Understanding the “pause”

I thought I might briefly highlight a recent paper that tries to understand what some call “the pause”, but which isn’t really a “pause” as nothing has actually stopped. The paper is Natural variability, radiative forcing and climate response in the recent hiatus reconciled, by Marcus Huber and Reto Knutti.

What they’ve done is to run an unforced control run of a CMIP5 climate model, from which they extract a segment that matches the observed NINO3.4 index for the time period of interest. They then run a suite of forced climate models, but with updated stratospheric aerosol and solar forcings, and then adjust these using the portion of the unforced model which matches the NINO3.4 index, resulting in the ENSO effect producing a cooling of 0.06oC and the adjustments to the forcings producing a cooling of 0.07oC. The paper then compares the model results with the HadCRUT4 temperature dataset and with the Cowtan & Way (2013) correction to the HadCRUT4 dataset (which includes satellite data for the Arctic to compensate for coverage bias). The basic result is shown in the figure below, and illustrates that with all the corrections, the best fit is to a model with a Transient Climate Response (TCR) of 1.8oC, and an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of 3oC.

Comparison of model runs and temperature datasets from Huber & Knutti (2014).

Comparison of model runs and temperature datasets from Huber & Knutti (2014).


So, basically, this result suggests that despite a “pause”/hiatus/slowdown in surface warming we will still likely have warmed by 1.8oC (relative to pre-industrial times) when we’ve doubled CO2 and – if CO2 concentrations remain at that level – we’ll eventually warm by 3oC. Not really all that surprising really.

What can often happen when such papers are published is that some criticise scientists for focusing so much on anthropogenic effects, and ignoring other non-anthropogenic effects. Well, in a sense this paper didn’t. It ran a suite of unforced models to try and extract a segment with NINO3.4 indices similar to the period of interest. Unforced means that there are no external forcings, so the only factors included were internal variability. Did these runs show long-term warming? No, because if there is no change in external forcing, then the equilibrium temperature is essentially fixed. Internal variability can cause temperatures to rise above, and fall below, equilibrium, but it can’t cause long-term warming because temperatures will quickly return to equilibrium. If internal variability could produce a change in forcing, then it could cause long-term warming, but we’re unaware of any internal process that can actually do this.

The paper also considered updates to stratospheric aerosol (volcanoes) and solar forcing, so it did consider other natural effects. Essentially, all of the work that tries to understand the “hiatus” is leading to the same basic conclusion : it is simply a consequence of internal variability that can lead to periods when we warm faster than average, and others when we warm slower, but doesn’t really change what we should expect to happen in the medium- to long-term as a consequence of anthropogenic emissions. Maybe those who keep arguing that there is some kind of natural effect that could both explain this and result in significantly lower climate sensitivities, could actually explain what this natural effect is. Simply proposing something without actually explaining what it is or how it works, is just a little silly. It’s possible that those who seem to think that they might be consensus busting geniuses should really start considering that they’re not.

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181 Responses to Understanding the “pause”

  1. Marco says:

    Looks similar to Risbey et al’s paper:
    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2310.html
    This strongly suggests there is work to do on finding out when (and thereby why) the models get ENSO right.

  2. Marco,
    Thanks, knew there were other references I should have included 🙂

  3. I didn’t much like the Risbey thing, for reasons I didn’t write down. This one looks better, at a 5-second glance.

  4. I thought the idea of selecting those models with variability in phase with observations seemed quite sensible, as Risbey et al. did, but I wasn’t sure why they compared trends, rather than simply the anomaly itself.

  5. Choosing the models based on phase is very difficult, if not impossible,in a way that avoids all cherry picking type bias. When some such bias is possible, it’s usually very difficult to estimate, how strong the bias might be. My impression about the Risbey et al paper was that it had problems of this type.

  6. I don’t think Risbey actually did select var in phase. All they looked at was 15-y trend match, which is completely different.

  7. Pekka,
    Hmmm, I’m going to have to think about that. What Huber & Knutti seem to have done is find a time interval with variability that appears to match that observed. I had assumed that Risbey had done something similar, but if what you’re suggesting is that they tried to do it by identifying some period where it seemed to be in phase at the beginning of the interval, but in which the overall variability didn’t match what was observed, then I can see that would be an issue.

  8. William,
    Their abstracts suggests that they tried to find models that were in phase, but if what they did is to simply match trends, then I agree, that isn’t the same as trying to match the ENSO variability.

  9. Gavin,
    Yes, I really thought I’d written about that, but I don’t seem to have done so. Hard to keep track sometimes 🙂 Thanks for the link.

  10. I don’t think Risbey actually did select var in phase. All they looked at was 15-y trend match, which is completely different.

    That’s actually the main problem. If it’s possible to select strictly on phase without contribution from trend match, then I have little to complain, but it’s more typical that it’s not possible.

  11. Catalin Caranfil says:

    Let me play here the devil’s advocate – the paper has undeniable value but IMHO misses a more extreme but possibly important point – what if current levels achieved in modeling are not accurate enough at reproducing the non-linearity of the vertical ocean heat transfer mechanisms (which could be inherent at very high imbalances between the deep ocean and the surface temperatures plus a large radiative imbalance) and what if mechanisms like those described in England 2014 are not a one-time exception, not even the new normal but instead something that could get even further in a few decades? What if the best model for the current combination of deep oceans + surface temperatures + radiative imbalance would be something that for the next few decades would show a TCR of 1.3-1.5 but would then go to an ECS of 3.5-4 or so? (which I believe does not even exist in current CMIP5 group).

  12. BBD says:

    On the understanding of the pause, it seems possible that a warming Atlantic triggered the unprecedented recent Trade Winds acceleration and so the “hiatus” and the mixing of heat into deep Pacific water observed by ARGO.

    See McGregor et al. (2014) Recent Walker circulation strengthening and Pacific cooling amplified by Atlantic warming:

    An unprecedented strengthening of Pacific trade winds since the late 1990s has caused widespread climate perturbations, including rapid sea-level rise in the western tropical Pacific, strengthening of Indo-Pacific ocean currents, and an increased uptake of heat in the equatorial Pacific thermocline. The corresponding intensification of the atmospheric Walker circulation is also associated with sea surface cooling in the eastern Pacific, which has been identified as one of the contributors to the current pause in global surface warming. In spite of recent progress in determining the climatic impacts of the Pacific trade wind acceleration, the cause of this pronounced trend in atmospheric circulation remains unknown. Here we analyse a series of climate model experiments along with observational data to show that the recent warming trend in Atlantic sea surface temperature and the corresponding trans-basin displacements of the main atmospheric pressure centres were key drivers of the observed Walker circulation intensification, eastern Pacific cooling, North American rainfall trends and western Pacific sea-level rise. Our study suggests that global surface warming has been partly offset by the Pacific climate response to enhanced Atlantic warming since the early 1990s.

  13. Catalin,
    Certainly what you say is possible, but I’m not quite sure I follow this

    What if the best model for the current combination of deep oceans + surface temperatures + radiative imbalance would be something that for the next few decades would show a TCR of 1.3-1.5 but would then go to an ECS of 3.5-4 or so? (which I believe does not even exist in current CMIP5 group).

    As it stands, if you do an energy budget model based on observations (Otto et al., for example) you get a TCR of about 1.4. There are many possible reasons for this. Inhomogeneities in the aerosol forcings, non-linearities in the feedbacks, etc. So, any climate model that matches observations up till today is therefore consistent with an energy budget estimate of the TCR that would be around 1.4. However, that climate model – overall – may suggest (by the time we double CO2) a TCR of 1.8 or 2. So, are you suggesting an actual TCR of 1.3 – 1.5, but an ECS that is still 3 or higher, or a model that would appear to be heading for a TCR of 1.3 – 1.5, but would actually reach 1.8 – 2, once CO2 has doubled.

    What I would say about the deep ocean issue, is that it is possible that it could play a role, but I’m not convinced of the significance. In a sense, if we transport more energy than we expect to depth, then the surface would warm more slowly. However, if we continue to increase atmospheric CO2 emissions, then the radiative forcing would continue to increase, the energy imbalance would increase and be larger than if the surface warming were faster, and – consequently I think – the impact of more energy going into the deep ocean may not be as great as you might think (other than the ocean heat content rising faster than if less were to go into the deep ocean). It’s late here, so I may not have explained that as well as I could have.

  14. BBD says:

    Perhaps in other words: transient variability in ocean heat uptake doesn’t affect TCR.

  15. BBD,
    Transient wouldn’t, but I think Catalin is arguing for something more permanent/long-term.

  16. BBD says:

    I meant TCS, sorry. And yes, Caitlin has a point. It rather depends on the definition of transient as applied to OHU. We shall see.

  17. BBD says:

    aAfter a little thought, I think you are

  18. BBD says:

    ATTP

    Whoops. After a little thought I think you are correct to say that it is unlikely that transient variability in OHU is sufficient to mask a high estimate of ECS.

  19. I tend to understand exactly what these guys are up to, as I have been developing a model based on a multivariate fit to the global temperature record:
    http://contextearth.com/2014/01/22/projection-training-intervals-for-csalt-model/
    TCR=2.1C assuming GISS and ECS=3.0C assuming BEST

    As a key part of this, I have been trying to deduce a model of ENSO that can be used for natural variability predictions:
    http://contextearth.com/2014/07/17/correlation-of-time-series/

    And lest I forget, a group of us at the Azimuth Project are seeing how far we can take similar ideas for predicting El Ninos:
    http://azimuth.mathforge.org/

  20. Catalin C says:

    Since I could not reply to specific posts I tried to create an account to keep things more organized.

    @andthentheresphysics – the problem that I see is that we talk about TCR which has a clear but very restricted definition; CO2 evolution appears as very close to TCR definition but for the last century or so the impact of aerosols has made the real evolution of the radiative forcing and of effective heat transfer quite different and to the letter TCR no longer makes sense, we should probably use a term like Effective Climate Response ECR. And I have a very clear concern that ECR in the next 1-3 decades could continue to be similar to a TCR of 1.3-1.5 as it did in current/previous decade. Which in turn would see AGW-denial explode to new levels. Shindell 2014 also makes the point that TCR was/is influenced in rather unexpected ways by aerosols.

    @BBD – regarding McGregor 2014 I tend to agree with Trenberth and Wunsch, saying that the Atlantic warming is the main driver is misleading, IMHO the main driver is the large radiative imbalance plus the imbalance to deep ocean – http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/03/new-study-sees-atlantic-warming-behind-a-host-of-recent-climate-shifts/

  21. Catalin,

    And I have a very clear concern that ECR in the next 1-3 decades could continue to be similar to a TCR of 1.3-1.5 as it did in current/previous decade. Which in turn would see AGW-denial explode to new levels.

    Indeed, that is possible. I think the aerosols could indeed do this, but I had a feeling that they are likely to drop in the coming decades, so I’m not sure that this is quite the worry that you think it is. Of course, it would be nice if the climate sensitivity was low and it would not be ideal if it isn’t, but looks like it is. I think, however, that it’s much more likely that we’ll have a much stronger picture in the coming decades. Just consider what’s already happening : we’ve moved from outright denial, to it’s happening but it’s not important, to it might be important but adaptation is all we should do.

  22. “Just consider what’s already happening : we’ve moved from outright denial, to it’s happening but it’s not important, to it might be important but adaptation is all we should do.”

    Do we think the next stage is, “yes you’re right and we’re wrong, let’s do something about climate change, …or is there yet another stage encouraging ‘business as usual’ in between?

  23. John,
    I have no idea. My suspicion is that when it becomes obvious, what will happen is that the very vocal dissenters will suddenly claim that the real problem was the behaviour of various climate scientists and that if only those people could have been trusted, we would have acted long ago and that all they were doing – in dissenting – was trying to keep people honest.

  24. I guess to paraphrase my previous comment, it will probably go something like this

    “you’re lying, you’re lying, you’re lying ….. oh, you were right …. but it sounded like you were lying, therefore it’s all your fault”.

  25. billzog says:

    Amen to that. ‘It’s your fault I wouldn’t listen to you – if it was really so important you ought to have found a way through my vituperative denunciation of you as a fraud’ is going to be the position of many a contrarian.

