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Climate Cover-Up: A (Brief) Review

Filed under: — mike @ 20 October 2009 - (Español)

We often allude to the industry-funded attacks against climate change science, and the dubious cast of characters involved, here at RealClimate. In recent years, for example, we’ve commented on disinformation efforts by industry front groups such as the “Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Cato Institute, the Fraser Institute, and a personal favorite, The Heartland Institute, and by industry-friendly institutions such as the Wall Street Journal editorial board, and other media outlets that assist in the manufacture and distribution of climate change disinformation.


When it comes to the climate change disinformation campaign, we have chosen to focus on the intellectually bankrupt nature of the scientific arguments, rather than the political motivations and the sometimes intriguing money trail. We leave it to others, including organizations such as SourceWatch.org, the sleuths at DeSmogBlog, authors such as Ross Gelbspan (author of The Heat is On, and The Boiling Point), and edited works such as Rescuing Science from Politics to deal with such issues.

One problem with books on this topic is that they quickly grow out of date. Just over the past few years, there have been many significant events in the ‘climate wars’ as we have reported on this site. Fortunately, there is a book out now by our friends at DeSmogBlog (co-founder James Hoggan, and regular contributor Richard Littlemore) entitled Climate Cover Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming that discusses the details of the contrarian attacks on climate science up through the present, and in painstaking detail. They have done their research, and have fully documented their findings, summarized by the publisher thusly:

Talk of global warming is nearly inescapable these days — but there are some who believe the concept of climate change is an elaborate hoax. Despite the input of the world’s leading climate scientists, the urgings of politicians, and the outcry of many grassroots activists, many Americans continue to ignore the warning signs of severe climate shifts. How did this happen? Climate Cover-up seeks to answer this question, describing the pollsters and public faces who have crafted careful language to refute the findings of environmental scientists. Exploring the PR techniques, phony “think tanks,” and funding used to pervert scientific fact, this book serves as a wake-up call to those who still wish to deny the inconvenient truth.

There are interesting new details about the Revelle/Singer/Lancaster affair and other tidbits that were new to me, and will likely to be new to others who been following the history of climate change contrarianism. Ross Gelbspan who has set the standard for investigative reporting
when it comes to the climate change denial campaign, had this to say about the book:

absolutely superb-one of the best dissections of the climate information war I
have ever seen. This is one terrific piece of work!

There is an important story behind the climate change denial effort that goes well beyond the scientific issues at hand. Its not our mission at RealClimate to tell that story, but there are others who are doing it, and doing it well. Hoggan and Littlemore are clearly among them. Read this book, and equally important, make sure that others who need to do as well.


455 Responses to “Climate Cover-Up: A (Brief) Review”

  1. 201
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Hank foresaw …

    Nonsense.

    I described how to search with Google for people who did that.

    “Like a finger pointing the way to the moon.”

  2. 202
    Holly Stick says:

    Lara at #166; the trailer of the film has been critiqued here:
    http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2009/08/16/new-junk-science-movie-not-evil-just-wrong/

    and a blogger talks about the film maker:
    http://climateprogress.org/2009/10/11/al-gore-sej-phelim-mcaleer-denier/

  3. 203
    dhogaza says:

    You put forward one nobel prize winning economist who said he didn’t.

    Krugman wrote a column talking about why he felt his *profession*, as a whole, missed it.

    Not that *he* didn’t.

  4. 204
    dhogaza says:

    Here’s Krugman’s 8 page essay entitled “How Did Economists Get It So Wrong?”.

    Few economists saw our current crisis coming, but this predictive failure was the least of the field’s problems. More important was the profession’s blindness to the very possibility of catastrophic failures in a market economy. During the golden years, financial economists came to believe that markets were inherently stable — indeed, that stocks and other assets were always priced just right. There was nothing in the prevailing models suggesting the possibility of the kind of collapse that happened last year.

    Quit misrepresenting what I said andstop blowing up strawmen.

    I’m done.

  5. 205
    dhogaza says:

    Like I said, RichardC, I don’t know why dog has such a boner to slam me all the time, but there we go.

    Perhaps it’s because you constantly misrepresent what people – including me – say, and are therefore a boor?

