A Rare Debate on the ‘Settled Science’ of Climate Change

Guest essay by Steve Goreham

Originally published in Communities Digital News.

In 1997 during the Kyoto Protocol Treaty negotiations in Japan, Dr. Robert Watson, then Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was asked about scientists who challenge United Nations conclusions that global warming was man-made. He answered, “The science is settled…we’re not going to reopen it here.” Thus began one of the greatest propaganda lines in support of the theory of human-caused global warming.

On June 19 this year, the University of Northern Iowa held a debate on climate change titled, “Climate Instability: Interpretations of Scientific Evidence.” Dr. Jerry Schnoor of the University of Iowa presented an effective case for the theory of man-made warming and I presented the case for climate change driven by natural causes. The video contains 30 minutes of presentation by each side and then 30 minutes of questions and rebuttal, presented to a small audience of faculty and students.

Formal debates on the theory of human-caused warming are somewhat rare in our society today. Former Vice President Al Gore stated on the CBS Early Show on May 31, 2006:

…the debate among the scientists is over. There is no more debate. We face a planetary emergency. There is no more scientific debate among serious people who’ve looked at the science…Well, I guess in some quarters, there’s still a debate over whether the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, or whether the earth is flat instead of round.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared to Congress in 2010, “The science behind climate change is settled, and human activity is responsible for global warming.” Even President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address said, “But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

The Los Angeles Times announced last year that they will not print opinions that challenge the concept that humans are the cause of climate change. The BBC has taken a similar position. Many of our universities will not allow an open debate on climate change. Last year, the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University posted an image of two professors holding a match to my book.

SJSU_bookfireIn contrast to the “no debate” positions of our political leaders, news media, and many universities, the event at the University of Northern Iowa was a breath of fresh air. Thanks to Dr. Catherine Zeman and the Center for Energy and Environmental Education at UNI for their sponsorship of an open debate on the “settled science” of climate change.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism:  Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

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187 thoughts on “A Rare Debate on the ‘Settled Science’ of Climate Change

  1. Bookburners….nice ring to it. Where have we heard that before?

    Maybe the tide is starting to turn. Now is the time to charge, not relax.

    • Calling Ray Bradbury. Amazing how self-unaware these cretins are. One wonders if they ever read a book. Any book.

    • Perhaps what is needed is a Billboard advert blitz with two panels. On the left, an image of Nazi Germany burning piles of books and on the right side the image above. Both captioned for the Forth Reich

    • It’s not as bad as it looks. This library received an unsolicited copy of Goreham’s book. imagine many on our side doing the same thing if we received an unsolicited copy of Mann’s book.

      • Only if you count the trash trucks taking the trash to the local incinerator on trash collection day as burning Mann’s book.

    • Exactly. And these are ‘supposedly ‘educators!’

      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      • “The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”
        An apt quote by, of all people, Karl Marx.

      • UCSB professors who teach Cook’s “97% consensus” and IPCC political anti-science factoids in upper division geography courses have the support of local media. Comments with links to Cook’s .5% consensus and to the Oregon Petition Project are deleted from right-wing (Noozhawk) and comments about UCSB professors teaching political propaganda are deleted from left-wing (independent) news media. But no > in CO2 resulting from book burning.

  2. “Last year, the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University posted an image of two professors holding a match to my book.”
    ———————-
    “Where people burn books, they will end up burning humans.”

    -Ancient German proverb.

    • However, I SEE a burning match, and I SEE a book, but no burning book. I suspect the professors are devouring your book in the privacy of the lavatory.

      • You will probably find that they could not actually set the book alight indoors due to health and safety rules and or the fact of a fire alarm/suppression system in the building which could have been either embarrassing or expensive if activated.

        James Bull

  3. The fat lady with the match has a predilection to conflagration it seems judging by her choice of wall photos. Take note Smokey, she should be kept under surveillance during the next wildfire season.

    • Just like the pictures on the wall of our Fire Brigade office. Flames and destruction all over the place, but are they “our greatest moments” or “our greatest disasters”? Rather ambivalent, but maybe that’s inherent in the fire-fighting world. This lady, however, should not be trusted with matches anywhere outside a bathroom.

      • We’re off to seize the Wizards!
        The wonderful, wonderful, wonderful wizards of Odds.
        To seize more the wonderful funds he has,
        And burn all the impure thoughts he hates …

        Volcanoes, and smoke, and lava eruptions, oh my!

  4. It pains me to see that even a chemical engineer will stoop to calling neutralization acidification for effect. I lost all respect for him right then and there.

    • Well, as a long-retired Chemical Engineer, I can see the point. pH as I recall is an expression of the concentration of hydrogen ions in solution. Thus, an increase in H+ concentration can legitimately be called acidification. The OH- concentration is the reverse of H+, so a decrease in OH- is a reduction in basicity and therefore acidification. You do not have to get below pH7 to react directionally in an acidic direction.

      • I understand the reasoning but I challenge anyone to find the term acidification being used in the context of pH dropping towards 7. The only context I have been able to find the term being used in that sense is when discussing ocean acidification.

      • I use the term “decreasing ocean alkalinity.”
        – It has been pointed out here by others that the vast stores of submarine CaCO3 (the Tums antacid active ingredient, the stuff the White Cliffs of Dover are made of) around the continental shelves will provide strong pH buffering as increasing pCO2 forces the dissolved CO2 levels to rise in near-surface waters.
        – The vast basaltic abyssal plains spreading from the mid-ocean ridges will buffer against pH change from increases in deep water CO2.

      • Billy used to weigh 297 lbs but now he’s at 295 lbs.
        So he’s not less fat he’s more skinny.
        How’s that?

    • This argument that “a pH change in a more acidic direction in not acidification if the original pH is on the alkaline side of neutral” is a pretty poor one, perhaps irrelevant, and I wish it would not keep cropping up.

      More importantly measures of ocean pH over time and geographically are very sparse and remain so in this day and age. There is to date no suitable automated method to measure and collect such data.
      It is also not clear that our very buffered oceans would reach a tipping point with the current supposed rate of titration of dissolving CO2…

      • Sorry, but the “acidification” argument is garbage.

        It’s the same as saying that if I slow from 60 mph to 55 mph I’m “going backwards”. Utter rubbish. The term is being used for the scare value, nothing more and any serious scientists should be ashamed to allow it to be used.

        Semantically the term might be (in a very strict and “making sure that you leave out most of the information so that you can mislead people” sense) true, but on that logic Dachau could be honestly called a “Population Control Centre”.

    • Tom T and all- elementary, first year chemistry- adding an acid to a solution is called acidification, as in “acidify the solution in the flask with a 1% solution of hydrochloric acid and note the amount of acid required”. Alkalize or alkalise is probably the most common term for adding a base to a solution.

      In the amounts discussed about the oceans, neither term is really accurate since the ocean is a highly buffered solution with many different buffering salts. A buffer strongly damps any pH change until the buffer is overwhelmed. Since most of the “acid” in the ocean is H2C03H+…HCO3ˉ, or CO2 dissolved in water, with a pKa of 1.2×10ˉ3 and 2H+…. CO3ˉ2 it would take a concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere 5-10 times higher than now to reach an ocean pH over .2pH lower than present. (your numbers may vary). It’s all a bit moot anyway, since modelling the behavior of C02 in the ocean exactly is on the same order of difficulty as modelling its effects in the atmosphere. We only have clues as to where and how much it comes from.

  5. One comment, which is a mantra of mine here:
    IT IS NOT A THEORY!!!!!!!

    AGW is a hypothesis which has, so far, not passed one test with empirical evidence. I have pleaded and pleaded with everyone – here and everywhere else – please stop elevating the quaint but dangerous proposition of AGW to the highest ranks of scientific explanation, which is what a theory IS.. A theory is an explanation which encompasses and is consistent with all observations and every piece of data. AGW is consistent with NONE, and explains NOTHING real in the natural world.

    • Tom,

      I would like to say that I have seen this plea on many occasions and I agree with what you are saying. I agree completely. There is no real data support for AGW and there never was any. (no, not even in the 80s)

      But the thing is, most common people use “theory” much like you use “hunch” or hypothesis. There is no flow from hunch, to hypothesis, to theory in the minds of the common man. Why? I think that a lot of obfuscation and bad science is the reason but there are probably many other factors as well. (public schools perhaps?)

      I wish you well with your pet peeve but don’t hold your breath. :-(

      • It was a scientist and not “a common man” who made the statement. It isn’t possible he was unaware of the obvious error. A thousand little lies is how you tell the larger lie.

        The entire episode is just another chapter from the Klimatnacht book of lies.

      • Well, in a way, the hypothesis of global warming by CO2 is settled. It used to be a lot noisier.

      • Tom,
        you have my complete agreement on that. AGW is a mere hypothesis, not a working theory. Ie: there are no workable results, nothing predicted by the hypothesis has eventuated.

        I would go further and point out that most sceptics don’t understand that the idea of a NET radiative GHE is also mere hypothesis not working theory. (There have been some attempts to elevate it to such with radiative model of lapse rate, but the working theory of mechanical lapse rate still stands.)

        This is why I so object to sceptics using the propaganda term “greenhouse gases” instead of the scientific term (strongly) radiative gases. The propaganda term “greenhouse gases” presupposes a net radiative GHE. There is little hope of someone who has embraced this term understanding the full role of these gases in our atmosphere.

        Sometimes semantics matter.

      • Another commonly misused term is “proof of” rather than “evidence of”. I sympathize with Tom.

    • There is an alternate definition of the word theory which is consistent with the way people are using the word, so I think you are not correct.

      • Maybe it has an alternate definition in common parlance, but not in science. We are talking science here, right? Or, is this really religion and politics where the common usage you’re suggesting is okay?

        Bruce

      • E.M. Smith is correct. AGW is not a ‘theory’ [the scientific hierarchy is: Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory, Law].

        To rise to the level of a hypothesis, cAGW must be able to make repeated, accurate predictions. But we all know how those predictions have turned out: the alarming predictions of decimated Polar bears, and accelerating sea levels, and ocean “acidification”, and increasing extreme weather events, and runaway global warming itself, have all been flat wrong.

        And the biggest prediction of the past several decades — the fact that global warming stopped many years ago — was completely missed by the promoters of man-made global warming.

        Thus, CAGW [and AGW] are conjectures; opinions. They are not hypotheses, because they are unable to make any repeated, accurate predictions.

        So in the interest of scientific accuracy, man made global warming is merely a conjecture, nothing more.

    • Based on Dr Feynmen’s description of how we look for a new law I don’t think climate science is much past the Guess – Compute Consequences phase. They certainly haven’t successfully reached the Compare to Nature phase.

      All I’ve seen and heard were the many wild guesses and acceptance of the Guess and Compute phase with the ungodly, horrible, terrible, nasty effects of CO2 melting ice, drowning polar bears, causing fires and twisters and hurricanes and floods and droughts and famines and hair falling out. (and prostitution, riots and world war III.)

      These Guessed at CO2 effects just don’t Compare to Nature well so the science must be ignored and skeptics lied about by wackos like Lewie and Cookie and called psychologically defective.
      And that’s their science…Lies and attacks is all they’ve got.
      I’m not sure they have any real data left anymore to even try to Compare to Nature.

