Reminder: November 10 Phoenix Climate Presentation

I am making this reminder in honor of Blog Action Day for Climate.

I would like to invite all of you in the Phoenix area to my climate presentation on November 10, 2009. The presentation is timed to coincide with the Copenhagen climate negotiations as Ill as debate on the Boxer cap-and-trade bill in the US Senate.

Despite the explosion of media stories on climate, it is difficult for the average person to really get a handle on the science of greenhouse gasses and climate change in the simplistic and often incomplete or even incorrect popular accounts. This presentation, which is free to the public, will focus on the science of climate change, including:

  • Why greenhouse gasses like CO2 warm the Earth.
  • How most forecasts of warming from manmade causes are grossly exaggerated, which helps to explain why actual temperatures are undershooting warming forecasts
  • How natural processes lead to climate variations that are being falsely interpreted as man-made.
  • A discussion of public policy initiatives, and the presentation of a much lower-cost alternative to current cap-and-trade bills
  • A review of the role of amateurs in weather and climate measurement, and how the average person can get involved

I have a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University and a masters degree from Harvard. Most of his training is in control theory and the forecasting of complex dynamic systems, which turn out to be the key failure points in most catastrophic climate forecasts. My mission over the last few years both at this web site and my lectures and debates has been to teach the science of global warming in ways that are accessible to the general public.

Over the years I have preferred a debate format, as for example in my debate with Joe Nation, the author of California’s cap-and-trade law. Unfortunately, the most alarmist proponents of catastrophic manmade global warming have taken Al Gore’s lead and refuse to participate in public debates on the topic. As a result, I will do my best to be fair in presenting the global warming case, and then show which portions are really “settled science” and which portions are exaggerated. You are encouraged to check out Climate-Skeptic.com to see the type of issues I take on – there are links to past presentations, blog posts, books, and even a series of popular and highly-rated YouTube videos.

Below you will also find an example of the types of issues I will discuss. There are many, many folks out there on both sides of this issue whose writing and presentations amount to little more than fevered finger-pointing – I work hard to avoid this type rhetoric and focus on the science.

The presentation will be at 7PM November 10 in the auditorium of the Phoenix Country Day School, just north of Camelback on 40th Street, and is free to the public (this event is paid for me personally and is not sponsored or paid for by any group). The presentation will be about an hour long with another hour for questions and discussion. Folks on all sides of these issues are encouraged to attend and participate in civil discussion of the issues.

If you are interested, please join the mailing list for this presentation to receive reminders and updates:



Example Climate Issue: Positive Feedback

By Warren Meyer

I often make a wager with my audiences. I will bet them that unless they are regular readers of the science-based climate sites, I can tell them something absolutely fundamental about global warming theory they have never heard. What I tell them is this:

Man-made global warming theory is not one theory but in fact two totally separate theories chained together. These two theories are:

  1. Man-made greenhouse gasses, such as CO2, acting alone will warm the planet betIen 1.0 and 1.5 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.
  2. The Earth’s climate system is dominated by positive feedbacks, such that the warming from Greenhouse gasses alone is amplified 3-5 or more times. Most of the warming in catastrophic forecasts comes from this second effect, not directly from greenhouse gas warming.

This is not some Iird skeptic’s fantasy. This two-part description of catastrophic global warming theory is right out of the latest IPCC report. Most of the warming in the report’s forecasts actually results from the theory of positive feedback in #2, not from greenhouse gasses directly.

One of the most confusing issues for average people watching the climate debate is how one side can argue so adamantly that the science is “settled” and the other can argue just the opposite. The explanation lies in large part with this two-part theory. There is a high degree of consensus around proposition1, even among skeptics. I may disagree that the warming is 0.8C or 1.2C, but few on the science end of the debate would argue that CO2 has no effect on warming. When people say “the science is settled” they generally want to talk about proposition 1 and avoid discussion of proposition 2.

That is because proposition 2 is far from settled. The notion that a long-term stable system can be dominated by very high positive feedbacks offends the intuition of many natural scientists, who know that most natural processes (short of nuclear fission) are dominated by negative feedbacks. Sure, there are positive feedbacks in climate, just as there are negative feedbacks. The key is how these net out. The direct evidence that the Earth’s climate is dominated by strong net positive feedbacks is at best equivocal, and in fact evidence is growing that negative feedbacks may dominate, thus greatly reducing expected future warming from greenhouse gasses.

