Roy Spencer’s testimony before congress backs up Monckton’s assertions on climate sensitivity

Dr. Roy Spencer went to Washington to give testimony today to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Here is his presentation. While not as technical as Lord Moncktons paper at APS (since it had to be simplified for a congressional hearing), it nonetheless says the same thing – climate sensitivity is overstated by models and not supported by observational data. – Anthony

Update: See the complete testimony on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzf6z-oHP8U


http://www.uah.edu/News/climatepics/Spencer.jpgTestimony of Roy W. Spencer before the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on 22 July 2008

A printable PDF of this testimony can be found here

I would like to thank Senator Boxer and members of the Committee for allowing me to discuss my experiences as a NASA employee engaged in global warming research, as well as to provide my current views on the state of the science of global warming and climate change.

I have a PhD in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and have been involved in global warming research for close to twenty years. I have numerous peer reviewed scientific articles dealing with the measurement and interpretation of climate variability and climate change. I am also the U.S. Science Team Leader for the AMSR-E instrument flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

1. White House Involvement in the Reporting of Agency Employees’ Work

On the subject of the Administration’s involvement in policy-relevant scientific work performed by government employees in the EPA, NASA, and other agencies, I can provide some perspective based upon my previous experiences as a NASA employee. For example, during the Clinton-Gore Administration I was told what I could and could not say during congressional testimony. Since it was well known that I am skeptical of the view that mankind’s greenhouse gas emissions are mostly responsible for global warming, I assumed that this advice was to help protect Vice President Gore’s agenda on the subject.

This did not particularly bother me, though, since I knew that as an employee of an Executive Branch agency my ultimate boss resided in the White House. To the extent that my work had policy relevance, it seemed entirely appropriate to me that the privilege of working for NASA included a responsibility to abide by direction given by my superiors.

But I eventually tired of the restrictions I had to abide by as a government employee, and in the fall of 2001 I resigned from NASA and accepted my current position as a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Despite my resignation from NASA, I continue to serve as Team Leader on the AMSR-E instrument flying on the NASA Aqua satellite, and maintain a good working relationship with other government researchers.

2. Global Warming Science: The Latest Research
Regarding the currently popular theory that mankind is responsible for global warming, I am very pleased to deliver good news from the front lines of climate change research. Our latest research results, which I am about to describe, could have an enormous impact on policy decisions regarding greenhouse gas emissions.
Despite decades of persistent uncertainty over how sensitive the climate system is to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, we now have new satellite evidence which strongly suggests that the climate system is much less sensitive than is claimed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Another way of saying this is that the real climate system appears to be dominated by “negative feedbacks” — instead of the “positive feedbacks” which are displayed by all twenty computerized climate models utilized by the IPCC. (Feedback parameters larger than 3.3 Watts per square meter per degree Kelvin (Wm-2K-1) indicate negative feedback, while feedback parameters smaller than 3.3 indicate positive feedback.)

If true, an insensitive climate system would mean that we have little to worry about in the way of manmade global warming and associated climate change. And, as we will see, it would also mean that the warming we have experienced in the last 100 years is mostly natural. Of course, if climate change is mostly natural then it is largely out of our control, and is likely to end — if it has not ended already, since satellite-measured global temperatures have not warmed for at least seven years now.

2.1 Theoretical evidence that climate sensitivity has been overestimated
The support for my claim of low climate sensitivity (net negative feedback) for our climate system is two-fold. First, we have a new research article1 in-press in the Journal of Climate which uses a simple climate model to show that previous estimates of the sensitivity of the climate system from satellite data were biased toward the high side by the neglect of natural cloud variability. It turns out that the failure to account for natural, chaotic cloud variability generated internal to the climate system will always lead to the illusion of a climate system which appears more sensitive than it really is.

Significantly, prior to its acceptance for publication, this paper was reviewed by two leading IPCC climate model experts – Piers Forster and Isaac Held– both of whom agreed that we have raised a legitimate issue. Piers Forster, an IPCC report lead author and a leading expert on the estimation of climate sensitivity, even admitted in his review of our paper that other climate modelers need to be made aware of this important issue.

To be fair, in a follow-up communication Piers Forster stated to me his belief that the net effect of the new understanding on climate sensitivity estimates would likely be small. But as we shall see, the latest evidence now suggests otherwise.

2.2 Observational evidence that climate sensitivity has been overestimated
The second line of evidence in support of an insensitive climate system comes from the satellite data themselves. While our work in-press established the existence of an observational bias in estimates of climate sensitivity, it did not address just how large that bias might be.

But in the last several weeks, we have stumbled upon clear and convincing observational evidence of particularly strong negative feedback (low climate sensitivity) from our latest and best satellite instruments. That evidence includes our development of two new methods for extracting the feedback signal from either observational or climate model data, a goal which has been called the “holy grail” of climate research.
The first method separates the true signature of feedback, wherein radiative flux variations are highly correlated to the temperature changes which cause them, from internally-generated radiative forcings, which are uncorrelated to the temperature variations which result from them. It is the latter signal which has been ignored in all previous studies, the neglect of which biases feedback diagnoses in the direction of positive feedback (high climate sensitivity).
Based upon global oceanic climate variations measured by a variety of NASA and NOAA satellites during the period 2000 through 2005 we have found a signature of climate sensitivity so low that it would reduce future global warming projections to below 1 deg. C by the year 2100. As can be seen in Fig. 1, that estimate from satellite data is much less sensitive (a larger diagnosed feedback) than even the least sensitive of the 20 climate models which the IPCC summarizes in its report. It is also consistent with our previously published analysis of feedbacks associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations3.

Fig. 1. Frequency distributions of feedback parameters (regression slopes) computed from three-month low-pass filtered time series of temperature (from channel 5 of the AMSU instrument flying on the NOAA-15 satellite) and top-of-atmosphere radiative flux variations for 6 years of global oceanic satellite data measured by the CERES instrument flying on NASA’s Terra satellite; and from a 60 year integration of the NCAR-CCSM3.0 climate model forced by 1% per year CO2 increase. Peaks in the frequency distributions indicate the dominant feedback operating. This NCAR model is the least sensitive (greatest feedback parameter value) of all 20 IPCC models.
A second method for extracting the true feedback signal takes advantage of the fact that during natural climate variability, there are varying levels of internally-generated radiative forcings (which are uncorrelated to temperature), versus non-radiative forcings (which are highly correlated to temperature). If the feedbacks estimated for different periods of time involve different levels of correlation, then the “true” feedback can be estimated by extrapolating those results to 100% correlation. This can be seen in Fig. 2, which shows that even previously published4 estimates of positive feedback are, in reality, supportive of negative feedback (feedback parameters greater than 3.3 Wm-2K-1).

Fig. 2. Re-analysis of the satellite-based feedback parameter estimates of Forster and Gregory (2006) showing that they are consistent with negative feedback rather than positive feedback (low climate sensitivity rather than high climate sensitivity).

2.3 Why do climate models produce so much global warming?
The results just presented beg the following question: If the satellite data indicate an insensitive climate system, why do the climate models suggest just the opposite? I believe the answer is due to a misinterpretation of cloud behavior by climate modelers.

The cloud behaviors programmed into climate models (cloud “parameterizations”) are based upon researchers’ interpretation of cause and effect in the real climate system5. When cloud variations in the real climate system have been measured, it has been assumed that the cloud changes were the result of certain processes, which are ultimately tied to surface temperature changes. But since other, chaotic, internally generated mechanisms can also be the cause of cloud changes, the neglect of those processes leads to cloud parameterizations which are inherently biased toward high climate sensitivity.

The reason why the bias occurs only in the direction of high climate sensitivity is this: While surface warming could conceivably cause cloud changes which lead to either positive or negative cloud feedback, causation in the opposite direction (cloud changes causing surface warming) can only work in one direction, which then “looks like” positive feedback. For example, decreasing low cloud cover can only produce warming, not cooling, and when that process is observed in the real climate system and assumed to be a feedback, it will always suggest a positive feedback.
2.4 So, what has caused global warming over the last century?
One necessary result of low climate sensitivity is that the radiative forcing from greenhouse gas emissions in the last century is not nearly enough to explain the upward trend of 0.7 deg. C in the last 100 years. This raises the question of whether there are natural processes at work which have caused most of that warming.
On this issue, it can be shown with a simple climate model that small cloud fluctuations assumed to occur with two modes of natural climate variability — the El Nino/La Nina phenomenon (Southern Oscillation), and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation — can explain 70% of the warming trend since 1900, as well as the nature of that trend: warming until the 1940s, no warming until the 1970s, and resumed warming since then. These results are shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3. A simple climate model forced with cloud cover variations assumed to be proportional to a linear combination of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index. The heat flux anomalies in (a), which then result in the modeled temperature response in (b), are assumed to be distributed over the top 27% of the global ocean (1,000 meters), and weak negative feedback has been assumed (4 W m-2 K-1).

While this is not necessarily being presented as the only explanation for most of the warming in the last century, it does illustrate that there are potential explanations for recent warming other that just manmade greenhouse gas emissions. Significantly, this is an issue on which the IPCC has remained almost entirely silent. There has been virtually no published work on the possible role of internal climate variations in the warming of the last century.

3. Policy Implications
Obviously, what I am claiming today is of great importance to the global warming debate and related policy decisions, and it will surely be controversial. These results are not totally unprecedented, though, as other recently published research6 has also led to the conclusion that the real climate system does not exhibit net positive feedback.

While it will take some time for the research community to digest this new information, it must be mentioned that new research contradicting the latest IPCC report is entirely consistent with the normal course of scientific progress. I predict that in the coming years, there will be a growing realization among the global warming research community that most of the climate change we have observed is natural, and that mankind’s role is relatively minor.

While other researchers need to further explore and validate my claims, I am heartened by the fact that my recent presentation of these results to an audience of approximately 40 weather and climate researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder last week (on July 17, 2008 ) led to no substantial objections to either the data I presented, nor to my interpretation of those data.

And, curiously, despite its importance to climate modeling activities, no one from Dr. Kevin Trenberth’s facility, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), bothered to drive four miles down the road to attend my seminar, even though it was advertised at NCAR.

I hope that the Committee realizes that, if true, these new results mean that humanity will be largely spared the negative consequences of human-induced climate change. This would be good news that should be celebrated — not attacked and maligned.

And given that virtually no research into possible natural explanations for global warming has been performed, it is time for scientific objectivity and integrity to be restored to the field of global warming research. This Committee could, at a minimum, make a statement that encourages that goal.

REFERENCES
1. Spencer, R.W., and W.D. Braswell, 2008: Potential biases in cloud feedback diagnosis:
A simple model demonstration. J. Climate, in press.
2. Allen, M.R., and D.J. Frame, 2007: Call off the quest. Science, 318, 582.
3. Spencer, R.W., W. D. Braswell, J. R. Christy, and J. Hnilo, 2007: Cloud and radiation
budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations. Geophys. Res.
Lett., 34, L15707, doi:10.1029/2007GL029698.
4. Forster, P. M., and J. M. Gregory, 2006: The climate sensitivity and its components
diagnosed from Earth Radiation Budget data. J. Climate, 19, 39-52.
5. Stephens, G. L., 2005: Clouds feedbacks in the climate system: A critical review. J.
Climate, 18, 237-273.
6. Schwartz, S. E., 2007: Heat capacity, time constant, and sensitivity of the Earth’s
climate system. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S05, doi:10.1029/2007JD008746.

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168 Responses to Roy Spencer’s testimony before congress backs up Monckton’s assertions on climate sensitivity

  1. sonicfrog says:

    I was going to forward this to you, but you beat me to the punch.

    I wonder if Sen. Boxer had the guts to pay attention to the info presented here. I can hope she did, but knowing how entrenched her opinion is on AGW, I doubt it.

  2. Retired Engineer says:

    Predictions: The warmers will ignore Spencer. Or denounce him as a dangerous lunatic who completely misinterpreted all of the data.

    Nailing your thesis to the church door sometimes gets you in trouble.

  3. Mike C says:

    No one from Trenberth’s office went there because they are still in denial of Anthony’s presentation of the surface stations.

  4. tarpon says:

    Dr Spencer will be attacked and maligned. It started as soon as he stopped speaking.

  5. Pingback: Sidebar to Spencer testimony today - Barbara Boxer tosses an insult, implies Limbaugh is involved in Spencer’s testimony « Watts Up With That?

  6. Frank Ravizza says:

    As much as I admire Dr. Spencer’s audacious dissemination of his focused empirical research which attenuates iconic catastrophic AGW theory, I know this work will be marginalized by global warming politics. As much as I’d like to see it happen–there is no such thing as a decisive knock-out punch.

  7. Stan Needham says:

    Nailing your thesis to the church door sometimes gets you in trouble.

    And that is precisely what just happened. Let the debate commence anew.

  8. R John says:

    Climate insensitive to man? What an interesting concept.

    Now, let the fun begin. All of us who think this is theory is correct should continue to look for evidence to support this (as well as evidence that does not). THIS is how science works. We should not just declare our consensus!!!

    As Einstein once said, “You don’t need 100 scientists to prove me wrong, you only need one.” Perhaps Spencer is that “one” to prove the modelers were wrong.

  9. Joel Shore says:

    I think someone needs to point out to Spencer that his reference 6 to Schwartz is no longer applicable in that Schwartz himself no longer argues for a climate sensitivity that implies “the real climate system does not exhibit net positive feedback”. See his reply to the comments on his paper here: http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapCommentResponse.pdf

    Schwartz’s estimate 1.9 +- 1.0K for the equilibrium climate sensitivity is now considerably overlapping with the IPCC’s estimate of 2.0 to 4.5 K. (No net positive feedbacks would imply a sensitivity of ~1.1 K or less, so this just barely overlaps with Schwartz’s estimate.)

  10. Jim Watson says:

    It’s all over except for the shouting.

  11. Smokey says:

    I disagree with Joel Shore’s estimate of the UN/IPCC’s predictions, because the IPCC makes so many predictions.

    Rather than trying to show the UN’s mendacity, I will refer to Lord Monckton’s devastating rebuttal to the IPCC: click

    In reading Monckton’s thorough deconstruction of the UN’s methods, you will see why they and the AGW/catastrophe peddlers fear and loathe Monckton the way they do: he exposes their fraud to the world.

  12. Jeff C. says:

    Dr. Spencer has an informative write-up on this subject here:
    http://www.weatherquestions.com/Climate-Sensitivity-Holy-Grail.htm

    The subject is very clearly explained with much more information regarding climate sensitivity and how many of the modelers have misinterpreted the measured data to overestimate sensitivity. It is must reading.

  13. DR says:

    Thank you for posting this.

    Frank Ravizza,
    We can expect many ex post facto rhetoric from those who’ve staked their reputations on AGW. In time it will be self-evident just how wrong they are. True, Spencer will be maligned and ignored but others will follow with more evidence supporting his work despite attempts to stop the debate. Who else has noticed the garbage being ramrodded through the “science” journals using climate models as their predictive tools? Great huh? A hypothesis used to form a hypothesis. That’s science?

    What was missing in this has been the observational evidence to support/refute CO2 AGW. Spencer has simply opened the door by publishing his first article last August which showed the atmosphere behaves exactly opposite the climate model predictions. It was somewhat ignored, but those who read it began to understand just how horribly wrong the AGW hypothesis is. As the satellite data keeps rolling in, it will be difficult to support the “consensus”.

    After Spencer published his second article referenced above, RealClimate attacked with their usual volley of ad hominen logical fallacies, but failed to acknowledge as Spencer noted, that Held and Forster agreed with him which effectively neutered Raypierre and the rest of the malcontents at RealClimate. Why anyone takes them seriously is puzzling.

    Now the true believers are backed to the Arctic being their last stand, their Little Big Horn, but even that isn’t working out well. Strange it is that the three major postulates presented as the cause for the anomalous 2007 Arctic melt doesn’t mention CO2 :) Yet Hansen declares just last month without evidence it is rising GHG causing the melt. These preachers of doom can’t even show it is warmer now in the Arctic and Greenland than it was ~70 years ago.
    http://www.arm.gov/science/research/pdf/R00143.pdf
    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=impure-as-the-driven-snow
    http://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/lookingatearth/quikscat-20071001.html

  14. DR says:

    Joel Shore,
    Did Schwartz have Spencer’s data to make those determinations?

    That is the difference. Observations trump theory, every time.

  15. Leon Brozyna says:

    Perhaps APS would have Dr. Spencer submit his paper for the next edition of the Physics and Society newsletter. Keep the debate going.

  16. Philip_B says:

    Climate sensitivity to increasing CO2 is the core the AGW debate. The physics of CO2 doubling gives a warming of around 1C (some say substantially less), of which we should have seen about half to date.

    So, the core argument of the Warmers is that the climate sensitivity is much higher than what can be directly attributed to CO2 itself. And this results from feedbacks.

    The evidence for these feedbacks is shaky to non-existent. And the GCM and the IPCC determined their sensitivity by extrapolating the observed warming in the temperature record from the 1970s to the 1990s.

    Clearly, the fact the 70s to 90s warming is unrepresentative (and may well not be in part real) of both the subsequent and prior periods and a sensitivity determined from this period is almost certainly wrong.

    The IPCC and the modellers will deny this to the end, because reducing the sensitivity will bring the whole AGW house of cards crashing down. The climate sensitivity determined in the 1990s must be defended at all costs.

  17. Glenn says:

    Joel unwittingly helps here with the question of this “consensus”, “settled science”, in his reference:
    http://www.ecd.bnl.gov/steve/pubs/HeatCapCommentResponse.pdf

    “The continuing high uncertainty associated with estimates of Earth’s climate sensitivity pertinent to climate change on the multidecadal time scale has motivated an effort to determine this sensitivity empirically within an energy balance framework.”

    Doesn’t sound like “settled science” or the basis of a consensus.

  18. Douglas Hoyt says:

    I don’t think Schwartz’s analysis of climate sensitivity is valid if you have large unforced natural oscialltions in climate like Spencer points out.

  19. Joel Shore says:

    Douglas: But, Spencer is using Schwartz to re-enforce his claim about climate sensitivity being low. Why would he cite work that he knows is faulty (when it supports his claim)…but now you are trying to tell me that the analysis isn’t valid (now that an error in it has been corrected and it no longer supports the claim)?

    The work of Schwartz has been cited many many times by commenters on this blog. Now, it seems that it wasn’t so great after all? Hmmm.

    DR says: “Did Schwartz have Spencer’s data to make those determinations?…
    That is the difference. Observations trump theory, every time.” Well, both of the papers rely on a combination of observational data and analysis of that data so I don’t see how you can say that one trumps the other on this sort of simplistic basic.

    Smokey says: “I disagree with Joel Shore’s estimate of the UN/IPCC’s predictions, because the IPCC makes so many predictions.” The latest predictions are in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. That report states clearly that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely between 2 and 4.5 C and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5 C.

    Glenn says: “Joel unwittingly helps here with the question of this ‘consensus’, ‘settled science’, in his reference:” It is not “my reference”. It is simply the updated analysis in a reply to comments given by Schwartz, which is the reference that Spencer cites. And, noone claims that there is not a considerable amount of uncertainty in climate sensitivity. Clearly, even a range of 2 to 4.5 C, the IPCC “likely” range, demonstrates that there is a considerable amount of uncertainty. However, that does not mean there is no scientific consensus whatsoever and any opinion is equally regarded in the scientific literature as any other.

  20. Bill Marsh says:

    Phillip_B,

    “The physics of CO2 doubling gives a warming of around 1C (some say substantially less), of which we should have seen about half to date.”

    If the mathematics of ln(C/C0) holds, then we’ve actually seen more like 70% of the warming we’re going to see with doubling of CO2 from 260-520 ppmv. You’ll get the most increase in warming in the first 30% of increase.

  21. Andrea Smith says:

    I watched the testimony before the EPW committee today (webcast at http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Home); the title of the hearing is quite misleading: Full Committee hearing entitled, “An Update on the Science of Global Warming and its Implications.”There were only a few committee members in attendance and all they were wanted to know is “Did President Bush tell the EPA to throw out recommendations on regulation of CO2?” Dr. Spencer gave any opening statement and was asked no more questions. Jason Burnett, Former Associate Deputy Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was the principal witness. Sadly, it appeared that these policy makers are not willing to hear anything that differs from their viewpoints.

  22. Joel Shore says:

    By the way, looking at the link that Jeff C. provided for more details of Spencer’s analysis, it is clear that Spencer says things that clearly contradict Monckton.

    For example, Spencer says bluntly, “For the Earth, this natural cooling effect amounts to an average of 3.3 Watts per square meter for every 1 deg C that the Earth warms. There is no scientific disagreement on this value.” This parameter that he is talking about is equal to 1/kappa in Monckton’s notation. Note that Monckton makes much of us not knowing this parameter before coming up with an estimate that is a fair bit different (~4.15 W/m^2).

    Spencer is less direct in his statement about the forcing for CO2 doubling, but it seems pretty clear from his statements (e.g., “If clouds and water vapor don’t change as we add CO2 to the atmosphere, then the expected warming by 2100 would only be about 1 deg. C”) that he accepts the IPCC estimate, whereas Monckton arbitrarily knocked it down to 1/3 the IPCC value. [Either that, or he really expects CO2 levels to go through the roof by 2100!]

    So, the moral of the story is that any claims that Monckton and Spencer are saying the same thing is not true at all. Yes, they are both arguing for low climate sensitivity. However, they are doing so with completely different arguments and, in fact, the arguments can’t really both be right.

