Three Questions for Denuding Complexity, a Standpoint on Science and Climate Change

complexity-simplictyThree Questions for Denuding Complexity, story submitted by Megg

The first paper I ever wrote was titled:  Three Questions for Denuding Complexity. How to determine your own basis for thought, your own way of thinking? How do you approach a problem? Are you aware of how you do it?

If you ponder these questions,  which seldom happens, you will find yourself in obscure territories walking in a sucking slough of your super-ego. Your, mine, everybody’s thinking is a cocktail of upbringing and genes. Neither all the ingredients, nor their side effects, are evident.

Let us assume you have been brought up in a confessional (Christian) milieu. Your deity, whom you honour and respect, is a creator and rule setter. You will use concepts like ‘systems’ and ‘natural laws’.  Your role as a scientist is to discover these laws:  laws you know exist but are still unknown. You know there exist explanatory-descriptive models. If you are successful you will find good models, if not you will find not so good ones. “There is no other explanation but X”, is a valid argument in your reasoning.

Today X can stand for say a miracle or a CO2 hazard. There is a Vatican-appointed Miracle Commission composed of theologians and scientific experts. For a healing event to be graded as a (medical) miracle, it has to be spontaneous, instantaneous and complete.  Doctors have to be able to say, “We don’t have any natural explanation for what happened.”

“There is no other explanation for global warming than carbon dioxide” said Professor Erland Källén (International Panel of Climate Change; IPCC) when he spoke for the Swedish Statistical Society in Stockholm 2007.  I know, because I was there.

What about these Xs, and how do we counter them? All we have to do is to scrutinize extremely rare events around the world. If we consider all the UN member states and in each of them observe climate related events like droughts, hurricanes, early spring, lack of ice, lack of snow, snow in extremes, severe storms, floods, heat waves, peak temperatures, precipitation, forest fires, early and late migrating bird patterns, first occurrence of national plants, sea level rise, hottest month(s), number of sand-flies, and, furthermore, define an extremely rare event as one which happens once per generation, the probability that there wouldn’t be an X in your country is 50%. (Generation = 50 years, probability of rare event = constant.)  The probability that an X wouldn’t occur in any of the UN member states is 0%. (There are 193 UN member states). In other words there is no chance that there wouldn’t be many X events every year.

Yet the UN-appointed IPCC, whose aim is to assess scientific information relevant to human-induced climate change, will take the opportunity to claim that this very X event is an indication/proof of climate change. At least the mainstream media will! An Airbus passenger plane had to make an emergency landing on the Hudson River. Soon after take-off both its engines died after it flew into a flock of birds. Global warming had disrupted the birds’ migratory patterns increasing the likelihood of such incidents, it was claimed. Yet another example: wild mountain goats in the Italian Alps have become significantly smaller over the past few decades in response to a warming climate, scientists reported recently.

John Paul II earned his sainthood this year. The first miracle, which paved the way for his sainthood, happened in France. The recovery in 2005 from Parkinson’s disease by a nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, after praying for the late Pope’s “intercession” , had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains.  The second miracle took place in Costa Rica. (You need two miracles to become a saint.)

These examples are so called evidence-based conclusions. Billions  of people consider The Catholic Church and UN/IPCC as the highest authorities in Morality and Science. Yet their conclusions and evidence are (mostly) nonsense. But who wants to stand up and point out facts when Heaven and Grants are at stake?


You have just finished reading ‘Three Questions for Denuding Complexity’,  a  Standpoint on Science and Climate Change.

Two more Standpoints on Science will follow.

‘Validity, Reliability and Orwell 1992’

‘Models and the Complexity Paradox’

Meanwhile, some suggested Google Search studies: epistemology, methodology, ontology, paradigm, positivism, combinatorics, independent events, IPCC aims, Church Miracles.

 

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330 thoughts on “Three Questions for Denuding Complexity, a Standpoint on Science and Climate Change

    • Well personally I have always felt that failure to come up with a rational explanation for some phenomenon that might have been experienced but does not fit any previously known experience does not justify or excuse blind acceptance of a completely irrational explanation.
      Please salt with commas or other punctuation to taste.
      g

    • Obscuring simplicity with complexity = simplexity
      Simplexity is an actual sort of like “pseudo-theory” of sort of like — why things get more complicated.
      Though I know almost nothing about it, it seems to provide “reasons” why businesses need to stick to their core enterprise and big government will always fail.
      On the other side it seeks to explain why life forms have grown more complex — from pond scum to mankind. It is popular among liberals because they only pay attention to this second part.
      As far as I can tell system failure occurs as the parts of a “complexing” system become more independent of each other and eventually turn cancerous feeding on each other.
      There is a temporary solution to cancerous feeding — a way in the short term to control the chaos. Dictators like Hitler create the sort of government where the leader maintains power by having all agencies competing against each other and the dictator being the only ultimate decision maker. (Another example would be Bill and Hillary Clinton’s political strategy of “triangulation”.) So socialism, in order to survive its inevitable crisis, always, always requires a dictator to arise.
      (Note that “triangulation” required Bill and Hillary Clinton to feed the animosity between Democrats and Republicans. There can be no bi-partisanship when you are “triangulating”.).
      A person should not be having this much fun so early in the morning. I think I better quit..
      Eugene WR Gallun

  1. ‘ Catholic Church … their conclusions and evidence are (mostly) nonsense. ‘
    I note that a Catholic priest developed the Big Bang theory. After that, you rather lost me, though I admit I don’t know *what* about ‘conclusions and evidence’ of the Catholic Church you are speaking of.
    I agree re: the IPCC.
    And that is all I have to say on the matter.

  2. First, thank-you Anthony for the excellent exposition offered here and your efforts to keep science as a tool of understanding rather than advocacy. As a suggestion for an additional “preparation” on your upcoming posts, I would like to recommend, On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton, MD.
    The safeguards of skepticism, as we evaluate our thought processes and the proffered thought s of others, are virtues of scientific discovery and the human pursuit of truth.

  3. Joseph Campbell wrote a book titled: Metaphor as Myth and as Religion.
    (Only later did publishers slather on a new vague title: The Inner Reaches of Outer Space.)
    A better title would have been: Metaphor as Myth, Religion, and Science.
    We humans see the world through metaphor — through models.
    But models exert a tyranny over the mind — the Tyranny of the Model — leading people, as did the Sirens, to shipwreck their ideas — their puny calculus — on the reefs of reality.
    Real scientists know that their models ARE BUT METAPHORS.
    Religious people know that their models ARE.
    Climate catastrophists are the latter. Hence their worship of Simpletonian Mechanics.

    • Max, you paint stereotypes with a broad-brush and slander Christian religious thought in the process
      Theologically educated religious people of the Christian persuasion (like me) know that we can know God only metaphorically (since he is Holy, aka “Other”). He is not really Male or a Warrior or a King or a Husband, etc. These are metaphors to help us approximate knowledge of him.
      Therefore, all his works can only be known proximally, since they will reflect his holiness. “Real theologians” have a great deal more in common with your “real scientists” in that while we seek Natural Law(s) we also expect that the Infinitely Holy (Otherly) God can make reality infinitely complex and therefore irreducibly complex and not fully comprehensible. Therefore, Christian theology is a foundation for declaring that Science, at best, describes the world metaphorically and provisionally.

      • Well Wayne, the main purpose of our physical and mathematical theories of anything we regard as scientific, is that it needs to be consistent, so that none of our experimental observations definitively contradict the expectations from our theoretical models, and it needs to be robust enough that we can assign any practically realizable values to parameters in our models, and get a result that we can actually experimentally check.
        Apart from that, there is NO requirement that it make “common sense”, nor does it need to be a unique explanation. Any explanation no matter whether bizarre or simple, only has to satisfy one test. Does the prediction match the outcome of experiment with any set of parameters we can set in practice.
        The ability to predict the outcome of experiments never performed, or extremely difficult to perform, and give high confidence in the result is a plus.
        So there is NO need to imbue our science explanations with any supernatural encumbrances, or other trappings of philosophy.
        Those things are best left out of science, where they add nothing to our understanding of the real universe.

  4. The probability of no rare events in a year, in any country, where the odds are 50% per country per year, is not quite zero. It is a very small number though! 🙂

  5. I would love to find simplicity in natural systems.
    But I never have. The closer you look, the more complexity you discover, until you are overwhelmed by the realization that nothing is as simple as if appears from afar and we never know what we do not know until we look.

    • BioBob,
      Have you ever played with the logistic equation using a spreadsheet? It’s absolutely fascinating that such a simple device can produce so much interesting complexity. If you haven’t done so, I highly recommend it. (It’s awesome to share the experience with young people!)
      In particular, the input points that produce intermittency are a marvel. The output graph will display rhythmic patterns that give way to chaos, and then back to rhythmic … great stuff.
      I think those infected with climate rabies would do well to take a shot of the logistic equation to at least ease the symptom of frothing.

  6. The blog is one continuous strawman argument. The evidence for AGW is not extreme weather events, but rather the warming of the earth, the physics of the greenhouse effect and the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2. Extreme weather events can only be considered in statistical fashion, and then only as secondary confirmation but not primary evidence.

    • Warren, you might want to review the history of the discussion. Until circa 2000, the alarm was over “global warming.” Since then it has, for very understandable reasons, been replaced with “climate change,” which has the great advantage of being so abstract and general that it can be used to include anything. Since there has not been any statistically significant global warming for almost twenty years, you can see how the new emphasis on “climate change,” including any potentially useful variability in “normal climate,” is critical to the continued perpetration of the collective delusion known as catastrophic AGW.

      • 1) “Global Warming vs “Climate Change” is a content-free distinction.
        2) Since nearly all the hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, there’s been slower atmospheric warming while the oceans have continued to takeup about 90% of the additional thermal energy returned from GHGs in the upper troposphere.
        3) No scientists use the term “CAGW’. It’s a term used only by bloggers-

      • warrenlb
        You assert

        No scientists use the term “CAGW’. It’s a term used only by bloggers-

        And your assertion demonstrates that you do not know what scientists are.
        Richard

      • Warren,

        No scientists use the term “CAGW’. It’s a term used only by bloggers-

        So what is the proper and high minded term for catastrophic anthropomorphic global warming? And are you positive that no scientists ever use the term? Perhaps they have moved on to the more nebulous CACC (pronounced cack). Real high minded scientists use terms like “coal trains of death” and Arctic ice “death spiral”, so why not CAGW.

      • @Warren (since he has not reply button) I find it fascinating that you can declare that 90% of the warming that you say has happened has been absorbed by the deep oceans while no trace of it is found in the upper oceans. Fascinating how that energy can flow through the one leaving it untouched to hide in the other. And what is the source for your 90% statistic?

      • To warrenlb:
        “Global ostriches ” hmm, no more “denialists”?
        I like is better. Sounds a bit poetical, much better then “flatearthers”
        (Otherwise the linked article is full of crap just to let you know)

      • @Wayne Townsend
        You ask:
        “…what is the source for your 90% statistic?”
        From the IPCC 2007 Assessment:
        “The ocean’s heat capacity is about 1,000 times larger than that of the atmosphere, and the oceans net heat
        uptake since 1960 is around 20 times greater than that of the atmosphere (Levitus et al., 2005a). This large amount of heat, which has been mainly stored in the upper layers of the ocean, plays a crucial role in climate change, in particular variations on seasonal to decadal time scales.”
        Also, “…A study by Balmaseda, Trenberth, and Källén (2013) determined that over the past decade, approximately 30% of ocean warming has occurred in the deeper layers, below 700 meters.”

      • “””””…..
        warrenlb
        March 7, 2015 at 9:55 am
        1) “Global Warming vs “Climate Change” is a content-free distinction.
        2) Since nearly all the hottest years on record have occurred since 2000, there’s been slower atmospheric warming while the oceans have continued to takeup about 90% of the additional thermal energy returned from GHGs in the upper troposphere……”””””
        I really like your second content full example.
        Since .. (meaning as a result of) .. nearly all the hottest years on record have occurred since 2000 , there’s been (meaning there has been) slower atmospheric warming …
        Is this like saying : We are at the top of a hill with nearly all of the highest altitudes around us so we aren’t going uphill much any more.
        And the oceans are most certainly not taking up “about 90%” of ” the additional thermal energy returned from GHGs in the upper troposphere.”
        (a) in what way is this energy “additional” ; additional to what ??
        And (b) no more than 50% of the thermal energy returned for GHGs (anywhere) can even make it to the surface of the earth, so nyet on your “about 90%”.
        And (c) the oceans comprise only 70% of the earth surface, so something like 30% of the less than 50% that returns from the GHGs to the surface, is intercepted by land not ocean. Then (d) 100% of that 70% or that less than 50% that makes it to the ocean surface is absorbed in no more than 100 microns of the ocean surface, and most of that is going to be returned to the atmosphere in the form of latent heat of evaporation.
        I would really like to see some definitive experimental results, where somebody actually measures how much of the GHG emitted LWIR radiation, makes it to the ocean surface (presumed to be below the GHGs) and gets absorbed and NOT re-emitted by the ocean water.
        But for sure it is nyet on your “about 90%.”
        Stop just making up numbers or cite a peer reviewed paper that made such measurements.

      • They also concluded that the warming in the upper layers is not enough to account for the stalled air temps. There is a reason why more and more published work tries to explain this lack of warming.
        from the NASA link “In the 21st century, greenhouse gases have continued to accumulate in the atmosphere, just as they did in the 20th century, but global average surface air temperatures have stopped rising in tandem with the gases. The temperature of the top half of the world’s oceans — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures. “

      • @Randy.
        The Trenberth et al paper finds warming below 700 meters. The paper you reference finds no warming below 1.24 miles down, but plenty of warming above 1.24 miles, Confirming Trenberths findings. The warming is between 700 meters down and 1.24 miles down.

      • Nope, you claimed trenberths work accounted for the lack of surface warming, the warming is taking place in the ocean. Except as I pointed out and quoted already….
        You seem to have missed this part….
        “The temperature of the top half of the world’s oceans — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures.”

      • There is NO mechanism the has been deminstrated that shows atmospheric induced warming of the oceans without actual atmospheric warming!

      • “3) No scientists use the term “CAGW’. It’s a term used only by bloggers-”
        There are a lot of people who were labelled “deniers of the science” and compared to holocaust deniers, who did not claim that AGW wasn’t real. Instead, they refused to play along with the claims that a catastrophe is imminent. As you correctly pointed out, its the bloggers who have tried to make this an intellectual discussion while the alarmist crowd stuck to propaganda.

      • Imagine a steady recovery from the coldest decades in the last 10,000 yrs, a century and a half ago, which begins to plateau. When will the hottest years tend to fall?
        Hottest is prejudicial terminology, btw; it might well be that earlier, higher peaks and plateaus were better in almost all respects. Mildest is perhaps better. Yah, “Global Milding”; I like it!

    • You missed the point of the article-that the IPCC and media and so called experts are the ones declaring that “X can only be the result of AGW”. And you’re right, such X events are NOT evidence.
      The earth has warmed and cooled for eons with a variety of CO2 levels in it’s atmosphere. The planet exists in an open system, not a greenhouse.

      • Either there is a ‘greenhouse effect’ affecting global warming, or there isn’t. It is just rhetorical tap-dancing to pretend that there are different kinds. Who can argue with such shifting definitions?
        Well, I can. A greenhouse is enclosed. The atmosphere isn’t. Draw your own conclusions.

      • @DBSTealey. You really stepped into it this time. I didn’t realize until just now that you don’t understand the difference between a greenhouse building in which heated air cannot convect to the atmosphere outside the structure, vs the absorption and re-radiation of infrared thermal radiation by the GHGs –water vapor, CO2 methane, nitrous oxides, fluorocarbons and sf6.

      • In essence a closed system with respect to heat dissipation by mass transfer. The “greenhouse” effect is arguably a poor descriptor because at the surface the dominant cooling mechanisms are evaporation and convection which agricultural greenhouse structures are designed to prevent.
        It is not terribly difficult to understand the difference between a popular analogy and what is written in textbooks and literature regarding radiative atmospheric effects, but then feigning ignorance can be an effective rhetorical technique when playing to a wilfully ignorant audience.

      • @warrenlb,
        As I stated:
        It is just rhetorical tap-dancing to pretend that there are different kinds.
        You replied:
        I didn’t realize …
        You don’t realize much, and you certainly don’t realize that all your stupid pontificating about manmade global warming lacks any verifiable measurements.
        That means MMGW is nothing more than a conjecture; an opinion.
        And since there has been no global warming from anywhere between ten and 18 years now, your entire Belief system is shot full of holes.
        I don’t understand why anyone would still argue, because Planet Earth is busy debunking that failed Belief. The only answer is that AGW/MMGW is your Religion. No more and no less.
        And Gates is trolling as usual, labeling the highly educated WUWT readers as a wilfully ignorant audience.
        Put warrenlb and Gates together, and you get ignorance — doubled and squared.

      • “””””…..
        warrenlb
        March 7, 2015 at 2:14 pm
        @DBSTealey. You really stepped into it this time. I didn’t realize until just now that you don’t understand the difference between a greenhouse building in which heated air cannot convect to the atmosphere outside the structure,…..”””””
        Who is this DBS Tealey guy; and why did you just jump into the muck with him warrenlb ??
        So the air inside an enclosed “greenhouse” CAN convect to the walls and the ceiling of that closed building; and that closed building and its ceiling are made of thermally absorbing materials, so they absorb heat from that convecting air, and then they in turn conduct to the outside atmosphere, so while the building is indeed closed to the air exchanging, it is not closed to heat transfer from inside to outside. And those hot walls and ceiling will also radiate profusely.
        So real greenhouses and the earth are thermodynamically closed systems, in that they both can exchange energy with their environment but cannot exchange matter with their environment. Well we’ll ignore the cosmic rays and meteorites that strike the earth, and also the occasional hydrogen molecule that might eventually drift away.
        But neither one of them is a thermodynamically isolated system, because both are open to energy exchange with their environment.
        So I don’t see anything wrong with what DBStealey said that got you all worked up.

      • dbstealey,

        You don’t realize much, and you certainly don’t realize that all your stupid pontificating about manmade global warming lacks any verifiable measurements.

        Non-falsifiable statements of belief are a form of wilful ignorance. The shoe fits.

      • mpainter,
        Kaicun Wang and Shunlin Liang (2008), Global atmospheric downward longwave radiation over land surface under all-sky conditions from 1973 to 2008: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1029/2009JD011800/
        Open-access. Final sentence of the abstract:
        We found that daily Ld increased at an average rate of 2.2 W m−2 per decade from 1973 to 2008. The rising trend results from increases in air temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and CO2 concentration.
        While quantifying the overall change in downwelling longwave globally is useful, there remains a chicken/egg problem for causality. Any increased forcing — e.g. the Sun, or less likely a significant sustained release of internal heat from the mantle — could raise surface temperatures, which naturally would cause Ld to increase. I can think of two papers off the top of my head which attempt to sort this out observationally. The first one is Harries, et al. (2001): https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/physics/Public/spat/John/Increase%20in%20greenhouse%20forcing%20inferred%20from%20the%20outgoing%20longwave%20radiation%20spectra%20of%20the%20Earth%20in%201970%20and%201997.pdf
        The abstract summarizes the problem and difficulties rather succinctly:
        The evolution of the Earth’s climate has been extensively studied 1,2, and a strong link between increases in surface temperatures and greenhouse gases has been established 3,4. But this relationship is complicated by several feedback processes–most importantly the hydrological cycle–that are not well understood 5±7. Changes in the Earth’s greenhouse effect can be detected from variations in the spectrum of outgoing longwave radiation 8±10, which is a measure of how the Earth cools to space and carries the imprint of the gases that are responsible for the greenhouse effect 11±13 . Here we analyse the difference between the spectra of the outgoing longwave radiation of the Earth as measured by orbiting spacecraft in 1970 and 1997. We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12. Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.
        Basically, since the spectral lines of various atmospheric species are known from controlled laboratory tests, they were able to find sharp spectral differences between the 1970 and 1997 OLR satellite observations consistent with modeled expectations for various “well-mixed” GHG species which could not be explained by changes in cloud cover, ice crystals or inter-annual variability — they highlight the 1997 ENSO event as a specific concern.
        By my reading, this paper doesn’t attempt to quantify change in forcing by species. For that, the strongest work I know of is quite recent, Feldman, et al. (2015), Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14240.html (paywalled)
        Which has already been discussed here recently, but I’ll repost the abstract for any who missed it:
        The climatic impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is usually quantified in terms of radiative forcing1, calculated as the difference between estimates of the Earth’s radiation field from pre-industrial and present-day concentrations of these gases. Radiative transfer models calculate that the increase in CO2 since 1750 corresponds to a global annual-mean radiative forcing at the tropopause of 1.82 ± 0.19 W m−2 (ref. 2). However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2. Here we present observationally based evidence of clear-sky CO2 surface radiative forcing that is directly attributable to the increase, between 2000 and 2010, of 22 parts per million atmospheric CO2. The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska—are derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra3 together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations4. The time series both show statistically significant trends of 0.2 W m−2 per decade (with respective uncertainties of ±0.06 W m−2 per decade and ±0.07 W m−2 per decade) and have seasonal ranges of 0.1–0.2 W m−2. This is approximately ten per cent of the trend in downwelling longwave radiation5, 6, 7. These results confirm theoretical predictions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect due to anthropogenic emissions, and provide empirical evidence of how rising CO2 levels, mediated by temporal variations due to photosynthesis and respiration, are affecting the surface energy balance.
        This should satisfy requests for verifiable measurement of increased radiative forcing due to rising levels of atmospheric CO2, but fall well short of anything being “settled” in terms of how much future warming to expect for a doubling of CO2 because:
        1) There are large uncertainties in the measurements presented here, as such any estimates derived from them will be highly uncertain.
        2) There’s more to it than just CO2, and my understanding is that things like ice sheet feedbacks, cloud parametrizations, aerosol direct and indirect effects and the like remain poorly constrained. To say nothing of internal variability due to ocean/atmospheric couplings.

