Analyzing the Global Warming Alarmist Phenomenon

Martin Cohen sent me an email with a series of links that all look at global warming alarmism as a phenomenon.

In defence of scepticism

By Martin Cohen, editor of the Philosopher

Climate Hysterians have been redoubling their efforts to portray the debate as one between a few cranks (especailly right-wing ones) and ‘scientists’, whereas the truth is very different.  Here, for example, are just four recent substantial articles challenging climate change science, from a neutral or ‘philosophy of science’ perspective.

1. Professor John David Lewis of Duke University, USA, has challenged many of the claims made by proponents of man-made climate change theory, in an article in the prestigious journal Social Philosophy and Policy (Volume 26 No. 2 Summer 2009), saying: ‘Those predicting environmental disasters today focus on particular issues in order to magnify the gravity of their general claims, and they push those issues until challenges make them untenable. Rhetorical skill and not logical argument has become the standard of success.’

2. In a separate review article, published in the Times Higher on the 03 December 2008, Professor Gwyn Prins, the director of the Mackinder Programme for the Study of Long Wave Events at the London School of Economics, says that the ‘principle product of recent science is to confirm that we know less, less conclusively – not more, more conclusively – about the greatest open systems on the planet’, and goes on to predict that for this reason, the ‘Kyoto Flyer’ is about to hit the buffers at Copenhagen.

3. Professor Mike Hulme’s defence of scepticism in the December Wall Street Journal:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704107104574571613215771336.html

4. And (last but not least!) my own feature article ‘Beyond Debate?’, is in the current (10 December 2009, and not on the website, timeshighereducation.co.uk until that date – but well worth a look!) issue of the scuprlously neutral Times Higher Education. None of these accounts are motivated by either improper influence or a right-wing agenda. As my article explains, climate change lobbyists such as Al Gore (and now Gordon Brown!) are:

* Using images, such as the polar bears supposedly trapped on a melting iceberg, ships in a dried up sea as crude propaganda to appeal to people?s fears rather than their reason.

* Presenting irrelevant ‘data’, such as unusual weather events of high summertime temperatures, as though these were connected to the main climate change hypotheses, of carbon dioxide trapping heat, even though this theory in fact only concerns night-time temperatures. All these articles point out that the supposed causal link between carbon dioxide levels and temperatures has no historical basis, and relies instead on computer models that have been shown to be unreliable and misleading. It says that if, for those at, the Copenhagen summit, the idea of manmade global warming is incontrovertible, the consensus is less a triumph of science and rationality than of PR and fear- mongering.

The full text is at:

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=409454&c=2

  • Wally

    Shills, I stopped because I got tired of repeating myself. If you reject my argument(s), that’s fine. You’re allowed to do so, but that doesn’t mean you’re right. Also, don’t assume that because we stopped responding that either we think you’re right nor don’t have anything else to argue. I simply don’t want to engage in this argument any longer. Just because you’re the most stubborn person in the room, posting basically to your self for almost a week, and no one is left talking to you, doesn’t mean you are right.

    My points have been made, as have your’s, we then started going in circles, and I only have so much tolerance for merry-go-rounds. Maybe I’ll see you in a future post and we can avoid the merry-go-rounds.

  • Shills

    @ Wally:

    You say: ‘My points have been made, as have your’s, we then started going in circles, and I only have so much tolerance for merry-go-rounds.’

    If you have a problem we can address it. What exactly is going around in circles? Is it our argument on appeal to authority? If you want to convince me on that then show me a good link or something that clearly shows I’m making the logical fallacy, instead of just saying it. If you want the argument to stop being circular than the ball’s in your court.

    Also forgive me if I doubt the sole reason is due to round-aboutin’. Most of the arguments between ANon and me of late were about reading stats. There was no repeatings, the argument was going like any argument would until Anon went mute.

  • Wally

    “If you want to convince me on that then show me a good link or something that clearly shows I’m making the logical fallacy”

    Ok, I’ve done this, but I’ll give you one more go round.

    Your argument basically breaks down into this:

    A layperson can’t understand the science of climate change. (ignoring of course that various levels of lay people could educate themselves if they desire to do so)
    The consensus opinion of scientists is likely to be right. (You don’t even attempt to prove this statement)
    A layperson should then appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists. (Appeal to authority)

    What you’ve done in an attempt to disguises your appeal to authority is to wrap it up in more complicated statements. Breaking your argument down into it most basic form should make it pretty obvious how this is not a logical, nor factual argument. So, I completely fail to see how we are even still discussing this other than the fact that I happen to be waiting for something to finish at work.

    Also this entire argument is made completely irrelevant by the first line. The mere fact that we are here on a climate change blog likely indicates that both of us have taken an interest in educating ourselves on the subject and are likely to be able to understand the necessary science. Well, maybe you want to remain a layperson and thus perpetuate this argument, but I am certainly not. So this argument is irrelevant, not factual, and fallacious. Yet you’re here disputing whether its fallacious or not….but WHO CARES? All it takes is one of those three things to be completely meaningless in regards to the larger topic of this discussion, which of course has been lost for, oh a month. (And of course we’re ignoring subtitles like what really constitutes a consensus and if there is one…)

    And honestly, at this point, if you don’t understand the problems with your argument I just give up. Some people can’t understand quantum mechanics, other can’t understand organic chemistry, some can’t grasp microeconomics, maybe you just have trouble with logic. Heck, maybe I just can’t figure out how to communicate with you. But what is not true is that my silence means anything more than I simply don’t care to talk about this any more. Now, this will be the last time I deal with this issue.

