The Empire of the Viscount Strikes Back!

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Professor Shaun Lovejoy, as he continues the active marketing of his latest paper purporting to prove that “the world desperately needs to drop the skepticism and change course – humanity’s future depends on it”, writes in a hilarious op-ed at livescience.com:

“The majordomo of this deniers’ hub [Watts Up With That] is the notorious Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, who – within hours [fast on his feet, that Viscount is: strong in him the Force must be] – had declared to the faithful that the paper was no less than a ‘mephitically ectoplasmic emanation from the Forces of Darkness’ and that ‘it is time to be angry at the gruesome failure of peer review’.”

The Professor describes this as “venom”. No, sir, it is eloquence in the service of truth. Perhaps he would prefer a scatological rather than an eschatological metaphor. Happy to oblige. The scientific merit of his paper is aptly described by the third, eighteenth, first, and sixteenth letters of the alphabet, taken sequentially. Or, if he prefers it up him palindromically, the sixteenth, fifteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth.

Let me put on my major-domo’s tails, white starched wing-collar, maniple, and white gloves, polish up the nearest silver salver, and, Jeeves-like, shimmer in to address some the fashionable pseudo-physics in Professor Lovejoy’s latest Technicolor yawn.

After deploying the hate-screech word “deniers”, he wheels out Svante Arrhenius, who, “toiling for a year, predicted that doubling CO2 levels would increase global temperatures by 5-6 Cº, which turns out to be close to modern estimates”.

The Professor is perhaps unaware (for he does not seem to be aware of all that much in the realm of physics) that Arrhenius is known to have made errors in his line-by-line calculation of the warming effect of CO2 (actually performed at intervals over the long Arctic winter, not over a whole year). He had, for instance, relied on defective lunar spectral data.

Furthermore, Arrhenius – a chemist and not a physicist – had not at that time come across the fundamental equation of radiative transfer, which would greatly have simplified his calculations and made them more accurate.

However, in 1906, in Vol. 1, No. 2 of the Journal of the Royal Nobel Institute, he recanted and divided his earlier climate-sensitivity estimate by three:

“Likewise, I calculate that a halving or doubling of the CO2 concentration would be equivalent to changes of temperature of –1.5 Cº or +1.6 Cº respectively.”

So few of the F. of D. are aware of Arrhenius’ recantation that I am happy to provide a facsimile (Fig. 1) of the quotation from his 1906 paper, published in German (which perhaps explains why the largely English-speaking F. of D. are unaware of it).

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Figure 1. Detail in facsimile from Arrhenius, S., 1906, Die vermutliche Ursache der Klimaschwankungen (“The possible cause for climate variability”). Meddelanden från K. Vetenskapsakademiens Nobelinstitut 1: 2, 1ff.

It is also important to note that Arrhenius confined his analysis to radiative transports only. He did not take account of all the numerous non-radiative transports – afternoon convection in the tropics, baroclinic eddies in the extratropics, evaporation everywhere, etc. – that militate homeostatically against any sufficiently small perturbation of the natural climate (such as doubling the tiny concentration of CO2 in the air).

Nor did Arrhenius take account of the biggest unknown in the climate – the behavior of clouds. All other things being equal, returning plant food to the atmosphere from which it came will cause some warming. But we do not know that all other things are equal.

Professor Lovejoy is also incorrect to say that Arrhenius’ original estimate of climate sensitivity was “close to modern estimates”. IPeCaC clings to a sensitivity interval of 1.5-4.5 Cº, entirely below Arrhenius’ original estimate and almost entirely above his revised estimate.

Many “modern estimates” point to a climate sensitivity well below IPeCaC’s interval. We may even see less than 1 Cº of global warming per CO2 doubling (Monckton of Brenchley, 2008, 2010; Douglass & Christy, 2009; Paltridge, 2009; Lindzen and Choi, 2009, 2011; Spencer and Braswell, 2010, 2011; Loehle & Scafetta, 2011, etc.).

Next, the Professor says that in the scientific method “no theory ever can be proven beyond ‘reasonable doubt’”. It would be more correct to say that some hypotheses (though few in physics and very few in climate physics) can be demonstrated definitively.

For instance, it is possible to demonstrate the Theorem of Pythagoras. My own simple proof by inclusion is at Fig. 2.

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Figure 2. Demonstration of Pythagoras’ Theorem by inclusion. The boundary contains either the square on the hypotenuse (red) and two congruent right triangles or the squares on the other two sides (blue, green) and two more congruent right triangles. Subtract on each view the two right triangles. Then the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides. Q.E.D.

Professor Lovejoy sets out his stall thus:

“Climate skeptics have ruthlessly exploited this alleged weakness, stating that the models are wrong, and that the warming is natural. Fortunately, scientists have a fundamental methodological asymmetry to use against these skeptics: a single decisive experiment effectively can disprove a scientific hypothesis. That’s what I claim to have done. Examining the theory  that global warming is only natural, I showed — without any use of GCMs — that the probability that warming is simply a giant natural fluctuation is so small as to be negligible. He compounds this point later by saying “skeptics dismiss the models”.

Well, are the models right? A single experiment demonstrates that, on the central question how much global warming should have occurred since 1990, the modelers’ hypothesis that the trend in global temperature would fall on their predicted interval (the orange region in Fig. 3) has been demonstrated to be false. Skeptics doubt the models not least because the modelers’ confidently-made predictions have been demonstrated, time and again, to be wild exaggerations.

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Figure 3. Near-term projections of global warming (IPCC, 1990: orange region), compared with observed outturn taken as the mean of the RSS and UAH monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies, 1990-2014.

Professor Lovejoy says that his “CO2 proxy … predicts with 95 percent certainty that a doubling of CO2 levels in the atmosphere will lead to a warming of 1.9 to 4.2 Cº”. He prays in aid Fig. 4.

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Figure 4. “This figure visually shows the strong linear relation between the radiative forcing and the global temperature response since 1880 … showing the 5-year running average of global temperature (red) as a function of the CO2 forcing surrogate from 1880 to 2004. The linearity is impressive; the deviations from linearity are due to natural variability. The slope of the regression line is 2.33±0.22 degrees Celsius per CO2 doubling (it is for the unlagged forcing/response relation).”

I do not pretend to understand this graph. For a start, it seems to show (albeit in exasperatingly non-standard units) that just about half the CO2 forcing since 1750 occurred before 1960, when CO2 concentration last stood at 316 ppmv. However, the official story-line (in standard units) is that the CO2 forcing from 1750 to 1958 was 0.7 W m–2, whereas that from 1958 to 2014 was greater by four-fifths, at 1.2 W m–2. Makes a bit of a mess of the claimed “linearity”, that.

Secondly, the linear trend on the global temperature anomalies since 1880 is 0.87 Cº, (Fig. 5), in response to 1.9 W m–2 of CO2 forcing. A doubling of CO2 concentration would give 3.7 W m–2 of CO2 forcing, according to the current official method.

Therefore, if there were a linear relation between CO2 forcing and temperature change (which there is not), and if all of the warming since 1750 were anthropogenic (which it was not), and if there were no major natural influences on temperature over the period (which there were) the warming in response to a CO2 doubling would be just 1.7 Cº, not the 2.33 Cº suggested in Professor Lovejoy’s caption.

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Figure 5. The least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the HadCRUT4, GISS, and NCDC monthly mean global surface temperature anomalies from 1880-2014 is 0.87 Cº. The linearity is not particularly remarkable: the correlation coefficient is only 0.69. The oscillations of global temperature following the 60-year period of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation can be clearly seen.

There is demonstrably no linear relationship between the CO2 forcing, which increases monotonically, and global temperature change, which is stochastic. Global temperature change is more closely related to changes in the great ocean oscillations in the short term (Fig. 6), in total sunlight hours at the surface in the medium term (Fig. 7), and in total solar irradiance in the long term (Fig. 8).

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Figure 6. The remarkable non-linearity of global temperature change since 1890, showing the two periods of global warming that coincided remarkably with the two positive phases of the naturally-occurring Pacific Decadal Oscillation over the period.

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Figure 7. The remarkable non-linearity of global temperature change in the South China Sea, 1880 to 2008, tracking a remarkable non-linearity in the number of sunshine hours in Japan. Not all pyrometer records show this correspondence: but the Japanese record is the longest we have, and one of the most meticulously kept.

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Figure 8. The remarkable non-linearity of the sunspot record, 1600-2003, from Hathaway et al., (2004). Inset: The remarkable non-linearity of global temperature trend, 1659-2010. The first and most rapid of the three periods (red) of global warming since 1659 (1694-1733) occurred as solar activity began to recover at the end of the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715). The other two periods (1925-1946 and 1977-2000) occurred at the solar Grand Maximum (1925-1995).

Next, Professor Lovejoy makes the startling assertion that the probability that what he calls “rare, extreme fluctuations” in global temperature such as those of the 20th century were natural is 1:1000 to 1:10,ooo.

This is where his omission of any reference to the Central England Temperature Record, or to the Utrecht or Prague temperature records, or to the historical circumstances (the freezing of the Thames, of the Dutch canals, of the Hudson in New York), is so reprehensible.

The rapid warming at the transition from the Maunder Minimum to a more normal climate occurred well before the industrial revolution began. It was not our fault.

Or Professor Lovejoy could have gone back to 1421, at the time when global temperature began to tip downward into the Little Ice Age. An interesting letter in the Vatican archive from the Papal Legate in Greenland to the Secretariat of State reported that the Legate regretted that he could not take up his appointment because “the ice is come in from the north”. Suddenly, ships could not reach Greenland.

By now, anyone who has studied the climate ought to have realized that what Professor Lovejoy calls “rare, extreme fluctuations” are neither rare nor extreme. They are the norm, not the exception.

Moreover, the entire interval of global temperature change since 1750, from the depth of the Maunder minimum to the acme during the Great El Niño of 1988 represents a movement of just 0.9% in absolute mean global surface temperature. By contrast, the change between midday and midnight at one location can be as much as 20% of absolute mean temperature. And the interval between the hottest and coldest places on Earth represents close to half of absolute mean temperature.

Next, the Professor says: “But what about Medieval warming with vineyards in Britain, or the so-called Little Ice Age with skating on the Thames? In the historical past, the temperature has changed considerably. Surely, the industrial-epoch warming is just another large-amplitude natural event?”

He answers his question in the negative, saying large-scale changes can only occur over periods much longer than a century. He would have gotten a nasty surprise if he had been around at the end of the Younger Dryas cooling event 11,400 years ago. At that time, according to the ice cores, the temperature in Antarctica rose by 5 Cº in just three years. As Professor Ian Plimer puts it, “Now, that’s climate change!”

Next, Professor Lovejoy writes: “My result focuses on the probability of centennial-scale temperature changes. It does not exclude large changes, if they occur slowly enough. So if you must, let the peons roast and the Thames freeze solid, the result stands.” No, it doesn’t. Just look at the warming of 1694-1733: 1.7 Cº in just 40 years, a rate equivalent to 4.33 Cº/century.

The Q&A that Professor Lovejoy has issued to prop up his paper says that he regards any change of more than 0.25 Cº over 125 years as exceptional, and likely to occur only 10% of the time. No, it isn’t. As I pointed out in a previous posting, more than a third of all 125-year periods predating the onset of anthropogenic influence on climate in 1950 show warming or cooling of more than 0.25 Cº.

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Figure 9. Left: The misleading propaganda claim made by “Skeptical” “Science” that 97% of scientists agree we are the cause of global warming. Right: The true position exposed by Legates et al. (2013): 99.5% of 11,944 climate-science papers did not say we are the cause. They did not even say we are the primary cause.

Next, Professor Lovejoy says IPeCaC has “strengthened its earlier 2007 qualification of ‘likely’ to ‘extremely likely’ that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming  since the mid-20th century.” Yes, it has, but it has done so not only on no evidence but in the teeth of the evidence.

As Legates et al. (2013) demonstrated, 99.5% of 11,944 scientific papers on climate published between 1991 and 2011 did not say that most of the global warming since 1950 was caused by us (Figure 9).

Besides, since Professor Lovejoy’s paper plays with statistics a great deal, he should know that no recognizable statistical process performed on any actual dataset (unless science now recognizes a show of hands among scientifically-illiterate, rent-seeking representatives of governments) generated IPeCaC’s “95-99% confidence” value.

Next, the Professor asserts that “skeptics … insist that warming results from natural variability”. No, we don’t. We assert that in the present state of knowledge it is impossible adequately to distinguish between natural variability and anthropogenic influence.

The Professor digs his hole ever deeper: “The new GCM-free approach rejects natural variability, leaving the last vestige of skepticism in tatters.” Here is an honest version of that sentence: “I reject natural variability aprioristically, so I bished and bashed the numbers till they fitted my preconception, leaving the last vestige of my scientific credibility in tatters.”

Yet he rants blithely on to the effect that the Canadian government has “axed climate research” (hurrah!); that it gave him no funding for his research (so he got more than he deserved); that it has “shamelessly promoted the dirtiest fuels” (but CO2 is not dirty, it is the stuff of life); that it has “reneged on its international climate obligations” (no, it took lawful and timeous advantage of the opt-out clause in the Kyoto Protocol and, therefore, has no “international climate obligations”); that “two decades of international discussion have failed to prevent emissions from growing” (along with crop yields and net primary productivity of trees and plants, thanks to CO2 fertilization); and, finally, that “the world needs to drop the skepticism and change course – humanity’s future depends on it” (but, as T.H. Huxley said, to the scientist “skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin”, and whenever someone says humanity’s future depends on something he means his income depends on it).

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296 thoughts on “The Empire of the Viscount Strikes Back!

  1. “For instance, it is possible to demonstrate the Theorem of Pythagoras. My own simple proof by inclusion is at Fig. 2.”

    proving A theorem of geometry or math is quite different than proving a physical theory.

    that is why math has proof and physical science does not.

    plus Pythagoras was incomplete. it only holds in eucliean space.

  2. For those who are curious, here’s a link to the op-ed:

    http://www.livescience.com/44950-global-warming-natural-fluctuation.html?

    My immediate observation in response to this:

    Beyond the venom, however, the actual criticism amounted to little more than a disbelief in the quantification of error bars on estimates of century-scale global temperatures, even though this estimate was published a year ago and is of little importance to the conclusions.

    is that perhaps nobody wants to shoot from the hip when he’s done something obscure. ‘course, maybe it’s just obscure to me because I’iz ignorent. :0 But I’m not prepared to open fire until I understand what the heck the guy did.

  3. Could the climate change debate have been more fruitful if skeptics would require from Prof. Shaun Lovejoy and colleagues clear and unambiguous use of definitions? “Climate” has been a layman’s term for more than 2000 years, but now defined by IPCC it is pure nonsense, and scientific hoax; discussed here: http://www.whatisclimate.com/

  4. Bravo! All very true especially the last line about income depending on volume and frequency of the alarmist message.

  5. Steven Mosher says:April 23, 2014 at 11:45 am
    “proving A theorem of geometry or math is quite different than proving a physical theory.
    that is why math has proof and physical science does not.”

    And yet you persist in trying to use math to prove an aspect of physical science. Consistency is not your strong suit, Mr. Mosher.

  6. Skepticism is the mother’s milk of Science.
    The Royal Society took the motto:

    Nullius in verba’

    (roughly translated as ‘take nobody’s word for it’) – including Prof. Lovejoy’s. As a properly skeptical scientist, Christopher Lord Monckton exposes numerous fallacies in Prof. Lovejoy’s paper and presumption.

  7. “All other things being equal, returning plant food to the atmosphere from which it came will cause some warming. But we do not know that all other things are equal.”

    Perhaps too softly stated.

    We in fact have excellent evidence that all things are not in fact equal. CO2 has continued to rise during periods in which warming did not occur. Thus, either: (i) the basic premise — all things being equal, more CO2 => warming — is wrong, or (ii) not all things are equal. These are the only two logical options. Unless one wants to abandon the general premise behind global warming/climate change, the only possible logical conclusion is that all things are not equal.

    Thus, it is true — it is simply a fact, based on observations and the only logical alternatives available — that more CO2 does not necessarily lead to more warming. It might. It could over the long run. But it might not.

  8. I guess my problem with Dr. Lovejoy’s argument to date can be found here:

    The key, second part of my study uses data from the year 1500 to estimate the probability that this temperature change is due to natural causes. Since I am interested in rare, extreme fluctuations, a direct estimate would require far more pre-industrial measurements than are currently available. Statisticians regularly deal with this type of problem, usually solving it by applying the bell curve. Using this analysis shows that the chance of the fluctuation being natural would be in the range of one-in-100-thousand to one-in-10-million.

    Yet, climate fluctuations are much more extreme than those allowed by the bell curve. This is where my specialty — nonlinear geophysics — comes in.

    Nonlinear geophysics confirms that the extremes should be far stronger than the usual “bell curve” allows. Indeed, I showed that giant, century-long fluctuations are more than 100-times more likely than the bell curve would predict. Yet, at one in a thousand, their probability is still small enough to confidently reject them.

    Nonlinear geophysics sounds pretty sexy. Until I’ve got time to learn this discipline (and I’ve got no urgent plans to), his argument probably isn’t going to be persuasive to me. In fact, I imagine it’s going to be persuasive to exactly two types of people:
    1) People who understand nonlinear geophysics (I’m guessing this isn’t a vast number of people)
    2) People who have no clue what the heck Dr. Lovejoy is talking about but like his conclusion.

    ~shrug~ what’s a time strapped layperson to do?

  9. Nice dissection of a rotting, almost-dead corpse…
    Thank you.

    Not to hijack but…
    Did Prince Charles ever formally respond to your debate letter?

    As to Steve Mosher – Once again your attempt to deflect the core of the post falls flat, on your face. Keep up the good work, and pretty soon you may get a job in Obama’s mafia. Oh wait, …/sarc off.

  10. .”..had declared to the faithful that the paper was no less than a ‘mephitically ectoplasmic emanation from the Forces of Darkness’ and that ‘it is time to be angry at the gruesome failure of peer review’.”

    I did not like this sentence the first time I read it, and still don’t. In fact, I think I made a critical comment to the effect that it was needlessly arcane. If your goal sir, is to entertain “the faithful” as Professor Lovejoy disparagingly calls us, then don’t change a thing as you’re succeeding nicely in that regard.. However if your goal is to actually change minds, or at least to force them to take you more seriously, I’d recommend toning down the rhetorical flourishes, and the supercilious tone. The problem as I see it is that they…and by extension you…are too easy to ridicule.

    Which is fine, if that’s what you’re after. I find you as entertaining…and generally compelling… as most skeptics. However, I think you could be more effective if you wanted to be.

  11. I think the correct scientific term for what Lovejoy does is phenomenology, but it can also be described as curve-fitting. Its a perfectly respectable thing to do when you can’t calculate something from first principles, but you have some general idea of trends. It only works when there are a few things varying.

    An interesting recent example of it is a paper by Lu who suggests that recent warming may have had a major contribution from CFCs http://www.worldscientific.com/doi/abs/10.1142/S0217979213500732 This paper has incurred the wrath of the True Believers, in itself a good recommendation.

    Lovejoy has clearly gone OTT, applying overly sophisticated mathematics to a highly complex temperature record. It is surely a major schoolboy error to give credibility to any results from this mathematics. Most people would have just applied a simple sanity check, followed by right-click-delete-file.

  12. Lovejoy proves my point that there is now “consensus science” which he represents and the higher standards of skeptic science.

    The key question is can we show that there is substantial natural variation?

    Indeed we can and it is trivial to show so

    In 2001 they predicted warming of 0.14 to 0.58C /decade, it did not warm, therefore (if their “settled”, “unequivocal”, “undeniable” [consensus] science models were right) there must be natural variation of -0.14 to 0.58C/decade.

    I have therefore shown that natural variation is significant and as large as any predicted warming.

    Or I could show that the rise from the start of this scare (i.e. after the global cooling) from 1970 to 2000 was 0.48C and is not at all unprecedented as it is the same as the rise from 1910 to 1940 over another 30 year period. So again I have shown that before CO2 was measured warming we had the same rises as the total rise since the global cooling scare.

    Or as Christopher has done, I could refer to the CET which amply demonstrates that natural variation.

  13. What you have done here, melord, is, in effect, to construct a top-down model. Huzzah, and Tallyho!

    Maybe you don’t remember the previous bit you commented on. But here you demonstrate the tack I was advocating.

    Your first two points are prime examples.

    When you are analyzing the bottom-to-top CMIP models, tweaking the inputs is like trying to uncrack a whip. You wind up in a game where you change the Echo Fire rules by one factor, and poof, the beastly Germans are sunning their PzIII barrels in Omsk by September every time (or their manhood frustrated by by an newfound incapability to seize Brest).

    But here (as in other similar examples, you have adduced), you are, in my arrogant opinion, doing it right.

    What these guyz don’t seem to gander is that when you are constructing a climate model, you need to approach it from the perspective of breaking the maverick — not making a plasticine sculpture of a horse.

  14. To his credit, Dr. Lovejoy did get his name correct. But precious little else.

    He engaged Joanne Nova on her blog, and again to his credit, he was civil and polite. But extremely evasive.

  15. Steven Mosher:
    Yes, the usual standard is for physical theories to be disproven, not proven. But sometimes, the observational evidence so completely conforms to a theory, and the theory is based on such plausible suppositions, that it is accepted as being proven. Newton’s theory of gravity and the Maxwell-Boltzmann kinetic theory of gases (being an application of the more fundamental theory of random processes) are two good examples. Where the theories have small errors under specific conditions, the physics of the phenomenon are known to have departed from the presumptions of the theories.
    Speaking from my own field, they are proven well enough that we can design perfectly reliable missiles to deliver nuclear detonations anywhere on the planet. The only designs that “climate science” can propose are on our pocketbooks!

  16. …..and, finally, that “the world needs to drop the skepticism and change course – humanity’s future depends on it” LoveJoy

    Much cheaper and more cost effective to drop Lovejoy , all similar AGW rent seekers, and redirect the Billion$ of dollars they waste to more efficacious applications.

  17. Great job, Chris. One comment: You say

    ” . . . whenever someone says humanity’s future depends on something he means his income depends on it.”

    I’d change “income” to something broader, like “utility.” I live in the SF Bay Area, and I can tell you that there are plenty of people who cling like wolverines to CAGW without any $ involved. These are leftists, usually well-to-do leftists, for whom the summum bonum is to feel good about themselves gaining and keeping the moral highground. And they do it by fiercely condemning the rest of us in moral terms, often with a tinge of violence. THAT’S where their “utility” comes from. Their main spokesman is NYTimes “distinguished” writer, Paul Krugman, who regularly uses Unabomber-ish rhetoric, condemning the rest of us as “traitors to the planet” and wishing for us to burn in hell.

    Lovejoy isn’t quite as creative as Krugman, but he’s totally cool with this attitude.

  18. @ evanmjones: April 23, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Eminently more logical and readable than Munkton’s blether

  19. Dear Mod.
    How can a comment on something the “good” lord brought up himself possibly be off topic?

    [it isn’t about the issue at hand -mod]

  20. A better example than Pythagoras might be Einstein.
    Einstein produced a single tensor equation for his theory of relativity which could be used to make exact quantitative predictions about any physical system and they were predictions which could be tested.
    Einstein knew that the failure of a prediction was a failure of the theory and invited people to attack his elegant little equation.
    Over the past century his theory has been attacked mercilessly with all the technology that we have developed in that time. In all that time not a scratch or chip has appeared on the theory.
    That is as close to proof as we are likely to get in science.
    Now compare that with climate change ‘science’. I have yet to see anything that approaches Einsteins equation for a concise statement of what ‘the theory’ actually states!
    It just seems to exist as an ill defined disordered list of random claims, totally lacking any consistent summation. The ‘theory’ (if it even qualifies) exists as such a fragile sickly thing that we are not really allowed to examine it or look at it, let alone actually prod it, even gently.
    To even question it is to invite ridicule and abuse and doing so will get one ejected from the room. Mentioning a few obvious problems with ‘the theory’ is to invite accusations of death threats etc.
    When heretics (such as ourselves) are given the opportunity to treat ‘the theory’ with a bit of robust skepticism it immediately crumbles to dust, often collapsing under its own feeble weight before we have even laid a glove on it.

  21. Steven Mosher says:April 23, 2014 at 11:45 am
    “proving A theorem of geometry or math is quite different than proving a physical theory.
    that is why math has proof and physical science does not.”

    And he then goes on to mention non-Euclidean geometry. Well its an interesting question. Was Quine right? Was Carnap right? If Quine was right then its a continuum, and there is no statement we would not be prepared to abandon in some circumstances. The distinction between the analytic a priori and the synthetic a posteriori is a matter of degree.

    If Carnap was right there are observation statements and theoretical statements. The observation statements record statements of fact. The theoretical statements relate theoretical entities which may or may not be instantiated in observations.

    I don’t know. What I do know is that it is not warming, and they all told me it was going to. And now they are telling me it is the oceans that are warming and it will all come back. But they cannot tell me how that is going to happen. I think I’m going to lie down. And anyone promoting wind turbines is not getting my vote.

  22. I have two gripes about Figure 4.

    The linearity is impressive; the deviations from linearity are due to natural variability.

    He goes into more detail in http://www.livescience.com/44950-global-warming-natural-fluctuation.html :

    The key, second part of my study uses data from the year 1500 to estimate the probability that this temperature change is due to natural causes. Since I am interested in rare, extreme fluctuations, a direct estimate would require far more pre-industrial measurements than are currently available. Statisticians regularly deal with this type of problem, usually solving it by applying the bell curve. Using this analysis shows that the chance of the fluctuation being natural would be in the range of one-in-100-thousand to one-in-10-million.

    Yet, climate fluctuations are much more extreme than those allowed by the bell curve. This is where my specialty — nonlinear geophysics — comes in.

    Oh oh, my BS-meter is climbing! Is it still “appeal to authority” if the authority is yourself? How Mannian.

    Nonlinear geophysics confirms that the extremes should be far stronger than the usual “bell curve” allows. Indeed, I showed that giant, century-long fluctuations are more than 100-times more likely than the bell curve would predict. Yet, at one in a thousand, their probability is still small enough to confidently reject them.

    I don’t have any trouble with claims that weather event probabilities have a Gaussian-like bell curve with the extremes pushed out more than the math (e.g. Pascal’s triangle) would support. I think he said that. Then I think he throws out all variability that’s less than a century long, and that denies the effects the PDO, AMO, Sun, the Dalton and Maunder Minima and all sorts of other interesting natural variability. Leaving behind CO2 and it must be a straight line.

    What was the other thing? Oh – it’s now 2014 and his five year averaged red line ends at 373 ppm CO2. That was 2004. Why doesn’t he carry it out to 2011, 2.5 years ago? The smoothed CO2 concentration is rising steadily enough to extend the red line a bit further. Of course, it would be horizontal, but if he can blow off the rapid increase between 0.11 and 0.16, he shouldn’t have any trouble ignoring the recent flat line either.

  23. There is an interesting philosophical question about the difference between “natural” and “anthropogenic” variations. Are we not creatures of nature engaged in natural activities? If bees were multiplying and emitting CO2 then that would be natural, but not if we do it.

    Lovejoy has “proved” that the temperature record cannot be due to Type A variations, so it must be due to Type B. But there is no clear distinction between A and B, hence Lovejoy’s original question doesn’t even make any sense, let alone have an answer.

  24. One more thing, addition to my earlier comment. I can accept scientific results I don’t understand, and I do. I don’t need to understand everything to accept it. But in those cases, controversial cases in particular, when I don’t follow the science, show me your power. Demonstrate that your science works. You want me to buy that subatomic particles don’t have a precise physical location until measured? I can buy that if you show me your theory works. As Briggs said here:

    …But, hey, I may be wrong. I therefore challenge Lovejoy to use his model to predict future temperatures. If it’s any good, it will be able to skillfully do so. …

    Indeed.

  25. Mr Mosher, like the few other remaining trolls here (the rest have realized the game is up and the scare is over), is reduced to splitting hairs and then picking nits from the scalp. He says, “A theorem in geometry or math is quite different than proving a physical theory.” Well, math is the language in which physical proofs are written. The Euclidean plane, in which my demonstration of Pythagoras’ Theorem resides, is a physical plane, and I have provided a not inelegant geometric proof by inclusion.

    If Mr Mosher would like to read the proof that under certain conditions E = mc^2 he should look up Einstein’s original paper, which requires knowledge of nothing more challenging than a set of partial differential equations.

    Simili modo, Ludwig Boltzmann proved the fundamental equation of radiative transfer by using math based on Planck’s blackbody law. Und so weiter, und so weiter.

    Mr Mosher also labors under the erroneous impression that the Pythagorean theorem holds only in the Euclidean plane. Not so. It holds also in the hyperbolic plane. It may also hold absolutely, under the variances (1) that the requirement that one of the three angles of the triangle be a right angle be replaced by a requirement that the sum of two angles should equal the third angle, and (2) that the requirement that the square on the hypotenuse be equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides be replaced by a requirement that the area of the circle on the longest side be the sum of the areas of the circles on the other two sides.

  26. M’Lord , while in no way wishing to diminish your deserved reputation for casting light into the darkest corners, I respectfully suggest that the appropriate word(in respect of a major-domo) was ” shimmy” – as in “shimmy up to the microphone”.

  27. Mr Bofill appears to imply that I did not understand what Professor Lovejoy did. Where I understood what he did, and what he did was scientifically incorrect, I said so and explained why. Where I did not understand what he did, but what he did was plainly at odds with the official story-line, I said so and explained the difference. And what did Mr Bofill do?

  28. Brad asks whether I had a formal answer from Prince Charles to my debate challenge. I have had no answer, formal or informal, and am not holding my breath for one. Like Al Gore and James Cameron, both of whom ran rather than debate, the Prince avoids speaking on the climate issue to any audience that might ask pertinent questions. This reluctance to debate on the part of the true-believers reveals that they know in their heart of hearts that they are wrong.