      • @George Smith.
        Follow the email trail. His implication that the two Greenhouse effects .refer to the same physics idea is nonsense.

      • @warrenlb:
        George Smith has forgotten more physics than you will ever learn, junior. Same with Gates.
        Two misfits trying to convince intelligent readers here that Evil is Good, Ignorance is Strength, and Climate-change is Human-caused!
        As. If.

    • Extreme weather events are virtually unknown to us personally. Quite expectable events, viewed on a 50 or 100 year basis are routinely planned for. Dams, droughts, flood plains are all planned, using statistics and knowledge of what has already happened.
      Calling a storm ‘extreme’ does not make it so unless it is on the limits of our experience as a society, not personally.
      The physics of GHG’s is not disputed by skeptics. The effect of those physics within the system is NOT reliant only of the physics of GHG’s. That is why the models, based on an incomplete metaphor, do such a poor job of predicting global temperature. No one expected models to be correct for a single year. But they certainly did (the modellers) worry when they were wrong for seven years. See the Climategate emails. Then 10, then 12, then 15 and now 18 years. The climate metaphors don’t work for us at all. Poorly chosen metaphors misinform.
      Religious teachings that are contradicted by scientific evidence are mere superstition. Climate metaphors that are contradicted by scientific evidence are also mere superstition. Believing superstitions doesn’t make them true nor does it create a religious system.
      Pogroms are being mounted against people who contradict and dress down the believers in superstitions. They are being attacked because they are correct about the superstition being a superstition.
      Materialists, agnostics and atheists repeatedly claim that religions and religious teaching are, a priori, superstitions, and often prefer to define all misbelief as ‘religious’. This tendency is as flawed as the anti-scientific claim that doubling CO2 concentration will boil the oceans.
      All major civilisations in history have been erected on a set of religious teachings that underpin the morality, the education, legal system, governance and science of that age. To dismiss the patently obvious and historically accurate is unscientific.
      Western agnostic and atheistic mobs ride on the moral coattails of the purehearted religious communities that created the space within which they have had time to fabricate their dubious philosophies, while taking every opportunity to point fingers at the breakdown of religious systems as the Finger of Man stirs in the moral pie. (That’s a metaphor, BTW.) it suits then to blame all failures of Man as failures of Religion.
      There are many who understand the difference between Revelation, church, faith, science, scientism, moral relativism, honesty and prevarication. The Big Bang Theory is not ‘revelation’. CAGW is not ‘revelation’. Attacking BBT or CAGW is not scientific apostasy. There is no church of science. Science is merely a toolbox and many of the tools were designed and first used by very religious people who faithfully and truthfully and morally applied their God-given faculties to the problems of the age in which they lived. Woe is the society that now seeks to banish religion in favour of false, unworkable metaphors of their own devising. Observe how it is working out for climate eschatology and the preaching of ‘end times’ which they call ‘tipping points’.
      CAGW has become a golden calf to be worshipped, even with human sacrifice. Building models, altars and temples “too big to fail” will not alter the outcome in which I have 97% confidence: the priestly ‘scientists’ will be defrocked and walk as ordinary men. And none too soon.

      • Nice rant there, Crispin 😉
        I agree with much of what you say. Many of those who have ditched Christianity have replaced it with modern superstitions that are just as unreasonable, interfere much more strongly with a proper understanding of the world, and are more conducive to inhumane behaviour than the comparably benign and benevolent religion of their forebears. However, there are quite a few Christians who are also pretty zealous environmentalists and generally nutty overall. So, adoption of one superstition does not automatically immunize against all others.
        One point I heartily disagree with is that science is “just a toolbox.” It certainly does offer many tools, but it goes far beyond it, and it is precisely by not limiting itself to practical applications that science has reached its astonishing level of development. Anatomy is, for the most part, an invention of the renaissance; it was translated into surgery only much later. Microbes were first observed by Leeuwenhoek in the 17th century; his discoveries became useful only in the 19th century.
        Science was very much divorced from engineering in the ancient world. Greek and Roman engineers built decimal balances, air guns, and pressure pipes. None of this was of interest to the philosophers, who were happily arguing about Zeno’s arrow and the hook shapes of atoms. It is this divide that prevented science from truly taking off 1500 years earlier.
        Well, anyway, with temperatures going the way they are, it surely is a matter of days now until we could have another BBQ. How about it?
        Best, Michael

      • Great response. One quibble. You say: “Calling a storm ‘extreme’ does not make it so unless it is on the limits of our experience as a society, not personally” Societal experience can be just as subjective as personal experience (as for example, the “Superstorm Sandy” hysteria when much worse storms occurred in the previous 100 years). It is Data that shows a storm is extreme (aka <2-3 sigma).

      • Crispin,
        No quarrels with your first four paragraphs, but we parted company at ‘pogroms’, which seems like a lapse into hyperbole and it goes distinctly south from there.
        I don’t know anyone who identifies themself as a ‘materialist’, (Madonna, I guess) so I assume that it’s a pejorative appellation of convenience that presages your ensuing departure into unbridled exaggeration.
        I don’t much care about the boiling of the oceans, even though Hansen, himself, didn’t claim that for a doubling.(Well, maybe he did when you factor in the tipping point!), but I take issue with your contention that Religion gave us Morality and, specifically, Christianity nurtured atheism.
        You lot inherited moral values from the many that lived and died before you. You conjured up a revised dogma that suited your sensibilities and now, centuries later, you want to claim that you invented the concept of people learning to live together. How about all the non-Christians around the world? How did they ever find their way without you?
        I’d be very interested to hear where we can find these “western agnostic and atheistic mobs” you speak of.
        Equally, the “purehearted” religious communities.
        You would appear to suggest that the ‘natural philosophers’ of yore were all devout men of god, just as the Muslims are keen to claim to have been the beacon of enlightenment in their time. Ever heard of the Greeks and the people of the Indus?
        Surprise! People have passed on knowledge in spite of religion, not because of it.
        There’s a big difference between “science” and religion; religion starts with a grand truth plucked out of thin air and devotes all its energy to making inescapably obvious observations fit into the preconceived view of reality.
        Science looks around where it’s standing and makes little conjectures that are tested against what is observed.
        “Banish religion”, you say. No, we will indulge you in your whimsical beliefs, but we’re through being bossed around by zealots.
        Actually, Crispin, I enjoy your comments and think you’re cool, for the most part!

      • mebbe and the others:
        Thank you for noting the several points upon which we agree. The quibbles are noted and my response is that we should discuss this further.
        A pogrom is exactly what was launched against Dr Soon and the others. It is the sort of pogrom that was launched against the Jews in Russia, the Christians in Syria, the Sabians in E Iraq and the Baha’is in Iran. It is a coordinated attack on an identifiable group that ‘believes wrong thoughts’. It is in every sense a response to imagined ‘thought crimes’. It is the antithesis of civilised society.
        Because some comments are based on an assumption, I should clarify that I am not a Christian but am a Theist.
        Michael P, fanaticism can take many forms. Which Faith is the fanatics’ chosen metaphor is irrelevant. Basically it boils down to accusing the Founder for the crimes of the adherent which is a fundamentally flawed argument.
        A major point I was making is that an essentially parasitic movement exists within a protective society and that society is being attacked by the movement. It it is a spiritual disease attacking the host. Extinguishing the spiritual foundations of society leads directly back to the jungle. Scientism, often unrecognised because it is wrapped in layers of material achievement, cannot and does not create honest, moral beings. Why, we can discuss, but as has been so amply demonstrated by the perfidy and debased behaviour of the CAGW founders, divorcing honesty from scientific claims has terrible consequences. It is often termed on this list ‘noble cause corruption’.
        What if the cause was not noble in the first place? Who gave them credit for having at heart some ‘higher, noble’ intention? I don’t see it. The claims that it is the Club of Rome or some UN plot are charges of convenience. It may be much simpler than that: self-serving, self-aggrandizing researchers firmly attached to the ‘Kingdom of names’ (seekers of position and title) chasing recognition and power. When it began, politicians did not run Greenpeace and NGO’s formed to protect the environment would not knowingly accept money from fossil fuel producers to mount publicity campaigns against the competing fossil fuels producers. Now most ‘environmental’ NGO’s are bullies-for-hire who have learned how to shake down corporations and still not go to jail.
        I am not convinced, on the evidence, the Cause was ever Noble. A public backlash is inevitable. It will be a shame when the good environmental movements are blamed for the behaviour of those who hijacked and perverted their causes – environmental success is one of the great victories of my generation. The backlash will be the same as the many rants here against all religion because of the Spanish Inquisition and the Borgias and the lunatics blowing themselves to smithereens at Indonesian police stations.
        Did Krishna preach that girls who reject boys should have acid flung in their faces? Did Buddha preach holy war against ‘infidels’? Did Confucius teach that the exploitation of darker races was a birthright? Is it a principle of scientific enquiry the theft of billions by stealth and craftiness is the ultimate goal of an advanced civilisation?
        Of course not.
        What about climate researchers who are well-intentioned but inadvertently further the goals of a fundamentally defective movement? Every individual who lives a sentient life has a personal responsibility to right wrongs, be a worthy example and stay the hand of the oppressor. These principles are built into the world of academia, but abandoned with glee at the prospect of advancement, recognition and funding. Isolated, disrespected, underpaid, overloaded, exploited, subject to the institutional politics of university departments, they are tempted. How easily we underestimate the moral fibre of our forebears. How easily we overestimate the value of material progress and momentary plaudits.
        The anti-CO2 movement is a catastrophic failure of nerve by, in particular, the academic world. That academics now stand by and watch a pogrom be mounted against a few of their own number is a portent. Lysenko was not successful because he was convincing. He was successful because he was backed by political and economic power. He was wrong and it led to the death of millions of souls.
        CAGW is backed by political and economic interests. It is wrong and will lead to the deaths of millions. It will collapse because it contains the seeds of its own destruction which are its foundational lies and misrepresentations. There will be a backlash against academia, industry and scientism, principally because of their moral failings and lack of ‘backbone’. After righting our societal ship, we can chart a new course for environmental studies. It is time for academics in particular to put on their Big Boy pants and show us the pen is mightier than the Dollar.

    • Logical fallacy.
      A 40% increase in CO2, by itself, is zero evidence for AGW.
      It is only when you can irrefutably prove that CO2 is responsible for AGW that you can conclude CO2 is responsible.
      Currently we have seen a 30% increase in CO2 over the last 18 years and little to no warming, depending on what global temperature measurement method you use.
      The evidence is building for the null hypothesis.

    • “warrenlb
      March 7, 2015 at 9:04 am
      “The evidence for AGW is not extreme weather events…”

      Agreed. Too bad so many AGW supporters don’t understand that.
      “… but rather the warming of the earth, the physics of the greenhouse effect and the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2.”
      WRONG!
      1 – Warming of the earth is not proof that the cause is anthropogenic.
      2 – The “physics of the greenhouse effect” only show what the effect of atmospheric CO2 would/may be in a stable atmosphere. This “maximum effect” of CO2 may be 1 degree C per doubling of CO2, but in the ever churning chaotic atmosphere of the earth it is not proven that atmospheric CO2 has that total effect.
      3 – There is no direct evidence that the rise from approx. 250 ppm of atmospheric CO2 to the current about 400 ppm of atmospheric CO2 is the direct cause of any of the atmospheric warming over that same period.
      Faith based arguments do not hold up well here warrenlb.

      • 1) A scientific hypothesis is never ‘proven’. Instead, its established by the accumulation of evidence. Proofs are for Math. Evidence is for science.
        2) Your ‘churning’ hypothesis has no basis in physics. The greenhouse effect has to do with Infrared thermal radiation being absorbed and then re-radiated by greenhouse gases in the upper troposphere. Atmospheric turbulence, or ‘churning’ as you call it, has no effect on this process.
        3) Evidence abounds from ice core data that rising atmospheric CO2 causes atmospheric temperature rise.
        Your accusation of faith-based argument should be directed at the mirror.

      • @warrenlb
        1- Again, warming of the earth is not either proof or evidence that it is being caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.
        2- I used the phrase “churning chaotic atmosphere” to describe all of the atmosphere’s non-test tube actions which also include reaction to albedo (surface and cloud), the cooling of precipitation, varying TSI levels (including day to night), etc.
        3- Are you talking about the “abounding” ice core data that shows temperature rising and falling which is followed by CO2 rising and falling? How is that evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the cause of anything?

      • JohnWho,

        How is that evidence that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are the cause of anything?

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v429/n6992/images/nature02599-f2.2.jpg
        Note that temperatures tend to rise at a faster rate than they fall. I understand that some of that is attributable to ice melt being favored over ice formation, but it’s also quite consistent with what one would expect from the radiative influence of water vapor, CO2, methane, and other GHGs in the atmosphere. IOW, something that is in the atmosphere and contributing to some warming all the time at any level will tend to make temperatures increase quickly, and retard heat loss when other forcings favor cooling.
        Insolation a la Milankovitch orbital parameters determine timing and initiate trends. WV, CO2 and methane are lagging feedbacks, but contribute to rate and final amplitude of the temperature change.
        The above image is from this Nature article, which is open access: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v429/n6992/full/nature02599.html

      • Eugene WR Gallun,

        To make this even clearer I should state what this argument is actually about.

        By all means.

        Since 2000 Anthropogenic Catastrophic Global Warming has been suppressed. You argue that it has. I argue that ACGW does not even exist.There is nothing there to suppress.

        And I argue that “proving” a negative is impossible. The AGW null hypothesis is, “humans are not doing it”. I got what Trenberth was driving at when he “tried” to flip it, but I didn’t get behind it. I don’t have is apparent confidence. I also don’t have his experience and knowledge.

        It is the existence of ACGW that you are defending. You believe in its existence because you believe in the Hothead’s alarmist models which all use CO2 as the world’s temperature knob.

        I can’t rule out my own biases here, Eugene. I can tell you one thing: if I thought the evidence for AGW was inconclusive, then my position would be agnostic. I’m also not a fan of the temperature knob metaphor.

        That the models can’t account for this current suppression doesn’t shake your faith in them. (Somehow you seem to have convinced yourself that models that can’t predict the present are accurate when predicting a catastrophic future. That is rather odd thinking. A great leap of faith indeed.)

        Yes, that is rather odd thinking. Knowing that: I don’t think that way. Even if the models were dead nuts on in the hindcasting portion — which they never will be — that’s no guarantee that they’d be correct in the future. By my way of thinking, only thing hindcasting skill informs is that IF one of the four future emissions scenarios somehow miraculously turned out to be 100% correct, then I’d expect a model skillful at hindcasting to also then have made an “accurate” prediction.
        That is NEVER in a million of my lifetimes EVER going to happen.

        You say that “since 1850 the secular trend is nicely explained by a combination of TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) and CO2″. The models predict the past because it was that past temperature data that was used in their creation. But those model utterly fail to predict the present.

        Mmmm hmmm, but now there’s an (annoying) ambiguity about which models we’re talking about. My toy regression models explain the past and present beautifully. R^2 values in excess of 0.9 on a routine basis. And you bet your sweet keester I’ve tried doing them without including CO2.

        You list quite a number of other factors now being considered beside TSI and CO2.

        Not “just” now. That’s a zombie myth which needs to die and has not.

        The more and more compensating mechanisms you throw into the models to explain why CO2 is not heating the earth, the more obvious it becomes that CO2 is not a major player.

        lol. In the beginning of your post you leveled with me, and since then have been writing exactly what you think. In that spirit here’s what I really think about that argument: it’s a sloppy mess of horsefeathers. Now I’ll tell you why: the number of other factors alone has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on their relative influence with respect to each other, or any purported anthropogenic influences such as CO2, methane, black carbon soot deposits, aerosols, land use changes, suburban sprawl, thermometers in parking lots in formerly rural zipcodes or whatever else have you.
        Someone wise once said: shut up and calculate. The number of the things on the not-CO2 list isn’t the relevant metric, but what those things net to relative to CO2’s influence.

        CO2 is apparently a little wimp that all the big bullies (you name AOD, PDO, ENSO, AMO, cloud cover, absolute humidity, and albedo changes) beat up on whenever the mood takes them.

        My belief is that you are essentially correct: CO2 is a relative wimp. Note the qualifier “essentially”. It only achieves dominant effects on long-term trends, and even there, the magnitude of its change from T0 to Tn has to be considered, as well as various time lags to allow for thermal inertia and phase changes, not to mention multiple feedback processes — none of which march to the beat of the same drummer, especially over short periods of time.
        Since 2000 is a relatively short period of time for the planet. It’s big, massive and complex. Time is an essential factor to consider.

        It was overweening pride that led Doctor Frankenstein to create his monster. Climate modelers should heed that tale.

        All but certainly true in some cases. I don’t consider myself fit to judge, except for PR purposes. For that, I like Richard Betts, who flat out told the folks over at Bishop Hill, “We don’t know.”: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2014/8/22/its-the-atlantic-wot-dunnit.html#comments
        Once again this brings us back to the thorny question of whether a GCM is a suitable tool to inform public policy.
        Bish, as always I am slightly bemused over why you think GCMs are so central to climate policy.
        Everyone* agrees that the greenhouse effect is real, and that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
        Everyone* agrees that CO2 rise is anthropogenic
        Everyone** agrees that we can’t predict the long-term response of the climate to ongoing CO2 rise with great accuracy. It could be large, it could be small. We don’t know. The old-style energy balance models got us this far. We can’t be certain of large changes in future, but can’t rule them out either.
        So climate mitigation policy is a political judgement based on what policymakers think carries the greater risk in the future – decarbonising or not decarbonising.
        A primary aim of developing GCMs these days is to improve forecasts of regional climate on nearer-term timescales (seasons, year and a couple of decades) in order to inform contingency planning and adaptation (and also simply to increase understanding of the climate system by seeing how well forecasts based on current understanding stack up against observations, and then futher refining the models). Clearly, contingency planning and adaptation need to be done in the face of large uncertainty.
        *OK so not quite everyone, but everyone who has thought about it to any reasonable extent
        **Apart from a few who think that observations of a decade or three of small forcing can be extrapolated to indicate the response to long-term larger forcing with confidence
        Aug 22, 2014 at 5:38 PM | Registered Commenter Richard Betts
        Emphasis mine, that last bit echoing my own thoughts on threads such as these: there’s no shortage of hubris in this “debate”, and it’s certainly NOT limited to one side of it either.
        As well, here’s another perennial frustration of mine: As noted earlier, it appears extremely odd that a climate modeler is downplaying the role of—the need for—his products. ~Bob Tisdale
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/08/26/a-lead-author-of-ipcc-ar5-downplays-importance-of-climate-models/
        Make up your minds already guys. Sheesh.
        Its late, good night.
        Thanks, you too.

    • Since when is evidence for some phenomenon equivalent to evidence that anthropgenes caused it ??
      There may be evidence that earth has generally been warming since the end of the last ice age. Try that in the mid west and east of the USA.
      I see not much evidence that anthropogenes cause it; and no evidence whatsoever that it is ANY kind of a problem for life on earth.
      Bottom line; life on earth exists over a total concurrent Temperature range of never less than 80 deg. C and often 120 deg. C and can be as much as 150 deg. C
      So whether or not, measured of adjusted, or measured and adjusted Temperature changes of maybe 0.5 deg. C or 1.0 deg. C over the age of modern science history, have occurred is rather irrelevant in my book.
      I’m reminded of a cowboy song about a mangy old cur, much like the ones on a string you now see the yuppies walking around malls with; which is howling its lungs out cause it is sitting on a thorn. And it is too durn lazy to move over.
      Everybody comes with their own private climate control mechanism; often called legs.
      If you don’t like the Temperature where you are at, there is a whole world full of people who would gladly switch places with you.

      • I see not much evidence that anthropogenes cause it; and no evidence whatsoever that it is ANY kind of a problem for life on earth.
        That’s the issue in a walnut shell. The tracking of temperature by CO2 levels, especially the onset of drops, is dispositive. And you can kill plants and thus those that feed on them by lowering CO2 below 200ppm, but it takes about 5 or 6 redoublings to begin to harm them (a factor of about 100). And there is no evidence that absence of human-caused combustion would have affected the rise to date detectably anyway.