    “Most of the arguments between ANon and me of late were about reading stats. There was no repeatings, the argument was going like any argument would until Anon went mute.”

    I don’t know, I seem to remember you two going back and forth on what the same stat means several times…. You also fail to adequately address several other issues that may bias the results and appear to have a bias in your own interpretation of the results. Of course all this has been pointed out to you, but you either ignore it or basically repeat yourself.

    Just one example:
    I say: “And in the wake of all politicization of this field and the emails providing evidence of rigged peer review, I don’t think we have the necessary “scientific scrutiny” to even care what a poll says.”

    You say: “You are sceptical of the quality of the science of an entire globe spanning, mutli-decade long inquiry that supports AGW theory. But your little evidence for a globe-spanning rigged peer-review system is enough to convince you it exists.”

    I’m sorry, what kind of argument is this exactly? What “multi-decade long inquiry that supports AGW theory?” Please, prove that to me. Show me exactly where someone proves exactly how much CO2, or anything else, we’ve put into the atmosphere and exactly how much of an effect it has had over various other cycles (ie. sun, pacific, etc) and noise. I have PROOF several members rigged peer-review and that the IPCC report is heavily compromised by political spin. Where is your proof of AGW?

    This is just one example of you dodging the arguments of others. You back away from the opposing argument create an appeals to ridicule (ie. “your little evidence,” where you don’t address the evidence simply degrade it) and making blind statements of fact (decades of research supporting AGW, despite my, I guess, “little evidence”).

    Then you say stuff like this: “As a lay person we leave the science to the experts. They are the ones who have analysed the evidence and come to an opinion. they ALSO don’t care about the numbers, just the evidence.”

    But I’ve address these kinds of issues before. Just for example, the emails where various scientists (Mann, Jones) discuss blocking papers because they don’t like their conclusions and attempting to use their political weight to trivialize opposing opinions in the IPCC report. How exactly is that just caring about the evidence? Are these the scientists we’re appealing to? In fact, these are the scientists at the top of the AGW research crowd. Sorry, but fuck that. This area of science is compromised and I suspect it will be a few years before we fully understand just how compromised it is.

  • Anonymous

    To clarify, yes, I quit the debate because it got repetitive.

    Examples:

    “If you are saying the 4th quartile, the highest 25%, is included in the box then you are mistaken. The reason you can’t see any whiskers is because the 3rd quartile’s highest value is a 7, hence there is no room to put the whiskers.” — This is exactly what I meant about the results being influenced by having too few possible responses.

    “If there were say 14 choices (1,1.5,2,2.5…) with the same distribution. There is every chance the median could be 6.5, because the median falls in the upper half (just) of the 6 choices.” — Yes, there is a chance of that. There is also a chance for the median to be 6 or 5.5. Again, that’s what I am saying, there are too few responses for the boxplot methodology to work. And that’s before we say that 25% of the respondents are heavily biased.

    Did I say anything I haven’t said before? No. Repetitive…

    Similarly to Wally, I will give the debate one more chance.

    The reports do not show any kind of a strong consensus. We have been fighting over several questions responses to which were most favorable to the idea that there is a consensus on catastrophic AGW. What we didn’t do and what is glaringly obvious is go over questions in the same reports, responses to which show that there is absolutely no consensus.

    You say that there is a question in the last report that shows that most scientists think that IPCC reports accurately reflect the magnitude of changes to, say, temperatures? OK. These same scientists also think that climate models are not very good at predicting future temperatures. They also think that the overall understanding of climate change is only so-so. What gives? On the one hand, the surveyed scientists think that they don’t know much and can’t really predict future temperatures, yet on the other hand they think that the predictions made by IPCC are correct? How is that useful? Again, that’s before accounting for the fact that 25% of the respondents are heavily biased, and are essentially being asked every time in the report whether they agree with themselves.

    I, of course, agree with Wally in that even if there was a consensus on catastrophic AGW, it wouldn’t mean much, but I am still to see evidence that this consensus exists. Some of the reports brought up in this thread were new to me, and I am thankful for that, but the figures they have actually make it clear that the consensus is nowhere to be found.

  • Shills

    @ Wally:

    You say: ‘Ok, I’ve done this, but I’ll give you one more go round.’

    If you are referring to the appeal to auth. fallacy then no you haven’t. you haven’t linked me to anything.

    I suggested a pretty reasonable way to show how I’m making the appeal to authority. Why don’t you link me to a source which describes how an appeal to authority is made.?

    You say: ‘The consensus opinion of scientists is likely to be right.’

    No. The confidence of the scientists is high.

    You say: ‘A layperson should then appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists. (Appeal to authority)’

    Not ‘should’. Just more rational.

    You say: ‘Also this entire argument is made completely irrelevant by the first line.’

    No it is not. A layperson who can understand all the science is not a lay person.

    You say: ‘if you don’t understand the problems with your argument I just give up’

    Well you haven’t explained it much at all.

    You say: ‘I don’t know, I seem to remember you two going back and forth on what the same stat means several times…’

    Like what? You sure it wasn’t just plain old arguing?

    You say: ‘You also fail to adequately address several other issues that may bias the results and appear to have a bias in your own interpretation of the results. Of course all this has been pointed out to you, but you either ignore it or basically repeat yourself.’

