Quote of the week – shooting blanks in The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

qotw_croppedRussell Cook writes of a radio interview with Climate Depot’s Marc Morano:

Fabulous interview as usual with Jan Mickelson yesterday, but if you didn’t catch it, the line by caller “Steve” right after the interview starting at the 1:01:55 point is worth framing:

Caller Steve:  Whatever side says ‘oh, well, the debate’s settled, we’re not going to debate anymore’, if I was on the side that I felt like I was armed with live ammo and the other side was armed with blanks, I’d want to debate every chance I got just so I could beat ’em every single time.

WHO radio host Jan Michelsen: Yes! And if they’re ducking discussion, that usually means they’re not up for the task, or they don’t want to acknowledge that anybody disagrees with them, and usually the people who are in authority, the people who have won and captured the flag or the funding streams do not want to risk the ‘buffet’, they don’t want to risk the money trails by even allowing people to question whether they’re proceeding on the basis of sound science.

Bill Nye, Michael Mann, Al Gore, Katherine Hayhoe, etc. are the ones armed with blanks and they know it, they flee from debate and they flee from any interview where tough questions might be asked.

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130 thoughts on “Quote of the week – shooting blanks in The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars

    • Add Gavin Schmidt to the list. I was watching a TV program the other day where he appeared and refused to debate another guest. Gavin insisted the other guest leave the table before Gavin would take a seat.

      • Exactly. Back when the liberals were wanting a voice they talked about free speech, pluralism, etc. Once, under this administration, they sensed victory — they want nothing to do with that. They want to suppress all opposition.

      • He did this with Dr. Roy Spencer. He wouldn’t debate him face to face but instead hid in the wings while Roy spoke then Roy had to leave while Schmidt came back on. It was very telling of his confidence in what he had to say. If ever the term ignorant applied, this was it.
        Eamon.

      • Why are so many if these left wing bureaucrats from Britain?
        Conspiracy theory might suggest another country, unfriendly to the west, might be helping “educate” a certain stream of people like union bosses, educators and others in their way of thinking without them even knowing. And those folks educated in those hallowed British institutions have been seeded across the globe. A virus can spread rabidly from a single source. Crazy thought, but one which I have had for over 20 years in business.
        The west has 4 or 5 year cycles based on election laws. Other countries take a much longer term view. In the west we think four or five years out with many of our business and government plans.
        But the “eastern” mind looks out 25, 50, 100 years.
        It does make me wonder.
        Roy Spencer speaks well, looks polished. Gavin Schmidt speaks well but dresses and looks like a Bolshevik. In fact, it appears that many of Gavin’s ilk, wear the same uniform.
        Not meaning to defame my British ancestors, just a long held observation.

      • Gavin explains his position by saying “we have looked at all the other causes”.
        However, this is simply not true. No one knows what causes the Minoan, Roman, or Medieval Warmings. Not a single Climate Scientist alive today has an explanation that is Generally Accepted, except for “they didn’t happen”.
        And the reason “they didn’t happen”? Because “we have looked at all the other causes” and cannot find one.
        Gavin assumes that since they cannot find the explanation for previous warming or the current warming, this warming must be caused by CO2 and the previous warming cannot have happened.
        The arrogance in this position is astounding. It is certainly not science, it is politics! Gavin is not practicing science, he is practicing politics. The dead give away is this:
        Gavin Schmidt said “I’m not a politician”
        This is very much in the line of President Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook” speech, when everything about his body language said he was.

        If anyone tells you “I am not a ____”. You can be sure they are.

      • To me this was a pivotal moment in this whole “debate”. When Gavin got up from that table, I knew that they had nothing, but better still, I then understood that Gavin knew it, too.
        “When danger reared it’s ugly head,
        he bravely turned his tale and fled.
        Brave, brave, Sir Gavin!!”
        – apologies to Sir Robin’s Minstral, Monty Python’s Holy Grail

  1. As with all fields of science, the real debate is not on radio shows but in peer-reviewed scientific literature. It is clear in the scientific literature that those questioning the role of human activities on the increase global temperatures are shooting blanks.

    • Funny, the peer reviewed literature shows that there has been no warming for over 18 years.
      The peer reviewed literature shows that climate sensitivity is less than 2C, possibly as little as 0.5C.
      The peer reviewed literature shows that the climate has been warmer than today at least 4 times in the last 5000 years, at times as much as 3C warmer.
      It’s fascinating how the acolytes insist that reality does not exist.

      • Funny, the peer reviewed literature shows that there has been no warming for over 18 years.

        The peer reviewed literature shows that the climate has been warmer than today at least 4 times in the last 5000 years, at times as much as 3C warmer.

