A challenge for my readers

John Cook and colleagues have new paper out about [d]econstructing climate misinformation to identify reasoning errors. The basic idea is to

inoculat[e] against misinformation by explaining the fallacious reasoning within misleading denialist claims.

and to

[o]ffer a strategy based on critical thinking methods to analyse and detect poor reasoning within denialist claims.

They identify a bunch of common denialist claims and then explain why each of these engages in fallacious reasoning. This seems somewhat similar to Willard’s contrarian matrix, although that is maybe more about a hierarchy of contrarian arguments, rather than simply a set of arguments that are fallacious.

However, I ended up in a brief Twitter exchange yesterday (as you do when bored while travelling) with someone who was complaining about this paper. Their complaint was essentially that the paper should have identified actual examples of each of these denialist claims, otherwise it’s simply a strawman exercise (supposedly knocking down arguments that noone has actually made). The one obvious problem is that if they had associated specific groups/individuals with these arguments, then the very same people complaining that they had not done so, would now complain that they had associated groups/individuals with fallacious reasoning and would probably be calling for a retraction.

The other problem is that I don’t think that the paper was aimed at knocking down arguments made by specific individuals/groups, it was more about highlighting a large number of potential arguments and then explaining why the reasoning in these arguments is fallacious. It’s a resource that might help those who could encounter such arguments.

However, I think I have indeed seen many of these arguments being (or, at least, ones that are sufficiently close to the examples presented in this new paper). So, I thought maybe some of my readers would like to highlight examples of such arguments. I’ll try and do some myself. The list is below.




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400 Responses to A challenge for my readers

  1. If I may start at the beginning: here’s Patrick Moore (of the ‘ex Greenpeace’ claim) using the first one word for word to The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in 2014. http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/may/2014-03-15/there-no-scientific-evidence-humans-are-causing-global-warming

  2. lerpo says:

    CO2 is not a problem because it is a colourless invisible gas:

    Last year in an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Mr Murray cast himself as a climate sceptic.

    “Well carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is colourless and odourless. It is not a pollutant,” he said. “There is no correlation between warming and carbon dioxide.”

  3. john,
    Great, that’s number 1 on the list.

    I found this one: Consensus is irrelevant in science. There are plenty of examples in history where everyone agreed and everyone was wrong, which is number 4.

  4. Here is a link to the Global Warming Petition Project – 31487 dissenting scientists: number 2 on the list.

  5. lerpo says:

    It seems like the person on the other end of that twitter exchange may not be familiar with Google. You could “let me google that for you” any one of these.

  6. Here is an article by Boris Johnson on snow:

    It’s snowing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age

    Number 7.

  7. Lerpo,
    Your link seems to be number 3. So, we have 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7.

  8. Magma says:

    It seems that it would be a substantial amount of work, even crowd-sourced, to provide examples of each faulty argument… In my own reading I’ve seen every argument on the Cook et al. appendix showing up on blog posts or newspaper columns or comment forums with the exception of the following:

    ● clouds provide negative feedback (this argument would be a dangerous slope for contrarians)
    ● GHG effect violates 2nd law of thermodynamics

    There are modified versions of some of those listed
    ● *not all glaciers* are retreating
    ● ocean acidification is impossible because seawater is basic (sometimes with pH misspelled)

    Not on the list:
    ● Antarctic land ice is increasing (complicated to refute because of the possible climate-change derived increase in snowfall in East Antarctica)

    And Cook at al. are polite enough to exclude the entire range of ad hominem attacks (grants, the global socialist conspiracy, Mann/Hansen/Trenberth/Gore etc.) from their list.

  9. Their complaint was essentially that the paper should have identified actual examples of each of these denialist claims, otherwise it’s simply a strawman exercise (supposedly knocking down arguments that noone has actually made).

    #IceBears

  10. Brigitte says:

    Sorry, I don’t have time to sift through this at the moment but I bet there is stuff in there https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/08/climate/pruitt-climate-change.html

  11. Magma says:

    Ocean acidification, from the illustrious James Delingpole:

    Ocean acidification: yet another wobbly pillar of climate alarmism

  12. Everett F Sargent says:

    List of fallacies
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

    I think the list of non-fallacious denier arguments is much shorter, zero in fact. 😉

  13. Brigitte,
    Thanks. That looks like “species can adapt” (36), “climate has changed before” (23), and “Thermometer readings are uncertain” (11).

    Magma,
    Thanks, that’s 38.

    Lerpo,
    Thanks, number 5 and 6.

    So, that would now seem to be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 23, 36, and 38.

  14. Magma says:

    A given for higher profile climate change deniers is that they are, as a rule, extremely lazy as well as mendacious.

    From Delingpole’s article:

    The menace Boy [Delingpole’s son] was describing is ‘ocean acidification’. It’s no wonder he should find it worrying, for it has been assiduously promoted by environmentalists for more than a decade now as ‘global warming’s evil twin’. Last year, no fewer than 600 academic papers were published on the subject, so it must be serious, right?

    First referenced in a peer-reviewed study in Nature in 2003, it has since been endorsed by scientists from numerous learned institutions including the Royal Society, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the IPCC.

    In fact, references to anthropogenic CO2-driven changes in ocean pH, referenced to as acidification, go back to at least 1978, and most likely earlier.

    Siegenthaler & Oeschger (1978) Predicting Future Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Levels, Science 199: 388-395 DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4327.388

  15. Here is Donald Trump claiming that the name was changed from “global warming” to “climate change” (13)

  16. BBD says:

    Sorry if we’ve already had this – I’ve not checked all the links in the thread…

    “It’s not happening”

    Lawson in BBC interview:

    [Lawson:] No, it’s not happening. The reputable scientists, reputable experts, like Professor Pielke [Jr] and, as I’ve said, the IPCC, has confirmed that there has been no increase in extreme weather events. And as for the temperature itself, it is striking, he made his previous film 10 years ago, and according – again – to the official figures, during this past 10 years, if anything, mean global temperature, average world temperature, has slightly declined.

    Source Carbon Brief fact checker.

  17. BBD says:

    “Global warming is good”

    Scott Pruitt:

    We know humans have most flourished during times of warming trends. There are assumptions made that because the climate is warming that necessarily is a bad thing.

    Do we know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100 or year 2018?

  18. Joshua says:

    Hmmm..

    Seems to me that the first goal,

    inoculat[e] against misinformation by explaining the fallacious reasoning within misleading denialist claims.

    is rather unrealistic at best, and perhaps more importantly, likely reflects a misunderstanding of how this argument plays out (at least in the States).

    IOW, (IMO), the way to “inoculate” against “denialist claims,” if there is any, is to diffuse the drive towards ideological polarization which undergirds the climate change wars.

    Also, rather ironically (to me) is that the connotation of “inoculation” suggests a “contamination” frame of reference, which typically is one which is associated with “conservatives.”

  19. Keith McClary says:

    Antarctic sea ice extent is at record low today.
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/charctic-interactive-sea-ice-graph/
    (Be sure to click on “Antarctic”.)

  20. Joshua,
    I think the idea is that you expose people to these fallacious arguments and then explain why they’re fallacious. I would not expect this to work quickly, or on all, but I can see how it could help some to better identify the flaws in some arguments.

    BBD,
    Thanks, that’s “extreme weather not linked to global warming” (42)

    So, we now have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 13, 23, 36, 38, 42.

  21. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    I would not expect this to work quickly, or on all, but I can see how it could help some to better identify the flaws in some arguments.

    I get that is a theoretical possibility. I’m very dubious about the real-world impact. Seems more, to me, like an exercise in sameosameo, personality politics, etc.

  22. Joshua,
    Why sameosameo? This is addressing arguments, not people. There must be a point (in my view, at least) at which it is worth pointing out the fallacies in some arguments. I realise that some people will object, but that would then seem to suggest that they identify with those arguments and don’t like it being highlighted that they’re fallacious.

    In a sense, I find it slightly odd that some seem to object to what’s being suggested. If someone does not regard themselves as promoting denialist arguments, and regards those presented in this paper as being arguments that noone makes, then why bother complaining? These arguments are not being associated with any specific individuals, or groups.

  23. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Why sameosameo? This is addressing arguments, not people.

    I think it’s pretty hard to differentiate the two. It isn’t addressing arguments in the context of direct discussion, but in association with groups (i.e., “denialists”), which, IMO, only reinforces the group/individual linkages which, ultimate lie at the root of the dilemma.

    There must be a point (in my view, at least) at which it is worth pointing out the fallacies in some arguments.

    Sure. But I think that a lot depends on the context in which that takes place. In this specific context, a bunch of people from one previously identified group pointing out the fallacies in the arguments of another previously identified group leaves little room for anything other than group engagement in recursive fashion. I feel the exact same way when I watch similar exercises taking place on the other side of the great climate divide.

    I realise that some people will object,..

    My point of focus isn’t related to whether that well known group of “some people” will object, but a real world assessment of the claimed benefits outside of that group. I am quite dubious.

    It can be fun for members of groups to engage in this kind of exercise (I do it all the time), and maybe there is some kind of benefit in the sense of self-affirmation, but I’m questioning the argument that some kind of “inoculation” will take place, at least among some sizeable number of people who aren’t already “immunized.”

    but that would then seem to suggest that they identify with those arguments and don’t like it being highlighted that they’re fallacious.

    No doubt.

    In a sense, I find it slightly odd that some seem to object…then why bother complaining?

    I’m not sure I’m “complaining” so much as questioning the asserted beneficial outcome.

    These arguments are not being associated with any specific individuals, or groups.

    I don’t think that’s how it plays out in the real world. In the very least, the identification of “deniialist” IMO, belies that claim. But I think it runs deeper than that. I question that this will, in any meaningful way, exacerbate an existing problem (ala Dan Kahan), but I think it’s questionable when we view this kind of exercise in context (e.g., being conducted by John Cook and promoted at this blog) to then argue that specific individuals or groups aren’t being implicated.

  24. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    In short, my focus is on the claim of “inoculation.”

  25. BaerbelW says:

    Thanks for getting this started!

    As a kind of short-cut to quotes, go to http://sks.to/fmf and then click on the included link to the rebuttal on SkS in the myth column. Most – if not all of them – should already have a direct quote in the red box at the top. If you find any for which we don‘t yet have a quote or where the link no longer works or where you found a more recent/typical one, we can update the rebuttal accordingly.

  26. Joshua,
    Okay, but even then the idea is to inoculate people against fallacious arguments, not against specific individuals/groups.

  27. RickA says:

    I was looking through the arguments, but didn’t see one for:

    It is warming, but is a mixture of human caused and naturally caused.

    I have seen this argument raised many times.

    That perhaps 1/2 of the warming is human and 1/2 natural.

    This is usually raised in connection with lower CS arguments.

  28. Here’s a recent use of number 2, the infamous ‘Oregon Petition’, still going strong now 20 years after it was first created: https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/07/17/that-scientific-global-warming-consensus-not/#20ece3c03bb3
    The original climate ‘Whack-a-mole’?

  29. Rick,
    That it is partly natural and partly anthropogenic is not really fallacious in the sense that it is almost certainly not exactly 100% anthropogenic with no natural contribution whatsoever. However, the best estimate for the anthropogenic contribution is slightly more than allof it (i.e., natural influences have probably had a net cooling effect).

  30. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Okay, but even then the idea is to inoculate people against fallacious arguments, not against specific individuals/groups.

    A worthwhile goal, IMO. But I think that the prescription for pulling that off is complicated.

    Getting people to better explore fallacious argumentation seems a very tall order, IMO, something that is extremely important, and extremely timely given the current, larger societal frame – and not something that is well served by (IMO) simplistic constructions of the mechanisms involved.

    Primarily, I think that this kind of exercise, to at least some extent, reinforces the dynamic in play where identity-bias negatively influences exploration of fallacious reasoning – although I think the net effect is minimal. It wouldn’t have to in some abstract context, but the question I’m asking is will it likely do so within the real world context.

    My sense is that the first step towards getting people to explore the mechanisms of fallacious reasoning is to diffuse the propensity towards identity-related biases, as such biases, often, lie at the root of the propensity towards fallacious reasoning. I don’t think it’s likely that you can jump over that step with significantly productive results – even if jumping over that step doesn’t have a material impact of making the current situation significantly worse.

    I don’t know the answer here, but I’m dubious.

  31. Here’s everyone’s favourite, Scott Pruit again; this time using ‘skeptic’ Argument #3— “CO2 is a harmless gas”: https://247sports.com/college/michigan-state/Board/97/Contents/Trumps-environmental-adviser-nominee-says-CO2-harmless-gas-109120813

  32. Joshua says:

    RickA –

    It is warming, but is a mixture of human caused and naturally caused.

    As Anders says, there is nothing fallacious about that argument. What would be fallacious is to use that argument as if it negates the possibility that ACO2 emissions pose a risk that warrants the evaluation of mitigation polices.

  33. I could continue the twitter discussion,

    but this paper simply this runs the risk of, activist at Skeptical science paraphrased, simplify to the point out of context, and say these are sceptic arguments.. and then knock down the arguments (set up straw man, knock it down) do we trust these are the actual arguments, are they fairy presented, are they in context, are they accurate are they interpreted correctly.

    Risk of, have a bunch of activists misrepresented their self described opponents (subconsciously or otherwise) to knock down the arguments..does the debunking go into other territory, that the actual sceptic was not even talking about, and may/or may not even agree with.

    This work is not new, 42 arguments deriving from the list of sceptic arguments that Skeptical Science produced years ago, with ‘debunking’ attached…
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy

    did these arguments “work” over the last several years…. despite all the awards sks have won.

    do the 42 arguments accurately represent? why not just present an example of each sceptical argument, with references and most importantly context can be seen. In my deleted Conversation comment, I wrote that a example used in the main paper, was not the actual sceptic argument put forward, but an ‘interpretation put forward, with the conclusion it seems in the mind of the contributor at skeptical science, not any sceptic.

    Does representing these Skeptical Science 42 arguments, with ‘critical thinking techniques’ provided, add anything to science, will it achieve anything, ie get people to ignore sceptics.. I don’t think so. Just not great social science..

    Just for fun, data from a peer reviewed psychology paper has the following findings, far worse believe in ‘conspiracy theories, than any climate blog surveyed. equally pointless junk, as far as I can see. but peer reviewed science that we should be worried by a percentage of next generation of psychology academics? 😉

    A peer reviewed psychology paper..
    (Lewandowsky cites it, the lead author was a peer reviewer of recursive fury, before ducked out as the issue he had with it were not addressed))

    A psychology paper survey’s data shows:,

    15% of psychology undergrad students surveyed ‘believe’ this:
    – Climate change” is a myth promoted by the government as an excuse to raise taxes and curb people’s freedom. –

    15% of psychology undergrad students surveyed ‘believe’ this:
    – The “science” behind climate change is at least dubious. –

    9.5 % of psychology undergrad students surveyed ‘believe’ this:
    – The idea that the world is headed for catastrophic climate change is a fraud. –

    24% of psychology undergrad students surveyed ‘believe’ this:
    – Governments are suppressing evidence of the existence of aliens.

    18% of psychology undergrad students surveyed ‘believe’ this:
    – The American moon landings were faked.-

    http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550611434786

    these ‘results’ are far ‘worse’ than the “climate blogs” surveyed by Lewandowsky, or the general public (Plos One) …yet future psychology professors amongst them? !

    (or were they just bored 2nd year, av age 20.3 yrs, 80% female, 2nd year undergrads captive guinea pigs.. I hope so.. cf if they actually ‘believe’ the above)

    (why am I bothered by it – ATTP asked ) not because i think it will ‘hurt’ sceptics. just that I think this is a really awful paper, and it offends me that critical thinkers – like Ellerton, Cook, Kinkead produce such an awful paper. imho, of course)

  34. Joshua.

    My sense is that the first step towards getting people to explore the mechanisms of fallacious reasoning is to diffuse the propensity towards identity-related biases, as such biases, often, lie at the root of the propensity towards fallacious reasoning.

    Quite possibly. I don’t think the suggestion here is that all that we need to do is apply this suggested inoculation. I also suspect that it alone won’t be enough and that other factors (such as those you mention) will also be important.

    Primarily, I think that this kind of exercise, to at least some extent, reinforces the dynamic in play where identity-bias negatively influences exploration of fallacious reasoning – although I think the net effect is minimal.

    Possibly, but probably mainly with those who strongly identify with these fallacious arguments. I don’t think that they are the target.

  35. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    One more comment on this…

    I think it is inherently difficult to approach the goal of exploring our propensity towards fallacious arguments from within a single frame, and particularly from within a framework that is as polarized as climate change. I think that the goal of getting people to be introspective about fallacious reasoning needs to start in a general frame first, which can then be applied to particular contexts. I come at this from my perspective as an educator.

  36. Barry,

    do we trust these are the actual arguments, are they fairy presented, are they in context, are they accurate are they interpreted correctly.

    I think the answer to this is “yes”, in the sense that we can clearly find examples of people making the arguments that are presented. Do you dispute this?

    As for the rest of your comment; some psychologists don’t understand climate science. Your point?

  37. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Possibly, but probably mainly with those who strongly identify with these fallacious arguments. I don’t think that they are the target.

    I don’t think that providing this information to “realists,” or those not affiliated, from within a anti-“denialist” frame, will advance the goal of getting people to adopt a more robust approach to examining for argumentative fallacies. If anything, I think the effect would be to reinforce an identity-associated window for approaching the question of how we’re all prone towards identity-related fallacious reasoning – IOW, it works at cross-purposes.

  38. And here’s Dr Roy Spencer deploying argument #4—”We can’t trust the climate consensus because the medical consensus was wrong on the cause on peptic ulcers”:
    http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/03/the_myth_of_the_97_percent_glo.html
    My word that’s a good one!

  39. In the body of the paper;

    Premise One: The Climate has changed in the past through natural processes
    Premise Two: The climate is currently changing
    Conclusion: The climate is current changing though natural processes

    [then they use critical thinking to knock this sceptic argument down]

    [But who – sceptic – has actually said this, in that form, it reads as if the conclusion, presented as the sceptic conclusion, is what the writer ‘thinks’ the sceptic is arguing, rather than their actual argument – no judgement if this is subconscious or deliberate]

    This is not the ‘sceptic argument though.. and is very simplistic.
    Actual sceptic arguments are more nuanced.

    ie:
    The climate has changed in the past,
    how do we know that the current changes are not natural ones…
    do we understand natural climate change enough, to rule out this as a factor.
    and assuming natural climate change has not stopped [or has it? what evidence],
    what proportion of changes since pre-industrial are natural vs AGW, and how do we come to that?

    [now many sceptics do accept warming over the timescale as AGW, I’m fine with IPCC AR5, myself as best current understanding), some may say less, and some none or very littele, and they may of course be wrong, as shown by the science.. but there argument, is not the characature of their argument put forward in this paper. This is the thinking climate science itself used/uses to understand climate. ]

    These 42 arguments described in the supplementary material
    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/13/2/024018/media/ERL_aaa49f_Table_S2_Analysis_of_42_Contrarian_Claims.pdf

    are not direct, referenced, quotable arguments made by any actual sceptic, but paraphrased, simplified (to the point of misrepresentation? – ie example I give) interpretations of sceptic arguments written by the contributors to John Cook’s Skeptical science website a number of years ago.
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php?f=taxonomy

    (a large number written by James Wight (a self described, then teenage boy who was being homeschooled at the time, who on his personal blog states he is/was fighting sceptics. Have they accurately represented sceptic arguments, or misrepresented them, to knock them down again

    [not to say James cannot be accurate, etc, but academics might be wise to check carefully. ie would you say accept Greenpeace activists quotes of opponents, without checking carefully, or a political activist claims of what his political opponent says, without checking actual source carefully where people are highly motivated emotionally involved individuals – no relevant academic qualifications – and just may not be fair/accurate – no intent]


    This is one of the comments referred to in discussion on twitter – that The Conversation deleted – with addition of some notes [in the square brackets, and typos/grammar corrected]

  40. Keith McClary says:

    “The Earth’s climate has changed before …”
    I wish you had pointed out the hidden premise that this was due to natural fluctuations in the climate system (ignoring known external causes: Milankovitch, vulcanism, tectonic, …).

    I know, you can’t squish them all, but that is a pet peeve of mine.

  41. my point anonymous surveys in sociology may not be very useful…
    (You hope with a captive survey group, you might ask people why they put the answers. Ie I really believe it. I was bored and this survey is stupid. Oh. I don’t believe that, just ticking possibly plausible – (a ie weak belief on the scale,vs 7 strong believe), etc,etc

    It would be fun to take it seriously..

    ie
    Peer reviewed psychology papers show readers of climate blogs –
    less than 1% believe in a moon hoax conspiracy,
    vs 10 times that amongst the general public (Plos One data)
    and 18% of psychology students…

    (all in the data of those papers)

    no need to worry that sceptic are conspiracy theorist, vs the general public, and those wacky psychology undergrads.. but no, I’m not taking it seriously.

  42. Clive Best says:

    Let’s see how the IPCC assessment reports stack up at defining what the Scientific Consensus is supposed to be.

    1990 AR1: ‘The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect from observations is not likely for a decade or more. ‘
    1995 AR2: “The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on global climate”
    2001 AR3: “most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”
    2007 AR4: “Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”
    2013 AR5: “It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in GMST from 1951 to 2010. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

  43. Barry,

    my point anonymous surveys in sociology may not be very useful…

    Not sure why you think they would be.

    The climate has changed in the past,
    how do we know that the current changes are not natural ones…

    Because we’ve studied past climate changes. We’re studying current climate changes. The evidence indicates that the dominant influence today is anthropogenic influences. It is extremely unlikely that the dominant influence today is natural influences.

    You’ve asked this question many times before. It has been explained to you on numerous occassions. You cannot suggest that it isn’t essentially a suggestion that because is changed naturally in the past that it is possible that it is now changing naturally.

  44. The gaping hole that climate skeptics exploit is the inability of the research community to nail the mechanism for interannual climate variability. The skeptical argument goes that if climate variability on that scale is chaotic and therefore unpredictable, there is a great degree of uncertainty in the long-term variability.

    I don’t buy this argument based on how I understand the physics, but can see how skeptics weaponize the premise of poorly-understood variability.

  45. Clive,

    Let’s see how the IPCC assessment reports stack up at defining what the Scientific Consensus is supposed to be.

    As far as I can see it is pretty solidly consistent with the consensus today that humans are causing global warming. Did you have a point?

  46. John Russell: And here’s Dr Roy Spencer deploying argument #4—”We can’t trust the climate consensus because the medical consensus was wrong on the cause on peptic ulcers”:

    My word that’s a good one!

    Really is that how you interpret it.. I read that as a caution that consensus can be wrong, and he used an example of previous consensus being wrong in the past (Lord Kelvin has a few good ones as well, heavier than air flight, knocking back Darwin, because of the consensus of the age of the earth, ie too young, based on then current physics.)

    He is not saying wrong, because the medical consensus on peptic ulcers wrong..

    it is much more nuanced, expressing a caution that consensuses have been wrong in the past. this misrepresents what he is saying, simplifying it to the point of silliness.imho..
    read it again? (without he is a sceptic – therefore – must be wrong- blinkers)
    http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/03/the_myth_of_the_97_percent_glo.html

  47. Barry,
    The argument that is highlighted in Cook et als. new paper is

    Other scientific consensus have been wrong so we can’t trust the consensus on climate change.

    Seems entirely consistent with what Roy Spencer suggests in his article.

  48. no.. that misrepresents it i think.. it is not – others have been wrong, so we can’t trust..

    but – have been wrong, so we should recognise this, and be cautious. (nuance)

    (my reading of what he is saying, and the easiest person to fool is yourself, followed by the herd, perhaps, especially if the leaders of the herd are so very, very sure..)

    how many times have whole field of science/medicine gone in wrong directions – not just on the big stuff that gets noticed but, less important stuff..

  49. BBD says:

    Barry

    The arguments presented in Cook et al. are an accurate representation of those employed by ‘sceptics’. Pretending otherwise in a room full of people who have spent serious time arguing with ‘sceptics’ is a waste of pixels.

  50. Len Martinez says:

    Barry
    “This is not the ‘sceptic argument though.. and is very simplistic.
    Actual sceptic arguments are more nuanced.”

    You flatter ‘skeptics’. You’d like to claim perhaps that real skeptics don’t make simplistic arguments but skeptics form a spectrum from dump to … less dumb. and simplistic is a part of that. Accept it. There’s plenty of simplistic argument on your own cliscep as in other places. Skeptics often just block people like me when they point out the stupid, as your site does.

  51. BBD says:

    (my reading of what he is saying, and the easiest person to fool is yourself

    Coming from Spencer, the irony is painful.

  52. Barry,

    how many times have whole field of science/medicine gone in wrong directions – not just on the big stuff that gets noticed but, less important stuff..

    I would argue that there are very few occasions in which a consensus that has developed over many decades, and that is based on many lines of evidence, has turned out to be wrong.

    [Edit: I should add that I mean substantively wrong, rather than simply modified. Even now, we haven’t ruled out that natural influences have contributed to the observed warming. The evidence suggests that anthropogenic influences dominate, and that natural influences are probably small. Even though we might, find ways to more precisely determine the individual contributions, it seems highly unlikely that this overall picture will change much.]

  53. Hi Barry. Don’t you think that the climate consensus is so strong because scientists have spent 40 or more years trying their damnest to gather evidence and test the hypothesis and theory? And, for that matter, ‘skeptics’ have tried for almost as long to come up with alternative explanations, not one of which has held water? To suggest the helicobacter pylori story could be a warning is rather stretching it.

  54. Willard says:

    > it is much more nuanced

    One should not conflate dog whistling with nuance:

    Regarding just how wrong scientific consensus can be, I like to use the example of peptic ulcers. With millions of sufferers being treated over the last century by doctors, you would think we would know what causes them. Until relatively recently it was assumed that eating spicy food or stress caused them. But two Australian doctors, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, had a theory that they were caused by bacteria, a fringe idea that led to them being shunned and ridiculed at conferences.

    Yet they were correct, and were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine for their work. One can only imagine the thousands of published medical papers that simply assumed that ulcers were caused by stress or spicy food. Would it have been 97 percent? Or even more? I don’t know. Yet they were all wrong.

    http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2016/03/the_myth_of_the_97_percent_glo.html

    No nuance there: RoyS simply handwaves to the ulcer thing. Because, scientific consensus can be very wrong. What’s his point? He doesn’t tell exactly. To see why, let’s generalize:

    [P1]: Empirical science can be (very) wrong.
    [P2]: Something something.
    [C]: Something something else.