  26. verytallguy says:

    ATTP/johnrussel40

    I think it’s rather more depressing than that. Max Planck had it right:

    A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

    My prediction is that contrarians will go to their graves convinced they are right. Look for instance at Salby, where existing data already proves he is unequivocally wrong. What was the response of the sceptic community to that?

  27. VTG,

    Look for instance at Salby, where existing data already proves he is unequivocally wrong. What was the response of the sceptic community to that?

    Yes, Murry Salby was a bit of a turning point for me. It was quite early on in my adventures in the blogosphere and it seemed so obviously wrong that it should have been easy to simply get others to accept the very obvious problems with his work. Not only was I wrong about that, it also made me realise that what might seem obvious to me, isn’t to everyone else and that expecting people to respond positively to – what I would have hoped – was a logical explanation of why someone was in error, was a futile and naive assumption. I stand by what I may have said before : anyone who thinks that Murry Salby’s work may have merit and should be investigated further is a fool.

  28. Steve Bloom says:

    Technically: Deluded fool.

  29. Steve,
    Indeed, knew I was missing something 🙂

  30. verytallguy says:

    ATTP,

    yes. Even without the various other lines of evidence, fig 3.2(b) here is pretty conclusive.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/fig3-2.htm (couldn’t find this in AR5)

    I also predict that should any sceptic blogger read my 12:11 it would be reported as “Far from trying to be civil, the discredited troll ATTP endorses a commenter calling for skeptics to face the death penalty”

    The skeptical community is far more interesting in its demonstration of human psychology than its challenge to physics.

  31. Remember the time when the skeptics would be able to defend themselves by saying “Well, at least we’re not as crazy as the SkyDragon team !” ?

    Well, now they have the Salby faction, the David “rocket scientist” Evans faction, the Connolly boys, an on and on to try to distinguish themselves from. There is even some SoDak dude named Gary Novak that published an insane piece in the newspaper Pravda (translated as “Truth” in Russian, ha ha)
    http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/18-08-2014/128296-methane-0/

    It must be a full-time job herding cats in the WUWT yard.

  32. vtg,

    The skeptical community is far more interesting in its demonstration of human psychology than its challenge to physics.

    and – in some cases – their inability to understand sentences with more than 10 words and words with more than 2 syllables.

  33. Mal Adapted says:

    johnrussell40:

    Do we think the next stage is, “yes you’re right and we’re wrong, let’s do something about climate change, …or is there yet another stage encouraging ‘business as usual’ in between?

    No matter how convincing the scientific case is, motivated deniers will keep pushing their propaganda. We mustn’t underestimate the sophistication of the professional disinformers, who’ve demonstrated their skill at selling nonsense.

    The fundamental obstacle to a political solution is the money spent by fossil-fuel billionaires, not only to keep the public confused and inflamed, but to pressure politicians directly. Privately, the people who’ve made their fortunes by socializing the cost of climate change may acknowledge it on some level, but are still determined to protect their investments by any means necessary. The message to politicians, explicit or not, is “I don’t care if AGW is real or not, if you vote for anything that threatens my cash flow, you’re out of a job.”

    There may come a tipping point, when enough voters demand action from their elected officials to counteract the power of fossil-fuel money. I’ll believe it when I see effective emissions-reduction legislation being passed.

  34. metzomagic says:

    Yep. Tom Curtis called Salby out on his patently dubious graphs a few years back:

    Salby’s ratio

    The AGW deniers won’t usually read stuff like that for comprehension, though. They don’t take kindly to their perceived heroes being thoroughly debunked.

  35. Michael 2 says:

    “which isn’t really a ‘pause’ as nothing has actually stopped.”

    Denying the pause, in other words 🙂

    It is likely the processes, whatever they actually are, have not stopped. Obviously these processes are not fully understood.

    VTG “The skeptical community is far more interesting in its demonstration of human psychology than its challenge to physics.”

    Agreed. Physics is only peripherally involved and understood by relatively few persons (many right here).

    I’ll admit that I find the psychology aspect interesting; how do you move 7 billion sheep into a new way of living? Insulting skeptics produced an audience but not much else. Polar bears falling from the sky was a clever idea but I doubt its effectiveness. Seems there’s only 19,000 views (approximately) on Youtube of the polar bear thing. So, yeah, psychology is more important than physics to (probably most of) 7 billion people.

  36. metzomagic,
    Yes, Tom did a great job of debunking that.

  37. Re : academic definition of a rocket scientist. I read he link, which is quite old, and while I do agree that Evans is a self described idiot, clearly their academic definition of a ‘rocket scientist’ is woefully obsolete. Cases in point – Elon Musk, and to a lesser extent, Jeff Bezos.

    Andthentheresme. I’m more the Willy Ley type,as I just write for billionaires. But the reason we’ve been doing this at all is that NASA has been such an abject failure (for decades now) in this area and we desperately needed to get costs down for the high dollar science satellites we badly need.

    But cheaper launch is not going to reduce the price of expensive sensors and precision pointing. My concern is what we are going to do when this vastly cheaper resusable launch capability arrives, which is going to be sooner than everyone thinks. Even ‘rocket scientists’ and billionaire funders of rocket scientists don’t have a clue. And so I continue to do ‘rocket science’ even after my original goal with this project has recently been dramatically fulfilled. When one fulfills a goal, one sets a new goal. I suspect that Colorado and condensed matter physics will be that goal, since things, as usual in this or any other field, are not progressing at the rate I would desire.

    Blog science and comment science is making it clear that academia has a bit of catching up to do.

  38. Sorry, I guess it wasn’t a link, I just googled his name and came up with this.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/who-is-rocket-scientist-david-evans

    Credentialism just doesn’t work for me anymore.

  39. Michael 2 says:

    Mal Adapted says: “We mustn’t underestimate the sophistication of the professional disinformers, who’ve demonstrated their skill at selling nonsense.”

    I sense a bit of conspiratorial thinking here.
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0075637

  40. Doug Bostrom says:

    Mal Adapted is doubtless referring to such as the Heartland Institute, with their annual kangaroo klimate konference. To provide disinformation for hire is to be a professional disinformer.

    Refusing to believe in Heartland is akin to refusing to believe Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon in 1969. Denialism at its most deranged.

  41. Michael 2 says:

    johnrussell40 says: “Do we think the next stage is, ‘yes you’re right and we’re wrong, let’s do something about climate change,’ ”

    Groupthink is when you don’t know what you think until you ask the group what we think.

    It isn’t linear (IMO). Many green people seem to *start* with AGW viewpoints (humans are evil). Others believe humans are good and the world is in their hands (manifest destiny).

    Each flavor can be considered individually. In the case of resumption of global warming, the greens will feel vindicated but they will also consider everyone NOT green to be enemy of the human race and I predict rather a lot of violence as a result.

    In the case of the manifest destiny types, climate “happens” and won’t feel any guilt regardless of the trend; but they’re not necessarily stupid and will prepare for it. Some will move north. Others will dig in. Violence will probably happen.

    In the case of various religions, an “end of the world” has already been predicted and will be seen as fulfillment. Rather a lot of violence will probably be the result of determining who exactly are the Chosen Ones.

    If the earth *cools* the 97 percent should probably hide; violence will probably ensue as fears of an ice age return.

  42. Doug Bostrom says:

    Summarizing Michael 2, “the future will emerge from the barrel of a gun.”

    I thought I had a dismal worldview but now I’m humbled.

    So-called “greens” end up lumped into one group?

    Are astronauts on the ISS “greens?” If an astronaut on the space station decided to take up smoking cigars, would those who objected be “green?” Moving along the continuum, in a much larger system is recognition of resource constraints a matter of ideology or pragmatism?

  43. BBD says:

    Michael 2

    Mal Adapted says: “We mustn’t underestimate the sophistication of the professional disinformers, who’ve demonstrated their skill at selling nonsense.”

    I sense a bit of conspiratorial thinking here.

    Denying the existence of the denial industry is denying established matters of fact. Please stop it. It is pernicious.

    Check the facts. They are covered in exhaustive and verifiable detail, for example:

    Merchants of Doubt

    Climate Cover Up

    Read. Post less nonsense.

  44. BBD says:

    M2

    It isn’t linear (IMO). Many green people seem to *start* with AGW viewpoints (humans are evil).

    And let’s have no more of this egregious, self-serving misrepresentation either.

  45. guthrie says:

    VTG @ 12:11- I think PLanck was more talking about scientific opponents, in which case he’s wrong, e.g. continental drift was accepted rapidly enough when the evidence came together. Same with lots of chemistry and related things. There’s no opposition to climate change science that is actually scientifically tenable, but certainly the chief denialists with sicentific backgrounds will have to die off first. The cite of PLancks comment apparently comes from Kuhn, who was writing basically a historical/ sociological study of changes in science, not a philosophical work on how science actually works.

  46. Mal Adapted says:

    Michael 2:

    I sense a bit of conspiratorial thinking here.

    Conspiracy isn’t really the right word for the AGW disinformation campaign. The word denotes “a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful”, but short of actionable libel or threats, it’s not unlawful to fund, create or disseminate AGW-denial. Until recently, at least, it wasn’t a very well kept secret either. For its report on the activities of the Koch brothers, for example, the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University School of Communications relied on the public record. And it’s not clear that all participants intend harm; in fact, it’s likely that some of sincerely believe they are acting from worthy motives.

    It’s true that financial links from donors to denier “think tanks” have become harder to trace, thanks largely to recent favorable court rulings. That’s hardly a reason to think the campaign for AGW denial has ended.

  47. Michael 2 says:

    Mal Adapted said: “Until recently, at least, it wasn’t a very well kept secret either.”

    Since a secret plan is obviously known to the members of the conspiracy I conclude that what matters for the definition to fit what seems to be Dr. Lewandowsky’s intention is whether the claimant believes that he possesses secret knowledge that he was not intended to possess OR at least he possesses knowledge that his peers do not possess and, being superior and better informed than his peers, is going to grace everyone else with his information.

    I think this is particularly noticeable on the internet where so many announce a judgement of some sort on someone else. It rises to the level of conspiracy theory, as I think Dr. Lewandowsky was using the word, when he imputes greater influence by members of the conspiracy than evidence available to the claimant warrants.

    In other words, it appears that Lewandowsky is emphasizing the delusional aspect of conspiracy thinking for the purpose of denigrating conspiracy theorists, and by association, all skeptics.

    If you do not have facts, but believe an organization is large and dangerous and influential, you are inventing that largeness or danger in your mind.

    Consequently it seems to me that there is far more conspiracy ideation among the deniers of deniers than there are among skeptics.

    I use “denier” for such persons as believe ALL of AGW claims are part of a liberty-robbing conspiracy, and skeptic for persons that are “skeptical”, in other words, not immediately believing every claim put to them. Obviously this forms a continuum from believing almost everything to believing essentially nothing, with “warmist” at one end and “denier” at the other. The extreme ends are where you will find conspiracy theorists.

    YMMV.

  48. Michael 2 says:

    BBD commented “Denying the existence of the denial industry is denying established matters of fact.”

    My head is (almost) spinning but at least I now understand what you wrote on that other thread. I’m not sure that I understand what you wrote but it seems to have very little to do with my comment to Mal Adjusted where he seems to exaggerate and impute great power and funding to a few people, quite a different thing that claiming there is no such thing as a denial industry.

    I have no idea whether there is, or is not, such a thing. Industries spring up over just about anything, certainly warmists have many industries, a fear industry producing movies of polar bears falling from the sky. Not very profitable I think. So I suppose a denial industry probably exists even if I were just to guess.

    “Check the facts.”

    To the extent that facts are available to me, I will. I do not consider claims made here to be that, but it is about all I have — internet sources that anyone can make practically on a whim. But it will have to do for now.

    “They are covered in exhaustive and verifiable detail, for example:”

    “Merchants of Doubt …(by) Naomi Oreskes”

    Conspiracy theory alert! “Seitz and Singer served in high levels of science administration, and had contact with admirals, generals, and even presidents. They also had considerable media experience, so they could obtain press coverage for their views.”

    You could make a movie out of that, sort of a James Bond thing.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt

    The conspiracy ideation goes beyond Ms. Oreskes of course and includes people who claim just any denier or skeptic is part of that conspiracy. Some have said it of me. Now THAT is conspiracy ideation!

