Irony

The New Scientist (“new” in most magazine titles meaning “socialist”) has yet another whole issue aimed at slamming climate skeptics.  You might start to think they felt threatened or something.

I found the cover hugely ironic:

The implication I guess is that climate skeptics are somehow trying to silence real scientists.  This is enormously ironic.  With a couple of exceptions, including the unfortunate legal crusade by the Virginia AG against Michael Mann, it is climate alarmists rather than skeptics who have generally taken the position that the other side of the debate needs to be silenced.

By the way, as I said in the intro to my last video, I have chosen to embrace the title of denier – with one proviso.  Being a denier implies that one is denying some kind of proposition, so I am sure thoughtful people would agree that it is important to be clear on the proposition that is being denied.  For example, I always found the term “climate denier” to be hilarious.  You mean there are folks who deny there is a climate?

I don’t deny that climate changes – it changes all the time.  I don’t deny there is global warming – global temperatures are higher today than they were in 1900, just as they were higher in 1200 AD than they were in 900.  I don’t even deny that man is contributing somewhat to the warming, not just from CO2 but from effects like changes in land use.  What I deny is the catastrophe — that man’s actions are leading to catastrophic changes in the climate.  I believe many scientists have grossly over-estimated the sensitivity of temperatures to CO2 by grossly overestimating the net positive feedback in the climate system.  And I think much of the work assigning consequences to even small increases in global temperatures – from tornadoes to hurricanes to lizard extinction – is frankly crap.  While I think the first mistake (around sensitivity) is an honest error, some day scientists will look back on the horrendous “science” of the consequences of warming and be ashamed.

It strikes me that a real scientific magazine that was actually seeking truth would, if it wanted to dedicate a whole issue to the climate debate, actually create a print debate between skeptics and alarmists to educate its readers.  If the alarmist case is so obvious, and its readers so smugly superior in their intellect, surely this would be the most powerful possible way to debunk skeptics.  Instead, the New Scientist chose, in a phrase I saw the other day and loved, to take a flamethrower to a field of straw men.

For those who want to watch the straw men go up in smoke, The Reference Frame has an index to the articles in this issue.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    Suffice to say that it is too silly to try prove conclusively either claim.

    We’d agree that the science is the most important factor, and that the scientific consensus is only as good as the science it is based on. So, as I have been saying, it would be great if someone from the denier side would put some out there to address the many issues they have. Until that happens the current science (and the general consensus) is all we have to work off.

  • ADiff

    And yet the predicted ‘impacts’ have not come to pass and do not appear likely to do so…. So much for the ‘crisis’. Hypotheses require confirmation of their predictions for verification. On this basis DAGW is increasingly questionable, at best.

    Warming is another matter altogether, but it’s no real danger. Just change as usual.

    “[T]he scientist is as prone as any other to become the victim…of his prejudices. He will in defense thereof make shipwreck of both the facts of science and the methods of science…by perpetuating every form of fallacy, inaccuracy and distortion.”

    – Karl Pearson

    “Mankind’s quest for perfection has always turned dark…The instinct is to ‘play God’ or at least mediate his providence…Science offers the most potent weapons in man’s determination to resist the call of moral restraint.”

    – Edwin Black

    And there, I contend, you may well have ‘Catastrophic Global Warming’, in a nut-shell.

  • Waldolame

    So…ummmm…that’s your argument, ADiff? You can’t even give us one solid example of how “DAGW is increasingly questionable, at best” or which “impacts” have not come to pass? And why am I not surprised that one of these quotes comes from a guy who died in 1936 and a guy who wrote about Eugenics? Are you going to dredge up Hitler next, ADiff? Or maybe the TV executives who canceled FireFly?

    Lame.

  • ADiff

    I’ve provided numerous citations and references. For those with an immediate interest, simply peruse “Climate of Extremes”, perhaps the most notable current work in print. It’s references to scientific publications and studies for all this number in the hundreds, and not from questionable, fringe or marginal sources either.

    Only Trolls repeated plea for references and citations when these have been provided again and again. It is only one form of Troll-ish rhetoric, among many, to continuously do so in face of the same being provided again, and again, and again.