    • Thanks Tom, I have been guilty of that mis-application of the word “theory”. CAGW is an hypothesis. CAGW hypothesis is a tautological equivocation.

  6. The ignorance evident in that book burning photo is jarring. That belongs on the WUWT Wall of Shame page should it ever come into being.

  7. Good job UNI! We need more open discussion in public universities so that the public is at least aware there is still a debate. All we need to do is delay congressional action on “saving” us from climate change and time will prove who the deniers have been all along.

  8. This coming spring, at a small college in Grand Rapids, MI, there will be an interesting 6 week class where I, as a retired meteorologist, will present the case against CAGW and an astronomy professor from the college will present the case for AGW. We will each have a total of three weeks with alternating presentations and we will be required to attend each others sessions. Should be a lot of fun.

  9. debates are rare because science is not a debate, or more specifically, science does not proceed or advance by verbal debates in front of audiences. You can win a debate and be wrong about the science.Debates prove one thing. Folks who engage in them don’t get it, folks who demand them dont get it and folks who attend them dont get it.

    The science is settled doesn’t mean that the science is correct or flawless or certain. The science is settled doesn’t mean there is no room for doubt. Within science there is always doubt. The science is settled
    means that scientists no longer find doubting the science to be a productive use of their time.

    Given any theory there is room for doubt. So the question is “should I doubt this and try to over turn it?” Or
    should I use my time to build on it and improve it at the margins.

    Let’s take a simple question like sensitivity.

    Sensitivity is a measure of how the system as a whole responds to changes in forcings

    lambda = dT/dF

    There are two fundamental reactions to this scientific statement

    A) doubt. See willis’ work
    B) calculation. See Nic Lewis

    That is, faced with a theory you have these choices. You always have these choices, regardless of the theory.

    A) doubt the theory and try to show its wrong with the goal of substituting a better understanding.
    B) accept the theory and build on, refine it, improve it.

    What guides your choice? It’s largely pragmatic. Willis thinks he has a hope of showing the theory wrong.
    So he works on that. Longshot, but huge upside for him personally. The vast majority of working scientists in the field think that option B will be more practical. Both are rational.

    each,however, wants to represent his choice as the only logical one. Chances are Willis will fail. Not because he is provably wrong, but rather because of the large amount of work that others would have to abandon were he correct and also because he cannot assemble a replacement theory.

    Settled Science does not refer to epistemic criteria. It means simply that the vast majority don’t want to risk/waste their careers trying to overturn a body of work that they would rather build on than destroy.
    The science isnt settled by argument. It’s settled by folks who vote with their time. They wont spend their time
    doubting, because there is a low risk of suceeding and way too much science to re work.

    • Steven Mosher
      October 2, 2014 at 2:30 pm
      debates are rare because science is not a debate, or more specifically, science does not proceed or advance by verbal debates in front of audiences. You can win a debate and be wrong about the science.Debates prove one thing.

      The same applies to consensus.

      Settled Science does not refer to epistemic criteria. It means simply that the vast majority don’t want to risk/waste their careers trying to overturn a body of work that they would rather build on than destroy.

      The reason they would rather build on a failing conjecture is this.

      “It is difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends upon his not understanding it”.
      Upton Sinclair

      • I’ve always taken the refusal to “debate” because “the science is settled” as an attempt to silence the science.
        True, some who know their stuff may not be able to speak as well in a public forum as others. And that doesn’t mean that their position is mistaken.
        But when an opposing view or paper can’t be discussed or published because “the science is settled”?
        That goes beyond debating or oratory skills. That’s censoring and/or ignoring the data and reasoned opinions contrary to “the consensus”.

      • Whenever there is a debate with your well informed sceptic the public sees that such sceptics insist that co2 is a greenhouse gas and we should see some warming this century if our rate of output continues. This is what the Warmists don’t want the public to see. The ‘settled science’ angle is meant to shut down media and publication avenues for sceptics.

        Mosher needs to realise the political and activist angle on this.

    • Steve,
      Your goodwill and correct definition regarding “settled science” is right but completely wrong. The climate hypesters mean exactly that the science is unquestionable and not open to review or serious questioning.
      As to you your assertion that science is not debated, that is not accurate. Debates- actual debates as that described in the post of this thread- are used to clearly lay out points and counterpoints, questions and answers regarding science. This was not some faux political debate a la American Presidential ‘debates’. What was engaged at UNI was poper, thorough and open. I would urge you to reconsider your point and clarify it a bit.
      Your conclusion is well stated: The side that works hardest, and comes up with the evidence, wins.
      Which is why skeptics are winning. ;^)

    • And yet science evolves because “settled science” is shown not to be so.

      Let’s be frank. Most scientist follow the safe course because they cannot do better, they don’t have the ideas, they don’t have the gumption to stand behind anything other than the contents of their school textbooks. I have overwhelming evidence of this in my own field. Overwhelming.

      This matters because, if you take the trouble to dig into your field, you quickly realize that the opinion of most scientist amounts to essentially nothing. They are just tuned to their particular TV channel (in this case, whatever journals they follow). Hear one, hear all. They generally don’t understand, they just repeat.

      Now, I’m not saying by this most scientists are useless. They are good to replicate studies, etc. Beyond this, and in any substantial manner, they are a waste of time. Read the journals instead. Be a maverick and make up your own mind.

      • “I have overwhelming evidence of this in my own field. Overwhelming.”

        It’s pretty much that way in any field. There’s even some sociological theory which expresses the phenomenon. Somebody pointed to the Wikipedia page a long time ago, but I did not record the link. Would like to find it.

      • Here is something worth thinking about. People end up losing or not gaining.

        Wall Street Journal – 2 May, 2014
        The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease
        Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade
        “Saturated fat does not cause heart disease”—or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. How could this be? The very cornerstone of dietary advice for generations has been that the saturated fats in butter, cheese and red meat should be avoided because they clog our arteries……..

        Our distrust of saturated fat can be traced back to the 1950s, to a man named Ancel Benjamin Keys, a scientist at the University of Minnesota…….
        http://tinyurl.com/m8sczes

        Annals of Internal Medicine – 18 March, 2014
        Dr. Rajiv Chowdhury et al
        Association of Dietary, Circulating, and Supplement Fatty Acids With Coronary Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis
        Conclusion: Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.

        Primary Funding Source: British Heart Foundation, Medical Research Council, Cambridge National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre, and Gates Cambridge.
        http://tinyurl.com/q3hqfvc

        Guardian – 23 March 2014
        Why almost everything you’ve been told about unhealthy foods is wrong
        Eggs and red meat have both been on the nutritional hit list – but after a major study last week dismissed a link between fats and heart disease, is it time for a complete rethink?
        ………
        Last week it fell to a floundering professor, Jeremy Pearson, from the British Heart Foundation to explain why it still adheres to the nutrition establishment’s anti-saturated fat doctrine when evidence is stacking up to refute it. After examining 72 academic studies involving more than 600,000 participants, the study, funded by the foundation, found that saturated fat consumption was not associated with coronary disease risk. This assessment echoed a review in 2010 that concluded “there is no convincing evidence that saturated fat causes heart disease”……
        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/23/everything-you-know-about-unhealthy-foods-is-wrong
        =====================================

        Butter and cheese better than trans-fat margarines, says heart specialist
        Aseem Malhotra says saturated fat is not a problem, low-fat products are often full of sugar and statins are over-prescribed
        …..
        Butter, cheese and even red meat are not as bad for the heart as has been maintained, a cardiologist has said in a leading medical journal, adding that it is time to “bust the myth” of saturated fat.
        …..
        Trans-fats found in many fast foods, bakery goods and margarine are indeed a problem, Malhotra writes in the British Medical Journal. But saturated fats in milk, cheese and meat are another matter.
        http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/22/butter-cheese-saturated-fat-heart-specialist
        ———————–

      • Brute. I found that what you said about scientist also to be true about many engineers. I worked in the aircraft maintenance field for forty years. I was amazed how many times we had a problem with a system that we had to ask for help from engineers with and we got nothing. The interesting thing about airplane fixing is that when a difficult problem arises a lot of differing ideas about what to do to correct it are discussed. Some of the ideas are really way out there. The problem never gets fixed until the correct cause is identified. The toughest ones were the no problem problem. Someone (sometimes the pilots) would report something they they had not noticed before. Sometimes we spent several days trying to fix something that was nothing more than an odd quirk that we didn’t know that all the aircraft had and it really didn’t even affect the operation of the aircraft.

        It seems to me that CAGW is one of those tough no problem “problems”.

        Jim

    • We are running the experiment right now on our climate.
      The hypothesis being tested is that rising CO2 exerts a dominant forcing effect on climate, and overrides natural variability. The principle prediction is one of steadily rising atmospheric temperatures across the globe.
      Observation:
      -CO2 continues upward.
      -Temperature continues flat 18 years..
      -supporting the temperature obs:
      — polar ice is not behaving as predicted.
      –Storms and cyclones are not getting more intense or frequent.

      Preliminary conclusions:
      The data (so far) strongly favors rejection of the dominate-CO2 Climate Change hypothesis.

      Willis doesn’t have to replace dT/dF(CO2). It just has to be rejected and return to the null hypothesis that the weather we observe is part of the natural variability of climate.

    • “The science is settled doesn’t mean that the science is correct or flawless or certain.”

      But that’s the opposite of how it is used, certainly by politicians and those with a political agenda. The statement that “the science is settled” is used to refute and ignore questions, even in the face of contradictory evidence. It is a condescending way of demeaning the non-believers. The fact that it is still being used even as the ‘hiatus’ approaches two decades and the number of excuses piles up tells us it is used avoid the inconvenient.

      My bet is that in the future, the phrase “the science is settled” will become a pejorative and used as a term of ridicule.

      • In my engineering/science job, I use this phrase pejoratively somewhat often for effect. I always gets a laugh by my fellow scientists and engineers. In my experience, many people are already laughing at the silliness of this phrase.

        I agree in principle with some of the points that S. Mosher makes, but it is clear to me that most people using that phrase are not in line with the meaning he suggested above.

        Bruce

    • One of the famous issues of science was debated by Shapley and Curtis in the 1920s. Their debate summarized the evidence for and against the proposition that the Milky Way galaxy was the whole universe. Using the period-luminosity relationship for cepheid variable stars, Hubble was able to show that some of the other nebulae were distant galaxies. The point here is that the debate was very useful because it framed the issues clearly. Subsequent observations determined the winning position. It will be the same in climate science, but it may take several decades of less than catastrophic warming before climate alarmists abandon their “settled science”.

    • Certainly science isn’t a debate. Policy is a debate though, at least in Western democracies. If the question had no policy implications 97% of those involved (myself certainly included) would probably never have become interested in the subject in the first place. The perception of the state of the science affects the policy discussion.

      • No, I didn’t say that quite right. There is a discussion and debate about the science among us laypeople, because the science affects policy; THAT’S what I meant to say.
        Sorry.

    • Steven,
      You are quite right. Science is not settled by debate, but for practical purposes it might as well be. Take, for example, the debate between ClimateBallers and Steve McIntyre. Steve has demolished their arguments and shown just how egregious their errors are, but yet the debate continues. In truth, the science there — albeit statistical analysis of proxies — is settled in my view, but clearly not for opponents of MM and supporters of MBH. At some point, a consensus (a true consensus and not the contrived Kook and Nutter consensus) is established until someone comes along to challenge that consensus.

