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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:40 am 
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Hercules
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For me, the question of climate sensitivity was one of the major linchpin arguments against a greenhouse gas related catastrophe. Here's a primer (emphasis mine):

http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/low-climate-sensitivity.aspx
Quote:
How can there be such disagreement about climate sensitivity if the greenhouse properties of CO2 are well established? Most people assume that the theory of dangerous global warming is built entirely on carbon dioxide. It is not.

There is little dispute among scientists about how much warming CO2 alone can produce, all other things being equal: about 1.1°-1.2°C for a doubling from preindustrial levels. The way warming from CO2 becomes really dangerous is through amplification by positive feedbacks-principally from water vapor and the clouds this vapor produces.

It goes like this: A little warming (from whatever cause) heats up the sea, which makes the air more humid-and water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas. The resulting model-simulated changes in clouds generally increase warming further, so the warming is doubled, trebled or more.

That assumption lies at the heart of every model used by the IPCC, but not even the most zealous climate scientist would claim that this trebling is an established fact. For a start, water vapor may not be increasing. A recent paper from Colorado State University concluded that "we can neither prove nor disprove a robust trend in the global water vapor data." And then, as one Nobel Prize-winning physicist with a senior role in combating climate change admitted to me the other day: "We don't even know the sign" of water vapor's effect-in other words, whether it speeds up or slows down a warming of the atmosphere.

Climate models are known to poorly simulate clouds, and given clouds' very strong effect on the climate system-some types cooling the Earth either by shading it or by transporting heat up and cold down in thunderstorms, and others warming the Earth by blocking outgoing radiation-it remains highly plausible that there is no net positive feedback from water vapor.

If this is indeed the case, then we would have seen about 0.6°C of warming so far, and our observational data would be pointing at about 1.2°C of warming for the end of the century. And this is, to repeat, roughly where we are.

The scientists at the IPCC next year have to choose whether they will admit-contrary to what complex, unverifiable computer models indicate-that the observational evidence now points toward lukewarm temperature change with no net harm. On behalf of all those poor people whose lives are being ruined by high food and energy prices caused by the diversion of corn to biofuel and the subsidizing of renewable energy driven by carboncrats and their crony-capitalist friends, one can only hope the scientists will do so.

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 Post subject: Re: Locked out
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:05 am 
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James V, I'm not sure what the other moderators will think, but perhaps this thread can serve as a meta-discussion of whether climate denialism is an acceptable viewpoint on this forum. As I mentioned, I participate in the astronomy discussion board CosmoQuest (formerly bautforum). The moderators there have a policy that unscientific arguments are not tolerated, except under tight restrictions. They class climate denial as unscientific, and do not tolerate people linking to WUWT as it is so disreputable and unreliable.

I made a general statement in my review of Hansen's book comparing climate denial with Holocaust denial. I do think it is that serious, and I do not like to see denialists making light of the evidence of global warming.

My personal view is that advocacy of climate change denial should not be tolerated. We are acting like stunned rabbits staring at a freight train coming down the track, and need urgent action to stabilise the atmosphere. Denial prevents action.

There was a controversy recently in Australia where our most prestigious science journalist, Robyn Williams of the ABC Science Show, compared denialists to pedophiles. I would not have made that comparison, but as I said in my review, Hitler only killed millions, whereas climate change could kill billions, let alone the mass extinction we are inflicting on other species. Carbon emissions are a great evil.

It is partly a religious issue, and maybe that is an aspect relevant to this forum. As Voltaire said, believing absurdities permits atrocities. No surprise then that the absurd belief in the historical Jesus provides moral comfort for those who do not care about destruction of mother earth.

So James, if you keep advocating climate denial here, my view is that this thread should be locked and you risk being banned.


ABC Science Show wrote:
http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/pro ... transcript
If 95, 96 or 97% of scientists say that human activity is driving the world temperature higher, why is it that some people reject the view of the overwhelming majority? Stephan Lewandowsky has studied scepticism. In the field of climate science the so-called sceptics he says are not sceptical, they are rejecting the evidence for ideological reasons, and a personal world view. He says extremist market ideology leads people to reject climate science. They are rejecting the enlightenment, and all that has been achieved over hundreds of years. He says there is a false consensus effect and the media has done a terrible job at representing climate science. News Limited publications in Australia systematically misrepresent climate science. Denial is a way of wishful thinking. He says solutions need to be highlighted along with new entrepreneurial opportunities as climate changes and the challenges increase.

