Scientific Hubris and Global Warming

Scientific Hubris and Global Warming

Guest Post by Gregory Sloop

Notwithstanding portrayals in the movies as eccentrics who frantically warn humanity about genetically modified dinosaurs, aliens, and planet-killing asteroids, the popular image of a scientist is probably closer to the humble, bookish Professor, who used his intellect to save the castaways on practically every episode of Gilligan’s Island. The stereotypical scientist is seen as driven by a magnificent call, not some common, base motive. Unquestionably, science progresses unerringly to the truth.

This picture was challenged by the influential twentieth-century philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, who held that scientific ”truth” is determined not as much by facts as by the consensus of the scientific community. The influence of thought leaders, rewarding of grants, and scorn of dissenters are used to protect mainstream theory. Unfortunately, science only makes genuine progress when the mainstream theory is disproved, what Kuhn called a “paradigm shift.” Data which conflict with the mainstream paradigm are ignored instead of used to develop a better one. Like most people, scientists are ultimately motivated by financial security, career advancement, and the desire for admiration. Thus, nonscientific considerations impact scientific “truth.”

This corruption of a noble pursuit permits scientific hubris to prosper. It can only exist when scientists are less than dispassionate seekers of truth. Scientific hubris condones suppression of criticism, promotes unfounded speculation, and excuses rejection of conflicting data. Consequently, scientific hubris allows errors to persist indefinitely. However, science advances so slowly the public usually has no idea of how often it is wrong.

Reconstructing extinct organisms from fossils requires scientific hubris. The fewer the number of fossils available, the greater the hubris required for reconstruction. The original reconstruction of the peculiar organism Hallucigenia, which lived 505 million years ago, showed it upside down and backwards. This was easily corrected when more fossils were found and no harm was done.

In contrast, scientific hubris causes harm when bad science is used to influence behavior. The 17th century microscopist Nicholas Hartsoeker drew a complete human within the head of a sperm, speculating that this was what might be beneath the “skin” of a sperm. Belief in preformation, the notion that sperm and eggs contain complete humans, was common at the time. His drawing could easily have been used to demonstrate why every sperm is sacred and masturbation is a sin.

Scientific hubris has claimed many. many lives. In the mid 19th century, the medical establishment rejected Ignaz Semmelweis’ recommendation that physicians disinfect their hands prior to examining pregnant women despite his unequivocal demonstration that this practice slashed the death rate due to obstetric infections. Because of scientific hubris, “medicine has a dark history of opposing new ideas and those who proposed them.” It was only when the germ theory of disease was established two decades later that the body of evidence supporting Semmelweis’ work became impossible to ignore. The greatest harm caused by scientific hubris is that it slows progress towards the truth.

Record keeping of earth’s surface temperature began around 1880, so there is less than 150 years of quantitative data about climate, which evolves at a glacial pace. Common sense suggests that quantitative data covering multiple warming and cooling periods is necessary to give perspective about the evolution of climate. Only then will scientists be able to make an educated guess whether the 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit increase in earth’s temperature since 1930 is the beginning of sustained warming which will negatively impact civilization, or a transient blip.

The inconvenient truth is that science is in the data acquisition phase of climate study, which must be completed before there is any chance of predicting climate, if it is predictable [vide infra]. Hubris goads scientists into giving answers even when the data are insufficient.

To put our knowledge about climate in perspective, imagine an investor has the first two weeks of data on the performance of a new stock market. Will those data allow the investor to know where the stock market will be in twenty years? No, because the behavior of the many variables which determine the performance of a stock market is unpredictable. Currently, predicting climate is no different.

Scientists use data from proxies to estimate earth’s surface temperature when the real temperature is unknowable. In medicine, these substitutes are called “surrogate markers.” Because hospital laboratories are rigorously inspected and the reproducibility, accuracy, and precision of their data is verified, hospital laboratory practices provide a useful standard for evaluating the quality of any scientific data.

Surrogate markers must be validated by showing that they correlate with “gold standard” data before they are used clinically. Comparison of data from tree growth rings, a surrogate marker for earth’s surface temperature, with the actual temperature shows that correlation between the two is worsening for unknown reasons. Earth’s temperature is only one factor which determines tree growth. Because soil conditions, genetics, rainfall, competition for nutrients, disease, age, fire, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and consumption by herbivores and insects affect tree growth, the correlation between growth rings and earth’s temperature is imperfect.

Currently, growth rings cannot be regarded as a valid surrogate marker for the temperature of earth’s surface. The cause of the divergence problem must be identified and somehow remedied, and the remedy validated before growth rings are a credible surrogate marker or used to validate other surrogate markers.

Data from ice cores, boreholes, corals, and lake and ocean sediments are also used as surrogate markers. These are said to correlate with each other. Surrogate marker data are interpreted as showing a warm period between c.950 and c. 1250, which is sometimes called the “Medieval Climate Optimum,” and a cooler period called the “Little Ice Age” between the 16th and 19th centuries. The data from these surrogate markers have not been validated by comparison with a quantitative standard. Therefore, they give qualitative, not quantitative data. In medical terms, qualitative data are considered to be only “suggestive” of a diagnosis, not diagnostic. This level of diagnostic certainty is typically used to justify further diagnostic testing, not definitive therapy.

Anthropogenic global warming is often presented as fact. According to the philosopher Sir Karl Popper, a single conflicting observation is sufficient to disprove a theory. For example, the theory that all swans are white is disproved by one black swan. Therefore, the goal of science is to disprove, not prove a theory. Popper described how science should be practiced, while Kuhn described how science is actually practiced. Few theories satisfy Popper’s criterion. They are highly esteemed and above controversy. These include relativity, quantum mechanics, and plate tectonics. These theories come as close to settled science as is possible.

Data conflict about anthropogenic global warming. Using data from ice cores and lake sediments, Professor Gernot Patzelt argues that over the last 10,000 years, 65% of the time earth’s temperature was warmer than today. If his data are correct, human deforestation and carbon emissions are not required for global warming and intervention to forestall it may be futile.

The definitive test of anthropogenic global warming would be to study a duplicate earth without humans. Realistically, the only way is develop a successful computer model. However, modeling climate may be impossible because climate is a chaotic system. Small changes in the initial state of a chaotic system can cause very different outcomes, making them unpredictable. This is commonly called the “butterfly effect” because of the possibility that an action as fleeting as the beating of a butterfly’s wings can affect distant weather. This phenomenon also limits the predictability of weather.

Between 1880 and 1920, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were not associated with global warming. These variables did correlate between 1920 and 1940 and from around 1970 to today. These associations may appear to be compelling evidence for global warming, but associations cannot prove cause and effect. One example of a misleading association was published in a paper entitled “The prediction of lung cancer in Australia 1939–1981.” According to this paper, “Lung cancer is shown to be predicted from petrol consumption figures for a period of 42 years. The mean time for the disease to develop is discussed and the difference in the mortality rate for male and females is explained.” Obviously, gasoline use does not cause lung cancer.

The idea that an association is due to cause and effect is so attractive that these claims continue to be published. Recently, an implausible association between watching television and chronic inflammation was reported. In their book Follies and Fallacies in Medicine, Skrabanek and McCormick wrote, “As a result of failing to make this distinction [between association and cause], learning from experience may lead to nothing more than learning to make the same mistakes with increasing confidence.” Failure to learn from mistakes is another manifestation of scientific hubris. Those who are old enough to remember the late 1970’s may recall predictions of a global cooling crisis based on transient glacial growth and slight global cooling.

