Valley Forward Remarks

Below the fold are my remarks to the Valley Forward lunch today — I only had five minutes, so I was fairly limited.

It’s popular among those who want to cut off debate to call skeptic’s “deniers,” in large part because it evokes the term “holocaust denier” and therefore marginalizes criticism of catastrophic man-made global warming theory.

But I will accept the denier label, as long as we are clear what proposition it is I am denying.  I do not deny the world is warming.  The couple of hundred years ending around 1800 were among the coldest in the last 5000 years, so it is natural we should see a warming recovery since this period.  Glaciers are retreating and sea levels are rising in part because they have been doing so every since this little ice age, long before man put CO2 in the atmosphere in earnest.

Further, I don’t deny greenhouse gas theory, that man’s CO2 can cause some incremental warming.  The Greenhouse gas theory has to be real, or the world would be much colder right now.

No, what I deny is the catastrophe, that temperatures a hundred years hence will be five or ten degrees Celsius higher due to man’s co2

Interestingly, I think most everyone on the scientific end of the debate agrees that the direct warming from man’s Co2 acting alone will be relatively modest – on the order of a degree Celsius by the year 2100 according to the IPCC.  Yeah, I know this seems oddly low — you never hear of global warming numbers as low as 1 degree — but it is actually a second theory, independent of greenhouse gas theory, that drives most of the warming.  This second theory is that the climate is dominated by strong positive feedbacks that  multiply the warming from CO2 many fold, and increase a modest 1 degree C of warming from man’s CO2 to catastrophic levels of 5 or even 10 degrees.

The example I use is to think of climate as a car.  Co2 from man provides only a nudge to the car.  The catastrophe comes from a second theory that the car (representing the climate) is perched precariously on the top of a hill with its brakes off, and a nudge from CO2 will start it rolling downhill until it crashes at the bottom.

When people say the science is settled, they generally mean greenhouse gas theory.  But that means only the nudge is settled.  What is far from settled is the second theory of strong net positive feedback in the climate, ie the theory the climate is perched on top of a hill.  It is unusual for long-term stable but chaotic systems to be dominated by such strong positive feedbacks.  In fact, only the most severe contortions allow scientists to claim their high-sensitivity models of catastrophic warming are consistent with the relatively modest warming of the past century.

Historically, the effects of a degree or so of warming have been small and generally positive.  Times of warmth have been times of prosperity.  Unfortunately, we seem to be suffering under a massive case of observer bias in assessing any current effects of climate change.  Extreme events, which have always existed, are used by both sides of the debate as supposed proof of long term global trends.  But there is little useful we can learn about trends at the tails of the distribution, and it turns out that the means of key weather events in the US, from droughts to wet weather to tornadoes to hurricanes, show no meaningful trends.

Climate observation is hard enough without this confusion.  Imagine we wanted to look at customer visitation of the old Pink Pony Steakhouse in Scottsdale.  If we watched for only a few hours, we might miss the huge variability of the crowds from early morning through each mealtime rush.  Watch only for a day, and we might miss the seasonal variation, as snowbirds pack the restaurant in March.  Watch for just a year, and we might have missed the long, slow decline in visitation that eventually led to the restaurant closing.  In climate, we are trying to decide if there is a long term decline at the Pink Pony after watching for the equivalent of only a few hours.

My fear over the last several years is that the obsession with trace levels of CO2 has sucked the oxygen, so to speak, out of the rest of the environmental movement.  Things that used to matter – water quality, wilderness preservation, hygene and public health in poorer nations — seem to get short shrift.  In fact, in the name of CO2 reduction, we have subsidized, even mandated goals like corn ethanol that are destructive to the environment, and diverted money and attention from other causes.

Our obsessive focus on CO2 has real costs, and the current Administration’s position that CO2 abatement can be a net positive for the economy via green jobs creation is simply a fantasy.  It is Bastiat’s broken windows fallacy writ large, this contention that obsoleting our perfectly good energy infrastructure and replacing it with something more expensive will be cost-free.  I have to laugh every time I see the logic that Arizona wants to be a leader in solar manufacturing because, uh, we have a lot of sun.  This makes as much sense as saying radio manufacturers should all relocate to New York City because it has the most radio stations.  But the real problem is that every city and state in the country is chasing the same alternate energy manufacturers, competing with each other to subsidize this small industry the most.

My sense is that all of this public and private money chasing the same small industry, combined with an emerging reality that global warming forecasts are likely greatly exaggerated, may be leading us into yet another disastrous bubble.

  • harrywr2

    One neither needs to lie or be dishonest to believe or not believe in AGW.

