Global Warming: Science or Political Science?

By John Droz, jr

In paleoclimatologist Dr. Curt Stager’s recent Adirondack Almanac piece about me it’s startling that he so openly disavowed traditional Science. By comparison, consider his insightful quote back in 2011:

“… my preference is for refraining from aggressive activist stances. I do so because I value Science itself more than any individual topic that it addresses.

“I consider Science to be one of the most valuable inventions of human civilization, and I recognize how precious and vulnerable to corruption it is as one who believes in objective reality, the fallibility of human perception, and the need for objective methods of seeking truth.

“I also recognize that public trust in Science itself depends heavily upon trust in the objectivity of those who pursue it.  We must walk a fine line between defending truth and trying to force it on other people, and I personally choose to take a cautious approach in walking that line.”

I agree with every word of his well-phrased, important statement. However, the above-referenced article indicates that Curt has apparently abandoned his earlier commitment to traditional Science, and has evolved into a card-carrying political science activist. Since this transformation is becoming distressingly more common among scientists, let’s look into some ways he now deviates from real Science.

This is a key sentence in his article: “The consensus position that global average warming during the last half-century is real and mostly caused by humans, shared by the vast majority (97%±) of truly qualified climate scientists, is the result of huge amounts of peer-reviewed research from many independent branches of the sciences that have been conducted worldwide over many years.”

————————

Let’s start with this definition: “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (AGW) is the belief that unusual global warming is caused almost exclusively by man-made influences.

#1 — When two scientists disagree, each one politely presents the best empirical evidence that they believe supports their case. Disparaging the other’s motivations, past associations, etc. (e.g. “Droz has been associated with ultra-conservative, pro-fossil-fuel organizations such as ATI”), and calling them names (“denier”) are political tactics, outside the realm of science.

#2 — Curt inaccurately asserts that the only people competent enough to assess the validity of the AGW matter, are “truly qualified climate scientists.” Whether the AGW hypothesis is true or not rests on the scientific validity of its proponents’ claims. Any competent Scientist can see whether other scientists (in their field or otherwise), have failed to follow scientific protocol.

#3 — Curt mischaracterizes a Scientific hypothesis by disparagingly calling it “mere guesswork.” Here’s a reasonable definition:

“The formulation and testing of a hypothesis is part of the scientific method — the approach scientists use when attempting to understand and test ideas about natural phenomena. The generation of a hypothesis is a creative process, based on existing scientific knowledge, intuition, or experience. The two primary features of a scientific hypothesis are falsifiability and testability.”

OK, now we understand that, here is the really important part: what does it take for a scientific hypothesis to become a scientific theory, the next step up the ladder?

“Theories, are broad explanations for a wide range of phenomena. They are concise, coherent, systematic, predictive, and broadly applicable.“ One scientific theory (cited as an example by this source, UC Berkeley), “has proven itself in thousands of experiments and observational studies.”

However, in this case, the Global Warming promoters have simply decreed that their AGW hypothesis has been elevated to the level of a scientific theory — but without adhering to the necessary scientific protocol. Such proclamations are the tactics of political scientists.

#4 — Curt is well aware of all this, but is averse to admitting that the AGW matter is a hypothesis: because he (and other AGW proponents) do not want to adhere to traditional scientific methodology. Typical excuses they give are: a) it’s too time-consuming, b) AGW is too complicated to be analyzed by traditional Science, c) AGW is not falsifiable, and d) traditional science methodology casts significant doubt on the AGW hypothesis. In other words Curt is effectively saying “let’s skip over this burdensome Science stuff, and cut to the chase.” That’s a political science person’s perspective: let’s get on to changing policies!

#5 — It’s unfortunate that Curt did not publicly acknowledge that we have HUGE gaps of knowledge in our understanding of climate. How accurate can computer models be when there are substantial unknowns involved? Traditional Scientists are very clear about exactly what we know and don’t know. Political scientists glaze over the unknowns.

#6 — Curt makes multiple references to “peer-review” but fails to inform readers that there are 2000± peer-reviewed papers that contest his AGW position (e.g. see here). A scientist objectively presents both sides of any dispute. (Note Curt’s quote about that at the beginning!) On the other hand, political scientists just promote their own agenda, pretending that there is no other reasonable conclusion than theirs.

#7 — Curt’s reference to “consensus” is similarly problematic. If he has irrefutable science to support his AGW hypothesis, why would he talk about such unscientific matters as consensus? The Scientific Method says nothing about consensus.

What is also indisputable is that there have been numerous cases in the past where the consensus of what scientists believed, was subsequently proven to be wrong. Genuine scientists are well aware of that reality, so they would never try to justify a hypothesis by referencing other scientists’ beliefs. On the other hand political science is all about getting a consensus.

#8 — Despite his lengthy commentary, Curt didn’t actually address renewable energy — the topic of my article that he disliked. When politicians are asked questions that might embarrass them, they smoothly change the topic. That’s another stark difference between real science and political science.

—————————

Those with Science on their side (on any topic) will put forth a position: 1) that follows traditional science conventions, 2) that honestly acknowledges how much we don’t know about the subject, 3) with no ad hominems, 4) without references to unscientific matters like consensus, and 5) without making false implications about the veracity of peer-review. Those taking a political science perspective will do the opposite.

It’s quite clear from all this that the AGW issue is not really about CO2. Instead AGW is just a convenient vehicle for those who want to radically alter our American way of life — to literally convert us to an agrarian, Marxist society. Just closely examine the elements (and consequences) of the Green New Deal, which is just a trial balloon for the real agenda here.

The bottom line is that AGW activists want us: a) to accept a hypothesis that has not followed traditional Science protocols, and b) to fork over $100± Trillion to implement “solutions” (like industrial wind energy) that are scientifically unproven. What could go wrong?

(Note: see here for a more detailed response to Dr. Stager’s polemic.)

