Challenging the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

Consensus does not necessarily guarantee sound science

Guest post by Forrest M. Mims III

Consensus is often cited in support of scientific paradigms, including anthropogenic climate change. Australian physicist Tom Quirk has neatly dissected the consensus argument for the human role in climate change in an article in Quadrant Online entitled “Of climate science and stomach bugs.” This curiously entitled piece begins with the story of how Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren revolutionized the treatment of stomach ulcers in 1982 when they discovered that peptic ulcers are mainly caused by a bacterium.

While their claim was stubbornly rejected by drug companies and surgeons who profited handsomely from treating ulcer patients, in the end truth prevailed over dogma and Marshall and Warren received the 2005 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.

Quirk’s article then compares the conflicts of interest, money and pseudoscience of the stomach bugs story with the ongoing debate over climate change. His account reinforces the sometimes neglected but essential role of skepticism in all of science and is well worth reading.

See: http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2013/01/of-climate-science-and-stomach-bugs

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111 Responses to Challenging the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

  1. omnologos says:

    Quadrant and others under attack at “The Conversation” – with the usual savoir-faire and grace (not!)

    http://theconversation.edu.au/peer-review-isnt-perfect-and-the-media-doesnt-always-help-11318

  2. A very interesting analogy, it was the money to be made that gagged the science and stopped the truth coming out.

    Here is West Wales the con men are selling renewables, the spivs, absentee landlords and other antisocial elements are beggaring their neighbours jumping on the green money bandwagon putting turbines up next to equine businesses and in front of otherwise rural peaceful gardens. The money is speaking and local people are cottoning on that the green movement is no longer about saving the planet

  3. upcountrywater says:

    I remember that… The science finally won out, what a route, that discovery took…
    100 million times the kooks in the climate game, all vying for the game of the century.

  4. Mike M says:

    I think Piltdown Man is another good parallel to the man made global warming hoax. It was a hoax from the beginning, it had a very strong consensus at first and it took 40 years to get everyone to accept that they had been fooled. If not for a minority of anthropologist skeptics who first questioned it – it might have survived as fact to this day.

  5. denniswingo says:

    IT is about to get a lot worse, here is the new claim on our money, $700 billion a year for climate change…

    http://news.yahoo.com/report-700-billion-needed-climate-change-212700708.html

  6. Nick Kermode says:

    “”A great deal of money and prestige was riding on ulcers by 1982, when West Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren proved that the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterium caused most peptic ulcers, neatly reversing decades of medical doctrine. Even worse for the revenue streams of drug companies and medicos, the bacteria could be eliminated by the use of antibiotics.

    No ulcers meant no ongoing business, so it should come as no surprise that, in medical circles, all hell broke loose. Drug companies would not countenance the idea that Marshall and Warren’s findings were valid. Revenue was under threat, as were share prices and the egos of those who had driven the drugs’ remarkably successful marketing campaigns. Doctors were slow to change their habits, so surgeons continued to put their patients under the knife, all the while insisting that Marshall and Warren were peddling nonsense.””

    A great deal of money and prestige was riding on coal and oil when many scientists proved burning fossil fuels caused most of the global warming, neatly reversing decades of oil and coal companies doctrine. Even worse for the revenue streams of oil, coal and gas companies and their billionaire executives, the burning of fossil fuels could be eliminated ( well greatly reduced! ) by the use of renewable energy.

    No burning fossil fuel meant no ongoing business, so it should come as no surprise that, in fossil fuel circles, all hell broke loose. Oil and coal companies would not countenance the idea that climate scientists findings were valid. Revenue was under threat, as were share prices and the egos of those who had driven oil and coals remarkably successful marketing campaigns. Governments were slow to change their mind, so oil and coal executives continued to put the planet under the knife, all the while insisting that climate scientists were peddling nonsense.

    There fixed it for Mr Quirk.

    Nice analogy, except of course that it is the coal and oil multinationals that are the pharma companies and renewable energy is Marshall and Warren. Also ” billions of dollars in taxpayer-backed loans and grants to renewable energy corporations” here in Australia is around $500 million, or twenty times less than the handouts, subsidies, tax breaks and ‘friendly’ loans the mining industry receives.

  7. john robertson says:

    Gradually better written descriptions of the fraud of two centuries will be released to the eyes of an angry public.
    We have most of the information now, its just a case of it coming together in a coherent form.
    Partly the problem is the subject is too rich.

  8. Ben D. says:

    Nick Kermode says:….”when many scientists proved burning fossil fuels caused most of the global warming, neatly reversing decades of oil and coal companies doctrine.”

    Where’s the proof?

  9. Nick Kermode:

    At January 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm you wrongly assert

    A great deal of money and prestige was riding on coal and oil when many scientists proved burning fossil fuels caused most of the global warming, neatly reversing decades of oil and coal companies doctrine. Even worse for the revenue streams of oil, coal and gas companies and their billionaire executives, the burning of fossil fuels could be eliminated ( well greatly reduced! ) by the use of renewable energy.

    NO! Every one of your assertions is wrong.
    1.
    Oil companies have financed the global warming scare from the start; e.g. CRU was established using funding from oil companies.
    2.
    No scientist has “proved burning fossil fuels caused most of the global warming”. Indeed, decades of research conducted world-wide at a cost of $billions each year has failed to find any evidence for discernible man-made global warming; none, zilch, nada.
    3.
    The “doctrine” of coal and oil companies is their function of generating dividends for their share-holders and this cannot change.
    4.
    There is no foreseeable possibility of any significant displacement of fossil fuels “by the use of renewable energy”. Large scale use of windfarms increases the need for conventional power stations as back-up.

    Strewth! Where did you get your silly notions?

    Richard

  10. MACK1 says:

    Nick Kermode clearly doesn’t know anything about the oil industry. All the majors have gone along with the CO2 hypothesis because they were well positioned in gas, which would benefit. Initially they had little dabbles in renewables but saw pretty early that those markets would be small for decades and that hydrocarbons have a long future. Their track record over the past hundred years means their forecasts should be taken more seriously than anyone else’s.

  11. Rational Db8 says:

    re: richardscourtney says: January 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm responded to Nick Kermode, saying NO! Every one of your assertions is wrong.

    Too true Richard!! (and well said too).

  12. Sam the First says:

    The history of medicine is full of stories like this. It’s not always the money which stops them from re-thinking: it’s just as much the investment of their egos in the wrong hypothesis which stops them from admitting their error, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. In most cases of the sort in medical history, it’s been one maverick who has managed to stop the juggernaut of rampant medical egos.

    I don’t know if any of you have been following the tale of Dr Simon Wessley and his extreme and highly contentious disservice to research into Myalgic Encephomylitis. His approach to this disease, which is basically to state that sufferers are imagining it – in the face of all current research and evidence, and the experience of sufferers many of whom have died – has led to angry campaigns by ME sufferers attempting to refute his approach. This is urgent since Wessley has the ear of the Department of Health and more importantly, the DHSS who are removing support from sufferers of working age via ATOS decisions. The Countess of Mar has raised the subject in Parliament.

    From here, parallels can be drawn with the situation regarding ‘climate skeptics’.and so called ‘climate scientists’. Dr Wessley is so averse to criticism of any sort that he resorts to accusing ME sufferers of all kinds of evil, including waging a hate war on him, stalking him, and threatening him; yet he’s been unable to substantiate any of these accusations. Meanwhile, not only has he just been knighted – he has also been named the first winner of the contentious Maddox “Standing up for Science” Prize, ostensibly for bravely defending ‘science’ in though under attack; although there is not one shred of evidence to underpin any of his views on ME. Most of us involved in promoting research believe these to be based on nothing more than his own opinion of sufferers as, to paraphrase his own words, ‘lazy sods’.

    The only surprise in all this is that Phil Jones or some other Climate ‘Scientist’ didn’t win the inaugural Maddox prize, for the brave defence of their own equally evidence-free ‘science’. Maybe next year boys! A certain award of the Nobel Prize comes to mind, as a parallel.

    The misapplication of what scanty research funding has been provided due this man’s pig-headed ideas is a national scandal. Yet he is honoured with a ‘science prize’ and a knighthood! You can follow the gist of the saga via these links:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/me-bitterest-row-yet-in-a-long-saga-8348389.html
    There are now 380 comments which are well worth reading to get the full story from those on the ground, if you can hack through them… They quote chapter and verse on exactly what Dr Wessley has said in the past, on this vexing topic. it’s not pretty and it’s certainly not science.

    Reasons why this is such a perverse award:
    http://www.meassociation.org.uk/?p=14132
    Dr Michael Shepherd who helps to run and advise the association (and its excellent FB page) is himself both a medial doctor and an ME sufferer. Yes given that Wessley and his acolytes have cornered the diagnosis cirteria for ME, he too struggles to be heard.

  13. DR says:

    The scheme Nick Kermode claims that subsidies are small for renewables and large for “fossil fuels” is exposed here:
    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/43376.html

    Very naughty Nick……

  14. Bill Marsh says:

    My wife was a long time sufferer from peptic ulcers in the 1980′s. It took us 5 years to find a Doctor willing to treat her for the bacteria (and we had to pay him out of our pockets, the insurance company refused to pay. The insurance companies and almost every doctor we went to told us that ‘it won’t work’. She took the treatment and her ulcers disappeared in a matter of months and she has never had a recurrence.