  23. Joel Shore says:

    Bill Marsh says: “If the mathematics of ln(C/C0) holds, then we’ve actually seen more like 70% of the warming we’re going to see with doubling of CO2 from 260-520 ppmv. You’ll get the most increase in warming in the first 30% of increase.”

    Even ignoring the facts that the accepted value I usually see used for pre-industrial levels is 280ppmv, that there is a lag time in the warming (i.e., equilibrium climate sensitivity differs from transient climate sensitivity), and the cooling and warming effects of aerosols and other greenhouse gases, I don’t see how you get 70%. Using your 260ppm value (and using 385ppm for the current value), I get that we have gone a little less than 57% of the way toward a doubling of CO2 levels, i.e., log(385/260)/log(2) = 57%. Using the more accepted 280ppm value, lowers that to 46%.

  24. Mike C says:

    I get the feeling that the debate will finally include cold water upwelling. Cold water upwelling is the mechanism by which the ENSO and PDO cause cooling. It is a missing factor in many of the models, replaced by anthropogenic aerosols as the cause of mid 20th century cooling. Understanding this concept is necessary in understanding what Spencer is talking about but never mentioned. You guys need to study it a little and start talking about it.

  25. Reed Coray says:

    I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest thanks to Dr. Spencer, Lord Monckton, Dr. Singer and the many other scientists unknown to me who refused to believe the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) alarmists’ predictions just because it was the politically and fiscally “smart thing to do”. By questioning the establishment, at a minimum they put their reputations on the line; and although I am unware of a specific case, I can’t help but believe many of them have put their livelihoods on the line as well. They did this in part because they observed politically-influenced science being practiced on a large scale, and as true believers of science-science not political-influenced-science, they couldn’t and didn’t stand idly by and say nothing. Even if in the end it turns out they are incorrect (an outcome whose likelihood is diminishing daily), I will still feel I owe them a debt of gratitude. They may be the primary reason we avoid whatever problems and catastrophes would ensue had the political-scientists gotten their way. If the AGW alarmists basic premise that man’s industrial activity (in particular man’s increased production of CO2) (a) will cause global warming and (b) global warming is in the aggregate bad for the Earth, by delaying action we may do some damage to the Earth. But given the fact that since 2001 measurements show that the Earth has cooled, it’s extremely hard to believe that the apocalypse will occur if we delay taking action by a few years. Between the two alternatives: (1) massive and immediate changes to energy production, and (2) taking a risk that by delaying doing something we cross the threshold of temperature stability and bring on the apocalypse, I for one am happy to take the risk.

    Reed Coray

  26. Reed Coray says:

    In the arena of scientific discourse, I believe in a polite, respectful, and courteous exchange of ideas. In the arena of political discourse, I have no such restrictions. Although I didn’t see the Congressional hearings held this morming (22 July 2008), which I believe were chaired by Senator Barbara Boxer (Democrat, California), it’s easy for me to believe Andrea Smith’s post (19:45:19) is accurate. Being a resident of California, two things, and only two things, would surprise me about Senator Boxer: (a) she expresses an intelligent thought, and (b) she makes a decision based on what is good for the country instead of what is good for Barbara Boxer and the Democrat Party.

    Reed Coray

  27. Joe S says:

    At the very end of Dr. Spencer’s spoken testimony he said the following and I thought it was significant and pretty scary. I transcribed it from the video. I hope I got it right.

    First time using the blockquote tag. Please work!

  28. Joe S says:

    At the very end of Dr. Spencer’s spoken testimony he said the following and I thought it was significant and pretty scary. I transcribed it from the video. I hope I got it right.

    “There’s a story I’d like to relate to you and I’ve never told it before. In the early days of the IPCC, I was visiting the head of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy. The director, Dr. Robert Watson, who later became the first Chairman of the IPCC, he informed me and a work associate with me that since we had started to regulate Ozone depleting substances under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, the next goal, in his mind, was to regulate Carbon Dioxide emissions from fossil fuel burning. This was nearly twenty years ago. There’s no mention of a scientific basis for that goal. So, as you can see from the beginning of the IPCC process, it has been guided by desired policy outcomes, not science.

    I believe that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC are indeed reputable and honest. But, I they have been used by politicians, bureaucrats and a handful of sympathetic and outspoken scientists. “

  29. DR says:

    Joel Shore,

    You clearly have not been keeping track of Spencer’s work this past year. That’s ok, he has been ignored……until now. He’s been building up to this point for the last two years. Now Pandora’s box has been opened. What’s inside?

    His first paper showed observational data from satellites clearly disagreed (exactly opposite in fact) with GCM outputs on atmospheric behavior in the tropics.

    His second paper consisted of forming a hypothesis as to why this was occurring. In case you missed it, Held and Forster (look them up) agreed, but not on a quantifiable basis.

    His third paper is the observational evidence to support his second paper.

    In any event, observations are diametrically opposed to IPCC GCM’s. There are now myriads of studies demonstrating this. G Stephens 2005 was the first big hit on GCM assumptions on cloud dynamics. Roe & Baker further bloodied them up on climate sensitivity. There are many more.

    One would assume you believe there is still “heat in the pipeline”. If this were the case, as OHC is declining, where is the heat going? Josh Willis and Kevin Trenberth are a bit perplexed by this. It is not continuing to warm on land or sea as IPCC (ala Hansen et al) claimed it would as GHG emissions continue to rise.

    I don’t see how pitting Monckton vs Spencer will help your cause. If you have read Spencer’s work closely, (I don’t have it in front of me) I believe he places the actual real world warming attributable to 2xCO2 at .2C……..that’s not too far off from Monckton now is it? Have you dissected Monckton’s mathematical calculations? Where is he in error? Where is Spencer wrong?

  30. DR says:

    Joel Shore,

    P.S. No, Schwartz did not do what Spencer has done with the data demonstrating the potential bias in GCM cloud feedbacks. Spencer credited another researcher who evidently didn’t appreciate the significance. I don’t recall it being Schwartz. If it was, obviously he didn’t do anything with it.

  31. Pingback: STAY WARM, WORLD… Roger Carr « Stay Warm, World…

  32. FTrouse says:

    I’m envious of all your positive attitudes. Your conviction that as a better more honest science is given an opportunity to be presented the world and your peers will see the truth and accept it.
    I fear this will not be the case.
    I see the IPCC as another form of Al Gore. One who has invested his fortune his reputation and most importantly his pride in the premise that the earth is heating in direct relation to the introduction by man of carbon pollutants into the atmosphere. The earth is going to hell in a hand cart and it’s all your fault!
    All that time he spent as Vice President, with absolutely nothing to do, no way to continue his march to glory, no opportunity to present himself to the world as one of the great ones. Then the humiliation of the loss to that Texas pecker wood.
    This is his last chance.
    Mr. Gore, like the IPCC, has stepped into the light with all the glory needed to be the guide, the leader, in fact the saviour of the world. Do you think that he, they, will forgo that? Do you believe that something as common and insignificant as science, or truth, will cause them to relinquish the dreams they were born to achieve?
    To protect his wealth and his pride Al Gore would rip the heart from every babe that ever drew breath. To remain the man of the decade, or the most influential NGO in the world today, these two entities would scythe through a puny bunch of mathematicians, physicists, climatologists, journalists, or any other ists that would have the gaul to attempt to spoil the exaltation of their glory.
    Think about this: If your hopes and thesis are correct, will they, Mr. Gore and the IPCC, relinquish their Nobel s, return the monetary awards, give up their grants and close up the departments and offices that the grants support? Will they continue to feed and care for your peers who rely on Climate Change, IPCC and Al Gore for their livelihoods? Will they go before the world with heads bowed and confess that it was all a terrible mistake? Will they say they are sorry for any inconvenience they may have caused and please allow us to make it right? Will they go before the UN, that paragon of virtue and honesty, and convince them that the Kyoto Agreement must be immediately terminated and any economic losses suffered by it s signatories be recompensed by the UN?
    I am convinced you do not need anyone to answer those questions for you.
    I believe that those of you who determine to follow your science and the truth that it can provide are about to embark on an adventure that will, as the saying goes, separate the Men from the boys.
    As one who hasn’t the tools to prove what time it is but who will never the less be required to live with the consequences of a world under the boot of Eco-Nanny Junk Science Totalitarians, I hope your success is resounding as well as rapid. May I, as one of the billions of little guys who can’t prove the time of day or convince our governments to just leave us alone, offer you my thanks my gratitude and my support.
    Sincerly,
    FTRouse

  33. Barbara says:

    Dr Spencer’s findings are very interesting.

    On the issue of climate sensitivity, one thing has always puzzled me.
    Is there any “orthodox” explanation of the mechanism(s) whereby in the Carboniferous era (the clue’s in the name!), around 320 million years ago, CO2 went from c.7,000 ppm in the early period, to 350 ppm in the middle period?

    If I understand the positive feedback theory correctly, once a tipping point is reached (presumably purported to be well under 7,000 ppm) this *couldn’t* happen, right?

    Or did I miss something?

  34. Roger Carr says:

    FTrouse (01:25:16) Keep the faith, buddy. Anthony and his ilk will not let us down; despair as you and I may right now.

  35. Douglas Hoyt says:

    Here is how I think why and how climate change is occurring.

    1. Cloud cover is varying over the oceans. Evidence (see Palle abstract below).
    2. The cloud cover causes changes in ocean temperatures by modulating the amount of solar radiation being absorbed.
    3. The changes in ocean temperatures cause much of the observed changes in temperature over land (see Compo abstract below).
    4. Part of the changes in land temperatures are also caused by land use changes (Pielke, Sr.), urban heat islands (McKitrick and Michaels), and poor siting of thermometers (Watts).

    Additional comments:

    1. The Compo paper states: “Indeed we find compelling evidence from several atmospheric general circulation model simulations without prescribed GHG, aerosol, and solar forcing variations (Table 1) that the continental warming in Fig. 1a is largely a response to the warming of the oceans rather than directly due to GHG increases over the continents (Table 2).” In other words, they simulate the observed climate changes without any changes in greenhouse gases.
    2. The cloud cover variations reported by Palle are consistent with the recent cooling of the oceans based upon the Argo buoys and are inconsistent with the GHG warming theory.
    3. The oceans cannot be warmed by additional downward radiation from additional greenhouse gases since this radiation is absorbed in the upper few microns of the oceans. Indeed Compo says the heat is flowing out of the oceans and not into it, so this also eliminates the hypothesis the greenhouses gases warm the air which is mixed into the oceans warming them.
    4. Cloud cover over the oceans varies and this modulates the amount of solar radiation reaching the surface which modulates the ocean temperatures. Cloud cover variations are probably natural unforced internal variations of the climate system. It is unlikely that cloud cover and ocean temperatures are ever in equilibrium and hence one can expect oscillations over decades and centuries as seen by El Nino, PDO, AMO, NAO, the 1500 year cycle, etc.
    5. Palle reports that the internal forcing is several watts per square meter. The observed temperature variations are in the tenths of a degree. The implied climate sensitivity therefore is very low. The low climate sensitivity means that the postulated forcing by greenhouse gases will have little effect of temperatures.
    6. Studies that neglect internal unforced variations in cloud cover will lead to an overestimation of climate sensitivity (for example, Schwartz). You would need to remove all the unforced variations from the temperature record and then apply Schwartz’s techniques to calculate climate sensitivity. I am not sure if this is possible.
    7. Some of the cloud cover variations may be forced by solar variations as suggested by Svensmark.
    8. Spencer seems to hold views similar to the ones above.

    Pallé E., P. Montañés-Rodriguez, P. R. Goode, S. E. Koonin, M. Wild, and S. Casadio, 2005: A multi-data comparison of shortwave climate forcing changes, Geophysical Research Letters.

    The abstract reads:

    “Traditionally the Earth’s reflectance has been assumed to be roughly constant, but large decadal variability, not reproduced by current climate models, has been reported lately from a variety of sources. We compare here the available data sets related to Earth’s reflectance, in order to assess the observational constraints on the models. We find a consistent picture among all data sets of an albedo decreased during 1985–2000 between 2–3 and 6–7 W/m 2, which is highly climatically significant. The largest discrepancy among the data sets occurs during 2000–2004, when some present an increasing reflectance trend, while CERES observations show a steady decrease of about 2 W/m 2.”

    Compo,G.P., and P.D. Sardeshmukh, 2008: Oceanic influences on recent continental warming. Climate Dynamics, in press.

    The abstract reads:
    “Evidence is presented that the recent worldwide land warming has occurred largely in response to a worldwide warming of the oceans rather than as a direct response to increasing greenhouse gases (GHGs) over land. Atmospheric model simulations of the last half-century with prescribed observed ocean temperature changes, but without prescribed GHG changes, account for most of the land warming. The oceanic influence has occurred through hydrodynamic-radiative teleconnections, primarily by moistening and warming the air over land and increasing the downward longwave radiation at the surface. The oceans may themselves have warmed from a combination of natural and anthropogenic influences.”

    Sorry for the long post.

  36. Mike Bryant says:

    FTrouse,
    I’m glad to hear from you. I believe there are millions just like you. I am also not able to prove much. But what I have decided to do is let everyone I know the way I am thinking and what I am feeling about this Global Warming Cult.
    I keep a positive attitude and always remind friends, relatives and casual acquaintances that things are getting better and cooler.
    Have you noticed that Global Warming stopped?
    Mike Bryant

  37. Scott Covert says:

    I think the exchange of ideas in places such as this will be sufficient to bring about change. You don’t have to have the best hand to win at cards and you don’t have to be in the majority in the court of public opinion to make the biggest impact in public policy.

    What this information is used to accomplish is more important than the information itself, a sad fact indeed. I think the IPCC sees this as an “Ends justify the means” situation. Regulating CO2 equals regulating energy. It is the biggest sword a governing body could weild (aside from religion). Whether increasing or decreasing energy usage the result would be the same, complete control of the world economy and by proxy, control of the world.

    I don’t think the proponents of AGW theory are being misled by bad science, quite the opposite. If the governing bodies are finally given control over speech and scientific discourse, they will have won a resounding blow against liberty and resistence to globalization of goverance.

    I am very happy to be able to post this and to participate in free exchange of information. Let us all pray this privelege is never allowed to be taken from us.

  38. kim says:

    Douglas, thank you for that succinct and important comment.
    =====================================

  39. Ken Westerman says:

    Bravo to Mr. Spencer. Excellent report.

    Sounds like the folks at NCAR aren’t too thrilled about a challenge to their mind virus. One of these days, things will be different.

  40. “Predictions: The warmers will ignore Spencer. Or denounce him as a dangerous lunatic who completely misinterpreted all of the data.”

    You forgot the inevitable claim, which no doubt will emerge, that he is funded by evil and scary corporations and…..BIG OIL!

  41. Joel Shore says:

    DR says: “I don’t see how pitting Monckton vs Spencer will help your cause. If you have read Spencer’s work closely, (I don’t have it in front of me) I believe he places the actual real world warming attributable to 2xCO2 at .2C……..that’s not too far off from Monckton now is it? Have you dissected Monckton’s mathematical calculations? Where is he in error? Where is Spencer wrong?”

    That Spencer and Monckton get the same end result of a low climate sensitivity is not surprising since that is what they are both aiming for. This does not mean the two papers are consistent…and in fact they are not.

    As for whether I have dissected Monckton’s calculations, the answer is yes. And, as to where he is wrong, the short answer is pretty much everywhere. Tim Lambert has a pretty good analysis here: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/07/moncktons_triple_counting.php One could quibble with whether what Monckton did is best characterized as “triple counting” but the basic underlying errors are correctly noted and they completely invalidate the whole paper. I know that there will also be responses to Monckton’s piece in the FPS newsletter that will explain where he was wrong…I have already read over and commented on one draft response that a friend from physics grad school is writing and it is very good at explaining in great detail where Monckton went wrong.

    As for Spencer, his work is clearly a much more serious scientific attempt than Monckton’s. I am not really qualified to say where he might be wrong…although I do know a couple of things. One is his claim that Schwartz’s result supports his claim of net negative feedbacks is no longer true, as I noted. The second is that the fit shown in Fig. 3 is not very impressive given the free parameters that he has to play with…And, I think the RealClimate folks had more to say about that and about the values he had to choose for those parameters in order to even do as well as he did.

    In time, climate scientists qualified to evaluate Spencer’s work will weigh in on it, as it should be. In the meantime, what you have is some work that other scientists have not had a chance to digest and respond to that contradicts lots of other evidence in the field. In any field of science at any given time, this is usually the case…It seems to be only in fields like climate science and evolution (i.e., ones that generate political controversy) that many seem to think that this means that we have to be paralyzed and act as if we know nothing.

  42. counters says:

    I am firmly in the same camp with Joel. Monckton’s paper is riddled with error and arbitrary methodology that would never pass should it actually be peer-reviewed some day.

    On the other hand, I look forward to the day in which Spencer publishes his work so that we may dissect it in an appropriate scientific discourse. As it stands now, however, his theory is not fully fleshed out. He asserts an interesting premise, and likely it will be absorbed over time into the scientific canon and we will better understand the climate system. I highly doubt it will overturn the large body of evidence supporting the predictions made by AGW.

    REPLY: You make claims that “Monckton’s paper is riddled with error and arbitrary methodology” yet offer nothing other than your opinion to back it up.

    Thus, your opinion as viewed by the science is worthless. You are welcome to prove it wrong, but simply “saying so” isn’t of any scientific value.

    Spencer has published, look it up. Then you can so that you can “dissect it in an appropriate scientific discourse.” or whatever method you choose.

    By the way, you can’t actually have “appropriate scientific discourse.” and be an anonymous coward at the same time. Peer review is done by real, known people that put their name behind their work. Your current methodology applied here doesn’t fit that description.

  43. Joel Shore says:

    The moderator says: “Spencer has published, look it up. Then you can so that you can ‘dissect it in an appropriate scientific discourse.’ or whatever method you choose.” Spencer has published some of what he presents, not all of it. As for dissecting it, I have made a few points but I am not sure that either counters or myself are the best ones to do this. I don’t pretend to be a climate scientist and although my background in physics and my reading of climate science in my “free time” give me some ability to comment on work that appears, I have no illusions that I can do so as well as someone working in the field.

    The moderator says: “By the way, you can’t actually have ‘appropriate scientific discourse.’ and be an anonymous coward at the same time. Peer review is done by real, known people that put their name behind their work.” Actually, in the cases that I am familiar with, peer review is done anonymously…at least anonymously to everyone but the editor. In fact, I have a friend who works as an editor for the APS journal Physical Review and they have their system designed so that even he is unable to see who refereed the papers that he published there before he became an editor.

    REPLY: I’m familiar with the process. Peer reviewers are known by the journal editor and selected based on credentials, experience, and expertise. You can’t gauge any of those from Internet phantoms that don’t use their name or put forth any details on expertise. They aren’t even known to the moderator. For “counters” to imply that a rigorous examination can occur the same way by himself and others is simply an erroneous fantasy.

  44. Pingback: Roy Spencers testimony before congress backs up Moncktons assertions on climate sensitivity - The Global Warming Skeptics Forum

  45. Evan Jones says:

    FTrouse: You don’t do it by assaulting Truk and Rabaul. You do it by bypassing them and rendering them irrelevant.

  46. Kent D. Steele, CRE, MAI, FRICS says:

    Much acclain should be given to Dr. Spencer, my fellow UW-Madison alumnus. Unlike other scientists, he has been able to get his mind around the fact that history did not begin 60 years ago. The politicized scientists seeking self-fulfilling grants have never managed to learn that many mathmatical expressions of complex phenomena are nothing more than garbage in – garbage out. Dr. Spencer knows better! Let’s hope that the politicians who were supposedly listening to him learn a thing or two.

  47. Sam the Skeptic says:

    “I hope that the Committee realizes that, if true, these new results mean that humanity will be largely spared the negative consequences of human-induced climate change. This would be good news that should be celebrated — not attacked and maligned.”
    This is so obvious that it shouldn’t need saying. As a non-scientist (but avid follower of this blog) I don’t understand all the science but I have spent all my life believing that good news is preferable to bad news.
    I would have hoped that in a rational world the IPCC and the UN itself and most of the world’s governments would have been delighted that a prominent climate scientist has come up with a realistic thesis that may tell us that AGW is not actually happening and that we don’t need to spend trillions of dollars in combating it.
    Perhaps one day somebody will come up with a cast-iron explanation of why this is not the case since I cannot for the life of me work it out for myself.

  48. Reed Coray says:

    Does anyone else think conversations like the following are beginning to take place throughout the halls where anthropogenic global warming alarmists (AGWAs) gather?

    AGWA 1: “Did anyone get the license number of the truck that just demolished our lobby?”

    AGWA 2: “Yeah. It was a personalized plate, and I think it read T R U T H.”

  49. Jordan says:

    @ Joel Shore
    Actually Spencer only points to Schwartz’s works as an example of other researches that find that “the real climate system does not exhibit net positive feedback”.

    In its 2008 revision Schwartz writes: “The revision in estimated climate sensitivity relative to that of S07 results in a revision of Table 3 of that paper in which total forcing and forcing other than by greenhouse gases were presented; that revision is shown here as Table 2. Perhaps most important here is the revision in the forcing other than by greenhouse gases, which is attributed mainly to forcing by anthropogenic aerosols, which is given now as -1.1 ± 0.7 W m-2, substantially greater (negative) forcing than given in S07. The conclusion of S07 that changes in atmospheric composition over the industrial period would, for concentrations of forcing agents held constant at present values, lead to minimal additional heating “in the pipeline” is unchanged.”