John Droz, jr. physicist 3-25–19

PS — My original article (that sparked this exchange) was strenuously objecting to the Adirondack Park Agency’s (APA) proposed new Renewable Energy Policy  I was opposed to the APA setting the stage for industrial wind energy to be in one of the premier parks on the planet. My objections precipitated Curt Stager going off on a tangent about AGW (see above)… The good news is that I just heard from the head person at the APA, and she said (based on inputs received from me and others) that the APA has decided NOT to enact their policy endorsing renewable energy. Kudos to them: that’s a wonderful, positive development!

Advertisements

108 thoughts on “Global Warming: Science or Political Science?

  1. Climate change happens in computational parallel universe where politics rule over laws of physics.

  2. I got to this: “. . . shared by the vast majority (97%±) of . . .
    and wanted to stop.
    He’s joined the Klimate Kult, so I have no more regard for him than for Harold Camping.

    • If he is using the results from the AGU 2009 survey, that 97% is 75 out 79 respondents. 75 “climate scientists”!

      • Patrick MJD

        And as it is estimated by, amongst others, The Lancet that somewhere between 50% and 75% of all scientific papers are not replicable, you can cut that 75 down to 37.5 at best as I understand the original study on ‘consensus’ was done by searching abstracts for key words.

        • In Climate Science a huge percentage of the papers are simply tests of some assumption to the models. Even if you replicated them they are simply a correlation to a model(s) and then you still need to evaluate what the model is actually doing.

          It is the problem I put to Mosher which he won’t accept, give me a predictions of the Berkley model. They realize if they don’t place a prediction you can keep tinkering with the models ad infinitum and you never face invalidation and the number of models grows and grows.

          Compare that to hard sciences where a model that fails to meet reality or predictions is axed.
          So for example Geosyncline, MOND, Luminiferous Aether, Einstein’s Static Universe etc are examples of rejected models.

          Ask a Climate Science how many models have been rejected 🙂

        • I have seen at least a dozen explanation for how the 97% consensus was determined. In none of them have I seen a list of names or at the very least a set of credentials that qualifies an individual for voter status.

          Even a short list of names would allow for follow up as to the nature of questions posed before casting a yea or nay vote on man’s sole contribution to irreversible catastrophic Global Warm…aaahhhhh we really meant climate change all along.

          More importantly I have yet to see a list of the 3% who dissent and an explanation for why they voted nay but consider that to be of great importance to the science behind the hypothesis the majority seem to have declared settled.

          • My understanding is the 97% consensus includes everyone who accepts the measurements that 1) carbon dioxide abundance in the atmosphere is increasing; 2) it’s infrared absorption bands will therefore increase the opacity of the atmosphere, and thus 3) cause some additional global warming from pre-industrial amounts. The 97% thus includes everyone from the most worried alarmists to the many luke-warmists such as myself who expect only a small amount of additional warming which is likely to be net beneficial. The 3% outside this consensus maintain that carbon dioxide has no effect on earth’s average surface temperature.

    • Anyone citing the “97 percent” meme as evidence of anything is just demonstrating their ignorance.

      The “97 percent” meme is a fraud. A good scientist ought to be able to figure that out. A bad scientist accepts the meme at face value because it reinforces his belief.

    • But in Camping’s favor, he never forced taxpayers to fund insane ravings and theories…

  3. “In the study of past climates (“paleoclimatology”), climate proxies are preserved physical characteristics of the past that stand in for direct meteorological measurements and enable scientists to reconstruct the climatic conditions over a longer fraction of the Earth’s history. Reliable global records of climate only began in the 1880s, and proxies provide the only means for scientists to determine climatic patterns before record-keeping began.”

    If AGW adherents cannot or will not address climate reconstructions that indicate that we are living in the coldest period of the past 10,000 years – the Holocene – and convince me that current modest warming following the Little Ice Age is quite different and special, I find it impossible to listen to their human-caused climate change “theory.” It’s hard to believe an acceptance by 97% of climate scientists that doesn’t look at over 97% of the climate of the past 10,000 years.

  4. “Let’s start with this definition: “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (AGW) is the belief that unusual global warming is caused almost exclusively by man-made influences.”
    No, it isn’t. It is the knowledge that adding large amounts of CO2 to the air will cause warming. It doesn’t say that that will destroy variation due to other causes.

    We have added a whole lot of CO2 to the air, and it has warmed as predicted.

    • Define “large amounts” please Nic.

      Then compare that tiny anthropogenic flux to the seasonal and annual fluxes from natural sinks and sources.

      I’ll wait.

        • 50% of an estimated 280ppm/v concentration, or 0.028% is? Which corresponds to a temperature how?

          • The effect is logarithmic. ln(1.5) = .405
            ln(2.0)= .683

            We’re .405/.693 = .584 of the way to a doubling, and the Earth has warmed about 0.8C. If ALL of the warming is assumed due to CO2, a DOUBLING of CO2 should increase temperatures by .8/.584= 1.37 C, lower that the 1.5 C LOWER limit of IPCC figures, and less than half the 3 C MEDIAN IPCC figure

          • Alan, correct calculation, but for TCR not ECS. And the Lewis and Curry energy budget method provides a TCR of about 1.35. Based on what is known (some stuff isn’t), TCR is ~0.7-0.8 of ECS. The rest is the several centuries long additional ECS tail of ocean thermal equilibrium.

    • Nick, it didn’t warm as predicted for nearly 20 years… do you remember “the pause”. It took a strong El Niño to end that and some creative “homogenization” of data by concerned “scientists” to try and eliminate it.

      • “Nick, it didn’t warm as predicted for nearly 20 years”

        20 years cannot be predicted, as natural variation cannot be predicted.
        GCMs are an ensemble of runs, which will average out NV.
        ENSO is not yet predictable.
        30 years and longer can be projected (we do not know the future course of CO2 emissions).
        This is not a secret – the IPCC clear states that……

        https://www.ipcc-data.org/ddc/ddc_faq.html

        “The underlying climate change predicted by each of these model experiments is very similar, showing that the initial condition is not important to the long-term change. However, there are significant year-to-year and decade-to-decade differences in the resulting climate. These differences are due to natural climate variability and are particularly large at regional scales and for some variables such as precipitation. For this reason, results from the different members of an ensemble may be averaged together to provide a more robust estimate of the climate change.”