    As Freedom Fighters such as Molyneux would say, RoyS’ counterexample is not even an argument. It’s just a talking point. The audience, such as BarryW, is supposed to fill the gap.

    Oh, and if BarryW could not use this thread to dump all his moderated comments elsewhere, that’d be great.

  55. SteveS says:

    I think the claim that the “Greenhouse effect violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics” was a fundamental part of Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s infamous “falsification” paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161.pdf .

  56. Joshua, a small part of America claims to hold opinions that are total nonsense. Any attempt to show this clearly can be rejected as an attack on the identity of this deeply tribal group. It is hard to do otherwise, you want to be clear and the opinions are utter nonsense.

    Someone who knows them show give them a hug and tell them everything is going to be all right, but I see no way to subtly explain how terrible their nonsense is in the mass/social media.

    Fortunately, Barry just showed that this is useful to ensure that future psychologists hold rational views about climate change.

    More generally, there is a considerable part of America that is confused by the polluted information environment the US culture war, corrupt politicians and corporate TV has created. Those should be people we should be able to reach and best focus on rather than on the Barry’s and the folks he hangs out with on WUWT & Co.

  57. Actual sceptic arguments are more nuanced, like that CO2 cannot influence the climate because it is only a tiny/minimal/small part of the atmosphere. Barry, go fool your granny.

  58. verytallguy says:

    Clive, your post above is weird.

    According to your extracts, in 1990 the IPPC said it would take a decade or more to be unequivocal about human influence.

    Later reports showed this to be exactly the case, as evidence emerged.

    What’s your point? That you wholeheartedly agree with the IPPC??

  59. verytallguy says:

    Barry

    Actual sceptic arguments are more nuanced

    Ok, due diligence time. Let’s go to the comments at Barry’s haunt at Cliscep (warning, A shower may be required afterwards)

    …who could see the video and fail to form the impression of CEK as a trio of pricks?…

    …I quite like using ‘the crusading warmist scientists are humanity hating idealists who are very poor at their jobs and will lie to cover up the holes in their arguments and use their closed shop to keep out dissenting voices. They will blame anyone and anything for their lack of success but their own pitiful endeavours’ …

    …Above all they cannot actually argue with skeptics in an open debate or discussion.
    Instead they have to suppress, censor, isolate, pathologize, misrepresent and dehumanize those who disagree…

    C’mon Barry. I quite enjoy polemic, but nuance? Please. You’re out of your TinyCo2.

  60. Marco says:

    Here’s a good source for many of the claims listed:
    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/146138/100-reasons-why-climate-change-is-natural

    That many of those 100 reasons are contradictory, mutually exclusive, irrelevant, and repetitive, probably doesn’t matter to those that just want to spread FUD.

    However, especially of relevance for Barry, it includes *several* supposed “reasons” that can be reasonably translated as “it’s all natural”. The most direct one is reason 30: “The slight increase in temperature which has been observed since 1900 is entirely consistent with well-established, long-term natural climate cycles” and reason 55 can also easily be translated as “it’s not us”:
    “The argument that climate change is a of [sic] result of global warming caused by human activity is the argument of flat Earthers.”
    And there are a few more of these type of arguments.

    That there are some pseudoskeptics that are more nuanced in their arguments does not change the fact that there are plenty that do make this claim. And Barry knows it, he has frequented WUWT often enough to know several make this claim. One may thus argue that the one doing the misrepresentation is one Barry Woods…

  61. vtg,

    …who could see the video and fail to form the impression of CEK as a trio of pricks?…

    I tried to post a couple of comments suggesting that Ben’s subsequent claim (I don’t say it to be mean, or pointlessly insulting) was a bit of a stretch. They both seem to have disappeared.

  62. verytallguy says:

    I tried to post a couple of comments…

    Pigs. Wrestling. Seriously, give it up.

    (On a different topic entirely, this site lets me post when I’m connected via mobile data, but not when connected via wifi. Everything other than posting comments does work. Baffling. )

  63. Marco,
    That’s a real treasure trove. Haven’t read it all, but I’ve found 1, 14, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26, 36, 38, 41, 42, which means we now have:

    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 14, 13, 19, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 36, 38, 41, 42.

    Almost half of them.

  64. vtg,

    Pigs. Wrestling. Seriously, give it up.

    Indeed, and I should.

    (On a different topic entirely, this site lets me post when I’m connected via mobile data, but not when connected via wifi. Everything other than posting comments does work. Baffling. )

    Very odd. I don’t know what that could be.

  65. Here’s a post by Ed Berry, claiming that our CO2 emissions do not increase atmospheric CO2. It’s essentially number 14 – our emissions are small compared to natural emissions. We already have this, but another example is useful.

  66. Clive Best says:

    Paul,

    That’s correct. The ‘consensus’ is still fuzzy because it ignores the natural cycles that are superimposed on long term anthropogenic effects.

  67. Clive,
    Ummm, no it doesn’t. What is normally meant by the consensus is that humans are causing global warming. This is based on the conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that more than 50% of the observed warming could be natural. Hard to draw that conclusion if natural influences are ignored (I’m kind of hoping that you didn’t really mean cycles).

  68. Len Martinez says:

    My feeling for quite some time is that the main trait needed to be a skeptic of the type found at climate blogs (as opposed to a true skeptic) is dishonesty. Barry’s attempts to disown the standard fare of climate skepticism, as listed in Cook’s paper, does nothing to disabuse me of this notion. Has anyone encountered a skeptic who they think addresses the debate honestly?

  69. Maybe a little ironic that Paul’s comment suggests that there is a gaping hole that climate skeptics exploit, followed by Clive coming along and exploiting what Paul implies in his comment.

  70. Len,

    Has anyone encountered a skeptic who they think addresses the debate honestly?

    They do seem to rather few and far between.

  71. re: “Human CO2 emissions are tiny compared to natural CO2 emissions so our influence is negligible.”

    From an article in yesterday’s The Winnipeg Sun, a rather extensive discourse on exactly this, by a columnist from a right-wing policy group, generously citing Tim Ball.

    Excepts:
    “According to Dr. Tim Ball, a retired University of Winnipeg climatologist, CO2 is not a pollutant but a harmless natural trace gas vital to plant existence.

    “Plants take in CO2 and give off oxygen; without photosynthesis both plants and animals die. CO2 is a trace gas, representing but a fraction of the atmosphere. Ball notes that present CO2 levels are 400 parts per million, just 0.04% of the atmosphere (equivalent of 40 pennies in a jar of 100,000). Most CO2, 99% of it, comes from natural sources — animal respiration, soil decomposition, volcanoes, ocean evaporation. Man-made sources are minuscule — equivalent of 1.2 of the 40 pennies in a jar of 100,000 pennies.”

    Comments section is overwhelmingly supportive. Sigh.

  72. Rust,
    Thanks, that’s 14 (human CO2 emissions are miniscule), 21 (trace gas), and 41 (plant food).

  73. Willard says:

    > The ‘consensus’ is still fuzzy because it ignores the natural cycles that are superimposed on long term anthropogenic effects.

    This claim presumes (a) that the consensus ignores natural cycles and that (b) if it did not, it’d be less fuzzy.

    The first presupposition looks false:

    It is very unlikely that the 20th-century warming can be explained by natural causes. The late 20th century has been unusually warm. Palaeoclimatic reconstructions show that the second half of the 20th century was likely the warmest 50-year period in the Northern Hemisphere in the last 1300 years. This rapid warming is consistent with the scientific understanding of how the climate should respond to a rapid increase in greenhouse gases like that which has occurred over the past century, and the warming is inconsistent with the scientific understanding of how the climate should respond to natural external factors such as variability in solar output and volcanic activity. Climate models provide a suitable tool to study the various influences on the Earth’s climate. When the effects of increasing levels of greenhouse gases are included in the models, as well as natural external factors, the models produce good simulations of the warming that has occurred over the past century. The models fail to reproduce the observed warming when run using only natural factors. When human factors are included, the models also simulate a geographic pattern of temperature change around the globe similar to that which has occurred in recent decades. This spatial pattern, which has features such as a greater warming at high northern latitudes, differs from the most important patterns of natural climate variability that are associated with internal climate processes, such as El Niño.

    https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-9-2.html

    The second presupposition (taking natural cycles into account would make the consensus less fuzzy) would deserve substantiation.

    Cue to Web’s usual drive-by.

  74. Willard says:

    > Dr. Tim Ball, a retired University of Winnipeg climatologist

    That’s false: TimB was a geographer. Speaking of whom:

  75. Len Martinez. “My feeling for quite some time is that the main trait needed to be a skeptic of the type found at climate blogs (as opposed to a true skeptic) is dishonesty. .. Has anyone encountered a skeptic who they think addresses the debate honestly?

    If there is one good thing about the Age of Trump it is that now everyone knows that the climate hoaxer in Chief is dishonest whenever he speaks. That he could not tell the truth if his life depended on it. Hopefully that helps normal people to recognise not all people are honest and not to take the nonsense his followers say too seriously.

    There are naturally many followers who are misinformed and have been conned by their leaders. That is not dishonest, but it is disappointing that they do not put more effort into finding out the truth.

    Yes there are also a few who are well-informed and probably honest. On the internet there would be the “Connolly Scientific Research Group” of Global Warming Solved. Most of the honest ones are not on the internet. My former boss was one. She was somewhat biased, but honest in appraising the evidence, mostly she just deeply hoped that one day she would find the problem. A colleague from Serbia holds climate change to be a NATO conspiracy. (The conspiracies need to be adapted to the local situation.)

  76. Magma says:

    @Willard

    Potholer54’s takedown of Tim Ball’s appearance on a conspiracy-centered cable TV show was first rate… it begins with the show’s host on a ferry to “a small town on the outskirts of civilization,” outside of cell phone range (i.e., Victoria BC, pop 350,000 and capital of Canada’s third largest province) and includes Ball speaking anonymously in silhouette because he is “hiding for his life”.

  77. Magma says:

    The timestamp didn’t carry over… Ball’s section starts at 7:50

  78. Willard says:

    > Potholer54’s takedown of Tim Ball’s appearance on a conspiracy-centered cable TV show was first rate…

    That was the video I was looking for, Magma. Thanks!

  79. Here’s an example for the last argument in the ‘It’s not us’ section—”It’s the sun”. Again it’s by Larry Bell*, the same bloke who wrote the example using the Oregon petition argument (my second comment). https://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2011/09/20/sorry-but-with-global-warming-its-the-sun-stupid/
    *https://www.desmogblog.com/larry-bell

  80. Mal Adapted says:

    Len Martinez:

    Has anyone encountered a skeptic who they think addresses the debate honestly?

    A scientific challenge to the consensus of working climate scientists would have to be addressed in appropriate scientific venues — refereed journals, conferences, workshops etc. To my knowledge there are still unanswered questions about the magnitude and sign of feedback by clouds on radiative forcing from increased atmospheric CO2. I’ve seen no serious proposal in honestly peer-reviewed venues, however, that clouds will completely cancel the increase in the climatically-active carbon pool. In general I’m not aware of any credible challenges to any of the following three propositions:

    – Global Mean Surface Temperature is rising, currently at a rate of about 0.2 degrees C per decade.
    – Most of the warming, and probably all of it in at least the last half century, is due to the economically-driven (i.e. anthropogenic) large-scale transfer of fossil carbon to the atmosphere.
    – A cost in money and lives is already being paid for the warming to date, and the cost will mount as long as the warming continues.

    Just because I’m not aware of any credible scientific challenges doesn’t mean there are none, but I do track the refereed literature pretty closely, and it’s been years since I’ve seen a hint of any that haven’t long since been decisively refuted by verifiable evidence.

  81. Tom Dayton says:

    At SkepticalScience.com, if you click the Resources menu at the top, then click Links by Argument, you’ll see the taxonomy of arguments with the number of pro and con examples of use of each argument. Click on an argument and you’ll see a list of links to correct (“pro”) and incorrect (“con”) uses of that argument. It’s a crowd-sourced effort; you can add links. https://www.skepticalscience.com/resources.php

  82. That’s why research is ongoing on how to patch the exploitable holes.
    “Disentangling global warming, multi-decadal variability, and El Niño in Pacific temperatures”, Wills et al, PNAS 2017

    “Unforced climate variability on decadal and longer time scales has
    garnered much attention, both because of its potential predictability
    and because it often masks the influence of externally forced
    climate change. A key challenge in climate science is to separate
    observed temperature changes into components due to internal variability
    and responses to external forcing. Extended integrations of
    forced and unforced climate models are often used for this purpose.”

    The analogy to me is as if you had an audio track and there’s a maddening hum. This hum wasn’t like a 60 Hz hum that you could isolate, but one that changes apparent frequency and amplitude over time, and no one could figure out its origin or remove it easily.

  83. Ryan DeLong says:

    I began studying epistemology when I was 8 years old and am now an expert at the age of 38. You really need to address the argument from fallacy issues you have with your chart. It is quite horrendous. I had to stop reading the chart because so many responses use either a straw man or an argument from fallacy.

    My education started with geology and I moved into aerospace then went into chemistry and materials. I can tell you that many of the attempts to point out fallacies contain fallacies themselves, and the entire chart seems to begin with a begging the question fallacy. You really need to be more objective when attempting to use epistemology. It is clear the writer has a confirmation bias and the logical fallacies he uses make it obvious. I can help you to understand where you are wrong, where your conclusion is right but irrelevant as in a straw man and why being scientifically literate is important when trying to debate climate change.

    I did notice that the arguments evaluated here are not from people who are scientifically literate and the rebuttals do not adhere to the scientific method or the rules of epistemology. This just comes across as a huge straw man fallacy because this page completely ignores the facts of climate change and what real climate scientists actually study; Milankovich cycles. I can’t agree that this article even adheres to the Socratic method, never mind the more precise evolution of epistemology into the scientific method with proof by logical fallacies. What this means is that this writer likes his fallacies more because he has a confirmation bias and because he uses arguments from troglodytes all he has to do is make them look wrong while using more sophisticated fallacies. The sophists. What a talented bunch of debaters. Logical? No. Talented at rhetoric? Yes.

  84. Ryan,
    I’ll give the benefit of doubt and assume your comment was mostly tongue-in-cheek.

  85. John Cook says:

    Just to be a party pooper, how about I provide real-world examples of ALL the denial myths in our critical thinking paper. Skeptical Science has real-world examples of every myth we debunk (contrary to what you might read on Twitter). So it took me 5 minutes to link all those examples in the database with the list of myths we debunk in our critical thinking paper:
    https://skepticalscience.com/denialexamples.php

  86. John,
    Thanks. I should probably have checked SkS first, but I thought this might be a nice interactive post 🙂

  87. “[But who – sceptic – has actually said this, in that form, it reads as if the conclusion, presented as the sceptic conclusion, is what the writer ‘thinks’ the sceptic is arguing, rather than their actual argument – no judgement if this is subconscious or deliberate]”

    John Cook (via Facebook) says:

    Interesting response to our critical thinking deconstruction of denial is “denial denial”, arguing “no-one ever made those arguments”. Took me five minutes to program a webpage listing real-world examples of the debunked myths (these examples available on SkS for a decade).

    The webpage is here.

  88. I’ll give the benefit of doubt and assume your comment was mostly tongue-in-cheek.

    Claims the current fast changes are due to slow Milankovich cycles without any evidence and ignoring all the actual evidence on the changes. Claims expertise without having ever worked in the field. Together with the displayed overconfidence based on nothing a wonderful satire of climate “sceptical” thinking. Chapeau!

  89. rats, lost the ashes and the race to post JC’s webpage, not been a good year so far… ;o)

  90. Hey, Ryan. Believe it or not, you’re not alone: everyone writing in this thread also knows about Milankovitch cycles.

    What we know is that cyclic changes to Earth’s tilt and orbit happen so slowly (over 1000’s of years) that when compared to the rapid changes to our atmosphere which humans are bringing about through their emissions (100’s of years), they’re near enough irrelevant. And that’s why M cycles don’t often get mentioned.

    http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/milankovitch-cycles

  91. I agree with ATTP that the comment must be tongue-in-cheek, as an expert in epistemology would have given a specific example of a fallacy in the article, rather just an vague assertion that they are there. Of course that would make it easier to address the criticism and no school of sophistry would recommend that! ;o)

  92. Marco says:

    “I’ll give the benefit of doubt and assume your comment was mostly tongue-in-cheek.”

    I don’t, but I am probably too much of a skeptic and checked out Ryan’s Facebook page. He’s likely serious.

  93. I don’t, but I am probably too much of a skeptic and checked out Ryan’s Facebook page. He’s likely serious.

    Ahh, okay, maybe I should have checked first. Oh well.

  94. Marco says:

    …maybe I should have mentioned that his Facebook page is linked in his name, so it’s not like he wasn’t advertising it.

  95. verytallguy says:

    Marco, now i went and read some of it. And it’s your fault, you liberal psycho bully:

    Liberals have an incredibly high rate of mental illness; have the highest rate of crime; actively persecute veterans and the disabled, while they really believe they are the victims.

    Climate “sceptics” – dontcha just love ’em.

  96. Magma says:

    …I did notice that the arguments evaluated here are not from people who are scientifically literate… — somebody real smrt

    Well, damn. Looks like that’s several degrees, some publications, presentations, courses and a career’s worth of paychecks to return or retract on my part. And I don’t think I’m alone.

  97. Magma says:

    On the other hand, perhaps our smrt new contributor is stating that well-worn denialist arguments “are not from people who are scientifically literate”… am I allowed to take a snippet of his comment and quote it out of context, distorting his plain meaning? [Climateball referee: Yes.]

  98. Mal Adapted says:

    verytallguy:

    Climate “sceptics” – dontcha just love ’em.

    Yep, and those who’ve focused their hatred on ‘liberals’, most of all. Mr. DeLong, for example, appears to be playing soldier in a fantasy culture war, making him easy prey for politicians and other mercenary sorts. What’s not to love?

  99. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Ryan DeLong sez:

    This just comes across as a huge straw man fallacy because this page completely ignores the facts of climate change and what real climate scientists actually study; Milankovich cycles.
    I can’t agree that this article even adheres to the Socratic method, never mind the more precise evolution of epistemology into the scientific method with proof by logical fallacies.

    Since you are a self-identified expert who claims: “I can help you to understand where you are wrong”, I have a Socratic question for you, Ryan:
    Is that a “no true Scotsman” definition of what “real climate scientists actually study”, or are you just happy to be able to knock down your own liberal straw man fallacies?

    If you’re into “the scientific method with proof by logical fallacies”, there’s a reductio ad absurdum that perhaps you ought to think about.

    Trigger warning: The above comment may or may not adhere to the scientific method or the rules of epistemology.

  100. Joshua says:

    Victor –

    Someone who knows them show give them a hug and tell them everything is going to be all right,…

    This suggests that you are responding to a point I wasn’t making. My point is not related to the feelings of those who will feel attacked by this kind of focus. I don’t care about their feelings. I’m questioning the practicality of the strategy being described here, where the predicted outcome is an “inoculation.”. Such an outcome seems unlikely to me. I think that in the main, efforts that focus on identity, within this polarized context where identity is associated with polarization and an overall lack of progress, will not net material gain. More likely, IMO, it will serve to reinforce existing patterns.

    … but I see no way to subtly explain how terrible their nonsense is in the mass/social media.

    This seems, to me, to embrace the “deficit model” frame for the “communication problem.” I am dubious that such a frame is accurate or helpful w/r/t moving forward.

    Fortunately, Barry just showed that this is useful to ensure that future psychologists hold rational views about climate change.

    Barry’s reaction was entirely predictable, banal, and commonplace. I can’t see any reason why future psychologists would need these examples of common argumentative fallacies. We’ve all seen this stuff, including reactions such as those Barry provided, for years.

    More generally, there is a considerable part of America that is confused by the polluted information environment the US culture war, corrupt politicians and corporate TV has created. Those should be people we should be able to reach and best focus on rather than on the Barry’s and the folks he hangs out with on WUWT & Co.

    Again, this seems to reflect a misunderstanding of my point. I’m not suggesting that the problem involves targeting Barry or WUWTers. I’m questioning the claims being made about the effectiveness of this kind of strategy for targeting others.

  101. Clive Best says:

    This whole argument is very silly.

    ATTP says: “What is normally meant by the consensus is that humans are causing global warming.”

    I think everyone agrees with that statement, including Richard Lindzen. So to become a denier it seems you also have to qualify it by saying that, in you opinion, the scale of the problem has been exaggerated. The range of IPCC climate sensitivity values from the benign to the serious. The science itself does not tell you if it is dangerous, or if it is when it becomes so. That is still a value judgement.

    We need to get off fossil fuels anyway but we still have not got any realistic solution. That is what we should be discussing. I don’t understand why anyone thinks that it is important to suppress climate sceptics as if that alone will solve the all world’s problems.

  102. Clive,

    This whole argument is very silly.

    What argument?

  103. Joshua says:

    Clive –

    I think everyone agrees with that statement, including Richard Lindzen.

    It is clear to me, from reading many comments from many “skeptics” over the years, that statement is far from true. First, there are many “skeptics” who doubt very basic components if the physics of the GHE. Second, there are others who assert that they don’t doubt the basic physics if the GHE, but who argue that there effect is not significant enough to cause measurable warming. Then there are those who claim that any evidence of warming having taken place is the product of fraud and deception. There are those who think that Obama warming us a “Chinese hoax” or the fraudulent product of liberal scientists who want to line their pockets with research funds as they promote a one world government with the aim of destroying capitalism. Then there are those who claim that they accept the basic physics if the GHE but that global warming stopped or paused despite ongoing and increasing ACO2 emissions. Then there are those who think that we aren’t increasing climatic CO2. And we can find many other arguments from many “skeptics” which stand in stark contrast to the statement you just wrote.

    There is abundant polling evidence that shows that in fact, a plurality of Republicans in the U.S. doubt that there has been any warming caused by anthropogenic ACO2 emissions, and indeed, even that there has been any warming.

    It is interesting to consider how anyone who pays attention to the debate about climate change could make a statement as obviously false as the one that you just made.

  104. Magma says:

    Annotated claims from Clive Best

    “I think everyone agrees with that statement [humans are causing global warming], including Richard Lindzen.” False. And why even bring Lindzen, a retired contrarian atmospheric scientist, into a discussion of climate change denial arguments?

    “So to become a denier it seems you also have to qualify it by saying that, in you opinion, the scale of the problem has been exaggerated.” False. The term lukewarmer is sometimes used for that, if a label is needed at all.

    “The range of IPCC climate sensitivity values from the benign to the serious.” How rosy. Try from the manageable to the critical.

    “We need to get off fossil fuels anyway but we still have not got any realistic solution.” False, unless you’re assuming such solutions must be in place immediately.

    “I don’t understand why anyone thinks that it is important to suppress climate sceptics as if that alone will solve the all world’s problems.” And who is making that claim? What is difficult to dispute is that climate “skeptics” have spent decades at least partly successfully delaying the reduction and mitigation of AGW.

  105. Joshua says:

    Some odd autocorrect there, but I think people can suss it out.

  106. Marco says:

    “I think everyone agrees with that statement, including Richard Lindzen. ”

    Depends on who he talks to, apparently. For example, in a 2009 WSJ editorial Lindzen claimed we’re just coming out of the Little Ice Age, so of course we are warming, *strongly* implying it’s mostly natural.

  107. Joshua says:

    FWIW –

    Not sure if it is on the list, but I would say that one of the most common fallacious arguments that I see in the “skept-o-sphere” is the argument just illustrated by Clive, the “Hardly any” ‘skeptics’ doubt that the earth is warming or that ACO2 emissions play a role in that warming, we just question the certainty of the ‘alarmists’ claims about the magnitude of the effect.”

    In fact, at this point I’d say that is the granddaddy of “skeptic” arguments.

    I first remember seeing it many years back from Anthony at WUWT, and it has since been picked up big time by most prominent “skeptics.” I’d say at this point, it is the goto “skeptic” standby.

    I suppose it is a form of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. Or maybe it is just a false argument, as opposed to one that is rooted in an argumentative fallacy?

  108. Joshua,
    Indeed, for a group of people who don’t dispute that humans are causing global warming, they do seem to often say things that suggest that they do.

  109. Willard says:

    > I think everyone agrees with that statement [what is normally meant by the consensus is that humans are causing global warming] including Richard Lindzen.

    Glad to see CliveB agreeing on what is normally meant by the consensus. Perhaps he means that everyone agrees on the fact that humans are causing global warming, which is obviously false. The sentence right after the one he quoted might constrain that consensus a bit more than he purports:

    This is based on the conclusion that it is extremely unlikely that more than 50% of the observed warming could be natural. Hard to draw that conclusion if natural influences are ignored (I’m kind of hoping that you didn’t really mean cycles).

    CliveB’s interpretation also presumes that DickL’s position is the lowest bound of justified disingenuousness. This may not be the case, as RoyS seems to dispute that it is extremely unlikely that more than 50% of the observed warming could be natural. DickL’s own position might imply something along those lines too, but it’s hard to tell because he’s more into raising concerns than claiming anything specific.

    Just like CliveB forgets that the IPCC does take natural cycles into account, he seems to forget that the consensus is a bit more specific than the (fuzzy?) claim that humans cause warming.

  110. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:


    I don’t understand why anyone thinks that it is important to suppress climate sceptics as if that alone will solve the all world’s problems.

    Well – I don’t understand why listing examples of bad arguments from climate sceptics constitutes suppression.

    As for solving all the world’s problems, maybe minimizing the occurrence of question-begging hyperbole would be a good start.

  111. Vinny Burgoo says:

    If I might do some cherry-picking for a moment [Snip. No you might not, if it’s to peddle your usual “but CAGW.” – Willard]

  112. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    Glad to see CliveB agreeing on what is normally meant by the consensus. Perhaps he means that everyone agrees on the fact that humans are causing global warming, which is obviously false.

    Thanks. Perhaps I misread what Clove wrote, and he wasn’t playing the “Hardly any ‘skeptics’… ” gambit.

    In fact, upon reading your comment I see that the alternative reading you suggest would seem to be the most parsimonious interpretation, in which case I owe Clive an apology.

  113. Joshua says:

    Vinny –

    Your argument is interesting.

    But let me ask you, do you think it is true that we can often find “skeptics” cherry-picking from IPCC estimations of climate change to support a preconceived conclusion that the IPCC is “alarmist?”