    Some see need to ridicule because they cannot dignify and have no real answers to very troubling questions. But mostly it’s just Trolling, plain and simple.

    Take a look at the referenced material and then get back to us. In the meantime, like they say: read ’em and weep.

  • ADiff

    Read Edwin Black’s most recent work (the one on Eugenics). It’s entitled “War Against the Weak”. There are remarkable parallels with the current Global Warming Hysteria, beyond question. Of course no two phenomenon are identical, but the similarities and parallels are striking. Of especial note to me is the essential consistency of the Eugenics movement with the modern Environmental ‘movement’ in respect to their shared fundamental racism.

  • ADiff

    Eugenics was fundamentally a war against the poor, and most especially, against other ‘races’. How little has changed! http://www.fightingmalaria.org/

    The modern Environmental ‘movement’ can be viewed as a continuation of that war against the ‘poor’…and guess what? Mostly it amounts to a war against black and brown people. Imagine that! In the end it’s really all about ‘themselves’, isn’t it?

    Color me so NOT surprised.

  • Wally

    Waldo, not working in a particular field does not mean I’m totally ignorant of the field, nor that I can’t understand it. You like to repeat these questions, implying we have no idea what where talking about, but its nothing more than an ad hominem attack. You might as well stop, no one cares about such BS.

    Shills,

    Peer reviewed papers skeptical of DAGW are easy to find and have been provided by Meyer and in the comments section. I think ADiff and myself are getting tired of repeatedly posting them. At some point we just have to recignize that some people are going to be disingenous and ignore evidence that works against their personal biases. So its now up to you. You can find those papers, I tired of wasting my time giving them to you when you’ve proven time and time again you will ignore them, attack the authors or journal and not the science, or fail to understand the science.

  • Waldahoooooooo!

    ****”not working in a particular field does not mean I’m totally ignorant of the field, nor that I can’t understand it”

    Never actually said that. I have no doubt that you have a good understanding of the theories etc. But I cannot see how you put yourself on a par with the actual climate scientists, however, which is what you are doing, at least in practice. I am only suggesting that you should perhaps listen to those people who are actually professional scientists in the field – even you must concede they are better informed and in a better position to judge the science.

    ADiff, I will order the book from the library today. I have a great deal of reading and writing to do this summer, but I will take a look at it. Are you interested in a recommendation from me?

  • ADiff

    I’ve read several of the more popular titles among the alarmist category…but am always willing to entertain suggestions. I certainly don’t mind at all entertaining differences of opinion. Prejudice is unavoidable but awareness mitigates its influence. Recommend away without hesitation.

    The 1st rule IMO is simply “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”, the so-called “Sagan’s Law”.

  • ADiff

    BTW, whatever your take on Climate Change, I suspect you’ll find “War Against the Weak” a fascinating tale. I think my analogy apt, but even those who do not at all should find a lot of ‘meat’ there to chew on.

    One trivial example: the word “moron” which is bandied about so much, and so taken for granted, was entirely a creation of the Eugenics movement, and created for political propaganda purposes. Interesting…..

    How many linguistic artifacts of fanaticism find acceptance as common currency, and to what effect? I find such speculations interesting, being of a somewhat bookish inclination myself.

    Anyway, DIGRESSUS EST … but feel free to suggest at will.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    Oh but in asking the question in such leading manner you certainly implied it. If you don’t want people to put words in your mouth, don’t ask leading questions.

    “But I cannot see how you put yourself on a par with the actual climate scientists, however, which is what you are doing, at least in practice.”

    Depends on what you think “on par” means here. My ability to judge a scientific argument is likely equal to their’s. My understanding of statistics and modeling in general seems to far exceed their’s. They likely have a larger depth of knowledge in their field than I do, I would concede that. But in any given scientific argument it is not terribly difficult to read up on the relevant information. So that one advantage they have is the most trivial. Once you’ve had a strong scientific training you can apply it to anything. The details come and go, and you learn them and forget them as they do.