    Like what? If I don’t like what Anon. says I’ll argue against it. Fair enough? I don’t think I’ve ignored anything.

    You say: ‘Where is your proof of AGW?’

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    (Other links on next post cuz CS doesn’t like multi links.)

    If you have a problem with the science or the conclusions than submit a paper on it.

    And so how does a few supposedly rigged peer-reviews negate all of this?

    You say: ‘How exactly is that just caring about the evidence? ‘

    Maybe because they could see that those papers lacked good evidence? Besides, these alleged misdmeanors don’t negate all the science. They are evidence to some bad behaviour but what evidence do you have of the far reaching deception?

    You say:’This area of science is compromised and I suspect it will be a few years before we fully understand just how compromised it is.’

    Compromised in what way? Prove it is serious, and it will all be exposed for everyone to see.

  • Shills

    Other links for proof on AGW:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

  • Shills

    http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/global_warming/greenhouse_gases.html

    Also, just go to the IPPC.

    Again, if you have a problem with the science then tell someone who can do something about it. I don’t understand it.

  • Shills

    @ Anon:

    With the median

    There is no chance it would be 5, or 5.5. Look at the percentages. Also you are forgetting the skewed distribution affects the mean.

    You say: ‘On the one hand, the surveyed scientists think that they don’t know much and can’t really predict future temperatures, yet on the other hand they think that the predictions made by IPCC are correct? ‘

    Have you seen the range of projections in the IPCC? It is not certain. The models are not the only thing they use to make predictions.

    Did you see my other links. like the Oreskes paper?

  • Anonymous

    “There is no chance it would be 5, or 5.5. Look at the percentages.”

    Don’t put words into my mouth. I said 6 or 5.5. On a boxplot, with 25% top and 25% bottom responses being thrown away according to the methodology in the paper, there is a chance for the median to be 6 or 5.5. Look at the percentages.

    Of course, I am familiar with the Oreskes paper. She claims to have analyzed 900-something abstracts of papers on climate change and concluded that the majority support the concept of catastrophic AGW. When others looked into the same abstracts she analyzed, they have only found 13 abstracts (~1%) that support the concept of catastrophic AGW directly. This is one more fluke.

  • Anonymous

    Quoting Oreskes talking about her paper:

    “…in various interviews and conversations after, I repeated pointed out that very few papers analyzed said anything explicit at all about the consensus position. This was actually a very important result, for the following reason. Biologists today never write papers in which they explicitly say “we endorse evolution”. Earth scientists never say “we explicitly endorse plate tectonics.” This is because these things are now taken for granted.”

    In other words, she admits she found nothing explicit. She thinks this is proof positive that the consensus exist. You can agree with her, of course, but I, for one, find this laughable.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry for writing short messages, but I thought I’d point out to Shills that yes, with the increased resolution of responses (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, …, 7), it is indeed possible for the median *on the histogram* to go from 6 to 5.5 as well. If you think this is impossible, your math is wrong.

  • Shills

    @ Anon”

    You say: ‘What we didn’t do and what is glaringly obvious is go over questions in the same reports, responses to which show that there is absolutely no consensus.’

    I only need to show, your task for me, that there is a consensus on catastrophic AGW, not every aspect of it. And for my own case, A consensus on AGW being a serious problem because so much of the warming is anthropogenic, is all I care about.

    You say ‘Again, that’s before accounting for the fact that 25% of the respondents are heavily biased, and are essentially being asked every time in the report whether they agree with themselves.’

    I don’t agree that they are being asked if they agree with themselves. Cont. authors only look at one aspect not the whole publication, and it is a synthesis so individual opinions are not nec. the same as the group opinion. But, I def. agree that as a matter of principle those that were part of the IPCC should not be asked to comment on the IPCC, that’s why I factored it in with one of my posts (see, I don’t ignore Wally). But, the question about ‘most of the warming’ does not say anything about the IPCC.

  • Shills

    @ Anon.

    You say: ‘On a boxplot, with 25% top and 25% bottom responses being thrown away according to the methodology in the paper, there is a chance for the median to be 6 or 5.5. Look at the percentages.’

    LOL!! Dude, I am repeating myself. The box plot does not throw away those responses. they are just separated. The median calculation includes all the data.

    You say: ‘*on the histogram*’ What is the point of this distinction? Do you know the dif. between median and mean?

    You say you use math to find that it is possible to get a median of 5.5. How? How do you get that? Lol. The middle number is the middle number no matter how much you take of the sides

    You say: ‘ When others looked into the same abstracts she analyzed, they have only found 13 abstracts (~1%) that support the concept of catastrophic AGW directly.’

    Yeah, like who?

    Did they find any that explicitly dispute AGW? Because she didn’t. And where did you get her quote from?

  • Anonymous

    “You say you use math to find that it is possible to get a median of 5.5. How? How do you get that? Lol.”

    Easy. We increase the resolution of answers from { 1, 2, …, 7 } to { 1, 1.5, 2, …, 7 }. With infinite resolution, the answers that were rounding to 6 on the old scale are really in the range of (5.5, 6.5). If all of them are, say, 5.6, they will now round to 5.5 instead of 6, and the new median will be 5.5 as well.

    How’s that for “LOL”?

    “When others looked into the same abstracts she analyzed, they have only found 13 abstracts (~1%) that support the concept of catastrophic AGW directly.”

    “Yeah, like who?”