  29. Beg pardon Lord Monckton. If you understand nonlinear geophysics, you understand nonlinear geophysics. I do not.

    What did Mr. Bofill do?

  30. “Professor Lovejoy says that his “CO2 proxy … predicts with 95 percent certainty that a doubling of CO2 levels in the atmosphere will lead to a warming of 1.9 to 4.2 Cº”… I do not pretend to understand this graph.”

    I think I can explain this. Lovejoy says (by inference of how quoted here) what all the clever warmistas have dreamed to dare to say, but have not yet directly. Dared to imagine. To confabulate and evangelize with faulty, but self-congratulating fervor, but fearing outright ridicule if they do so boldly. That the ice core CO2 concentration records ARE A PROXY OF TEMPERATURE INCREASE. At least in the last hundred years or so. Lovejoy (by inference of how quoted here) is just unaware of the accusation of logical fallacy, argument wise, that saying CO2 measurements are a proxy for temperature, and ergo, anthro-CO2 causes temp increases, one opens oneself to. I suspect some of the older, more experienced sorts, afraid to announce their religious beliefs that CO2 (alias “carbon pollution”) ice core record measurements ‘equals’ temperature, near-mystically seclude this belief inside their hockey stick “computer codes,” the ones they religiously fail to disclose or reveal. Or there is some other shared garbage in the codes…

  31. {all bold emphasis mine – JW}

    In his post ‘The Empire of the Viscount Strikes Back!’ Christopher Monckton said,

    “It is also important to note that Arrhenius confined his analysis to radiative transports only. He did not take account of all the numerous non-radiative transports – afternoon convection in the tropics, baroclinic eddies in the extratropics, evaporation everywhere, etc. – that militate homeostatically against any sufficiently small perturbation of the natural climate (such as doubling the tiny concentration of CO2 in the air).

    Nor did Arrhenius take account of the biggest unknown in the climate – the behavior of clouds. All other things being equal, returning plant food to the atmosphere from which it came will cause some warming. But we do not know that all other things are equal.”

    Thank you Christopher Monckton.

    Nor did Lovejoy adequately account for Monckton’s point that we do not know that all other things are equal in the Earth-Atmosphere System (EAS).

    It was in a talk by Lindzen some years ago that I first encountered the concept of the limitation / caveat all other things being equal in the EAS when considering any possibility that CO2 radiative forcing can be the attributed cause of some (small) warming.

    New research on climate sensitivity studies and estimates are proliferating now that the IPCC is known to be flagrantly incorrect in their exaggerated assessments. It seems likely that more and more research will trend toward a climate sensitivity of less than 1 C. Such low climate sensitivities would mean difficulty in discerning any AGW signal due to fossil fuels from the natural signal.

    John

  32. Steven Mosher says:
    proving A theorem of geometry or math is quite different than proving a physical theory.
    that is why math has proof and physical science does not.

    ===

    Except in climatology, where the science is settled, the null hypothesis reversed and anyone who disagrees is an “anti-science” war criminal who should be locked up in a non-euclidian space (preferable one with no windows).

  33. The Maunder Minimum shows up in musical instruments.

    “I have tentatively determined that the spruce wood rings on this ‘Beeirette’ violin are a mathematically significant match (99.9491 % confidence level, Pearson correlation r = 0.50, 40 years lagged 10 years) to the rings on the 1716 Messiah violin by Antonio Stradivari (Antonius Stradivarius). The wood coincides with the early part of the Maunder Minimum, associated with the phenomenal tonal qualities of 17th and 18th century Cremona violin masters.”

    http://www.wdjensen123.com/Beeirette.htm

  34. michel says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    The distinction between the analytic a priori and the synthetic a posteriori is a matter of degree.
    ——–
    Oh but the former is so much more satisfying, isn’t it: what simpler, more self-evident type of proof could one conceive than that of the tautology? Which is why there is always false intellectual arbitrage by the me2’s, me3’s (apply Peano ad lib) converting the latter to the former.

  35. I have no idea what Lovejoy’s nonlinear geophysics is. But as someone with Ph.D level credentials in econometrics from a decent University, I know a fair bit about statistical data torture. In addition to the spurrious confidence levels previously pointed out by Viscount Monckton, and in addition to the obviously wrong assumptions pointed out by him here, and in addition to Lovejoy’s puerile responses,
    his statistical methods (essentially regression analysis) are faulty. At a minimum, there is no correction for serial autocorrelation in the temperature time series, a classic trap invalidating his analytic methods from the gitgo.
    Lovejoy’s vituperous defense of the indefensible violates the first rule of holes. Whining does not improve the spectacle. He richly deserves the ridicule so elegantly heaped. The force runs strong in Jedi Master Monckton.

  36. I found the article on a Yahoo-related website, and commented. I also made mention of the 1906 Arrhenius paper. No response, as far as I know, yet.

  37. “farmerbraun” says he wonders whether Jeeves “shimmied” or “shimmered”. He shimmered. To shimmy is to shake (as in the ragtime dance of that name), and, metonymically, to sway or sashay. Wooster used the word “shimmered” to indicate the unobtrusiveness with which Jeeves entered a room.

  38. Mr Werme is rightly fond of the proof of the Pythagorean theorem by dissection to which he draws attention. That proof is generally attributed to the 5th-century Hindu mathematician Aryabhatta, a reminder of how much we owe to the mathematicians of earlier civilizations than our own. Given the choice between Aryabhatta’s proof and Euclid’s absurdly complicated proof, which the philosopher Schopenhauer rightly described as “a triumph of perversity”, I’d go for Aryabhatta every time.

  39. And what a delight is “brantc’s” posting about the evidence for the Maunder Minimum in dendrochronology applied to the wood from which violins were made in the Stradivari era. Mann and co. would have been delighted to get a confidence interval that good.

  40. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Brad asks whether I had a formal answer from Prince Charles to my debate challenge. I have had no answer, formal or informal, and am not holding my breath for one. Like Al Gore and James Cameron, both of whom ran rather than debate, the Prince avoids speaking on the climate issue to any audience that might ask pertinent questions. This reluctance to debate on the part of the true-believers reveals that they know in their heart of hearts that they are wrong.

    Each of them ducks like a quack.

    (Everyone: It was my coinage, but feel free to use the phrase as your own–i.e., w/o attribution.)

  41. “Pokerguy” says I should not use long words. Well, Cicero used to include the occasional word or phrase of Greek in his speeches, just as Enoch Powell used to insert phrases in Latin. When Powell once made the mistake of translating a Latin phrase on the fly, it cost him his political career.

    He also complains that I am entertaining, implying that I should be taken more seriously if I were boring. If I were boring, few would hear what I had to say. If one wants a message to be heard, then, as the poet Horace wisely said, Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci. He who sugars the pill brings home the bacon. As the itinerant story-teller Kai Lung used to say, who are we to challenge the wisdom of the authors of the Odes?

  42. Dear Lord Monckton, with regard to the following passage:-

    … The rapid warming at the transition from the Maunder Minimum to a more normal climate occurred well before the industrial revolution began. It was not our fault. …

    I put it to you that there is nothing normal about current climatic conditions – that we are currently enjoying the dying embers of a brief warm spell, before the long night of ice.

  43. michel says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    The distinction between the analytic a priori and the synthetic a posteriori is a matter of degree.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    michel,

    The dichotomy fallacy in Kant’s analytic and synthetic categories renders him harmless.

    The Kantian absurdity is that If it something is true it can’t be known, if its known it can’t be true.

    Unfortunately, harmless as Kant’s fallacy makes him, there are aspects of his absurdity that have not insignificantly persisted to influence both Popper and Kuhn. (see Brand Blanshard’s ‘Reason and Anaylsis’).

    Fortunately, within a Feynman-like view of science there is no significant dependence on Kant’s heritage.

    John

  44. Mr Worrall is quite right: we are around 5000 years overdue for a new Ice Age. It has even been suggested (in Unscientific Unamerican) that the ice age has been deferred by our past sins of emission. If so, then we should go on emitting CO2 just as long as we can.

    And how well would “renewable” energy sources work in an Ice Age. Electric cars would be a no-no because the roads would be under miles of ice. Windmills wouldn’t work because snow and ice would accumulate on the blades and the motors would seize. Solar panels would be covered in ice and snow. Not a pretty picture at all, in fact. And here is what the “international community” is doing to prepare for the next Ice Age:

  45. M’Lord Monckton …..

    I have been asked to provide a local politician (whom I trust and support) a short series of “sound byte” answers to the CAGW challenges she expects in the next few weeks.

    Background: Specifically, she expects the local (democrat) press corps (corpse ?) to “promote” the Obama administration’s deadly and bankrupt policies – and to subtly but effectively oppose her own conservative candidacy! – by forcing her to answer CAGW propaganda in each interview. If she fails to answer soundly and professionally she will be branded, tarred, feathered, and fothered by derision. However, she is not a “scientist” and does not pretend to be a scientist by training or education.

    You have one such common accusation above: “99% of 11,944 papers did NOT claim that CO2 causes climate change ..”

    If I can anticipate perhaps 10 such questions, preparing for her accurate but simplified responses for each that she does have confidence in and understands, she will have a better chance of surviving her critics. From your experience, what are the other typical “accusative” (flat-earth-anti-science-denier) challenges you would expect?

  46. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm
    “This reluctance to debate on the part of the true-believers reveals that they know in their heart of hearts that they are wrong.”

    Reminds me of what I just read over here:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-23/how-empires-collapse

    “2. The corrupt Status Quo corrupts every individual who works within the system.Once an institution loses its original purpose and becomes self-serving, everyone within either seeks to maximize their own personal share of the swag and minimize their accountability, or they are forced out as a potentially dangerous uncorrupted insider.

    The justification is always the same: everybody else is getting away with it, why shouldn’t I? Empires decline one corruptible individual at a time.
    3. Self-serving institutions select sociopathic leaders whose skills are not competency or leadership but conning others into believing the institution is functioning optimally when in reality it is faltering/failing.”

  47. Arrhenius was also wrong in other fields of science. As co-founder of the Race Biological Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, he was part of the work* that become the foundation of the German NSDAP’s** race hygiene in the first half of the 1900’s.

    * An idea originating from the Swedish Labour Party and was decided by the left wing dominated government without objection … Yes, there was several types of socialists involved in the Labour Party back then, including National Socialists, but no Liberals … The Liberals had and still have their own party here, belonging to the right wing.

    ** National Socialist German Labour Party

  48. Chris

    There is also a more modern paper that Gavin Schmidt & Co use as their Touchstone.

    PLASS, G, . N., 1956 c: Etfect of carbon dioxide variations
    on climate, American J. of Physics 24, pp. 376-387.
    PLASS, G, . N., 1959:C arbon dioxide and climate, Scient$c
    American 201, pp. 41-47.

    If you look on Gavin’s site these are at the top of his modern bibliography. Hansen’s number (and those that follow), track very closely to the Plass number of 3.8 degrees C per doubling of CO2.

    However, there is a paper that Gavin studiously ignores that specifically refutes Plass. This paper, by Kaplan reduces that number by a factor of two or three. Here is the reference to that paper and its abstract.

    Kaplan is no slouch, having done a great deal of the work on early measurements of IR radiation absorption and emission.

    The Influence of Carbon Dioxide Variations on the Atmospheric Heat Balance

    By LEWIS D. KAPLAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    (Manuscript received August 20, 1959)

    Abstract

    Net fluxes of radiation in the IS micron carbon dioxide band at the top and bottom of the atmosphere have been calculated for several atmospheric models and with various cloud heights. The variation of the fluxes with carbon dioxide amounts is determined, and its effect on temperature discussed. Plass’ estimate of a temperature drop of 3.8′ C due to a halving of the carbon dioxide concentration appears to be too high by a factor of two or three.

    Another arrow in thy quiver, the better to strike the hearts of the varlets who distract us….

  49. SasjaLr says:
    April 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    “Arrhenius was also wrong in other fields of science. As co-founder of the Race Biological Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, he was part of the work* that become the foundation of the German NSDAP’s** race hygiene in the first half of the 1900′s.”

    Eugenics was invented by Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, and cornerstone of the ideology of the American Progressive Socialists (todays American “liberals”). Hitler admired the USA and FDR for his centrally controlled economy. Section 4 (I think) of Mein Kampf speaks in glowing terms of the USA as the most successful Germanic country in the world. (One of the reasons that Germans are not allowed to read it).

    So that’s the more likely route the Nazis got the Eugenics from; emulating America. Whether Arrhenius’ work influenced him is questionable; Eugenics was wildly accepted; John Maynard Keynes, for instance, was president of the Eugenics society for a time. George Bernard Shaw was a member as well.

  50. In response to Mr Cook’s question, here are a dozen facts about global temperature which could be circulated at the politician’s press conferences to keep the extremist media quiet.

     RSS satellite data show no global warming for 17 years 8 months from August 1996 to March 2014. Those 212 months are half the 423-month record since January 1979.

     The fastest 100-year warming rate was in Central England from 1663-1762, at 0.9 Cº per century – before the industrial revolution began. It cannot have been our fault.

     The global warming trend since 1900 is equivalent to 0.8 Cº per century. This is well within natural variability and may not have much to do with us.

     The fastest warming trend lasting ten years or more occurred over the 40 years from 1694-1733 in Central England, equivalent to 4.3 Cº per century. It was not our fault.

     The fastest warming rate lasting ten years or more since we could have influenced it in 1950 occurred over the 33 years 1974-2006 at a rate equivalent to 2 Cº per century.

     Since 1950, when a human influence on global temperature first became theoretically possible, the global warming trend is equivalent to just 1.2 Cº per century.

     In 1990, the IPCC’s mid-range prediction of the near-term warming trend was equivalent to 3.5 Cº per century.

     The global warming trend since 1990, when the IPCC wrote its first report, is equivalent to 1.4 Cº per century – two-fifths of what the IPCC had then predicted.

     In 2013 the IPCC’s new mid-range prediction of the near-term warming trend was for warming at a rate equivalent to 1.7 Cº per century – just half its 1990 prediction.

     Though the IPCC has cut its near-term warming prediction, it has not cut its centennial warming prediction of 3.7 Cº warming to 2100 on business as usual.

     The IPCC’s prediction of 3.7 Cº warming by 2100 is more than twice the greatest rate of warming lasting more than ten years that has been measured since 1950.

     The IPCC’s 3.7 Cº-by-2100 prediction is more than three times the observed real-world warming trend since we might in theory have begun influencing it in 1950.

     Since 1 January 2001, the dawn of the new millennium, the warming trend on the mean of five datasets is zero – 0.0 Cº per century. No warming for 13 years 2 months.

     Recent extreme weather cannot be blamed on global warming, because there has not been any global warming. It is as simple as that.

  51. Amidst these dismal decades of shoddy scientists, supine politicians, and junk science creating a degrading, disgraceful and destructive panic in various quarters, there are quite a few good people who have emerged to dispel the gloom from time to time. The valiant viscount is one of them. In spades. His combination of mathematical skills, scientific nous, and flair with the English language is not merely a delight for those of us who admire his work, it is also a substantial thorn, bordering on a spear, in the sides of those who don’t.

  52. Eric Worrall says:
    April 23, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Dear Lord Monckton, with regard to the following passage:-

    … The rapid warming at the transition from the Maunder Minimum to a more normal climate occurred well before the industrial revolution began. It was not our fault. …

    I put it to you that there is nothing normal about current climatic conditions – that we are currently enjoying the dying embers of a brief warm spell, before the long night of ice

    – – – – – – – – –

    Eric Worrall,

    In perspective, there should not be cause for significant imminent concern because of the large time factor involved in the transitions from warm interglacial part of the cycle to the cold glacial part of the cycle.

    If the behavior of the many recurring glaciation cycles of the past >>500,000 year (or so) is a model for our current times, then “the dying embers” of the relative warmth of this current interglacial should be a very very gradual cooling over a period of ~5,000 (or more) years into the expected next cold glacial part of the cycle. On the other hand, the exits from the glacial parts of each cycle into the warm interglacial parts have been spectacularly abrupt in comparison to the exits from the interglacial parts into the glacial parts.

    Again, if geological history is our guide, because of the timescales involved there is not much basis for highly focused / concentrated urgent concern due to the expected ‘dying embers’ into the cold glacial period.

    John

  53. “He who sugars the pill brings home the bacon. ”

    A metaphor a mixed up and ugly as an transgender climatologist in a panzer commander’s uniform.

  54. Greg Goodman says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm
    “A metaphor a mixed up and ugly as an transgender climatologist in a panzer commander’s uniform.”

    That’s a bit unfair to the transgendered.

  55. “That’s a bit unfair to the transgendered.”

    Oh, and I was thinking someone may pull me up for not being PC with respect to honest, hard working panzer commanders.

  56. John Whitman
    In perspective, there should not be cause for significant imminent concern because of the large time factor involved in the transitions from warm interglacial part of the cycle to the cold glacial part of the cycle … “the dying embers” of the relative warmth of this current interglacial should be a very very gradual cooling over a period of ~5,000 (or more) years into the expected next cold glacial part of the cycle.

    Not always John – sometimes the transition to a cold phase is incredibly abrupt. For example, the Younger Dryas struck in no more than a decade, possibly as short a period as 3 months, according to one researcher.

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

    I doubt we shall see the new ice age in our lifetimes. But I’m not taking any chances – my family and I moved from Britain back to my native Australia, to the Fraser Coast – 25 degrees south of the Equator.

  57. Greg Goodman says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:27 pm
    “Oh, and I was thinking someone may pull me up for not being PC with respect to honest, hard working panzer commanders.”

    Well the bit about the Panzer commander’s uniform was factual.

  58. “farmerbraun” says he wonders whether Jeeves “shimmied” or “shimmered”.

    The mental image of Jeeves doing the shimmy is quite remarkable.

    Not that he couldn’t have turned the trick had a Dire Emergency presented itself (“Anatole has quit!”) had rendered it the prudent course of action.

  59. Prof Lovejoy of McGill University should understand that his site of work is ranked 31st by the 2014 Times Higher Education World University Rankings & therefore his opinion counts for less than that of Lord Monckton, IMHO. Scurry ye back to dealing with antiques.

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

    Now, that’s venom.

  60. Monckton of Brenchley
    Mr Worrall is quite right: we are around 5000 years overdue for a new Ice Age. It has even been suggested (in Unscientific Unamerican) that the ice age has been deferred by our past sins of emission. If so, then we should go on emitting CO2 just as long as we can. …

    Dear Lord Monckton, you know it is considered rude in climate circles to provide historical context, a bit like asking John Holdren about his previous stance on climate change ;-)

  61. I agree with you about Lovejoy’s chart – I cannot pretend to understand what it means.

    Presumably, it is designed for us to go, “Ooh, ah, wow that’s impressive!”

    I am sorry, but if you cannot describe something simply, it means you do not understand it, or you are making it up.

  62. some unintended humour at Bloomberg?

    23 April: Bloomberg: Eric Roston: NASA’s Confused Mission Apparent From Earth Day Talk About Mars
    NASA’s long-confused mission was evident today — Earth Day 2014 — when Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. keynoted a conference about Mars, the red planet, before zipping across downtown Washington to give a speech about the blue-green one…
    NASA’s official vision in the 21st century should be to explore life’s origin and its future. Full stop. Manned exploration of the Solar System was a dream for baby boomers when they were kids. Our kids deserve something no less inspirational and even more practical. Charity starts at home, not Mars…
    ***The phrase “explore the future” seems weird enough that a federal agency might come up with it and yet nimble enough to encompass what we’re really interested in, planetary health. NASA is one of the world’s critical centers for monitoring Earth’s life-support systems, its surface, oceans, core and atmosphere, which famously, is running a temperature. The continental U.S. has warmed nearly half a degree fahrenheit on average since the first Earth Day, in 1970, according to research from Climate Central.
    ***The future is even trickier than the past. No one can predict the future, which is why scientists talk instead about projections or simulations. An Earth Day blog post at Bolden’s NASA blog touts five major Earth science initiatives this year, probing climate, weather, water and sea levels. “NASA research yields down-to-earth benefits such as improved environmental prediction, preparing for natural hazards, and anticipating the impacts of climate change,” he writes.
    Bolden’s speech this morning at the Humans 2 Mars Summit is put on by Explore Mars, a non-profit founded to help speed human arrivals to the red planet, and “to embed the idea of Mars as a habitable planet” in the classroom.
    NASA’s first order of business should be to embed in classrooms the idea of Earth as a habitable planet.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-22/nasa-s-confused-mission-apparent-from-earth-day-talk-about-mars.html

  63. Eric Worrall says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    We are not overdue. Most recent interglacials have lasted longer than the current ~11,400 years. The previous one, the Eemian, lasted 16,000 years, for instance. In fact the only recent one shorter than the Holocene to date was an unusual double dip affair.

  64. I suppose if you are preaching to the choir, one might read past the first two paragraphs.
    If looking for new “converts”,….. they clicked out early.

  65. “””””…..Steven Mosher says:

    April 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

    “For instance, it is possible to demonstrate the Theorem of Pythagoras. My own simple proof by inclusion is at Fig. 2.”

    proving A theorem of geometry or math is quite different than proving a physical theory.

    that is why math has proof and physical science does not.

    plus Pythagoras was incomplete. it only holds in eucliean space……”””””

    Well that’s a pretty lame exception isn’t it Steven ??

    All Math is pure fiction anyway; we made it all up out of whole cloth.

    Any part of it is only valid, within the bound of its defining axioms.

    Is not the restriction of Pythagoras even more than you cited. It only applies to two dimensional Euclidean space. Has no rational meaning in three dimensional Euclidean space.

    And if I’m not mistaken, Godell proved that any system of mathematics contains valid questions which are undecidable within that discipline.

    As for Physics theories; they too are all fictional, but are quite as provable as math theories, within the limits of Godell.

    What is not provable, is that the real universe behaves exactly like any or all of our physics theories.

    In the case of Climate science, the real universe of climate doesn’t behave in any way, like any of our theories.

  66. Kilometrodonharlani is incorrect to state, on no evidence, that “most recent interlgacials have lasted longer than the current ~11,400 years”. According to the ice-core record (Petit et al., 1999), each of the past four interglacials showed temperatures at least as warm as the present for about half the length of the current warm period. We are indeed overdue for another Ice Age, though we cannot stay when or even whether it will occur because we do not know exactly what triggers Ice Ages. However, according to the ice-core records the transition is more likely than not to be abrupt. At present we are entirely unprepared, which seems imprudent.

    As for Mr Badman, wearing his “I’m a grouchy troll” bonnet, trying to pull the rug from under the hand that lays the golden eggs by whining that “he who sugars the pill brings home the bacon” is a mixed metaphor, he can climb the greasy pole down the slippery slope up the ladder round the bend till the cows come home for all I care, but he’ll end up going round in circles, because we’d need to think outside the box, as however much we oil the wheels it’s no good shutting the stable door after the pig has flown.

  67. DirkH on April 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    According to a tv program showed a couple of years ago here in Sweden (that the leftist media missed to censor), the RBI influenced NSDAP a lot more then you suggest, including (questionable) measure methods …

  68. Dunno about the rest of Y’alls, but Monckton of Brenchley’s construction of Pythagoras’ theorem, was totally unknown to me.

    For the life of me, I couldn’t get it. The thick lines threw me off a bit, but do make the artwork more creative.

    Finally it dawned on me that “THE Triangle” is in fact any of the four congruent triangles, that need to get scrapped.

    Wonderful proof Christopher. Thanks for that, and the rest of your exposition too.

  69. In attacking the claim by Prof. Lovejoy that in the scientific method “no theory ever can be proven beyond ‘reasonable doubt’”. Lord Monckton should know better to cite that “it is possible to demonstrate the Theorem of Pythagoras.” This theorem belongs to mathematics and is not a topic subject to the scientific method, no matter how useful scientists may find it.

    He should understand the difference.

  70. SasjaLr says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:14 pm
    “DirkH on April 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm
    According to a tv program showed a couple of years ago here in Sweden (that the leftist media missed to censor), the RBI influenced NSDAP a lot more then you suggest, including (questionable) measure methods …”

    Well okay, it might be so. But of course your leftist media, just as our German media, has a very keen interest in not censoring such but exaggerating it as much as possible (or even invent it); to instill a guilt complex, making it easier to tear down the existing social order by showing it as unworthy. Once acceptance of this in the populace has been achieved, all kinds of transformations become possible, and Sweden sees a huge one with your current Social democrat boss.

    That being said, if your media is as trustworthy as the German… maybe just conjecture dressed up as fact.

  71. Eric Worrall says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Not always John – sometimes the transition to a cold phase is incredibly abrupt. For example, the Younger Dryas struck in no more than a decade, possibly as short a period as 3 months, according to one researcher.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Eric Worrall,

    Yes, I can see your point. There can be very abruptly occurring warm and cold periods of up to ~100 years or so during an interglacial. The Younger Dryas was in the current interglacial, near its beginning.

    We also had the LIA in the later part of this interglacial period.

    Before the end of our current interglacial I expect it is not unreasonable to think there will be other warmer periods (natural like the RWP & MWP) than now and other colder periods like the LIA. Such 100 yr scale periodic temperature swings were seen into other previous interglacial parts the other cycles right up to their ending in the relatively persistently sustained cold glacial part of the cycle. NOTE: What I was referring to in my comment to you was entering into the long term sustained (for many 10s of thousands of years) cold glacial part of the cycle.; the transition to which from the interglacial periods was very very gradual on the order of ~5,000 yrs plus.

    The past ending of other interglacials was not abrupt unless taking ~5,000 years (or more) of gradual mean change in temperature is abrupt.

    John

  72. humour at the Ottawa Citizen.

    what’s the bet the “carbon”-ised title of the paper – “Acidity and aridity: Soil inorganic carbon storage exhibits complex relationship with low-pH soils and myeloablation followed by autologous PBSC infusion” – prompted the quick response described below, even if they are “fake” journals?

    21 April: Ottawa Citizen: Tom Spears: Blinded by scientific gobbledygook
    Bad chemistry: How fake research journals are scamming the science community
    I have just written the world’s worst science research paper: More than incompetent, it’s a mess of plagiarism and meaningless garble.
    Now science publishers around the world are clamouring to publish it.
    They will distribute it globally and pretend it is real research, for a fee.
    It’s untrue? And parts are plagiarized? They’re fine with that.
    Welcome to the world of science scams, a fast-growing business that sucks money out of research, undermines genuine scientific knowledge, and provides fake credentials for the desperate.
    And even veteran scientists and universities are unaware of how deep the problem runs…
    My short research paper may look normal to outsiders: A lot of big, scientific words with some graphs. Let’s start with the title: “Acidity and aridity: Soil inorganic carbon storage exhibits complex relationship with low-pH soils and myeloablation followed by autologous PBSC infusion.”
    Look more closely. The first half is about soil science. Then halfway through it switches to medical terms, myeloablation and PBSC infusion, which relate to treatment of cancer using stem cells.
    The reason: I copied and pasted one phrase from a geology paper online, and the rest from a medical one, on hematology.
    I wrote the whole paper that way, copying and pasting from soil, then blood, then soil again, and so on…
    Footnotes came largely from a paper on wine chemistry…
    The university where I claim to work doesn’t exist. Nor do the Nepean Desert or my co-author. Software that catches plagiarism identified 67 per cent of my paper as stolen (and that’s missing some)…
    I submitted the faux science to 18 journals, and waited.
    Predators moved in fast. Acceptances started rolling in within 24 hours of my submission, from journals wishing to publish the work of this young geologist at the University of Ottawa-Carleton.
    First came the Merit Research Journal of Agricultural Science and Soil Sciences, which claims it sent me to “peer review” by an independent expert in the field who gave me a glowing review. It laid out my article and was ready to post it online 48 hours after submission — for $500.
    ***That’s cheap. The going rate at genuine journals is $1,000 to $5,000…
    There’s been one more development in my own story. The Science Publishing Group (it lists its address simply as “USA”) has asked me to apply for a post on its editorial board, which would put me in charge of judging others’ work. The future looks bright indeed…

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/Blinded+scientific+gobbledygook/9757736/story.html

  73. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    Kilometrodonharlani is incorrect to state, on no evidence, that “most recent interlgacials have lasted longer than the current ~11,400 years”.
    ——————-

    I’m not incorrect, but you are. Indeed laughably so. Obviously you have so little regard for truth that you didn’t even bother to check up on reality. Had you bothered to educate yourself, you’d have discovered immediately how wrong you were.

    I provided you all the evidence you needed, were you actually interested in the facts. How hard would it have been to Google the Eemian?

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

    Of course previous interglacials were warmer than the Holocene. That’s not the issue of my comment. I corrected your error about the Holocene’s duration, not its warmth relative to prior interglacials.

    This interglacial was both the longest & warmest of recent ones, more so even than the Eemian:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Isotopic_Stage_11

    I await your apology & admission of error, not that I would expect such a display of manliness from an anti-American bigot.

  74. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    In response to Mr Cook’s question, here are a dozen facts about global temperature which could be circulated at the politician’s press conferences to keep the extremist media quiet.

    Wonderful! Thank you.

  75. ‘mephitically ectoplasmic emanation from the Forces of Darkness’

    That was an excellent phrase, and Lovejoy is smart to single it out for attention. I don’t see how you can claim that it was not venom (“The Professor describes this as “venom”. No, sir, it is eloquence in the service of truth.”); maybe not literal venom, but his paper was not literally mephitic either. I don’t know if the quoted phrase was eloquence; back in the day there were the “Nattering nabobs of negativism”, which some thought eloquent and I thought peculiar (spoken by soon to be indicted Spiro Agnew; written by William Safire.) I guess there is no accounting for taste.

  76. “No, sir, it is eloquence in the service of truth.”