        Not to quibble, but no it doesn’t. And where?
        UAH/RSS arguably show this, as long as one adds the words “statistically significant” and carefully select endpoints. GISS, HadCRUT, BEST all do not. One can argue about whether or not they are biased etc or why or how the computed surface warming doesn’t match the satellite lack thereof, but “the literature” is not a homogeneous statement of “no warming for 18 years”, quite the contrary. And if one looks at long term trends, there really is very little doubt that there has been order of 0.8 C of warming since 1850, one that correlates extremely well with CO_2 as a logarithmic forcing according to the reasonably sound radiative theory.
        That doesn’t prove that there is or is not CO_2 based warming, but you should not misrepresent “the literature” as “settled science” any more than the other side. The fact of the matter is that we do not know how much of the warming observed has been anthropogenic and how much has been “natural”, because joules don’t come with labels and a history and we lack instrumentation that can even come close to balancing the books of the Earth’s open energy system within the precision necessary to make sound inferences either way.
        Second, where in the literature does it indicate that it has been 3 C warmer — that is almost 6 F warmer, on average — than it is today? Actual citations, please. Note well this:
        http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Holocene_Temperature_Variations.png
        This may not be exhaustive, but it does contain a spaghetti-bowl’s worth of the literature on the Holocene, and I don’t see a single trace on there that is more than 1 C higher than the present, and the preponderance of the evidence suggests that we are in a near tie with the Holocene optimum IF one ignores the high/low frequency problem (the marker at the end is a high frequency result, the thick black line and colored threads are all de facto coarse grain averaged over roughly century timescales, apples and oranges at best).
        So no, I don’t think that “the literature” does any such thing, and even if you can find a single citation somewhere that asserts that it does, again “the literature” is rarely in agreement on ANYTHING and it is just as great a sin to cherrypick certain paper(s) or interval(s) and loudly assert “Look, no warming, the science is settled” as it is to do the opposite.
        Unsettled science is — wait for it — ordinary science. Science never “settles” on absolute truth, it simply accepts “in good enough agreement, so far, for now” as a reasonable substitute.
        IMO the “best” reasonable substitute for truth in an uncertain Universe at this particular instant is that CO_2 has been the direct, proximate cause of some fraction of the warming observed over the last 165 years. That fraction is arguably all, but the argument for all is weak and less than all or more than all are both possible and not even unlikely (less than means other things caused some of the warming, more than all means that the Earth would have cooled if not for the CO_2). Since we literally cannot separate an inseparable tightly coupled non-Markovian nonlinear open system where we have an incomplete description or knowledge of the underlying physics and a near-total lack of the ability to do a meaningful simulation or computation with what we have, the unsettled science of good agreement between a perfectly reasonable CO_2 driven model (and I don’t mean GCMs) and at least approximately measured past temperatures suggests that:
        * CO_2-driven AGW is real
        * AGW is not very likely to be globally catastrophic at any CO_2 level we are likely to reach
        * AGW/CO_2 at least so far has almost certainly been substantially beneficial
        * AGW/CO_2 could, in the future, cause harm that outweighs its benefits, and in at least selected locations that harm could fairly be called “catastrophic”.
        * The steps taken so far to ameliorate or prevent the future release of CO_2 have caused as much harm in the present, much of it “catastrophic” to those on the receiving end (for the most part, the poorest people in the world), as any reasonable estimate of future damage.
        In total, these conclusions — that are strictly my reasonably well-educated opinion — suggest that our best political course of action is to take reasonable, inexpensive steps to gradually reduce the use of coal as a fuel for making electricty (where there are many excellent reasons to do so anyway in the long run) and improve the science so that eventually we can make more/better informed decisions. Oh, and they also suggest that a certain amount of apolitical sobriety be returned to the science, which thus far has been rife with abuses that are clearly documented in Climategate emails and equally clearly evident in the abuse of e.g. statistical terminology and analysis in the asssessment reports.
        rgb

      • ” And if one looks at long term trends, there really is very little doubt that there has been order of 0.8 C of warming since 1850, one that correlates extremely well with CO_2 as a logarithmic forcing according to the reasonably sound radiative theory.”
        Presumably, you mean this little exercise in curve fitting:
        http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/Toft-CO2-PDO.jpg
        Meh. It’s no better than this one:
        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-zIkC6S8cHdA/Uo_Q0iUgPvI/AAAAAAAAAKg/V24tZUDJPcg/s1600/Slide5.JPG
        “IMO the “best” reasonable substitute for truth in an uncertain Universe at this particular instant is that CO_2 has been the direct, proximate cause of some fraction of the warming observed over the last 165 years.”
        It’s really not possible for it to be a significant fraction. CO2 is driven by temperature with a positive gain. Coupled that with a positive gain from CO2 to temperature, and you get positive feedback which cannot even be stabilized by T^4 radiation.

      • “* AGW/CO_2 could, in the future, cause harm that outweighs its benefits, and in at least selected locations that harm could fairly be called “catastrophic”.”
        Oddly enough, the evil, racist CAGW only targets people with a high melanin content.

      • RGBATDuke
        Robert you are of course almost certainly correct but before deciding to rationonalise the scientific community it would also be very wise to formulate a sensible, long term and flexible energy strategy/ policy, country by country, which allows poor countries to improve and richer countries to at least maintain their current, comfortable lifestyle. without a strategy it is impossible to know where to focus the science (and the redistribution of wealth that the socialists so desperately need).
        Remember, no matter how much you push and pull people they only ever do well what they do naturally.

      • RGB – With all due respect to you, I do think you are totally wrong about “CO_2-driven AGW is real”.
        It was always the Sun and the oceans – and I can prove it.
        Dan Pangburn already proved it. So did Paul Vaughan. So did Roger Tattersall.
        I expect you will eventually shake it off after you get up to speed…. Have a nice day!

      • @rgbatduke
        http://s5.postimg.org/49e4fl97r/Feng_Epstein.jpg
        Sorry, but I can’t find the reference. It was Feng and Epstein using isotopes in Bristlecone pines as a proxy for temperature. I don’t know much more about the work except that it was published in a peer-reviewed journal in the 90s. I just found it funny that the growth of the pines is highly dependent on frequency of summer rains but that this proxy for temperature was ignored. Maybe for good reasons but I never came across any. it does show that the 8000 years ago was much warmer than now by more than the difference between the LIA and 1950.

      • I’m pretty surprised you’d link this and call it temperature, rgb. Those lines all represent statistical proxies that have been merely scaled into recent temperatures. They’re based on no physical theory. Those “degrees” of temperature along the ordinate have no particular physical meaning, and certainly no unique meaning. They don’t tell us anything distinct about the relative temperatures of different epochs.