The current situation regarding climate change is similar to that confronting cavemen when facing winter and progressively shorter days. Every day there was less time to hunt and gather food and more cold, useless darkness. Shamans must have desperately called for ever harsher sacrifices to stop what otherwise seemed inevitable. Only when science enabled man to predict the return of longer days was sacrifice no longer necessary.

The mainstream position about anthropogenic global warming is established. The endorsement of the United Nations, U.S. governmental agencies, politicians, and the media buttresses this position. This nonscientific input has contributed to the perception that anthropogenic global warming is settled science. A critical evaluation of the available data about global warming, and anthropogenic global warming in particular, allow only a guess about the future climate. It is scientific hubris not to recognize that guess for what it is.

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Komrade Kuma
May 17, 2019 11:22 pm

‘Like most people, scientists are ultimately motivated by financial security, career advancement, and the desire for admiration. Thus, nonscientific considerations impact scientific “truth.” ‘


Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
May 18, 2019 2:09 am

The herd mentality is one of them. Follow the majority viewpoint and you’re probably safe.
There is a strong motivation to be ‘accepted’ by one’s peers, to not be ‘disinvited’ to parties.
Political correctness is indeed a powerful form of self-censorship.

Today the fear-mongering has reached grotesque proportions, however. The “Greta” phase demonstrates that the climate activists have shifted the discourse to an emotional one. Nobody dares to openly challenge Greta to debate her ideas: she is accepted as some ‘moral authority’ who can ‘see’ the future. She provides safe ‘cover’ for the IPCC Lead Authors, who are frustrated at having been by and large ignored by the general public (at least in terms of implementing so-called climate protection policy).

This will all become stranger and stranger. Apparently only a cooling phase will help snap out of the delusion.

Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
May 18, 2019 8:35 am

It’s frigging cold where I am at today. Does that count? And it is snowing heavily over eastern WY/MT and western SD. And….oh never mind.

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  cosmic
May 18, 2019 9:58 am

We’ve had a particularly cold May here in Europe.

I notice that the alarmists are silent about it.

Just weather?

John Bell
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
May 18, 2019 9:57 am

Yep! And it is a fascinating study to watch this go where it will go, so twisted and deranged, hilarious really. they are so desperate now, grasping at straws, like the 5 stages of grief or something, weird but entertaining.

Bill Powers
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
May 18, 2019 1:03 pm

Exactly. It is not Hubris but rather House payments, Home Heating and Hunger that drive these scientists. When the World Governments come together in the UN and proclaim let their be Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and we shall fund your efforts mightily, Hubris has nothing to do with it.

Komrade Kuma
May 17, 2019 11:24 pm


Would anyone seriously say that scientists are not influenced by non scientific considerations?

That would be like saying priest’s cannot be paedophiles.

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
May 18, 2019 1:32 am

More likely that priests in common with most males like women.

J Mac
May 17, 2019 11:46 pm

In a nut shell: Correlation is not proof of cause and effect.

Reply to  J Mac
May 18, 2019 1:20 am

Yes, even the author gets this totally wrong:

Between 1880 and 1920, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were not associated with global warming. These variables did correlate between 1920 and 1940 and from around 1970 to today.

That comment links to graph which for a start is plotting ppmv and not log(CO2) which give the alleged heating effect. But the main problem is that the “correlation” is totally different in the two periods cited and thus in itself refutes the idea that CO2 is a primary driver of temperature.

Neither does a “trend” in both sets of data constitute a correlation. Every set of data in existence has a “trend” and will thus “correlate” with any other variable you wish to choose.

These associations may appear to be compelling evidence for global warming, but associations cannot prove cause and effect.

No, those contradictory “correlations” are compelling evidence to reject AGW hypothesis, which is why climatologists and the IPCC studiously ignore the earlier warming which according to their own definitions can not be due to the CO2.

Alan McIntire
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 5:29 am

Yes. William Briggs had a post regarding the “Arcsine Law”, regarding cumulative sums of random numbers.

Those “trends” frequently looked “real” and “significant”. To weed out bogus trends for cumulative sums of two independent series, the data have to be “detrended”. When that is done, CO2/temperature relationship is close to zero.

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 8:01 am

Of course there is more than one factor affecting climate changes. That doesn’t mean CO2 isn’t one of them. Dug!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Dave
May 18, 2019 12:11 pm

That’s blindingly obvious, and by itself meaningless. The real issue is: how much do changes in CO2 concentration affect the climate? That is the crux of the matter and the point where the most disagreements occur. Currently the evidence that CO2 is a major driver of climate is weak, and warrants no action on our part except more long term data collection and study. Besides, everything we do know about climate and the impacts of temperature on the biosphere tells us that in total, the world is a better place when it is warmer and worse when it is colder. In the last 500 million years (or more), this planet has not seen temperatures so high that it was detrimental to life, and it’s been a LOT warmer in the past than it is now.

So, I’ll repeat some of the best advice I’ve ever seen: DON’T PANIC.

J Mac
Reply to  Dave
May 18, 2019 9:25 pm

The rooster crowing does not make the sun rise. Correlations are not ‘proof’ of causation.

Alan Tomalty
May 17, 2019 11:56 pm

The 1 graph that demolishes climate science. 47 years of satellite data from NOAA on 5 bodies of water that contain 6000000000000000 gallons of fresh water, 20% of world total. All 5 Lakes averaged in 1 graph. There are separate graphs for each lake that tell the same tale. I spoke on the telephone to the man that edits the graph for the website. I told him that the red line average line should not be there as it is only meaningful as one data point and it could confuse people who might think that it is a trend line.

richard verney
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
May 18, 2019 12:33 am

YES, but we know that the contiguous US has not warmed, and that the warmest temperatures were observed in the 1930s. So it is not particularly surprising that there appears no trend in the ice data.

Is this (ie., no warming) because the US has the best data, most sampling and best historic record, and if the rest of the world was to be similarly sampled the rest of the world would show the same thing?

Or is it because the US is an outlier, and is behaving differently to the rest of the world?

Don’t forget that both Phil Jones and James Hansen, seperately, in 1980 and 1981 showed that the Northern Hemisphere as at 1980 was about 0.3 degC cooler than the Norther Hemisphere was in 1940. Further, the first IPCC Report showed that the Northern Hemisphere was no warmer than it was in 1940.

In actual practice the bulk of global warming is the product of incorporating the Southern Hemisphere on which there is little sampling and historic data. You may recall that Phil Jones was candid in the Climategate emails stating that the bulk of the Sourthern hemisphere temperatures are largely made up. He was referring to the area between the tropics and Antarctica, and there is evidence that the Antarctic has not warmed for more than 100 years.

The post talks about data collection, but the stark fact is that the temperature data that we have to date is not fit for scientific purpose, and has now been so bastardised by endless adjustments/homogenisation etc that it is worthless and fit only for the bin.

Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2019 12:45 am

“Phil Jones was candid in the Climategate emails stating that the bulk of the Sourthern hemisphere temperatures are largely made up”
The never-ending lie.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 18, 2019 1:31 am

Perhaps one of you should back up their claim with a citation from the emails showing what Jones did say on that subject. Nullus in verba, an’ all that.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 3:01 am

He won’t because he knows he’s playing semantics, Stokes knew what was meant specifically, that for the 20th century most of the SH data is guessed based on models.

he also doesn’t like to admit that over half of the global temp record 1880 to 2019 is made up, the thing is how you interpret made up, and Nick likes to interpret that in a way that allows him to claim it’s a lie

Stokes is the perfect example of why education != intelligence.

he nor any other of these temperature data set curators would last 5 minutes in my field, where guesses are only useful for hinting at possible types of additional future analysis, NOT conclusions and implementations.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 3:29 am

It’s much the same as the “the MWP was not global” lie
What was actually said was, that there was not enough data from the tropics and southern hemisphere to say “it was global”, in scientific sense.

