points and I didn't want to be accused of dodging them."

Don't worry about that. Address any subset of points you feel like. We're accusing you of far worse than dodging points. :-)

Tell me to go and I'm gone.

No need. You're not being objectionable. You're not swearing, or insulting, or making a nuisance of yourself. I've argued with worse.

And if we don't want to argue with you any more, we'll just stop replying.

Arguing with AGW believers is a hobby of mine. I enjoy it. But you should only carry on if you're enjoying it too. I won't be offended, or read anything into it if you want to do something else with your life. Feel free to take a break.


--

"every single scientific community on the planet was on board with global warming."

Ah! Understood!

I think I can help you out here. These statements put out by scientific bodies are not reflections of the views of their members, but press statements put out by a small number of bureaucrats on a committee. They're more interested in maintaining the public reputation and standing of the society - in order to keep subscriptions up - and all bureaucrats everywhere instinctively avoid controversy. Especially going-out-on-a-limb-on-their-own sort of controversy. Most scientists stay out of politics and make no statement - or use weasel words to make it sound as if they go along with the political fashions without actually lying. Others believe, as laymen do. I'm sure some do not, but get outvoted. Such is bureaucracy.

In no case are any of these statements based on a detailed evaluation of the science.

"How do the scientists, without actually knowing each other, co-ordinate or fudge their data repeatedly and continuously for decades so that other scientific communities with expertise in multiple scientific disciplines don’t figure out the con?"

Firstly, it doesn't require coordination, only a common belief. Secondly, a lot of the researchers work together, publish multiple joint papers in the same cliques, in many cases are students of the others. See the Wegman report for the social network analysis.

Thirdly, they take care not to publish enough information to reporduce the results, so it is extremely difficult to check. Few scientists will bother to go to the effort.

And fourthly, as I've said repeatedly, other scientific communities do figure out the con. It has no impact because they're just labelled "deniers" and treated as nuts. Because according to the consensus anyone who disagrees is ipso facto not a credible scientist, there is no credible disagreement. The consensus is thus on its own terms impossible to falsify.

"Critical comments? That’s it?"

You asked for a paper trail. What do you expect a paper trail to consist of, if not comments?

The IPCC reports were passed to a large number of scientific expert reviewers for comment - it's the basis of their claims to being the work of "thousands of climate scientists". The reviewers panned it, and pointed out all the errors. The comments were ignored, the report published anyway, and the support of the reviewers for the conclusions was claimed as a major plus. It was only after repeated FOIA requests that we got the review comments published, and discovered how many of them disagreed with it. Anyone can look at it, but nobody will because the media are not about to report on anything that contradicts the line.

"yet they hardly crack the case wide open."

What case? There is no case. That's why the IPCC seized on the hockeystick graph, broadcast it front and centre, because it was their best candidate for being a case. Without it, nobody knows what their case actually consists of. Do you?

"No they have not. Where is the work in the scientific arena overturning the theory of global warming?"

Try reading the scientific publications of Lindzen, Christy, Pielke, Idso, McIntyre, McKittrick, and so on.

"Surveys of “opinions”? Who cares what they believe?"

Hurrah! The first sensible thing you've said. But if you don't care what scientists believe, what have you got?

"Decades ago, nobody in the scientific community accepted global warming.
Now, they all do."


NO. THEY. DON'T.

When you actually ask the scientific community, meaning the scientists as opposed to the administrators of various clubs, they DON'T all accept it. This has been demonstrated.

"The science of global warming has gone through exactly the same process."

It is still going through the same process. Much of the AGW theory is less than a decade old. The sceptics are being initially ridiculed, but gradually winning their colleagues over. The initial consensus against plate tectonics required no conspiracy to maintain, just vested interests, politics, and inertia.

"Yet I was not talking about the evidence, per se. I was talking about the “controversy”"

You said "scientific controversy", not "media controversy".

Yes, I did look at the ID claims, and I'm very familiar with the theory of natural selection. I rejected the ID claims because their arguments were incorrect, not because the biological community rejected them. In exactly the same way, I looked at the AGW claims, and I looked at the sceptic claims, and I rejected the AGW claims because their arguments were incorrect. The fact that both ID and AGW have talking heads with PhDs on TV was irrelevant. The fact there was all this mud-slinging going on was irrelevant. The arguments for both ID and AGW were either wrong or inconclusive, so they got rejected.