      • ”..according to the reasonably sound radiative theory”

        Dr. Brown,
        that would be the problem right there. The AGW hypothesis is neither reasonable nor sound. The same can be said for the hypothesis of a net atmospheric radiative GHE.
        Radiative physics works fine, but it has been misapplied by the climastrologists. Sure, radiative gases do absorb and emit LWIR, but their net effect is atmospheric cooling.
        Climastrologists foundation claim was that the surface would average 255K without radiative atmosphere, and that the addition of a radiative atmosphere raised this 33K. All they did was set emissivity and absorptivity to unity and put 240w/2 into a standard S-B equation to get 255K. They got it utterly wrong.
        Firstly 71% of our planet’s surface is ocean. Hemispherical LWIR emissivity for water is as low as 0.7 and hemispherical SW absorptivity is around 0.9. Assuming unity was a critical error, but it gets worse.
        Water is UV/SW/SWIR translucent and IR opaque. It is an extreme selective surface not a near blackbody. For UV/SW/SWIR solar illumination, S-B equations won’t work for materials like this. Again, the experiment to prove this is painfully simple –
        http://oi61.tinypic.com/or5rv9.jpg
        – Both blocks have exactly the same ability to absorb SW and emit IR. The only difference is depth of SW absorption. Illuminate both with 1000w/m2 of LWIR and both blocks rise to the same equilibrium temperature. Now try with 1000w/m2 of SW. Now block A runs 20C hotter. This basic physics is utterly missing from the “basic physics”of the “settled science”.
        Climastrologists claimed 255K for surface without radiative atmosphere. 312K would be a more accurate figure for our ocean planet. Our current surface average is around 288K, therefore the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere on surface temperatures is….?
        The sun alone heats our oceans. DWLWIR plays no role in heating or slowing the cooling rate of our oceans. Radiative gases do play a role in ocean temperatures, they help the solar heated oceans cool. The rules of climate on our ocean planet are simple –
        The sun heats the oceans.
        The atmosphere cools the oceans.
        Radiative gases cool the atmosphere.

      • I have to generally agree with rgb.
        CO2 is a greenhouse gas and basic physics tells us that an increase must cause warming. Any climate theory or explanation that puts the CO2 forcing at zero is logically wrong.
        The only possible logical starting point is that CO2 forcing is responsible for between 2% and 98% of the change. You can narrow it down from there. THEN you can work out the feedbacks and arrive at the net effect which is heading for about 1 degree.
        But I think the bullet points were a very good summation of the correct situation.

      • Not quite, JohnB. Basic radiation physics tells us that CO2 will increase the kinetic energy of atmospheric gases. Whether that kinetic energy shows up as sensible heat, or not, depends on which of the response channels dominate. If the lower density due to higher kinetic energy leads to enhanced convection, there might be no noticeable increase at all in air temperature.
        Only a valid theory of climate will tell us which response channel dominates.To suppose that radiation physics proves additional CO2 causes sensible warming is short-circuited science; even though apparently all the major players make that supposition anyway.
        I’ve never understood why that physical non-sequitur is so invisible to so many, i.e., that radiation physics is not a valid theory of climate.

      • You provide good arguments Professor Brown as to why the CO2 experiment must continue – so that future generations will have good solid data as to what climate sensitivity is to CO2 forcing.

      • Good points, Pat. There are other potential ameliorating feedbacks as well. It is no contravention of science to posit that, in the aggregate, the response to increased CO2 may be utterly insignificant.

      • JohnB
        February 4, 2015 at 4:58 pm

        ”CO2 is a greenhouse gas and basic physics tells us that an increase must cause warming. Any climate theory or explanation that puts the CO2 forcing at zero is logically wrong.”

        John,
        CO2 is more correctly termed a radiative gas. It both adsorbs and emits LWIR. The term “greenhouse gas” is a propaganda term that presupposes a net atmospheric radiative GHE where none exists.
        Radiative gases are our moving atmosphere’s primary cooling mechanism, without them our atmosphere would overheat. Have a check of the net flux of radiation from both solar and surface that radiative gases are absorbing. It’s less than half what they are radiating to space! In cooling our atmosphere radiative gases are radiating to space not just the energy the atmosphere absorbed by radiation, but also the far greater amount the atmosphere acquired via conduction and the release of latent heat of evaporation.
        Every attempt to claim a net atmospheric radiative GHE is based on provably flawed physics.
        The old two shell game? Fail.
        1. You can’t use the two stream approximation of radiative physics in the Hohlrumn of the atmosphere.
        2. 71% of the planets surface doesn’t respond to LWIR so one shell is out of the game.
        3. You can’t use the two shell game if the “shells”are conductively, convectively and evaporatively coupled. (Just as Sir George Simpson warned Callendar way back in 1939).
        The ERL game? Fail.
        1. This just boils down to a claim that adding radiative gases to the atmosphere reduces the atmospheres radiative cooling ability. Given the atmosphere would have no radiative cooling ability without these gases this is ridiculous.
        John, I would be fascinated to know what “basic physics” tells us that CO2 causes warming. “Everyone says”and “there’s a consensus” are just not physics. The experiment in my previous comment is. Build it and run it as I have and you too will know the hideous error at the very foundation of the worse scientific blunder in human history.

      • Chris Hanley says:
        That graph is almost as silly as the hockey stick.
        After reading how they fabricated it, I agree [the explanation is below the chart; they used people like Phil Jones, who was outed in the Climategate emails as a real scoundrel]. Also, that fabricated Wikipedia chart looks nothing like ice core data:
        http://postimg.org/image/f5umxujar
        I am really surprised that Prof Brown would use that to buttress his argument, when there are many more accurate charts, like this:
        http://mclean.ch/climate/figures_2/Vostok_to_10Kybp.gif
        Bob Weber says:
        RGB – With all due respect to you, I do think you are totally wrong about “CO_2-driven AGW is real”.
        I don’t know if Prof Brown is wrong or right. What I do know is that he has made a conjecture, nothing more. If RGB is correct about AGW, I challenge him to produce a verifiable, empirical and testable scientific measurement of AGW, acceptable to the majority of scientists, and which specifically quantifies the fraction of global warming due to human-emitted CO2, out of total global warming.
        I don’t think he can do it, at least not at this point in time. For one thing, that measurement would put to rest the debate over the climate sensitivity number. We would know exactly how much warming that human CO2 emissions are producing. The problem is that despite a steady rise in CO2, global warming stopped many years ago. For another thing, quantifying AGW with measurements would allow for accurate temperature predictions. So far, no predictions based on AGW have been accurate. Not a single one. For example, none of them predicted that global warming would stop, and remain in stasis.
        AGW may be real. Or not. But without verifiable, testable measurements quantifying AGW, all the charts in the world are no more than simple overlays showing a coincidental correlation. Prof Brown should be enough of a scientist to acknowledge that fact. If not, he should ask himself what Feynman or Einstein would say about it his conclusions.