    There is, of course, a better example of ‘consensus science’ at its best. Dr Eugene Parker proposed, in the 1950′s, that space was not ‘an empty void’, but was, in fact, filled with what is now referred to colloquially as, “solar wind”. Parker was ridiculed, harassed, and insulted by the ‘scientists’ supporting the ‘consensus’ of the time. He was proved right and the ‘consensus’ collapsed, just as the ‘consensus’ (such as it is) regarding ‘Global Warming, Climate Disruption, Climate Pollution (my personal favorite), etc is being proved wrong.

    “Consensus science’ is the worst form of science and any scientist who cites ‘consensus’ as a point supporting his hypothesis is a poor scientist at best.

  15. Climate-science consensus: Find a captive audience, feed them a well crafted survey, and crow when 97% of the attendees agree with some part of it. Replication not necessary.

    Of course, for their side to maintain that 97% (a 32.3:1 ratio), they must never put out another survey to ANY group.

    Any survey with results less than 97% would be seen as a loss; as would any survey that matches the 97% (no gain).

    Any survey that reaches 100% would fail if only one respondent spoke up, so that’s out.

    So the success of their consensus is based on a number range that is greater than (but not equal to) 97, and less than (but not equal to) 100.

    Maybe a “reverse” consensus should be put out – for every name that questions CAGW, insist that they find 33 names that don’t question it.

    A quick example: when we saw forty-nine signers to a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/10/hansen-and-schmidt-of-nasa-giss-under-fire-engineers-scientists-astronauts-ask-nasa-administration-to-look-at-emprical-evidence-rather-than-climate-models/), they should have immediately been able to come up with 1,617 names (with associations and degrees) to counter that. And for every NEW name, find 33 NEW opponents.

    They insist on names, associations and degrees. Maybe we should too…

  16. James says:

    I bet scientific consensus will beat web blogger self-proclaimed expert 9,999,999 times out of 1,000,000. But good luck!

    REPLY:
    And I’ll bet the truth will eventually prevail, despite your protestations to the contrary – Anthony

  17. BobM says:

    The last Coaches Poll before the College Football National Championship Game revealed there was an overwhelming consensus of college football coaches responding that Notre Dame was the best college team in the nation. The results showed that 95% of the “experts” (56 of 59) agreed. Of course, when the real world results were available it became obvious that the Poll should probably have asked the University of Alabama players what they thought. Not even close.

  18. Ed MacAulay says:

    James said; “I bet scientific consensus will beat web blogger self-proclaimed expert 9,999,999 times out of 1,000,000. But good luck!”
    Ah must be a climate scientist, his math is out by a factor of 10.

  19. Tony Hansen says:

    James,
    …9,999,999 times out of 1,000,000.
    Is that climate science math?

  20. starzmom says:

    Consensus science has been around a long time. Ask Galileo and Copernicus. It’s only been in the past 20 years or so that Galileo has been un-excommunicated for his sin of speaking against the consensus. Ultimately the truth does prevail, but sometimes the damage cannot be undone.

  21. Well, James, if Anthony was nothing more than a web blogger and no one else with real expertise in the subject of climate science agreed with him, I’d say your numbers were probably right. But Watts is a bit more than just a blogger, and there are plenty of real scientists both within and outside of the climate community who support much of what he says, so I’m going to take a wild guess and say your numbers are just a load of bullocks.

  22. James Fosser says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but do surgeons have to have scientific qualifications apart from having served an apprenticeship as a butcher,and being able to do and undo the most intricate of sailors knots on wet cotton in a matchbox just by the cunning use of big and adjacent toe of the left foot ?

  23. trafamadore says:

    [snip. We do not tolerate labeling others as "denialists" here. — mod.]

  24. Luther Wu says:

    I must say hello to the great Mr. Forrest Mims III.
    Seeing your name atop this page put a big smile on my face, as your bylines in P.E. and elsewhere, always have.

  25. Catcracking says:

    Nick says
    “No burning fossil fuel meant no ongoing business, so it should come as no surprise that, in fossil fuel circles, all hell broke loose. Oil and coal companies would not countenance the idea that climate scientists findings were valid. Revenue was under threat, as were share prices and the egos of those who had driven oil and coals remarkably successful marketing campaigns. Governments were slow to change their mind, so oil and coal executives continued to put the planet under the knife, all the while insisting that climate scientists were peddling nonsense.”

    Nick, I got news for you. Those who produce fossil fuels are not as stupid as Washington and those naive enough who have been fooled by the Washington crowd into believing renewable fuels will replace their product near term. They are energy companies that hire the best scientists and engineers, pay them accordingly, and know the viability of renwable fuels as well as other options. They have research and engineering departments and are continuously studying means to make a profit selling energy. They are not afraid of renewable fuels, but probably fear stupid regulations and decisions out of Washington that could destroy the US industry and economy.Keep in mind though that most of the US major oil companies already earn circa 50% of their income overseas because of poor access to US Federal Lands and are competing with overseas operations, and they can always relocate to a more favorable economic “climate” as are the “rich” folks from California.

  26. ntesdorf says:

    A memorable and succinct article by Tom Quirk who has nailed all the usual suspects. Consensus science is not Science. Science is inquiry and scepticism and rigorous verification. Any one who thinks that Consensus is proof is barking up the wrong Gum Tree.

  27. John West says:

    If you have to resort to claiming consensus then you have a weak argument.

  28. jarmo says:

    Let’s not forget the old pseudo-science of eugenics, the study of hereditary improvement of the human race by controlled selective breeding. Its supporters included Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Winston Churchill. It was approved by Supreme Court justices Oliver Wendell Holmes and Louis Brandeis, who ruled in its favor. The famous names who supported it included Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone; activist Margaret Sanger; botanist Luther Burbank; Leland Stanford, founder of Stanford University; the novelist H. G. Wells; the playwright George Bernard Shaw; and hundreds of others. Nobel Prize winners gave support. Research was backed by the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations. The Cold Springs Harbor Institute was built to carry out this research, but important work was also done at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford and Johns Hopkins. Legislation to address the crisis was passed in states from New York to California. Sounds like a consensus to me. Many women were sterilized because the courts found them to be mentally unstable.

  29. Rational Db8 says:

    Continental drift is another example. If I recall correctly, it took decades before the theory was accepted – long after there was plenty of evidence for it. Same with “germs” or bacteria vs. “vapors” or “evil spirits.”

  30. It’s all in Kuhn and Pearcey, really.

  31. trafamadore says:

    [snip. We do not tolerate labeling others as "denialists" here. — mod.]
    Tsk tsk. Res ipsa loquitur. Okay, try again:

    from Derek Lowe (on Marshall and Warren): “Crazy ideas won’t necessarily get you tossed out of the club. Crazy ideas with nothing to back them up will. But just come back with the evidence, and they won’t be crazy any more. Show me the religion that takes its heretics and makes them bishops, won’t you?”

    So, everyone here, publish your ideas that contradict global warming and you too can get a Nobel. And be a bishop, too!!

  32. johanna says:

    Indeed, shattering the consensus is the mark of all big breakthroughs in science.

    Of course, most science is of the more pedestrian variety, incrementally improving on what we already know (or think we know). It is often good and worthwhile work.

    For those who are unfamiliar with the story re stomach ulcers and h.pylori, one of the researchers had to deliberately ingest the bacterium and thereby give himself ulcers, and then take a course of antibiotics, before he was believed. The resistance to challengers of ‘consensus’ beliefs is huge. Rightly so, because there are a lot of quacks and nutters out there. But leaving aside internet memes about ‘magic’ foods and supplements and the like, it is always worth keeping an eye on outliers who are otherwise credible and honest, like these guys.

  33. John Haigh says:

    James says:
    January 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    I bet scientific consensus will beat web blogger self-proclaimed expert 9,999,999 times out of 1,000,000.

    You guys are being far too tough on James’ math. He’s only out by a single order of magnitude. That’s quite close for for many who accept consensus CAGW theory.

    I have had a passionate AGW activist tell me. “I understand that the greenhouse argument has to do with methane which might escalate in leakage with gas popularity. ” By how many orders of magnitude would that be out? Five? Ten? Of course if methane becomes “popular” more will leak. But by what % would such leakage affect global CH4 levels? It has to be very close to negligible.

  34. Climate Ace says:

    Nate Silver demonstrated conclusively once again in the last US elections that good forecasts based on reasonable use of relevant variables and scads of data trumps the pundit guesstimaters every time.

    Lots of folk, and lots of pundits, had persuaded that Romney would win.
    He lost by around 5 million votes. (I think… I may have that figure wrong. by 3 million votes? Anyway, it was lots of votes.)

    One of the reasons I like WUWT is that I am able to post contrarian views to the Skeptics’ Consensus that AGW is a load of over-ripe rubbish.

    Of course, to dissent on WUWT, to be skeptical of the Skeptics, almost invariably elicits a gut vicious reaction from some posters. This reaction is very often coupled with a desire to shut me up and run me out of WUWT-town amidst a shower of personal abuse.

    Despite this minority of posters, most, and I do mean most, are OK with having reasonable discussions.

  35. Billy says:

    The DR of Congo has found a green renewable alternative to the big old fossil. I’m sure it would catch on with Bamma voters and green activists.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/world/africa/female-bearers-in-the-democratic-republic-of-congo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  36. Bart says:

    Nick Kermode says:
    January 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    richardscourtney says:
    January 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Well, maybe Big Oil et al. really are the evil geniuses people like Nick believe. After all, they’ve actually conned guys like him into fighting their battles for them!