"Pretend that you are not qualified to examine the evidence. You have never had to distinguish between science and pseudo-science before. [...] How does Joe Average do this when he cannot examine the evidence?"

Ah! Excellent question! Seriously - that's the best comment you've made.

The answer is, he doesn't. He can't. If he has no choice about making an immediate decision, then it may be rational to go along with Authority, but it is an unreliable method, and most importantly, it can never be described as Science.

It is quite reasonable for a non-scientific layman to go along with governments and authorities as a tentative default, it isn't reasonable for them to stridently insist that this is THE TRUTH, the one and only, and that anyone who says otherwise is some sort of deluded idiot or con-man.

If people say they go along with AGW on that basis, but admit they're not certain, I don't have a problem with that.

"No. Think about it. Who looks at the evidence? Joe Average?"

If Joe Average hasn't seen the evidence, Joe Average expresses no opinion.

If you want to express an opinion, and argue at length to support it, you have to look at the evidence.

"What scientific discoveries or theories are you aware of that became dominant via a toilet wall?"

A lot of practical commercial inventions are not published outside the company walls. A lot goes on at conferences, via emails, seminars, preprints, in lectures, textbooks, or sat chatting over coffee.

But if you want a specific example, the Mpemba effect was known long before there were journals, and in the modern era was spread by word of mouth.

"Can you think of why scientists are expected to present their evidence in a scientific arena? Is it just a good excuse for a party or what?"

It's a good way for journals to make money. And it does make it easier to find new and interesting results more efficiently. It plays no role in ensuring their correctness, though.

"That’s it? Huh? Out of how many?"

No, that isn't it. You missed Thompson. ;->

If you can provide me with a single demonstration that the rise in temperature is mainly anthropogenic, or outside the range of natural variation, in which all the data necessary to check the result is publicly available, I'll concede the point. But you can't, because there isn't one. If there was one, it would have been triumphantly produced and waved at us by now.

"I had no idea that he was good at that sort of thing."

You're clearly not paying attention then. He went with a team of experience dendrologists, the results were analysed in university labs, and a large part of the point of the exercise was to demonstrate that it isn't hard to do.

Having suggested sceptics go gather their own data, you now express incredulity when they do so. Tch.

"I look forward to his work being presented in the scientific arena and vetted by experts who know a lot about bristle cones."

It already has been. Didn't you know?

"It’s nice that Watts took the time to give a presentation at Dr Roger Pielke’s conference."

You mean the University of Colorado's conference.

"A survey? Surveys are interesting but…that’s not how you find out if there’s a scientific consensus."

No. Apparently you read press statements from administrators who haven't actually checked the science, don't represent the views of their members, nor even publish their claims in the peer reviewed literature.

"For example, how do you know if there’s a scientific consensus on the theory of evolution? Do you take a survey or…is there a better way?"

Errr... Yeah. You take a survey. Not that consensus is scientific, but if you want to know what scientists think, you have to ask them.

"Yep. That fits the bill nicely. Global warming denier appealing to the general public who know nothing about science via a blog."

I provide an example of a source not geared to the general public, discussing as it does serious technical statistics that makes most people's eyes water, and you simply assert that it's geared to the public. Apparently purely on the basis that it's a blog.

The scientific arena is defined by the content being scientific, not by any other criterion. You're arguing from authority again.

"Do you deny that there is a global scientific consensus on global warming?
Yes or no."


Yes. 30% disagreeing means it's not a consensus. And no consensus is 'scientific'. 'Consensus' is a concept from politics.

"How do you go about circumventing the scientific process on that scale and not have anybody notice?"

Millions of people have noticed. We've noticed. How can you deny the existence of millions of people who have noticed that the scientific process has been corrupted and used to sell a crock? And have splashed the news all over the internet? Who exactly do you you think you're talking to here? Do we not exist either?

"How is your position logically any different from the anti-vacc people or the creationists or the homeopaths?"

Because we insist on seeing evidence before we'll believe something. We won't believe it simply because someone claiming to be an expert told us. We won't believe it because it appeared in a peer-reviewed journal either (as the MMR paper did). I've done peer-review. I know how it works.

Can you tell me, how is your position logically any different from the anti-vacc people? You admit you don't have the scientific expertise to tell for yourself, so what makes you sure enough that you'll sit here and argue with a physicist/mathematician who has?