      • rgbatduke February 4, 2015 at 11:00 am

        . . . the unsettled science of good agreement between a perfectly reasonable CO_2 driven model (and I don’t mean GCMs) and at least approximately measured past temperatures suggests that:
        * CO_2-driven AGW is real

        dbstealey February 4, 2015 at 7:14 pm

        AGW may be real. Or not. But without verifiable, testable measurements quantifying AGW, all the charts in the world are no more than overlays showing a coincidental correlation. . .

        And, of course, “Correlation is not Causation.”
        If, as has been claimed for both geohistorical and recent time periods, temperature increases precede CO2 increases, then AGW is almost certainly imaginary.
        And there are no “verifiable, testable measurements quantifying AGW,” as dbstealey requests, probably because it is imaginary.
        The question for the Warmists, however, is entirely moot. Back in the ’70s Marxists like Maurice Strong wanted a cause to build a worldwide movement on, and speculation about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming fit the bill. It worked better than they could have imagined, enlisting people as varied as Margaret Meade and Lady Thatcher. Then came the Hockey Stick, and Algore. There was enough superficial plausibility to the speculation that “CO2-driven AGW is real” that even professional scientists joined in—and the money wasn’t bad, either.
        So here we are, in the 21st century, arguing about the radiative physics of CO2, certainly an interesting subject, but not one that should be determining whether we should be burning that marvelous inheritance from eons past, “black gold,” to make electricity. Of course we should; it’s an enormous boon to humanity.
        /Mr Lynn

      • Friends:
        I write in support of the comments made by rgbatduke although I strongly dispute some of the evidence he cites in support of those views.
        He summarises his views that I agree with these bullet points.
        .

        * CO_2-driven AGW is real
        * AGW is not very likely to be globally catastrophic at any CO_2 level we are likely to reach
        * AGW/CO_2 at least so far has almost certainly been substantially beneficial
        * AGW/CO_2 could, in the future, cause harm that outweighs its benefits, and in at least selected locations that harm could fairly be called “catastrophic”.
        * The steps taken so far to ameliorate or prevent the future release of CO_2 have caused as much harm in the present, much of it “catastrophic” to those on the receiving end (for the most part, the poorest people in the world), as any reasonable estimate of future damage

        However, I strongly disagree with the part of his opinion that says

        our best political course of action is to take reasonable, inexpensive steps to gradually reduce the use of coal as a fuel for making electricty (where there are many excellent reasons to do so anyway in the long run)

        There are no “excellent reasons” to “reduce the use of coal as a fuel for making electricty”(sic) and coal is the cheapest fuel for that so would not be “inexpensive”. Such reduced use of coal would certainly “cause harm that outweighs its benefits” unless and until AGW/CO_2 becomes a discernible and serious problem.
        The important issue that affects everything else concerning AGW/CO_2 – including the politics – is climate sensitivity. This is clearly and cogently expressed by dbstealey when he writes

        AGW may be real. Or not. But without verifiable, testable measurements quantifying AGW, all the charts in the world are no more than simple overlays showing a coincidental correlation.

        As I keep saying, empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0°C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of Idso from surface measurements
        http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf
        and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satellite data
        http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf
        and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data
        http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf
        The climate sensitivity being less than 1.0°C for a doubling of CO2 equivalent means any man-made global warming from AGW/CO_2 would be much smaller than natural variations in global temperature and, therefore, it is physically impossible for AGW/CO_2 to be large enough to be detected. If something exists (i.e. is “real”) but is too small to be detected then it only has an abstract existence; it does not have a discernible existence that has effects (observation of the effects would be its detection).
        As dbstealey says, to date there are no discernible effects of AGW. Hence, the Null Hypothesis decrees that AGW does not affect global climate to a discernible degree. That is the ONLY scientific conclusion possible at present, and the bullet points of rgbatduke concur with it.
        Richard

      • inexpensive steps to gradually reduce the use of coal as a fuel for making electricty

        people forget the arab oil embrago. those that forget the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them.
        the US has the largest proven coal reserves in the world. 200 years worth. there is no energy crisis except the one that is man-made through misguided policies.
        does the US really want to become dependent on its enemies for its survival? remove coal as an energy source and Big Oil has a monopoly. and the consumer will be the one that has to pick up the bill. Coal use will simply move to China and India, along with the jobs in heavy industry.
        without heavy industry, the US cannot survive as a superpower if it finds itself on the wrong side of a future embargo. the only alternative will be to go to war, as Japan did when faced with embargoes in the years leading up to Pearl Harbor.

      • There are no “excellent reasons” to “reduce the use of coal as a fuel for making electricty”(sic) and coal is the cheapest fuel for that so would not be “inexpensive”. Such reduced use of coal would certainly “cause harm that outweighs its benefits” unless and until AGW/CO_2 becomes a discernible and serious problem.

        I strongly agree with Richard on this point. Coal is what made industrial civilization possible in the West, and it is doing the same in China, India, and many many other less developed countries.
        There is no way back. As Cambodia under Pol Pot demonstrated. The earth cannot support current human population densities without cheap energy to transport goods and materials from the country to the factories to the cities.
        The key is cheap energy – because that is all the poor of the world can afford. It is only after the poor become wealthy that they can afford to transport the waste materials, the pollution, out of the cities. As we see in the West, where the air and water are much cleaner today than 50 years ago.

      • richardscourtney
        February 5, 2015 at 12:24 am
        You say you agree with Dr Browns claim “CO2-driven AGW is real”
        Why?
        Do you understand radiative physics, fluid dynamics and phase change of water? Or are you just going with the crowd?

      • Konrad
        You ask me

        You say you agree with Dr Browns claim “CO2-driven AGW is real”
        Why?
        Do you understand radiative physics, fluid dynamics and phase change of water? Or are you just going with the crowd?