    Here’s a clue for you Nick: Oil companies make out like bandits when oil is A) scarce or B) plentiful? If you’re having trouble with the question, google 1970′s oil embargo and 1980′s oil glut.

  37. Eric H. says:

    The ulcer solution was too simple and flew in the face of accepted practice and policy. Many people cannot get their head around simple solutions.

    “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex… It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Attributed to Einstein

    Many commenters want to throw greed around as a root cause but I disagree. The majority of people do not have bad intentions, this includes the individuals that control big pharma, big energy, and big health care. Although many people, even very intelligent people, cannot think outside of their box. Surgeons want a surgical solution, drug makers want a breakthrough new drug solution, and psychiatrists want a mental fix.

    What? A solution that treats ulcers with off the shelf antibiotics? That’s like saying the (enter natural process) causes climate change…

  38. Climate Ace says:

    Barry Marshall and Robin Warren are two Aussies who have saved countless people from terrible suffering.

    They are Aussie scientific heroes, IMHO.

  39. Matt says:

    I came across 2 interesting consensus stories these days as well.

    1) The standard model of particle physics was wrong for the longest time in describing neutrinos (in that it was assumed they have no mass); and an astronomer had lost his telescope time/job over claiming that distant galaxies could be connected through filaments contrary to general wisdom, but which turned out to be correct.

  40. Brian Johnson UK says:

    Eric H
    “Many people cannot get their head around simple solutions.”
    Occam’s Razor has been around for centuries. Al Gore and President Obama should use it before they make complete fools of themselves and a shambles of your economy. Same applies to David Cameron and his cronies in the UK

  41. Eric H. says:

    Brian,
    As an American expat in the UK, I hope so as well. William of Occam is my hero.

  42. Jimbo says:

    From the causes of most stomach ulcers to the ‘impossible’ quasicrystals – both proponents won a Nobel Prize no less. Yet consensus was strongly against them. Consensus is anti-science?

    “Ridiculed crystal work wins Nobel for Israeli”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/06/us-nobel-chemistry-idUSTRE7941EP20111006

    “2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry: ‘Quasicrystals’ Once Thought Impossible Have Changed Understanding of Solid Matter”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111005080232.htm

  43. David Cage says:

    As long as research is driven by grants consensus is meaningless. Those at the top award grants or otherwise and how many of you have worked for bosses who say I prefer to promote those who say my work is rubbish and I have got it all wrong?
    I know of at least on group of ex climate scientist computer modellers who left because they could not get funding and what is worse had to sign away any rights to publicly promote any of the work they did or anything based on it if they wanted a reasonable severance package.

  44. Rhys Jaggar says:

    Go focus on Davos.

    That’s where the battle in future will be.

  45. izen says:

    The consensus of scientists is created by the weight of the evidence.

    Because all the hundreds of peer reviewed research papers published each month support the AGW theory, the weight of evidence is all on one side of the scales, scientists respond by reflecting that evidential preponderance by exhibiting a consensus. The consensus among scientists is an indirect proxy measure of the strength of the evidence.

    I am afraid the Comparison with the peptic ulcer story is rather misleading.
    The established medical and drug businesses did have a financial interest in rejecting the bacterial cause of peptic ulcers, but the devil is in the details. It may help to remember that only a small fraction of the people with H. Pylori bacterium get ulcers, for most carriers it is a harmless commensal. A significant minority of peptic ulcer cases do not have the bacterium present. A significant percentage of patients treated to eliminate the bacterium do not get remission from peptic ulcers.

    Another poster has suggested the Piltdown man as a hoax similar to AGW. But the Piltdown hoax was identified at the start by the dental experts who examined the finds and pronounced it to be an ape jaw and a human skull. It was only a small cadre of British biologists that continued to accept the skullfor reasons of national prestige. It was not given much credence outside that group. Tere was never a consensus in the scientific community that Piltdown was a credible pre-human fossil.

    However the continuing finds of real hominid fossils did create a consensus that humans evolved from pre-human ancestors and that consensus, like the consensus on climate change, is a good indication of the width, depth and strength of the evidence.

  46. Berényi Péter says:

    James says:
    January 21, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    I bet scientific consensus will beat web blogger self-proclaimed expert 9,999,999 times out of 1,000,000. But good luck!

    Wonderful. Your estimate of chances comes out like this:
    - probability of “scientific consensus” is right: p=9.999999
    - probability of “web blogger self-proclaimed expert” is right: q=-8.999999

    It must be that way, because sum of probabilities of complementary events should come out as 1 (that is, p+q=1 in this case). Now, assuming negative probabilities or ones greater than 1 is a pretty unorthodox approach, but your bet, your responsibility.

    In a fair bet the expected value of winning should be equal for the two parties involved. So, let’s assume the bet is about you pay a sum of money Y if the “web blogger self-proclaimed expert” turns out to get it right and get paid X if it is the other way around, that is if the “scientific consensus” prevails. The equation pX=qY should obviously hold, which means X=-0.899999989999999Y (X~-0.9Y).

    In other words in the first case you agree to pay $10, in the second one it is also you who pay the bet, $9 this time (a negative sum won is a loss after all). Fair enough.

    Heh, unorthodox probabilities come with a price tag attached, don’t they?

  47. CodeTech says:

    I have to admit, “Nick Kermode”‘s comment was HILARIOUS… funniest part of it was that he/she seems to think it had any meaning, and/or some sort of point was scored. Truly, the fact is that the “eeeevil” oil companies are always benefiting no matter how it plays out. The irrational hatred toward them is really quite amusing. (little secret – YOU TOO can buy shares in oil companies… and make money!)

    Climate Ace says:

    This reaction is very often coupled with a desire to shut me up and run me out of WUWT-town amidst a shower of personal abuse.

    Actually. most of us want guys like you to hang around… you’re entertaining in your breathtaking certainty and lack of knowledge. Often, discussions with you guys will be read by noobs to the site, who then learn (even though you won’t).

    Please try to avoid projection… I realize that all Breathless Believer sites want skeptical views to be shut down and hidden, but that’s because it doesn’t really take much to debunk most AGW alarms.

  48. Stephen Richards says:

    A significant minority of peptic ulcer cases do not have the bacterium present

    When I was lying in hospital last year with an ulcer the surgeon told me the figure was ….. 97% of all ulcers are due to bacteria. 3% is only a significant figure to climate scientists.

  49. Allen B. Eltor says:

    Greenhouse gas theory has been falsified in so many directions it’s not funny.

    Fifty years’ rise in CO2 brought it up by a third, overall. Not a single replicable record of earth frequency infrared light in the atmosphere rising along with it.

    Fifty years’ rise in CO2 without temperature correlations.

    Thirty years of computerzed assemblies to flex the mirrors of earth-based telescopes and not one single word by the design, maintenance, operations people associated with these about the extra infrared light in the atmosphere, leading to more motion of it.
    Heat on gas is motion. Period.
    The mirror flexing assemblies are designed * * * precisely for removing magnified detection of motion of air due to earth frequency infrared spectra* * * – there’s no such thing as “Greenhouse Gas isn’t falsifiable.” It’s a giant heater in the sky. Period.

    If widespread experiment hasn’t shown a giant heater in the sky growing warmer in step by step progression with the presence of CO2 and Water then it is falsified.

    When 50 years of mankind’s most disciplined and exacting minds having their fingers on the nuclear button while having their ships’ atmospheres go from that at sea level, in open hatch & fan on conditions,
    to 4,000 ppm CO2
    and not one single nuclear, electrical, thermodynamic, electronic, mechanical, engineer write a single paper
    about how the heat handling capacity of air changed as the CO2 rose to 4,000 ppm

    that’s falsification.

    When 50 years of mankinds’ most advanced electronic space & internet age instrumentation arrays, detect not a single correlation between ever rising CO2 and overall water vapor,
    that’s falsification.

    When 14 years’ search for infrared downwelling in night skies shows
    LESS infrared downwelling than before, that’s falsification.

    ——————-
    Long-Term Trends in Downwelling Spectral Infrared Radiance over the U.S. Southern Great Plains
    by
    P. Jonathan Gero Space Science and Engineering Center,
    University of Wisconsin Madison,
    Madison, Wisconsin
    and
    David D. Turner
    **NOAA/National Severe Storms Laboratory,
    Norman, Oklahoma,
    and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences,
    University of Wisconsin Madison,
    Madison, Wisconsin**
    ——————————-
    Abstract:
    A trend analysis was applied to a 14-yr time series of downwelling spectral infrared radiance observations from the Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer (AERI) located at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Program (ARM) site in the U.S. Southern Great Plains.

    The highly accurate calibration of the AERI instrument, performed every 10 min, ensures that any statistically significant trend in the observed data over this time can be attributed to changes in the atmospheric properties and composition, and not to changes in the sensitivity or responsivity of the instrument.

    The measured infrared spectra, numbering more than 800 000, were classified as clear-sky, thin cloud, and thick cloud scenes using a neural network method.
    * * *
    The AERI data record demonstrates that the downwelling infrared radiance is decreasing over this 14-yr period in the winter, summer, and autumn seasons but it is increasing in the spring; these trends are statistically significant and are primarily due to long-term change in the cloudiness above the site.
    * * *
    Received: November 16, 2010; Accepted: March 23, 2011″

    ——————-
    That’s called ‘FALSIFIED when several different fields, each measuring an unmistakable and exceptionally easily measured entity: heat, in form of light,

    check what the people who thought Mannian Statistics is real,
    said,

    and they’re found WRONG.
    And not just WRONG
    but able to be proven wrong on ANY scale
    from a BOTTLE with some more CO2 in it
    to a submarine
    to a university greenhouse
    to the entire earth, as measured with ground based optical, ground based infrared,
    and space based infrared,
    astronomy.