    If I might make so bold, Chris and concerning Lovejoy’s hopelessly feeble effort. And oh dear, what it was – an echo of the same old rehash, of footling innuendos and woeful statistical jiggery-pokery.
    In saying that, I much preferred the short counter, to synopsize it in only four characters, thus it said, all that was needful and harking back to the days of the young whelp at the Yorkshire Post – a bright lad and with an economy of words… shades of an influence perhaps and as is their won’t up in those parts.

    We don’t give the nod to many but I shall make an exception with thee lad. Splendid stuff Sir!

  77. Monckton of Brenchley: IPeCaC clings to a sensitivity interval of 1.5-4.5 Cº, entirely below Arrhenius’ original estimate and almost entirely above his revised estimate.

    There you refer to a toxin. So your rhetorical adventure is “toxic” to the debate. Fun to read, but people new to the debate might think you are unhinged.

  78. Overall another good read. Many sound points. Much fun. I thank you especially for the excerpt from German.

  79. John Boles says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm
    Hello all, heads up on

    http://www.skepticblog.org/2014/04/22/global-warming-has-paused-not/#more-25251

    Donald Prothero is an archeologist, not a climate guy, I think his approach is too political. I think a true skeptic is not a climate alarmist. Perhaps make his article the subject of a blog entry at WUWT?

    Re this article, I just posted this deliberately innocuous comment on the site. We’ll see if it makes it through moderation:

    “Very interesting post – I like the animated graph with the segments. However, I think it’s vulnerable to attack without sourcing of the data set used, since skeptics typically use GSS or UAH or similar datasets for their assertions. For that matter, the graph is also vulnerable to criticism given that the data seems to stop around 2010, when three more years of data are available. That would tend to make the last segment a bit longer, but to avoid the appearance of “cherry picking”, it’s probably worth updating it.
    Also, another area what wasn’t clear was the mention of adding additional Arctic data from satellite records to the regular data set (Met Office in this case). Given that statement, it would be helpful to mention that the regular data set includes Antarctic data (I assume it does), since Arctic and Antarctic temperatures have been trending differently.
    Finally, it would be helpful to potentially use the same data sets in the two different graphs, since the trends in the temperature anomalies look to be significantly different in the two graphs (+.4 C in the Met Data graph vs. about .6 C over roughly the same period in the first graph).
    Just some observations to hopefully improve an important argument, thanks,
    Taylor”

    btw, only 8 total posts so far, most of the hand-wringing variety – so I wouldn’t worry too much about his influence.

  80. Mr Lee is incorrect to imagine that the scientific method does not apply to mathematical hypotheses. It does. Consider the history of the hypothesis that a^n+b^nc^n where n>2 is an integer and a, b, c are integers or rational fractions, and abc0. For 350 years no one was able either to prove or to disprove this hypothesis, but it gradually gained credibility because no one had been able to disprove it. Eventually, it was formally demonstrated. At the point of formal demonstration, the iterative algorithm that is the scientific method terminates. In the physical sciences, formal demonstration is rarely available, so that with undemonstrated hypotheses the crabwise approach to the truth that is the scientific method continues. Read Popper, or Newton, or Einstein, or al-Haytham, or Thales of Miletus.

    Nanometrodonharlani, whoever it may be, loses its temper because it does not like the result in Petit et al., 1999, which showed that each of the last four interglacial warm periods exhibited temperatures at least as warm as today’s for only half the length of the present warm period. It is the more recent interglacials that are the more interesting, because they occurred under conditions more likely to be similar to today’s than those that prevailed during earlier interglacials.

  81. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Why am I not surprised that you try to divert attention from the fact of your ludicrous error by continuing to comment on an off-topic straw man instead of admitting that you were wrong to assert without a shred of evidence that the end of the Holocene is 5000 years overdue?

    Just the weaselly dodge I expected.

    The fact remains, whether you can bring yourself to accept it or not, that the Holocene has so far been shorter than all recent interglacials but one, so there is no basis for assuming that its end is overdue. Indeed one school of thought among students of the subject is that the Holocene might be a super-interglacial, lasting longer than a single precessional cycle. This issue has been discussed at some length on this blog.

    Despite your apparently innate inability to admit error, I hope you have learned in future to educate yourself on topics about which you know nothing before presuming to comment upon them.

  82. Rud Istvan says: “I have no idea what Lovejoy’s nonlinear geophysics is…[I]n addition to Lovejoy’s puerile responses, his statistical methods (essentially regression analysis) are faulty. At a minimum, there is no correction for serial autocorrelation in the temperature time series, a classic trap invalidating his analytic methods from the gitgo.”

    I was wondering about that. I suspect Lovejoy’s putative “nonlinear geophysics” is a bit of mathematical mumbo-jumbo as a pretext for the absence of autocorrelation correction. I know his
    graph would have resulted in an F in any of my engineering courses, and his claim that the huge deviations from linearity are due to “natural variability” destroys his own premise.

  83. Monckton of Brenchley: He who sugars the pill brings home the bacon.

    I had not previously guessed that “mephitic” referred to sugar.

    Don’t mind me. I’m kidding.

    But nits really do carry typhus, so nit-picking should be given more respect.

  84. “[snip – sorry, I don’t want a _______ argument on this thread – Anthony]”

    No fuss. (however I would point out my objection to the “S” word, as I have no association.)

    I do see great similarity between Viscount Monckton’s observations and those of Sir George Simpson. Perhaps just [snip]ing the last paragraph would have been the go ;-)

  85. Lord Monckton’s blather and erudition is ambrosia, and I drink it in. For all those that cannot enjoy (or even fathom his intellect); get a life!.

  86. george e. smith says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    “Dunno about the rest of Y’alls, but Monckton of Brenchley’s construction of Pythagoras’ theorem, was totally unknown to me.

    “For the life of me, I couldn’t get it. The thick lines threw me off a bit, but do make the artwork more creative.

    “Finally it dawned on me that “THE Triangle” is in fact any of the four congruent triangles, that need to get scrapped.”

    Yup. Exactly the same problem, and the same realisation, for me. Thanks for letting me know I wasn’t being completely dense, and now I’m returning the favour. Christopher Monckton could have described the proof just a little differently and it would have been much more obvious.

  87. RACookPE1978 :

    Although Lord M.’s suggestions are largely fine, you may want to double-check the following: “The fastest 100-year warming rate was in Central England from 1663-1762, at 0.9 Cº per century – before the industrial revolution began. It cannot have been our fault.”

    Two issues:

    First, he may have meant “The fastest 100-year warming rate in Central England was from 1663-1792. . . ”
    Second, in the CET version I recently downloaded, the 100-year warning rate for the period ending in March of 2007 was actually slightly higher than the one for 1663-1792.

    This doesn’t much detract from the point he’s making, but there’s no point in leading with your chin.

  88. I should add to my previous message that I found the rest of CM’s post much clearer, so it’s not a general observation.

  89. Many commenters have been very kind in what they have said, and I am most grateful to them. In answer to Bob Tisdale, for instance, I did indeed enjoy writing the head posting and I am delighted that he enjoyed reading it.

    Naturally there are a few dissatisfied customers, the sourest of whom – on the present thread, at any rate – is microbrainharlani, a lumpen troll that cowers and snivels in cowardly fashion behind a pseudonym and shrieks hatred as though it were some crazed juvenile terrorist in the making. Bafflingly, and on no evidence, and entirely off topic, it describes me as an “anti-American bigot”. I must again ask those who keep an avuncular eye on what is posted here not to allow those who are so yellow that they screech and caterwaul from behind inspissate pseudonyms to throw baseless personal invective at those of us who are willing to say who we are. The unfairness is palpable and now needs rectification.

    Microdick, whatever it is, provides no references for its belief that the endurance of the current interglacial at temperatures greater than or equal to today’s is greater than in each of the four previous interglacials. It refers me to CreepyMedia on two occasions, but that is justly described as “the encyclopedia that any idiot can edit and only a cretin would credit”, so I neither read it nor cite it. Its quality control on all matters relating to climate is known to be inept, and its governing junta prejudiced in the extreme on the subject. I have persuaded several universities to forbid their students to cite it, on the ground that it has become a malevolent project designed to regiment and centralize thinking worldwide in an unpleasant and often frankly Fascistic direction on this and on too many other issues. In the attempted globalization of group-think, CreepyMedia has degenerated into a baneful and damaging influence. A propensity to cite it is an unfailing hallmark of the politically prejudiced or of the incurably idle and feeble-minded.

    I have referred Microbrain to a scientific paper that displays a graph that requires only the addition of a horizontal line corresponding to today’s temperature to make the matter entirely plain even to Microbrain. Yet all it does is shriek hate-speech at me. Let it go away and grow up, and stop taking money from corrupt and dubious criminal sources to peddle its rent-seeking nonsense, and find the courage to post in future under its own name, always assuming that it has any idea who its father was, and learn to cite proper scientific sources that it has actually read, if it can read, and learn to be civil toward those with whom it presumes to disagree, if it is not some mannerless ape with Tourette’s Syndrome, before it comes back and screams petulantly like a spoilt child any further.

    And let it not snivel that I have been rude to it. For it has not revealed who it is. I can call it whatever names are appropriate without the slightest risk to its reputation, if it has one, which – on the basis of its recent comments – one rather begs leave to doubt. If it expects to be taken seriously, let it own up to who or what it is, and who is paying it.

  90. milodonharlani says:
    April 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    A bit harsh, I would say. Re length of interglacials, if this is something we can know for sure I’m prepared to accept your statement about the length of interglacials, (I am a geologist but haven’t done anything scientifically in this area so am a bit of a generalist on this), but you are most definitely wrong in your belief that Monckton is anti-American, or anti-anyother nationality. He is anti-dishonesty and anti-stupidity among those who would foist half-baked collegiate science on us.

    Re Lovejoy’s dissertation, he remarkably states (in the scientific method) “no theory ever can be proven beyond ‘reasonable doubt’”

    Well then why should he be so sure that skepticism should be curtailed? This man is a johnny come lately neophyte if he thinks a statistical analysis using linear regression on the temperature record and supposed record is going to wow anyone, including the well worn statistical jack the rippers of climate science over the past 30 yrs.

  91. I am most grateful to Dr Wingo for his reference to the Kaplan paper indicating that climate sensitivity may be one-half to one-third of the 3.8 K imagined by Plass, Hansen, Schmidt et hoc genus omne. From my own inexpert researches I should expect the outturn to be closer to Kaplan’s position than to that of Plass.

    I well remember when Dr Wingo first contacted me in November 2006 to tell me about the slowdown of the magnetic convection currents beneath the surface of both solar hemispheres, indicating the decline in solar activity that has indeed become evident since then.

  92. I have seen several prior mentions of Arrhenius’ 1906 paper, but I have yet to find an English translation. Does anyone know of one, and if so, can a link be provided?
    Many Thanks

  93. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Still can’t admit you were wrong, can you, Chris? Show me all the recent interglacials that lasted 5000 years less than the Holocene to date. You can’t, so you typically try to change the subject instead of simply admitting error.

    I said nothing about the paper you imagine falsely I commented on, or more likely intentionally bring up to try to deflect from the fact of your error.

    If by troll you imply anonymity, I’m not. The first time I log in my name, John Tillman, comes up, then after that the moniker. Many posters here log on similarly.

    Gary Pearse says:
    April 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I posted references on the length of interglacials. Chris was not only wrong, but wildly, preposterously so. The measure of the boy is that he can’t admit being so.

    As for anti-Americanism, judge for yourself. Chris considers the American atomic bombings of Japan to be atrocities, yet says nothing of British Bomber Command’s highly inaccurate night time area bombing of German cities, burning 100,000s of thousands of civilians alive, with little advantage to the allies’ cause. Same goes for destruction of French & Italian cities & cultural treasures. By contrast, the American atomic bombing of Japan saved on the order of ten times as many lives as it cost, both Allied & Japanese. The pompous twit Chris, perhaps a victim of bullying or worse at English public school, is so ignorant of the war in which his father served honorably that he was unaware of these simple facts. So, if not a bigot, then an ignoramus.

  94. Lovejoy’s Figure indicates to me that his understanding of the climate topic is feeble but cloaked and “protected” by his constant reference to his own seemingly impressive sounding ‘non-linear geophysical statistics’ analysis.

    I very much enjoyed your post Chris and don’t be put off by those who don’t understand your subtle put-downs using eloquent phraseology for those who deserve it most. Good stuff!

  95. FrankK says:
    April 23, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I think I understand Chris, sharing his love of math(s) & languages & opposition to the anti-human, anti-scientific religion of CACA, but feel that there is nothing subtle about him. Unlike him, however, I have studied paleoclimatology & other relevant sciences.

    Compare & contrast Boy Monckton’s reaction to being corrected as to the length of prior interglacials & likely duration of the Holocene to Willis’, who made a similar error. Being a man instead of a viscount, Willis simply did his own checking into the facts, discovered his mistake, & said thanks for pointing this out. B. M. by contrast reacted by ad hominem attack, attempted straw man distraction, wiggling, wriggling, squirming &, dare I say, denying. Mikey Mann & Chris thus appear to be psychological twins.

    As for anti-American bigotry, there is this, below. Chris might not know that it’s considered bad form to wear a simulacrum of the flag in that manner, no matter how often he might have seen it on telly. But I grant you he doesn’t seem to show contempt for the audience. OTOH, as we say in the West, all hat & no cattle:

  96. How many angels can dance on a pinhead? Stop guessing about the advent of the next ice age.

  97. @ RACookPE1978 asks:

    “I have been asked to provide a local politician (whom I trust and support) a short series of “sound byte” answers…..”
    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    As useful background you might suggest she reads the questions put by the socialist green left Australian ABC in this appallingly biased piece of propaganda that pretends to be an interview with Maurice Newman.

    Does it get worse than that?

    He did a good job – with a couple of weaker spots.

    It starts at 13.40 exactly and finishes at 22.30.

    http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/lateline/NC1471H052S00#playing

  98. Lord Monckton’s post is yet another which delights and instructs at the same time*.
    I am a bit puzzled by the line “the largely English-speaking F. of D.” Many of the F. of D. seem to express themselves in a language almost, but not entirely, unlike the language with which I am familiar and of which Lord M. is a master. Perhaps he is being generous to speakers of MTV.

    (*Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci,
    lectorem delectando pariterque monendo.)

  99. “Keep up the good work, and pretty soon you may get a job in Obama’s mafia. Oh wait, …/sarc off.”
    If he is political enough in the right flavor he might. I would call it Obama’s crusade team to achieve International socialism?

  100. Jhiv says:
    April 23, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    I don’t know if his 1906 paper has been translated, but Arrhenius’ book “Worlds in the Making” has been, which deals in passing with his ideas about CO2. CACA advocates tend to skim over the fact that Arrhenius thought a warmer world would be a better world. Also the fact that, like many eminent scientists of his generation, he was an ardent eugenicist.

    I don’t have the time to translate the 1906 paper, but maybe Chris does. Since it’s science, however, an English speaker could IMO puzzle out much or most of it. Do you know a German speaker or reader? That would help.

    My translation of Chris’ quotation is: “In a similar way I calculate that a reduction of the carbon dioxide content by half or an increase of the same amount to twice would correspond to temperature changes of -1.5 degrees C and + 1.6 degrees C.” Don’t know why he didn’t provide his own translation.

    FWIW, Arrhenius advocated an international language based upon English, a more practical alternative to Esperanto.

  101. “””””…..Monckton of Brenchley says:

    April 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    Mr Lee is incorrect to imagine that the scientific method does not apply to mathematical hypotheses. It does. Consider the history of the hypothesis that a^n+b^nc^n where n>2 is an integer and a, b, c are integers or rational fractions, and abc0. For 350 years no one was able either to prove or to disprove this hypothesis, but it gradually gained credibility because no one had been able to disprove it. …..””

    Slipped a typochondriac in on us there, M of B

    a^n + b^n = c^n

    Folklore has it, that Fermat wrote a note in the margin of his note book, that he had found ” a wonderful proof”

    Evidently so wonderful he didn’t think it needed writing down.

    So now we have the conundrum; just what was Fermat’s “wonderful proof” of Fermat’s last theorem ?

    It certainly can not have been the existing very modern proof.

    So for me, the mystery is still out there.

    So your comment about the “scientific method” having worked in that case, is very pertinent.

    The case is not closed yet.

    What was Fermat’s proof of Fermat’s last theorem ??

    Incidently, it still works for n = -1. I have often believed it also holds for n = -2 ,but I have never spent any time trying to find any non trivial cases for a^-2 +b^-2 = c^-2

    So I can’t claim that it is valid for |n| <=2

  102. climatologist says:
    April 23, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    It requires no guesswork to know that the Holocene has not yet lasted as long as most prior interglacials. That’s simply an observation. I agree that we can’t know when it might end. “Expert” opinion is all over the place, since science isn’t sure about which of the orbital mechanics in the Milankovitch cycle will rule this time, let alone what other factors may be in play. Hence it was highly unscientific of Chris to assert without any evidence whatsoever that the next glacial phase was overdue by 5000 years. All that is certain is that most prior interglacials lasted a lot longer than this one to date.

  103. >> milodonharlani says:

    >> Unlike him, however, I have studied paleoclimatology
    >> & other relevant sciences.

    Not me. I have, for 45 years, been engaged ‘hands-on’ in
    the collection, analysis, and interpretation of survey data,
    and in my opinion some of the claims made for the land-based
    temperature record are bloody outrageous, excuse my language.

    Climate scientists have no expertise in this regard, and hence
    do not understand that the network of temperature stations
    from which their measurements and conclusions are derived
    is a structure that’s broken-backed. If I can rake up the energy
    I will one day describe a thought experiment which illustrates
    this perfectly.

  104. Rex says:
    April 23, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    The temperature record has indeed been corrupted, but proxy data for previous interglacials IMO show quite conclusively that at the very least the Eemian & MIS 11 (among others) were warmer than even the Holocene Climatic Optimum.

  105. Steven Mosher coughs up a strawman instead of actually trying to deal with the fact that his apparent religious beliefs are emptier than a Cargo Cult’s.

    Hey Moshpup, is your reading comprehension deteriorating that badly?!?!?!

  106. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Mr Mosher, like the few other remaining trolls here…

    Now, now, m’dear Viscount, you learned in the nursery that name-calling isn’t nice. Of course, the appalling treatment of science on the part of the Lovejoys and other alarmists isn’t very nice, either. I scream in fury at them time and again.

    But Mosher? TROLL?! I have a book on my climate shelf co-authored by him. Its title is Climategate.

  107. LadyLifeGrows says:
    But Mosher? TROLL?! I have a book on my climate shelf co-authored by him. Its title is Climategate.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Dear Lady Life, here is why I agree with the assessment. In a recent WUWT post on an NIPCC skeptical science report on the benefits of CO2 to this planet, (A report done by respected PHD scientist with a fairly long and published history in the field, chalk full of hundreds of references to other peer reviewed studies, Mosher made an early, pointless, and wrong critical comment, and then called them “clowns”. This is becoming ever more typical for him. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/20/dueling-climate-reports-this-one-is-worth-sharing-on-your-own-blog/
    Mosher said, ” I wonder how the clowns who wrote the NIPCC scientifically determined that there will be little effect in the future? how’d they do that? I read the NIPCC. I saw no experiments that proved there would be little effect. I saw no statistical analysis in that report that proved there would be little effect. And they explained why you could not use models to project the effects.
    How did those clowns deduce from no evidence that there would be little effect”
    I am afraid I called him a troll with this comment…
    “Mosher revealed for the troll at heart that he is.
    Gee Steven, read the report. It is long. They conclude this by the fact that none, as in zero of the often predicted and modeled disasters, have occurred, (backed by numerous peer reviewed science applied to real world observations, not climate models or lab studies non reflective of real world environments) ) but the known benefits of CO2, aerial fertilization of the biosphere are readily observed. It is elementary and fundamental simple scientific deductive reason, applied to observations and experiments.”

    Steve is a luke warmist, but he is here insulting very trained, and very real published scientist, in his usual support of the misguided interpretation of the “precautionary principle”, which renders his “balanced perspective” meaningless, as he supports the socialist objectives of one world government folk by baselessly attacking the authors of a reasonable, detailed, referenced, educated scientific report as “clowns”. This lands him in firm troll territory. This plus his extreme hubris in making hit and run holier then thou comments, and never condescending to engage in dialogue with reasonable objections to his comments.

  108. And while I’m at it, climate scientists do not understand the
    difference between the statistical error and the survey error,
    And why should they? They have no expertise in this field.
    Neither do some of those who do claim such expertise. For
    example, it is commonplace for pollsters to interview a thousand
    people, and then foolishly say things like “the margin of error
    for results in this survey is +- 3.2%” (or whatever the figure is).
    This is piffle. That figure is just the statistical error, assuming
    that a whole lot of criteria have been compiled with. As a rule of
    thumb, at least double the quoted statistical error and you will be
    some way towards a measure of reliability.
    As for the remark above about Mosher making hit-and-run
    holier-than-thou comments, this mirrors something I wrote ages
    ago, describing his intrusions as just that, and imploring people
    not to respond, as there will be a wall of silence from SM.

  109. Newton used mathematics to derive his inverse square law of gravity from Kepler’s Laws — see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler%27s_laws_of_planetary_motion . The mathematics of that derivation was not falsified by the observation (experiment) that the precession of the perihelion of Mercury in reality was not consistent with Newton’s law of gravity, but Newton’s law was falsified by this experimental evidence.

    Einstein over stated the differences between mathematics and the experimental sciences that “as far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” To be subject to the scientific method, the inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence and theories must be falsified when contradicted by experiment. To the contrary, in mathematics, there are no experiments and no realities to falsify theories. Mathematical theories are created from logic and axioms and, as Einstein observed, are certain enough to not refer to reality. In fact the theories refer to models of reality when used for scientific analysis, not reality.

    Lord Monckton should understand that no mathematician looks to the telescope or the microscope to obtain observations to falsify his mathematics and should know better to write rubbish about the scientific method (April 23, 2014 at 4:58 pm) to defend the indefensible.

  110. Steve is a luke warmist, but he is here insulting very trained, and very real published scientist, in his usual support of the misguided interpretation of the “precautionary principle”, which renders his “balanced perspective” meaningless, as he supports the socialist objectives of one world government folk by baselessly attacking the authors of a reasonable, detailed, referenced, educated scientific report as “clowns”. This lands him in firm troll territory. This plus his extreme hubris in making hit and run holier then thou comments, and never condescending to engage in dialogue with reasonable objections to his comments.

    Insulting a scientist? Did he insult Mann too?
    socialist? I must have missed something.
    attacking a reasonable, detailed, referenced, educated scientific report ? I thought you were talking about the IPCC there for a second. Are we recycling the Team’s put-downs now?
    hubris in making hit and run holier then thou comments? reminds me of Socrates.

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

    Only a true skeptic keeps the home team honest.

  111. at look at climate science bsc courses shows 50% of it is exploring sustainability and creating policy agendas so its not a hard science course. So climate scientist is a bit a of jedi mind trick term. The public think one thing but the reality quite another. Like any field there is probably a spectrum where some ‘climate scientists are nothing but sustainability agents to those who actually make the models in the physics faculty. The IPCC has been selecting recent phds which means those soaked in the current orthodoxy of settled science. They would never have got a phd if they did not sign up to the prevailing dogma?

    the Upanishads talk of the ‘vanity of scholarship’ and so one has to beware getting wrapped up in the vanity of it.

    facts can be examined in a calm way such that Geoffry Howe’s quiet torpedo speech sank Margaret Thatcher battleship of rhetoric.

    This is what we have a battleship of rhetoric based on crying wolf. What are the methods of pointing out someone is crying wolf?

    Apparently the wolf criers claim everything is proven yet they are unable to predict anything. This divergence sinks their claims. Science has a standard of prove predict. You can claim to have proven anything but it falls down if you cannot predict from it nor recreate past historical results which they can’t.

    the co2 temp divergence cannot be explained by them nor do they know why it warmed at first then stopped. They have guns with no triggers so have to make the bang noises themselves.

  112. I do apologize for the typos that crept into my brief comment about the Wiles Theorem. WorDepress is not good at symbols, so I had foolishly used the computer-speak pair of angle brackets to mean “not equal to”. However, WorDepress, failing to discern that there was nothing between the two symbols, naively treated them as though they were the earpieces of an instruction in HTML and stripped them out, leaving gibberish behind.

  113. Mr Lee, who knows as little of the history of science as he does of the scientific method, says mathematicians do not resort to telescopes or microscopes to verify their hypotheses. However, Einstein suggested that his theory of special relativity, which he had derived by applying mathematics to the results of observations through telescopes, particularly by de Sitter, recommended that his startling and counter-intuitive result might be verified by – er – looking through telescopes. Eddington had written to him asking whether his theory might explain the contra-Newtonian behavior of Mercury. He proposed an experiment during a forthcoming transit of Venus to determine the extent to which the relativistic displacement of a beam of light by a sufficiently large mass (the Sun) conformed to what his theory predicted. Some unsatisfactory measurements conducted at Principe during the 1919 transit were hailed at the time as confirming Einstein’s hypothesis in that respect, and many subsequent – and better-conducted – observations through telescopes have confirmed it.

    When I used a hitherto-unexploited wrinkle in the law of probability to design and market a puzzle with 209 pieces and no picture, with a £1 million prize for the first solver, covered by insurance in the event that someone won it before enough sales had been made, I was asked to advance a hypothesis about how long it would take to solve the puzzle. I had already done the math on that, and had concluded that in the then-existing state of knowledge and of computer power it would take 18 months. The hypothesis was tested by offering the puzzle for sale (the underwriters being courageous folk). After 500,000 copies of the puzzle had been sold at a healthy and rewarding price, the first of only a tiny handful of solutions was found after 19 months.

    When I returned to the underwriters to ask for contingency cover on the second Eternity puzzle, I estimated that no one would solve it during the four-year period of availability for the prize. Another 500,000 puzzles were sold, and no one solved the puzzle during the four-year period.

    Mr Lee’s interpretation of the scientific method is, therefore, at odds not only with the history of science and of mathematics but also with my own experience. Of course the scientific method is applicable to mathematical hypotheses – such as the Wiles theorem – that have not been demonstrated. Once a mathematical hypothesis (such as the Wiles theorem) has been demonstrated, the iterative algorithm that is the scientific method, which Mr Lee will find well described in Popper’s book if he can pause from shouting for long enough to read it, terminates, having done its work to the full. And, as another learned commenter here has correctly pointed out, Fermat’s elementary demonstration of the theorem has not been replicated. Fame – though not fortune – still awaits him who can rediscover it.

  114. We know its not an ice age because manchester university is not under 1 mile of ice. Which makes this an inter glacial warming period. So climate scientists claim to have proven this inter glacial warming is not natural? or did they just take a snapshot and do some statistical tricks to show whatever they wanted to show? Then sexed it up to make a dossier out of it?

    it seems climate science does not use a true baseline. Some use 30 yr snapshots, 100 yr snapshots or put things into decades when so far no decade cycles have been found. So in this game the goalposts really do move. If climate science cannot answer the big question of how ice ages work then how can they hope to work out the mini cycles within the ice age cycle? without standardisation of baselines it becomes like a railway with many different gauges where nothing can be matched up.

    if i took a snapshot of the day’s temperature from 8am to 12midday then projected prediction lines then by midnight the planet would be roasting.and by next week the earth would be a fireball.

    We know earth has been much warmer than now. So we are currently at neither extreme in the ice age cycle.

    the gold standard we are told is IPCC because it has 12000 peer reviewed papers. The fact that civil servants determine the conclusions seems not to be a problem except for a few who did the the unpaid research saying they feel used [lol]. So lets cut out the middleman science and give it over to the civil servants given they have the final veto?

    So we have no standard baselines, reports determined by civil servants and a campaign to silence anyone pointing this out thro name calling? Is this the science method or a box of frogs?

  115. jhiv

    There was a lot of comment about the 1906 paper in a WUWT thread from 2009. At the time Hans Erren had uploaded details to Wiki but I suspect the original links have been removed.

    Here is Hans’ list of papers. He does post here and his web site is easily found by Googling so am sure he would have an English translation

    ——– ———–

    Hans Erren says:
    April 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/13/6995/

    Nasif Nahle (15:59:09) :

    I’d do prefer another reference to Arrhenius’ work better than Wikipedia.

    How good is your german? You can read it from the horse’s mouth:
    Svante Arrhenius, 1896a, Ueber den Einfluss des Atmosphärischen Kohlensäurengehalts auf die Temperatur der Erdoberfläche, in the Proceedings of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, Stockholm 1896, Volume 22, I N. 1, pages 1–101.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1896b, On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air upon the Temperature of the Ground, London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science (fifth series), April 1896. vol 41, pages 237–275.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1901a, Ueber die Wärmeabsorption durch Kohlensäure, Annalen der Physik, Vol 4, 1901, pages 690–705.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1901b, Über Die Wärmeabsorption Durch Kohlensäure Und Ihren Einfluss Auf Die Temperatur Der Erdoberfläche. Abstract of the proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, 58, 25–58.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1903, Lehrbuch der Kosmischen Physik, Vol I and II, S. Hirschel publishing house, Leipzig, 1026 pages.
    Svante Arrhenius, 1906, Die vermutliche Ursache der Klimaschwankungen, Meddelanden från K. Vetenskapsakademiens Nobelinstitut, Vol 1 No 2, pages 1–10
    Svante Arrhenius, 1908, Das Werden der Welten, Academic Publishing House, Leipzig, 208 pages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svante_Arrhenius#Bibliography

    PS I wrote the bulk of the greenhouse topic in Arrhenius wikipedia article

    ——- ——— —-
    tonyb

  116. We can talk around the houses all day, some blokes do nit picking just fine and that’s the way they’ve been taught, not to accept but to argue the toss over Jesuitical niceties.