  114. Vinny,
    Are you spending a bit too much time over at cliscep?

  115. “For his part, MIT’s Lindzen told the BBC in 2010 that he rejects the “skeptic” label because it should be reserved for situations where one is contradicting a “strong presumptive case,” which he insists is not the case with climate change. “I like ‘denier,’ that’s closer than ‘skeptic,’” he said when asked about labels he preferred for himself. “Realist is not bad.”

    Lindzen is a science contrarian, more than anything else. I listened to this interview and Lindzen actually did say that “we are dealing with a situation where there is not a strong presumptive case”, suggesting that AGW has not passed the hypothesis stage. In other words, labeling himself a skeptic would suggest that the argument was even worthwhile discussing. That’s as harsh a put-down of climate change science that I have seen.

  116. Barry Woods says:

    John Cook has tweeted a list of the myths, and a quote made by a sceptic to support that myth, as he calls it. personally I think John is trying to hammer some square pegs into round holes.. one funny, is one source of the one of his climate myths is the BBC.

  117. izen says:

    I agree with Joshua about the limited utility of this paper in warning people of bad arguments or ‘inoculating’ them against logical errors and fallacies.

    The group most likely to respond and engage with this paper are those who are familiar with the subject and with some, if not many of the false claims and doubts it describes. Recognising the tropes and getting a warm glow from knowing you are immune to such nonsense will be the deepest and most positive engagement this paper will elicit. This post finding real examples is part of that process.

    For the audience that employs the types of arguments listed, such a detailed description of the arguments is an irrelevance. They may share with others a particular meme, “The Climate ALWAYS changes”, but the given reason is much less important than the opposition to the whole idea that anthropogenic climate change must be considered in forming policy.

    Once upon a time Creationist made a list of arguments they would avoid. Having found them too easily refuted. The fact that several old favourites were debunked did not cause doubt, just a desire to up their game and avoid the worst arguments. I have not yet seen a climate equivalent to this;-
    https://answersingenesis.org/creationism/arguments-to-avoid/
    But I expect it exists, or shortly will…

    Inoculation does not work when the patient is intent on getting infected with any viral meme that will rationalise an ideological objection to ‘Liberalism/Socialism and the concept that communal regulation is a legitimate aspect of human society when it has the temerity to try and constrain the personal consumption of energy.

  118. BBD says:

    Barry

    The claim that Cook et al. misrepresents ‘sceptic’ ‘arguments’ was false yesterday and remains so today. If you want to gain traction in here, you will need better arguments.

  119. John Cook, tweets an an example of Pruitt talking about a hiatus myth.. one person on twitter has just tweeted a job description from the UK Met office, working with Prof Matt Collins, researching into the physical causes of that hiatus.. ( job starting 2016, so very recent/current)

    and then there is that earlier 3 section report from the Met Office into the hiatus.. maybe Scott was just talking about things actual climate scientist were talking about.. so should the met office quotes, be in john’s SkS – Climate Misinformers section? as ‘denialist’ myths as well…

    how well do the source quotes match the myth ? (and why not put these actual quotes in the paper?
    https://t.co/BoG7qPRWvp

  120. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    Barry,

    Maybe you can provide some examples of JC trying to “hammer some square pegs into round holes”. Maybe you could start with the BBC one?

  121. Barry,
    Just a thought. Why don’t you at least try to understand why the reasoning behind some of these arguments is fallacious, rather than trying to demonstrate that there are occasions in which the reasoning might not be?

  122. Willard says:

    > how well do the source quotes match the myth ? (and why not put these actual quotes in the paper?

    Just Asking Questions is boring, BarryW.

  123. Willard says:

    > John Cook, tweets an an example of Pruitt talking about a hiatus myth.. […] maybe Scott was just talking about things actual climate scientist were talking about..

    See for yourself:

    I’m not sure what BarryW is trying to achieve, but it looks like fun.

  124. Let’s also be clear that the University of Exeter job advert is for someone to look at global temperature hiatus and surge events.

  125. Barry Woods wrote:

    John Cook has tweeted a list of the myths, and a quote made by a sceptic to support that myth, as he calls it. personally I think John is trying to hammer some square pegs into round holes.. one funny, is one source of the one of his climate myths is the BBC.

    Are you able to accept that some of the pegs are round and fit the holes accurately? For example, the arguments that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is not anthropogenic, particularly the short residence time argument of Segalstad, Essenhigh, Humlum et al. etc, but also related arguments such as those of Salby which are easily shown to be incorrect, but nevertheless has been swallowed hook, line and sinker by climate skeptic blogs such as WUWT, ClimateEtc and Bishop Hill each time they come around?

    Can you at least admit that one is correct?

  126. [Mod: Come on, I really don’t want to end up in another discussion about something that happened years ago and that always seems to come up whenever John Cook publishes a paper. Please, try to move on.]

  127. Barry woods says:

    [No need to peddle “but Lew,” BarryW. -W]

  128. Willard says:

    Let’s also clarify a few more things regarding JohnC’s tweet:

    (C1) JohnC’s response to BarryW’s concern contains quotes by prominent right-wing politicians.

    (C2) Whether these talking points use a wordology that may or may not have currency in the scientific jargon is irrelevant to (C1).

    (C3) Scott Pruitt’s “but da paws” (paraphrasing) has been said in June last year:

    https://insideclimatenews.org/news/06062017/scott-pruitt-fact-check-climate-change-paris-agreement

    (C4) Even Judy stopped mentioning da paws last year. Da paws heydays were before 2015, e.g.:

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/06/04/has-noaa-busted-the-pause-in-global-warming/

    ScottP should have got the memo that it was time to switch to “but the hot spot” more than two years ago.

  129. Len Martinez says:

    “Can you at least admit that one is correct?”

    Of course he can’t. He’d have to put on his honesty hat and that is indeed trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

  130. Willard says:

    > He’d have to put on his honesty […]

    If we could stop this kind of ad hominem, that’d be great.

  131. Returning to these haunts from life’s distractions, here’s a layperson comment about the utility of the SkS list. In the early years when I encountered the virulent and neverending unskeptical “skeptics” I spent hours looking up each point and even then I was unsure, not being able to do the science myself (a favorite point of attack, that), SkS was just getting organized. I received a lot of support from people like you, and my life had given me a lot of reason to trust science and understand how it is done, even if I couldn’t or wouldn’t do it myself. It’s of great use to me and people like me.

    I think the reason SkS is under such attack is that the professional denial apparatus doesn’t like there to be a single place where all the falsehoods are collated with copious references. They prefer to divide and conquer. Certain targets (Al Gore, Mike Mann, SkS) come in for extraordinary efforts to discredit, and it is a sign of effectiveness to be attacked in this way. The persistence and variety of these attacks – even on people like me – speaks to an almost unbelievable commitment to killing the messenger.

    Your ordinary Joe and Jame Schmo just trying to get through the day and take care of their families doesn’t have time for this muck. They too find the level of discord unbelievable, and since it’s more convenient to ignore the problem, they are reassured that as long as the scientists are arguing, they can go elsewhere. This is not good.

    I keep trying to think of ways to bypass the pseudoscientific doublespeak that clogs understanding.

    I don’t think more science is going to do it. More than anything, cumulative evidence from weather trends will get to almost anyone. Perhaps at some point the cumulative lies will break the bank of tolerance, but given the unbelievable support for Trump, that may be too much to ask.

  132. It is possible that the polarization around issues such as climate change form and solidify precisely because people generally are not very good at detecting bullshit and hence very susceptible to confirmation bias etc. No shortage of examples from 2017 that should all be fresh in our memories. In that case, inoculation, and getting people to enjoy examining the validity of arguments (rather than just enjoying the craic) may well be a productive approach in the long run.

    Of course no single approach to problems involving people is every going to suit everybody, and it pointless to criticize one approach for not being the whole solution without having something demonstrably better. For example, the “find shared values” approach on scientific issues is likely to work rather badly on me as it would come across as an attempt at bullshit – the science doesn’t depend on our values, but I realize that not everybody is like me (pretty grateful for that as well ;o).

  133. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Joshua: ‘But let me ask you, do you think it is true that we can often find “skeptics” cherry-picking from IPCC estimations of climate change to support a preconceived conclusion that the IPCC is “alarmist?”‘

    That question is somewhat leading, Joshua. Let’s ditch the ‘often’, ‘skeptics’ and ‘pre-conceived’ and use a less loaded term than ‘cherry-picking’.

    Do I think that we can find people quoting IPCC estimations of climate change to support a conclusion that the IPCC is alarmist?

    Or, even simpler:

    Do people say that alarmism in IPCC reports means that the IPCC is alarmist?

    My answer: I’m sure they do. They certainly did a couple of years after AR4 when several claims in AR4 were exposed as alarmist. Perhaps they shouldn’t have done. Perhaps they should only have said that alarmism in IPCC reports proved that there was alarmism in IPCC reports, not that the IPCC was alarmist, though some might deem that a tad finicky.

    [Playing the ref. -W]

  134. verytallguy says:

    …when several claims in AR4 were exposed as alarmist….

    Citation needed.

    I’m aware of one alarmist claim, so central to the document no-one even noticed it for a couple of years, which was the result of a typo.

    Other than that, IIRC the main complaint from the scientific community was that the document was too conservative, particularly on sea level:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/03/the-ipcc-sea-level-numbers/

  135. angech says:

    Interesting post on many levels hence the large number of comments.
    Several hit nerves.
    Susan mentioned the unbelievable support for Trump.
    One of the mysteries that might deserve it’s own post one day in terms of whether this effort by John is helpful or not as Joshua mentioned.
    The similarities in presenting 100 fallacies in Climate change and presenting 100 reasons why Trump should not have been elected share an end result.
    The unbelievable happens.
    Perhaps giving 100 reasons is trying a bit too hard?
    The end result of trying to hard is that people suspect one of having ulterior motives?
    Or as might be surmised the BS meters tend to go off.
    They look at the arguments and say if they are trying so hard to convince otherwise perhaps there is something there.
    It is just a thought.

    I take this as a good summary of the the differences in our points of view.
    By putting 100 reasons out there, in their 5 groups, all supporting each other there is a unified purpose and consensus for all to agree on.
    No I will have a little bit of this and all of that.
    It gives skeptics a good starting point as well to review their positions but most importantly it nails the colours to the mast.
    If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them.
    Best put the other way round.
    If just one of John’s premises were to fall over, the rest, even if right, become shaky and may fall.
    I wonder which will be first?

  136. Clive Best says:

    A good example is the contradiction between claims that natural variability biases all estimates of climate sensitivity based on observations too low (see: Andrew Dessler and the AR5 attribution chapter which depends on Natural Variability being precisely zero.

    Both claims cannot be true simultaneously.

  137. Clive,
    I don’t think your claims are both true. Maybe even neither is true.

  138. verytallguy says:

    depends on Natural Variability being precisely zero.

    Clive, you post the words “precisely zero” above a figure showing error bars either side of zero

    ????

  139. Willard says:

    > some might deem that a tad finicky.

    Let’s hope your next comment won’t be, Vinny.

  140. angech wrote “If just one of John’s premises were to fall over, the rest, even if right, become shaky and may fall.”

    utter nonsense, it is a compendium of reasoning errors that crop up in climate sceptic arguments, not a chain of logic, so an error in one premise (not that you have given any evidence of such an error) does not invalidate the others. Ironic that such an obvious reasoning error should arise in a discussion about reasoning errors in climate sceptic arguments! ;o)

    BTW as you have objected to the term BS in the past, perhaps you should avoid using it yourself.

  141. Marco says:

    “If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them.”

    As Dikran mentioned, it is ironic to see such an obvious reasoning error in a discussion about reasoning errors. Granted, it is a common reasoning error in the climate pseudoskeptic world, but that merely shows how enormously important ideological bias can be to the way some people draw conclusions. Those are also the people that cannot be convinced with reason, for the simple reason that they cannot be reasoned out of a position they have reasoned themselves into. They can only do it themselves, and they must have a willingness to do the work. Cook’s paper is not about or for this group of inconvincibles (pun intended).

  142. I think the natural variability biases are away from zero for forcings such as volcanic activity, and are precisely zero for standing wave forcings such as ENSO. Variation of TSI may have a slight bias but it is small in the first place. The reason that volcanic activity has to be away from zero is that the net effect of volcanic aerosols is always a transient cooling.

    I’ve been trying to categorize the apparent ~60 year variability — some think it has to do with aerosols, with the confounding factor that this variability matches amazingly well with the long-term variability in the Earth’s Length of Day (LOD) measurements. This correlation was first discovered in 1976 by French geophysicists and NASA JPL has been doing much of the analysis of the behavior since. If the correlation is real, to explain it one has to think of a phenomena that can increase the average surface temperature as the earth rotates faster, and vice versa.

  143. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Susan Anderson says:
    February 12, 2018 at 10:34 pm

    I keep trying to think of ways to bypass the pseudoscientific doublespeak that clogs understanding.

    As Clive Best illustrates so starkly above, even primary sources constitute “doublespeak” when a basic understanding of the data is simply ignored and subsequently conjured up as a part of a contrarian paradox.

    Some cloggers of understanding just can’t help themselves.

  144. Joshua says:

    That question is somewhat leading, Joshua. Let’s ditch the ‘often’, ‘skeptics’ and ‘pre-conceived’ and use a less loaded term than ‘cherry-picking’.

    Hmm. Well yeah, it was intended to be leading. Those components you want to ditch were important towards the point I was making….

    Do I think that we can find people quoting IPCC estimations of climate change to support a conclusion that the IPCC is alarmist?

    Which is a different point.

    Do people say that alarmism in IPCC reports means that the IPCC is alarmist?

    Which kind of skips over my point. Which is that people treat what the IPCC says in a fallacious manner so as to justify a pre-determined conclusion that the IPCC is alarmist. Not sure why you are deconstructing my question so as to answer a different question.

    Perhaps they should only have said that alarmism in IPCC reports proved that there was alarmism in IPCC reports, not that the IPCC was alarmist, though some might deem that a tad finicky.

    Not sure why that’s being “finicky.” Personally, I would have no problem if people said that alarmism in the IPCC reports (I would prefer to be “finicky” there, to say instead that questionable predictions towards the high side…attaching the term “alarmism” is pejorative and infers intent and/or exaggeration or scaremongering as opposed to simply scientific error) proved that there was alarmism in the IPCC (or, better, questionable predictions in the IPCC reports turned out to be inaccurate towards the high side).

    Again, the “finicky” aspect was my point. Why would someone consider being more accurate and less partisan to be “finicky?”

  145. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Marco says….

    As Dikran mentioned, it is ironic to see such an obvious reasoning error in a discussion about reasoning errors.

    Being a fan of irony, I gotta agree that was a real doozy.

    Or perhaps not. Perhaps you could explain why your argument…

    “If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them.”

    isn’t fallacious?

  146. angech meanders confusedly:

    “Perhaps giving 100* reasons is trying a bit too hard? The end result of trying to hard is that people suspect one of having ulterior motives? Or as might be surmised the BS meters tend to go off. They look at the arguments and say if they are trying so hard to convince otherwise perhaps there is something there. It is just a thought.”

    There is a weird grain of truth to what you are saying, but you are so blinkered that you predictably are 180 degrees backward.

    Those aren’t 100* reasons that authors “trying a bit too hard” cobbled together – with ulterior motives! – to convince that the consensus opinion on climate is correct. NO, they are a bunch of largely incoherent naysaying against the consensus assembled by a motley crew of deniers, lukewarmers and stasis-enablers and drawn from their writings or utterances. They aren’t the arguments of the authors trying to convince people of the consensus, they are the shabby, monotonous attempts at arguments by those who don’t want people to accept it and act on it.

    As you say, it makes one wonder why “they” are trying so hard. Might having 100* kooky reasons like “greenhouse effect violates 2nd law of thermodynamics” lead one to suspect “ulterior motives”? Hmmm? Cause some BS meters to go off? Ding, ding, ding, hmmm??? Maybe if they are trying so hard to discredit the consensus, maybe there is something to the consensus??? Hmmm?

    Maybe Barry Woods and pals going rather obsessive, misleading and failing to deliver the goods in defence sets off some BS meters??? Hmmm, angech?

    “By putting 100* reasons out there, in their 5 groups, all supporting each other there is a unified purpose and consensus for all to agree on.”

    No, the arguments are a bunch of random, often mutually-contradictory and – bonus! – wrong assertions. How can than they be part of a “consensus for all to agree on”???

    * By the way, it’s not 100.

    If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them. Best put the other way round. If just one of John’s premises were to fall over, the rest, even if right, become shaky and may fall. I wonder which will be first?

    How embarrassing for you, as dm and marco already pointed out.

    By the way, just for giggles, which of “John’s premises” are you wondering might be the first to “fall over”?

  147. BaerbelW says:

    From Dikran upthread:
    “It is possible that the polarization around issues such as climate change form and solidify precisely because people generally are not very good at detecting bullshit and hence very susceptible to confirmation bias etc.”

    There’s an actual course at the University of Washington in Seattle called “Calling Bullshit – Data reasoning in the digital world” which tackles this issue head-on. Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West put it together and you can watch all the lectures on YouTube via the companion website: http://callingbullshit.org. I’m about halfway through and it’s really interesting, not to mention fun if the two profs call bullshit on their respective – and others! – graphs and output.

  148. Joshua says:

    Dikran –

    Of course no single approach to problems involving people is every going to suit everybody, and it pointless to criticize one approach for not being the whole solution without having something demonstrably better.

    Just curious if this was, primarily, targeting my comments?

  149. Magma says:

    @ Susan Anderson (off topic)

    I saw that a recent NYT comment of yours got 2000+ thumbs up. Congratulations, though I think you’ve broken 1000 a few times before. (I did it once, for a well-timed but lightweight comment, which I found oddly discouraging. I’ve stopped subscribing due to various editorial reasons, including the hiring of climate contrarian Bret Stephens)

  150. Len Martinez says:

    “If we could stop this kind of ad hominem, that’d be great.”

    Yes, point taken. Sorry. Maybe Barry’s failure to “at least admit that one is correct” says enough.

    An inability to admit error is a common problem in debates. I’ve admitted to being wrong from time to time, but it doesn’t come easily and the great temptation is just to disappear instead, as Barry has done.

    Not admitting error is a weakness that propagandists can exploit. This seems clear in areas like the debate about tree rings and MBH98 etc. I tend to think tree rings are probably not very important as there are many lines of evidence, but I’ve never seen anything laying out where MBH really was wrong (perhaps the PCA, the inverted series, its dependence on a few key trees) and where it wasn’t, or explaining why the divergence problem doesn’t cast doubt on tree ring temperature reconstructions. Maybe I’ve just hung around skeptic blogs for too long and have drunk their cool aid (such involuntary indoctrination is a real issue), but I wonder if a bit of mea culpa wouldn’t help to deflate the skeptic bubble.

  151. c’mon len… how do you know I even saw it.. I hadn’t.. even seen it… I agree ‘personally’, that is bs..

    but I disagree that Climate Etc, WUWT, and Bishop Hill (the authors, and/or the readers – or are they an amorphous blob to you) accept it.. does that one thik discredit every sceptic.. dangerous standard, would Wadhams nonsense (or Gore’s, discredit everybody that is concerned by climate chane)

    A question I asked before , which i also got no real answer but in this case. does SKS help or hinder (and this new paper..) in the form of a tweet.

    the Lindzen quote is from nine years ago. and it does not match the myth – IF you read the whole Lindzen article, the sentence is taken from.

  152. Barry,

    does that one thik discredit every sceptic

    Apart from you, who suggested this? The paper presents a list of arguments that have been made by “skeptics” (and for which there are now plenty of examples) and explains why they’re fallacious. This does not discredit all skeptics. At best, it discredits those who make these arguments.

  153. Barry,

    A question I asked before , which i also got no real answer but in this case. does SKS help or hinder (and this new paper..)

    I think SkS helps, as do many others. That some people spend a great deal of time publicly criticising SkS, and those associated with it, probably illustrates this quite nicely.

  154. Willard says:

    You more than “asked” that question before, BarryW. Raising concerns about what one’s ClimateBall opponents do is the very basis of your playbook at least since I met you at Keith’s. Which means a decade. Do you really think raising this kind of concern helped you so far?

    I did answer you question, BTW. JohnC’s tweet did too. And the abstract of C18 does too:

    Misinformation can have significant societal consequences. For example, misinformation about climate change has confused the public and stalled support for mitigation policies. When people lack the expertise and skill to evaluate the science behind a claim, they typically rely on heuristics such as substituting judgment about something complex (i.e. climate science) with judgment about something simple (i.e. the character of people who speak about climate science) and are therefore vulnerable to misleading information. Inoculation theory offers one approach to effectively neutralize the influence of misinformation. Typically, inoculations convey resistance by providing people with information that counters misinformation. In contrast, we propose inoculating against misinformation by explaining the fallacious reasoning within misleading denialist claims. We offer a strategy based on critical thinking methods to analyse and detect poor reasoning within denialist claims. This strategy includes detailing argument structure, determining the truth of the premises, and checking for validity, hidden premises, or ambiguous language. Focusing on argument structure also facilitates the identification of reasoning fallacies by locating them in the reasoning process. Because this reason-based form of inoculation is based on general critical thinking methods, it offers the distinct advantage of being accessible to those who lack expertise in climate science. We applied this approach to 42 common denialist claims and find that they all demonstrate fallacious reasoning and fail to refute the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic global warming. This comprehensive deconstruction and refutation of the most common denialist claims about climate change is designed to act as a resource for communicators and educators who teach climate science and/or critical thinking.

    http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aaa49f

    Next time, read harder.

  155. Willard says:

    > An inability to admit error is a common problem in debates.

    Indeed, Len, but it is far from being a contrarian trait. Nobody likes to admit an error. Contrary the pontifications we often read to that effect, it happens all the time, in science and elsewhere. I would go as far as to say that I’ve seldom encountered more obdurate people than academics, although I had to experience the stubbornness of a CEO recently at BartV’s:

    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2017/12/22/how-blogs-convey-and-distort-scientific-information-about-polar-bears-and-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-40087

    There must be a constellation of reasons why this is the case. Most of them need to explain the relative successes of those who nurture that trait. Some of them need to account for the clash between individual freedom fighters and social justice warriors.

    In any event, epiloguing with villainous monologues on more or less significant gotchas should be left to contrarians.

  156. Joshua: “This suggests that you are responding to a point I wasn’t making.

    Yes, only my first paragraph, which you ignored (fine by me), was a response to you.

    Joshua, a small part of America claims to hold opinions that are total nonsense. Any attempt to show this clearly can be rejected as an attack on the identity of this deeply tribal group. It is hard to do otherwise, you want to be clear and the opinions are utter nonsense.

    The rest were more general observations

  157. dikranmarsupial says:

    “but I disagree that Climate Etc, WUWT, and Bishop Hill (the authors, and/or the readers – or are they an amorphous blob to you) accept it.”

    I took part in many discussions on that topic on those blogs (which is why I mentioned them), so I do know that there were a few that could see that the residence time argument was nonsense, most did not.

    I notice that you still haven’t said whether you accept that JCs residence time example was correct.

    “. does that one thik discredit every sceptic.”

    no of course it doesn’t and nobody said that it did. Straw man.

    So, do you accept that the residence time example is a round peg in a round hole, yes or no?

  158. dikranmarsupial says:

    One of the things that I have learned from trying to discuss science on climate blogs is that generally climate skeptics are rather unwilling to explicitly agree that some climate skeptic arguments are incorrect, even when (as in this case) they are obvious nonsense. I suspect the reason is that then they are on record as knowing the argument to be incorrect, so they would be running a risk using it in the future. So instead they avoid answering the question, as Barry has just done.

  159. Len Martinez says:

    “c’mon len… how do you know I even saw it.. I hadn’t.. even seen it… I agree ‘personally’, that is bs.. “

    So answer it now. Can you at least admit that one is correct? Why is that so hard?

    “In any event, epiloguing with villainous monologues on more or less significant gotchas should be left to contrarians.”

    Is that what I did. Wow! I suggested that admitting error is hard and that maybe there is some error that hasn’t been widely admitted to in well known work. Villainous? Gotchas? You seem to be illustrating, on behalf of others, the very characteristic you label as obduracy in academics.

  160. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Just curious if this was, primarily, targeting my comments?”

    prompted, but not targetted. It is just that whenever someone tries to discuss science communication strategies (such as consensus messaging or inocculation) there is usually some who will say it will be ineffective, but I do wonder whether that is just reflecting the differences in approaches that will work for us as individuals or perhaps as societies. As I said, I really don’t like the “find shared values” approach when it comes to science, but I can see how it would be helpful with other people. I think a diversity of approaches is best, and be sincere.

  161. Barry Woods says:

    Dikran.. I gave my personal answer.. which is all that is expected of me? As my answer that you quote in part.. seems to be lost without any trace.. so once the deletions happen. Time to give up on this blog?

    Why would a Katharine Hayhoe interview quotation explaining why ‘climate denier’ rhetoric is not helpful. Merit a deletion?

  162. verytallguy says:

    generally climate skeptics are rather unwilling to explicitly agree that some climate skeptic arguments are incorrect, even when (as in this case) they are obvious nonsense.

    I believe this is known as the “blue cheese gambit”. A fine vintage here many years ago from “Scottish sceptic”.

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2013/10/06/sceptics-vs-academics/#comment-5195

    (SS still has a blog, teh googler informs me. It’s proper fruit loop)

    [Mod: edited to link to this blog, rather than to the now dormant one]

  163. Barry,
    Let’s not play the ref.

    Why would a Katharine Hayhoe interview quotation explaining why ‘climate denier’ rhetoric is not helpful.

    My understanding of what Katharine Hayhoe is saying is that if you want to engage with people, you shouldn’t call them deniers. I agree, and I suspect most do. This does not mean, however, that there is noone who warrants being described as a climate science denier, or that there are no examples of climate denial.

  164. Paul Pukite (@WHUT) says: “I think the natural variability biases are away from zero for forcings such as volcanic activity, and are precisely zero for standing wave forcings such as ENSO. Variation of TSI may have a slight bias but it is small in the first place. The reason that volcanic activity has to be away from zero is that the net effect of volcanic aerosols is always a transient cooling.

    If I may nitpick a little. My apologies in advance. If volcanic activity is about constant over a longer time, it would not be a net forcing over this longer time. No volcanic activity is not the default, just as no CO2 is not the default.