    • After suffering years of Mosher’s comments he is finally coming clean in his objective: to narrow the boundaries of the debate via a thoroughly falsified set of assumptions and simplistic equation which as he states keeps the money rolling for the bulk of the pseudo scientists. There is one word which is great to describe this both in German and English — “mist”.

      Basically his argument is either to accept our definition of the debate or go home. His demand that everyone needs to be within and accept ECS = Fco2 * dT/(dF-dO) is basically the new Marxism.

      His post over at Judith Curry pandering to Anthony’s temperature station study as being in bounds is horrifying. He states that ignoring a deep epistemology is fine. Please let me state the obvious one more time:
      –Climate is chaotic and unpredictable with too many unknown variables with unknown relationships. There are too many unknowns with unknown relationships to even pretend to model accurately.
      –There is not and will never be in any of our life times a statistical method or model that can with any level certainty show what is going on let alone what will happen any time in the future. The extent of this hubris is incredible.
      –His continuing defense of the indefensible is telling to his motives and all of the other climate gravy train people. Stay within the boundaries we have set — which is nothing more than an endorsement of their conjectures — there are no hypotheses or theories here. It is chicken bones and dice.
      –Steve and the other sycophants are captured clients of the politicians through NSF funding. You can call it under a RICO act or PONZI scheme — all fit.
      –Finally and most importantly, if we allow people like Steve Mosher to define the debate and the boundaries of the debate the politicians win and more laws that will kill more innocent people will be enacted.
      –While denying a consensus agenda Steve is driving that there is a consensus and all right thinking people will confine themselves to the set boundaries.

      MIST

      • Tim. I think that’s a little hard.

        Regarding Steven’s agenda and motives, this appears to be inconsistent with his behavior:
        Recently, if this is Steven’s agenda, why does he href=http://climateaudit.org/2014/09/29/climateballers-and-the-mm05-simulations/#comment-733398>call out the climate ballers? here and here?
        Historically, .. do I really need to rub your nose in examples like these? cause I’d rather not, I find it a little embarrassing to have to.. The examples are abundant throughout Mosher’s blogosphere history, if you care to research it.

        Setting this aside, I don’t think that’s a fair representation of what he’s saying at all anyway. It’s not his demand that everybody argue within certain constraints. It’s his observation that that’s what’s needed if you want to be taken seriously. I don’t see how shooting the messenger refutes the bad news in this case.

        His continuing defense of the indefensible is telling to his motives and all of the other climate gravy train people. Stay within the boundaries we have set — which is nothing more than an endorsement of their conjectures — there are no hypotheses or theories here. It is chicken bones and dice.

        Come on. Seriously, this is what you think Steven Mosher is doing?

      • Mark; we will have to agree to disagree. Also berating Nick Stocks is tantamount to kicking a puppy. It does not prove much.

      • Tim,

        Well, thanks for the response at any rate. Maybe I’ve got a wrong idea about Steven, who knows.

    • No, there is nothing wrong with scientific debate.

      There is probably not much wrong with one particular group stating that from their point of view the case is settled.

      The problem arises when scientists and bureacrats and elected representatives decide to use such a declaration to stifle debate and ti proceed with their preconceived ‘solutions’.

    • debates are rare because science is not a debate, or more specifically, science does not proceed or advance by verbal debates in front of audiences. You can win a debate and be wrong about the science.Debates prove one thing. Folks who engage in them don’t get it, folks who demand them dont get it and folks who attend them dont get it.

      Um, Steven, it is pretty clear that you’ve never been to a major physics meeting that had a section presenting some unsettled science where the organizers had set up two or more scientists with entirely opposing views to give invited talks and participate in a panel just like the one presented. This isn’t “rare”, it is very nearly standard operating procedure to avoid giving the impression that the organizers are favoring one side or the other of the debate. I have not only attended meetings of this sort, I’ve been one of the two parties directly on the firing line (the topic of discussion was a bit esoteric — whether or not a particular expansion of the Green’s function for the Helmholtz or time-independent Schrodinger equation, which comes with a restriction that one argument must be strictly greater than the other in order for the expansion to converge, could be used to integrate over cells that de facto required the expansion to be used out of order). Sounds a bit, err, “mathy”, right, but would you believe that the debate grew so heated that we were almost (most cordially:-) shouting at each other by the end? And not just the primary participants — members of the packed-room audience were up, gesticulating, making pithy observations, validating parts of the math.

      You’re right that you can “win the debate and be wrong about the science”, however, for two reasons. One is that in science, we profoundly believe that there is an independent objective standard of truth, and that is nature itself, the world around us. We attempt to build a mathematical-conceptual map to describe the real terrain, but (as any general semantician would tell you) the map is not the terrain, it is at best a representation of the terrain, almost certainly an imperfect one. Many of the maps developed in physics are truly excellent. Others are perhaps flawed, but are “good enough” — they might not lead someone to your cufflinks in the upstairs left dresser drawer, but they can at least get someone to your house. Others simply lead you to the wrong house, in the wrong neighborhood, or lead you out into the middle of the desert to die horribly (metaphorically speaking). In the end, scientific truth is determined by correspondence with real-world data — indeed, real world future data — nothing more, nothing less. There’s a pithy Einstein quote somewhere that makes the point more ably than I can (now there was a debate — one totally unknown patent clerk against an entire scientific establishment vested in Newtonian-Galilean physics:-) but I am too lazy to look it up.

      Second, human language is often the language of debates and comes with all of the emotionalism and opportunity for logical fallacy inherent in an imprecise, multivalued symbol set. Science, however, ultimately is usually about mathematics, logic and requires a kind of logical-mathematical consistency to be a candidate for a possible scientific truth in the sense of correspondence with data. It may be that somebody armed with a dowsing rod can show an extraordinary ability to find your house and your cufflinks when tested some limited number of times with no map at all, but unless they can explain how the dowsing rod works and unless others can replicate their results it doesn’t become anything more than an anecdotal footnote that might — or might not — one day lead to a startling discover of cuff-linked ley lines with a sound physical basis that fit consistently into a larger schema than we have today. Or it could be that the dowser is a con artist who secretly memorizes a map and whose wife covertly learned where you keep your cufflinks at the hairdresser. Either way, for a theory to be a candidate truth, it cannot contain logical or mathematical contradictions. And even though you would think that this is not really a matter for debate, as mathematics is cut and dried pure (axiomatically contingent) truth — like I said, a room full of theoretical physicists almost shouting over whether or not the Green’s function expansion could converge out of order, even after I presented both the absolutely clear mathematical argument and direct numerical evidence from a trivial computation that it does not.

      Humans become both emotionally and financially attached to their theories, in other words. Emotionally because scientists don’t like being proven wrong any more than anybody else, and are no more noble than the average Joe at admitting it when they are wrong, even after they come to realize in their heart of hearts that it is so. That is, some do and apologize handsomely and actively change their public point of view, but plenty do not — many scientists went to their graves never accepting either the relativistic or quantum revolutions in physics. Financially, we’ve created a world of short-term public funding of science that rewards the short-run winners and punishes — badly — the short-run losers. Grants are typically from 1 to 3 years, and then you have to write all over again. I quite research in physics primarily because I was sick and tired of participating in this rat race — spending almost a quarter of your grant-funded time writing your next grant proposal, with your ass hanging out over a hollow because if you lose your funding your career is likely enough to be over — you have a very few years (tenure or not) to find new funding in a new field before you get moved into a broom closet and end up teaching junk classes (if tenured) or have to leave to proverbially work at Wal Mart (without tenure).

      Since roughly six people in the room where I was presenting were actively using a broken theory to do computations of crystal band structure, my assertion that the theory they were using was broken was not met with the joy one might expect even though the theory I had developed permitted them to do almost the same computation and end up with a systematically and properly convergent result. I was threatening to pull the bread from the mouths of their children, metaphorically speaking (and vice versa!).

      At this point, the forces that give rise to this sort of defensive science are thoroughly entrenched. The tenure system that was intended to prevent this sort of thing has been transformed into a money pump for Universities that can no longer survive without the constant influx of soft and indirect cost money farmed every year by their current tenured faculty, especially those in the sciences. Because in most cases that support comes from the federal government, that is to say our taxes, there is constant pressure to keep the research “relevant” to public interests. There is little money to fund research into (say) the formation of fractal crystal patterns by matter that is slowly condensing into a solid (like a snowflake) unless you can argue that your research will result in improved catalysis, or a way of building new nano-materials, or that condensed matter of this sort might form the basis for a new drug, or…

      Or today, of course, that by studying this, you will help promote the understanding of the tiny ice crystals that make up clouds, and thereby promote our understanding of a critical part of the water cycle and albedo feedback in Climate Science and thereby do your bit to stave off the coming Climate Apocalypse.

      I mean, seriously. Just go to any of the major search engines and enter “climate” along with anything you like as part of the search string. You would be literally amazed at how many disparate branches of utterly disconnected research manage to sneak some sort of climate connection into their proposals, and then (by necessity) into their abstracts and/or paper text. One cannot study poison dart frogs in the Amazon rainforest any more just because they are pretty, or pretty cool, or even because we might find therapeutically useful substances mixed into the chemical poisons that they generate (medical therapy being a Public Good even more powerful that Climate Science, quite frankly, and everything I say here goes double for dubious connections between biology research and medicine) — one has to argue somewhere that Climate Change might be dooming the poor frogs to extinction before we even have a chance to properly explore them for the next cure to cancer. Studying the frogs just because they are damn interesting, knowledge for its own sake? Forget it. Nobody’s buying.

      In this sense, Climate Science is the ultimate save. Let’s face it, lots of poison dart frogs probably don’t produce anything we don’t already know about (if only from studying the first few species decades ago) and the odds of finding a really valuable therapy are slender, however much of a patent-producing home run it might be to succeed. The poor biologists who have made frogs their life work need a Plan B. And here Climate is absolutely perfect! Anybody can do an old fashioned data dredge and find some population of frogs that they are studying that is changing, because ecology and the environment is not static. One subpopulation of frogs is thriving — boo, hiss, cannot use you — but another is decreasing! Oh My Gosh! We’ve discovered a subpopulation of frogs that is succumbing to Climate Change! Their next grant is now a sure thing. They are socially relevant. Their grant reviewers will feel ennobled by renewing them, as they will be protecting Poison Dart Frogs from the ravages of a human-caused changing climate by funding further research into precisely how it is human activity that is causing this subpopulation to diminish.

      This isn’t in any sense a metaphor, nor is it only poison dart frogs. Think polar bears — the total population is if anything rapidly rising, but one can always find some part of the Arctic where it is diminishing and blame it on the climate. Think coral reefs — many of them are thriving, some of them are not, those that are not may not be thriving for many reasons, some of those reasons may well be human (e.g. dumping vast amounts of sewage into the water that feeds them, agricultural silt overwashing them, or sure — maybe even climate change. But scientists seeking to write grants to study coral reefs have to have some reason in the public interest to be funded to travel all over the world to really amazing locations and spend their workdays doing what many a tourist pays big money to do once in a lifetime — scuba or snorkel over a tropical coral reef. Since there is literally no change to a coral reef that cannot somehow be attributed to a changing environment (because we refuse to believe that things can just change in and of themselves in a chaotic evolution too complex to linearize and reduce to simple causes), climate change is once again the ultimate save, one where they don’t even have to state that it is occurring now, they can just claim to be studying what will happen when eventually it does because everybody knows that the models have long since proven that climate change is inevitable. And Oh My! If they discover that a coral reef is bleaching, that some patch of coral, growing somewhere in a marginal environment somewhere in the world (as opposed to on one of the near infinity of perfectly healthy coral reefs) then their funding is once again ensured for decades, baby-sitting that particular reef and trying to find more like it so that they can assert that the danger to our reefs is growing.