    How about your other source, “Climate Cover-Up”

    Recommended by Leonardo DiCaprio (now there’s an authority you can trust!) “This book explains how the propaganda generated by self-interest groups has purposely created confusion about climate change. It’s an imperative read for a successful future.”

    “An exposé of planetary scale.” JAMES E. HANSEN

    Yeah, okay, he’s really influential among skeptics.

    It might even be true, 100 percent pure unadulterated true! but half a truth is not Truth. I need the “rest of the story” and in fact have a Naomi Oreskes book on my wish list so that I’m not similarly groupthinked into just skepticism.

    Who do you think these books are FOR? Who is going to read them? Skeptics? Good heavens, no; they aren’t even being marketed to skeptics. They exist to keep True Believers in the Fold — why else would you use Leonardo DiCaprio or James Hansen to endorse a book intended to convince skeptics? You wouldn’t. It’s stupid.

    You see, I don’t care all that much and I wouldn’t be commenting here on it other than I find it amusing that you think you and Mal Adjusted are not conspiracy theorists.

    Of course conspiracies exist. They always have. All political movements have them and probably all financial schemers have them. It is all irrelevant to science.

    What a person says is either true or not true (or a mixture), and he knows it is true or untrue (or is mistaken). If a person is paid to lie, good for him, most people are willing to do it for free. How much money was moved because Himalayan glaciers were going to be gone by 2035? Billions of dollars; a lot more than anyone gets for being a skeptic.

    Naomi Oreskes book is about stopping global socialism. That’s what Hearland is about. Global warming is just an issue, a tool being used by both sides, liberty vs socialism. Next year it could be something else entirely but the same philosophical battle proceeding since Plato at least.

  49. Michael 2 says:

    Doug Bostrom wrote “with their annual kangaroo klimate konference. To provide disinformation for hire is to be a professional disinformer.”

    I doubt there is such a thing as “kangaroo klimate konference”. Perhaps your words are a bit of disinformation. Just a bit. If you weren’t paid for it, you are working too cheap. 😉

  50. Michael 2 says:

    Doug Bostrom says: “Summarizing Michael 2, ‘the future will emerge from the barrel of a gun.’ ”

    Excellent summarization. Happening now in the Mideast and Missouri. Coming soon to a theater near you. But it sort of depends on where you live. Earthquake in Haiti, chaos and violence. Earthquake in Japan, people helping each other.

  51. Doug Bostrom says:

    Michael 2: click more, type less.

  52. Lars Karlsson says:

    Behold, the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change.

  53. verytallguy says:

    guthrie @8:51

    yes – I was (probably wrongly) using the quote to try illustrate the intransigence of climate change deniers and their impermeability to facts. In general, the scientific community is not part of that denial.

    M2 continues manfully to demonstrate the point here, and I note that Anders has had it rubbed in his face again at BH.

  54. Lars Karlsson says:

    Michael 2 very aptly captures the mindset of most “skepticts”:

    “Global warming is just an issue, a tool being used by both sides, liberty vs socialism. Next year it could be something else entirely but the same philosophical battle proceeding since Plato at least.”

    With such an attitude, why should one really care about the science? Why should one ever be interested in learning and understanding anything?

  55. guthrie says:

    That’s why I prefer denialists as a label, because they aren’t skeptics. Mashey’s pseudo-sceptic is also useful.

  56. It’s my view that we’ll know that we’ve ‘won’ (a hollow victory) when the fake-sceptics go quiet. Because that’s what those in denial generally do when events finally overtake them.

    It can’t be too soon as far as M2 goes.

  57. Many people seem to think that there were not much climate skepticism without the orchestrated and well funded effort of big bad energy companies, and that revealing such funding is highly helpful in countering this kind of skepticism.

    I don’t buy that at all. There are many other factors that have helped the skepticism to form and that are far more important in its persistence. Discussing and emphasizing the conspiratorial role of Koch brothers, Heartland Institute and others is not necessarily of any value in trying to get correct scientific knowledge accepted. It’s not even clear that the limited influence this approach has works in the right direction.

  58. Pekka. I agree in part.

    I think there are two strands of ‘scepticism’. The first strand is made up of the general public who get their understanding of climate change from biased newspapers and ‘the man down the pub’. These people are not very engaged and can take it or leave it. They mainly leave it but have formed the impression that there’s a debate amongst scientists about CC. Clearly fossil-fuel-funded denial feeds into these people’s views.

    The second strand of ‘scepticism’ comprises the people who run and read the ‘sceptic’ blogs. These people are fully engaged (in a negative way for CC) and don’t need any encouragement from fossil-fuel-funded denial. Indeed, they even deny that fossil-fuel-funded denial has any effect.

  59. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of the “pause” and public opinion in the UK…

    Claims of a global warming pause have had no impact on public opinion by Leo Barasi, The Carbon Brief, Aug 21, 2014

  60. Michael 2 says:

    johnrussell40 says “we’ll know that we’ve ‘won’ when the fake-sceptics go quiet. Because that’s what those in denial generally do when events finally overtake them.”

    Unlikely. A fake skeptic is more properly a contrarian and will simply switch sides. My father is an example. He was arguing for evolution and against creationism, thinking that I was a creationist. To assure him that I am reasonably current on scientific theories of evolution I revealed the existence of Navy experiments to increase the intelligence of dolphins.

    My father changed sides instantly as if he had always been a creationist and how foolish I was to believe that a dolphin could be altered, had always been a dolphin, would always be a dolphin forever. He is a contrarian. It doesn’t make the slightest difference what I assert.

    REAL skeptics (with regard to the No True Skeptic fallacy) are merely doubters. Once the science is actually settled (for them, by their measure, not your measure) they will indeed go silent, as nearly all of them already are. I’d guess about a hundred million skeptics exist just in the United States.

    I was going to add somewhere else but here is as good a place as any. Just as many kinds of skeptic exist, so too do many kinds of believer.

    Anyway, we haven’t really been talking about skeptics per se but rather “klingons” to twist a phrase, people that cling to the global warming phenomenon for entirely unrelated purposes.

    Both sides make accusations of this. Clinging to skepticism are the oil rich billionaires, or so it is claimed and it may well be so. Clinging to global warmists are the United Nations one-worlders, identifiable by their “even if” belief system (“Even if its wrong, we still get cleaner air and social justice!”)

  61. Michael 2 says:

    Lars Karlsson says “With such an attitude, why should one really care about the science? Why should one ever be interested in learning and understanding anything?”

    Apologies to all for writing so much, I really am trying to disengage but these questions are pointed and irresistably interesting. I will try to be brief at risk of inducing more misunderstanding.

    The answer for Lars is that people who hold that particular attitude don’t care about the science, there is no reason for them to care about the science, it is the game-board on which the game is being played. The game itself is extremely serious, millions of lives are at stake, but the pawns? They’re expendable and the board is just “there”.

    The “one percenters” are there to fleece the customers. That’s what they do, it is what they are. If suddenly one of them becomes environmentally conscious it is because there’s money to be made.

    Without skepticism every human being on earth would belong to the same religion; whichever one was first way back in Gobekli Tepe. http://www.gobeklitepe.info/

    Contrarian isn’t very useful (but not completely useless either), skepticism is good. It demands and requires a level of proof commensurate with the demand being made. For instance, low-demand religions such as the Born-Agains are very easy — say a few magic words and your eternal happiness is guaranteed. But its useless. The reward is proportional to the investment. What exactly do they offer? Not much and nothing specific.

    Initially, global warming was “low demand” and very easy to believe. I believed it only because I didn’t think about it and trusted scientists. Kyoto Protocol, Climategate and Copenhagen woke me up to the real possibility of incredibly stupid decisions to be made, billions of dollars to be shifted into the zero-point-one percenters pockets with very little actually done for global warming.

    So you see, TWO things are proceeding concurrently — the science, almost unaware and seemingly in denial about the politics of all this, and the politicians and one-percenters, essentially ignoring science because it isn’t relevant to their goal.

    Skeptics say “a pox on both of your houses”! I watch the science closely and I also watch the politicians. I endorse meaningful progress to alternative energy for its own sake; regardless of CO2 being harmful, oil and coal *will* run out and fairly soon, then what? Then nothing, its back to the stone age for everyone.

    That it why I consider excessive knee-bending to the god of decarbonization to be unwise, you are attaching your precious cart to a horse that might not run, walk or even crawl. You could and ought to attach your cart to two animals — the elephant of “we’re running out of fuel” (guaranteed absolutely for sure) AND the horse of “global warming” (a slowly dwindling consensus, get ready to cut this one loose).

    So you see, objections to global warming politics often have nothing to do with the science of global warming — many (or most, nearly all IMO) skeptics accept claims of global warming, perhaps in differing amounts but I have no reason to doubt a 1 to 3 C increase by the end of the century with locally serious impacts in some places, at present heavily populated, with benefits usually in places of less population (but doubtless will become the new population centers). Some dislocations could be enormous; all of Phoenix and Los Angeles compelled to move north not because of a piddly 1 degree change, but because a shifting Hadley cell wiped out their sources of water.

    Buying carbon credits from Al Gore doesn’t seem to address that problem.

  62. BBD says:

    M2

    More evidence denial:

    Who do you think these books are FOR? Who is going to read them? Skeptics? Good heavens, no; they aren’t even being marketed to skeptics. They exist to keep True Believers in the Fold

    I’m getting tired of you, M2. I asked you to check the FACTS and post less crap. You denied the evidence and posted more crap. Flat-out intellectual dishonesty.

  63. BBD says:

    M2 flies the counter-factual flag:

    That it why I consider excessive knee-bending to the god of decarbonization to be unwise, you are attaching your precious cart to a horse that might not run, walk or even crawl. You could and ought to attach your cart to two animals — the elephant of “we’re running out of fuel” (guaranteed absolutely for sure) AND the horse of “global warming” (a slowly dwindling consensus, get ready to cut this one loose).

    Repeated evidence denial, counter-factuals, absolute resistance to correction, persistent and verbose commentary… where will it end?

  64. Lars Karlsson says:

    Michael 2:

    “I have no reason to doubt a 1 to 3 C increase by the end of the century with locally serious impacts in some places, at present heavily populated, with benefits usually in places of less population (but doubtless will become the new population centers).”

    I don’t think I know of any other “skeptic” that would accept that statement.

  65. BBD says:

    M2

    I find it amusing that you think you and Mal Adjusted are not conspiracy theorists.

    We espouse no conspiracy theory. Everything we have said about the establishment and funding of organised denial by the fossil fuel industry is a matter of fact. We have evidence. You have resorted to a feeble attempt at personal delegitimisation while continuing to deny matters of fact.

  66. Michael 2 says:

    BBD says “You have resorted to a feeble attempt at personal delegitimisation”

    I wish I had intended such a successful attempt. I hope to illuminate the power of Dr. Lewandowsky to single-handedly change the moral value or “meme” of the phrase “conspiracy ideation”, equating it to delusion, and undo some of that psychological damage.

    Consider Naomi Oreskes; thinking about conspiracies is her profession!

  67. Mal Adapted says:

    M2:

    If you do not have facts, but believe an organization is large and dangerous and influential, you are inventing that largeness or danger in your mind.

    If I understand you, you are labelling BBD and me conspiracy theorists because you presume we don’t have facts about the AGW disinformation campaign being funded by fossil-fuel interests. We’ve provided links to books, magazine articles and online investigative reports that document the facts we are citing. The authors of those documents provide enough information to allow you to verify those facts. Shouldn’t you follow up on our links before judging us to be conspiracy theorists? Isn’t that what a genuine skeptic would do?

  68. I actually liked M2’s latest comment, and find it has lots of merits. At the very least, it shows how the contrarian stances follow from about the same evidence basis as mainstream viewpoints. It reminds me of the fable of the shoe maker who sent two guys to see it it would be profitable to sell shoes in Africa. The first comes up and says: “don’t even try, they’re all shoeless”. The second one come and says: “great market prospects — they’re all shoeless”!

    If all you have against that is the use of coubterfactuals, then I’m afraid all that remains are never ending rounds of ClimateBall.

    That’s not the way to deal with M2’s framing at all.

  69. By “latest comment”, I meant his 4:19 comment. His other conspiracist jabs are not worth responding. Or at least not by letting him peddle his claptraps.

  70. Joshua says:

    ==> “Skeptics say “a pox on both of your houses”!”