  165. Len Martinez says:

    I didn’t see why Barry’s comment needed to be deleted. It gives him a perfect opportunity to vanish. Having recently been evicted from CliScep, I’m perhaps being sensitive though…

  166. Len,
    What’s done is done. Don’t claim perfection in moderation.

  167. Willard says:

    > I didn’t see why Barry’s comment needed to be deleted.

    BarryW’s peddling, Len, and right now you’re playing the ref.

  168. Willard says:

    > I suggested that admitting error is hard

    Not exactly, Len:

    My feeling for quite some time is that the main trait needed to be a skeptic of the type found at climate blogs (as opposed to a true skeptic) is dishonesty. Barry’s attempts […] does nothing to disabuse me of this notion. Has anyone encountered a skeptic who they think addresses the debate honestly?

    The first sentence is ad hominem, the second contains a double negation, and the third is a rhetorical question. Add to that your latest understatement and your ref playing, and you got to admit it doesn’t start well.

  169. Joshua says:

    dikran –

    It is just that whenever someone tries to discuss science communication strategies (such as consensus messaging or inocculation) there is usually some who will say it will be ineffective,

    Perhaps so, but that general observation doesn’t pertain directly to the discussion of whether a particular strategy will be effective (or manifest in the claims that are being made about its outcomes). I’m expressing my opinion on why the “inoculation” concept is likely wrong. Should I not express that opinion?

    To go back to what you wrote:

    Of course no single approach to problems involving people is every going to suit everybody,

    I’ve not suggested that.

    and it pointless to criticize one approach for not being the whole solution

    I haven’t criticized one approach for not being the whole solution.

    without having something demonstrably better.

    I’ve offered an opinion on what I think would be better, and why I think this claims made for this approach are likely wrong. Should I not do so?

    As I said, I really don’t like the “find shared values” approach when it comes to science, but I can see how it would be helpful with other people. I think a diversity of approaches is best, and be sincere.

    I’m not suggesting to find shared values as a way to settle a discussion of science. So I’m not sure how “when it comes to science” applies. In fact, I”m not suggesting shared values, really, at all, but I’m talking about synergistic interests. They aren’t the same thing. I’m talking about seeking to identify shared interests as a basic principle of conflict resolution. And I don’t suggest such an approach as a single approach that will be fully effective with all people, to the exclusion of ANY other approaches.

  170. I have the exact same rights – here as I do at Cliscep – comment only..
    and I may have commented more here, than there.

    As I understand it, the authors at CliScep (I’m not one) have agreed that anyone that writes a blog post, can ‘dictate’ the moderation of that blog post..

    Hence, Ben PIle it seems to have deleted you out of hand, under his blog post, he it being well aware what you think of him, by comments ATTP has made here, just recently.

    – so that is ‘personal’ between you two.. I supported (as does Geoff) ATTP commenting there generally, as I gave the example ATTP now allows me to comment here, again – after having been banned. I even supported Len continued commenting (though I understand he had possibly crossed the line once,or twice?) .

    An answer was demanded of me.. if the answer cannot be seen. AND no evidence of that answer was attempted can be seen.. (not even a snipped moderation) well what is the point, any reader would think that I have no answer and just ran away. vs it was deleted.

  171. verytallguy.. I gave my answer to the non anthropogenic argument for CO2. I said -unequivocally, I thought it B- just so no-one here thinks i refused to answer it, and I am as you described sceptics.

  172. Okay, can we move on from discussing moderation. Discussing moderation is itself something that can be moderated. I don’t claim that my moderation is perfect.

    Barry, I’ve lost track of what question you were trying to answer. If you could provide an answer without peddling (i.e., without using the same talking points that you use time and time again) that would be appreciated.

  173. Joshua says:

    Victor –

    “Joshua, a small part of America claims to hold opinions that are total nonsense. Any attempt to show this clearly can be rejected as an attack on the identity of this deeply tribal group. It is hard to do otherwise, you want to be clear and the opinions are utter nonsense.”

    I didn’t intend to ignore that. Yes, I agree that a (actually not so) small part of America claims to hold opinions that are total nonsense. But I’m not suggesting that the reaction of that deeply tribal group should be the important consideration when evaluating the effectiveness of various communication strategies. It seems that I have to keep saying that . It seems to me that when I say that I don’t consider this particular strategy to be effective people insist that I’m saying so because I’m worried about how someone like Barry (non-American that he is) might respond. I don’t particularly care about how that deeply tribal group responds to strategies like this. I am questioning the claims made about the value this kind of approach would have with other people. I don’t think that the claims made about “inoculation” are unlikely to be manifest. I also don’t think that such initiatives are likely to have much in the way of negative consequences. I see them as being not distinctly different than the current dynamic, and I see them as failing to address, what I consider to be, some of the main underlying mechanisms that contribute to the polarization taking place.

  174. verytallguy says:

    Barry, my comment wasn’t aimed at you, it was mere musing prompted by Dikran.

    Apologies for any offence caused.

  175. Len Martinez says:

    I suggested that admitting error is hard

    Not exactly, Len:
    …[quote from different discussion]…
    The first sentence is ad hominem, the second contains a double negation, and the third is a rhetorical question. Add to that your latest understatement and your ref playing, and you got to admit it doesn’t start well.”

    That is not what I was referring to, Willard, as should be obvious. I’ve only ever had online discussions with skeptics and their mode of debate is often unprincipled – in just the way you are demonstrating here.

  176. ATTP – I was not ‘peddling’ – it was my answer – but hey – the only proof of that would be my comment

  177. VV

    “If I may nitpick a little. My apologies in advance. If volcanic activity is about constant over a longer time, it would not be a net forcing over this longer time. No volcanic activity is not the default, just as no CO2 is not the default.”

    A recent paper is trying to tie apparent long-term cycles of volcanism into the changes in LOD.

    Tuel, A., P. Naveau, and C. M. Ammann (2017), Skillful prediction of multidecadal variations in volcanic forcing, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 2868–2874

    This is interesting in that it can explain the ~60-year oscillations in temperature in addition to the ~60-year variations of LOD, the latter because volcanic activity is a mechanism that can change the earth’s rotation rate. In their words:

    “In summary, by creating stresses in the crust, variations in the Earth’s spin may influence volcanic activity either by the intermediary of earthquakes, or more directly as
    demonstrated by the correlation of LOD with the IVI.”

  178. Here is the Ammann et al figure for the last comment

  179. dikranmarsupial says:

    Joshua asked “Just curious if this was, primarily, targeting my comments?”

    I replied “prompted, but not targetted”

    i.e. it was not directly a response to what you wrote, yet you seem to have taken it as such. What is the point of asking questions if you are going to ignore the answer?

    “Should I not express that opinion?”

    That is a similar sort of straw man to Barry’s. Nobody has suggested that you shouldn’t voice your opinion, likewise I can post my observations.

  180. dikranmarsupial says:

    Barry wrote “Dikran.. I gave my personal answer.. which is all that is expected of me?”

    you didn’t answer the actual question though, which was whether you accept that the residence time argument is incorrect, and hence JC’s example was a “round peg in a round hole”. Starting with a “yes” or a “no” would be a good start.

  181. Angech: My comment was largely about how useful it is to have well organized and credible responses to every contrarian assertion, with well researched backup. The side remark about people who will support the unsupportable would not be suitable for aTTP, it was just an observation that for a large number of people, facts don’t matter.

    Magma, please, let’s stay on topic (but thanks anyway, raging against Dowd is like shooting fish in a barrel; and who’s counting).

    I disagree about NYT climate coverage, which has gotten really good. Bret Stephens is worth pushing back at, and silencing one’s opponents is not as effective as continuing to demonstrate what’s wrong with their arguments. He’s a disciple of RPJr and Lomborg, and it’s more valuable to point out what’s wrong with that than to take one’s toys and go home. Of course, this runs slightly across my opinion that more science won’t help with the intransigeant.

  182. Craig says:

    Can you site an example where someone actually makes the claim in point number 3, that “CO2 is not a problem BECAUSE it is a colorless invisible gas”, or were you just giving us an example of a strawman argument?

  183. Craig,

    Can you site an example where someone actually makes the claim in point number 3, that “CO2 is not a problem BECAUSE it is a colorless invisible gas”

    Yes, here:

    “Well carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is colourless and odourless. It is not a pollutant,” he said. “There is no correlation between warming and carbon dioxide.”

  184. Craig says:

    Funny. I did not see the word “because” in your example. What do you call it when people rephrase a comment to give it a completely different meaning so it can be more easily attacked?

  185. Willard says:

    > I’ve only ever had online discussions with skeptics and their mode of debate is often unprincipled – in just the way you are demonstrating here.

    Thank you for the kind words, LenM.

    In return, please rest assured that I think I know fairly well what I was referring to when I spoke of villainous monologues, and that your “I suggested that admitting error is hard” deflected from it. Gaslighting is always appreciated, more so when it reinforces the point I was making earlier, to which you failed to respond.

    Welcome to ClimateBall.

  186. dhogaza says:

    Craig: the second clause is clearly stating why the first clause is true. The word “because” doesn’t need to explicitly appear for the meaning to be clear.

    And here’s another, from PopTech’s page:

    “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a colorless, odorless trace gas that actually sustains life on this planet…”

    From Cato:

    ‘Carbon Dioxide Is NOT “Carbon Pollution”

    First and foremost, carbon dioxide is a colorless, odorless gas…’

    They are clearly saying it’s not a pollutant because, in part, it is a colorless, odorless gas.

    Equivalent statements to “CO2 is not a problem BECAUSE it is a colorless invisible gas”.

  187. Craig says:

    Well, you are using a claim that apparently no one has made, and would be crazy to do so, as an example of why denialist arguments should be discounted. Sorry if that seems pedantic to you.

  188. Willard says:

    > Funny. I did not see the word “because” in your example.

    There is the word “correlation,” though. Another funny one, this time asserting that CO2 is not a pollutant:

    It is a mistake to call carbon dioxide (CO2) ‘carbon pollution’ (The Guardian). In reality, it is aerial fertilization for plants. Dr. Craig Idso of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change told the America First Energy Conference last November in Houston, Texas, “the whole of the terrestrial biosphere is reaping incredible benefits from the approximate 40 per cent increase in atmospheric CO2 since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.”

    Vintage five days ago.

    I duly submit that it is safe to conclude from that famous line of the Contrarian Matrix that CO2 is not a problem, therefore Do Not Panic.

    Another related and funny line is “CO2 is a trace gas”:

    CO2 is a “trace gas” in air and is insignificant by definition. It would have to be increased by a factor of 2500 to be considered “significant” or “notable.” To give it the great power claimed is a crime against physical science.

    Again, I duly submit that this can be paraphrased as “CO2 can’t be a problem because it is a trace gas.”

  189. dikranmarsupial says:

    craig would you agree that whether CO2 is invisible or colourless is irrelevant to whether it is a pollutant? If so, then how is it not a red herring in the sentence ““Well carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is colourless and odourless. It is not a pollutant,””? The red herring is what the example is pointing out, so yes, I’d say you were being pedantic. It seems clear here that the colourlessness and odourlessness are being used as indications that CO2 is not a polutant.

  190. “Well carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, it is colourless and odourless. It is not a pollutant,” he said. “There is no correlation between warming and carbon dioxide.”

    When Craig argues there is no implied *because* between the two quotes, he is arguing that the culture-war side of the “debate” makes irrelevant observations followed by evidence-free claims.

    Not sure what is better.

  191. Willard says:

    No “because” there:

    How dare they depict a colourless invisible gas like CO2 with picture like that.

    http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com/2011/05/say-yes-to-election.html

    No “because” there either:

    Do you condone publicity by people in your department misrepresenting the colourless invisible gas carbon dioxide (CO2) as ‘carbon’ a black solid and then further corrupting it by calling it ‘carbon pollution’? A concerned volunteer is independently holding your department officers accountable as revealed here: http://www.galileomovement.com.au/holding_them_accountable.php Will you withdraw your department’s false labels and depictions and prevent recurrence?

    Thus strawmen, no doubt.

  192. Willard says:

    Another hit for “climate change CO2 “colourless invisible gas””:

    In its campaign, the UN IPCC has contradicted and reversed the empirical scientific evidence and nature. It has emboldened politicians to call a colourless invisible gas a black solid. Its core theory contradicts empirical scientific evidence and established laws of science and is a mishmash of language and implied meanings misrepresenting reality.

    Climate dot conscious.

  193. angech says:

    Joshua
    “Marco says. As Dikran mentioned, it is ironic to see such an obvious reasoning error in a discussion about reasoning errors.”
    Being a fan of irony, I gotta agree that was a real doozy. Or perhaps not. Perhaps you could explain why your argument…
    “If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them.”
    isn’t fallacious?

    Something easy at last, I think. Semantics being the number two good point of this blog. As Len et al are finding out. The gallery, as usual misinterpret and then cheer the misinterpretation.
    Simply if one asserts that all skeptarian points are rubbish, easily knocked over, then finding that even one holds true destroys the ground rule everything is built on.
    This is in contradistinction to the argument they have changed it to, an in general, unrelated, here are a hundred facts and the reasons they are wrong. Which of course does not imply that the whole 100 arguments are wrong, just that a mistake may have been made.
    So no obvious reading error.
    The whole thing is a package on one theme, not 100 different themes.
    If dangerous AGW is correct all the rebuttals have to hold water simultaneously.
    One leaks all leak and the boat is in severe danger of sinking.
    Both sides of the beauty and the danger of a 97% consensus, the more unified, the more problem a flaw, if found is.

  194. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I beseech you to dismiss the abundant and compelling evidence that my client committed the crime. Instead, I ask you to look at at all these superfluous and irrelevant factoids about what a nice person he is. By inference, he did not commit the crime because he is generally a nice boy.

    Did he commit the crime because he is a nice boy? No. But he must not have committed the crime because he is a nice boy. Facts to the contrary be damned.

  195. By the way, what a clusterf*ck detour this thread for all the victim whiny pedantry that descended.

    Back to the task at hand, and germane to the present pedantic whine, I present “Scientific Facts – In A Nutshell” from the prestigious Galileo Movement. A treasure trove of nice-boyisms. Don’t forget to click on the various “four-page summaries” too.

    http://www.galileomovement.com.au/science_nutshell.php

  196. Len Martinez says:

    Willard, I’ve been commenting for about 7 years at skeptic sites, latterly as Len, always as what some might call an alarmist or consensus enforcer. I have been insulted, sworn at and generally disdained more often than not, but ‘villainous’ is a first.

    “Gaslighting is always appreciated, more so when it reinforces the point I was making earlier, to which you failed to respond.”
    Never heard of gaslighting until now. But what was it I was supposed to respond to apart from the gratuitous ‘villainous’ insult? Let’s see…

    “Indeed, Len, but it is far from being a contrarian trait. “
    As I said, or least implied.

    “Nobody likes to admit an error.”
    As I think I said.

    “Contrary the pontifications we often read to that effect, it happens all the time, in science and elsewhere. “
    The ‘it’ there being an inability to admit error… and it likely does indeed happen all the time.

    “I would go as far as to say that I’ve seldom encountered more obdurate people than academics, although I had to experience the stubbornness of a CEO recently at BartV’s:…”
    I have no evidence or experience to support or contradict that.

    “There must be a constellation of reasons why this is the case.”
    Undoubtedly.

    “Most of them need to explain the relative successes of those who nurture that trait.”
    Where ‘them’ is the reasons. So the reasons need to do some explaining, or something. Does it make sense? And if it does, is there any evidence to support the proposition?

    “Some of them need to account for the clash between individual freedom fighters and social justice warriors.”
    As with most of your articles, I have no idea what that means.

    “In any event, epiloguing with villainous monologues on more or less significant gotchas should be left to contrarians.”
    All because I questioned the sanctity of MBH98 and tree rings? Wow!

  197. Willard says:

    > All because I questioned the sanctity of MBH98

    Victim playing is boring, LenM. That too should be left to contrarians. I already quoted what I considered to be a villainous monologue, but since you seem to go for the rope-a-dope, here it is again:

    My feeling for quite some time is that the main trait needed to be a skeptic of the type found at climate blogs (as opposed to a true skeptic) is dishonesty. Barry’s attempts […] does nothing to disabuse me of this notion. Has anyone encountered a skeptic who they think addresses the debate honestly?

    This is exactly what a villainous monologue looks like. To see that, replace “skeptic” with “warmist.” Mixing gloating and ad hominem, not a good idea.

    As you can see, this has nothing to do with your “but MBH.” But since you mention it, “but MBH” is perhaps the best example of peddling there is. No more “but MBH,” BTW. Unless you can find a way to connect this with the challenge AT issued to the readers?

  198. Len Martinez says:

    You referred earlier to ‘epiloguing’:

    “In any event, epiloguing with villainous monologues on more or less significant gotchas should be left to contrarians.”

    A normal reader would conclude, I think, that a comment of mine had a villainous epilogue. Yet the text you now say was such villainy was a complete post, inglorious perhaps but certainly no epilogue. You again display the rewriting-history characteristic often found in the ‘skeptic’, and one in particular: are you Ben Pile, per chance?

  199. Craig says:

    Dikran; the speaker was refering to an attribute given to co2 that he disagreed with. Co2 is NOT a pollutant. He then listed two attributes that co2 does have, it is colorless and odorless. Then he reiterates that it is not a pollutant. To replace his coma with the word “because” to make him look stupid is dishonest at best.

  200. Willard says:

    > Yet the text you now say was such villainy was a complete post, inglorious perhaps but certainly no epilogue.

    Surely you must be joking, LenM.

    First, your comment wasn’t a post, but a comment.

    Second, any normal reader should be able to detect that “villainous epilogue” is a freaking figure of speech, at the very least because you’re not a villain and this is not a movie.

    Third, parsing “villainous epilogue” only dodges my point that gloating and ad homs do not mix well, a point that is both a ClimateBall ™ pro-tip and a reminder of AT’s moderation policy.

    Fourth, now that I clearly identified to what “villainous epilogue” refers, I hope you realize that it wasn’t because you “suggested that admitting error is hard” or “questioned the sanctity of MBH98.”

    Fifth, I duly submit that this exchange reinforces what I said earlier about how general was the hardness of admitting error, and that it might still be time to take back your “unprincipled” jab.

    Sixth, that you conflate me with Mr. Pile may indicate that you must be new to ClimateBall. To recap, he edited all my comments on his site, edited most of my comments at PaulM’s (assuming cliscep is not his gig anymore), blocked me on the tweeter, and forced Brigitte to close down the thread where we were exchanging at Warren’s.

    Lastly, I expect your next comment to address the topic of the post. If you want to continue this, open yourself a tweeting account. Meet me there.

  201. izen says:

    @-Len Martinez
    “A normal reader would conclude, I think, that a comment of mine had a villainous epilogue.”

    Having had some exposure to the cryptic subtleties of Willards’ replies I can not claim to be a normal reader.
    However even a normal reader might suspect that ‘villianous epilogue’ is metaphorical rather than specific.

    I must admit I have not looked, but one fallacious argument that should be in the list is the claim that errors in MBH (either one) invalidate both the conclusions of the papers, and apparently all the corroborating work done since.

    https://www.john-daly.com/hockey/hockey.htm

    (There are of course a lot of the other delusional claims about climate science on the same page.)

  202. izen says:

    @-Craig
    “He then listed two attributes that co2 does have, it is colorless and odorless. Then he reiterates that it is not a pollutant. To replace his coma with the word “because” to make him look stupid is dishonest at best.”

    What linkage can honestly explain the (repeated) juxtaposition of ‘not a pollutant’ and colorless and odourless.?

    Text is usually composed to convey a little more meaning than the narrow, literal derivation of the words. It seems unlikely the writer put those claims about CO2 together as an arbitrary and unrelated list of CO2 attributes.
    But whatever the intentions of the author, the reading it is given by some is that ‘because’ CO2 is colorless and odourless, AND not a pollutant, ‘therefore’ harmless.

    It is disingenuous to claim no whistling has been done when the dogs start barking.

  203. Craig says:

    I also find interesting your marginalizing of the 31,000 of scientists who publicly dissent from agw by pointing out that they only represent 0.3% of the 10 million people with science degrees, which is a completely irrelevant statistic and a red herring. Why don’t you perform the same calculation with the scientists who publicly agree with agw? Why not compare both groups to the number of angles that can fit on the head of a pin while you are at it? It would be just as relevant to the discussion.

  204. Craig says:

    izen: Given the concerted attempt to demonize co2 as a bringer of death and destruction, the reiteration of it not being a pollutant is completely justified.

    BTW, LOVE your website (honestly)

  205. Len Martinez says:

    I’ll put your accusation of my using a villainous epilogue, long after I’d apologized for the ad-homs the phrase referred to, down to us using a different lingo. And I gladly take back by ‘unpricipled’ jab, due wholly to that difference in tongue. In return I’d humbly ask that you restrict yourself to using words with their normally assigned understanding and not to make up arbitrary “figures of speech” that nobody but you understands. And of course you cannot be mistaken for the execrable Pile or Keyes (the latter, by the way, is not above an admission of error). It has been fun playing. Goodnight.

  206. Willard says:

    > In return I’d humbly ask that you restrict yourself to using words with their normally assigned understanding and not to make up arbitrary “figures of speech” that nobody but you understands.

    I wish I could, LenM. I simply took “epilogue” as the product of some epiloguin’. Anyway, my figure of speech was made in jest. I’m sorry you took it the wrong way.

    Back to the topic, shall we?

  207. Steven Mosher says:

    “One of the things that I have learned from trying to discuss science on climate blogs is that generally climate skeptics are rather unwilling to explicitly agree that some climate skeptic arguments are incorrect, even when (as in this case) they are obvious nonsense. ”

    the only exception to that was the great Goddard being banned from WUWT, tallbloke too

    But in general yes, tribes, dont keep their side of the street clean.

    Perhaps I should someday revive the discussion about green lines and…
    hmm I need a color for the border lines that skeptics draw and maintain.

  208. Steven Mosher says:

    ATTP

    Perhaps you should have proprosed a different challenge?

    Skeptics tend to just pick up random arguments and use them like bats. Just swing.
    I advise them ( cause I like to concern troll) that there are better arguments than the one
    they are swinging and they should choose diferent lumber

    Here is the challenge

    Angech, Barry, ANY skeptic reading.

    Read through the list of skeptical arguments. Pick the one that YOU THINK is the Best.

    1. Articulatethat argument as best you can.
    2. Stand and defend

    In short you want a debate? Cool, down for it. Simple cage match rulz. We stick to the one argument you find most compelling. No side tracks, no but moderation, no ad homs,

    One argument.
    the one you find most compelling
    Re state it in terms you choose.
    Then stand and defend.

    That would be honest engagement

    If you cant do that, then I suppose I could play better skeptic than the lot of you combined
    with half my brain held by willard in escrow.

  209. izen says:

    @-Craig
    “Given the concerted attempt to demonize co2 as a bringer of death and destruction, the reiteration of it not being a pollutant is completely justified.”

    I doubt the justification is complete. Because a pollutant is any substance that occur in harmful concentrations in a given environment, CO2 certainly IS a pollutant, just like acid rain, CFCs and Lead.

    The claim that CO2 is odourless is also wrong. It has a sharp, stinging acidic smell in concerntrations high enough to affect the nose.

    The only claim of the three that is correct is that it is colorless. Ironically that is the very attribute that contributes to its role as a GHG.

    The scientific claim is that CO2 is a bringer of rapid warming of the climate. Any claim this might lead, or increase the severity of, death and destruction are conclusions based on the damage caused already, (storm Sandy, Syrian drought, floods) and the projected impacts on coastal infrastructure and agricultural productivity.

  210. izen says:

    @-SM
    “Skeptics tend to just pick up random arguments and use them like bats. Just swing.”

    Because skeptics regard the arguments as tools, not as an independent matter of scientific debate.

    @-“In short you want a debate? Cool, down for it. Simple cage match rulz. We stick to the one argument you find most compelling.”

    But you would be fighting over different criteria. The skeptic finds most compelling the argument that enables the rationalisation of an ideological position that denies the need or validity of communal constraints on the production and consumption of fossil fuels.
    Not the strength of the scientific case that can be made.

    Creationist are the same.
    When they dispute the science it is the underlying ideological (theological?) clash they are concerned with, not the real validity of biological research.

  211. dikranmarsupial says:

    craig wrote “Dikran; the speaker was refering to an attribute given to co2 that he disagreed with. Co2 is NOT a pollutant. He then listed two attributes that co2 does have, it is colorless and odorless. Then he reiterates that it is not a pollutant. To replace his coma with the word “because” to make him look stupid is dishonest at best.”

    LOL, that is absurd. To suggest that he just mentioned two properties of CO2 with no relation to the purpose of the sentence for no apparent reason is ridiculous. The fact that skeptics bring up colourlessness, tastelessness and odourlessness so frequently in connection with whether it is a pollutant shows quite clearly that they are using these as indicators that it is not a pollutant.

  212. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech opts for straw man hyperbole yet again “Simply if one asserts that all skeptarian points are rubbish, easily knocked over, then finding that even one holds true destroys the ground rule everything is built on.” give it a rest.

  213. Steven Mosher says:

    izen

    I know

    The point I am trying to make is that neither angech nor Barry can identify which argument
    they think is the strongest

    But lets make it easier

    Which one do they think is weakest?

    another way of seeing if there is any argument, however weak, that they will reject.

    As a AGW type it’s easy for me to identify the kind of arguments I find weakest.
    because we kinda put confidence intervals on things.

    That is the weird thing that goes un noticed ( perhaps) about skeptical challenges

    They never assign confidence to their own arguments.

  214. angech says:

    “One argument.the one you find most compelling Re state it in terms you choose.Then stand and defend.That would be honest engagement If you can’t do that, then I suppose I could play better skeptic than the lot of you combined.”
    Interesting challenge.
    I guess asking you for help in choosing which one to go for is out?
    Being a better skeptic and all you must know what the weak spots, if any, are?

    “Simple cage match rulz. We stick to the one argument you find most compelling. No side tracks, no but moderation, no ad homs,”
    On both sides?
    – If so sounds good. Would you be happy to referee in conjunction with ATTP. Can we skeptics tag team?

    “But you would be fighting over different criteria. The skeptic finds most compelling the argument that enables the rationalisation of an ideological position that denies the need or validity of communal constraints on the production and consumption of fossil fuels.
    Not the strength of the scientific case that can be made.” Izen.
    plus an ad hom linking skeptics to creationists.

    Looks like the match just got cancelled as usual.