But for the area of earth we have much data, the MWP is evident. So, based on the best data we have, we can say, to the best of our knowledge, it was global.

This is far different from claiming the earth, to the best of our knowledge, has warmed 1.5c. Why is it different, well MWP evidence is merely data points. (this is what we have and this is what we think)

The temperature record is data points, run through special sauce algorithms and the computed output produces values that are not data points, they are largely programmed guesses essentially, and you know what, this is fine if that is what you call the resulting output, but they dont, they claim this is physical reality, the media claim it, politicians claim it.

When to you hear “we think the earth has warmed X degrees since 1880? never, yet that would be the honest statement.

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 5:53 am

“Perhaps one of you should back up their claim…”
That should be the claimant. What did he actually say? Quote it.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 6:10 am

Tut tut Nick.

“For much of the SH between 40 and 60S the normals are mostly made up as there is very little ship data there”

Not mentioned is for how much of the record were the normals mostly made up but going by the historical data points available over time it’s fair to say that the majority of the SH record is, to quote Phil Jones “mostly made up”

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 6:20 am

What really gets me about the CRU in particular, is the emails where they say will have to start worrying if the lack of warming continues.

This is revealing as to their true motives. That they might be wrong and there is no problem, that worries them.

I’d have thought that if they really believed in their theory, and that it was leading to disaster, that finding out they could be wrong would trigger the opposite emotion, relief.

From such language, it’s patently obvious that they indeed needed the data to show warming or they would become worried, because of the resulting consequences relating to their personal characters and careers.

Even Mr Stokes cannot deny this, that they said clearly if the lack of warming continues, they will have to start worrying. Nor can he deny that this is revealing as to their motives

Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 12:49 pm

Tut tut Nick.

“For much of the SH between 40 and 60S the normals are mostly made up as there is very little ship data there”
Thank you Mark. So let’s see. “Much of…between 40 and 60S’ is not “the bulk of the Sourthern hemisphere”. But more importantly, he isn’t saying that temperatures were made up. He’s saying that normals were made up. But normals are always “made up”; that is, they are estimates used for calculating anomalies. Jones is a stickler for saying that they should be the averages of between 1961 and 1990 for that location, but the rest of the scientific world can find more analytic ways.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Greg
May 19, 2019 7:45 am

Nick you know damn well that they created temperature for places and times they had no data.

That is defined as made up, whatever the method, it is “made up”.

The normals are made up because there is NO DATA to derive them from, semantics fail.
Nice to see you come back after the thread is active to leave a response you expected no reply to 😀

as I said education !=intelligence.

Now, we know for fact there is no underlying data for more than half of the 1880 2019 global temperature reconstruction. Do you deny this, or will you just accept its true

If you accept the above is true, then why not pen a Guardian article explaining this for the unaware public at large?

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 18, 2019 2:54 am

What he said was there was hardly any data at all except a few ship readings for the mid to lower latitudes.

The SH data is made up mostly and you know that Stokes, who’s lying? You are

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 5:48 am

I’ve made the point before. Data are what they are. Mucking about with figures to produce a “temperature” figure based on records from 1200 miles away does not give you anything other than a ‘best guess’ and is wide open to abuse. If you don’t have data then you don’t have data. Live with it!

There are plenty of historical records that provide evidence of warm and cold periods in the past and the effects on society thereof. The fact that we cannot identify global temperatures of the time to tenths of a degree (and still can’t for today though it makes us feel important to pretend we can) is neither here nor there. Stop pretending that there is something unusual about the 21st century. There is not one shred of empirical evidence to support any such conjecture.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 6:15 am

The problems for me are mainly 2 major ones.
1. The uncertainty is intentionally not communicated to the public in any real way at all
2. When the media misrepresent the science concerning temperature datasets, the scientists say nothing.

unless someone can point me to Zeke Jones Schmidt et al talking to CNN or BBC or the Grauniad, explaining to their audiences the inherent problems with the temperature reconstructions and the uncertainty in large swathes of the final product.

Mickey Reno
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 18, 2019 7:25 am

Nick, here’s an honest, genuine question. It’s not an attempt to trap you into some position, not a rhetorical game.

Do you think that climate models output ‘data?’ Are those data (information, output) qualitatively similar to the output from weather stations, however imperfect, or are they different?

I answer the question with blunt clarity. My answer is NO, they don’t produce data, they put out something qualitatively distinct and unmixable with the temperature record. They produce a virtual guess about the future, very much in the same nature of any other hypothesis, and fully as much in need of scientific testing to determine whether or not they are actually true.

What’s your answer? I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I suspect that your answer is yes, they DO output data. I think your arguments suggest this. But I’m not exactly clear. Maybe you have a more nuanced position about this? IF your answer is yes, or if there is some nuance that clarifies what you think, maybe you could explain the philosophy of why and how you landed there.

And I’d enjoy a very short essay from you about the question, IF you could NOT use climate model outputs, if you could only use data from observations from the field or from remote sensing devices, would there be a persuasive case to be made that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) is occurring and or inevitable?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mickey Reno
May 18, 2019 8:24 am

Warmer temperatures have never, in thousands of millions of years of history, produced anything even bad on Earth, let alone catastrophic.
But cold temps have done so, and are doing so now.
Smack dab in one of the very coldest periods of the whole history of life on Earth.
We are fortunate to be in a short period of not quite as catastrophically cold temps contained within the current ice age.
It is beyond inane to be treating people, who have the opinion that we should wish for colder temps and lower CO2, as if they are sane and rational individuals.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
May 18, 2019 1:01 pm

Mickey R
“Do you think that climate models output ‘data?’ Are those data (information, output) qualitatively similar to the output from weather stations, however imperfect, or are they different?”
I’ve actually had quite a lot to say about that; the answer, at least to the second part, is no. Models simulate a world with the physics and main drivers of the real world, but create synthetic weather. That is within the range of weather that happens, but isn’t expected to happen exactly as simulated. The effect of weather on climate is important, but the exact sequence of the weather events don’t matter in the longer term.

That is why it is wrong to expect models to forecast events on the decadal scale, although people are trying to fill that gap. Events like El Nino remain unpredictable, although the approximate cycle time and frequency of occurrence is right.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
May 18, 2019 2:57 pm

Models simulate a world with the physics and main drivers of the real world, but create synthetic weather.

That is not an accurate account of how models are constructed. While they have “the physics” of things like atmospheric transmission of EM radiation reasonably well represented, they do not have “basic physics” for key processes like evaporation, advection, cloud formation and precipitation. In short all major elements of the water cycle which dominates the Earth’s climate. Most of that is parameterized guess work, and post hoc tuning.

To pretend they have “the physics … of the real world” is simply not true, and I think you are fully aware of that.