        If you accept that an El Nino raises GMTs, (it does) and also a +ve PDO (it does).
        Then a period of a prolonged -ve will do the opposite.
        Well it used to anyway.
        Now it just slows down warming.

        • Well, it didn´t warm as p r o j e c t e d for nearly 20 years. That means projections went skyhigh during that pause. Is the next ten years going to validate something which is missing?
          You can p r o j e c t anything you like, but you can´t p r o o f anything with your computer game.

          We have ocean cycles which are quite well understood. When PDO and AMO goes cool, this planet cools. It just doesn´t slow warming, which isn´t.

        • The climate alarmists assured us that CO2 was so powerful that natural cycles would be completely swamped and no longer mattered.

        • “GCMs are an ensemble of runs, which will average out NV.”

          So run a wrong GCM 100 times and the average is right? Riiiight.

    • I’ll believe it when you can accurately separate natural variation and the so-called AGW components from the 1C warming since 1880.

    • it has warmed as predicted.
      ≠==========
      Nope. What was predicted was accelerated warming and a hot spot. Both these predictions failed and falsified AGW.

      • Spot on with the hot spot and the hiatus.
        The third strike was that ice cores showed that warming went up before atmospheric CO2 levels rose… AGW hypothesis falsified…. again.

    • “… and it has warmed as predicted.”

      Furthermore Nic, please explain the similar warming 1910-1940 when CO2 rise was quite minimal.

      – And then explain why the AOGCM’s that are the foundation of the alarmist rhetoric consistently run hot to observation.
      – And then expalin why the Climategaters needed to erase the “blip” (why the blip).
      – And then explain why Mann needed to erase the MWP and LIA with a hockey stick.

      The 1975-2005 rise in global temp was simply James Hansen’s epiphany in the early 80’s. He seized an opportunity in the mid-80’s to blame CO2 for what he knew from the past data was a coming cyclical warming that would likely last 30-35 years. Correlation does not provide causation. And we’re about to re-discover that reality.

      • No, they are saying that there was an estimated zero net effect in that period. That doesn’t destroy variation. It just happened to add to zero in that time.

        • Well, Wohou. It just happened? That is the best proof ever.
          What didn´t happen 1910-1940? What was that warming? Does the “climatescience” have any answer to that?
          I think cherrypicking is in fashion nowadays.

    • Unfortunately for that logic Nick, I offer a counter hypothesis. With the spread of cities and urban areas the food sources for crows are greatly enlarged. they are also a protected species in a number of nations and their numbers have been growing at a huge rate.

      Crows of course are black and black things absorb sunlight and heat which is or course radiated to the surrounding air. So it follows that the more crows there are the warmer the atmosphere will get. So the hypothesis is that with more crows will come more warming.

      We have added a whole lot of crows to the air, and it has warmed as predicted.

      Isn’t science fun?

      • JohnB
        That should be “added a whole lot of …” 🙂 I love it when Stokes uses scientific language.

    • No, it isn´t. Data manipulation is not warming. Knowledge is just a product of twisted mind. When and if you can proof it you can try to explain a catastrophe which isn´t. CO2 is a great benefit to mankind, and that is maybe too big to understand, but that fact is the thing we all can see. We don´t feel warm, we see green, everywhere.

    • Why did global temperatures actually decline between 1940 and 1980, at a time CO2 levels were increasing strongly?

      • love it. and the warming is mostly the result of data tampering … so the predictions have fallen flat on their faces.

      • David,
        “It’s warmed a whole lot less than predicted.”
        Actually, no. If you take the pink curve as “prediction”, then Hadcrut ends up at about 2.3°C, and the pink at 2.8.

        But when people trot out this Christy plot, there is always vagueness about what is supposed to match what. Chrisy’s data is for balloons and satellites, presumably in mid-troposphere. Also on the plot is Hadcrut surface, and UAH, presumably lower troposphere. So what are we supposed to conclude from that?

        The real curiosity is where the claimed prediction (pink) is located. I’ve never seen anyone bothering to state that. I presume it is of the mid-troposphere, extracted somehow from the CMIP 5 results. How about comparing with where we actually live?

        • HadCRUT4 tracks the bottom of the 5-95% band irrespective of when the comparison is initiated. Even in Ed Hawkins’ version, which uses 2005 as a starting point, HadCRUT4.6 only touches the model mean during the monster El Nino. Furthermore, the bottom of Ed Hawkins’ probability distribution is dominated by RCP2.6.

          This is a colossal, epic failure.

    • Not knowledge, Nick. Belief. If you look at the evidence, you will see that the belief isn’t backed up by fact. Despite CO2 rising every year for the last 20 years, the Earth’s temperature has been stable.

    • “It is the knowledge that adding large amounts of CO2 to the air will cause warming.”

      How much warming will it cause?

    • “it has warmed as predicted”

      Only if you do a brain dead straight line analysis of 150 years ago till today.
      In reality temperatures have gone up, down and sideways over that 150 years while CO2 has been going steadily upward.

      Secondly, so what if the temperature goes up by a few tenths of a degree because of CO2.
      Warming is good, and so is CO2.

    • Following the 2004 IPCC AR4 value of 2.91% for the total Anthropogenic CO2 added to the atmosphere, other values have ranged between 4% – 5%. That means over 95% of all CO2 emitted into the atmosphere is natural. Our contribution is trivial. We do not contribute to AGW.

    • No Nick, it has not warmed “as predicted.” (As an aside, I thought those were “projections”) It has warmed quite a bit less than “predicted”. But it’s difficult to say how far off the “predictions” have been since there were many and they were all over the map. The same is true about sea level rise. But even putting all that aside – warming is good, cooling is bad. It’s been a lot warmer during this interglacial than it is now, and not only did those temperatures not bring and end to the world, but they ushered in the rise of human civilization. A little warmth is nothing to fear; the eventual return of the ice sheets is.

    • Stokes
      But, if the prediction is based on a spurious correlation, then it means nothing. It is just a a pseudonym for Sherlock Holm’s smarter brother — Shear Luck.

    • Nick Stokes:

      “We have added a whole lot of CO2 to the air, and it has warmed as predicted”.