View comments (296)

Robyn Williams: In September New Scientist magazine complained editorially about the gross distortions politicians came out with in the American election. They said, and I quote, 'For those who care about truth, politics has become a depressing spectacle. Politicians have always bent and spun the facts, but the barefaced lying of recent years is especially difficult to swallow.'

Hello, this is Robyn Williams with The Science Show.

What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma? Or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You'd rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths again and again in recent times, distorting the science. This is what The Economist magazine said last week about the election in America.

Reading: Republican pessimism is more than a PR headache. Put simply, it is hard for a party to win national elections in a country that it seems to dislike. Mr Romney's campaign slogan was 'Believe in America'. But too many on his side believe in a version of America from which displeasing facts or arguments are ruthlessly excluded. Todd Akin did not implode as a Senate candidate because of his stern opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest: many Republicans in Congress share those views. His downfall came because in trying to deny that his principles involved a trade-off with compassion for rape victims he came up with the unscientific myth that the bodies of women subjected to rape can shut down a pregnancy.

It was a telling moment of denial, much like the comforting myth that there is no such thing as climate change or, if there is, that humans are not involved. Ensconced in a parallel world of conservative news sources and conservative arguments, all manner of comforting alternative visions of reality surfaced during the 2012 election. Many, like Mr Akin's outburst, involved avoiding having to think about unwelcome things (often basic science or economics).

Robyn Williams: That from The Economist magazine last week. These distortions of science are far from trivial. Our neglect of what may be clear and urgent problems could be catastrophic. And now a professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia has shown what he says is the basis of this unrelenting debauchery of the facts.

Stephan Lewandowsky: Well, I became interested in scepticism generally a couple of years ago in the context of the Iraq War, and I discovered people who were sceptical of the reasons underlying the war processed information more accurately. And so I thought, hmm, that's interesting. A couple of years ago in 2009 when there was this eruption of so-called scepticism with regard to climate change I thought, well, let's look at this and see if these people are really sceptics. And I then did have a look at the scientific literature and at what these so-called sceptics were saying, and I discovered that in actual fact those people weren't sceptical at all, they were rejecting the science on the basis not of evidence about some other factor.

And so I became interested in finding out what that other factor might be. And together with a couple of other people around the world I start doing research on that, and what we basically found is that the driving motivating factor behind the rejection of climate science is people's ideology or personal worldview, their fundamental attitudes towards how a society should be structured. That is what determines whether or not they accept the scientific evidence. And specifically what we find is that people who are endorsing an extreme version of free-market fundamentalism are likely to reject climate science.

Robyn Williams: That's Stephan Lewandowsky, professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia. His findings and those of Iain Walker of CSIRO show that the rejection of science goes beyond climate.

Stephan Lewandowsky: They are also rejecting the link between smoking and lung cancer, they are rejecting the link between HIV and AIDS. So there seems to be something about an extremist free-market ideology that prevents people from accepting scientific evidence.

Robyn Williams: However, there is also a left-wing component, because I know of a number of Marxists or ex-Marxists who would infer that the greenies who are keen on climate science are trying to deprive the poor of the world, the Third World et cetera, of the benefits that we have had in developing civilisation to our own Western choices. Have you come across that kind of left-wing component of this as well?

Stephan Lewandowsky: It's an interesting question. I've been doing some research for the past year or so chasing people on the left side of politics who are rejecting scientific findings, and it turns out that that search has been extremely difficult. I've done a number of studies, including one most recently that involved a representative sample of Americans, a very large sample, and I looked at attitudes towards GM foods and towards vaccinations. And it turns out that statistically you cannot detect much of an effect from the political left.

Robyn Williams: It must have been a couple of people like Alexander Cockburn, who has just died, and the producer of The Great Global Warming Swindle, who at one stage was a Marxist, I don't know whether it still has that, but that was the case made in that film, that these middle-class lefties are simply trying to deprive the poor people of the world of the benefits.