    The Grump Gridded Urban data set, which is used by many in the ‘climate community’ to determine Urban Heat Island effect was recently analyzed. It is accurate 73% of the time. If we can only determine whether a place is currently urban/rural 73% of the time , how can we possibly reconstruct historical changes. Without an ability to reconstruct historical changes then we can not possibly accurately reflect how much ‘Global Warming’ is due to urbanization and how much was due to CO2.

    http://www.sage.wisc.edu/pubs/articles/M-Z/schneider/schneiderERL2009.pdf

  • Fred from Canuckistan

    I would conjecture that waldo is but conjecture.

    Or comedy writ large for our amusement.

  • Waldo

    And I conjecture that Fred has nothing more intelligent or articulate to say than he already has. Ever.

    netdr, are you sure you understand the science as well as you think you do? Have you, perhaps, misrepresented some of the “science” you’ve quoted to us? Why does your moniker loop back to CS?

  • Waldo, you need to get out more. Those Wisconsin towns breed a lot of alcoholics and liberals. (And apparently the occasional serial killer!) Stay safe and visit other parts of this great nation.

  • cobra

    The vaunted Phd’s said we were going into an ice age 30 years ago, now they think we are going to burn up, I just wish they would make up their minds. I think they may have been right the first time.

  • Waldo

    Thanks dfbask, but you are wrong at least two counts:

    1) Wisconsin is more liberal than, say, Indiana but is actually heartland conservative in virtually all respects. Tell me, are you one of those Penn State golfing alumns who insist on seeing the world in a strict liberal / conservative dichotomy? Not that it matters, but I am just curious.
    2) Cheddarheads can drink more than anyone I have ever met with virtually no effect whatsoever (they begin when very young) and thus few are actually alcoholics. And I say this having seen a good deal of this great nation.

    Serial killers, yes.

    I will get out more when I have finally corrected the last of the CS misinformation.

    By the way, 98.125.77.142 is the wrong small town, but nice try at being scary.

    And I think this thread may now be dead…

  • PaulsNZ

    Waldo, Yes I have seen the evidence for temperature adjustments here in my Country, the perpetrator of said adjustments will NOT share his insight into very selective non-logical reasons for adjusting raw data, He was sacked from his post for trying to spread Global Warming catastrophe scares totally out of proportion to the actual situation, Not to mention his belief that Population control was needed to combat Global Warming, clearly an embarrassment to his fellow scientists. Yes he appears in the Climate-Gate emails acting an excitable obedient lapdog, eager to argue black was white to discredit any logical argument, somewhat as you do.

  • hunter

    Waldo,
    I am so pleased that you never miss an opportunity to avoid thinking.
    It is a hallmark of the AGW true believer, and is no different from tulipomania or any of the other mindless popular delusions in history.

  • My first visit to La Crosse Wisconsin had me stuck on the road from the airport in a cab for two hours in -23 degree weather, as the police investigated a burning headless body on the side of the road. They never found the killer. It otherwise was a great month, never getting above 20 degrees while I was there. This was back in the day when the coming Ice Age was promulgated by Hansen et al, and I could serve as a designated driver for all the other “serious” students. They all were very drunk nearly every night; their resistance to ethyl alcohol must have been turned off! It may have changed by now. I hope so.

    And me scary? Never. I also never hide my identity, although describing me as a golfer is quite a stretch. Most of my friends are liberal, which I never hold against them. PSU is blue and white, not black and white. I’m told donations are down significantly because of Michael Mann, as I suspected they would be.

  • Waldo

    Pauls, who are you writing about? Just name him or her. I rather imagine you are exaggerating or even just making up a good many things there and, on some level, know it. Therefore you prefer to remain mysterious in your allusion. If what you write is true, let’s look up this person and see what they did.

    dfbask, sounds like Wisconsin. Donations to colleges are down everywhere, way down actually, not just Penn State where climate scientists work. This probably has a lot more to do with the state of the economy than it does with AGW. Who told you Mann was affecting the donation pool? (Please tell me you aren’t a follower of the Commonwealth Foundation)

    hunter is an interesting character. He has a pattern. His comments are always derivative from other comments (for anyone actually following the thread, “critical thinking” has been a repeated charge). Usually his commentary has to do with something he overheard (such as “The Big Short” above) but did not investigate or is simply boilerplate denialist clap-trap. hunter usually begins with some unfounded, poorly researched claims; when these don’t work he rattles off some of his boilerplate clap-trap; and when this doesn’t work he simply unloads the insults. His behavior is far more trollish than virtually anyone on the boards, with the exception of hunter #2, and yet he seems to think that he will prove something with repeated ‘you’re a troll’ accusations. Funny guy, that.