      I do not intend to imply by the above that all science is corrupt, or that scientists are in any sense ill-intentioned or evil. Not at all. Most scientists are quite honest, and most of them are reasonably fair in their assessment of facts and doubt. But scientists have to eat, and for better or worse we have created a world where they are in thrall to their funding. The human brain is a tricky thing, and it is not at all difficult to find a perfectly honest way to present one’s work that nevertheless contains nearly obligatory references to at least the possibility that it is relevant, and the more publicly important that relevance is, the better. I’ve been there myself, and done it myself. You have to. Otherwise you simply won’t get funded, unless you are a lucky recipient of a grant to do e.g. pure mathematics or win a no-strings fellowship or the Nobel Prize and are hence nearly guaranteed a lifetime of renewed grants no matter how they are written.

      This is the really sad thing, Steve. Science is supposed to be a debate. What many don’t realize is that peer review is not about the debate. When I review a paper, I’m not passing a judgement as a participant on whether or not its conclusion is correct politically or otherwise (or I shouldn’t be — that is gatekeeping, unless my opinion is directly solicited by an editor as the paper is e.g. critical of my own previous work). I am supposed to be determining whether or not the paper is clear, whether its arguments contain any logical or mathematical inconsistencies, whether it is well enough done to pass muster as “reasonable”, if it is worthy of publication, now whether or not it is right or even convincing beyond not being obviously wrong or in direct contradiction of known facts. I might even judge the writing and English to some extent, at least to the point where I make suggestions for the authors to fix.

      In climate science, however, the climategate letters openly revealed that it has long since become covertly corrupted, with most of the refereeing being done by a small, closed, cabal of researchers who accept one another’s papers and reject as referees (well, technically only “recommend” rejection as referees) any paper that seriously challenges their conclusions. Furthermore, they revealed that this group of researchers was perfectly willing to ruin academic careers and pressure journals to fire any editor that dared to cross them. They corrupted the peer review process itself — articles are no longer judged on the basis of whether or not the science is well presented and moderately sound, they have twisted it so that the very science being challenged by those papers is used as the basis for asserting that they are unsound. Here’s the logic:

      a) We know that human caused climate change is a fact. (We heard this repeatedly asserted in the “debate” above, did we not. It is a fact that CO_2 is a radiatively coupled gas, completely ignoring the actual logarithmic curve Goreham presented, it is a fact that our models show that that more CO_2 must lead to more warming, it is a fact that all sorts of climate changes are soundly observed, occurred when CO_2 was rising so it is a fact that CO_2 is the cause, count the logical and scientific fallacies at your leisure).

      b) This paper that I’m reviewing asserts that human caused climate change is not a fact. It therefore contradicts “known science”, because human caused climate change is a fact. Indeed, I can cite hundreds of peer reviewed publications that conclude that it is a fact, so it must be so.

      c) Therefore, I recommend rejecting this paper.

      It is a good thing that Einstein’s results didn’t occur in Climate Science. He had a hard enough time getting published in physics journals, but physicists more often than not follow the rules and accept a properly written paper without judging whether or not its conclusions are true, with the clear understanding that debate in the literature is precisely where and how this sort of thing should be cleared up, and that if that debate is stifled by gatekeeping, one more or less guarantees that no great scientific revolutions can occur because radical new ideas even when correct are, well, radical. In one stroke they can render the conclusions of entire decades of learned publications by the world’s savants pointless and wrong. This means that physics is just a little bit tolerant of the (possible) crackpot. All too often the crackpot has proven not only to be right, but so right that their names are learned by each succeeding generation of physicist with great reverence.

      Maybe that is what is missing in climate science — the lack of any sort of tradition of the maverick being righter than the entire body of established work, a tradition of big mistakes that work amazingly well — until they don’t and demand explanations that prove revolutionary. Once upon a time we celebrated this sort of thing throughout science, but now science itself is one vast bureaucracy, one that actively repels the very mavericks that we rely on to set things right when we go badly astray.

      At the moment, I’m reading Gleick’s lovely book on Chaos, which outlines both the science and early history of the concept. In it, he repeatedly points out that all of the things above are part of a well-known flaw in science and the scientific method. We (as scientists) are all too often literally blinded by our knowledge. We teach physics by idealizing it from day one, linearizing it on day two, and forcing students to solve problem after problem of linearized, idealized, contrived stuff literally engineered to teach basic principles. In the process we end up with students that are very well trained and skilled and knowledgeable about those principles, but the price we pay is that they all too often find phenomena that fall outside of their linearized and idealized understanding literally inconceivable. This was the barrier that Chaos theory (one of the latest in the long line of revolutions in physics) had to overcome.

      And it still hasn’t fully succeeded. The climate is a highly nonlinear chaotic system. Worse, chaos was discovered by Lorenz in the very first computational climate models. Chaos, right down to apparent period doubling, is clearly visible (IMO) in the 5 million year climate record. Chaotic systems, in a chaotic regime, are nearly uncomputable even for very, simple, toy problems — that is the essence of Lorenz’s discovery as his first weather model was crude in the extreme, little more than a toy. What nobody is acknowledging is that current climate models, for all of their computational complexity and enormous size and expense, are still no more than toys, countless orders of magnitude away from the integration scale where we might have some reasonable hope of success. They are being used with gay abandon to generate countless climate trajectories, none of which particularly resemble the climate, and then they are averaged in ways that are an absolute statistical obscenity as if the linearized average of a Feigenbaum tree of chaotic behavior is somehow a good predictor of the behavior of a chaotic system!

      This isn’t just dumb, it is beyond dumb. It is literally betraying the roots of the entire discipline for manna.

      One of the most interesting papers I have to date looked at that was posted on WUWT was the one a year or three ago in which four prominent climate models were applied to a toy “water world” planet, one with no continents, no axial tilt, literally “nothing interesting” happening, with fixed atmospheric chemistry.

      The four models — not at all unsurprisingly — converged to four completely different steady state descriptions of the planetary weather.

      And — trust me! — there isn’t any good reason to think that if those models were run a million times each that any one of them would generate the same probability distribution of outcomes as any other, or that any of those distributions are in any sense “correct” representations of the actual probability distribution of “planetary climates” or their time evolution trajectories. There are wonderful reasons to think exactly the opposite, since the models are solving the problem at a scale that we know is orders of magnitude to coarse to succeed in the general realm of integrating chaotic nonlinear coupled systems of PDEs in fluid dynamics.

      Metaphor fails me. It’s not like we are ignorant (any more) about general properties of chaotic systems. There is a wealth of knowledge to draw on at this point. We know about period doubling, period three to chaos, we know about fractal dimension, we know about the dangers of projecting dynamics in a very high dimensional space into lower dimensions, linearizing it, and then solving it. It would be a miracle if climate models worked for even ten years, let alone thirty, or fifty, or a hundred.

      Here’s the climate model argument in a nutshell. CO_2 is a greenhouse gas. Increasing it will without any reasonable doubt cause some warming all things being equal (that is, linearizing the model in our minds before we even begin to write the computation!) The Earth’s climate is clearly at least locally pretty stable, so we’ll start by making this a fundamental principle (stated clearly in the talk above) — The Earth’s Climate is Stable By Default. This requires minimizing or blinding ourselves to any evidence to the contrary, hence the MWP and LIA must go away. Check. This also removes the pesky problem of multiple attractors and the disappearance and appearance of old/new attractors (Lorenz, along with Poincare’, coined the very notion of attractors). Hurst-Kolmogorov statistics, punctuated equilibrium, and all the rest is nonlinear and non-deterministic, it has to go away. Check. None of the models therefore exhibit it (but the climate does!). They have been carefully written so that they cannot exhibit it!

      Fine, so now we’re down to a single attractor, and it has to both be stable when nothing changes and change, linearly, when underlying driving parameters change. This requires linearizing all of the forcings and trivially coupling all of the feedbacks and then searching hard — as pointed out in the talk, very hard indeed! — for some forlorn and non-robust combination of the forcing parameters, some balance of CO_2 forcing, aerosol antiforcing, water vapor feedback, and luck that balances this teetering pen of a system on a metaphorical point and tracks a training set climate for at least some small but carefully selected reference period, naturally, the single period where the balance they discover actually works and one where the climate is actively warming. Since they know that CO_2 is the cause, the parameter sets they search around are all centered on “CO_2 is the cause” (fixed) plus tweaking the feedbacks until this sort of works.

      Now they crank up CO_2, and because CO_2 is the cause of more warming, they have successfully built a linearized, single attractor system that does not easily admit nonlinear jumps or appearances and disappearances of attractors so that the attractor itself must move monotonically to warmer when CO_2 is increasing. They run the model and — gasp! — increasing CO_2 makes the whole system warmer!

      Now, they haven’t really gotten rid of the pesky attractor problem. They discover when they run the models that in spite of their best efforts they are still chaotic! The models jump all over the place, started with only tiny changes in parametric settings or initial conditions. Sometimes a run just plain cools, in spite of all the additional CO_2. Sometimes they heat up and boil over, making Venus Earth and melting the polar caps. The variance they obtain is utterly incorrect, because after all, they balanced the parameter space on a point with opposing forcings in order to reproduce the data in the reference period and one of many prices they have to pay is that the forcings in opposition have the wrong time constants and autocorrelation and the climate attractors are far too shallow, allowing for vast excursions around the old slowly varying attractor instead of selecting a new attractor from the near-infinity of possibilities (one that might well be more efficient at dissipating energy) and favoring its growth at the expense of a far narrower old attractor. But even so, new attractors appear and disappear and instead of getting a prediction of the Earth’s climate they get an irrelevantly wide shotgun blast of possible future climates (that is, as noted above, probably not even distributed correctly, or at least we haven’t the slightest reason to think that it would be). Anyone who looked at an actual computed trajectory would instantly reject it as being a reasonable approximation to the actual climate — variance as much as an order of magnitude too large, wrong time constants, oversensitive to small changes in forcings or discrete events like volcanoes.

      So they bring on the final trick. They average over all of these climates. Say what? Each climate is the result of a physics computation. One with horrible and probably wrong approximations galore in the “physics” determining (for example) what clouds do in a cell from one timestep to the next, but at least one can argue that the computation is in fact modeling an actual climate trajectory in a Universe where that physics and scale turned out to be adequate. The average of the many climates is nothing at all. In the short run, this trick is useful in weather forecasting as long as one doesn’t try to use it much longer than the time required for the set of possible trajectories to smear out and cover the phase space to where the mean is no longer meaningful. This is governed by e.g. the Lyupanov exponents of the chaotic processes. For a while, the trajectories form a predictive bundle, and then they diverge and don’t. Bigger better computers, finer grained computations, can extend the time before divergence slowly, but we’re talking at most weeks, even with the best of modern tools.