Reply to  Mickey Reno
May 18, 2019 3:15 pm

” they do not have “basic physics” for key processes like evaporation, advection, cloud formation and precipitation.”
They certainly have evaporation and advection. Advection is what the Navier-Stokes part is all about. For cloud formation they track humidity in full; the process of nucleation requires separate modelling. Precipitation is in a climate sense just a consequence of evaporation. But weather forecasting programs are actually pretty good at modelling precipitation locally, and that physics is in the models too.

richard verney
Reply to  Nick Stokes
May 18, 2019 11:08 pm

Nick, even for you, your comment is particularly disengenuous given that I said:

He was referring to the area between the tropics and Antarctica

Phil Jones in his 1980 paper did talk about the entire Southern Hemisphere, but spoke more scientifically pointing out the lack of spatial coverage and the lack of historic data for the Southern Hemisphere. But essentially he was making the same point, namely that the position with respect to the Southern Hemsiphere is unreliable and particular caution should be applied.

James Hansen in his 1981 paper expressed broadly similar concerns regarding the Southern Hemisphere.

Reply to  richard verney
May 19, 2019 7:27 am

“He was referring to the area between the tropics and Antarctica”
But he wasn’t referring to temperatures. And Jones in 1980 and Hansen 1981 were referring to the SH data available to them at that time, which was indeed sparse. NH was not that much better. Most data that did exist was in longhand logs held by met offices around the world. It took many years to get that digitised. But it was done.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2019 2:20 am

“YES, but we know that the contiguous US has not warmed”

No we don’t.
You think it via some conspiracy ideation.

Is Nature part of the fraud as well?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 3:52 am

According to Hansen, 1934 was 0.5C warmer than 1998, which means 1934 was 0.4C warmer than 2016, so, yes, the United States has been in a temperature downtrend since 1934.

It is no warmer now than in 1934, which means there is no unprecedented warming today as the alarmist climate scientists claim. If there is no unprecedented warming, then there is no CAGW. We are currently about 0.9C cooler than 1934, in the United States.

And, to top that off, unmodified temperature charts from around the world show the same temperature profile, i.e, it was as warm in the 1930’s as it is today, so no unprecedented warmth there, either.

Here’s the Hansen 1999 U.S. temperature chart and since I don’t trust the U.S. charts after Hansen 1999, I substitute the UAH satellite chart which includes the year 1998 and use that to compare it to the year 2016, the year NASA and NOAA claim was the “hottest year evah!” But as we can see it wasn’t even as hot as 1934. And it’s a heck of a lot cooler now.

Hansen 1999:

comment image

The UAH satellite chart:

There is no unprecedented heat today. We don’t have to go back to the Middle Ages to make a comparison, all we have to do is go back to the 1930’s which were as warm as today and demonstrates that today’s warmth could easily be caused by Mother Nature, no CO2 required.

If the 1930’s were as warm as today that’s the death knell for CAGW, and that’s why the Climategate Charlatans set about manipulating the temperature records of the world by creating Hockey Stick charts to make the significance of the 1930’s warmth disappear, and make it look like the temperatures today are hotter than they have ever been before.

It’s all a big lie. There is no unprecedented heat. There is no CAGW. The unbastardized temperature charts of the world say so.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 18, 2019 8:16 am

“And, to top that off, unmodified temperature charts from around the world show the same temperature profile…”

This is the crux of the matter.
A single fact that demonstrates the truth.
And there are many such.

Peter Plail
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 18, 2019 9:48 am

Not only that, but the rate of temperature increase in the 20s and 30s is almost the same as in the 80s and 90s despite significantly different CO2 profiles, so whatever caused it, it doesn’t look like it was CO2.

William Astley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
May 18, 2019 11:15 am

I totally agree. The following is on the same train of thought.

There is a lack of warming, there is an unexplained pause in/end of the warming (the IPCC predicted a wiggly increasing temperature), the warming is regional not global, there is almost no tropical warming, and the predicted tropical tropospheric hot spot at roughly 5km is not there.

Latitudinal Warming Paradox

As the most amount of long wave radiation is emitted to space in the tropics and atmospheric CO2 is well mixed the IPCC predicted that the most amount of CO2 warming should occur in the tropics.

The warming in the last 30 years has been high latitude warming rather than the climate model predicted tropical warming.

The high latitude warming was called polar amplification by the cult of CAGW, rather than an observation that disproves the warming was caused by the increase in atmospheric CO2.

The high latitude warming is the same as past cyclic high latitude warming. The past cyclic warming periods all followed by cooling periods were not caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2.

As Roy Spencer shows there is almost no tropical region warming.

The cult of CAGW assumed the high latitude warming would continue hence the predictions of an ice free arctic in the summer. The cult ignored the fact that Antarctic sea increased so the total sea ice was roughly the same.

For unexplained reasons the high latitude warming stopped which is called by the cult of CAGW the pause in warming rather than the observation that disproves CAGW.

The IPCC predicted that there the most amount of CO2 warming on the planet would be in tropics at roughly 5 km above the surface of the earth. This enhanced warming was predicted to occur from increase water vapor do the warmer air. The extra warming would occur due to the greenhouse effect of the increased water vapor.

Kuhn’s book was zero help in actually getting a breakthrough.

There are civilization changing breakthroughs in almost every field of science. These are Forest Gump type breakthroughs, no mathematics required/old school science.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 6:35 am

Zeke Hausfather on Judith Curry’s site a few years back said quite frankly that most US warming comes from adjustments to the temperature data.

You’re talking out your backside

Tom Karl said the US hasn’t warmed in the 20th century, though that was when it was OK to say that, back before the 90s, then the data was adjusted to hell, starting with Hansen’s fraud in changing all of the data quietly, which shot Heller to fame because he caught them doing it

Tom Halla
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 8:20 am

Exactly. The temperature records have been so stepped on as to not be reliable.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 19, 2019 4:11 am

“om Karl said the US hasn’t warmed in the 20th century, though that was when it was OK to say that, back before the 90s, then the data was adjusted to hell, starting with Hansen’s fraud in changing all of the data quietly, which shot Heller to fame because he caught them doing it”

Speaking of which: Here is a Heller comparison of the changes NASA has made to the U.S. temperature record since 1999. As you can see, they do what they always do, cool the past to make the 1930’s look insignificant. Which is the reason I use Hansen 1999 in combination with the UAH satellite chart, which measures the same timeframe (since 1979) as Hansen 1999.

comment image

All the alarmists have as evidence of their CAGW claims are the bogus, bastardized Hockey Stick charts and the Greenhouse Gas Theory. The Hockey Stick charts don’t reflect reality and the Greenhouse Gas Theory is not enough to say CO2 will warm the Earth’s atmosphere significantly enough to change the weather patterns.

So, in other words, the alarmists have nothing to hang their hat on. Yet they want us to spend Trillions of dollars fixing this non-problem they can’t prove exists. They have to resort to fraud to sell this CAGW idea.

Reply to  Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 9:59 am

Why do you use a proxy when there are actual temperature data?

Other things may lead to an earlier Spring. For example, increased atmospheric CO2 may allow plants to start growing before as much Spring rain has fallen than previously.

R Shearer
Reply to  richard verney
May 18, 2019 6:08 am

Those are good points, rv, especially the lack of warming in the U.S., and the U.S. is not alone. It seems to be that 30% or more of earth’s surface is not warming, as well as most of Antarctica as you mention. So, this warming is not global.

And where it is warming, much due to local effects, such as urbanization, except for perhaps the Arctic where natural cycles could be the major driver. The fact of the matter is that it has been warmer than today for most of the present inter-glacial. We are left with minor the warming shown by satellites, which shows recovery from the 1940’s to 1970’s cooling period.