    It looks like you are one more time looking to argue personas instead of numbers.

    The answer to your question is several different people, although it does not matter because Oreskes herself says that she has not been able to find any direct support for the concept of catastrophic AGW, as follows from the quote I provided earlier.

    I took this quote from here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/2007/08/oreskes_responds_to_schulte.php

    What would your course be now? Will you dispute that Oreskes said what I have written or will you dispute that direct support does not matter?

  • Anonymous

    The last sentence should have used “will you say” instead of “will you dispute” in both places. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  • Anonymous

    Err… Sorry again, I must have had too much coffee. The correct version of the last sentence:

    Will you dispute that Oreskes said what I have written or will you say that direct support does not matter?

  • Wally

    Sigh…

    “You say: ‘The consensus opinion of scientists is likely to be right.’

    No. The confidence of the scientists is high.

    You say: ‘A layperson should then appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists. (Appeal to authority)’

    Not ’should’. Just more rational.”

    Both of these adjustments of the statements are inconsequential when dealing with the truthfulness or validity of your argument. Not you, nor anyone else, can quantify exactly how much “confidence” we have in the consensus. Sorry, this is not a statement of fact. Get over it. Similarly “should appeal to…” and “its more rational to appeal to…” are functionally equivalent. Both are appeals to authority. Whether it be you’re appealing to them for rationality or not makes no difference logically. And basted, I told myself I wouldn’t respond to anymore of this idiocy, but alas, the page was still up when I came in today.

    >You say: ‘Also this entire argument is made completely irrelevant by the first line.’

    No it is not. A layperson who can understand all the science is not a lay person. <

    That’s not my point at all. My point is that I don’t care what a layperson that just does what other people tell them to do, or thinks what other people tell them to. If they are to have a voice in this discussion they need to make an attempt to understand the science for themselves. Simply repeating what other people say is a waste of time.

    As for the rest, well I grow more and more tired of circular arguments, were I say one thing, you say another in response to it, but what I said first is still a valid response to what you said, etc… In short you provide zero compelling evidence to disprove anything I say or prove anything you say.

    You do this in several ways. First you link to a history of climatology page that basically hints at a correlation between CO2 and temperature, but it doesn’t even mention R^2 in the entire piece. You also seem to have linked to this page without even reading it entirely, otherwise you might have noticed statements such as: “In the network of feedbacks that made up the climate system, CO2 was a main driving force. This did not prove by itself that the greenhouse effect was responsible for the warming seen in the 20th century. And it did not say how much warming the rise of CO2 might bring in the future. What was now beyond doubt was that the greenhouse effect had to be taken very seriously indeed.”

    So we need to take it seriously, but no one really knows why people are modeling CO2 as the main driving force, nor if CO2 will actually continue to correlate with temps in the future. That’s rich.

    Or it states such nonsense such as: “All, that is, except a few panels composed primarily of people with limited if any expertise in climate science, representing ideological and business interests who opposed government regulation.”

    I guess the work of climate scientists such Lindzen should just be trivialized by claiming he has some “ideological and business interest?” And what makes work done by industries inherently less likely to be right anyway? What about the benefit for climate scientists in pushing this catastrophe theory in order to gain more government funding, because as well all know, governments love to be perceived as “saving the people.” I guess we can appeal to motive for one group but not the other right? And this is the kind of honest opinion you subscribe to?

    “Around 2008 some scientists began to warn that these changes were coming on faster than the international panels had predicted. Also as predicted only sooner, the world was beginning to suffer worse heat waves, droughts, floods, and severe storms, while the sea level rose and important ecosystems began to show signs of stress. ”

    By now this entire paragraph has been proven to be comeplete BS. There is absolutely zero evidence supporting worse heat waves, droughts, floods and severe storms. More to the point, in 2008 the Earth had been cooling for a decade (now at 12 years), these models using positive feedback loops leading to increasing temps have not held up. (Note: all of the data for this can be found in this blog)

    Anyway, if this is the kind of crap you think actually proves your case, well I guess you’re just layman and you can’t actually understand what you’re reading. So, I shouldn’t blame you. I should expect that you know what an R^2 is, or that you need to establish that the slope of your regression is significantly different from zero, or that correlation doesn’t mean causation, etc…

    Another strategy of yours is to put words in other people’s mouths: “Maybe because they could see that those papers lacked good evidence? Besides, these alleged misdmeanors don’t negate all the science. They are evidence to some bad behaviour but what evidence do you have of the far reaching deception?”

    So when one scientists says to another: “If published as is, this paper could really do some damage. It is also an ugly paper to review because it is rather mathematical, with a lot of Box-Jenkins stuff in it. It won’t be easy to dismiss out of hand as the math appears to be correct theoretically, but it suffers from the classic problem of pointing out theoretical deficiencies, without showing that their improved inverse regression method is actually better in a practical sense. So they do lots of monte carlo stuff that shows the superiority of their method and the deficiencies of our way of doing things, but NEVER actually show how their method would change the Tornetrask reconstruction from what you produced.”

    That’s them saying that the other group lacks evidence? Sounds like Briffa is in over his head, can’t understand this “monte carlo stuff” with “a lot of “Box-Jenkins stuff” that is “appears to be correct theoretically,” but he wants to trash it because it “could really do some damage.” But he needs help doing it. So, he breaks with ethical science and confidential peer review and asks someone else to help him dump on it. But oh, that’s not a sign of rigged peer review. Nor are the statistics showing how CRU papers and those of researchers friendly with CRU had publications accelerated, while those attempting to publish works conflicting with the CRU conclussions where held up or black balled entirely, likely in a similar way to this paper. But, yeah these scientists were just judging the evidence….right….