    This is a long way of saying the tools to being a good scientist never change, but the required background knowledge in any given field changes all the time, and it is not as hard as you may believe to catch up on seemingly unrelated fields. Plus, I’ve now spent the better part of two years reading books, peer reviewed journals and yes obviously blogs on climate science. I likely know climate science only slightly worse than my own field. The only difference is I have no desire in doing primary research in climate science.

  • ADiff

    “Actual climate scientists”, kind of like those “Actual MD”‘s one see’s touted in advertisements for quack nostrums and holistic hooey? Being a ‘scientist’ in itself means very little, and from what I can see being a ‘climate scientist’ amounts to nothing more than announcing one’s not a specialist in any particular real area of investigation, but certainly has an eye for ‘the main chance’ at any rate. I mean, it’s not as if there really was any such thing yet in any sense established on a coherent body of theory or research. Climate Science at this point really only exists as such in the public imagination. Beyond that it just a mish-mash without any clear integral solidity. Eventually we may understand climate enough to actually study if scientifically. But at this point the best that can be done is to study this or that component area that contributes to climate, and pursue more or less speculative investigation as to how all these ‘pieces parts’ fit together. Which brings us to science’s myopia issue. Of course scientists want, and need, the things they DO understand to be important. It’s a trap, and one ‘Climate Science’ has clearly fallen into, and badly.

  • Wally

    Very true ADiff,

    The whole of “climate science” seems like one big pilot study thus far. In general its sloppy analytically and so little of the entire process is so poorly understood it difficult to make any kind of strong conclusion.

    In my experience climate science more closely resembles the study of economics than that of any core science. And economists still debate whether the new deal actually helped or just made the great depression worse. As I’ve said on this board before the core problem is that climate scientists can’t experiment, and without proper experiments, we’re reduced to correlations and guessing. And as anyone earning a C or better in into statistics knows, correlation is not necessarily causation. This isn’t to say we don’t know anything, or there is no hope for climate science, its just going to be very, very difficult to untangle the amorphous blob that is our climate.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    I’m not asking you to post skeptical papers. Any that are out there have obviously been considered and incorporated into the science. In addition I can’t read or pretend to understand them. The IPCC still stands strong, as does the science behind it. What I’ve been asking for is that deniers get the ball rolling on all the non-published criticisms against AGW, otherwise the science still stands.

    For example, those books that ADiff recommends could have some good ideas, but unless they are submitted for peer-review, they are useless.

  • Waldactor

    ADiff, may I suggest “The Climate Solutions Consensus: What We Know and What to Do About it” by the NCSE, Blockstein and Wiegman.

    I’m also interested in “Climate Cover-UP: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming” by Hoggan, although I am willing to be suspicious of Hoggan.

    And yeah, I’ll look at your book, but I’ll also be suspicious of it and its claims – will look into them when I get a chance.

    So Wally,

    ****”it is not as hard as you may believe to catch up on seemingly unrelated fields”

    This does make me wonder why people specialize at all in the sciences? Certainly we could streamline our graduate programs and scientific agencies if this were true.

    And you will forgive me if I am not convinced of your rationalization for why your “ability to judge a scientific argument is likely equal to their’s.” Ummmm….doubtful for all of the obvious reasons already posted above. Pretty self-aggrandizing too.

    Nor is your and ADiff’s hyperbole about “quack nostrums and holistic hooey” very convincing. This is where I think you lose the debate – your views are antagonistic and exaggerated; you can make no claim to being objective or fair-minded. (And fine if you want to begin counter-asserting that I am not fair to Mr. Meyer – I no longer am – he’s quacking like a duck for all the obvious reasons.)

  • Wally

    Shills,

    “In addition I can’t read or pretend to understand them. ”

    Which leaves me wondering why you’re here. If you don’t understand and don’t want to take the time to try and understand, why do you think your opinion on the matter will mean anything to people that do make that effort and likely understand the science better than you?

    “The IPCC still stands strong, as does the science behind it.”

    Says the guy that self admittedly say he doesn’t understand the science… So on what grounds do you form this opinion when you admit your ignorant of the science itself?

    “What I’ve been asking for is that deniers get the ball rolling on all the non-published criticisms against AGW, otherwise the science still stands.”