How children and lesser minds can be and are intentionally being convinced that this situation is life threatening is the amazing bit.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  R Shearer
May 18, 2019 8:26 am

Spot on.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
May 18, 2019 2:35 am

Alan, you are correct the red line is misleading , even though it is clearly marked, the visual effect is still there. The linear trend over that period of record is -0.43 % per year. Most of the reduction was before Y2K and there has been general recovery since then with quite a large circa 5y pseudo cyclic periodicity, which I also found in Arctic ice extent.

comment image

In what way does this “demolishes climate science” ?

May 18, 2019 12:01 am

It’s now up to all the world’s bureucrats to implement the means of global warming mitigation. Basta!

Reply to  Martin Hovland
May 18, 2019 1:35 am

You can only mitigate something you understand. Pretending you understand as justification for radical change you intend to do for other reasons does not count.

Until climatologists can explain the early 20th c. warming they are not even off the ground, let alone in a position redesign the world economy.


R Shearer
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 7:58 am

Explain it?! They just disappear it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Martin Hovland
May 18, 2019 8:30 am

Yes, of course.
The liars and thieves that run our governments can easily control weather by taxing us into poverty.

May 18, 2019 12:05 am

You only have to work within any scientific field, which compete with each other for resources, funding, prestige, ego, etc, and you can see first-hand how various fanatics with limited thinking skills can sometimes succeed in hijacking any social or science-based system.

Some people, including within science, are strongly motivated by the need for control. This is human nature. They are often the same people who have limited peripheral vision when it comes to alternative and/or other entirely valid ideas/arguments. One critical aspecthere I have often noticed is that of uncertainty, people who seem to have a strong need for control also often think they know much more about something than someone else who is ‘skeptically uncertain’, when they actually know less about it. Over time this ‘valid uncertainty’ gets lost more and more, especially if there is a political element to the issue.

Nature hates a vacuum, but academia seems to hate uncertainty. Highlight something which is ‘uncertain’ and often this just creates an army of academics who want to claim they have found the missing ‘big answer’ to something when they actually haven’t. Hubris on steroids. When the issue itself is fundamentally uncertain, how are you going to definitely show they haven’t? Then of course they want to change the world with their big answer.

Science becomes an extension of these sorts of traits for some people, and it causes much wreckage, including some bad science.

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  thingadonta
May 18, 2019 10:19 pm

Thank you for your comment. You may be interested in another essay I wrote entitled “What does a paradigm shift look like.” I view it almost as a companion to this essay.

May 18, 2019 12:13 am

Everyone knows and can tell you that correlation is not causation. Then they turn around and demonstrate that they do not actually believe that mantra.

One of my favorite observations is that global warming is inversely correlated with piracy. link If you wish to stop global warming, you should become a pirate.

We have a phenomenon in which someone eats something that really improves their health. Usually they are in a bad way in the first place. They conclude that everyone at all times should eat this wonder food. Wheat grass comes to mind as does bullet proof coffee. As far as I can tell, properly nourished people gain no advantage from these supposed miracle foods.

A good counter example to the above would be Farley Mowat who tried to keep up with a group of Eskimos for a day and found himself in horrible condition due to the unaccustomed exercise in colder temperatures than he was used to. Eating blubber greatly improved his condition. It is gratifying to note that he did not then come back south and invent the Blubber Diet.

As far as I can tell, recognizing patterns is how the human brain works. We are hard wired that way and that makes it very hard to resist the temptation to conflate causation and correlation.

Reply to  commieBob
May 18, 2019 4:36 am

a most perspicacious observation.
yes, brains match patterns – but when they reason, they use logic.
one who fails to reason has not earned his birthright of the title ‘sapiens’.

pattern recognition relies on imagery – not even words.
it’s semblance, not logic
pareidolia is not proof.

popper granted that mathematical theorems can be proven true, even as he argued that logic is illogical apart from that. but all proofs are logical proofs. just one falsifies his neoplatonic nonsense.
if it can not be proven it is, by definition, unreasonable.

Reply to  commieBob
May 18, 2019 9:29 pm

I read somewhere that around 5-10% of detected cancers are cured spontaneously by the body. So an isolated case of the ‘miracle cancer cure’ is often just the body doing it. ‘I had cancer, the doctor told me I had just months to live, then I took these natural pills/potion whatever, and my cancer was cured!’

May 18, 2019 12:40 am

Today, in all climate debates geoengineering should not be neglected. Climate or weather as we have come to know it over the years is not natural anymore. So, any data from whatever sources are suspect and need to be treated with caution. Look at the sky and you can tell what the weather will be like. Yeah, I know.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  MachtNichts
May 18, 2019 3:36 am

While I am not into those CS about this topic

One would be foolish to think there has not been some experimentation of some kind.

Purely based on observation, I suspect myself that some sort of SRM has been played with, though I can’t obviously say for sure.
A simple way to do this would be to adjust sulfur in fuel so contrails become persistent, though I am guessing here re the fuel, persistent contrails are something even NASA and the IPCC have addressed as very real.

My suspicions could obviously be unfounded, and it just happens to be a significant coincidence that persistent contrails can both trap energy escaping to space and also block incoming solar energy.

What I do know for a fact is, we do not know enough scientifically to start messing around with solar energy input, as we do not know how it will impact the energy balance and resulting effects on weather and climate.

All other historical geo engineering experiments in the past, have been ones that have local effects, like the US military cloud seeding to cause flooding on VC supply lines

May 18, 2019 12:54 am

Scientific hubris might also include claiming the planet isn’t warming from human action, when it clearly is…

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 2:12 am

The planet is warming from human action? Evidence pls!

Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 2:31 am

Spectacularly missing the point! A total amateur demonstrating hubris-by-proxy.

If human action is clearly and demonstratively warming the planet show us the clear evidence. The evidence that matches in conclusivity say quantum mechanics or vaccination.

Reply to  Phoenix44
May 18, 2019 9:55 am

CO2 has gone up.
The planet has warmed.
Ergo, CO2 is going to destroy life on this planet.

Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 2:42 am

So what scientist is claiming “the world isn’t warming from human action” ?

Saying the AGW component is not detectable or is not discernible from natural variation, which you will very likely find is not the same thing as “the world isn’t warming from human action” .

Straw men abound in your world.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Greg
May 18, 2019 4:54 am

So what scientist is claiming “the world isn’t warming from human action” ?

I say that it isn’t warming from human actions.

After 12,000+ years of conjoined “human activities” …….. no direct association(s) can be made.

Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 4:29 am

That’s your most pathetic troll yet.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 5:33 am

Wrong as usual, Griffie. But nice misdirection and straw man on your part. There is nothing remotely “clear” about human-caused warming. All we can say is that humans may be responsible for some small, as yet undetectable part of the warming. No one claims that there is no effect whatsoever, so that’s just your pathetic straw man. Whatever effect there is, is too small to pick apart from the noise of climate. In other words, it doesn’t matter one iota. The climate is going to do whatever it always does; change, in its own time, and in its own extremely messy way, being pushed and pulled by a number of forces both short term and long term ones.

Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 9:53 am

Why do you have to keep with the lies about what others say and believe?
Nobody denies that human actions are impacting climate.
What we deny is the claim that CO2 is the single most important factor in the mild and entirely beneficial warming the planet has enjoyed over the last 150 years.
We also deny that the small amount of warming that is likely over the next 100 years or so is a problem.
(In fact most of us look forward to another couple of tenths of a degree of warming.)