    “Compromised in what way? Prove it is serious, and it will all be exposed for everyone to see.”

    Shills, this is where you just become disingenuous. You’ve read the evidence, its been reported on this blog and presented to you by commenters (the emails, other scientists attempting to speak out against being black balled, IPCC claims that have ZERO grounding in fact, “lost” data, methods that can be repeated to give the same result but with random data, etc). Just because you trivialize the evidence without actually addressing it (see you idiotic claims such as, “But your little evidence for a globe-spanning rigged peer-review system”) doesn’t mean it isn’t true, nor that I need to present you with anything else to prove my case. It just shows that you’re sticking your fingers in your hears and going “la-la-la-la” as I present my case, then largely repeating yourself when you respond. As such there is little point to respond to you. Now if you want to make any other arguments, that don’t essentially repeat yourself for, I don’t know, the 10th or 20th time, by all means make them.

  • Shills

    @ Anon

    You say: Easy. We increase the resolution of answers from { 1, 2, …, 7 } to { 1, 1.5, 2, …, 7 }. With infinite resolution, the answers that were rounding to 6 on the old scale are really in the range of (5.5, 6.5). If all of them are, say, 5.6, they will now round to 5.5 instead of 6, and the new median will be 5.5 as well.
    How’s that for “LOL”?’

    LOl! indeed. What the hell is this rounding business? There is no rounding off in determining a median. I have said this before.

    You say: ‘6 on the old scale are really in the range of (5.5, 6.5)’

    No. the answers that were 6 are split in two: 6, 6.5. It doesn’t make sense to shift them down, because a choice of 6 does not imply a choice of a high 5 as much as a choice for a low 6 or high 6.

    You say: ‘If all of them are, say, 5.6, they will now round to 5.5’

    There is no rounding. If the 50% answer was a 5.6 than the median would be a 5.6. We cannot speculate how many of the 6’s are a 6 or 6.5, so we just split them down the middle evenly. But this is merely an unbiased speculation, might has well just take the median as 6.
    Your ideas are pretty bizarre.

    About Oreskes:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/naomi-oreskes-consensus-on-global-warming.htm

    See what Benny Peisner says? –Not saying that this is what Oreskes essay shows tho. The glaring thing it shows is that there are very few papers out there doin much disputin.

  • Anonymous

    “6 on the old scale are really in the range of (5.5, 6.5)”

    “No. the answers that were 6 are split in two: 6, 6.5.”

    So, now you argue that when someone has to choose an answer on the scale of 1 to 7 and his real opinion is 5.9, he will answer 5 instead of 6?! 🙂 You are just making stuff up now. LOL more, please.

    “The glaring thing it shows is that there are very few papers out there doin much disputin.”

    The glaring thing is that you don’t comment on whether Oreskes has been able to find a lot of direct support for the concept of catastrophic AGW (she hasn’t) and whether that’s important for establishing that there is a consensus on that (it is).

  • Shills

    @ Anon:

    Oh, I get it. With you the median is not being rounded it’s just the individual peeps doin it in their heads. OK. assuming all the peeps think in terms of degrees of a choice, as in 6,6.1,6.2… and then round it off, then there is a chance it could be 5.5 but no more than it could be 6.5. But we don’t know what degrees of the 5’s, 6’s or 7’s exist. So why not take the middle: 6.

    About Oreskes:

    She seems to find implicit and explicit agreement that most of the warming is AGW though. How do you feel about that?

    @ Wally:

    You say: ‘Not you, nor anyone else, can quantify exactly how much “confidence” we have in the consensus.’

    Well, there is no need to be exact, but when a vast majority of experts agree on something it means there is a great deal of confidence, lack of doubt, on the something.

    You say: ‘Both are appeals to authority. Whether it be you’re appealing to them for rationality or not makes no difference logically.’

    When will you show me how I am making the appeal to authority logical fallacy? I’ve asked you like three times. You guys give me shit for repeating’ the same old stuff, well you ain’t much better.

    You say: ‘My point is that I don’t care what a layperson that just does what other people tell them to do, or thinks what other people tell them to.

    Well Either way, if you care or not, how does this affect my argument?

    You say: ‘By now this entire paragraph has been proven to be comeplete BS. ‘

    Really how? If you and this blog have some good evidence than send it out there.

    You say: ‘In short you provide zero compelling evidence to disprove anything I say or prove anything you say.’

    Re. the appeal to authority fallacy: Ditto.

    You say: ‘That’s them saying that the other group lacks evidence?’

    It sounds like they have found a flaw in the paper. They seem to be behaving unethically but the ind. investigation is still ensuing, so lets see what it says.

    You say: ‘But oh, that’s not a sign of rigged peer review. Nor are the statistics showing how CRU papers and those of researchers friendly with CRU had publications accelerated, while those attempting to publish works conflicting with the CRU conclussions where held up or black balled entirely, likely in a similar way to this paper. But, yeah these scientists were just judging the evidence….right….’

    It’s not a sign of a major widespread rigged system. What stats? Show us your evidence that the CRU guys are able to manipulate the entire scientific field in favour of one particular theory (directly or indirectly).