    Like I’ve said, those paper are out there. Though you then say I’m not supposed to post them and I’ve already told you several times, I’m not going to create my own. I’m just the critic you need to convince. As is the public in general, some of us are just, uh, how to put this, easier to convince than others.

    “For example, those books that ADiff recommends could have some good ideas, but unless they are submitted for peer-review, they are useless.”

    Peer-review journals is not the only method to disseminate scientific findings. Peer-review is really only used in the academic world.

  • ADiff

    Your recommendations sound tendentious and directly addressing Climate Change and the associated political movement, but I will read them in any event in hopes they might actually have something to say I’ve not already encountered in other such works. I don’t rule that out, although I am rather skeptical, as well as you are. I will try to give them as open-minded a consideration as possible though. I’ll order them today online (I despise sales taxes).

    The work I cited isn’t about Climate Change as a phenomenon or as a movement…although, in a sense, it can be viewed as being about ‘scientific’ crusades (‘movements’) in general, at least on some level. I highly recommend it entirely on its own merits regardless any application one may see, not not, applicable to the specific topic of Climate Change and its related Crusade to ‘save the world’. I believe you will enjoy it (it is very well written) and benefit from it with respect to a more informed view of some developments in history. I say this regardless agreement (or disagreement) with its contentions.

    With respect to Climate Change in particular, I think you miss the point, generally. The issue isn’t climate change really, it’s whether or not it can reasonably be considered in any significant way ‘Unprecedented’ (which claim I see being largely unsupported by the evidence) or presents a significant danger or crisis of any kind, for which I see little, if any, evidence. I’ll refer you once again to “Climate of Extremes” (a reference, not a recommendation, by the way) for a cogent presentation of these arguments, not suggesting there’s no climate change, nor warming trends (including the most recent such), nor a role of GHGs in these.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    “This does make me wonder why people specialize at all in the sciences? Certainly we could streamline our graduate programs and scientific agencies if this were true.”

    People specialize for a variety of reasons. One is interest. Another is that while it isn’t difficult to learn the background material in any particular field, it is however, often difficult and costly to get set up to do experiments in a new field. So, once you get the knowledge and all the equipment, chemicals, drugs, protocols and train personal to use all this, its pretty easy to just keep going in that field. Recently my own lab switched to something very similar, but different enough to require a change over in lab techniques and some equipment. Conceptually the change was not difficult, but speaking practically it took about year to QC everything.

    Then with graduate school about 1/2 your training is just learning how to be a good scientist and its not really about the subject matter at all. Its about how to ask good questions, how to answer them properly and how to critically evaluate your own work and that of others. If you studied hard in your undergrad, there really isn’t a ton of subject specific knowledge you’re going to have to learn. At most two years worth of classes, but classes are not the only way to learn, and in some ways they take way too long and are not an efficient use of your time. If you’re dedicated you can pick up a text book yourself and get through in a month or two, if not weeks. Now maybe I’m the exception having had a very broad undergrad with lots of math, chem, phys and bio, but if that’s true, its only because I put in more time, not because I’m some super genius.

    Anyway, you then go into your typical ad hominem diatribes about how you don’t trust me, or apparently anyone else you disagree with, for what ever reasons. If you don’t believe I can make and judge scientific articles, perhaps I should put in touch with my Ph.D. committee… Regardless of your suspicions and claims self agandizing, you aren’t in a position to judge my abilities, particularly since you have shown little interest in critically evaluating scientific articles with me. So its my word or lets go through some articles, though I suspect your own knowledge and abilities are so lacking that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the logical capacity of Albert Einstein and Paris Hilton.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    You say: ‘Says the guy that self admittedly say he doesn’t understand the science…’

    Fair enough question.

    When the ass falls out of climate science, I suppose I’d see press releases from the IPCC and notable scientists admitting to some serious errors. I’d see blogs like realclimate explaining the mistakes in simple terms, I’d see blogs like this one getting all smug. New Scientist, Am Sci, would have big stories on it.

    I think we’d know if it happens. But we should prob. be sure not to overreact to something minor, like a bunch of stolen email.

    You say: ‘Like I’ve said, those paper are out there.