Stephan Lewandowsky: I think that's true, I think there are some spokespeople out there for anti-scientific positions who claim to have a left-wing Marxist background. But when you look at the population at large, if you look at a large sample of people, then you don't find them. And that probably means one of two things. Either the number of these people are so small that you just have to be extremely lucky to find one in 100,000 or something, or that their claimed political affiliation is in fact not as left-wing as they make it out.

Robyn Williams: There have been some extraordinary statements, I'm thinking of a couple of bankers whom I've met who have sat through a learned lecture by one of the most famous scientists in the world, and come out the other end and said, 'Well, of course it's not proven.' And I don't know how much more evidence you'd want. And the former chairman of the ABC, Maurice Newman, who had been head of the stock exchange, came out with some drivel in The Australian newspaper a couple of weeks ago about how climate science is a religion.

Stephan Lewandowsky: Well, I think if you're driven by ideology rather than evidence then by an act of projection you have to accuse scientists of being religious in order to justify your own denial I think.

Robyn Williams: But let me ask you that question; if you're using such easy debating techniques, you're just insulting 97% of the climate scientists who agree that there is a problem, and you're doing so even though you are the kind of person who is used to talking to Cabinet ministers and the highest-grade clever experts in a field, but you would have a discount factor in this regard. That's amazing.

Stephan Lewandowsky: It's absolutely amazing, and in fact they are not just insulting 97 out of 100 climate scientists, I think they are also insulting basically the Enlightenment and everything that we've worked on for the last couple of hundred years, which is to go from a dogmatic and religious approach to life to an evidence-based approach. So I think that the dismissal of science by people who are interacting with Cabinet ministers, as you just said, I think that is actually a very critical issue that is facing our society and we have to understand what motivates those people.

And one of the intriguing results is that neither education nor intelligence is overcoming the influence of ideology. There are some American data on this which show that among Republicans the greater their level of education, the more likely they are to reject climate science. So in other words, educating Republicans drives them more towards denial, whereas if you educate Democrats and you look at the effect of education on Democrats then you find that the more educated they are, the more they accept the scientific findings.

So you get this increase in polarisation with education between Democrats and Republicans. And the same thing is true if you ask people about their rated self-professed knowledge of climate science, then people who are politically conservative, the more they think they understand the science, the more they will reject it. So ideology is the overriding variable in this.

Robyn Williams: Well, there's the problem. Whether the scientists are ultimately right, and scientists can be wrong, nonetheless it has prevented climate science and the possible dire consequences of what we are facing to be discussed in the election in the United States. That's a serious problem, is it not?

Stephan Lewandowsky: Absolutely, I think it is a serious problem, which is one of the reasons why I'm working on it, because we have to understand what motivates these people and how one can deal with that. And one of the things that one can do is to underscore the consensus among climate scientists about the fundamentals of climate science. You mentioned earlier that 97% of climate scientists agree on the fundamentals, and that number is roughly right, it's in the 90s, 90% or more. It turns out, and one of my recent studies showed this, that if you tell people about this consensus and the strength of the consensus, and if you just show them a graph that shows 97 people who agree on one thing and then there are three who don't, that consensus information does shift people's attitudes.

And what I found in one of my studies is that that shift in attitudes is particularly pronounced among people who would otherwise reject climate science based on their personal ideology. So that is one of the things that I think is a successful strategy, is just to keep underscoring the consensus, the fact that the scientists agree, the fact that every single major scientific organisation in the world is endorsing the basics of climate science, and so on. I think that is a very important thing to underscore over and over.

Robyn Williams: And what about the number of people who are, if you like, denying it? A paper published by one of your colleagues this week suggests the number is fewer than one would have thought.

Stephan Lewandowsky: Absolutely, and that has been shown over and over again. In Australia in this survey you just mentioned by Iain Walker the number of people who deny that climate change is happening is around 5% or 6% of the population. But those 5%, if you then ask them how many people they think are sharing their opinion, their response is, oh, about 50%. So what we have here is a fringe opinion that is held by a very, very few Australians, but they have convinced themselves that half the population agrees with them. And this phenomenon is called a false consensus effect technically, and that phenomenon is usually indicative of a distortion in the media landscape.