In my public presentations, I typically will

  • Explain this split of catastrophic man-made global warming theory into two propositions, and how most of the predicted catastrophe comes from the second proposition rather than the first
  • Show how skeptics have hurt their credibility by trying to challenge proposition #1
  • Explain the mechanics in simple terms of positive and negative feedback
  • Show the data and evidence related to feedback
  • Show from historic temperature numbers that assumptions of high positive feedback are extremely unlikely to be correct.

I have a video related to these issues of feedback and forecasts on YouTube in a 9 minute video titled “Don’t Panic – Flaws in Catastrophic Global Warming Forecasts.” See all my videos at my YouTube channel.

  • hunter

    “The notion that a long-term stable system can be dominated by very high positive feedbacks offends the intuition of many natural scientists”

    You’re a pathetic piece of shit, you really are. You come out with this little slice of bullshit time and time again and you simply can’t grasp that it’s meaningless. You are too stupid to learn, and too stupid even to argue your own case. And you’re not just content to be stupid, you actually want to spread your stupidity around? There is no excuse for people like you. You disgust me.

  • Pogo

    Sorry “hunter”… You fail the Turing test.

  • happyjuggler0

    Pogo, you just made my day.

  • Stevo

    Pogo… you fail the retard test.

  • Bryan

    I was kind of getting used to the troll being gone.

  • Pogo

    @Stevo: “Pogo… you fail the retard test.”.

    Thanks. I’m glad to hear it. You however, I assume, have passed it and are therefore a genuine, qualified, certificated, retard.

    Have a nice day.

  • hunter

    Clearly when pressed on the impossibility of positive feedbacks dominating the climate system, the true believers as represented by Hunter/Pogo/scientist have no rational answer.
    But that, of course, implies that our favorite troll has a choice between rational and irrational responses, for which there is no evidence at all.

  • Pogo

    To “hunter” at October 17, 2009, 8:54am. (presumably the real one)…

    Damn you Sir! I insist that you retract your statement grouping me with the fake hunter / scientist / jennifer. There is no bloody way that I could be considered a “true believer”, you only need to go back through my other (admittedly sporadic) postings on this site.

    Actually, I’m slightly at a loss as to how you came to include me with such undesirable company. My first posting in this thread, accusing the fake hunter of failing the Turing test (ie being a bot-like response that could in no way be mistaken for having human intelligence behind it, a la “eliza”) should surely indicate that I’m not a follower of said person/bot. Indeed, I’ve taken it to task in the past for its apparent failure to understand the difference between feedback and amplification.

    Rant over.

    After posting a rather snarky response to “Stevo” it did occur to me that he might have been accusing me of “failing the retard test” as a backhanded complement, ie that I’m not a retard… If that was the case I apologise wholeheartedly and can only say that the whooshing sound as it went over my head only became apparent a bit too late! 🙂 (Maybe it was a very scraped pass).

  • hunter

    Pogo,
    The troll shifts names so quickly and so often, it is clear I made a mistake.
    Please do accept my apology.

  • Steve Hanson

    Man, one of the hunters is (to be mild) a foul mouthed bafoon. The other hunter has an intellectual approach to his or her writing.

    Now to my reason to post. I currently know where to acquire a tree trunk about 6 or 7 feet tall and 5 or 6 feet wide. Are there any tree ring scientists or the like that I can approach with this as to examine the growth cycles with recorded weather reports for the 4 corners area. This trunk was cut down last year.

  • Dave Dardinger

    Rather sad that bad language is allowed here. Makes me appreciate Steve McIntyre’s firm insistence on some degree of civility at Climate Audit. OTOH, I do agree 100% with the point that there must be negative feedbacks which kick in at some point, and most probably are already at work. The fact is that CO2 levels in the recent past (geologically speaking) are near the minimum which is possible. Any lower and life is negatively impacted. The first couple of CO2 doublings are primarily going to result in shifting the water cycle to adjust. Part of the problem, as far as explaining this to AGW zealots, is that a lot of the adjustment involves moving larger amounts of heat poleward and this can be called Global Warming as opposed to Regional Adjustment to Warming.

  • Broken link: Blog Action Day for Climate.