    Really, if you’d just take time to read and comment on what people actually write instead of what you imagine they write, we’d all be better off.

    I think your heart’s in the right place, but your head’s somewhere else entirely.

  6. 206
    Hank Roberts says:

    Kids, kids, the best we amateurs can do to be helpful is help readers who come along later and read the threads here learn how to look stuff up for themselves, not argue about what we believe, which we all know how to do.

    The thread’s about the climate coverup, specifically the DeSmog book.
    Can we talk?

    For the example it gives of how to look stuff up:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=krugman+warning+financial+crisis
    From the first page of results:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1

    —excerpt—

    By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: November 27, 2008

    A few months ago I found myself at a meeting of economists and finance officials, discussing — what else? — the crisis. There was a lot of soul-searching going on. One senior policy maker asked, “Why didn’t we see this coming?”

    There was, of course, only one thing to say in reply, so I said it: “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”

    —-end excerpt—-

    Why didn’t we know there was a climate crisis developing?
    Well, there’s this book that has some of the answers to that question.
    Let’s talk.

  7. 207
    tharanga says:

    Lynn

    reply 192: I don’t think too many denialists think that way – that they secretly are scared of the projections, so they want to wish it away. I’d take them at their word when they don’t think anything is going to happen, or whatever is happening is natural, or will be good….. It’s fun to try to pin these guys down on exactly what they think, actually.

    reply 190: This sounds unrealistic. First, you make it sound like people have a choice in what their electricity source is. Most people live in a place where the utility company has a monopoly, so if the utility uses coal, that’s what you get. Yes, I know there are some exceptions to this. Then, I’m doubtful that many people would start finding ways to conserve so much that their energy bills would actually go down if the utility switched from coal at (market, not retail) 4 cents/kWh to some more expensive alternative, or coal with a carbon price of $20-$30/ton added on top.

  8. 208
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Gerry Beauregard #188: a little searching found an article by Mörner and colleagues:
    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Publications/PDF_Papers/MornerEtAl2004.pdf
    Note that this is not based on any tide gauge record. The tide gauge Gan seems to be fairly new, a record can be found here:
    https://www.bodc.ac.uk/data/information_and_inventories/gloss_handbook/stations/27/plot/454002/
    That being said, it is not a good idea to try and use local tide gauge data to say anything about what sea level is going to do in the future. Just like with temperatures really. Local data is affected by local phenomena, like tectonic motions, subsidence by water extraction, and variations in sea surface topography. The el nino/la nina switch can produce already the 20 cm Mörner refers to.
    Global studies over sufficiently long periods of time clearly show that sea level is rising — some 20 cm over the last century, and accelerating. By the time you have half a metre — and that’s where we’re heading — those local effects are drowned out. Not to mention several metres post-2100.
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/…/church_white/GRL_Church_White_2006_024826.pdf
    http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/author_archive/jevrejeva_etal_1700/2008GL033611.pdf

  9. 209
    Hank Roberts says:

    Who else knew?
    http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/10/20/pm-frontline-the-warning/

    I’m still waiting to get my hands on a copy of Climate Cover-up.
    Soon.

  10. 210
    Rod B says:

    Mark (189), I read Ray’s comment as being a bad scientist is NOT why they have difficulty getting published.

  11. 211
    Mr Sh says:

    Hi, this is a post from Japan. I am not a climate scientist, but have participated in IPCC activities as a engineering field. In Japan, recently the denialists have published many paperbacks instead of scientific paper. Unfortunately, they are getting supported by the blogsphere in spite of various efforts of scientists and experts like US.I have often been irritated by the non-scientific arguments, cherry-picking, correlation without the evidence of causality mechanism, etc. I really enjoy this RealClimate finding so many good scientific answers and sources against the denialists.
    But still, I keep a question – the denialists are, or at least used to be, scientists who should have learned that all real world have never been solved but that the cummulative knowledge proposed the right way to us inspite of the remaining uncertainty. The point is, to what extent we know and whether it is enough to take action or not. I recognize the level on AGW has come to this stage slready, but the denialists insists as though that the statement “there are still unknown unknows” is equal to “nothing is known”.
    If their students or young colleagues in their fields would say so, they should have been struck out. It is still my wonder whether they apply their method to their own works.

    best

  12. 212
    david says:

    Ray @ 146
    >The cure for information asymmetry is information, but the public has to be willing to learn, and that is where things are breaking down. I’m sorry, but what would you call someone who refuses to learn other than stupid?