    Ironically, the first time I realized that I was put into moderation over at WUWT (a “skeptical” site, doncha know), it was when I wrote exactly that in a comment.

  71. Joshua says:

    On willard’s recommendation, I decided to read M2’s comment:

    ==> “many (or most, nearly all IMO) skeptics accept claims of global warming…
    ,

    If that were true (I don’t think that it is – assuming that by “global warming” M2 is referring to anthorpogenicallly caused global warming), it certainly would be a sign of change (progress?) in the climate wars.

    ==> “…perhaps in differing amounts but I have no reason to doubt a 1 to 3 C increase by the end of the century with locally serious impacts in some places, at present heavily populated, with benefits usually in places of less population (but doubtless will become the new population centers)”

    If many/most/nearly all “skeptics” felt similarly, it would certainly be a sign of changer (progress?) in the climate wars.

  72. ==> “many (or most, nearly all IMO) skeptics accept claims of global warming…

    Whether that’s true is fully a matter of definition. If you define as skeptics only those, who don’t think so, it’s wrong by definition. Equally well you can use a definition wide enough to make it true assuming only that a majority of all agrees with such a few.

  73. hvw says:

    So this is certainly a nice paper. Another nice one addressing the same general question appeared today: Varying planetary heat sink led to global-warming slowdown and acceleration. The authors identify vertical convective heat transport into the deep Atlantic and the deep Southern Ocean as the main cause for the current slow increase in global surface temperature. This observation based study argues that the shallow, ENSO-related higher frequency variability in the Pacific does not play the key role here, but rather an AMOC related mechanism of ~60y period.

    It seems both papers support the notion that the current global surface temperature trend does not imply a systematic flaw regarding forcing / climate sensitivity, .. in the current model ensemble. But the predictions differ big time: Huber and Knutti seem to imply that accelerated warming will ensue once ENSO permits (very soon now), whereas Chen and Tung predict that the phase of a small secular trend will have a duration of about 30 years or so.

    Hopefully someone who understands these thing better than me comments on this.

  74. hvw,
    Try this. I think Chen and Tung’s argument about a continued “hiatus” is pretty weak.

  75. > Whether that’s true is fully a matter of definition.

    I disagree.

    A ClimateBall player does not simply “define” phenomena like dissention on a blog, but uses the definition game to label, brand, play victim, or whatnot. In our case, M2 rejects “contrarian” and shoots for “skeptic” by characterizing contrarianism as pure “esprit de contradiction” by way of a caricature. M2 is right to claim that being a contrarian is relative to a mainstream position, but wrong to claim that one needs to play opposition at all costs to be a contrarian.

    Another common move in that definition game would be to claim that “skeptic” is the wrong label since no one denies climate exists, therefore alarmists misunderstand their opponents. Notice how M2 conveys the same impression, using different means.

    See how the ball becomes the opponent?

  76. Joshua says:

    ==> “Whether that’s true is fully a matter of definition. ”

    Indeed. The definition of “skeptic” is one of those fundamental terms in the climate wars that gets defined in convenient fashion depending on what someone is trying to argue. There are quite a few such terms.

  77. I might as well identify the comment that allowed M2’s peddling:

    > Do we think the next stage is, “yes you’re right and we’re wrong, let’s do something about climate change, …or is there yet another stage encouraging ‘business as usual’ in between?

    My own answer is this:

    http://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

    Denial is only the first sentence in step 0.

  78. Michael 2 says:

    Pekka Pirilä wrote (quoting me: “many (or most, nearly all IMO) skeptics accept claims of global warming”): “Whether that’s true is fully a matter of definition.”

    Indeed. Each word comes in degrees and dimensions, a better way to think of it is a polar vector but even better yet is a scatterplot.

    Does a denier deny just the “C”, or the “CA” or the whole thing “CAGW”? Is a skeptic uncertain about “C”, “CA”, or “CAGW”? Perhaps the believer accepts AGW but is uncertain about “C” AGW. Perhaps someone is “denier” for “C” and mildly skeptical about “A” and fully endorses “GW. It is even possible to accept CGW without the “A” although it appears uncommon (ie, solar or volcano or nuclear war forcing catastrophic global warming, more likely cooling in this instance, CGC).

    Perhaps a variation of the “geek code” would help: 0c2a5gw.

    It would greatly speed up argumentation if I knew that our only difference was on the likelihood and magnitude of catastrophe but otherwise we were in agreement (for instance). Maybe we agree on everything except humanity’s actual contribution (and thus power to change it). Maybe we agree on *everything* except your specific proposal to fix it.

  79. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua commented “If that were true (I don’t think that it is – assuming that by “global warming” M2 is referring to anthorpogenicallly caused global warming)”

    Global warming is a measurement. Assigning cause is where you’ll start to have significant variety of opinion.

  80. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua says: “I was put into moderation over at WUWT … was when I wrote exactly that in a comment.”

    I think WUWT (and this blog and hundreds of others) share a single moderation algorithm because they’re all WordPress. I’ve installed WordPress on servers, and use it occasionally. I think people give the blog owners too much credit or responsibility for the details of how it operates.

  81. Michael 2 says:

    Mal Adapted wrote: “Shouldn’t you follow up on our links before judging us to be conspiracy theorists? Isn’t that what a genuine skeptic would do?”

    It is possible I use conspiracy ideation differently than you (or Dr. Lewandowsky). I have said several times that the *truth* of a conspiracy is irrelevent to a judgement of conspiratorial ideation. This is important for Dr. Lewandowsky’s paper as well since it isn’t really necessary to prove whether or not any of the conspiracies he uses in his paper are “true” or factual.

    What matters is if conspiracies *interest* you enough that you’ll blurt out a conspiracy theory (even if true), when it isn’t really the topic at hand but you wish for it to be the topic at hand.

    But it is clear that researching a claim and finding it to be “true” separates conspiracy ideation from delusion. I believe Dr. Lewandowsky was implying “delusion” and associating with mere “conspiracy ideation” which is sometimes well grounded and sometimes not.

    Your interest in distancing yourself from any kind of conspiracy ideation tells me you implicitly accept Dr. Lewandowsky’s value-addition (delusion) to the otherwise neutral phrase “conspiracy ideation”.

  82. Michael 2 says:

    Lars Karlsson wrote: “I don’t think I know of any other ‘skeptic’ that would accept that statement.” (1 to 3 C per doubling)

    This is the number I get from various “lukewarmer” skeptics.

  83. Michael 2 says:

    BBD wrote “Repeated evidence denial, counter-factuals, absolute resistance to correction, persistent and verbose commentary… where will it end?”

    When we are dead or subjects of the Soviet Union of Earth. When you get tired of it, just turn off your computer for a while.

  84. Michael 2 says:

    Doug Bostrom asked “So-called “greens” end up lumped into one group?”

    Yes, that is the nature of a label. It is a convenience word that denotes some aspect held by members of the group, wheras other aspects or traits are probably not much in common.

    “Are astronauts on the ISS ‘greens?’ ”

    I have no idea but it could probably be established by inspection of biolgraphies.

    “If an astronaut on the space station decided to take up smoking cigars, would those who objected be ‘green?’ ”

    This is not one of my qualifications for “green”. I think a functioning sense of smell is adequate to object to someone else smoking cigars.

    “Moving along the continuum, in a much larger system is recognition of resource constraints a matter of ideology or pragmatism?”

    Yes.

  85. anoilman says:

    M2: I don’t think you know what science is. All you do is pull wire for a living;
    “Meanwhile I had worked Cisco routers and switches for about 14 years when I finally got certified.”
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/some-kudos/#comment-28807

    I hire people more capable than that.

    And no I’m not intentionally green.

  86. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman, trying to be insulting, says “M2: I don’t think you know what science is. All you do is pull wire for a living”

    If you don’t think it, then why write it? Many people write “I don’t think” when clearly they DO think something. The negation should be moved closer to the object. I DO think that you do NOT understand science. The “not” goes with “understand”.

    “I hire people more capable than that.”

    Good for you. The alternative is to hire “less capable”. That happens in government but not very often in business.

    I wonder if you hire network engineers based on their conformity to your understanding of climate science.

    “no I’m not intentionally green.”

    Whereas I *am* intentionally green, although a bit less fanatical than most (IMO).

  87. BBD says:

    BBD wrote “Repeated evidence denial, counter-factuals, absolute resistance to correction, persistent and verbose commentary… where will it end?”

    When we are dead or subjects of the Soviet Union of Earth. When you get tired of it, just turn off your computer for a while.

    World socialism… sigh. You are just tr*lling. Why should I have to turn off my computer? The problem will cease when you stop incessantly posting nonsense in comments here.

  88. anoilman says:

    BBD: He’s also confusing clear and obvious evidence with wishful thinking and inane blurbs (conspiracy theories) on the internet.

    Here’s some foil;

  89. Pingback: Unpacking unpaused global warming climate models got it right – WordPress

  90. Michael 2 says:

    BBD says: “You are just tr*lling”

    You finally noticed. But I do not seek to waste anyone’s time; it is a worthy exploration of “conspiracy ideation” for its more traditional and value-neutral meaning versus the attempt to make it a smear word synonymous with “delusion” as part of a larger strategy.

    What is not clear is whether this is a “conspiracy” to smear opponents or just a common way of thinking among Australians in particular. William F. Buckley was asked a related question, whether journalists had this big left-wing conspiracy. No, he said, they just went to the same schools, learn from the same books and examples, so they think alike.

    While there are some small conspiracies in climate science, most climate scientists seem to arrive at their FUD relatively independently, and in my opinion skeptics arrive at their skepticism also relatively independently. Looking for a Paymaster of all skeptics is itself conspiracy ideation, same as looking for a Paymaster for all climatologists; although in the United States there is actually somewhat of that very thing, the National Science Foundation.

  91. anoilman says:

    Michael 2: Off topic again… With confused conflated issues to boot. As usual.

    Scientists are (generally) government employees to the purpose of advising the people of their respective nations. With few exceptions they are free to talk and share their views. In Canada our far right wing government aggressively employs censorship and political minders against scientists to prevent their data from reaching public eyes.

    Skeptics are paid to express specific views using specific methods in piece meal contractual fashion. i.e. not a lot of thinking in think tanks

    This is all well documented fact.
    http://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-institute-exposed-internal-documents-unmask-heart-climate-denial-machine

    Money tracked thoroughly;
    http://www.desmogblog.com/fake-science-fakexperts-funny-finances-free-tax

    Here’s Lomborg’s Millions (he personally extracted $775,000 one year, cool huh);
    http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/06/25/millions-behind-bjorn-lomborg-copenhagen-consensus-center

    Arguably its not a conspiracy if and only if you say that skeptics do what they are paid to do.

  92. BBD says:

    Looking for a Paymaster of all skeptics is itself conspiracy ideation

    No, that would be a strawman 😉

    I pointed out that it is a well-documented matter of fact that the FF industry sponsors those who write the script for the “sceptics” to parrot.

    If you were curious about the veracity of this claim, you could have read the material linked for you, references and all. Instead, you waved it away (denial) and continue to post nonsense like this:

    […] it is a worthy exploration of “conspiracy ideation” for its more traditional and value-neutral meaning versus the attempt to make it a smear word synonymous with “delusion” as part of a larger strategy.

    Which is, of course, conspiracist ideation 😉

    If you claim to be a sceptic then parrot misinformation fed to you by vested interests, you will be marginalised in certain circles. This isn’t part of a conspiracy (“a larger strategy”); it is a logically coherent reaction to what you are doing.

  93. Michael 2 says:

    jsam says: “Some conspiracies are real”

    Of course they are. All conspiracies should be real as otherwise you are worrying over nothing.

  94. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman says: “In Canada our far right wing government…”

    Whoah, say what? I didn’t think such a thing was possible! I’d be speechless except to acknowledge you’ve piqued my interest on that unlikely possibility.

  95. Michael 2 says:

    BBD says (well, it’s three comments up).

    Yes, exactly. Not disputed.

  96. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman says: “Skeptics are paid to express specific views using specific methods in piece meal contractual fashion. i.e. not a lot of thinking in think tanks”

    A pretty good description of…

    http://skepticalscience.com/argument.php 🙂

    I see a symmetry. I hope you are being paid as much as I am 😉 (zero, in case you were wondering).

  97. BBD says:

    Still waving the straw man and at the same time saying “not disputed”.