    • warrenlb —
      If the oceans have been absorbing 90% of the extra heat since 2000 —
      why were they not absorbing 90% of the extra heat before 2000?
      Eugene WR Gallun

      • Brandon Gates
        “AMO is one contributor”
        Suppressing global warming world wide is a big big task. I am glad you recognize that in order for that to actually be occurring you would need many more contributors than just the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.
        How many more can you name?
        And they are all acting in sync, right?
        So Brandon Gates list them all. Let us see if all these “contributors” add up to something that could actually suppress global warming.
        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Eugene W Gallun,

        Suppressing global warming world wide is a big big task. I am glad you recognize that in order for that to actually be occurring you would need many more contributors than just the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

        I just sort of take it as a given that big, complex, massive physical systems such as, you know — A PLANET — cannot be simply explained. AMO cannot be a sole factor anymore than CO2 could.

        So Brandon Gates list them all.

        Impossible. I’m not omniscient.

        And they are all acting in sync, right?

        In sync with what? A memo Al Gore wrote up? You’re asking nonsense questions.

        Let us see if all these “contributors” add up to something that could actually suppress global warming.

        You haven’t told me yet how warm you think the planet should have gotten since 2000 — other than it’s “big big” — don’t you think you’re getting ahead of yourself asking me to tally up some possible contributors to the suppression?

      • Brandon Gates
        Let me make this clear.
        I asked warrenlb why the oceans were absorbing 90% of the extra heat since 2000 but were not absorbing 90% of the extra heat before 2000. You replied for him saying “AMO is one contributor”.
        I replied to you saying — “suppressing global warming is a big task. I am glad you recognize that in order for that to actually be occurring you would need many more contributors than just the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation”.
        I then asked — “how many more can you name?”.
        You, of course, could name none. The AMO is insufficient in itself to suppress global warming yet you can name no other climate systems that would be suppressing global warming after 2000 but not before 2000.
        Instead you reply that “big, complex massive systems such as, you know — a PLANET – cannot be simply explained.” The implication is that such systems are at work suppressing global warming even though you don’t have the faintest idea what they could be. As you say — you are not “omniscient”.
        You say you are not “omniscient” yet you can posit with certainty that there are systems you cannot name that have been suppressing global warming after 2000 but not before — because the earth is a “big complex massive system” — “you know — a PLANET”!
        So lets go over your thinking. You believe that the total heat content of the earth is still rising rapidly from the greenhouse effects of CO2 but that warming is being suppressed (not registering on the “thermometers” we have available to use).
        So you have no data whatsoever to show that heat is accumulating someplace on the earth where we cannot measure it yet you are positive such must be happening because you believe that CO2 is heating the earth and more CO2 means more total heat content. Therefore the heat must be hiding someplace.
        So before 2000 the “thermometers” we have available to measure heat were measuring the heat accumulation of the earth caused by CO2 global warming but suddenly after 2000 the heat began accumulating in places where we could not measure it. The total heat content of the earth is still going up due to the effects of CO2. It is now just accumulating in new hidden places. (I am sure that there is a Latin name for your type of supposition which I don’t know so let me just call it — “wistful thinking”.)
        Is it not more reasonable to say that CO2 has never had much of an effect on the rise in global temperature we have been experiencing since coming out of the Little Ice Age? It is not more reasonable to say that the total heat content of the earth since 2000 has not been going up? Or if it is going up it is going up only marginally?
        Eugene WR Gallun

      • Eugene WR Gallun,

        The AMO is insufficient in itself to suppress global warming …

        Which implies that you know how much warming is being “suppressed”. So what’s the number?

        I then asked — “how many more can you name?”. You, of course, could name none.

        No, I chose not to. AOD, PDO, ENSO, AMO, TSI, cloud cover, absolute humidity, albedo changes … these are all candidates for contributions to BOTH the rising AND falling temperature trends seen in this plot:
        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MW_NJp28Udc/VNS3EAEqpOI/AAAAAAAAAUs/hjhuLZFkdoM/s1600/hadcrut4%2Bhiatuses.png
        They do NOT all operate “in synch” with each other, hence all the wiggles on monthly, annual and decadal time scales.
        The secular trend since 1850 is nicely explained by a combination of TSI and CO2, though the rocket kids at NASA have also estimated the effects of various other radiative forcings as well:
        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/RadF.gif
        As you can see, they estimate a decreased rate of GHG forcing increase since about 1990 — which includes methane, ozone and CFCs — and a decline in TSI since about 1999. The net looks like this:
        http://data.giss.nasa.gov/modelforce/NetF.gif

        As you say — you are not “omniscient”.

        Would that you got in touch with your own lack of godlike perception and knowledge. Improving your logic might help, to wit:

        Is it not more reasonable to say that CO2 has never had much of an effect on the rise in global temperature we have been experiencing since coming out of the Little Ice Age?

        I don’t see why. According to you there are no data from which to make a determination either way.

        It is not more reasonable to say that the total heat content of the earth since 2000 has not been going up?

        No, I don’t think that’s at all reasonable.
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/itemp2000_global.png

        Or if it is going up it is going up only marginally?

        For the two kilometers of upper oceans we have coverage, energy retention continues unabated since 2000 according to these data. More than that; it is accelerating.

        Let me make this clear.

        You’ve made it quite clear that you’re not taking other available data into consideration. Now I repeat: how much warming do you think has been “suppressed” since 2000?

      • Brandon Gates
        To make this even clearer I should state what this argument is actually about. (If it is not about this then we have no argument.)
        Since 2000 Anthropogenic Catastrophic Global Warming has been suppressed. You argue that it has. I argue that ACGW does not even exist.There is nothing there to suppress.
        It is the existence of ACGW that you are defending. You believe in its existence because you believe in the Hothead’s alarmist models which all use CO2 as the world’s temperature knob.
        That the models can’t account for this current suppression doesn’t shake your faith in them. (Somehow you seem to have convinced yourself that models that can’t predict the present are accurate when predicting a catastrophic future. That is rather odd thinking. A great leap of faith indeed.)
        You say that “since 1850 the secular trend is nicely explained by a combination of TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) and CO2”. The models predict the past because it was that past temperature data that was used in their creation. But those model utterly fail to predict the present.
        You list quite a number of other factors now being considered beside TSI and CO2. The more and more compensating mechanisms you throw into the models to explain why CO2 is not heating the earth, the more obvious it becomes that CO2 is not a major player. CO2 is apparently a little wimp that all the big bullies (you name AOD, PDO, ENSO, AMO, cloud cover, absolute humidity, and albedo changes) beat up on whenever the mood takes them.
        It was overweening pride that led Doctor Frankenstein to create his monster. Climate modelers should heed that tale.
        Its late, good night.
        Eugene WR Gallun

    • warrenlb says:
      Evidence abounds from ice core data that rising atmospheric CO2 causes atmospheric temperature rise.
      That has been refuted so many times that only the religiously inclined like warrenlb still believe it. In fact, ∆CO2 is caused by ∆temperature. There is a mountain of evidence for that — but there is no conclusive evidence showing that CO2 changes are the cause of temperature changes.
      Next, warrenlb says that WUWT …is one continuous strawman argument.
      Due entirely to people like warrenlb.
      Earth to warrenlb: ‘Warming of the earth’ is not “evidence of AGW”. The “40% increase in atmospheric CO2” is also not evidence of AGW. They are what is known as a coincidental correlation.
      warrenlb’s strawman arguments are illogical. If I stated that global warming was conclusive evidence of the planet’s recovery from the LIA, jamokes like wlb would jump all over my “evidence”. But warrenlb expects that readers will believe his “evidence”. warrenlb is arguing by assertion. But where is his empirical, testable, falsifiable “evidence”? He has none.
      So once more, for the slow-witted: Where are the empirical, testable measurements quantifying AGW? There are… None. At. All.
      Without measurements, all warrenlb is doing is asserting his opinion. Nothing more.
      Furthermore: even if AGW exists [and it might], without any measurements, it must be extremely minuscule. Therefore, it can be completely disregarded for all practical purposes. It is a non-problem.
      But warrenlb cannot accept that. Why not?
      Because AGW is warren’s RELIGION. No more and no less. He is no more interested in the Scientific Method, or the climate Null Hypothesis, than he is in the man in the moon. All he’s interested in is proselytizing for his eco-religion. He is out to make converts. But he has no interest in real science.
      warrenlb belongs on one of the many religious blogs. Not here.

      • dbstealey,

        They are what is known as a coincidental correlation … warrenlb is arguing by assertion.

        Irony. Now pony up your “easily explained by natural variability” measurements already and win the argument once and for all.

      • Gates, I don’t have to ‘pony up’ anything, because natural variability is the default. Read up on the climate Null Hypothesis to understand what is meant by that.

      • “Natural variability” is your H1, db, not mine. My H0 is “humans are not causing any change”, and yes, I consider that hypothesis rejected. Now, one more time (likely in vain): how do you reject YOUR H0?

  7. The more one knows about something, the more they know how truly much they don’t know.
    Statements of certainty usually indicate ignorance. Statements of certainty seem to be quite common, however.

      • Louis March 7, 2015 at 11:57 am
        Does that apply to Richard Dawkins who once said that he never doubted his atheism?

        I think he means as the null position, he has never had any reason to doubt atheism, and suspects he never will, since the proponents of theism offer only wishful thinking to support their pretensions.

  8. Why is it that almost all events/effects from increasing CO2 and its warming of the atmosphere are negative……..by numerous orders of magnitude.
    If we take a couple of basic, irrefutable facts, one can see clearly the overwhelming cognitive bias of humans to assume negative impacts and ignore positive ones.
    1. The planet is greening up
    2. In the past, modest warming has always been MUCH more beneficial than modest cooling. More than modest warming has been MUCH , MUCH more beneficial than ice ages.
    Just because it’s humans causing the warming does not change that fact. Neither does the fact that it’s warming too fast for life to adjust.
    The biggest, legit, one sided negative element is the inconvenience to humans from rising sea levels if we did have more than modest warming. In most other realms, there would be an overall benefit to life vs temperatures going in the opposite direction. In many cases, CO2 going up has one sided benefits.
    You can assume something was a miracle because your mind is conditioned to assume it must be a miracle in the absence of proof.
    You can assume that every change caused by increasing CO2 is bad because your mind is conditioned to assume that CO2 only causes bad things.
    The objective science provides a massive amount of evidence showing the benefits of increasing CO2.
    Those only telling one side are simply not objective.

  9. The blog is one continuous strawman argument. The evidence for AGW is not extreme weather events, but rather the warming of the earth, the physics of the greenhouse effect and the 40% increase in atmospheric CO2. Extreme weather events can only be considered in statistical fashion, and then only as secondary confirmation but not primary evidence.

    Evidence? Physics? CO2?
    While the practical application of physics was involved in the development of thermometers and computers, what those computers did to the numbers those thermometers generated (actual observations) after Man-made CO2’s influence was greatly exaggerated is hardly “evidence”.

    • Where is your evidence for this ‘ great exaggeration’? No blogs allowed, only data from Scientists and research papers.

      • No blogs allowed…
        Who elected you to say what knowledge is permissible, and which isn’t?
        The IPCC has been so thoroughly debunked that it cannot be used as a credible source. This site [WUWT] has much more scientific veracity than any UN climate ‘assessment report’. That’s why WUWT has such immense popularity: people want the truth — not the IPCC pablum that gets spoon-fed to the public.

      • Where is your evidence for this ‘ great exaggeration’? No blogs allowed, only data from Scientists and research papers.

        OhWellGollyGee. Why don’t you ask Hansen what he said would happen if CO2 levels rose. (You can also ask the authors of his footnotes to his testimony before Congress that day the AC broke down.) Then look out the window and tell me if it has.

      • Warren pound, where is your evidence for AGW? No blogs allowed, only peer reviewed science, please. You too Gates, come across with evidence.

      • Gunga Din,

        Why don’t you ask Hansen what he said would happen if CO2 levels rose.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/ClimateChangeHearing1988.pdf
        My principal conclusions are: (1) the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements, (2) the global warming is now sufficiently large that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect, and (3) in our computer climate simulations the greenhouse effect is already large enough to begin to affect the probability of occurrence of extreme events such as summer heat waves; the model results imply that heat wave/drought occurrences in the Southeast and Midwest United States may be more frequent in the next decade than in climatological (1950-1980) statistics.

        You can also ask the authors of his footnotes to his testimony before Congress that day the AC broke down.

        Conclusion: It is not possible to blame a specific heatwave/drought on the greenhouse effect. However, there is evidence that the greenhouse effect increases the likelihood of such events; our climate model simulations for the late 1980’s and the 1990’s indicate a tendency for an increase of heatwave/drought situations in the Southeast and Midwest United States. We note that the correlations between climate models and observed temperatures are often very poor at subcontinental scales, particularly during Northern Hemisphere summer (reference 7). Thus improved understanding of these phenomena depends on the availability of global observations needed to verify and improve the models.

        Then look out the window and tell me if it has.

        I see the weather of the moment. Climate is statistics of weather over long periods of time, generally several decades, with 30 years being the most common.

      • jglpitt@comcast.net “Socrates” says:
        Try to remember science is not a popularity contest.
        Try to remember that you were banned here.
        Anyway, tell that to your climate alarmist pals. They are the ones always [falsely] claiming “consensus”.
        You may not realize it, but ‘consensus’ is an argumentum ad populum. IOW, a ‘popularity contest’.
        I can spot you a mile off. Now go away.

      • Gates:
        All factual data is allowable! It is YOUR side that tries to limit knowledge to only pal-reviewed carp. And it is YOUR side that tries to eliminate information provided by WUWT readers.
        Once more, for the dim-witted: Appeals to Authority are logical fallacies [unless the authority is without fault]. The ultimate Authority is Planet Earth, and she is busy debunking the alarmist narrative: 18+ years with no global warming.
        So who are ya gonna believe? Bought and paid for chumps riding the grant gravy train, and their closed-minded Religious acolytes?
        Or Planet Earth?
        Take your pick. Because they can’t both be right.

      • dbstealey,

        All factual data is allowable!

        Then you’ve had a change of heart. Let’s review and find out. Here’s you: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/12/05/friday-funny-over-a-centurys-worth-of-failed-eco-climate-quotes-and-disinformation/#comment-1810850
        Once again: that chart is an overlay.
        It does not show cause and effect.
        Use the WoodForTrees database. Produce a chart like this one, but showing that changes in CO2 cause changes in temperature. That should be very easy to do — if there are supporting measurements.
        To be convincing you need to work off of the same page. Use the same WFT databases that I used, then make your case.

        The example of the type of chart you asked me to produce:
        http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gJZ9A2LZBHY/VPu_pG3T4WI/AAAAAAAAAXo/OF3IVnRJhyk/s1600/dbstealey%2Blag%2Blead%2Bwft%2B01.png
        The chart I answered with:
        http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FFdLYpkm0bc/VPvB2LiFKEI/AAAAAAAAAX8/j_FWuJVchzw/s1600/CO2%2Bvs%2BTEMP%2Bisolate.png
        Your answer:
        [crickets]
        My original chart which you called an “overlay”:
        http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xRQBXoc04Vk/VPvBVfY6AoI/AAAAAAAAAX0/LLv-bF3Zn04/s1600/Temp%2Band%2BCO2%2B100%2Byear%2Bchg%2B0001-2014.png

        Once more, for the dim-witted: Appeals to Authority are logical fallacies [unless the authority is without fault].

        One wonders where these infallible authorities are to be found.

        So who are ya gonna believe? Bought and paid for chumps riding the grant gravy train, and their closed-minded Religious acolytes?

        Ah. Well … if it’s good enough for you, it’s good enough for me. You don’t think bloggers are the originators of the data found on the (excellent and useful) Wood for Trees website … do you?

        Or Planet Earth? Take your pick. Because they can’t both be right.

        The planet cannot be right or wrong … so far as we know, She’s not sentient. As for us, my crystal ball says we’re not going to be perfectly objective and omniscient any time soon, so by definition we’re gonna be wrong about something all the time, and in all but complete ignorance most of the time.

      • Richard Petschaurer,

        … tickle when you swallow …

        Do as you will, but that’s crossing the line too far in my book.

      • mods: if this shows up as a double-post, please fix as you see fit, thanks.
        mpainter,
        Kaicun Wang and Shunlin Liang (2008), Global atmospheric downward longwave radiation over land surface under all-sky conditions from 1973 to 2008: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1029/2009JD011800/
        Open-access. Final sentence of the abstract:
        We found that daily Ld increased at an average rate of 2.2 W m−2 per decade from 1973 to 2008. The rising trend results from increases in air temperature, atmospheric water vapor, and CO2 concentration.
        While quantifying the overall change in downwelling longwave globally is useful, there remains a chicken/egg problem for causality. Any increased forcing — e.g. the Sun, or less likely a significant sustained release of internal heat from the mantle — could raise surface temperatures, which naturally would cause Ld to increase. I can think of two papers off the top of my head which attempt to sort this out observationally. The first one is Harries, et al. (2001): https://workspace.imperial.ac.uk/physics/Public/spat/John/Increase%20in%20greenhouse%20forcing%20inferred%20from%20the%20outgoing%20longwave%20radiation%20spectra%20of%20the%20Earth%20in%201970%20and%201997.pdf
        The abstract summarizes the problem and difficulties rather succinctly:
        The evolution of the Earth’s climate has been extensively studied 1,2, and a strong link between increases in surface temperatures and greenhouse gases has been established 3,4. But this relationship is complicated by several feedback processes–most importantly the hydrological cycle–that are not well understood 5±7. Changes in the Earth’s greenhouse effect can be detected from variations in the spectrum of outgoing longwave radiation 8±10, which is a measure of how the Earth cools to space and carries the imprint of the gases that are responsible for the greenhouse effect 11±13 . Here we analyse the difference between the spectra of the outgoing longwave radiation of the Earth as measured by orbiting spacecraft in 1970 and 1997. We find differences in the spectra that point to long-term changes in atmospheric CH4, CO2 and O3 as well as CFC-11 and CFC-12. Our results provide direct experimental evidence for a significant increase in the Earth’s greenhouse effect that is consistent with concerns over radiative forcing of climate.
        Basically, since the spectral lines of various atmospheric species are known from controlled laboratory tests, they were able to find sharp spectral differences between the 1970 and 1997 OLR satellite observations consistent with modeled expectations for various “well-mixed” GHG species which could not be explained by changes in cloud cover, ice crystals or inter-annual variability — they highlight the 1997 ENSO event as a specfic concern.
        By my reading, this paper doesn’t attempt to quantify change in forcing by species. For that, the strongest work I know of is quite recent, Feldman, et al. (2015), Observational determination of surface radiative forcing by CO2 from 2000 to 2010: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14240.html (paywalled)
        Which has already been discussed here recently, but I’ll repost the abstract for any who missed it:
        The climatic impact of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is usually quantified in terms of radiative forcing1, calculated as the difference between estimates of the Earth’s radiation field from pre-industrial and present-day concentrations of these gases. Radiative transfer models calculate that the increase in CO2 since 1750 corresponds to a global annual-mean radiative forcing at the tropopause of 1.82 ± 0.19 W m−2 (ref. 2). However, despite widespread scientific discussion and modelling of the climate impacts of well-mixed greenhouse gases, there is little direct observational evidence of the radiative impact of increasing atmospheric CO2. Here we present observationally based evidence of clear-sky CO2 surface radiative forcing that is directly attributable to the increase, between 2000 and 2010, of 22 parts per million atmospheric CO2. The time series of this forcing at the two locations—the Southern Great Plains and the North Slope of Alaska—are derived from Atmospheric Emitted Radiance Interferometer spectra3 together with ancillary measurements and thoroughly corroborated radiative transfer calculations4. The time series both show statistically significant trends of 0.2 W m−2 per decade (with respective uncertainties of ±0.06 W m−2 per decade and ±0.07 W m−2 per decade) and have seasonal ranges of 0.1–0.2 W m−2. This is approximately ten per cent of the trend in downwelling longwave radiation5, 6, 7. These results confirm theoretical predictions of the atmospheric greenhouse effect due to anthropogenic emissions, and provide empirical evidence of how rising CO2 levels, mediated by temporal variations due to photosynthesis and respiration, are affecting the surface energy balance.
        This should satisfy requests for verifiable measurement of increased radiative forcing due to rising levels of atmospheric CO2, but fall well short of anything being “settled” in terms of how much future warming to expect for a doubling of CO2 because:
        1) There are large uncertainties in the measurements presented here, as such any estimates derived from them will be highly uncertain.
        2) There’s more to it than just CO2, and my understanding is that things like ice sheet feedbacks, cloud parametrizations, aerosol direct and indirect effects and the like remain poorly constrained. To say nothing of internal variability due to ocean/atmospheric couplings.

