Monday mirthness – Debunk alarm from Josh

Josh writes: There’s been a minor kerfuffle of bruised feathers on Twitter today about the speedy way BishopHill debunked the latest paper from the LSE. It does seem that blogs are increasingly agile in spotting duff science – something I am fairly sure is a good thing and should be universally approved of.


Cartoons by Josh

112 thoughts on “Monday mirthness – Debunk alarm from Josh

  1. I’m sorry if this is to shallow an analysis, but doesn’t Green’s paper effectively say “Assuming these policies will be beneficial… these policies will be beneficial?”
    The ellipses don’t even hide any math magic as far as I can tell, just obfuscatory text to hide the extremely simple rhetorical trick.
    I eagerly await a serious patent submission for a device to compare the weight of a witch to a duck.

      • I wish this comments system had upvotes. Because I would upvote the **** out of you. +1000

    • This just in from the Department of Redundancy Department: “If you push something hard enough it will fall over!”
      with a tip of the hat to Proctor and Bergman

    • Merovign it is more complex than that. More in the nature of “if we had eggs we could have ham and eggs, if we had ham”.

    • While we are waiting for that, we really should consider employing sheeps bladders for preventing erthquakes. This measure would have the co-benefit of reducing the number of sheep polluting our wonderful banana-shaped planet. No, really, there are too many sheep, sheople. What is satire, what is nonsense, what is science?
      Who knows anymore?
      What will future generations think of us? You remember when you were in school reading history and we all complained how stupid people were fifty years ago, a hundred years ago etc? Well, we arnt any smarter today it seems. What we can do though is to put in writing, date-stamped, testimony of our objections to this political driven ideological Orwellian meritocratic lunacy and state clearly that we take no part in promoting the destruction of wealth, happiness and our childrens future.

  2. Having just completed an Arctic tour with Lindblad/National Geographic, I am amazed at how thin their knowledge was of past climate change and its significance compared to our current feeble warming: amongst the coolest 10% of this interglacial, and insignificant compared to the much warmer Eemian interglacial of 125,000 years ago. One NG naturalist noted that this was the 40th interglacial of the past 2.6 million years, and then without any reference to science said “but this one is different.” How different? I asked. It’s warming at such a fast rate that it has to be CO2, not natural variation, he replied. What? I asked; one brief period of warming following others and following the coldest period of the past 10,000 years, the Little Ice Age? “This is different,” he repeated.
    It’s easy to debunk the “science” but forget trying to change their beliefs.
    Oh, yes. The main point they all fell back on was the 97%, which they regard as unassailable by facts or logic.

    • “It’s easy to debunk the “science” but forget trying to change their beliefs”
      majormike1, I think you have exactly described the problem. We sceptics who respect science keep thinking (in spite of all experience!) that the alarmist can be convinced by data and facts.

      • Many alarmists can be convinced by data and facts.
        As most people take the mainstream media’s expertise on trust most people are alarmists by default.
        Until they see the data and facts.

      • M Courtney
        July 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm
        Many alarmists can be convinced by data and facts.
        As most people take the mainstream media’s expertise on trust most people are alarmists by default.
        Until they see the data and facts.

        There are many that were alarmed by the (C)aGW hypothesis at first that are now called “skeptics” and “lukewarmers”.
        They trusted what they heard and/or the sources at least checked it for obvious errors and gave it a passing mark. (IE “Peer reviewed papers”)
        Then they took (or tried to get the data to take) a closer look.
        PS I said “(C)aGW” because on another thread a “Joel D.” something or other said there was no “C” in AGW science….but we still have to prevent “Climate Change”. I suggested that he should then write it with a very small “a”.

      • I was an alarmist until I GOT the data and facts. Never more overjoyed in my life to discover the Sky is NOT Falling! But then I’m a farmer, not dependent on grant money.

      • Hey Menicholas,
        This Joel was here before the Alarmist AGW-believer, Blue-pill Koolaid-drinker Joel showed up.
        Please, specificity.
        Joel O’Bryan
        P.S. As a Yank, can someone from across the pond please tell me what “LSE” abbreiviates? Thanks in advance.