    You say: ‘doesn’t mean it isn’t true, nor that I need to present you with anything else to prove my case.’

    Sure it doesn’t mean it’s not true. But you do need more evidence to convince us all that this widespread deception is happening. How does a few badly sourced IPCC statements support your idea for a deception? Maybe the IPCC made a mistake, did that occur to you? Dude, get your friends together and prove your point. If it is so obvious to you than why not create a case, until than, why should we believe you? sincere question, yo.

    Again, will you show me how I’m making the appeal to authority logical fallacy?

  • Shills

    For Wally:

    http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/resources/globalwarming/documents/oreskes-on-science-consenus.pdf

    Oreskes gives a bit of an idea of scientific confidence and consensus.

  • Anonymous

    “OK … there is a chance it could be 5.5 but no more than it could be 6.5. But we don’t know what degrees of the 5’s, 6’s or 7’s exist. So why not take the middle: 6.”

    During the last few posts I was simply pointing out that increasing resolution (eg, twice) could indeed result in the median moving downwards (to 5.5), which was something you didn’t believe. I am thankful we have been able to establish that, despite suffering through your endless “LOLs”.

    “She seems to find implicit and explicit agreement that most of the warming is AGW though. How do you feel about that?”

    I feel that “… very few papers analyzed said anything explicit at all about the consensus position”, same as Oreskes herself.

    She thinks that this is a strong indicator of the consensus, and I think that this is nothing but.

    I rest my case.

  • Anonymous

    BTW, I feel for Wally.

    @Shills:

    “When will you show me how I am making the appeal to authority logical fallacy? I’ve asked you like three times. You guys give me shit for repeating’ the same old stuff, well you ain’t much better.”

    You asked “like three times” and every time you have been given an answer, you just choose to ignore these answers.

    You: “A layperson should then appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists.”

    Wally: “[This is] appeal to authority.”

    You: “Not ’should’. Just more rational.”

    Wally: “‘It’s more rational to appeal to the consensus opinion’ and ‘should appeal to the consensus opinion’ are functionally equivalent. Both are appeals to authority.”

    You: “How I am making the appeal to authority logical fallacy?”

    Can you say ‘repetitive’?

    Do you need a full break out on why your first sentence constitutes an appeal to authority? No problem:

    You say, again: “A layperson should then appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists.” Why? Why appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists instead of, say, an opinion of your dentist? Well, that’s obvious, isn’t it. Because scientists are presumably more knowledgeable about whatever is being discussed. Because their opinion is listened to by others. Because they are commonly regarded as authorities. That is, a layperson should appeal to the consensus opinion of scientists because they are regarded as authorities on the subject matter. And this is an appeal to authority, because, citing Wikipedia:

    “Appeal to authority is a fallacy of defective induction, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative.”

    If you want to nitpick on “correct” above, you can replace it with “more likely to be correct”, the definition will still hold. If you seriously want to go nuts on that and will argue that this variation of the Wikipedia’s definition: “a statement is more likely to be correct if it is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative” is actually true, well, we probably can’t save you…

    Clear? I hope so, because I sure am not going to arguing this point again.

  • Wally

    Shills,

    “Well, there is no need to be exact, but when a vast majority of experts agree on something it means there is a great deal of confidence, lack of doubt, on the something.”

    Which is shown by the basically, “meh, maybe” responses by scientists in the field when being asked about the ability of models to predict future warming, etc? You got some rosy glasses on here pal.

    “When will you show me how I am making the appeal to authority logical fallacy? I’ve asked you like three times. You guys give me shit for repeating’ the same old stuff, well you ain’t much better.”

    For the love of god. I’m not even going to address this anymore. Anon has put it pretty well anyway. If you can’t get this at this point I’m happy to just concede that I can’t explain it to you and/or you are just incapable of understanding it.

    “Well Either way, if you care or not, how does this affect my argument? ”

    It doesn’t effect the validity or truthfulness of your argument, but it points out that your argument is irrelevant to the larger issues at hand.

    “Really how? If you and this blog have some good evidence than send it out there. ”

    It is out there actually. You know, haven’t you heard of the IPCC retracting its Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2025…etc…?

    “It sounds like they have found a flaw in the paper. They seem to be behaving unethically but the ind. investigation is still ensuing, so lets see what it says.”

    What was the flaw? That is was too complicated for Briffa? That it only showed how the methods/results he preferred where a load of crap? And we should just wait? Is that what our democratic leaders or those at the IPCC really want us to do?

    “It’s not a sign of a major widespread rigged system.”

    So, several top scientists, who happen to reviewers for pretty much every major climate journal, engaging in unethical actions is not rigged peer review? And lets get away from subjective qualifiers such as “major widespread.” I would call this “major,” but not “widespread,” because it seems to have only effected a few individuals, but those individuals have a lot of influence in this area of science. However, you may disagree.

    “What stats? Show us your evidence that the CRU guys are able to manipulate the entire scientific field in favour of one particular theory (directly or indirectly).”

    Given that its been presented on this blog, I’ll leave it to you to find. I honestly don’t care to take the time to link to you the evidence if you’re just going to ignore it (the appeal to authority bit) or trivialize it without addressing it (just about any factual evidence I’ve brought up before).

    “But you do need more evidence to convince us all that this widespread deception is happening.”