    Arguing the toss for England, or America – its post modern, post normal education at the coal face. The idea that mankind actually makes a difference to global temperatures by pumping CO2 into the air – even if we could separate an anthropogenic signal in the noise – which we cannot, the whole idea is preposterous nonsense but it has a trace, a vestige the merest of a whiff of legitimacy and that’s why we can’t stamp out the supporters of this baneful supposition.

    At the beginning, In the end we are talking about the dynamics of a chaotic system – where we do not and cannot yet and may never be able to do so – we do not have the figures for all the inputs and outputs – it’s all just guesswork and clutching at statistics and computer models.

    What we can say and this is never mentioned by the whackos of green, the alchemists, pscientists, Mann’s ghouls at Penn State and all the scientific expert coterie extolling the green mania – who justifies the idea of allocation of US$ subsidies for the production of corn ethanol increases food commodity prices across the world, the poorest always suffer and then they die – never do green experts feel the need to want to talk about USgov policy that comes about from their alarmist advocacy. Why not?

    Western governments have and continue to cosh the taxpayers and to spend astronomical amounts wasting €$£billions on building worse than useless palliatives to prevent nothing but provide an eyesore and as a series of monuments to the folly of man made belief in the climate faeries.

    The internationalists groupthink, a liberal designed vessel to provide an expurgation of original sin and named Agenda 21. Agenda 21 and sustainability of taxation – forced redistribution of taxes through control and world emissions agreements – leading to a world governance by and through the UN the most corrupt bunch of megalomaniacs on the planet after Zimbabwe. Still, and after 70 years of doing that self same redistribution, the wealthy of Africa grow richer and the socio-economic gulf widens by the day. Until such time as the Africans themselves sort out their own problems no amount of aid is going to solve the humanitarian crises – because charity does not work, all it does is redistribute money from the poor in the west to the rich in the third world and along the way in refugee camps across the continent increases the birth rate, increases welfare dependency and takes away the farmers need to farm – how is that “helping”?

    We are in an interstitial, a period of warming between glaciations, at some point soon the climate will dive with the temperatures, we do not understand the triggers for this process, would it not be a fine idea if we dropped the arguments about a myth and joined together to find out why the Earth will go back into a deathly hibernation, because even the alarmists must surely admit: cold kills and warming is beneficence.

    So where are we, oh yes…………….. CO2 is a very, very, very inconsequentially minor GHG but so bloody what – it was never about man made warming was it?

  117. E.M. Smith described how to make WordPress behave.
    First, google thusly: “unicode unequal sign” (or whatever you’re looking for)

    The first hit will provide, in the search-results page, the hex value you want. You don’t even have to click on it–although it is educational. In this case the hex value is 2260.

    This number must be followed by a semicolon when typed in, thus: 2260;

    And it must be preceded by three characters: an ampersand, a pound sign, and an “x”, thus: &#x
    (I hope that shows up.)

    The result comes out (I hope) as ≠

  118. My Lord, do, please, continue with your use of “long words” – it is a profound pleasure to read your work, and to dwell on the intricacies of the English language. Love it – don’t stop, whatever you do, don’t stop.

  119. “Milodonharlani” has at last told us who he is. He says he has studied climatology and that I have not. Other readers of the head posting may perhaps take a less ungenerous view on that point. He persists in screeching that I ought not to have suggested – albeit glancingly in a comment – that we were 5000 years overdue for the next glaciation. I have already explained to him that the basis for my statement had been a graph in Petit et al., 1999, readily available to all, which shows that none of the last four interglacial periods had endured for as long, at temperatures at or above today’s, as this one.

    I have also asked him to produce a single scientific paper indicating a different position. He has not provided one. Even if he had, there would then exist merely a conflict of testimony, as so often happens when science is not settled, and his pompous, hate-filled remarks about how he had “corrected” me and I had not accepted his “correction” would still be inappropriate.

    Unlike “milodonharlani”, who seems to live in some weird parallel corner of the multiverse, I live and move and have my being in this world, albeit with a weather eye on the next. While a warming of even 3-5 K would probably do not much harm (or so say Dick Lindzen, Ian Plimer and many others who have studied these matters in the round), a cooling of even a couple of degrees might well be widely harmful. I say again that, on the evidence of Dr Petit’s graph, we are 5000 years overdue for such a cooling – the next step on the already-evident downslope towards the next interglacial.

    And I also pointed out to “milodonharlani” that I am not alone in being intrigued by the unusually long persistence of the Holocene warm period at its present mean temperature. I had explained that an article in Unscientific Unamerican a few years ago had suggested that land-use changes consequent upon the widespread adoption of agricultural methods several thousand years ago had been sufficient to delay the onset of the decline towards the next glaciation that the author of the paper had anticipated. Unscientific Unamerican were so pleased with the paper that it was their cover story and (if I remember rightly) they supported it with an editorial demanding the immediate shutdown of the West so as to Save The Planet.

    Finally, readers of my weekly column at WorldNet Daily will know full well how much I admire the United States. Yet “milodonharlani” offers two outstandingly lame pretexts for his barmily misconceived assertion that I am an “anti-American bigot”. First, he says I described the bombing of Hiroshima by the United States as an atrocity but did not also describe the bombing of Dresden and Hamburg by the British as atrocities. Well, as I pointed out at the time, the Allies operated a joint command, so our forefathers on both sides of the Atlantic were both responsible for what – if we had lost the War – would have been regarded as war-crimes. I had also pointed out at the time of my remark, which referred only to Hiroshima because the unspeakable Cook of “Skeptical” “Science” had exploited the misery of those who were killed or maimed by offensively denominating recent radiative forcing in units of “Hiroshima bombs”, that I had not intended to cause any offense to anyone by my glancing reference to Hiroshima as an atrocity.

    I also explained that anyone who had studied the suffering of those were killed by the bomb or diseased by its fallout – as I have done because it is relevant to some medical research I am conducting – could not but regard the dropping of so hideous a weapon of mass destruction on hundreds of thousands of innocent, non-combatant civilians as an atrocity. I also explained that I fully understood the ghastly metric by which the Allies had calculated that killing 100,000 Japanese citizens would prevent greater loss of life by hastening the War’s end. All of this goes to show that what Pope John Paul II said to us when he visited Coventry 23 years ago was correct: the scale and horror of modern warfare render it inappropriate as a method of resolving differences between nations.

    In the ancient and subtle religion to which I inadequately subscribe, one draws a distinction between the sin (like a famous Archbishop of Canterbury, we are against that) and the perpetrator of the evil deed (whom we do not judge). This valuable and humane distinction is reflected in the laws of all Christian nations and of all nations to whom we have given laws. it is the distinction between the mens which may or may not be rea and the actus reus. The bombing of innocent civilians en masse is manifestly an actus atrociously reus.

    “Milodonharlani’s” second item of evidence that I am an “anti-American bigot” lies in my having agreed to wear at some of my presentations a Western costume that included a shirt portraying Old Glory (much as people wear waistcoats or even boxer shorts with our own Union Flag on them). So let me patiently – for I remain largely incapacitated by a broken foot and have more time on my hands than usual – explain that the shirt was presented to me by the Tea Party movement in Texas after I had addressed 15,000 of their members at a spectacular moonlight rally at a racecourse in North Houston, after which cries were heard from the crowd that I should be elected Governor by acclamation.

    The jeans, belt, buckle, boots and other accoutrements were presented to me by a great American patriot, also a Texan, when I visited the Sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, for a purpose that is off-topic here. The hat was made to measure and presented to me by a fine hat-maker when I had addressed the Stockmen’s Club of Denver, CO. All of these kind gifts were from people who seemed to me to be loyal and enthusiastic Americans, and who recognized me as one of the greatest fans of the United States, of her remarkable Constitution, of her athletic democracy (which those of us who groan under the well-polished but unelected heel of the unelected Eurocracy long for), and of the freedoms that she won first for herself and then for so many other nations by the great courage of her armed forces, often standing shoulder to shoulder with ours.

    Let me conclude by asking “milodonharlani” to recall and meditate upon the following lines from the Song of Hiawatha (I quote from memory, so do not hold me too harshly to account if I have not gotten it quite right) –

    I am weary of your troubles,
    Weary of your wars and bloodshed,
    Of your wranglings and dissensions.
    All your strength is in your union;
    All your danger is in discord;
    Therefore, be at peace henceforward,
    And as brothers live together.

  120. from http://www.av8n.com/physics/scientific-methods.htm

    Examples of Unscientific Thinking
    You should avoid using fallacious arguments, and you should object loudly if somebody tries to use them on you. Common examples of unscientific thinking include:

    The fallacy of OTBE (i.e. Other Things Being Equal)

    Improperly weighted voting. (A thousand pieces of weak evidence should not outweigh one piece of strong evidence,

    Selecting the data. (It is not right to select tendentious anecdotes from a mass of data

    Other misuses of probability.

    Argument from no evidence

    Proof by bold assertion

    Dropping or mistaking the provisos and limitations of a rule

    Appeal to authority

    ————————————

    so when people say ‘you are not a climate scientist’ which bit of unscientific thinking is that?
    Do i need to be a mechanical engineer to say the car won’t start? Or a chemist to say the milk is off? should probability phds be the only ones allowed to play the lottery or cross the road?

  121. Could the Co2 increase,
    Causing the vegetation to increase.
    the absorption of the sun light to increase.
    Be the reason for the temperature “pause and not increase.

  122. From Lovejoy’s Q&A (http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/esubmissions/Questions.Answers.17.4.14.pdf):
    Q. To estimate the probabilities you used the hockey stick and everyone knows that it has been discredited, why should I believe your probabilities?
    A. The hockey stick is the result of using a large number of paleo data to reconstruct past global scale (usually annual resolution) temperatures. Starting with the [Mann et al., 1998] series, there are now a dozen or so in the literature. They have been criticized and improved, but not discredited.[…]
    ——
    This is the main reason why this paper is GIGO. He actually believes the broken hockey sticks can be used to estimate the range of century-scale natural climate variability.

  123. Mr Marler asks about the word “timeous”. It is a Scots word: or, at any rate, it is routinely used in Scotland – e.g. “timeous compliance with the Sheriff’s order” – and rare elsewhere. Its meaning lies somewhere between “punctual” and “timely”. It is pronounced as two syllables, the first of which is “time”.

  124. george e. smith says: April 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm
    … Is not the restriction of Pythagoras even more than you cited. It only applies to two dimensional Euclidean space. Has no rational meaning in three dimensional Euclidean space.

    Pythagoras’ theorem applies to three-dimensional Euclidean space. The distance between any two corners of a box is the square root of the sum of the x, y, and z squares.

    It also applies to four-dimensional Minkowski space, the difference being that time has an opposite sign from the x, y, and z parts. Gravity, of course, messes things up.

  125. Jim Blinn, who did the computer graphics for NASA’s Voyager journey, presented a video at SIGGRAPH long ago that went rapid fire through about a million different proofs of Pythagoras’ theorem. Geometry normally isn’t all that funny, but we started cracking up about halfway through, and it kept getting better.
    I’ve searched for a copy of that ACM video, but have yet to find it.

  126. Take note lukewarmers and those who believe that the earth has actually warmed at all (97% respondents, consensus), from an Atmospheric physicist

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/04/global_warming_and_settled_science.html

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Human C02 has any effect of Global temperatures. I actually think like him: There earth has not warmed significantly recently relying on fraudalent surface data since 1880 (except Armagh and CET since 1640 which shows no warming). RSS and AMSU are too recent for any climate judgment and for half the record show a flat trend. RSS shows warming NH, Flat tropics and flat SH its not global. SST’s show warming and cooling about everywhere refer to this site. (For manipulation of temp data records look at Steve Goddards extensive record keeping of “adjusments to the US records by NOAA, GISS etc). Those skeptics stating that the earth has warmed even slightly don’t know what they are talking about and are feeding the AGW lie by default considering above facts.

  127. rogerknights says:
    April 24, 2014 at 1:35 am

    E.M. Smith described how to make WordPress behave.
    First, google thusly: “unicode unequal sign” (or whatever you’re looking for)

    The first hit will provide, in the search-results page, the hex value you want. You don’t even have to click on it–although it is educational. In this case the hex value is 2260.

    Often simpler (and with the added benefit of seeing which recent posts have been active) is to click on “Ric Werme’s Guide to WUWT” and check the bottom for a handy list of “character entities.”

    Unfortunately, in this case you would have been disappointed as I didn’t list the entry for “not equals.” I’ve added it now, it will show up tomorrow, barring buttered fingers.

    BTW, there are names for most of these which are usually easier to remember, “not equal” is “ne”, entered as “&ne;”

    [Reply: Or you could get a Mac. These symbols are very easy: ‘not equal’ is Option, +. Which prints: ≠
    ~mod.]

  128. Toto says:
    April 23, 2014 at 11:56 pm
    “Insulting a scientist? Did he insult Mann too?
    socialist? I must have missed something.
    attacking a reasonable, detailed, referenced, educated scientific report ? I thought you were talking about the IPCC there for a second. Are we recycling the Team’s put-downs now?
    hubris in making hit and run holier then thou comments? reminds me of Socrates.

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

    Only a true skeptic keeps the home team honest
    —————————————————————————–
    Your comment is very strange… “Insulting a scientist? Did he insult Mann too”. Are you saying The NIPCC was deceptive and dishonest in their presentation of the report? Are you saying because someone is critical of the work of one scientist, he has carte blanche to indiscriminately attack all scientist?
    Are you equating the NIPCC to the IPCC. Has this scientific group behaved like a “juvenile delinquent teenager”? I must have missed something myself. I was talking about the NIPCC report detailing the benefits of CO2 to the biosphere, and, with detailed real world examples, outlined n numerous peer reviewed studies, demonstrating where the purported harms are virtually non-existent.
    As to your question about recycling the teams put downs, The only [one] replicating the warmest ad hominem attacks was Mr. Mosher. His put down was troll like, and furthermore, made zero sense to anyone who actually read the report. Mr. Mosher refused to condescend to defend his attack, despite many logical comments pointing out what was wrong.
    There was no honesty Mosher’s the attack. Mr. Mosher never even claimed to read the report, and clearly he did not. He stated, “I have read the NIPCC.” The NIPCC has produced many studies. I am quite certain Mr. Mosher did not read the one in the tread. If he was honest, he would have defended honest criticisms of his comment; criticisms of both the manner in which it was made, and the substance of it.

  129. Espen says:
    April 24, 2014 at 2:41 am

    From Lovejoy’s Q&A (http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/eprints/eprintLovejoy/esubmissions/Questions.Answers.17.4.14.pdf):
    Q. To estimate the probabilities you used the hockey stick and everyone knows that it has been discredited, why should I believe your probabilities?
    A. The hockey stick is the result of using a large number of paleo data to reconstruct past global scale (usually annual resolution) temperatures. Starting with the [Mann et al., 1998] series, there are now a dozen or so in the literature. They have been criticized and improved, but not discredited.[…]
    ——
    This is the main reason why this paper is GIGO. He actually believes the broken hockey sticks can be used to estimate the range of century-scale natural climate variability.

    I’m pretty suspicious of this too. Especially since he put it in his shiny magic new math blender the workings and results of which are inscrutable to me so far.

    It looks like he puts a lot of stock in things matching, to him that means small error. The proxies match each other well for century periods? Do they really? Do they match as in the squiggles match, or do they match as in a bunch of random noise riding on a flat line that’s been calibrated to match? His claim is that the temperature datasets are right to within a ridiculous fraction of a degree is based on the fact that the RMS of the average of the datasets is close to each of the datasets. Well, great, but that’s only the difference between the datasets, there’s no justification demonstrating that’s the only error, just independent random errors between the sets. Seeing this type of reasoning used does not inspire confidence in me about the other parts of the paper I’ve yet to grasp.

    (disclaimer – I said what I said here and nothing else. Any further implications, insinuations, or ideas that may occur to you while reading my comments where not intended by me and I assume no liability for them.)

  130. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 1:43 am
    ———————————————————————–
    Well stated Sir. I was considering putting in the required time to defend you from the common illogical and personal attacks which appear in every thread where your perspective is discussed.
    I should have known that you, unlike our friend Mr. Mosher, have the courage, respect, and capacity to defend yourself far better then I could defend you. You address each logical fallacy and biased perspective with an eloquent straightforwardness. ” Straightforwardness without civility is like a surgeons knife, effective, but unpleasant.” Sometimes those to whom you respond do not warrant a pleasant response.

    BY the way, I am afraid that I recently called Mr. Mosher a troll myself. Here, David A says:
    April 21, 2014 at 9:12 am on this thread, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/20/dueling-climate-reports-this-one-is-worth-sharing-on-your-own-blog/ I defend that assertion.

  131. David A says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:22 am

    Too bad it appears that for Chris, “troll” means anyone with the temerity to dare to correct mistakes by Chris, speaking as he does in his imagination ex cathedra as Christ’s vicar on earth. Still waiting for his admission of error in human (eg Galileo’s trial & the atomic bombs) & earth (duration of glaciations, all longer than his supposed ~6000 years since the switch to 100,000 from 40,000 year periodicity) history, clearly not Chris’ best subjects.

  132. The Viscount’s articles are always enjoyable/interesting reads, to me.

    I rarely post. Why? Its a closed subject to me. Beginning with an open mind, I ran the numbers myself, among other things (a few years ago now). The results were clear — the evidence for AGW is a “house of cards”, at best. In summary, a statement I could stake my reputation on is this: “We should not be spending any money or effort to prevent anthropogenic global warming due to human caused carbon dioxide emissions”. Not that anyone but me knows or cares about my reputation.

  133. Always entertaining reading and at the same time a mind expanding vocabulary lesson.

    My only comment on the Lovejoy paper is that the assumption of Gaussian statistics for a chaotic system is highly questionable. It may make for easy calculations, but Levy distributions with multiple parameters are necessary for a proper description of it’s behavior.

    With long tail distributions (Levy), large variations are far more frequent than Gaussian statistics show. This is true for those who imagine a benevolent distribution of weather, rather than the really fractious behavior of Mother Nature.

    The Financial Markets are another area in which Gaussian distributions fail to describe behaviors. Mandelbrot has written extensively about it – his book in 2005, “The Misbehavior of Markets,” having presaged the 2008 market collapse in that it warned of the danger of assuming Gaussian distributions where there were none.

  134. Steven Mosher says:
    April 23, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    LadyLifeGrows says:
    April 23, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    David A says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:22 am

    milodonharlani says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:35 am

    – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Mosher, Monckton, John T., Lady, David A.,

    The are several Christopher Monckton behaviors ( ‘Moncktonisms’) that are very endearing to me and some revolting that are often seen in Monckton’s many and always stimulating guest posts.

    Although the endearing outweigh the revolting by a very large margin, one of the worst is his knee jerk reaction to many long term WUWT commenters that is a grade school boy taunt of them by calling them Trolls.

    On his many very stimulating guest posts here at WUWT he is an odds on favorite in comments to call at least one person a troll.

    His troll labeling of Steven Mosher and milodonharlani (John Tillman) on this thread is all too typical of his troll name calling.

    REQUEST to Christopher Monckton – I ask that you please give us here and now your formal definition for troll and give us your position on the circumstances and justification for using it in polite WUWT dialog.

    John

  135. John Whitman says:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Good question. Better than taunting “troll” & spewing other schoolboy name-calling in knee-jerk reactions to the effrontery of being challenged to back up claims would be actually to respond to questions substantively.

    I too have enjoyed & supported Chris’ work in the past, but he’s now in danger of becoming the Anti-Gore, a buffoon burdening skeptics as Prince Albert does alarmists. While smarter than that puffed up masher, Viscount Chris shares a similar sense of entitlement, resulting in sadly similar behavior. At least Chris isn’t the hypocrite that Al has the shame to be, attaining levels of hypocrisy not recorded since Rodrigo Borgia.

  136. Education & entertainment combined, what more can a reader ask?

    I know you’ll never give a millimetre on your individual style of writing, nor should you.

    At the end of the day, that’s what all this is about: the preservation of individual styles & liberties.
    The resistance to the top down controls so desired by the 1%s pushing this agenda, & their minions. Chicken Little Control Freak Cowards to a mann.

    May your Empire prevail, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley,
    May the Force Be Ever In Your Favour.

    JD.

  137. Meh. Since a discussion of trolling has come up anyway:

    Lord Monckton,

    I regret responding to this earlier with a knee jerk reaction:

    Mr Bofill appears to imply that I did not understand what Professor Lovejoy did. Where I understood what he did, and what he did was scientifically incorrect, I said so and explained why. Where I did not understand what he did, but what he did was plainly at odds with the official story-line, I said so and explained the difference. And what did Mr Bofill do?

    I will endeavor to temper my impulse to fire back thoughtlessly in the future and regret responding so. After the fact, given time to think through your remark, I wish I had responded in this manner:

    Glad to see you in such a fierce temper Lord Monckton. Looking back over my remarks I understand how you could reasonably construe my comment this way. I did not intend my remark to imply criticism of either your understanding or your efforts, both of which I remain grateful for. Give ‘em hell. Best regards.

    Apologies for thread derailing with apologies, so on and so forth.

  138. At least Lovejoy seems to acknowledge the truth that the GCM,s are useless for climate forecasting and that other methods are required. For simple, transparent forecasts of the possible coming cooling based on the natural 60 and 1000 year quasi-periodicities in the temperature data and using the neutron count and 10 Be data as the best proxy for solar “activity” see several posts over the last 18 months at

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    Any forecast which ignores the natural 1000 year quasi- periodicity is really worthless as a basis for discussion.

  139. Lord Monckton responds to my pointing to the differences between mathematics by ignoring the difference. Einstein’s theory was verified in the realm of physics, for a time, by looking through a telescope, but not his mathematics. LM seems not able to understand the differences between the two disciplines.

    To make it simple for LM, Einstein’s math is as correct today as the day he published it. That will be true tomorrow also. But one experiment or observation may falsify Einstein’s theory tomorrow. That’s what happened to Newton’s law of gravity that I cited, but Newton’s math deriving his law is still correct.

    LM also arrogantly characterizes my understanding of science and mathematics without any evidence for his assertion. For his information my PhD was awarded in 1970 by Georgia Tech’s School of Mathematics for work in dynamical systems, a topic in mathematics and physics. For all that program’s deficiencies in turning me out, with LM’s assertion about my education, I was able to understand the difference between physics, an experimental science, and mathematics which isn’t.

    Really, LM, attack what you know, not what you don’t, should you want to be taken seriously.

  140. As far as I can tell, I’m not a troll. Steven Mosher’s observation is entirely correct. A mathematical system based on axioms is not the same as a physical theory expressed in mathematics. The latter could be refuted by empirical observations, the former could not be. The former can be “proved” in the sense that it can be shown to follow logically from the axioms. No physical theory can ever be “proved” in this sense (though a physical theory might conceivably be disproved by showing that it contained a logical inconsistency). His lordship ought to acknowledge this slip, which has little effect on the rest of his argument.

  141. A troll is one who exhibits either no intention to contribute constructively to the discussion or an intention to contribute destructively.

    Mr Mosher is a troll because he regularly pops up, makes calculatedly unhelpful, diversionary, off-topic or spiteful comments and disappears. This time he tried to divert the discussion by irrelevantly and incorrectly stating that the Theorem of Pythagoras applies only in the Euclidean plane – which, even if it had been true – was at best marginally connected with my reason for mentioning Pythagoras in the head posting.

    “Mildewharlani” is a troll because he is routinely snide, arrogant, and impolite, and is prone lazily to cite Jokipedia rather than proper scientific sources, and refuses to acknowledge – or at least discuss – the scientific sources I had cited in support of a position that for some unfathomable reason he finds disagreeable.

    Mr Goodman is a troll because he tries gracelessly to pick nits or split hairs whenever he can, on this occasion whining pointlessly and off topic about an obviously intentional mixed metaphor made in passing in one of my comments.

    By taking a tough line on trolls like these, in recent months I have greatly reduced their number, their frequency, and their propensity to derail these threads. As a result, more and more genuinely interesting – even fascinating – commenters who would otherwise have been driven away by the crudity, viciousness, and sheer irrelevance of the trolls are now participating in ever larger numbers and with ever more intriguing comments, which makes things more entertaining as well as instructive for everyone. That is one reason why the comments in response to these particular threads are consistently numerous. People have come to know that – whatever the merits or otherwise of my head postings – the comment threads will be stimulating, not least because the trolls are not welcome and are dealt with firmly.

    If I have been even more liverish than usual in response to the three trolls who have made the mistake of trying to lower the tone this time, it is because my broken foot is painful and I am confined to barracks at a time of year when I should normally be out in my hill-kilt striding through the budding heather, listening to the cry of the whaup and the song of the lark and rejoicing in the azure air of spring on the high tops, gazing half across the world and, at night, all the way across our quiet corner of the glittering universe.

    The contributions on this thread about the evidence for the Maunder minimum in the wood from which violins of the Stradivari era were made, the generalization of the Pythagorean theorem in three or even four dimensions, the scientific method as applied to mathematical theorems, and the respective merits and applications of Gaussian and Levy distributions, and likewise the questions about whether Jeeves shimmied or shimmered, or about the origin and pronunciation of “timeous”, and Mr Bofill’s charming and exemplary apology, and the commenter who capped my line from Horace with the following line in the original Latin, were all designed to clarify, to edify, to illuminate, and to entertain, and not to disrupt or to destroy. It is contributions like these that we can all welcome and enjoy.

    Set such gems against the snurdy hit-and-run tactics of Mr Mosher, or the furtive, cowardly, persistent rudeness of millstoneharlani, or the grouchy loutishness of Mr Goodman, and you will see why I do not welcome the way they behave. If they are incapable of raising their game and then playing it gracefully, then let them slink away and stand sulking in the corner or go play in someone else’s sandpit.

    As Mao Tse-Tung used to say, in a fine instance of the concise and elegant apophthegm in the form of an analogy which was one of the charming achievements of the classical tradition of imperial China in which he was brought up and which he did so much to destroy, “Let 100 flowers bloom”. But, for all our sakes, let the blooming weeds go somewhere else.

    Finally, for those few who might have been tempted to believe middlebrowharlani’s allegation that I am an “anti-American bigot”, here is the sonnet, Freedom’s Children, with which I ended my address to the 15,000 Tea Party members in North Houston:

    Land of the free, awake! Lone star, arise!
    Texas, to arms! Stand to, United States!
    Now turns the tide that he who stands and waits
    Must miss, by whose inaction freedom dies.
    Home of the brave, though foes about thee rally,
    Old Glory calls new sons to serve thee still.
    Shall these, thy children, lack the might, the will,
    When bugles cry, to answer that Reveille?
    Freedom is not their right: it is the breath
    That each new generation fights to breathe:
    Our founding fathers’ swords we must unsheathe
    To give us liberty or give us death.
    Now we, the people, freedom’s children, we
    Shall stand, must fight, will win! We will be free!

  142. Shaun Lovejoy’s assumption of a “normal distribution” reminded me of several posts by the hydrologist, Demetrios Koutsoyiannis, on this site and on “Climate Audit”.
    As Koutsoyiannis pointed out, the distribution of rainfall, and presumably temperatures, follows a ‘Hurst” distribution rather than a “normal” distribution.

    http://climateaudit.org/2008/07/29/koutsoyiannis-et-al-2008-on-the-credibility-of-climate-predictions/

    As Koutsoyiannis pointed out, anyone who assumes a “normal” distribution of rainfall. or temperatures is going to be surprised by plenty of supposedly “abnormally large” fluctuations.

  143. Chris:

    You wouldn’t bother to read the scientific paper sources upon which the Wiki articles are based. However, if you want, I can produce recent papers on the duration of each & every interglacial since the switch from 40,000 to 100,000 year periodicity. You OTOH have produced & cannot produce a single shred of evidence in support of your baseless assertion that the end of the Holocene is 5000 years overdue. I have provided infinitely more support for my accurate statements than you did in originally making your statement so easily demonstrated false, since you merely asserted this falsehood.

    If you could handle the truth, you’d have found it by now. You could have done as Willis did & checked my statement by looking at graphs of Pleistocene temperature proxies & measuring the duration of each interglacial.

    I didn’t discuss your “source” since it says nothing at all in support of your false claim which I corrected. If you imagine that it does, please quote therefrom. You’re simply dodging rather than admitting error. I find your assertion disagreeable for the good reason that it is false & easily shown so.

    It is actually shocking that you were unaware even of the duration of the Eemian. You could have learned that by reading WUWT. MIS 11 is more relevant, as it’s considered the best model for the Holocene. It lasted 50,000 years.

    Please, as I requested, show all the interglacials which lasted the mere 6400 years which you so wrongly imagine to be the norm. That would support your assertion that the end of the Holocene is overdue by 5000 years. I know you won’t because you can’t.

    John

  144. Monkton Since you are now confined and restless with a broken foot and need something keep you occupied perhaps you would care to comment on the cooling forecasts linked to in my 8:04 post above . The link is http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
    and my statement ” Any forecast which ignores the natural 1000 year quasi- periodicity is really worthless as a basis for discussion.”
    If you still have time on your hands I’m sure all readers would be interested in any forecasts you yourself would make for the coming decades and centuries for comparison purposes.

  145. Chris,

    I’ll help you. Here’s a reference from Steve MacIntyre which defines interglacials in such a way that the two (MISs 7 & 9) between the Hoxnian (MIS 11) & the Eemian (MIS 5) are shorter than the Holocene:

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/01/30/inconvenient-graphic/

    But even by this non-standard definition, the average is still longer than the Holocene, thanks to the 16,000 years of the Eemian & ~50,000 years of MIS 11 (which of course had cooler intervals, if not perhaps comparable to the LIA in T). Happily for humanity, orbital mechanics suggest that the Holocene might most resemble the long, balmy Hoxnian.

    His conclusion, same as mine, however remains valid, ie that Holocene level warmth is unusual in the Pleistocene. But all here already knew that.