Cedric Katesby said...

“Can you tell me, how is your position logically any different from the anti-vacc people? You admit you don't have the scientific expertise to tell for yourself, so what makes you sure enough that you'll sit here and argue with a physicist/mathematician who has?”

Fair enough.
My hobby is pseudo-science and conspiracy theories. For the last few years, I have been very interested in the question of how an uninformed layman such as myself can avoid being duped by junk science.
This curiosity really took off in a major way when the Intelligent Design “controversy” reached my local newspaper. The article sounded very exciting with talk of a paradigm shift and the scientific community in an uproar. I’m sure you’re familiar with the usual sound-bite comments. The article was very uncritical of the ID movement. Even George Bush’s name was dropped in for good measure. Golly.

Yet, I was uneasy. I could not explain to myself my unease, yet there was something about the claims presented that didn’t quite gel.
I don’t have a scientific background so I wanted to get some more details on this Intelligent Design thing.
My light-hearted research into ID turned into something more serious when I realized that many scientists and teachers in America were very upset with articles such as the one in my newspaper.
The more I read, the more apparent it became that I was not reading about an honest scientific bun-fight but rather a cynical attempt by religious groups to, in effect, dupe the general public by wearing the mantle of the scientist.

I tried to be as open-minded as possible and deliberately read the articles and reports from both sides. I was still frustrated because I could not honestly say that I understood the science and I was worried that I was only judging “with my gut”. That was not good enough for me. I felt I was right but…how could I be sure?
That led me to randi.org and the wonderful world of medical quackery and scientific fraud.
They had some more information about Intelligent Design but the real wake-up call for me was the information they had on acupuncture.

At the time, I believed that acupuncture was more or less legitimate in medical circles. I’d never used it but I’d seen it on TV and had never heard anything negative about it. James Randi, however, described it as woo-woo.
I was convinced that, though James Randi supported my suspicions on ID, he was badly wrong on acupuncture. If he was wrong with one, he could be wrong about the other.

I decided that I would take the markers of legitimate science vs woo-woo that Randi himself used and send in a triumphant e-mail proving Randi wrong.
After a month of Internet hunting and ruthlessly weeding out anything that did not measure up to the scientific method, I was forced to admit defeat.
My acceptance of acupuncture was baseless.
I was a victim of woo-woo. I was no more scientifically minded than the brain-dead supporters of Intelligent Design. This was a humiliating admission for me.

So what else had I accepted that was wrong? How does a smart educated person like myself get conned? What I wanted was a system of weeding out legitimate science from pseudo-science.
How is science actually done? What does a real scientific controversy look like?
How is it that even specialists and people with Phd’s can get conned?

I read through ALL the archives of randi.org and was astounded at the sheer mass of pseudo-science out there. It took me many months to both read it all and do a basic background check from other sources. It was a fascinating project. There was stuff that was totally insane but there were others that were much more subtle. I didn’t want to adopt Randi as a sort of “stamp of approval” for what was legit or not legit. Rather I was interested in his method of investigation and the questions he repeatedly asked.
When faced with scientific claim X, how do you know that you’re not talking to a crack-pot?
Going back to Intelligent Design, I discovered two sites. Talkorigins.org and Pandasthumb.org.
The wealth of information they presented and the supporting evidence they gave was very impressive. The way they talked about biology and Intelligent Design met all of the criteria that I now expected to hear from legitimate science.
I followed the forum debates carefully for several years as a quiet lurker.
Along the way I found out about the importance of peer-review, the scientific method, fallacious arguments such as Authority and Incredulity, quote-mining, why scientific theories are important in science, how science self-corrects, cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect etc.

This does not make me a scientist. This makes me a person determined not to be fooled, yet knowing that I am the easiest person in the world to fool.

The anti-vacc people…
They use anecdotal evidence. They invoke conspiracy theory to explain away their lack of acceptance by the medical community. They repeatedly invoke the same single peer-reviewed paper and yet ignore the mountain of opposing papers. Regular doctors beat their heads against the wall when anti-vacc talking heads appear on TV. Anti-vacc spokespeople almost always are not qualified to offer a medical opinion and speak out of their field. They never do their own experiments.
They never do peer-reviewed research. Their supporters are incapable of recognizing quack nostrums such as therapeutic touch or homeopathy.
Death rates of children from childhood diseases where anti-vacc denialism is entrenched etc.
That’s enough red flags for me.