    You should replace “us all” with “me.” At this point I don’t care about convincing you anymore. Its pretty obvious you’re either stubborn, stupid, bias or any combination. Thus far you can’t understand an appeal to authority, you minimalize unethical science, ignore that much of the data still being used today can’t be replicated (ie. the hockey stick lacking the MWP), etc. If you wanted to show me just how blindly people can follow they preconceived ideals, you’ve succeeded.

    “How does a few badly sourced IPCC statements support your idea for a deception? Maybe the IPCC made a mistake, did that occur to you?”

    By making statements that had ZERO research to prove them? That’s just “mistake,” like maybe I left the milk out? If its just a simple mistake, what’s that say about how much care went into making sure everything in that report had strong scientific evidence supporting it? How many other “mistakes” did they make? Sorry, this is pathetic. In science you don’t say anything you can’t support. In most fields you’d get slammed in peer review for making one erroneous statement that goes beyond the scope of your data. Well the IPCC reports have now demonstrated quite clearly that this kind of rigor was not used when they were being written. So, yeah, the whole damn thing is compromised by this. What else have the said that goes beyond the scope of their data?

    “Dude, get your friends together and prove your point. If it is so obvious to you than why not create a case, until than, why should we believe you? sincere question, yo.”

    Dude, yo. People are doing this (and yes that even includes pass peer review journals). I generally have my hands full contributing to an area of science that isn’t full of BS, so sorry. This about my limit of “speaking out.” Now if we can get you to think past what a consensus means or what kinds of forms an appeal to authority can take….

  • Shills

    @ Anon:

    I don’t use ‘should’ because it has a moralistic character.

    Anon You are the first person to actually attempt an explanation of why it is a logical fallacy. Wally has never done this, he just says it is, like your example above shows. So guys, quit accusing me of being unnec. repetitive.

    But I disagree with you.

    You say: ‘If you want to nitpick on “correct” above, you can replace it with “more likely to be correct”, the definition will still hold. ‘

    No. That is an important difference. The difference is the assertion of certainty, necessity– something I don’t do. I am not saying that the experts are right, only that the evidence and confidence outweighs that of the skeptic’s evidence. In such a situation you have no certainty, but given you have to make a decision which side seems to be doin’ better? Is it more rational to go with the side that is supported by a lot of evidence and confidence or the other side that does not?

    You said you looked up the Wiki on it. So did I:

    ‘The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.’

    ‘The more relevant the expertise of an authority, the more compelling the argument. Nonetheless, authority is never absolute, so all appeals to authority which assert that the authority is necessarily infallible are fallacious.’

    ‘Many trust a surgeon without ever needing to know all the details about surgery themselves. Nevertheless, experts can still be mistaken, wilfully deceptive, subject to pressure from peers or employers, have a vested financial interest in the false statements, or have unusual views (or views that are widely criticized by other experts) within their field (this makes the majority of experts right, and thus the renegade expert is wrong), and hence their expertise does not always guarantee that their arguments are valid.’

    ‘An appeal to authority cannot guarantee the truth of the conclusion, given the nature of truth and the Consensus theory of truth, because the fact that an authority says something does not necessarily make it so.’

    ‘In informal logic, the fact that a majority of experts in a given field believe X—for example, the fact that nearly all medical scientists think that HIV causes AIDS and reject AIDS denialism—makes it more reasonable for a person without knowledge in the field to believe X.’ — sounds similar to my claim.

    @ Wally:

    You say: ‘In science you don’t say anything you can’t support. In most fields you’d get slammed in peer review for making one erroneous statement that goes beyond the scope of your data. ‘

    They are getting slammed. They do fix mistakes. If you assume an organisation of humans should never slip up a bit than I think your expectations are too high.

    You say: ‘Which is shown by the basically, “meh, maybe” responses by scientists in the field when being asked about the ability of models to predict future warming, etc?’

    CHerry pick much?

    You say: ‘t is out there actually. You know, haven’t you heard of the IPCC retracting its Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2025…etc…?’

    The Himalayan glaciers blunder doesn’t negate the claims of drought, flooding. What is your etc?

    You say: ‘What was the flaw? That is was too complicated for Briffa? That it only showed how the methods/results he preferred where a load of crap? And we should just wait? ‘

    The flaw was a lack of practicality to my untrained understanding. None of what you have said is proven, so we wait and see what is proven.

  • Anonymous

    “If you want to nitpick on “correct” above, you can replace it with “more likely to be correct”, the definition will still hold.”

    “No. That is an important difference.”

    I guessed right…

    As I said, if you want to go nuts on that and say “a statement is more likely to be correct if it is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative” is actually true, we can’t save you.

    Nobody ever measured the degree of correlation between having authority and being right. The reason people still use having authority as a shortcut for being right is that they don’t have time to pay attention to the question at hand and they don’t have anything else apart from authority to lean upon. This last bit is really what makes it, if you don’t have any thoughts about a particular subject, there is nothing you can do but borrow thoughts of others.

    If you reworded your point and said that “laymen” have nothing to lean upon besides authority, nobody would disagree. Many would, however, argue that spending minimal effort researching the subject matter is more *rational* than doing nothing and blindly believing what others say to you, and is something you *should* do if you feel strongly about something…

  • Anonymous

    By the way, Wally wasn’t really cherry-picking. Most of the questions in your surveys, Shills, are political, like, “what you think our governments should be doing now?”, etc. I had to make a special effort to find non-political questions, answers to which could be seen as an acceptance of catastrophic AGW. A huge portion of non-political questions had answers along the lines of “meh, maybe” or “well, we don’t really understand factor X” that Wally cited.