      Yes, it has warmed , but not because of CO2. This is just a hypothesis which cannot be falsified.

      On the other hand, warming due to decreasing levels of SO2 aerosols in the atmosphere is a falsifiable explanation of climate change, and has been validated by every large volcanic eruption (cooling when their SO2 aerosols are injected into the atmosphere, then renewed warming as they settle out).

      The amount of warming expected from the on-going reduction in anthropogenic SO2 aerosol emissions due to global Clean Air efforts so closely matches the warming that has occurred that there is simply no room for any additional warming due to greenhouse gasses.

      Man-made global warming does exist, but it is, unfortunately, being caused by global Clean Air efforts.

      • “We have added a whole lot of CO2 to the air, and it has warmed as predicted”.

        It was already warming before CO2 appreciably increased.

    • “We have added a whole lot of CO2 to the air, and it has warmed as predicted.”

      Over any period of time the world could either get warmer or it could get cooler. There’s a 50% chance of either one by dumb luck alone. So seriously, if the coincidence of atmospheric CO2 rising from ‘next-to-nothing’ to ‘almost-nothing’ and a slight rise in average global temperature since the Little Ice Age is your best evidence then you deserve to be laughed out of town.

  5. Here’s a quote from Dr. Stager in May, 2011 during a DeSmog interview:
    copy/
    My “road to Damascus moment” came about a decade ago when several peer-reviewed papers summarized recent trends in the three main drivers of global climate change – solar variability, aerosols, and greenhouse gases – and showed that the first two factors didn’t change much during the last few decades of warming, leaving human-generated greenhouse gases as the only remaining suspect. Largely as a result of that work, in addition to my own investigations of temperature and lake ice records from my home region of upstate New York and Vermont, I now consider the case closed; we’re clearly the ones warming the planet now and, thanks to our carbon emissions, we’re likely to continue doing so for a very long time.

    So, about 2000 he became a confirmed anthropogenic catastrophic global warmist and remains one 18 years later. Hmmm…solar variability, aerosols, and greenhouse gases main drivers, and “greenhouse gases as the only remaining suspect”. Really? No wavering considering the pause? Maybe should have a 2019 interview with the Heartland Institute?

    • Solar variability, aerosols variability, and GHG changes – the models can handle those. But Non-linear dynamics and internal cycles clearly eludes this guy. And the Climate Models can’t simulate those, so climatists must ignore them.

      At least by calling it his “Road to Damascus moment” he is acknowledging he is embracing a New Religion and becoming a climate apostle. (See Acts 9: 1-19)

      • Joel,
        Is there any evidence to back up the statement that climate models can’t simulate non-linear dynamics and internal cycles? The equations underlying climate models are nonlinear and so
        almost by definition can simulate nonlinear dynamics. Similarly internal cycles like El-Nino
        effects occur in climate models and computer models of nonlinear equations result in limit cycles and periodic solutions all the time. There is no evidence or reason to suggest that climate models can’t simulate internal cycles.

        • The evidence is the inability of the models to calculate the 1910 to 1940 temperatures over land. That is proof positive of the models not capturing natural variability.

        • Oh really?
          If climate models can simulate internal cycles, why they are not showing them? They are going skyhigh, and the reality isn´t.
          There i s evidence a n d reason to s e e that climate models can n o t simulate anything useful.
          We know AMO and it´s cycles. We know it´s time to turn to cold phase. It´s happening right now, but models do not show it. Is it a top class secret or is the ice age coming? Again.

        • The models can simulate internal variability, they can’t predict it. They aren’t designed to predict anything. They are designed to simulate how climatic conditions might change under varying conditions.

          On the one hand, they are very powerful and impressive heuristic tools. On the other hand, they aren’t particularly useful predictive tools… nor should they be treated as such.

          The constant drumbeat from Mann, Santer, Trenberth, etc. that the models have accurately predicted or confirmed AGW has done nothing but turn valuable scientific tools into bad jokes.

          • That’s why they call them “process” models and when pressed, admit that they can’t make predictions, only “projections”.

      • Also, air masses move around. The “global average temp” is utterly meaningless. The temperature in one place has no bearing on the temperature in another place in any meaningful way. Some places have cooled over the last 200 years, some have warmed, others have remained relatively static. Averaging them all together is unscientific.

    • Stager’s problem, which is the same as all other alarmist climate scientists, is that they don’t consider the possibility that the Earth’s climate system changes on its own, over century-long time scales, without any change in the limited factors they call natural forcings. That the Earth’s climate system is doomed to never be in equilibrium, averaged over any time scale at all, and that the extraordinarily complex fluid mechanics of the air, and the water, and volcanic activity on the ocean floor, and the even slower motion of the continents produce very slow, unpredictable changes in the physical climate system that result in long term, natural trends in temperature, precipitation, and every other statistic they call weather or climate, and that these trends would occur even with no change in the solar cycle, or volcanic activity, or pollution, or carbon dioxide. That the changes in our climate history, large and small, are primarily a result of changes in the internal workings of the planet, and are only marginally affected by their precious “global energy budget.”

      They can’t consider this possibility, because to do so would mean that they could never attribute any amount of warming or cooling to any particular cause, and that would mean that their papers and their opinions wouldn’t be nearly as important as they want them to be.

    • Dr. Stager has obviously been fooled by the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick charts which distort the temperature record and make things look like the Earth is experiencing unprecedented warming today.

      But if Dr. Stager looked at the real surface temperature profile, he would see that it was just as warm in the 1930’s as it is today. CO2 was not considered a factor in the warming of the 1930’s yet the warming in the 1930’s was of the same magnitude as the current warming. If the 1930’s warming was caused mostly by Mother Nature, then there is no reason to assume that it is anything other than Mother Nature that is causing the current, similar warming.

      Here is a comparison of a bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick Chart on the right (the 1930’s have been artificially cooled), compared to the Hansen 1999 US surface temperature chart on the left, which represents the REAL surface temperature profile of the globe.

      http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/

      If Dr. Stager were to look at the Hansen 1999 chart, he would see that his understanding of the temperature record is flawed and that it was as warm or warmer in the 1930’s as it is today. This temperature profile shows up in unmodified surface temperature charts from all around the world and in both hemispheres, i.e., the 1930’s were as warm or warmer than subsequent years.