    In other words, the recent corrections made by Schwartz don’t contradict his previous findings that were referenced by Spencer. Also, their methods are different and you can not claim that they directly support/refute each other. Scwartz himself points that “Attention is called also to other recent independent estimates of climate sensitivity that are likewise at the low end of the IPCC [2007] range: 0.29 to 0.48 ± 0.12 K/(W m-2) [Chylek et al., 2007]; 0.49 ± 0.07 K/(W m-2) [Chylek and Lohmann, 2008]; and 0.65 ± 0.28 K/(W m-2) [Scafetta and West, 2007]” This is the most important: that the science is not settled and there is an ample scientific evidence for that.

  50. Geoff Larsen says:

    Joel Shores says: –

    “As for Spencer, his work is clearly a much more serious scientific attempt than Monckton’s. I am not really qualified to say where he might be wrong…although I do know a couple of things. One is his claim that Schwartz’s result supports his claim of net negative feedbacks is no longer true, as I noted. The second is that the fit shown in Fig. 3 is not very impressive given the free parameters that he has to play with…And, I think the RealClimate folks had more to say about that and about the values he had to choose for those parameters in order to even do as well as he did”.

    And further

    “As for dissecting it, I have made a few points but I am not sure that either counters or myself are the best ones to do this. I don’t pretend to be a climate scientist and although my background in physics and my reading of climate science in my “free time” give me some ability to comment on work that appears, I have no illusions that I can do so as well as someone working in the field”.

    Come on Joel you can do better than that! I assume you have read the accompanying presentations?

    http://www.weatherquestions.com/Climate-Sensitivity-Holy-Grail.htm

    http://climatesci.org/wp-content/uploads/spencer-ppt.pdf

    The data & analysis are compelling. In his charts of delta Flux TOA versus delta T (see page 14 of his power point presentation- 2nd link), he plots running daily data points of 3 month averages which tease out information not seen in average data analysed by Forster, Gregory & Taylor, uses local slopes analysis & interprets the results as follows: –

    1. “Stripes” with slope of 7 W m ^2 K^ -1 which he contributes to the real feedback. This is greater than 3.3 W m^2^-1, the non feedback slope, and indicates a strong negative feedback.

    2. These true feedback signals are superimposed on a background of what he refers to as varying cloud cover causing temperature change and is indicated by abrupt movements of the plot in the horizontal direction.

    3. He hypotheses as to what may be the cause of this varying cloud cover and speculates that varying ocean circulations may be the answer.

    Whether 3. turns out the be true or not (ie what is the cause of the cloud variability?) does not detract from the validity or otherwise of 1. or 2. I’ve racked my brains trying to think of alternative hypotheses for 1. or 2. Joel, lets get to what I believe is the crux of the matter, points 1. & 2. Any alternative hypotheses? Your straw-men & conflation’s above completely miss the mark. Anyone else care to comment?

    Having followed the arguments for high positive feedback in the literature for sometime and having long formed the opinion that this is the “Achilles heel” of deleterious AGW, I look forward the Realclimate’s rebuttal with glee.

  51. Vincent Guerrini Jr. says:

    Douglas: Could we say your proposition with which i agree 100%” should read “this is what causes climate” not climate change?. Isn’t climate inherently changing by definition?

  52. Douglas Hoyt says:

    Vincent: Not sure what you are saying. The IPCC seems to assume that climate would be unchanging unless forced by some external change in boundary conditions. I, on the other hand, have a hard time imagining that changes in cloud cover and ocean temperatures (which flow around) can ever reach an equilibrium and must always be modulating each other. Both are always moving and thus changing energy flows and it just doesn’t seem likely that the total energy in the system will remain invariant over time.

    Hope this clarifies things a bit.

  53. John McLondon says:

    Joel Shore (12:12:48)
    “Actually, in the cases that I am familiar with, peer review is done anonymously…at least anonymously to everyone but the editor…”

    I am somewhat puzzled about this part. How Mokton and Spencer came to know exactly who the reviewers were. Of course, now a days no one really wants to review papers and the author has to supply names of potential reviewers (generally five), but most often the editor adds those names to the database and use other reviewers. The name of the reviewers are known only to the editor and his/her secretary. Editors generally discourage reviewers even from communicating with the author. So I really cannot figure out how they know exactly who the reviewers are.

  54. Joel Shore says:

    John McLondon: In the case of Monckton, the answer is easy. It was not peer-reviewed at all. It was just looked over by Al Saperstein, one of the editors of the journal, who was mainly interested in improving the exposition. So, he made suggestions to Monckton is this regard.

  55. Bill says:

    I’m just a lurker here but it seems if AGW becomes any more apparent of a fraud then one of the many things it will take down with it is the ‘peer-review’ process. As it will become a joke not only to scientists but to all citizens who have had to listen to that mantra while trying to decipher the debate. In my understanding of the IPCC they already perverted the use of peer-review beyond repair and Oreskes did much damage to the reputation of the peer review process via her claims of consensus in her non-peer reviewed paper. As for Monckton, I think of him as more of a reporter on the science and thus easily dismissed by those who strongly want to. But I see him as much more qualified to speak on the issue than Al Gore who is held as an expert by the dopey press.

  56. Bravo, Dr Spencer! And I see the seeds of a proper consensus on Real Real Climate Science emerging with Hoyt:

    1. Cloud cover is varying over the oceans. Evidence (see Palle abstract below).
    2. The cloud cover causes changes in ocean temperatures by modulating the amount of solar radiation being absorbed.
    3. The changes in ocean temperatures cause much of the observed changes in temperature over land (see Compo abstract below).
    4. Part of the changes in land temperatures are also caused by land use changes (Pielke, Sr.), urban heat islands (McKitrick and Michaels), and poor siting of thermometers (Watts).

    to which many would want to add, I suspect:

    5. (or 0.) The effects of solar magnetic flux on the lowering of GCR (galactic cosmic radiation) in the Earth’s vicinity, and the probable resultant decrease in cloud cover (Svensmark et al).

    Any thoughts, again, on starting a Climate Science wiki where ordinary people can start to get the insight into Climate Science which they deserve if they are to make, and vote on, informed decisions? Wouldn’t this be another good way of bypassing those who have nailed their colours to the mast of the Titanic?

  57. Evan Jones says:

    As for Monckton, I think of him as more of a reporter on the science and thus easily dismissed by those who strongly want to. But I see him as much more qualified to speak on the issue than Al Gore who is held as an expert by the dopey press.

    Bear in mind he is a mathematician and an official reviewer of the IPCC (and is therefore a co-winner of their Nobel Beauty Prize). Most of his contribution consists of “sum checking”. It is because of his checking of sums that the IPCC drastically reduced its sea level rise projections. On those grounds alone he is clearly a qualified and vindicated player,

  58. Peter says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Dr. Spencer, for having the balls
    to go public honestly with truth!

    I’m no scientist, but was very interesting in climate science and
    started about 4 years ago with the help of some wellknown climate
    scientists to learn about that whole complex of climate.
    Starting up with GH theorie, I soon came to a point with a lot of
    uncertainties and discrepancies I can’t explain.
    Then I coincidentally found some interesting reports about
    suncycles and ENSO from Dr. Theodor Landscheidt, which sounds
    pretty promising.
    By and by I perfected my knowledge with papers from Shaviv,
    Svensmark, Solanki and many others, which all were targeting at
    least on LT cloud condensation by solar activity and modulated GCR.
    There were many laughs of AGW proponents happening to me with this,
    but who laughs last, laughs best at the end.
    Dr. Roy Spencer showed me, that I was not wrong at all, and my time
    was well invested.

    Thanks again, Dr. Roy Spencer, and if I may do here, special thanks
    to Dr. met. Wolfgang Thuene, Paul Reiter, Dick Lindzen, Nir Shaviv,
    Georg Beck, and many others guiding me on my way with word and deeds.
    I hope my questions didn’t stress you too much ;-)
    And in memoriam to Dr. Landscheidt, who passed away in 2004, very special thanks for your fine work, that I was inspired by.

  59. Al Tekhasski says:

    Joel Shore said at 19:46:40
    “Yes, they are both arguing for low climate sensitivity. However, they are doing so with completely different arguments and, in fact, the arguments can’t really both be right.”
    Your logic is false. Oh yes, they both can be right. Earth climate is a multivariable spatio-temporal system. The whole issue is debated by mapping of complex chaotic variables onto a single value called “global temperature”, which was designed for political appeal. There are myriad ways to map the variety of climatic variables into a single number. In fact, all these “theories” of sensitivity are no more than statistical curve fitting. The involved parameters (forcings and feedbacks) have no physical meaning, are immeasurable, and cannot constitute a system where any known law of physics would hold. Curve fitting to noisy experimental data can be done in many equally valid ways. Monckton and Spencer use slightly different angles, but arrived to the same result: IPCC theoretical projections and estimations are blown out of proportion with reality. The CO2-centric AGW theory is falling apart, and no friends from graduate school of physics could save it.

  60. Mark Whitney says:

    I was fortunate to meet Dr. Spencer a few months ago at a seminar in Salt Lake City and was impressed by his presentation, and I have followed his work with interest. It is unconscionable, but not unexpected, that a US Senator would so callously disregard a respected scientist. She was scribbling away instead of listening and her first comments were of ad hominem intent to refer to him in context with a popular and liberally reviled entertainer.
    Mark Whitney
    Sandy, Utah

  61. John McLondon says:

    I believe Monckton is certainly better qualified than Al Gore in this topic, Al Gore is a politician who found an opportunity in AGW. But when Monckton equates editorial review with peer-review in his strongly worded letter, in my opinion it diminishes his credibility.

    As for Spencer, unfortunately I do not really trust him. It seems there is a stretch between his reviewed publications and his public opinions – in his unreviewed writings he seems to exaggerate the significance of his work in order to cast doubts on AGW. This particular one is not different, it seems to me. Here is the clue, when he said: “ To be fair, in a follow-up communication Piers Forster stated to me his belief that the net effect of the new understanding on climate sensitivity estimates would likely be small. But as we shall see, the latest evidence now suggests otherwise.” I believe the first part, which is the reviewer’s opinion; but I do not believe in the second part, which is Spencer’s opinion. If Christy was the one making these statements, I will have little hesitation in giving him the benefit of doubt.

    I see so much criticism on peer-review process. It is best process we have to keep a level of standard and integrity in the published literature. As with any other great systems created by imperfect human beings, most often it works fine. It is easy to criticize the process, but it is difficult to come up with a different better process to achieve the same objective.

  62. Jryan says:

    [Does not add to the discussion. Please let's get away from fingerpointing~Charles the moderator]

  63. Peter Taylor says:

    What surprises me in all these discussions is that Roy Spencer’s conclusions are rather obvious when the satellite data – as used by Palle and others, are studied – the period of ‘global warming’ currently attributed to carbon dioxide also corresponds to a global cloud thinning (ISCCP data) and increased Short Wave flux to the surface of the order of 6 watts/sq m over many years compared to the computed CO2 radiative forcing by Long Wave radiation of 1.8 watts. This radiative flux data supports Spencer and should have shown IPCC that something was wrong. The changing clouds are likely related to the oceanic oscillations – but more, there is a large literature on the correlation between ocean surface temperature/oscillations and the solar cycle. The mechanism may or may not be as Svensmark and colleagues believe – there are other candidates, but there is very likely one that links the solar cycle to ocean surface temperatures via cloud density. And of course, the solar flux has increased 230% in the last 100 years (now perhaps about to decline), and this may be what has ultimately warmed the oceans – with some time lags when the oscillations amplified the effects.

    When I reviewed this material a year ago (www.ethos-uk.com) I concluded that these factors could account for about 80% of the warming – thus reducing considerably the assumed climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide.

    I spent some time reading the IPCC working group reports – no one was thinking ‘ecologically’ – i.e. each discipline operated separately and there was clearly no one with an effective overview of the science – it requires solar scientists to talk to oceanographers, oceanographers to talk to satellite data analysts in atmospheric sciences – and all of them to review the paleo-ecology of the Holocene, which would lead them to look for a ‘missing factor’ to explain previous natural fluctuations (as indeed Svensmark did).

    I would expect it to take several years, but eventually the data that now contradicts the models will cause the models to be revised – already there are attempts to factor in ocean oscillations. How this will affect policy is another matter!

  64. Bill says:

    Evan Jones,
    Sorry I feel silly for not knowing that. That certainly raises him up a few notches in my book.

  65. Joel Shore says:

    Al Tekhasski says “Your logic is false. Oh yes, they both can be right. Earth climate is a multivariable spatio-temporal system…”

    No, they can’t both be right when one claims that the radiative forcing due to CO2 is about 3.7 W/m2 and the other claims it is one third that. And, they can’t both be right when the disagree on what the sensitivity in the absence of feedbacks is.

    And, the simplest reason that they can’t both be right is that one of them…Monckton…is definitely wrong (which leads immediately to the conclusion that they can’t both be right)! The “skeptic” crowd would stand itself in better stead if it acknowledged total pseudoscientific junk when it is used to support your point-of-view. The lack of discrimination, i.e., the willingness to use anything as a basis of support no matter how bad it is, really doesn’t do much to help your cause.

  66. Jason Salit says:

    Joel,

    “help your cause”… ?

    I hope we’re not talking about causes. I hope we’re talking about reality. I hope we’re talking about science. I hope we’re talking about evidence… But a “cause”…? No, I think (most) everyone here wants to hear the truth (that’s not just a “skeptic” truth, it’s the actual truth).

    We want a discussion of reality, not models. We want observed data and causation. If you have those things then present them. If they are convincing, we will capitulate, adulate and swoon (if you need that). We will give you all the credit you deserve for bringing these things to light and for educating us.

    But with all due respect, honestly, what makes you so sure that the UN/IPCC/Hansen/Al Gore/C02 theory is correct? Humbly, I don’t think it’s the observed data, is it? If it is, then illuminate us. Seriously. Respectfully.

    I really think that is why most of us are here… To find the truth. I can go elsewhere to find a “cause”. What is uniquely refreshing, engaging and honorable about this site (thank you Anthony and your moderation team) is that it is refreshingly devoid of “causes”. If you have evidence (and can be even mildly respectful) you will be heard.

    So other than man-made computer simulations… what evidence is there?

    2 cents… back to lurking.

  67. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore says that the UN/IPCC…:

    …report states clearly that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely between 2 and 4.5 C…

    When Planet Earth totally contradicts the stated UN/IPCC prediction of global warming due to CO2 emissions, rational scientists change their minds.

    What is your response, Joel? Is the climate in error?

  68. jeez says:

    Guys, can we stop this back and forth. I think we know where everybody stands.

  69. John McLondon says:

    Jason Salit: “So other than man-made computer simulations… what evidence is there?”

    This is a very good question. What kind of evidence can we find and what kind of experiment can we do to validate (or invalidate) AGW? Obviously we cannot do a controlled experiment. We have to use whatever data we have. With that, either we have to use correlations (like those who are using with PDO) or one has to use some type of cause effect relations, which invariably will end up as a computer model since the problem is do difficult to tackle without using numerical methods. So, I am very curious what kind of data or what kind of experiments can we suggest to satisfy an AGW skeptic? I do not believe I have seen an answer to that yet.

    By the way, computer simulations are not all that bad. Companies like Amgen use computer simulations to develop new drugs, it is actually very effective. There are lots of other examples. Computer models are simply the numerical version of the physical mechanisms we are aware of about a phenomenon. As long as we incorporate every important mechanism in the code, then we cannot claim that our correlative judgments are better than computer models. As time goes on, models will get better and better with the incorporation of new mechanisms.

  70. old construction worker says:

    Joel Shore (17:36:11)
    “No, they can’t both be right when one claims that the radiative forcing due to CO2 is about 3.7 W/m2 and the other claims it is one third that. And, they can’t both be right when the disagree on what the sensitivity in the absence of feedbacks is. ”

    So Joel, What is the sensitivity in the absence of positive water vapor feedback?

  71. Jason Salit says:

    Jeez – Sorry, If my post prompted you admonition. But when we get toward the ends of these threads my pea little mind wants to kind of “sum things up”. My rationality keeps nagging at me to point out that we seem to be quibbling over unknowable’s (currently) modeled ad nauseam. We clearly (I hope admittedly by all) do not sufficiently know the input parameters anywhere near to the degree that we try to sell the output accuracy of these models. It doesn’t make sense to me. That’s not to say that I don’t respect those who are honestly trying. I just don’t think that we’re near to the point where we can start making predictions and “policy”… EGAD!

    John – Thank you for the thoughtful reply. As a computer consultant I am truly hip to how useful computers can be. And I’m truly appreciative for what they can do for us (my living not withstanding). In climate modeling I think that the computer basically gives us a false sense of control/understanding. I’m certain that good honest work is proceeding (in good faith) to try and figure these things out in the digital arena (and I agree that they will get better over time). But when so much of the output is based upon “estimations” on the input side… It leaves me flat/unconvinced. So, for now… I’d like to see some actual data showing causality (not simulated). Also, *I’m* curious why you phrased your question:

    “So, I am very curious what kind of data or what kind of experiments can we suggest to satisfy an AGW skeptic?”

    Does that mean that you’ve seen enough hard science to convince a “believer”? Not being argumentative. My point is simply that the threshold should be the same for both camps. Empirical data. Science. Not a computer model (at least not in lieu of data).

    Respectfully,
    jp

  72. Peter says:

    @Peter Taylor
    There is a very good DNSC/ESA report about correlation of solar activity and several terrestrian effects, inclusive ocean surface temperature.

  73. Peter says:

    @Peter Taylor
    Hmmm… href tags didn’t work?

    http://www.space.dtu.dk/upload/institutter/space/research/reports/scientific%20reports/isac_final_report.pdf

    Please delete, if this link is shown in my last posting.
    Thanks!

  74. John McLondon says:

    “Does that mean that you’ve seen enough hard science to convince a “believer”?

    This is not my field. But earlier I posted a list of National Academics all over the world, a list of Nobel Laureates, etc. that endorse the AGW understanding. I assume they are convinced. I cannot find more than a few National Academy members, one Nobel Laureate, and one society, the American Society of Petroleum Geologists, that support the skeptical position.

    “Not being argumentative. My point is simply that the threshold should be the same for both camps. Empirical data. Science. Not a computer model (at least not in lieu of data).”

    No, that is fine. I am not arguing either – it is just discussion. I have been wondering about these questions for a while. My curiosity is on what kind of empirical data, what kind of hard science, would give a conclusion in one way or other? Also, how long would it take to have enough empirical data? Suppose we find a 4 deg rise in the next 10 years, I am not sure that will convince many of the skeptics. For every pattern, there is a possibility that one could bring a different explanation (whether justifiable or not) other than AGW. That is why we depend on scientists in the field to find the justifiable explanation.

    “I’d like to see some actual data showing causality (not simulated).”

    Among the many variables, natural and manmade, how do we disentangle the causal effect of one variable without using computer models, when we cannot carry out controlled experiments? Note that data itself does not show any causality, it is the analysis on the data which will show causality. Computer simulations are used only for that analysis. What about the following, it is just about the past – not computer models about future:

    The following is not about you personally, but in general. There are some people who ask the question on the meaning of life. You can answer them the meaning of life is derived from what we want to be, to be a good person, to make money, to have friends, etc. Most often such a person who asked that question will reject each of these answers. In other words, in general the person who is asking the question does not know what kind of answer he is looking for and none of the answers will satisfy him. I am sure we all have seen such people. In such cases, many say, the question he asked does not have any meaning. For the question to have a meaning the questioner should have some idea on what kind of answer he is looking for. The same is applicable here, instead of criticizing AGW, it would be good if the critics could also explain what kind of data (or what minimum criterion) are they looking for to settle the case against AGW or for AGW. May be it is somewhere out there, but I have not seen it.

  75. leebert says:

    Joel Shore (19:10:07) :

    Even Schwartz proffered the caveat that his original effort was incomplete and welcomed critique. It was a first-shot, and it’s not the results but the overall methodology that Schwartz is trying to develop. A recent rev. to Schwartz’ first range moved the center up & expanded the variance. So Spencer & other knowledgeable readers understand that Schwartz’ methodology is still under development.

    The point of Spencer’s announcement is to show that a different empirical approach shows a disparate result.

    Here’s the big problem: Why aren’t we getting real empirical data for CO2, water vapor & temperature readings from point-source CO2 sources? You know, taking radiosonde or direct in situ observations from w/in a lonely plume of clean, non-aerosol (no sulfates, nitrates, ozone or soot) CO2 at a methane-powered generating plant that’s downwind from nowhere.

    Using radiosonde or laser interferometry the study would gauge the CO2-water vapor-temperature response over the course of a year. The results would probably be surprising, just as the huge soot surprise discovered using robotic planes w/in brown clouds (Ramanathan, et al, 2007).

    The problem is, and continues to be, we lack solid empirical data for CO2-driven GW. We have an edifice of empirical data for a great many parts of climatology – rossby waves, long waves, wind shear & temperature, satellite data, deep ocean data and so on., But although the perceived level of scientific understanding may seem great, it could just as well be that there’s something crucial being missed.

    Spencer is making this very point, as are others like Lindzen, Christi…. even Trenberth himself conceded a biggie just this past February, that some unforeseen ocean and/or air mechanism evidently let a great deal of anticipated heat radiate back into space. It was a big deal that Keenlyside admonished us not to become complacent, conceding that the expected hockey-stick trend stalled. The discovery that the Antarctic is far drier than thought represents a tempered view of warming over the South Pole.

    The continued studies into the lower-than-expected relative humidity in the mid- and upper-troposphere were yet another indicator that there are problems in the bulk formula analysis approach of the current computer models. Taken along with the inexplicable lack of the tell-tale AGW “hot spot” predicted by the climate models and we know that the troposphere is doing something unanticipated.