  146. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 8:49 am

    A troll is one who exhibits either no intention to contribute constructively to the discussion or an intention to contribute destructively.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Christopher Monckton,

    Thank you for a timely response to my request for your definition of troll. (which is the request I made to you in my comment John Whitman on April 24, 2014 at 7:21 am)

    But, when I go back and look at the sequence and content of comments in this thread, those individuals that you name called as trolls are not seen, prima fascia, to exhibit the essential explicit or implicit characteristics in your definition of troll.

    Please reconsider your mislabeling people trolls in the future based on your own definition of troll.

    Christopher Monckton, do you wish to have my definition of troll? It would give you a view as to why I have stopped virtually all troll labeling.

    John

  147. John Whitman says:
    April 24, 2014 at 9:39 am

    By Chris’ definition, he’s the one who initiated trollish behavior. In my case, I merely pointed out that he was wrong about his unsupported 5000 year assertion, citing the counter example of the Eemian, with which I assumed any poster here would be familiar.

    He then initiated the nastiness in response, to which I replied in kind, possibly upping the ante. Sadly, that is his MO.

  148. John Whitman says:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:21 am
    ——————————————————–
    Hi John, I appreciate the sincerity of your comments. I do think that Mr. Mosher does indeed enter troll territory in, for instance, his comment calling the authors of the NIPCC study regarding the benefits of O2, “clowns, stepping deeper with a comment that would not have been possible had he actually read the detailed referenced report. Steven M further exasperates this with a refusal to discuss reasonable criticisms of his comment.

  149. @Larry Geary says: April 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm
    “the notorious Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, who – within hours…”

    Don’t discount the viscount!
    ====================
    ‘Cos the Lord won’t be floored

  150. Milodonhardoni, this is the first comment I find from you directed to Mr Monckton. “I’m not incorrect, but you are. Indeed laughably so. Obviously you have so little regard for truth that you didn’t even bother to check up on reality. Had you bothered to educate yourself, you’d have discovered immediately how wrong you were.”

    ——————————-
    Perhaps you can show me where you earlier addressed him with respectful disagreement.

  151. David A says:
    April 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Shouldn’t it be obvious that that’s a follow-on comment? Don’t know how you missed the first one:

    milodonharlani says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Eric Worrall says:
    April 23, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    We are not overdue. Most recent interglacials have lasted longer than the current ~11,400 years. The previous one, the Eemian, lasted 16,000 years, for instance. In fact the only recent one shorter than the Holocene to date was an unusual double dip affair.

  152. So what I quoted was your first comment to Mr. Monckton.

    Before you addressed him so rudely, could you show me where he spoke rudely to you?

  153. Sure, but you could find it as easily as I. As I subsequently noted, this is a dodge. Petit doesn’t say we’re 5000 years overdue. Chris asserted that without a shred of evidence:

    Kilometrodonharlani is incorrect to state, on no evidence, that “most recent interlgacials have lasted longer than the current ~11,400 years”. According to the ice-core record (Petit et al., 1999), each of the past four interglacials showed temperatures at least as warm as the present for about half the length of the current warm period. We are indeed overdue for another Ice Age, though we cannot stay when or even whether it will occur because we do not know exactly what triggers Ice Ages. However, according to the ice-core records the transition is more likely than not to be abrupt. At present we are entirely unprepared, which seems imprudent.

  154. Mr Lee continues to maintain that mathematics “is not a topic subject to the scientific method”. By me and others he was given examples of mathematical hypotheses that were, until they were demonstrated, subject to the scientific method, and were demonstrated thanks to its process. However, the more evidence he is given the more he rails against it.

    In mathematics, we usually call a hypothesis that is not yet either proven or disproven a “conjecture”. The strong variant of the Goldbach conjecture, for instance, is that every composite is the mean of two primes (you will not find it more concisely encapsulated anywhere). I suspect that, like the long-outstanding Fermat conjecture eventually demonstrated by Wiles, Goldbach will eventually be demonstrated by mathematical induction.

    Be that as it may, Mr Lee says, “To be subject to the scientific method, the inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence and theories must be falsified when contradicted by experiment. To the contrary, in mathematics, there are no experiments and no realities to falsify theories. Mathematical theories are created from logic and axioms and, as Einstein observed, are certain enough to not refer to reality. In fact the theories refer to models of reality when used for scientific analysis, not reality. … No mathematician looks to the telescope or the microscope to obtain observations to falsify his mathematics.”

    This confused and ill-expressed passage contains several errors. One error is that mathematical conjectures arise solely from the fundamental postulates (which previous generations of mathematicians used to call “axioms”). Conjectures may in fact arise either inductively or deductively; and, these days, not all mathematics appeals back to the fundamental postulates; nor, since Gödel, is it as “certain” as Mr Lee says Einstein held it to be.

    But Mr Lee’s central error lies in the assumption that the method of testing a hypothesis (or, in mathematics, a conjecture) must be experimental and founded in measurement. Not so: it may be empirical but not necessarily experimental in the material sense, and it may also be purely theoretical. Read Popper. The scientific method is not circumscribed by the arbitrary limitations Mr Lee imagines. Read al-Haytham. Its purpose is to search for the truth.

    And, as I have already pointed out, mathematicians did indeed look to the telescope to seek empirical evidence confirming an important aspect of Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Indeed, according to Italy’s most eminent scientist, Prof. Antonino Zichichi, Galilei first posited – or at least prefigured – the theory of special relativity: and it was Galilei who invented the telescope.

    Mr Lee accuses me of telling him he knows nothing about mathematics and science. No: I said he displayed an inadequate knowledge both of the history of science and of the scientific method. And so he does.

    What, then, are the essential elements of the scientific method? First, there must be a general problem in need of a solution. Next, there must be a hypothesis to address that general problem, and the hypothesis must preferably be expressed in mathematical terms to ensure clarity and precision. Then the hypothesis should really be reviewed and published, though Einstein’s relativity theory was not reviewed before it was published and does contain one or two errors of notation.

    Then other scientists must subject the hypothesis to scrutiny, using what al-Haytham called their “hard-won knowledge”. This is what Popper calls the “error-elimination” phase. Then one of three outcomes arises. Rarely, the hypothesis is definitively demonstrated, whereupon (in mathematics) a conjecture becomes a theorem. More commonly, the hypothesis is definitively refuted during the “error-elimination” phase. Once a hypothesis has either been demonstrated or refuted, the scientific method has done its work.

    However, the commonest outcome is that the hypothesis or conjecture is neither demonstrated nor refuted, in which event it gains a measure of credibility in that it has withstood the error-elimination phase, and the general problem is accordingly modified, whereupon the algorithm iterates and the scientific method continues to operate to refine the hypothesis until it is eventually either demonstrated or refuted.

    In this iterative process, there is no restriction at all on the methods that may be used in seeking either to demonstrate or to refute a hypothesis or conjecture. The truth may be sought by whatever methods are available, without limitation. To use the Goldbach conjecture as an example, the conjecture that every composite c is the mean of two primes has been tested empirically to very high values of c without any counter-example having been found. The conjecture has of course gained credibility as a result of its having survived this empirical falsification.

    However, by definition no problem in mathematics or in physics that applies to the natural or to the real numbers up to and including infinity, or to objects whether corporeal or not that are counted or measured by what I shall call the “full set” N or R to contrast it with Ø, the “empty set” (the Fermat and Goldbach conjectures are typical examples of such problems in mathematics), can be definitively decided by empirical methods. In such instances it is absolutely necessary to resort to theory, and the scientific method – in physics as in mathematics – is perforce open to this approach.

    Professor Lovejoy’s characterization of the scientific method in the article that gave rise to the head posting was, therefore, inadequate, as is that of Mr Lee, who presumes to lecture me in unpleasant tones on the distinction between mathematics and the other sciences – a distinction of which his own grasp turns out to be more than somewhat deficient.

  155. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 10:45 am

    None of your comments answer the simple question, upon what do you base your unsupported assertion that the end of the Holocene is overdue by 5000 years?

    I don’t know if it will end in 50, 500, 5000 or 50,000 years, but based upon prior interglacials & current orbital mechanics, what makes you so sure the end is overdue by 5000 years? Why is that question so hard for you to answer? Ignoring it isn’t an answer.

  156. I was not debating interglacial terms or time frames., I asked, could you show me where he spoke rudely to you? (Before you addressed him in the manner I quoted)

  157. David A says:
    April 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I did. “Kilometrodonharlani is incorrect to state, on no evidence,” et seq is it.

    As I said, I might have upped the ante after this unresponsive dust off, being already angry over Chris’ unrepentant slur against the US in general & my dad’s aircrew comrades in particular for allegedly committing an atrocities at Hiroshima & Nagasaki, without mentioning Bomber Commands’ firestorms or genuine atrocities by Japanese forces, let alone the fact of ending the war, saving on the order of a million lives on both sides, quite possibly to include my dad’s. So excuse me if I took it a little personally.

    Chris’ own lack of combat experience contrasts starkly with his dad & grandfather, & ill suits him to pass judgement on American actions which ended the most horrific conflict in history. I’m reminded of a British Foreign Service officer’s assessment of Ambassador Joe Kennedy, “I thought my daffodils were yellow until I met Kennedy.”

  158. His lordship has not really answered the main point pressed by Mr Mosher and Mr Lee. Mathematics is not an empirical science. Special relativity is physics, not mathematics. Physical theories may be refuted by empirical observations whereas mathematical theorems may not. The Pythagorean theorem applies in Euclid, but not in an alternative geometry. To cap it all, if we turn Euclid into a physical theory by predicting: measure any actual triangle and you will find the square of hypotenuse length equals the sum of the squares of the other sides, it is false. Actual physical space, according to Einstein, is non-Euclidean. So Pythagoras is a bit off, because of the curvature of space.

    This does not affect the main thrust of his lordship’s argument, which strikes me as basically correct. But it is presumably admissible to draw attention to minor slips in passing. The subjective intentions of Messrs Mosher and Lee are irrelevant.

  159. Lord Monckton has entered a deliberately obtuse phase in argument in defusing to recognize the differences that make Mathematics not subject to observation or experiment as are sciences like physics. I doubt his misunderstanding can be overcome by what I write so I suggest he might read http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/philosop/method.htm . That article is written at the level of college undergraduate. In part it says:
    “Students and laypersons seldom grasp the difference between mathematics and physics. Since math is the preferred modeling analogy for physics, any physics textbook is richly embellished with equations and mathematical reasoning. Yet to understand physics we must realize that math is not a science, and science is not merely mathematics.
    In the early history of science, mathematics was considered a “science of measurement”, and was supported because of its practical applications in land measurement, commerce, navigation, etc. But those who did math discovered that mathematics was a branch of logic, and certain important results (such as the Pythagorean theorem of right triangles) could be arrived at by purely logical means without recourse to experiment. ”

    I hope that explanation is sufficient for LM.

    LM seems to want to transcribe my word so that he can argue against straw-men of his making. So, when he claims “But Mr Lee’s central error lies in the assumption that the method of testing a hypothesis (or, in mathematics, a conjecture) must be experimental and founded in measurement,” he must know I wrote no such thing. In fact Einstein said that a hundred experiments wouldn’t prove him right, one could prove him wrong. What I did write is that science is falsifiable through experiment and observation and math is not.

    LM has also spoken falsely in saying “Mr Lee accuses me of telling him he knows nothing about mathematics and science.” What I did write is available above and everyone should be able to judge LM’s truthfulness for himself.

    All in all LM understanding of math and science seems poor in interchange here.

  160. milodonharlani says:
    April 24, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Thank you sir. I accepted LM answer with regard to what he meant concerning the atrocities of war as reasonable and worthy of respectful conversation. ( My personal view is that the atomic drop likely saved lives, but was a very difficult decision and I am glad I did not have to make it. Even if I had made that decision, I would feel that I was committing an atrocity, and have deep regret concerning all the innocent lives lost

  161. David A says:
    April 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    You are welcome. I should have put quotation marks around my citation of Chris’ response to my first comment.

    The decision wasn’t hard for Truman, given that cities around the world had already been burned to the ground with their civilian citizens in them. The only difference was a single bomb could now do damage comparable to many blast & incendiary devices. Truman had estimates of a million US casualties (not fatalities) alone, without counting Japanese military & civilian losses & allied military. Not to mention the American prisoners sure to die. He made the right choice. War is atrocious. Ending the worst one of all by making it too horrible to continue it was a good thing.

  162. Much discussion here on the bell curve or the normal distribution. In my experience, much natural phenomena have a log-normal distribution which has a much greater probability of higher values occurring naturally. Normal distributions are nice, but not natural.

  163. DirkH says:
    April 23, 2014 at 2:52 pm
    SasjaLr says:
    April 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm
    “Arrhenius was also wrong in other fields of science. As co-founder of the Race Biological Institute in Uppsala, Sweden, he was part of the work* that become the foundation of the German NSDAP’s** race hygiene in the first half of the 1900′s.”

    Eugenics was invented by Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton, and cornerstone of the ideology of the American Progressive Socialists (todays American “liberals”). Hitler admired the USA and FDR for his centrally controlled economy. Section 4 (I think) of Mein Kampf speaks in glowing terms of the USA as the most successful Germanic country in the world. (One of the reasons that Germans are not allowed to read it).

    So that’s the more likely route the Nazis got the Eugenics from; emulating America. Whether Arrhenius’ work influenced him is questionable; Eugenics was wildly accepted; John Maynard Keynes, for instance, was president of the Eugenics society for a time. George Bernard Shaw was a member as well.
    ================================================================

    The Fabians were Eugenicists. H.G. Wells thought that useless people should be culled. Note, that the Fabians were second generation socialists; the Labour Party in the UK originated from the Methodism of ordinary working people, and then got annexed by the Fabian intellectuals; rather in the same way that New Labour usurped what went before it. North London is where this cesspit is, and always has been

  164. DirkH says:
    April 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    That being said, if your media is as trustworthy as the German… maybe just conjecture dressed up as fact.
    ========================================================
    The MSM is utterly untrustworthy and as much a part of the problem as the political classes.

  165. Mr Steele says I have not really answered the point that “mathematics is not an empirical science … Physical theories may be refuted by empirical observations, whereas mathematical theorems may not.”

    That was not the point at issue. The point at issue was whether the scientific method was applicable to mathematical conjectures as it is to physical hypotheses. By definition, it is applicable to both. Read Popper. Read some of the examples given in this thread.

    Nor is it a precise use of language to say that “mathematics is not an empirical science”. In the ancient universities, mathematics is treated as an art, rather than as a science.

    And it is, for instance, possible to refute a mathematical conjecture empirically with a single counter-example, so that it is incorrect to say that mathematical conjectures may not be refuted by empirical methods. There are some famous examples of this in the history of mathematics. Read W.W. Rouse Ball.

    It is, of course, trivially true to say that mathematical theorems may not be refuted by empirical methods, or indeed by any methods, for they are already definitively proven and, so long as the demonstration was sound, they are by definition irrefutable.

    Mr Steele may of course be forgiven for not having read a whole thread in which some 200 contributions have appeared, many of them substantial: but earlier in this thread I pointed out that the Pythagorean theorem applies not only in the Euclidean plane but also in the hyperbolic plane (it is quite easy to demonstrate this on the unit Poincare disk).

    I also pointed out that the theorem potentially holds absolutely, under some variant conditions. So Mr Steele is incorrect to say the Pythagorean theorem applies only in the Euclidean plane.

    In any event, it was entirely irrelevant to the head posting whether the Pythagorean theorem is applicable to other planes: for my demonstration of the theorem (which I dare not claim is original, for so many proofs are in existence and it is likely that someone else has already found it) was in the Euclidean plane.

    Nor is Mr Steele right to introduce a quibble about whether the Euclidean plane exists in the real universe owing to the deformation of space in the presence of matter and, consequently, of gravity. My point was a simple one: that the scientific method applies just as much to any yet-undetermined conjecture in mathematics as it applies to any yet-undetermined hypothesis in physics. Once a conjecture or a hypothesis is determined by demonstration or refutation, the scientific method ceases to apply to it, but until then it applies as a process just as much to mathematics as to the physical sciences.

    Mr Steele is also incorrect to say the subjective intentions of trolls are irrelevant. Of course their subjective intentions are irrelevant to any genuine argument they may deploy, for their arguments stand or fall on their merits, such as they may be.

    However, as a close observer of this and some other blogs on both sides of the debate, I have often seen willful, systematic, and surprisingly successful attempts by trolls deliberately to sow confusion and despondency, and to sneer at those who disagree with the Party Line, and to denigrate their reputations, and to disrupt what could otherwise be useful conversations on these threads.

    I also have evidence that some of this activity is paid-for (no names, no pack-drill), and that a very great deal of money has been devoted to fostering this sort of deliberate disruption. To this extent, the intentions of paid trolls to cause maximum dissension and disruption are, of course, highly relevant.

    The simplest way to deal with trolls, whether paid or unpaid, whether active and paid Climate Nazis [(C) Roy Spencer] or mere useful idiots [(C) Vladimir I. Ulyanov], is to answer them firmly, and go on doing so until, one by one, they give up. Just at present I am not in a charitable mood, so the trolls are being dealt with even more firmly than usual.

  166. Mr Lee persists in trying to divert attention from what I said to what he wishes I had said. I had not at any stage said or implied that mathematics and science are the same. I had said, correctly, that the scientific method is applicable to both.

  167. jauntycyclist says:
    April 24, 2014 at 12:28 am
    at look at climate science
    ====================
    “climate science is manifestly a contradictory term”. Sadly, for science

  168. Meanderonharlani pays not the slightest attention to any answer uncongenial to his world-view, and bangs on again and again about my allegedly improper concern for the victims of the Allied bombing of Hiroshima. His silly accusations are answered in detail upthread.

  169. Hiff: Lord Monckton’s blather and erudition is ambrosia, and I drink it in. For all those that cannot enjoy (or even fathom his intellect); get a life!.

    Same here. However, I am already in his choir, so I love it when he is “preaching to the choir”. He is as effective as the “End of Days” guys. However, if passersby are not already in the choir, and they pass by his rants and listen, I fear they’ll decide he’s a crank, and not join the choir. So, …, half of me loves his writing as it is, but half of me wishes he would express more interested in the undecided factions of this debate.

  170. Dr Norman Page: At least Lovejoy seems to acknowledge the truth that the GCM,s are useless for climate forecasting and that other methods are required.

    I agree that is an important step forward, and it should not be overlooked.

  171. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    You answered nothing. My pointing out that interglacials do not average 6400 years has nothing to do with my world view, except that I support valid scientific conclusions even when not supportive of my positions.

    It’s a flat out lie that my objection to your false, baseless assertion has anything at all to do with my “worldview”, other than for science. As is your further baseless assertion that you answered my question. Maybe you have convinced yourself that I pointed out your error out of some agenda other than a desire to present the facts, but that is manifestly not the case.

    Why can’t you simply state what convinces you that the end of the current interglacial is overdue? Because you are incapable ever of admitting error, as with the trial of Galileo & your atrocious calumny against America.

    Try being a man for a change. You can’t practice science without being able to support your view & admit error when you can’t.

  172. Mr Lee says I mischaracterized an upthread argument of his when I wrote, with respect to the scientific method, “But Mr Lee’s central error lies in the assumption that the method of testing a hypothesis (or, in mathematics, a conjecture) must be experimental and founded in measurement.”

    What Mr Lee had actually said upthread was: “To be subject to the scientific method, the inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence and theories must be falsified when contradicted by experiment.”

  173. Mr Lee says I “spoke falsely” in having said he had accused me upthread of telling him he knew nothing about mathematics and science.

    He had actually said upthread: “LM also arrogantly characterizes my understanding of science and mathematics without any evidence for his assertion.” In context “characterizes” meant “challenges”.

  174. Monckton of Brenchley: If I have been even more liverish than usual in response to the three trolls who have made the mistake of trying to lower the tone this time, it is because my broken foot is painful and I am confined to barracks at a time of year when I should normally be out in my hill-kilt striding through the budding heather, listening to the cry of the whaup and the song of the lark and rejoicing in the azure air of spring on the high tops, gazing half across the world and, at night, all the way across our quiet corner of the glittering universe.

    I am sorry to hear that. Get well soon.

    I was going to complain (” nit pick”) about your inventive plays on “milodonharlani”, but now that I know it isn’t his real name I enjoy them more.

    The sentence does kind of run on, though, like one of those long Homeric sentences where the beginning has an opposite tone to the end.

    Keep up the good work. I look forward to your next.

  175. Lord Monckton’s latest straw-man is to claim he has distinguished math and science all along while claiming both are subject to the scientific method. Yet, to refute my contention that math is not falsifiable by experiment or observation, a key component of this method, every example he gave was in science, not mathematics. Now, having realized how absurd and dishonest his arguments have become, he claims I’ve changed his statements.

    Mathematics is distinct from science in part because it is not subject to falsification by experiment or observation. That LM continues to hold that it is shows a real gap in his math education.

  176. Philip Lee says:
    April 24, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Chrisikins wins the Miss Uncongeniality to Reality consolation prize.

    Sorry about the foot though.

  177. jeremyp99 says:
    April 24, 2014 at 10:00 am
    @Larry Geary says: April 23, 2014 at 12:53 pm
    “the notorious Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, who – within hours…”

    Don’t discount the viscount!
    ====================
    ‘Cos the Lord won’t be floored

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Interestingly, I did have a little chuckle to myself when I had the great pleasure of seeing Viscount Monckton speak at Sacramento State University a couple (?) of years ago. The young aspiring politico who introduced him did actually pronounce “Viscount” like “discount”.

    I guess they never had too many Viscounts in California, either the human version, or the aircraft.

    …. and while I’m here, why, in 2014, would any Professor anywhere feel the need to publish such a pathetic POS paper? Just taking a bigger picture view. The actual data doesn’t speak for itself, does it, 30 years of BS and 50% (logarithmically speaking) into a doubling of CO2?

    This parrot is deceased. It is a late parrot !!!!

  178. David Ramsay Steele: His lordship has not really answered the main point pressed by Mr Mosher and Mr Lee.

    fwiw (usually not much, but maybe others agree with me this time), I thought that Mr Mosher and Mr Lee wrote vaguely, in need of interpretation; given their vagueness, I think His Lordship’s rebuttals are pertinent. I don’t agree that Mr Mosher and Mr Lee are trolls, but really nobody cares for my opinion on that. Lord Monckton made his case to his satisfaction.

    Someone else up above wrote it approximately this way: in mathematics you can prove that results follow from assumptions, or don’t follow from assumptions, or in some cases are not even decidable. But given a mathematical expression, you can not literally prove that nature acts that way. You have to test many ways, and accept that the expression fits actual data within some approximation error (or, as with GCMs, that the approximation error is so great that the mathematical result is useless.).

  179. Muddlemharlani continues to whine about my passing reference, in a comment, to the notion that we are 5000 years overdue for the next Ice Age. I said that the current interglacial had endured for 11,400 years [at or above today’s temperatures]. The three previous interglacials, according to the reference I gave, had endured at or above today’s temperatures for 9000, 5000 and 8000 years respectively, an average of 7300 years. On that basis, we are around 4000 years overdue for temperatures to start heading south.

    The intervals between the peak temperature of each of the four past interglacials and the beginning of the precipitous drop that marks the end of each interglacial are 5000, 3000, 2000 and 7000 years respectively, an average of 4000 years, while the peak of the current interglacial was 9500 years ago, indicating that we are 5500 years overdue for the next ice age.

    It seems to me that, given this evidence from the ice cores, it was not unreasonable to conclude that we are 5000 years overdue for another ice age. And I adduced one of many possible papers in the literature that has explicitly considered the question why the overdue ice age has not yet occurred.

    As I said earlier, no doubt there are papers that disagree with the ice cores, in which event there is a conflict of testimony, mouldiharlani is entitled to his view and I am entitled to mine. But in these circumstances it is plainly inappropriate for him petulantly to shriek, troll-like, over and over and over again, that I am wrong. Time to grow up, mate.

  180. jauntycyclist says:
    April 24, 2014 at 2:05 am

    so when people say ‘you are not a climate scientist’ which bit of unscientific thinking is that?
    Do i need to be a mechanical engineer to say the car won’t start? Or a chemist to say the milk is off? should probability phds be the only ones allowed to play the lottery or cross the road?
    ————————————-
    You can always try:

    Who is to be the judge of skill?
    Presumably, either the expert, or the nonexpert.
    But it cannot be the nonexpert, for he does not know what constitutes skill (otherwise he would be an expert).
    Nor can it be the expert, becuase that would make him a party to the dispute, and hence untrustwworthy to be a judge in his own case.
    Therefore nobody can be the judge of skills.

    -Sextus Empiricus, Against the Logicians, p29-31 (Loeb, Trans R.G. Bury)

    And if that dsoesn’t work: CAGW is a hypothesis. A hypothesis isn’t a sound basis for an argument from expert opinion.

  181. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Glad to see you grow up enough at least to try to respond, for which I thank you. But I can see why you were so reluctant, since you’re plainly wrong.

    “The three previous interglacials, according to the reference I gave, had endured at or above today’s temperatures for 9000, 5000 and 8000 years respectively, an average of 7300 years. On that basis, we are around 4000 years overdue for temperatures to start heading south.”

    This conclusion is unwarranted. We aren’t overdue, even on the basis of this way of looking at interglacials because they vary so much. You also conveniently overlook the longest one, which is also the one our current interglacial most resembles in terms Milankovitch parameters, MIS 11. Two of those you cite (MIS 7 & 9) were unusually short, in one case because it was the double dip I cited, while MIS 5 is of course the Eemian, longer & warmer than the Holocene.

    “The intervals between the peak temperature of each of the four past interglacials and the beginning of the precipitous drop that marks the end of each interglacial are 5000, 3000, 2000 and 7000 years respectively, an average of 4000 years, while the peak of the current interglacial was 9500 years ago, indicating that we are 5500 years overdue for the next ice age.”

    As noted, they all have different patterns, but peak warmth is usually early on. The Holocene had a lengthy Optimum, so it’s hard to say when during its thousands of years was the hottest.

    Maybe your conclusion was “not unwarranted” based upon ice cores, but that’s hardly the same as the bold, unadorned assertion you made. Students of interglacials compare them based upon orbital mechanics, insolation & other objective parameters, not an average of the three most recent ones, which in any case is an insufficient number given the length of the record & variations in orbital mechanics.

    So on these bases, I’d say that a verdict of “wrong” is abundantly warranted. Calling me a troll & refusing to discuss the issue was IMO equally unjustified. You may think your statement was not very relevant to your argument & in passing, but it seemed more important than that to me. If wanting you to justify your position on a scientific basis is trolling, then how dare anyone ever question you?

    But thanks for your response, however belated. It beats simply being dismissed & called names. I apologize for being nastier than possibly necessary to encourage the courtesy of a reply on an issue which seems relevant to me.

    Hope you mend soon & are able to enjoy the heather in the finest Holocene weather, long may it wave.

  182. Mr Lee, who does not know how to quit when he’s behind, continues to suggest, on no evidence whatsoever, that I had said or implied that math and science are the same thing. A logician of my experience, famous for exercising care in the choice and definition of terms, would hardly do anything so daft, and it is silly of Mr Lee to pretend I did.

    Next, he makes the startling and manifestly false statement that I had given examples from science only, and not from mathematics, to show that mathematical conjectures, just like physical hypotheses, are sometimes falsifiable empirically.

    Sigh! I began with Pythagoras’ Theorem (applied mathematics in a physical plane); I discussed the Wiles theorem (pure mathematics), explaining that a single counter-example empirically discovered would have been sufficient to overthrow what was for 350 years a conjecture; I mentioned the Goldbach conjecture (pure mathematics), explaining that a single empirically-discovered counter-example would be sufficient to falsify the conjecture, which remains a conjecture to this day; and, finally, I referred Mr Lee to W.W. Rouse Ball for many further conjectures (all of them in pure mathematics: there’s an interesting one by Fermat concerning the Mersenne primes) that were overthrown when a single counter-example was empirically discovered.

    It is really not very adult of Mr Lee to go on shouting that conjectures in mathematics are not capable of empirical falsification and that my math education is lacking, when I am able to produce all these examples from mathematics, and he is not able even to recognize that they are from mathematics rather than from the physical sciences.

    As many other trolls here have found out to their cost, it is unwise of him to assume that he knows more math than I do because he has a doctorate in whatever he has a doctorate in and I have a Cambridge Masters in, among other things, the early history and philosophy of mathematics and science.

    One concludes that Mr Lee is either incapable of reading or incapable of comprehending what he reads or incapable of telling the truth, or perhaps all three. He is certainly incapable of keeping a civil tongue in his head, which is why I have dealt with him rather more severely than I should normally do, though far less severely than his combined arrogance, ignorance and dishonesty deserve.

    In my previous two short comments about his attempted dishonesties, I did not, as he now asserts, claim he had changed what I had said. I simply showed what had been said upthread together with what Mr Lee had said had been said upthread. I left it to readers to decide for themselves whether Mr Lee was telling the truth.

    Since he now invites comment on the matter by being unwise enough to raise it again, on both the occasions I highlighted – one in each of two previous short and pointed postings – he was manifestly not telling the truth, as is painfully evident to all who have read the telling side-by-side comparisons I provided. Checkmate, one feels.

  183. My objection to LM’s paper at the top began with his objection to: ‘Next, the Professor says that in the scientific method “no theory ever can be proven beyond ‘reasonable doubt’”. ‘ Without re-fighting my original objection to his switch from science to math to “correct” the professor, let me note that LM cited Popper several times in his arguments with me. So, I know LM will be pleased to see me note that Popper held “A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified . . . ” see http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-4072388266 and many other places.

    So, Popper, who LM cites against my arguments, agrees more with the professor than does LM.

  184. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    Not that I consider advanced degrees dispositive, but I’d point out that Oxbridge & Dublin MAs aren’t awarded in the same way as in other universities in the world. An applicant supplicates for promotion from BA to MA after seven years, unless the process has changed since when I was up.