When I look at global warming denierism…red flags pop up too.
The first thing that struck me was that all the creationists and the YEC’er were 100% behind it. That’s not a good sign.
It’s not evidence but you have to admit…it’s an awfully bad beginning.

Reading the creationist arguments on the Internet on global warming was literally no different from reading their arguments on the theory of Evolution.
The rhetoric was identical. The logic was the same. The adjectives and the fallacious arguments were perfectly interchangeable. They even had the PRATT points. Lots and lots and lots of PRATT points.

Further, the biological science blogs that are heavy into the Creationist/Evolution debate have noticed this too. For example, I found the global warming denier PRATT point list on Pharyngula. The list is based on the creationist PRATT points on talkorigins.org
The main blog for Intelligent Design (uncommondescent.org) has repeatedly come out in favour of global warming denialism.

The objections that science bloggers such as Ian Mugrave, PZ Myers, Jason Rosenhouse, Larry Moran, Phil Plait, Eugenie Scott etc have to global warming denierism are the same as the ones they have to creationism. There has been no special pleading. No exceptions made.
These are people that I have read on for several years now. I am very aware of their reputation, specialization and service as educators to the general public.
I enjoy their writing and as a layman, I find them trustworthy.
There has been no civil war amongst them on the topic of global warming.
Now, yes, this is not scientific. Perhaps they are wrong. However, once again, it doesn’t look good.

Our host delights in portraying scientists he disagrees with as priests. The message is that it’s all just a religion. Pure faith.
Creationists do the same seedy debating trick. Not good.

Our host calls scientists hogs. Hogs that just want his money. This is not about the science but it is something that is definitely investigable. Yet he does not investigate. Nobody ever does. He offers no evidence. The slur just hangs in the air. I’ve seen this on multiple sites. It’s very common.
Just like the creationists. Not good.

Endless moaning and groaning about Al Gore. Even when you don’t mention Al Gore, somebody will always try to inject him into the conversation. It’s so predictable. I don’t get my science information from Al Gore. People shouldn’t reject the science of global warming because they have a bug in their bonnet about Al Gore. Al Gore is neither here nor there.
Darwin ate babies. Ok. Whatever. Not good.

If our host’s position is sound, then why does he not scrupulously avoid such tub-thumping? Why not actively discourage such methods? Such methods erode credibility.

And of course, the PRATT points. One after the other. Anybody can recite PRATT points. Just like the creationists. They’re short, cute and sound-bite friendly. Pity the poor fool that has to laboriously wade through several pages of response explaining that the PRATT point really is a PRATT point.
By the time you’ve done that, everybody’s gone home. The Gish Gallop. I’m sure you are familiar with it.

NickM is a fluid dynamicist. PA Annoyed is a physicist/mathematician. However, in the here and now you are just anonymous people on the Internet. Maybe you are who you say you are…or perhaps not.
Even if you are telling the truth, you could be either delusional or blinded by overconfidence in your education. So I have to treat you as just anonymous people on the Internet and not take your assurances at face value.

Relying on surveys to figure out scientific consensus.
Just like the creationists. Not good.

The scientific arena. The point that people can discuss science elsewhere is accepted. The fact that the peer-reviewed system is flawed is taken. Yet you totally write it off. You don’t acknowledge that despite it’s flaws, it’s still highly regarded by scientists as a useful “gatekeeper”. The MMR paper did indeed slip through, yet the paper was very quickly attacked by other papers following the same process and entering the same arena. The process of peer-review is a useful (though not perfect) tool in spotting pseudo-science. Why do you not talk about this? Can’t you see how suspicious it sounds?
All crackpots/creationists fear and loath the scientific arena. They know that they’ve got a snowballs chance in hell of passing muster. So they deride or ignore the peer-review process altogether. Or alternatively, they fake it.
Not Good.
http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CI/CI001_4.html

“many climate scientists have refused to release their data”
“They assert the results, but hide the data and algorithms.”