Other research has shown that in other instances, that if people develop this sort of self-inflation where they are inflating their self-importance, that usually is indicative of the media not doing their job properly. And there's no question in my mind that in Australia the media have done a terrible job in representing the science. And there have been a lot of analyses recently pointing out that in particular certain publications out of the Murdoch empire are systematically misrepresenting the science, distorting it, representing things that are simply not true. That happens over and over again and is difficult to explain by any sort of random process. There must be something else going on there. And I think one of the consequences is that this fringe opinion has taken hold in public discourse.

Robyn Williams: You're a psychologist and I think there is no great difficulty in trying to understand that if you're being told that the entire globe is threatened in a way that is pretty dire, you'd rather think otherwise. So isn't there a component of wishful thinking about this as well?

Stephan Lewandowsky: Absolutely, totally, I think that is absolutely true. And what is very interesting about this is that there are some data to suggest that a lot of the people who deny at first glance that human beings are responsible for climate change, they actually do know that we are responsible, and it's a very funny result. This is, again, in Iain Walker's research. What he's done is to ask people, you know, well, if the globe is warming, are people responsible or not? And then it turns out that about 40% to 45% of the people will acknowledge the fact that the globe is warming, but they will say, no, people have nothing to do with it, it's all natural fluctuation. Then, a minute later if you ask them who was responsible for global warming, pick a few of the following from this list, then even the people who just said it was all natural pick 'polluting corporations', 'large industrialised countries', et cetera, and assign the responsibility for warming to them.

That tells us that these people actually know who is responsible. And so their 'denial' is only skin deep, and I think what's happening there is this is just a tool for people to exercise their wishful thinking, to say no, it's all natural fluctuation, and then they can go on driving their big trucks or whatever it is they're doing. I think there is that.

I think there's a larger implication of this, and that is that one of the problems we've been having is that climate change has always been communicated in a doom and gloom fashion. And obviously that turns people off, and it's totally understandable why it would do that. So what we have to find is a different way of talking about climate change and a way that is underscoring the opportunities that come along with it when it comes to the development of clean energy, underscoring the fact that the problem is solvable, with considerable effort and money, but it is a solvable problem. And I think we have to highlight those solutions, and we have to try and highlight the fact that there are new entrepreneurial opportunities out there in dealing with the problem.

Robyn Williams: You're not part of a Marxist/Leninist cell hidden away in Western Australia, are you?

Stephan Lewandowsky: Well, that depends on who you ask. I don't think so. But since I publishe in the peer-reviewed literature, a lot of people think therefore I must be a Communist, yes.

Robyn Williams: The distinguished professor of psychology at the University of Western Australia, Dr Stephan Lewandowsky. And those conclusions in a week when two organisations, one the World Bank, warned that we may be heading towards a 4°C warming, with all that entails.

Guest
Stephan LewandowskyWinthrop Professor in Psychology
University of Western Australia
http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/l ... dowsky.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Locked out
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:21 am 
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Hercules
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 Post subject: Re: Locked out
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:45 am 
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Robert Tulip wrote:
ABC Science Show wrote:
What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children...

Wow, you've really lowered the bar for yourself, Robert.

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“If one cannot think without mental patterns – and, in my belief, one cannot – it is better to know what they are; for a pattern of which one is unconscious is a pattern that holds one at its mercy." -Arnold Toynbee


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 Post subject: Re: Locked out
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:09 am 
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^ You obviously have not read the whole interview, or my comment on it.

There is little point discussing climate change with you James, since you routinely twist and ignore all matters of substance, oblivious to facts and logic. I am sorry for you.

Your comment is exactly like the News Limited reports on this ABC Science Show interview which focussed on a sensational phrase - apparently as part of a mad Dr Strangelove indifference to world climate.

Global warming is no more a cult than the belief the earth orbits the sun. So you say 97% of climate scientists constitute a cult? That is a desperate insult. Talk about lowering the bar. I can't see this lasting long.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:33 am 
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Deary me. Ridley displays himself as an idiot fascist. There is rational optimism and there is starry-eyed insanity. If you read that crap, you can find refutations at the following links

http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?n=1784
http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate ... vanced.htm
http://www.skepticalscience.com/matt-ri ... rophe.html

The merchant banker wants to bet the planet on his hunch that science overstates the feedback of water. Paraphrasing Oscar Wilde, losing a bank is misfortune, but losing a planet is carelessness.