  • PaulsNZ

    No need to name the idiot, He has proved to one and all that his work in climate science was, is Bent. Much like you. The funniest thing is that he thought he could get away with it, such is the mind of a hubris type.

  • No, but I’ll look them up. And I was told donations are down BECAUSE of Michael Mann. I took it to mean over and above our current economic malaise. It was very specific information from someone involved with financing and donations. I feel for the students, as Penn State already receives the lowest subsidy of any state institution in America.

  • Waldo

    I disagree, Pauls, there is a need to name the idiot. You made a claim. Now back it up. Validate yourself.

    I do wonder, dfbask – if it is, in fact, true that Mann’s presence on the Penn State campus is hurting giving rates – should we blame him? After all, science is supposed to be objective and tell the truth no matter who or what gets hurt. In other words, if the giving rate is down, blame the ideologues, not the scientists who offended them.

  • But what if the scientist and the ideologue are one in the same? You haven’t even considered the most likely scenario! (The definition of ideologue, by the way.)

  • BargHumer

    @Waldo and anyone else

    Again, speaking only as a “ordinary” person but also being British and living in a European land where I understand very little of the language, I am limited to a daily diet of the BBC and CNN, plus what I find on the internet. The only debates I have seen where a so called climate skeptic was on the “panel” was one where the skeptic wasn’t a skeptic about climate change or even the worst case scenario, but only skeptical about spending the money because in his view it was probably too late to avert the catastrophe, better to prepare for it and use the money wisely. I have seen some interviews where the interviewer was clearly already a dyed in the wool AGWer as reflected in a slight mocking attitude and slanted questions – the Interviewee on the other hand was gracious, very composed and able to deal with the usuall questions eloquently, but still no debate.

    On the internet, there are lots of items with preachers to the converted but that is not debate.

    Copenhagen was a city of two conferences but no debate about the science, only about money again.

    What goes on in a blog isn’t really debate, even though it can be informative and interesting. So please tell me where are the debates taking place between Alarmists and Deniers? – I just want to know so I can follow them.

  • Waldo

    ****”But what if the scientist and the ideologue are one in the same? You haven’t even considered the most likely scenario!”

    Well, I only seen scant to no evidence for former, and you have no way of knowing whether or not I’ve considered the latter. Why is this the “most likely scenario”? (Particularly given the commentary here)

  • PaulsNZ

    Here’s the link Waldo, You show me the maths that explains where raw data for one reliable station shows a negative trend over a long time period after “adjusting” the trend over the same period is now positive.. Only a bare faced lie can explain that. Ask the author for his take on it, He might speak to you, I think he’s hiding somewhere under a rock, awaiting a date with the courts.

    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2010/02/niwa-loses-opts-for-fresh-start/

  • Waldo

    Ohhhhkay Pauls, very interesting on a number of counts.

    1. The site linked above says nothing about math. It is one long whine about the NIWA and simply accuses the NIWA of adjusting an “NZ temperature series.” It was not very convincing. This is a blog (why is it always a blogsite?) with the tagline “Taking the heat out of global warming.” Yeah, some objective thought process there. By the end I was not sure how Climate Conversion came to their claims about the NIWA, but I figure that is probably an ongoing conversation and would only make sense with a good deal of back-reading and checking up, and there is only so much of that I am willing to do in this case simply because I’ve already lost faith with your source (why did you link to this?) (And, by the way, one need not dig very far to find that NIWA scientists have made some compelling responses to charges just like these – I’ll leave you to look for them if you dare)

    2. I believe the scientist you are referring to is Jim Salinger – why didn’t you just spell his name out for us? He was fired from the NIWA for violating their media policy and talking to a reporter without having his comments pre-approved by the organization. In other words, Pauls, he was not “sacked from his post for trying to spread Global Warming catastrophe scares totally out of proportion to the actual situation.” You made that up. Salinger was sacked by the NIWA, that’s it. You do realize that on numerous occasions here on CS posters have accused the “alarmists” of “silencing critics” or “squashing dissent” or some such. But here you applaud a scientist for being fired for speaking his mind. Interesting.

    However, as I predicted, you have exaggerated some things and made up a others. Later on someone here will accuse “alarmists” of fear mongering and spreading lies and the like. But none will challenge you when you make the sorts of claims that you did above.

  • hunter

    Waldo,
    If you ever come up with anything that calls for more than simple comments or answers, they will be provided.
    But since you are just a fairly polite troll, why should I bother?
    You come up with something more original to defend AGW, and you will get more in return.
    Stay in your tight rep rate of AGW dogma and calls for authority, and mantras about how unworthy skeptics are, and there is no need for more than to point out what a pompous ass you are.

  • Waldo

    See March 28, 11:18 a.m. hunter. Case in point.