      In the long run, there isn’t the slightest reason, no, not even a fond hope, that this averaging will in any way be predictive of the weather or climate. There is indeed a near certainty that it will not be, as it isn’t in any other chaotic system studied so why should it be so in this one? But hey! The overlarge variance goes away! Now the variance of the average of the trajectories looks to the eye like it isn’t insanely out of scale with the observed variance of the climate, neatly hiding the fact that the individual trajectories are obviously wrong and that you aren’t comparing the output of your model to the real climate at all, you are comparing the average of the output of your model to the real climate when the two are not the same thing!

      Incidentally, at this point the assertion that the results of the climate models are determined by physics becomes laughable. If I average over the trajectories observed in a chaotic oscillator, does the result converge to the actual trajectory? Seriously dudes, get a grip!

      Oh, sorry, it isn’t quite the final trick. They actually average internally over climate runs, which at least is sort of justifiable as an almost certainly non-convergent sort of Monte Carlo computation of the set of accessible/probable trajectories, even though averaging over the set when the set doesn’t have the right probability distribution of outcomes or variance or internal autocorrelation is a bit pointless, but they end up finding that some of the models actually come out, after all of this, far too close to the actual climate, which sadly is not warming and hence which then makes it all too easy for the public to enquire why, exactly, we’re dropping a few trillion dollars per decade solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

      So they then average over all of the average trajectories! That’s right folks, they take some 36 climate models (not the “twenty” erroneously cited in the presentation, I mean come on, get your facts right even if the estimate for the number of independent models in CMIP5 is more like seven). Some of these run absurdly hot, so hot that if you saw even the average model trajectory by itself you would ask why it is being included at all. Others as noted are dangerously close to a reality that — if proven — means that you lose your funding (and then, Wal Mart looms). So they average them together, and present the resulting line as if that is a “physics based” “projection” of the future climate. Because they keep the absurdly hot, they balance the nearly realistically cool and hide them under a safely rapidly warming “central estimate”, and get the double bonus that by forming the envelope of all of the models they can create a lower bound (and completely, utterly unfounded) “error estimate” that is barely large enough to reach the actual climate trajectory, so far.

      Meh. Just Meh. This is actively insulting, an open abuse of the principles of science, logic, and computer modeling all three. The average of failed models is not a successful model. The average of deterministic microtrajectories is not a deterministic microtrajectory. A microtrajectory numerically generated at a scale inadequate to solve a nonlinear chaotic problem is most unlikely to represent anything like the actual microtrajector of the actual system. And finally, the system itself realizes at most one of the possible future trajectories available to it from initial conditions subject to the butterfly effect that we cannot even accurately measure at the granularity needed to initialize the computation at the inadequate computational scale we can afford to use.

      That’s what Goreham didn’t point out in his talk this time — but should. The GCMs are the ultimate shell game, hiding the pea under an avalanche of misapplied statistical reasoning that nobody but some mathematicians and maverick physicists understand well enough to challenge, and they just don’t seem to give a, uh, “flip”. With a few very notable exceptions, of course.

      rgb

    • @ Steven Mosher

      Hi Steven.

      I read your comment above.

      I do agree on most parts of your argument and the rationale of it in principle ….. but have to say that it seems like that kinda of approach is some 10-15 years out of date.
      While is rational end clever enough to explain and defend the AGW 10-15 years ago…and excuse rationally the hypothetic AGW aproach to the climate issue as a most probable scientific aproach at that time from the most [not saying all] climate scientist and scientific bodies concerned, it fails totally with the actuall reality of the present.

      At the present your above rationale reads in some line like:
      Let us keep with this scientiphically endorsed fallacy as it been the best scientific explanation possible that climate science can come up with….. lets keep with this regardless how wrong, as the chances of coming up with a better hypothesis to explain this climate conundrum seem to be close to nil.

      In a totalitarian state the same argument will be defending totalitarian laws and the tottalitarian state itself by claiming that there no any chance of better laws and state, no matter how wrong the current one….

      Defenition [one of] tolitarian.
      “exercising control over the freedom, will, or thought of others; authoritarian; autocratic.”

      If ACC-AGW was a theory while it would have been difficult for it to explain the observed divergence between the model projections and reality, actually it would not have been impossible……. as the case actually is.

      In case I have misunderstood your argument please let me know….if that not much to ask for.

      cheers

  10. 1:08:15 the alamrist references the out of date Harries study about the CO2 band showing dimming. Further more complete studies by Harries and others actually found a slight brightening. The reference to the old Harries study is pushed by the SKS nazis so we can see where this guy is getting his evidence.

  11. My scepticism started with disgusting personal attacks on anyone who disagreed; the ‘denier’ tag and equating such beliefs with those that were easily refuted.

    The only scientist to have landed on the moon is a sceptic and has been ridiculed for his opinions for many years. http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/02/16/ex-astronaut-global-warming-is-bunk/

    The myth of a flat Earth has been known by historians to be complete rubbish ever since it popped its head up 200 years ago. http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/library/russell/FlatEarth.html

  12. If they had any confidence in their arguments and data, they should be eager to debate skeptics.
    If the data is as conclusive and obvious, then even if you can’t sway the skeptics, it should be easy to convince the members of the audience.
    Instead they run from honest debate and declare that it is beneath their dignity to debate.

    • Good point.
      The interesting thing about the refusal to debate is that the supposed experts know they will lose.

      Alarmists who do debate are, at least, honest.
      Alarmists who don’t debate must have a reason.

  13. I just finished watching the Youtube of the presentations.

    For Mr Goreham, I would add a couple of points to strengthen the talk if you have time for a longer presentation or need additional data points to point to both a warming and cooling Earth during the Holocene.

    1. The Anasazi indians of SW Colorado also built a sizable culture based on mesa-top maize cultivation beginning around 820 AD. It flourished until it suddenly collapsed around 1250 AD, within the span of 1 to 3 years, all the cliffside dwellings were abandoned. The best explanation is a catastrophic collapse of their harvests (early or late frosts shortened the growing season), leading to insufficient food stocks for the winters.

    2. The Sahara Desert during the Holocene Thermal Optimum was a grassland ecosystem of small rivers and streams, lakes, with nomadic herdsman cultures spread over its vast expanse. As the Earth cooled at the end of HTO, the Saharan dried up, the grasslands turned to desert. The people congregated to the coastal regions and the Nile River valley and delta. The Golden Age of the Egyptian culture was born of climate refugees from a cooling & drying world.

    3. A presentation of the last 3.2 Million years temperature reconstructions, with the brevity of the interglacials, and the warmer than present MIS 11 etc. would give a bigger picture of what real climate change looks like, and emphasize how rapidly the climate can really change, completely on its own.

    Finally, I would add that if anything additional atmospheric CO2, acting as GHG, may help stabilize temperature swings from the LIA-like events and buffer the biosphere with more plant food.

    • Read the story so I guess that from now on I have to stay flat on the ground so that the “gravity dip” quits giving me a headache! (or is that bunions?).

  14. It is now clear that the IPCC models are inherently and structurally useless for forecasting purposes and even as a basis for discussion of climate change. The projections of a different forecasting method should be used for discussion purposes.
    For forecasts of the probable coming cooling based on the natural 1000 and 60 year quasi- periodicities seen in the proxy temperature record and using the 10Be data and neutron count as the best proxy for solar “activity’ go to
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    • I agree Dr. Page. The AGW proponent in the debate failed miserably in defending the GCMs. To claim, as he did, that they were all pointing in the same direction and should, therefore, be given some credence was, sadly, pathetic.

  15. Did they force SJSU to buy carbon offsets for that match or fork over the money themselves? Knowing how the warmists’ redistribution mind works, California taxpayers are on the hook.

  16. Actually well worth watching. Not quite a home run — one make far more biting comments about the models.

  17. Wow, … look at the pictures hanging on the wall of this lady’s office. The only thing that comes to my mind is a case of pyromania.

  18. Closing statement was well on the money, and the pro-warming statement was open evil. It is a true dichotomy — for the 20,000 people who die ever day now, for the 2 billion people who live in poverty now for the billions who live without adequate water and sanitation now and are not likely to get it because we are diverting a trillion dollars every four years into solving a problem that we aren’t even close to certain exists. Furthermore, by increasing energy costs worldwide, we are literally condemning the number who live in poverty and who perish from preventable causes to increase rapidly.

    A few people — even some people who used to believe in global warming — are finally getting this. I grew up in India and can never forget the face of real poverty, not poverty like it is in the US or Europe where being poor means that your cell phone hasn’t got a touchscreen. Our choices in the developed world are “safe” — nobody seriously considers living without carbon, at least not very long. The biggest promoters of CO_2 as the Devil are often themselves huge consumers of energy and fuel as they move themselves all over the world to speak, live in big, energy-expensive houses, and so on. Hypocrisy is rampant, in other words. Who among them would volunteer to live at the energy level of somebody living in Bangladesh for the next thirty years waiting for “Green” energy to finally arrive and liberate him or herself from poverty? Who would condemn their children to drink from fecal-bacteria laden water sources in countries that cannot affort the energy needed to process and distribute inexpensive clean water?

    There is clueless, and then there is clueless to a level that is actively dangerous to small children and pets.

    rgb

    • rgb has said what I have been saying for years. The promoters of CAGW and energy starvation do not do without. Al Gore, Pachauri, ALL climate scientists, climate activists etc. I too have seen real poverty up close – begging to buy bread, leprosy, 1 meal a day etc. It boils my blood.

      • this,along with some of the genuine environmental ills we fail to address is exactly why i get so annoyed at times.

    • I grew up in India and can never forget the face of real poverty… Who among them would volunteer to live at the energy level of somebody living in Bangladesh for the next thirty years waiting for “Green” energy to finally arrive and liberate him or herself from poverty? Who would condemn their children to drink from fecal-bacteria laden water sources in countries that cannot affort the energy needed to process and distribute inexpensive clean water?
      I’m sorry but I felt like this needed emphasis in case anyone was just skimming the thread.
      Thanks Professor Brown.

      • gah except my formatting failed.

        I grew up in India and can never forget the face of real poverty… Who among them would volunteer to live at the energy level of somebody living in Bangladesh for the next thirty years waiting for “Green” energy to finally arrive and liberate him or herself from poverty? Who would condemn their children to drink from fecal-bacteria laden water sources in countries that cannot affort the energy needed to process and distribute inexpensive clean water?

        +1

    • I grew up in India and can never forget the face of real poverty, not poverty like it is in the US or Europe where being poor means that your cell phone hasn’t got a touchscreen. Our choices in the developed world are “safe” — nobody seriously considers living without carbon, at least not very long. The biggest promoters of CO_2 as the Devil are often themselves huge consumers of energy and fuel as they move themselves all over the world to speak, live in big, energy-expensive houses, and so on. Hypocrisy is rampant, in other words. Who among them would volunteer to live at the energy level of somebody living in Bangladesh for the next thirty years waiting for “Green” energy to finally arrive and liberate him or herself from poverty? Who would condemn their children to drink from fecal-bacteria laden water sources in countries that cannot affort the energy needed to process and distribute inexpensive clean water?

      So well said rgbatduke. Bravo!So well said my friend. Bravo and peace and prosperity to you and those that you love.

    • Down here in Nicaragua I was in a dirt floor plastic shack with a single mother and her six children living in it yesterday. I’ve known them for years and am putting the eldest daughter though college – systems engineering – the cost of that is about $80 US per month.