    And now we have proof the sun’s well into a dimming phase (already down by -0.1 degrC since early 1990’s), with heliophysical models and trend analysis showing the sun’s dynamo has shifted into a new regime that will be in full onset by 2020 (SC #25). This would be important news even for ardent AGWers and policy planners, b/c it portends a wider window of opportunity, with a TSI offset of easily another -0.1 to -0.2 degrC alone. Coupled with cosmic ray effects, the upper range may settle into -0.3 – 0.5.

    Instead the news about the sun comes with few admissions from the IPCC that net solar forcing had to have played a role in the warming trend of the late 1970’s – 1990’s. And they have the gall to accuse Chris Monckton of being a charlatan?

    It’s enough to have some doubt about science being able to model something that by its nature inheres a poorly constrained empirical scope, but to then IGNORE EVIDENCE that is knocking empirical nulls into the hull of the juggernaut and it looks science hasn’t changed much at all… orthodoxy and consensus still reify theories into facts, no matter the path has always been littered with minefields riven with empirical snobbery.

    Case in point: We just discovered that neutrons are in fact mutually attractive, and this new proof nucleon-nucleon attraction is going to upset a great many articles of faith in the standard model. Other examples abound in describing the dangers of hubris in science and yet we continue to see the human factor conflating evidence for self and empiricism for ego. Karl Popper called it, but who listens to him?

  76. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says: “When Planet Earth totally contradicts the stated UN/IPCC prediction of global warming due to CO2 emissions, rational scientists change their minds.”

    However, rational scientists also understand how to correctly evaluate observational data and compare it to predictions. Alas, you do not. For example, a rational scientist would actually look and see what the IPCC models predict for the trend over an 8 year period…and those scientists would find that, in fact, one expects to have zero or even negative trends over a reasonable proportion of such periods, as demonstrated here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/langswitch_lang/tk

    Furthermore, in regards to your second graph, a rational scientist would say: “Hmmm…That is interesting that they chose to plot CO2 rise and temperature behavior on the same graph. Nothing wrong with that, but I wonder what relative scaling they chose for the CO2 and temperature scales and what sort of climate sensitivity one would have to have in order to have the expectation that (over a long enough period that short-term variability is not dominating the temperature data) the two data sets would have the same average slope.”

    Well, that is not hard to work out from the figure. I used the fact that a ~5.4% increase in CO2 levels across that graph corresponded to a change of 0.7 C on the temperature scale. Using the expected logarithmic dependence of temperature on CO2, this gives you an implied climate sensitivity for doubling of over 9 C.

    In other words, over the long term, the temperature trend would expect to follow the CO2 trend on that graph if the climate sensitivity was 9 C, a far cry from the IPCC estimate of 2 to 4.5 C!! But, in fact, it is really worse than that because the IPCC estimate is for EQUILIBRIUM climate sensitivity. What you are really measuring here is what is called the “transient climate response” (TCR) and the IPCC estimate for that quantity is between 1 and 3.5 C. So, in other words, the scaling of the CO2 axis relative to the temperature axis on that graph is somewhere between ~2.5 and 9 times greater than what it ought to be to have an expectation that the trends align.

    Of course, if you changed the scale for the CO2 by, say, a factor of 4 (to use about the midpoint of the IPCC estimate of the TCR), then the difference between the temperature and CO2 trends wouldn’t look nearly so dramatic as it does now because it would be much clearer that the noise in the temperature data make it much more difficult to conclude that the data is or is not in agreement with the expected trend, which would ruin the deception of that graph. A deception that you easily fell for!

  77. Gary Gulrud says:

    ““If the mathematics of ln(C/C0) holds, then we’ve actually seen more like 70% of the warming we’re going to see with doubling of CO2 from 260-520 ppmv. You’ll get the most increase in warming in the first 30% of increase.”

    Even ignoring the facts that the accepted value I usually see used for pre-industrial levels is 280ppmv”

    See the post on Becks’ recent offering.

    We do not agree on the facts. Why are you arguing about the consequences?

    19th century average was 330ppm. I don’t care who’s carcass you gurney out in support of your value, the volumetric analysis of the French drying with H2SO4 under counted CO2 and their representation is narrow and minor.

    Ice core data is worthless for atmospheric estimates, CO2 is soluble and bubbles’ CO2 monotonically collapse.

  78. Al Tekhasski says:

    Joel Shore (06:52:32) , you do not seem to understand the issue. As I said, the state of climate system is multidimensional. It means that different processes and “feedbacks” are acting in a space that is bigger than one dimensional line; even the temperature field alone is split into variety of meridional and local climate zones. Each zone could respond differently to alleged radiative forcing, each zone has its own form of humidity and cloud “feedbacks”. etc. The IPCC sensitivity equation is an attempt to approximate this multidimensionality by mapping of all regions into one-dimensional variable, “global temperature”. However, in a multidimensional system the feedbacks are not acting alone one line, they may act in each own orthogonal direction in the state space. As result, there is not such thing as “net positive (or negative) feedback”, since vectors do not sum in that simple way. The whole IPCC method is mathematically flawed, that’s why it is almost impossible to “correctly evaluate observational data and compare them to predictions”. There is ambiguity in mapping of various and very different local climates into one variable. Therefore, there are many ways to match observational data with one-dimensional sensitivity equation. As both Moncton and Spencer have shown you, there is an observed discrepancy. One way to resolve the discrepancy between predictions and observation is to question the assumption about effective forcing, and obtain a fit if the practical forcings are in fact 1/3 of the theoretical IPCC value (Monckton). Another approach is to question values of temperature “feedback” and correct them for non-accounted decadal variability of other climate components (Spencer). Yet another approach would be to question the assumption of algebraic sum of feedbacks, etc. There are many ways where the primitive IPCC approach goes wrong. Unfortunately (for you), IPCC prediction is proven wrong by observational data, so I don’t understand what is your problem. Your number massaging is meaningless.

  79. Joel Shore says:

    Gary Gulrud says: “We do not agree on the facts. Why are you arguing about the consequences?”

    Well, you are right. If you don’t believe in the accepted CO2 measurements, [Sorry Joel, the personal attacks have to stop on both sides~Charles the moderator]

  80. stas peterson says:

    Dr Spencer and Dr. Lindzen have both empirically measured the lack of GCM model conformance to Warmist dogma.

    What has been lacking is a theoretical basis for why these empirical observations are producing these values. That is why the Theory of a Sataurated GHG Atmsophere by Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi is so revolutionary. And so threatening to the
    Warmists. The ex NASA sientist, just like Dr. Spencer has been using the data from the NASA satellites to give us a better understanding of the Earth type atmosphere.

    And like Dr. Spencer, Dr. Miskolczi has been attacked with the characteristic ad hominems, by the usual claque of Pharisees and Scribes. Gavin Shmidt, Eli Rabbet, Brendan Robertson et al. have all attacked Dr. Spencer as they did to Dr. Miskoczi.

    These apologists for Dr. Hansen and the Reverend Profit Algore will soon have to get real jobs, instead of operating a gratutitous insults machine, the usual output from RealClimate.

    The scam draws to the inevitable conclusion.

  81. Joel Shore says:

    leebert says: “Even Schwartz proffered the caveat that his original effort was incomplete and welcomed critique. It was a first-shot, and it’s not the results but the overall methodology that Schwartz is trying to develop.” Yeah…Well, there is nothing I disagree with there…and yet, that didn’t stop lots of folks from saying that Schwartz’s result was the definitive nail in the coffin of AGW. In fact, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some of the same people who said that are those who now say, for example, that Miskolczi’s paper is.

    leebert says: “The continued studies into the lower-than-expected relative humidity in the mid- and upper-troposphere were yet another indicator that there are problems in the bulk formula analysis approach of the current computer models.” Not sure what data you are referring to…but Brian Soden has done some nice work showing that the expected water vapor signature is there: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;310/5749/841

    leebert says: “Taken along with the inexplicable lack of the tell-tale AGW ‘hot spot’ predicted by the climate models and we know that the troposphere is doing something unanticipated.” Well, the hot spot is not due to AGW but rather to moist adiabatic lapse rate theory that is expected regardless of the forcing (see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/tropical-troposphere-trends/ ) and is in fact seen for temperature fluctuations on monthly to yearly timescales (see http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;309/5740/1551 ). It is a bit of a mystery why it is not seen in the data for the longterm multidecadal trends but given the problems with the data (see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/tropical-tropopshere-ii/langswitch_lang/in ), this is by no means conclusive evidence that the models are wrong.

    leebert says: “Case in point: We just discovered that neutrons are in fact mutually attractive, and this new proof nucleon-nucleon attraction is going to upset a great many articles of faith in the standard model. Other examples abound in describing the dangers of hubris in science and yet we continue to see the human factor conflating evidence for self and empiricism for ego. Karl Popper called it, but who listens to him?”

    I guess I am not keeping up on my particle physics but I seem to have missed this story on the neutrons and a quick web search failed to find it? (Also, the existence of the nuclear force binding the nucleus together has been known for a long time.) Could you give me a reference?

    As for revolutions in science, sure they do happen from time-to-time. But, the current scientific viewpoint is still the best that we have to go on to make decisions…and we are far better off going with the current science than ignoring it when we don’t like its conclusions. And unfortunately, I think that for every person who really does make a revolutionary discovery, there are at least a hundred…if not a thousand…who mistakenly think that they have.

  82. jc stout says:

    John McLondon (05:51:51): instead of criticizing AGW, it would be good if the critics could also explain what kind of data (or what minimum criterion) are they looking for to settle the case against AGW or for AGW.

    I can’t speak for anyone but me, but here is what needs to be done to make any real progress convincing me:

    Start at the beginning — why should anyone believe that changes in climate are not entirely natural and would have occurred with, or without, the presence of man? There was a Medieval Warm Period. There was a Little Ice Age. Man did not cause either one. (And no, it is not up to me to prove there was a MWP or LIA – I am not the one trying to rewrite history. AGW advocates often want to shift the burden of proof and thereby fail the first and most key minimum criterion – I have to trust the messenger.) AGW advocates are required to prove that the same, unknown, natural forces are not responsible for modern climate change and they simply have not done so. So far, all we have a host of statistical 3-Card Monte associated with the hockey stick and follow up attempts to resuscitate the hockey stick corpse. Further attempts based on tree ring growth will continue to be seen as a brazen attempt to deceive. AGW advocates will have to come forward with something that at least rises to the level of common sense.

    Second – in another post you said: I see so much criticism on peer-review process. It is best process we have to keep a level of standard and integrity in the published literature. As with any other great systems created by imperfect human beings, most often it works fine. It is easy to criticize the process, but it is difficult to come up with a different better process to achieve the same objective.

    Here the two subjects intertwine. The minimum required to change my mind is replication — not peer review. The two are galaxies apart. Peer review is just too low a standard and is not suitable for a scientific argument that politicians are elevating to be more important than basic human freedom. Replication is closer to the minimum requirement. To meet it AGW advocates are going to have to join the real world of complete disclosure, archiving all their data, and fully independent replication of all results.

    (BTW, in my mind one of the most laughable things that AGW advocates throw around is that only climate scientists can peer review a climate paper. Apply that same logic to “only astrologers can provide peer review for astrology” and think about whether that would convince you. Lots of people are educated in chemistry, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, physics, computer modeling, math, statistics, meteorology, and the like. My experience has proven to me that if someone really knows their stuff they can explain it to bright people in very understandable terms. Cliques are not required to communicate clearly and are not in the best interest of high quality science.)

    Third – AGW advocates have to drop all posturing about computer models. You said: By the way, computer simulations are not all that bad. Companies like Amgen use computer simulations to develop new drugs, it is actually very effective.

    Yet, nobody is asked to swallow what a pharma company produces without actual proof that it is efficacious and that the side effects are known and worth the risk. Double blind studies, placebos, and a host of other techniques are used to establish proof and even that is not enough in every case.

    In the case of GCMs, let’s cut to the chase. The Starship Enterprise had a computer that knew all. Real computers are programmed by somebody and all they do is run the program. The program might be crap or GIGO might apply. The minimum requirement to change my mind is a readily-available full-scale exposition of sample calculations and validation of all the code in an open source environment. The minimum supporting document would state all assumptions; methods used to establish, test, and parameterize each variable; and a straight forward description of every underlying hypothesis and how & why the attempts to falsify each hypothesis failed.

    Perhaps by now you think I am demanding too much. I ask you to consider the context. The whole Enron scandal probably cost less than $50 billion whereas AGW advocates are pushing policies reasonably expected to cost many trillions of dollars. (Not to mention countless lives lost to food shortages, etc. brought about by the current rush to approach this supposedly vast problem in a half-vast way.) In my mind AGW advocates are going to have to comply with standards commensurate with their plans to set off a whole series of 50-Enron bombs. Tough noogies if that is a high standard—it matches the stakes at hand. After all, Enron is just one of many proofs that large scale frauds can and do happen. I think it would be reckless to accept less than ‘trust but verify’ in this situation.

  83. jeez says:

    You don’t have to shout. I think 843 words in bold is a bit much.

  84. Smokey says:

    jc stout raises the same questions that are repeatedly asked of the AGW promoters — and which are never adequately answered, if they are answered at all.

    I would like to read a response to Mr. Stout from John McLondon, or Joel Shore, or any proponent of the AGW/disaster hypothesis specifically explaining their position on each point raised above.

    But I don’t think they will take up the challenge. Why not? Because their answers, if limited to actual, reproducible, verifiable science [such as they can provide], will make it clear to everyone that their AGW/catastrophe hypothesis has abjectly failed.

    Rather than put forth a falsifiable AGW hypothesis and defend it, they continuously mount really scurrilous <ad hominem attacks against serious scientists like Lindzen, Monckton, Spencer and other reputable scholars who have a different point of view, and who provide verifiable facts to back their positions.

    When one side is forced to resort to tactics that would never be permitted either in a moderated debate or in a peer reviewed paper, they have lost the argument, and everyone knows it.

    Reasonable people can point out errors or unanswered questions regarding the science. But there is no reasonable way to debate “He’s lying,” or “He’s a shill for Exxon Mobil.” That type of truly reprehensible arguing — which we hear constantly from the AGW promoters — shows only that they are desperately trying to contain an argument that is not going their way.

  85. Jon says:

    I’m not a scientist…just an average guy being asked to accept completely destroying our economy, losing my job, and totally disrupting my way of life because the world is going to end otherwise. So I’ve been watching these AGW discussions with something more than academic interest.

    What I’ve gleaned to date;

    (1) We’ve had maybe 1C temperature rise to date (debateably), none for the last 7-8 years, and most of that’s been lost this last year.
    (2) That the proponents of AGW have engaged in widespread dishonesty by falsifying data (hockey stick, NASA temp charts, etc.) to “prove” their case. (3) That there is no consensus, and there has been little actual debate on the subject, with critics of AGW being muzzled, scorned in the media, and have had funding cut, their jobs threatened (or lost), and generally being marginalized on a systemic basis.
    (4) Let’s not forget the poor polar bears…and the summertime pics showing them adrift on an ice floe, and how the real experts say they’re thriving.

    If the world was about to self-destruct over AGW shouldn’t we be seeing some actual, quantifiable warming? If AGW is real, and requiring life-altering measures to prevent it, shouldn’t the proponents be able to scientifically prove it? Instead of fluffing data, engaging in media witch hunts, and getting scientists fired for disagreeing with it?

    Am I missing something here? Because all I’m seeing is a marriage of far left environmentalists (who think we oughta all go back to painting ourselves blue, hunter/gathering, and being one with the Earth), demagogues/bloated plutocrats (like Al Gore who are making a fortune off of selling AGW), and so-called scientists like Hansen who are likewise making a killing personally and professionally off of AGW. Oh, and let’s not forget the UN, who on the strength of the IPCC report immediately demanded billions of dollars in AGW “reparations” from the US.

  86. Tony Edwards says:

    Jon (08:11:40) : You are right on with your above comment, but I’m afraid that FTrouse (01:25:16) put it very well indeed. In fact, that exposition is almost enough to make me despair, it is so very accurate. Certainly, the central gods of AGW are never going to admit anything, so we can but hope that, as there is more evidence, solid,hard. un-refutable evidence of the falsity of the whole scare, then, gradually the surrounding support, the camp followers, the easily deluded media, in fact pretty well everybody bar the unrepentant watermelons, will fall away and leave the main core hanging in the winds of a real world.
    Only then will this whole ridiculous charade be exposed for what it is, hysteria.

  87. Kissinger says:

    If I have set it down it is because that which is clearly known hath less terror than that which is but hinted at and guessed.SirArthurConanDoyleSir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles

  88. jc stout says:

    jeez, my apologies for the bold text. I screwed up in an attempt at blockquotes. As a suggestion and not an excuse — In case some other fool is going to make my mistake you should know that, without a preview, by the time I knew my error there was no way to pull it back. Also, once I saw my mistake in the “waiting for moderation” queue I couldn’t find an email addy to request the post be held for repairs.

    Again, my apologies. Shouting was never intended I just screwed it up.

    Reply: That’s OK, it was late, I was trying to sleep and it was so loud.~charles the moderator aka jeez

  89. Joel Shore says:

    Rather than put forth a falsifiable AGW hypothesis and defend it, they continuously mount really scurrilous <ad hominem attacks against serious scientists like Lindzen, Monckton, Spencer and other reputable scholars who have a different point of view, and who provide verifiable facts to back their positions.”

    Where are the ad hominem attacks? I see lots of ad hominem attacks against Hansen and Gore on this webiste. Against Lindzen, Monckton, and Spencer, I see mainly attacks on their scientific points. In fact, most of our scientific points in this thread have gone completely unanswered despite the fact that there are many more of you than there are of us on the website.

    When one side is forced to resort to tactics that would never be permitted either in a moderated debate or in a peer reviewed paper, they have lost the argument, and everyone knows it.

    You mean like putting out a completely deceptive news release regarding an article published in a newsletter? Yes, I agree that is an indication that Monckton and associates have lost the argument. It is pretty desperate when you want to claim that an article in a newsletter that contains elementary mathematical and scientific mistakes is a major peer-reviewed article in a learned journal that gives a mathematical proof.

    You mean like producing and then promulgating deceptive graphs, such as the ones that you posted and I deconstructed above, which carefully cherrypick the data sets that they use and the time periods they look at and the relative scaling of the temperature and CO2 axes in order to mislead? Yes, I agree that this is an indication that the skeptics have lost the argument.

    Reasonable people can point out errors or unanswered questions regarding the science. But there is no reasonable way to debate “He’s lying,” or “He’s a shill for Exxon Mobil.” That type of truly reprehensible arguing — which we hear constantly from the AGW promoters — shows only that they are desperately trying to contain an argument that is not going their way.

    You are the first person here to mention Exxon Mobil in this post. And, you are also a poster who has posted long diatribes about environmentalists, for example (saying things that are easily proved false by a 30 sec web search). Honestly, both sides tend to demonize the opposition somewhat. The difference, however, is that we are pointing out that there are always going to be a few scientists (or non-scientists like Monckton) who, because of strongly held political beliefs and assisted by corporate money in some cases, will be arguing against AGW. And, sure, there will always be some scientists who, because of strongly held political beliefs and assisted by environmental organizations, are going to argue for AGW.

    However, what you would have us believe is that the vast middle that is represented for example by the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and the analogous organizations in the other twelve G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical Society, etc., etc. have all somehow been co-opted. And that, frankly, requires a pretty good conspiracy theory!

  90. Joel Shore says:

    Whoops…Messed up the coding for those last two paragraphs which should again be my words rather than being further indented.

  91. DAV says:

    jc stout (11:06:44) : As a suggestion and not an excuse
    — In case some other fool is going to make my mistake you
    should know that, without a preview, by the time I knew my error there
    was no way to pull it back.

    Yeah. It’s a real nuisance. There’s one person here who habitually
    makes entire posts in italics, perhaps because of a lack of preview.
    I’ve been using Nvu ( http://www.nvu.com/ ). I do a cut and paste into the HTML source page. There are other WYSIWYG html
    editors too. Also there’s at least one check web page:
    http://jmarshall.com/easy/html/testbed.html .

    One problem is that WordPress comment entry forms don’t completely conform to W3 standards so what works in the WYSIWG may not work in the
    post and vice versa. Nvu has a tendency to want to insert font changes for things like italics. So I find myself editing from the HTML source page instead of the “normal” page. Also, WordPress insterts a BR tag for CRLF but makes viweing in Nvu bothersome and Nvu has a tendency to “fix” your
    HTML (like removing “extraneous” CRLFs).

    Better than nothing though.

  92. John McLondon says:

    JC:

    Let us just start with the general background. I do not post to change anyone’s mind – these are simply discussions to provide information pertinent to a specific aspect – in the process I usually learn a thing or two. If one finds the information to be convincing, he/she can change his/her mind. The level of evidence required to believe in something differs from person to person depending on the topic. That is why I really do not have any real problems with those who criticize AGW. (The following is not intended to make fun of your position, but to make a point) There are people who do not find the evidence to be convincing to believe that (1) childhood vaccines do not cause autism, (2) the earth is round, (3) men ever landed on Moon (http://www.apfn.org/apfn/moon.htm ), etc. I personally do not find it to be unusual (and I will even give them the benefit of doubt that it is possible one day they may be proven to be correct), but based on our current scientific knowledge I would claim that their belief is irrational. Also, I have always advocated for full disclosure of information that are critical in order to make a decision.

    “why should anyone believe that changes in climate are not entirely natural and would have occurred with, or without, the presence of man?”