        Nobody who knows the radiative physics could dispute “Dr Browns claim” except by doubting the cause of recent rise in atmospheric CO2. This is because radiative physics says CO2 is a greenhouse gas. (Incidentally, I am not convinced as to the cause of that rise).
        I “understand radiative physics” sufficiently to have developed my own system (hardware and software) for quantitative energy dispersive analysis of X-rays (QEDX).
        Issues of “fluid dynamics and phase change of water” are pertinent to feedbacks and, therefore, to climate sensitivity. Please read my post you are questioning to understand why climate sensitivity is important.
        Anybody who knows me – or who knows anything about me – would laugh at your suggestion that I would ever just go “with the crowd”.
        Richard

      • richardscourtney
        February 6, 2015 at 12:23 am
        /////////////////////////////////////////////
        Richard,
        you say you are not going with the crowd, however you say this –

        ”Nobody who knows the radiative physics could dispute “Dr Browns claim” except by doubting the cause of recent rise in atmospheric CO2. This is because radiative physics says CO2 is a greenhouse gas. (Incidentally, I am not convinced as to the cause of that rise).”

        But radiative physics does not say CO2 is a greenhouse gas. All radiative physics says is that CO2 is a radiative gas, that can both absorb and emit LWIR. Calling it a greenhouse gas presupposes a net atmospheric radiative GHE. Assuming a net radiative GHE is effectively “going with the crowd”. Many sceptics unfortunately do this, here is Lindzen making the mistake –
        http://eaps.mit.edu/faculty/lindzen/198_greenhouse.pdf
        – he makes the foundation error of trying to use the Stefan-Boltzmann equation to determine “surface temperature without radiative atmosphere”. He gets 255K. He gets it wrong.
        The simple empirical experiment I posted above gives a clear indication of why the S-B calculation cannot be used for 71% of the planets surface. The SW transparent / IR opaque oceans are being illuminated by SW solar radiation. For these conditions, S-B calcs just won’t work. Lindzen’s 255K should have been closer to 312K. As current average surface temperatures are around 288K, that means the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere is surface cooling.
        This is why I am asking why you believe CO2 causes warming. Did you also treat the oceans as a “near blackbody”?

      • Konrad
        I stand by my understanding of the physics of the radiative greenhouse effect (GHE), and your stating that Lindzen shares my understanding does nothing to alter my view.
        If I am wrong then please tell me how I am wrong so I can learn from what you tell me. Your questioning how I “treat the oceans” suggests you cannot state how I am wrong.
        The fact that – as you admit – my understanding is shared by many people including both acceptors and “skeptics” of AGW does not indicate I am “going with the herd”. It says that many people with many opinions of AGW share the same understanding of the physics as myself.
        Richard

      • Richard,
        you ask-

        ”If I am wrong then please tell me how I am wrong so I can learn from what you tell me.”

        I feel the problem with accepting Lindzens position is that you are trusting but not verifying. I do agree that Lindzen, Spencer and Christy are right regarding negative feedbacks, but all have made the same basic error. They have treated the oceans as a “near blackbody”and applied standard S-B equations to determine a “surface without atmosphere” temperature.
        Doing this essentially treats the oceans as an opaque material that has equal absorptivity and emissivity. Even worse, the oceans are evaporatively cooled, and for an IR opaque material this means incident LWIR will not slow their cooling rate.
        The experiment I show here –
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/02/04/quote-of-the-week-shooting-blanks-in-the-hockey-stick-and-the-climate-wars/#comment-1852385
        – deals with the first part of the problem. Both blocks have equal SW absorptivity and LWIR emissivity. The only difference is the depth of SW absorption. For constant 1000 w/m2 SW illumination, block A will reach a equilibrium temperature 20C higher than block B. S-B equations alone would show both blocks rising to the same temperature, which the experiment shows to be wrong.
        The same physics works for liquids too –
        http://oi62.tinypic.com/zn7a4y.jpg
        – even though the target water is now free to conductively, radiatively and evaporatively cool, tub A runs hotter for equal SW illumination.
        From simple experiments like these you can derive the five simple rules for SW translucent / IR opaque materials being illuminated by SW –
        http://i59.tinypic.com/10pdqur.jpg
        – by trying to use S-B equations alone to determine the temperature of “surface without radiative atmosphere”, climatologists, and sadly many sceptics have provably ignored those five simple rules.
        It gets worse.
        Climastrologists, as a result of the flawed use of the S-B equations, claimed 255K for the oceans in absence of radiative atmosphere. They then invoked DWLWIR to raise the oceans by 33K. Little problem, incident LWIR can neither warm nor slow the cooling rate of liquid water that is free to evaporatively cool –
        http://i42.tinypic.com/2h6rsoz.jpg
        – fill both target chambers with 40C water and observe cooling rate under the strong and weak LWIR sources. There is no difference. Try again, but suppress evaporative cooling with a few drops of baby oil. Now the sample under the strong source cools slower. The claim that without DWLWIR the oceans would freeze is clearly false.
        Worse and worse…
        Not only should the climastrologists have not used S-B equations on the oceans, in doing so they claimed equal SW absorptivity and LWIR emissivity. But the hemispherical LWIR emissivity for water is as low as 0.7 while the hemispherical SW absorptivity is around 0.9.
        How bad are these errors combined? Well the 255K claimed for surface without radiative atmosphere should be around 312K. Given current average surface temperature is around 288K, that shows the net effect of our radiatively cooled atmosphere. Surface cooling. The is no NET radiative atmospheric GHE on planet ocean. AGW is therefore a physical impossibility.

    • BTW, who was the warmista who proclaimed that they would do whatever it took to keep contrarian papers out of the scientific publications, even if it took redefining the meaning of peer review, or in their case pal review.

    • Luke, you are speaking of the “scientific literature” about the science that is “settled”? And to what “increase” of “global temperatures” are you referring? That super-hot, 38% sure (settled?), year of 2014?

    • Like the claim that 2014 is the warmest year ever. And then we find out that it is claimed to be 38% certain that it is the warmest and 62% certain that it cannot be claimed to be the warmest.
      Would that be a blank?

    • Luke, your faith speks volumes. Most folks around here prefer to look at the evidence than the pal review cartel.

      • +1
        I too would absolutely love for Luke to provide a detailed, reasoned elaboration of his beliefs. Please do, Luke, please. Playing the microsecond troll is good for a laugh but what this lot needs is education. Please educate Luke, do, please.