      • Wake up moderator.
        (Reply: Awake now, and back after a short recess. Richard Petschaurer has removed himself. Permanently. -mod)

      • Brandon Gates
        March 7, 2015 at 8:34 pm
        mods: if this shows up as a double-post, please fix as you see fit, thanks.

        I tip my hat to you for your consideration of the mod’s job.

      • Gunga Din,

        So Hansen was right after all? CO2 levels are in the range of his worst case scenario and so are the temperatures?

        This falls outside the Congressional testimony I quoted, but Hansen’s worst-case scenario was wrong. Scenario B is closest to observation as far as temperatures, but off on emissions. Scenario C was, and is, a pipe dream IMO.
        Pursuant to the theme of the OP, a wrong result is very useful scientifically. As I mentioned elsewhere in the thread, when dealing with a very complex system it’s always possible to be right for the wrong reasons and then completely blow a prediction based on modelled conclusions. Which Hansen (1988) Scenario A arguably did.
        Wrong results are also useful in “debates”. Humans, being fallible, generate an endless supply of it.

        If that’s the case, then why is the heat missing?

        That’s more Trenberthian, isn’t it? I agree with him: it’s a travesty.

        Perhaps he exaggerated the effect of CO2?

        I think perhaps you are manufacturing exaggerations for rhetorical effect. Let me explain why I think so:
        You asked for a review of Hansen’s Congressional testimony as if there were notable exaggerations in it. I re-read it, and again I find it dominated by statements of uncertainty, caveats and cautions about reading too much into local weather on any given day than your initial comments might lead someone unfamiliar with the document to believe. Now you’re talking about things not directly related to his testimony, and also speculating about what he might or might not have done vis a vis ECS to CO2.
        It’s really up to you to substantiate your own … musings and “perhapses” … with specific citations if you’d like them to carry more weight than easily dismissed insinuation.
        What I’d rather you do is consult the congressional testimony document I linked to previously …
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/ClimateChangeHearing1988.pdf
        … and point to the exact text of that document which you consider an “exaggeration” … or concede that it isn’t an example of Hansen engaging in the behavior you evidently disapprove of. [1]
        Knocking it off with the leading questions would be nice as well — but hey, I might not be able to match you on that one … it gets habitual after a while.

        I tip my hat to you for your consideration of the mod’s job.

        Thank you. I don’t often agree with mod’s opinions, but certainly appreciate the amount of traffic they handle, and the job they do keeping up with it. Sometimes mod shows a fine dry and understated sense of humor, even (especially) when poking fun at my side of the fence.
        ——————
        [1] For the record, there are plenty of statements by Hansen in the context of things he’s said to journalists which could be described as “alarmist” if one were so-minded: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/james_hansen.html
        Or perhaps even naive: I tend to be naive and gullible, I guess, but I try to believe that governments believe what they say.
        Hard for me to know; my professional experience is 100% private sector. I trust large corporations’ paychecks to not bounce when I deposit them. After that, I don’t see that they’re any more or less trustworthy than the gummint.

      • Gates:
        Your references fall to the ground.
        1. Wang and Liang shows increased atmospheric radiative flux since 1973.
        This is due to the warming trend circa 1977-97. Any claim that this us AGW is circular.
        We know what caused that trend: increased insolation. Did you not read the McLean study? You said that you did. McLean’s conclusions stand unrefuted.
        2. Harries et all 2001: Atm CFC have diminished; no AGW there. Ozone is AGW? CO2 spectral analysis shows increase? What does this prove? At best, circular reasoning.
        3. Feldmann et al. This was posted here a few weeks ago, Gates. Where were you?
        Go read the comments that debunk it.
        Gates, the weakness of your “evidence” of AGW is revealing;

      • Hi Gates,
        I’ve been away, so your “crickets” comment is just wishful thinking. I never run from any debate.
        [Not even from lowlifes like “Richard Petschaurer”. What excites him does not excite me. Sorry Richard, that’s your thing. Not mine. O and I have been treated much worse on alarmist blogs.]
        Now, Gates, I said you need to use the same database if you want to refute the chart I posted. But you didn’t, you made up some of your own, or whatever. Use the WFT database, and let’s see that cause and effect.

      • mpainter,

        1. Wang and Liang shows increased atmospheric radiative flux since 1973.
        This is due to the warming trend circa 1977-97. Any claim that this us AGW is circular.

        Potentially circular, which I already noted. Did you not read my comment: While quantifying the overall change in downwelling longwave globally is useful, there remains a chicken/egg problem for causality.
        I cited Wang and Liang as background on what we think is known and as the beginning of a chain of arguments, not as a conclusive argument. I already know that much of the 1977-97 is attributable to internal variability, mainly the 30-40 year AMO cycle, capped off by the mother of all ENSO events. Indeed, those dynamics cannot be discounted.
        The authors point out just above the conclusions and discussion section:
        [29] The dominant emitters of longwave radiation in the atmosphere are water vapor, and to a lesser extent, carbon dioxide. The water vapor effect is parameterized in this study, while the CO2 effect on Ld is not. The effect of CO2 can be accurately calculated with an atmosphere radiative transfer model given the concentration of atmospheric CO2. Prata [2008] showed that under the 1976 U.S. standard atmosphere, current atmospheric CO2 contributes about 6 W m−2 to Ld, and if atmospheric CO2 concentration increases at the current rate of ∼1.9 ppm yr−1 [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007], this will contribute to an increase of Ld by ∼0.3 W m−2 per decade. Therefore, the total variation rate in Ld is 2.2 W m−2 per decade.
        So, downwelling longwave from CO2 can be accurately modelled according to them, and they cite Prata (2008). I haven’t chased that one down yet.

        We know what caused that trend: increased insolation. Did you not read the McLean study? You said that you did. McLean’s conclusions stand unrefuted.

        I read it and quoted from it back when we first discussed it. See that conversation for my specific objections if you’d like. IIRC, my main objection was that he didn’t close the energy budget and drew conclusions from only 1/2 of the total picture. Which I think is a fatal flaw. Different story if he’d said, “hey, this looks like a possible contributor” and left it at that … I happen to agree when it’s stated that way.

        2. Harries et all 2001: Atm CFC have diminished; no AGW there.

        I call that being rigorous. Since we are responsible for CFCs, that would be AGC, not AGW yes? How nice of Harries to not give one-sided information, isn’t it.

        Ozone is AGW?

        To the extent that CFCs reduce ozone, and to the extent that you may or may not accept that notion, yes. But it’s marginal, and I believe it’s the case we like ozone for the UV protection, so that’s a good trade.

        CO2 spectral analysis shows increase? What does this prove? At best, circular reasoning.

        ROFL. I consider that proofs are for math and logic, not empirical science. I think about this problem in terms of inference from the available evidence. On that note, how is observed spectral absorption in regions known to belong mainly to CO2 circular reasoning? What happens when MORE energy is ABSORBED?

        3. Feldmann et al. This was posted here a few weeks ago, Gates. Where were you?

        I read it, which again should be obvious since I mentioned that it had been discussed here recently. Did you miss that comment too?
        I’m not interested in your sweeping claims of debunkery, but will gladly entertain your own specific arguments pertinent to our present discussion.
        [was in pending queue. .mod]

      • dbstealey,

        I’ve been away, so your “crickets” comment is just wishful thinking. I never run from any debate.

        Well you left that one hanging months ago. It’s possible you simply missed it.

        Not even from lowlifes like “Richard Petschaurer”.

        I thought the comment was uncalled for myself.

        Now, Gates, I said you need to use the same database if you want to refute the chart I posted. But you didn’t, you made up some of your own, or whatever. Use the WFT database, and let’s see that cause and effect.

        Again, here are the data sources I used for making those charts:
        Temperature:
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/imoberg2005.dat
        http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/HadCRUT3v-gl.dat
        CO2:
        ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/icecore/antarctica/law/law2006.txt
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/ico2_annual.dat
        I’m aware that you’ve cited all of them in the past except Moberg (2005) in various charts you’ve posted. Maybe not the Law Dome CO2 record as well, but you’re certainly fond of Petit (1999), which shows comparable results, albeit at a much lower temporal resolution. The remaining two record sets are part of WFT, except the ico2_annual.dat file which contains CO2 estimates prior to the Mauna Loa record established by Keeling.
        Long and short is, by running the same isolate function over longer term data, I’ve been able to identify places where CO2 sometimes has preceded temperature rise. That could be artifacts due to the errors in the data I’m using, so my results are not at all conclusive — I am NOT A QUALIFIED EXPERT in this domain, and I recognize that.
        I don’t care so much whether you take up the lead/lag argument on the basis of these plots … my main point here is that you are attempting to limit which data I can use while insisting that only “alarmists” are guilty of controlling what evidence is allowable in a debate.
        In sum, I think you’re setting a double standard.

  10. “Yet the UN-appointed IPCC, whose aim is to assess scientific information relevant to human-induced climate change”
    Now THERE is an oxymoron.

  11. The earth has been ‘warming’ for 11,700 years and we deeply appreciate the recession of the continent spanning, mile thick glaciers that strangled the northern hemisphere in their icy shackles. The recession of those glacial remnants have continue to the present day. The trend is unequivocal. Their return would be a truly catastrophic global disaster.
    The warming of the earth is not evidence of AGW. Repeating it ad nauseam will never make it truth.
    Now, the sun is shining brightly here in the Great NorthWet this morning…. I intend to enjoy all of it outdoors today, in personal homage to continued global warming!

  12. Justthinkin
    March 7, 2015 at 9:34 am
    “Yet the UN-appointed IPCC, whose aim is to assess scientific information relevant to human-induced climate change”
    Now THERE is an oxymoron.
    Or a bunch of morons.

  13. Isn’t the role of religion to explain everything? Aren’t some simplifications therefore inevitable?
    An awful lot of scientists, undoubtedly including examples from their class famous for its irreligion and less, believe that laws exist in nature, and that the role of science is to discover them. Megg seems to attribute that rather silly notion and its corollary to Christianity. What else does Megg think might be the source? Judging by the titles of the next two episodes, Megg’s answer isn’t forthcoming.

    • Well Jeff apparently she never read Plato. Declaring Christianity the source of rationalist tradition in western science seems fairly ignorant does it not?

      • Western philosophers love to overlook the fact the Greek philosophers were educated in Alexandria and Jerusalem. Western educators forget many of the things ‘invented’ by Greeks were known long before, for example the intercalation lunar months into the lunar calendar to match the solar year, also attributed to Islamic scholars, was known many centuries before in Turkey. There are many other examples.

    • The role of religion is not to explain everything. It is to give guidance for living before God in everything. This leaves room for a lot of mystery and complexity that ultimately can only be understood by God himself (think actual states in Quantum Physics or the exact states/processes of the atmosphere). This leaves us both humble and seeking better approximations. Only a rationalist thinks that religion can explain everything.
      And, no, God does not say in the Bible that religion explains everything.

      • But the Book is God’s word. And as Wayne teaches, what isn’t there can’t be understood by man anyway. So what God didn’t say in His Book is just what couldn’t be explained. The Book recounts everything knowable by its readers.
        “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” The rest follows. The cause of everything is God. The Book contains the Cause of all Effects, of all facts, of all things observable. The role of the Book is to answer the students’ questions. The role of religion is to explain everything.

      • Jess, ancient texts, and new ones, scream of them being Our Story, not God’s Story. The earliest human form likely soon asked, “Why am I here?” Existentialism is as old as hieroglyphics on cave walls. And it is why every generation of young people grapple with who they are and why they are. It is a human trait as old as the first fire ring. The wiser youth among us read the human stories of those who came before and benefit greatly from them. Those that go it alone likely have a harder road. Some of those stories lead to a relationship with “Other Being”. Some don’t. But make no mistake, every human life in every generation must write its own story of Existentialism. Fortunately, I think, some of them have written it down instead of just living it.

  14. …“There is no other explanation but X”, is a valid argument in your reasoning….
    “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?… You know my methods. Apply them.”
    Mr S Holmes, consulting detective.

    • That’s why we don’t let fictional characters do science. First, humans rarely know enough to determine what is truly “impossible.” They usually work on probabilities. But even when one possible event is more probable than another, it doesn’t prove that the less probable event didn’t happen. And second, even if you can eliminate the impossible, what “remains” can still leave more than one possibility. That’s why the Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot detectives are always fictional. Real life mysteries are rarely solved that neatly. For example, try using Holmes method to solve the mystery of flight MH370. That should keep you busy for a while.

  15. Well… Where to begin?
    The trouble of your very convincing errors, as you have written, is they are proliferated with truths, then crowned with an obtuse and irrelevant conclusion that seems simply, misinformed. Megg, so much of what you wrote is true but then you make a perpendicular leap to the far side. So odd, because otherwise you seem so well informed.
    For example your attribution of “X” is logical and appropriate. In fact, I use “X” all the time. Since I am an ignoramus about most things and assume that somebody knows much more about a particular circumstance than me; I use the X concept and then look for the missing genius solution done by someone else, that has evaded me.
    Sometimes the X has no solution. That is the threshold of invention and discovery, and learning how to recognize that moment is really an art. I have many patents due to that singular capability.
    Keeping in mind the X is a gift to an ordered and logical mind.
    Gregor Mendel was a catholic monk who invented the discipline of genetics. His X factor was the unknown solution to the observed distribution of the incidence green and yellow peas; the presumption that each of the parent plants logically contributed “substance” to the offspring.
    Were it not for Christian thought,the acceptance that the universe is rationally intelligible because it was designed, there would be no science. Science came out of the creation of the Christian university systems and the desire to, as you correctly state, to describe creation, to define its workings.
    Science did not come from the eastern world. It came from the western Christian philosophy.
    Why? What has this to do with the X factor?
    Wonder. I wonder first. The scientific method is a fantastic mechanism (invented by Roger Bacon ~1267, a monk, as described in his Opus Majus) to help people to reason through and study a problem. Christians love science. It is a logical and rational scheme to relate cause and effect. But first, before observation, hypothesis, model, experiment, data, conclusion, publication comes WONDER. As you say we attribute X to that unknown thing. Then we construct a contemplated scientific construct to work it out with the assumption that it is both rational and intelligible. That it is reasonable and that it, in fact, can be figured out.
    That may seem like a small leap, but philosophically it is the most important attribute of the scientific method. That it CAN be figured out.
    So “wonder”, that illogical human attribute, breeds fantastic science and understanding.
    So up to here we may be in perfect agreement.
    We also agree that some X factors lead to dead ends, like airbus crashes, etc.
    Keeping faith in science, and not allowing the science to become the faith is key to separating solutions from dead ends. Advocates for a particular outcome of climate behavior have fallen into the trap of science as faith. That is a losing position and it is simply, not rational. Allowing the science to describe the X factor will give us a strong foundation to make sensible decisions.
    A miracle is something that gives faith. It is not something that cannot be explained. That is a common misunderstanding. When Arno Pensias, the discoverer of the Big Bang’s background radiation, realized what he had seen for the first time, he had a sensation of a miracle.
    Many uniformed people do not understand that the Church (Pope Gregory) changed the calender by decree to re-align it with observation. They don’t know that Copernicus came up with the heliocentric cosmos, and that the Church embraced it. They don’t know about the inventor of the Big Bang theory being a Catholic priest and physicist.
    Do not confuse wonder, with a misunderstood concept of miracle. Wonder is not logical but it is human and it is common. Miracles have nothing to do with science. They have to do with faith.
    What global warming advocates do are anti-science. That is a danger to our world. The contributions to science by wondering Christians makes along and abundant list of fruitful enterprise.
    Your posting was nearly perfect in my view.

    • I enjoyed your viewpoints a great deal. But I disagree with your opinion that “wonder” is illogical. Nothing is more logical than to feel surprise and fascination when one encounters something unexpected, unfamiliar, unknown or beyond one’s current understanding. Curiosity is the genesis of reason and logic…the system by which the rational mind gathers and sorts information, structures arguments and experiments, and seeks to know.

      • Aphan. Curiosity is something that I “get”. I am not entirely certain that I can personally define “wonder”. I do agree with you about curiosity.

    • “Keeping faith in science, and not allowing the science to become the faith is key to separating solutions from dead ends.”
      I like your observation, Paul. Science is always changing and expanding. When science becomes the faith, science can no longer change, and new discoveries must be discarded. Galileo complained that some of the philosophers who opposed his discoveries had refused even to look through a telescope. Similarly, when people develop a religious attachment to the science of climate change, they tend to discard any new observations that contradict their “doctrine.” They also want to punish blasphemers who dare propose changes to it. They forget that it is still just a theory and, like all science, is subject to change as new data becomes available.
      But that doesn’t mean that faith and science are incompatible. The Bible definition says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Faith is not meant to be negative and it is not meant to be blind. It is based on “evidence.” Science is constantly investigating “the evidence of things not seen” from black holes and dark matter to atoms and quarks. Steady advancement in science over time is not a given. Science stagnates when people do not have enough faith to believe that there are new things to discover or that they are capable of making those discoveries.

    • Paul, interesting for how the mind works. I had formulated your expressed idea by following the discourse in this thread. I’m not noticeably religious. I do believe that religion did arise from questing for explanations of the unknowns around us. Newton, of course, was very religious and this certainly didn’t divert him from almost single-handedly inventing physics and the necessary mathematics to properly flesh it out. It is fashionable these days, among surely very frustrated physicists who were born after physics had already accumulated most of what we know today about the subject, to criticize and reduce the stature of such as Newton and Einstein.
      Newton messed with alchemy – in the 1600s can this be a surprise – for which he has been pooh poohed? There was no chemistry. Chemical reactions did seem somewhat miraculous and magical although they already had some fundamental knowledge of a variety of chemical reactions. After all, when it has been discovered that we are riding out our lives at unexpected speeds on the surface of a spinning round ball and that the known universe is a big clockwork of spinning balls, surely alchemy (say converting base metals to gold) wouldn’t seem too far fetched. And indeed, alchemists have been vindicated. Everything is made of a handful of elements which are made up of building blocks of identical little particles and we have succeeded in transmuting one substance into other substances (uranium into lead, plutonium, etc.). I suppose if we wanted to change copper to gold, it is essentially possible if we wish to expend the energy and expense to put it all together. After all the periodic table of the elements is virtually its own proof that the elements were “created” by an incremental type of accretion. It is also a metaphor for quantum mechanics – there are no partial particles, half protons, say, even though they can be reduced to more fundamental material. We know, therefore that reality is “grainy” rather than smooth.
      I suppose Einstein’s shortcoming was he left his work unfinished – unifying the field of forces- and he didn’t accept as final the much loved statistical mechanics of atomic theory. We can excuse him, of course, because all the kings horses and all the kings men haven’t been able to put it all together since, either, even though this is probably the final piece to be put together. The frustration of a couple of generations of physicists stressing themselves to find new discoveries squeezed out fantasies like string theory and gave birth, eventually to post-normal science – setting the stage for CAGW abandonment of the scientific method. The theory is fixed and all effort by the faithful is to search out the ‘epicycles’ necessary to make stuff fit the theory. Mann et al’s recent work to disprove the existence of the very palpable “pause” is a good example.

      • Gary Pearce,
        Re Modern jealousy of Newton, Alchemy etc. Absolutely!! One has to be a bit of a historian of science to put everything in proper perspective. Also newton did everything by candle light! Today nuclear physics has enabled the creation of gold artificially as a matter of fact. I forget who did it.
        Re the frustrated physicists… Leonard Susskind made an enormous admission about the anthropic fine tuning. He actually, and not dismissively, said that God explains it or 3 other options. Maybe that approach will allow the recalcitrant physicists to look a bit beyond their self imposed and unecessary concrete barriers.
        Brian Greene admitted that LeMaitre’s work was suppressed for 70 years because it implied a creator and physicists were diligently working towards ANY other theory that EXCLUDED a creator. Well thats not science. That in itself is religion. At the end of the day, facts speak for themselves.
        WRT Climate science, the warming pause is a very loud fact that has destroyed all the doom and gloom prognostications. Thanks Mr Watts.
        ,

    • “Christians love science.” I conclude from that that the present Pope is not a Christian. Maybe you meant, “Some Christians love science.”

      • The present Pope has a bachelors degree in chemistry, just so happens. Notwithstanding that, his position on climate change, which I am presuming is your central gripe, is largely influenced by the scientific community and those who have co-opted the climate discussion. He has not consulted with Anthony Watts or Dr Tim Ball as of yet. I encouraged him to read WUWT and yes I did send him an email asking him to contact Dr. Ball and Mr Watts so that he is better informed. Your gripe with Pope Francis is ill-placed in my opinion. Your gripe ought to be with the liars and charlatans who call themselves professional scientists and who have created the AGW lie. I still believe that MOST Christians love the discipline of science. So me saying that Christians love science is a true statement, from a set theory POV.

      • I suspect the Pope is far more interested in the redistribution of the world’s wealth than science. That would give him substantial reason to accept AGW at face value, no questions asked.