      The Hansen 1999 chart represents the world, and it certainly represents the temperature profile of the United States, so Dr Stager is wrong in his interpretation.

      Looking at the Hansen 1999 chart you see that it was very cold around 1910, then tempertures warmed up all the way to the 1940’s, and this warming was equal to current-day warming, then the temperatures cooled off from the 1940’s to the late 1970’s, and the magnitude of this cooling was equal to the cooling around 1910. Then, from the 1970’s we see that temperature warmed up to the temperatures we see today, but today’s temperatures did not exceed the warmth of the 1930’s. And we have subsequently been cooling for the last three years.

      The bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick chart on the right is a creation of the Climategate data manipulators. They intentionally erased the warmth of the 1930’s in order to make it appear that temperatures have been climbing steadily for decades in conjunction with the climbing CO2 levles. The Hockey Stick charts are a BIG LIE, Dr. Stager. A good scientist should be able to figure that out.

      Unmodified temperature charts from around the world resemble the profile of the Hansen 1999 chart. NONE of the unmodified charts resembel a Hockey Stick chart. It’s a fabrication of a bunch of CAGW fraudsters.

      Wake up and smell the coffee, Dr. Stager. You’ve been duped into believing something that isn’t true.

    • “the three main drivers of global climate change – solar variability, aerosols, and greenhouse gases”

      So those are the only 3 things that affect climate?
      Really?

      Once again, in order to prove themselves right, the so called scientist discards everything that doesn’t fit into what he wants to be true.

  6. Einstein’s theory of relativity makes many predictions about the universe. And in 100+ years not a single prediction has turned out to be wrong.

    For example, when GPS was first installed there was no correction for time dilation, because quite frankly many people refused to believe that clock would change speed and space would shrink, depending upon motion.

    But, as Einstein predicted, when the relativity correction was turned on, GPS accuracy improved.

    Contrast this to climate science, where in 10 years they will have a different temperature for today, than what we recorded today. And 10 years after that today will have changed again. What everyone else calls cooking the books, climate science calls homogenization.

    Climate science can’t even predict the present let alone the future. That is why the IPCC calls the climate models projections not predictions. Because climate science is not a science. It makes no predictions that can be falsified, which is a fundamental requirement of science.

    • Climate science is really just statistical jiggery-pokery.
      Very expert level jiggery-pokery mind you, but still at core statistical jiggery-pokery.

      • Global warming is very confusing catastrophe. There´s nothing in the nature which indicates it. Nobody can measure it. But it is, and it´s scary.

        Only place where it is clearly visible is climate history. It´s cooling, and that´s very scary. If climate history can catch us some day, we are in big trouble. Every day it´s coming closer, so push the pedal to the metal, and go fast. We have no future, but the past will froze us.

    • “Contrast this to climate science, where in 10 years they will have a different temperature for today, than what we recorded today. And 10 years after that today will have changed again. What everyone else calls cooking the books, climate science calls homogenization.”

      The bottom line is we can’t trust the official temperature records.

      And isn’t that a pitiful state of affairs.

  7. My “road to Damascus moment”
    ≠=========(=
    This is one of the logical fallacies the Greeks identified more than 2000 years ago. It is a mark of faulty science.

    You start with three items that are suspected works of the devil. You test the first two. Nope, they fail. This means that the third item must be the work of the devil.

    Since it isn’t the sun or aerosols, it must be co2. Not Damascus, Perdition.

  8. At this late date a flawed sort of narrowly focused book larnin’ knowledge is evident enough to those carefully disciplined regarding being misled by mankind’s extensive catalog of incidental logical fallacies. But a traditionally professorial (even Solomonic) wisdom also brings a certain steadiness to its considerations that is founded on a broader historic and personal experience of the world, and so is less disposed to either emotional excess or herd behavior. And beyond that, the intrusion of a desired socioeconomic/political influence agenda is the modern fatal adulteration to an honest and truly curious truth-seeking enterprise, be it science or journalism.

  9. Political scientists = an oxymoron. Politics is about winning, science is about finding truth.
    Climate scientists = religion (I’m right because I believe) above science.

  10. Stager holds a post at a Climate Change (not Climate Science) Institute. He should be declaring an interest: who is funding him?

  11. “This is a key sentence in his article: “The consensus position that global average warming during the last half-century is real and mostly caused by humans, shared by the vast majority (97%±) of truly qualified climate scientists, is the result of huge amounts of peer-reviewed research from many independent branches of the sciences that have been conducted worldwide over many years.”

    No that is not the key sentence.

    There is a consensus. We dont know the theory is true because there is a consensus, there is a consensus because it is true

    face it, you got pissed because he said you were not a physicist

    Here is what he really argues

    ” What is this evidence that convinces all but those who don’t understand it or choose to ignore it? Here are some of the key aspects that have convinced me as a skeptical scientist.

    How does it work? Basic physics. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat that rises from land and sea surfaces that have been warmed by the sun, through the “greenhouse effect.” Adding more heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere will of course warm it up, and the more of them we add the warmer it will get. We also know that carbon dioxide concentrations are rising because they are measured in detail at multiple locations. These points alone should lead a reasonable person to expect global warming to result from the burning of so much fossil fuel. But there’s more to consider if that’s not convincing enough.

    How do we know that the carbon dioxide is increasing because of us? Basic physics and chemistry. We know about how much coal, oil, and natural gas we burn and how much carbon that should release, and it fits with the observed rise. Oxygen levels are declining as carbon dioxide increases, a clear sign that this is the result of combustion. And decreasing concentrations of carbon-13 isotopes in the air identify the carbon atoms in the excess carbon dioxide as coming primarily from fossil fuels. Any one of these points, each the result of rigorously peer-reviewed research, makes a strong case in its own right.