  215. angech says:

    Izen
    – I went to the dinosaur museum at Canberra 2 weeks ago. Mentioned it to a creationist relation. Did not know that he was that creationist. Decided not to go there again, mentioning the museum that is, would still go back there, it was very informative.
    “When they dispute the science it is the underlying ideological (theological?) clash they are concerned with, not the real validity of biological research.”
    Was so true.

  216. Magma says:

    your marginalizing of the 31,000 of scientists who publicly dissent from agw

    I found the veterinarians, dental surgeons and retired engineers were particularly persuasive. But considering that petition was started 20 years ago and many of the signatories were elderly even then, Craig might want to recheck those numbers. Denialism isn’t a growth industry.

  217. > [Contrarians] regard the arguments as tools, not as an independent matter of scientific debate

    In my opinion, treating contrarian tropes as complete arguments does little justice to their function in ClimateBall. As we can see in the examples collected so far, they seldom stand alone, and it is very rare that they are offered as complete deductions. It would be too cumbersome to do so, and utterly unconvincing. Contrarians string the tropes together to create a snowball effect.

    Also, the transition from one talking point to the next matters more than the content of every one of them. By the time one analyses the first one, contrarians are already on their tenth. And that is before their breakfast. In ClimateBall, it is the hip moves that matter, not the head fakes.

    Finally, and more importantly in my opinion, the content of these tropes is secondary. What matters is how they work as a mean to *control* an exchange. The properties of CO2 matters little compared to how a one world government will one day send black helicopters to crush everyone’s freedom and force the signatories of the Oregon Petition, these poor souls, to drink the Kool Aid that CO2 is poison. Noticed how I switched from properties to politics? Analyzing arguments the traditional way cannot prevent that. Too slow, too static.

    As always, what ClimateBall players do with their words matters more tha[n] what they really say.

  218. The Oregon Petition is a hoary old effort spearheaded by conspiracy ideationist Arthur Robinson (he’s got a bug about urine) and funded by the Mercers, the billionaires behind Trump’s (former) evil genius Steve Bannon and Breitbart, which is to the right of Fox, the purveyor of truly fake news which calls real news fake. People are less familiar with the Mercers than with the Kochtopus, but the use of money and power to roll back the 20th century so robber barons can take over and trash our planet is as old as the idea of Lucifer. “Evil, be thou my good” is a recipe for “success” until it isn’t. Dark stuff.

    “Only 39 purported signees are described as climatologists.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_B._Robinson

    For those who want more information, though honestly I think we already know all we need to know about self-dealing billionaires’ potential for harm to humanity, this is a good article. Jane Mayer is brilliant! https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/the-reclusive-hedge-fund-tycoon-behind-the-trump-presidency

  219. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Willard:

    As always, what ClimateBall players do with their words matters more that what they really say.

    ClimateBall is a form of linguistic performance art that occasionally and superficially resembles climate science, and whose purposes are the framing of Overton windows, the poisoning of wells, and the erection of Chesterton fences.

  220. izen says:

    @-W
    “As always, what ClimateBall players do with their words matters more that what they really say.”

    I think we share an opinion on the nature and use of Contrarian arguments. This would support Joshua’s contention that a ‘Linnean’ level of detail in the descriptive categorisation of Contrarian counter arguments and attempts to inoculate against the scientific errors and logical fallacies they contain is missing the point.

    @-angtech
    “– I went to the dinosaur museum at Canberra 2 weeks ago. Mentioned it to a creationist relation. …“When they dispute the science it is the underlying ideological (theological?) clash they are concerned with, not the real validity of biological research.”
    Was so true.”

    Have you considered why it was so easy for you to understand the underlying bias driving the arguments against the science in the context of Creationism, but seem to struggle with perceiving the similar pattern of behaviour from those disputing the scientific understanding of the climate rather than evolution ?

  221. BBD says:

    What matters is how they work as a mean to *control* an exchange.

    Gish Gallops for the win.

  222. Magma says:

    treating contrarian tropes as complete arguments does little justice to their function in ClimateBall — Willard

    I’ve generally seen them as more like (baseball) pitches than complete arguments. The contrarian throws one after another in the hope that the batter will swing and miss, or be hit by a pitch. (Contrarians can’t rely on their fielders or own batters for a win because they don’t have any.)

  223. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech wrote “Interesting challenge.”

    well why not give it a go then, rather than running away? Why not test out the strengths and weaknesses of your position, as those here who agree with the mainstream scientific position seem happy to do?

  224. Mal Adapted says:

    Susan Anderson:

    The Oregon Petition is a hoary old effort

    Indeed it is. My favorite analysis of it is on Snopes, that unimpeachable source ;^D. It cites a 2005 peer-reviewed report as follows:

    Careful study of the list [of signers] revealed the names of fictional characters from the “Star Wars” movies as well as the name of pop singer Geri Halliwell from the “Spice Girls” band. Critics of the petition had added bogus names to illustrate the lack of accountability the petition involved, including the difficulty—the practical impossibility—of verifying even the actual existence of each of the signatories, not to mention their expertise. To make the latter point, someone had added the title of “Dr.” to Halliwell’s name.

    I’m laughing and weeping simultaneously 8^|.

  225. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    “But Mars is warming!”

    Only had quick look but I couldn’t see it on the list. I guess it falls under “its the sun”. I’m sure there was also one related to the greenhouse effect on Venus but it evades me.

  226. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    On the subject of “it’s the sun”. It is my understanding that observed stratospheric cooling effectively invalidates this argument. As if it was the sun the stratosphere would also be warming but instead it is cooling due to a decrease in long wave radiation from the surface due to the increase in GHGs.

    I would appreciate correction on this point if my understanding is incorrect.

    Thanks in advance.

  227. Steven Mosher says:

    angech.

    surely you can look at the list and pick what in your opinion is the strongest and weakest.
    they can all be equally certain.

    gosh if i were teaching rhetoric/composition i would have my freshman do this.

    if you dont believe in agw then pick the weakest argument and demolish it. if you believe in agw pick the strongest skeptical argument and make it more convincing.

    but first angech. answer the simple question.
    im deeply interested in your answer.

  228. HH,
    Yes, I think it is correct that if the warming was due to Solar changes we wouldn’t expect to see stratospheric cooling.

  229. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Mosher:

    That is the weird thing that goes un noticed ( perhaps) about skeptical challenges
    They never assign confidence to their own arguments.

    and

    they can[‘t] all be equally certain.

    Of course they can. All 100% true. It goes without saying.
    Sheesh.

    Contrarian epistemology is truth-saturated.

  230. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Simply if one asserts that all skeptarian points are rubbish, easily knocked over, then finding that even one holds true destroys the ground rule everything is built on.

    I could use a correct “point” to promote a fallacious argument. For example, I could argue that 1 + 1=2 to make an argument that 1 + 1 =3. That would be analogous to arguing that “The climate has always changed” (a correct point) to promote a fallacious argument “The fact that the climate has always changed negates the argument that continued ACO2 emissions pose a potential risk that should be addressed through the consideration of policies.”

    We aren’t talking about “points” here – we are talking about arguments, and whether they are valid. And proving one “point” correct doesn’t prove that, as you said, ““If any one point turns out to be right for the skeptics then all points will be adjudged right for them.”

    But maybe I’m wrong? So, instead of getting yourself stuck in a recursive loop of argumentative fallacies, maybe you could prove your case. Show one “skeptic” point to be correct, and then show how that point being correct “adjudges” all “skeptic” arguments (or even a lot of them, or even one of them).

    I think that Willard’s point, via Magma, is relevant:

    treating contrarian tropes as complete arguments does little justice to their function in ClimateBall — Willard

    Seems to me that you are doing exactly what Willard described – you are conflating “skeptic” tropes with complete arguments. But maybe I’m wrong. So make your argument.

  231. Joshua says:

    Of course they can. All 100% true

    1. “Skeptics” can never be wrong.
    2. “Skeptics” are always correct.

  232. “ClimateBall is a form of linguistic performance art that occasionally and superficially resembles climate science, and whose purposes are the framing of Overton windows, the poisoning of wells, and the erection of Chesterton fences.”

    I don’t think that was the original description. From what I recall from when I first heard about it, ClimateBall is a variation of CalvinBall, which is described in the cartoon Calvin&Hobbes where rules are made up on the spot by Calvin in whatever game he is playing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes#Calvinball

    Thus I assume the linkage to arguments over AGW, where rules of engagement are always changing.

  233. angech says:

    “Steven Mosher says: angech.surely you can look at the list and pick what in your opinion is the strongest and weakest.they can’t all be equally certain. ”

    This will not end well.
    “if you don’t believe in agw then pick the weakest argument and demolish it. if you believe in agw pick the strongest skeptical argument and make it more convincing.”

    DM “well why not give it a go then, rather than running away? Why not test out the strengths and weaknesses of your position, as those here who agree with the mainstream scientific position seem happy to do?” *

    OK .

    Are you happy to discuss the hot spot?
    Would you like to state the warmist position here clearly for me so the rules don’t do a Calvin?
    Or are you happy for me to just wing it on the statement as it stands in “It’s not us”

    There are a number of others but one at a time is fine.

  234. dikranmarsupial says:

    angech wrote “Or are you happy for me to just wing it on the statement as it stands in “It’s not us””

    why not just set out your position on the science as you understand it? If you think the mainstream scientific position is incorrect, the onus is on you to point out the error. The IPCC WG1 report already sets out the mainstream scientific position (as do reports published by other scientific bodies).

  235. DM,

    I think he is saying that he thinks that the hotspot is the (or amongst the) strangest skeptic arguments. I’d be prone to just say “yes, just wing it, go ahead and make your best case for the hotspot argument’.

    That said, although I am sincerely interested in this experiment, as I type this, I am just blown away that this is where we are at and it is 2018.

  236. Willard says:

    > Would you like to state the warmist position here clearly for me so the rules don’t do a Calvin?

    Try this:

    https://dohumanscauseglobalwarming.wordpress.com

    ***

    > I’ve generally seen them as more like (baseball) pitches than complete arguments. The contrarian throws one after another in the hope that the batter will swing and miss, or be hit by a pitch.

    I like this image. However, the idea of throwing spitballs needs to be generalized. Take the very idea of inoculation. By restating an argumentative list learned by rote, one is supposed to understand better AGW? From where I stand, this is how people often end up handwaving to fallacies without really mastering how they really work. Mentioning the concept of “implicit premise” is one thing, making good use of it is another. Many lines in the table doesn’t pass a basic smell test.

    Take the “But 31 thousand scientists” line. Does the argument really work like that? I’m not even sure this question makes sense. Arguments vary according to pragmatic circumstances. However, I seriously doubt it works like that in the case underlined above. Whether or not 31,000 scientists is a big proportion or not is irrelevant – 31,000 is just a number big enough so that it can’t be dismissed as insignificant. So I’d rather say there’s a bandwagon effect going on. And I hope the author of the 97% paper does not consider all appeals to population size fallacious.

    The second premise is that scientists are experts in climate science. Does anyone believe that scientists are experts in climate science? Even considering that we’re on the Internet, come on. This is just absurd. A better premise needs to be put forward here. Let’s hope the consensus found in C13 doesn’t rely on that premise. The scope of the famous 97% certainly isn’t delimited to climate scientists.

    While I can understand the incentive to publish for young researchers, at least one editor somewhere should have caught this. So I suspect no ClimateBall aficionado really read it before publication. Relying on contrarians cannot work – the polar bear paper already showed me that they react too strongly and don’t have any incentive to read before ranting.

    Analyzing arguments is hard. A general theory of fallacy is still an open problem. The best one can do is to document how contrarians proceed. They are really good at what they do, even if their talking points don’t stand up basic scrutiny. Their strengths lie elsewhere, in the comedy of menace while we’re waiting for Godot.

    ***

    That’s the memo for now. I’m flu bugged, so try not to pile on too much.

  237. izen says:

    Hotspot argument (strong version)

    The hotspot is a fundamental attribute of the dynamics of the climate according to the current physics of climate science. Not just a side-effect of AGW.
    It emerges from climate modelling of how energy is transferred in the atmosphere as an inevitable feature.

    Empirical observations have failed to detect the effect.
    (warmists may quibble about obsrervational capability/accuracy)

    Therefore the core understanding of the physics of climate is wrong at a level beyond just AGW, but on how it really works.
    No ad-hoc process can be invoked that preserves the rest of how we model energy transfer in the atmosphere, but explains away this discrepency.

    No credence should be given to the physics currently employed to understand the climate when it generates inherent basics states that are not seen in the real world.

  238. verytallguy says:

    In related news, climate “sceptics” now deemed to be so obviously lacking in credibility that they can’t commit libel as no one believes a word they say anyway.

    https://judithcurry.com/2018/02/14/update-libel-cases-and-the-climate-wars/

  239. Willard says:

    From Gavin’s tweet’s responses:

    A list of such concerns may be more useful than a list of fallacies.

  240. Including the perhaps unintentional marginalization of oil depletion as a compounding issue.

    For example, whenever there is discussion of conflicts as originating partly from climate change, e.g. climate refugees in the middle east, we need to remember that these regions will continue to become more unstable over time, simply because oil is a finite resource. I don’t talk about any of that in “Mathematical Geoenergy: Oil Discovery, Depletion and Renewable Energy Analysis” Wiley/AGU, December 2018, but that’s my considered humbled opinion.

  241. Willard says:

    > Including the perhaps unintentional marginalization of oil depletion as a compounding issue.

    I’d generalize this to energy, security, and public health issues. ClimateBall is a game where scientific pseudo questions become proxies to undermine scientific credibility. The best way to lose sight on these issues is to fee hypnotized into thinking these pseudo questions matter. They don’t.

    Take Doc’s framing – If just one premise were to fall over, the rest, even if right, become shaky and may fall. No identified premise. Something that is right may fall. A vague intuition of a scientific collapse. No real point, no argument, no analysis. The simple threat that contrarians may win. We already know that contrarians always win:

    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/can-contrarians-lose/

    The lack of definite position behind Doc’s suggestion is more an asset than a liability. Reenacting the Goliath meme doesn’t require anything concrete. All we need is intrigue and levity:

    In “Comedy of Menace”, as Merritt observes, on the basis of his experience of The Birthday Party and others’ accounts of the other two plays, Wardle proposes that “Comedy enables the committed agents and victims of destruction to come on and off duty; to joke about the situation while oiling a revolver; to display absurd or endearing features behind their masks of implacable resolution; to meet … in paper hats for a game of blind man’s buff”; he suggests how “menace” in Pinter’s plays “stands for something more substantial: destiny,” and that destiny, “handled in this way—not as an austere exercise in classicism, but as an incurable disease which one forgets about most of the time and whose lethal reminders may take the form of a joke—is an apt dramatic motif for an age of conditioned behaviour in which orthodox man is a willing collaborator in his own destruction” (Wardle, “Comedy of Menace” 33; rpt. in The Encore Reader 91).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy_of_menace

    At least that’s how I interpret his “Both sides of the beauty and the danger of a 97% consensus, the more unified, the more problem a flaw, if found is.”

  242. rustneversleeps indeed. I suspect angech is just trying to spin it out a bit by asking how he should proceed. If he knows what the mainstream scientific position is, he should need us to state it for him, if he isn’t able to state what it is for himself, he is in no position to state the flaws in it. I think it is just prevarication, but angech can prove me wrong by getting on with it.

  243. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Don’t shift the burden.

    Make your “point” and then explain how that “point” invalidates all the other assertions of fallacious reasoning behind other “skeptic” arguments.

  244. Divergent Perspectives on Expert Disagreement: Preliminary Evidence from
    Climate Science, Climate Policy, Astrophysics, and Public Opinion :
    James R. Beebe (University at Buffalo), Maria Baghramian (University College Dublin),
    Luke Drury (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies), Finnur Dellsén (Inland
    Norway University of Applied Sciences)

    submitted to ARXIV

    “We found that, as compared to educated non-experts, climate experts believe (i) that there is less disagreement within climate science about climate change, (ii) that more of the disagreement that does exist concerns public policy questions rather than the science itself, (iii) that methodological factors play less of a role in generating existing disagreement among experts about climate science, (iv) that fewer personal and institutional biases influence the nature and direction of climate science research, (v) that there is more agreement among scientists about which methods or theoretical perspectives should be used to examine and explain the relevant phenomena, (vi) that disagreements about climate change should not lead people to conclude that the scientific methods being employed today are unreliable or incapable of revealing the truth, and (vii) that climate science is more settled than ideological pundits would have us believe and settled enough to base public policy on it. In addition, we observed that the uniquely American political context predicted participants’ judgments about many of these factors. We also found that, commensurate with the greater inherent uncertainty and data lacunae in their field, astrophysicists working on cosmic rays were generally more willing to acknowledge expert disagreement, more open to the idea that a set of data can have multiple valid interpretations, and generally less quick to dismiss someone articulating a non-standard view as non-expert, than climate scientists. ”

    Any scientific discipline that lends itself to verification via controlled experiments is more open to non-standard views. It really is amazing how fast a new idea can be accepted when an experiment can be repeated by others. In climate science, no such control is possible, as the verification process can take years, while the non-standard views continue to proliferate. No wonder climate scientists get hardened to outsider views, as they have no way of immediately dismissing alternate interpretations.

    On the other hand, astrophysics has a long history of being open to outsider opinion, with the amateur astronomer often given equal attention to a new finding. IMHO.

  245. Mal Adapted says:

    Willard reports that twit Robert Ingersol responded to Gavin Schmidt’s tweet thus:

    If only you hadn’t changed it from Global Warming to Climatic Change.

    If I was a twitter user, I would reply to Mr. Ingersol as follows: “Well, Gavin Schmidt did not, in fact, change ‘Global Warming’ to ‘Climatic Change’. Now what?”

  246. Willard says:

    If you were a Twitter user, Mal, you may not have missed this followup:

  247. Mal Adapted says:

    Willard:

    If you were a Twitter user, Mal, you may not have missed this followup:

    Yep, context is key, especially under 140-character limits.

  248. Willard says:

    Tweets have 280 characters nowadays, Mal. That’s Twitter’s response to the fake news thing.

    Herein SteveF goes “But nuclear winter” (courtesy of MichaelB & PatrickS):

  249. jddohio says:

    Mosher Challenge: “Here is the challenge

    Angech, Barry, ANY skeptic reading.

    Read through the list of skeptical arguments. Pick the one that YOU THINK is the Best.

    1. Articulatethat argument as best you can.
    2. Stand and defend

    In short you want a debate? ”

    Very easy. Will do my own list.

    1. Climate change as articulated by “mainstream” scientists will take 80 or 100 years to become a problem. The world changes so fast, particularly now with scientific knowledge increasing exponentially, there is no way to predict the future over that time frame. So, substantially decreasing CO2 at the present time is fruitless because humankind’s ability to predict what problems will be in 80 years and what the proper solutions are is extremely limited. (Think to predictions in late 19th century that New York City’s ability to grow was limited by horse manure)
    1.a Even if CO2 could accurately be predicted to cause substantial problems 80 years from now, new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem. (Think simply adding nano engineered dust in the air, and generally Julian Simon)
    2. The proxy paleo divergence problem. Since tree rings don’t work now, how do we know that they worked 1,000 years ago.
    3. The modelling skill problem. See Freeman Dyson and his criticism of climate models. (Will admit upfront, I am not qualified to argue further on this. However, I think his skills and qualifications are much higher than the “mainstream” modellers.

    JD

  250. JD,
    1. It may well be that the serious problems will only emerge in many decades. However, since we almost certainly cannot stop emitting CO2 immediately, avoiding these would require doing something well in advance of them emerging. Climate change is probably irreversible on human timescales.

    1a. Magical thinking? I do find it remarkable how some people some completely convinced that we can – in future – develop technologies that will deal with the problems associated climate change, but seem reluctant to consider that we should find ways now to generate energy without emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.

    2. Millenial temperature reconstructions do not rely only on tree rings. The basic hockey stick-like temperature reconstruction has been reproduced many times, using many different proxies.

    3. Climate models are actually quite skillful.

  251. Marco says:

    JD, something to consider, and consider in all seriousness:

    What, according to you, are Freeman Dyson’s skills and qualifications in climate modeling?

    Can you list any recent publications, and let’s be kind and request those of the last 70(!) years, in which Freeman Dyson has been involved in climate modeling in any way, shape, or form?

    You’ll at best find some opinion pieces he wrote, not actually scientific papers. That Dyson has been out of his depth on climate science is also made clear here:
    http://init.planet3.org/2007/08/dyson-exegesis.html

  252. Marco says:

    P.S., regarding point 2: the divergence problem appears to be primarily an issue for high northern latitudes, in most of those places it is relatively recent (last 30 years, Yamal appears to be the ‘best/worst’ example for the divergence problem in terms of ‘onset’), and it is primarily a problem with the maximum latewood density (in a few cases also the tree ring widths).
    See D’Arrigo et al, in particular Figure 3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2007.03.004
    Tree rings largely follow other proxies between 1600 and mid-20th century.

  253. jddohio: ” The world changes so fast, particularly now with scientific knowledge increasing exponentially, there is no way to predict the future over that time frame. …

    1.a Even if CO2 could accurately be predicted to cause substantial problems 80 years from now, new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem.”

    No way to predict the future over that time frame, and then predict that progress will be sufficient to deal with the problems that will arise due to fossil fuel use, in fact to make them trivial. The very first point raised demonstrates the sort of logical reasoning flaw that the original article describes.

    BTW scientific knowledge is not increasing exponentially, try watching a science fiction film from the 1970s (say 2001 a Space Odyssey) and see how much of what they predicted for now has actually been achieved. Very little, except for relatively trivial things like tablet computers. Space stations with artificial gravity? Nope. Lunar bases? Nope? Self-aware computers? Nope. Ability to send people to Jupier? Nope. Note that Arthur C. Clarke was a technical advisor for the film, and would have been a rather better predictor of the future than most.

  254. Mal Adapted says:

    jddohio:

    Climate change as articulated by “mainstream” scientists will take 80 or 100 years to become a problem.

    Uhh – according to the WMO (my emphasis):

    Climate change is as hard on the economy as it is on society. Extreme weather and climate events have exacted a heavy toll in recent years, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and causing upward of US$ 380 billion in economic losses – a tally that is expected to double every 12 years. But beyond the grim figures, the effects of “catastrophic convergence” are far more devastating where droughts, floods and other climate events directly correlate with violent outbreaks, political upheaval and even civil war.

    IOW, anthropogenic climate change is already a problem for millions of people, though perhaps not for you personally.

  255. Mal Adapted says:

    Moi:

    IOW, anthropogenic climate change is already a problem for millions of people, though perhaps not for you personally.

    I meant to append a ‘yet’!

  256. Martha says:

    All my subsequent claims are irrefutable, number 0.

  257. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    1. Climate change as articulated by “mainstream” scientists will take 80 or 100 years to become a problem.

    This statement lacks a reflection of the uncertainty contained with what “mainstream” scientists articulate. It also lacks a clear definition of what “a problem” means. It also fails to recognize progressive nature of “becoming a problem” – which is not a binary state (Anders deals with that point).

    The world changes so fast, particularly now with scientific knowledge increasing exponentially, there is no way to predict the future over that time frame.

    Our inability to “predict the future” over an 80-100 year time frame doesn’t prevent us from enacting any policies. As an example, Republicans enacted a tax bill with profound debt obligation implications, founded on a belief about future growth, when, in fact, there is “no way to predict the future.” The point not being that we shouldn’t enact any policies under such conditions (you do the best you can based on what you know), but that people tend to be quite selective as to when they do or don’t reference uncertainty to justify a particular policy development (or lack thereof).

    So, substantially decreasing CO2 at the present time is fruitless because humankind’s ability to predict what problems will be in 80 years and what the proper solutions are is extremely limited.

    Please re-read Anders’ response.

    (Think to predictions in late 19th century that New York City’s ability to grow was limited by horse manure)

    Do you think there were there no policies implemented, based on predictions from the late 19th century, that were worthwhile? Surely we could find examples of predictions that worked out in the long term, as well as those which didn’t. Should people in the late 19th century have avoided making any policies based on long-term predictions?

    1.a Even if CO2 could accurately be predicted to cause substantial problems 80 years from now, new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem.

    Will? On what basis do you presume such complete certainty?

    2. The proxy paleo divergence problem. Since tree rings don’t work now, how do we know that they worked 1,000 years ago.

    Not in a position to respond at a technical level – but I would assume that estimates of what “worked 1,000 years ago” are made in the context of ranges of probability and CIs. I notice a lack thereof in your construct.

    3. The modelling skill problem. See Freeman Dyson and his criticism of climate models. (Will admit upfront, I am not qualified to argue further on this. However, I think his skills and qualifications are much higher than the “mainstream” modellers.

    Given acknowledged limitations in your qualifications, how do you reach such certainty about Dyson’s relative skills and qualifications to evaluate current climate models? How do you evaluate his qualifications when you lack qualifications? Consider the following

    “I guess one thing I don’t want to do is to spend all my time arguing this business,” Dyson told Yale Environment 360 in 2009, after the New York Times Magazine published a cover story that focused on his skepticism. “I mean, I am not the person to do that. I have two great disadvantages. First of all, I am 85 years old. Obviously, I’m an old fuddy-duddy. So, I have no credibility. And, secondly, I am not an expert, and that’s not going to change. I am not going to make myself an expert.”

    […]

    “My objections to the global warming propaganda are not so much over the technical facts, about which I do not know much, but it’s rather against the way those people behave and the kind of intolerance to criticism that a lot of them have.”

  258. jddohio says:

    Joshua: Freeman Dyson: “Given acknowledged limitations in your qualifications, how do you reach such certainty about Dyson’s relative skills and qualifications to evaluate current climate models?”

    I don’t have certainty in him. I doubt the skills of others. From Dyson’s interaction with Fermi:

    “When Dyson met with him in 1953, Fermi welcomed him politely, but he quickly put aside the graphs he was being shown indicating agreement between theory and experiment. His verdict, as Dyson remembered, was “There are two ways of doing calculations in theoretical physics. One way, and this is the way I prefer, is to have a clear physical picture of the process you are calculating. The other way is to have a precise and self-consistent mathematical formalism. You have neither.” When a stunned Dyson tried to counter by emphasizing the agreement between experiment and the calculations, Fermi asked him how many free parameters he had used to obtain the fit. Smiling after being told “Four,” Fermi remarked, “I remember my old friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.” There was little to add.”

    My understanding is that climate models routinely contain parameters. I side with Fermi and Dyson here. For whatever it is worth.