    Also balloon drifted instruments auto-transmitting data show no heating of the upper part, of the lower troposphere. They didn’t show warming and government employees tried to claim they were all broken: what’s their excuse since the allegedly broken ones were fixed? We can check for a tropospheric hot spot with them again. It’s not there. We know that because of the next thing:
    then there are the myriad aircraft, military, private, and commercial, whose thermal sensors are good enough for trusting human life too, criss-crossing the skies at every hour the past 50 years:

    not one field of instrumentation anywhere
    CHECKING claims of Greenhouse Gas Theory atmospheric dynamics,
    finds evidence it’s true.
    Certainly they’ve proven the atmosphere’s not warmer by any mechanism remotely connectable with anything having to do with the infrared-resonant gases.

    That’s called falsified when that happens, and Greenhouse Gas Theory’s been falsified, because all the above happened.

  50. Grizzled Bear says:

    Anecdotal contribution: I’m not a veterinarian. Perhaps one of you fine readers is, and can confirm or deny… I remember when this all came to light. I also recall hearing that vets had long known and been treating and curing ulcers in pigs with a combination of antibiotics and bismuth (pepto-bismol ring a bell with anyone?). Don’t know if this is true. But, if so, it would be a perfect example of all those times we hear “Well, you’re not a climate scientist, so what do you know anyway?” since, of course, everyone knows that medical doctors are one step below Gods and vets are one step above butchers /sarc. Not to demean Marshall and Warren, but it is just possible that they were the first to accept what their “lesser brethren” had already known about.

  51. LazyTeenager says:

    Quirk’s article then compares the conflicts of interest, money and pseudoscience of the stomach bugs story with the ongoing debate over climate change. His account reinforces the sometimes neglected but essential role of skepticism in all of science and is well worth reading.
    ————
    I am skeptical about whether Quirk has captured the truth about the ulcer story and also the validity of the analogy with climate science.

    I am also skeptical that any of the WUWT audience will question in any way some agenda driven story telling. It will be ra ra ra it must be true because it’s what I want to hear all the way.

    You see I am a real skeptic.

  52. izen:

    At January 22, 2013 at 12:50 am you make surreal assertions saying

    The consensus of scientists is created by the weight of the evidence.

    Because all the hundreds of peer reviewed research papers published each month support the AGW theory, the weight of evidence is all on one side of the scales, scientists respond by reflecting that evidential preponderance by exhibiting a consensus. The consensus among scientists is an indirect proxy measure of the strength of the evidence.

    NO! You are mistaking quantity for quality.
    Many papers supporting AGW are published by academics whose careers depend on publication count, and whose funding is targeted at supporting the AGW scare. Most work which critiques the AGW-scare is conducted by non or ex academic scientists at their own cost and who publish when they have something worthy to publish.

    A ton of bovine excrement is not worth as much as a gram of a diamond.

    The so-called “consensus” on global warming is bought and payed for: funding has been almost exclusively provided to support the scare. Tens of billions of $ have been expended in attempt to find evidence – any evidence – to support the AGW scare. The attempt has failed in the search for something – anything – which would validate the scare.

    But the same research has discovered much evidence which shows the AGW scare is unfounded; e.g.
    missing ‘hot spot’
    missing ‘Trenberth’s heat’
    missing ‘committed warming’
    missing Antarctic warming
    decelerating sea level rise
    no discernible global warming (at 95% confidence) for 16+ years while atmospheric CO2 concentration continues to rise
    etc.

    The apparent consensus among the minority of scientists who claim to be ‘climate scientists’ is a direct indication of the magnitude of their funding.

    Izen, please try to think before posting blatant nonsense.

    Richard

  53. knr says:

    izen
    ‘Because all the hundreds of peer reviewed research papers published each month support the AGW theory, the weight of evidence is all on one side of the scales, scientists respond by reflecting that evidential preponderance by exhibiting a consensus’

    Possible true but what’s your evidenced its hundreds every month ?
    But stepping back from that you see the classic trick to claim there is no research that challenges AGW theory. Now people may ask given the research seen just on this web site how can that be true ? Well the answer is simply , for some AGW is a self evident truth its therefore impossible for valid research to be done which challenges it. Therefore it follows that any research that does is automatically invalid regardless of content and so the claim ‘no research exist ‘ can be made .

    And I would suggest izen seeks out the Feynman lecture on Youtube to understand what is wrong with rest of their claims .

  54. LazyTeenager says:

    So I followed the link. Quadrant has seriously gone downhill since I last looked at it.

    First question.

    Any medicos here to give us actual proportions of ulcers that are treatable by killing off h. Pylori?

    Or better, any of you old guys out there taking a proton pump inhibitor drug cos anti-biotics are not the relevant treatment.

    Do the answers to these questions prove that Quirk does not know what he is talking about and is just making stuff up about ulcers.

    If you accept reasoning by analogy doesn’t this prove that Quirk is also wildly wrong about climate scientists as well.

    So who is this Quirk any way? Some over-specialist. Or just a crank who hangs around universities.

  55. LazyTeenager says:

    Ok tracked it down. Quirk is a distinguished old guy in his 70′s

    [snip . . ad hom, you know the rules . . mod]

  56. Bruce Cobb says:

    @ Climate “Ace”. The only consensus here is that science needs to be based on facts and evidence. The CAGW conjecture which you espouse is based on very little in the way of evidence, some of which has even been doctored. Many here used to believe the Warmist nonsense, to some extent, until they started looking into it for themselves instead of simply believing what they’ve been told, as you do.

    As far as consensus science goes, Michael Crichton nailed it when he said:

    “I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

    I would add that even the claim of consensus itself among scientists on CAGW is a fraudulent one. It is a lie, used to (it is hoped) convince people of the truth of the Alarmist claims.

  57. izen says:

    @- Stephen Richards
    “When I was lying in hospital last year with an ulcer the surgeon told me the figure was ….. 97% of all ulcers are due to bacteria. 3% is only a significant figure to climate scientists.”

    Your surgeon may be put of date. As the H Pylori cases get treated the number of ulcers with H Pylori associations drops to around 50%

    @- Knr
    Feynman was an egotistical prat, Gell-Mann is much more worthy of respect and certainly much better on the epistemology of science than the “pop-culture” shallow nonsense that Feynman came out with.
    For a simple overview of the amount of research in AGW on a weekly basis see this -

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/

  58. izen:

    At January 22, 2013 at 5:00 am you write

    Feynman was an egotistical prat

    No, Feynman was a good scientist and a great lecturer.

    [snip . . c'mon you are better than this . . mod]

    Richard

  59. izen says:

    @- R Courtney
    “The apparent consensus among the minority of scientists who claim to be ‘climate scientists’ is a direct indication of the magnitude of their funding.”

    Do you think that all science {ie cosmology, particle physics, genetics} is constrained to provide a consensus to conform with the assumptions or beliefs of the funding bodies, or is this a conspiracy hypothesis {without evidence} that you only apply to science that deals with the climate?

  60. izen says:

    @- R Courtney
    “The apparent consensus among the minority of scientists who claim to be ‘climate scientists’ is a direct indication of the magnitude of their funding.”

    Do you think that all science {ie cosmology, particle physics, genetics} is constrained to provide a consensus to conform with the assumptions or beliefs of the funding bodies, or is this a conspiracy hypothesis {without evidence} that you only apply to science that deals with the climate?

    @- “No, Feynman was a good scientist and a great lecturer.”

    [snip . . site rules . . mod]

  61. Mike M says:

    izen says: The consensus of scientists is created by the weight of the evidence.

    And such consensus has zero merit when the scientists and all their precious ‘evidence’ is purchased by a single political organization – the US federal government.

    It’s a gravy train Izan. I would like you to deny that if, in truth, the human component of CO2 added to the atmosphere made no significant/measurable impact on earth’s temperature, we will NEVER be told of that by your consensus of climate scientists because it would eliminate their jobs. The government is virtually their only source of income, (who else funds climate research?), so admitting they are wrong would be career suicide.

  62. Bruce Cobb says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 22, 2013 at 3:36 am

    You see I am a real skeptic.

    That is highly doubtful. The overwhelming evidence suggests otherwise.

  63. John West says:

    @ izen (5:00 am)

    Follow your own link to this paper:

    “Are secular correlations between sunspots, geomagnetic activity, and global temperature significant?” – Love et al. (2011)
    ”With respect to the sunspot-number, geomagnetic-activity, and global-temperature data, three alternative hypotheses remain difficult to reject: (1) the role of solar-terrestrial interaction in recent climate change is contained wholly in long-term trends and not in any shorter-term secular variation, or, (2) an anthropogenic signal is hiding correlation between solar-terrestrial variables and global temperature, or, (3) the null hypothesis, recent climate change has not been influenced by solar-terrestrial interaction.””

    So, the “consensus” does not reject the hypothesis that long term trends of solar activity effect climate to a degree necessary to explain 20th century warming.

  64. Moderator:

    Your rule is law, and that is as it should be.

    Also, I have great admiration for the superb quality of the actions of Moderators on WUWT so I do not want to challenge any of their decisions in any way. The quality of Moderation on WUWT is probably the major reason why WUWT is the Best Science Blog on the web. Hence, I do not want anything I or anybody else says to influence Moderation of WUWT in any way.