  • PaulsNZ

    Hi Waldo,
    in response.. Yes the adjustments that were made to selected sites do indeed need further investigation, and Yes Jim was the scientist at the heart of the mis-understanding.

    Its unfortunate for Jim who was a lead author for the IPCC that garnered the Nobel Peace prize with Al Gore in 2007 to be sacked for such a silly thing?.

    Its not every day that a contributor to a Nobel Peace Prize gets sacked so I didn’t want to cloud the issue of who this person was out of respect for his obvious genius.

    But no doubt you could email Jim and find answer’s to the selected adjustment methodology. It would save a lot of time for NIWA who are busy re-creating the adjustments in a transparent way.

  • hunter

    I know it is pearls before trolls, but here is a pretty clear review of AGW:
    http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html
    written by this guy:
    http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html#bio
    But our trolls will slink around it and continue to do what they do- act the snarky fools.

  • Waldo

    Oh hunter. Have you researched James A Penden at all? Did you take good look at that website? Oh hunter.

    “I didn’t want to cloud the issue of who this person was out of respect for his obvious genius.”

    Say what? I will simply refer back to your earlier post, Pauls…

  • hunter

    Waldo,
    As predicted, a troll is as a troll does.
    Keep on.
    Your continued use of self-referential reasons to beleive in AGW and to ignore skeptics works as well for climate alarmism as it does for religions.
    You exemplify wy people are walking away from the AGW world view.
    Whether or not PaulNZ meets your criteria or not, the fact is that data collection and management is an issue that does not do AGW promoters any good.

  • Waldo

    hunter,
    And as predicted you found a completely disreputable source (actually, it is almost impossible to determine who the author of your link is, but someone did try here http://rabett.blogspot.com/2008/12/he-has-another-list.html) and this made you happy. Note that there is no way to verify any of James A. Peden’s claims about himself and that there is a “donate” button at the bottom of the page. Tell me, hunter, who developed modulated beam mass spectrometry?

    Then, as predicted, you accused me of the being the troll here.

    Then you rambled incoherently (have you been drinking this morning, hunter?) about “religions” after having just posted an extremely questionable Internet blog that gives you as true-believer a statement as one could ask for.

    Plus there is no “criteria” for Pauls statements – he simply made things up. It’s not difficult, hunter.

    I actually don’t blame hunter here – he is doing the best he can. But for a bunch of people bound and determined to hold AGW scientists accountable, the CS tribe is sure willing to turn a blind eye.

  • Tean

    I wish there was another troll here besides Waldo. At first he was a bit interesting, but now he’s just boring and repetitive. I know … Waldo, register under a different name and email and you can keep yourself company here! That’s what a true kool aid drinking, superiority complex-driven, climate catastrophe disciple would do.

  • Jim H

    Waldo
    it is interesting to witness your obvious ability in pedantic dissection and semantics. I feel your trust in climate science (what is that? can you get degrees in it?) is misplaced as climate/weather is not regulated by one simple input. When all scientists, from every possible field affecting climate, compare notes and agree that GW is purely anthropogenic then that would be believable.
    I do not see you posting on W.U.W.T, are there too many scientists for you?

  • Waldo

    Well Jim, I never said climate science was “regulated by one simple input.” How did you get on that? Oh, I know – strawman. I’m not sure what you meant by the “get a degree” comment – but I believe one can get a degree in physics, specializing in climate physics, or meteorology, or any number of other disciplines, if that’s what you meant. (Kind of a weird statement.)

    ****”When all scientists, from every possible field affecting climate, compare notes and agree that GW is purely anthropogenic then that would be believable.”

    Oh really? Well, since CS is an evolving discipline it will probably be a while before “all scientists” agree on anything – and I’m not sure that “all scientists” ever agree. And even then, Jim, I am willing to bet my buttons you will not accept it. You don’t want to, so you won’t.

    For the record I don’t know if AGW is real or not. I’m not a scientist. But I do know that sites like this one are full of the mentality which will write things like “That’s what a true kool aid drinking, superiority complex-driven, climate catastrophe disciple would do.” And Tean will never realize how self-reflective that statement is.

    I don’t know about W.U.W.T. – I’ll check it out.

  • Jim H

    Waldo
    You do make some good comments and I certainly appreciate the lack of vitriol and invective that seems to pepper these blogs (both sides). I did not, however, mention my view on AGW merely posted questions. As it happens the initial evidence persuaded me it was a possiblility but now I doubt it is manmade. Like you, I am not a scientist and do not do any experiments in climate science but I am reasonably intelligent and, thanks to the explosion of information available, I research all points before making my decision.