      I brought them ten pounds of rice, beans, and enough basic commodities to last them 2 weeks (the cost was $40 US but I bought them a few things they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves, and I bought it all at a supermarket, not the street market) and they immediately set to work preparing the rice over an open fire just outside.

      The firewood came from a nearby rainforest on the slopes an extinct volcano (Mombacho). The forrest is being denuded because of the need for wood as fuel. With the forrest disappearing, flooding from the rains is becoming increasingly severe.

      Their only real luxury is a $16 cell phone I bought for the daughter. It doesn’t have a touchscreen, but if it did they’d just sell it.

      They are actually at the more well-off end of the poverty scale (at least down here) because of my assistance. I’ve seen far worse.

      If all the money put into climate research was invested in improving situations like the above, I think we’d all be better off.

    • I was also (dumb)struck by the climate modeler’s reliance on Keynesian economic canards of “Green Jobs” and positive economic growth as inevitable outcomes from artificially rising energy prices. If’s a good thing that climate modelers are so economically astute that they can assure us all this central planning of the energy sector will break the long losing streak of massive socialist failures and FINALLY start working. /sarc

    • My father told me that there was some opposition to bringing electricity to the US. They thought that the electricity in the transmission lines would get into the corn and that we would be eating it in our cornflakes. Back then few payed any attention to those flakes. Good thing too otherwise we would be living like many in India do.

  19. The problem with the ‘settled science’ is that it has NEVER been so UNsettled. Happy 18th birthday no global warming. A rash of papers over the last 2 years winding down climate sensitivity. This is what is unsettling and they know it. The debate was never settled, it should be hotting up (in any other science).

    Dr. Phil Jones – CRU emails – 5th July, 2005
    The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant….”
    ===============

    Dr. Phil Jones – CRU emails – 7th May, 2009
    ‘Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.’
    ===============

    REAL CLIMATE comment – 2007
    Daniel Klein asks at #57:

    “OK, simply to clarify what I’ve heard from you.
    (1) If 1998 is not exceeded in all global temperature indices by 2013, you’ll be worried about state of understanding
    (2) In general, any year’s global temperature that is “on trend” should be exceeded within 5 years (when size of trend exceeds “weather noise”)

    (3) Any ten-year period or more with no increasing trend in global average temperature is reason for worry about state of understandings

    I am curious as to whether there are other simple variables that can be looked at unambiguously in terms of their behaviour over coming years that might allow for such explicit quantitative tests of understanding?”


    [Response: 1) yes, 2) probably, I’d need to do some checking, 3) No. There is no iron rule of climate that says that any ten year period must have a positive trend. The expectation of any particular time period depends on the forcings that are going on. If there is a big volcanic event, then the expectation is that there will be a cooling, if GHGs are increasing, then we expect a warming etc. The point of any comparison is to compare the modelled expectation with reality – right now, the modelled expectation is for trends in the range of 0.2 to 0.3 deg/decade and so that’s the target. In any other period it depends on what the forcings are. – gavin]
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/12/a-barrier-to-understanding/

  20. I was blown away at all of the Ad Hominem that was eminating from the AGW side. That was just beyond horrible.

    I was EXTREMELY proud of the skeptic side being above that and only challenging the assertion rather than attack in kind.

    Character assassination and debasing is the last ditch weapon of the weak and ignorant.

  21. Surely two professors are intelligent enough to know that you are not going to be able to burn a book like that. And even if they managed to set it ablaze it would only set off the alarm and sprinklers.

  22. Extremely well done presentation Steve.

    It should be presented to more audiences.

    ————–

    The biggest issue in this debate is that we have run-up against politically-correct societal-pressure run amok. It is more acceptable for the media to promote the global warming hype than it is to question it, especially if the media outlet is focussed on left-leaning audiences.

    It is not politically correct to state the obvious that the global warming hype has been hyped way beyond what is actually happening and what is likely to be correct.

    The government money is much more likely to be provided to politically-correct causes than to objective rational causes (which are sometimes much harder to defend publically). Funding committees get captured by the politically-correct societal-pressure in which the members themselves end-up all on one side.

    It has been called noble cause corruption but I think it extends much farther into the basic human instinct and the nature of the crowd that it is better to be a “good-noble person” than it is to call a kettle black. Then politics kicks in. And then money kicks in and it is a death spiral into politically-correct noble-cause societal-pressure run amok to the extent that it cannot correct itself.

    It is a stock market crash or a bank-run or a crowd-stampede that cannot be corrected on its own.

    It is basic human psychology that these type of things occur. The question is when does it burn out? Or does it ever burn-out by itself or does everything including modern civilization fall apart instead.

    • I agree. You can add to this list that people treat the scientists like untouchables. Priests, who can do no wrong, because, as we all know, using scientific-logic-physics is an infallible method of deducing something!

    • Probably the first time I have seen a debate on global warming where the speakers got to answer an assortment of the same questions. Thanks for posting, and I agree with rgbatduke.

    • You must have missed the photo at top of page, which has been discussed in these threads before.
      The video was well worth watching.

  23. The lack of economic and energy distribution understanding displayed in the good Dr, closing makes the rest of his presentation suspicious. His comment that even “even if the warming is natural we should be more nervous about the CO2” seems completely wrong minded to me. I would have liked a question about how we thrive on intermittent, expensive energy and how it creates wealth to pay all the new job holders he is so proud of.

  24. ” Last year, the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University posted an image of two professors holding a match to my book.”

    Apparently they think Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 are instruction manuals.

  25. Steve Goreham, excellent presentation! It was clear and to the point, no soft mushy subjective stuff, just hard data and facts. The other presenter defending CAGW, I must say, came across as not the sharpest tool in the shed. Soft, emotional pleas and scare stories like “these fossil fuels have been in the ground for millions of years and now we are letting them out! Ooh, scary, scary!” (paraphrasing) His difficulty in answering the question on feedbacks, as to why when CO2 was much higher millions of years ago the earth climate didn’t become like Venus. His answer about how the continental land masses where in different positions back then, that’s why, but now they have moved to different positions so now we will definitely end up like Venus, that answer was lame beyond belief to come from a senior level scientist! How anyone in their right mind could find credibility in his presentation is beyond me. And the comment about the grant money is so true, why cannot more people understand that simple logic – grant money is proportional to scare factor, if the scare fades so will the money. Literally thousands of climate researchers would be facing the end of their prestigious research positions, perhaps reduced to flipping burgers for a living. Obviously there is going to be bias present.

    I really, really wish, that a video would be created showing a debate similar to this, but shorter and professionally narrated and edited, well done enough to go viral on youtube. I would attempt the production of such a video myself were I financially able. Perhaps that is something that could be crowd funded.

    • If you did make that video, Average Joe, then when your grandson asks you. What did you do during the great climate war? You won’t have to say, well I shoveled sh*t in Louisiana.

      Gen Patton

  26. How to take somebody serious when he is starting with “climate change is caused by humans”? It must thereforehave been static before humans, right? Can’t somebody put a video together with such simple stupid statements to let it sink into people’s minds and ridicule the speakers?
    Doesn’t science start with clean language?

  27. Lots of empty seats. Despite saying there is scientific evidence to back up his statements Mr. Schnoor didn’t offer anything but the “model” defense. He falsely all but called Mr. Goreham a liar several times on statements that are fact check able. The denial of the Medieval Warm Period and the bit about the recent local weather/floods ‘proving’ man has corrupted the earth’s climate was bush league and gives incite to his desperation. Mr. Goreham was well spoken, informative, and properly composed. Suitable for all levels of scientific understanding.

  28. In the lady’s right hand is a match. In the left hand is a book of paper matches. In my younger days these were imprinted with pithy sayings, colorful images, and ads for any number of interesting (and sometimes useful) items. People collected books of matches. Then they seemed to disappear.
    Look here:
    http://titanicitems.com/matchbooks.htm

    and also do an image search.
    I wonder where in the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University do they keep the paper matches?

  29. I could be biased but I think Steve put a more convincing case and I think he managed by having far more practice in talking to an adverse audience. Dr. Schnoor on the other hand appears to have always had a compliant audience, one used to the creed and therefore he repeated the creed. Steve introduced history in order to illustrate the lack of “unusual” climate occurrences while Schnoor kept clinging to models, finally admitting that he too was a modeller. I also noticed that the audience was quite receptive to Steve’s argument although several apparent believers were bemused that an alternative was not only possible but, based on historical records, probable. I also note that the peer review was oft quoted as the pre-eminent standard and historical records/writings could not be relied on viz a viz the LIA and MWP.

    Schnoor is a good IPCC man and should receive that latest grant. Steve did a great job.

  30. Dr. Schnoor says the little ice age was, “we think,” caused by the low solar activity of the Maunder minimum.
    But when Steve Goreham questions the logic of Schnoor’s claim that models don’t track modern temperature trends without the CO2 parameter, precisely because they are predicated on CO2 as the primary driver, Dr. Schnoor replies that all other parameters, when tweaked, fail to make a difference.

    What about the solar parameter that “we think” caused the Little Ice Age? Is that not part of the model?

    • This is actually a good point, and another thing that Goreham missed in his commentary (although it is difficult to hit everything). He should talk to Lief about the “low solar activity” of the Maunder minimum relative to the 20th century solar activity. Currently the argument is that while there were comparatively few sunspots, the magnetic activity of the sun as detected through radioactive proxies was nearly unchanged.

      We presume that we know all that there is to be known about both the variability of the Sun and its impact on our climate, but I doubt that we do. The difficulty is that the climate is chaotic, but the sun is comparatively regular. One is basically multiplying a periodic sequence and a random number generator sequence together, and the result is pretty much a random sequence. That doesn’t mean that there is no causal connection, only that we cannot disentangle it from the other factors in a multivariate scheme of causality we already cannot compute. A Maunder type minimum might have a larger impact when the Earth is in certain states compared to others. It could have opposite effects in some states compared to others.

      There is actually a perfectly lovely example of this that is absolutely trivial to, um “understand”. If you take an ordinary damped oscillator and make it suitably nonlinear — a rigid rod pivoted around one end in some sort of damping fluid, for example — and then drive it with a periodic driving force, you get something quite curious. For some — even most — values of the amplitude and frequency of the driving force, one just gets more or less ordinary oscillation at or near the frequency of the driving force. But then, when you drive it quite strongly (and still in the right frequency ranges) a strange thing happens. The oscillator goes mad. It oscillates first to the left, then to the right, then it does a triple loop around the pivot in one direction, oscillates periodically for two cycles, and pops back to the left to go past the pivot but not all the way around before reversing again. The motion is completely non-periodic and there is basically no correlation between its motion and the amplitude, frequency, or phase of the driving force.

      Yet in this simple example, there is absolutely no doubt that the driving force is the primary cause of the observed motion.

      This is something many people don’t realize about properly chaotic systems. They are the ultimate refutation of the post hoc, ergo propter hoc (correlation is not causality) fallacy. They are often systems where often there is no correlation at all between two phenomena in situations where we know with absolute certainty that the one is the proximate cause of the other.