    Because now the significant input variables are not all natural, unlike the Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age. We are introducing CO2 at a rate that in less than 100 years we will reach the CO2 level occurred 50 million years ago. I am not aware of any serious questions on whether CO2, methane, CFCs, water vapor, etc are GHGs or on their relative potential for greenhouse effect. As far as I know main question is on how our earth deals with increased CO2, overall with positive or negative feedback.

    “AGW advocates are required to prove that the same, unknown, natural forces are not responsible for modern climate change and they simply have not done so.”

    Exactly how can we do that? This is a large scale experiment. May we can stop using fossil fuel immediately for 10 to 20 years and then use 10 times as much fossil fuel as we are using now for another 20 years, etc. and see whether there is an effect. But this is not practical. Can you please suggest another experiment that we can do?

    “Peer review is just too low a standard and is not suitable for a scientific argument that politicians are elevating to be more important than basic human freedom. Replication is closer to the minimum requirement.”

    OK. I am all for it, as I mentioned in my last paragraph. But how do we replicate phenomenon like global warming? Please suggest a practical way to do that.

    On a related topic, most scientists now believe in the Big Bang theory. How exactly can we replicate that, if replication is taken as a minimum requirement?

    “AGW advocates are going to have to join the real world of complete disclosure, archiving all their data, and fully independent replication of all results.”

    I have no disagreements here, except the last part, unless you can suggest a replication experiment.

    “…that only climate scientists can peer review a climate paper..”

    I do not know who said that. At some level there are lots of overlap between different disciplines, and scientists from other disciplines with appropriate background knowledge can easily evaluate climate science. They have already done so. All the national academies all over the world, almost all Nobel Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine (except one as far as I can tell) support our current AGW understanding.

    “..AGW advocates have to drop all posturing about computer models…”

    OK. Then please propose a way to use our basic cause-effect relations like Newton’s law, gas laws, other laws of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, etc to deal with large number of data and large number of inputs for a very complicated phenomenon to isolate the effect of one input parameter on the output.

    “..The program might be crap or GIGO might apply…”

    That depends on you definition of crap, I believe. Sometimes there are idealizations and approximations in our simulations, those could result in some errors. But we use computers for designing structures, predicting planetary motions, designing chemical plants, etc etc. as log as we use appropriate laws correctly, the outcome will be correct. As we know more about the mechanisms, they will improve the programs also.

    “..whereas AGW advocates are pushing policies reasonably expected to cost many trillions of dollars.”

    With the oil price as it is now, it will cost us trillions of additional dollars anyway, and I am becoming less and less concerned about AGW with increasing oil price. It would make economic sense to find other cheaper and hopefully better energy source as quickly as we can, rather than having so much dependence on fossil fuel. It is generally understood that China wants to go to moon to extract Helium –3 for fusion rectors (we still are little away from fusion reactors being a reality, but when there is a will, there is generally a way, when we have the row materials). There are other options like converting CO2 to gasoline ( http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/science/19carb.html ) that will be competitive at $ 3.40 a gallon. Sooner or later we have to find alternate fuels, why not do it now when we have sufficient oil reserve, rather than looking for one with diminished reserves? That is all what I am advocating.

    But coming back to your implication that it will be very costly, the history is full of such statements. When SO2 was used as a refrigerant and when we found it can cause acid rain, some said the same thing – it will be costly to replace it and the comfort of life as we know will go away if we ban SO2. But then came CFCs, and years after the understanding what CFCs are doing on ozone. The same type of arguments came again (CFC is not causing ozone depletion and replacement will be costly and living standard is going to go down), now we have new CFC replacements and some day we may find that the new one is causing some other problems. Then we will have to look for something else. That is the nature of progress.

    “Perhaps by now you think I am demanding too much.”

    No, I do not. But you will have to come up with some suggestions on designing experiments for replication, and substitution for computers. If there are such possibilities for replication, we would be (or should be) using those possibilities already.

    I hope I have addressed all the main issues; hopefully I have not missed many.

    Smokey,

    I do not use ad hominem arguments (at least I hope I do not). But sometimes credibility is important. Personally I find Christy to be a credible scientist; unfortunately I cannot say the same with Spencer. But that is not the basis for an argument, it is the basis for whether or not I believe in what they say.

    AGW is just another theory Smokey, life is just too short to get carried away with such theories. There are many many such things that could potentially affect our lives, where we do not have any control over. So, I hope both sides will try to keep a good perspective on this.

  93. jc stout says:

    John McLondon (13:14:04) :

    Thanks for a thoughtful response. However, I think you have taken my statements too literally. Perhaps you need some background on why I would raise the replication question. You asked:

    “Exactly how can we do that? This is a large scale experiment. May we can stop using fossil fuel immediately for 10 to 20 years and then use 10 times as much fossil fuel as we are using now for another 20 years, etc. and see whether there is an effect. But this is not practical. Can you please suggest another experiment that we can do?”

    What I intended is a systematic program whereby each and every foundational study is independently replicated. I hope nobody is actually daft enough to ask for a replication of reality, but I don’t blame you for not assuming in that regard.

    For your consideration, over at Climateaudit.org, Steve McIntyre has been trying to independently audit – not replicate – many of the works that end up in IPCC documents. As I interpret Mr. McIntyre’s writings, he continually runs into a good ole boy network that plays games with the availability of data, methods, and code at such a level as to make an auditing function – not a even replication function – generally impractical to do. If AGW advocates want me to believe in their work they need to not only support an auditing function, they need to support a systematic, clique free, replication program. AGW advocates are the ones who have stated how high the stakes are – all I am doing is requesting the level of proof (based on preponderance of evidence, not formal math) commensurate with the stakes established by others.

    “OK. I am all for it, as I mentioned in my last paragraph. But how do we replicate phenomenon like global warming? Please suggest a practical way to do that.
    On a related topic, most scientists now believe in the Big Bang theory. How exactly can we replicate that, if replication is taken as a minimum requirement?”

    I will take it that neither of us is a fool. I am willing to infer much about the big bang theory from dimensional similitude starting with F=G*m1*m2/R^2, and resolving the units of G. It certainly implies volume changing with time to me. Red shift is convincing enough to me too.

    But since you brought it up, it is worthwhile to point out why some things are good enough to me and others aren’t. My econ prof taught me more about theories than all my science classes combined – and according to him – theories are a simplification of reality because reality is to complex to reproduce (which I believe you and I agree upon completely based on the thrust of your argument) and that one judges theories based on their ability to explain what we do see and predict what we will see. In short, I will continue to believe in the big bang theory as long as the astronomers that are suggesting I do so keep correctly predicting the location of previously-unknown planets, etc.

    Failing to predict reality is where AGW advocates keep coming up short. Convincing me is going to take some high quality (known in advance) predictions of reality that turn out to be true. On this point, you may want to check in on: http://rankexploits.com/musings/ . Lucia keeps her statistical and math skills at a much higher level than I, but no one seems to be blowing holes in her statistical arguments about verifying or falsifying trends within certain confidence limits. You won’t need to reproduce reality to convince me, just a solid record of explaining and predicting reality.

    “Sometimes there are idealizations and approximations in our simulations, those could result in some errors. But we use computers for designing structures, predicting planetary motions, designing chemical plants, etc etc. as log as we use appropriate laws correctly, the outcome will be correct. As we know more about the mechanisms, they will improve the programs also.”

    OK. Suppose I was assigned to design the superstructure of a bridge. I would employ the tools you describe and I would write a Design Study Report with appendices containing all my calcs, along with references to appropriate design standards and methodologies. I would also include a statement of my assumptions and a companion list of recommendations. One of my assumptions would be that the substructure being designed by another engineer is suitable for the applied loads, and we would communicate in detail about those assumptions. I would also assume (with some healthy safety factors) that structural corrosion and scour at the bridge piers is not a problem and recommend a detailed program of how to regularly check for corrosion, scour, etc, in relation to my complete list of assumptions. Engineers have learned the hard way that it is long-term changes about our assumptions that get us in trouble far more often than our calcs. In my reading about AGW I have not seen much evidence that AGW advocates understand the enabling power and consequences of assumptions very well and they do not seem to me to rigidly document and monitor their assumptions the way that good engineers do. The lackadaisical approach I perceive is one of the reasons I may be harder to convince than some others.

    “I am becoming less and less concerned about AGW with increasing oil price. It would make economic sense to find other cheaper and hopefully better energy source as quickly as we can, rather than having so much dependence on fossil fuel.”

    That argument would hold more water with me if mindless environmental voting was not a large component of the artificially high prices in the first place.

    Now it is my turn to ask you for a more realistic grasp on what is practical. How is it that so many people seem to disbelieve in clean oilfield and offshore production technology that survives hurricanes every year, but they do believe in affordable alternative energy sources that not even one person has been greedy enough to market? Why do so many people seem to believe that the laws of thermodynamics can be over-ruled by artificial taxes that will direct the money to an unstated destination for an unstated purpose? Why do so many people believe that I should distrust those folks with the ingenuity, fortitude, technological excellence, and financial sophistication required to sell me cheap energy in the first place, and I should place all my faith in people who have never (other than through subsidies) lowered the price of a single good I buy? Put another way – you asked what it would take to convince me – AGW advocates have a long way to go just to overcome their mindless demonization of energy companies and the science they can produce. When they get back to that level playing field, then they can start to demonstrate some excellence so that I can feel good about placing my faith in them.

  94. Roy Spencer says:

    I’d like to applaud EVERYONE who has contributed to this discussion (which I have not made it completely through yet). It is clear that many of you have a excellent understanding of where I’ve been going in my research, and frankly, I’m happy to see that ANYONE “gets it”. (AND I’m also praising those who have advocated caution regarding my most recent results, which are only a few weeks old and haven’t been written up yet.)

    Yes, there are still uncertainties, and I’m working on them. It’s interesting to me as an observationalist that much of what I have found recently would not have been possible without a simple model to figure out what the satellite data are telling us. Maybe one could say, “models don’t kill creativity…people kill creativity”.

    My greatest hope is that one or more modelers that now ascribe to the IPCC party line will have enough of an open mind and curiosity to enter the “forbidden zone” and see for themselves.

    -Roy

    REPLY: Thanks for dropping in Roy. Getting the word out throught he blogosphere is only one step. For it really to reach those that might take note, public opinion must be swayed. A good start to all this is to do simple things, like write letters to the editor of local newspapers, and to magazines that publish such stories.

  95. Dores says:

    Dr Spencers testimony was without fault. Being that he was being questioned by a predominately eco-liberal commitee, he did a great job.
    The Pro AGW’s use anything, anything at all, to dis-credit Dr.Spencer.
    Interesting that NCAR people didn’t show up to his intriguing seminar in
    Boulder. It was advertised, but they chose to not be influenced by such a brilliant Meteorologist. There were several very well informed Scientists as well as students that attended. All feed back was/is possitive.
    Shall we follow the lead of a non-scientist ex-VP and a Nasa Modeler that’s paid off my the elite?
    Use ethics and integrity to make sound judgements. It’s the only way to live and learn from now through future generations.

  96. Smokey says:

    John McLondon, we can agree on something! Well, almost:

    “AGW is just another theory Smokey, life is just too short to get carried away with such theories.”

    If you replace “theory” with “unproven hypothesis,” then we can completely agree. For only if a hypothesis can withstand falsification, is it then on its way to becoming an accepted “theory.”

    I and others here are not alone in thinking that the AGW/planetary catastrophe hypothesis fails the smell test. It has been falsified repeatedly, and even the impartial Earth refuses to cooperate with the AGW/CO2 predictions. The general public may swallow AGW hook, line and sinker; propaganda such as polar bears stranded on ice floes is effective. But those who specialize in closely related fields know better: click

  97. John McLondon says:

    jc stout (15:12:15) :

    Again, I hope I am addressing the main issues.

    “However, I think you have taken my statements too literally. Perhaps you need some background on why I would raise the replication question.”

    Yes, I did. I usually I take what the other person explicitly stated than what he/she implied. Also, I believe Bob Carter made similar comments requiring for testing of the hypothesis (not components; but the whole hypothesis), and he and others don’t exactly tell us how to do that.

    “What I intended is a systematic program whereby each and every foundational study is independently replicated.”

    That is certainly a fair requirement. But if you argue this way, I am afraid you might dilute your main thrust, since I believe your new requirement has already been satisfied. I think every one of the components in climate analysis ( http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/5811/scan00011fq5.jpg ), taken independently, is repeatable and well established – conduction, convection, radiation, compressible flow, droplet nucleation, melting, Henry’s law, Coriolis forces, etc. (if I am missing anything that is not repeatable please point it out). If I understand it correctly, the main issue is the complex interactions (at various levels – second and third order interactions) between various components and we cannot impose a repeatability requirement there. But if repeatability is needed, we have to require that at total system level where the total complex interactions occur, than the components level. But we cannot meet this requirement.

    “As I interpret Mr. McIntyre’s writings, he continually runs into a good ole boy network that plays games with the availability of data, methods, and code at such a level as to make an auditing function…”

    I have been to Climate Audit probably just two or three times in all these years (probably fewer to Real Climate). So, you will have to please tell me exactly what the issue is. I do not keep up with all the details of climate debate, but it is my understanding that Hansen has published a paper describing the corrections he makes, but the computer code was not available for a very long time. If my recollection is correct, he has made that available under pressure from McIntyre. I also believe that simulation codes are available to anyone who wants it (here is one source: http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/ anyone can play with it and find if there is anything wrong with it). So I do not know what other issues are involved here that you are concerned about. But as I said many times, this is not an issue I will defend, I believe in making such things available to everyone, because it will make the code even better. Like any other open source codes, when more people look into it, the chances are better for finding any possible errors. Peer-reviewers are very picky on having all the details in the paper. Talking about peer-reviews I saw that you avoided elaborating on your criticisms on peer-reviews, and gave the repeatability condition (which are not mutually exclusive most of the times). In fact peer-reviewers make sure that components used in any work are in itself repeatable.

    “I will take it that neither of us is a fool. I am willing to infer much about the big bang theory…”

    Exactly, I agree, my objective there was to disagree with the minimum criterion (as you explicitly stated it) of repeatability. Inference with known tools, like Doppler effect or background microwave radiations or whatever, done properly, is enough for good science.

    “Convincing me is going to take some high quality (known in advance) predictions of reality that turn out to be true.”

    Sure, this is a very complicated area. I understand the bitter debate about climate sensitivity – where I believe models say 3 deg C +- 1.5 deg for doubling CO2. I believe Lindzen and others have also done a first order approximation (essentially with backbody radiation) and came up with about 1 deg C. But when you take the complicated feedbacks, the answer can be given only within a range. On that range, Hansen’s prediction (the middle one – curve B – I am assuming that you have seen it) was very good. Also what would be your response to the Youtube version?

    “Engineers have learned the hard way that it is long-term changes about our assumptions that get us in trouble far more often than our calcs. In my reading about AGW I have not seen much evidence that AGW advocates understand the enabling power and consequences…”

    Well, Engineers had so many opportunities to study that. With slow changing climate, we do not have that much opportunity to study precisely the effect of each variable.

    “That argument would hold more water with me if mindless environmental voting was not a large component of the artificially high prices in the first place.”

    Well, yes. But it looks to me that oil price is going up, driven by speculators, increased demand, or uncertainties associated with supply from strange places on the globe, etc. The U.S. doesn’t have that much oil reserve (unless unusually new technologies are developed for oil shale and Bakken), and what the Congress do may not have much of an impact.

  98. John McLondon says:

    Oh, on the last paragraph questions, I am afraid many of the questions are not clear to give answers. They are also highly political issues, where I do not have much interest to begin with. So, I will give just a one time broad answer, but I would not want to elaborate.

    “How is it that so many people seem to disbelieve in clean oilfield and offshore production technology that survives hurricanes every year, but they do believe in affordable alternative energy sources that not even one person has been greedy enough to market?”

    I do not know, even the Republicans in Florida are objecting to that. It is mainly self-interest. Just like people in Nevada are refusing to accept nuclear waste. Just like the Republicans in Florida, who are generally unfriendly to environmental laws, are using the Fish and Wild life Protection Act to get more water (to feed the rare fish) from Georgia in their water dispute with Georgia and Alabama.

    “Why do so many people seem to believe that the laws of thermodynamics can be over-ruled by artificial taxes that will direct the money to an unstated destination for an unstated purpose?”

    ???? Thermodynamics and global warming do not have to be on the opposite side.

    “Why do so many people believe that I should distrust those folks with the ingenuity, fortitude, technological excellence, and financial sophistication required to sell me cheap energy in the first place, and I should place all my faith in people who have never (other than through subsidies) lowered the price of a single good I buy? Put another way – you asked what it would take to convince me – AGW advocates have a long way to go just to overcome their mindless demonization of energy companies and the science they can produce.”

    We can assign predicates like ingenuity, fortitude, etc. to almost any technological company. In fact the technology involved in solar cells, controlled nuclear fusion, etc are a lot more sophisticated than oil drilling.

    I do not know anyone (other than the radical left) demonizing oil companies, oil companies are just like any other company in search of improving their bottom line. But it is clear that they have an interest in keeping oil price high which improves their profitability. But not all oil companies are against the AGW theory. Back from 1997 the British Petroleum had accepted the AGW understanding (http://dieoff.org/page106.htm ).

    But placing trust in a company? Not a good idea at all. In my opinion companies would do anything to increase their bottom line, as long as they know that the chances of getting caught is low. Dumping toxins in rivers and ground (otherwise we wouldn’t have the so called superfund cleanup sites -Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. § 9601–9675) ), sending it and dumping it in developing countries, telling that nothing is wrong with smoking, pumping out lots of mercury saying that it is OK, exposing employees to unnecessary exposure, misinterpreting clinical data to sell drugs, delaying the disclosure of potentially bad clinical trial data (see how long it took Merck to disclose the trial results, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/15/business/15drug.html ), avoiding FAA inspections on planes suspected of bad record keeping or bad maintenance, etc… The list is long. Very long. I am not an environmentalist, but you don’t want to know how many people suffer from health problems caused by environmental conditions. Take a simple (hopefully a harmless) example, we do not know exactly what it does (bad or good, probably bad), but every one in the world somehow carry PFOA in their blood, which is a chemical used for making Teflon (http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20050113/is-teflon-chemical-toxic-epa-seeks-answers ). That is how the environment works. We have to be careful with environment and companies.

    No no, we cannot trust profit oriented companies, unless their product and prices are somewhat regulated. That is why we have anti-trust laws, food and drug administration, FAA, etc.

    One can ask a different question also. Why are so many people so interested in keeping fossil fuel as the main energy source and discouraging the use (or even the research) of any alternate energy source?

  99. IRS says:

    To educate educators! But the first ones must educate themselves! And for these I write.FriedrichWilhelmNietzscheFriedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

  100. Richard Patton says:

    Joel Shore said:
    >>>>
    The “skeptic” crowd would stand itself in better stead if it acknowledged total pseudoscientific junk when it is used to support your point-of-view. The lack of discrimination, i.e., the willingness to use anything as a basis of support no matter how bad it is, really doesn’t do much to help your cause.
    <<<<

    I agree with this.

    However, by the same token I was starting to be pretty convinced about the credentials of the folks at RealClimate until I read their rebuttal regarding the Mann Hockey Stick controversy. This really damaged their credibility for me. It is pretty easy for me to see for myself how Mann et al’s study was deeply flawed. I really don’t understand how they can try to say otherwise and expect to maintain their credibility. And then to see the rest of the paleo’s rally to Mann’s defense with more highly questionaable studies is actually a bit eye opening for anyone (or – at least me) who is looking for objective evidence for bias in the scientific work going on within AGW.

    It seems pretty clear to me that there was a MWP and LIA and that these were natural variations. Moreover, based on the new solar data we have it is pretty clear that these cannot currently be explained. The old explanation (for LIA) was based on LEAN’s reconstruction of solar variability which LEAN does not even believe in anymore (she was a co-author of WANG). Here is the latest reconstruction of TSI from Leif Svalgaard: http://www.leif.org/research/TSI-LEIF.pdf

    Also, I believe that the early 20th century warming is in large part attributed to an increase in TSI which we now know did not happen – thus we cannot explain this either. To my knowledge the modelers have not yet taken this new information into account. I believe Hansen 2007 is still using the old LEAN reconstruction which, again, LEAN does not even believe in anymore.

    To me this is convincing evidence that we do not yet have a satisfactory understanding of natural climate variation within which we can say with any reasonable amount of certainty what the additional warming effects of some particular amount of CO2 are.

  101. Richard Patton says:

    Roy Spencer said:
    <<<>>>

    Your work is very compelling. My biggest question so far is: does the slope of the linear striations vary with the length of the number of day averaging that is done. It appears that they do not even show up in a 7-day average and that they show up very clearly in a 91-day average but what happens at the 60-day average or the 365-day average? Does this affect the slope?

  102. jc stout says:

    John McLondon
    Let’s get back to the original question – what does it take to convince a critic about AGW?

    You wrote: “In fact peer-reviewers make sure that components used in any work are in itself repeatable.” To paraphrase the fictional character Detective John McClane, in the Die Hard movies, ‘Welcome to climate science, pal.’ You really do owe it to yourself to read the Wegman Report. You wrote a very long paragraph about not being able to trust any company anywhere, and yet you appear to trust so completely in the AGW field. I do not share your faith and I urge you to read enough to know why.