Quote:
This approach is very similar to the one Ridley took as the non-executive Chairman of Northern Rock, a British bank that, in 2007, was the first in over 150 years to experience a run on its deposits. The bank had allowed itself to become extremely over-leveraged, with debts more than 50 times its shareholder common equity. Ultimately Northern Rock was bailed out, borrowing £3 billion from the Bank of England over the span of a few days in 2007. Ridley was unprepared for the worst case scenario when it came to fruition. Unfortunately if the worst case (or even most likely case) climate scenario comes to fruition, there will be nobody to bail out the planet.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:49 pm 
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This website looked good to me:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/

Quote:
Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

Human greenhouse gas emissions have continued to warm the planet over the past 16 years. However, a persistent myth has emerged in the mainstream media challenging this. Denial of this fact may have been the favorite climate contrarian myth of 2012, first invented by David Rose at The Mail on Sunday with an assist from Georgia Tech's Judith Curry, both of whom later doubled-down on the myth after we debunked it. Despite these repeated debunkings, the myth spread throughout the media in various opinion editorials and stunts throughout 2012. The latest incarnations include this article at the Daily Mail, and a misleadingly headlined piece at the Telegraph.

As a simple illustration of where the myth goes wrong, the following video clarifies how the interplay of natural and human factors have affected the short-term temperature trends, and demonstrates that underneath the short-term noise, the long-term human-caused global warming trend remains as strong as ever.



Global Warming & Climate Change Myths

Here is a summary of global warming and climate change myths, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says. Click the response for a more detailed response. You can also view them sorted by taxonomy, by popularity, in a print-friendly version, with short URLs or with fixed numbers you can use for permanent references.

Climate Myth vs What the Science Says

1 "Climate's changed before" Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
2 "It's the sun" In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions
3 "It's not bad" Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
4 "There is no consensus" 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.
5 "It's cooling" The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.
6 "Models are unreliable" Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
7 "Temp record is unreliable" The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites.
8 "Animals and plants can adapt" Global warming will cause mass extinctions of species that cannot adapt on short time scales.
9 "It hasn't warmed since 1998" For global records, 2010 is the hottest year on record, tied with 2005.
10 "Antarctica is gaining ice" Satellites measure Antarctica losing land ice at an accelerating rate.
11 "CO2 lags temperature" CO2 didn't initiate warming from past ice ages but it did amplify the warming.
12 "Ice age predicted in the 70s" The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.
13 "Climate sensitivity is low" Net positive feedback is confirmed by many different lines of evidence.
14 "We're heading into an ice age" Worry about global warming impacts in the next 100 years, not an ice age in over 10,000 years.
15 "Ocean acidification isn't serious" Ocean acidification threatens entire marine food chains.
16 "Hockey stick is broken" Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.

There is a very long list of these "myths" at this link: http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

Even though this exercise is fruitful to whatever extent, I'm not sure anyone here is going to be convinced otherwise, especially since everything I've written previously on this subject - sans the C02 debate - is based on observations by natives backed up by scientists. There's just no overturning those data or the fact that our earth is horribly polluted, pollution that extends into the air and most assuredly changes the environment, such as:

Used computers toxifying kids, polluting oceans
http://freethoughtnation.com/contributi ... ceans.html

Boys are mutating into girls
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/contri ... girls.html

Pacific garbage patch and religious fanaticism
http://www.examiner.com/article/pacific ... fanaticism

Cruise ships massively pollute our oceans and air
http://www.examiner.com/article/cruise- ... ns-and-air

And so on, ad nauseam.