    • majormike1-
      Please consider writing a blog post on your experiences for posting at WUWT. I think there would be a lot of interest in what you saw, what you were told by the on-board experts, and in particular your discussions with your fellow travelers, their backgrounds, why they went on the trip, etc.

      • Just back from a vacation in Alaska. While on the tour bus through Danali, our driver/guide stated that summer was the shortest season of the year. At one of our stops I sidled up to her and asked her to clarify because that statement seemed illogical to me, you know, with that whole midnight sun thing. She snapped at me, telling me she knew this because she was a year round resident …. and walked away.
        After checking the National Park service site, they seem to disagree with her as well.
        I’m not so sure guides are as expert as we think, it sounds like majormike was more qualified than his guides.

    • I hear the 97% meme a lot too, it’s the classic default when I ask the questions “have you looked at the data yourself ? Not at homogenized data, not at summaries, not at extrapolations, not at model outputs dressed up to look like data, but at the actual data ?”
      To which I get “Well 97% of climate scientists (with emphasis on the word “scientists”) agree…. and it’s their job to know….”
      And did you know that the 97% meme has been thoroughly debunked ? And actually a significant part of their job is to keep their departments funded. They do that by writing successful research grant proposals. And they don’t toe the CAGW line you do know, don’t you, that their research grant money will dry up ? So there is no pressure to conform is there ?

      • Continue the questioning but change it to gmo and fracking. Those subjects also have scientific consensus in that gmo is good and fracking is good. If they disagree then turn their own argument back on them. They dont like that, not one little bit.

      • Pablo, just what did ‘they’ agree to and just who are ‘they’.
        As Legates et al., 2013 pointed out, Cook defined the consensus as “most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic.” Cook then relied on three different levels of “endorsement” of that consensus and excluded 67% of the abstracts reviewed because they neither endorsed nor rejected the consensus.
        Doran and Kendall Zimmerman, 2009
        An invitation to participate in the survey was sent to 10,257 Earth scientists. The database was built from Keane and Martinez [2007], which lists all geosciences faculty at reporting academic institutions, along with researchers at state geologic surveys associated with local Universities, and researchers at U.S. federal research facilities (e.g., U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, and NOAA (U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facilities; U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories; (and so forth).
        This brief report addresses the two primary questions of the survey

        1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
        2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

        With 3146 individuals completing.
        In our survey, the most specialized and knowledgeable respondents (with regard to climate change) are those who listed climate science as their area of expertise and who also have published more than 50% of their recent peer-reviewed papers on the subject of climate change (79 individuals in total). Of these specialists, 96.2% (76 of 79) answered “risen” to question 1 and 97.4% (75 of 77) answered yes to question 2.

        the AMS survey Stenhouse et al., 2014.
        In this survey, global warming was defined as “the premise that the world’s average temperature has been increasing over the past 150 years, may be increasing more in the future, and that the world’s climate may change as a result.”
        Questions –

        Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
        2a./2b How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?
        How sure are you? –Extremely –Very sure –Somewhat sure –Not at all sure -Don’t know –Not at all sure –Somewhat not sure – Very not sure – Extremely not sure

        So answering the questions –
        1) most warming since 1950 is anthropogenic?
        2) When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
        3) Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?
        4) Regardless of the cause, do you think that global warming is happening?
        5) How sure are you that global warming (a. is /b. is not) happening?
        Answers and questions use generalized words of; most, think, significant, contributing and no values or significance is asked for. No where is proof or dates or amounts or data of +/- estimates required and did you see CO2 anywhere?
        Do these questions really provide the answer that; stopping man-made, catastrophizing, CO2 control knob, ever increasing (global warming / climate change / disruption / weirding ) [pick 1 or more], which can only be prevented by higher taxes, more regulations and a loss of personal freedom will actually keep us all from floating down the River Styx in a handbasket?

      • My friend who helped to get me fired from Sandia declared that he wouldn’t read any paper that hadn’t been peer reviewed, and since none of the papers that were skeptical of global warming had been peer reviewed and published in a major journal, that settled the question for him.
        As far as he was concerned, CAGW was proven and there was no science that refuted it.

    • “But this one is different”. He’s right. This time there’s a political agenda attached to it….