    “On that range, Hansen’s prediction (the middle one – curve B – I am assuming that you have seen it) was very good. Also what would be your response to the Youtube version? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9ob9WdbXx0”

    I am not as impressed with Hansen as you seem to be, particularly since his predictions fell completely apart by 2008. Also, Hansen continues to adjust past temperatures at GISS — so much so that his temperature series now look like an outlier to all the others. I can accept that someone should evaluate a hypothesis that rising CO2 can change the climate of the future, but I refuse to believe that anything is capable of changing the past. I am kind of a stickler on the whole ‘cause comes before effect’ thing. ;-)

    (BTW, if you want a good discussion of that particular Hansen graph, see: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/what-forcings-did-hansen-use/ . In the comments you can follow Steve McIntyre’s links to more than most people actually want to know. Steve makes it clear his analysis had detractors. Use the dates to track the other side of the discussion at Realclimate, Tamino, etc.)

    As far as the youtube version goes, why would you think I would be impressed with Attenborough’s worship of computer models based on my writings so far? I must be getting too vague with age. ;-)

    “Well, Engineers had so many opportunities to study that. With slow changing climate, we do not have that much opportunity to study precisely the effect of each variable.”

    Then why in heck would anyone believe in a house of cards built on variables that have not been precisely studied? Parameterized models are highly susceptible to initial, boundary, and propagated errors. http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/the-poor-hapless-butterfly-a-haiku/ provides a very accessible discussion that illustrates key points in a simplified way. Googling Tom Vonk and Gerry Browning at ClimateAudit will take you to more in-depth material, although I have to warn you that Browning’s aggressive responses can be hard to bear even as a lurker.

    “But placing trust in a company? Not a good idea at all.” Yet, your writings indicate nearly unlimited trust in bureaucratic government programs. Tell you what – you watch companies and keep them honest, I’ll watch government and try to do the same thing. But just remember one thing – everyone is allowed to say ‘no’ when a company wants to sell you something. Will anyone be allowed to say ‘no’ to the climate change juggernaut? That remains to be seen. Hansen’s recent call for criminal trials for people who disagree with him is not very encouraging in that regard.

  103. Joel Shore says:

    Smokey says: “The general public may swallow AGW hook, line and sinker; propaganda such as polar bears stranded on ice floes is effective. But those who specialize in closely related fields know better: click”

    Strange that you would use that link again after I called you on it last time, noting:

    (1) That is completely unsourced, referring to a Gallup poll of the AGU and AMS but not giving any other details. The only such Gallup poll that I have seen referenced elsewhere was from 1991…i.e., 17 years old…and none of the responses I’ve seen quoted from it seem to align with what that pie graph that you linked to shows.

    (2) Here is a link to an actual very recent (2008) poll of AGU and AMS members that reaches a very different conclusion: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html In particular, it finds that 84% personally believe that human-induced warming is occurring while only 5% believe that that human activity does not contribute to greenhouse warming (with the rest being unsure). Furthermore, a total of 85% believe that global climate change will pose a very either a great or moderate danger to the earth in the next 50 to 100 years (41% great and 44% moderate) while only 13% see relatively little danger. Finally, although they are generally quite critical of media coverage of climate change, a total of 64% find Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” to be either very (26%) or somewhat (38%) reliable. By contrast, less than 1% find Chrichton’s “State of Fear” to be very reliable.

    So, are you going to modify your opinion in light of this evidence or are your opinions just independent of the evidence?

  104. Bart says:

    I have always been skeptical of the dominant positive feedback hypothesis simply because, as a feedback controls engineer, I know that positive feedback, no matter how small, will eventually assert itself and drive the system unstable all on its own. Since it has not done so in prior epochs when atmospheric concentrations of CO2 were higher than today, it follows that positive feedback is not dominant.

    Now, I know that in nonlinear systems, one can reach a tipping point were previously negative feedbacks become marginally stable and then destabilizing. But, it does not appear plausible to me that the Earth’s climate system can be that mercurial given that it has survived to this day. That’s a judgment call, given the level of information I have had. But, this research by Dr. Spencer appears to support my intuition.

  105. John McLondon says:

    JC Stout,

    Thank you for your reply.

    “You really do owe it to yourself to read the Wegman Report. You wrote a very long paragraph about not being able to trust any company anywhere, and yet you appear to trust so completely in the AGW field. I do not share your faith and I urge you to read enough to know why.”

    Really, I do not have any emotional attachment to AGW, I will have no problems in quickly changing my views if I find out tomorrow that AGW is wrong. Sometime ago I did scan through the Wegman report as well as the National Science Academy report came out after the Wegman report. Sure, there were statistical mistakes (Mann is not a statistician, so I am sure his treatment way not measure up to the strict statistical standards), but National Academy says those mistakes do not invalidate the overall results (of course there is problem for certain time span). Now, the problem is this, which side should I believe?

    “.. particularly since his predictions fell completely apart by 2008. Also, Hansen continues to adjust past temperatures at GISS — so much so that his temperature series now look like an outlier to all the others…”

    It is a little too early to make a decision for 2008, also we should not count just one year against his predictions, we should compare the average for a certain period of time. I am not sure (you have to give me a break here – I do not keep up with this field that carefully) what kind of changes Hansen is making – if he is changing just the anomalies, then he can change it for the past. If he is changing the absolute temperature, then I do not know why (can you please point me a specific case? Thanks).

    I did go through the Hansen prediction discussion you cited, about the forcing. I am not sure what it really tells me. Do you know whether anyone has published any papers critical of Hansen’s predictions (I prefer to depend on journals than blogs, especially when I do not know exactly who the author is for that article)? I will also check it by looking at who cited Hansen’s paper.

    “Parameterized models are highly susceptible to initial, boundary, and propagated errors…”

    That is why one has to do sensitivity analysis, error estimates, etc. We routinely solve non-linear equations with many problems (it is common in many body problems), not all of them are chaotic, and even if some of them are, there are also rules and patterns one could find in randomness (eg. self diffusion coefficient in Brownian motion).

    But we are not talking about just one computer model here – there are plenty of them, they repeat their computations many times, and look at error estimates. It would be little difficult to believe that all those models are predicting wrong answers resulting from their sensitive on non-linearity conditions.

    “Googling Tom Vonk and Gerry Browning at ClimateAudit will take you to more in-depth material,”

    I will go through that.

    “Yet, your writings indicate nearly unlimited trust in bureaucratic government programs.”

    I did not say that. If we are talking about the U.S. Government (and state governments), take for example the agent orange (or dioxins in particular) and how long veterans had to wait to receive a one time payment of $1,200, Japanese American internment camps, Trail of Tears (against the Supreme Court decision), and all that. There are a whole lot more to say about governments in other countries. We have to watch every organizations carefully, that is another reason I encourage AGW critics in their pursuit. But, as I wrote before, when I see the number of National Academies over the world, almost all Nobel Laureates in science, etc. endorsing AGW, I find the probability of AGW to be true is much higher than the probability that all these scientific organizations and scientists are either wrong or engaged in an huge international conspiracy.

    “Hansen’s recent call for criminal trials for people who disagree with him is not very encouraging in that regard.”

    Hansen did not ask for criminal trials for people who disagree, as I understand it, he asked for trials for the oil executives. There is a big difference.

    I do not necessarily subscribe to the emergency action, “tipping point” advocacy. But I do believe that it makes full economic and environmental (and even national security) sense to reduce our use of fossil fuels, and do so as early as possible.

    We are still left with our basic questions: what exact experiments and what kind of verification mechanisms could satisfy a skeptic (in precise clear language); and given the complexity of the system, what procedure would they recommend to replace computer models? If the skeptics are arguing that since the system is complex, we cannot predict the climate at all, well, that doesn’t help much either. Also, another major question, why so many AGW critics are so opposed to having any alternate energy source (why just oil)?

  106. Joel Shore says:

    John McLondon says: “That is why one has to do sensitivity analysis, error estimates, etc. We routinely solve non-linear equations with many problems (it is common in many body problems), not all of them are chaotic, and even if some of them are, there are also rules and patterns one could find in randomness (eg. self diffusion coefficient in Brownian motion).”

    To be more specific, it is true that climate models exhibit sensitivity to initial conditions. And, indeed, if you start them with perturbed initial conditions, you do find that the “jigs” and “jags” that you get are different. However, over a long enough period of time, the different runs show the same basic response to a forcing such as CO2, despite the differences in the internal variability. So, all this talk about chaos and sensitivity to initial conditions is basically a red herring…Yes, it is true and understood and it would certainly keep you from predicting the weather far in advance or even the yearly variations in climate far in advance; however, it does not keep you from determining a response to a significant external forcing such as an increase in CO2.

    The one caveat on that is that it is known that nonlinear systems that are forced can exhibit “tipping points” beyond which they run off to a totally different state. Unfortunately, however, that should not be very re-assuring to us as we embark on the current experiment of raising CO2 to levels that haven’t been seen in millions of years.

    Bart says: “But, it does not appear plausible to me that the Earth’s climate system can be that mercurial given that it has survived to this day.” Well, I think the paleoclimate evidence shows that the climate has been pretty mercurial in the past. In fact, I find that lots of “skeptics” argue (using bad logic) that the fact that the climate has been so changeable in the past is evidence against the current changes being caused by us. There are some hypothesized stabilizing feedbacks on geological timescales (see, e.g., this discussion of the “faint young sun paradox”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faint_young_sun_paradox ) but those occur far too slowly to help us in our current predicament.

    At any rate, I think most of those who study paleoclimate actually tend to draw the conclusion that the earth’s climate system is at least as sensitive as the IPCC estimates, if not moreso. See, for example, here: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/sci;306/5697/821

  107. BUCKO36 says:

    re: John McLondon (11:29:45)

    “Also, another major question, why so many AGW critics are so opposed to having any alternate energy source (why just oil)?”

    No AGW critic I know is opposed to the development of proven “Practical”, Alternative Energy Sources.

    Answer to your question: “Because, we currently have been DENIED access to VAST”quantities of “proven” EXISTING energy sources in “oil/coal/nuculear” that are already available in this great country.

    To deny access to them for the last 20 years “has, is and will”
    bankrupt our economy on the “Forced Green Quest” of currently impractical alternative energy sources.

    I guess I’m just being a practical “Enviriomentist”.

  108. jc stout says:

    John McLondon

    I wrote another long response in our continuing conversation, but I am really troubled by something and I decided not to post it until we sort it out. Your last post included the following:

    ‘Hansen’s recent call for criminal trials for people who disagree with him is not very encouraging in that regard.’

    “Hansen did not ask for criminal trials for people who disagree, as I understand it, he asked for trials for the oil executives. There is a big difference.”

    Remember your statement:

    “I do not know anyone (other than the radical left) demonizing oil companies, oil companies are just like any other company in search of improving their bottom line.”

    So in the span of a couple of posts you are now willing to accept Hansen segregating people into ‘oil executives’ and the rest of us. Sound familiar in a historical context? Care to reconsider where you really are in your own views?

    Just so you have no doubts about me. Hansen’s statement was a deliberate attempt to foster a climate of fear and to stifle debate. It is inexcusable – period – and it troubles me greatly that anyone accepted it. In fact, it is a clear sign of complacency about mental illness in our society that he did not immediately lose his job. It is neither cute nor funny to venture towards shared psychopathology, espicially when nobody argured it was some kind of joke. Mental health is precious and must be protected at all times. Lysenko happened, and people were murdered. The Banality of Evil should teach us a lesson about what can happen in every society, not just one special case.

    So, at this point, I choose to refrain from discussing miscellaneous details until the premise of what is acceptable is resolved. If you really believe:

    “he asked for trials for the oil executives. There is a big difference.”

    we have nothing left to talk about.

  109. jc stout says:

    To All,

    My apologies for proving Godwin’s Law. I foolishly thought myself above it.

    I do not regret standing up for the principles that all our citizens are all entitled to free speech and the same protections under the law. However, I do regret that I could not express myself effectively without providing more evidence in support of Godwin’s Law.

  110. John McLondon says:

    JC Stout,

    I try to stay with the extreme syntactic and semantic interpretation – at least try. As I said before, I try to take exactly what they said, not what they implied.

    “If you really believe: “he asked for trials for the oil executives. There is a big difference.” we have nothing left to talk about.”

    I do not have to believe in anything here, it is simply so clear on what exactly Hansen said. He called for trials of oil executives. But not all oil executives disagree with Hansen (like some from BP and may be others) and not all people who disagree with Hansen are oil executives. So he is actually calling for trials for those oil executives who agree with him also. Just too obvious. That is why I interpreted the way I did.

    “Hansen’s statement was a deliberate attempt to foster a climate of fear and to stifle debate. ..”

    His statement was just one man’s opinion. It doesn’t have any effect. We all know that. I do not know how it could foster fear. I also made it clear that Hansen should stay away from making such statements, and just do his science than getting involved in policy statements. Just like Spencer, who could improve his credibility significantly (at least in my opinion) by simply doing science and publishing it rather than spinning it in blogs, I think Hansen should improve his credibility by not making such political statements.

    BUCKO36,

    As a practical matter, I doubt we will be allowed to use coal without a carbon sequestration process, whether or not CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Some environmentalists won’t allow nuclear, and people in Nevada will not allow the safe storage of nuclear waste in their state. It is not clear from your statement whether you approve alternate fuel that are not proven yet but could be proven in the future. In any case such fuel has to be practical to be used widely.

  111. Pingback: Other voices on climate change » Roy Spencer: Global warming won’t be a problem

  112. Peter says:

    @JC Stout

    I don’t know if I’m right here, but what you wrote a few postings above about Hansen’s graph, seems simply a matter of the base line.
    I guess, a 30 years base line produces too much error deviation. To keep those error outliers small, I tried to reconstruct the data to a decadal base line, which is more adequate and reduces error outliers, as you can see here in Fig. 1
    http://umweltluege.de/sceptics/giss_lie/index.php

    This error corrected data is now plotted against MSU LT 5.2 data in Fig. 2 and there is nearly congruence with a correlation of 0.803.

    I think, Hansens intention was to chose a 30 year base line only to show his doom more aggressive. He was calculating with the error deviation for eye-wiping, I guess.

  113. John McLondon says:

    JC Stout,

    Please just ignore the Godwin’s Law and come back with your best arguments (preferably in a concise form). We are not here to win the argument, I hope; we are trying to understand.

    Peter,

    That makes perfect sense.

  114. Kissinger says:

    Exhaust the little moment. / Soon it dies. / And be it gash or gold / it will not come / Again in this disguise.GwendolynBrooksGwendolyn Brooks

  115. BUCKO36 says:

    Re: John McLondon (15:58:23)

    What is practical about implementing “any fixes” proposed by the “A”GW crowd, without verified Scientific assurance that “A”GW influances verses nature, have had any quantitative impact on the climate?

    1.) There have been significant improvements in the US in the last 60 years on the carbon sequestration process’s in the use of coal.
    I have been to China and know how bad it is over there. Any thing we do here and share with them, will help them. As their economy grows, so will “their” polution concerns.

    2.) What rights, other than Polictical, do Environmentalists have in the Nuclear issue? Storage of waste is a workable problem

    3.) Yes, I do approve of alternate fuel source’s, but not at the expense of the earth’s “economy” or “food supply”.

    An Environmentalist and also an AGW Skeptic.

    bucko36

  116. John McLondon says:

    BUCKO36,

    Almost all scientific societies, most Nobel Laureates in Science, and most scientists endorse the AGW theory. Exactly what it would take for AGW critics to accept that as a “verified scientific assurance”? Well, that is exactly what I was trying to find from JC.

    China is a notorious place for pollution. I go there often and every time I am surprised to see that. But it will come to haunt them, in terms of human misery and health care cost. The so called Green GDP increase (after filtering out the environmental cost) is either flat or negative in China. I do not think we want that kind of a progress.

    I am all for nuclear fuel. But I do not share your optimism of nuclear waste disposal. It took more than a decade for us to come with with a plan to store nuclear waste in the Yucca Mountain Repository, which was supposed to be working since 1998. But now they are talking about 2017 – may be.

    “Yes, I do approve of alternate fuel source’s, but not at the expense of the earth’s “economy” or “food supply”. ”

    I do not have any arguments here. Ethanol from corn is one of the most reprehensible development I have seen so far.

  117. BUCKO36 says:

    John Mclondon (20:47:46)

    John, thank you for your responses and indulgence, but I personnally have more faith in the Earth and human “common sense”, than the polictical intelligence of the likes of the World body, IPPC and “Al Gore’s brainwashed generation of AGW believers”. They are nothing more that a “bunch of ignorant greedy Sheep” following of the “Chicken Little” syndrome that has recycled over the last (?) years.
    I’m 72 years young and I like George Carlin (think plastic}, I would like to think this magnificant earth will survive in spite of what man does. I blame the education system of the last 50 years, that is forcing us to political solutions before the science is fully understood. God help us all!

  118. North Korea says:

    Someday, after mastering winds, waves, tides and gravity, we shall harness the energy of love; and for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.PierreTeilharddeChardinPierre Teilhard de Chardin

  119. John McLondon says:

    BUCKO36,

    Thanks much for your response.

    “I’m 72 years young and I like…”

    Then certainly you have seen a lot more politics than I have, so I hope you will be proven correct in your optimism. Also, wish you a happy, healthy and productive long life.

    “I would like to think this magnificant earth will survive in spite of what man does. I blame the education system of the last 50 years, that is forcing us to political solutions before the science is fully understood.”

    I am assuming that you are referring to environmental movement in general. Our Earth will survive for sure, but I am not sure in what form and whether human beings will be a part of it, and if we are, exactly in what way. I personally do not even want to take that risk, if our actions have the potential to harm people. For example, when we look at the occurrence of specific types of caner, we can see patterns regarding where some of the specific cancer incidences are clustered. Often we can trace that to association with specific industrial chemicals, radiations, etc., related to environmental conditions. Same thing goes for respiratory illness (Chinese are prime candidates for that. Now, due to Olympics the Chinese authorities even banned spitting on the road – great thing in one way, but very ironic. When we breathe air with particulates in it, they collect in the throat and we have to get rid of it. In a way, the Chinese government banned one of the natural mechanisms that kept many Chinese alive). Of course I agree, the average life span is going up, and we are healthier in general, but that has more to do with modern medicine, and the connection between industrial pollution and health hazards are becoming clearer with each incident.

    Also regarding your statement, 240 million years ago the atmospheric oxygen content was 37 %, now it is 20.9 %, and falling. In a few million years oxygen could vanish (due to chemical reactions), and eventually CO2 could vanish dissolved in water and locked up as carbonates. Even the hydrogen economy is not going to save us here. Below 19 % oxygen, health problems will start showing up, and below 7 % we cannot survive. So, it looks like humanity will be gone eventually, the Earth will be still here. Apart from human activities in deforestation (increasing CO2 and reducing oxygen), I do not see any direct effect of AGW on human health. But if climate patterns change, as the AGW people are saying, the effect may be severe enough to create immense human misery, but so is the effect of a drastic shift from fossil fuel. This is where I take your statement “God help us all!”, I hope the people and the leaders will have the wisdom to do the right thing from a complicated set of options.

    Let me ask you another question, I have been wondering for a while. I will have to agree that extremely passionate environmentalism appears, in some sense, similar to a religion. But when I look at AGW critics in general, some of them are of course lobbyists for oil companies, that is understandable. But a large fraction has no connection with oil companies. It seems to me (I would like to know if I am wrong) that a large number of critics are basing their criticism on a deeper belief, as you implied, that since God created everything, whatever human beings could do is not going to change God’s intentions with the Earth. In other words we are so insignificant to change anything on Earth, since God created the earth and is controlling it (or some other similar belief). Do you think that is one of the basic underlying reasons, at least for many, to disregard AGW predictions? In my view, as a Christian, we are also asked to take care of the Garden, the best way we know how.

  120. BUCKO36 says:

    John McLondon (08:10:04)

    Thank you for your well wishes.

    Yes, I was addressing the following:
    1.) The current “The sky is falling” Environmental Movement.
    Which to me, has always been around to some extent (ie.The tree huggers, save the whales and spotted owls etc., but their mass has now been further expanded to include those “brainwashed” by our
    education systems, to achive a “Political agenda”. I don’t mean just in the US, but throughout the civilized world.

    and

    2.) Those, who’s goal (ie. the UN and the likes of Al Gore) it is to establish a “socialistic” World Order, political agenda in general, bent on financial gains and control of the World masses.

    Not a world I want to live in.

    I understand your concerns about polution effects on the longivity of man on this earth, but that is “way beyond” my knowledge and capibilities on how to effectively address all of those possiblities.

    I don’t think that “band aids”, without understanding the “critical” drivers will do it. It is Just maybe the worlds population
    explosion that is taking place, thas doomed mankind to go the
    way of the dinosaurs.

    I, like you realize that oil, natural gas and coal are polutants, but
    they are currently available to us in large quantities and they must be utilized until a better solution replacement is found.

    It is stupid that nucular power has been banned in this country because we haven’t found a waste storage solutionl.

    Wind and solor technology are not an effieient replacement.

    There are no easy/quick fixes.

    With regard to your question on what influances the AGW critics:

    Like you, I am also a Christian, but I do not believe that has been what has influanced my stance on this issue.

    I am not a scientist, however, I first got interested in this subject, back when the crisis was “Global Cooling” in the late 90’s. I read everything I could find on the subject and I was somewhat concerned about it, because it had happened before in the LIA. Then all of a sudden we were told that that GC was no longer a crisis, because now the earth was going to face the crisis of AGW
    (ie Al Gore). Again I spent my time reading everything I could
    about the subject.

    I found that the Earth had been much “warmer” and much “colder”
    in the past and that we really don’t know to what degree man has had an impact.

    In the line of work I was in before retiring, we had a joke
    saying about computers models. It was “Garbage In/ Garbage Out”.
    As complex as the contributing “variables” of the Earth’s Climate System is, if someone has an “agenda” he can develop a model that will provide “his desired answer”.

    Enough said.