The bottom line is that we are destroying our environment through our polluting ways. We have also had some of the hottest temperatures on record in numerous places, along with some of the coldest. "Climate change" seems to be a term accurate enough to describe what we are experiencing, and the link between changing one's climate and pollution is most assuredly established, again as the links above illustrate. If toxify our world, we have changed it - and not for the better. It is ludicrous and deleterious to pretend otherwise.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:50 am 
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Acharya wrote:
The bottom line is that we are destroying our environment through our polluting ways... It is ludicrous and deleterious to pretend otherwise.
As I've said previously, I agree. But CO2 is not a toxin. Outside of it's greenhouse effect, at the levels we're talking about, CO2 is harmless. If I am skeptical about CO2 it does not mean that I do not care about our planet, and it does not mean that I disagree with other environmental efforts.

I will address the first point:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/ wrote:
Human greenhouse gas emissions have continued to warm the planet over the past 16 years. However, a persistent myth has emerged in the mainstream media challenging this.
This is patently false. It is not a myth. They know damn well that this statement is based on HadCRUT surface temperature data. David Rose clearly cites the HadCRUT dataset in his article. He did not "invent" it. The Met Office predicted a 0.2 degree per decade increase in temperature, with plateaus lasting not more than 15 years. It is perfectly fair and reasonable to point out that there has been a plateau for the last 16 years.

If skepticalscience.com wants to talk about ocean temperatures, fine. I'd be happy to discuss ocean temperature predictions. But it does not invalidate the above fact. It only changes the subject.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:42 pm 
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http://www.economist.com/news/asia/2156 ... -up-eleven

The authorities are preparing for such recordings as the new normal. On January 8th the Bureau of Meteorology added new colours, purple and pink, to its weather map to denote temperatures once considered off the scale: 50-52°C and 52-54°C respectively. (In “Spinal Tap” parlance, it turned the knob up to 11.) The bureau says more “significant records” are likely to be set, with no end to the heatwave in sight.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:18 am 
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the Bureau of Meteorology added new colours, purple and pink
That image is pretty impressive. Is it real?
Quote:
Aaron Coutts-Smith, the bureau's NSW head of climate monitoring, though, cautioned that the 50-degree reading is the result of just one of the bureau's models. "The indications are, from the South Australian office, that we are not looking at getting any where near that (50 degree level)."(source)
Oh. So they made a scary pic that wasn't real, and wasn't even likely to happen. And instead of simply adding some numbers to the scale, they invented new colors to give the media something to write about, including a "terrifying hot pink".

With crap like this making headlines, no wonder there are so many skeptics. Why do this? They are only undermining themselves.


Apparently these heatwaves are not unusual in Australia. The last heatwave record was set in 1972, and was due to natural variation. (How do they distinguish natural warming from anthropogenic warming anyways?) So was this heatwave caused by anthropogenic global warming?

Quote:
The heatwave is mainly due to a late monsoon. Typically, by January, the monsoon trough will have migrated south over north Australia, increasing cloud and rain and therefore lowering the temperature.

The monsoon delay has led to a three-week spell of sunny weather across the interior, which has allowed a mass of very hot, dry, air to expand, a phenomenon the country is predicted to experience more often in coming years. (source)
Oh. It was due to a late monsoon. But more late monsoons are predicted to occur because of global warming. Was this particular monsoon related to global warming? If there is a global warming connection, is this how it works: small increase in temperature from global warming => disrupts normal weather patterns => delays monsoon => leads to Australian heat wave?

To me, this link appears tenuous and unsubstantiated, but I'm all ears.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:42 pm 
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clipped from posts above, wrote:
"If 95, 96 or 97% of scientists say that human activity is driving the world temperature higher, why is it that some people reject the view of the overwhelming majority?"
"...you're just insulting 97% of the climate scientists who agree that there is a problem..."
"...they are not just insulting 97 out of 100 climate scientists, I think they are also insulting basically the Enlightenment..."
"show them a graph that shows 97 people who agree on one thing and then there are three who don't..."
"97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming."
I like to think that if I were a believer in a global warming crisis, I'd still object to dubious information being spread. I suspect that people concerned about the environment accept these statements uncritically because they look plausible, and they support their message. And since people don't seek out a critical point of view, they never hear any different. That is unfortunate.

The 97% number is based on a survey. The questions asked:

    When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

    Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

The survey is essentially useless in challenging critics because most critics would agree that temperatures have risen and that human activity is a contributing factor. Furthermore, out of the 3000 survey respondents, the 97% figure only refers to a paltry 75 respondents. Why didn't they ask the essential question: "Is a catastrophe from anthropogenic warming likely?"