    IMO there’s nothing wrong with this system, as it recognizes continued work in the relevant field. In your case, the Eternity Puzzle certainly qualifies, although it came along more than seven years after your leaving Cambridge.

    IMO what matters is what a disputant can support by evidence & reason, not based upon an argument from authority, as you have so well expressed in the past.

  185. Millipedeharlani continues to whine, this time to the effect that I had not previously answered his assertion that I had been incorrect to make what was a passing reference to our being 5000 years overdue for a new Ice Age. I had of course referred him over and over again to Petit et al., 1999, and had outlined what the relevant graph showed. He had nevertheless continued to shriek that I was wrong, rather than reading the paper, and to do so in the most inappropriately impolite terms.

    He now realizes I was largely justified in what I said, and is reduced to picking nits to the effect that we don’t know when the Holocene climate optimum was. Well, Petit shows it as having been about 9500 years ago, and nearly all reconstructions show that there was considerably greater warmth than today between 6000 and 10,000 years ago.

    And it is no good his wittering on about how long the Eemian interglacial was, because I had made it plain from the outset that I was dating the interglacials not from the glacial minima but from the onset of temperatures at or above today’s – i.e., 11,400-11,700 years ago. The Eemian interglacial, like it or not, did not endure anything like that long at or above today’s temperatures. My reason for this choice of measurement was that if temperatures start to fall precipitately below today’s, which is what has happened in each of the past four interglacials, billions will die, for we are entirely unprepared.

    And, contrary to what he says, the normal pattern in recent interglacials is for temperature to fall sharply following the interglacial maximum temperature. The present interglacial is in this as in many other respects untypical.

    Be that as it may, it was thoroughly discourteous of muddlefuddleharlani to attack me for being wrong when he had not bothered to check the references I gave. The best he can now maintain is that the authorities are divided on the matter, but that of course allows me the freedom to rely on the ice cores rather than on the less satisfactory reconstructions that are available.

    We do not really know what triggers interglacials: new theories come along every minute. But of all the potentially catastrophic threats Man faces, from asteroids via supervolcanoes or Canary-Island land-slips and megatsunamis to self-inflicted nuclear holocaust, potentially the most damaging is the onset of another Ice Age. And all the steps we are taking to try to make global warming go away are exactly the wrong steps to be taking as we prepare for the next Ice Age.

    Let us hope that the Maunder Minimum – a 70-year drop-off in solar activity unprecedented in the entire Holocene (Solanki et al., 2005) – was not the first flicker of a hitherto-unsuspected cycle of solar decline that will drive us – perhaps even in our own lifetimes – into the next Ice Age.

  186. LM continues to fail in distinguishing math and science. Math is logic and counter examples are used in math, but what LM fails to understand is that no theorem properly derived in math is overthrown by experiment or observation. The same isn’t true in physics.

    Basically, mathematics isn’t subject to the scientific method no matter how LM wishes to insult me, twist his arguments or make vague references to authorities such as Popper which LM appears to not understand either.

    Of course, LM could cite a modern mathematician talking how they are conducting experiments to refute a math theorem — not some unproved conjecture.

  187. Mr Lee continues to wade ever further out of his depth. He crows that Popper said that in the empirical sciences a theory can never be proven, though it can be disproven. That, of course, is central to the Popperian notion of the scientific method, which – in the absence of definitive proof – proceeds by attempted falsification in accordance with the algorithm that I had already described in some detail upthread.

    But what Professor Lovejoy had said is that no theory in the physical sciences can be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”. That is not the same thing as definitive proof. It is of course possible to demonstrate various matters in physics beyond reasonable doubt, though, as Professor Lewin used to say, every result in physics is based on measurement, and every measurement is subject to some uncertainty, so every result in physics – if only for this reason – is subject to some uncertainty.

    And it is possible, albeit rarely, to reach what is all but indistinguishable from definitive demonstration even in the empirical sciences, in those areas where theory and mathematics can be brought to bear. For instance, Stefan determined the fundamental equation of radiative transfer empirically, but his Austrian pupil Ludwig Boltzmann was able to demonstrate it quasi-definitively by reference to Planck’s blackbody law. Likewise, the Clausius-Clapeyron relation is quasi-definitively demonstrated (though the IPCC scandalously misapplies it).

    These and many other results in physics are indeed demonstrated “beyond reasonable doubt”.

  188. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Being scientific is not whining.

    You were not largely right. The paper was a totally insufficient basis upon which to reach the conclusion you did. How can you cherry pick three out of so many interglacials & claim we’re overdue based upon the average of such a small & specifically unrepresentative & relevant sample? You left out the fourth most recent one, the peak warmth of which occurred tens of thousands of years before its end. What does that do to your average? As a student of statistics, I’d have thought the problem with your methodology would have been obvious.

    I did check your reference & found in it no basis for your conclusion. That’s why I wanted an explanation of how you could have reached this conclusion, when it ignores MISs 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, etc.

    The whining & whinging is your continued obfuscating & distracting from the simple main point. There is no valid statistical or physical basis for claiming that the end of the Holocene is overdue. As I’ve repeatedly observed apparently without your grasping this salient fact, the Holocene’s orbital mechanics most resemble MIS 11, which means the Holocene very well could last tens of thousands of years more. Or it might not, since the correspondence isn’t 100% & other factors might enter in anyway. But what you are most certainly unjustified to assert is that we are overdue.

    I share your concern that we might be descending into another Maunder or even just Dalton Minimum. The ~3000 year trend in global T is down, with each warm period peak & cool period trough lower than the preceding since at least the inaptly named Minoan Warm Period, if not indeed the Holocene Optimum, which ended about 5000 years ago. The East Antarctic Ice Sheet quit retreating three millennia ago.

    This is why I think the Holocene is not going to be a repeat of the Hoxnian (to use the British appellation for MIS 11), but there are important arguments against this pessimistic (for humanity) conjecture of mine. For starters, some Milankovitch parameters argue against it. No one is sure however which orbital mechanical parameter will rule, along with other factors.

    But the upshot is, your methodology for concluding that the end of the Holocene is overdue is not even shoddy. It’s completely inadequate, hence you were “wrong”. All you had to do to recognize this fact is factor just one more interglacial into your average, the one that happens to be the most relevant, as I kept trying to help you to realize.

  189. Mathematics of Reality Mathematics versus Reality

    Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)

    John

  190. Mr Lee has now been brought to the point where he recognizes that the example conjectures that I had cited as having been refuted by the empirical identification of counter-examples were mathematical conjectures and not science conjectures, as he had previously and either ignorantly or mendaciously asserted. Strike one.

    He now accepts that “counter-examples are used in math”. Strike two.

    And he now also accepts that a single counter-example can refute a conjecture by contradiction. Strike three. Inch by inch, he progresses towards a working knowledge of the elementary philosophy of science.

    However, his ignorance of mathematics is so profound that he is unaware that the search for counter-examples of a conjecture is by definition an empirical process. One can even use experimental equipment – the obvious example being the calculating-engine, or computer – to assist in the search.

    Indeed, some modern proofs in mathematics – the demonstration of the four-color theorem being a good example – depend for their success on considering all possible relevant conformations of a network by an exhaustive empirical search by computer.

    Anyone sufficiently well versed in modern mathematical developments would know this, and would also know that a lively debate rages between the purists, who would prefer an entirely inductive or deductive process of demonstration, and the modernists, who are prepared to use brute-force empirical methods in an attempt to prove or to disprove a theorem.

    But, as I have already tried to explain to the wilfully obtuse Mr Lee, whether the method of settling a conjecture in math or a hypothesis in physics is empirical or theoretical the scientific method is applicable to both disciplines. The iterative algorithm that he will find in Popper, GP  TT  EE  GP …, is manifestly and by its definition and its nature as applicable to conjectures in mathematics as it is to hypotheses in the physical sciences. I have given plenty of examples from early and from modern mathematics.

    In mathematics, there is a better chance of terminating the algorithm with a proof or disproof than in the physical sciences, and many proofs in mathematics are more definitive than in the physical sciences, but in both disciplines the possibility of proof beyond reasonable doubt exists, and the iterative process of speculation and falsification and the crabwise accumulation of knowledge in the hope of attaining or refining such a proof are very much the same for the one as for the other.

  191. Mathematics is applied reasoning about something that is physical.

    The physical things it reasons about are: ‘quantities of things'; their ‘measurement validation process’; and ‘relations between quantities of things’.

    Mathematics is systematically applied and integrated into a body of knowledge.

    Therefore mathematics is a physical science. And it is as much of a physical science as is physics and is just as physical as any physics proposition.

    The notion of mathematics as an abstract or ‘ideal’ science is a kind of Platonic imagery.

    The notion of mathematics as an art is valid in some very limit respect as it is valid in some very limited respect that physics is an art.

    John

  192. Miaowmiawoharlani, in his routinely discourteous fashion, continues to perpetrate the elementary high-school errors for which he is becoming notorious. He says, for instance, that I “cherry-picked” three interglacials. No, I took the most recent three, for the following reasons:

    1. The most recent interglacials are more likely to indicate what is likely to happen today than earlier interglacials.

    2. The resolution of the ice-cores is better for the recent than for the earlier interglacials, and the problems of both resolution and gas diffusion are less severe.

    3. The astronomical conditions are likely to be closer to today’s conditions than in earlier periods.

    4. The conformation of the continents, the distribution of ice sheets and other terrestrial factors are likely to be closer to today’s conditions than in earlier periods.

    5. The second of my two tests would be little affected by the inclusion of the fourth interglacial, but the resolution in that part of the data was very poor and the record was incomplete.

    And let us put this in perspective, something that mumblebumbleharlani is not good at. I made a single, glancing reference to our being 5000 years overdue for a descent into the next ice age. I did so on the basis of my knowledge of the ice-core data, for which Petit et al. is an important original source. And that paper provides more than enough evidence to justify what was no more than polite support for a point made by a commenter.

    For heaven’s sake, do try to keep things in proportion. You’ve already been called out by other commenters for having been gratuitously, disproportionately impolite. Iif you’re obsessed with previous interglacials, write a scientific paper about them rather than blubbing and sniveling here. More perspective, more science, more courtesy, and less prejudice, please.

  193. Mr Whitman makes an interesting point about applied mathematics being a physical science. At the very least, it is the lingua franca of the physical sciences. Of course, there is pure mathematics too – perhaps the highest exercise of the human intellect.

  194. Monckton of Brenchley: But what Professor Lovejoy had said is that no theory in the physical sciences can be proven “beyond reasonable doubt”. That is not the same thing as definitive proof. It is of course possible to demonstrate various matters in physics beyond reasonable doubt, though, as Professor Lewin used to say, every result in physics is based on measurement, and every measurement is subject to some uncertainty, so every result in physics – if only for this reason – is subject to some uncertainty.

    That is astute. I had missed the significance of the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt”. I think it has been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that Newton’s laws with his gravitational law are really, really accurate, as they have been successfully relied upon in the guidance of interplanetary probes and circumnavigating satellites. By the late 19th century it was known that the tiny inaccuracy in the model of the precession of the perihelion of Mercury was beyond measurement error (what we now call “statistically significant”), and then Einstein’s model produced a much smaller approximation error (and without a consistent bias, if I remember aright.)

    I think that it has been demonstrated “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the bias in the GCM models of global mean temperature render them useless for policy and planning purposes.

  195. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    “1. The most recent interglacials are more likely to indicate what is likely to happen today than earlier interglacials.”

    You can’t be serious. Do you really believe this? The three most recent interglacials are less likely to indicate what is going to happen. In case you haven’t noticed, glacial cycles are largely under orbital mechanical control, which varies in such a way that the more recent configurations are less likely to be applicable. That’s why those who study them for a living know that MIS 11, the one you so studiously avoided, is a better simulacrum than the Eemian, or especially the two unusual interglacials that preceded it.

    “2. The resolution of the ice-cores is better for the recent than for the earlier interglacials, and the problems of both resolution and gas diffusion are less severe.”

    The resolution can’t possibly be so much better for MIS 9 than MIS 11 to make up for such a huge difference in duration.

    “3. The astronomical conditions are likely to be closer to today’s conditions than in earlier periods.”

    Wrong, as even you should know. Solar output gains only about one percent per 110 million years, & the grand orbital mechanical arrangements repeat on long cycles.

    “4. The conformation of the continents, the distribution of ice sheets and other terrestrial factors are likely to be closer to today’s conditions than in earlier periods.”

    The continents have not moved significantly over the past million years. Glaciations have varied in extent based largely upon the very orbital mechanical parameters that now have come around so that the Holocene more resembles the Hoxnian than MIS 7 or 9.

    “5. The second of my two tests would be little affected by the inclusion of the fourth interglacial, but the resolution in that part of the data was very poor and the record was incomplete.”

    MIS 11 record is just about as good as for MIS 9. Try to find a reputable source which hasn’t shown that the Hoxnian was very long.

    “And let us put this in perspective, something that mumblebumbleharlani is not good at. I made a single, glancing reference to our being 5000 years overdue for a descent into the next ice age. I did so on the basis of my knowledge of the ice-core data, for which Petit et al. is an important original source. And that paper provides more than enough evidence to justify what was no more than polite support for a point made by a commenter.”

    No, it doesn’t. The mere fact that adding one more interglacial completely changes the average should show you that.

    “For heaven’s sake, do try to keep things in proportion. You’ve already been called out by other commenters for having been gratuitously, disproportionately impolite. Iif you’re obsessed with previous interglacials, write a scientific paper about them rather than blubbing and sniveling here. More perspective, more science, more courtesy, and less prejudice, please.”

    As you have been. Frequently. You could definitely do with more science & courtesy & less prejudice. Can you possibly be this unaware of your own behavior. I know that like Madonna & Lady Gaga your schtick is self-promotion by outrageousness, but that doesn’t play well on a science blog, although it has its place in public performances.

  196. LM’s claims about what I’ve said are being twisted by him faster than I can respond. So, let me note, for now, his new claim: “It is of course possible to demonstrate various matters in physics beyond reasonable doubt,” With this statement LM has just left the realm of physics for that of religion. Even LM’s cited Popper would not agree with this one. Perhaps I should be kind and just believe LM is again confusing math with physics, but he claims not.

    Physics is no more beyond “reasonable doubt” today than it was in Newton’s day and every part of it is a vulnerable to being cast aside by measurement or observation as Newton’s law of gravity.

    LM and Whitman are wrong that applied mathematics is a science. Though many physicists like to think they are mathematicians it depends on the rigor of their mathematics whether they are. The only difference between pure and applied mathematics is the source of the problem attacked.

  197. milodonharlani says:
    April 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm
    The three most recent interglacials are less likely to indicate what is going to happen.
    ============
    nonsense.

  198. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm
    in both disciplines the possibility of proof beyond reasonable doubt exists
    =============
    correct. absolute proof remains a problem in an infinite universe. beyond reasonable doubt depends on how reasonable your doubts are.

  199. ferdberple says:
    April 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Nope. Your assertion is obvious nonsense.

    The glacial cycles are largely under Milankovitch cycle control. That means that cycles of 21,000, 26,000, 41,000 & ~100,000 years, plus insolation, will align in similar configurations only on longer time scales. The more recent past will thus be less likely to resemble progression of each factor into the future. Guaranteed. I would have thought that this was obvious. If you imagine otherwise, please explain why.

    Bear in mind that professional students of Milankovitch cycles have found that MIS 11 more closely resembles the Holocene than the do the previous three interglacials. But if proximity in time counts, then the Eemian should rule, & it lasted 5000 years longer than has the Holocene to date.

    Besides which is the issue that other proxies besides ice core data are available which confirm the length of the most apropos prior interglacial, the Hoxnian.

    Chris apparently thinks that paleoclimatology isn’t important, for some reason, but IMO showing the natural variability of climate is key to gutting CACA.

    I look forward to your explanation as to why the three most recent interglacials count but MIS 11 doesn’t.

    All Chris had to do was make a similar statement instead of calling me a troll because I happened to know more about the topic than he does. Were he really interested in science, the exchange would have gone like this: I say, “The end of the Holocene is not overdue. Look at the Eemian”. Then, instead of calling me names & a troll, he would have asked, “My arithmetic based on this paper says it is. Granted the Eemian lasted longer, but look at the previous two interglacials”. Then I would have replied, “The most relevant interglacial is MIS 11, which most closely reproduces the orbital mechanics of the Holocene, plus there are other proxies besides ice cores, etc.” See how much more educational for all that would have been than making up cutesy names for me & calling me & anyone else who dares to challenge Discount Monkeytown (see how easy it is?) a “troll”?

  200. Milodonharlani,

    If this was your original argument:

    I’m not incorrect, but you are. Indeed laughably so.

    I await your apology & admission of error, not that I would expect such a display of manliness from an anti-American bigot.

    Lord Monckton has refuted this claim. Perhaps he’s wrong, but not laughably so. For him to be laughably wrong he’d have to have been left without a plausible argument. He has made plausible argument, here, and here.

    Your continued pursuit of your quest to beat Lord Monckton down into an apology and admission of error is starting to border on the manic and abusive. Obviously he may be wrong, but his statement wasn’t the laughable absurdity you tried to demonstrate it was. Give. It. up.

  201. Mark Bofill says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    He has no plausible argument because including just one more interglacial, the one that happens to be the most relevant, blows his average totally out of the water. Instead of overdue by 4000 to 5500 years, the average becomes something like 15,000 years more to go, just by adding one more interglacial, the most relevant one. But the average is meaningless, because what most matters is the orbital mechanics, not a grade school level arithmetic mean, ie average.

    As an MA from Cambridge in History & Philosophy of Maths ought to know.

    It’s laughable because so totally wrong-headed, & yet so easily checked. The most rudimentary Internet search would have showed Chris that MIS 11 is the most relevant previous interglacial.

  202. milodonharlani says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm
    re dberple says:
    April 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    ======================
    Nope. Your assertion is obvious nonsense.
    =======================================
    One again you descend to childish insults.

    LM has satisfied me to the logic of his comments. I do not have to agree 100%, but he is consistently logical.

  203. David A says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Ferd calling a comment nonsense, without any supporting verbiage whatsoever, is not childish, but a reply with cogent & factual reasoning is?

    Interesting.

    BTW, MIS 19 might be an even better model (dare I use that term?) for the Holocene than MIS 11, but the point is, it takes hundreds of thousands of years for rough realignment to occur (the moon yet again to be in climatic if icy Aquarius, as it were).

    http://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/3ICESM/3ICESM-11.pdf

  204. milodonharlani,

    I went to your wikipedia links, and I do not agree that Lord Monckton was either incorrect or “laughably” incorrect. I did find this: In contrast to most other interglacials of the late Quaternary, MIS 11 cannot be straightforwardly explained and modelled solely within the context of Milankovitch forcing mechanisms. According to various studies, the MIS 11 interglacial period was longer than the other interglacial stages. The sustained interglacial warmth may have lasted as long as it did, because orbital eccentricity was low and the amplitude of the precessional cycle diminished, resulting in several fewer cold substages during this period and perhaps also induced abrupt climate change at MIS 12–11 transition, the most intense of the past 500 kyrs. It is notable that MIS 11 developed just after one of the most “heavy” Pleistocene δ18
    O glacials (MIS 12). According to some authors, MIS 12 is likely to represent a “minimum” within the 400-kyr cyclicity (which is apparently “stretched” into ca. 500-kyr cycles in the Pleistocene), same as the MIS 24/MIS 22 complex (ca. 900 ka; Wang et al., 2004). In support of this inference is the observation that these dramatic glacial intervals are coincident with periods of major climate reorganisation, namely the “Mid-Brunhes Event” (Jansen et al., 1986) and the “Mid-Pleistocene Revolution” (Berger & Jansen, 1994), respectively. In view of its pattern of astronomically-driven insolation, MIS 11 may be the best analogue for the near future insolation situation. A 2-D Northern Hemisphere climate model used to simulate climate evolution over MIS 11, MIS 5 and into the future implied that the climatic features and length of MIS 11 may be comparable to the present-future interglacial in the absence of anthropogenic forcing. This consideration has led some authors to the conclusion that actual interglacial period (begun 10 kyr) would have continued for approximately 20–25 kyrs even in the absence of anthropogenic forcing.

    It looks like your case is full of holes, and Lord Monckton’s choice of the three most recent interglacials was justifiable.

    you wrote this: The glacial cycles are largely under Milankovitch cycle control. That means that cycles of 21,000, 26,000, 41,000 & ~100,000 years, plus insolation, will align in similar configurations only on longer time scales. The more recent past will thus be less likely to resemble progression of each factor into the future. Guaranteed. I would have thought that this was obvious. If you imagine otherwise, please explain why.

    Why was it obvious, when you have not even bothered to link to the supporting evidence? Do you have a criterion for “largely” under Milankovitch cycle control? “The more recent past will thus be less likely … ” does not actually follow; would you care to put in the missing details, with links to the literature?

  205. PS: I’m happy you’re satisfied, but arithmetical operations on an inappropriate set is not science. Just so you know.

  206. Matthew R Marler says:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Your understanding appears full of holes. Nothing that you quote in any way vitiates the fact that MIS 11 (& 19) are analogs of the Holocene, while the Eemian, MIS 7 & 9 aren’t. If you can’t grasp that, then I can’t help you.

    Chris probably gets it, though. Even if Ferd doesn’t. Still waiting to hear back from him.

  207. Lovejoy’s 2.33 C per CO2 doubling is just wishful thinking. Look at Figure 4. The y-axis is temperature change. It is independent of the x-axis. We can put any variable in the x-axis. Example, let’s put duck population in the x-axis. If duck population is increasing over time, we can find the regression line and the slope is defined as A increase in temperature per B increase in duck population (dy/dx). Then we can blame ducks are responsible for global warming.

    Any variable that increases over time will do. We can put obesity, cancer incidence, etc., etc. and blame fat people for global warming. This is the folly of using correlation without common sense. Physics support only 1.1 C per CO2 doubling without feedbacks. Greater or less than that is correlation and conjecture.

  208. John Whitman says:
    April 24, 2014 at 3:39 pm

    Mathematics of Reality Mathematics versus Reality

    Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” (Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton)

    ===================================================================
    I”ll count that as a quote worth remembering.

  209. milodonharlani, the quote that I provided from your wikipedia link contains: MIS 11 may be the best analogue for the near future insolation situation.

    upon “may be” hangs your assertion that Lord Monckton was “laughably” wrong; but everything that you provided all together only shows that he “may be” wrong, not that he is wrong.

    If you can’t grasp that, then I can’t help you.

    Of course I understand that. But it isn’t necessarily true on evidence that you have linked to. What we have in conclusion is “may be”.

  210. Matthew R Marler says:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Another reply lost in the aether.

    It may reappear later, so will summarize.

    Thanks for connecting a point to your prior cutting & pasting.

    The “may be” refers not to MIS 11 v. subsequent interglacials, which definitely are not good analogues for the Holocene. However MIS 19 might be even better.

  211. “””””…..John Whitman says:

    April 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Mathematics is applied reasoning about something that is physical.

    The physical things it reasons about are: ‘quantities of things’; their ‘measurement validation process’; and ‘relations between quantities of things’.

    Mathematics is systematically applied and integrated into a body of knowledge.

    Therefore mathematics is a physical science. And it is as much of a physical science as is physics and is just as physical as any physics proposition……”””””

    That is a little hard to swallow, given that nothing; not a single thing in any branch of mathematics, actually exists anywhere in the physical universe.

    We have no points, no lines, no circles, no spheres, no anything, because we invented these concepts to manipulate our models, which tend to behave exactly like the mathematics says.

    Now the real physical universe never behaves exactly like our models, and for some fundamental reasons, besides ignorance; Heisenberg for example.

    The area where “proof” is lacking, is in the construction of our physical models, so that they behave (according to the correctly applied mathematics) just as our measured observations say the real universe seems to be behaving.

    The mathematical tools, ensure that our physical models WILL do exactly what they are supposed to do.

    That is different from saying they WILL emulate reality, as observed, and measured.

    And M of B has mentioned, mathematics also stimulates our creative minds.

  212. The starting point for this line of discussion was that his lordship cited the Pythagorean theorem as a counter-example to Professor Lovejoy’s claim about no scientific theory being proved beyond reasonable doubt.
    My objection (and apparently that of Messrs Mosher and Lee) is that Professor Lovejoy was talking about empirical science whereas the Pythagorean theorem is not an example of empirical science. I still maintain that this was a slip on his lordship’s part.
    (In passing, his lordship might have taken the discussion in a different direction. Lovejoy used the phrase “proved beyond reasonable doubt”. This is legal terminology. It has no place in logic or mathematics. We do not prove a mathematical theorem beyond reasonable doubt. We either prove it or we don’t. Reasonable doubt just don’t enter into it. Proof beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law is much less demanding than mathematical proof or corroboration, not proof!, in physics. If we had to validated the theory that A murdered B with the same rigor as a mathematical theorem or the second law of thermodynamics, we would almost never get a conviction. If we apply “reasonable doubt” to science, we’re using a legal metaphor, and some people might reasonably claim, within this slippery metaphor, that some scientific theories have been proved beyond reasonable doubt. At least, I wouldn’t have bothered to say anything to contradict that, though like Mr Lee, I would be dubious about it.)
    Whereas there are proofs of mathematical theorems, there can never be any proof of a law of physics. There are different ways of bringing out this difference, but I still like Leibniz’s. A mathematical theorem is true in all possible worlds whereas a physical law true in our world might be false in a different possible world. God could have made a world with a different law of gravity but he could not have made a world in which there is a highest prime.
    No law in empirical science is ever proved, though sometimes a purported law can be disproved. One of the problems with the currently dominant group in climate science is that they will not specify any observation that could refute their theory, and in this way they tend to drift into unfalsifiability, unchecked by observational testing, thus leaving science behind.
    If I suggested that the Pythagorean theorem applies only in Euclid, that was careless on my part. What I meant was that there are non-Euclidean geometries in which it does not apply.
    The fact that mathematics was treated as an art in ancient (medieval?) universities does not cast doubt on my assertion that mathematics is not an empirical science.
    Of course, Popper did not make the mistake of supposing that mathematics is an empirical science! (“Wissenschaft” normally has a broader connotation than “science” and is often used to include mathematics, so a German speaker would be likely to add the qualifier “empirical” where an English speaker would omit it, because the most common understanding of “science” in English is indeed confined to the empirical sciences and excludes mathematics.)
    His lordship says that it is possible to refute a mathematical conjecture “empirically with a single counter-example”. It is indeed possible to refute a mathematical conjecture by a counter-example, but not an empirical counter-example. Here we must consider what mathematics is “about”. One may use an abacus in performing calculations, but the calculations are not “about” beads on a wire; they are about numbers, which are not empirically observable objects. When we say that 5 + 7 = 12, we are not talking about anything observable by the senses, with or without the aid of special instruments. Similarly a computer may be programmed to observe some graphics, but (if the computer is doing math rather than doing empirical science) the graphics are merely proxies for the mathematical entities.
    People’s motivations are immaterial; what matters is the quality of the arguments. Furthermore, people’s motivations are often very uncertain, so we may mistakenly attribute evil motives to someone who just doesn’t see the world the way we do.

  213. “””””…..Mike McMillan says:

    April 24, 2014 at 3:10 am

    george e. smith says: April 23, 2014 at 4:06 pm
    … Is not the restriction of Pythagoras even more than you cited. It only applies to two dimensional Euclidean space. Has no rational meaning in three dimensional Euclidean space.

    Pythagoras’ theorem applies to three-dimensional Euclidean space. The distance between any two corners of a box is the square root of the sum of the x, y, and z squares……”””””

    Well it looks like I went to a sub standard high school.

    We learned that “tri” meant three, as in sides or angles, and in this case both.

    But I never knew that a “box” was also a “triangle” and had a “hypotenuse”. Seems like a box has far more than three of everything.

    But I’m able to achieve the result you cite in two sequential applications of Pythagoras’ theorem to two different PLANE “triangles”.

    And it would seem trivial to expand the scope of your definitions of the specifics; “tri”, “hypotenuse”, “right angle” to include boxes and corner cubes in any number of dimensions.

    Can you also extend the mathematical discipline called “Projective Geometry” to three or more dimensions ?? Does the Line at Infinity, become a Plane at Infinity, or how does that work ??

    And what about the two Circular Points at Infinity, that all circles pass through; does that morph into three or some other number of “Spherical Points at Infinity” ??

    My head, can’t even comprehend that. Can one prove the existence of any more points, than seven, in three dimensional projective geometry, because that is the provable maximum number of points in plane projective geometry ??

    I’d have to research M of B’s Hyperbolic Geometry to figure out how Pythagoras works there. I can’t swear, that I’m familiar with Hyperbolic Geometry, although I’m quite familiar with the conic sections, and general three dimensional second order figures. I even use them frequently in the design of non-imaging optical systems.

  214. Philip Lee says:
    April 24, 2014 at 5:50 pm
    The only difference between pure and applied mathematics is the source of the problem attacked.
    =============
    not so. the difference is in the techniques and the relative importance of time.

    pure mathematics seeks to provide an exact solution, and may wait infinite time to achieve this.
    applied mathematics seeks to provide a “good enough” solution in the time available.

    So for example, applied mathematics will “guess” the answer and iterate to reduce the error. Once the error is small enough, applied mathematics is satisfied.

    Pure mathematics on the other hand will seek to describe the iterative process at the limits, where you iterate to infinity and the error is zero. The result will be an equation or process that provides the exact answer, without requiring infinite time.

  215. milodonharlani says:
    April 24, 2014 at 6:05 pm
    The glacial cycles are largely under Milankovitch cycle control.
    ==================
    You are falsely stating your belief as a fact. The correct statement is:
    The glacial cycles are believed by some to be largely under Milankovitch cycle control.