    • Luke, if you would like to see what logical ‘live rounds’ can do to shred peer reviewed climate science paper ‘blanks’ beyond Mann’s hockey stick, please read any number of essays in ebook Blowing Smoke. Extinctions, sea level, desertification, ecosystem elevation change, tropical corals, polar bears, weather extremes, even swarming locusts in China. Not to mention multiple conflicting excuses for the pause, doctored climate records, and even probable academic misconduct behind a paper published in Science, that Science refused to acknowledge after having been put on written notice. Essay A High Stick Foul. You plainly have not read the literature carefully, or realised how selection biased the IPCC summaries are. For three years I did, and wrote it up with illustrations and footnotes. You will be shocked.

    • Why Luke, you mean the peer review process that the ‘climate’ team swore they were going subvert the peer review process and prevent contrary results from getting through? That peer review process?
      What about graduate student papers they submit to councils and face grilling over? Their research is often much more rigorous and much less financed by biased sources?
      Check out The Robustness of the Climate Modelling Paradigm, Ph.D. thesis by Alexander Bakker . I’ll sum it up for you, the GCM models virtually all of the CAGW alarms are based on are all bogus, every GCM, every GCM run.
      What about those simple charts of temperature? You know the ones anyone can read? Especially the satellite temperature charts that are unaffected by locality or installation issues?
      How about the simple ice coverage charts? Check out Antarctica’s chart for the past twenty or so years. Then check out the latest charts for the Arctic; no danger of ice free arctic in the foreseeable future.
      Surely you can check your own local weather for the averages and compare them against your own thermometer. Or do you need to submit your thermometer readings to the backroom bozos for ‘peer review’?
      Mostly, you should grow up, read about the climate in depth and then think just what makes your local climate what it is where it is.

    • Dear Luke:
      That MIGHT be true were it not for the climategate email showing that Peer Review was suborned and that blackmail was being used to push editors into squelching discussion. At this point, Peer Review in “climate science” is quite dead, and all that exists is “Pal Review” with obligatory rubber stamps and crucifixion of anyone outside the church of Global Warming.
      So no, peer review as an argument is not going to cut it. We’ve moved on to “public review”. Put up or shut up in the public domain and let the best science win.

    • How can something be true in the peer-reviewed scientific literature but indefensible in debate?
      What makes the peer-reviewed scientific literature such a lesser challenge?
      And why should we trust it if it is?

    • No luke, that was a social media type meme you just heard repeated often enough it sticks. The peer reviewed work makes it undeniably clear that much of what we know on climate is still being worked out and adjusted. Even the IPCC will tell you this, according to them ALL variables are in flux with low level of agreement EXCEPT co2 role. Except the world simply isnt warming as fast as expected and literally dozens of published papers attempt to explain why. There is a peer reviewed work for most major variables that weights each differently to attempt to account for what we are seeing, including low to non existent warming from co2.

    • I once was a true believer like you, but I started to ask questions. That’s rare, for someone entrenched in one political world view, to open up enough to sincerely and openly examine the opposing world view. It’s actually painful, because we’re so comfortable with our beliefs, and invested in them, and protected by them We think we’re “good” and “smart” and “superior” because we know the “truth” and because we’re “going to save the planet”.
      But perhaps you’ll find the courage to fully explore this debate.I hope so. But I don’t think there’s a chance in hell.

    • No, the real debate is in the court of public opinion. We live in a democracy, fortunately. It is elected officials that draft regulations and legislation as expressed by the will of the people. If the AGW crowd doesn’t persuade the public, they will ultimately lose. The public is not as stupid as some people believe.

      • Quite right.
        This is why the ‘Je Suis Charlie’ thing was so heart-warming.

        We live in a democracy, fortunately.

        People know that debate is worth more than mindlessly conceding one’s will to one’s “betters”.

    • Luke, the nature of peer reviewing is changing due to the internet. Traditionally peer review was a few people who are inevitably pressured and sometimes pals vs now where its the whole world full of interested sceptical people who have the time to look carefully at papers. Better get used to it.
      The internet is full of paper takedowns that apparently dont count because they’re not official. That doesn’t mean the issues found are wrong though. Sometimes they are and the considerable discussion sorts out weak arguments from strong.
      There is no substitute for actually spending considerable time looking at these issues. Its not something you can get in a day, week or even a month. IMO it takes years of study of all the arguments to see how they interact to get a picture of where AGW theory is weak.

  2. And never forget Schmidt flouncing off in a huff when it looked like he might have to debate with Roy Spencer.

    The sheer mental immaturity of so many climatologists is breath-taking. After school they go to uni then straight into the rarefied world of academia. Where posturing and preening and ‘amour propre’ are valued far in advance of sang froid and savoir faire.
    Poor sensitive little dears. They really aren’t equipped for the rough and tumble of the real world. Maybe one day they’ll get out of nappies (diapers) and grow up. But I ain’t holding my breath

  3. Remember this interview on Stossel? Another alarmist who will not debate as the “Science is Settled”. Right!

    • They’re not ‘armed’ with anything but nasty personalities and ad hominems.
      They’re insulated with money, which functions similarly as they buy influence.

    • I fear the gap between optimists and pessimists has grown so large among the scientifically educated, that namecalling is unavoidable.

  4. If Luke hadn’t shown up it would have been a short thread and I would have had less to read. He is probably flattened out under the pile of text, evidence, charts and logic.

    • Luke is a loyal cheerleader. He is rooting for his home team with the best argument he can remember.

  5. The irony is that it is the skeptics who shouldn’t need to debate. It is the warmist who are denying the natural cycles of nature. They are the denialists and it is they that have a case to prove. If they don’t attempt to prove the case then they should lose by default. I am fascinated of how little science seems to be involved in their arguments , they now spend most of their time trying to adjust reality to fit their theories. It is very hard to debate when the facts destroy your theory. You have to change the facts first.
    The reality is that with media, and government complicit they don’t have to debate. Unfortunately if it is snowing outside but the media tells you it’s sunny you believe its sunny even if all you have to do is open the curtains to know the answer. But it’s now got worse than that as people now open the curtains , see that its snowing and still believe it is sunny. It’s like the media has created some crazy alternative universe that only skeptics can see is false.