Reply to  griff
May 18, 2019 6:40 pm

Oh Griff, you’re back! I’m so happy to see my favorite troll is back on the payroll. Then again, you’re always on the payroll, tossing in stupid disruptive comments, but not always as Griff.
Welcome to the party.

May 18, 2019 1:08 am

A very interesting and well written article.


Gregory Sloop
Reply to  Michael
May 18, 2019 6:05 pm

Thank you.

E J Zuiderwijk
May 18, 2019 1:37 am

More likely that priests in common with most males like women.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
May 18, 2019 6:43 pm

More likely why? There is little evidence to support that claim and a lot of evidence against it.

Kurt in Switzerland
May 18, 2019 1:46 am

Good essay. The general thrust should be debated at a large forum, using layman’s terminology.

For the mantra has been drilled into the minds of the electorate in the developed world that the earth will become unbearably hot if we humans continue down our ‘business as usual’ path of ‘dangerous’ CO2 emissions. The ‘scientific’ assessment is that only a drastic global shift to a ‘zero carbon’ economy can save us.

But none of these statements has any scientific value. Pure hubris, a logical consequence of the marriage between ‘climate science’ and politics some 3 decades ago.

Yet practically none of the alarmists is willing to openly defend the IPCC position in an open debate today. The reason is that when they last tried televised debates a decade or so ago, they routinely lost. Far easier to label your adversaries as ‘anti-science’ denialists than to be forced to actually subject your opinions to criticism!

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  Kurt in Switzerland
May 18, 2019 6:19 pm

Thank you.

Rod Evans
May 18, 2019 1:47 am

What can I say, a great article straightforward clear uncluttered thinking.
I have also learned a couple of things that may impact my future activities.
Blubber is good for cold weather exercise, and masturbation is not a sin, I am sure there is a case for coordinating knowledge for scientific purposes on my next trip up to the arctic…

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 18, 2019 6:14 pm

Thank you.

Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 2:15 am

“Using data from ice cores and lake sediments, Professor Gernot Patzelt argues that over the last 10,000 years, 65% of the time earth’s temperature was warmer than today. “

Indeed so.
Milankovitch cycles tell us that if anything the Earth should still be cooling were it not for some other factor.
That is no reason to dismiss that “other factor”.

“If his data are correct, human deforestation and carbon emissions are not required for global warming and intervention to forestall it may be futile.”

No it doesn’t mean that at all.

“Small changes in the initial state of a chaotic system can cause very different outcomes, making them unpredictable. This is commonly called the “butterfly effect” because of the possibility that an action as fleeting as the beating of a butterfly’s wings can affect distant weather. This phenomenon also limits the predictability of weather.”

However climate is not ‘weather strung together”.
Climate, at base, is a simple function of the balance between energy in from the Sun, and energy out to space.
What determines that is Solar activity ( small and cyclic – self cancelling on a short timescale). TSI geographical absorption ( Large but over millennial time-scales and centred on northern land mass which is subject to ice accumulation). Albedo ( clouds and ice/snowfield – hence a feedback of the TSI distribution). GHGs of which the non-condensing CO2 is a feedback of solar driven temp changes BUT a driver if put in the atmosphere outside of the carbon cycle.

Climate is therefore ultimately predictable when those factors are properly quantified.

“This nonscientific input has contributed to the perception that anthropogenic global warming is settled science.”

It is settled but ONLY in regards to CO2 being a GHG and as such it slows the Earth’s cooling. That it takes centuries to dissipate from the atmosphere and that in the past it has mostly been a feedback to orbital changes (but likely brought the planet back from a ‘Ice planet’ when outgassed in massive quantities from volcanoes).
What ISN’T settled is the details of heat distribution within the climate system, which boils down to ‘noise’ overlying the general trend of T~Solar absorbed-LWIR out.

Reply to  Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 8:26 am

Climate is therefore ultimately predictable when those factors are properly quantified.

The IPCC scientists seem to disagree with you:

“The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. Rather the focus must be upon the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.
Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive and requires the application of new methods of model diagnosis, but such statistical information is essential.”

What do you know that they do not know?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 8:36 am

You actually have no idea what you are talking about, which you make very clear every single time you post your ridiculous assertions.

Reply to  Anthony Banton
May 18, 2019 10:00 am

Over the last 10K years there have been multiple warm spells, and cold spells. One thing that is quite noticeable is that the height of each warm spell has been slowly and steadily dropping.
Indeed the coolest of these warm spells is the modern warm period, which still has about half a degree to go before it reaches the level of the previous warm period.

Are you actually trying to claim that absent human intervention, the drop in temperature would have been smooth and uninterrupted?

Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 2:30 am

Good read, and am happy to see it repeated that it’s all guesses, based on data manipulated to allow for the guesses, and allow for the wide cast net of guesses that is the array of climate models used, with their different future climate states.

I have seen it said, and supported by schmidt, the claim that the climate model closest to observed temperatures is the most accurate, this is the same as claiming that, before a dice is thrown, you pick 4 6 2 1 as possible outcomes based on 4 separate monte carlos on previous throws, the problem is you have cast a wide enough net to probably hit the nail with one analysis, NOT that its probable that one of your 4 analysis was right accurate.

Now in the past I thought Schmidt and co were too smart for this nonsense and that they were being dishonest, but then I checked Schmidt’s academic productivity, and also reviewed many of his claims, as well as his actual qualifications and contribution to mathematics on the whole and it turns out, I was wrong, he’s devious, arrogant, passive aggressive, though not actually that smart at all, he plays the politics game much better than he is at mathematics. He’s bang average and is in charge of such an important data set.

This lack of ability leads to injected hubris and arrogance in lieu of enough skill. Most exchanges with the likes of McIntyre, a man who has much skill, and importantly, integrity, show this gulf in ability to analyse in an objective and honest way. Schmidt’s disposition and discussion with those that agree, is in part born of his awareness that he is bang average, and possibly, knowing himself that he is not fit to manage that data set, knowing that he was appointed not based on skill, but based on his politics

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 2:33 am

*Schmidt’s disposition and discussion with those that DISAGREE (with his assertions, claims and conclusions)

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 6:44 pm

I’ glad you enjoyed the essay.

May 18, 2019 2:33 am

“Correlation is not causation”

There is a lot of mischief caused by this statement. Any two straight lines correlate perfectly no matter whether they are parallel or not, so that the stock market can be said to correlate with the season, if the right endpoints of the time series are chosen (“cherrypicking”). What does strongly indicate causation is “common modes of variability.” If I hear thunder and see dark clouds overhead and flashes of lightning it is valid to suppose it may rain. The components singly may mean nothing, but combined they strongly suggest rain. You need to assemble all of the information, then decide on causation. Straight line correlations are always suspect without supporting information.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  pochas94
May 18, 2019 3:19 am

Correlation at best is an indicator that you might want to do a further detailed multivariate analysis of the components of the correlation to determine if they are in fact related.

unless it’s clisci, then somehow it becomes the basis for a conclusion. The conclusions derived from this poor correlation (it’s poor for the last 140 years unless you adjust the temp data and NOAA have created a strong correlation between adjustments and CO2 growth..) are akin to the analysis that lead to the long debunked, yet still repeated, gender pay gap claims

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 8:44 am

It is really no where near as complicated as any of that.
The people promoting climate doomsday are liars who make stuff up.
The rest is simply the details.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 18, 2019 12:49 pm

Adjustments come first, justifications are figured out afterward, you can bet your bottom dollar that is how NASA and NOAA CRU BEST and BOM roll on this issue

also given the massive amounts of missing data for a global reconstruction, the fact the data sets from them all look so similar, from JAMA to BOM to CRU to GISS, stinks of collusion. There is no way in my opinion, such sparse data points over time can be used by several separate bodies, and yet produce such similar results by coincidence

Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 2:37 am

In short, the less skill one has in a environment where they have seniority, will be made up for with other traits.