  • Waldo

    Good for you, Jim. I also try to research and understand as much as I can about the subject.

    My problem with sites like CS is that I suspect a good deal of what Mr. Meyers publishes is misinformation, highly selective information cherry picked to lead to a certain conclusion, politically driven information, or simply amateurish misinterpretation of complex scientific theories. He then goes public with this material as if he is an actual authority (for all the accusations of “appeals to authority,” there are endless appeals to authority from the folks that post here). This is extremely irresponsible on Mr. Meyer’s part. If AGW is real, then it is very troubling.

    Finally, CS and sites like it (including Watts’) are predicated on very personal, vitriolic, politicized attacks on people like Mann, Hansen, and the rest of the AGW group. There is actually very little science and a great deal of cross-posted vehement opinion on sites like CS. Paranoia and the cult of victimhood play into this tone as well.

    And while I respect that you do research your claims, do you really know enough to judge? I do not mean this as an insult but as an honest question. I do not know enough to really judge the claims for or against AGW. I think we would all be much better off if we all admitted it was over our heads and let the scientists hash it out.

  • Jim H

    Waldo
    Thanks for the comment but I do not claim to judge, merely form a personal opinion. I do not get involved in discussions, verbal or written, to try to change others opinions but try to get people to see all sides. As you have said people form opinions on trace evidence and then will not view any other side but by the same token many people still believe spinach contains more iron than any other vegetable because the facts were not as well communicated as the fiction.

  • It is misleading to say that the work of thousands of scientists verify that there is a climate crisis.

    The slight warming which has taken place is valid although the amount has been amplified for political reasons and natural causes have been minimized for the same reasons. Some warming may be caused by CO2.

    The basic 1.2 o C for doubling of CO2 looks correct also. The thousands of scientists could be said to support this amount of warming. The persistence of CO2 has also been inflated to make the argument stronger but that is for another post.

    It is the handful of scientists that take this non crisis and turn it into a crisis for whatever reasons that have gotten it wrong. They take CO2’s puny warming and multiply it by 6 or more with positive feedback which studies are proving is really negative feedback. This turns a non crisis into a crisis.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    “My problem with sites like CS is that I suspect a good deal of what Mr. Meyers publishes is misinformation, highly selective information cherry picked to lead to a certain conclusion, politically driven information, or simply amateurish misinterpretation of complex scientific theories.”

    The key here is that you SUSPECT that, but you have no proof. You yourself even say that “I do not know enough to really judge the claims for or against AGW.” If that is true, how can you tell what is “misinformation, highly selective information cherry picked?” It obviously follows from your own statements that you can’t, thus your suspicion is admittedly based on nothing factual and leaves the door wide open for us to guess at your real motives, such as maybe a politically driven agenda or at best an “amateurish misinterpretation of complex scientific theories.” Leaving your statements of your suspicion which are admittedly based on non-existent knowledge or information as pure “personal, vitriolic, politicized attacks.”

    So while at times you attempt to come of a reasonable individual, admitting your limitations, closer examination reveals you for what you are, a troll. You are clearly hypocritical, never discuss the actual science, and continually personally attack the author of the blog. You are here for no other reason but to incite.

    Lastly,

    “And while I respect that you do research your claims, do you really know enough to judge? I do not mean this as an insult but as an honest question.”

    If you don’t know enough to “judge” the theories based on actual scientific evidence, how can you even judge if someone else understands the scientific evidence? Obviously that’s rhetorical, you can’t. All you can do is fall back onto your misplaced trust in a degree. You have this mistaken belief that the only way your opinion can be credible is if you’ve published X articles in the field. Well, I’m pretty sure Einstein was flat out genius, a no doubt expert in his field, but boy was he wrong on quantum mechanics.

  • PaulsNZ

    Waldo, Yes after listening to Jim on radio here in NZ I can honestly say that Jim has lost the plot, He preaches catastrophe scenarios where none exist. He truly believes his own lies. Thank-you for questioning my conclusions that one lie can call into question any and all related work based around that lie.. Its proved correct.

  • Brian N.

    I think what Waldo was asking for was the person’s confidence in their assessment. It’s both a valid question and a clever trap. If the person admits to (and specifies) where they are uncertain, they are generally trustworthy. If they stonewall and claim the infallibility of institutional authority or hide behind their credentials then they are generally untrustworthy. At least, that’s been my experience…

  • Waldo

    Well Paul in New Zealand, I’m not sure I followed your post exactly (now Jim is “preaching catastrophe scenarios” when before we was a “genius” and before that he was “perpetrator”?) except that you seem convinced of the “lie” which exposes all the other “lies.” But what exactly these lies were is unproven except that you are convinced that he lied. Seems rather circular. But again, the scientist in question was fired because he violated his organizations media policy. I suspect you didn’t know this and filled in the blanks based on a preconceived notion of any number of things.