    Well they’re not doin’ much it seems.

    you say: ‘Peer-review is really only used in the academic world.’

    I’d say it’s the gold standard, but sure, lets see what effect those books have.

  • Wally

    Shills,

    You may consider the emails something minor, but pretty much all evidence points to the contrary. Popular opinion has shifted greatly since “climategate.” More than that we’ve seen claim after claim in our latest IPCC reports found to be based on what some hiker said, or other such claims that don’t come out of the gold standard peer review journals. We’ve had investigations that have cleared those mentioned in the climategate emails, though those investigations have not been without criticisms as well. And we now how an AG investigating one of them. The bottom has fallen out. Climate scientists know now they are being watched, carefully, and hopefully that persuades them to do better science and leave the politics out of it.

    “You say: ‘Like I’ve said, those paper are out there.

    Well they’re not doin’ much it seems.”

    I would disagree.

    “I’d say it’s the gold standard, but sure, lets see what effect those books have.”

    Not really. Its just ‘A’ standard. There are alternatives (one is private publications like books), and I don’t particularly think any of them are significantly better than the others in terms of getting disseminating science. If really good science was done in a book, we’d pay attention to it. And like all things there are crappy journals that generally have crappy science, and even the good journals occasionally have crappy science that get ignored. It all depends on just who’s reviewing it and the editors, which can be good or bad. From my point of view peer review had an important advantage before the age of the internet, a relatively simple review process. However, now it would be possible to post scientific findings more or less in real time with a completely open review process (meaning anyone willing to critique it and write down their real name). Over all this would likely make science much better. More stuff would get out their faster and we’d draw from a much larger pool of reviewers, so not to give a few big shots in a particular field too much influence. And it would take away the ‘prestige’ factor, that would probably serve science some good. However, now that peer review is entrenched its going to take a pretty large activation energy to get open review going. A few journals have tried it, but its proven hard to pull people away from wanting to get into the big name journals.

  • WaldoYo

    ****”particularly since you have shown little interest in critically evaluating scientific articles with me.”

    Wally, I’ve tried to do this in the past. You (and the others here) either ignore my requests to read with me (I’ve made several requests on these forums) or get really furious when I do.

    And understand that I do not doubt your ability within your own field (I figured you had a doctorate soon after your first post)…but, of course, I would have to defer to the climate scientists in debates about climate science, just as I would defer to your expertise if Jones or Mann or Hansen were challenging you on genetics.

    And again, Wally, I don’t think that what goes on on these boards is ‘science’ in any but the most superficial sense. What goes on on these boards is the very political, very paranoid denigration of climate scientists and highly prejudiced pseudo-evaluations of the science itself based on questionable source material. Since you are yourself a scientist, I always have to wonder why the register of CS doesn’t bother you more.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    The emails were minor in the sense that they suggested very little of the supposed corruption. Of course our response was major — over-reacting.

    What is the AG investigation?

    Those paper’s out there. What are they doing?

    You say: ‘ I don’t particularly think any of them are significantly better than the others in terms of getting disseminating science’

    disseminating science maybe, but what about quality control??

    I remember back in year 9 or 10 reading this new book by Gavin Menzies called 1421: The year China Discovered the World. I was quite the Chinese History buff at the time, However, I had not yet learnt how to think critically and took the book as been tip top. One day I wen’t to the local uni to do some research on the topic, only to have the librarian, also a lecturer in history, tell me Gavin was full o’ crap, totally unsupported in the field.

    I’m not saying peer-review is perfect, and I’m open to new systems, but it is currently the most reliable.

  • Wally

    Shills,

    “What is the AG investigation?”

    Virgina’s attorney general’s (AG, sorry thought from previous discussion you’d recognize the abbreviation) investigation of Mann.

    “disseminating science maybe, but what about quality control??”

    That is terribly well controlled for by having just 3-5 reviews anyway. Often, 1-2 of the reviews are friends, or previous collaborators, that aren’t that critical. Plus, the ultimate test of quality is getting it out for a lot of people to read and if it can be replicated, which doesn’t happen until after the paper is published anyway.

    “One day I wen’t to the local uni to do some research on the topic, only to have the librarian, also a lecturer in history, tell me Gavin was full o’ crap, totally unsupported in the field.