Sometimes this is made up in a way that is still beneficial, you might not be an amazing techie, but you are brilliant at managing techies and planning so provide a net benefit nonetheless

If you don’t have this ability to contribute in this way, yet have been appointed not based on merit into that environment as a leader, you are left with unwanted traits to fill the void, we see this in corporate environments all of the time, lack of skill is made up for in dishonesty, deviousness, and all too often downright hostility and blame gaming

Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 6:25 am

A collection of traits collectively known as malignant narcissism.

Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 2:46 am

Those managing the global temperature data sets also are unwilling to hire those who are skillful and objective. This has affected NASA NOAA CRU and many other institutions’ hiring practices.
There is little chance today that an honest, objective, and extremely skilled individual will be hired into such a setting, as integrity becomes a problem when you want to mislead. There is probably close to zero chance of being hired by any of those wings of cli sci if you do not hold the same opinions and come to the same conclusions.

Think about it, imagine a scientist of great skill, and integrity, from within Mann’s or Schmidt’s own team going public and saying “we are wrong”, this cannot and will not be allowed to happen. Look at what happened Ridd, and he was not even ” on the team” he was at the same university

May 18, 2019 2:56 am

As a physician who has spent ample time in various laboratory settings, I can tell you that scientists and doctors are not only motivated by prestige and the praise of both colleagues and the public at Large, but that is their primary motivation. This motivation is followed, in order, by money, power, and finally an urge to discover something meaningful.

Scientific hubris is the reason that the vast majority of published medical science is flat wrong. Basic statistical analysis proves this to be true. It’s the reason why medicine is constantly reversing itself. Scientific hubris, which has increased in the era of competitive grants and publish or perish mentality, has damaged The credibility of science in the public eye. It’s the reason we have a measles crisis right now in the world’s wealthiest industrialized Nation where access to vaccines is guaranteed regardless of an individual’s ability to pay. Scientific hubris is real, is prominent, and does significant damage.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ljhova
May 18, 2019 8:50 am

I do not agree that antivaxers only exist because of the damage done to the reputation of science in general.
Or that it has anything at all to do with the climate liar mafia.
Some people are just incredibly ignorant, paranoid and delusional, fearful and easily manipulated, and/or some combination of these and other intellectual shortcomings and psychological maladies.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 18, 2019 12:37 pm

And these are the very ones the narcissists feed off of. (pls excuse grammar)

Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 3:12 am

Another thing that disgusts me is the completely bogus risk analysis of future climate states.

Future slow warming and possible impacts, risk management is akin to redundancy in systems
Future drastic cooling and possible impacts, risk management should be akin to disaster recovery.
We are talking global policy here.

In IT, future slow warming and possible impacts would be similar to losing some individual parts of your infra, redundancy addresses this.
Future drastic cooling and possible impacts is akin to your data center being blown up by terrorists.

Where is the risk management for drastic cooling? It’s less likely but its impact is massively greater than future slow warming
This would be the same as planning redundancy but foregoing planning for disaster recovery.
This is where we are at.

May 18, 2019 4:18 am

I’ve said it before… Our science is still in its infancy. As pointed out we cannot rely upon tree rings, ice cores or sediments to predict what happened in the past due to variables that make them inaccurate. But those are what scientist use as comparisons with today and to predict the future. What we have are a lot of people’s best guesses using the sciences we have now, to give us a basic picture of the past. Being exact is not as important as that these data have shown fluctuations based upon the set of parameters used. That for our Holocene Interglacial the temperatures fluctuated as the CO2 slowly increased long before fossil fuels became the predominant source of energy. Shows that CO2 cannot be in any way the “cause” when there wasn’t any “effect” on temperatures fluctuating. That even if the data was wrong by an unknown percentage for a time frame of a tree ring and the corresponding ice core and sediments had variations for that same time frame, it still gives us a general idea of that period in time. Because the overall picture for the Holocene using those same sources show the variations in global temperatures and the CO2 was given as an average for the season the ring formed. With our scientific knowledge we can only use whatever we have now, until something comes along to correct it. But what we do know is that governments have made policies on things that are not proven in any way.

May 18, 2019 5:40 am

Yep the Green Machine will tell you that cattle are ruining the atmosphere and wrecking the land.
However Allan Savory KNOW different! He has experience of changing desert areas back to green pasture.
On marginal land where desertification is likely to happen, more grazing animals, not fewer, will help stop the desert encroachment.

Take the cattle and bison off the land and watch it die, watch it change from green an pleasant to becoming barren and dead.

May 18, 2019 6:00 am

‘Earth’s temperature is only one factor which determines tree growth.’

Absolutely false. Junk science. Only local factors determine tree growth.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Gamecock
May 18, 2019 6:29 am

We are in the age of scientism, which has nothing to do with the scientific method.

Scientism is the unfaltering believe in the idea of science. It’s also linked to the rejection of religion and atheism.

“no need to dig deeper cos science says” and when I ask people who discuss scientific issues like this, do you actually understand the research, the results and if they support the conclusions.. the reply is almost always “such and such says x or y”.

Scientism is the domain of science fanboys, who like to be all about the science, as a virtue signal. Always ready to call someone who disagrees (with scientific evidence to back it up) as science deniers.

I blame de Grasse Tyson for much of the scientism out there today. He has spread the notion for decades that, if scientists did it, it must be correct and to question it is heresy.

Science is not an idea obviously, it’s a process, and most scientism fans don’t even know the meaning of the word “process” without looking it up.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Gamecock
May 18, 2019 6:38 am

It wasn’t meant in that sense. Could have been worded better, it was general, trees all over the world, earth’s temperature, with the specifics being local.

It wasn’t false, or junk science.

If the claim was these trees in this location, the growth is determined by earth’s temperature, then yes, that’s junk, and that is largely how alarmists play it.

Wind your neck in lad

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  Mark - Helsinki
May 18, 2019 7:02 pm

Thank you Mark-Helsinki. You got my meaning. I should have left off the word “Earth’s.”

May 18, 2019 6:14 am

I would take issue with one thing in the piece, the account of science.

It is perfectly reasonable to respond to an apparent counter-example by not rejecting the theory which predicted the reverse, but instead re-examining the instrumentation or looking for confounding circumstances. The better established the theory, the more unlikely the counter example, the more legitimate this is.

Where people construe and endorse Popper to be saying that one counter example is sufficient to falsify a theory, they (and he, if this is what he meant) are simply wrong.

All the same, falsification is and should be very important. Confronted with the theory that CO2 has a warming effect, and observations which show no warming taking place while CO2 concentrations rise, it is perfectly reasonable to wonder if there are any other explanations, apart from the one that says CO2 does not in fact have a warming effect. So its quite reasonable to wonder whether there is systematic bias of some sort in the temperature measurement record, of whether there are unknown feedbacks…. etc

The point where this approach goes off the rails is when the data has to be falsified to make it fit, or when the assumptions which have to be made to make it fit get so complicated and also turn out to be very problematic to verify. At that point we will usually change the theory and the new version, in this case that CO2 rises have no effect, will be the one we seek to elicit predictions from, and look at hard if we find them falsified.