    • It’s warming at such a fast rate that it has to be CO2, not natural variation, he replied.

      He is apparently not familiar with Shannon’s sampling theorem or the Nyquist frequency. All of the temperature proxies that I have looked at are essentially frequency limited and unable to capture any rapid changes that existed that would be comparable to modern times.

      • Greg F, Brilliant! The current rise could be an alias of what we see from the proxies. But, in addition to being technically correct, your point is brilliant for another reason. Starting talking about sampling theorem and Nyquist limits and your listener is immediately out of their depth and unable to respond.

      • Not always, Greg F.
        My principle CAGW foil has a PhD in math.
        He could write a book on logical fallacies, but has a gaping blind spot for his adherence to CAGW.
        Based on, mostly, appeal to authority. And the single “factoid” that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas”.
        Cannot and/or will not see past those two.

      • Absolutely correct. Using filtering and averaging is a LOT different than using actual sensor data filtering and averaging. What is troubling is that those that splice such machinations KNOW THAT!

    • “Having just completed an Arctic tour with Lindblad/National Geographic, I am amazed at how thin their knowledge was of past climate change and its significance compared to our current feeble warming”
      From Daily Mercury (Mackay, Qld. : 1906 – 1954): April 7, 1923
      Is the North Pole going to melt entirely? Are the Arctic regions warming up, with the prospect of a great climatic change in that part of the world?
      Science is asking thesc questions (says “Popular Science Siftings”). Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers who sail the seas around Spitsbergen and the eastern Arctic all point to a radical change in climatic conditions, with hitherto unheard-of high temperatures on that part of the earth’s surface. Observations to that effect have covered the last five years during which the warmth has been steadily increasing. In August the Norwegian Department of Commerce sent an ex- pedition to Spitsbergen and Bear island under the leadership of Dr. Adolf Hoel, professor of geology in the University of Christiania, the object in view being to survey and chart ureas productive of coal and other minerals. The expedition sailed as far north as 81 deg. 29 min. N. lati- tude in ice free water. Such a thing, hitherto, ‘would have been deemed impossible.
      [Read the whole thing…]

      • Frank, we don’t have to rely on anecdotal evidence like you posted. We now have 30+ years of satellite observations of the arctic ice. We know that the arctic ice has receded somewhat. No one here is arguing that. But it is nowhere near as drastic as your article suggests. Look that he data yourself. Quite relying on some PhD from some University (both of whom need to keep publishing alarming papers to keep grant money flowing).

      • Jeff was a little too quick on the “Reply” link and a little too slow on reading comprehension. Not that the date was bolded or anything…oh,wait a sec…

      • I’m actually glad that Jeff responded as he did, because it shows that events which happened nearly a century ago are nearly identical to what we’re experiencing now and that humans responded in the same alarmist way. I could have told you that this came from last month’s “Scientific American” (which a popular non-science magazine marketed to the low information crowd) and you would have believed me.
        There are MANY articles from newspapers and magazines just like this from the early 20th century, especially around the 20s and 30s, when the climate WAS in fact getting warmer – just like today. As the old saying from Ecclesiastes goes:
        “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

        • Chris Hanley

          Arctic (70-90oN) monthly surface air temperature anomalies (HadCRUT4) since January 1920:

          Vividly displays the 1935-1945 high temperatures and today’s equally warm 66-year short cycle, doesn’t it?

      • Jeff, the date is the point. Everything from “unprecedented temperatures” to “scientists say” appears in the discussion of the warming in the 1920s.