    Milankovitch doesn’t explain the 100k year problem, the LIA, the Medieval Optimum, the Roman Optimum, the Minoan Optimum, the Holocene Optimum, etc. etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100,000-year_problem

    And most of all, if Milankovitch does explain these, then why does it not explain the Modern Optimum?

  216. milodonharlani says:
    April 24, 2014 at 7:51 pm
    PS: Note 380,000 years required to get all the Milankovitch parameters very approximately back into similar positions
    =============
    There may well be a Milankovitch 400k year super cycle, super-imposed on the 100k year cycle. However the odds of “all things being equal” are much less in comparison to more recent events. thus one should not conclude that our records from 400k years ago are more reliable indicator of the future than our records from 100k years ago.

  217. ferdberple says:
    April 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Milankovitch cycles demonstrably control the ~100,000 year glacial cycles, & the interglacials within them, which are what is at issue. Fluctuations within interglacials are not the issue, as I would have thought was obvious. Your raising the Holocene Optimum & subsequent variations within the current interglacial is a nonsense, since I didn’t suggest that orbital mechanics control those fluctuations. No one knows what does, which uncertainty lies at the heart of the weakness of CACA.

    On the scale of tens to hundreds of thousands of years, Milankovitch cycles rule. It’s not just that some people think they do, but that they have been convincingly demonstrated to do so.

    Why is such a simple distinction so hard for you to understand? Please quit spouting nonsense. Thanks.

  218. ferdberple says:
    April 24, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    The 400,000 year “supercycle” isn’t imposed upon the orbital mechanical cycles. It is composed of them, superimposed upon each other. Why is this hard to understand?

    Can you now grasp why the more recent interglacials are not relevant to Holocene duration but certain of the older ones are? I would have thought it intuitively obvious.

  219. ferdberple says:
    April 24, 2014 at 9:30 pm
    ===========================================
    That is IMV precisely true. One apple plus one apple is precisely two apples. However, all apples have different weights, moisture content, sugar content, colors pigments, molecules, atoms etc. (How precise do you want or need to be.) Math is a tool to “measure”; and a hemi demi semi, can be virtually infinite.

  220. John Whitman on April 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Mathematics is applied reasoning about something that is physical.

    The physical things it reasons about are: ‘quantities of things’; their ‘measurement validation process’; and ‘relations between quantities of things’.

    Mathematics is systematically applied and integrated into a body of knowledge.

    Therefore mathematics is a physical science. And it is as much of a physical science as is physics and is just as physical as any physics proposition.

    The notion of mathematics as an abstract or ‘ideal’ science is a kind of Platonic imagery.

    The notion of mathematics as an art is valid in some very limit respect as it is valid in some very limited respect that physics is an art.

    John

    And

    Monckton of Brenchley on April 24, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Mr Whitman [@John Whitman on April 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm] makes an interesting point about applied mathematics being a physical science. At the very least, it is the lingua franca of the physical sciences. Of course, there is pure mathematics too – perhaps the highest exercise of the human intellect.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Christopher Monckton,

    Please note my reference to Platonic imagery and abstract knowledge in the comment of mine to which you refered.

    As Plato’s dual reality metaphysics is not correct (there is no separate ideal/abstract reality that exists outside of this physical reality) then the representation of the science of mathematics as a ideal or abstract science is a problematic metaphysical (and epistemological) concept.

    Therefore, there is the physical science of mathematics as I described in my comment (John Whitman on April 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm) that covers all of reality.

    Note: In that respect a very similar dual reality error applies to Kant’s dual reality metaphysics (and therefore his dual reality epistemology). Kant is essentially Neo-Platonism in that respect.

    John

  221. Mr Steele does not understand the meaning of the word “empirical”. It means “by trial”. It comes from the Greek word “empeirein”, to try. Any process by which a counter-example to a conjecture in mathematics is sought by testing various possibilities is, whether he likes it or not, an empirical process. He also appears to consider that every demonstration in mathematics is definitive: but, though some are, some are not. It remains the case that it is possible in physics, as in mathematics, to demonstrate a hypothesis “beyond reasonable doubt”, and Dr Lovejoy was incorrect in his attempt to justify his own approach by suggesting otherwise.

  222. Mr Lee continues to conduct himself mendaciously, which is unwise. Having been caught out a couple of times misrepresenting points upthread when he had lost the argument, he now again misrepresents what I had said earlier by describing my assertion that it is possible to demonstrate matters in physics beyond reasonable doubt as “new”. Read the head posting.

    Mr Lee says Popper would not agree with me on that point. However, he did so. The end and object of the scientific method is to approach the truth as closely as possible. There comes a point, as the scientific method continues to operate, where some hypotheses has survived long enough to be regarded as having been demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt. Mr Lee, whose knowledge of distinctions between terms is poor, may not perhaps have appreciated the distinction between definitive proof, which is very rare in physics, and proof beyond reasonable doubt, which is not so rare.

    Mr Lee says I stated that applied mathematics is a science. I do not recall having said that, though I do recall that in the ancient universities mathematics is considered an art. He goes on to say “the only difference between pure and applied mathematics is the source of the problem attacked”. Nonsense: pure and applied mathematics each have several unique methods, though some methods are in common.

  223. I am grateful to Mr Marler, Mr Bofill and Mr Berple for pointing out that missingthepointharlani (if he does not want me to make fun of his name, yet him use his real one rather than skulking behind a pseudonym) has gone too far.

    He says the Ipswichian interglacial (which he knows as the Eemian) “lasted longer” than the Holocene. However, I have surely made it plain enough that what concerns me, as it should concern every policymaker, is how long the most recent interglacials endured at temperatures at or greater than the present: for it is colder weather, not warmer weather, that is the real killer. That is why I dated the present interglacial as having endured for 11,400 (or, on some authorities, 11,700) years at or above today’s temperatures.

    On that, which was my declared basis all along, let us examine how long the Ipswichian interglacial endured at or above today’s temperatures. The answer, according to the graph from Petit et al. on which I relied, is that the Ipswichian, thus defined, endured for appreciably less time than the Holocene has endured. The two interglacials before that also endured for appreciably less time. The interglacial before that may have endured for a longer time, but from the peak temperature to the beginning of the precipitate decline from temperatures equivalent to today’s even that interglacial was shorter than the present one.

    So I had reason for my passing remark to the effect that we were 5000 years overdue for the next Ice Age, and it is childish of misanthropeharlani to go on and on and on and on insisting that I was wrong. As he now knows well, I wasn’t wrong: I had an opinion that differed from his own, and that is all. There are of course other ways of measuring the endurance of an interglacial, but the policy-relevant method I used was quite reasonable, even if he would rather I had used a method more congenial to his own preconceptions.

    Mathchallengedharlani also makes the elementary mistake of not appreciating that the four cyclical periods he mentioned contain several mutually prime factors. His assertion that a particular interglacial 400,000 years ago was a better guide to the present interglacial than its three successors depends on that mistake, which is akin to the “biorhythm” scam of a couple of decades ago.

    Besides, the individual impact of the various phases of the Milankovich cycles on the glacial cycles on Earth is simply not understood well enough to allow him to draw with certainty any conclusion to the effect that the interglacial of 400,000 years ago may prove a better guide to the future endurance of the present interglacial than the three subsequent interglacials.

    He is entitled to his opinion, and he may – or may not – be right: but, frankly, there is altogether insufficient evidence at this stage for him to assert, viciously, persistently, and in terms that have fallen well short of any reasonable standard of courtesy, that I am wrong.

  224. Sorry this is a bit off topic but Steven Mosher’s first comment about maths and the physical world got me thinking the whole subject of mathematics and modelling chaotic multivariable systems and if it was possible a good statistician would be a multi-billionaire. Here’s why:

    The UK national lottery comprises 49 balls. All you need to do is predict which 6 are picked. A binary condition, picked or not. We can easily calculate that the chances, assuming each ball has an equal chance, of being right are:

    49*48*47*46*45*44:1

    That is certain. A truth.

    We have a 20 year history of what balls have been picked and in which order with 100% certainty. So why can’t we say what will happen in the draw tomorrow? The answer is that the balls do not have a memory and the past does not predict the future. I do know ball number 50 or 32.5 will never come out but I do not know that exactly the same balls that were drawn on Wednesday will be drawn tomorrow.

    Applying this to climate predictions we have an immensely more complex system where the number of balls is represented by the factors determining the climate, I don’t think we can enumerate these. The outcomes are not binary but somewhere on a continuum. The certainty over the historic record is less than 100% certain, proxies and historically low precision instruments mean that any model has uncertain input. And the weather doesn’t have a memory either. There is no controlling force saying it was warm yesterday so it will be warmer/colder/the same today.

    Unless you can predict the outcome of the lottery (a much simpler more constrained system) the effort of trying to predict the climate system is all nugatory effort.

    I recognise that this is naïve and an argument reductio ad absurdum but it helps me sleep at night ;)

    I am in the camp that believes that increased CO2 concentrations will warm the world and that human activity contributes to the CO2 concentrations. I also believe that there are negative feedbacks and buffering systems that are in the realms of magic as they cannot be described, quantified or explained. I also believe that humans are not outside nature, and nature will deal with us as she will.

    I expect to be shouted at. It’s ok, my back is broad ;)

  225. Trolls are succeeding in their purpose if they are absorbing your time, energy & expertise.
    Best not to feed the buggers?
    Thus they starve & die.

    I’d like to put up this 1974 CIA report on climate for study here, & ask a bold question.
    Is it possible that the whole CAGW/CC/WW hoax is a gigantic red herring?

    Bearing in mind that both a moderate warming & CO2 increase are beneficial, & that cold kills,
    as we see proven every winter in the UK, is it possible that the scam all along has been to divert our attention from a very possibly fast approaching killer ice age?

    We do know that a prime “Green”, 1%s, agenda 21 objective is a vastly reduced World Population, back to so-called “sustainable” (actually, controllable) levels, in their envisaged “Hunger Games” paradise.

    Steps back to await derision & abuse by the bucketload. :)

    Ref: http://www.climatemonitor.it/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/1974.pdf

  226. Mr Marcus says:

    “The UK national lottery comprises 49 balls. All you need to do is predict which 6 are picked. A binary condition, picked or not. We can easily calculate that the chances, assuming each ball has an equal chance, of being right are 49.48.47.46.45.44 : 1. That is certain. A truth.”

    Actually, that is certainly incorrect. An untruth. For the U.K. numbers racket pays out without regard to the sequence of the numbers selected. The correct probability P of matching all six numbers, therefore, is 720 times greater than Mr Marcus had thought. It is given by

    P = (43! 6!) / 49! = (6.5.4.3.2.1) / (49.48.47.46.45.44) = 1 / 13,983,816.

    Mr Marcus’ point that it is difficult to quantify temperature feedbacks is, however, sound. It is feedbacks (whether positive or negative) that introduce the largest of many uncertainties into the calculation.

    In the absence of feedbacks, the warming to be expected in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration is the product of the instantaneous climate sensitivity parameter lambda-zero and the CO2 radiative forcing delta-F. Delta-F is itself the product of a constant k and the natural of the proportionate change (C/C0) in CO2 concentration, where C0 is the unperturbed or initial concentration.

    The instantaneous or zero-feedbacks climate-sensitivity parameter, also known as the Planck parameter, is the product of a latitudinal-adjustment coefficient j and the first differential T/(4F) of the fundamental equation of radiative forcing, where T is the mean temperature at the altitude at which incoming and outgoing fluxes of radiation are by definition equal, and F = S(1 – alpha) / 4 is the incoming radiative flux at the same altitude after allowing for albedo (alpha) and for the relative surface areas of the rotating sphere of the Earth and of the disk that the Earth presents to the Sun, where S is total incoming solar irradiance.

    Putting numbers on all this, the mean effective temperature T at the characteristic-emission altitude is 255 K; the incoming irradiance S is 1362 Watts per square meter; and the mean Earth albedo or reflectance alpha is 0.3. Accordingly, F = 238.4 Watts per square meter, and the differential T/(4 F) is 0.267 Kelvin per Watt per square meter, and the latitudinal-adjustment coefficient is about 7/6, so that the Planck parameter is 0.31 Kelvin per Watt per square meter.
    The coefficient k in the CO2 radiative forcing function is 5.35, so the radiative forcing at CO2 doubling is 5.35 ln(2), or 3.7 Watts per square meter.

    Multiplying the forcing by the Planck parameter gives a net warming at CO2 doubling of less than 1.2 K in the absence of feedbacks.

    The IPCC multiplies this by about 3 to allow for net-positive feedbacks: but there is remarkably little sound basis for any such feedback gain factor, and there are powerful theoretical reasons why a value anywhere like as high as 3 is impossible.

    The difference between the skeptics and the true-believers, therefore, is that the true-believers insist, on little evidence, that temperature feedbacks are likely to be very strongly net-positive, while the skeptics, on much theoretical as well as empirical evidence, consider that temperature feedbacks are likely to be net-zero or possibly even net-negative. Hope this helps.

  227. David Ramsay Steele: Lovejoy used the phrase “proved beyond reasonable doubt”. This is legal terminology. It has no place in logic or mathematics. We do not prove a mathematical theorem beyond reasonable doubt. We either prove it or we don’t.

    This discussion is interesting philologically as well as epistemologically. Lovejoy used the word “prove” but Lord Monckton used the word “demonstrate”. Long ago I read something like “A demonstration is used to persuade a reasonable man, but a proof is used to persuade an unreasonable man.” There is a play on the use of “reasonable” here, since the proof is based on logic and mathematics, which are subsets of reasoning. Proof, prove and cognates such as “proving ground”, “the proof of the pudding is in the taste”, and “proofread” have a long history of multiple meanings, of which “logical proof” and “mathematical proof” are restricted or selected meanings. The “legal” terminology “proved beyond a reasonable doubt” is much more widespread in use than just petit trials (in grand jury trials the indictment is based on a different standard, somewhat more than “probable cause”, something like “a reasonable case actually exists”), whereas “logical proof” and “mathematical proof” are more restrictive.

    Lord Monckton has a different etymological note on “empirical”. Empiricism and theory usually can’t be distinguished in practice because most “observations” (e.g. temperature) depend on estimated theoretical relationships within a theoretical model. Even the notion that two phenomena are both “cats” is a theoretical generalization. Most such distinctions (“sense data” vs “theoretical constructs”) break down when you think about them a while.

    I think my characterization, that almost all physicists accept that Newton’s laws have been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt to be accurate to within very tiny limits, is probably pretty accurate. And Einstein’s laws have been demonstrated beyond a reasonable to be accurate to within even tinier limits. They have been proved, proofed and tested too many times for anyone to have time to count.

    Mathematical proofs are only valid in worlds that have human like thought. What other worlds might be like is hard to imagine, but our thought processes are unique to some of us here on Earth in this universe, as far as we can tell.

  228. When we’re talking about the meanings of words, etymology is not dispositive. Indeed, the meaning of a word can even change into its opposite as the centuries go by. The standard usage of “empirical” in philosophy (including especially philosophy of science) is the evidence of our senses as contrasted with the evidence of reasoning, what observation tells us rather than what theoretical deduction tells us. Thus, the standard classification is that mathematics is not empirical science. Of course, one can depart from standard terminology and propose a new terminology, and one can even hold the unusual theory (as another poster here does) that mathematics is really about physical objects rather than abstract objects. However one still has to acknowledge the differences between science and mathematics, one being that in math there is proof and in science there is no “proof” in the same sense, but only disproof or refutation (or, in the opinion of non-Popperians, such as Bayesians, enhanced or diminished probability). And, more to the point, having adopted a non-standard classification, it’s not playing fair to assume that someone one is criticizing is familiar with it. Lovejoy was talking about science, in the normal English sense of that term to mean empirical science, excluding mathematics, and it is therefore not a refutation of his claim to give a mathematical counter-instance.
    Incidentally, there has been talk here (not from his lordship) about Newton and Einstein both being proved beyond reasonable doubt. This is ironic, in view of the facts that if Einstein is true, Newton is false, and also that neither Newton nor Einstein believed in the truth of their theories. Newton couldn’t bring himself to believe in action at a distance, and Einstein always thought relativity theory, while a better approximation to the truth than Newton, would eventually be replaced by a better theory.

  229. george e. smith says:
    April 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    “””””…..John Whitman says:

    April 24, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Mathematics is applied reasoning about something that is physical.

    The physical things it reasons about are: ‘quantities of things’; their ‘measurement validation process’; and ‘relations between quantities of things’.

    Mathematics is systematically applied and integrated into a body of knowledge.

    Therefore mathematics is a physical science. And it is as much of a physical science as is physics and is just as physical as any physics proposition……”””””

    [The notion of mathematics as an abstract or ‘ideal’ science is a kind of Platonic imagery.

    The notion of mathematics as an art is valid in some very limit respect as it is valid in some very limited respect that physics is an art.

    John]

    That is a little hard to swallow, given that nothing; not a single thing in any branch of mathematics, actually exists anywhere in the physical universe.

    We have no points, no lines, no circles, no spheres, no anything, because we invented these concepts to manipulate our models, which tend to behave exactly like the mathematics says.

    Now the real physical universe never behaves exactly like our models, and for some fundamental reasons, besides ignorance; Heisenberg for example.

    The area where “proof” is lacking, is in the construction of our physical models, so that they behave (according to the correctly applied mathematics) just as our measured observations say the real universe seems to be behaving.

    The mathematical tools, ensure that our physical models WILL do exactly what they are supposed to do.

    That is different from saying they WILL emulate reality, as observed, and measured.

    And M of B has mentioned, mathematics also stimulates our creative minds.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    george e. smith,

    If you are implying that human derived concepts cannot be capable of knowing reality, then your concepts by definition cannot be sufficient to establish your case of the non-reality of the basis your conception of mathematics. N’est ce pas.

    Let’s not play dual reality / dual knowledge hands. It is so Post Modern and Post Normal.

    As to creativity stimulation, we do not need dual world / dual knowledge incorrectness for it. But if one wants that as a stimulation for creativity, it is a free society, ‘swallow’ it (swallowing being your terminology not mine).

    John

  230. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 25, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Apparently you didn’t read the comment in which I told you my name or that in which I signed as John Tillman. Since I comment under it often, some here already knew it.

    I’m happy to let you have the last word on the issue of when the Holocene is liable to end, although no one knows whether it is already thousands of years overdue, as your arithmetic operation on one way of looking at interglacials suggests to you, or likely to last for tens of thousands of years more, as some scientists forecast based upon the orbital mechanics which have worked for the past 2.4 million years. As noted, my own WAG is that the Holocene has only several hundred to a few thousand years left, based upon the Bond Cycles which Dr. Svalgaard considers imaginary.

    I’d like to take up your suggestion that I write a post on interglacials, but don’t have the time now & our host might not want it anyway. I do thank you for championing skepticism about CACA.

  231. Make that more like 2.6 million years, or about a million years ago if counting from the periodicity switch.

  232. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 25, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Lord Monckton
    Thanks for spending so much time on my slightly frivolous post

    a) in correcting my faulty maths
    b) in explaining the forcing less feedbacks

    I owe you a pint. (at least one)

  233. David Ramsay Steele: Incidentally, there has been talk here (not from his lordship) about Newton and Einstein both being proved beyond reasonable doubt. This is ironic, in view of the facts that if Einstein is true, Newton is false, and also that neither Newton nor Einstein believed in the truth of their theories.

    I don’t know about others, but I wrote that they have been demonstrated to be accurate, with known degrees of accuracy, beyond reasonable doubt. For Newton’s laws, for example, the demonstrations that they are accurate include satellite and interplanetary navigation. Scientific methods can be used to determine whether propositions are accurate, with respect to publicly debatable standards of accuracy, or useful, with publicly debatable standards of utility, but not whether they are true or false.

    “Paradoxical though it may seem, the fundamental idea in the exact sciences is the idea of approximation” — Bertrand Russell. The ideas of approximation and accuracy are too little discussed in works by Kuhn and others, imo. The “world view” of Einstein replaced the “world view” of Newton and successors through Maxwell, but the previous laws did not lose their accuracy or usefulness.

    He also wrote “Mathematics is the field in which we never know what we are talking about nor whether anything we say is true or false.”

    When we’re talking about the meanings of words, etymology is not dispositive. Indeed, the meaning of a word can even change into its opposite as the centuries go by. The standard usage of “empirical” in philosophy (including especially philosophy of science) is the evidence of our senses as contrasted with the evidence of reasoning, what observation tells us rather than what theoretical deduction tells us.

    I agree that etymology is not dispositive, but what you call the “standard” usage of “empirical” falls apart when you consider the usage of “empirical” for data such as temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, voltage, pH, and just about everything else that depends on a theory for its generation. You can’t even record that you observed a bee, a foot, a rock, or a cat without the conceptualization; much less the time and location at which you observed it.

  234. Math and science are fundamentally different in a very important aspect: in science we have to look at reality and then give explanations, usually enlisting the aid of mathematics as a coherent language in which to frame our explanations. But mathematics is done in many other situations beyond science.

    In science we experiment. We go into the “real world,” observe phenomena, go back to the drawing table, and try to explain these phenomena. Then we go back out to the world, see if we can predict a new phenomenon before it happens.

    This, in general, is what we call the “scientific method.”

    Mathematics is different. Mathematics requires proof for new truths, and it’s very picky about what it considers proof to be. For a scientist, a number (ten or maybe 100) experiments with consistent results might constitute proof, “within experimental error.” For a mathematician, no number of successful experiments is enough proof. Instead, we rely on logic.

    While mathematics is very often inspired by nature, it is a purely intellectual pursuit. It is just a bunch of ideas in our heads, like philosophy. There is no “real world” to supply correction via falsification to our mathematics. Even when inspired by nature, e.g. Newton’s law of gravity given above, the mathematical derivation can be correct, but the physics falsified as it was.

    LM and I differ on whether mathematics is a science. Mathematics as a “systematic and formulated knowledge” has much in common with science, but most people use “science” to refer only to the natural sciences. Most mathematicians do not consider themselves to be scientists and vice versa. So, after all the discussion it finally emerges that LM’s real objection is that Prof. Lovejoy (as do I) use science to mean natural science. Make that change to Lovejoy’s statement in my original comment — see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/the-empire-of-the-viscount-strikes-back/#comment-1620061 — and LM’s objection must disappear, at least LM’s guide Popper would think so.

    So, I must apologize to LM for not really understanding that his objection to Lovejoy’s statement was that its use of science was not what LM’s expansive (and untypical) use was.

    However, it seems that I should apologize also for the lack of clarity in my comment “no mathematician looks to the telescope or the microscope to obtain observations to falsify his mathematics,” at April 23, 2014 at 11:24 pm not grasped by LM as he blathered on about how telescopes were used to verify Einstein’s theory in physics — see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/the-empire-of-the-viscount-strikes-back/#comment-1620345 — completely missing the point of my comment about mathematics by citing a law in physics. I’m really sorry that LM was so confused by my word “mathematician.”

    I probably also apologize for not grasping the finer points that Popper made about how theories in science cannot be proved, only falsified. Since LM cites Popper to justify himself, I’m really at a loss to under his claim that Einstein’s law was “verified” (proved true) unless LM meant “checked.” And if he meant checked, how would LM’s comment have any bearing on “falsifying mathematics?

    I apologize for concluding in these, and other, cases that LM employs tactics that include personal attacks, assertions for which he has no justification, changing the topic to set a straw-man, and using terms with a narrow meaning not commonly held.

  235. Friends:

    At April 24, 2014 at 8:49 am Monckton of Brenchley said:

    A troll is one who exhibits either no intention to contribute constructively to the discussion or an intention to contribute destructively.

    I use a similar definition; viz.
    A troll is one who attempts to prevent discussion of the subject by deflecting a thread onto other subject(s).

    The subject of this thread was the attempt by Lovejoy to refute the rebuttal of Monckton of the paper by Lovejoy which claims his “CO2 proxy … predicts with 95 percent certainty that a doubling of CO2 levels in the atmosphere will lead to a warming of 1.9 to 4.2 Cº”.

    Trolls attempted disruption by attempting to side-track the thread with irrelevant falsehoods which have included
    socialists are naz1s,
    eugenics was a left-wing ideology
    Monckton of Brenchley claimed mathematics and science are the same thing,
    the probable end of the recent interglacial is determinable,
    etc.
    I am saddened that the trolls have had complete success in this thread according to the definition of trolls provided by Monckton of Brenchley or by me.

    Richard

  236. Mr Lee rambles offensively. He has been caught out in repeated falsehoods in this thread, and shamelessly continues. He has a poor grasp of language, of science, of mathematics, of morality, and of truth.

    But here, in case he has succeeded in misleading anyone about whether the scientific method applies in mathematics, is a quotation from the textbook of theoretical knowledge by Vyacheslav Stepin:

    “Transfer to science in the strict meaning of this word was connected with two critical conditions of developing culture and civilization. First came changes in the culture of the ancient world that applied the scientific method in mathematics and elevated it to the level of theoretical investigation. Next came changes in European culture during the Renaissance and the transition to the new age, when the scientific method of thinking became a property of the natural sciences, the main purpose being understood as using experiment as a method for studying nature, combining the mathematical method with experiment and observation to form the theoretical basis of the natural sciences.”

    “Applied the scientific method in mathematics”. There you have it.

    Mr Lee might also read Frege on the scientific method in mathematics, and then think a little before pretending to knowledge that he does not in fact possess.

  237. Richard Courtney is quite right that the trolls have indeed succeeded in derailing this thread, as they so often do, but three or four of them have taken such a pasting that they will not be likely to try being so silly again in a hurry, particularly because their idiocies are being archived by the Lord Monckton Foundation as permanent and telling evidence of the sullenly militant and yet haplessly cretinous feeble-mindedness that we are determined to extirpate before it destroys the West.

    I can produce new head postings faster than the trolls can derail the discussion threads. But at least they can take a perverse pride in knowing that their willful stupidities and viciousnesses will inform future generations as hilarious examples of the petulant, small-minded and destructive irrationality that the ultimate collapse of the climate scare will help us to bring to an end, perhaps forever.

  238. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Richard Courtney is quite right that the trolls have indeed succeeded in derailing this thread, as they so often do, but three or four of them have taken such a pasting that they will not be likely to try being so silly again in a hurry, particularly because their idiocies are being archived by the Lord Monckton Foundation as permanent and telling evidence of the sullenly militant and yet haplessly cretinous feeble-mindedness that we are determined to extirpate before it destroys the West.

    I can produce new head postings faster than the trolls can derail the discussion threads. But at least they can take a perverse pride in knowing that their willful stupidities and viciousnesses will inform future generations as hilarious examples of the petulant, small-minded and destructive irrationality that the ultimate collapse of the climate scare will help us to bring to an end, perhaps forever.
    ***************************************************
    Now this is what’s hilarious. Yes, Monckton of Brenchley, various technologies and the internet have created “permanent and telling evidence” for future reference. Those capabilities are frequently not your friend, not now and not when interested members of future generations take the time to revisit the past.

  239. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Richard Courtney is quite right that the trolls have indeed succeeded in derailing this thread, as they so often do, but three or four of them have taken such a pasting ….

    A good troll doesn’t recognize it has been pasted.

    They crave attention, the best way to annoy them is to ignore them.

  240. Ref: Theoretical Knowledge, By Vyacheslav S. Stepin

    Gee, on page 127 of the LM’s reference above, Stepin writes: “For example, the ideal of the experimental verification of theories is absent in mathematics, but it is obligatory for the empirical sciences.”

    And here I thought that “experimental verification of theories” was a key component of the scientific method. How can that be? Maybe Stepin agrees with me more than LM thinks.

    Oh, here it is in your quote from p. 23:
    “. . . the main purpose being understood as using experiment as a method for studying nature, combining the mathematical method with experiment and observation to form the theoretical basis of the natural sciences.” Notice that Stepin writes “combining the mathematical method with experiment and observation” as an action in the study of nature note “with”.

    Now I realize that LM doesn’t get subtle points, so I’ll redraft using also the p. 127 quote:
    1. The scientific method, which includes experimental verification of theories, is absent in mathematics,
    2. the mathematical method is combined with experiment and observation to form the theoretical basis of the natural sciences.

    All in all LM, you will have do better in your search for a quote to support your position about math and the scientific method. But do search what mathematicians say about their discipline.

  241. Philip Lee: In attacking the claim by Prof. Lovejoy that in the scientific method “no theory ever can be proven beyond ‘reasonable doubt’”. Lord Monckton should know better to cite that “it is possible to demonstrate the Theorem of Pythagoras.” This theorem belongs to mathematics and is not a topic subject to the scientific method, no matter how useful scientists may find it.

    I think the problem began with “the” in “the scientific method” in your last sentence quoted above. Since derivations from assumptions are for sure among the scientific methods , and because propositions derived as abstractions (C. S. Peirce called them “abductions”) and then used as axioms are also among the scientific methods, your sentence as written claimed too much.

    “. . . the main purpose being understood as using experiment as a method for studying nature, combining the mathematical method with experiment and observation to form the theoretical basis of the natural sciences.”

    That was how you ended, clearly more refined than where you began.

  242. Matthew R Marler says:
    April 25, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    ‘I think the problem began with “the” in “the scientific method”’

    Maybe so, thanks for the point.

    In my defense I’ll note the use of “the” as I have is common when referring to a particular body of techniques. Einstein use the term in a paper about “the scientific method.” I copied that paper about 50 years ago and lost my copy. I’ve not been able to find the source again. I remember his paper because of its clarity. Still you can see the usage at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method .

    When used in this way “the scientific method” refers to collection of steps which are applied in science to test for truth. While evolving and varying for different sciences, “the method” always requires testing theory against observations of reality. So, “the scientific method” refers not to one of many methods of science, but to a guide for science itself.

    But I like your thoughtful comment.