  • Anonymous

    By the way, speaking of laymen and consensus… 🙂

    Take a look at this article:

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20100128/LIFESTYLE14/1280467/1409/METRO/Study–Global-warming-means-wacky-weather-near-Great-Lakes

    The article basically tries to argue that harsher winters are sure signs of global warming, which is hilarious by itself, but that’s beside the point. Look at the opening paragraphs:

    “In coming years, global warming will have a bizarre, seemingly incongruous impact on winters here in the Great Lakes region: shorter, milder cold seasons coupled with bigger winter storms. That is the consensus among researchers involved in a National Wildlife study titled “Oddball Winter Weather: Global Warming’s Wake-up Call for the Northern United States.”

    Care to guess how many researches were involved in the study and stand behind that consensus? Two. 🙂

    Want to bet that a lot of people will misread / extrapolate this to some kind of a global consensus speaking in favor of catastrophic AGW? I thought so.

    Thinking for yourself is never optional.

  • Anonymous

    (The page is a bit laggy so this may appear twice. Sorry if that happens.)

    And, speaking of laymen and consensus… 🙂

    Take a look at this article:

    http://www.detnews.com/article/20100128/LIFESTYLE14/1280467/1409/METRO/Study–Global-warming-means-wacky-weather-near-Great-Lakes

    The article basically tries to argue that harsher winters are sure signs of global warming, which is hilarious by itself, but that’s beside the point. Look at the opening paragraphs:

    “In coming years, global warming will have a bizarre, seemingly incongruous impact on winters here in the Great Lakes region: shorter, milder cold seasons coupled with bigger winter storms. That is the consensus among researchers involved in a National Wildlife study titled “Oddball Winter Weather: Global Warming’s Wake-up Call for the Northern United States.”

    Care to guess how many researches were involved in the study and stand behind that consensus? Two. 🙂

    Want to bet that a lot of people will misread / extrapolate this to some kind of a global consensus speaking in favor of catastrophic AGW? I thought so.

    Thinking for yourself is never optional.

  • Wally

    “They are getting slammed. They do fix mistakes. If you assume an organisation of humans should never slip up a bit than I think your expectations are too high.”

    They didn’t just “slip up a bit” they printed a finding that had ZERO data to back it up. This isn’t me saying something is significantly different, but I forgot to mention to what P value, or some minor oversight. This is a large fundamental finding with ZERO data to support it.

    >You say: ‘Which is shown by the basically, “meh, maybe” responses by scientists in the field when being asked about the ability of models to predict future warming, etc?’CHerry pick much? <

    Cherry pick? Again this is a very fundamental question. You claim that the consensus implies a lack of doubt, but the very survey you point to shows the scientists have quite a lot of doubt despite a consensus. Anyway, it appears we are reaching the end of your intellectual capabilities if all you can do to respond is blindly claim “cherry pick much.”

    “The Himalayan glaciers blunder doesn’t negate the claims of drought, flooding. What is your etc?”

    Oh, gosh, the etc is quite long. Such as the increasing rate and intensity of tropical storms, floodings and heat waves (if anything its been cold snaps) are also BS. I honestly haven’t seen any body check on the drought claims though.

    “The flaw was a lack of practicality to my untrained understanding.”

    So its not practical to prove that the common line of thinking (whether it be in data collection, data analysis or interpretation) is wrong? Before we can go forward we at least have to get rid of the BS. To my understanding, it seems like Briffa was looking for anything to dispute this paper, including claiming it didn’t offer something better. Though that seems odd to me. Proving something doesn’t work that is being used is just as important providing something that works. In the 1500’s many times the treatments to disease were just as bad as the disease itself. Certainly it would have been nice if someone would have proved that bleeding someone with a bacterial infection was bad, even if they didn’t also prove you could cure bacterial infections with antibiotics….

  • Wally

    I’ll respond to this because you seem to have broken out of your circular responses which have typically gone:
    Your argument
    Me stating the flaw
    You stating that isn’t a flaw w/out providing reasoning
    Me further explaining the flaw
    You asking me to explain the flaw
    repeat

    I will warn you however, that your new line of logic is even worse than the first.

    “No. That is an important difference. The difference is the assertion of certainty, necessity– something I don’t do. I am not saying that the experts are right, only that the evidence and confidence outweighs that of the skeptic’s evidence.”

    That’s not your argument at all! You aren’t weighing any of the actual evidence, you’re fucking appealing to the authority to weight the evidence for you. For the love of god man.

    “In such a situation you have no certainty, but given you have to make a decision which side seems to be doin’ better? Is it more rational to go with the side that is supported by a lot of evidence and confidence or the other side that does not?”

    Again, depending on who you talk to the “a lot of evidence” means varying degrees of things and even switches sides from the skeptical to the pro-AGW side. Thus, you need to actually make a logical and factual argument and not rely on what some group of people think. Alos, there is not the level of confidence you wish there to be.

  • Wally

    Anonymous,

    “Many would, however, argue that spending minimal effort researching the subject matter is more *rational* than doing nothing and blindly believing what others say to you, and is something you *should* do if you feel strongly about something…”

    Indeed. If someone would actually take the amount of time objectively researching this area for the amount of time shills has looked for polls or argued about what an appeal to authority is, certainly they would be capable of actually having a discussion of the facts and data instead of over what other people think.

  • Anonymous

    I completely agree.