  3. Pointman says, “I must confess, I never as a kid envisioned research being like this in that far SyFi place called the 21st Century.”
    Amen to that. I love science. When I was a child, I envied scientists and, as I got older, I wanted to be a physicist. Alas, my skills in mathematics aren’t strong, so it wasn’t to be. Still, it didn’t stop me writing a TV script and a science book for children. I have argued with religious believers for years on atheist forums about how strong and upright science is against their mere beliefs. Much of that seems hollow now. I see ‘research’ that is little more than a thought in someone’s head, a paper that can be debunked immediately after being peer-reviewed, and so-called scientists writing their conclusions that detail ocean-based temperature recordings that used a bucket! How sad that it’s come to this. The whole ‘world’ of science is being brought down to a gutter level by climate science. And if you listen carefully, you can hear the complete sound of silence from other scientists around the globe. Shame on them. They should be shouting that we don’t actually know ocean temperature to the third decimal place, that we don’t know what the global temperature will be in 50 years, or even 5, that we don’t know why CO2 isn’t producing the anomaly predicted. Where are these scientists? Despite their grants, where is their voice? I’m deeply saddened that the one thing I look to in the world that should be pure, is riddled with a ‘religious’ belief…and the meek are letting the protagonists get away with it. We live in a world where fundamental religious belief is bringing truly terrible suffering that breaks my heart. Science should be shining like a beacon. Instead, it echoes the foundations of the one thing that it should be the antithesis of. It ‘believes’ despite the evidence. Shame, and shame on you, scientists.

    • I’ve spoken up repeatedly, BJC, and published critical papers. So have others. We just get no public notice.

    • Exactly me, you have put in writing my life experience, I am so tempted to cut-and-paste your missive and add it to my memoir!! Bernard Shaw said once “Beware of the man whose God is in The sky”, I’m convinced that he referred to all “belief” and “hope” way of living..Great!

      • I was on DebunkCreation, and others. I know it hurts some for me to say it, but I now look on religious belief as mental illness, so I stopped arguing with them. I pity them (and yes, I know that winds them up too, but that isn’t intended).

        • Hah! I was as well, 2001 to 2005, with thousands of comments and many debates indeed. I have 39,000 entries from the list in my records at the moment.
          My CEO tagline below might look a bit familiar. I had a great many debates with Lenny as well as the hard-core and deceitful YECs that wandered in., but made good friends in the list, some of which I am fortunate to still maintain.
          Many of the DC folks, however, are True Believers in catastrophism; the same is true of CSICOP and Skeptical Inquirer. Global Warming is the one subject that they must never be skeptical about.
          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

      • I used to take a break from doing income taxes and release the irritation on creationists who learned everything they knew about evolution from their pastor. Of course, there are a great many biologists who are very nearly as bad.

    • It is a human tendency to think some era in the past was better, more honest, trustworthy, educated, than today. Reality tells me otherwise. Past research in every field had its ups and downs in skullduggery was a common thread. It is up to the buyer to beware. We must encourage individual initiative to become educated on what makes good research and what is crap. To depend on someone else to tell us whether or not there is need for vigilance speaks of a people grown weak from dependence.

    • They should be shouting that we don’t actually know ocean temperature to the third decimal place

      Yes, yes, yes. I actually had a warmist argue that he could measure his body temperature to the third decimal place. I told him that he was wrong. I told him that he was merely measuring the tiny area in contact with his thermometer to the third decimal place. I then asked him if he understood the difficulty of measuring the ocean’s average temperature at all. He merely pointed me to the papers that made the BS claims.

  4. Funny. As I’ve recently said elsewhere, if you don’t want your work scrutinized, don’t publish.

  5. Where were all the good Germans as the Nazis unleashed the holocaust was a frequently asked question after World War II. I keep wondering the same thing now: where are all the good historians, the agricultural economists, the fisheries experts and other academic disciplines that have long known that our climate changes frequently and that many a historical development was tied to these climatic changes. Indeed, when one looks at many mass migrations, a change in climate — generally from warm to cold — was the primary cause. Why are they not speaking out when climate shamans claim a particular climate/weather event is unprecedented?

      • There are two meanings to “behind a muzzle” — one refers to the muzzle of a gun aiming at us, and the other to the muzzle of an animal to control it. Both seem appropriate, and divided the German people.
        Now we have a carrot and stick being used on climate scientists, and effective loyalty oaths demanded of them. That term is hated by the left from the 1950s, but in fact I have more sympathy for a government requiring a pledge of loyalty by employees of that government than I do of scientists forced to pledge support of a quasi-religious belief.
        Perhaps some day, the Fergus Greens of the world will stop being rewarded for not-even-clever voicing of the proper catchphrases, and will once again start doing science. But we have a long, scary time ahead of us until we reach that point, and that time holds real threats to individual liberty and national sovereignty.
        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

    • Well Mohatdebos the good Germans were too frightened to speak out in case of a bullet to the head. Nonetheless there were more than 40 attempts to assassinate AH. Not much different now instead your dismissed from your University and/or ostracised in your organisation and labelled a ‘denier’.