    Having said that, I write to respectfully state my opinion on your moderation of my comment at January 22, 2013 at 5:39 am. I stress that this opinion is for consideration of onlookers of my snipped point and is not an criticism of nor an appeal against your judgement of it.

    In my opinion, when a person posts using an alias to insult a deceased person who cannot defend himself, then it is reasonable to reply to that person with similar insult using similar language especially when the original insult was untrue and the reply is true.

    However, I recognise that my reply to 1zen violated site rules and I want it to be clear that I am not objecting to its having been snipped.

    Richard

  65. johnnythelowery says:

    Concensus in Biology of the explanatory power of random mutation/natural selection. Unfortunately, the ones tasked with doing the explaining, the evolutionary developmental biologists, are in open revolt, are calling for the complete demolition of the whole of the theory of evolutionary biology and recommend a ‘start from scratch’ approach. In Physics, the ‘concensus’ has been roaming around a super-string desert which predicts nothing at any energy level at any scale, is un-testable. Super-symetry is all but ruled out by the LHC. The AGW movement: failed science, entrenched careers, massive monetary investment, zero correct predictions, lucrative payoffs for the top people, political entrenchment, mirrors what else is happening in biology and physics. Something i wouldn’t haver said 10 years ago. It’s a massive crisis.

  66. Mickey Reno says:

    Lazy Teenager, your nickname certainly does you proud. I wish only that you became as lazy with your idiotic rhetorical questions. Then we wouldn’t have so much of your annoying trolling going on.

    As for your rhetorical questions:

    Any medicos here to give us astual proportions of ulcers that are treatable by killing off h. Pylori?

    I’ll not read this literally, and instead assume that you’d asked only ‘what proportion of ulcers are caused by bacteria. The answer (according to Web MD) is over 90%. You are a lazy teenager indeed. But then, you were never really interested in the answer, were you?

    Or better, any of you old guys out there taking a proton pump inhibitor drug cos anti-biotics are not the relevant treatment.

    A nice little bit of intended sophistry on your part, LT? So what if some ‘old guy out there’ is treating an ulcer that is not bacterial in nature? That’s not the point, and Quirk never said 100% of ulcers were bacterial in nature, so as to be disproved by a single exception. You tried to force this exaggeration into Quirk’s position, not him. And then you imply tacitly that you’ve won some point in the debate. Lazy, and disingenuous, too.

    Do the answers to these questions prove that Quirk does not know what he is talking about and is just making stuff up about ulcers.

    No. But the questions themselves show you as one to create straw men and to frame your arguments using sophistry and dishonesty. In short, to be your usual, normal, lazy, disingenuous self.

    If you accept reasoning by analogy doesn’t this prove that Quirk is also wildly wrong about climate scientists as well.

    Wow. No it does not. Using rules of informal logic, we don’t presume malice, even when mistakes are made and someone makes an errant claim. If Quirk was wrong, or even “wildly” wrong, that would not necessarily discount other claims he might make. The way to evaluate claims is to look at the available evidence. In this case, you haven’t identified any error by Quirk, only hinted at an error that would only exist in your own wild exaggeration (the 100% case). In this case, to the best of our current medical understanding, the evidence is clear. And the treatment of ulcers was radically changed, following the overturning of a previous consensus by the medical establishment.

    So who is this Quirk any way? Some over-specialist. Or just a crank who hangs around universities.

    Ah, an excellent finish, LT, another statement masquerading as a question that’s a baseless and stupid ad-hominem attack, perhaps the most trite and insipid of the logical fallacies. Well done.

    Please go away, LT. You’re so boring and silly. You persuade no one of anything, except of the fact of your own foolishness.

    Oh, and next time you say “I am a real skeptic,” make sure you capitalize and quote the word (as in ‘I am a “Real” skeptic’). Then everyone will understand exactly where you’re coming from, just as they are coming to know “Real” climate scientits.

  67. Mr Lynn says:

    Matt says:
    January 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm
    . . . an astronomer had lost his telescope time/job over claiming that distant galaxies could be connected through filaments contrary to general wisdom, but which turned out to be correct.

    I assume you’re talking about Halton Arp’s observations of galaxies of very different redshifts connected by visible filaments. Has his work been vindicated, and his standing in academic astronomy restored? That would be big news, as it would turn the consensus about the ‘expanding universe’ and hence the Big Bang on its head. AFAIK, that’s a consensus that remains dogmatically un-shatterable despite any evidence to the contrary.

    /Mr Lynn

  68. Matt Skaggs says:

    izen wrote:

    “However the continuing finds of real hominid fossils did create a consensus that humans evolved from pre-human ancestors and that consensus, like the consensus on climate change, is a good indication of the width, depth and strength of the evidence.”

    This statement ignores the relative mertis of different forms of evidence. There is a qualitative hierarchy of evidence, with reasoned conjecture at one end and direct observation at the other end. AGW is extremely weak in both direct observation and “input-output” test results, and is based largely on model output at least in terms of meaningful predictions. This is only partially the fault of climate scientists, it is mostly rooted in the nature of the claim and the lack of powerful evaluatioin tools. So there is a vast gulf between the value of a skull that you dug out of the ground and a GCM that shows it will get too hot.

  69. John West says:

    @ izen
    Another paper from your link:

    “An influence of solar spectral variations on radiative forcing of climate”
    Joanna D. Haigh1, Ann R. Winning1, Ralf Toumi1 & Jerald W. Harder2
    ”It is known that solar radiative forcing is modulated by the ozone response to changes in solar ultraviolet2. The effect of an increase in ozone is twofold: first to reduce the flux of solar radiation reaching the tropopause and second to increase the flux of infrared radiation, mainly through its impact on stratospheric temperatures.”
    ….
    ”If this is the case, then it is necessary to reconsider the current understanding19 of the mechanisms whereby solar cycle variability influences climate: the impact on the stratosphere is much larger than previously thought
    and the radiative forcing of surface climate is out of phase with solar activity. At present there is no evidence to ascertain whether this behaviour has occurred before, but if this were the case during previous multi-decadal periods of low solar activity it would be necessary to revisit assessments of the solar influence on climate and to revise the methods whereby these are represented in global models.”

    Are you sure the “consensus” actual is what you think it is?

  70. beng says:

    ***
    Climate Ace says:
    January 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    This reaction is very often coupled with a desire to shut me up and run me out of WUWT-town amidst a shower of personal abuse.
    ***

    If the shoe fits…….

  71. TRM says:

    Science for sale is everywhere. If you think Barry Marshall and Robin Warren had it tough wait for the next medical fight. Marshall and Warren were up against a $2 billion a year industry and it took a decade, Dr Dzugan is up against the $25 billion a year statin drug industry. Even with his near 100% success rate it will be decades before everyone admits he is right.

    It is truly sad to see science for sale because all of our advances have been due to scientists following the scientific method and we abandon that now at our peril.

  72. Skiphil says:

    Valuable essay by Pointman on the ways in which a scientist driven by integrity may become a ‘leaker’ of inside docs, to protect the genuine practice of science against the politicized drive for ill founded ‘consensus’

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/01/18/on-climate-science-and-all-those-leaks/

  73. Dodgy Geezer says:

    @izen

    …Another poster has suggested the Piltdown man as a hoax similar to AGW. But the Piltdown hoax was identified at the start by the dental experts who examined the finds and pronounced it to be an ape jaw and a human skull. It was only a small cadre of British biologists that continued to accept the skullfor reasons of national prestige. It was not given much credence outside that group. Tere was never a consensus in the scientific community that Piltdown was a credible pre-human fossil.

    However the continuing finds of real hominid fossils did create a consensus that humans evolved from pre-human ancestors and that consensus, like the consensus on climate change, is a good indication of the width, depth and strength of the evidence…

    I would like to see your evidence for that assertion. My understanding was always that there was a strong consensus of the entire western establishment, with the British Museum, the Royal Society and the Smithsonian actively suppressing contrary evidence. I can cite my copy of ‘Unsolved Problems in Modern Science’ (Haslett, Bell and Sons,1935) where the lineage of Piltdown Man is covered with not a speck of doubt that it is genuine – a classic example of consensus.

    You should note that, once the Piltdown controversy began being used as an example of scientific fallibility in the global warming argument, the Wiki entry was rapidly updated to indicate that there was really no controversy at all. As a result, any cites from that article are unlikely to be accurate or balanced.

  74. izen:

    At January 22, 2013 at 5:54 am you say to me

    @- R Courtney

    “The apparent consensus among the minority of scientists who claim to be ‘climate scientists’ is a direct indication of the magnitude of their funding.”

    Do you think that all science {ie cosmology, particle physics, genetics} is constrained to provide a consensus to conform with the assumptions or beliefs of the funding bodies, or is this a conspiracy hypothesis {without evidence} that you only apply to science that deals with the climate?

    Oh! Good use of the ‘straw man’ fallacy, 1zen.

    Among other things, I pointed out that climate science is biased by funding and explained the bias. In reply you want to discuss “all science {ie cosmology, particle physics, genetics}”.

    Why discuss those? Why not discuss chicken farming?
    Perhaps it is because you don’t want to discuss the funding bias in climate science?

    For an explanation of the funding bias in climate science that even you may be capable of understanding read
    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/10/map-the-climate-change-scare-machine-the-perpetual-self-feeding-cycle-of-alarm/

    Get back to me when you want to talk sense.

    Richard

  75. Jim Clarke says:

    “The consensus of scientists is created by the weight of the evidence.”