    How do we know it’s warming? More physics. Greenhouse warming has made thermometers register higher temperatures at thousands of weather stations all over the planet. Deniers often blame the rise on a “heat-island effect” due to urbanization, as if real experts don’t know enough to take it into account. Most stations show no such effect, as our own rural Adirondack records clearly indicate, and the city-free oceans are also warming.

    These records are far too numerous, well-documented, and widely dispersed to be due to some fanciful conspiracy or supposed incompetence among the scientists who analyze them, and nowadays satellite observations further support those data. Meanwhile the stratosphere has cooled while the lower atmosphere warmed, showing that the excess heat is being trapped from below by greenhouse gases rather than simply coming in from the sun. Again, this is abundant, powerful, peer-reviewed evidence.

    How do we know it isn’t just natural cycles? Paleoclimate data from historical documents, ice cores, tree rings, and sediment deposits all over the planet. We know these cycles well, and none of them explain the warming of the last half century. The sunspot cycles are too fast and orbital cycles are too slow. Climate deniers often point to the so-called “Little Ice Age” and claim that we are simply recovering from that natural cool period, but it ended more than a century ago, well before the warming of the last half-century. Sediment cores from Arctic lakes show that the ice-free conditions they now experience in summer have not happened for thousands of years previously and are therefore not due to cyclic changes.

    Each of these conclusions represents masses of peer-reviewed evidence that was gathered by sincere, skilled professionals, often at significant personal risk. I have faced my share of hazards during my research around the world and several of my colleagues have been injured or killed in the field, so I have little patience with armchair naysayers who disparage such hard-won science.

    But… but… how do we know? If this much evidence doesn’t convince you, then there’s not much more I can tell you.”

    • Steven Mosher: “How does it work? Basic physics. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat ”

      Are those your words? You had a comment the other day where you boldly claimed that: “CO2 does not ‘trap’ heat”. I’ll let you resolve that contradiction.

      In the meantime, in that earlier comment you also described how the ‘Greenhouse gas’ property is all based on physics. You said that we need to envision a ‘column’ of atmosphere to understand how this property behaves. My contention is that you can’t divide up a sphere into ‘columns’, rather a sphere can be divided into inverted cone segments. They increase in surface area with an increase in elevation. You made the point that Earth’s ability to radiate heat to space is at a lower temperature the higher the elevation. But there is more surface area radiating at a higher elevation. Can you show that the rate of lowering temperature outpaces the increase in surface area with an increase in elevation?

      • Mosher doesn’t even know what heat is, or why it is not the appropriate way to measure the radiative effects of increasing CO2. But he “knows” that CO2 is increasing the “global average temperature” and threatening the existence of all life on the planet, just like some “know” that President Trump conspired with the Russian government to win the 2016 election, despite the lack of any real evidence. True believers need no proof. Real scientists demand it.

    • “There is a consensus. We dont know the theory is true because there is a consensus, there is a consensus because it is true

      This is circular reasoning. There is some form of consensus because the theory is believed to be true, not because it is true. Neither consensus nor belief can make a theory true.

      • Correct, 99.99999% of scientist had consensus classical physics was right .. boy did they get a shock in 1921.

        You see the shell game Mosher plays consensus does not mean right but as he isn’t really a scientist it gets lost of him.

        I don’t get caught up in all the junk argument the world is never going to do emission control in the way proposed it will be engineered if it is really needed. All that will be in the distant future likely with technology that has not yet been invented.

    • “How does it work? Basic physics.”

      Let’s be honest – basic radiative physics. Those who think that air temperature is determined solely by radiative physics is in severe denial.

    • “How does it work? Basic physics. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide trap heat that rises from land and sea surfaces that have been warmed by the sun, through the “greenhouse effect.” Adding more heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere will of course warm it up, and the more of them we add the warmer it will get.”

      Did you copy this from NASA or SkS websites?

    • You know it is true. Unfortunately you can’t prove that it is true.
      In fact you have to hide the data that goes against what you want to believe in order to protect your belief that you have proven it to be true.

      • Using Mosher logic the Christians win

        Religion Adherents Percentage
        Christianity 2.4 billion 33%
        Islam 1.8 billion 24.1%
        Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist 1.2 billion 16%
        Hinduism 1.15 billion 15%

    • Mosher

      You said, “We know about how much coal, oil, and natural gas we burn and how much carbon that should release, and it fits with the observed rise.” Well, actually, only about half of what we emit is showing up in the atmosphere. That suggests that we are contributing, but doesn’t prove that we are the primary source. The OCO-2 satellite suggests that the primary sources are out-gassing from the tropical oceans (which are warming) and from biogenic decomposition of an increasing photosynthetic biomass.

      You also said, “Oxygen levels are declining as carbon dioxide increases, a clear sign that this is the result of combustion.” No, it indicates organic and inorganic oxidation, not just combustion!

      You then falsely claim, “And decreasing concentrations of carbon-13 isotopes in the air identify the carbon atoms in the excess carbon dioxide as coming primarily from fossil fuels.” The out-gassing from the oceans should preferentially release the lighter C-12 carbon, thus decreasing the proportion of C-13. Also, activities such as burning in the Amazon Basin will be releasing more C-12 than C-13 because of the tendency of living vegetation to preferentially sequester C-12 over C-13. One might consider the activity to be “anthropogenic” but it isn’t fossil fuels.

      You are citing, as proof, assumptions that haven’t received the scrutiny that they deserve!

    • Mosh,

      If declining atmospheric O2 is due to rising atmospheric CO2 and atmospheric CO2 is supposedly higher than it’s been in at least 800,000 years, as a “skeptical scientist,” you should be able to explain the 1,400 ppm drop in atmospheric O2 over the last 800,000 years.

      Stolper D, Bender M, Dreyfus G, Yan Y, Higgins J. A Pleistocene ice core record of atmospheric O2 concentrations. Science. 2016;353:1427–1430. doi: 10.1126/science.aaf5445.

    • The consensus is seeking for models where GHGs / CO2 drive temperature.

      While

      – in the real world CO2 lags temperature

      And

      – clouds temperate the atmosphere as long as there’s appropriate air humidity + condensation nuclei, e.g. aerosols.
      _____________________________________________________

      The Kotau before the consensus is not needed.