    I’m not saying peer-review is perfect, and I’m open to new systems, but it is currently the most reliable.”

    Well, if you ever become one of these experts you refer to in some particular field, you’ll learn that there is a lot of crap out there in the peer-reviewed literature as well. I can understand it may give a layperson, such as yourself, some comfort to know a handful of other experts “OKed” some particular paper, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was good science. Reviews miss things, editors don’t often require everything a reviewer asks actually be completed, and of course reviews, editors and authors can more or less be in bed with each other. In the end, I think the more familiar you are with peer-review, the more you are aware of its faults.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    “You (and the others here) either ignore my requests to read with me (I’ve made several requests on these forums) or get really furious when I do.”

    I remember trying to do this with you once and, if I recall correctly, two things happened:

    1) You don’t have access to subscription required journals. So, I suggested a few papers and none of you could gain access to. Then I asked you pick, and you did not.
    2) We went through one paper that was a statistical mess. It was something like 20 years old, and yes statistical methods have improved since then, and maybe more importantly, awareness of proper statistical techniques has also improved since. You and several other people seemed to think the stats done were fine, but you couldn’t communicate why outside of trusting the authors and could not answer several of my criticisms. Which lead me to believe you don’t have the required training to really keep up. Meaning you don’t have the understanding of statistics needed for the vast majority of this field’s work, nor even the scientific training required just to keep up with how you properly ask and answer questions. Though I’m open to you picking a paper, with some sort of reverence, and proving me wrong.

    “just as I would defer to your expertise if Jones or Mann or Hansen were challenging you on genetics. ”

    You never know who can provide a valuable critique of your work. It may be these people can offer me something I haven’t thought of. Collaboration with people outside your field is often valuable in gain some perspective, as people sometimes tend to get myopic with their own work. So I wouldn’t be afraid of their criticisms, I’d embrace them. This is why I only get suspicious of them when they act defensive with their work. Scientists are supposed to be detached from their work.

  • Waldo

    ****”I suggested a few papers and none of you could gain access to. Then I asked you pick, and you did not.”

    You have confused me with someone else. Neither of those were me.

    I did begin reading a number of papers off the “200 peer reviewed” list someone posted and this is when a number of people became very angry. The list was a sham and at least a number of the papers did not deliver what the people here wanted delivered.

    I am willing to read some stuff (was actually looking at some articles on Academic Search Premier today), time allowing. I would ask that we stick to actual peer-reviewed stuff from bona fide academic journals (Energy and the Environment or any other corporate publication should be considered off limits). Remember that I am a layperson too.

  • Wally

    Well waldo,

    I’ll leave the ball in your court since its ultimately the alarmists that need to prove DAGW. So pick your favorite, or pick a few.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    you say ‘…but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was good science…’

    ‘necessarily’ is key here.

    the peer-review system is still superior to a book. You say that the ultimate point of it is to get the ideas out there for others. Well a book takes a lot longer to get published than an article, and there is still no way of sifting the wheat from the chaff.

    Besides, one of the major issues the deniers had this year was some none peer-reviewed lit. in the IPCC. Clearly even they see the superiority of peer-review if they feel such a complaint is warranted. I’m willing to bet that even you, Wally, felt similar.

    Could it be that you are expressing one of the characteristics of a denier: setting up impossible standards for your opponents. As explained in the very New Scientist that heads this thread???

  • Waldomotte

    This one is kind of heavy:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_MassonDelmotte_etal.pdf

    I will have to do some backtracking to locate some definitions of terminology but a good mental exercise, no?

  • Wally

    Shills,

    “You say that the ultimate point of it is to get the ideas out there for others. Well a book takes a lot longer to get published than an article, and there is still no way of sifting the wheat from the chaff. ”

    I’ve seen papers take 1-2 years just in the pre-publication process. In theory articles would be faster, but they often are not. And an individual who’s educated in the subject can sift the wheat from the chaff for himself. If you can’t do that, that’s your problem. Not mine.