  121. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore claims that the link to this chart [click] can not be found anywhere. It is completely unreferenced, unsourced, and unfindable by him:

    “That [chart] is completely unsourced, referring to a Gallup poll of the AGU and AMS but not giving any other details. The only such Gallup poll that I have seen referenced elsewhere was from 1991…i.e., 17 years old…and none of the responses I’ve seen quoted from it seem to align with what that pie graph that you linked to shows.”

    That’s a statement which is very easy to disprove; a simple search of “Gallup poll”, along with the names of the two societies cited in the chart, brings up its provenance on the very first page.

    So, a couple of observations:

    1. Whether a source is 70 years old, 17 weeks old, or seven minutes old, it is either truthful, or untruthful. Truth does not change. I simply linked to a Gallup poll, the results of which Mr. Shore simply can not abide.

    [I could have linked to a more current site, such as: click. But Mr. Shore doesn't like that site, either.]

    2. Because Mr. Shore claims that the chart is fictitious/non-existent is no reason for me to do the simple search that he avoids. But for those who are curious where the chart above came from, I’ll be glad to provide what anyone else could have easily found: click.

    See, the chart comes directly from the National Center For Policy Analysis — and this very NCPA report was one of the primary factors in the U.S. Senate’s unanimous 95 – 0 rejection of the Kyoto Protocol [with Vice President Al Gore impotently presiding over the Senate's vote].

    That is why those on the Left hate the National Center For Policy Analysis so. They hate every organization, and every individual, that refutes their Sacred Cow of Global Warming. Any questioning of the Al Gore globaloney orthodoxy must be attacked and destroyed by any means, ethical or not. That is the Left’s modus operandi.

    Next, I note that my old friend John McLondon has now stated that “one year” of falling temperatures do not negate James Hansen’s increasingly wrong predictions. So just to keep the goal posts from once again being moved just beyond reach, would my ol’ buddy John care to pick a date by which this issue can be settled? If not, I suggest January 1, 2010. If by that date Hansen’s center temp prediction [curve B] is found to be accurate, say within 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit [a pretty generous error bar there], then John wins our bragging-rights bet, and he can publicly remind me that I was wrong forever afterward. And vice versa. Sound fair, John McLondon?

    Finally, as BUCKO36 has alluded to, the environmental lobby’s criticism is almost always about 99% against America, and 1% against China and the rest of the world. Why is that? America is one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest, most environmentally conscious country on the planet, bar none.

    Therefore, these reprehensible, one-sided attacks against America are entirely political, and not based on science. Politics =/= science. See? [snip of pejorative ending statement~charles the moderator]

  122. Smokey says:

    The chart referred to in my opening paragraph was this one. Without a Preview pane, sometimes this happens. Sorry.

  123. jeez says:

    I haven’t been following up the back and forth here, but I have a personal history relating to Smokey’s find of the provenance of the chart. Those numbers were thrown around a lot on JunkScience.com five or six years ago and they seemed suspect to me. I discovered that while factually correct, they were definitely out of date and inappropriate to be citing. I notified JunkScience.com of this and Barry Hearn issued a statement about my research and they haven’t used it since. I’ll see if I can dig up the emails.

    edit:

    found it.

    From: Barry Hearn
    To: Charles xxxxxx
    Date: Oct 04 2000 – 6:59pm

    Thanks, I’ll post a supplemental note today.

    b++

    ; —–Original Message—–
    ; From: Charles xxxxx [mailto:]
    ; Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2000 11:37 AM
    ; To: Barry Hearn
    ; Subject: RE: citation
    ;
    ;
    ; From USA today.
    ;
    ; One conservative group criticized the news media for accepting claims that
    ; there is widespread scientific agreement on global warming. The Media
    ; Research Center cited “a recent Gallup poll” that said only 19% of the
    ; members of the American Meteorological Society and the American
    ; Geophysical
    ; Union think that a warmer climate has been the result of greenhouse gas
    ; emissions.
    ;
    ; The Gallup organization said the poll was taken in October of
    ; 1991. It noted
    ; that some people, opposed to claims that human-induced global warming is
    ; occurring, “have used the study to support their position.”
    ;
    ; “These writers have taken survey results out of context that
    ; appear to show
    ; scientists do not believe that human-induced global warming is occurring.”
    ;
    ; The statement from Gallup noted that when asked if they thought
    ; human-induced global warming was occurring, 66% of the scientists surveyed
    ; said yes.
    ;
    ;
    ; http://www.usatoday.com/weather/clisci/wclis28c.htm
    ;
    ; I agree with the positions of EVAG, but I think it is important to cite
    ; information that supports the case, rather than information which
    ; is easily
    ; refuted or out of date.

  124. John McLondon says:

    BUCKO36,

    Just few concluding comments (regarding your last post):

    May be we don’t know everything, but I think we should do everything we can with what we know to improve the chances of human survival into the distant future.

    In my opinion, rapid population growth is probably the one single cause for most of the environmental problems. No amount of conservation can compensate for the demand for resources from population growth. This certainly includes the U.S. also, where the per capita energy needs are much higher.

    On wind and solar energy, please take a look at this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_energy

    We need 15 TW, which is a small fraction of 86,000 TW solar energy we get or the 870 TW of wind energy. I do not believe we are asking too much if we look for a technology to convert a very small fraction of this natural energy to meet our energy needs. Nuclear fusion is a relatively clean energy source, and we have an abundant supply of deuterium and plenty of Helium-3 on the surface of the Moon (according to the Chinese, just two trips to the Moon will give us enough Helium-3 to power the entire earth for a full year). Yet, the U.S. was not so enthusiastic in ITER, although the total cost of the ITER project is less than $ 10 billion. I think we can invest considerably more for alternate energy – the cost is very small compared to the almost $200 billion on the stimulation package, or what it costs per week in Iraq, or the annual U.S. electricity sale ( $210 billion), etc.

    The earth might have been warmer and cooler in the past, but that was when we had a small and highly mobile population, without skyscrapers and financial centers developed on the edge of the sea. We didn’t have to feed so many people. But even then, human caused disasters were not uncommon, for example we now know what happened to the Mayan civilization from over population and deforestation.

    Well, if we give “garbage in” to any system, we are going to get garbage out, computers are no exceptions. But we are not giving garbage in most cases. Quantum chemistry can be done entirely with computers and the results are verifiable with experiments. Computer design was the basic tool Boeing used for designing Boeing 777. We use computers for drug discovery, DNA sequencing, etc., the list is long. There is an impressive array of accomplishments with computer models. Just like with any other scientific tools, a determined person can develop a model (and computer program) to obtain the desired answer, but in general that will not survive the scientific scrutiny, especially in a field like climate science where the evaluation and scrutiny is more intense. Also, one could interpret that capability in both ways; a skeptic could design a computer code to support his/her view, but I have not seen a computer model (after surviving the scientific scrutiny) that does not predict warming with increasing CO2. As I said earlier, I do not find it to be probable that we have an international conspiracy by most scientists and scientific organizations in advancing AGW.

  125. John McLondon says:

    Ok, Smokey, my good old friend, the way I understand it AGW means increasing temperature with increasing CO2 if every other variables (sunspots, cosmic rays, etc.) are kept constant. However, these other variables are not constants most of the times, so there will be variations, superimposed on warming by CO2. With that as the background, if the 5 year average (or even three year average) temperature goes below 1960’s level (or 1970s level or even that of 1980) anytime in the next 10 years, I will certainly concede that there are reasons to doubt AGW. How about that? I assume you will concede the opposite if that doesn’t happen?

    About the surveys, my position was based on number of scientific organizations, Nobel Laureates, and National Academy members, etc. I am sure J. Shore will have his answer.

    Just to be clear, I do not believe most environmentalists are anti-American. They criticize America more, because they think it will have more effect as a democratic country, and most of those activists we hear are Americans. Many Chinese activists criticize China also, most often they go to jail or stay under house arrest. If you listen to the Green Party members in Europe, they are not very friendly to Europe either. Also, the U.S. is way up in the top on per capita energy use, total emission (although we lost that to China, and that will attract a lot of criticism to China), etc., which naturally attracts criticism. I do not believe there is anything cynical, it is just a natural reaction.

  126. Pingback: A very strange lack of enthusiasm… « American Elephants

  127. BUCKO36 says:

    John McLondon (20:10:06)

    You are correct John, In the best of all possible worlds, we should use nature’s tools to provide all of our energy requirements in the most efficient and non intrusive way to the environment. Unfortunately we live in a world where currently, the most efficient and least expensive way to provide electrical energy is with hydroelectric dams, coal/natural gas generating plants and nuclear power plants all of which have environmental impacts. Current Solar and Wind technology is not even close and may never replace our sustaining needs regardless of cost. The same scenario applies to oil/gas when it comes to heating and
    transportation costs. People are short sighted and are not interested in change until it is really required and right now it is not. Lots of relativly inexpensive oil, coal, natural gas and dams are availible.

    John, my comment about computers and “Garbage in/Garbage out” was not about the inputs, but about the integrity of the computer models parameters during the development of the models. As I understand it they are not available for review and may really be very biased towards Hansen’s agenda.

    I am really not very confident in Wikipedia as a “factual/unbiased” source of Scientific Data.

  128. John McLondon says:

    BUCKO36 (00:11:24) :

    “People are short sighted and are not interested in change until it is really required and right now it is not. Lots of relativly inexpensive oil, coal, natural gas and dams are availible.”

    True. But the question is whether we should we act on the basis of short term goals and benefits or based on a strategic long term plan including the cost of environmental issues?

    “As I understand it they are not available for review and may really be very biased towards Hansen’s agenda.”

    I believe many of them are available. Here is one from Hansen’s place, anyone can play with it, change the input etc and verify whether everything is correct. It has the source code, so one can verify whether the code itself has any mistakes.

    http://aom.giss.nasa.gov/

    “I am really not very confident in Wikipedia as a “factual/unbiased” source of Scientific Data.”

    We can verify that from other sources. For example here is what Susan Hockfield, the President of MIT, said: “The amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface in an hour contains enough energy to meet the world’s current energy needs for a year.” Please see:

    http://web.mit.edu/hockfield/speeches/2008-aaas.html

    The U.S. imports about 12 million barrels of oil per day
    ( http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm ) being the number one importer of oil. That is, at the current price, we are paying 1.5 billion dollars per day or more than half a trillion dollars a year. That is a staggering amount of money flowing to other countries, some of which are not exactly our friends. With the current technology (or promising technology in the immediate future) there is no chance we can meet our demands, and sustain it for a reasonable period of time, even if we start drilling everywhere. There is no option for us other than developing other energy sources.

    Smokey,

    If you look at today’s news you will see a report by Amnesty International criticizing China (and only China) for their human rights violations. Yes, it is not environmental, but organizations do criticize other countries, even though they know that in countries like China it may not make much of a difference.

  129. Jon says:

    Mr. McLondon;

    Everything you’re talking is politics and environmentalist pseudo-religious dogma, not science. Whether I (and all the other “deniers”) are shills for Big Oil is immaterial. Whether we believe in alternate fuels or not is immaterial. What we think of using fossil fuels is immaterial. What the scientific institutions believe is immaterial…unless they can back it with science based, reproducible proof. What the Nobel Commission (who give Nobel’s to terrorists for being successful terrorists, and AlBore one for being PC) is especially immaterial.

    Where’s the science? Where’s the warming? Don’t use the “Climate Change” soft-shoe shuffle/re-direction…there has to be AGW to cause the AGW induced climate change. Show me how CO2 causes AGW, and not with some meaningless computer model with magical mystery tippy top secret internal workings that can’t be explained. Show me AGW even exists outside of a means to transfer wealth into the pockets of Hansen/Gore et al. Point me to the guy who really knows how the global climate works and interacts. Guesses, good intentions, and “I know because God told me” don’t count. Before we step off on Nancy Pelosi’s multi-trillion dollar crusade to “Save the World”, don’t you think we oughta be saving it from an actual threat? Or know which threat to be fighting?

    Alternate energy…cool, you’ve convinced me. I’m panting and slobbering to plug my toaster into your grid. Don’t really care where it comes from. No doubt Al Bore, his four houses, limos, private jets, and energy requirements of a small 3rd world nation will be glad to plug in too. So will the other 1% of our population that use more resources than the other 99% combined. Find some like minded souls, form a corporation, and have at it. This is America! Nothing stopping you and T. Boone Pickens….except the wing-nuts united against all forms of energy and the NIMBY folks. Remember how bio-fuels were the greatest thing since sliced white bread, oh such a short time ago? Well, wind power kill birds and is ugly (ask Ted Kennedy). Solar power will destroy the pristine beauty of our deserts. Hydro upsets the fish (not to mention the Snail Darter et al.). You come up with any alternative alternative energy sources, well, Polar Bears are endangered now…any energy usage threatens their existence and will fought tooth and nail.

  130. Joel Shore says:

    jeez: Thanks for posting that USA Today article debunking the claim made regarding that Gallup poll; I respect your intellectual honesty.

    Smokey says:

    1. Whether a source is 70 years old, 17 weeks old, or seven minutes old, it is either truthful, or untruthful. Truth does not change. I simply linked to a Gallup poll, the results of which Mr. Shore simply can not abide.

    [I could have linked to a more current site, such as: click. But Mr. Shore doesn't like that site, either.]

    No…The point is that scientific opinion on climate change has changed in 17 years. And, it is not a matter of the age of the cite…It is a matter of the age of the poll. Besides being 17 years old, the USA Today article notes that the number was “taken out of context” which (from what I have read other places) appears to mean basically made up…and that in fact 66% of the scientists surveyed even back in 1991 believed that human-induced climate change was occurring.

    Anyway, the main point is that we have a much more recent poll, http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html taken of AGU and AMS members by a similarly reputable polling organization that obtained the results that I noted above and that all can read in the link.

    That is why those on the Left hate the National Center For Policy Analysis so. They hate every organization, and every individual, that refutes their Sacred Cow of Global Warming. Any questioning of the Al Gore globaloney orthodoxy must be attacked and destroyed by any means, ethical or not. That is the Left’s modus operandi.

    Yes, because I am sure that if I gave you a fact from, say, the National Resource Defense Council or Greenpeace, you would accept it on fact value? The reason that I don’t trust the NCPA is because they have a strong point-of-view and they don’t seem to mind distorting the evidence to fit that view. It is natural for those on one side of a debate not to trust what are clearly very partisan sources on the other.

    Unfortunately, however, in this debate, the “skeptics” seem to define partisan sources to include the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and its counterparts in the other G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the editors of Science and Nature, the councils of the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical Society, the American Meteorological Society, etc., etc. Presumably even Shell Oil, BP, Ford, etc., who have all basically accepted the science on global warming. That is kind of ridiculous!

  131. jeez says:

    As I said, I haven’t been following all the back and forth, but I should probably state a position at some point. I believe either side demonizing either side is not only fruitless, but intellectually incorrect. AGW proponents, by and large believe fervently in their cause and are not trying to perpetuate a hoax. Likewise sceptics, by and large are not flat earthers, intellectually dishonest religious fundamentalists, or bought off by the oil companies.

    This is why I often use the term groupthink to describe what is occurring. It is not a conspiracy. I view it as a shared bias, not that it is not fervently believed.

    That being said, I have zero respect for Hansen, Mann, Jones et al.

    Their refusal to engage in open, replicable, science is not justifiable in any way. The petty games they play while dismissing the requests to behave as scientists demonstrates more than any flaws in their work ever could.

    I will probably contribute more in the future, but I have a conference call in two minutes, and of the sources listed above, I would say there is much evidence that the IPCC may be considered a partisan source. It is essentially their mandate.

  132. Smokey says:

    @John McLondon:Although you employ an appeal to authority argument, and several red herring arguments, and you once again move the goal posts just out of reach, you avoided saying “Yes” or “No” to my proposed wager, which concerned only one thing: James Hansen’s temperature predictions [click]. It is James Hansen’s taxpayer funded job to take all the factors you mentioned into consideration, and more. There is no need to rehash them here. Either Hansen knows what he’s talking about, or he doesn’t, or he’s misrepresenting the data and his methodology.

    My [intended to be fun] wager proposal states that by 1/01/10 Hansen will be shown to be wrong by more than .5 degrees F. As stated, you can take the bet, or you can change the date [within reason, of course]. But my proposal doesn’t provide for a fudged response: “I will certainly concede that there are reasons to doubt AGW.” My wager, as I stated, is for bragging rights. Your comment, as far as I can tell, is no different from your repeated statements in these threads. Where’s the fun in that? I’m putting my credibility up against Hansen’s. If you’re not willing to take the other side of the wager, just say so.

    I will understand completely.

  133. John McLondon says:

    Jon (11:57:21) :

    Thanks for that interesting essay. I am just providing a short response here, about the obvious. I am certain there is point in giving an expanded reply as it will simply be a waste of time since you have already made up your opinion.

    “…unless they can back it with science based reproducible proof.”

    I went through this before with JC Stout. How could one reproduce global warming? Just like how could one reproduce the Big Bang?

    “Nobel Commission (who give Nobel’s to terrorists for being successful terrorists..”

    Well… which one of the terrorists received a Nobel Prize?
    Especially in science?

    “Where’s the science? Where’s the warming?”

    I do not know of any reasonable thoughtful person (including skeptics) saying that there is no warming, or CO2 is not a greenhouse gas. Even skeptics like Lubos Motl has done simple calculations (without feedbacks) to come up with estimates of climate sensitivity (see from a skeptical blog http://www.coyoteblog.com/global_warming_climate_graphs/image003.gif
    on Lubos’ estimate on how much warmer the Earth will get with increasing CO2).

    Unfortunately, in my view, those with your opinion (and style) will seriously destroy the credibility of AGW critics. But, Thank you for your reply.

  134. John McLondon says:

    Smokey,

    “..appeal to authority argument, and several red herring arguments..”

    I have to disagree with some of those mindless logical rules. There is nothing wrong with appeal to authority. Are we going to trust the opinion of a medical doctor or a climate scientist when the topic is on a medical issue? Appeal to authority is fine as long as the authority is legitimate. We are not all experts in every field to find out for ourselves all the subtle details of every issue in that field, we have to depend on authority. But where exactly is the red herring???

    I can only say that AGW is true. I have not gone through the details of Hansen’s climate sensitivity analysis (or what type of interactions he has included), and without knowing those details I cannot really say whether those predictions will be true or not. So, I cannot wager on this. I interpret this as a discussion on AGW, not about Hansen. So I am willing wager that even if the temperature takes a dip in one year, or two years, on average it will move up, not down. It will never reach those values set back in 70s or 80s no matter we wait for 30 years, and whether the PDO is reversed or sunspots are gone. Also, even if Hansen’s predictions are shown to be inexact, that does not mean AGW is wrong.

    Are you interested in a wager on whether or not AGW is true?

  135. John McLondon says:

    Jeez,

    Can you please elaborate a bit on your comment “replicable, science..”. I have been stating that global warming, like Big Bang, cannot be replicated in the conventional sense (unless like we stop producing CO2 for the next 20 years and then start producing CO2 at a rate may be 10 or 20 times more that what we produce now). On the other hand if the replication requirement is on each of the components that cause climate change, taken independently, then I am not sure there is any relevant mechanism out there that cannot be reproduced independently. So, I never understood when AGW critics point out the need for replication. Thanks!

  136. jeez says:

    Simply a disclosure of data, code, and methodologies is all that is required for outside people to replicate the studies to which I refer.

    Michael Mann, does not do this. We just have to trust him. Lonnie Thompson does not do this. We just have to trust him. Phil Jones, does not do this. We just have to trust him.

    Hansen, reluctantly started to do this last September after being embarrassed into it or being ordered by his superiors. Even so, Hansen’s disclosures are a poorly documented mess and are updated without notice or explanation, but are slowly being picked apart and analyzed.

    The data, code, and methodologies of the studies being used to drive policy costing trillions of dollars are not being disclosed. We just have to trust them.

  137. John McLondon says:

    Jeez,

    OK, I understand. Thanks. So it is a requirement on the tools, not on the phenomenon itself.

    I agree with you completely.

  138. jeez says:

    Once you agree with this premise btw, it’s all down hill from here, once you learn how these influential so-called climate scientists behave, how petty they can be, how they fight outside scrutiny, you will become a skeptic.

    To quote Phil Jones: We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?

    Yes, that is the attitude of the people behind the Hadley Climate Center. That is the attitude of the people who tell us the historical record is unaffected by urban growth effects. Would you like to check their work on that? Sorry, you can’t.

    REPLY: I agree, some of the arrogance displayed is stunning. -Anthony

  139. Brendan H says:

    Smokey: “Truth does not change.”

    One truth is that 17 years ago a poll recorded that a minority (41 percent) of climate scientists were in substantial agreement with AGW. Another truth is that a more recent poll (2007) recorded that a majority (74 percent) of climate scientists were in substantial agreement with AGW. Which of these truths did you have in mind?

    Interestingly, the poll results are what we would expect where the scientific evidence becomes more compelling over time. I’d say that this process is replicated across many now-established theories, as the more cautious scientists become more confident about the weight of evidence in favour of the theory.

  140. Brendan H says:

    Jeez: “This is why I often use the term groupthink to describe what is occurring.”

    I think you’re being unduly pessimistic. If science reduces to groupthink, then science becomes no better than opinion. Most scientists would reject that, and would argue that science provides them with a method that is more reliable than opinion, and which enables them to arrive at convincing explanations about the way the world works.

    However, you may be using “groupthink” to describe the pro-AGW side, in which case you would have to show that only AGWers are prone to groupthink, while sceptics are free of this tendency.