There’s nothing wrong with looking again hard at the temperature record. Where it goes wrong is when we make changes to it which are less well grounded than the theory they are being changed in order to support.

Last para is the critical point.

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  michel
May 18, 2019 7:30 pm

Can you explain why the idea that a theory is disproved by a single incorrect prediction is wrong? I am assuming that the observation which conflicts with the prediction is reproducible, and not due to instrumentation or a confounding circumstance. I have thought about the point you raise many times. Nowadays, at least in Medicine, my field. there is so much data by so many different labs that it is almost impossible to ask a question and not find conflicting data, or more likely, conflicting interpretations of the same data. However, I think Popper’s approach is still correct.

Reply to  Gregory Sloop
May 18, 2019 8:27 pm

Yes. The problem is that the observation is almost always theory laden. Often with the same theory, or components of it, that are present in the theory you are trying to verify or falsify. And in addition, the connection between the theory and the prediction of observation that its making is also mostly not simple.

Popper often talks, in the same way the verificationists do, as if observation statements were clear, unambiguous, not in any way dependent on any theory. It just is not like that.

It seems like what happens in science is partly and in spirit what Popper describes. That is, we do try to derive predictions, and we do experiments and see whether what happens or what is observed is what is predicted. And if enough go wrong, we do indeed doubt and reexamine the theory. But we almost never just take one observation and say that’s it. And we should not, either.

If you think about it, we are usually comparing the credibility of two theories, one of which is that the observations can be accounted for by defects in measuring equipment or bias or whatever. The other says that they rule out theory A.

Popper was right to say that if there is nothing we can imagine that would prove a theory wrong, if validated, then its not proper science. He was also right to say that the process of science is eliciting predictions from theories. And he was right that falsification not verification is the key element.

The philosophical problem with verification is of course the issue with inductive reasoning in general. It was to get around that that Popper arrived at falsification which is not subject to the same issue.

But its wrong to say, and I am not sure Popper actually ever said this, that given a disconfirming result, its illegitimate to look hard at the experimental setup, the validity of the data, the theory behind the measuring equipment. And that is what we usually do.

As I said, the point where this becomes illegitimate is when the adjustments we make in order to explain away the contrary observations are less plauslble than the original theory.

For instance, the theory that the motion of the planets is circular. Then we invoke epicycles to explain retrograde motion. Well, the explanation of the contrary observations is getting less plausible than the theory its designed to solve. We can find no physical basis for it.

We are getting something similar with the endless adjustments to the observations to explain away why global warming theory is predicting more warming than is occurring. It is reasonable to raise the question. But in the end, which is more likely: that we have systematic under warming in the historical data? Or that the data is more or less right and the theory has been falsified? The more we have to tweak the data to make the theory fit, the more the balance of probability moves in favor of refutation.

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  michel
May 19, 2019 2:34 pm

Dear Michel, Thank you for your reply. Can you provide an example of a theory laden observation that does not disprove the theory being tested? If the theory is cholesterol cause heart disease (atherosclerosis) and then a clinical trial of a drug which reduces cholesterol levels shows no decrease in mortality, would you consider the theory disproved? Of course the theory that cholesterol causes atherosclerosis can be modified and become a degenerative program, to use Lakatos’ term. Still, I would consider the simple theory that cholesterol causes atherosclerosis to be disproved. What do you think?

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  michel
May 19, 2019 2:49 pm

Thank you for your reply. Can you give me an example of a theory laden observation which does not disprove a theory? If the theory is cholesterol causes heart disease (atherosclerosis) and a clinical trial of a drug which reduces atherosclerosis shows no reduction in heart disease, is the simple theory that cholesterol causes heart disease disproved? Obviously, the theory can be modified, but then becomes degenerative science, to use Lakatos’ phrase. Thank you.

May 18, 2019 6:39 am

I was taught those principles of analysis at university. I’m not sure such is taught anymore.

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  KT66
May 18, 2019 7:33 pm

That is my impression as well.

May 18, 2019 6:48 am

Climate change is a fact. And that means what?
The climate is either warming or cooling. It cannot be a constant.
If we are lucky it is warming as an significant cooling will be disaster.
Sooner Miocene conditions than a mile thick glacier over New York.
We just happen to live in a period approximately between the two.
It won’t last.
The above is conjecture. Please do your best to discredit it.

Bruce Cobb
May 18, 2019 7:10 am

The minute a scientist says “trust me, I’m a scientist” is the minute you should distrust. They are almost certainly trying to pull a fast one.

Robert Barber
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 19, 2019 4:12 pm

Science proceeds by constructing the best theory possible given current knowledge. That theory is rejected in favor of a better one when sufficient evidence exists. Scientists are not clarvoiants or infalable, but they are the most informed individuals in their field and the opinion of hundreds of them is nothing to he dismissed because a fossil was once misidentified. You claim widespread scientific hubris exists, yet you are more guilty of it yourself than science is. Your disregard for science and scientists is obvious, showing an inherent strong bias. The fact is, climate change deniers are more motivated by greed than the scientists studying it will ever be. The evidence is clear, whether you want to believe or not. Try looking at some actual data. You opinion is well written, but flawed by your fear of what the truth and our future will bring if unheeded. You are an ostrich, who will die with it’s head in the sand along with the rest of humanity if we fail to act.

Gregory Sloop
Reply to  Robert Barber
May 20, 2019 9:05 am

Thanks for reading the essay. Science is not decided by “majority rules.” As I discussed in the essay, there are many reasons why the majority can be wrong. I showed several examples in order to show it is a common pattern. In fact, the mainstream opinion is always wrong until truth is established and debate ceases. That situation is very rare: in addition to the three examples I listed, I can also think of the Copernican solar system.

May 18, 2019 8:16 am

“Earth’s temperature is only one factor which determines tree growth.”

No, LOCAL temperature is only one factor which determines tree growth. There is no “Earth’s temperature.”

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 18, 2019 12:52 pm

that has already been cleared up 😉

Nicholas McGinley
May 18, 2019 9:00 am

This ever increasing delay between posting a comment and when it appears, is now past the point of making the entire site less useful.
It is impossible to have a conversation anymore, at least in real time.
It is getting impossible to even stay interested and engaged enough to stick around waiting.
Just sayin’.
It is a dang shame, and I hope someone is doing something about it.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 18, 2019 11:43 am

Mine always appear as soon as I post them.

Mark - Helsinki
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
May 18, 2019 12:51 pm

I suffer the same thing, keep ending up in the mod bin even though I am posting here for years and years and never got into bother with the mods, yet others don’t.

is it because I am in the EU I wonder? Dunno.

It’s annoying having to wait a long time to see your post, though, if it cant be avoided, I guess it’ll have to do. No issue with the modding at all. Constantly awaiting moderation though, mildly irritating

Mike McHenry
May 18, 2019 9:11 am

I think the old adage “Don’t get so close to your position, that when it falls you fall with it”. These folks are in deep so contradicting data must be rejected or adjusted

May 20, 2019 2:31 pm

People will apparently do a lot of lying to keep a $7 trillion dollar industry going .
Bought “scientists and politicians, a communist leaning UN , all whipped into shape by some
rent seeking con-men .
The biggest criminal fraud in history .

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