    • You may never have read CS Lewis “Miracles”. The way to identify a “miracle” is specifically because it breaks with nature. Something un-natural, and in this case super-natural happens. A good “glitch” in the program.
      The Vatican’s investigations of “Miracles” ARE scientific. The purpose is to eliminate natural explanations, not to specifically indicate it was a miracle mediated by a saint. Perhaps there are fewer as many are “medical” and our understanding of medicine is still very partial. But say you prayed to a saint, and you measured something going faster than the speed of light, or two electrons in the same quantum state, or mass or energy not being conserved? Or being able to simultaneously measure position and momentum to an accuracy exceeding Planck’s constant? Call it what you will, but it would be super-natural. A miracle.

    • Paul W
      “Science did not come from the eastern world. It came from the western Christian philosophy.”
      While I concur with many of your thoughts the above attribution is incorrect. Christian civilisation in Europe had collapsed and survived only in Ireland through the Dark Ages. The rise of a much more advanced civilisation based on Islam furthered every aspect of science and was well established in their universities, particular the University of Alexandria.
      That education, which included astronomy, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics and ‘al-gebra’ eventually infiltrated Europe particularly through the writings of Magnus the prof of Thomas Aquinas who popularised it. At that time Bacon was catching up, no more. All the Royal Doctors were from the East,as we’re the head scientists. Where do you suppose the work ‘abracabdra’ came from? To most Europeans, science was magic.
      The Far East was populated by barbarians and Europe was considered to be populated by idolators and pagans. The Irish monks re-Christianized Europe from about 1000 AD reaching the middle of Switzerland by 1200.
      Eventually one of the popes went to Alexandria and studied there which opened wide the gates of access to the knowledge base of the Eastern world.
      This is not usually contested. The reformation and enlightenment were known long ago to have been directly the result of the spread of Islamic ideas into Europe and the most detailed studies of exactly how it happened were published in the 1700’s.
      Material progress in the Age of Steam has clouded our collective memory.

      • The rise of a much more advanced civilisation based on Islam furthered every aspect of science and was well established in their universities, particular the University of Alexandria.

        Going to disagree with you there, Crispin.
        At best, Islam “almost preserved” what was already present in the territories it conquored. Most often, it merely conquored the territory, enslaved the people and texad them, then destroyed the culture present.
        Algebra was an Indian creation, taken by the Muslim as they conquered the Indian people, then passed through to the European word with the Arabic word unchanged and unimproved. The original Grecian library at Alexandria started by Alexander the Great was burned several times BC (certainly well before “Christianity was in charge of lives and morals of the invaders and arsonists!) by various invading armies.
        The last, again by Muslims, by the Muslim conquerors when they took Egypt after 670 AD was noted by the commentary: “If the books contradict the Koran, they must be destroyed. If the books agree with the Koran, then they are redundant and are not needed. They may be destroyed.” Islam has never created anything. Only destroyed what it has conquered, or – at best – passed it through for profit.

      • Hmm my post didn’t appear? I shall try again.
        [Reply: There seems to be a problem with WordPress lately. It isn’t the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. Sorry about that. ~mod.]

      • Crispin in Waterloo,
        I agree with what you say to an extent but the age of science with, eg. Kepler, Copernicus, Medel, Decartes, Newton, Hook, Pascal did not happen in the east despite the evident progresses in China and Persia.. There was some rudimentary activity in the east, particularly in “engineering” or applied science. They accomplished a lot in irrigation, cosmology and some architecture but then they got stymied. Progress stopped.
        I am speaking of fundamental math and physics, like the Principia Mathematica etc. Within modern science, these men were not simply trying to make things work or recording observations, they were speculating as the underlying rules and models. That was uniquely accomplished defacto in the western Christian world. Modern science, is a product of the notion that the universe is rationally intelligible Europe and the New World is where it all exploded! That is just a fact.
        There are several videos by Professor Lennox on this and it is a recurrent them

    • Paul, others have said it here. I will reiterate it. Both science and math were birthed in Eastern civilizations. The West, given its form of religiosity, delayed its own enlightenment by centuries. High School students are introduced to the incontrovertible evidence of this birthplace. Eastern civilizations were the healthy seeds and fertile grounds of these disciplines.
      Here is a list of countries with early math and science evidence (not in any particular order and I may have missed a country here and there):
      India
      Egypt
      Mesopotamia
      China
      Babylonia
      Greece
      Iran
      Iraq
      Addendum: Most, if not all, of these countries continued to develop math and science after the decline in the West and then reintroduced these disciplines to the West.

      • Pamela,
        I make a distinction between applied science and actual modern science. It is incontrovertible that this modern era was the result of the western advances in science. (don’f make me list 100,000 lines worth of accomplishments since the 1400s) Those advances were the direct result of curiosity about the creation and the unique Christian assumption that the universe is 1) Rational and 2) Intelligible.

      • No Paul. Viewing the Earth as rational and intelligible is not unique to Christianity. In fact, far from it.

      • No, Pamela. That is a unique attribute of Christian and Western thought. That is not simply my conclusion is that of Professor John Lennox. He is professor of mathematics at Oxford University and is world renowned for his books and lectures on the interface between science and religion and science and Christian philosophy.
        You simply cannot deny that modern science came from western Europe, which was Christian.
        Sir Issac Newton looms large as a prime example.

      • When facts abandon you, rather than re-examining your thesis and modify your perspective, you descend to sour grapes and ridicule. That isn’t science.
        Johannes Kepler on Christian basis of hi science:
        “everything in nature is arranged according to measure and number.”
        “the geometrical natures of things have provided the Creator the model for decorating the whole world.”
        “nothing in the world was created by God without a plan”

        A series of quotes from that obscure man named Sir Isaac Newton:

        “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatever.”
        “No being exists or can exist which is not related to space in some way. God is everywhere, created minds are somewhere, and body is in the space that it occupies; and whatever is neither everywhere nor anywhere does not exist. And hence it follows that space is an effect arising from the first existence of being, because when any being is postulated, space is postulated.”

        The founders of modern science saw the [world] as planned and a consequence of design by God. From that they inferred mathematical models, which we have been refining ever since.
        Now. Despite all that, the hysterical screed, wears on.

  16. A prime example now is Google intends to record websites by their ‘factual’ content. Google will decide which facts are correct.

    • Yes, Richard, and Watts knows about this and is probably writing his article about it. They are going to totally hide anyone talking about global cooling.
      Even now, when I tested the system today, if you google, say, ‘Global warming scam’ at least 50% of the articles that show up are ones calling us ‘deniers’ and sneering about the ‘pause’. What’s Up With That doesn’t even show up at all. But the loons at Skeptical Science have three articles showing up.

      • I am sure that there will be other alternatives with normal search engines, with results based on hits. If google starts losing out, they may relent.

      • Google is not your friend.
        I use ixquick: “Ixquick Protects Your Privacy! The only search engine that does not record your IP address…Ixquick search engine provides search results from over ten best search engines in full privacy.”
        If ixquick relies on other search engines, it may not be free of bias.

      • I’ve been boycotting Google for years.
        I’m sure my computer use is still affected by Google. But, If it says “Google”, I do not click.
        All that’s needed is about a billion people to follow suit.

  17. The existence of an ultimate authority is an appealing fantasy. It would’ve helped me to stand up to all the hardball sales tactics that have at times had me “doubting” myself. My “doubting” nature is like a magnet for conflict in an authoritarian world, but it’s also indespensible for keeping the bullies at bay; they come in many forms. Things like church attendance are now voluntary, but we still must deal with authorities in other forms. Once, I had a MD freak out on me when I told him that I wanted a second opinion. And every car salesman knows that if you let the prospect leave the showroom, 99% won’t be back…no pressure!
    All of this leads me to “Climate Alarmism Inc.”, which was and is the “Goliath” of all marketing campaigns. The science has always been subordinate to the big sales pitch. Doesn’t matter that the claims are not true…it’s an emotional appeal. The whole “CO2” demonization fits perfectly with academia’s need for an uncomplicated “magic bullet” and as a secular religion where would we be without our old friends: fear, guilt, and greed. “Thinking”? That’s got nothin to do with it.

  18. Yet the UN-appointed IPCC, whose aim is to assess scientific information relevant to human-induced climate change, will take the opportunity to claim that this very X event is an indication/proof of climate change. At least the mainstream media will!

    Some former IPCC authors have.

    Huffington Post – 12/08/2014
    Climate Change and the Record 2014 California Drought
    By Michael Mann
    …….Just a couple months ago, I critiqued a pair of studies that disputed any linkage between human-caused climate change and the exceptional 2014 California drought. Now comes yet another study…….My criticisms of the latest study are yet again basically the same,….
    The authors of the new report would really have us believe that is merely a coincidence and has nothing to do with the impact of human-caused climate change? Frankly, I don’t find that even remotely plausible. ….. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/climate-change-and-the-re_b_6288402.html

    They tell us to listen to the science. What they mean is to listen to the science that advances the cause.

  19. “There is no other explanation for global warming than carbon dioxide” said Professor Erland Källén (International Panel of Climate Change; IPCC)
    Ah, the slightly veiled argument from ignorance.
    I’ve noticed that many CAGW alarmists use just about every logical fallacy.
    The argument from authority is a favorite.

  20. LOL
    “Billions of people consider The Catholic Church and UN/IPCC as the highest authorities in Morality and Science”
    LOL
    The U.N is nothing but a congregation of franchises of the Rothchild and Vatican web of corporate demon-cratic tyrannical administrations.
    But then again, maybe its all in my head right?
    btw: What happened to Joseph Ratzinger? they sure made him disappear real quick.

    • Yallop has quite a bit to say about Ratzinger in his book, ‘In The Name Of God’.

  21. I was raised Roman Catholic. Nuns in grade school. Jesuits in high school. I am not a Roman Catholic now. But I am most definitely a Christian. I say this because I do get a bit tired of people implying that Rome and the Pope speak for or represent all of Christianity or what a Christian believes. They don’t. Just some.

    • So was I. In fact, I believe The Pope/Vatican are the antithesis of Christ. Trust me….The Vatican doesn’t speak for anyone but themselves.

    • In my experience, people who equate the Vatican with Christianity were raised outside of Christianity.

      • The question remains, how probable is the existence of an “almighty” (or even moderately influential) Christian God if He allows a Pope and a CC to exist and speak in His name? The holocaust taught every sane person that the Jewish God cannot logically exist, or the Jews are at least nobody’s “chosen people” in any meaningful sense. The Pope continually disproves Christ and Christianity in a similar way. Either God and Christ are non-existent or feeble (in which case we can make better use of our limited time on Earth than worship them and obey their laws), or they are evil and enjoy the Pope’s performance now as He did the Fuehrer’s then (in which case anybody should be ashamed who does not fight Him and His followers relentlessly).

      • cz, there is such a thing as freedom of will. People, Man, tends to blame God for what they perceive as injustice. That injustice usually involves something men did to other men and the thought “God should have stopped it!”
        In other words, people blame God for the outcome of something they never let Him have a say in. They didn’t know or actually believe what He said.
        He’s been on a rescue mission for quite some time.
        (Sorry, Caleb. I’m going to link again.)
        I’m a slow typist. That’s one reason many of my comments here tend to be short. But I took the time and thought to make this long comment on Caleb’s blog. I ask that you don’t respond there. Caleb has been gracious enough to allow my comments to remain but it is his “living room”. I regret I wasn’t clearer on some points. And being a slow typist, I likely wouldn’t have the time to respond in any depth there or here. I offer it as “food for thought”.
        (You may have to scroll down a bit to get to all my comments.)
        https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/attention-surplus-disorder-part-two/

  22. How to determine your own basis for thought, your own way of thinking? How do you approach a problem? Are you aware of how you do it?
    If you ponder these questions, which seldom happens, you will find yourself in obscure territories walking in a sucking slough of your super-ego.

    Now I can answer those three (3) questions because my “methods” for doing said have not changed in many, many years, ….. the nurturing of which I will attribute to my Father’s unbiased “common sense” reasoning of most life experiences.
    IMHO, …. “a sucking slough of a super-ego” …. is usually always the result of a nurtured personal bias that one refuses to address the truth, falsity or practicality of.
    Cheers

    • The statement “a sucking slough of your super-ego” reminds me of a statement in a reference from long ago, describing the process as wallowing in “the quagmire of marginal statistics.”
      Separately, William Feller touched on some of these points: “. . .an enormous price to pay for the fancied advantage that his final conclusions might be sustained by some mystical statistical court of appeals.”
      “Are life sciences overawed by statistics?” Scientific Research, February 3, 1969

  23. For a healing event to be graded as a (medical) miracle, it has to be spontaneous, instantaneous and complete. Doctors have to be able to say, “We don’t have any natural explanation for what happened.”

    That is the definition of a miracle. If it obeys the natural laws of the universe then there is no evidence of the lawmaker making an exception.

    “There is no other explanation for global warming than carbon dioxide” said Professor Erland Källén (International Panel of Climate Change; IPCC) when he spoke for the Swedish Statistical Society in Stockholm 2007.

    That is not the same. That is arguing for the ultimate truth not being the lawmaker – rather the ultimate truth being CO2 rules, OK!/
    The two cases are not the same.
    The first case is coherent as the lawmaker is intelligent and able to intervene. (If the lawmaker exists). It does not overrule the way the world works usually – it just accepts that our understanding of the world is less than the ultimate truth.
    The second case allows an inanimate object (the spectroscopic properties of CO2) to be the ultimate cause of all and any observed changes. It’s just old-fashioned idolatry.
    Too simplistic to be true. And the first crime against morality because it allows all others. It demands all others.

  24. @Warrenlb
    The carrying capacity of the ocean is not a proof of it actually carrying additional heat. I am still looking for the 90% stat you quoted. How did you quantify that heat percentage? How did you measure the energy coming into the atmosphere and then how did you measure it moving out of the atmosphere to anywhere? I am not saying that it might not have happened, just that you haven’t proven either the fact or the magnitude.
    As you note, Trenebreth says 30% of Ocean heating. Source of the heating is not proven, nor (if we accept the existence of this deep heat) do Trenebreth, et al. explain how, if the heat were from the atmosphere, the heat was translocated to the depths without heating the layers above. One article does not prove a fact. There must be replication in science for us to say a study is true. Furthermore, the data has to be sufficient for the proof. We don’t have nearly that data set to cover the World Ocean at all depths.

    • You conveniently ignored the full sentence in my post, which goes on to say: “….and the oceans net heat
      uptake since 1960 is around 20 times greater than that of the atmosphere (Levitus et al., 2005a). This large amount of heat, which has been mainly stored in the upper layers of the ocean, plays a crucial role in climate change, in particular variations on seasonal to decadal time scales.”
      If y =20 X, then the ratio of y to (y+x) = 20/21 ~ 95%.

      • 10-4, I’ll have to get back to you around the peak of solar cycle 25 and see how that’s workin’ for you.

      • Every living and not living thing plays a role in climate. You have only identified one factor with scant if any evidence of it’s having a “crucial” role. The “crucial” stuff is rhetoric, hyperbole, of zero scientific value.
        Whats clownish is even idiots would be aware oceans covering most of the earth is a factor in climate. However for climate experts (aka dummies) the “crucial” ocean warming was only “discovered” when continually increasing CO2 apparently caused temperatures to flatten requiring another “crucial” theory to be formulated from the posterior of climate science.

      • except if we are accurate about sea level rise, rate of ice melt, and the already measured warming of the oceans thermal expansion then there isn’t room for more heat to be found in the ocean, and what is there isn’t enough to account for the fact it isn’t warming at expected rates.
        “To arrive at their conclusion, the JPL scientists did a straightforward subtraction calculation, using data for 2005-2013 from the Argo buoys, NASA’s Jason-1 and Jason-2 satellites, and the agency’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites. From the total amount of sea level rise, they subtracted the amount of rise from the expansion in the upper ocean, and the amount of rise that came from added meltwater. The remainder represented the amount of sea level rise caused by warming in the deep ocean.
        The remainder was essentially zero. Deep ocean warming contributed virtually nothing to sea level rise during this period. ”
        also
        “The temperature of the top half of the world’s oceans — above the 1.24-mile mark — is still climbing, but not fast enough to account for the stalled air temperatures. ”
        http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/06oct_abyss/

  25. At the risk of rotten tomatoes, I want to wade in here on the issue of faith and science – where they join and where they dispute one another. First of all, I was raised Catholic and am now a Presbyterian (the people of the middle way). With this background and a bit of an engineering temperament, I can jump from one to another.
    Here it is in general – Bentley’s way. I accept God and Jesus Christ on faith. I believe there is a God who put things together. I also believe he placed humankind as stewards on Earth. OK so far? Science to me is our search for how He did that. Skeptical thinking in science is the close examination of pronouncements of other human beings. For example the hypothesis that “The sky is blue because God colored it that way” quickly falls from the simple to the complex – light being reflected and absorbed. Mom’s bedtime story becomes a captivating field of study.
    Yes, my faith colors my thinking – and my interaction with others. Even so I can be comfortable in both worlds because at the same time I’m learning about this wonderfully complex world we live on, I’m also coming to appreciate the complex being who set it in motion.
    If I’m wrong, and there is no such being as a god and this is all a marvelous coincidence then I’ve probably not lost a lot and have even provided some employment for persons who couldn’t get a real job. If God does exist, then I’ve come to know Him (Her – It) more completely.
    By the way in the ancient languages God is neuter as a spirit – the use of He and Him is just a linguistic tool.
    “At my age, I’m willing to accept some things on faith” – Marcus Brody – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”.
    Mike

    • Wrong. In the ancient languages God was, at various points in the old testament, an “Us”, a female, and/or a male. But the words that referred to aspects of God were not at all, not ever, genderless. Indeed, God did not have a name. Only his/her/their attributes had names.

      • I am not schooled in ancient languages, but in English it should not be a She God. There is already a word for this, “Goddess”. Or try a gender-neutral laguage, Hungarian for example.

      • Pamela:
        God most certainly does have a name (or names) in the OT. Since Hebrew was written only with consonants, it’s YHWH. Its vowels are conjectural. The chief and later only God of the Hebrews could also be called Elohim, but that’s a plural form used as a singular. El could be considered another His names. When Moses asked His name, God replied, “I am that I am.”
        Judaism recognizes seven names:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God_in_Judaism#Seven_names_of_God
        He can be referred to as Adonai, ie Lord, but that’s not His name. Other of His epithets are Elyon (Most High) and Shaddai.
        There is not a single instance in the OT of YHWH’s being referred to as “she”. Hebrew doesn’t have a neuter grammatical gender, so the only pronoun choices on offer are he or she.

      • Regarding plurality. “El” is singular, “Elohim” is plural. Yahweh (minus vowels of course) is from a later language and interprets the older “Elohim” (which itself comes from an even earlier word from the Anunnaki language referring to plural gods) in a singular sense. This change likely was made as the earliest forms of Hebrew religious beliefs turned from the notion of “Gods” to “God”. It represents two phases of belief and practice within early Hebrew peoples. Echoes are still in the original old testament languages and especially in the dichotomous (and even more than “di”) nature of old testament writings. There are many scholarly articles on this issue that rarely see the light of day among Christian churches or Hebrew synagogues. The debate rages today.

      • Pamela I lived for 25 years with the Swazi people. All their pronouns are gender-less. That includes the proper name for God, ‘Mvelincanthi’ which means literally ‘the One who came first’ but translates as ‘The Pre-Existent’ or perhaps the One who was, before all that is.
        Western Sociologists have tried to make much of the ‘maleness’ of God for agenda-driven reasons inspired by the historical inequality of men and women in religious teaching up to the 1850’s. It’s over. They can relax. Get on with being equal. (The Swazis are matriarchal).
        The Western preoccupation with removing the letters ‘man’ from titles is based on ignorance. ‘Man’ means ‘person’ and comes from ‘manus’ (hand) not ‘male’. Farmhand, deckhand, ‘Bring a couple of hands to help with the horses’. That doesn’t mean ‘bring a couple of males’.

      • The idea of “genderless” is a later development. The earliest mentions of god-like beings had gender. Some were both male and female. Many were female. But none were genderless. My opinion is that great effort is made to scrub gender from deity. Just to keep feathers from being ruffled. And mostly to scrub out the idea of a powerful deity having a female gender.

      • I believe in God.
        I doubt ALL the religion I’ve been taught.
        What entity would be alone, always without the company if Its own kind.
        That situation is un-natural.
        So I deduce God is a Them, not a He or a She.

      • An interesting deduction Rob. However, the “Other Them” would, in my mind, have both male and femaleness. Heck, there is even a fish species that yearly has one of its very female fish, turn male, fertilize fish eggs, and then turn back into a female fish.

      • Crispin,
        The etymology of ‘man’ has nothing to do with the Latin ‘manus’.
        Man hasn’t always been the word to denote a male human but the Germanic languages all had such a word and ‘man’ has been that for 1,000 years.
        I don’t know why so many are keen to suggest that men have not been pushing women around for centuries.
        It’s getting harder to do that nowadays. I know. I’ve tried!