    • Mohatdebos You ask where the good climate scientists are. Well at least on group left to become engineers where I used to work as they could not get grants because the were not on the same hymn sheet as the university grants committee. Another was a senior manager in a rail company for the same reason.
      Even if they spoke out they are told you are not climate scientists. It is hard when it is heads you lose and tails you don’t win.

  6. ” I don’t want to give you my data you will only try and find something wrong with it….. “

    • Yes !! I believe that was Jones or Trenberth. Out with the Scientific Method. Einstein was a fool – here is all my work, prove me wrong. It is so much easier with the ‘new science’ – just take my word for it.

      • It was Jones, who was likely the one who threw away all of the original raw historical climate data after “adjusting” it.

      • Hey kokoda! “It is so much easier with the ‘new science’ – just take my word for it.”
        I think it is important to keep that fact in mind. Whenever I speak with a CAGW supporter and they tell me something like “last year was the hottest year ever!” I respond, “well, there are some spokesmen who ASSERT that last year was the hottest ever. The raw data does not show that to be true. It is only after they have changed the data that they can say last year was the hottest. Since they will not divulge how and why the data was changed, the most we can say is that they ASSERT that last year was the hottest.”

    • yep and then some (from Bishop Hill) –
      the Environment and ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science

  7. The real trick is to torch the paper before the ink is even on the paper. That’s how to stay ahead of the game ;o)

  8. The internet can be a very bad thing, and it can be a very good thing. One of the very best things about the internet is that it lets one bypass the medical/pharmaceutical establishment to seek out truth about one’s own health bypassing the dogma, corruption and governmental interference of the medical cartel. And, in matters of other science we see the net allow for open review of the consensus dogma. The net is allowing for review that the “scientists” claim happens in pal peer review.
    I wonder it the government will soon be looking to “protect” us from the openness of the net.

    • While I agree with your sentament, I think that most of the anit-pharmaceutical information on the net is writen by those who are trying to profit from your desperation. I have rarly seen any real evidance from them, just anacdotal observations.

      • Yeah, Jeff, well then refer below for just ONE example of a fix for simple and cheap muscle and other tissue regeneration that has been known for at least 10 years. This was done on the lam by the army outside FDA/NIH approval. Think that it will ever see common use since pharma can’t make big bucks from it?? I’m sure those corporate owned gov. orgs are only looking at hi-dollar methods. Another is a Linus Pauling submitted study to the NIH that required injectable Vitamin C for treatment of certain kinds of cancers; injectable because the body eliminates oral C too quickly to adequately raise blood serum levels. NIH did do the testing, but ONLY after rigging with oral C and only after highly toxic chemo regimens. After all, can’t have expensive chemo being replaced by a cheap “C” treatment. Then there is the case of Texas practitioner Burzynski who won a trial brought by the FDA after parading many patients by the court who were cured of highly lethal brain cancers (most first treated by other also highly toxic medical treatments). One more interesting is Phenyl Butyl Nitrone, an inexpensive free radical scavenger which in animal studies showed promise for post heart attack, stroke treatment and brain tissue restoration/protection but NO human studies. Where there are these examples there must be many, many more that are undisclosed/covered up, so it’s no wonder that some go looking elsewhere maybe to find……….

      • @ Jeff in Calgary July 13, 2015 at 2:15 pm
        “While I agree with your sentament, I think that most of the anit-pharmaceutical information on the net is writen by those who are trying to profit from your desperation. I have rarly seen any real evidance from them, just anacdotal observations.”
        As I pointed out, there is good and bad on the net There are scoundrels trying to profit off of people by offing up quack advice and selling useless products. These people are so very obvious to educated people who use logic and can read the data.
        I normally read doctors and researchers who have nothing to sell to you other than a book perhaps. I also attend to the adage that if it is too good to be true then it probably ain’t true. Don’t grasp at straws — after all, we all die and there is nothing going to make you immortal.