    With respect to Dyson pooh-poohing his qualifications, he was simply playing being humble. Here is another quote from him:

    “Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.” See https://www.edge.org/conversation/heretical-thoughts-about-science-and-society

    In conclusion, I trust Fermi and Dyson, who have no innate bias with respect to models, as opposed to the motivated mainstream climate modelers. Not going to convince anyone here. Just telling you where I am coming from. Until the models are validated by 40 or 60 years of usage (when they are predicting 80 or 100 years out), they are just guesses to me.

    JD

  259. jddohio says:

    Mal Adapted: “according to the WMO (my emphasis):

    “Climate change is as hard on the economy as it is on society. Extreme weather and climate events have exacted a heavy toll in recent years, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and causing upward of US$ 380 billion in economic losses …”

    That is just one opinion. You know that Pielke has a different opinion. In the last 30 or 40 years, with high usage of fossil fuels, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has greatly declined. Even using your claimed losses, (which I don’t accept), the good has to be balanced against the bad.

    JD

  260. Willard says:

    > That is just one opinion. You know that [Junior] has a different opinion.

    Citation needed for Junior’s opinion.

    On the one hand, we have Junior. On the other, we have the World Meterological Organization. That’s two opinions, I suppose.

    Let me see if I get you right. We have the IPCC’s opinion. We have RoyS’ opinion. That’s one opinion against the other, right?

    Not sure how this kind of pigeonholing would fare in front of a judge, JD. If you can pull this one off, more power to you.

  261. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    With respect to Dyson pooh-poohing his qualifications, he was simply playing being humble. Here is another quote from him:

    So he makes contradictory statements. How do you know when he is “playing humble” or when he us overstating his expertise or when he is accurately describing a lack of expertise about current climate models? How do you control for your own biasing predispositions when making such assessments? What is your independent and objective evidence for cross-reference? Again, I note your extreme certainty about (IMO) highly questions. uncertain

    In conclusion, I trust Fermi and Dyson, who have no innate bias with respect to models, as opposed to the motivated mainstream climate modelers.

    I would suggest that there are strong reasons, based on a great deal of evidence, to question that either have “no innate biases with respect to models.” I think your certain belief (or perhaps faith?) that they are immune to such biases reflects an unrealistic interpretation of how biases work.


    Until the models are validated by 40 or 60 years of usage (when they are predicting 80 or 100 years out), they are just guesses to me.

    You may think that they underestimate uncertainty… but they are the product of long study and collection of evidence. They are accompanied by scientific metrics to quantify certainty. How do you differentiate between scientific evaluations of uncertain evidence and “guesses?”

    How about the other points I raised?

  262. jddohio says:

    Attp: “Climate change is probably irreversible on human timescales.”

    Totally disagree with this. We already know how to geoengineer the climate if we wish. Simply put more dust into the air. When Mt. Pinatubo (one volcano — I realize it was a huge eruption) erupted it cooled the earth’s temperatures for 2 years. It is even possible that we could enter into an age of volcanic eruptions which would cool the earth notwithstanding the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

    attp: “Magical thinking.” Consider this one amazing discovery : “Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Ohio State’s College of Engineering have developed a new technology, Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), that can generate any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient’s own body. This technology may be used to repair injured tissue or restore function of aging tissue, including organs, blood vessels and nerve cells.” I see no reason why similar breakthroughs may not occur in our understanding of water vapor, clouds, dust or of energy as our computing power vastly increases and as our inter-connectivity increases.

    The current environmental movement has what I would characterize as a tunnel vision methodology for solving problems. So, because (from the environmental movements viewpoint) CO2 is a huge problem, the solution is that we have to simply stop using fossil fuels. There is little room for subtlety or for incorporating discoveries in other fields to solve the problems.

    To give you an example. Suppose someone 40 years ago was given the problem of creating a telephone, radio, TV, alarm clock, calculator and music player in one reasonably sized consumer device. If someone in those days tried to engineer the problem, it would have been impossible to solve. Instead incredible advances in computing power along with other advances in technology (For instance, batteries) developing independently of each other gave someone like Steve Jobs the ability to put all these technologies together after they had been developed independently by others. I look at the CO2 reduction movement today as the equivalent of the engineer trying to solve all of these problems by himself through sheer willpower and determination. As it turns out, a much easier solution was to let technology take its course, and then put the components together. Thus, you have today’s full featured smart phones.

    In the same way, because technology is advancing so quickly (See for example, https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/05/the-best-technology-advances-of-2017-so-far.html
    and https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2017/ I could of course, find much more just for 2017.), there will be technologies that we can’t even imagine now that will easily be able to help cool the earth if it is needed.

    On the other hand, humans have a poor history of acting upon long-range predictions since the industrial age. The Vietnam disaster was entered into in large measure because of the domino theory, which proved to be incorrect. Prohibition was a huge attempt to change bad habits of many citizens, but it had unintended consequences. The predictive ability of the alcohol abolitionists was very poor. Also, the planned economy of communists didn’t work very well. Personally, I think that there is something like a 98% chance of being wrong when trying to predict what will happen in 80 years. I would argue that those skeptical of my views would have to agree that we have at least a 50% chance of being wrong with any 80-year prediction. If you accept that, why would you accept certain pain now and trade it for speculative benefits in the future?

    I would ask anyone here to give examples of 50-year, large scale programs, remotely comparable to CO2 reduction that worked as planned, since let us say, 1840.

    JD

  263. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    , with high usage of fossil fuels, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty has greatly declined. Even using your claimed losses, (which I don’t accept), the good has to be balanced against the bad.

    Which numbers do you not accept? JPjr. often offers numbers as % of GDP. Mal offered absolute numbers. How are you comparing them?

    What ratio do you use to weigh “the good” vs. “the bad?” how do you account for the variety of variables that contribute to “the good” (or “the bad”) to measure the contribution of fossil fuels? What is your calculus that determines positive and negative externalities?

  264. jddohio says:

    Joshua: “Again, I note your extreme certainty about (IMO) highly questions. [where do you get extreme certainty. In my view I have a reasoned opinion that is fallible just like anyone else’s. ] uncertain ….
    I would suggest that there are strong reasons, based on a great deal of evidence, to question that either have “no innate biases with respect to models.” I think your certain belief (or perhaps faith?) that they are immune [I have no certain belief or opinions of anything. I realize I am not God. You have a bad habit of mis-characterizing my opinions] to such biases reflects an unrealistic interpretation of how biases work.”

    I suspect that I know way more than you about biases. I am a lawyer who practiced workers’ compensation law for about 18 years and have deposed many highly qualified doctors such as neurosurgeons, cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons and board certified occupational disease specialists. I saw bias all of the time. On one occasion, a Cleveland Clinic rheumatologist hired by an employer stated that my client had a psychiatric condition and not scleroderma. [caused by exposure to a solvent] My client’s internal medicine gp was consistently and confidently insistent that my client had scleroderma. Three years later, my client’s unfortunate disfigurement proved that the gp was right. I have seen instances of this many times. So, just because someone has good qualifications on paper means little to me, if I have a reason to suspect motives or bias.

    JD

  265. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Simply put more dust into the air.

    Is this an example of one of those rebuttals that will “destroy the ground rule everything is built on”?

  266. jddohio says:

    Joshua: “What ratio do you use to weigh “the good” vs. “the bad?” how do you account for the variety of variables that contribute to “the good” (or “the bad”) to measure the contribution of fossil fuels?”

    The same question should be asked of you. How do you account for the good and subtract from the bad? In a general sense, I will say that for example, in China in the late 40s, the life expectancy was in the late 40s. After a huge increase in dirty fuels, it is now about 73 even with many cities having dirty air. I would also add that all countries that I am aware of with modern medicine have fossil fuel economies. Almost certainly the lives of billions of people have been greatly extended by fossil fuels. I am not interested in arguing the minutia of exactly how many.

    JD

  267. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    [where do you get extreme certainty.

    From what you said. I quoted it (i.e., “he was simply playing being humble.” ) You explained what Dyson was doing in the language of extreme certainty. There are other examples (which I quoted). Were you saying that you aren’t certain abut what he was doing? Perhaps I misunderstood.

  268. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    The same question should be asked of you. How do you account for the good and subtract from the bad?

    I didn’t offer an accounting. You did.

  269. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    , I will say that for example, in China in the late 40s, the life expectancy was in the late 40s. After a huge increase in dirty fuels, it is now about 73 even with many cities having dirty air.

    What %of growth on life expectancy do you attribute to the availability of antibiotics? How about advances in obstetrics?

  270. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    . I am not interested in arguing the minutia of exactly how many.

    Minutia? How do you define what is and isn’t minutia when calculating attribution for life expectancy rates?

  271. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    i> So, just because someone has good qualifications on paper means little to me, if I have a reason to suspect motives or bias.

    OK. Not much more I can say to that, is there? If you have reason to suspect that Dyson has no innate biases about models, based on your experiences as a lawyer who has deposed many people, then why should I question that?

    Anders, I think you should update the post. The ground rule everything is built on has been destroyed. angech is our daddy.

  272. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    One last comment

    You say this:

    Personally, I think that there is something like a 98% chance of being wrong when trying to predict what will happen in 80 years.

    And you say this:

    … new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem.

    How do you reconcile those two comments?

  273. Willard says:

    JD,

    While you continue to rope-a-dope from one talking point to the next, I’ll simply point at this:

    [J]ust because someone has good qualifications on paper means little to me, if I have a reason to suspect motives or bias.

    and I will point at this:

    I am a lawyer who practiced workers’ compensation law for about 18 years and have deposed many highly qualified doctors such as neurosurgeons, cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons and board certified occupational disease specialists.

    That is all.

  274. jddohio says:

    Willard: “That is all.” Thanks for the compliment. It is appreciated.

  275. Willard says:

    > Thanks for the compliment. It is appreciated.

    I don’t always underline double standards, JD, but when I do it’s never a compliment. The form used to underline it is called a greenfieldism. By your logic, your own qualifications should mean little.

    Again, a citation for what you make Junior hold would be nice.

  276. jddohio says:

    Joshua: ” Personally, I think that there is something like a 98% chance of being wrong when trying to predict what will happen in 80 years.

    And you say this:

    … new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem.

    How do you reconcile those two comments?”

    I think the chances of predicting what the future will actually bring in terms of identifiable, specific events is quite small. I think the chances that technology will become much, much more powerful are very high. Precisely, what form that will take I don’t know. Maybe we will understand dark energy much better. Maybe, quantum physics and general relativity will be reconciled. Maybe we will understand dark matter better. Our whole history over the last 180 years is increasing technological knowledge and increasing control over the environment. I think it is quite likely that that process will continue. Where exactly it will go, I can’t say.

    Since we already have the ability to cool the earth through dust (confirmed by the effects of air pollution), as technology increases, (Nathan Myhrvold made this suggestion) it should be much easier to do so. If it was really important to cool the earth now we could do so now.

    JD

  277. jddohio says:

    Willard: “I don’t always underline double standards, JD, but when I do it’s never a compliment.”

    I guess it went over your head. I was saying in a slightly subtle way that I don’t care what you think.

  278. jddohio says:

    Joshua, “What %of growth on life expectancy do you attribute to the availability of antibiotics? How about advances in obstetrics?”

    I attribute a large portion of the advances in antibiotics and obstetrics to the use of fossil fuels which are necessary for advanced research and modern medicine.

    JD

  279. Willard says:

    > I was saying in a slightly subtle way that I don’t care what you think.

    Whatever I think is irrelevant to the fact that your own criteria undermines the authority by which you claim being able to judge bias, JD.

    You’ve now been asked twice to substantiate the claims you put in Junior’s mouth.

    I suggest your next comment meets that challenge.

  280. jddohio says:

    Willard. I found the article. If you have something worth responding to I will. If not, say what you wish. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B92CyI7iP9pqNnBSaTZQOE03QlE/view

  281. Willard says:

    > I found the article.

    That’s better, JD. Now, where does Junior dispute that

    Climate change is as hard on the economy as it is on society. Extreme weather and climate events have exacted a heavy toll in recent years, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and causing upward of US$ 380 billion in economic losses …

    one may ask?

    Don’t forget that Junior tries very hard to go a bridge too far, and that he relies on contrarians like you to do so.

  282. jddohio says:

    Pielke: “For the past 20 years or so I have worked in the area of the economic consequences of natural hazards such as floods, tropical cyclones and earthquakes. Our early work led us to conclude that even as the absolute economic costs of disasters were rising, the cost as a proportion of measures of societal wealth was not (e.g., Pielke, 1999; Pielke and Landsea, 1998). These findings appeared in studies from around the world for various phenomena (see e.g., Bouwer, 2011). In other words, the world has been getting richer faster than the economic damage from extreme events has increased. Consequently, the proportion of damage from extremes has decreased as a fraction of measures of global wealth.”

    I would comment that even if the frequency of bad weather events was increasing, if their effects on humans are decreasing, the increase of frequency is functionally irrelevant.

    Also, Pielke: “Overall, disaster costs worldwide have increased but at a rate slower than the overall accumulation of global wealth. Even under aggressive scenarios of climate change (such as proposed by the IPCC) a diminishing role for disaster losses (including earthquakes) might be expected. However, there is no guarantee of such outcomes and constant attention to disaster risk reduction will be necessary to secure the continuation of the positive trends in disaster losses observed over recent decades.”

  283. jddohio says:

    Willard, what is the scientific basis for concluding/assuming/finding that increased warmth leads to a higher incidence of severe weather events.?

  284. Willard says:

    > I would comment that even if the frequency of bad weather events was increasing, if their effects on humans are decreasing, the increase of frequency is functionally irrelevant.

    That’s one counterfactual within another one, JD. A simple refutation to it (or to both) is that building or maintaining infrastructures to counter the effects of bad weather events costs money. Unless you wish to argue that spending money is functionally irrelevant, I suggest you adjust your counterfactual thinking.

    Junior’s acknowledgment that the absolute economic costs of disasters are rising is compatible with the claim that extreme weather and climate events have exacted a heavy toll in recent years. You might be reading too much out of Junior’s normalization trick. Note that normalizing consists in adjusting disaster costs according to some parameter of choice. I think you suggested earlier that this indicated some bias.

    Here’s a recent chapter that puts these two ideas together:

    Insurance catastrophe modeling of natural risks requires three key components of information: (1) a catalog of all possible events that can occur within the time period considered, (2) an exposure database consisting of the built parameters of insured structures or the population exposed to the hazard (usually in the form of a portfolio), and (3) the susceptibility of the structures or population at risk to the hazard.

    This chapter focuses on each of these components herewith highlighting recent trends in losses. To do this, CATDAT (Daniell et al., 2011) data are used for describing both economic as well as insured markets. Results indicate that normalized losses are in general decreasing most likely due to increasing hazard mitigation and decreasing vulnerability. Statistics as to the last 100 years (from 1900 to 2015) suggest that flood has been dominating historical losses. The statistical results have implications for future events.

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128040713000057

    As for your leading question:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/report/srex/

    Before rope-a-doping to that next topic, please acknowledge that Junior’s normalization trick does not imply what you make it imply.

  285. Marco says:

    ” will say that for example, in China in the late 40s, the life expectancy was in the late 40s. After a huge increase in dirty fuels, it is now about 73 even with many cities having dirty air.”

    Nope, not *after* a huge increase in dirty fuels, but *before*. It isn’t quite accurate to state that life expectancy in the late 1940s was in the late 40s…it was actually in the low 40s. However, that was already an increase from the early 1940s, where life expectancy was in the low 30s (it even was briefly below 30). There was a major increase in life expectancy from about the early 1940s until the early 1970s (despite a few horrible years under Mao’s Great Leap Forward). After that there has been a sustained increase. But fossil fuel use didn’t increase that much from the 1940s to 1970s compared to after.

  286. JD,
    Don’t really know where to start. Maybe you could slow down a little and stick to one thing at a time.

    Attp: “Climate change is probably irreversible on human timescales.”

    Totally disagree with this. We already know how to geoengineer the climate if we wish.

    I actually said probably. I often add absent technological solutions, but it gets tedious to do that every time. However, if you think climate models aren’t good enough to study the impact of increasing anthropogenic forcings, they clearly aren’t good enough to tell us how to undertakte geoengineering. Also, we could add some dust/aerosols in order to cool things down, but that is expected to significantly impact some climatic events (monsoons, tropical rainfall,…) and does nothing to address ocean acidification. Also, it’s a “solution” that we had better be willing to sustain, because if we stop, the aerosols will precipitate out on the timescale of years, and everything that they had been masking will come rushing back.

  287. jddohio wrote:

    I am a lawyer who practiced workers’ compensation law for about 18 years and have deposed many highly qualified doctors such as neurosurgeons, cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons and board certified occupational disease specialists.

    That doesn’t mean you were correct though. Lawyers are not paid to get to the truth, they are paid to win cases (using oratory/rhetoric), whereas scientists/doctors are paid to get to the truth and do/say what the evidence directs (where oratory is not a requirement). Debates (as in court) are not necessarily won by who is right, but who can argue best. Note this isn’t a criticism of lawyers, there are good reasons why courts work that way, but lets not pretend they are an arbiter of scientific or surgical truths.

    An example of this is the very obvious logical flaw I pointed out in your argument, which you haven’t responded to, despite being rather busy (good rhetoric that). Here is a summary:

    You started out by claiming that we can’t predict the future of technology:

    : ” The world changes so fast, particularly now with scientific knowledge increasing exponentially, there is no way to predict the future over that time frame. …

    and then make a very confident prediction of the future of technology:

    1.a Even if CO2 could accurately be predicted to cause substantial problems 80 years from now, new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem.”

    If I were on the jury I wouldn’t have been impressed, but on this thread, which is concerned with basic logical flaws in climate skeptic arguments, the irony is rather amusing! ;o)

  288. Hyperactive Hydrologist says:

    jddohio,

    Plenty of information on observed changes and projected impacts and vulnerabilities in Europe in the report linked below.

    https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/climate-change-impacts-and-vulnerability-2016

  289. BBD says:

    JD,
    Don’t really know where to start. Maybe you could slow down a little and stick to one thing at a time.

    Sort of a ‘Gish Shuffle’.

  290. Mal Adapted says:

    jddohio:

    Mal Adapted: “according to the WMO (my emphasis):

    “Climate change is as hard on the economy as it is on society. Extreme weather and climate events have exacted a heavy toll in recent years, taking hundreds of thousands of lives and causing upward of US$ 380 billion in economic losses …”

    That is just one opinion. You know that Pielke has a different opinion.

    When BarryJWoods earlier remarked “the easiest person to fool is yourself”, he paraphrased Richard Feynman: “The first principle [of science] is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” I have a question for you, jddohio: how do you know you’re not fooling yourself?

    In its modern form, ‘Science’ is fundamentally a collective enterprise by individual trained and disciplined skeptics, or ‘peers’, with the goal of accumulating justified knowledge of the observable Universe, i.e. ‘reality’ (“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” –Philip K. Dick). Of all the methods humanity has evolved to explain and predict reality, science is more successful than haruspicy only because it’s a way of trying really hard not to fool yourself.

    Science’s claim to epistemic authority rests on two methodological foundations: disciplined empiricism, i.e. careful recording of observations with awareness of the ways an observer can be fooled; and intersubjective verification, or ‘peer review’ in the broadest sense. The latter is what makes Science an unavoidably collective enterprise. Scientists learn early in their training that even a distinguished empiricist like Freeman Dyson can still fool himself, and it’s a bedrock norm of scientific culture that peers don’t let their peers get away with fooling themselves!

    Anybody who tells you “consensus isn’t science”, jddohio, is either fooling themselves or trying to fool you. The requirement for intersubjective verification makes peer consensus essential to scientific progress. Even Isaac Newton acknowledged the giants who came before him. Imagine if every scientist investigating gravity had to recapitulate all prior work since Archimedes! Every scientific ‘fact’ you accept as true was iteratively, exhaustively and collectively examined by the community of specialists in the relevant fields of study, before it joined the body of justified knowledge.

    Consensus alone isn’t probative for a specialist, but it takes years of effort to become an expert on anything; therefore, the peer community of specialists, individually and collectively still more so, has the strongest claim to genuine expertise. The rest of us, if we’re honest, have little choice but to either put in the time to become expert ourselves, or accept the expert consensus tentatively and conditionally, as scientists do.

    Where am I going with this? The consensus of genuine experts, namely working climate specialists, for AGW is solid. Simply by Occam’s Razor, neither Freeman Dyson’s publication record in astro- and nuclear physics nor his manifest intellectual brilliance make it any less likely he’s fooling himself about climate. As Joshua pointed out to you, Dyson himself readily acknowledged he wasn’t a expert in climate science, and that it was ‘the way those people behave’, not the multiple lines of evidence, that caused him to reject ‘the global warming propaganda’, without specifying just which propaganda he objects to, nor who ‘those people’ are (BTW, Roger Pielke Jr. works not in the natural sciences but in ‘political science’).

    So, jddohio, Freeman Dyson was willing to admit his lack of competence in climate science, and to acknowledge his cognitive biases. Are you?

  291. angech says:

    “Mosher Challenge: “Here is the challenge
    Angech, Barry, ANY skeptic reading.
    Read through the list of skeptical arguments. Pick the one that YOU THINK is the Best.
    1. Articulatethat argument as best you can.
    2. Stand and defend.”

    – Not much of a challenge when comments are obliterated.
    Stand and defend???

  292. Joshua says:

    jddohio –

    I attribute a large portion of the advances in antibiotics and obstetrics to the use of fossil fuels which are necessary for advanced research and modern medicine.

    Looks like you’re close to coming around to my point. Attributing causality behind the increase in life expectancy to one factor isolated from others if facile – unless you’re engaged in a process of confirmation bias.

    How much growth do you suppose would have taken place in life expectancy with growth in fossil fuel usage but no development of antibiotics or reduction in infant mortality (indeed, consider just how much statistical power decreased infant mortality represents when evaluating life expectancy)?

    The same type of consideration should be made when considering the comparative impact on poverty rates of growth in fossil fuel usage and increases civil society (in the sense of freedom of speech, independent judiciary, etc.).

    Our early work led us to conclude that even as the absolute economic costs of disasters were rising, the cost as a proportion of measures of societal wealth was not (e.g., Pielke, 1999; Pielke and Landsea, 1998).

    Please look at my previous comment, with reference to RPJr., and respond:

    Which numbers do you not accept? JPjr. often offers numbers as % of GDP. Mal offered absolute numbers. How are you comparing them?

    I think the chances of predicting what the future will actually bring in terms of identifiable, specific events is quite small.

    ??? This is what you wrote earlier:

    … new technologies will develop to make dealing with CO2 a trivial problem.

    That is, IMO, a rather specific prediction about what the future will bring. Certainly, IMO, it is “identifiable, specific event” on the scale of, something like: “The future will bring increased severe weather impact” or “The future will bring anomalous rates of change in our climate.”

    That still looks to me like you are applying a double standard in association with your ideological orientation. Perhaps you could elaborate on how you’re making your distinctions between the viability of making predictions about the future.? (Remember, predictions are hard, especially predictions about the future – especially absolutely certain predictions about the one that you made about technologies that will trivialize dealing with the impact of anthropocentric CO2 emissions)

    Finally:

    Simply put more dust into the air.>

    Maybe part of the problem is that we define “trivial” somewhat differently. Or maybe not. Maybe what you are describing really is as “simple” an issue as you suggest. If so, then I’m sure that you must have some sophisticated analyses that show how “simple” it would be to control the climate by putting dust in the air. Could you offer a link to such evidence?

  293. “I’m sure that you must have some sophisticated analyses that show how “simple” it would be to control the climate by putting dust in the air. Could you offer a link to such evidence?”
    But the Pinatubo!
    And the emails! Oprah!

  294. JCH says:

    The first antibiotic, Penicillin, was discovered by accident in 1928. It did not become generally available until the last years of WW2. My father’s medical group first used it 73 years ago today on Iwo Jima. They were supplied with it just days before the invasion.

    Before the lab where penicillin was discovered had electric power, they discovered heroin: in total darkness.

  295. Joshua says:

    Rust –

    Don’t forget BENGHAZI!!!1!!!!11!!

  296. Steven Mosher says:

    “The rest of us, if we’re honest, have little choice but to either put in the time to become expert ourselves, or accept the expert consensus tentatively and conditionally, as scientists do.”

    or if your goal is not seeking understanding, you have a choice of endless questioning of assumptions. but then you are not doing science, you are doing philosophy.

  297. angech wrote “– Not much of a challenge when comments are obliterated.
    Stand and defend???”

    or run away,

    Your choice, but your unwillingness to answer the challenge speaks volumes.

  298. Joshua says:

    Your choice, but your unwillingness to answer the challenge speaks volumes.

    ??

    Isn’t he saying he tried to answer the challenge but his attempt was deleted?

  299. If it was deleted, that rather suggests the scientific content was essentially negligible). More likely it has just been automatically sent to moderation (or gets tagged as spam) and hasn’t appeared yet, happens to me occasionally as well.

  300. Willard says:

    > Don’t forget BENGHAZI!!!1!!!!11!!

    We have a winner:

  301. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    I have to admit, as much as I’ve been arguing for years that the climate wars are essentially a proxy for ideological struggle, even I am surprised to see the degree of congruity in the overlap between “skeptics” views on climate change and “skeptics” views on the FBI/CIA/deep state/Bob Mueller/mainstream media/John McCain conspiracy to victimize Trump.

    The intersecting trajectories of, say McIntyre and Brandon, seem to me to demonstrate patterns of human nature – sort of like the social science equivalent of patterns in non-human nature, like fractals, the symmetry of snowflakes, or Fibonacci spirals.

  302. Willard says:

    You might like Rupert’s Godwin, Joshua:

    That’s just before his “but nuclear winter.”

  303. Willard says:

    Seems that Rupert already switches to Schopenhauer’s 38th stratagem:

  304. Joshua says:

    FWIW –

    Despite my skepticism about the “inoculation” framework as described in the OP (and the paper linked in the OP), I do think that a similar approach, applied through a more generic framework, would likely be at least somewhat effective for addressing similar goals (within a more generic frame).

    https://phys.org/news/2018-02-fake-news-vaccine-online-game.html

    Although, even there, I consider the use of the terms “vaccine” and “inoculation” to be very unfortunate. I don’t think they’re very descriptive of the effect, at all. And I think they imply an unnecessarily pejorative, or superior, or divisive connotation.