      Sadly, this makes it very difficult indeed to untangle causality in systems that are so complex where we do not know what is important. The state of the sun in the 20th century was probably not a “Grand Maximum” — I accept the evidence for that as it is pretty clear and several lines of evidence all lead to the same conclusion. But nevertheless, the sun was in its comparatively active state in much of the 20th century relative to the entire observed range of variability over the last 200+ years, and was likely much more active than it was in the Maunder minimum even if that minimum was not “completely inactive” from the point of view of solar magnetism.

      In a chaotic climate system we cannot count on there being a simple one to one linear correspondence between solar state and climate. But that doesn’t mean that the sun isn’t very important indeed, or that even small variations in the solar constant or solar magnetism can have big effects on the climate, only that we may not be able to predict even the sign of those big effects. They could be different depending on a thousand things we cannot measure associated with the state of the Earth itself and its prior history, just as the local effect of the perfectly periodic and known driving force on the nonlinear chaotic oscillator depends on precisely where the oscillator is in its unpredictable trajectory and is quite different at other times and other places.

      rgb

  31. “Even President Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address said, ‘But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.’”

    All the more reason to reopen the debate.

  32. A couple of observations:

    When oh when are organisers of debates going to get the audio/visual hardware sorted out so that we can have a smooth running presentation and see the audience and hear their questions?

    I have seen more people attending the midwinter midnight service in Haroldswick Methodist Church on the Shetland Islands than was present at this debate. Does this mean that the debate is all over or that people have lost interest in global warming and have other priorities to worry about?

    I thought that the art of debate was to tear down your opponent’s case. I would have liked to see Steve Goreham doing more of his rather than presenting his own set piece although this did argue against Dr Schoor’s points to some extent.

    Dr Schoor lost a lot of credibility when he said that Steve’s statistics on the Mediaeval Warm period were plain wrong. When later pulled up on this he changed his mind and said that even if they are right we should still be alarmed – Why? What other data is he not really sure about?

    Also Dr Schoor had too many “we thinks” in his argument backing up his “facts”.

    More debates like this please and a very good effort for putting it on. But let’s have better promotion, more media representation and a bigger audience.

  33. What a crock! So, I guess we also have to put creationism on an equal tier as evolution, all to pacify those who cannot accept the science when they simply don’t like what it says.
    People deny the science of global warming simply because they hate what it will mean if the world finally acts in a responsible way to avoid the catastrophe that scientists tell us we will face otherwise. Naomi Klein nails it in her new book, This Changes Everything. Right wingers realize that everything they love will necessarily need to change, and so, they simply deny the existence and causes of global warming.

    • pfgetty2013
      October 3, 2014 at 5:11 am

      People deny the science of global warming simply because they hate what it will mean if the world finally acts in a responsible way to avoid the catastrophe that scientists tell us we will face otherwise.

      So, do YOU accept personal responsibility for those 24,000 innocents YOU killed last year in the UK because of YOUR demands for increased energy costs, lowered reliability, and higher food-heating-lighting costs caused by YOUR exaggerated fears of so-called catastrophic (future) global warming?

      YOU are forcing innocents to die worldwide NOW – today, this year, next year and the next 100 years. But global warming? IF it happens, and for the past 18 years there has been NO change in global average temperatures despite a measurable 10%+ change in CO2 levels, then – specifically, what is the harm in an increase in temperature of 3 degrees C?

      Come on – YOU are killing people NOW to supposedly prevent a future catastrophe. How many real people living now do YOU want dead just so you can claim you saving some future peoples somewhere to maybe move if sea level increases 20 centimeters?

    • They ‘challenge’ the claims being made by climate ‘science’ has they so often be proved wrong while many working in this area show poor academic practice and worse personal behaviour. None of which encourages others to trust them.

      Now normally in science there is the all-important ‘critical review’ where you actual supposed to look for faults in the claims mad. But in special climate ‘science’ we are told either they are impossible to find so should never be looked for or that you can’t have the data as you ‘only want to find something wrong with it ‘.

      Its amazing how often the actions the professionals working in this area , such has the dog ate my data , would, if copped , lead to undergraduates handing in essay having this failed. However, there acceptable for published research in climate ‘science’, given the impression they have no standards at all.

      No ones is ‘required’ to trust those selling snake oil of any type , its up to the sake oil salesman to do a good job.

    • What do you disagree with. Saying something is crock, and then making a completely unrelated analogy makes you look biased and uninformed.
      Did you watch the debate?
      Please make a logical point, otherwise you risk being uninteresting.

    • Right wingers realize that everything they love will necessarily need to change

      I don’t know if your observation is correct or not.

      I will note however that if the sword you’re outlining actually does exist, it’d cut both ways. There’d be people jumping on the global warming bandwagon simply because they’d love what it’d mean if everything right wingers love would necessarily change.

      Sauce for the goose my friend.

    • It is hard to accept the “hard science” of global warming when those who disagree are not allowed access to the media, grant funding, peer review of their submitted articles, etc. Sorry – it’s a political machine working at its worst. I grew up understanding that scientists researched whatever they were interested in and were not obstructed from this pursuit. Silly me. In just about every realm, scientists and study results go back and forth on issues (look at diet studies, if you’re not convinced) but somehow this debate is “settled.” Surprisingly, tons of money is involved. Questions arise. Al Gore sold his cable network to an oil company…any questions?

    • pfgetty what a crock! I am generally left leaning, I buy into evolution, sustainability, etc. Everyone is biased that is human nature, and people’s beliefs largely reflect those biases. Personally, my bias is toward honesty and trust. I believe in the scientific method when practiced without bias. A scientist’s first and foremost responsibility is to work hard to NOT be BIASED. The government’s foremost responsibility when funding research grants is to diligently watch for and snuff out bias.

      I deny the “science” of global warming not because I hate what it will mean, but rather because neither it’s scientists nor it’s research sponsors are practicing this foremost responsibility of the scientific method. Frankly it is surreal to me that those empowered as the gatekeepers of this wonderful method seem not cognizant of how their irresponsibility is undermining it. For me I don’t give a rats a$$ whether cagw is real or not, if it is real then by the end of the century it should be hot enough that achieving political consensus to act will not be a problem, no need to start a war over it right now. But I am really angry at how the scientific method is being trampled and mocked by climate “science”. That is my bias. Because I would hate to live in a world without the scientific method. But as a method it has no value in a world of deceit and distrust, and I believe that is a deeper problem than climate.

    • Oh, and one more thing. Naomi Klein is of similar creed as Karl Marx. A genius-idiot. People would do well to label her as such.

  34. No! they weren’t burning the book.
    As the temperature has not significantly changed in the last 17 years.
    They was just warming it a little, maybe 2 degrees or so. ;-}

  35. What I love best about the “the debate is settled” crowd is that Al Gore launched his ‘Truth Drop’ website AFTER the debate was settled. That’s a pretty curious move. An attempt to bias a debate that doesn’t exist. That’s like all the things that are happening because of the global warming that isn’t happening.

    The Climate McCarthyism has already begun.

  36. “Chuck Nolan October 3, 2014 at 5:34 am
    Billy used to weigh 297 lbs but now he’s at 295 lbs.
    So he’s not less fat he’s more skinny.
    How’s that?”

    Billy is an Elephant, the one in the room.

  37. The phrase “the science is settled” is simply the authoritarian left’s equivalent of saying “Shut up and sit down. The only opinion that matters is mine.”

    As many have pointed out here, the science is seldom settled on anything.

    Take for example gravitation, starting at Newton. Einstein expanded the basic F=ma to include special and general relativistic effects hundreds of years later, but tried and failed to put together a unified field theory. The work in gravitation is still unfinished, even though one could have been tempted in Newton’s day to conclude that the science of gravitation was settled.

    • I agree…the extreme left are very condescending. I’m always amazed, particularly living in the Northeast and being in the minority (where my vote doesn’t count), that they don’t seem to have a handle on the idea of “differing opinions.” It’s amazing. I have always loved the email incorrectly attributed to Jeff Foxworthy…

      If a Republican doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one.
      If a Democrat doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.

      If a Republican is a vegetarian, he doesn’t eat meat.
      If a Democrat is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

      If a Republican is homosexual, he quietly leads his life.
      If a Democrat is homosexual, he demands legislated respect.

      If a Republican is down-and-out, he thinks about how to better his situation.
      A Democrat wonders who is going to take care of him.

      If a Republican doesn’t like a talk show host, he switches channels.
      Democrats demand that those they don’t like be shut down.

      If a Republican is a non-believer, he doesn’t go to church.
      A Democrat non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced.

      If a Republican decides he needs health care, he goes about shopping for it, or may choose a job that provides it.
      A Democrat demands that the rest of us pay for his.

  38. pfgetty2013: “What a crock! So, I guess we also have to put creationism on an equal tier as evolution, all to pacify those who cannot accept the science when they simply don’t like what it says.”

    Science depends upon observation of predicted phenomena. Where have we observed evolution? Which species have we seen evolve? What experiments identify reproductive success as the driver of the emergent species?

    • In the geological fossil record! For example the evolution of the horse can be traced through fossils found of prehistoric horses. They started out as bush creatures about the size of a cat with five toes. Evolution of vegetation and development of broad grasslands led to the following changes in the horse:

      1) he began to raise up on three toes to see above the grass. Their first and fifth toes then atrophied and vestiges of the two unnecessary toes became two thin splints of bone under the skin.
      2) Subsequent fossils showed the horse raising up on one toe, the now useless toes number 2 and 4 wound up being thin splints of bone and the 1 and 5 toe splints disappeared. The single toe also lengthened making the horse even taller. To this day, toes 2 and 4 on the modern horse are preserved as the thin splints of bone lying along the sides of the single toe and toenail that today’s horse stands on!

      Of course the creationists have tried to stamp this out because it is a compelling stack of evidence. The trouble with attacking specific examples is there are countless examples of the same kind evolution in all other species in the fossil record.

      The case of the keyhole brachiopod – a shell fish- is also pretty compelling: adult predecessors in this chain of evidence had a shell with two lobes, one on either side. In the fossil record, younger rocks showed this lobal development resulting in the lobes coalescing in the front enclosing a hole in the middle – hence the name. Younger rock layers still showed the evolved shells finally closing the “keyhole”. Is that all I’ve got? No, I saved the best till last. I mentioned the adult shell fish for a reason. The immature (small) shells in the youngest rocks have the keyhole and as it matures, the hole disappears! The phenomenon is termed recapitulation (of evolutionary development) theory. This, too, is attacked and it’s hard to find paleontological articles among the masses of anti-evolutionary shouting-down.

      Perhaps I’ve wasted my time with you, depending on degree of imperviousness but hopefully some readers will learn something.

  39. I propose here a contest to name the type of trolling that is done by Moser.

    He is certainly more sophisticated than the average troll. He doesn’t go for the jugular of emotional upset. His arguments are only persuasive to some of those who are new to the discussion and still on the fence.

  40. I think it is interesting that the Dr. Schnoor says “you are wrong,” not “I disagree.” This is the problem with the Climate Change argument. There’s no middle ground. I do think the climate is changing, as it always has. I don’t agree that we need to invest billions of dollars and raise energy prices (and liberals should worry about the poor on that front) to address a naturally occurring phenomenon. I also notice that Dr. Schnoor touts job creation in his closing remarks, but doesn’t address the jobs lost in the coal industry, oil industry, and natural gas industry. The Northeast had problems keeping up with energy needs during the exceptionally cold winter due to the closing of coal fired plants, and it will be worse this coming winter. Environmentalists are fighting a new pipeline to the Northeast that would address the issues of coal plants closing. I’m sorry, but wind and solar are not going to solve the problem by themselves. A nuclear power plant, will also be closed with celebration in the Northeast. These people have no idea what they’re doing. You can’t say “no” to everything, yet they do. I imagine they will also be the first to complain when there are blackouts/brownouts. That is the nature of the beast.