  243. Mr Lee has not read my quotation from Vyacheslav Stepin with sufficient care. Stepin distinguishes two phases in the development of the scientific method. The earlier applied the scientific method in mathematics – he says as much. The later extended it to the sciences.
    In the later passage cited by Mr Lee, Stepin introduces a third phase in which, he says, the various disciplines have become specialized. As an example, he says experimental verification of theories is absent in mathematics.

    Let us suppose for now, ad argumentum and per impossibile, that he is right in that last statement. Then there was a period – the first phase – during which the scientific method was applied in mathematics, for he said so in the earlier passage I had cited, but we now live in a period – the third phase – during which one particular aspect of the scientific method, the experimental verification of hypotheses, is absent.

    As I have already explained, hypotheses may be verified by methods other than experiment. The scientific method as codified by Popper does not restrict verification to experiment. Testing against theory is available too. Stepin is not, therefore, saying that the scientific method no longer applies in mathematics as once it did. He is putting forward a hypothesis – eagerly seized by Mr Lee as he clings in desperation to his own narrow and unwarrantable view of the scientific method – that mathematics does not at present use experiment to verify its conjectures (“conjecture” in mathematics being synonymous with “hypothesis”).

    Let us, then, apply the scientific method to the Lee-Stepin hypothesis. Now, it is a useful characteristic of the scientific method that if a hypothesis be demonstrated to be false it must fail. It is necessary only for me to present a single counter-example demonstrating that the experimental verification of hypotheses is present in mathematics, and that is the end of Mr Lee’s hypothesis.

    In fact, as I have already mentioned upthread, mathematics is full of hypotheses that were demonstrated to be false by the experimental method of finding counter-examples rather than by any deduction from the postulates or induction upon them.

    I was able to disprove a hypothesis of Fermat connected to the Mersenne primes by this method, taking advantage of a method relying on Gaussian congruences to assist in the identification of the prime factors of one of a class of numbers that Fermat had hypothesized were always prime. I was not the first to do this, but – albeit using the laws of mathematics to refine my search – I had to experiment as those who had gone before me had done until I found the prime factors of the number in question, disproving Fermat’s hypothesis. That counter-example is, of course, also a counter-example to the notion that experimentation has no place in science.

    Just to recap on the semantics, the word “empirical” – from the Greek “empeirien”, to try, simply means “by trial or testing”. There is nothing in the word, and nothing in the concept as applied to the scientific method, that requires a physical experiment on things that you can touch and see by using things that you can touch and see.

    However, even if Mr Lee wishes to be as narrow-minded as to imagine that “experiment” must mean only material experiment, I can give – as I have already given – a counter-example to his hypothesis that uses material experiment. The four-colour theorem – that any planar map is four-colorable – could not be decided by the usual deductive or inductive methods of mathematics.

    Accordingly, in 1977 two researchers devised a complex proof involving the identification and examination by computer of 1476 distinct map regions, represented for convenience by networks, in order to establish that no counter-example to the four-color hypothesis is possible.

    A more recent proof – from Georgia Tech, if I remember rightly – reduced the number of distinct regions requiring inspection to 633, and the number of rules for examining each region from more than 300 to a couple of dozen. This proof demonstrates that there are no possible counter-examples to what is now known as the four-color theorem, but it does so by experiment on multiple regions in the plane. And before anyone quibbles about whether a plane in the Euclidean sense actually exists, the proof of the four-color theorem works just as well on a plane somewhat deformed by gravity as on the ideal planar surface.

    So Stepin was insufficiently exact in his assertion that one of the methods of testing a hypothesis – namely, experiment – is not available in mathematics. By these counter-examples, and by many others I could mention, I have demonstrated that experiment is available and, in some instances, at present the only method available.

    And even if it were to be argued in desperation that a map of a region is not the region itself and, therefore, that the experiment that demonstrated the four-color conjecture is not a “real” experiment, I have already covered that base by explaining that the word “empirical” does not require the experimentation to be physical. It simply means “by trial” – or, as it is often described, “by trial and error”.

    Accordingly, Mr Lee’s hypothesis is demonstrated to be false. Empirical methods are both available and sometimes essential in mathematics, as anyone with a sufficient knowledge of the subject – or anyone who had actually read my earlier comments upthread and had thought about them before galloping sneeringly onto the attack – would know.

  244. See this presentation Monckton gave a couple of years ago.
    Professor Lovejoy and others should have paid some heed to the
    fact that these bogus techniques & frauds were already exposed thus :-

    “The Heavy Cost of a Non-Problem”

  245. Ric Werme:

    At April 25, 2014 at 5:47 pm you say to Monckton of Brenchley:

    A good troll doesn’t recognize it has been pasted.

    They crave attention, the best way to annoy them is to ignore them.

    I wish that you were right, but – sadly – you are mistaken.
    Trolls attempt to mislead onlookers.

    So, trolls make untrue and often inflammatory assertions. Ignoring the assertions allows them to stand so the assertions can mislead onlookers. But discussing the assertions deflects from – so prevents – true consideration of the proper subject of a thread.

    The “best way” to deal with trolls is to assess when it is “best” to ignore their assertions and when it is better to refute the assertions.

    For example, the assertion in this thread that naz1s were socialists was ignored because it is completely irrelevant to the thread and is so laughably untrue that only idiots could be misled by it.
    However, another troll misrepresented Monckton’s illustration from geometry, and the misrepresentation needed to be refuted because it could infer doubt concerning one of Monckton’s points and, hence, provide doubt to all his points.

    In summation, the problem posed by trolls is not simple and this thread provides a useful ‘case study’ for future reference. As Monckton of Brenchley says at April 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    the trolls have indeed succeeded in derailing this thread, as they so often do, but three or four of them have taken such a pasting that they will not be likely to try being so silly again in a hurry, particularly because their idiocies are being archived by the Lord Monckton Foundation as permanent and telling evidence of the sullenly militant and yet haplessly cretinous feeble-mindedness that we are determined to extirpate before it destroys the West.

    I can produce new head postings faster than the trolls can derail the discussion threads. But at least they can take a perverse pride in knowing that their willful stupidities and viciousnesses will inform future generations as hilarious examples of the petulant, small-minded and destructive irrationality that the ultimate collapse of the climate scare will help us to bring to an end, perhaps forever.

    Ignoring trolls assists the trolls in their “willful stupidities and viciousnesses” which result from their “sullenly militant and yet haplessly cretinous feeble-mindedness that we are determined to extirpate before it destroys the West“.

    Monckton of Brenchley and I have very different political views but we are united by our defence against that attack on “the West” which is exemplified by the ridiculous paper from Lovejoy and the attempts to hide exposure of that paper’s faults provided in this thread by the trolls.

    Richard

  246. I am most grateful to Richard Courtney for having so trenchantly endorsed the necessity to consider the misconduct of trolls case by case and answer those whose intent to mislead or disrupt is harmful or persistent. By great determination, several of us have managed to reduce the number of trolls here, and the quality of the comment threads has been greatly improved as a result. The present thread, to which I was able to devote much more time than usual, provides a particularly good example of the intransigence, evasiveness, mendacity, illogicality and offensiveness of trolls even when confronted with multiple lines of detailed evidence that they are wrong.

    As this thread draws to its close, I also want to thank the many commenters who have added some genuine illumination, and also to the many who have commented so kindly. Great is truth, and mighty above all things.

  247. As seems to be a pattern, LM has mis-characterized the Ga Tech “proof” of the four color theorem, an outline of this work may be found at http://people.math.gatech.edu/~thomas/FC/fourcolor.html . A significant part of this work was performed by a computer program and isn’t check-able by hand. At present this type of work isn’t acceptable as mathematically rigorous. The authors note this problem in a paragraph which I give:
    ” We should mention that both our programs use only integer arithmetic, and so we need not be concerned with round-off errors and similar dangers of floating point arithmetic. However, an argument can be made that our `proof’ is not a proof in the traditional sense, because it contains steps that can never be verified by humans. In particular, we have not proved the correctness of the compiler we compiled our programs on, nor have we proved the infallibility of the hardware we ran our programs on. These have to be taken on faith, and are conceivably a source of error. However, from a practical point of view, the chance of a computer error that appears consistently in exactly the same way on all runs of our programs on all the compilers under all the operating systems that our programs run on is infinitesimally small compared to the chance of a human error during the same amount of case-checking. Apart from this hypothetical possibility of a computer consistently giving an incorrect answer, the rest of our proof can be verified in the same way as traditional mathematical proofs. We concede, however, that verifying a computer program is much more difficult than checking a mathematical proof of the same length.”

    This paragraph points to a key difference between math and science which I would love to discuss, but LM would not grasp it and few of you would be willing to read.

    But LM has argued against a statement by Stepin, his own reference, which contradicts LM’s position that mathematics is the same as science with regard to verification. Now, I’m not going to defend Stepin, but LM should really understand his cites. LM is simply wrong about math and even his non-mathematician cites disagree with him. It is instructive that LM has given his position with no cites from modern mathematicians. Many things are controversial, as is computer “proof” and many things, in the evolving subject of mathematics. But that LM has cited no quotes from practicers of the art suggests he knows less than he thinks about it. My claims are held by most mathematicians. Albert Einstein wrote, “One reason why mathematics enjoys special esteem, above all other sciences, is that its laws are absolutely certain and indisputable, while those of other sciences are to some extent debatable and in constant danger of being overthrown by newly discovered facts.”

    LM has also exposed a insulting manner in response to those who comment on his work. In doing so, his ego has written a check his abilities cannot cover.

  248. Mr Lee continues to be profoundly mendacious and dishonest in argument. He has lied and lied and lied again, and now does so yet again. I have not said that “mathematics is the same as science with regard to verification”: I have said that the scientific method extends to mathematics (where, as Stepin points out, it was first applied) as it does to the sciences.

    I have not at any time said that mathematics and the sciences are the same, whether with respect to verification or otherwise. Mathematics has methods of demonstration by deduction and (since Fermat) by induction that are additional to empirical verification, and are its usual methods of determining conjectures. I have given several examples of determination of mathematical conjectures by empirical methods of verification, just one of which one of which is the four-color theorem.

    It is irrelevant to the present discussion whether the method of verification chosen was successful in that instance. The point is that it was attempted. Like other empirical attempts, whether in mathematics or the sciences, it may or may not have succeeded, and it may or may not be complete.

    And it is of course possible in principle, if time-consuming, to verify that a computer program that carries out an empirical examination of the search space is fit for its purpose, making a demonstration that is at present widely accepted on probabilistic grounds universally accepted.

    Be that as it may, the central fact from which Mr Lee cannot escape is that in that and many other instances, some of which I have mentioned, it is possible to hunt for a counter-example, and that hunt is often empirical rather than dictated by any logical process of induction or deduction.

    And yes, I have indicated that Stepin was incorrect in his statement to the effect that in modern mathematics there is no place for that part of the scientific method that concerns empirical verification. Nevertheless, Stepin stated, as I said some way upthread, that the scientific method had been applied in mathematics in the first of the three phases he discusses, establishing that the scientific method was first deployed in mathematics, as it still is today in many proofs and disproofs.

    I do not need to provide any further citations. It was necessary only to find one counter-example to Mr Lee’s hypothesis that mathematics does not use empirical verification, and his comments about the success or otherwise of the proof of the four-color theorem do not in any way detract from the fact that a proof by empirical methods was attempted and is – whether he likes it or not – widely accepted. Let him google “four-color theorem” and then google “four-color conjecture”, and see how many hits appear for each. He will then have done an empirical verification for himself.

    Indeed, the very fact that the demonstration is not as definitive as a formal mathematical proof by the usual methods of deduction from or induction upon the postulates is yet a further illustration of the fact that the scientific method as deployed in mathematics is the same scientific method that applies to the physical sciences – even down to the fact that definitive demonstration of a conjecture is not always possible, though definitive disproof (e.g. by counter-example) is of course possible.

    Of course, it is sometimes possible. One may hunt for a counter-example to a conjecture – that of Fermat in relation to a class of Mersenne primes, for instance – and, if one finds one, the conjecture is definitively disproved. The problem with Mr Lee is that he is not merely mendacious and graceless but also narrow-minded, so he has formed no part of the extraordinary unification of scientific and mathematical knowledge that the scientific method facilitates. He thinks in silly little boxes rather than realizing that the search for truth cannot, however hard he tries, be circumscribed any more by his sort of narrow-mindedness than by his serial mendacity.

    Mr Lee cites Einstein on the reasons why mathematics enjoys special esteem above “all other sciences”, suggesting that Einstein regards mathematics as one of the sciences, a point to which Mr Lee – if I recollect correctly – earlier objected, though it was not one that I had made.

    Finally, since Mr Lee has been consistently rude as well as mendacious and narrow-minded in this discussion, he cannot reasonably complain if he gets a bit of his own rudeness turned back on him. He is way, way out of his depth, for he has no interest in the truth, only in the trolling, and the lying, and lying, and lying again.

  249. Truth be told, I’m not complaining about LM’s methods of argument, since I see them as a sign of weakness in his position. In LM’s view it is rude to check his references to find evidence that he was wrong about Popper and Stepin, wrong about math and the scientific method, wrong about Tech’s four color problem treatment being accepted in mathematics, and generally ignorant about mathematics — not one source of support from a modern mathematician.

    As for my quote by Einstein, LM fixates on his use of “other sciences” to presume that he considered math a science, while ignore the rest of the quote that distinguishes math from science — the part about being overthrown by newly discovered facts. A point that Einstein makes was also made by Stepin and even Popper which LM doesn’t seem to grasp. What distinguishes math is that it is possible to be certain, in Science you are never sure that no evidence will arise to falsify your result.

    To his critics he responds rudely, not just to me, but many others. In this he is trying to intimidate his critics, perhaps because his argument is weak.

  250. Let us review Mr Lee’s errors in this thread:

    Mr Lee said mathematics was not a topic subject to the scientific method. I provided counter-examples demonstrating that mathematics, as well as using logic, also uses empirical methods of verification. Mr Lee nevertheless persisted in reasserting his original error on seven separate occasions.

    Mr Lee said: “To be subject to the scientific method, the inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence and theories must be falsified when contradicted by experiment”. Two errors here: first, the falsification of a hypothesis may be based on whatever method of enquiry is available, including logical reasoning. Secondly, several mathematical conjectures have been subjected to empirical determination.

    Mr Lee said: “In mathematics there are no experiments.” Yes, there are. I mentioned several, including Fermat’s conjecture about the Mersenne primes, which was falsified by the empirical method of finding a counter-example; Goldbach’s conjecture, where numerous attempts have been made to find a counter-example by empirical methods.

    Mr Lee said: “No mathematician looks to the telescope or the microscope to obtain observations to falsify his mathematics.” Einstein, who had arrived at his theory of relativity by mathematics, recommended the use of the telescope to verify it. Yes, the theory is a theory in physics, but it is also a theory in mathematics. And Newton’s laws of celestial motion, arrived at by mathematics, were also subjected to falsification by telescopes.

    Mr Lee accused me on five occasions of saying that mathematics was no different from the other sciences, when I had neither said or implied that. He persisted in saying this even after he had been thrice corrected.

    Mr Lee complained that I had accused him of knowing nothing about math and science. No, I had said, on sound evidence, that he knew nothing either of the scientific method or of the history of science. Mr Lee then denied he had complained that I had accused him of knowing nothing about math and science.

    Mr Lee cited with approval a textbook saying “Math is not a science”. Subsequently he cited Einstein with approval as referring to mathematics “and the other sciences”, implying that mathematics is a science. I had not said anything on this topic except to point out that in the ancient universities mathematics is treated as an art.

    Mr Lee said that because mathematics can obtain results by logic, it could not obtain them by any other method. That does not follow.

    Mr Lee said I had misquoted his point that the method of testing a hypothesis must be experimental and founded in measurement. He had actually said: “To be subject to the scientific method, the inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence and theories must be falsified when contradicted by experiment.”

    Mr Lee, even when faced with this and other direct evidence of his attempts at denying or altering what he had previously said, lied directly to the effect that he had not changed his statements.

    Mr Lee said example I had given of refuting hypotheses empirically was in science, not mathematics. The Goldbach conjecture is in mathematics. The two Fermat conjectures I cited are in mathematics. The four-color theorem is in mathematics.

    Mr Lee, attempting to say I was wrong to question Professor Lovejoy’s assertion that scientific results could not be proven beyond reasonable doubt, cited Popper as saying: “A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified.” Even when I had twice explained the distinction between the definitive proof Popper was talking of and the lesser standard of proof “beyond reasonable doubt”, Mr Lee wilfully persisted, taking no account of this material distinction.

    Mr Lee said: “No theorem properly derived in math is overthrown by experiment or observation.” This is a double error. If it is a theorem, it has been proven, so, if it is properly derived, it is not “overthrown” by anything. However, conjectures derived in mathematics, however properly, can be overthrown by empirical methods.

    Mr Lee was unaware that the search for counter-examples of a conjecture is by definition an empirical process, and remained unwilling to acknowledge this even after it had been explained to him twice.

    Mr Lee said I was wrong to say applied math is a science. However, I had said no such thing. Indeed, I had not referred to applied math at all anywhere in the thread.

    Mr Lee said the only difference between pure and applied math is “the source of the problem being attacked”. No: each discipline has numerous techniques peculiar to itself.

    Mr Lee, towards the end of the thread, said my assertion that one can prove hypotheses beyond reasonable doubt was “new”. However, I had said it in the head posting, and it was his challenge to it that had started this discussion.

    Mr Lee said that Dr Stepin, whom I had cited as saying that the scientific method was first applied in mathematics, had later said that experiment was not available in mathematics. However, experiment is only one element in the scientific method, and it is available in mathematics, as the examples I had already cited demonstrate.

    Mr Lee, on learning that the four-color theorem in mathematics had been demonstrated by a manifestly experimental, empirical method, said the authors of the proof I had cited had said the proof was not definitive. I had, however, already fairly pointed out that the proof was controversial, but it was nevertheless a plain exercise of the scientific method in mathematics.

    Mr Lee, finally, whined on several occasions that I had been rude to him. Yet it was he who, right from his first intervention, had adopted an offensive, sneering tone, saying I should “know better” than to cite the theorem of Pythagoras, and that I should “understand the difference” between math and science. I nevertheless replied in a polite and straightforward vein, whereupon Mr Lee became openly offensive, saying I should not write what he called “rubbish” about the scientific method, whereupon I decided not to take his nonsense lying down and told him to do less shouting and more reading.

    Mr Lee’s errors, wilful refusals to conduct the debate civilly, and outright lies compounded ineptly by further outright lies are a paradigm of the anti-scientific, anti-rational mind-set we are up against. Just look at the dozens of errors he has perpetrated here. He cannot even go back to his paymasters and report that he has tied up my time. For I am in great pain and unable to do anything constructive till it subsides: so he has not succeeded in wasting my time, though he has certainly succeeded in making a complete ass of himself. This discussion will be particularly carefully archived at the Lord Monckton Foundation, so that future generations puzzled at the monumental stupidity of the climate scare will gain some understanding of the moral as well as intellectual inadequacy of its tottering champions.

  251. As typical LM talks about more than he can know, he presumes not opinions but facts 1) that I’m paid for this discussion; I’m not, and 2) that I’m in league with the “climate scare crowd”; I’m not. These defamations and his previous ones I tolerate to show that LM’s ego drives him to claim to know what he doesn’t.

    As for his quite wearysome diatribe just completed, I think that LM still hasn’t given any quotes supporting his position from a modern mathematician. That and the refuting quotes by his cited sources represents all I care to do with him at present.

  252. Mr Lee tell us he is not paid to conduct this discussion. Since he has lied about just about everything else during it, the probability remains that he has lied about this too. After all, who would make such an egregious fool of himself unless he were paid to do it? Who would lie and lie and lie again unless he were paid to do it, as so many supporters of the climate scare are paid?

    He exhibits another characteristic of the paid true-believer in the climate scam: appeal to authority. He keeps demanding that I should cite a “modern mathematician”. But, given that I have provided clear and numerous counter-examples to his contention that the empirical method has no place in mathematics. Those counter-examples are enough on their own.

    Besides, since he has wilfully misinterpreted the sources I did cite, it would matter not how many further sources I cited. He has adopted an aprioristic position that is contrary to the evidence and has then repeatedly lied in support of it. I have long learned that the best way to deal with a proven liar is to list and expose his lies and then give him no more material to form the basis of new lies. Let him now go and tell his lies somewhere else. He is no longer welcome here.

  253. Friends:

    At April 26, 2014 at 5:23 pm and in rebuttal of Philip Lee, Monckton of Brenchley states obvious truths when he writes:

    Mr Lee’s errors, wilful refusals to conduct the debate civilly, and outright lies compounded ineptly by further outright lies are a paradigm of the anti-scientific, anti-rational mind-set we are up against. Just look at the dozens of errors he has perpetrated here.

    In his reply to that, at April 26, 2014 at 10:32 pm Philip Lee says:

    As for his quite wearysome diatribe just completed, I think that LM still hasn’t given any quotes supporting his position from a modern mathematician. That and the refuting quotes by his cited sources represents all I care to do with him at present.

    A “modern mathematician”?
    There is no reason to dispute the competent mathematicians cited by Monckton.

    Lee’s statement – here quoted – provides complete confirmation of Monckton’s statements which Lee purports to be refuting. Additionally, Lee’s promise that he will now clear off is surely pleasing to all.

    Richard

  254. LM is a quibbler and a [snip – over the top. ~mod].

    LM complains about my use of “new” in his comment:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/the-empire-of-the-viscount-strikes-back/#comment-1622825 (fifth paragraph from bottom). He points out that “new”, meaning “not existing before” was wrong in as much as he had said the same before. “New” also means “Already existing but seen, experienced, or acquired recently” according to the British version of the Oxford Dictionary and that use was appropriate for addressing his then “new” or recent comment containing his recently re-made assertion at issue. So LM avoids the substance of the by quibbling over the meaning of “new.” [snip] LM employs quibbling often.

    LM continues his libels, claiming now, for example, that “He [Lee] exhibits another characteristic of the paid true-believer in the climate scam”. Like much of what he writes about me, LM has been lazy and arrogant. Lazy because because he has not checked any of my prior postings to see whether they would confirm his libels. If he had not been a lazy fool, he might have found my prior remarks here at:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/30/open-letter-to-the-honorable-john-kerry-u-s-secretary-of-state/#comment-1431919

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/28/cmip5-model-data-comparison-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/#comment-1235035

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/16/climate-craziness-of-the-week-plants-blamed-for-us-not-roasting-since-1950/#comment-1450104

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/23/climate-ugliness-goes-nuclear/#comment-1156206

    or at Judith Curry’s blog at:

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/14/policy-rhetoric-and-public-bewilderment/#comment-267779

    His arrogance is that he displays no common decency to check whether his statements might be false. Interested parties may decide for themselves whether my prior remarks justify LM’s claims.

    In maintaining these falsehoods without evidence or even checking [snip].

  255. Re-posting to correct errors:

    LM is a quibbler [snip]. Evidence of both follows.

    LM complains about my use of “new” in his comment:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/the-empire-of-the-viscount-strikes-back/#comment-1622825

    (fifth paragraph from bottom). He points out that “new”, meaning “not existing before” was wrong in as much as he had said the same before. “New” also means “Already existing but seen, experienced, or acquired recently” according to the British version of the Oxford Dictionary and that use was appropriate for addressing his then “new” or recent comment (April 24, 2014 at 3:41 pm) containing his recently re-made assertion at issue. So LM avoids the substance of the issue by quibbling over the meaning of “new” instead. Some places, where the honor code has been adopted, rank quibbling [snip]. LM employs quibbling often.

    LM continues his libels, claiming now, for example, that “He [Lee] exhibits another characteristic of the paid true-believer in the climate scam”. Like much of what he writes about me, LM has been lazy and arrogant. Lazy because because he has not checked any of my prior postings to see whether they would confirm his libels. If he had not been a lazy fool, he might have found my prior remarks here at:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/30/open-letter-to-the-honorable-john-kerry-u-s-secretary-of-state/#comment-1431919

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/02/28/cmip5-model-data-comparison-satellite-era-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies/#comment-1235035

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/16/climate-craziness-of-the-week-plants-blamed-for-us-not-roasting-since-1950/#comment-1450104

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/23/climate-ugliness-goes-nuclear/#comment-1156206

    or at Judith Curry’s blog at:

    http://judithcurry.com/2012/11/14/policy-rhetoric-and-public-bewilderment/#comment-267779

    His arrogance is that he displays no common decency to check whether his statements might be false. Interested parties may decide for themselves whether my prior remarks justify LM’s claims.

    In maintaining these falsehoods without evidence or even checking, [snip].

  256. I will pay $10,000 to the charity of LM’s choosing if any evidence can be found that I’ve been paid for my comments here provided LM will pay the same to a charity of my choosing if, one month from today no evidence shall be presented. Evidence shall be the deposit to one of my bank accounts on or before today but not before Feb. 1, 2014 of a check whose source can be traced to someone advocating man made climate change or money in an amount significant to me, being more than 1% of my net worth. I agree to show all bank information to LM or his representative at my home which he may copy if he finds evidence of payment. LM agrees to a a visit by himself or his representative by May 15, 2014.

  257. BTW, I do insist that statements made about evidence will be sworn so as to support a civil lawsuit should either LM or I lie about the evidence.

  258. To the moderator — so, LM can use the “L” word, but My use is over the top.

    [Different moderators. This one has a problem with the L-word. You’re smart enough to say it without using that pejorative. ~mod]

  259. Philip Lee’s bullying tactics are not conducive to rational debate.

    His incessant nit-picking on subjects irrelevant to the discussion article, are
    worthy perhaps, of a professor of journalism, lecturing to an errant student.

    Monckton is a student, yes, as are we all who would wish to learn new facts,
    but truly it is Lee who needs to take lessons about the way in which he does
    present his arguments, with haphazard attacks, and straw men, and the
    very many other peripatetic fallacies exhibited here. In that regard it is he
    who is the student and Monckton who is the maestro.

    The bluff and bluster now culminating in fatuous wagers and challenges,
    which serve only to illustrate the ludicrous state of Mr. Lee’s troubled mind.

    Please lets get back to rational debate, and do not rise to the bait so easily,
    Lord Monckton. You must not allow people like Mr. Lee to lure you into a
    “flame war”, such as he has done. This may be his only pleasure to do so,
    but I would urge you to deny him that gratification.

  260. Big Mac & Chips says:
    April 27, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    …..Monckton is a student, yes, as are we all who would wish to learn new facts,
    but truly it is Lee who needs to take lessons
    about the way in which he does
    present his arguments, with haphazard attacks, and straw men, and the
    very many other peripatetic fallacies exhibited here. In that regard it is he
    who is the student and Monckton who is the maestro….

    =============================================================
    Reminds me of something I heard someone say once, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts.”

  261. I think Philip Lee is right. The fact that a theory in physics is mathematical in form does not make it a theory in mathematics. The most common usage of “science” in English excludes mathematics, so Lovejoy’s original remark about not being able to prove a theory in science should reasonably have been taken to exclude mathematical theorems, though it was unfortunate Lovejoy brought in the legal metaphor by referring to “reasonable doubt”. No law in natural science can be proved like a mathematical theorem, but whether such a law can be proved “beyond reasonable doubt” is a more murky question, since many scientific laws have been corroborated far better than would be necessary to secure a conviction in a court of law.

    I agree with some of what Matthew Marler says. However, 1. surely he will agree that Einstein’s theory of gravitation contradicts Newton’s theory of gravitation, and therefore they cannot both be true, though Newton’s theory survives as a special case, useful in many, perhaps most, applications, within Einstein’s theory. And 2. Yes, empirical observation is theory-laden, as Popper insisted. But this does not remove the distinction between theoretical and empirical in the conception of empirical science, for the ‘theory’ guiding observations is at a different level than the theory embodied in a putative natural law. In brief, the theory governing how to make observations does not determine what the outcome of the observations will be. Indeed, a proper theory of how to make observations must allow for the possibility that the observations could turn out in at least two different ways. Otherwise, we could dispense with the observation completely and then we would not be doing empirical science.

  262. David Ramsey Steele’s comments on Lord Monckton’s use of Pythagoras’s theorem seem correct. However, I, like Steele, are in agreement with his Lordship’s main argument. I’m happy to have found his lordship’s critical arguments against the dominant global warming ideology.

  263. David Ramsay Steele says:
    April 28, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    The fact that a theory in physics is mathematical in form does not make it a theory in mathematics.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comment. In the case of the law in question, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_law_of_universal_gravitation , Newton actually derived his gravitation law from Kepler’s third law. This derivation is not commonly taught in physics, though Kepler’s laws are commonly derived from Newton’s laws in physics lectures. A discussion of this derivation is given in http://www.cems.uvm.edu/~tlakoba/AppliedUGMath/notes/lecture_2.pdf See also http://www.cems.uvm.edu/~tlakoba/AppliedUGMath/planets_HallHigson.pdf

    A point frequently not appreciated in discussions with non-mathematicians, that I tried to make, is that Newton’s derivation is mathematically correct. Yet in physics the law is falsified. the basic logic is (if A then B) was proven, but falsified in physics, so logic tells that “A” must not be true in physics. Actually, observations from the orbit of mercury told us that “B” was false in physics, but the proof means that it is still mathematically true.

  264. I am unfortunately no mathematician, but have a long-time interest in philosophy of science, especially Popper. One of the things that has made me a climate skeptic is the failure of the dominant theory to look for observational tests (or when observations seem to refute the theory, often to ignore them).

    I am a critical rationalist (Popperian), but the distinction between empirical and non-empirical propositions is of course widely held beyond the ranks of critical rationalists. You might say it’s the consensus view (though that’s no reason for supposing it correct).

    Thanks for those links. I will pursue them.

    Popper says somewhere (I think it’s in Realism and the Aim of Science, though I wouldn’t swear to it) that it’s a common error to think that Newton could be derived from Kepler. Popper says the two theories actually conflict.

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