    That would be denial.

  98. Michael 2 – You see a symmetry? What, they both contain words?

    If you fail to see a difference between citing facts and the accepted science versus simply making sh*t up, then your discriminator needs to be brought in for an overhaul and repair.

    It might have sounded cute in your mind before you posted it, but cute ain’t facts – or science.

  99. anoilman says:

    Michael 2: Symmetry. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    Just an FYI, but at first, (being a real skeptic and all) I did not trust Skeptical Science. I went around and gathered original papers on various subjects, and read them. Skeptical Science reached the same technical conclusions I did over and over. I now trust it as a source.

    I went through the same process with desmogblog, which deals with the political side of the denial machine. I’ve been able to keep pace with many oil executives who corroborate many of the stories.

    In short M2, there is a big difference between advertising, and science. I suggest you learn it. Its never too late to grow up.

  100. Michael 2 says:

    Kevin O’Neill wrote “You see a symmetry? What, they both contain words?”

    Yes. Both sides say “I am right and you are wrong”. Both sides seem rather certain they own the truth and the other is filled with liars or perhaps just mistaken. Both sides have charts and graphs, some with, some without MWP and LIA. Some believe in a pause, some do not (the topic of this particular blog page).

    But only one side is bent on assimilation. “We are Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”

    That, you see, is the difference. The two sides are not polar opposites but are orthogonal. Warmists are very emotional and fear climate change; necessity trumps liberty. But to libertarians, nothing trumps liberty, certainly not fears generated from some tree stumps and computer programs.

    It is this spectacular failure to understand your opponents that has both sides locked in place, each using its own language to persuade or compel the other, not knowing or caring that the very language used is what keeps the opponents apart.

    My words, right here right now, would persuade another libertarian to think about things because what I am telling him is that I am NOT telling him! He must choose for himself, he must study from sources and I might suggest some but he’d be a fool to use only the list I provide.

    But it is surely not going to be received that way, because I do not speak what you speak. I try to figure it out by looking at examples, but the examples are non-sequitur, absurd at times:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/seven-answers-to-climate-contrarian-nonsense/

    “Claim 1: Anthropogenic CO2 can’t be changing climate”

    Really? I can think of only one rather noisy person on the internet that thinks this. SciAm lists this as claim number 1? Talk about strawman arguing!

    Claim 2. Mixes two different claims as if they are one. The hockey stick minus MWP and LIA is not widely respected by skeptics. “Therefore, global warming is a myth” — is a non-sequitur. A broken hockey stick does not disprove global warming, its just faulty graph making. To be sure this faulty graph has been *useful* in politics to slow down the steamroller.

    Claim 3. Also mixes two unrelated claims. Global warming has stopped, depending on who you ask and how it is measured, but hardly anyone claims the Earth is now cooling.

    Claim 4: Here we go with the sun / not-sun thing again.

    “Claim 5: Climatologists conspire to hide the truth about global warming by locking away their data.” That seems rather indisputable. SciAm goes into “Red Herring” mode to explain and distract.

    Claim 6: I’d say “true”. It’s your job. “U.S. federal spending on climate change rose from $3.3 billion to $5.1 billion—a 55 percent increase…. Surely, the Freemasons could do better than that.”

    Seriously? Freemasons do better than 5.1 billion dollars? There’s some conspiracist ideation! maybe they meant Freemasons could do better than a 55 percent increase. Why do they think that? Why is freemasonry part of SciAm’s story about climate skeptics?

    “Claim 7: Technological fixes, such as inventing energy sources that don’t produce CO2 or geoengineering the climate, would be more affordable”

    Good thing they named the three people that believe this. It’s a good wish of course.

  101. Marco says:

    Michael 2, I think the problem is that you are looking too much at what you believe yourself, and then dismiss there are others who do hold to the climate myths SciAm listed.

    For example, if you can only think of one person who claims aCO2 does not cause climate change you haven’t been paying attention. Even if I am kind and do not include those that claim increasing CO2 actually cools the earth (such people exist!), a day of browsing the comments at WUWT will give you plenty of examples. I can even point you to some scientific papers in which this is a logical conclusion from what they write (they may not always express it directly).

    Your misreading, and I am being kind here, of claim 6 is noted. SciAm makes it clear that if climatologists were raising alarm because they would then get increased funding, this clearly didn’t work, since they didn’t get a cent extra. “surely the freemasons could do better” refers to the conspiracy ideation that climatologists do this for the money (most of them, and in collusion with each other), but then don’t manage to get anything out of it. All that scheming, and nothing gained!

    But you know what? Ignore the above, I’ll ask you to clarify only one thing:
    Refering to claim 5 you state it is “indisputable” that climate scientists “conspire to hide the truth about global warming by locking away their data”. Go ahead, provide us with the evidence that climate scientists “lock away their data”, and then that they do so to “hide the truth about global warming”. I’m very interested in finding out how that supposed conspiracy works.

  102. BBD says:

    But to libertarians, nothing trumps liberty, certainly not fears generated from some tree stumps and computer programs.

    Physics doesn’t care about your quaint notions of freedom without responsibility, M2. And nor, to be honest, do I.

  103. Tom Curtis says:

    But to libertarians, nothing trumps liberty, certainly not fears generated from some tree stumps and computer programs.

    A very stirring sentiment, and I shall expect the libertarian campaign to end incarceration as a form of punishment in … Sorry, forgot you never can get consistency in self serving ideologies.

  104. Mal Adapted says:

    BBD:

    Michael2:

    But to libertarians, nothing trumps liberty, certainly not fears generated from some tree stumps and computer programs.

    Physics doesn’t care about your quaint notions of freedom without responsibility, M2. And nor, to be honest, do I.

    Economics doesn’t care about quaint libertarian notions of wealth without cost, either. If libertarians “believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility”, then anyone who enjoys the private benefits of fossil-fuel-driven prosperity but is OK with socializing the cost of climate change, can’t be a libertarian.

    There are some people calling themselves libertarians who acknowledge that ACC is a cost of fossil-fuel use. Because their proposed solutions are transparently unworkable on a global scale, they can be assigned to a class of “libertarian lukewarmers”: for them, liberty trumps even misery and death for millions of people and accelerated extinction of other species. That’s at least more honest than outright denial of the projected costs of ACC as “fears generated by some tree stumps and computer programs”, but it’s still a hypocritical interpretation of the libertarian credo.

  105. A libertarian is always the guy that lives at the end of a long cul-de-sac.

    He wants to be left alone, but he gets all his fellow citizens to pay for the road up to that point.

    In other words, it’s a dead end philosophy in tomorrow’s world of smart grids, etc.

  106. Michael 2 says:

    Mal Adapted wrote “anyone who enjoys the private benefits of fossil-fuel-driven prosperity but is OK with socializing the cost of climate change, can’t be a libertarian.”

    Ah, the No True Libertarian fallacy. Okay, I was mistaken, I am not a libertarian.

    “There are some people calling themselves libertarians who acknowledge that ACC is a cost of fossil-fuel use.”

    Better. I acknowledge industrial CO2 (and soot and sulfur dioxide, etc) influences climate simply because it *must* influence climate.

    “Because their proposed solutions are transparently unworkable on a global scale”

    Agreed. It is inherent in “I won’t tell you what to do” that nothing libertarian is global.

    “liberty trumps even misery and death for millions of people”

    Correct, it has that outcome, but that is not its purpose. Libertarians are free to do something about it. I worked for a week in a church welfare cannery in Redwood City, California, canning apricots to send to Nicaragua when they had that big earthquake. 110,000 cans of apricots in one week using donated fruit and labor, including my labor.

    The socialist solution does not have a good track record. About 50 million Russians dead of decidedly unlibertarian” policies.

    “and accelerated extinction of other species.”

    It sucks to be at the short end of Darwin’s stick. At any rate, I have seen no credible science that this is actually taking place, but I have no intention of extincting myself just so a moth can live. YMMV.

    “That’s at least more honest…”

    Yes. It shocks the greens but it is what it is. You also are the product of millions of years of natural and unnatural selection. Assuming all libertarians are anything is a mistake. I love wilderness and wildlife and was for a great many years a contributing member of the Nature Conservancy. I still think they are the best of that sort of thing. Willing sellers, willing buyers; simultaneously libertarian AND conservation minded.

    “still a hypocritical interpretation of the libertarian credo.”

    Really? I had no idea such a thing could even exist; or more precisely, it may be that millions of libertarian credos exist, one for each libertarian.

  107. Michael 2:
    “CO2 cannot cause global warming. I’ll tell you why. It doesn’t mix well with the atmosphere, for one. For two, its specific gravity is 1 1/2 times that of the rest of the atmosphere. It heats and cools much quicker. Its radiative processes are much different. So it cannot — it literally cannot cause global warming.” — Joe Bastardi on Fox News (and a frequent guest writer at WUWT)

    As pointed out by numerous scientists this is complete utter nonsense, but this is a common example of what can be found on dozens of pseudo-skeptic sites. That you think think no one is mouthing this garbage shows you are divorced from reality.

    BTW, libertarian economics completely failed the real-world economic test post-2007. Markets failed. Rather than being the *best* entity to set prices we found they could not set any price at all. And following the adoption of the ARRA predictions by libertarian economists uniformly included huge increases in interest rates, skyrocketing inflation (hyper-inflation in many cases), and increased unemployment. Instead, we’ve seen both interest rates and inflation below long-term averages and unemployment slowly improving. This is all more true in countries that did *not* follow austerity measures. But don’t let facts get in your way, it wouldn’t be your style.

  108. anoilman says:

    Michael 2: Feelings, nothing more than feelings.

    Here’s a simple explanation for all the stuff you just said wrong, complete with quotes from movies you claim do not exist;

    Have a good day cable guy!

  109. jsam says:

    If you don’t care about climate change you may be unelectable and irrelevant. http://climatecrocks.com/2014/08/26/tide-turning-on-climate-politics/

  110. Joshua says:

    What I find amusing about some libertarians’ ideology (I take pains to point out that I have no problem with libertarian ideals per se, but have a problem with how some libertarians translate those ideals into policy discussions), is that they are absolutely convinced of how much better the world would be if it only followed their prescription even though in the history of the planet, no civilization ever has. It is easy to dream about how the streets would be paved with gold in a vast privately-built transportation infrastructure, no corporations would manufacture toxic products or exploit workers, corruption wouldn’t exist, schools would be perfectly efficient, no policies would have unintended consequences, etc., if there were no government influence that mucks up the works.

    Indeed, one can argue ’till the cows come home about how Shangri-la would be just around the corner if statist governments would just get out of the way. It is an infallible argument. It can’t be proven wrong.

  111. Joshua says:

    M2 –

    Out of curiosity – what do you think about Ron Paul’s theories about the economy?

  112. BBD says:

    It sucks to be at the short end of Darwin’s stick. At any rate, I have seen no credible science that this is actually taking place but I have no intention of extincting myself just so a moth can live. YMMV.

    The usual mess. Argument from ignorance and personal incredulity followed by a particularly egregious strawman.

  113. anoilman says:

    Michael 2: Dude… do you even know what you type about? 50 million dead russians? How about ethnic cleansing American Style? All so you could take their land. Hmm.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Indian_Wars

    Libertarianism is a religion. Its full of fallacies and silliness just like any other. This is because it starts and ends with beliefs, not reason, or facts. Facts are bent and contorted to meet their religious needs. (Typically by think thanks, which don’t actually think, but rather advertise for profit.)

    The fact that we use of laws and rules invented by reason (not libertarianism) is what set our civilization apart from others.

  114. M2,

    but I have no intention of extincting myself just so a moth can live.

    I have a suspicion that the moths aren’t all that worried. I suspect that they’re more capable of adapting to climate change than we are (well, in the sense of us being able to adapt while still enjoying our current standard of living, or better).

  115. Marco says:

    Michael 2, there still is a question from me to answer. Please.

  116. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP: I chose moth as an example since the only report that I have seen claiming forced migration due to climate change was either moths or butterflies; I think it was actually butterflies now that I think about it.

    You are right that they will adapt vastly quicker than longer-lived mammals (elephants in particular). Humans will adapt, some mammals will not. Dinosaurs didn’t.

  117. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman says: “How about ethnic cleansing American Style? All so you could take their land.”