  305. angech says:

    If it was deleted, that rather suggests the scientific content was essentially negligible). More likely it has just been automatically sent to moderation (or gets tagged as spam) and hasn’t appeared yet, happens to me occasionally as well.
    It did go to moderation.
    Usually it just comes out after a short while.
    I saved a copy this time will repost it

  306. angech says:

    warmist position “https://dohumanscauseglobalwarming.wordpress.com YES ”
    Thanks Willard.
    Also a skeptic position is it not, so not much help there.

    I am appreciative of your pointing out some of the difficulties in giving cogent arguments to every problem when some appear to have been rushed or not explained as well as they could be. Along with Izen we seem to be a tag team I was not expecting. Try some honey and lemon juice and lots of rest to get better quickly. oseltamivir Tamiflu®), zanamivir Relenza®) anti flu virus drugs might help if very crook??

    Came across an Aussie? Steve Sherwood Director, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW with a piece showing the problems with using the hot spot argument.
    “” Climate meme debunked as the ‘tropospheric hot spot’ is found ” ** 2015
    1. If you cannot find it, debunk its importance by saying it is a general sign of temperature increase, not a fingerprint of climate change.
    2. If you can find it, insist on its importance as proof.
    This article happily does both.

    Quoting Skeptical science [abridged by me]
    “Why should there be a ‘hotspot’ in the atmosphere above the tropics?
    Most of Earth’s incoming energy from the sun is received in the tropics, strong evaporation there removes a lot of heat from the ocean surface. This heat is hidden (latent)
    Strong evaporative uplift occurs near the equator due to the intense solar heating of the ocean there, forcing s the evaporated water (water vapour) to ascend up through the atmosphere. Because the temperature in the atmosphere decreases with increasing height (known as the lapse rate), this has the effect of cooling water vapor until it reaches a point where it condenses back into a liquid form (forming clouds and rainfall) – liberating the hidden (latent) heat into the upper atmosphere. With the great bulk of atmospheric moisture being concentrated in the tropics, this ongoing process should lead to greater warming in the tropical troposphere than at the surface.”

    The problem
    “Despite obvious warming of the atmosphere, it had been difficult to confirm the existence of this hotspot *” Skeptical science
    The talking point?
    The answer is not that any cause of temperature rise should give a hot spot.
    But that a temperature rise seems to have occurred but the warming spot has not.
    This then allows for doubt to be cast unfortunately on the measurements of temperature.
    Which opens the whole can of worms, Joshua.
    [” Show one “skeptic” point to be correct, and then show how that point being correct “adjudges” all “skeptic” arguments (or even a lot of them, or even one of them). “]

    *primarily due to analytical deficiencies in accounting for temperature data quality and sampling, i.e. it’s suspected to have been a ‘measurement problem’. Skeptical science
    **”The problem is that temperatures vary during the day, and when a new satellite is launched (which happens every few years), it observes the Earth at an earlier time of day than the old one (since after launch, each satellite orbit begins to decay toward later times of day).” Sherwood

  307. Steven Mosher says:

    “Although, even there, I consider the use of the terms “vaccine” and “inoculation” to be very unfortunate. I don’t think they’re very descriptive of the effect, at all. And I think they imply an unnecessarily pejorative, or superior, or divisive connotation.”

    yup

  308. angech as far as I can see you have provided no argument that the tropical hotspot refutes the theory of anthropogenic climate change. You relegated it to a footnote, but IIRC the observations (and their uncertainties) of the hotspot are consistent with the theory, i.e. a “measurement problem” means that you cannot legitimately argue that the observations show the theory to be flawed. Is that the best you can do?

  309. Also, the hotspot is expected under any warming scenario, not simply under anthropogenic warming.

  310. joshua “Although, even there, I consider the use of the terms “vaccine” and “inoculation” to be very unfortunate. I don’t think they’re very descriptive of the effect, at all.”

    Seems reasonable to me. The immune system has some ability to detect invaders without having seen them before. Human beings have some ability to detect bullshit when they see it. The immune system also can learn from previous exposure to invaders to make a targeted response to it next time. Likewise when a human being has been shown bullshit about a particular topic and taught the tricks used, they can then target their bullshit detection in future. Do vaccines or innoculations give 100% immunity to people from a disease? No, of course not. Is this form of innoculation expected to give 100% coverage? No, of course not, just that it will help some.

    “And I think they imply an unnecessarily pejorative, or superior, or divisive connotation.”

    If you look for offense, you will surely find it in more or less anything that is written on the subject. The sort of tools used will also be effective against alarmist arguments (e.g. Wadhams). It isn’t the fault of mainstream science that most of the bullshit is from climate skeptics. The mainstream position is superior, and it isn’t difficult to see why.

    There is only one way to avoid division on this subject, which is for everybody to decide to look for the truth, even if it goes against your pre-existing desires. That isn’t going to happen any time soon, so the best we can do is take some pragmatic steps to at least moderate the effect of misinformation.

  311. angech wrote “This then allows for doubt to be cast unfortunately on the measurements of temperature.”

    This is of course utter nonsense. All measurements are subject to uncertainty. Some observations (e.g. radiosonde measurements of trophospheric temperatures) are more uncertain than others (e.g. instrumental record of surface temperatures). The doubt is already cast and quantified by the quoted error bars. That is completely normal in science.

    “But that a temperature rise seems to have occurred but the warming spot has not.”

    But you have provided no evidence that is the case. The observational uncertainty means we are pretty sure (meiosis) of the former and the latter is somewhat equivocal. What is your evidence that the “warming spot” has not occured?

  312. izen says:

    @-“Also, the hotspot is expected under any warming scenario, not simply under anthropogenic warming.”

    That is the point.
    It is (apparently) an inevitable result given our understanding of the physics and the moist lapse rate.
    But has been extremely elusive in the observational data.
    Resulting in motivated attempts to detect it in proxy indicators from the observations we have. (wind shear, SST, humidity shifts)

    The strong conclusion from this discepency between theory and observation is that the basic theoretical understanding of energy transfer in the climate is flawed. If it unable to explain why there is NOT tropical troposheric amplification, it is not fit for porpoise.

    The weaker claim would be that whatever resolution of theory and observations emerges on this issue will have implications for climate sensitivity, at least at a regional level, that significantly reduces the potential impacts of rising CO2 by negating some of the water vapour positive feedback.

    (YMMV !)

  313. izen,

    The weaker claim would be that whatever resolution of theory and observations emerges on this issue will have implications for climate sensitivity, at least at a regional level, that significantly reduces the potential impacts of rising CO2 by negating some of the water vapour positive feedback.

    I think it’s the other way around. If the upper-tropospheric warming is weaker than we expect, then the we would expect slightly more overall warming (of the surface) when you consider the combined effects of water vapour feedback and lapse rate feedback. See Steven Sherwood’s contribution here and, in particular, his Figure 1.

  314. izen says:

    @-dikranmarsupial

    The problem with using the vaccination – immune system metaphor for detecting and rejecting climate denial BS is that it makes an equivalence between external toxic pathogens and memes that people hold as internal constructs, (about climate science.)

    It can be seen on Fox News comment threads that the idea that ”liberalism” or ‘Democrat’ is a toxic viral thought disease is a short step away from claiming that people that hold those views are not human.

  315. Bullshit is intellectually toxic. It is the bullshit that is innoculated against, not the bullshitters.

    “It can be seen on Fox News comment threads that the idea that ”liberalism” or ‘Democrat’ is a toxic viral thought disease is a short step away from claiming that people that hold those views are not human.”

    That is just hyperbole. The people that promulgate bullshit are like the carriers of a disease, not the disease itself.

    In online discussions, it is odd how often metaphors and analogies are extended to the point where they break down, whilst ignoring the range within which they have value. Metaphors and analogies never match exactly.

  316. izen says:

    @-” If the upper-tropospheric warming is weaker than we expect, then the we would expect slightly more overall warming (of the surface) when you consider the combined effects of water vapour feedback and lapse rate feedback.”

    That is a conclusion drawn from the very physics (and modelling) that the hot-spot discrepency is calling into question.

    The problem is that there appears to be a flaw in our understanding of the MALR. Or at least a problem with matching observations to theory.
    It is not a solution to rely on te theory to then predict what would happen if the observations ARE failing to conform to the modelling.
    Note the last sentence in the Sherwood comment.

    “In fact, in climate models where the lapse rate becomes relatively steeper as climate warms (as would be the case with a missing hot spot), the total warming feedback is very slightly stronger because the increased lapse rate increases the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and other well-mixed greenhouse gases. So a missing hot spot would not mean less surface warming, at least according to our current understanding.”

  317. izen,
    Isn’t the bit you quoted saying the same thing I said?

  318. paulski0 says:

    izen,

    That is a conclusion drawn from the very physics (and modelling) that the hot-spot discrepency is calling into question.

    I don’t see that this is true, except in the very broadest sense of both falling under the banner of “science applied to climate”.

    The effect of differential lapse rate change on overall amount of surface warming is a function of greenhouse theory/atmospheric radiative physics, whereby the effect on surface temperature is dependent on the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere (regardless of what causes that vertical profile) – the colder it is aloft, the more surface warming there will be.

    The expected lapse rate change due to surface warming comes from application of Clausius-Clapeyron theory.

    These two theories are constructed entirely independently and even complete overturning of one would have no necessary implications for the other.

  319. angech says:

    “Also, the hotspot is expected under any warming scenario, not simply under anthropogenic warming.”
    ATTP, we both agree on this.
    It is not a rebuttal. Izen [who is on your side, sees the problem.
    So we have to prove it exists or accept that it is not warming as predicted. Or that the theory needs working on.
    I don’t mind.
    Quite happy when you prove your points with science, that is what is needed.When you have enough proof I will come on board.

    The problem is that it has not been shown.
    People want it so attempts keep being made to find it.
    Some people claim to have found it but the general science community want real evidence.

    “But that a temperature rise seems to have occurred but the warming spot has not.”
    “You have provided no evidence that is the case. The observational uncertainty means we are pretty sure (meiosis) of the former and the latter is somewhat equivocal. What is your evidence that the “warming spot” has not occurred?”
    The evidence in your own words is that it is equivocal. There is no observational evidence that everyone is in agreement with that there is a hot spot.
    Not the jiggling of the teabag by Sherwood.
    NOOA, NASA, Satellites, Balloons showing a real reproducible hot spot.People that the IPCC can quote with confidence.
    Not there.
    When you find it it then you have a solid plank.

  320. angech says:

    Thanks for letting me comment. Skeptics have to have their voices heard , then their mistakes pointed out. With 100 points to debate some may be correct and need to be acknowledged as areas to work on our mutual understanding.

  321. BBD says:

    Skeptics have to have their voices heard , then their mistakes pointed out.

    It’s been done. There are no un-debunked ‘sceptic’ arguments that I am aware of. The science stands. So time to move on to energy policy.

  322. izen says:

    @-paulski0
    “These two theories are constructed entirely independently and even complete overturning of one would have no necessary implications for the other.”

    It is true that you can have a Green House Effect with no moist adiabatic lapse rate or positive feedback from water vapour. But the idea that would have no implications for our ability to understand and predict the climate seems far-fetched.
    Here is Christy on the subject ;-

    The “hot spot”, as I stated earlier, represents an integration of much of our understanding of the energy cycle of the climate system. …. The tropical atmosphere represents about 30% of the global atmospheric mass, holds a significant role of the planetary hydrologic cycle, and is the entry point for about half of the Earth’s solar energy. If the processes that combine to create the observed tropical structure, variations and change are not understood and replicated well, then we cannot claim we know enough about the system to make confident predictions.

  323. izen says:

    @-angtech
    “Izen [who is on your side, sees the problem.”

    Actually I am not very good at being ‘onside’.
    But presented with the interesting challenge to take the best ‘skeptic’ argument and defend/advance it, I did not see why the contrarians should have all the fun.
    Besides you are so vastly outnumbered and scientifically out-gunned it elicited my sympathy for the underdog!

  324. BBD says:

    I was under the impression that there was insufficient evidence for any strong claim that the hot spot does not exist.

  325. Mal Adapted says:

    izen:

    The problem with using the vaccination – immune system metaphor for detecting and rejecting climate denial BS is that it makes an equivalence between external toxic pathogens and memes that people hold as internal constructs, (about climate science.)

    It depends on who you’re talking to. I remind readers that the OP is about a scholarly attempt at classification* of AGW-denial. To be sure, it’s important to recognize the limits of metaphor and analogy, whomever the audience. Should regulars on this blog, who (by and large) appreciate concision, forgo them? Agenda-driven guests, OTOH, are likely to misinterpret anything that’s said here, in fact it’s a popular rhetorical tactic. Even words in common usage, e.g. ‘skeptic’, are misused by pseudo-skeptics arriving here with agendas.

    Scientists develop specialized vocabularies, or ‘jargon’, to enhance concision among themselves. Jargon typically contains words or phrases from common language, made metaphoric and packed with entire paragraphs of specific meaning to disciplinary specialists (as when ‘denial’ entered the jargon of psychology). The modern psychological and social phenomenon of AGW-denial (jargon uses lots of acronyms) is still novel to evidence-based thinkers, so we resort to borrowing terms from other arts.

    IMHO (another archaic Usenet acronym), the language of epidemiology is accommodating for analogy with AGW-denial. I’d argue that Science, as a cultural institution, enhanced individual and aggregate fitness enough to allow the Earth’s human population to grow exponentially, and that science-denial is a cognitive disorder that reduces psychological and social fitness. Why else do we talk about it here? The analogy of AGW-deniers to carriers of pathogenic microbes enhances concision.

    * And not the first, as several such systems have been ‘published’ (though without peer review), e.g. John Mashey’s 2010 taxonomy of cognitive motivaters (which I’m unable to locate just now) and of course skepticalscience.com.

  326. izen says:

    @-BBD

    AFAIK there is insufficient evidence for any strong claim that the hot spot DOES exist.
    (or at least the amplification of a warming trend in the hotspot seems elusive)

  327. BBD says:

    AFAIK there is insufficient evidence for any strong claim that the hot spot DOES exist.

    Therefore it is / it isn’t argument is not possible at this point.

  328. Windchaser says:

    From what I understand, it seems likely that the hot spot is less than predicted.

    As Anders pointed out, this has negligible implications for climate sensitivity. IIRC, amplified warming in the upper troposphere is a negative feedback, as it means latent heat is transferred higher in the atmosphere, bypassing the slower radiative mechanisms.

    Izen:

    If the processes that combine to create the observed tropical structure, variations and change are not understood and replicated well, then we cannot claim we know enough about the system to make confident predictions.

    Not quite. Drop the binary of “confident predictions” vs not-confident, and instead think of our predictions as having some range of uncertainty.

    Yes, even aside from the “hotspot”, we know that our understanding of the tropical atmosphere is incomplete. The model resolution of convection isn’t good enough, or our statistics of storms isn’t good enough. Many models exhibit a double ITCZ. Etc. These problems are all tied together, and represent a set of “known unknowns” under active research. But while they increase our uncertainty about climate sensitivity to CO2, it’s pretty damn unlikely that this means our CO2 emissions aren’t a problem at all.

  329. Windchaser says:

    Please note the distinction between a tropospheric “hotspot” (accelerated warming in the upper troposphere) and just tropospheric warming. It becomes a “hotspot” only when the tropospheric warming is greater than the surface warming. Troposphere warming at the same rate as the surface? No hotspot.

    For this reason, please also note that the “hotspot” is distinct from a water vapor feedback. An absence of a hotspot does not imply the absence of a water vapor feedback.

  330. Joshua says:

    Mal –

    I agree with izen’s comment:

    The problem with using the vaccination – immune system metaphor for detecting and rejecting climate denial BS is that it makes an equivalence between external toxic pathogens and memes that people hold as internal constructs, (about climate science.)

    In response to what you wrote:

    It depends on who you’re talking to. I remind readers that the OP is about a scholarly attempt at classification* of AGW-denial.

    And, as such, I think it is an inaccurate classification, and a system of classification which implies in accuracy in approach to addressing the issue.

    To be sure, it’s important to recognize the limits of metaphor and analogy, whomever the audience.

    No doubt. Pretty much all analogies break down under increasing levels of scrutiny and specificity , in essence by their very nature of being analogies. But then the standard of judgement should, IMO, be whether they are useful, as in enlightening or instructive. And they should be viewed in comparison to other means of explication as to their usefulness towards achieving a goal, in light of the full range of outcomes from its use.

    Should regulars on this blog, who (by and large) appreciate concision, forgo them?

    Why would a reader of this blog benefit from the use of “inoculation?” I don’t see how it would. Does it add to your understanding of the phenomenon in some way?

    Agenda-driven guests, OTOH, are likely to misinterpret anything that’s said here, in fact it’s a popular rhetorical tactic.

    Once again, as I say over and over, I don’t think that’s the point. At least for sure, I don’t give a shit what those “agenda-driven” guests think about the use of the term. It is, IMO, completely irrelevant on a meaningful scale – as those folks represent an outlier population.

    Even words in common usage, e.g. ‘skeptic’, are misused by pseudo-skeptics arriving here with agendas.

    IMO – a non-sequitur.

    The point, IMO, is as izen stated. The use of the term, IMO, implies a conflation of internal/external drivers behind “skepticism” and as a result, suggests (IMO) a flawed framework for addressing the problem. I also referred to a sense a superiority, or divisiveness, or pejorative framing, which again, I think conveys (at least IMO) an inaccurate picture of what is taking place.

    But I say all of that even as I agree with the “fake news” approach outlined in the 2nd article I linked above, as even though I have some doubts about the ability for people to control subconscious cognitive processes, I do think it’s possible that getting people to focus on the human susceptibility to fallacious reasoning as a general tendency, as the result of “motivations” or “cultural cognition,” and then applying lessons learned about that tendency in specific frames, can have a beneficial outcome. I think that the notion of a doctor, or medical care worker introducing an pathogen into someone’s body to stimulate an immune response is a poor analogue for the process of getting people to develop a conscious and deliberate approach to analyzing the logic of arguments. I come at this from the perspective of an educator, with a particular view regarding a “top down” or “bottom up” educational methodology. The notion of an external entity introducing the vaccine, IMO, represents a misleading and likely counterproductive connotation of authority, and a top down mechanism. The notion of a vaccine suggests, at least to me, a pejorative notion that this is a battle of the good against the evil as opposed to a construct where we all look internally with a sort of acceptance of our human nature. It, at least IMO, suggests an “us vs. them” framing, of the very sort that, as izen speaks to, parallels a similar “pathogen” mentality that one frequently finds in divisive exchanges, and if researchers like Haidt are to believe, actually mimic the kind of thinking that is probably more characteristic of the rightwing and authoritarians like Trump.

    But in the end, my assessment of the term is basically immaterial. What would be more material, IMO, is if someone used the term with people who were the target of an intervention, what the impact would be. The use of the terms is, IMO, secondary to what I see as a bigger flaw in presuming a crossover in the use of the described “inoculation” strategy in a generic frame to the use in a polarized frame, like the frame of climate change. Not to say that I think that a transition can’t be made – but that I think that the transition is a complicated one (and one that isn’t well served with framing such as “inoculation).

  331. John Carlos Baez had published long ago a scored classification scheme for general cr@ck-pottery:
    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/crackpot.html

    This was released in 1992 so it largely predates the era of full-blown AGW skepticism, but there are plenty of familiar examples in Baez’s index.

    Here is a recent non-humorous take on the situation :
    Joffe, Helene, et al. “Stigma in science: the case of earthquake prediction.” Disasters 42.1 (2018): 81-100.

    “These are examples of ‘boundary work’, which is an important feature of the
    operation of stigmatisation within science. Gieryn (1983) asserts that scientists implement
    rhetorical strategies to demarcate clearly their own work from symbolically
    contaminated intellectual activities. Boundaries between the scientifically legitimate
    and illegitimate are carefully policed by the scientific community, and are central in
    how different disciplines or research programmes compete for esteem and resources.
    Scientists who invalidate opposing perspectives and stress their distance from their
    rivals by associating them with quackery and pseudoscience are engaging in ‘boundary
    work’. “

  332. izen says:

    @-Mal Adapted

    I laregly agree with your comments on the utility of jargon and the applicability of epidemiology to the spread of science-denial.
    I am a fan of Dawkins meme concept and recognise the useful insights it provides as an analytical tool. It has become a cliche that a youtube video ‘goes Viral’…

    But there is a limit beyond which it is at best misleading and can be damaging. This is the point;

    @-” The analogy of AGW-deniers to carriers of pathogenic microbes enhances concision.”

    The way in which people develop and adopt ideas and beliefs about how the world works, the way those are integrated and consistent (or not) with all the other beliefs and opinions they hold and the way those shape, and are shaped by deeper aspects of self identity and social status are in no way comparable to the biochemical machinery of a polio virus.

    Even less useful is any comparison with the way vaccination against a virulent infective agent works in the mammalian immune system with how ideas and concepts are accepted and incorporated into personal structures of belief. Suggesting the dogma a person espouses is the functional equivalent of smallpox is not accurate.

  333. Mal Adapted says:

    izen:

    The way in which people develop and adopt ideas and beliefs about how the world works, the way those are integrated and consistent (or not) with all the other beliefs and opinions they hold and the way those shape, and are shaped by deeper aspects of self identity and social status are in no way comparable to the biochemical machinery of a polio virus.

    Uh – if two phenomena are in no way comparable, we don’t analogize them. The comparison is understood to be limited to particular aspects of both. Consider, please, the difference between ‘metaphor’ and ‘simile’.

    Suggesting the dogma a person espouses is the functional equivalent of smallpox is not accurate.

    “Functional equivalent”? I’m suggesting no such thing — my point is that metaphors refer to similarity, not equivalence.

    Candidly, however: once again analogizing our brains with digital computing machines, I think we’re (Joshua’s reply to my comment was also thoughtful, as usual, though a little more puzzling than yours) getting hung up on ‘overloaded’ language. I’m pretty sure we’re all in vehement agreement on some level. That happens a lot on this blog.

  334. angech says:

    “Besides you are so scientifically out-gunned it elicited my sympathy for the underdog!”
    Thanks, I think??
    No, thanks a lot for pointing out that there are still possible unknown unknowns out there.
    “It’s been done. There are no un-debunked ‘sceptic’ arguments that I am aware of. The science stands. So time to move on to energy policy.”
    Not one skerrick of doubt, fair enough.
    Joshua, when you are on track you are formidable.
    The vaccination meme is a very interesting one on many levels.
    It also raises the concept of the opposition being anti-vaxxers, possibly one of the fourth or fifth worst insults to tar an opposition with.
    As an opportunistic tactic it it certainly is well worth doing.
    “inoculate against misinformation by explaining the fallacious reasoning within misleading denialist claims.”
    Otherwise it just seems something out of “the Handmaids Tale”, more an indoctrination than an inoculation.

  335. angech says:

    Windchaser says:
    “Please note the distinction between a tropospheric “hotspot” (accelerated warming in the upper troposphere) and just tropospheric warming. It becomes a “hotspot” only when the tropospheric warming is greater than the surface warming. Troposphere warming at the same rate as the surface? No hotspot.”
    Why note the distinction?
    Could you clarify what sort of situation gives Troposphere warming at the same rate as the surface. My outgunned understanding is that nearly any sort of surface warming should give increased warming in the troposphere?? [ATTP]
    Hence it is hard to imagine both warming at the same rate, physically very difficult.
    The problem is that no hotspot in one sense implies no surface warming. Hence all the work being put into finding one.

  336. Steven Mosher says:

    ““Functional equivalent”? I’m suggesting no such thing — my point is that metaphors refer to similarity, not equivalence.”

    No man is an island.

    The issue of the differences between metaphors and similes, and what metaphors actually do,
    is not as simple as you suppose.

    No man is an island. one of my favorite examples. But in general, yes, a metaphor is an assertion
    that there is a set of qualities that two entities share. Hmm, there are bunch of other interesting examples.. I have a paper somewhere in a box, never published it.

  337. Steven Mosher says:

    “In online discussions, it is odd how often metaphors and analogies are extended to the point where they break down, whilst ignoring the range within which they have value. Metaphors and analogies never match exactly.

    [All] thinking is metaphorical, except mathematical thinking…. What I am pointing out is that unless you are at home in the metaphor, unless you have had your proper poetical education in the metaphor, you are not safe anywhere. Because you are not at ease with figurative values: you don’t know the metaphor in its strength and its weaknesses. You don’t know how far you may expect to ride it and when it may break down with you. You are not safe in science; you are not safe in history….
    All metaphor breaks down somewhere. That is the beauty of it. It is touch and go with the metaphor, and until you have lived with it long enough you don’t know when it is going.”

    Frost.

    shit I must have written 100s of pages on this passage.

  338. angech wrote “The evidence in your own words is that it is equivocal. There is no observational evidence that everyone is in agreement with that there is a hot spot.”

    In which case you can’t claim there is a problem with the theory. Thus the evidence is not in my own words, but in the logic of your argument.

    Not the jiggling of the teabag by Sherwood.

    this sort of rhetoric does you no favours, it just suggests that you are willing to dismiss any evidence that doesn’t suit you. It is very disrespectful towards Sherwood.

    Thanks for letting me comment. Skeptics have to have their voices heard , then their mistakes pointed out. With 100 points to debate some may be correct and need to be acknowledged as areas to work on our mutual understanding.

    Never mind the tone trolling, the hotspot point is not correct, and you have not acknowledged that.

  339. izen “AFAIK there is insufficient evidence for any strong claim that the hot spot DOES exist.
    (or at least the amplification of a warming trend in the hotspot seems elusive)”

    but then the existence of AGW is not predicated on its existence.

  340. angech,

    The problem is that no hotspot in one sense implies no surface warming.

    No, it doesn’t. The surface is clearly warming. If anything, the existence of surface warming means that we should be careful of claims of no hot spot, given the uncertainties in the upper-tropospheric observations.

  341. SM wrote “you are not safe anywhere.”

    My point was that you are not safe anywhere no matter what, whether it is metaphor, simile, analogy or even logical argument, because the on-line debate on climate change is largely rhetorical rather than scientific. In a rhetorical debate it is quite normal to seek any rhetorical advantage available (in order to “win” the debate), regardless of whether the point is logically sound or a fair representation of the “opponent’s position”.

    However that doesn’t mean I can point out when I think a metaphor has been over-stretched for rhetorical purposes. As I said, those who are looking to see offense will always find it, even if it is in subtext that the author never intended.

    Show me someone who also tries to see the strength in the opponents argument, rather than just the weaknesses, then there is someone I want to listen to. Picking holes in interpreted subtext, rather less so.