Perhaps this is true. Yet you don’t have any investigations to demonstrate it. Who is this “many”? So far we’ve got three names. Out of how many scientists?
It hasn’t even been established that they are even hiding anything. Perhaps McIntyre didn’t get what he wanted because the scientists concerned just don’t like him yet would be happy to give their date to others? I have no idea.
Now this is not the science itself so this is something a layman could understand if somebody did the detective work. If there are “many”, then how many from the “maybe a few tens of thousand at most”? This is something that is checkable. No science degree required.
Yet if there’s no evidence then it sounds as flimsy as “many scientists secretly support Intelligent Design”. Not good.

“These statements put out by scientific bodies are not reflections of the views of their members…”
This is something you have to prove. Or at least provide some evidence for.

“…but press statements put out by a small number of bureaucrats on a committee. They're more interested in maintaining the public reputation and standing of the society - in order to keep subscriptions up - and all bureaucrats everywhere instinctively avoid controversy.”

Can you prove this? What about Marvin Geller, John Christy and Ellen Druffel who drafted the position statement on climate change for the AGU.? They are only bureaucrats? I can’t help but doubt this.

However, there is evidence that bureaucrats have tried to misrepresent scientific communities in order to downplay global warming. The spat between a bureaucrat like Griffen and NASA, for example.

You asked for a paper trail. What do you expect a paper trail to consist of, if not comments?

The paper trail of the conspiracy.
The meetings. The payoffs.
The rejected research proposals that threatened to rock the boat.
Biased grant guidlines.
The channeling of money to special interests.

Or, alternatively, I’d like to see some work. How many peer-reviewed papers specifically deny AGW as opposed to those that support it?
Put one mountain of papers on the left and one mountain on the right.
Which one is bigger? How much bigger?

“The sceptics are being initially ridiculed, but gradually winning their colleagues over.”

No doubt. When will this winning process manifest itself in science journals and statements by scientific communities as opposed to blogs and coffee-table books? Can you give a rough time frame?
Are you aware that creationists, even now, claim that the good ship Darwin is sinking? What makes your assurances more genuine than theirs?

“The initial consensus against plate tectonics required no conspiracy to maintain, just vested interests, politics, and inertia.”

Yes. So you would reject the notion that scientists accepted plate tectonics because they wanted more grant money?
Can a layman tell if there is a scientific consensus on plate tectonics without resorting to a survey?
(Granted a consensus is not ‘scientific’. Yet the phrase scientific consensus is used.)
………………………………………………………………………………………………

Once again, I’ve created a monster despite serious editing.
(sigh)
Oh and did anybody around here watch the video and the link I posted.
Anybody? Somebody?

Pa Annoyed said...

Cedric,

With regard to most of the first half of your comment, you have my full sympathy and support. I also get annoyed at the levels of pseudo science. I also am interested in finding ways to recognise it.

The only point I would really disagree with you on is the reliance on peer review. The purpose of peer review is not to actually check the correctness of a paper, it is to provide a basic filter against obvious nonsense, already known results, see that generally appropriate methods have been followed, that sufficient detail is provided, and that it is likely to be of interest to the journal's audience. They don't always do a very good job of this, and there are well-known journals with lower standards or different biases to others. They're not unlike newspapers in that regard.

The purpose of journal articles is to put forward work in progress, so that others can try to replicate it, discover the errors in it, and build on it. A large fraction of peer reviewed papers are shown to be wrong within a few years of publication - and that is the way it is supposed to work. Journals carry the working hypotheses of the scientific process. Publishing what you might call 'settled science' is the role of textbooks, although nothing is ever finally 'settled' in science.

The journal papers on climatology are by no means without value, and even the sceptical scientists rely heavily on them for information. You can find a fairly hefty list at CO2 Science, with short summaries. The sceptics also publish. If you check Professor Lindzen's publication list you'll see plenty of journal articles as well as more mainstream media. McIntyre has published in Geophysical Research Letters. Idso, Pielke, and Christy have been published. (Try Idso's paper "CO2-induced global warming: a skeptic’s view of potential climate change" published in 'Climate Research' for a readable account.)

It's well worth taking a look at the case from the other side, such as on the Hockeystick and making your own mind up whether these are genuine academics, or people working in sheds.

I don't mind being challenged on the content. I don't mind being asked to justify the scepticism. But it gets tiresome when I'm dismissed before I've even opened my mouth, and when nothing I say can possibly make a difference.

I'd like to think your last post showed a different attitude, and you might be interested in challenging me to explain further. Here's hoping.