According to a survey of American Meteorological Society members, only 30% of respondents said they were "very worried" about global warming, while 42% were "somewhat worried". 20% were not very worried and 8% were not worried at all. This does not sound like a consensus of impending doom to me.

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 Post subject: Should Scientists Rule?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:47 am 
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http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/voices/roger-pielke-jr/should-scientists-rule/

"What happens when it is the geeks themselves who engage in a pathological politicizing of science?"

    In The Geek Manifesto, British journalist Mark Henderson makes a passionate case for why science and scientists deserve a greater role in politics. He argues that political views ought to be measured beyond two axes representing economics and social policies. “Politics,” Henderson explains, “has a third axis, too. It measures rationalism, skepticism and scientific thinking.”

    The champions of this third axis are the “geeks” — those “people with a passion for science and the critical thinking on which it is founded.” Science, Henderson explains, “is not a noun but a verb.” He continues, explaining that science “is provisional, always open to revision … comfortable with your changing your mind … anti-authoritarian: anybody can contribute, and anybody can be wrong … [tries] to prove the most elegant ideas wrong … [and] is comfortable with uncertainty.”

    Henderson briefly notes that scholarship also shows that “the idealized picture presented in the last paragraph is rarely quite fulfilled in practice,” an important qualification that goes undeveloped. Here I offer a critique of The Geek Manifesto, a book I really enjoyed reading. Ultimately, I disagree with the book’s bottom line call for a political movement centered on science as an organizing theme.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:23 am 
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The author's initial response to Pielke's denialist review is at http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/colli ... O_7LVLX1oZ

Henderson's comments on the politics of evidence include the following
Mark Henderson wrote:
- those who change their minds when they do engage, who lose their indifference, have to be celebrated.
- The evidence isn’t always equally weighted between one side and its critics – global warming and vaccine safety are particular examples of where phony balance, rather than fairness to the evidence, has damaged the quality of public debate.
- “We are held back by the rationality and circumspection with which we speak, handicaps that do not encumber our opponents.”
- What I do want, though, is for the evidence to be weighed, considered, and published, and for decisions that are made for reasons of ideology or values to be explained as such, and not justified according to spray-on evidence that doesn’t really exist.
- the problem isn’t by and large that politicians are anti-science. It’s indifference, a lack of engagement. Few politicians have much sense that there might be any kind of political price to pay if they handle science badly. It’s only by acting as more active citizens that those of us who care about science stand much chance of addressing that.



What this debate shows is that all sides want to bask in the holy aura of the claim their views are based on evidence. That is why the real evidence on climate change presented by the IPCC and more visionary voices such as Hansen gets attacked so intensely, because those who wish to disregard it cannot admit they are lying. It is like "this is untrue but believe it anyway" is not the greatest political argument.

This basic context means Pielke makes some cheap shots in his critique of Henderson's book. Pielke criticises a scientist-politician who explained the problem of having to simplify and dumb down and repeat his message to get through to voters. That is the political reality, but Pielke's cheap point is that the politician is disrespectful of voters. Even very smart newspaper editors are ignorant of science, so why would Pielke criticise a scientist for pointing out that the political debate is fairly unscientific? The answer is that Pielke is notorious, as shown in his largely evidence-free opposition to the science of global warming.

So, James V, your approval of the description of science as "pathological" is rather an incendiary grenade in this debate. Science is not pathological, its critics are.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:51 am 
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Robert Tulip wrote:
So, James V, your approval of the description of science as "pathological" is rather an incendiary grenade in this debate. Science is not pathological, its critics are.
Just to quickly point out, the quote does not describe science as pathological.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:37 am 
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Thor
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James V, I'm not sure what the other moderators will think, but perhaps this thread can serve as a meta-discussion of whether climate denialism is an acceptable viewpoint on this forum.


Wait... WHAT? First: "Climate denialism"? That is a terrible two-edged phrase and should not be used by objective, rational human beings. Second: I am out of here if you are in the practice of telling your users what is an "acceptable" viewpoint on this forum. Taking a page from religion are we?


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