    Interesting.

    Not sure what you are talking about Brian. I was asking about anyone’s “confidence in their assessment” or trying to set some sort of rhetorical trap. I was asking if anyone here actually knew what was going on. Which they didn’t. Which is a hallmark of this site and many like it.

  • Waldo

    And Wally, Wally, Wally, why do we keep going over and over the same territory again?

    Two posters on this thread have accused me of repeating myself and being unoriginal – but what chance do I have when people keep asking me the same questions again and again? I mean, it’s hardly fair, is it?

    I have been posting for several months now about why I distrust Mr. Meyer and am critical of the entire denialist mentality. I know you’ve been reading them. And there are plenty of examples of this mentality here on this thread alone. So I am unmotivated to expand to any great length here.

    But sure, Mr. Meyer might just win the Nobel Prize this year for all I know. But I very, very, very seriously doubt it – particularly since the few visits to CS from actual scientists clearly indicate that Mr. Meyer does not know what he is talking about.

    So let’s take things in a new direction.

    This is Dr. Joseph Mercola: http://www.mercola.com/

    I am unwilling to trust Dr. Mercola or follow his advice for reasons that I hope would be obvious to anyone with even minimal thinking skills after visiting his site. But perhaps, since I know even less about medical science than I do about climate science, I should simply believe what he has posted here? Or should I use some good common sense to critique what he is trying to sell me? Would you trust this fella? After all, he has more credentials in the area of medicine than Mr. Meyer has in the area of climate science. I mean, we aren’t really concerned about academic or professional credentials, now are we?

    What I think would be most interesting though, Wally, is if you held Mr. Meyer to the same level of scrutiny and transparency that you do AGW entities. Now that would be a day worth waiting for.

    What would even be more interesting than that, however, would be peer-review of Mr. Meyers science. If Mr. Meyers science is indeed solid, have him publish it nationally after review. What? The evil AGW scientists are blocking opposing viewpoints?! Really? Actually, there are a fair number of critical studies published in places like Nature and Science. Remember the “250 peer-reviewed papers critical of AGW” boondoggle a while back. Most were pretty questionable – but in the midst were a number of high-profile, high-impact journals with papers critical of AGW. Go to any Ebscohost or ProQuest search engine – you’re a scientist – look it up. AGW critical peer-reviewed literature is out there; have Mr. Meyer join the chorus of dissenting scientists in the proving ground of peer-review. Or perhaps he’d rather do lunch dates with community groups and blog postings. Much less critical audience there.

  • Waldo

    D’oh! On review I see that I left out two apostrophe “‘s.” Very embarrassing and brings down the entire level of discussion here. Sorry.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    We go in circles because you make the same mistakes over and over. Mostly your appeal to authorities (nobel prizes, a ph.d. or nature journals it doesn’t matter) or your appeals to ridicule. You rarely, if ever, actually deal with the science being discussed. You regularly disparage Meyer’s argument simply because they appear on a blog and that he doesn’t go through peer review. You even do that in this latest post. But all peer review is there for is attempt to ensure that good science is being done. It isn’t a perfect system, and it isn’t the only system either. Meyer’s posts his work for all to read and judge for themselves. Its nothing more than a type of open review (and regular journals have experiments with this as well). Now you could, if you wanted, put in the required time to critically evaluate Meyer’s work (and at times I’ve been critical of his methods), but you take the lazy route and simply attack the source. I know the source, you attacking it is not convincing. I will review the actual work, and the more rational of the readers here will do the same.

  • hunter

    Wally,
    AGW is at heart a movement not really any different from other popular manias. It is larger. It is not trading in tulips or offering hopes of a master race, instead its mania is centered on a climate crisis that only exists in the minds of its believers.
    This leaves little room for the true believers to do more than we see here and elsewhere.

  • William Larsen

    I was surfing the Internet for information, and found your site. Some of your temperature charts are included in a report I have been writing for several years. My paper was originally titled “Global Climate,” but I finally had to change it to “Compendium on Global Climate.” I thought I had finished the paper until I decided that the ocean acidification problem had to be addressed. The Al Gore camp is really using coral desication as a trump card. Any thoughts on how to tie present oceanic chemistry to paleo-oceanic chemistry? Acidic vs. basic carbonate oceanic chemistry is complex, and I believe that if I get the opportunity to present the paper, this question will come up. Not having a good reply could destroy my creditability and purpose of the talk. Thanks, Bill L.