  12. “””We must walk a fine line between defending truth and trying to force it on other people…”””

    John Droz, jr, you don´t have the force. Try call Darth Vader. He is the force you need. And he is real, unlike your wet dream models.

    It´s very clear that you have crossed the fine line between truth and science fiction. You are not defending truth, you are filling your wallet full of lies.

  13. The sad affair is that climate scientists wholly immersed in their subject, who can clearly perceive a spectrum from hypothesis to theory to certainty, — are simply not qualified to discover why their colleagues are acting so strangely. The desperate fixation on the unproven, the shrill hysteria, the mood swings, religious behavior not involving a deity, sense of impending doom without foundation…

    And the most disturbing recent trend — from climate change hysteria, reluctance of humans to breed indiscriminately when ever circumstances permit, despite that females are always in estrus and their breasts are of sublimely uniform size year round.

    To understand these things you must consult a layman. Me, for instance.

    What we are seeing is a broad maladjustment of serotonin balance brought about by pharmaceuticals, disrupted sleep cycles from technology dependence, overcrowding into cities… paired with a silent world -wide epidemic of toxoplasma gondii.

    Human grasshoppers are being transformed into locusts from ramping serotonin. The parasite gondii is eroding our sober perception of risk that is the basis for systematic application of the scientific method. What results is a gregarious hysteria with a shrill, desperate and dangerous edge. And if the grasshopper is any guide, cannibalism is just around the corner.

    Just a hypothesis, but with enough upvotes and mood swings it could become 97% settled science.

  14. Excellent essay. The definitions hit a lot of nails squarely on the head.

    Partly why, as a retired scientist, I have no belief in the more extreme AGW claims. Another reason I have no belief is that, like others here, I “did the math myself” long ago.

    • But you do believe in the less extreme AGW claims. Interesting. Perhaps you need to go beyond “doing the math”. None of the CAGW claims hold up. Even the claim that our CO2 has warmed the earth by some immeasurable amount (AGW) is just conjecture. It hasn’t been shown, nor can it be.

      • You are correct. Its not proven — only conjecture — only hypothesis.

        But, as the author notes, until some concrete proof exists (one way or the other), traditional scientists should be open to aspects that one initially disagrees with.

        Right now, it looks like AGW is a non-critical issue now and in the long run — not worth spending time or money on. I await empirical/concrete/indisputable proof otherwise. Until then, my mind is made up (smile).

        We agree.

  15. Good Morning from the home of smooth bourbon sipping whiskey. But that’s for later.

    One of the many low points of the climate/energy debate are the filthy personal attacks on scientists doing science. I would say wear it as a badge of honor. The attacks personally painful as they can be provide the fuel to stand in when the fire is hottest. To the political types like myself you are indispensable heroes. Peter Ridd, John Droz, Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, and so many others who refuse to abandon the principles they have lived by their entire professional lives. You are doing a lot of good. That’s why they come from the gutter to attack you.

  16. Curt Stager’s delusions are rooted in the past. He has not changed.

    He wrote this in 2011: — “I consider Science to be one of the most valuable inventions of human civilization, and I recognize how precious and vulnerable to corruption it is as one who believes in objective reality, the fallibility of human perception, and the need for objective methods of seeking truth.”

    He is looking for meaning in the scientific method. He will never find it. Scientific method, properly done, always tells the truth. But science does so in the narrowest sort of way. It can only answer a question; true or false. It can only observe in the present. Scientific method can never look into the past or peer into the future. It will only answer questions about matter and every answer it gives is equally meaningless.

    This is the scientific method: Hypothesis, null hypothesis, experiment, observation and measurements, repeatability, conclusion. The hypothesis is either true or false. Experiments can not be conducted in the past or in the future. And… and this is important – every answer is equally meaningless. Meaning has to be added by the humans that invented science and ask the questions.

    Curt Stager believes in objective reality. God bless him, don’t we all? He is seeking truth. Who isn’t? What he is really seeking in science, he will never find: meaning. That is a terrifying idea, if it is true, objective reality is meaningless. Rather than believe everything is equally meaningless, he believes ‘objective methods’ can reveal truth. Stager says the problem is, ‘the fallibility of human perceptions.’ What he ought to say is what Ernest Rutherford said: “You ought to have done a better experiment.” Curt Sager can never be a true scientist, because he believes meaning has to come from the experiments’ conclusions. Sorry Curt, the conclusion is never be more than: the hypothesis is true or false. What does it mean? That is a different question. Don’t try and ask the scientific method to answer it.

  17. Brilliantly succinct!
    “Those with Science on their side (on any topic) will put forth a position: 1) that follows traditional science conventions, 2) that honestly acknowledges how much we don’t know about the subject, 3) with no ad hominems, 4) without references to unscientific matters like consensus, and 5) without making false implications about the veracity of peer-review. Those taking a political science perspective will do the opposite.”

    The one correction would note is that there are some Political Scientists who do Science. Those who do not follow John Droz’s requirements are in fact taking a non-scientific or ideological perspective or Post Modern perspective.

  18. Both Droz and Stager lend an unqualified credibility to the peer review process.

    I have seen it working well when a paper has been followed by brief comments of appreciation and critique by identified reviewing scientists. However, there are various scientific journals that do not include any comments by the reviewers and do not identify their names with the paper.

    This absence of comments and the names of reviewers creates two difficulties. First, it is much harder to know if the research/experiment can be repeated so that the results and conclusions can be verified. Second, it is more difficult to identify the shortcomings and hence to discredit the reviewers and the journal for giving unwarranted credibility. Fraud is a fact in manufacturing, academia and research. In the latter, anonymity assists fraudulent science. Handle peer reviews with caution and discernment.

  19. “Reliable global records of climate only began in the 1880s”

    What a laugh. 95% of the world didn’t have thermometers then, so how can you have reliable temperature records from those places? Reliable records in certain places, yes, but no more than maybe 5% of the world.

  20. Dr. Stager going over to the dark side.
    In Medieval times “troubadours” would spend as much time as possible at a grand hall.
    For room and board he entertained and the saying was:
    “His bread I eat, his song I sing.”