    • Yes, indeed. The most convincing indicators for me of climate temperature trends have been my own skin sensors. I am fortunate to have lived in my present location and dwelling for 23 years (sub-tropical southern hemisphere) and I have fairly good sensory recall. For year upon year for two decades, we had excruciatingly sticky hot Februarys, when the wind would die about dusk and the sultry humid air inside the house would keep us awake. Even fans were useless – they just stirred it about a little. If there were any cooling breeze at all, it would only start about 3-4 am. Those were the classic ‘dog days’ of summer, in which the heat would hang on and on past all reasonableness.
      For the first time last year, I noticed that the long lag in end-of-season temperatures had shortened marginally and we started to enter Autumn earlier, though a mild winter followed. But this shortening and attenuation has become more prominent. Apart from the short bout of heatwaves prior to Christmas, January has been rather pleasant, and not over-hot; unlike any other January I have experienced here – more like a December of the eighties. And now, it’s unbelievably cool in February. I haven’t witnessed such a pattern in the aftermath of New Year since I was a child living in a more southerly latitude than this one.
      Thinking that other people must have noticed what I have, I’ve asked neighbours and friends about their perceptions. However, not one of these people have picked up on what, to me, stands out like a massive anomaly. They’ll say, “Oh yes, it’s cooler the last few days,” but never taking it farther than a spot weather observation. IMHO a genuine cooling pattern has set in. I don’t need literature to tell me that. But maybe folk are too brainwashed by the barrage of media reports to be attuned to such nuances?

      • Well Sierra, stuff as much of that hot February air as you can get into a suitcase and bring it to Indiana. We pay top dollar for it here.

  6. Luke- Oh yes please! Let’s look at the peer reviewed numbers!
    According to some of the most adamant AGW supporters and their research, out of 11, 944 papers written by 29, 083 authors and published in 1,980 journals:
    ONLY 3, 896 papers (32.6%) “agreed with the 2007 IPCC statement that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.” (The definition of the “consensus statement” taken from the actual paper in question)
    ONLY 10,188 authors (34.8%)
    The VAST majority of the peer-reviewed literature examined in this study-67.4% took no position at all regarding a human contribution to warming, DISAGREED with the IPCC’s statement, or were uncertain about it. Of course, upon examination of the actual numbers produced by the study, the number of papers/authors that explicitly and unequivocally agreed with the IPCC statement, the number becomes incredibly small and insignificant.

    • Nothing to panic about. A bunch of CO2 estimates from 200 ppm to 400 ppm (and then some higher estimates using a Boron methodology which seems to produce highly variable numbers so i have stopped using this methodology in my CO2 databases. So throw out Panel d on this page). Otherwise nothing different in these numbers from others in the period 200 ppm to 400 ppm, same as the previous 22 million years,
      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v518/n7537/fig_tab/nature14145_F1.html

  7. [snip – Steve, just because you have crazy theories on how “all” skeptics act and have the gone the way of Keith Kloor, doesn’t mean I have to print your OTT opinion. Choose your words carefully in the future when you try to paint all climate skeptics, including me, with your broad brush, or don’t comment here at all – Anthony]

  8. Bill Nye would not be the sharpest knife in any drawer in the world. His Science Guy caricature evolved on late night TV in Seattle (along with his super hero “Speed Walker” character). He exploited that role by parroting the Mr. Wizard role for kids often enough to be taken seriously by liberal guilt adults who believe results matter more than facts when saving planets using billion$ of tax-payer gifts and government grants. And so “Bill Nye the Science Guy” aired on PBS. The metamorphosis from Boeing engineer to slapstick low budget comedy to sciencist imposter was complete.

    • I was a happy member of The Planetary Society, supporting the exploration of space, until they became an echo chamber for the Climatists. Then they hired Bill Nye, the Faux-Science Guy. Now I mail back their renewal appeals, using their Business-Reply envelopes.
      /Mr Lynn

    • I always thought Beakman’s World was a much better program than Mr Nye’s show. Beekman always threw in a bunch of humor with the science.

  9. “… if I was on the side that I felt like I was armed with live ammo and the other side was armed with blanks, I’d want to debate every chance I got just so I could beat ‘em every single time.”
    The problem with this way of thinking is that people become entrenched in their positions and just don’t see that their arguments have been shot full of holes. Arguments essentially degenerate into Monty Python skits, with guys like Michael Mann hopping around armless on a pair of stumps screaming “It’s just a flesh wound!”
    Eventually, you just gotta shake your head sometimes and walk away.

  10. Here’s a prediction: when the imbeciles such as Nye and Mann (and most other Activists for Stupid Science) finally have to admit that they were wrong (not likely!) they will probablly, shamelessly pontificate about how science is “self-correcting”, that they can’t be criticised “in hindsight” for doing their “jobs”, and that skeptics would never “admit their mistakes” if they were the ones who turned out to be wrong.
    Who’s betting?

    • I don’t think it will ever get that far. When did you ever hear any of the other Chicken Littles of the past apologize, or even hint at acknowledging they were wrong? It will just gradually lose steam, and then be swept under the carpet.
      Then, sometime in the future, there will be another hullabaloo over Global Warming/Cooling, take your pick, whichever is current. The policies advocated will be the same, and they will say, yeah, some people got it wrong the last time, but it was only a small group that nobody took seriously, and we’re so much smarter now, and blah blah, blah blah blah.
      I’ve seen this show several times in my life now. The script never really changes. The basic plot is, like, 2500 years old.

  11. There are 3 way to win a debate.
    1. Marginalize opponents by smearing them to ensure they are not invited to a debate. Then announce you have won the debate that never took place.
    2. Don’t show up for the debate, claiming there is no debate, then immediately announce you won the debate that did not take place.
    3. Have the debate and present enough solid arguments and documented evidence to get people thinking.
    I have not seen many climate debates (since apparently they are unnecessary). In those I have seen, there wasn’t actual debate or exchanges. I have seen atheist/Christian debates with more challenging and intellectual exchanges. What I did see was climate alarmists using debates as a soap box for the usual hyperbole and rhetoric (yawn), completely ignoring the opposing view.