    • Sure, but reality is real, quite independent of idealization in the minds of those that think that wind energy will keep them warm and lit in the winter.

      All it will take is a handful of winters like the last one (only worse) in Maine to have a lot of people rethinking their position. A few weeks of windless, subzero temperatures with a grey, dark overcast, an ice storm to take down the power lines so that energy generated with Evil Coal but from far enough away not to be in My Backyard is no longer available… you get what you pay for.

      The entire northern 1/3 of the US would be uninhabitable by civilized humans in the wintertime without burning stuff. Pretty much all of the planet much above 50 degrees N or S latitude is uninhabitable in the winter time without burning stuff. North Carolina (south of that) is at the very least damn uncomfortable in the winter time without burning stuff, although one could probably survive here with a properly designed house and wearing lots of woolies. In Maine, an unheated house in January is simply a fancy coffin for anyone trapped inside for 24 hours unless they bury themselves under a mountain of blankets and pray for rescue. And there is plenty of human habitation still further north, worldwide.

      Worst case scenario comparison:

      Warming: We warm the planet 2 C. Greenland and Antarctica melt. The ocean rises 5 meters. The Earth’s land surface area loses a band several hundred miles wide around the perimeters of the continents. Humans move, adjust, life goes on, too bad about the polar bears and penguins that fail to adapt.

      We stop using carbon for energy tomorrow: Coal magically disappears from the ground, oil is hijacked by space aliens, even natural gas turns out to be contaminated with radioactives and is unusable. The world stops warming, starts to cool. Everybody north of Washington, DC moves south — Humans basically lose the use of all land surface area above maybe 45 degrees and are restricted to the equatorial band. Moving there, they wipe out the rain forest and drain and settle the Everglades. Humans adjust, life goes on, too bad about the alligators and bromeliads that failed to adapt.

      Best case: We keep using carbon for energy. Planet fails to warm even a single full degree as negative feedbacks outweigh positive ones (who knew?). Plants are very happy. Humans live where they are, adjust, life goes on, and for the most part Penguins and Rain Forests are equally happy, or at least, are no more in danger than they are already from human encroachment.

      rgb

      • “The entire northern 1/3 of the US would be uninhabitable by civilized humans in the wintertime without burning stuff. Pretty much all of the planet much above 50 degrees N or S latitude is uninhabitable in the winter time without burning stuff. ”

        In the smarmy spirit of Dr. Jerry Schnoor, where are the peer reviewed articles to back that statement up?
        /sarc

      • Yirgach,

        I have lived most of my life in the northern third of the US. My senior year in high school it was 27 below, wind roaring. I had to put on two coats to walk the two blocks to school, which they then closed for the next two weeks because the gas bill was too high. School ended fourth week of June that year. You need a peer-reviewed paper to tell you that it is cold in the winter in Michigan?

        Professor Brown you should let me be your campaign manager, we would clean up…

  41. Dr Schnoor threw the towel in at around 1:21 when the said “even if it is all natural we should still be worried”, way to undermine your already very weak case dude.

  42. I always enjoy the articles provided by rgb and watch for his comments. I liked this:
    ‘The average of the many climates is nothing at all. In the short run, this trick is useful in weather forecasting as long as one doesn’t try to use it much longer than the time required for the set of possible trajectories to smear out and cover the phase space to where the mean is no longer meaningful.’
    Isn’t that the biggest problem with climate science? Averages and probability are useful when trying to nail down tommorow’s forecast but have little value over a longer term.

  43. Dr. Schnoor did a good job defending the incompetent conjecture of AGW, like Al Gore, parroting the IPCC story.As he noted, Mr. Goreham’s rebuttal featured regional effects. Countering, Schnoor claimed the GCMs were global and relied on real physics. Goreham, however, failed to point out the critical physics that the GCMs and the AGW model do not represent.

    • Schnoor admitted that the models increase atmospheric humidity with global average surface temperature. Goreham’s rebuttal failed to include that the models parameterize cloud cover so that while the models increase humidity, they do not correspondingly increase cloud cover. Cloud cover is a negative feedback to global warming. It is missing from the models.

    • Schnoor remarked that solar variation is too small to be significant in the models. Goreham missed the rebuttal of the burn-off effect, namely that the atmosphere amplifies solar variation by cloud cover response. Cloud cover is a positive feedback to total solar radiation, and that feedback is missing from the GCMs.

    • Schnoor protested that the AGW and the models do not rely on correlation, but instead show CO2 causing warming. Goreham missed the rebuttal that models can be made to do whatever the modeler wants, follow the real world or not. Goreham missed the rebuttal that since the invention of the thermometer the global average surface temperature has closely followed Total Solar Radiation with just a pair of lags of about 50 and 150 years. Goreham missed the rebuttal of scientific causality, that for CO2 to cause warming, it must lead the warming. Instead, ice core records show that CO2 lags global warming by about a millennium, the period of the Meridional Overturning Circulation (the Great Conveyor Belt). Goreham missed the rebuttal that IPCC has no support for CO2 to lead warming in order to be the cause of warming.

    • Schnoor argued that the Medieval Warm Period was not warmer than the present. Goreham missed the rebuttal that regardless, the present global temperature is 2C to 3C cooler than the last five maxima over 600,000 years, and that it is on an increasing slope. Goreham missed the rebuttal that the climate models zero natural warming as of 1750, and then wrongly attribute the residual warming to humans.

    • Schnoor claimed that the US cutting back on fossil fuels was feasible. Goreham missed the rebuttal that that would have a negligible effect on global CO2 emissions when China, India, and Russia fail to cut back. Goreham missed the rebuttal that if fossil fuels are the problem, then the US should end the regulations preventing development of nuclear power.

    • Schnoor relied on cumulative anthropogenic CO2 emissions over many decades, and perhaps since 1750. Goreham missed the rebuttal that CO2 does not accumulate in the atmosphere, but instead follows Henry’s Law of Solubility, and that Henry’s Law is not represented in the models. Goreham missed the rebuttal that the models have the silly effect of re-absorbing all natural emissions each year, but only 50% of anthropogenic emissions each year, as if the ocean could tell the difference and as if the two species of CO2 didn’t mix irreversibly in the atmosphere. Goreham missed the rebuttal that when IPCC discovered Henry’s Law in trying to resurrect the failed Revelle Factor, IPCC concealed the evidence so as not to confuse the reader. Further, Goreham missed the rebuttal that the natural emissions are not in any kind of balance as modeled, but instead change in sync with temperature, an effect not in the models.

    These are just the tip of the iceberg.

    The sound rebuttal is neither the regional effects nor the regional failing of the models. The world is just plain lucky that the Sun has been weak over the last century, causing the models to go wrong for the last 18 years. Notwithstanding the failure of the models, the US is still planning on crippling its own economy to the tune of many trillions of dollars, which will drag down the world’s economy just as the US did when it allowed the bond ratings bubble to burst in 2007.

  44. Steve Goram, this was wonderful. I think many commenters here could have refuted the first speaker’s pathetic arguments, but you did it with finesse. I laughed out loud at the black line superimposed over the Chicago temperatures with your comment, “Folks, that’s what all the concern is about.” Thank you for a brilliant job.

  45. Some interesting writing by Dr. Brown and commenters but did anyone actually read the full Steven Mosher comment? Singling out the first paragraph and ignoring the rest results in coming away with the exact opposite of what Mosher said. Dr. Brown saw the first sentence and used it to riff off the usual “skeptic” talking points in a highly embellished way.
    You all obviously saw Mosher’s first paragraph from Dr. Brown, so here is some more of the comment. Mosher is hardly saying there is no “debate” in science as you all seem to imply. Do you actually disagree with Mosher’s comment below? Sounds like science 101 to me.

    Mosher said “The science is settled doesn’t mean that the science is correct or flawless or certain. The science is settled doesn’t mean there is no room for doubt. Within science there is always doubt. The science is settled
    means that scientists no longer find doubting the science to be a productive use of their time.
    “Given any theory there is room for doubt. So the question is “should I doubt this and try to over turn it?” Or should I use my time to build on it and improve it at the margins.
    Let’s take a simple question like sensitivity. Sensitivity is a measure of how the system as a whole responds to changes in forcings lambda = dT/dF
    There are two fundamental reactions to this scientific statement
    A) doubt. See willis’ work
    B) calculation. See Nic Lewis

    That is, faced with a theory you have these choices. You always have these choices, regardless of the theory.

    A) doubt the theory and try to show its wrong with the goal of substituting a better understanding.
    B) accept the theory and build on, refine it, improve it.

    What guides your choice? It’s largely pragmatic. Willis thinks he has a hope of showing the theory wrong. So he works on that. Longshot, but huge upside for him personally. The vast majority of working scientists in the field think that option B will be more practical. Both are rational.

    “Each,however, wants to represent his choice as the only logical one. Chances are Willis will fail. Not because he is provably wrong, but rather because of the large amount of work that others would have to abandon were he correct and also because he cannot assemble a replacement theory.

    “Settled Science does not refer to epistemic criteria. It means simply that the vast majority don’t want to risk/waste their careers trying to overturn a body of work that they would rather build on than destroy.
    The science isn’t settled by argument. It’s settled by folks who vote with their time. They won’t spend their time doubting, because there is a low risk of succeeding and way too much science to re work.”

  46. matayaya,

    The whole “settled science” narrative is bogus nonsense.

    If you can post verifiable, testable measurements quantifying the percentage of total global warming caused by human emissions, you will have my attention.

    But there are no measurements like that, are there? If you have any such measurements, please post them now. Right here.

    Any physical process that rises above backrground noise can be measured and quantified. If man-made global warming is significant at all, there certainly must be measurements showing how much we add to global warming.

    But there are no such measurements. Doesn’t that bother you even a little bit? The assertions are made constantly that AGW exists. It may. But if it is too small to even measure, then why should anyone be concerned?

    The debate isn’t over, my friend. The only thing that really keeps it going is the massive taxpayer funding that pays scientists to find AGW. But they haven’t really found it, have they?

    If they have, then post the measurements.

    • db, I’d be happy to respond to your post but shouldn’t you respond to the thread first. I agree that science is never settled but what about Mosher’s comment about science. “The science is settled doesn’t mean that the science is correct or flawless or certain. The science is settled doesn’t mean there is no room for doubt. Within science there is always doubt. The science is settled
      means that scientists no longer find doubting the science to be a productive use of their time.
      “Given any theory there is room for doubt. So the question is “should I doubt this and try to over turn it?” Or should I use my time to build on it and improve it at the margins.”

      You say “If I can post verifiable, testable measurements quantifying the percentage of total global warming caused by human emissions, you will have my attention.” I suspect getting your attention at this late date is a lost cause. I guess I will have to defer to the authority of IPCC AR5 and before for that, but I doubt you are serious. I read the studies or read summaries of studies that come out almost everyday that address your question. One study won’t help help you if you haven’t been paying attention and trying to keep up. There are thousands. It’s a firehose of information.

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