    Don’t call them anything. Either explain politely why they are wrong or ignore them.

    Explaining something to someone that doesn’t want to learn is close to impossible whatever you do, but calling them stupid is the approach least likely to succeed. What it does do is make you look bad to onlookers who are undecided about the topic.

  13. 213
    dhogaza says:

    Mark (189), I read Ray’s comment as being a bad scientist is NOT why they have difficulty getting published.

    Paranoia always comforts the paranoid.

    Meanwhile, those of us in the reality-based world (which includes Ray, just in case you’ve not noticed), deal with reality, not paranoia.

  14. 214
    Richard Steckis says:

    205
    dhogaza says:
    22 October 2009 at 7:18 PM

    “Perhaps it’s because you constantly misrepresent what people – including me – say, and are therefore a boor?

    Really, if you’d just take time to read and comment on what people actually write instead of what you imagine they write, we’d all be better off.

    I think your heart’s in the right place, but your head’s somewhere else entirely.”

    Well said and accurate.

  15. 215
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Rod B #210

    I read Ray’s comment as being a bad scientist is NOT
    why they have difficulty getting published.

    But I read it that that IS precisely why… my definition of ‘bad scientist’ includes not being able to set one’s own preferred beliefs aside when the evidence clearly tells a different story.
    Much of the machinery of doing science — having to defend your dissertation, having your papers reviewed — is explicitly designed to separate a scientist from his/her preferred beliefs when those are getting in the way. Many get the message and go on to become productive workers in their fields. Some don’t.

  16. 216
    Richard Steckis says:

    # 160 Ray Ladbury says:

    “Richard Steckis, Is it seriously your contention that thousands of climate scientists, who have collectively published several thousand papers on Earth’s climate, are bullshitting?”

    Some are Ray. Not all. But it is mainly directed at the political processes that play into the AGW farce. People are sick and tired and increasingly skeptical of the constant “It is worse than we thought” mantra that comes from the press releases of both scientists (a minority of) and eco-political groups.

    In Australia the public support for AGW as a crisis needing attention is softening rapidly. According to the latest poll in 2007 68% thought that AGW was a dire problem for the world. In 2008 this had reduced to 62% and in 2009 reduced further to 52%. Far from being weapons-grade stupid, the people of Australia are turning away from the cry wolf syndrome and are asking for hard facts not conjecture.

    Despite what you say Ray, the AGW science is not settled and probably never will be. The physics alone does not explain all of climate change. It cannot in the absence of biotic, geological, chemical and other factors. Those other factors interact with the physics, changing its dynamics from the purely theoretical to the real-life situation which is little understood at this stage.

    As for your thousands of papers defence, I recall a quote of Eintein’s where he said “Thousands of experiments supporting my theory cannot prove it to be right. But only one can prove it to be wrong”. I paraphrase somewhat.

  17. 217
    Craig says:

    It doesn’tnt take a connection to energy industries to have a skeptics point of view. I’m such a person. My views come from reading the large mass of info available and doing my best to decipher when necessary. I don’t need reporters or television programs to help with the ability to recognize what I consider to be the truth. I don’t think that most other Americans are any different.

  18. 218
    Richard says:

    At any rate, solar power is still the way to go because it does no harm to the environment and is low-priced.

  19. 219
    Rob says:

    Guys,

    This is regarding Lindzen and Choi, “On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data”
    as published in Geophysical Research Letters this year.

    I am pretty sure I pinned down a colossal error in the paper, which esentially nulifies his claims about climate sensitivity.

    I have posted various versions of my analysis on various blog sites, but apart from good ‘votes’, I did not have anyone post a response that refutes or confirms the errors that I found in the paper.

    Here is a brief summary of my findings :

    —-
    I looked at the Lindzen and Choi paper in detail. I’m not a climate
    expert, so I may be wrong here, but I found what seems to be a
    fundamental error in reasoning in the paper.