  12. How much warming that CO2 will cause is clearly a subject that should be openly debated by objective scientists.
    Here is what I think is most revealing about the lack of objectivity regarding CO2 by one side. Regardless of how much warming it will cause, the science is extremely one sided with regards to the massive benefits to agriculture, the biosphere and most creatures on this planet from carbon dioxide increasing.
    http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/co2benefits/MonetaryBenefitsofRisingCO2onGlobalFoodProduction.pdf
    On what planet, does such a gas get called pollution? Not just called pollution but the legal entity that determines pollution standards, the EPA rules that it’s pollution so that it can impose regulations on those that emit it.
    The same gas that is being created in massive quantities by the most ingenious, pollution fighting device ever invented, the catalytic convertor.
    Oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide: 2CO + O2 → 2CO2
    Oxidation of unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) to carbon dioxide and water: CxH2x+2 + [(3x+1)/2]O2 → xCO2 + (x+1)H2O.
    Regardless of how great or small the greenhouse gas effect is from CO2, one side starts with the assumption that carbon dioxide is pollution.
    In fact, human’s, having all sorts of cognitive bias’s, including scientists under this assumption, cannot possibly do objective research on CO2…………and it’s pretty obvious.
    Oh, not to them or most of the world that accepts the fact that CO2=pollution. Just to people/scientists that did not already make up their minds a long time ago.

    • As for a CO2-caused warming, Steven Mosher’s orthodox position is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere pushes an Effective Radiative Level higher, where it is colder, thus decreasing the amount of thermal radiation leaving the Earth. Steven does not know how high ERL is, nor how cold it is up there.
      ERL is a perfectly valid mathematical construct, depending on a surface temperature, presence or absence of clouds, and a wavelength of the radiation in question. It is also a perfect tool to show that we can not prove or disprove this theory experimentally.What a happy choice for climatologists.

      • George,
        the ERL argument is indeed a case of extreme hand waving intended to confuse. It’s where the warmulonians shifted the argument to when the two shell model failed.
        But the ERL argument doesn’t even pass the first sanity check. Study those flapping hands frame by frame and what the pseudo scientist are trying to get away with is clear. The ERL argument essentially claims “Adding radiative gases to the atmosphere will reduce the atmosphere’s radiative cooling ability”. This of course is utterly ridiculous, as the atmosphere would have no radiative cooling ability were it not for these gases.

  13. less than 2 days ago on this site we see someone post a graph of the sea level change which starts in 1910. nothing out of the ordinary, they all show similar trend starting around 1910 well before co2 was an issue in the late 1950s, yet this trend is claimed to be caused by co2.
    today we have a graph, this time some curve fitting, showing the co2 influence + pdo. this graph attempts to resolve the problem of the temperatures responding 40 years too early.
    the sea level change is a rather flat rise over the whole period. it has already been established that there is no acceleration in sea level change other than from those that like to fiddle with figures mannian style (pin one completely different data set onto another), so the graph of co2+pdo is an admission that the 40 years pre 1950 are natural and the sea level change over that period is from only the pdo.
    of course there are simple problems with that like the lack of response from the cooling in the sea level in the 60s etc, and the problem of immediate response of the sea level to pdo, but ignore the simple problems with the graph for a bit.
    if you compare on that same graph the positive slope periods between 1910 to 1940 and 1970 to 2000 there is no difference. the temperature rate of rise and the sea level rise is no different. the graph is proof that co2 has little influence on temperatures and sea level.

  14. Nothing wrong with not debating if the side you’re debating has jumped the shark. I’m thinking of nitwits on both extreme ends of the scale: say, Doug Cotton or at the other end of the spectrum, David Appell. The thing about guys like that is that they don’t *sound* crazy. They sound perfectly reasonable. They don’t have the faintest idea what they are talking about but have mastered the ability to sound like they do, if nobody is familiar with the subject matter being discussed.

  15. I am thinking about writing a poem about Gavin Schmidt. Does his last name rhyme with shiit or is that too much to hope for?
    Eugene WR Gallun

  16. >>Bill Nye, Michael Mann, Al Gore, Katherine Hayhoe, etc. are the ones armed with blanks and they know it, they flee from debate and they flee from any interview where tough questions might be asked.<<
    Lord Monckton challenged Al Gore again and again, but Gore doesn't like inconvenient questions being asked. Bricksh*tters they are.

  17. “Bill Nye, Michael Mann, Al Gore, Katherine Hayhoe, etc. are the ones armed with blanks and they know it, they flee from debate”
    Interesting that Bill Nye is very happy to debate religion, but not climate change.

  18. “The debate is over” was the mantra back in 2007, popularized, I believe by Gore. I thought “wait, what debate? If I didn’t even hear about one, how can it be over”? And that was my downfall.

  19. So much Hi-falootin’ intellect here.
    “One can’t deny the physics. CO2 traps heat so therefore an increase in CO2 must,necessarily make the atmosphere warmer”
    What if that absorbed heat in these CO2 molecules simply increases the negative feedback from clouds. Resulting in no warming at all.
    This is what the satellite temperature data would suggest.
    Who says “The Physics” can’t be denied?

  20. I may be a little out of my element here, there are quite a few pretty smart folks posting here, but I’d like to point this out as it is very instructive to the casual reader about this. A number of years ago I “ran the numbers” on Global Warming™ (or Climate Change™ or Climate Disruption™ or whatever they are calling it this month). After all, the climate scaresters always talk in “millions of tons” and other scary numbers that don’t really easily relate to the average Joe. So, using commonly known percentages, and when in doubt using the numbers the climate scaresters liked the best. I constructed a illustrative graphic (posted on one of my web sites now long gone). The result was thus: If you take a rectangle 6 feet on a side to represent the Earth’s atmosphere (36 square feet), man’s contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere in one year would be represented by a period the size of what you see on the page here.
    Pretty tough to imagine that being the cause of all this hubbub. But when 7 series BMW payments and tuition for the kiddies is involved . . .

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