      • mebbe
        You no doubt have heard of manual labour. It means ‘by hand’ not ‘by male’. The root is ‘manus’. Hand. Manufacture, manipulate, manifest (v), manoeuvre…
        Chairman is gender neutral. It means the guiding/controlling hand, not the guiding/controlling male. The correct appellations are Mr Chairman and Madame Chairman. Not the PC ‘Madame Chair’.
        People have a hand in things not a male in things.
        A bizarre issue is that of ‘woman’ which was decried as ‘sexist’ because there was ‘man and woman’ as if a woman was a sub-man. How woefully wrong. The correct word for a single male is weaman and a single female is woman. Man is gender neutral. There are many, many examples of this in English. A seaman can be female.
        The prefix ‘wea’ meaning ‘male’ survives in ‘weapon’ where ‘pon’ means ‘tool’.
        [Thank you. .mod]

      • Crispin,
        I’m having a little trouble following you here.
        Yes, ‘manual’ comes from Latin ‘manus’ and so does manipulate, but that doesn’t mean that every English word that starts with ‘man…’ derives from ‘manus’.
        ‘Mandible’ comes from Latin ‘mandere’, to chew; the Romans did not chew with their hands.
        ‘Mantle’ was a Latin coat, not a glove for the hand.
        The Sanskrit ‘manuh’ is a cognate of our modern word ‘man’. It pre-dates Latin by a good bit.
        No doubt, ‘man’ was, and continues to be, used for men and women in English. As with all language, context is crucial to meaning implied and inferred and those two are often not the same animal.
        Initially, my quarrel was with your assertion that ‘man’ derives from ‘manus’. It doesn’t, and drawing lines to connect words based on the letters they contain is akin to AGW wizardry.
        An example of this is your “prefix” ‘wea-‘.
        ‘Wea’ isn’t a prefix. It’s not a morpheme, either. It’s three letters in a row.
        Weather is not ‘wea’-‘ther’.
        ‘Wealth’ is not ‘wea’-lth.
        As for ‘weapon’, it’s not composed of two distinct morphemes, either. Its origin is Germanic. There’s nothing to suggest that the old word ‘wer’ had anything to do with it.
        I’m curious to know what language has ‘pon’ for a tool.
        Look, we haven’t even got close to the gender of deities!

      • mebbe
        Regarding the word Weapon and weaman, these are not very disputable as they are English words and that is what they mean. The fact that ‘woman’ has been retained is I suppose an accident of linguistic history.
        You are of course quite right about all words beginning with ‘man’ not descending from ‘manus (hand).
        However making the case to showing that ‘man’ is generic, not ‘male’, I think there is enough evidence (and lots of people have written about it) that we can accept the fundamental difference between ‘male’ and let’s say, chessmen, or farmhand which are decidedly neutral.
        The old English word ‘mann’ means ‘adult human’.
        http://www.englandandenglishhistory.com/english-social-history/anglo-saxon-england-449-ad-to-1066-ad
        They distinguished between weapon men and wife men, i./e weamen and women. Their substantial ancient equality was crushed by the Normans who brought Catholicism and enforced, once again, a Roman view on England (‘Ing-land’).
        Fortunately here at WUWT these matters are not important.

      • Something to keep in mind is that in many languages a noun being “masculine” or “feminine” does not mean it’s “male” or “female”. In Spanish a toaster is feminine. (I seriously doubt that is referring to old toasters having hot flashes.8-)
        For those that speak English such rules are difficult to grasp but that is the rule of those languages.
        Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic followed those rules.
        God is spirit. (John 4:24) Spirit has no form to actually be a “male” or a “female”.

      • Crispin in Waterloo
        March 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

        So…if the person who delivers my mail is a girl, would she be a Femailman? 😎
        (Sorry!)

    • “I’ve probably not lost a lot and have even provided some employment for persons who couldn’t get a real job.”
      You’re presumably talking about some priests and the vast majority of climate scientists.

    • Modern, idiosyncratic versions of Christianity are, indeed, a far cry from the orthodoxies of previous times.
      Thank goodness!
      They’re also very different from all the other religions that we’re aware of, which do not seem to allow for a similar evolution of interpretation.
      It is always surprising to me that both Christians and a good number of non-religious people offer ‘science’ as an alternative to religion.
      Rejecting the bizarre representations of the creation of the universe that are found in religious texts does not automatically come with an embracing of some other explanation.
      I can safely say that I have not the foggiest clue how everything comes to be and I’m pretty sure that nobody else does, either.
      It’s also true that there’s nothing appealing about a deity that insists on grovelling gratitude from his creations at the risk of spending eternity in misery. It’s not attractive and it’s not likely; in fact, it seems quite disrespectful to the grand master to impute such petty human attributes to its being.
      If I took Pascal’s wager seriously for one nanosecond, I’d be converting to Islam, ‘cos that’s one creator you really don’t want to get on the bad side of.

      • mebbe, my brother used to teach a course titled ‘The history of Heaven and Hell’. The burning hell of contemporary Christianity is quite a recent invention.
        A friend once pointed out to me that in cold places hell is cold, in hot places hell is hot. In short, the grass is always greener…

      • Crispin,
        There are numerous references to eternal punishment in the New Testament that involve fire and torment.
        The Koran is completely unambiguous; infidels will be cast into the fire in most chapters of that esteemed book.
        And it is fire they talk about, not ice.
        The non-Abrahamic religions are a completely different kettle of fish. The cycle of rebirth in Hinduism is not portrayed as desirable.

      • mebbe, perhaps you would enjoy the course on the history of hell through the ages. I found it most enlightening. Fire, as you point out, is popular in the Middle East. Not so much in the far north.
        Hades was the smouldering garbage dump 2000 years ago. Popular imagery changes with time. Paradise Lost cast the current image in stone, it seems.

  26. Good questions to ponder, but how much can we expect to uncover given the fish doesn’t know it’s in water.


  27. “There is no other explanation for global warming than carbon dioxide” said Professor Erland Källén (International Panel of Climate Change; IPCC) when he spoke for the Swedish Statistical Society in Stockholm 2007. …”

    Of course he could have said we just don’t know.
    Fat chance of that.

  28. Yet another post that fails to make a damn point as it meanders randomly from here to there. If there were such an award for posts like this one given by our host once a year for the most awful, odiferous, offering, my vote would be this odd piece.

    • To be clear, the post was not written by our host, but I sure would like to see that bottom of the barrel post award to be given by our host. It might make people think twice before hitting the submit button.

      • Oh come on.
        It’s not like it’s claiming CO2 condenses out in Antarctica. We’ve had bad posts in the past.
        This is just unscientific… that’s fine for some. Not everything that is interesting is “science”.
        Engage with it on its own terms or ignore it.

      • I’ll get excited about that when I see a post about how fire doesn’t melt steel, and therefore Halliburton did it on the grassy knoll. Barring that, meh.

    • Granted, it ‘s not about ‘some specific issue du jour’. I think it addresses something important: how we think and how we come to conclusions based on our thought processes.
      Take, for example, confirmation bias. At best, it is the result of not realizing you’re looking for a predetermined result. At worse, it is purposely selecting and skewing data to support your predetermined result. But in both cases, the person exhibiting confirmation bias is ‘sure’ his methods are justified and beyond reproach. He’s ‘sure’ his results are beyond question and represent unassailable TRUTH. He’s ‘sure’ contrary and/or skeptical responses are baseless and even contemptible. Yet, he’s only fooling himself and it’s soon obvious to anyone who does not share the bias.
      Whether or not this discussion belongs here is up to Anthony. There seem to be lots of specific technical issues discussed on WUWT. I see no downside to the occasional epistemological discussion like this.

      • Michael Wassil,

        At best, it is the result of not realizing you’re looking for a predetermined result. At worse, it is purposely selecting and skewing data to support your predetermined result.

        I think the worst is getting an answer and not trusting it because it’s exactly the answer you want, then spending an inordinate amount of time hunting for a mistake which isn’t there.

      • bob boder,
        lol. Awareness of my own confirmation bias and diligence to the point of fault in rooting it out precludes that in your eyes? I think that says more of you, not me. But then, my prejudices are speaking to me quite loudly at the moment.

  29. There are many many christian prayer healing miracles that doctors can’t explain well documented over time, I have seen some myself. Your comparison is very poor and totally wrong. Praise the Good Lord that you are incorrect.

    • I’m not disagreeing with you, but I prefer my science in one place and religion in a completely separate place. We’re certainly in need of a miracle if we aren’t to be eventually ground under the bottomless-pit-funded AGW Bewegung. So whose intercession do we pray for, that’s the question. My candidate? Nikolai Vavilov.

  30. As we look to the future over the next few decades, we will see some warming, or some cooling, or a continuation of the present flat line condition. Knowing for sure what will happen is beyond us at this time since we don’t really know exactly what makes the earth’s climate change.
    What I can tell you is that CO2 has no warming effect at all. Its net effect is cooling. Further, the effect of CO2 is so darn small that it will be darn hard to prove it to be a warming agent or a cooling agent by observation and measurement. All belief in Jim Hansen’s model of the magic molecule driving earth’s climate is as bad as a cargo plane cult belief. Heck, even worse.

  31. Pamela, I think that’s a bit harsh.
    For me, it raised a very interesting question – how do you approach problem solving, and have you ever thought about it? True, it then meandered off into religiosity and such. But, it’s a very good question.
    Having worked in high-pressure environments where I had to make quick decisions about things that I knew very little about (policy advice to senior politicians), I have pondered on this question.
    It seems to me that there are three levels of understanding for making decisions.
    The first is the quick scan, underpinned by past experience and knowledge. That is how we make most of our decisions. Nobody has the time or energy to research whether or not it is safe to cross the road right now.
    The second is the informed decision, based on research (which might include asking friends and relatives). This encompasses decisions about what school you choose for your children, which insurer you patronise, and so on. But it is no help when you just want or need to cross the road.
    The third is the deep research option, which hardly ever applies in real life. It is physically impossible to deeply research more than a very few topics, if that.
    When I had to provide advice to a Minister, Premier or Prime Minister with a three hour deadline (for the boss to stake his/her reputation on in Parliament), one of the things I did was to start with the known. Write down the known, get it out of the way. The doubtful and unknown things could then be ranked and dealt with accordingly. I would work my way down the list in a hierarchy of reliability until time ran out. It worked pretty well.
    In short, the best strategy (unless you have unlimited time and resources) is to start with the simple, and move towards the more complex if you can and want to. Mind you, as things get more complex, they raise more questions, so it soon becomes a bit of a quagmire. PhD territory. Interesting for specialists, but not very useful for decisionmaking in the real world.

    • It is even better when you can change past history, so that it agrees better with your predictions going forward.
      It might even lead you to believe, that you can predict the future.
      Now I don’t want to burst any bubbles (yes I do), but I imagine the variables in a horse race might be less than those She presents us with in the weather, yet nobody has figured out the ponies.
      First things first.
      It’s killing me.

  32. Guest post author Megg wrote,
    The first paper I ever wrote was titled: Three Questions for Denuding Complexity. How to determine your own basis for thought, your own way of thinking? How do you approach a problem? Are you aware of how you do it?

    I think one only needs one process and question to determine what, at the most fundamental level, one’s intellectual content is based on.
    Just repeatedly apply the process of checking one’s premises and keep asking “What are my premises?” at level after deeper level of one’s intellectual content.
    There will come, after numerous iterations, a point at which one must face the nature of one’s mind and of reality.
    I leave you with a funny. Premises do tend to wander, though, if not critically viewed, as depicted here:
    https://premisedetectionandanalysis.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/jpeg-footprint-false-premise.jpg
    John

  33. My way of thinking goes something like this:
    1. I was told the way I ought to think as a child but found that it wasn’t very helpful: I was told to respect seniors but when I asked them questions they couldn’t answer them. Not wouldn’t, couldn’t. I didn’t find that something very worth respecting. But being in an extended family of teachers who treated everyone on earth as if they were in a classroom, I found it wise to tread a diplomatic line, in effect not thinking too much because the only result of thinking then was frustration, causing trouble and ‘breaking the rules’.
    2. When I was 17 I went abroad for a year. For the first time, I had a teacher who DID answer questions, solve problems and help me to solve my own. I became able to detach my fears and misplaced emotions from problems, finding ways to break problems down and then to add back spirit and emotions when a certain level of mastery was achieved. I learned that, with this approach, you learned more in one year than you had done in a decade in the old school approach of trotting out things from books. Mistakenly, though, I wanted to believe that other people would be as good a teacher as the one I had found. So I avoided signals too often which would tell me that they were not.
    3. When I was 24 I achieved intellectual mastery of academic biomedical literature despite not having had suitable teaching for 7 years. It was associated with fleeing from pain rather than joy at having achieved things. I found that it didn’t satisfy and the momentary feeling of transient satisfaction disappeared instantly, hardly worthy of the 7 years of suffering to get there. So deep down I realised there had to more to it than that.
    4. When I was 25, I spent 4 months experiencing non-familial emotional nurturing. It provided the ability to absorb information in a closed system (how a ski resort ran, how its weather patterns presented themselves and how a tourist or ski operator could take advantage of them). I didn’t write anything down for 4 months, I simply absorbed everything, living day to day. Upon returning back to the UK, I wrote a document on a primitive Macintosh (the ones where you still used floppy disks!) which was a comprehensive treatise. I learned for the first time a new mode of learning: the Mozartian one of ‘writing a perfect synthesis straight off’. It wasn’t the first time and nor was it the only subject. The only rule I found was that it was something that you couldn’t do to order: when you were ready, you were ready and it just happened. You will have to have done some struggling at some stage in your life for you to be able to do that ever, but if you’ve done the work, then sooner or later, you can experience that ‘brain-dump’ approach to thinking.
    5. In my late 20s and early 30s, I also learned that some folks respond to strong discipline, whereas I simply didn’t. I had challenges supervising someone who had played in the front row of a rugby scrum, because I wasn’t a natural sergeant major, which they would respond to. I realised this when I had supervised someone like me who I found easy to supervise. My natural supervision approach assumed people were hard working, intellectual, but maybe had fears about breaking problems down. Learning how to break problems down was one of my own great challenges, so teaching it was pretty easy once I’d solved it. For those who liked to break problems down themselves, perhaps in different ways to me, I wasn’t the right guy.
    6. In my mid to late 30s, I realised that others wanted me to make deep recommendations in arenas where I had no knowledge. I thought that rather stupid, but life is sometimes bigger than you. I realised that I didn’t have methods to do that properly, so made sure I documented accurately what ‘experts’ said, knowing that I didn’t have the time to evaluate whether they were being truthful or not (I was a bioscientist, they were all metallurgists). It took me the best part of a decade to realise how to use the internet to achieve this, where I used WUWT as a proving ground to trigger those more expert than me to produce articles on subjects I wanted answers about. Sometimes, the questions a non-specialist ask can get to the heart of the matter, even if they themselves know that they can’t answer the question themselves. You learn that sometimes you will know better what isn’t true rather that what is true.
    7. When I was 40, I realised that my approach to thinking assumed that everyone was as honorable as I was. I assumed that people wouldn’t live their lives hacking computers and seeing others as a free lunch, because to me that is anathema. I learned the hard way that that simply ain’t so. The CIA, MI6, many senior HEI officials, politicians, bankers, football clubs, the media etc do behave that way. Oh you won’t get them admitting it too easily, but you learn how they react to you writing nasty things about them on your PC but not sharing with anyone. If they weren’t reading it, they wouldn’t know you had written it. When they show that they do, you know they are hacking. Oh, maybe it won’t stand up in court, but it stands up in the court of truth, as opposed to the court of evidentiary proof. Your thinking mode changes again when you know that no privacy exists on this earth, certainly not in the virtual world of the internet.
    8. Now I’m asking whether every chip produced by AMD, Intel and others has security-style bugs in them to allow owners to monitor everything going on on every computer in the world to order. I”m asking whether Microsoft/Apple inserts malware routines to hack computers and to cause everything to slow down ridiculously after two years. I’m asking why we create societies run by psychopaths. And I’m asking more than ever why Americans can’t be happy just living in the huge continent they already live in. I’m asking what it will take to make humankind see through the 20th century war propaganda approaches publicised by Goebbels but used, unfortunately, far too often, by ‘The West’.
    Unlike most people I ‘knew’ aged 9 that there really wasn’t any difference at the most fundamental level about different ‘belief systems’ aka religions. It’s one reason why maybe my mind isn’t that of a scientist, since it’s better to be free of thoughts early on to allow testing of hypotheses without prejudice and I was apparently ‘knowing’ that which the great spiritual travellers of the 20th century had taken decades to achieve.
    So my feeling is that I have the temperament of an engineer, spent years trying to acquire the mindset of a scientist and learned what religions were about as an adult without needing to believe in any of them per se. I have never been a member of the Freemasons!
    There’s a hell of lot of other types of thinking vis a vis power, organisational structures, politics, motivational theory and military attitudes.
    But as this is a science blog, I’ve shown one journey of how a thinking suite can evolve over 50 years. I’m sure it’s not the only one, the best one or even one to be called a model. It’s simply a data point……

  34. @Glassman You said: “But the Book is God’s word. And as Wayne teaches, what isn’t there can’t be understood by man anyway.” What?! Let’s not put your ideas (or stereotypes) in my mouth. Lots of stuff is not in the Bible and not everything is explained there. Yes, there is a First Cause given and the cascade effects from that First Cause are NOT given or explained.
    Nothing can be comprehensively understood. Therefore, especially in science, we make approximations and metaphors.
    “The Book recounts everything knowable by its readers.” No, there are plenty of things knowable by the first and subsequent readers that are not covered in the Old/New Testaments. One of these is logic, such deducing from someone’s actual statements true conclusions. Christians (among religious people) simply state the obvious — to know a radically Other Being necessitates metaphors. To know the creation made by that Being means humility to know our finite limits of understanding and therefore recognizing that anything we say about complex systems is fallible, contingent and an incomplete model.

  35. Inevitable: Al Gore lands on presidential radar following Hillary Clinton’s political woes
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/5/inside-the-beltway-al-gore-on-presidential-radar/
    Just call it Goretopia: While Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses multiple political challenges, the press continues to spiral off into speculation. Who is the Democratic standard bearer should she decide against running for president?
    In the last 24 hours, Al Gore has made the list. Now 66, the former vice president remains stubbornly active in global warming issues; he is, in fact, going to Iowa — but not for campaign reasons. He’s teaching a climate “leadership” workshop in Cedar Rapids. All that aside, there is momentum building here as Mrs. Clinton’s complications increase. More succinct are these headlines: “With Hillary imploding, could Al Gore ride to the rescue?” (HotAir); “As Hillary Clinton wallows in scandal, desperate eyes turn to — Al Gore?” (Examiner.com); Rush Limbaugh even warned his listeners that Mr. Gore could now be “the Democratic savior of 2016.”
    Yes, well. Mr. Gore has done many things since he left the White House. He’s been the climate alarmist for better or worse, a now and then media mogul, and lately, a music producer. He became a vegan. He’s been out of office longer than Jeb Bush, though he has remained in the public eye, authoring a new book and making multiple, cause-driven appearances. Yes, the hashtag #RunAlRun has now appeared on Twitter.
    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/5/inside-the-beltway-al-gore-on-presidential-radar/#ixzz3TkIlGaML
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

    • Leadership workshop?
      Gore is always figuring out new ways to make a buck on climate.
      Got to give it to him, morality and ethics aside he is a creative business man.

  36. @george e. smith
    I agree with your understanding of the workings of Science and the mathematical models and theories employed. You seem to have misread my comment.
    I didn’t saying anything about “common sense”. Nor did I place upon you a religious encumbrance. I was responding to the myth that religious people are inherently simplistic and biblicistic in their approach to science. If you hold to a belief of the stability and predicability of the universe being self-evident, I accept your faith-statement without calling it a “religious encumbrance”.
    Every person doing science begins with pre-suppositions (aka faith-statements) [see Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, Herman Dooyeweerd]. If I defend my pre-suppositions from being derided by simplistic and simpletonian myth-making about my religion I do not see how I am encumbering you in any way.
    Many Christians practice science on the basis of a biblically informed understanding of knowledge and the universe. This does not make them less “scientific”. If you need to peruse a list of such scientists please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_thinkers_in_science. However, just to save some time, suggest meditating on the euphoniously named Joseph Priestly (1733–1804) or perhaps Freeman Dyson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson#Science_and_religion.

  37. warrenlb
    March 7, 2015 at 12:50 pm
    @Aphan
    You said: “The planet exists in an open system, not a greenhouse”.
    All true for a glass enclosed greenhouse structure used for growing plants, but has nothing to do with the very different Greenhouse Effect operating in Earth’s upper troposphere:

    ========================
    Where did that dumb idea come from, warren?
    “Already the changes in the atmosphere are thought to have changed the balance of incoming and outgoing energy, holding in infrared radiation the way the glass of a greenhouse does.”
    – James Gleick
    http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/12/weekinreview/ideas-trends-continued-a-dire-long-range-forecast.html

    • Your reference doesn’t go to my point, obvious to anyone with an iota of comprehension of Physics, that the absorption and reradiation of IR back to Earth by GHGs is an entirely different phenomenon than the trapping of heated air in an earth-bound Greenhouse.
      For anyone to claim they are the same phenomenon of Physics is as Gates puts it, Willful ignorance.