    That is obviously not true in the case of CAGW. There is no evidence…just a theory. There is evidence for about a degree of warming for a doubling of CO2 (all else being equal), but that does not a crisis make.

    Also, the weight of published papers supporting natural climate variability over the last 2,000 years was huge when Mann came out with his hockey stick. All of that weight was quickly discarded for this one, poorly done study, because it was politically correct to do so. The weight of the science was meaningless in creating the ‘consensus’ on natural climate variability (although that is finally starting to change as the evidence continues to mount).

    There comes a point in time when the weight of the evidence will dictate the consensus among scientists, but in the absence of evidence (and sometimes even in spite of it), scientific consensus is created by the politics and funding of science.

  76. markx says:

    Ulcers.

    LazyTeenager says: January 22, 2013 at 3:36 am

    I am skeptical about whether Quirk has captured the truth about the ulcer story …….

    Lazy, it is a very well known and very interesting story, if you weren’t following it at the time, or have not heard of it since, or have not taken the time to read up on it since you embarked on this discussion, you may have to rename yourself – Distracted, Very Lazy Teenager.

    izen says:January 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

    @- Stephen Richards
    “When I was lying in hospital last year with an ulcer the surgeon told me the figure was ….. 97% of all ulcers are due to bacteria. ……….

    Your surgeon may be put of date. As the H Pylori cases get treated the number of ulcers with H Pylori associations drops to around 50%

    The implication here?: If 97% of ulcers are caused by H pylori, and following treatment, 50% are still caused by H pylori, then treatment success rate is 94% (ie 94% of ALL ulcers are cured by antibiotic treatment). But, that aside, your point is what?

  77. John West says:

    @ izen
    Still another paper from your link:

    “SOLAR INFLUENCES ON CLIMATE” L. J. Gray,1,2 J. Beer,3 M. Geller,4 J. D. Haigh,5 M. Lockwood,6,7 K. Matthes,8,9 U. Cubasch,8 D. Fleitmann,10,11 G. Harrison,12 L. Hood,13 J. Luterbacher,14 G. A. Meehl,15 D. Shindell,16 B. van Geel,17 and W. White18

    ”Further observations and research are required to improve our understanding of solar forcing mechanisms and their impacts on the Earth’s climate. In particular, it is necessary (1) to understand the recent SORCE SIM measurements of spectrally resolved irradiances and assess their implications for solar influence on climate (see section 2.2.2); (2) to determine an accurate value of the total and spectrally resolved solar irradiance during a grand solar minimum such as the Maunder Minimum, when the Sun was in a different mode than during the past few decades (see section 2.2.3); (3) to improve the characterization of the solar signal in surface and tropospheric observations as additional years of data becomes available (see sections 3.2 and 3.3); (4) to improve the characterization of the observed stratospheric temperature response to the 11 year solar cycle, particularly the vertical structure of the response at tropical latitudes so that the differences between the estimated SC signals from the TOVS data and from reanalysis data can be fully understood, which will likely require future observations with improved vertical resolution (see section 3.1.2); and (5) to improve model simulations of the observed solar signals in climate observations and, in particular, assess the requirement to explicitly represent stratospheric mechanisms in future climate models, which will require fully coupled ocean‐troposphere‐stratosphere models with interactive chemistry so that the relative contribution and interactions of the top‐down and bottom‐up influences can be understood. We note that, there will still be a continuing role for simpler models to investigate and improve the simulation of specific mechanisms, including the development of models that investigate possible influences of galactic cosmic rays on cloud formation (see section 4.4).

    To quote one of my favorite movies: “Are you sure about that 5 minutes?”

  78. markx says:

    Another case of the medical consensus being proven wrong: Semmelweis recognized that hygiene practices greatly reduced infectious deaths following childbirth. He had observed that infectious deaths were far greater where student doctors coming from dissection classes (with their unwashed hands) attended the childbirth wards. He instituted rigorous handwashing methods and achieved remarkable improvements. But his ideas were largely not accepted. I can only imagine the huge frustration poor Semmelweis must have felt.

    …… An epidemic of puerperal fever had broken out in the obstetrics department, and, at his request, Semmelweis was put in charge of the department. His measures promptly reduced the mortality rate, and in his years there it averaged only 0.85 percent. In Prague and Vienna, meantime, the rate was still from 10 to 15 percent.

    In 1855 he was appointed professor of obstetrics at the University of Pest. He married, had five children, and developed his private practice. His ideas were accepted in Hungary, and the government addressed a circular to all district authorities ordering the introduction of the prophylactic methods of Semmelweis. In 1857 he declined the chair of obstetrics at the University of Zürich. Vienna remained hostile toward him, and the editor of the Wiener Medizinische Wochenschrift wrote that it was time to stop the nonsense about the chlorine hand wash.

    In 1861 Semmelweis published his principal work, Die Ätiologie, der Begriff und die Prophylaxis des Kindbettfiebers (“Etiology, Understanding and Preventing of Childbed Fever”). He sent it to all the prominent obstetricians and medical societies abroad, but the general reaction was adverse.

    The weight of authority stood against his teachings. He addressed several open letters to professors of medicine in other countries, but to little effect. At a conference of German physicians and natural scientists, most of the speakers—including the pathologist Rudolf Virchow—rejected his doctrine. The years of controversy gradually undermined his spirit. In 1865 he suffered a breakdown and was taken to a mental hospital, where he died.
    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/534198/Ignaz-Philipp-Semmelweis

  79. Rational Db8 says:

    re: trafamadore says: January 21, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    …So, everyone here, publish your ideas that contradict global warming and you too can get a Nobel. And be a bishop, too!!

    How about we (and this includes you) try the scientific method instead? There’s this little basic issue of the null hypothesis – which AGW advocates have yet to manage to overcome. Once AGW proponents have managed that, then we can talk about your suggestion. Until then, the onus is on the AGW proponents, not those skeptical of it’s unproven and so far, scientifically unsupported claims. That’s what Mann’s hockey stick was all about – trying to provide ostensible evidence overturning the null hypothesis of natural variation. He failed. The scientific evidence shows us that it’s been hotter many many times in the past, temperatures have risen every bit as rapidly in the past, and to greater degree also. All well before man was producing any significant amount of CO2, and both during the present interglacial (e.g., within the past 12,000 years or so) and during prior interglacials.

  80. markx says:

    izen says: January 22, 2013 at 5:58 am

    “…Do you think that all science {ie cosmology, particle physics, genetics} is constrained to provide a consensus to conform with the assumptions or beliefs of the funding bodies, or is this a conspiracy hypothesis {without evidence} that you only apply to science that deals with the climate?…”

    It is a good question.

    But, can you think of another branch of science, besides ‘climate science’ where almost 100% of the scientists are government employees, or employees of government funded institutions, and where there has been a sudden vast influx of primarily government funding to investigate a particular theory?

    Governments fund research according to policy, and (with research) you generally will get that which you fund.

    It certainly does not take a conspiracy, it is simply just another unintended consequence.

  81. Rational Db8 says:

    re: Climate Ace says: January 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Lots of folk, and lots of pundits, had persuaded that Romney would win.
    He lost by around 5 million votes. (I think… I may have that figure wrong. by 3 million votes? Anyway, it was lots of votes.)

    Just a minor aside, but Obama actually won the election by only about 300,000 votes total – in 3 key swing states. One of them (Florida I think?), would have had all it’s electoral votes flipped to Romney over about 78,000 votes. You’re thinking of the popular vote, but the electoral votes are what wins/loses the elections, and it was awfully close in those three key swing states.

  82. more soylent green! says:

    How do you test a “scientific consensus?” By taking a poll, perhaps?

  83. Rational Db8 says:

    re: izen says: January 22, 2013 at 12:50 am

    The consensus of scientists is created by the weight of the evidence.

    Because all the hundreds of peer reviewed research papers published each month support the AGW theory, the weight of evidence is all on one side of the scales, scientists respond by reflecting that evidential preponderance by exhibiting a consensus. The consensus among scientists is an indirect proxy measure of the strength of the evidence. [emphasis added]

    You shot any shred of credibility you might have had down right there, with a simple little three letter word “all.”

  84. Rational Db8 says:

    re: izen says: January 22, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Your surgeon may be put of date. As the H Pylori cases get treated the number of ulcers with H Pylori associations drops to around 50%

    Epic logical fail. Of course when you remove the sample population with bacterial ulcers those remaining are more likely to be ones that have other causes. If 90% are caused by H. Pylori, as those 90% are successfully treated, the remaining 10% now increase to 100% of the ulcer population. That 100% figure is then meaningless with regard to how many ulcers are caused by H. Pylori, because you just removed the entire H. Pylori set. What a silly statement.

  85. Eric H. says:

    Rational Db8 says:You shot any shred of credibility you might have had down right there, with a simple little three letter word “all.”