    I have taken no one’s land.

    I do not understand “how about” questions. What is it you wish to know?

  118. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua says: “what do you think about Ron Paul’s theories about the economy?”

    I like the philosophy but the details are a bit scary. I’ve worked in government and it is a bit like a metastatic cancer, deeply entrenched in all aspects of American life. It cannot just be yanked out. The ripple effects are substantial.

    Consider Obama’s forcing of the coal issue. It made friends in some places but enemies in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, two “blue” states. It’s a “lose lose” proposition so you do the best you can and take the lumps.

  119. Michael 2 says:

    Kevin O’Neill says: “it literally cannot cause global warming. — Joe Bastardi on Fox News”

    Yeah, that might be the guy I was thinking of. While I have no doubt he is completely wrong I can see some utility in providing political balance.

    You see, it makes (some) people think if they are faced with a balanced choice but you must choose one. Thinking is good. If the choice is too easy then no thinking is needed, but that easy choice can also be rigged and no more scientific than denying CO2 influence. Just buy carbon credits from Al Gore, problem solved! No, not really solved but he’s richer, thank you very much.

    Thinking is good. Thinking combined with some education is better. Thinking, education and data is great.

  120. anoilman says:

    More intellectual stimulation from the Cable Guy…

  121. M2,

    While I have no doubt he is completely wrong I can see some utility in providing political balance.

    How does quoting someone who is almost certainly wrong provide political balance? It sounds like you’re suggesting that accepting some mainstream scientific views is inherently political. I would argue that it is not. The politics comes in when deciding what should be done, given the scientific evidence, but maybe that’s just me.

  122. Michael 2 says:

    Marco wrote “Michael 2, there still is a question from me to answer. Please.”

    It’s been a busy day. I apologize this thread has wandered into the twilight zone but we’ll wrap it up pretty soon. To try to be briefer my answers may be less thorough than I prefer.

    Marco says: “dismiss there are others who do hold to the climate myths SciAm listed.”

    Yes, I suspect that is true of pretty much everyone. I could be persuaded that 40 percent of Americans believe there is NO global warming. But I have nothing to do with them and they could be ignored (as could the 60 percent of warmists) except of course they pay taxes and vote.

    I cite Scientific American because that 40 percent will never see SciAm’s debunking. To whom are they preaching?

    You. But you don’t need debunking arguments… or do you?

    “For example, if you can only think of one person who claims CO2 does not cause climate change you haven’t been paying attention.”

    True, and thankfully not. I study at the “edges” where it’s turbulent rather than safely in the middle of the herd.

    “a day of browsing the comments at WUWT will give you plenty of examples.”

    Indeed. Remarkably diverse. An alternative is Huffpo or DailyKOS where a typical Antigop article is followed by 200 “me to” comments from sycophants.

    “Your misreading of claim 6 is noted. SciAm makes it clear that if climatologists were raising alarm because they would then get increased funding, this clearly didn’t work, since they didn’t get a cent extra.”

    Strawman argument, but nearly true. My argument is that universities need money and hire professors capable of milking NAS and NSF. Such researchers must be committed to their own theories. Did you read the “how I feel” letters from Australia? Every one of them would probably work for *free* if it was possible.

    ” ‘surely the freemasons could do better’ refers to the conspiracy ideation that climatologists do this for the money”

    Red herring. I really have no cultural understanding of Freemasons where this even makes sense. Al Gore did it for the money (IMO), he’s not a climatologist (his degree is political science) but he needs one or a few in his pocket to tell the scary stories.

    “But you know what? Ignore the above.”

    Too late. An hour of answering you so you get the fruit of that labor.

    “Refering to claim 5 you state it is indisputable that climate scientists conspire to hide the truth about global warming by locking away their data. Go ahead, provide us with the evidence”.

    There is no “us”. You speak for you and I speak for me.

    Anyway, unnecessary. Your response certifies that you know perfectly well what I mean and for whom I mean it. Everything more on that topic is already scripted. How about we just stipulate we’ve both had the next six exchanges?

  123. Michael 2 says:

    ATTP: “How does quoting someone who is almost certainly wrong provide political balance? … The politics comes in when deciding what should be done, given the scientific evidence”

    Yes, exactly. Scientific evidence should inform politics which then acts on the evidence. But that’s wishful thinking. How do you balance an extremist? With another of opposite polarity. THEN with the noise canceled *maybe* the cautious voices of science can be heard and the human race might choose to act even on a cautious voice when they most certainly will not act on the strident voice.

  124. Michael 2 says:

    too quick to hit “send”.

    The possibilities are many. Do the powers-that-be really want science involved? Probably not. Big money is made in turbulence, none in tranquility (“arbitrage” in other words).

    I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to find the very same sources funding both sides of this argument. Exxon does. It’s “noisy”. That’s just my conspiracist ideation of course 😉

    I mean, people *use* science every day while having zero appreciation for the science and technology involved. I still have my slide rules. I’m impressed every day by technology but my children are not. GPS amazes me and the information theory behind it is impressive, never mind just the existence of satellites. Having all 27 satellites on the same frequency, differentiated by a repeated digital pattern, looks like noise in the receiver but phase matching these patterns can confirm the presence of any particular satellite *and* its timing.

    I see similar theory in climate science. The pattern to be matched does not need to be sinusoidal. It can be anything, just repeated and thus plucked out of what looks like noise.

  125. Michael 2,

    While I have no doubt he is completely wrong I can see some utility in providing political balance.

    So we need *political* balance as well for the theories of gravity, relativity, evolution, 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, etc., etc? What a load of crap.

  126. Michael 2 says:

    Joshua wrote “…libertarian ideals … is that they are absolutely convinced of how much better the world would be if it only followed their prescription”

    It would be a disaster for most, depending on how exactly you define “better”. The human race exists in part because of libertarian climbing to the top never mind anyone else BUT moderated by often enough thinking about someone else (family, clan, community) to have surplus goods allowing the rise of scholar, scientist, inventor.

    Pure libertarianism is predatory. Pure socialism is prey. Neither evolve intelligence. Humans are neither and both in just the right amounts to have become human.

    Being libertarian is not a comment on intelligence. I have a very high IQ and generally libertarian principles, but moderated by my Scandinavian heritage also to include strong social concepts. I consider it possible to likely that most people with strong anarchy tendencies (mistaken for libertarian) are probably of lower intelligence simply because anarchy is unsustainable and anti-evolutionary.

  127. anoilman says:

    M2: Thanks for all the great info from the church of Libertarianism.

    Kevin O’Neill: This was recently discussed by Alan Sokal;
    http://scientiasalon.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/what-is-science-and-why-should-we-care-part-i/

    There are tons of quotes from silly people. We can probably add some of M2’s statements to the list.

    This is my favorite quotes from that article;
    “Despite their names, conservation laws are not inevitable facts of nature but constructions that foreground some experiences and marginalize others. … Almost without exception, conservation laws were formulated, developed, and experimentally tested by men. If conservation laws represent particular emphases and not inevitable facts, then people living in different kinds of bodies and identifying with different gender constructions might well have arrived at different models for [fluid] flow.” [8]

    What an interesting idea: perhaps “people living in different kinds of bodies” will learn to see beyond those masculinist laws of conservation of energy and momentum.

  128. Michael 2 says:

    Kevin O’Neill says: “So we need *political* balance as well for the theories of gravity, relativity, evolution, 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, etc., etc?”

    I see no applicability but your mileage may vary. Mine, too, actually depending on which of these you mean and why it matters. That too is wandering off topic so hold that thought for a different thread and we’ll come back to it.

  129. Michael 2 says:

    Sorry, thought I was done for the day but like a fish to a hook, Devin is trolling me, trolling me…

    Kevin O’Neill says: “libertarian economics completely failed the real-world economic test post-2007.”

    No demonstration of libertarian economics exists from which you can make your claim true.

  130. Michael 2 says:

    Tom Curtis says: “I shall expect the libertarian campaign to end incarceration as a form of punishment in…”

    There can be no libertarian campaign per se. It is possible that a campaign exists with a few libertarian principles elevated as compared to socialists (or fascists or any other kind of ist).

    Incarceration as a concept will not emanate from libertarianism but from whatever other ism actually provides the glue for the campaign. Its purpose will vary considerably because of that; varying from punishment (the word you used) to rehabilitation (a leftwing concept).

    Norway is experimenting with uncarceration rather than incarceration. They have a beautiful island outfitted with cabins and prisoners are unfettered, free to come and go, just not leave the island. It might actually work with the more civilized Norwegians. Try that in Haiti and everyone would commit a crime just to be condemned to a life of luxury.

  131. jsam says:

    Libertarian economics does not exist, except in theory. Libertarian physics is much the same.

  132. BBD says:

    But both libertarian physics and libertarian economics are essential to being justified and righteous.

    Who are we, the people, to differ?

  133. BBD says:

    No demonstration of libertarian economics exists from which you can make your claim true.

    So lack of regulation didn’t cause a global economic disaster in 2008. Who knew?

  134. The economics post 2007 are interesting in the analogue it holds to climate science. In both cases you see one group holding on to an ideological position that cannot be swayed by any fact or set of facts. Consider:

    1) A completely unregulated derivatives market.
    2) A market completely unable/unwilling to set prices.
    3) An obvious case of inadequate aggregate demand, met by calls for government austerity.
    4) When stimulus was enacted, predictions of hyper-inflation, skyrocketing interest rates, and increased unemployment.

    Pre-crash we had every libertarian/conservative’s dream – a market completely unregulated except by the market participants themselves. This led inevitably to gross corruption, insatiable greed, and a collapse of the system. Geez, who could have predicted that? But has any libertarian/conservative rethought their ideology and come to the conclusion – oops? Naw, not a chance. I have seen not one documented statement by a libertarian saying, “Hey, maybe this lack of government regulation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” Facts cannot be allowed to interfere with ideology. Hmmm, methinks I’ve seen that before.

    Once the collapse ensued, markets were unable to set any price on these derivatives. The all powerful and all that is holy markets basically came to a halt. Only government intervention was able to prevent the entire banking system from complete and utter collapse. Once again you might think you’d find a libertarian saying, “Hey, maybe this idea of no government intervention isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.” But facts cannot be allowed to interfere with ideology. Hmmm, methinks I’ve seen that before.

    Once the immediate crisis was past, it became obvious that somebody was going to have to spend some money. Its been pretty basic macroeconomics for nearly 100 years. If everyone saves, then everyone goes broke. In basic macro the government is the ‘spender of last resort’ – but ideologues fought increased government spending (stimulus plans) all across the world. Let’s ignore what we’ve learned from these episodes in the past and disregard the best information we have on the subject. Yep, facts cannot be allowed to interfere with ideology. Hmmm, methinks I’ve seen that before too.

    Despite this voiciferous opposition a stimulus plan in the USA was enacted. More than $3 Trillion was pumped into the economy. Libertarian and conservative economists screamed inflation, possibly hyper-inflation, skyrocketing interest rates, debasement of the currency, more unemployment, stale doughnuts, skunky beer, and every other ill you can imagine. None of this came to pass (except for a few of the craft beers). Do you think a one of them has stopped and said, “WTF? I must not have any understanding of a how an economy actually works cuz I’ve been wrong about everything from start to finish!” Not a freakin’ chance. If anything they’re more voiciferous today than they were five years ago. Sound like a denier you know?

    Having followed both climate science and economics blogs for these past 7 years almost seems like the two have been conflated. The same tired ideologues impervious to facts or ever admitting they’re wrong no matter how many times reality slaps them in the face.

  135. anoilman says:

    Kevin O’Neill: Calm Dude. All Dude’s abide. (I’ve been thinking of joining the cult of Dudism. http://dudeism.com/)

    Interestingly Canada’s banks had been regulated (protected from bubble like activity) after Canada’s (then) finance minister Paul Martin watched multiple economic melt downs in Asia. It is obvious that banks shouldn’t lend money to people who can’t afford it.

    For far right wing ideological reasons, Canada’s new prime minister Steven Harper deregulated Canada’s banks for about 1 year before the global melt down. The decision was strictly and solely libertarian ideology. No regulation. No rules. The Market knows best. People know what they are doing… blah blah blah

    Deregulation only cost Canada 30 billion. After blowing 30 billion out his ideological butt, Canada’s prime minister decided to regulate again. ‘Cause you know, its obvious.