      • As someone else has put it, when the hole gets to be over the top of your head, you need to stop digging.

      • warrenlb,
        What’s … somewhat … amusing is how not much has changed since 1985 on that score, despite the fact that since then the so-called “greenhouse” effect has delivered as predicted 100 years earlier in 1896.
        Alx,
        I keep a shovel handy if you’d like to borrow it, but your hands appear to be doing a find job of it as is.

      • Gates says:
        …since then the so-called “greenhouse” effect has delivered as predicted 100 years earlier in 1896.
        Which ‘prediction’ would that be? Arrhenius’ 6º+ prediction, which is the one alarmists always hang their hats on?
        Or his later, drastically revised prediction of ≈1+º?
        The alarmist contingent always ignores his revised prediction. That’s because they cherry-pick only those things that support their confirmation bias.
        …18 years and counting. You’re gonna need that shovel.

      • dbstealey,

        Which ‘prediction’ would that be? Arrhenius’ 6º+ prediction, which is the one alarmists always hang their hats on? Or his later, drastically revised prediction of ≈1+º?

        I’m not sure which part of 1896 you didn’t understand: http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/1/18/Arrhenius.pdf
        From Table VII, his estimate was 4.96 K/2xCO2 at low latitudes, 6.1 K/2xCO2 at high latitudes.

        The alarmist contingent always ignores his revised prediction.

        I guess that makes the IPCC not alarmist then, because their low-end estimate is 1.5 K/2xCO2 and their high end is 4.5 K/2xCO2. By the way, your “drastically revised prediction” is laughably misquoted, something that “skeptics” like you are “always” doing: http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius%201906,%20final.pdf

        That’s because they cherry-pick only those things that support their confirmation bias.

        Irony. Come back when you’ve actually read Arrhenius (1906) and can quote his proper revised ECS estimate for a doubling of CO2.

        …18 years and counting. You’re gonna need that shovel.

        To help you dig your head out of that hole you’ve got your head stuck in, ostrich-boi. Funny how you “always forget” the two previous 40-ish year “pauses” …
        http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MW_NJp28Udc/VNS3EAEqpOI/AAAAAAAAAUs/hjhuLZFkdoM/s1600/hadcrut4%2Bhiatuses.png
        … followed by periods of warming such that the subsequent pause ends higher than the previous one began.

      • Yes, Gates, there are prior pauses — and there are prior step changes showing repeated warming episodes, too. But none of them can be shown to be caused by human emissions. So rather than your chart supporting your argument, the charts you posted debunk your argument. This debate began regarding causation. But as usual, it has strayed far afield. That’s not surprising, since there is no solid evidence showing that CO2 is the cause of ∆T.
        Next, the IPCC most certainly is alarmist! It’s right there in their remit: they were told to go and find that human activity causes global warming, so everything is geared toward that. Everything they ‘find’ seems to show AGW. Too bad they can’t measure it.
        I really don’t know why you’re always arguing. It’s so easy to run circles around your fake ‘logic’, that I would guess you’d be too embarrassed to continue.
        But then, we know you argue from ego and vanity; not from logic, or the Scientific Method, or the Null Hypothesis. Because if you did, you would have given up a long time ago. The best that can be said of your attempts to convince skeptics is that warrenlb makes you look good. But then, warrenlb makes everyone look good by comparison.
        So… Eighteen years, two months, twenty-three days, and counting… But still no global warming. Watts Up With That?

      • dbstealey,

        … there is no solid evidence showing that CO2 is the cause of ∆T.

        Do you even read this blog?
        There are probably many intelligent people in religion and in AGW movement who understand you cannot prove a negative and the burden of proof is on the the person making a claim. Regardless they still use this dishonest line of reasoning to sway the many who do not understand. In other words the “proving a negative” trick for time immemorial has been an effective propaganda tool. ~ Alx, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/03/07/three-questions-for-denuding-complexity-a-standpoint-on-science-and-climate-change/#comment-1878061
        Notice also how you failed to address this falsehood of yours: Which ‘prediction’ would that be? Arrhenius’ 6º+ prediction, which is the one alarmists always hang their hats on? Or his later, drastically revised prediction of ≈1+º?
        Let’s see what Arrhenius really said, shall we? http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius%201906,%20final.pdf
        In a similar way, I calculate that a reduction in the amount of CO2 by half, or a gain to twice the amount, would cause a temperature change of –1.5 degrees C, or + 1.6 degrees C, respectively.
        So that’s whence the “drastically revised prediction of ≈1+º” I suppose, eh? Didn’t bother to read any further, eh?
        In these calculations, I completely neglected the presence of water vapour emitted into the atmosphere. This acts in two ways: In part, the water vapour reduces the radiation in the same way as does the CO2, whereby the absorption of CO2 comprises a larger fraction of the earth’s radiation than if the water vapour would be removed from the atmosphere. In part, the temperature causes an increase in water vapour emit ted into the atmosphere, on account of an increase in the quantity of CO2, with the subsequent rise in temperature.
        I’ll be damned, Al Gore didn’t invent water vapor feedback just so he and George Soros could make a lot of moooooolah! Let’s skip ahead to the good part:
        For this disclosure, one could calculate that the corresponding secondary temperature change, on a 50% fluctuation of CO2 in the air, is approximately 1.8 degrees C, such that the total temperature change induced by a decrease in CO2 in the air by 50% is 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C).
        Or, conversely, a 100% increase of CO2 in the air is (drumroll) 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C). So from 6 to 4 is the number you’re looking for, and I’ll be darned if 4 degrees isn’t right there in the presently published range, albeit still on the highish side, as 3 degrees per doubling is more or less canonical.
        Ergo, Arrhenius is more “warmist” than present day “alarmists” and you have been caught out spreading false information but not copping to it when called on it.

      • Gates,
        Your rhetorical tap-dancing got old a long time ago. You throw out something written by another reader, then ask if I read this site. Double Strawman.
        Actually, I do read comments, and I can do the same thing if I want to post lame arguments. You wrote:
        I’m just about done for the day
        But not really, eh? You’re never done, and you make Sisyphus look like an amateur. With your incessant nitpicking comments here, and on other blogs, do you have any kind of a life? Doesn’t look like it.
        The basic argument over MMGW was resolved years ago. If global warming was still rising, you might have an argument. But global warming stopped many years ago.
        So you’ve got nothin’. Except your mental fixation.

      • dbstealey,

        Your rhetorical tap-dancing got old a long time ago.

        I’ve told you before, this here is a tango, darlin’.

        Actually, I do read comments, and I can do the same thing if I want to post lame arguments.

        When you’re not lying through your teeth you mean:
        Which ‘prediction’ would that be? Arrhenius’ 6º+ prediction, which is the one alarmists always hang their hats on?
        Or his later, drastically revised prediction of ≈1+º?

        When what the man actually wrote is: http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius%201906,%20final.pdf
        For this disclosure, one could calculate that the corresponding secondary temperature change, on a 50% fluctuation of CO2 in the air, is approximately 1.8 degrees C, such that the total temperature change induced by a decrease in CO2 in the air by 50% is 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C).
        4 – 1 = 3, which is a pretty “drastic” prevarication in my book. Any time you want to stop dancing around like a june bug on a hot skillet and own up to spreading misinformation would be a good one.

    • Why do people think glass holds in infrared radiation? Glass is a pretty good conductor of heat and has a very high emissivity, above 0.9. Even shiny glass is a powerful emitter of IR. People should look stuff up more.
      Even ‘low E glass’ is a poor retainer of heat. A double paned low E glass window has an insulation value of about R4.

  38. One of the great failings within the skeptical community is the lack of the ability to easily investigate claims made about evidence of climate change. For example the claim made about the goats getting smaller. What is needed is for example an application on ones computer that can be used to visualize all environmental considerations of such a claim. What would that look like? It shouldn’t look like the following:
    See a claim. Maybe it scrolled by on a news header on a news channel or it’s a headline in a newspaper. Or maybe its a claim from the top scientists of Environment Canada while being interviewed from the top news caster in the billion dollar per year tax funded CBC while sitting in front of millions of dollars worth of computers in the offices of Environment Canada with meteorological employees staring at monitors full of graphics. And what does the scientist have to say? He waves his hands and declares climate change is real. No utilization of all the computing power and expertise of presenting data is used, just a few words and relying on claims to “authority”.
    Try to research a claim. Google it. Wade through hundreds of pages of hits.
    What I usually do is just wait till something shows up on WUWT or one of the other few sites I regularly visit. Then I read through the posted article. And if it doesn’t show up on a skeptical blog? I don’t follow up on a claim.
    What I am hoping to be able to do in the near future: Simple version: Use an application specifically designed to run natively on my computer and specifically for climate science related research. And so, that is what I am working on.
    Back to the goats. Using the climate app, you can browser through a geographical representation of where the goats live, view data in eloquent ways, of temperature and other environmental conditions throughout time.
    I have just completed over 5 years of thinking about the climate question on a daily basis. I have recently finished some statistical courses and have resumed a multi-year study of computer modeling, essentially “The Finite Element Method”. I have decades of experience in the computer sciences, 10 years full time drawing electrical schematics for high tech industries. I am going to make the app happen. I am going to make it freely available. And we are going to win, with data and facts; and better presentation of these.

    • Next time it will be a claim of something else getting bigger – weeds, for example. Good luck with your encyclopedic application of all living things.
      It is easy to come with a claim based on a small sample. Or not a small sample. Look at what is happening to salt or cholesterol dietary recommendations. Or a power line scare, or a cellphone radiation. It ia a duty of a claimant to prove their case; it is not my duty to disprove it. The rule is CONSIDERED UNPROVEN UNTIL PROVEN BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.

      • Religion and AGW both have dimwits who actually believe the rule is CONSIDERED PROVEN UNTIL UNPROVEN.
        There are probably many intelligent people in religion and in AGW movement who understand you cannot prove a negative and the burden of proof is on the the person making a claim. Regardless theystill use this dishonest line of reasoning to sway the many who do not understand.
        In other words the “proving a negative” trick for time immemorial has been an effective propaganda tool.

    • garymount,
      There are so many specious, false claims, that skeptics get overwhelmed. It’s a giant pile of horse manure, so all we can do is counter the most egregious examples of their nonsense.

      • dbstealey,

        There are so many specious, false claims, that skeptics get overwhelmed.

        Quite possibly the truest thing I’ve ever seen you write.

      • Quite possibly the truest thing I’ve ever seen you write.
        Everything I write is true. And as everyone knows, I was referring to the repeated, incessant, and often overwhelming false claims that the climate alarmist crowd dumps here…
        …well, maybe everyone except Gates — unless he’s had a long overdue epiphany.

      • dbstealey,

        Everything I write is true.

        Here’s what you say about Svante Arrhenius (1906):
        Which ‘prediction’ would that be? Arrhenius’ 6º+ prediction, which is the one alarmists always hang their hats on? Or his later, drastically revised prediction of ≈1+º?
        What Arrhenius actually wrote in 1906: http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius%201906,%20final.pdf
        For this disclosure, one could calculate that the corresponding secondary temperature change, on a 50% fluctuation of CO2 in the air, is approximately 1.8 degrees C, such that the total temperature change induced by a decrease in CO2 in the air by 50% is 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C).

        And as everyone knows …

        … you’re highly unlikely to admit that you lied. Heck, I’d settle for, “whoops, I was mistaken”, but then that would falsify “Everything I write is true”. Are you sure you don’t want to borrow my shovel?

      • Gates,
        There’s nothing to ‘admit’ to.
        I said 1+º. You said 1.8º. You are so desperate to quibble that you cherry-pick whatever comment you Believe will support your True Belief, that you latch on to any factoid you believe will make your case. But you are only quibbling.
        So quibble away, Gates, and ignore all the comments in your link, like: I calculate that a reduction in the amount of CO2 by half, or a gain to twice the amount, would cause a temperature change of – 1.5 degrees C, or + 1.6 degrees C, respectively, and the fact that water vapor is still an unknown, even as it was a century ago. And: Reference is made… regarding the possibility of combining the carbon dioxide theory with geological facts. And so on. There was nothing conclusive then, and there is nothing conclusive now. Why do you think people are still arguing about Arrhenius? After more than a century, you would think the science would be settled. It isn’t.
        And as usual, you are the King of the Nitpickers, with an Honorary Degree as Mr. Quibbler. But none of it matters, becaus as I keep reminding you: either you are correct, or Planet Earth is correct. But you can’t both be correct. My vote is with the planet.
        And hey, how ’bout them *measurements* of AGW?
        …Oh. Right. There aren’t any. A few months ago you made a lame attempt to claim [lie?] that there are empirical measurements acceptable to all sides in the debate, quantifying AGW. But after I set you straight several times, you ducked your head below the parapet and haven’t made that bogus claim [lie?] since.
        You are right about one thing: I can make a misteak. I have before, and when I do I admit it — unlike the alarmist crowd. But those mistakes are not common, and in the end it always comes down to this: Planet Earth is busy debunking your belief system. Global warming has stopped. For how long, no one knows. Whether it will resume, no one knows. Or if it will decline into another great stadial… no one knows.
        What we do know is that global warming has stopped, whether you are willing to admit it or not. But so far, your usual response isn’t promising.

      • dbstealey,

        There’s nothing to ‘admit’ to. I said 1+º. You said 1.8º.

        Read it again: http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius%201906,%20final.pdf
        For this disclosure, one could calculate that the corresponding secondary temperature change, on a 50% fluctuation of CO2 in the air, is approximately 1.8 degrees C, such that the total temperature change induced by a decrease in CO2 in the air by 50% is 3.9 degrees (rounded to 4 degrees C).

      • “Read it again”?
        When you start acknowledging the points I make repeatedly, you can give me homework assignments. Until then I have more important things to do. Like making a fool out of the clueless warrenlb.☺

  39. I often wonder how many scientist types have ever cracked a philosophy or theology book. They should if they really want to develop their critical thinking skills. Philosophy and theology are all about trying to answer questions like, “why are we here”, “what is our purpose?”, and “why should I strive to do good?”. These are questions that science never tries to answer yet are fundamental questions. Until, when and if science answers these questions, seeking the answers can only be found in philosophy and theology. Are the philosophers and theologians right? Who knows? They all recognize that life is a mystery which they try to explain within our limited knowledge. Science still has a gazillion more mysteries to solve as to how life works. If anyone thinks our scientific knowledge is at a pinnacle, they are a fool. The one thing that philosophy and theology provides far better than science is a peace of mind and a comfort to the implacable questions. Having a belief and faith in something is not limited to religion. I have never seen a quark, yet I have a belief and faith that they exist. Both science and philosophy/theology are trying to solve mysteries. Where the mysteries overlap, sometimes they disagree and sometimes they agree. It is all a process in which we have a long, long ways to go and won’t be solved in your lifetime. There are many who need to suck it up and learn to enjoy the process instead of thinking that their belief system is right.

    • I wonder how many theology or philosophy types have ever cracked Feynman’s Lectures on Physics.

      • CG: good question. My experience is that all of my HS science teachers and about a quarter of my college science professors were Jesuits, who are required to attain a theology degree before getting a Masters or Ph.D. in some other field. So there is that group of theologians out there, but they may be a relatively small group compared to the entire theology/philosophy fields.

      • Well, the Father of the Big Bang was a Belgium French Jesuit priest who came to MIT to get his Ph.D.

      • After you get his name, Lemaitre (or Le Maitre), translated to English = The Master. Beats Feynman.

  40. warrenlb, you said up thread
    “The evidence for AGW is not extreme weather events, but rather the warming of the earth”
    I asked you:
    What warmed the earth from 1900 to 1940 ?
    Did your cognitive dissonance get a bit scorched when you went near the question ?
    Anyway, here it is again, for viewers to see that neither you nor your fellow cognitive dissonenti tag teamer will address it:
    What warmed the earth from 1900 to 1940 ?
    …. and when you’ve failed to answer that, could you please also fail to answer John Who’s question:
    Or 1850 to 1900?
    tick tock, tick tock

    • It seems you are focusing on variations of a few decades, meaningless to underlying climate forcing, vs the long term indisputable trend since 1880, overall the fastest rate of rise in millennia.
      Tick tock…RING. (The alarm bells should be going off in your mind by now)

      • Warren pound
        The IPCC disagrees with you. It limits possible AGW to post 1950. Previous warming trends are not attributed to AGW.
        You need to get up to speed if you are going to blog here. Best go back to HotWhopper.

    • PhilinCA,
      warrenlb doesn’t have a clue. Global T has been recovering since the LIA — and the step trends are all the same, whether CO2 was low, or high — as even über-warminst Phil Jones admits:
      http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/graphs/hadley/Hadley-global-temps-1850-2010-web.jpg
      So it is nonsense to believe that human emissions control global warming. Empirical evidence shows that is not the case.
      But of course, warrenlb has his usual reaction to real world evidence.

      • … but I will anyway.
        Is that some kind of bafflegab squared or did he actually say anything ?
        The fact that he can’t cut and paste anything from scumbagscience.com is not good news for whoever Sessions or Inhofe have next in the crosshairs …..
        …… prove me wrong Warren

      • @mpainter. IPCC does not LIMIT AGW to 1950 and later, it states that man is 95% likely to be the cause after 1950. Understand the difference?

      • warrenlb says:
        Same old nonsense from dbs, which no scientist concludes.
        So, Dr. Phil Jones, climatologist, is “no scientist”? Got it.
        That’s what a clueless site pest says. warrenlb avoids the fact that the chart he’s referring to was based on data by Dr. Phil Jones, a noted climate alarmist.
        philincalifornia is right, and warrenlb has no business commenting here. warrenlb is only trolling this thread because he has no credible facts to support his Religion. For warrenlb, his faith is enough.
        But the rest of us require facts, and evidence. Dr. Jones has provided that evidence, which debunks warrenlb’s religious pseudo-science.

      • Well, dbstealey –
        “warrenlb is only trolling this thread because he has no credible facts to support his Religion. For warrenlb, his faith is enough.”
        he does provide a great example showing that CAGW is faith-based.

      • JohnWho,
        Correctomundo, John. ‘warrenlb’ is motivated by his religion.
        And warrenlb can’t think straight. He says:
        IPCC does not LIMIT AGW to 1950 and later, it states that man is 95% likely to be the cause after 1950. Understand the difference?
        No. Wrong. It is warrenlb who doesn’t understand: AGW = 100% man-made, no more and no less. It refers to anthropogenic.

        • And warrenlb can’t think straight. He says:

          IPCC does not LIMIT AGW to 1950 and later, it states that man is 95% likely to be the cause after 1950. Understand the difference?

          No. Wrong. It is warrenlb who doesn’t understand: AGW = 100% man-made, no more and no less. It referes to anthropogenic.

          Now, now db. Be precise.
          Man-made global warming is just that. When the earth warmed (for 22 of the 65 years between 1950 and 2015 while man released ever-larger amounts of beneficial CO2 to the atmosphere between 1950 and 2015), it was entirely man’s fault due to man’s release of CO2.
          When the earth did NOT warm (was steady or cooling for 43 of the 65 years between 1950 and 2015) it was nature’s cause, and man should not have been interfering while Mother Nature – obviously an Intelligent Designer! – was making it cool.
          When the earth warmed (between 1650 and 1950) it was not man’s fault due to CO2 (because man released no CO2 between 1650 and 1850), except when it was man’s fault (due to man’s far smaller release of CO2) between 1850 and 1950 – which DID warm the planet, although Man’s far greater release of CO2 between 1996 and 2015 over a much shorter period of time did NOT warm the planet.
          Very selective gas, this CO2. Very Intelligently Designed.

      • Now let’s see. The IPCC sez “that man is 95% likely to be the cause of AGW”.
        Hmmmm. Warrenpound, you are trying to be funny. I think.
        As I noted above, the IPCC has cogent reasons for limiting their AGW claims to post 1950. They know that 20 ppm CO2 too slight to support any claims of AGW. Do you disagree with their stance?

    • Quote Hansen 1988 Congressional tesitimony “My principal conclusions are: (1) the earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements, (2) the global warming is now sufficiently large that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect…….
      An astounding statement, based on warming of +.15degC from 1975! His likeliest estimate is presently off by 150%. His best estimate, which assumed zero increase in GHG is now only slightly higher than the actual temperature record.
      He, and other climate modelers would have done well to take his own advice: “We note that the correlations between climate models and observed temperatures are often very poor at subcontinental scales, particularly during Northern Hemisphere summer.”

  41. This article by Megg started by looking promising and refreshing, a rare intemplative look at our worldview, mindset and our knowledge structure or epistemology.
    It went on by introducing a Protestant Christian world view – fair enough. But then it just .. Stopped. What about all the other dozens of world views accounting for >90% of the human race? Or was Megg” disguising a BBC-esque obsessive phobia of Christianity as a faux interest in epistemology and knowledge structure?
    The article needs to continue with additional world views, something like this:
    Let us assume you have been brought up in a humanistic (nihilistic) milieu. Your deity, whom you honour and respect, is you yourself. You will use concepts like ‘narrative’ and ‘construct’. Your role as a scientist is utilitarian: it is simply to employ a disguise as a member of a fictitious technological priesthood seeking after truth, to manipulate and intimidate society and politicians into adopting certain policies which are in tune with your own interests and are weapons against your class enemies. ….