  • Lance

    The example I use is to think of climate as a car. Co2 from man provides only a nudge to the car. The catastrophe comes from a second theory that the car (representing the climate) is perched precariously on the top of a hill with its brakes off, and a nudge from CO2 will start it rolling downhill until it crashes at the bottom.

    Well, I think the alarmist position is better described as a car on top of Mount Everest with no brakes, full of children and puppies, being shoved by CO2 then accelerating to Mach 1, breaking the sound barrier and the crust of the earth. It continues to accelerate through the center of the earth and then blows through the other side on it’s way to the speed of light or the extinction of all life in the universe, which ever comes first.

  • PaulsNZ

    Congratulations Waldo, you have got the point…A lot of the AGW proof is a circular debate based on a lie.
    It’s interesting you use the “deniable mentality” Just like Old Jim did in his radio speech. His belief was that because he is jewish he is allowed to call climate skecptic’s “deniers”, Not only did he cause his science to be called into disrespect but a good portion of Jewish people castigated him for being an idiot.
    So you see the genius of a man prove himself to be an idiot!. QED.

  • The Merovingian

    There is one problem with Mr. Meyer’s example of the climate as a car. One extremely massive and undeniable problem. A problem that even though it is irrefutable science, neither side of the climate debate seemingly wishes to address. Alas, denial is the most predictable aspect of human nature.

    Our climate is in fact not only perched on the top of that large hill, it has already slowly started on it’s inevitable and uncontrollable downhill slide, to an ultimate catastrophic crash.

    That which has given us life will ultimately take it away.

    Each second, the sun is converting more than four million metric tons of matter (hydrogen) into energy. The fact that we as a species do not want to consider it, does not negate the fact that the sun is now middle aged and each second is endlessly converting it’s massive but yet still limited supply of “fuel” into helium.

    Because of this, the sun is gradually becoming more luminous (about 10% every 1 billion years) and it’s surface temperature is slowly rising. One estimate, gives the window of opportunity for life to exist on this planet somewhere between another half billion to one billion years.

    Granted that catastrophic crash is still hopefully a long time away. But in the meantime, the planet as a whole and on the average is going to be getting incrementally warmer.

    It does not seem out of the realm of possibility that any “nudge” we humans are providing is merely providing that car with just a wee bit more momentum.

    Oh yeah, and just for good measure we should not forget the gradual slowing of the earth’s rotation, which is only going to exacerbate the problem and make that crash happen possibly just a little sooner.

  • Waldo

    *****”We go in circles because you make the same mistakes over and over. Mostly your appeal to authorities (nobel prizes, a ph.d. or nature journals it doesn’t matter)”

    Now Wally, let’s really examine what you are suggesting here. My “mistakes,” as you put it, revolves around the credentials of the person asking me to believe something they’ve said or written. As I’ve said too numerously to count, as a layperson I have to be able to trust my source. If my source is questionable, then I can’t trust them. I simply cannot fathom how this thinking is a “mistake.”

    Actually, if we think about it, this is the denialist rational when dealing with AGW – again and again the denialist camp charges AGW scientists with tampering with their evidence; at heart, this is the argument against AGW: the evidence cannot be trusted because Mann, Hansen, the IPCC et al are untrustworthy (usually these charges [unproven, I might add] have something to do with “gravy”). This same level of scrutiny and observation is not given to posters like Mr. Watts or Mr. Meyer, however, and suggesting that Mr. Meyer is perhaps unqualified to comment (heavens forbid that we ask for “qualified” scientific commentators) is tantamount to suggesting that everyone and anyone has the same level of legitimacy for topics such as climate science.

    In other words, if I follow your argument, everyone’s opinion carries the same weight no matter how much fist hand knowledge, professional training or education they have. I am trying very hard not to make a strawman argument out of your comment and I think I’ve got the gist of it. Am I wrong in my understanding? It is, if I follow you, a “mistake” to follow those people who have the most qualifications –Nobel prize winners, a Ph.D. in the discipline or articles published high-impact peer-reviewed journals such as Nature and Science. Why has never been adequately explained – usually the “why” of the matter is that scientists have a vested interest in AGW, something never proven. The other argument seems to be that we need to challenge these scientists because they are trying to restructure the economy – again, fairly unproven.

    How this is not patently obvious I just do not know. Again Wally, if the world works this way then design your own highway, treat yourself for gall-stones, build your own space shuttle. Or do these people not have a vested interest in seeing their science succeed?