  141. Glenn says:

    “Another truth is that a more recent poll (2007) recorded that a majority (74 percent) of climate scientists were in substantial agreement with AGW. ”

    Do you have a reference for this, Brendan? Although I wouldn’t call 74% a consensus, I’d be surprised. Of course this all depends on the wording of the poll, and for example just what “substantial” means.

  142. jeez says:

    Both sides suffer from groupthink, or bias however…

    The tendency of bias is much greater in those who believe they are trying to save the planet/humanity/nature/civilization. These people believe they have a higher calling and therefore their work is necessary to help. The process of Science can eventually resolve this bias, but it can be delayed for a long time. The current crop of so called scientists who refuse to allow their work to be scrutinized is symptomatic of this problem and groupthink. If they do not allow their work to be scrutinized, if they do not reveal data, code, and methods, it is not science, it is opinion as you stated above. The IPCC is heavily populated and influenced by this group of climate alchemists.

    Bias is less problematic for those who think “hey maybe we aren’t all going to die or destroy the world for the children”. These people are simply looking for direction in an uncertain world, but can be formed into groups and mob psychology as well. Symptoms of this groupthink is ascribing malicious intent to the opposing view.

    Both sides believe they are trying to do the right thing. Only when this is acknowledged can dialog occur.

    This is obviously an assessment of my personal bias, but simply put, if data, code, and methods are not disclosed, it is not science. I put my faith in those that disclose.

  143. John McLondon says:

    Jeez and Anthony,

    “Once you agree with this premise btw, it’s all down hill from here, once you learn how these influential so-called climate scientists behave, how petty they can be, how they fight outside scrutiny, you will become a skeptic.”

    I am all for open disclosure in science as a matter of principle. Because, what Phil Jones said is exactly the objective of such disclosure, to give others an opportunity “to try and find something wrong with it” if there is indeed something really wrong with the data adjustments etc, so that the theory can be refined.

    But here is the other side, unfortunately. First, I think any small problems we find, whether trivial or non-trivial, will be used with extraordinary thrust to discredit AGW, as we have seen in the past. Eg. Hansen’s Y2K bug, the change was relatively insignificant (in my opinion, unless of course we give so much importance to which year is the hottest), but the publicity it received through the AGW critics’ media was extremely disproportional. It was presented in many conservative radio stations and blogs as if the whole AGW is crumbling (it was not like now the data is more reliable and we were able to help to correct it; the message I heard was that we are winning, AGW people are on the run, etc. etc.). Of course, those who aided the Y2K discovery deserve full credit for their findings – both you and McIntyre, I am not minimizing that at all. But I thought the publicity it received and the way it was presented from various sources was completely misguided. May be Phil Jones and others feel that in such a highly politicized and polarized climate, any disclosure of such details may cause unjustified criticisms about their work and AGW. The overall situation is not good.

    Second, if those disclosures are that important, then those data would be required in any peer-reviewed publications – unless of course, other groups with their own independent investigations came to the same conclusion. Also, I do not believe the National Science Academies all over the world are that naïve to accept the conclusion from these work, if there is a serious potential for arriving at a different conclusion if full disclosure of all the data/procedure is made.

    Finally, this is the most important part. Satellite temperature measurements, as Anthony himself posted earlier ironically, show very good correlation with surface data for temperature anomalies (as far as I see it). So, irrespective of the cooperation on complete disclosure from some climate scientists, it appears that their methodologies are giving meaningful results consistent with other observations.

    REPLY: Nicely said. I appreciate the courteous tone used to point out areas and issues. It is a far better way than many others have used The satellite data have one issue, and that is that the sounder does go down to the surface. According to Christy, about 20% of the signal is surface. So when looking at anomaly trends, don’t be surprised that there is some correlation with surface temperature measurements. But the question that Pielke et al remains: how much of that signal is due to land use change, urbanization, and related factors? It stands to reason that if we actively adjust the environment being measured, we’ll see that reflected in the data. Combine those changes with PDO, AMO, and other factors, and surely they’ll all meld together to make a stronger signal.

    What’s happening now is a divergence between satellite and surface data. We’ll see if that starts to go away as La Nina effects fade. -Anthony

  144. Brendan H says:

    Glenn: “Do you have a reference for this, Brendan?”

    I was referring to this link:

    http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html

    “Although I wouldn’t call 74% a consensus…“substantial” means.”

    Strictly speaking, AGW consensus refers to the scientific views as expressed in IPCC reports, not to any general agreement among climate scientists, even if properly surveyed. “Substantial” is my word, not the survey’s.

  145. Brendan H says:

    Jeez: “The tendency of bias is much greater in those who believe they are trying to save the planet/humanity/nature/civilization.”

    Many sceptics believe they are preventing the collapse of civilisation through the wrong-headed notions of global warmers. We’ve all read the dire warnings of a return to the Dark Ages or a descent into totalitarianism from actions that might be taken to mitigate climate change. This sort of catastrophising is a mirror image to the more lurid claims of global warmers.

    But I agree there is an asymmetry to the global warming debate, since sceptics must affirm the negative, as it were. Does that mean they are more critical in their thinking? Not necessarily. One indication of groupthink in the blogosphere is linking, and sceptical blogs can be as uncritical in their linking as pro-AGW blogs. The Monkton threads are evidence of that.

    “The current crop of so called scientists who refuse to allow their work to be scrutinized is symptomatic of this problem and groupthink.”

    As I understand it, science requires the open dissemination of information. If you have any evidence of climate scientists deliberating obfuscating for whatever reason, you should place it before the appropriate authorities.

    “Both sides believe they are trying to do the right thing. Only when this is acknowledged can dialog occur.”

    Well, yes. So who goes first?

  146. jeez says:

    Science does require open dissemination of information. For an example of how climate alchemists including the lead author of the millennial section of the IPCC AR4 withhold data, read the following:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3352

    I noted several others earlier in this thread who refuse to share their data and methods. This is the social network in control of the IPCC. These are the alchemists masquerading as scientists and the scientific community has been silent.

  147. Brendan H says:

    Jeez: “For an example of how climate alchemists including the lead author of the millennial section of the IPCC AR4 withhold data, read the following:”

    I’m afraid I can’t make sense of the linked anecdote. As I have mentioned previously, if there have been repeated, serious breaches of scientific ethics, you should gather the evidence and place it in front of the appropriate authorities.

  148. John McLondon says:

    Sorry for the delayed post. So busy!

    Jeez,

    On the lack of data about research papers, methodologies, etc, there are two practical solutions (although I believe in complete disclosure): one is to repeat the experiments from the beginning to end. Instead of just asking for raw data from Keith Briffa and others and then looking for statistical errors in that data, I think the critics should repeat the same experiments by collecting raw data independent of Briffia’s results. This is hard, but that is the only way we can satisfy full repeatability. Checking for statistical errors alone is not going to assure the science. I think similar initiatives could be used for cross-checking methodologies, input parameters, etc., but for some reason the critics are not willing to go that far, although I wish they do. There may be other reasons why researchers may not want to give all the raw data, and in general they may consider asking the raw data in a confrontational way to be offensive. There were only few cases of scientific fraud, like Jan Hendrik Schon and Hwang Woo Suk. But most (by an overwhelming majority) are honest scientists, and in those few cases when they are not honest they were caught by other scientists just by studying their publications (not with the raw data. In fact, people like Schon were asked to submit the raw data only when there was sufficient reason to believe that he had committed fraud). Apart from Wei-Chyung Wang, there are no allegations about any climate scientists. The system works well in the long run. So many scientists may feel personally offended by asking for raw data, when there are no allegations against them.

    Also, as in the legal discovery process, where lawyers could exasperate the system by asking for lots and lots of things, or proposing to pack with lots and lots of witness testimonies. If it is not done with proper judgment, asking for raw data for every paper could sound like the defense lawyers’ efforts to derail the court system.

    Given this background, the second solution is to help to develop an environment where at least the reasonable people on both sides can trust each other, as I outline in the next part.

    Anthony,

    Thanks for your comments. As you said, time will tell the truth.

    On the second solution, trust is hard to come by in an unnecessarily adversarial environment like this. In this case as Brendan H said earlier (“who goes first”), someone has to reach out first. As you said, we have to develop real courteous communications between these two sides. We all know it is so easy to make someone look very bad; we have seen how Sen./V.P. Dan Quayle, who was an accomplished Senator by all account as even acknowledged by Sen. Kennedy, was portrayed with the “you are no Jack Kennedy” insult and the Potato spelling incident and few other statements he had made. We all make spelling mistakes from time to time but when it is publicized so heavily, it can be used to tarnish someone’s image. In my opinion even the most accomplished scientists are afraid of how they will be portrayed in front of the public if others find even some inconsequential errors. Since even the most trivial errors can be publicized to look them bad, they don’t want to be portrayed as incompetent in algebra or averaging, etc., so they may not want to give that occasion by revealing all the details.

    So, here is my suggestion to Anthony. You have a great audience here, and you can lead to change the present climate of distrust. May be you can reach out to Hansen and others, call him or meet him and if you can assure them that you will come to their defense if personal attacks are made against them and if trivial criticisms are made about their work. Then there is a good chance they might open up. I do not know of anyone more suitable than you to do that – you have electric cars, solar power, etc. You are doing what they are preaching others to do, although for different reasons. May be eventually you could post joint (or two parts articles) here addressing various issues with Hansen and others, instead of having all those public debates. I may be naïve, but I have seen people responding much better if they think the other side can be trusted, and that is the environment we have to create. I have not gone through Real Climate to see what kind of personal attacks they use, but comments like “Hansen bulldog Gavin Schmidt” and his private time “flexibly includes 9 to 5” “has provided bulldog services on behalf of his boss”, etc. from McIntyre is not very helpful in fostering collaboration, or even open communication. I hope you can take the initiative to change that.

  149. jeez says:

    I know you put a lot into that post and mine will be much shorter, but some of us have witnessed the history over the last 10 or 20 years and yes you are being naive.

    Journals are not even enforcing their disclosure standards. The Team has gotten a free pass for the better part of a decade. The IPCC does not enforce its own disclosure standards. This has to stop. It has to stop now.

    It will all eventually be sorted out. Nature will be the final arbiter, but it would be nice if we didn’t do stupid things out of misplaced ignorance that leads to death and misery before that happens.

  150. Glenn says:

    Jeez,

    Trouble is that some likely think that death and misery are a necessary evil, to prevent more further down the road, even to human extinction. I don’t believe this far off the mark with the public that has bought into these dire predictions from the scientific community, UN, federal governments, and movies, be it hothouse or iceage.
    If it were so, so be it. But as you say, let’s base our actions on good science and good planning. But from what I’ve seen, it’s all a sham, and way out of hand, and we may really have reached a tipping point of no return. I don’t see how this unscientific and irresponsible behavior is going to stop now or later.

  151. statePoet1775 says:

    “Nature will be the final arbiter, but it would be nice if we didn’t do stupid things out of misplaced ignorance that leads to death and misery before that happens.” jeez

    Perhaps “Nature” is waiting to see who else will climb out on that tree limb called “AGW” or to give others time to reconsider before the “cold” facts of reality cause that limb to break off.

  152. John McLondon says:

    jeez (20:50:27) : “….have witnessed the history over the last 10 or 20 years and yes you are being naive”.

    May be, but not necessarily. It took Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev, with more trust and respect between each other, to end the cold war. Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are great friends, which takes away lots of the cynical interpretations about their opinions, even though ideologically they are poles apart. William F. Buckley, Jr. and long time ACLU Director Ira Glasser were great friends, which brought a sense of sincerity and openness to their discussions. I can go on….

    Someone must work hard to remove the adversarial relationship between AGW supporters and critics, and if they can establish a level of trust between each other through this effort, it can bring a fresh more beneficial atmosphere for an open discussion.

  153. statePoet1775 says:

    “Someone must work hard to remove the adversarial relationship between AGW supporters and critics, and if they can establish a level of trust between each other through this effort, it can bring a fresh more beneficial atmosphere for an open discussion.” John McLondon

    I must agree though I have (to my shame) anticipated with glee the revenge of watching others eat crow. But our real enemies are not flesh and blood as the Good Book says.

  154. John McLondon says:

    statePoet1775 (09:11:55) : “But our real enemies are not flesh and blood as the Good Book says.”

    Absolutely.

  155. jeez says:

    John McLondon,

    What is adversarial about insisting that journals and organizations enforce disclosure standards they already have in place?

    What is adversarial about pointing out a lack of disclosure currently occurring?

  156. John McLondon says:

    Jeez,

    I am all for complete disclosure. But let us look the situation from the other side. Occasional demands on raw data seem fine. But the context in which such requests are made is important. Systematic requests, particularly targeting at IPCC editors, appear suspicious. Most often complete raw data is requested only when there is a suspicion of fraud, or other consistency problems. These requests are generally made by other scientists actively working in the area, not by outsiders with a pre-established and well publicized view on the topic whose main objective, as it appears to any reasonable person, is nothing but to look for mistakes so that they could make a disproportional case out of the smallest mistakes.

    Many journals do not have a clear raw data disclosure policy, although if there are suspicions of fraud they all will require raw data. Even for Royal Society journals, the requirement is not without boundaries (“As a condition of acceptance authors agree to honour any reasonable request by other researchers for materials, methods, or data necessary to verify the conclusion of the article.” Any REASONBLE request by other RESEARCHERS).

    But requesting data is not the main problem. In my opinion, some of the articles here and in other blogs appear to criticize scientists based on trivial reasons, and it is with this background such raw data requests are made: (1) Hansen refusing to accept the debate organized by a unofficial student organization, (2) now we have the two quotes from the IPCC Chair, who was actually installed there by President Bush because he wanted to remove the previous IPCC Chair Watson, to make him look stupid with a picture to portray him as a caveman (it was changed now to invoke another repulsive feeling among the followers – association with Gore) (3) Monckton’s intense claim that an unreviewed publication was indeed peer-reviewed and APS should somehow acknowledge that “at once”, (4) McIntyre’s comments like “Hansen bulldog Gavin Schmidt” and his private time “flexibly includes 9 to 5” “has provided bulldog services on behalf of his boss”, in his blog, etc. creates a perception of unreasonableness and personality interest from the side of AGW critics. When we look at such rhetoric from AGW critics, it is clear the relationship is adversarial. I am unhappy about this, because it is undermining the credibility of blogs critical of AGW. It also gives the perception that these inquiries are not about scientific integrity or curiosity, rather they are a means to further the preconceived beliefs held by those who are requesting those data.

    Now, I have not gone to the AGW believers’ side to see what tactics they use, I assume the AGW endorsers’ blogs by non-scientists may contain such problems. But whatever the AGW people are saying, it is not going to change what we see with the critics’ side. The thing that distresses me the most is the determination of AGW critics to keep it that way. I wish the situation was different.

  157. jeez says:

    No, no, and no, you are conflating political debate and other issues with the one issue I am concerned about, disclosure. Either scientists disclose or they are not scientists. Your nitpicking about whether requests are suspicious or not is not relevant. Much of the rest of your comment is not relevant.

    Many journals do have disclosure policies. These are not enforced against the players. The IPCC has archiving and disclosure policies. These are not enforced against the players. Any insults they incur as a result of not behaving as scientists they have brought upon themselves. This needs to stop. Transparency is the only path to resolution.

    Scientist do not have to “trust” to behave like scientists. If they don’t disclose they are not scientists. Period. End of story. That’s all she wrote. The fat lady has sung.

  158. John McLondon says:

    Jeez,

    “Scientist do not have to “trust” to behave like scientists. If they don’t disclose they are not scientists. Period. End of story. That’s all she wrote. The fat lady has sung.”

    No no, don’t make her sing too fast!

    I was talking about the general environment (in which case my previous post is fully valid), but I understand your position is a narrower one regarding raw data disclosure alone. For one thing, we cannot take the narrower view without putting it within the general context. But for argument sake let us move on.

    I was looking at few journals, for example “Climate”, “geophysical research letters” etc. and I cannot find a raw data disclosure policy. I am not even aware of such policies in journals I deal with in my field. All data must be provided with patents for someone to duplicate the invention. But for scientific papers I am not aware of a requirement that all data must be provided, without probable cause for further investigation. Apart from the Royal Society Journals (where there is a clear policy for reasonable requests), I really cannot find such policy statements where I looked. You think I am not looking at the right place?

  159. jeez says:

    I don’t have time to find multiple examples, but here’s one.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/about/authors/prep/gen_info.dtl#datadep

    Data availability After publication, all data necessary to understand, assess, and extend the conclusions of the manuscript must be available to any reader of Science. We recognize that discipline-specific conventions or special circumstances may occasionally apply, and we will consider these in negotiating compliance with requests. Any concerns about your ability to meet Science’s requirements must be disclosed and discussed with an editor. For further information about accessibility of data and materials, see the following resources.

  160. jeez says:

    Ok and another.

    http://publishing.royalsociety.org/index.cfm?page=1595#question6

    Access to data policy

    As a condition of acceptance authors agree to honour any reasonable request by other researchers for materials, methods, or data necessary to verify the conclusion of the article.

    Supplementary data up to 10Mb is placed on the Society’s website free of charge and is publicly accessible.

    Large datasets must be deposited in a recognised public domain database by the author prior to submission. The accession number should be provided for inclusion in the published article.

  161. John McLondon says:

    Jeez,

    Yes, thanks. The requirement by Science does not seem to be an absolute one. Many others do not even have a policy. The most detailed policy is, as you pointed out, by the Royal Society publications. We will see what happens with McIntyre’s request, whether they will consider that as a reasonable request.

    More than ever I am so convinced that each side has taken a hard line position, and wants to keep it that way to the end. I am so glad I am not in climate science, if I were, after seeing all these intense scrutiny on scientific and personal matters, I would have changed my field quickly. It is not worth the trouble. It is disappointing to see comments by Hansen about trials, but it is more disappointing to see how critics are making trivialities (not the raw data requests, but other things I posted earlier) as issues to discredit AGW. In my view it affects the credibility. I hope it will change and only real issues will be used for discussions and debate. We will see.

  162. funnygirl says:

    your blog is getting better )

  163. UNCLE RON says:

    I haven’t been able to review all the comments but at almost the very end
    of the hearing with Dr. Spencer and Dr. Trenberth (and others), the Democrat male Senator from Rhode Island gave Dr. Trenberth an opportunity to attack
    Dr. Spencer’s research and Dr. Trenberth did so citing some specifics he
    maintained Dr. Spencer got wrong. Dr. Spencer, of course, didn’t get a chance to rebut Trenberth’s assertions. Does anybody know if Dr. Spencer has responded in writing to Trenberth’s claims and, if so on the web, where?
    Thanks.

  164. Joel Shore says:

    By the way, the blogger “tamino” has done a nice job explaining what how he thinks Spencer is fooling himself here: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/08/01/spencers-folly-3/

    Tamino’s criticisms make the most sense if you look at Spencer’s full presentation given at Colorado State University: http://climatesci.org/wp-content/uploads/spencer-ppt.pdf rather than just the abbreviated version presented in this post.

  165. cynic says:

    Chris Monckton’s no mathematician, at least not according to Wiki:

    In 1974 at the age of 22, Monckton joined the Yorkshire Post, where he worked as a reporter and leader-writer. From 1977 to 1978, he worked at Conservative Central Office as a press officer, becoming the editor of the Roman Catholic newspaper The Universe in 1979, then managing editor of The Sunday Telegraph Magazine in 1981. He joined the English tabloid newspaper, Evening Standard, as a leader-writer in 1982.[1]

    [edit] Politics
    Monckton was born on 14 February 1952, the eldest son of the 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. He was educated at Harrow School, Churchill College, Cambridge where he read classics and University College, Cardiff, where he obtained a diploma in journalism.[1]

    He returned to Conservative Central Office in late 1982, this time as a policy advisor for Margaret Thatcher.[2] In 1986, he became assistant editor of the newly established, and now defunct, newspaper Today. He was a consulting editor for the Evening Standard from 1987 to 1992 and was its chief leader-writer from 1990 to 1992.[1]

    Monckton was an unsuccessful candidate for a Conservative seat in the House of Lords in a March 2007 by-election caused by the death of Lord Mowbray and Stourton. He had been highly critical of the way that the Lords has been reformed, describing the by-election procedure, with 43 candidates and 47 electors, as “a bizarre constitutional abortion.”[3]“

  166. Pingback: If Global Warming Is Such A Problem Why Isn't The Left Complaining About Ca Fires? - Page 7 - U.S. Politics Online: A Political Discussion Forum

  167. OzzieAardvark says:

    Oh my. This is my first reading of this blog and like most, there are some folks that truly understand the subject and many that simply offer emotionally driven opinions. I found the exchange between jeez and John McLondon to be at once satisfying and disturbing. It was satisfying in that Jeez focused on the crux of the matter (the need for full data disclosure by The Team) and refused to be diverted. Disturbing because even while pinned to the display mat like a butterfly specimen, John McLondon refused to open his eyes and see the fundamental issue. AGW and the attendant public policy debate are too important to excuse any lack of transparency. Regardless of which camp carries the argument, literally billions of human beings’ lives and livelihoods are at stake here. Please go and read the nonsense described in:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3352
    Forget prosecuting oil company executives as Mr. Hansen has so dysfunctionally advocated. Go after the scientists that are withholding the data we so desperately need to make the critical scientific and public policy decisions that will determine who prospers and who doesn’t and obviously more importantly, who lives and who dies. This isn’t some antiseptic game played out by nerds in lab coats and policy wonks. Millions of people’s lives hang in the balance on both sides of the equation. Not having openly available data to simply follow where it takes us is unconscionable.

    Reply: Mr Aardvark received no compensation for the above post~charles the moderator aka jeez

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