    Oh no R-DB8, you have to follow Izen’s link. You see all the anti-AGW papers have been de-bunked, so we can discount those. sarc/

  86. izen says:

    @- Dodgy Geezer (Re:- Piltdown man doubted from start)
    “I would like to see your evidence for that assertion. My understanding was always that there was a strong consensus of the entire western establishment, with the British Museum, the Royal Society and the Smithsonian actively suppressing contrary evidence. ”

    Try this -

    http://www.clarku.edu/~piltdown/the_piltdown_inquest/chapters/chapter3.html

    The bit about the Dental expert Dr. Courtney W. Lyne pointing out that the teeth and jaw cannot be human or fit with the skull in the face of the Piltdown supporters in 1916 is just… funny.
    But the original Nature article in 1913 quotes the anatomist David Waterston who identified the jaw as from an ape and said this –

    “No human mandible is known which shows anything like the same resemblance to the chimpanzee jaw in outline and in all its details. Of [41] the molar teeth, 1 need only say here that not only do they approach the ape form, but in several respects are identical with them. The cranial fragments of the Piltdown skull, on the other hand, are in practically all their details essentially human. If that be so, it seems to me to be as inconsequent to refer the mandible and the cranium to the same individual as it would be to articulate a chimpanzee’s foot with the bones of an essentially human thigh and leg. (Waterston, 1913)”

    Which is about as close as polite Edwardian Englishmen got to calling each other idiots in those days!

  87. tadchem says:

    I expect that we are soon to experience a repeat of the ‘stomach ulcer’ treatment paradigm shift with regards to curing obesity. The “consensus” is that obesity is caused by bad eating habits, but a growing body of research is moving towards the conclusion that obesity (and many other low-grade chronic health problems) are, like stomach ulcers, caused by bacteria inside us – specifically the Gram-negative bacteria that produce lipopolysaccharide endotoxins (Enterobacter, Escherichia, Salmonella, etc.)
    There is a considerable financial and political investment in the ‘weight control’ business, and they will be severely impacted when ‘obesity’, hypertension, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, and probably may other problems turn out to be due to infection, treatable, and even curable by eliminating the lipopolysaccharide-producing bacteria that thrive within us.

  88. rogerknights says:

    Izen says:

    The consensus of scientists is created by the weight of the evidence.

    Because all the hundreds of peer reviewed research papers published each month support the AGW theory, the weight of evidence is all on one side of the scales, scientists respond by reflecting that evidential preponderance by exhibiting a consensus. The consensus among scientists is an indirect proxy measure of the strength of the evidence.

    Apart from your extreme stretch in using “all,” as noted above, there are two major flaws in your paragraphs:

    Your “count” includes, I suspect, papers that are not “attribution” studies, but rather impact or coping papers, which simply endorse AGW as a working assumption.

    “AGW theory” isn’t what we contrarians take issue with, but rather “CAGW theory.” This confusion about what we are “denying” was evident in Obama’s inauguration speech the other day. It’s a symptom of his careless thinking—and of widespread warmist duplicity in equating the consensus about AGW with an alarmist conclusion.

  89. John West says:

    @ izen
    From your link again:
    Holocene temperature history at the western Greenland Ice Sheet margin reconstructed from lake sediments – Axford et al. (2012)

    ”Previous studies in the Jakobshavn region have found that the local Greenland Ice Sheet margin was most retracted behind its present position between 6 and 5 ka, and here we use chironomids to estimate that local summer temperatures were 2–3 °C warmer than present during that time of minimum ice sheet extent. As summer insolation declined through the late Holocene, summer temperatures cooled and the local ice sheet margin expanded. Gradual, insolation-driven millennial-scale temperature trends in the study area were punctuated by several abrupt climate changes, including a major transient event recorded in all five lakes between 4.3 and 3.2 ka, which overlaps in timing with abrupt climate changes previously documented around the North Atlantic region and farther afield at ∼4.2 ka.””

    Hmmm, wonder how it got 2-3 °C warmer than present with CO2 @ less than 300 ppm.

  90. Rosco says:

    The real story -

    “we’re not making any money out of this !”

  91. John West says:

    @ izen
    From your link:
    “The global energy balance from a surface perspective” – Wild et al. (2012)

    Pay-walled but you can look @ the graphic and see the “residual” (heat imbalance) is estimated @ 0.6 (0.2 – 1.0) W/m2.

    How come the 40% (or so) increase in CO2 that supposedly should result in (based on RF = 5.35 ln(CO2/CO2_orig) of about 1.5 W/m2 additional greenhouse effect and less outgoing radiation due to “radiating from higher colder” altitude only manages a 0.6 (0.2-1.0) W/m2 “imbalance”? Could we already be half way to the temperature increase required for balance? Considering radiation increases to the Fourth power in relation to temerature increase that would mean we’d definately be looking at less than 1.6 °C temperature increase for 2XCO2 (estimating linearly so overestimating the nonlinear relation using 0.4 C as realized temp increase).

  92. John West says:

    @ Izen
    From your link:

    “Historical changes in El Niño and La Niña characteristics in an ocean reanalysis” – Ray & Giese (2012)

    “Overall, there is no evidence that there are changes in the strength, frequency, duration, location or direction of propagation of El Niño and La Niña anomalies caused by global warming during the period from 1871 to 2008.”

    Perhaps reading some Bob Tisdale would help.

  93. Its funny really – I think most people miss the point when it comes to climate change. You can believe the science or not but the point is we are relying on finite resources for transport, heating and other vital means. By taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change we are helping to conserve the world’s precious resources and protecting our own homes and businesses. I ask myself why anyone would oppose such measures unless they had a vested interest in these finite tesources. The only other explanation is that they have been brainwashed by certain media outlets who are linked to thesr vested interests with labels such as leftys and doo-gooders. I just hope the younger generations see through the spin.

  94. Darren says:

    Nick Kermode, When areyou starting your stand-up tour? You’ve got some hilarious material there

  95. Rational Db8 says:

    re: shoestringtom says: January 22, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Confounding separate issues, and using one to justify the other never helps anything. If you want to advocate conservation of finite resources, then do so based on finite resource issues — don’t try to tag onto emotional scare stories to justify it.

    Why might others disagree with your proposed conservation? Perhaps because we disagree with just how finite those resources really are. Perhaps because we recognize that those very resources are what has allowed us to climb out of the third world, and effectively doubled our lifespans. Perhaps because people have been screaming that we’ll run out of those very resources since 1910 or so, when the entire world only had another decade of oil left. Perhaps because we also have faith in our technological and scientific abilities to adapt and come up with new ways to do things when necessary. Perhaps because we believe that the ‘solutions’ and ‘conservation’ that so many are currently advocating with regard to ‘climate change’ are actually more harmful, wasteful, and deleterious overall – not only to mankind, but to the environment – than using conventional resources. Perhaps because many ‘sustainable’ or ‘renewable’ or ‘green’ energy sources aren’t able to even begin to replace conventional sources, and often actually require more conventional sources to back them up. Perhaps because the costs of proposed “solutions” are so extreme that vastly more people are harmed and killed NOW than the worst half-way credible estimates of harm 100 years from now if ‘global warming’ even pans out and actually occurs. Perhaps because we see that the majority of claims about harm from global warming utterly fail to consider offsetting beneficial changes that would also be expected.

    Perhaps because we’re scientists and it p*sses us off to see the scientific method perverted and abused.

    I too whole-heartedly hope that the younger generation manages to see through the spin and brainwashing they’re currently being forced thorough by the likes of those who think as you do.

  96. Climate Ace says:

    Rational Db8 says:
    January 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

    re: Climate Ace says: January 21, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Lots of folk, and lots of pundits, had persuaded that Romney would win.
    He lost by around 5 million votes. (I think… I may have that figure wrong. by 3 million votes? Anyway, it was lots of votes.)

    Just a minor aside, but Obama actually won the election by only about 300,000 votes total – in 3 key swing states. One of them (Florida I think?), would have had all it’s electoral votes flipped to Romney over about 78,000 votes. You’re thinking of the popular vote, but the electoral votes are what wins/loses the elections, and it was awfully close in those three key swing states.

    I see that we are talking about slightly different things. Bottom line is that Obama got around five million more votes than Romney. Had this overal vote between Obama and Romney been evenly distributed across the US, Obama would have won in every single state. But the votes are not evenly distributed.

    I take your point about the distinction between electoral votes and the votes of individuals.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2012

  97. Aletha says:

    Consensus is absolutely the weakest argument. One would certainly expect the consensus to be strongest right BEFORE a theory is demonstrated to be wrong. There’s definitely not going to be much consensus AFTER it has been proved wrong. Not a lot of Copernicans around today ….

  98. D. B. Stealey says:

    Ace says:

    “I take your point about the distinction between electoral votes and the votes of individuals.”

    Well, apparently not.

    Many states are simply written off by one side or the other. How many times did Obama campaign in Texas? Almost none. But he spent plenty of taxpayer-funded time and money flying Air Force One all across Ohio and Virginia.

    It’s all about the Electoral Vote count. Just ask Algore.

  99. Theo Goodwin says:

    BobM says:
    January 21, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Excellent example of bias in sampling. Anyone who has followed college football for some time and who was not overwhelmed by loyalty to Notre Dame would have said that Notre Dame had not a chance of winning.

  100. Theo Goodwin says:

    Brian Johnson UK says:
    January 21, 2013 at 11:04 pm
    ‘Eric H
    “Many people cannot get their head around simple solutions.”
    Occam’s Razor has been around for centuries. Al Gore and President Obama should use it before they make complete fools of themselves and a shambles of your economy. Same applies to David Cameron and his cronies in the UK’

    Good old Occam: “Do not multiply principles (entities – depending on translation) beyond necessity.

    Following Occam, one might reverse Shakespeare to read: “What I fear, Horatio, is that there are more things in my philosophy than there are between heaven and earth.”

  101. John Trigge (in Oz) says:

    If ‘concensus = truth’ then why am I not making millions$ betting on the favourites in every horse race?

  102. Rational Db8 says:

    re: D.B. Stealey says: January 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Ace says: “I take your point about the distinction between electoral votes and the votes of individuals.”