  21. “It’s quite clear from all this that the AGW issue is not really about CO2.”

    The problem with a statement like this is that a lot of people are sincere in their beliefs, even if lots of other groups are glomming on to the issue to advance their agendas.

    I generally find discussions of the scientific method to be minimally useful, because there is no consensus definition of “science” and much of what a lot of scientists actually do looks nothing like the scientific method. The important thing is that there are levels of strength of proof. A justification for trillions of dollars in spending requires much stronger proof than models that don’t work all that well.

    There is a lot of disagreement on what proportion of the climate’s overall warming trend is due to natural cycles and trends vs manmade impacts, but set that aside for a moment. Even if one were to accept that we are 100% responsible, doesn’t a scientist have to also prove the next step? Building wind turbines is stupid if mankind’s contribution to overall warming is anywhere between 0% – 100%.

  22. The politicization of climate science started with the formation of the IPCC whose agenda was to identify science in support of the UNFCCC, whose political agenda was global scale robinhood economics to the detriment of the west, specifically the US. The mistake of the 20’th century was to allow the IPCC to become the arbiter of what is and what is not climate science based on what they choose to publish in their reports.

    The consensus believes what the IPCC tells them to and what I’m most skeptical of is the legitimacy of the IPCC as an ‘unbiased’ climate science reporter, especially given their blatant conflict of interest related to the agenda of the UNFCCC.

  23. “truly qualified climate scientists”

    The question is, how does one become a “truly qualified climate scientists”?
    Up to now, the method is for those who are already “truly qualified climate scientists” to publicly acknowledge you as being one of them.

    Of course anyone who disagrees with them never gets invited into the inner circle.

    • You get a degree in another field then call yourself a climate scientist, works all the time ask Mosher, Mann etc.

    • “The question is, how does one become a “truly qualified climate scientists”?”

      First you join the global/socialist party no scientific acumen required.

  24. Anything that uses the 97% claim is worthless from the start .
    Let use a example to explain why.
    If in front of me I can see 10 cats, out of which 5 are black, I can say with authority and accuracy that 50% of cats I can see are black. I cannot say 50% of ALL cats are black because I simply do not have evidenced to support that claim .
    Now lets us say that in front of my in a dark more I am aware of a ‘number of cats ‘ and that some of these will be black . In this case I cannot say with authority and accuracy state which percentage of the total cats the black carts are of the whole. But I can ‘guess ‘ and I can lie about my certainty .

    How does this relate to the 97%?
    Well firstly there is no agreed definition of what a climate scientists even is , for example the IPCC has used this term to describe failed politicians and railway engineers with ‘tourers problems.
    Secondly there is no accepted for the number of scientist of any short, the research has simply not been done , and with deaths . promotions, employment, unemployment , all that can be said is that this is ever changing number .
    So you are now in a dark room, where there is unknow number of animals .,some of which may be black cats . You cannot now, by any worthwhile measure, tell anyone the percentage of blacks cats in the room. And to try and claim you ‘can’ and in scientifically meaningful way, is highest quality BS
    And that is where there the whole 97% claim is at , and way using it is idiocy and not a sign of ‘settled anything ‘ .

  25. Global Warming promoters have simply decreed that their AGW hypothesis has been elevated to the level of a scientific theory

    No. It’s been elevated to an absolute truth which cannot be questioned.

    Of course, it is questioned, but anyone doing so becomes a “denier” and thus beneath contempt.

  26. From the article: “Theories, are broad explanations for a wide range of phenomena. They are concise, coherent, systematic, predictive, and broadly applicable. . .

    However, in this case, the Global Warming promoters have simply decreed that their AGW hypothesis has been elevated to the level of a scientific theory — but without adhering to the necessary scientific protocol. Such proclamations are the tactics of political scientists.”

    end excerpts

    That is exactly what has happened. The Alarmists don’t officially claim the hypothesis had advanced to a theory, but their language implies this is the case. Someone ought to ask the alarmists how they justify doing this because it is obvious they have a long way to go to get to the theory stage (as described above).

    Nothing in climate science is “concise, coherent, systematic, predictive, and broadly applicable”.

  27. The following are all quotes from Dr. Stager

    “Sediment cores from Arctic lakes show that the ice-free conditions they now experience in summer have not happened for thousands of years previously and are therefore not due to cyclic changes. Oxygen levels are declining as carbon dioxide increases, And decreasing concentrations of carbon-13 isotopes in the air identify the carbon atoms in the excess carbon dioxide as coming primarily from fossil fuels.Greenhouse warming has made thermometers register higher temperatures at thousands of weather stations all over the planet. Meanwhile the stratosphere has cooled , Ice on our lakes has been forming later and melting earlier, as documented in local ice-out contests and nature journals. ”
    *****************************************************************************
    These are all outright lies.

    Arctic weather seems to go in 60-100 year cycles. There have been documented ice free conditions in many places of the Arctic 100 years ago; (conditions that don’t exist today). As for oxygen levels in the atmosphere going down 1)the measurements use a proxy that assumes that the amount of nitogen is constant. 2) Even at that, the oxygen levels have dropped only 0.06 % in 150 years. As for ocean levels of oxygen they are not measured by the Argo buoys, and scientists have measured only dead zones where red tides have occurred. Any statistic on ocean oxygen levels have all come from models.

    Temperature stations in the NCAR record and the USHCN record along with the UAH satellite record show no warming in last 150 years.
    Stratospheric cooling may because of increased net CO2 in the atmosphere but that doesn’t translate to global tropospheric warming. In fact NOAA and UAH show no lower stratospheric cooling between 1996 and 2014. For global warming to happen the atmosphere would have to expand and thus there would be more water vapour in the stratosphere compared to the previous altitudes. To date no increase of stratopheric water vapour has been shown. In fact stratospheric water vapour has declined by 10% since 2000. Measurement error can be as large as 40% however.

    http://windermerearea.ca/Ice%20Break%20Up.html

    Dates of ice breakup on the above linked lake shows that that lake did not receive the global warming memo.

Comments are closed.