      • Jeff, you don’t have to look too far or hard to find that there are many relevant alternative medical remedies based on “real evidence” not “just anacdotal observations.”
        Along the lines of what “BFL” has stated about Linus Pauling, more recently you can find an orthodox medical doctor who’s been discrediting Pauling and dietary supplements with disinformation and lies –
        If you look closely, you’ll find that politics by the allopathy is almost always behind the truly unscientific dumb attacks against Pauling. It’s indicative of how little real science or “real evidence” is behind the various claims of traditional medicine…

    • Mark,
      I have a great deal of information on such matters, from a father who worked in the pharmaceutical industry and at a teaching hospital, where I did an internship with the Chairman of the Neuroanatomy department, to being friends with some leading researchers, plus a lifelong fascination with such things.
      So you can always just ask me, I will give it to you straight.

      • Menicholas,
        That is a generous offer and I thank you.
        It is amazing what a normal person who understands logic and how science is supposed to work can find out on his own. I’ll give an example.
        I find the the Natural Hygienists of the 1900s were wrong on several issues, they were right that anything you swallow that is not food is a poison. Or, to put it another way, all medicine is poison. Sometimes the poison in the correct dose has benefits that outweigh the harm, but there are always side effects.
        Seven years ago or so I went to a clinic with a hurt foot from a household accident. It was not serious but the wife demanded I get a tetanus shot. Then the clinic doctor wanted to send me to the hospital for high blood pressure. The reading was around 195/100. I promised the clinic doctor to see my regular doctor (who I see once a year normally)
        So I go to the doc and get put on 4 medications. (counting the daily aspirin) The doc said those meds would be a lifelong deal. I said they would not be. I then started research and started working on my diet. In 9 months the doc had taken me off all meds as my BP was reading dangerously low. I used weight loss, diet, exercise, and meditation to bring my BP under control.
        The reason for the story is that while all this was going on, I discovered that taking a statin drug was exceedingly bad for one even if BP numbers did come done some. The patient’s life is not extended any, and the side effects are torturous. There are plenty of practicing doctors who know this, but they don’t get much press. If fact, the cause of heart disease and heart attacks is much more controversial that we patients are ever led to believe.
        I have learned that almost all disease has its beginning in the state of my body and mind that is caused by my diet, exercise, control of emotion, and attention to satisfying the need for vitamins and nutrients.
        I work in a school. Everyone I work with (and the children also) seems to get sick a couple of times a year at least. I have used only a couple of sick days in the last 5 years and that was to take care of my wife. Why don’t I get the flu? I attend to my immune system. I don’t take any drugs. I don’t eat junk. I eat whole foods and little meat. I watch my weight (a never ending battle in my family)
        Any thoughts you have would be appreciated, but I think I am handling my advanced age (mid 60s) as well as I can. I also think that most medicine is overused in this country. After all, my three great aunts all lived to over 100 years old and worked their farm well into their 90s in an era where they had little access to medical attention.

  9. Quote of the day, from the Comments on the BH post:

    Stone brought forth the Stone Age, bronze brought forth the Bronze Age, fossil fuels brought forth capitalism and carbon dioxide brings forth the dictatorship of the proletariat. Stop trying to make sense of it. You are not intended to make sense of it. You are intended to submit to the party line climate change governance. The endless stream of bilge like this exists to persuade you that it is inevitable.
    Jul 13, 2015 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered Commenter Philip Neal

  10. Loved this part of the post by the Bishop:

    This apparently is what passes for scholarship at the London School of Economics and we can all have a good laugh about it. It wouldn’t be the first time an academic paper has failed to rise above primary school level….

  11. The Bishop Hill post did not debunk the paper. It merely debunked the press lease, correctly, for overstating the claims made in the paper. The paper in question was clear that it was not qualitative study but was aiming at a broader discussion of economic trade-offs verses co-benefits of mitigation.

    • Then it isn’t research and should have never seen the light of day in a research journal. The ease at which (gag) research is now being trotted out maybe speaks to too much money being available to do research.

      • My understanding of the paper, based only on skimming it, is that the author is proposing a hypothesis and arguing for its plausibility. He does not claim to have proven his hypothesis or even to have a solid case for it. Hypothesis development is a part of scientific work. The author was honest about the limited nature of his paper. It was the press release that exaggerated as BH pointed out.