    “Besides, one of the major issues the deniers had this year was some none peer-reviewed lit. in the IPCC. Clearly even they see the superiority of peer-review if they feel such a complaint is warranted. I’m willing to bet that even you, Wally, felt similar.”

    The issue isn’t just the lack of peer review, the issue is just what the data and analysis was in the studies their referenced. If I recall correctly, they were often personal accounts by hikers. No scientific process at all. The other issue was the extreme hypocrisy of the alarmist side. They liked to degrade skeptics as amateur bloggers, that double as creationists, who don’t actually do a scientific process. Well… the IPCC relied similar accounts to prove their story. Certainly they could have used non-scientific findings by amateurs that didn’t support their argument, but why didn’t they? Obviously the bar was MUCH lower for those they agreed with. They weren’t concerned with creating an honest and open summary of the science for politicians, they were trying to sell a story. And they relied on anything that would help them sell that story.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    you say: ‘ In theory articles would be faster, but they often are not…’

    But you’d agree that a non fiction book would generally take longer.

    you say: ‘and an individual who’s educated in the subject can sift the wheat from the chaff for himself.’

    Undergrads cannot. And the peer-review system is specialty-specific so that researchers who aren’t focused on that topic can still use it to inform their research. There is a lot of reliance on trust in science, otherwise a lot of time would be wasted if they all had to sift the wheat from the chaff.

    YOu say: ‘If I recall correctly, they were often personal accounts by hikers’

    I don’t think one of those exists, and if they do, they prob. are reasonable.

    you say: ‘the IPCC relied similar accounts to prove their story’

    BS. The vast majority of AGW science is peer-reviewed. Have there been any errors in the wg1; the central science behind AGW? No. All the errors have usually been in the wg2 or 3 stuff.

  • Wally

    Shills,

    “But you’d agree that a non fiction book would generally take longer.”

    Well, I don’t really know. This is the kind of thing one might be able to find data on before taking it for granted in their argument…

    “Undergrads cannot.”

    Well, then their opinion doesn’t really matter if he’s just relying on what other people tell him.

    “And the peer-review system is specialty-specific so that researchers who aren’t focused on that topic can still use it to inform their research.”

    Sorry, if you use it in your research and site it in an article you damn well better undestand it and agree with conclusion drawn that rely on or mention. Of course you can also site something to disagree with it, but this is rare. Regardless, you’re obviously pretty ignorant of actually doing research.

    “I don’t think one of those exists, and if they do, they prob. are reasonable.”

    Ok, so now you’re saying non-peer reviewed amatuer observations of these supposed hikers (or guides I can’t remember) are probably reasonable, but you want people like myself and Meyer to go through peer review before our thoughts can be used in the public debate…..I mean really? Do you listen to yourself?

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    I’m not ignoring that paper, I got busy today, and have not yet had the time to properly read it. I will get to it though.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    You say: ‘This is the kind of thing one might be able to find data on before taking it for granted in their argument…’

    More disingenuous pedantry from you Wally. You want data? Okay how ’bout the fact that a book has at least 100 pages to several more compared to 10 pages for an article. A book contains chapters covering numerous topics, whilst an article covers just one. What about the fact that books are often just secondary lit. based off the data from papers? Don’t know why you see this as contentious.

    you say: ‘Well, then their opinion doesn’t really matter if he’s just relying on what other people tell him.’

    They need reliable info to learn from before they can start forming opinions.

    you say: ‘Sorry, if you use it in your research and site it in an article you damn well better undestand it and agree with conclusion drawn that rely on or mention’

    No shit. Either way, trust in the paper is needed, otherwise researchers would be waisting time reproducing everybody’s results ad nauseam.

    You say: ‘Ok, so now you’re saying non-peer reviewed amatuer observations of these supposed hikers (or guides I can’t remember) are probably reasonable’

    Again, I don’t think there is any such sources. And they may be reasonable in that the IPCC would not rely on them as anything but peripheral or redundant data. But there could be a mistake like you say, and the IPCC would prob. correct it.

  • Wally

    You know shills,

    After your last post containing this little exchange:

    “YOu say: ‘If I recall correctly, they were often personal accounts by hikers’

    I don’t think one of those exists, and if they do, they prob. are reasonable.”