    Kevin, when you talk about Libertarians, you are talking about an ideology. They are religious folks, and nothing but. There is no sense to religious folks, at least where there ideology dictates anyways.

    I don’t know about the rest of the folks here but I’m atheist. Living in South Africa I learned that Christians there were twisting the Bible to meet their needs and support apartheid. So I decided that religion was pretty dubious. But just because I’m atheist, doesn’t mean I can’t learn things from religions or religious folks. Christians have a strong community that helps each other. (Something I admire.) Libertarians want less government, less tax, and less regulation. (Something I admire.)

    I believe Hansen’s ‘Tax and Dividend’ proposal for a carbon tax is born of libertarian ideals.

  136. Tom Curtis says:

    anoilman:

    “I don’t know about the rest of the folks here but I’m atheist. Living in South Africa I learned that Christians there were twisting the Bible to meet their needs and support apartheid. So I decided that religion was pretty dubious.”

    Perhaps you needed to meet my uncle John, or cousin Jenny.

  137. Michael 2 says:

    AnOilMan says “Kevin, when you talk about Libertarians, you are talking about an ideology. They are religious folks, and nothing but.”

    The only commonality among libertarians is a preference to choose each for himself. Are you so different that you prefer someone else to choose for you? But it implies a willingness to NOT tell others what to do as otherwise it’s just narcissism.

    This “nothing but” attitude of yours suggests intolerance and narrow thinking. “Libertarian” by itself is almost meaningless, and so is atheist. Of what use is a label that describes what you are NOT? A label that means I prefer to choose for myself is also not all that meaningful.

  138. Michael 2 says:

    Kevin says “a market completely unregulated except by the market participants themselves”

    All this talk about inflexible, unchangeable belief systems and here’s the example.

    The problem with regulation is (1) changing horses midstream (on-again, off-again regulation) — arbitrage experts know to take advantage of that sort of thing and (2) incomplete regulation; such as regulating profit but not risk, or vice versa. As Master Yoda says, “do it, or do it not”.

    There is not and has never been a completely unregulated market in the United States. The subprime mortgage problem was created by government regulation in the first place, forcing banks to issue loans to unqualified borrowers on threat of discrimination penalties. These facts are well established and relatively undisputed, so why do you say otherwise? “Freddie Mac” and “Fannie Mae” exist to guarantee loans to relatively unqualified buyers but that imposes a huge burden on taxpayers.

    Unregulated markets, so far as I know, have existed nowhere but science fiction (Deep Space 9 explores the idea among the Ferengi). Less regulation existed in some ancient societies where money was specie; gold or silver, or trade. Obviously a lot less economic activity as a consequence. “Money” greases economic activity but someone has to create it and regulate it. There’s nothing there.

    You complain about “derivatives” but good heavens, a greenback dollar bill is itself just a derivative and its value could vanish in an instant (and nearly did).

  139. Thanks Tom, your uncle is one of the many unsung heroes of the fight against apartheid. I think the story of Stephen Biko helped radicalize me when I first read it back in 1978 or 79. And of course there was always Peter Gabrielson’s Biko

    You can blow out a candle
    But you can’t blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher
    Oh Biko, Biko, because Biko
    Yihla Moja, Yihla Moja
    -The man is dead

    And the eyes of the world are
    watching now
    watching now

  140. Michael 2 says:

    Kevin says ” If everyone saves, then everyone goes broke. In basic macro the government is the ‘spender of last resort’”

    Dang! I was prepared to praise you for getting the first sentence correct, then you go and mess it up with the second. The government HAS NO MONEY. There is no spending of last resort. The government can only spend your money or mine, it is a “zero sum” game. If government spends $100, I must spend that much less because I no longer have it.

    However, I see that since personal spending can stop everywhere suddenly (fear response) while nobody can stop government spending, the fact of relentless government spending is sort of like a “capacitor” and smooths out the fluctuations a bit. That is almost certainly a good thing particularly for industries that cannot speed up or slow down suddenly.

  141. Michael 2 says:

    BBD “Who are we, the people, to differ?”

    That’s precious. You are now “the people”. I presume that’s greater than merely being “Legion”.

    Anyway, be libertarian, be different. It’s refreshing!

  142. anoilman says:

    No Michael 2. I do not wish to join your religion or pray at your alter. I have already learned all Libertarianism has to offer. Its not much.

    Tom Curtis: I was in Howick and did nothing of import. My Afrikaans teacher was interesting. One brother was a Brigadier General in the Army, and his other was an expelled poet.

    My personal views were that change was needed but not too fast. A lot of folks don’t understand the issues around tribalism, or the fact that the hard line whites were already on the wane.

  143. Tom Curtis says:

    Kevin, I assume your initial link was supposed to be to Peter Gabriel’s song.

    As you have mentioned Biko, I will complete the trio of my family’s direct involvement in the struggle by mentioning my cousin, Neville, who was Biko’s friend. He was not, however, a christian unlike his father and sister.

    My “radicalization” with regard to apartheid began oddly enough, not with Biko, or even during my 1968 stay in my uncle’s Johannesburg house, but when I read Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country, which I heartilly recommend. Of course, how radical do you need to be to oppose apartheid?

  144. Tom Curtis says:

    anoilman, when did you live in South Africa?

    I absolutely agree that change should not have been fast. Africans should have been educated for, and incorporated into public service and political life from before World War 2, and certainly after it. The failure to do so meant change had to be rapid in the end, or else past failures by the white community with respect to the obligations towards their african fellow citizens would have transmuted into a justification for ongoing oppression of those citizens.

    As to hard line whites being on the wane, yes that is true late in the piece, but only because of the pressure of ongoing sanctions, plus the cost of an increasingly repressive regime was making the cost of apartheid to great for them.

    As to tribalism, in South Africa it became a problem due to deliberate National Party policy to raise up the differences between Zulu and other tribes as a means of curtailing the power of the ANC and hopefully of giving them a partner of government once elections became multi-racial. It is noteworthy that of the many different tribes in South Africa, only the Zulus stand apart. (Obviously tribalism has been more of an intrinsic problem elsewhere in Africa.)

  145. jsam says:

    Die-hard Libertarians and die-hard Communists have the same excuse. Both claim their solutions have never been put into practice purely enough. If only the unbelievers would get out of the way and allow the extremists to prove their case. 🙂

    The South African history is more interesting.

    But, if I may point out, neither has that much to do with the subject of the original post.

  146. Michael 2, “The government HAS NO MONEY. There is no spending of last resort. The government can only spend your money or mine, it is a “zero sum” game.

    Michael, a gov’t that controls it’s own currency can print money (make it up out of thin air) at anytime and in any amount that it wants. It is NOT a zero sum game. This is such a basic elementary issue that it really doesn’t say much for your understanding.

    It is this ability to create money that makes the government the spender of last resort. When no one else has money to spend, or is willing to spend, the government can always just print money and spend it. This is the trigger that should start the economic ball rolling once again.

    The argument is: What is the effect of the government printing all this money? Libertarian/conservative types claimed it would wreck the economy through the debilitating effects of rampant inflation, increased interest rates, and a debased currency.

    We’ve seen the experiment run in the real world. We’ve seen the results.

  147. dhogaza says:

    M2:

    “The subprime mortgage problem was created by government regulation in the first place, forcing banks to issue loans to unqualified borrowers on threat of discrimination penalties.”

    Looks like M2 is as ignorant of economic history and the root causes of the subprime mortgage collapse as he is of climate science.

    That’s a really strong dose of ignorance being displayed by you, M2.

    Another right-wing myth swallowed hook, line, and sinker by our favorite gullible libertarian …

  148. dhogaza says:

    Not only is M2 sadly unaware of the ignorance of his comment, he seems sadly unaware of the economically stable black people historically denied mortgages because of their race, this inequality being what anti-discrimination in lending laws addressed.

    Of course, in M2’s world, the market should get to decide whether or not black citizens should be treated equally or not …

  149. dhogaza says:

    “It is this ability to create money that makes the government the spender of last resort. When no one else has money to spend, or is willing to spend, the government can always just print money and spend it. This is the trigger that should start the economic ball rolling once again.”

    There’s also the fact that inflation tends to trigger spending, while deflation tends to increase saving and to reduce spending, which is the opposite of what you want when a depression leads to deflation (as happened in the Great Depression of the 1930s). This is somethinge Keynes understood much earlier than most …

    Of course, one wants to control inflation so that people don’t find saving totally hopeless, and low interest rates help with buying large-ticket items like houses, cars, and factory equipment.

    Thus the fine balancing act by the Fed since 2008.

    Active monetary policy is one reason why our recession was shallower and less lengthy than seen in those countries which had austerity forced down their throat …

  150. Michael 2 says:

    Kevin says “the government can always just print money and spend it.”

    God help us all. That’s what Weimar Germany did. Let’s see, gotta choose a compulsory acceptance left wing source here:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/ess_germanhyperinflation.html

    Anyway, the idea is that you have a tiny economy, Fred and Bob. Fred grows potatoes and Bob makes houses. Fred is willing to give Bob some potatoes and Bob will make a house for Fred. So far so good, it is “trade”, a mini-economy.

    Then along comes Tom. He wants a house and offers Bob some little bits of paper. Ordinariily Bob would just laugh and say, “What good are those little bits of paper? Go away!”

    Unfortunately for Bob, Tom is the government, and mandates that Bob take this little bit of paper calling it “legal tender”. In fact, for a time the thing of actual value, gold, is prohibited to citizens. Everyone must use, and only use, little bits of paper.

    Tom also wants potatoes. So, he goes to Fred and forces Fred to accept “Legal Tender” for potatoes.

    Of course, now Fred has fewer potatoes for Bob, and Bob is busy making houses for little bits of paper and has no time for Fred.

    Pretty soon everyone is working for Tom in exchange for little bits of paper. No, not really, they’re mostly dead. See, they don’t really want to work for little bits of paper and they aren’t permitted to work for each other, so they just stop working. The economy crashes and Tom, whose name is really Vladimir Lenin, has a serious problem on his hands and decides on a “New Economic Policy (NEP)”.

    You see, or maybe you don’t, those little bits of paper represent someone else’s labor, or work, and holding one of those little bits of paper means someone will work for you.

    Unless, of course, that little bit of paper means nothing at all because it came fresh from the printer and represents absolutely nothing.

  151. anoilman says:

    Tom Curtis: I was there in my mid teens in the mid 1980s. N-N-N-19 was playing on the radio. I just wish so much of what was lost in the fall of Apartheid wasn’t. SA had a lot of hospital care, even for blacks that couldn’t afford it. Now, no.

    This is an extremely keen observation since its very relevant to Climate Change;
    “Africans should have been educated for, and incorporated into public service and political life from before World War 2, and certainly after it. The failure to do so meant change had to be rapid in the end,”

    The longer we put off looking at solutions to Climate Change the more painful it will be to address. Libertarian Stink Tanks (like CATO, and Heartland, etc) standing around and saying the science is fake, and we should do nothing are not helping. They are harming.

  152. Michael 2 says:

    Another note for Kevin O’Neill: What permits the United States to just “print money” and not go into instant hyperinflation is that it is the reserve currency of global transactions, if that ceases we are sort of doomed.

    Furthermore, the government didn’t just print money, we borrowed from the Chinese. Consequently dollars have not been seriously diluted (diluted for sure since more dollars are chasing the same goods) but not hyperinflation. When/if the day comes the Chinese decide not to buy T-bills then the United States will have to “print money” with all its attendant penalties. There is no escape.

  153. anoilman says:

    M2, Kevin O’Neill: Spending ‘our money’ isn’t a zero sum game. There is ample evidence that how that money is spent is critical and valuable.

    Canada has the prime example, we fund First Nations social services like schools, to the tune of approximately %50 what we fund regular schools. The result? Massive unemployment, abuse, drugs, alcohol, and a turn style door to prison. Sign me up for that!
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada-s-prison-population-at-all-time-high-1.2440039

    The other valuable figure there is that crime might not pay, but is sure as hell costs. ($110k per inmate)

    Rooted in many of the libertarian so called freedom economics diatribes, is ignorance of what it costs not to have government services and why we have them in the first place. Arguably we have pedantically padded our regulations and laws with silliness and fluff.