      • Poof and piffle. That kind of thing should go before the granting committee, not trotted out into a journal (I know of what I speak of).
        This is yet more proof that climate grants are being thrown about simply for media exposure, without regard to the veracity of scientific endeavor. It is a perversion of proper high quality scientific journal gate keeping which should be an inch wide and a mile deep. There is no gate keeping regarding climate science reports. The gate is a mile wide and an inch deep.

  12. “the majority of the global emissions reductions needed to decarbonise the global economy can be achieved in ways that are nationally net-beneficial to countries, even leaving aside the ‘climate benefits’.”

    If that were true, there would be no need for the use of government subsidies to persuade energy producers to switch to green energy. They would do it on their own. If producing energy with reduced emissions really were net-beneficial, even after leaving aside all climate benefits, it would also be more profitable. That’s because it would either cost less, or people would be willing to pay more for its benefits. So why aren’t energy companies jumping at the chance to make a profit by giving people what they want? Could it be that “net-beneficial” doesn’t really mean what Fergus Green thinks it means?

    • No, at least not necessarily. I think the claim of the paper is that while a nation as a whole would see a net benefit, politically powerful sectors within a country may block changes. I am not claiming the author is correct, and indeed he acknowledges most current research does not align with his claim. But, he thinks the idea is worth exploring. Note: I have only skimmed the paper.

      • “… he thinks the idea is worth exploring …”.
        There is nothing preventing the author (or anyone else) from putting his hypothesis into practice, “decarbonising” his own personal economy on his own time at his own cost but I suspect like most ecofreaks, borrowing from Dickens, his is merely a fingerpost, forever pointing the way to go but never going there.

    • The guy you quoted is probably thinking of (exaggerated) health benefits from stopping the burning and mining of coal.

  13. Pamela writes “The ease at which (gag) research is now being trotted out maybe speaks to too much money being available to do research.”
    This is insightful. If there was less money, then researchers would be less in it for the career and more in it for their own personal interest. People with a genuine personal interest are more likely (IMO) to get it right and not be sensationalist or tow a party line.

  14. “Countries will benefit economically from almost all of the actions needed to limit global warming to no more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, according to a paper published today (PDF) (13 July 2015) by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at London School of Economics and Political Science.
    The paper suggests that individual countries have large incentives to make ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and to agree to strong collective action at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris in December.”
    It’s a scientific paradigm shift in which practitioners of science change the questions asked, the tools and instruments to be used, and the proper interpretation of the data. Through shared language and rewriting of the past, the paradigm shifts and the duck becomes a rabbit.
    See, the low carbon economy is a net benefit economically to states.
    It’s how Progressive Scientists roll.

  15. Felix July 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm
    No, at least not necessarily. I think the claim of the paper is that while a nation as a whole would see a net benefit

    No. The central claim of the paper is that the burden of proof should lie with anyone who disagrees. Yes, that is what is says. In clear terms, this guy is claiming that higher cost energy sources will somehow magically have a net positive effect on the economy, and that he is right until proven wrong. Screw the press release, here’s the quote from the paper itself, bold mine:
    “decarbonising the global economy within the present century can be done through actions that are nationally net-beneficial for states. It follows, I claim, that the burden of proving otherwise should lie with those disputing that claim, in effect reversing the traditional default assumption that mitigation is nationally net-costly.
    This is another version of reversing the null hypothesis, the very foundation of science. Don’t blame the press release here, the paper itself is worse.

  16. The LSE paper has all the hallmarks and language of a crackpot paper. I’d go as far that it may be a spoof (“Fergus Green”? come off it!). If not then I predict a great future for Mr Green as a post-modernist imposter.

  17. I’m sure that the pensioners and elderly suffering from exposure due to rising heating costs feel OK when they’re told that it’s ‘nationally net-beneficial.’

  18. Even the name is a politically useful misdirection. The London School of Economics and Political Science.
    Even the ludicrous suggestion that there is any science in politics gives lie to the schools ethos. The London School of Economics AND Political Science is where our young wealthy liberal elites learn to tell effective lies to the public and leap on the first rung of ladder of filth that is british politics.

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