    I no longer care to have this “debate” with you. If you’re going to call for the “deniers” to submit peer review to alter the science, while throwing around endless ad hominems, but at the same time saying some hiker or trail guide’s casual observations are probably reasonable, then you’re obviously both disingenuous and just here to incite readers.

    Anyway, I just thought I’d spell that out for you and let you know why I’m no longer going to be responding to you. You’re ignorant, combative and a hypocrite. Good bye.

  • Shills

    Wally,

    You are not seeing the differences. Both sides of the arg. must produce peer-review science. But tiny little citations of little to no consequence may pop up in the IPCC report (or skeptical paper), that are based on hearsay, and might be reasonable. The problem, Wally, is that you don’t have any real examples to work off. However, like before, if the source does not fit the bill, then the IPCC would prob. correct it. I am willing to admit it could be a mistake, but we don’t know because we don’t yet have an example.

    Re. your little whinge about me: I don’t thing you are being accurate at all. And if I am as you say, I’m still sure that you’re no better. We’ll speak again soon enough, for sure.

  • Wally

    Ok Waldo, I read the paper, though I’m curious just why you brought this one up. It is pretty tame in its conclusions and doesn’t seem to support anything like DAGW, but rather deals with attempting to understand the natural phenomenons at work and just how much effect each has. Over all I don’t have too much to say about it. Forcings from solar activity, axis tilt and green house gasses account for most of the variability, but not all of it. Not really a shocker…

    So is there something in particular you want to discuss regarding this paper?

  • WaldoOK

    Ah ha! I apologize, Wally, I had stopped checking this since nothing seemed to be happening and, actually, I am in the middle of writing an abstract and another article of my own. So – perhaps you will be so kind as to go through it with me, make sure I understand what I am reading? Go ahead and explain anything I don’t understand or get wrong – I have admitted all along that I am a layperson and so I am credulous on that account. Let’s start with the abstract:

    If I understand correctly, the paper posits that past temperatures can be read back at least as far as 800K years based on “water stable isotopes,” that these measurements (and other proxies) will be analyzed at the “orbital scale” (and I admit I don’t know what that is) and compared with estimates of ice volume on a global scale. Yes / No / Somewhat?

    Then the abstract claims that the paper shows three things: 1) “a strong but changing link between EDC temperature and greenhouse gas global radiative forcing in the first and second part of the record” – which does sound a lot like AGW language to my untrained ears; 2) that there is a clear delineation of temperature variants(“a large residual signature of obliquity” [did I get that right?]) that lags behind these phenomena; and then a somewhat vague sounding statement about the “exceptional character” of these temperatures in these interglacial periods.

    Finally in the abstract, it sounds to me like the paper deals with the reasons that models are only partly accurate when dealing with axial tilt which include the interaction between the surface of ice sheets, the ocean, and the atmosphere.

    How am I doing?

    I chose this paper largely because it is new (why would we read a paper from 20 years ago?) and, as you say, “it is pretty tame” so we are unlikely to devolve into one of our barking matches. Later perhaps we can look at some more contentious papers – if your patience with my reading holds out.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    Yes the paper is dealing with these ice core-type measurements from EPICA, and then they compare that proxy to others around the globe.

    I don’t interpret the actual temps divergence from the model temps (basically including the effects of axial tilt, solar activity and GHGs as showing some sort of “inaccuracy,” but as demonstrating that we don’t yet know of, much less understand, all the factors involved in establishing global temps.

    Otherwise, I’m unsure what you’d like to do here. I don’t really have much criticism for this paper (positive or negative). It’s well done, but not exactly ground breaking. So, I guess we could go through the figures as some sort of mental exercise, but if you think you understand them, and I think I understand them, I don’t see much point since I don’t think this paper has much relevance regarding the skeptic/alarmist debate.

    This is one of those papers where, in hindsight, reading the abstract was all I would have cared to do.

  • WAldoooooooo

    Well I don’t want to bore you, Wally, so I guess I could skip over a number of actual questions (such as the relevance of the time span of the study and the implications for GW given that link between temp and forcings) and just ask this: since you have no real criticisms, do you find this paper valid?