    I have to say, Wally, for a guy with your intelligence and background, this is simply the flimsiest assertion you could make. Some of the commentators here don’t really have the brainpan to think about these things, but you do. If what you post were true, would you follow Dr. Mercola’s advice (you never answered that one) because it is a type of open review. Or how about “The Flat Earth Society”? http://www.alaska.net/~clund/e_djublonskopf/Flatearthsociety.htm

    I know almost nothing about geography, cartography, astrophysics and I have never personally seen the earth from orbit. In fact, everything I’ve personally seen would suggest that the Earth is, in fact, flat. Do I believe them? What do you think, Wally? Should I go with the “experts” on this one or should I review the science?

    *****“ You rarely, if ever, actually deal with the science being discussed.”

    Be fair. I have on a number of occasions asked sincere questions – usually to have them go unanswered (which makes me wonder how well people really do understand the “science” here). And on the occasions when I have tried to examine the “science,” people have gotten furious. Remember the “250 papers”? I did examine a number of them and people got so angry several swore they’d never talk to me again and I haven’t heard from them since. Hell, I tried to ask netdr (who never answered why his/her/its moniker links back to CS) some questions only to have him/her/it disappear.

    ****** “You regularly disparage Meyer’s argument simply because they appear on a blog and that he doesn’t go through peer review. You even do that in this latest post.”

    You are correct. I am extremely dubious about blog-science and I am becoming more dubious every time I come here. I would be much more willing to believe something that is peer-reviewed.

    **** “But all peer review is there for is attempt to ensure that good science is being done.”

    Good. We agree. Experts review experts to make sure that, oh I don’t know, a poster doesn’t misinterpret, misunderstand, misquote or cherry-pick data. We wouldn’t want to follow someone who does that, now would we?

    **** “It isn’t a perfect system”

    Never said it was. Obviously Lindzen’s papers get through.

    ****”and it isn’t the only system either. Meyer’s posts his work for all to read and judge for themselves.”

    Is that really, truly what is going on here though, Wally? Are people critically reviewing the science? Do you honestly think hunter or PaulsNZ are judging the science? Or is this site is clearinghouse for likeminded amateurs and a good deal of personal, political vitriol directed at people and organizations who publish things they, the posters here, dislike?

    **** “I know the source, you attacking it is not convincing.”

    I know the source, and you defending it is not convincing. In fact, I am becoming even more convinced I am right every time I come here.

    ***** “I will review the actual work, and the more rational of the readers here will do the same.”

    Only on the rare occasion does this site have a “rational” reader. Only on a rare occasion does anyone actually review the science.

    I think you’re in denial, Wally.

  • Seth

    I have read through the comments above, and I’ve got to give props to Waldo here and look askance at some of the skeptics or deniers who have been replying to him. Your arguments and assertions are reasonable. Your questions are good. But skeptics, are using words like trolls and demeaning phrases not simply counter productive to having a real debate. When Waldo ‘attacks’ the character of the blog writer, gives good reason for taking his conclusions with a grain of salt. However you reply by calling him stupid and a troll… or maybe I’m putting words into your mouth. These tactics remind me of a more playground bully attitude of “I’m right and your wrong. Say it or I’ll punch you!” than anything. In any case, for my own position the science is *not* settled, especially the catastrophic part, but go ahead and paint me with a target as well for defending the ‘troll’ on this blog. Such small words do little to help find the truth of the matter.

    There have also been some good and measured responses as well, which I am glad to see. The point I wish to make however is one made by BargHumer on March 28th, which is that there is little true debate, at least that I can find on the science. For all of the blog debates that I have found, for the ‘few legitimate scientists’ that you refer to Waldo, there is little open debate about the possible fallacies of AGW. And many of the arguments against it make a lot of sense… why don’t the experts address them? Openly. With experts on both sides. Why is there not more open conversation from the ones who do know? That for me calls a big question into being.

    Because lets face it, the world has been a lot hotter in the past than it is right now. Are we really all going to die because of this? Plants eat carbon for god sakes. It’s their food. And the Blogger made a good point when he said that we are predicting the future of the entire Earth Climate 1. without completely understanding it (that there have been meaningful advances in understanding the climate model in recent years point this out clearly enough), and 2. We have only been directly studying the atmosphere with real accuracy for 60 some odd years… these things are enough to shed doubt. So where is the real discussion between experts happening? Point me to it, and let’s be done with this name calling mumbo jumbo.

  • Waldo

    Actually Seth, places like Real Climate do often post responses to sites just like this one and offer counter-arguments to many of the typical anti-AGW charges.

    But I imagine it would be nearly impossible to have an actual “debate” on the subject – the science is much too complicated and denialist science is often simplistic, watered-down versions for, quite frankly, people who do not have a competent understanding.

    Besides, the people here don’t really want actual “debate.” They’d rather have Climate Skeptic.

    And who cares if they call me, or anyone for that matter, “troll.” Sticks and stones. Plus it means that the conversation is dying and certain parties are frustrated.