    Lindzen did a correlation between changes in outbound radiation (OLW +
    SW) from ERBE, against natural changes in sea-surface temperature. He
    found a reasonable correlation that shows that total outbound
    radiation goes up at about 4 W/m^2 per K increase in sea surface
    temperature.
    In Figure 3 of the paper, Lindzen shows that the measured 4 W/m^2/K is
    almost exclusively caused by an increase in long-wave (OLW) radiation.
    The the flux for SW is virtually independent of sea-surface
    temperatures (delta-flux/delta-SST is close to 0 W/m^2/K for SW).

    Stephan Boltzmann’s law says this (increase of OLW radiation at a
    slope of 4 W/m^2/K) is exactly what you would expect from a planet
    radiating at around 255 K, as long as there is no feedback mechanism
    in place.

    Still, somehow Lindzen claims that this finding implies a strong
    negative feedback, and even claims that the ‘models’ predict a
    negative slope (a decrease in radiation if sea surface temperatures go
    up). To obtain a reduction in radiation after an increase in Sea
    Surface Temperatures is essentially physically unreal, as it implies infinite positive feedback.

    I think the cause of this error is that he misrepresents the radiative
    “forcing” (such as from CO2) with natural changes in surface
    temperatures. That confusion leads to an incorrect feedback factor
    scale in figure 3 in his paper. In that figure, the SW (short-wave)
    graph is off-set by 4 W/m^2. All models, and the right scale (feedback
    factor) should move up by 4 W/m^2, so that the 0 W/m^2/K on the left
    scale lines up with a feedback factor of 0.

    The same problem also shows up in the formula’s, and again, very subtle,
    and hard to spot the error. But here it is : Paragraph [13] :

    “When considering LW and SW fluxes separately, F is replaced by FLW + FSW.
    In the observed DOLR/DSST, the nonfeedback change of 4 W /m^2 /K is
    included. ”

    So far so good (that non-feedback factor of 4 W/m^2/K applies to OLW only
    since Stephan Boltzmann deals with OLW only). But then :

    “Also DSWR/DSST needs to be balanced with DOLR/DSST.
    From the consideration, FLW = -DOLR/DSST + 4 and
    FSW = – DSWR/DSST – 4.”

    Right there : He subtracted 4 W/m^2/K from the FSW ! No explanation for
    that, and absolutely incorrect.
    That’s how he got a feedback factor of -1 for SW while SW is not affected by
    SST changes.

    The deception was hidden, but it is exactly there in the plots and in the
    formula.

    Of course, after correcting this error, the conclusions of his paper
    would need to be adjusted as well. Not only is the ERBE data
    essentially is in line with the model predictions, but also the ERBE
    data shows that there is NO feedback (feedback factor 0) at least for
    short-term (months) sea surface temperature changes.
    —-

    Curious to any feedback on my determination of this fundamental error that Lindzen seems to have made in this paper.

  20. 220
    david alan says:

    Martin Vermeer #215
    “… my definition of ‘bad scientist’ includes not being able to set one’s own preferred beliefs aside when the evidence clearly tells a different story.”
    I suppose that comment can be directed at either Pro-AGW scientists or skeptical scientists. The only thing that’s evident is the facts. Facts like data and models used to incorporate more data to predict with certainty, future anomalies, consistent with previous data and predictions. Now I don’t care if your a bad scientist or not, or a bleeding heart alarmist or flaming sceptic, the evidence of the facts, supported by rigorous testing and confirmed by other sources, is ALL a REAL scientist can ever hope to achieve.
    Everyone should heed these words. When it comes to climate change, demand transparency. Demand the data to be rigorously tested by other scientists when it comes to predictions that determine public policy. If data, models and predictions of climate can’t be studied, scrutinized and replicated, its not science, its science fiction.
    If you follow these simple instructions, you will soon find who is a real scientist and one that poses as a real scientist.
    That is all.

  21. 221
    Mark says:

    “My views come from reading the large mass of info available and doing my best to decipher when necessary.”

    Really?

    So the multitunious conflicting points denying AGW is a problem don’t give you any pause for thought?