    But then… my parents ran a hospital which helped handicapped children fished out of American garbage cans. So I have a pretty keen idea about what the effects of poor social services are.

    Here’s Bill gates explaining the current troubling trend in the US for fake budget balancing;

  154. Marco says:

    Michael 2, no surprise to see you unwilling to provide examples. You know you don’t have any evidence whatsoever.

  155. Michael 2 says:

    [Mod : This has drifted sufficiently far from the topic (and is starting to get into territory that I’d rather not explore) so I’d appreciate it if we could drop this now.]

  156. Pingback: Unpacking unpaused global warming – climate models got it right - Planet X News

  157. John Finn says:

    I haven’t got access to the paper discussed in this post so there are a couple of questions I’d like to ask. In your post you write the following

    resulting in the ENSO effect producing a cooling of 0.06oC and the adjustments to the forcings producing a cooling of 0.07oC.

    Now I’m reasonably happy about the ENSO effect but note that we could just as easily said that ENSO effects amplified warming by 0.06 deg C in the pre-2000 period. I’m less convinced by the “adjustment to the forcings” which as far as I can tell relate to volcanic and solar forcings.

    Q1 Volcanic Forcings

    This link shows a graph of Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness since 1850.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/

    As you can see there has been no major eruption since 1991 (Pinatubo). Recent AOT observations are at level which is as low as any period in the previous ~160 years.

    Q2 Solar Forcing

    I have lots of issues with this but, leaving those aside, could you tell me what reduction in the sun’s output is assumed by the researchers.

    Thanks

  158. John,
    All I know is that they show updated solar and volcanic forcing estimates that indicate that the volcanic forcing produced more cooling in the 2000s than past estimates suggested, and similarly for solar forcing (i.e., less warming). I don’t know how reasonable this is, but it’s not surprising that forcing datasets are updated.

    I have lots of issues with this

    You’re welcome to, but I hope this isn’t simply because you find the result inconvenient.

  159. John Finn says:

    All I know is that they show updated solar and volcanic forcing estimates that indicate that the volcanic forcing produced more cooling in the 2000s than past estimates suggested,

    Interesting . Do you not think they should inform NASA of their findings? NASA appear to think that the huge Pinatubo eruption in 1991 and the El Chichon eruption in 1982 were several orders of magnitude more powerful than anything in the 2000s.

  160. John,
    Having looked a little closer, it appears that the updated forcings are from NASA GISS, so I get the impression that NASA knows. Thanks for thinking of that, though.

  161. John Finn says:

    So let’s get this right then. The researchers have used NASA GISS data which is represented in the graph at this link.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/strataer/

    Can you pinpoint exactly where after 2000 the change in volcanic forcing occurred. I am particularly interested in the forcing relative to the ~1965 to ~1995 period.

  162. John,
    I’ve told you as much as I know. If you want to know more, you could probably email them directly. All I know is that they suggest that updates to the forcings produce a cooling of 0.07 degrees. I have no sense of whether or not this is justified. I have no immediate reason to think that it isn’t, given that updates to datasets are fairly normal. On the other hand, I have no idea if these updates are accepted by everyone or not.

  163. Tom Curtis says:

    John Finn:

    1) SOI conditions until this year have been distinctly positive (La Nina prone), so it is not fair to suggest the cooling related to it simply the removal of a prior warming ENSO influence. Further, the SOI negative states of the preceding three decades began immediately after the cessation of the 74/75 La nina, and while it the sharp rise in temperature following that can fairly be attributed to ENSO, ENSO only contributed a small amount to the further temperature rise through to 2000.

    2) While aerosol optical depth is currently low, it continues to register some impact at some latitudes every year, and indeed in every month of every year, and has done so since 1998 (indeed, since 1960). In contrast, from June 1957 to March 1960, aerosol optical depth was 0 at all latitudes. Therefore your claim that “Recent AOT observations are at level which is as low as any period in the previous ~160 years” is simply false. Further, the latitudes which still register an AOD > 0 are the tropical latitudes where incident light is at the greatest angle, and hence the consequent forcing is the strongest; and which cover the greatest area so that greater than a third of the Earth’s surface at least has had a measurable AOD since April of 1960.

  164. Marco says:

    If I understand the paper properly, the comparison is with the RCP used for the models. The “update” is thus not a new estimate for the actual forcings, but rather refers to using the actual forcings, rather than the projected forcings. So, if the RCP used in the models assume an aerosol load that is smaller than the one present in reality, the “update” (= use of actual values) will cause a “cooling” compared to the model output.

  165. Marco,
    Possibly, although Figure 2 does seem to show adjustments going all the way back to 1980.

  166. John Finn says:

    Tom Curtis:

    Yes I know about the SOI index and I know we’ve had a greater tendency towards La Nina conditions recently but you seem to be arguing that there are 2 phases , i.e. negative and neutral. There is a positive phase which amplified the 1975-2000 warming.

    Marco:

    I understand what they are trying to do. They are trying to explain the discrepancy between model output and observations. They have estimated that volcanic forcing has resulted in cooling of 0.035 deg C (relative to the models) since 1998. Now we must assume that the models do not include a positive forcing for volcanic activity so they’ve presumably assumed ZERO. I still argue that 0.035 deg C cooling based on volcanic activity since 1998 is garbage

    Check the GISS trends for 1975 to 1990, 1991,1992 and 1993. Note the massive Pinatubo eruption happened in 1991. The respective trends are as follows.

    1975-1990 0.18 deg per decade
    1975-1991 0.20 deg per decade
    1975-1992 0.21 deg per decade
    1975-1993 0.18 deg per decade

    Look at my link and compare the AOT levels following the Pinatubo eruption to the AOT levels since 2000 yet it’s hard to see anything more than a ~0.02 deg per decade (or 0.03 deg per 15 year period) reduction in the trend.

  167. Marco says:

    John, you are free to think it is garbage, but perhaps it helps if you get the actual paper and find out how they obtained their updated aerosol data (and no, I don’t have an interest in doing your homework).

    I do want to point you to an earlier paper with a similar conclusion on the volcanic forcing:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n3/full/ngeo2098.html

    Note the authors, and note who provided updated SAOD data.

  168. Tom Curtis says:

    John Fin:

    1) I say, “SOI conditions until this year have been distinctly positive (La Nina prone) … Further, the SOI negative states of the preceding three decades…”

    You then charge me of thinking there are only two ENSO states. The misrepresentation is laughable.

    2) You have not corrected your error regarding AOD. Rather you have added a new one. As it happens, every year from 2005-2011 has AOD greater than any in 1998 for at least some month and some latitude band; and each of those years has a more negative volcanic forcing for the year than 1998. That is based on the data source to which you linked.

  169. BBD says:

    John Finn

    Pinatubo was transient. The equatorial eruptions driving the increase in stratospheric aerosols during the 2000 decade were sustained (Vernier et al. 2011) and Santer et al. (2014) Marco links above.

  170. John Finn says:

    Ok, folks, I see how it works now. Cherrypick the one year (1998) that just happens to have AOT levels below *some* of the years in the 2000s decade and use that as the reference point for forcing. Unbelievable.

    Every year since 1999 has recorded lower AOT than any year between 1991-97 – in some cases 2 orders of magnitude lower. Aerosols are being used as a fudge factor just as they were (wrongly) used to explain the 1945-75 non-warming.

    Marco: Thank you. I do think it’s garbage.

  171. Marco says:

    Well, John, go ahead an publish your work that shows both papers are “garbage”. Come on, you can do it, or so you suggest with your certainty about what is wrong.

  172. John Finn says:

    This is a RealClimate post by Gavin Schmidt in 2006

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/current-volcanic-activity-and-climate/

    Gavin concludes with

    So what of the current eruptions? Well Bezymianny appears to be explosive enough, but its latitude (55 N) will tend to preclude it having any big climate impact. Merapi is in the right location but doesn’t appear (so far) to be explosive enough to put anything in the stratosphere, and so this too seems unlikely to impact climate. At some point, there will be another climatically important eruption, but it hasn’t happened yet…

    Ah 2006 – a time when climate scientists used some sort of perspective with respect to volcanic forcing at least.

  173. Marco says:

    So, rather than rise to the challenge, John Finn refers to a blogpost from 8 years ago, in which Gavin Schmidt (co-author on one of the papers John considers “garbage”) indicates he does not think those volcanic eruptions will have an effect.

    Clearly, Gavin Schmidt has revised his opinion:
    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v7/n3/full/ngeo2105.html
    A paper in which he also points to an underestimation of the volcanic forcing over the last decade+

    But using actual data…tut tut tut, how dare they!

  174. BBD says:

    John Finn

    From Vernier et al. (2011)
    ‘Major influence of tropical volcanic eruptions on the stratospheric aerosol layer during the last decade’:

    The variability of stratospheric aerosol loading between 1985 and 2010 is explored with measurements from SAGE II, CALIPSO, GOMOS/ENVISAT, and OSIRIS/Odin space-based instruments. We find that, following the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, stratospheric aerosol levels increased by as much as two orders of magnitude and only reached “background levels” between 1998 and 2002. From 2002 onwards, a systematic increase has been reported by a number of investigators. Recently, the trend, based on ground-based lidar measurements, has been tentatively attributed to an increase of SO2 entering the stratosphere associated with coal burning in Southeast Asia. However, we demonstrate with these satellite measurements that the observed trend is mainly driven by a series of moderate but increasingly intense volcanic eruptions primarily at tropical latitudes. These events injected sulfur directly to altitudes between 18 and 20 km. The resulting aerosol particles are slowly lofted into the middle stratosphere by the Brewer-Dobson circulation and are eventually transported to higher latitudes.

    It helps if you read the links.

  175. Tom Curtis says:

    John Finn:

    “Ok, folks, I see how it works now. Cherrypick the one year (1998) that just happens to have AOT levels below *some* of the years in the 2000s decade and use that as the reference point for forcing. Unbelievable.”

    1998 was introduced as a reference year by reason of our discussion of El Nino, and the overall discussion of the “pause”. It was irrelevant which year was chosen in rebutal of your false claims August 28 12:08 PM, that “Recent AOT observations are at level which is as low as any period in the previous ~160 years.” For that claim, it is entirely relevant that every year post 2004 has a stronger volcanic forcing than every year from 1998-2004. I note that you still have not acknowledged the error. Rather you doubled down with false claims specifically indexed to 1998.

    If you don’t like your false claims being rebutted, don’t make them.

  176. Michael 2 says:

    anoilman wrote “I have already learned all Libertarianism has to offer. Its not much.”

    In fact, it is nothing. Essentially every attribution to “Libertarian” is false simply because no one has a right to define what it means. Therefore it means nothing, or anything, or one thing to you and another to me. It’s an escape hatch.

  177. BBD says:

    It’s an escape hatch.

    For the incorrigibly selfish. Freedom without responsibility.

  178. Mal Adapted says:

    Michael 2:

    But to libertarians, nothing trumps liberty, certainly not fears generated from some tree stumps and computer programs.

    Michael 2:

    “anyone who enjoys the private benefits of fossil-fuel-driven prosperity but is OK with socializing the cost of climate change, can’t be a libertarian.”

    Ah, the No True Libertarian fallacy. Okay, I was mistaken, I am not a libertarian.

    The socialist solution does not have a good track record. About 50 million Russians dead of decidedly unlibertarian” policies…

    It shocks the greens but it is what it is…

    “still a hypocritical interpretation of the libertarian credo.”

    Really? I had no idea such a thing could even exist; or more precisely, it may be that millions of libertarian credos exist, one for each libertarian.

    Michael 2::

    Essentially every attribution to “Libertarian” is false simply because no one has a right to define what it means. Therefore it means nothing, or anything, or one thing to you and another to me. It’s an escape hatch.

    So, you can attribute any trait to “socialists” or “greens” you like, but no one can define what a “libertarian”, with or without the initial capital, is? Damn, you’re a brazen SOB.

    Nominalist sophistry aside, the US Libertarian Party has taken the liberty (heh) of defining its credo as “Libertarians believe in, and pursue, personal freedom while maintaining personal responsibility.” The Merriam-Webster company, OTOH, defines a libertarian as “a person who believes that people should be allowed to do and say what they want without any interference from the government”.

    Which definition may we attribute to you, Michael 2? If you say “none”, then we’ll know why you’re really here (as if we didn’t already).

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