    • Phlog: well said. Instead of opening a fun and fruitful discussion of each other’s belief systems, Megg’s article mocks the belief systems of many which only leads to divide. When discussing epistemology, I like to emphasize the part of its definition that says,” Study of… limits of knowledge.” Your last paragraph is a hoot. I plan to steal it for arguing with humanists of a scientific bent.

  42. Foul! You’re a bigot! As a Christian, I find the line, “‘There is no other explanation but X’, is a valid argument in your reasoning’, deeply insulting. Aquinas would reject it (have you ever read him? He invited discussion, and the Summa – both the form and his writing is not a set of “no other explanation”, but the best one which answers the objections).
    As a Catholic, I am even further insulted. There is a Vatican-appointed Miracle Commission composed of theologians and scientific experts. For a healing event to be graded as a (medical) miracle, it has to be spontaneous, instantaneous and complete. Doctors have to be able to say, “We don’t have any natural explanation for what happened.” This is true. But the whole process is more involved and relates to a similar question – did something get to where it is because it naturally ended up there, or did someone or something intentionally put it there.
    I’m surprised to find anti-Catholic bigotry here.

      • Michael Wassil: I like to play the devil’s advocate, so refute this argument:
        I have never seen a quark. No one has seen, felt, or captured a quark in a box. We have inferred from super-collider interactions that the quark exists though we have never captured a single one. As a scientist, I believe and I have faith that the quark exists. There appears to be evidence for its existence. However, I cannot honestly say it exists because its existence is inferred indirectly via measurements that could be incorrect. Nevertheless, I choose to believe the quark exists because it answers some physics questions, though its discovery has opened up new questions.
        Those who believe in God see evidence of God’s existence and therefore choose to believe. How is the belief and faith in the existence of a quark any different than the belief and faith in a God?
        Personally I think TZ has the right to be offended as both you and the article are mocking his belief system – a system of belief that is just as valid, or invalid, as believing in the existence of a quark or that man’s emissions of CO2 are destroying the world. Like most people, I have a touch of hubris and think that my belief system (the quark exists and CO2 is not destroying the world) will prevail. On the other hand, I am really curious to find out when I die whether or not God exists. On the God question I made a choice just like I made a choice to believe in the existence of a quark partially.
        “Choose to believe” is the operative phrase. In philosophy and theology it is called free will.
        So, you have a choice: do you want to mock the God believers and in turn get mocked for your beliefs that may not have a sound basis, which will shut down discussion, or do you want to have an open discussion that explores each other’s belief systems? If the former, you are no better than the climate scare mongers. If the latter, then you are an intelligent person in my book.

      • @ aGrimm
        You cannot compare a lack of visual confirmation of a quark with visual confirmation of God. There have been no claims of quarks healing people, or being the answer to every unanswered question humanity can come up with.
        Those who believe in God see evidence of God’s existence. Yeah. Sure. So what? Those who believe in anything without empirical evidence will find evidence for it. Including multiple Gods, spirit worlds, incarnation, past lives, ghosts, you name it and someone will have evidence for it. The difference is two fold. In science the horse (evidence) comes before the cart (belief). Secondly science invites and demands that claims are falsifiable. God can never be falsified and neither can alien abductions for that matter.
        I am not criticizing people for their beliefs and never would deny a persons right to their personal beliefs. I would however vehemently oppose any person or organization that obfuscates science with faith. That is an insult to both science and faith.

      • Alx
        “The difference is two fold. In science the horse (evidence) comes before the cart (belief). Secondly science invites and demands that claims are falsifiable”
        Both of your ‘differences’ are incorrect much as I admire your spunk.
        First, ‘belief’ is perhaps inappropriate. A whole series of beliefs are used to analyse the evidence and if the beliefs are in error the conclusion is in error and the evidence is misinterpreted and the truth misrepresented in subsequent pronouncements.
        Science does now make ‘demands’ at all. That is scientism creeping into the room. Science well tolerates claims that are not falsifiable but clearly separates them from claims that are.
        Part of the problem and wonderful topic today is that followers of scientism believe, without evidence, making a falsifiable claim, that religion is not suited to scientific investigation. Poppycock. There is noting about religion per se that prevents it being investigated in a scientific manner.
        Because people believe all manner of superstitions does not mean they are being ‘religious’. Quite the opposite. Revealed knowledge has many practical uses as a guide to scientists. Consider the statement, ‘Split the atom and you will find the Sun.’. How long before fission was discovered was that written?
        How about something medical: ‘Cancer is contagious.’ How many years was it written before the discovery of HPV? How many examples are needed before the jaded, atheistic scientist decides that there may be some ‘practical’ use for religious revelation? Some, never, for it undermines their entire, false, self-made world. So they cling to their belief that hundreds of practical facts could not be ‘known’ before ‘they were discovered’.
        Like miracles, this is a very practical matter. If a religious Revealed writes a Holy Book containing the practical instructions for the development of a more advanced society than has ever existed before, considering the totality of mankind’s current condition and capacities, and it leads directly to the development of that more advanced society, then Revelation has practical value. If it simultaneously elevates the thoughts and educates the soul, why reject those benefits?
        Material things – tools of science, do not imbue honesty, the foundation of all virtues. It is the virtuous man who designs and appropriately applies tools. In the absence of Divine virtue, man becomes worse than an animal.
        That said, ‘science’ is quite incapable of creating the morality required to build a durable society. How many times must this be proven to everyone’s satisfaction? How many hundred million people must die before the evidence is accepted?
        The really great physicists who learn the innermost workings of the universe all come to realise that the appearance of physical reality is a mirage. There is nothing really there. They become quite philosophical and open minded. We each have our necessary for path. Physical reality is itself a metaphor. But for what?
        Readers may enjoy the book, ‘The Purpose of Physical Reality’ by John S Hatcher. Come prepared to think.

      • aGrimm March 8, 2015 at 2:28 am

        Claiming you feel ‘insulted’ is just a wimpy way to weasel out of the discussion.

      • Scientific views end in awe and mystery, lost at the edge in uncertainty, but they appear to be so deep and so impressive that the theory that it is all arranged as a stage for God to watch man’s struggle for good and evil seems inadequate.
        Richard P. Feynman

      • aGrimm March 8, 2015 at 2:28 am
        Those who believe in God see evidence of God’s existence and therefore choose to believe. How is the belief and faith in the existence of a quark any different than the belief and faith in a God?

        Does your ‘belief’ in quarks correspond to:
        “Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not,” Paul.
        “Faith is a habit of the mind whereby eternal life is begun in us making the intellect assent to what is non-apparent,” Aquinas.
        If so, then you have religious faith/belief in quarks. Even if quarks are eventually determined NOT to be real and NOT to exist, you will still believe that they do and are just hiding to test your faith. I suspect, however, that your ‘belief’ in quarks is simply a provisional assumption until demonstrated otherwise.

        Personally I think TZ has the right to be offended as both you and the article are mocking his belief system…

        I asked ‘tz’ to stop crying in my beer and state a case. Exactly how does that mock his/her Catholic faith?

        On the God question I made a choice… in my book.

        I asked ‘tz’ to state his/her argument against the contentions of the article he/she found insulting to his/her Catholic faith. Yet you seem to find in my request some hidden mockery and intent to shut down the discussion. I’m not interested in his/her wimpy feelings of insult, but I would be interested in reading his/her opposing arguments.

      • @ aGrimm March 8, 2015 at 2:28 am

        “Choose to believe” is the operative phrase. In philosophy and theology it is called free will.
        So, you have a choice:

        In actuality, …. “You are what your environment nurtured you to be”.
        But to correctly understand the above statement one first has to understand and accept the fact that there are three (3) of “you” when engaged in technical discussions associated with the brain/mind of humans: 1) “you” meaning the person or individual; …. 2) “you” meaning the conscious mind of the person; ….. and 3) “you” meaning the subconscious mind of the person;
        Thus, one’s environmentally sensed stimuli (info/data) nurtures their subconscious mind …. and one’s conscious mind is subservient to their subconscious mind … as per whatever the aforesaid info/data is that it was nurtured with.
        Therefore one’s conscious mind can make “choices” …. but only IF and WHEN one’s subconscious mind presents the conscious mind with two (2) or more entities to choose from.
        Thus, there is no such thing as “free will” …. simply because one’s per se “will” to choose or not choose, …. believe or not believe, …… consider or not consider, …… is already per se … “pre-programmed” in the stored memories in/of one’s brain.
        Thus, what one was nurtured to accept (believe) as factual …. and what actually exists in the natural world, …… is what science is all about.

      • Michael and aGrimm
        Faith is the result of a logical proof. I don’t know why people have so much trouble with this. There are arguments put forth that faith is the same thing as believing the unbelievable. That’s superstition, silly!
        I have faith that I can steer a car around an as yet unseen corner because I have done it so many times before, and almost always succeeded. I have faith that having been through a set of logical deductions, the result of an as yet incomplete set of deductions will also result in something true, if it is based on the same general conditions. I become convinced and have faith.
        Atheists usually try to claim that faith involves accepting the unprovable and set about to create caricatures demonstrating the truth of that position. It is true that some things are taken on faith because of a lack of background, understanding or experience. Other things are accepted on faith because of authority. To bring a person to accept something on faith, one has to first discover how they judge, and what to them constitutes a ‘proof’. Proof comes in many forms: logical deduction (rare), miracle, prayer, authority, experience, popularity, example, parallel similar example and meditation.
        We all believe lots of things on faith. The greatest inducer of faith should be experience and logic. Of a Revealer of a holy text says, “Do A because it will make you strong,” and I have no proof of it other than He has been right so far, then I will do A if I want to get strong. I take it on faith.
        I endured most of an interview today with the creator of “Merchants of Doubt’ on the CBC radio. He called James Hanson, uber-alarmist to the media, a ‘conservative’ and said that his views were ‘very conservative’. His statements, attacks, haughty arrogance, sneering posturing and blatant misrepresentation of the facts were very convincing. I now have faith that “Merchants of Doubt” will be 90 minutes of smear and innuendo and contain barely any credible claims about the climate or the climate-realist community. He and his embarrassingly sycophantic CBC interviewer were trying to associate particular historical tobacco shills with everyone who fails to climb on board the CO2 warming alarm gravy train. They were discussing manipulating popular perception while doing it! Talk about gall!
        Logic tells be I should have faith that nothing truthful of consequence is contained in the “Merchants of Doubt” and I will not see it. My mind has been convinced by his biased shilling for Big Green. I will learn far more from reading the elevated commentary on WUWT.

  43. Are the goats getting smaller or is everything else getting bigger?
    How would we know?

    • NF: most old goats get smaller, at least in height, as I’ve discovered to my dismay. : )

      • Yep. Cuz this old goat is indeed getting smaller. By the time I am ready for a wheelchair, they will have to get me a child-size.

      • Old goats, they whine.
        Just enough to draw you within range, then they kick you in the head 🙂
        Not that I have anything against goats.

  44. Back from the pub and just spent two hours reading this thread. I do that quite a lot.
    A weak post more than compensated for by many really well written and interesting comments. This also happens quite a lot on WUWT.
    As I think more and more people are beginning to realize, the climate war seems to be tilting in favor of the ‘realists’. In fact it could turn into a rout at any moment.
    The problem now is that I’m beginning to worry about what the heck am I going to do with my time when it’s all over! Where is the WUWT community going to go?
    Anthony, I hope you are planning ahead and have your next cause identified – we are counting on you!


    • Bernard Lodge
      March 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm
      Back from the pub and just spent two hours reading this thread. I do that quite a lot.”

      Some serious wisdom there Bernard.
      Before reading some threads, it is a good idea to have a few drinks.
      It is probably not a good idea to be sober when feeding the trolls.

    • “The climate war seems to be tilting in favor of the ‘realists’” The climate war for the mind of the layman in the US media has gotten insane. We have NASA Earth/Sky.org disinfo repeated several times a day on both AM and FM radio and constant propaganda in print media (I don’t watch TV), and I imagine it will get worse until the Paris climate farce.

  45. As much as I may disagree with some personal tastes of Oscar Wilde, his famous dictum stands unstained:
    “Pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.”

    • Or, (not Oscar Wilde):
      “I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
      but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!”

  46. I’m not sure why this guest blogger felt it necessary to blast the Catholic Church for its belief in miracles. If the guest blogger has some insights into how a French nun was cured of Parkinson’s disease, I’d be curious to hear them and presumably so would the Vatican – at least they would have been before the nun was healed.
    Clerics of the Catholic Church, as other commenters have already pointed out, have been responsible for many, many great advances in human knowledge. The position of the Church since at least the time of St. Augustine has been to reconcile Holy Scripture with knowledge of nature. There have been some members of the clergy who have felt otherwise but they are far and away the minority.
    In any case, whatever the point of this post was, the entire effect was spoiled by the overt bigotry of the blogger. If Megg wants to post more specious and unsupported attacks on miracles, I suggest that he/she first learn something about what that declaration means.

    • James. My point exactly except you said it more succinctly. The guest post was fine up to the unnecessary point. Newsflash… churches believe in God.

    • “Miracles” have been the foundation of most all religious deities ever since the 1st tribal member was appointed to the position of Shaman, …. many, many thousands of years ago..
      To keep peace, faith and harmony among and within the tribal populace, ….. someone had/has to “explain the unexplainable(s)” that was/is observed to be or thought to be occurring within the natural world said populace resides in.
      Iffen you can’t explain it, ….. then call it a “miracle”, …..the populace has to be appeased or “big trouble in River City”.

  47. 5000 words to basically hid the fact that climate change is caused by the daily Earth Wobble that is a result of having planet x nearby.
    [ “X” .mod]

  48. Things complex are things not understood. When the complex is pondered, and when the light over one’s head finally shines, and a thing is at last understood, it suddenly becomes simple.

    • Things like it is better to glance off those stationary objects when travelling at high speeds, and never do a head-on lest the hot engine ends up sitting on your lap for the duration.

  49. We need an online petition to protest 1) WH releases of disinformation about climate science and climate scientists 2) discrimination against climate scientists who dispute IPCC climate science conclusions by US government-funded institutions and journals, hiring by US government-funded institutions, research funding awarded by same 3) discrimination by private institutions in the areas above.
    websites can post links to the petition
    Anthony – thoughts on this?
    Quote from NOAA article posted on Noozhawk here in Santa Barbara:“This study reveals the flaw that underlies the
    ‘CO2 is plant food’ myth”
    that’s now on skepticalsciencescam and others. The eco-fascists have no intellectual integrity to lose.
    noozhawk.com/article/letter_to_the_editor_nasa_warns_of_catastrophic_drought_in_western_u.s

  50. Maybe I’m too fast to judge the author, but … It’s very refreshing, and very rare, to read a piece by someone who doesn’t seem to “believe in” things simply because they are popular to believe, or the belief answers a question for which there is no known scientific explanation.
    .
    Loved this sentence:
    “The Catholic Church and UN/IPCC as the highest authorities in Morality and Science. Yet their conclusions and evidence are (mostly) nonsense. But who wants to stand up and point out facts when Heaven and Grants are at stake?”
    .
    My answer is: I’ll stand up. Both the church and the IPCC (two religions, one secular) spout non-science (nonsense) all the time !
    .
    They both know to gain more power, leaders have to convince people bad things are about to happen, unless you do as they say, without question … to save your soul, … or to save the Earth, … or for whatever reason — it’s all nonsense to manipulate people (sheeple).
    ..
    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only person around who doesn’t accept ANY beliefs with no evidence.
    .
    My skepticism started at an extremely young age when I was told about “god”, and then I questioned how anyone could believe in something no one had ever seen, heard or touched. The answer was not very convincing, so I have been an atheist since the concept of “god” was first explained to me as a young child.
    .
    I have always believed that having religious beliefs, accepted on faith, makes a person vulnerable to non-religious beliefs, from the coming climate catastrophe, to 9/11 conspiracy theories, to the belief that Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone, and the belief that eating GMO foods will cause you to grow a sixth toe.
    .
    I’d like to think good scientists are not “believers”.
    What does faith have to do with science?
    .
    Nothing, I hope.
    [Snip. Porn virus in link. ~ mod.]

    • Obvious Troll,
      It has been my experience that very few children have any notion of a creator. I didn’t. But then most of them grow up and consider greater ideas and think on a grand scale. A few are satisfied with their childish minds and function adequately in life.
      “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
      Explain to yourself, how everything came from nothing. (Don’t expect any success since no atheist has succeeded)
      You will have to deal with The Big Bang, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Hubble expansion, the Borde, Vilenkin Guth Proof, Anthropic fine tuning… you know, those small matters. I’m sure you are up to it. Since science puts these facts before you, you must deal with them with science, or ignore them with your belief in atheism and call it a day.

      • Paul W
        If you come across a really intelligent person who claims to be an atheist, who only believes what can be followed logically, you might invite them to read the book, “Minimalism, the New Philosophy” by William S Hatcher. If they are truly devoted to logic, then they must accept the result of a well-formed logical expatiation.

      • I accept “I don’t know” as a respectable answer for any question for which humans have no reasonable evidence-based answer.
        .
        I don’t accept false “answers” that are religious fairy tales, with no evidence they are true, whether they are written in a bible, or told to me by a homeless person who lives under a bridge.
        .
        The fact that I, or scientists, or people in general, don’t know all the mysteries about Earth and the rest of the universe, does not make your theories correct, even if 99.9% of the people on Earth agreed with you.
        .
        The fact is that many people are brainwashed, often starting at an early age, with “answers” to questions that are really mysteries, where the only correct answer is “no one knows”, rather than beliefs based on faith.

    • The link was a photo of a clothed woman running on a treadmill..
      The ads for new cable TV shows are way more suggestive,
      not to mention embarrassing ads for ED medications!
      Neither are funny, like my link was.
      That link is now gone,
      and I promise to go to church one of these days
      and confess that I have not been to any religious
      service for the past 60 years.
      I didn’t know about any virus,
      as I have not had a cold, or the flu,
      in many years
      http://www.elOnionBloggle.blogspot.com

  51. Brandon Gates
    March 7, 2015 at 7:02 pm
    “This should satisfy requests for verifiable measurement of increased radiative forcing due to rising levels of atmospheric CO2, “
    Now that is a good scientific conclusion other than for one small problem.
    What if we start in 1997/8 and compare it with 2010. Now calculate the CO2 forcing using the same methodology. Will you accept its results too, particularly if one uses satellite records for T? Negative CO2 forcing, I suggest.
    The issue is simple; the year 2000 compared to 2010 is a low one. What else do you expect to see other than increased CO2 radiation especially if it had increased by 22ppm. I would expect to see increased H20 radiation as well (up and down).
    Something has to radiate more energy to space to try to equilibrate when T is up.

    • tonyM,

      Something has to radiate more energy to space to try to equilibrate when T is up.

      You ask good questions, but I’m just about done for the day, so this may read a little rushed. Harries (2001) discusses it somewhat near the end of the paper, but not in detail. It is indeed a problem that temperature increase for other reasons — ENSO, solar, cloud cover, whatever — will cause outgoing LW to increase as the 4th power of T as the system attempts to reach equilibrium. Therefore, “direct” measurement of GHG forcing requires looking at spectral bands and noting if and where some absorption lines have gotten “spikier” relative to others. Where those spikes match what’s in HITRAN or a like database of spectral lines, you’ve got the beginnings of a signature increase in forcing due to a particular species. Just looking at gross and net fluxes won’t get it “directly” because “random” pockets of T wander around as weather with practically zero correlation to the much more gradual and long term subtle changes in GHG concentrations.

      • Brandon
        Thanks, a useful insight into the complexity of earth’s radiative budget.
        The Arrhenius CO2 back-radiation scenario seems compellingly simply, but when one tries to get to grips with it, the “devil is in the detail”, and in this case the devil in question is a particularly slippery bugger – oops – we’re on a religious thread, need to mind my language!

      • phlogiston,
        Given your handle, you may appreciate the sage wisdom of one Max Planck:
        A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
        Though perhaps you’d better appreciate this formulation:
        New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.
        In my dreariest moments engaged in the Great Climate Debate, when the opposition suggests that mine is an irrational belief tantamount to religion based on ego, an overly-active imagination and naive assumptions wholly unsubstantiated by any evidence whatsoever, I often recall this one:
        We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future.
        And yet he published his assumptions anyway. Hypocrite or pragmatist?
        I choose the latter, for I don’t believe that extreme skepticism is a useful permanent state if one seeks to contribute to the body of what we humans in our constant fits of hubris fancy as our collective “knowledge”, but I think are more properly called our chosen beliefs.
        Or, in slightly more informal terms: extreme navel-gazing only makes one a front-running expert on belly-button lint.
        (signed) graviton

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