    Well, apparently not. Many states are simply written off by one side or the other. How many times did Obama campaign in Texas? Almost none. But he spent plenty of taxpayer-funded time and money flying Air Force One all across Ohio and Virginia.

    It’s all about the Electoral Vote count. Just ask Algore.

    Exactly. And who knows how much the popular vote might shift if campaigns were able to be just as active in every state… for that matter, who knows how the voting would turn out if candidates were only able to spend identical amounts of money (but then there’s that pesky issue of free speech {VBG})

  103. LazyTeenager said (January 22, 2013 at 3:36 am)

    “…You see I am a real skeptic…”

    to which Bruce Cobb said (January 22, 2013 at 6:58 am)

    “…That is highly doubtful. The overwhelming evidence suggests otherwise…”

    I must say that I agree with you. After all, because of all the hundreds of peer reviewed comments published each month here on WUWT, the weight of evidence is all on one side of the scales. The consensus among posters questioning his claim of skepticism is an effective proxy measurement of the strength of the evidence.

  104. E.M.Smith says:

    H. Pylori also causes Acne Rosacea and generally is hard to eradicate, so sometimes need treatment every few years.

    FWIW, anyone remember the “Eat Margarine not butter” ads and fads? All the “polyunsaturated” hype of prior decades? Notice it is mostly gone from commercials and much different in tone?

    Turns out saturated fats do not cause cholesterol to rise. Leaves it neutral. (They finally did a test with pure tri-stearate and got… nothing happened.) In the early studies all ‘solid fats’ were lumped together. That included all the trans-fat laden shortenings….

    Turns out trans-fat is very very bad for you. Even 1/2 gram a day can cause issues. Mono-unsaturates are good, and poly-unsaturates are mostly good (but create carcinogenic acrylamides if used for frying at high temperatures).

    So what was “margarine” made from for decades as folks were told to eat it? Yup, about 1/3 Trans Fat… And that partially hydrogenated shortening? Yup. Added trans fats. (Lard has a tiny bit, but is actually modestly unsaturated unless processed).

    So the “Professional Advice” to drop lard and butter and use margarine instead was “exactly wrong”. Heart attack rates didn’t go down, they went up.

    Now, a couple of decades after the “oopsy” was figure out, most foods have “hydrogenated oil” removed (but not all, yet…) Just in the last year or two margarine has swapped to Palm Oil so is again OK (as long as ‘hydrogenated’ and ‘trans fat’ are not on the label…)

    Now did you hear anyone advertising heavily that they told people to eat exactly the wrong thing for decades and fed people the worst stuff by the ton? Nope. Just silence as it slowly slips away…

    Also, since they were ‘hard saturated fats’, Palm Oil and Coconut Oil were vilified with the “Saturated” label. One Small Problem. They have very short chain fatty acids. ( 9 to 12 instead of 20 to 22 kind of difference). Turns out “that matters”. So lately Coconut Oil has become trendy as the “new good oil”. Did you hear anyone apologizing for nearly destroying the tropical oils industry a couple of decades back? For telling very health Pacific Islanders that they ought to stop eating their very healthy coconut oils? Nope… Just quietly did a ‘never mind’…

    Have you heard anyone pointing out that deep fat frying in polyunsaturated oil was a Very Bad Idea and that mono-unsaturated or even saturated fats are better as they make far less acrylomide? Nope…

    So in fact frying in lard, sauté in butter, having that beef steak (preferably grass fed) are all just fine. Frying in soybean, sauté in margarine (old trans fat kind), and having pasta with a sauce made with hydrogenated oil, all the things ‘suggested’ as alternatives? Just very wrong…

    And that is why we had the French Anomaly and the Pacific Islander anomaly, and the Eskimo Anomaly, and the … All those folks who kept eating traditional saturated fat foods, but NOT eating hydrogenated artificial trans fats…

    Somehow that hasn’t made the nightly TV show in commercials every hour on the hour for decades…

    (Me? Dad was a ‘skeptic’ about it from the start. He grew up on an Amish farm diet of loads of eggs, pork, lard, bacon, beef, cheese, etc. Grandad lived to ’90 something’… so we had real butter and eggs and all. My cholesterol has never been ‘an issue’ and my blood pressure is OK too – provided I breath when they take it… I used to stop breathing to not jiggle the instrument. Then I found out that breathing changes it more than anything else. Now I just do deep breathing and can set BP at almost ‘too low’ if desired… They don’t tell you that either…)

    So add those to the list of “never mind” things…

  105. NZ Willy says:

    Thanks for that diatribe on margarine, Chiefio. I never liked margarine and have enjoyed good NZ butter for the past 30 years, and it’s good to know I was right.

  106. Dave says:

    Johnnythelowery says
    “Concensus in Biology of the explanatory power of random mutation/natural selection. Unfortunately, the ones tasked with doing the explaining, the evolutionary developmental biologists, are in open revolt, are calling for the complete demolition of the whole of the theory of evolutionary biology and recommend a ‘start from scratch’ approach… The AGW movement: failed science, entrenched careers, massive monetary investment, zero correct predictions, lucrative payoffs for the top people, political entrenchment, mirrors what else is happening in biology and physics. Something i wouldn’t haver said 10 years ago. It’s a massive crisis.”

    You’re dead right about AGW proponents and failed science, but which evolutionists are in “open revolt”, calling for a “start from scratch” approach? Do you mean the creationist “scientists” aka intelligent design people? There is no crisis in terms of evolution. Evolution is a fact that anyone can check out for themselves.

    AGW is not a fact that anyone can check out for themselves – to believe it one has to have blind faith in the word of those who claim they really know, but can’t really show you why.

  107. Leg says:

    Since three months after WUWT’s inception, I have come here nearly daily for one reason: I learn things. I have also had the pleasure of occasionally sharing my expertise in radiation safety. I have never said anything like the following to a poster, but it is time.
    Nick, James, lazy teenager and like ilk: You should realise a good percentage of the viewers here are probably like me. Though I read your comments, they are like the wind – I pay them no mind. I can not remember a single incident where your comments added to my knowledge base and hence they are immediately dismissed. I would love to learn something from you, but you need to up your game.

  108. Leg says:

    Tadchem: Have a good place(s) we could go in order to get more info on this obesity caused by bacteria theory? Thanks.

    EMSmith: I too enjoyed your comment re butter et al. There have been so many things like this in the last forty years where the hyped science was proved wrong and then the hyperbole quietly goes away. A discussion with my 10 year old granddaughter today on the earth’s ozone layer (when was the last time we saw anything in the press about this?) is an example that it takes awhile before the hype completely goes away. The so-called thinning of the ozone layer is still being taught in our schools.

  109. Mike M says:

    E.M.Smith “Now I just do deep breathing and can set BP at almost ‘too low’ if desired”

    I do that too but one time it didn’t work. I was running a little late to make it to my routine physical appointment on time so I went ~90mph for about 10 miles on RT 128 (Boston area) on my motorcycle in light traffic to ‘make up’ a few minutes. Five minutes later I was getting my BP checked – it was through the roof! Apparently, deep breathing doesn’t do much to compensate for elevated adrenaline.

    I also remember the push for margarine but I never touched the stuff simply because butter tastes so much better. I’m a fan of the idea that our taste buds were programmed naturally by evolution to try to help extend our longevity. I’ve suspected for years that there was a potential for harm in allowing our taste buds to be fooled by artificial flavors, refined sugars and processed fats; now I’m seeing that my suspicions were justified.

  110. markopanama says:

    Another example of government “policy” overwhelming science and common sense is the original Apollo program to go to the moon. The meme-pushers of the day insisted that if the Russians got to the moon first, somehow the end of the United States as we knew it was close at hand. Which culminated in Kennedy’s famous “Within the decade…send a man to the moon and return him safe and alive” speech.

    Now at the time, space scientists were just drawing up serious plans for exploration, based on the progress in propulsion and guidance that grew out of WWII. Virtually every one of them assumed that the correct way to get to the moon was to first build a space station, supply it, and go from there. But the (artificial) urgency of the situation and Von Braun’s lobbying prevailed and the decision was made to just build a BIG-ASS rocket and go directly, none of this namby-pamby space station junk.

    Technically, it worked. It’s hard to argue with the magnificence of the F-1 engines, five of them burning 14 TONS of fuel per second, each fed by a 30,000 HP turbo pump, levitating the heaviest object ever lifted off the surface of the earth, before or since.

    However, after the cheering and parades were over, NASA (the manned space flight part) was left as a bloated and inefficient organization without a clear goal. Belatedly, the space station was built, but now without a real purpose, a costly piece of space junk that the US government does not even have a way to reach on its own after the retirement of the Shuttles.

    Back in the day, the Iron-Curtain was used as a very convenient shroud to prevent intelligent people in the West from knowing what was really going on in the USSR (and vice versa). Ironically, when we finally got access to the Soviet Lunar Lander, we all saw that it was about as sophisticated as a manually-operated elevator. Their chances of actually reaching the moon were precisely zero, but there was a lot of money to be made in the US by maintaining the illusion.

    So we find ourselves today, the the curtain of “a scientific consensus of the experts” is used as a shroud to prevent the public from understanding how weak is the science that Obama is siting in his speech as the rationale for massively costly and ultimately ineffective, government policy decisions. But today we have the Internet and we have WUWT, where intelligent people can and do peek behind the curtain and blow the whistle on the fraudulent scientists, politicians and corporations who are lining up at the federal tit to further bleed the country of much needed productive capital.

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