  342. Steven Mosher says:

    “Show me someone who also tries to see the strength in the opponents argument, rather than just the weaknesses, then there is someone I want to listen to. Picking holes in interpreted subtext, rather less so.”

    This is a good exercise. Essentially it gets at the challenge I laid down. I basically taught rhetoric.
    we called it composition, but I preferred to make the kids write arguments. Pick a topic.
    Argue one side. get graded. Argue the other side get graded.

    So, here’s my challenge. Look through all the skeptical arguments: Pick the best.
    make it better.

    can you see the strength in any skeptical argument? This is another way of asking can you live up to your own expectations of others? I think its hard.

    I’ve also noticed that something interesting happens. If you spend a lot of time playing devil’s advocate sometimes you change your own mind. It has to do with investing time in a position.

  343. “can you see the strength in any skeptical argument?”

    The problem with many of the arguments is that the premises may have some validity, but the conclusion is either a non-sequitur or an unreasonable exaggeration/overstatement. For example, the hotspot is interesting and we ought to be trying to get better observations that narrow the uncertainties, but it isn’t an argument against the anthropogenic climate change, or even that our understanding of the climate system is fundamentally flawed. Or the apparent hiatus in global mean surface temperatures. Again, it is interesting that the effects of internal climate variability may be greater than we thought (although the 1998 El-Nino did the same, but skeptics were critical of the hyperbole made about it at the time), but there is no real evidence that there has been any change in the forced response of the climate system. Some issues are not so well settled, so I am willing to hear about arguments for low climate sensitivity, although some of the arguments (e.g. Nic Lewis) have rather more going for them than others (e.g. Loehle). Some skeptic arguments are obvious nonsense (e.g. Essenhigh, Salby and other related arguments that the rise in atmospheric CO2 are a natural phenomenon, or the global warming violates the second law of thermodynamics). There is a part of skeptic arguments that is just normal science and gets discussed as a matter of course on “warmist” blogs like this one. The problem only arises when skeptics overclaim (also happens with “warmists”, e.g. Wadhams, but he got criticised by the mainstream as well).

  344. angech wrote “My outgunned understanding is that nearly any sort of surface warming should give increased warming in the troposphere??”

    but also wrote:

    ” There is no observational evidence that everyone is in agreement with that there is a hot spot.
    Not the jiggling of the teabag by Sherwood.”

    So feels “outgunned” understanding ATTPs comment, but apparently happy to dismiss the views of Prof. Sherwood – a climate researcher… ;o)

  345. BTW the dialogue involving Sherwood also involves Prof. Christy, who argues:

    “The simple numbers tell the story and can’t be overlooked. From 73 CMIP-5 iimodel runs, the 1979-2012 mean tropical TMT trend is +0.26 °C/decade. The same trends calculated from observations, i.e. the mean of four balloon and mean of two satellite datasets, are slightly less than +0.06 °C/decade. (…) The mean of the models (often used as the ́best estimate ́ in IPCC assessments) and observations differ by +0.20 °C/decade which is highly significant.”

    This is a good example of over-claiming. Yes, the means of the models and observations do disagree (I’d have to check the conditions under which it is 0.2C/decade, but I’ll accept it for the moment), and that is interesting. However claiming that it is “highly significant” is only true if you perform a statistical test for something you don’t expect a-priori to be true. Namely that the model mean and the observational means should be identical. That isn’t true, the observational trend is part forced and part unforced, but the model mean is essentially an estimate of the forced response of the climate system, not an estimate of the trend actually observed. So correct (ish) premise, invalid conclusion. Has this been pointed out to Christy? Yes, repeatedly, including in peer-reviewed journals.

  346. paulski0 says:

    izen,

    It is true that you can have a Green House Effect with no moist adiabatic lapse rate or positive feedback from water vapour. But the idea that would have no implications for our ability to understand and predict the climate seems far-fetched.

    Whether or not it would have implications wasn’t the issue you raised. Of course it would. In fact, I was responding to you disputing one such implication pertaining to climate sensitivity. The point is that it is perfectly reasonable to say that if there is no enhanced tropospheric warming there is no negative lapse rate feedback, and that means stronger surface warming, all else being equal (or all else averaging equal). Not understanding why we aren’t getting enhanced tropospheric warming would not change the consequences for the greenhouse effect.

    Also, keep in mind that positive water vapour feedback in-line with expectations has actually been observed, so it’s not like there’s a trade-off here. As far as observations take us, there is a positive water vapour feedback and no negative lapse rate feedback.

    Obviously there would also be implications for cloud feedbacks, but it’s not obvious why the net cloud feedback would shift in any particular direction. Hence, to first order, lack of negative lapse rate feedback means higher climate sensitivity.

  347. So the hotspot is an argument that GCMs may be under-estimating climate sensitivity? ;o)

    On “strengths” I should have added, that the observations suggests that the hotspot has warmed less than the models suggest, which implies a problem with the models. Or with the observations or both, but it is reasonable to suggest that if there is a problem with the models, they are more likely to be overestimating the amplification rather than underestimating it.

  348. BBD says:

    Dikran

    WRT Christy’s rather infamous model / obvs ‘comparisons’, some words of caution from Bart Verheggen:

    But rather than doing a careful analysis of various potential explanations, McNider and Christy, as well as their colleague Roy Spencer, prefer to draw far reaching conclusions based on a particularly flawed comparison: They shift the modelled temperature anomaly upwards to increase the discrepancy with observations by around 50%.

  349. verytallguy says:

    Personally, I think far and away the strongest “sceptic” argument is political rather than scientific.

    And it’s this:

    Advantages conveyed by fossil fuels are so large for extractors and users, and the difficulties in policing mitigation are so great as to ensure we will use them all up rather than leave them in the ground.

    it’s therefore a practical and moral imperative to plan to adapt to the consequences of CO2 emissions rather than engage in futile attempts to limit their extraction and use.

  350. izen says:

    @-dikranmarsupial
    “but then the existence of AGW is not predicated on its existence.”

    The existence of the hotspot is predicated on the basic physics of the atmosphere. We predict an effect large enough to be observable. We observe a much smaller effect unless inferences are made from indirect proxies.

    It is the existence of an accurate understanding, or even description, of how energy is transported through the atmosphere that is cast into doubt by this discrepancy.

    I would disagree with Christy’s conclusion that this renders all climate projections unsuitable for consideration on policy matters.
    I suspect it will be resolved by improved spatial and temporal modelling and data. My personal opinion is that climate sensitivity will prove to be highly variable on spatial and time-scales far smaller than presently considered. Making the search for a constrained TCR/ECS global value meaningless. But that the policy implications are the uncertainty makes mitigating to avoid, and planning to adapt, to much greater weather variability in any region more important than the headline number for global temperature.

  351. Mal Adapted says:

    Smokin’ Steven Mosher:

    No man is an island. one of my favorite examples. But in general, yes, a metaphor is an assertion that there is a set of qualities that two entities share. Hmm, there are bunch of other interesting examples.. I have a paper somewhere in a box, never published it.

    Thanks Steven, that was an interesting comment. If your unpublished paper exists in electronic form, I’d like to read it.

  352. Mal Adapted says:

    …though if it’s 100s of pages long, it might take me a while 8^D.

  353. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    Advantages conveyed by fossil fuels are so large for extractors and users,…

    How do you control for externalities so as to reach that conclusion (w/r/t users)? Seems to me that a lot is obfuscated there by lumping extractors and users into the same equation. Looks like a fallacious argument to me.

  354. izen,

    My personal opinion is that climate sensitivity will prove to be highly variable on spatial and time-scales far smaller than presently considered. Making the search for a constrained TCR/ECS global value meaningless.

    In some sense, I agree with the latter because trying to constrain the ECS/TCR is probably not actually possible. However, I think what you say somewhat misrepresents the role of these quantities. They’re really model metrics and provide some indication of how sensitive our climate is to perturbations. This doesn’t mean, however, that predict exactly how it will respond to a perturbation, because the system is inherently complicated and there are many factors that can influence the response (internal variability, efficacy of the forcings,…). However, they do still provide useful information as to how sensitive we might expect it to be.

  355. verytallguy says:

    How do you control for externalities so as to reach that conclusion (w/r/t users)

    The point about policing mitigation was aimed at this; that regardless of externalities, imposing these on the beneficiaries is practically impossible.

    lot is obfuscated there by lumping extractors and users into the same equation.

    Well, sure, I was trying to keep it simple.

    Users get the ultimate benefit, but extractors are those who actually have to stop. Now imagine a world where these are unscrupulous (Putin), vicious (Saudi Arabia) or even nihilistic (Islamic State).

    Who’s policing them?

    What’s their incentive to stop extracting?

    Where will power lie in a world where only these kind of entities have access to jet fuel, but well-behaved nations are regulated not to?

  356. Rank Marquee says:

    “Advantages conveyed by fossil fuels are so large for extractors and users, and the difficulties in policing mitigation are so great as to ensure we will use them all up rather than leave them in the ground.”

    That’s a loaded statement.
    In the USA, the reserves of conventional crude oil are well beyond peak. The spurt of shale oil in places like the Bakken are produced by companies that are heavily in debt due to the cost of extraction, and the relative amount located there is a blip on the radar in any case. Of course there are huge amounts of reserves of oil shale (which is different than shale oil ) in places like the Green River Formation, but this would take so much energy to extract that the return is negative. Pierrehumbert, putting on his geologist hat, wrote a paper a while ago called “The Myth of Saudi America” which argued that most of the suboptimal hydrocarbons will be left in the ground
    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/02/u_s_shale_oil_are_we_headed_to_a_new_era_of_oil_abundance.html

    At the AGU last December, there was not one presentation that discussed oil depletion in the context of geological reserves. I talked to presenters doing research on measuring methane emissions, and they didn’t really know why this was the case either. It’s probably because it’s not really research-worthy to talk about the obvious.

    There is natural gas of course, but the point is that in most areas around the world the conventional crude oil is already spent. Nothing left to leave in the ground. So the argument is whether we are willing and able to squeeze blood from a turnip. It will turn into a study of how ruthless capitalism can get, which Pierrehumbert discusses at the end of the article. In other words, the advantages of scraping the bottom of the barrel are slim, but free-market economies have vast experience with dealing with narrow profit margins. That’s the scary part.

  357. izen wrote

    It is the existence of an accurate understanding, or even description, of how energy is transported through the atmosphere that is cast into doubt by this discrepancy.

    I would disagree with Christy’s conclusion that this renders all climate projections unsuitable for consideration on policy matters.

    Indeed, the problem with the “hotspot” myth is that the consequences of it are typically blown out of all proportion, unfortunately in a rhetorical debate this still provides what one side of the argument wants to hear, and so will gain some traction regardless of its merits. Of course there are some genuine alarmists who are not sufficiently cautious about “bad news” as well, not everybody saw the problems with Wadhams’ claims about Arctic sea ice for example.

  358. Hey, marsupial!
    I am curious about the problems with Wadhams’ claims about Arctic sea ice. Can you link to his claims and lay out the problems for me?
    Thanks
    Mike

  359. dikranmarsupial says:

    @smallbluemike here is a reasonable example. Prof. Wadhams has made several predictions about the immense collapse of Arctic sea ice, in this case predicting a September minimum of. Million square kilometres. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I’m not sure if there is a particular scientific methodology behind those claims, I suspect they are subjective predictions, the SPIN exercise (the second link) is a good starting point for current scientific approaches (my ultra-simple statistical model has done fairly well, which suggests it is a difficult problem!).

  360. dikranmarsupial says:

    BTW Prof. Wadhams took part in the 2015 prediction exercise, it is quite evident what an outlier he presents on this topic (but kudos to him for taking part)

  361. izen says:

    @-ATTP
    “They’re really model metrics and provide some indication of how sensitive our climate is to perturbations.…. However, they do still provide useful information as to how sensitive we might expect it to be.”

    Unfortunately climate sensitivity is elevated to the status of a policy input, and then the inherent uncertainty is used by ‘Skeptics’ to dismiss the scientific case.

    When Mosher first set the challenge to pick the best ‘skeptic’ trope and run with it, I tried to point out that each side would judge the argument on different merits. Paul and Windchaser have pointed out the scientific flaws in the argument that the hotspot problem is so significant that Christys’s statement -” we cannot claim we know enough about the system to make confident predictions.”
    is wrong. It is not a strong argument against the validity of mainstream climate science.

    But that over-claiming for the various ‘skeptical’ anti-AGW memes is a common trait because they are judged on whether they can be used to rationalise, or justify by rejecting a scientific need for policy, the position that VTG outlined.

    That fossil fuels provide too much benefit to producer and consumer, and are impossible to ban (by legitimate governance?) therefore there is no point in discussing policy that proposes constraints.

  362. izen,

    Unfortunately climate sensitivity is elevated to the status of a policy input, and then the inherent uncertainty is used by ‘Skeptics’ to dismiss the scientific case.

    Yes, I agree that this is an issue. I suspect, however, that whatever was used, some would find reasons to dismiss it.

  363. verytallguy says:

    Rank, thanks for the Pierrehumbert link, always worth reading.

    I’d agree with pretty much all of it, though I’m perhaps more sceptical of our ability to predict reserves.

  364. hey, marsupial,

    yes, Wadhams is definitely an outlier and he missed big time with his 1 million sq km of sea ice for Sept 2015. But I asked you to provide links to the specific link where Wadhams made a claim. When I have looked at his actual statements, it seems to me that I have found his most consistent claim has been that Arctic sea ice would be gone in 2016, plus or minus three years.

    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/08/23/the-dangers-of-crying-wolf-over-arctic-sea-ice-melt/ refers to a Wadmans quote to the Guardian that:

    “Next year or the year after that, I think it will be free of ice in summer and by that I mean the central Arctic will be ice-free. You will be able to cross over the north pole by ship.

    I think we are still in the time frame he described and I think the NW passage is becoming a sad reality. I don’t know about crossing the north pole by ship. I guess we can wait and see if/when that happens.

    Smithsonian in 2013 had article about NW passage opening by 2040. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/climate-change-could-allow-ships-to-cross-the-north-pole-by-2040-371538/

    The Guardian in 2013 covers Smith and Stephenson predicting NW passage by 2050. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/mar/04/ships-sail-north-pole-2050

    Money has story from 2017: http://money.cnn.com/2017/08/25/news/arctic-ice-tanker-ship/index.html Tanker becomes first to cross Arctic without icebreaker
    same transit I think covered here: http://www.iflscience.com/environment/cargo-ship-crosses-the-arctic-without-aid-of-ice-breaker-for-first-time-ever/

    If the scientists in the middle of the bell curve of predictions miss the mark by roughly 30 years on an important milestone like the NW passage, does it really make sense to overlook that miss and make so much of a miss by Wadhams?

    Please don’t take offense or get defensive. I don’t think either of us needs to be proven “wrong on the internet” at this moment. A congenial conversation would be more fun.

    Cheers

    Mike

  365. Joshua says:

    Please don’t take offense or get defensive. I don’t think either of us needs to be proven “wrong on the internet” at this moment. A congenial conversation would be more fun.

    Well, that’s a bizarre concept.

  366. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    The point about policing mitigation was aimed at this; that regardless of externalities, imposing these on the beneficiaries is practically impossible.

    Yah. I guess that’s a pretty strong argument. As stands, I would consider if fallacious – as in an argument by assertion – obviously, you didn’t flesh it out here. But I don’t doubt that it could be fleshed out and I tend to agree – but with an important caveat: within a limited time frame up to the point where unambiguous, anomalous climate change has a day-to-day negative impact on the lives of the people who hold disproportionate power to make meaningful change (i.e., the Western world).

    Users get the ultimate benefit, …

    I don’t accept that, however, as a follow-on, unless externalities are described. But certainly there is a generally shared perception of user benefit, and that is was matters in terms of “policing.”

  367. Steven Mosher says:

    Thanks Mal. Sorry it’s paper. At some point I will have it shipped to korea, maybe I should scan all the old work. There were two versions of the paper. One just pure analysis and the other flipped that on it’s head for deconstruction class. Me. The first was work, the second play. Johnson, “metaphors we live by” was a pretty string influence along with lakoff.

    I’ll look for some of the primary sources I was extending.

  368. ” But I asked you to provide links to the specific link where Wadhams made a claim. ”

    I did (but it looks like I messed up the tag). However he also made the claim on the Sea Ice Prediction Network site, check the competition for 2015, he makes the claim in a quantified manner there, I even gave a picture upthread.

    The +/- three years irrelevant as the sea ice just isn’t going to disappear that fast (nowhere near that much ice needs to go to open up the NW passage), but Wadhams has been making similar claims for years (that one has already been conclusively falsified).

    “Please don’t take offense or get defensive. I don’t think either of us needs to be proven “wrong on the internet” at this moment. A congenial conversation would be more fun. “

    LOL, tone trolling already, why should I be defensive when I had tried to answer your question at the first time of asking? I like congenial conversations as well, but I know that implying someone is so sensitive that the slightest hint of a criticism will make them hostile is not a good way of going about it! ;o)

  369. BTW regarding the NW passage paper, I’m not sure they are in the middle of the bell-curve of predictions as you suggest. They appear to be using GCM output (rather than modelling the sea ice extent directly), and IIRC GCMs (of that time) tended to under-predict the rate of sea ice loss. I also think you are over-stating what the paper claims, they don’t claim that the NW passage won’t be open in any year prior to 2040, they say

    By midcentury (2040–2059), however, the region’s overall navigation potential increases substantially

    and

    During the 1979–2005 historical baseline period (Fig. 1), sea ice limited the probability of a technically feasible OW transit along the NSR to just ∼40% in any given year, but this probability rises to 71%/61% for 2006–2015 and 94%/98% by 2040–2059 (for RCP 4.5/8.5, respectively).

    I am no expert, but it seems to me they are suggesting that there was a 40% chance of the NW passage being open to “open water” (OW) ships in 1979-2005, and it would rise to 70% ish now and be 90%ish mid century. That seems completely consistent with what we have actually observed.

    It could just be that the newspaper article has just hyped the story a little, as they often do with scientific studies. However, I’ve only skimmed the paper, so I may have missed something.

  370. OOPS, the above quote is for the northern sear route (Russian coastline), the equivalent quote for the Nortwest passage is

    During the 1979–2005 historical baseline period (Fig. 1), sea ice limited the probability of a feasible OW transit through the NWP to just ∼15% in any given year, but this probability increases to 17%/27% by 2006–2015 and 53%/60% by 2040–2059 (for RCP 4.5/8.5, respectively).

    however, again, I don’t see how current observations are seriously in contradiction with that estimate.

  371. Mal Adapted says:

    Thanks for the link, Steven. Ermm, I may have a language problem, as most of the text on that page is in Korean. The book’s ToC is in English, thankfully. I don’t see ‘Steven Mosher’ anywhere on the page, however.

  372. Mal Adapted says:

    On today’s NYTimes.com: How Six Americans Changed Their Minds About Global Warming

    [quote marks below signify my metaphoric intent 8^D! MA]

    Perhaps the NYTimes science editor is hoping the piece will not only ‘inoculate’ genuinely skeptical readers against misinformation, but ‘cure’ those already ‘infected’: “See, these good people changed their minds, and you can too!” #IHopeSo2 [did I do that right 8^}? MA].

  373. Mal Adapted says:

    [Expletive deleted]! Please close my italics tag around “intent”. TIA.

    [Mod: Done. I think you may have been trying to link to an article, which did not work.]

  374. Mal Adapted says:

    Well, I feel sheepish. Ima try again: How Six Americans Changed Their Minds About Global Warming.

    That looks OK in RC’s instant preview, at least 8^}.

  375. Mal Adapted says:

    Thanks Steven, that’s much more legible. Still “No results found in this book for Mosher”, however 8^(. I somehow had the impression you were the (or an) author of the “unpublished paper” you mentioned, and that you wrote it with the intent to publish.

    I am sincerely interested in your deep thoughts (though probably not 100s of pages of them) on metaphor and related concepts. I was also hoping to see what you’re like under scholarly publishing discipline ;^D!

  376. Mal Adapted says:

    Thanks, Marco, for the legible link. The rest of my previous comment was directed at Smokin’ Steven Mosher.

  377. Steven Mosher says:

    Ah no Mal. sorry I was unclear.

    The work I had done was an extension of what Johnson was writing about. Mine’s unpublished in a box, in the States. Since I probably wont have it shipped to Korea, was just directing you to the primary sources I was working from. The collection of essays by Johnson. that work there was what got me started ( actual the Frost thing got me started)

  378. I have been on too many comment threads that are just full of disagreements that devolve quickly into name-calling and derision. I find it exhausting.

  379. Hey Marsupial, gotta keep it simple for me. Sorry. I am getting old and don’t process as well or easily as I think I used to.

    You said: “not everybody saw the problems with Wadhams’ claims about Arctic sea ice for example.”

    I asked for links where I could look at the Wadhams’ claims that you are referencing. You provided his miss on 2015 sea ice extent. I assume that the problem with that claim is that the wild miss on the high end of sea ice melt would be that the miss would be used to discredit the basic sea ice loss science that is being done. Maybe there are more problems with this claim. I think Wadhams has said that he is relying on observation rather than data, but I am not certain about that.

    Are there more problems with this sea ice loss claim than that?

    Do you have other specific claims that Wadhams has made that bother you and create problems?

    Maybe this discussion does not belong in this thread. Any chance of a review of Wadhams’ claims that lays out when he has been right and wrong and how or whether his process, hit hits and misses, diminish his standing as a scientist?

    I have an easier time understanding why and how folks object to Guy MacP, but less so with Wadhams. Both are a little out there, I think. But that does not necessarily mean that they are wrong with all of their ideas about climate change and its impact.

    Cheers

    Mike

  380. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Do you have other specific claims that Wadhams has made that bother you and create problems?”

    Wadhams doesn’t bother me. He makes predictions that are repeatedly found to be wrong, but I think he is sincere in his beliefs. I don’t think he particularly causes much of a problem, just as “skeptics” are extremists in one direction, Wadhams is in the other, it would be surprising if that didn’t happen, especially as there are no real prizes in science for confirming what we already know. The fact that it is much more difficult to identify alarmist scientists than skeptic ones tells us something though.

    “Any chance of a review of Wadhams’ claims that lays out when he has been right and wrong and how or whether his process, hit hits and misses, diminish his standing as a scientist?”

    I don’t think that would be very helpful. Repeatedly making claims that turn out to be false is bound to have affected his standing as a scientist, but his scientitif claims need to be judged each time on their scientific merits. The same applies to skeptic scientists, e.g. Essenhigh, which is why I took the time to evaluate his claims and publish a comment paper. I suspect WUWT or some other skeptic blog has already done so.

    As I said, Wadhams’ predictions seem to be his subjective opinon, based on his view of the observations, I don’t think he has ever set out his method any more clearly than in the 2015 SPIN exercise. A google search for Wadhams Arctic sea ice will provide lots of links to press coveage of his claims, I don’t think there is any more to see. This makes it difficult to point out the flaws in the argument.

  381. Here’s some examples of Wadhams’s predictions. No basis in physics, as far as I’m aware.

    When will Arctic first be sea-ice free? Comparing IPCC AR5 projections & Peter Wadhams public forecasts #finalversion pic.twitter.com/RY6eSe2uAy— Ed Hawkins (@ed_hawkins) October 8, 2014

  382. Okay, for some reason it won’t post the actual tweet, with the image. The image showing Wadhams’s predictions is below.

  383. Steven Mosher says:

    His public predictions are at variance with his published ones.

    See the notes and letter from the kerfuffle.

  384. SM I do (vaguely) remember the kerfuffle, but not the details and I didn’t think it really worthwhile mentioning as the key point was that his predictions are alarmist and were also widely criticised by mainstream. However it is the scientific criticism that really matters.

    FWIW, I understand why Prof. Wadhams was upset by some of the tweets, and I also understand why some tweets rather crossed the line between legitimate scientific criticism and abuse. I also understand why some people tend to over-react to criticism. I don’t know Prof. Wadhams, but I do know that arseholes tend to deal with criticism very well, because they actively court it and get lots of practice. “Gentlemen” (and ladies), especially academic who are used to severe criticism being delivered anonymously and de-personalised, are not so used to dealing with abuse, which is often unexpected. Fault on both sides IMHO.

    Personally I think the golden rule is a good first guide in these sorts of matters. How would I want my research field to deal with me if I even “go emeritus” (assuming it hasn’t happened already?). I think I would rather like them to help me see my errors with patient scientific criticisms, rather than abuse (and some of it was abuse) on Twitter. Just as I don’t want to see personal criticism of Prof. Wadhams, I don’t really want to see criticism of Prof, Essenhigh’s and Prof. Salby’s arguments made personal, I don’t think it helps anybody (especially not them, it isn’t going to help them see that they have made an error). Of course being human, I have difficulty living up to my ideals.

    At the end of the day, I think it is good (on balance) to have tweeting at scientific meetings, but this will require a bit of adaption both for the tweeter and the tweetee. The tweetee needs to not take criticism personal, and the tweeter needs to learn not to make it personal. With rights go responsibilities.

  385. To me, one of the ironies of that whole Wadhams saga was that there are regular complaints that people don’t call out alarmism. As soon as they do, there are suddenly complaints about tone.

  386. indeed, especially when coming from those who adopt a less than moderate tone themselves from time to time! Saves them from having to discuss the boring science though! ;o)

  387. Mal Adapted says:

    Another germane or at least tangential news item: After Years of Fighting, Idaho Retains Climate Change in Its Education Guidelines. Today’s award for political understatement goes to State Senator Janie Ward-Engelking of Boise, a Democrat on the education committee: “To be honest, it’s kind of embarrassing that it’s been so controversial.”

  388. Thanks, marsupial. I think I understand your position and it makes sense. I think folks love to bash Wadhams and hey, he’s just been wrong a lot so far. If journalists identify him as a leading scientist when they write their story, maybe the journalists are not doing their job well. But, what is their job? Is it to cover stories accurately or to sell papers? Hold the reporters feet to the fire a little bit?
    Cheers
    Mike

  389. Hank Roberts says:

    > invisible gas

    Hmph. Here’s another.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=co2+california+well+leak+infrared/

    Is someone making up a new, larger Bingo card with these?


    http://deltoidblog.blogspot.com/2005/04/gwsbingo.php

  390. smallbluemike wrote ” maybe the journalists are not doing their job well. But, what is their job? Is it to cover stories accurately or to sell papers? Hold the reporters feet to the fire a little bit?”

    Sadly the best way to do that is not to but newpapers that print bullshit, however it seems to be something the readers actively seek, so it isn’t going to change any time soon 😦

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