    Maybe there are so many conflicting points because they’re wrong.

  22. 222
    Mark says:

    ““Richard Steckis, Is it seriously your contention that thousands of climate scientists, who have collectively published several thousand papers on Earth’s climate, are bullshitting?”

    Some are Ray. Not all.”

    So there are still over a thousand climate scientists NOT bullshitting.

    So how come they’re saying the same thing as those you think are BSin?

  23. 223
    Mark says:

    “Despite what you say Ray, the AGW science is not settled and probably never will be. ”

    A worthless point, Skecsis.

    The question I put to you is not “is it settled” but “is it right enough to guide us”.

    Software is never bug free and never complete. Never.

    Yet here you are, typing on a computer OS that isn’t complete, using a browser that isn’t complete over a network running software that will never be complete, putting that stuff on another computer/OS/webserver that will never be complete.

    Yet, somehow, despite this software being incomplete (and so much of it interdependent), you are able to post tripe.

    So is the AGW science complete enough to be useful.

  24. 224
    Mark says:

    Richard, you missed out an even better comeback in 214 where dog says:

    “Perhaps it’s because you constantly misrepresent what people – including me – say, and are therefore a boor?”

    And point him to his post of 92 and subsequent posts where he misrepresents what I say and therefore either

    admits he is a boor

    or

    doesn’t think such actions are boorish

    Then again, dog’s thought processes are not, well, *processing*, are they.

  25. 225
    Mark says:

    dog, 213, still you avoid the question.

    Just like Girma or el gordo or Ducky Dave Andrews.

    You’ve lost any credibility to decry misrepresentation or avoidance because you engage in it freely.

    ANSWER THE FREAKING QUESTION.

    It’s not rocket science.

  26. 226
    Mark says:

    “Explaining something to someone that doesn’t want to learn is close to impossible whatever you do, but calling them stupid is the approach least likely to succeed.”

    David: so teaching has 0% chance of success and calling them stupid is 100% going to fail.

    The difference is others now know that the interlocuter is not being honest.

  27. 227
    Mark says:

    RodB “Mark (189), I read Ray’s comment as being a bad scientist is NOT why they have difficulty getting published.”

    I know.

    Try reading it in a light where it *could* be right.

    “It’s the SUN!” was. The first few times.

    “It’s not warming!!!” was. The first few times. And each time when it *could* be true.

    They’re looked at by the scientists who are genuinely working to find out (and they DO agree AGW is a problem) to see how they *could* be right.

    But you and your denialist friends only read them in a way they are wrong.

    Try it the other way round.

  28. 228
    Mark says:

    “Krugman wrote a column talking about why he felt his *profession*, as a whole, missed it.”

    And Hank gave a name of an economist who didn’t.

    And it seem that you DO think I’m smarter than him. And Hank too, of course.

    I don’t think so, but then again I don’t seem to be able to make you think otherwise.

    It’s quite flattering.

  29. 229
    Lloyd Flack says:

    Again and again I hear sceptics say “I don’t trust computer models. I won’t support actions that could cause a lot of economic harm on the basis of such models.”. Here I am mostly talking about people whose background is in some other scientific or technical are. I think it is important to get through to them because they provide many of the talking points that denialists without any scientific background use.

    OK, why don’t they trust the models? Some of it is their experience with models, Some of them have seen models go spectacularly wrong because of minor mistakes in the formulation. Many have seen software errors causing models to fail. They are concerned about that happening with climate models. These people are usually generalizing from their experience of models that are much more fragile and vulnerable to misspecification than are climate models. They are also not seeing that the sort of errors that they are concerned about would cause errors in all directions rather than a systematic bias in the outcomes. They are unaware that no one is relying on any single model. It is the results of the ensemble that climate scientists are interested in. Many are confusing the computer program with the physical model that it is simulating.

    Some believe that we need impossible levels of detail in the models for them to be trustworthy. Some of these claim that this sort of modeling is impossible. They forget that we are only interested in very coarse trends and that is all that any one is claiming are robust. They are over concerned about the chaotic nature of weather and don’t realize that at the level of detail we are interested in the average behaviours are sufficient for our purposes.

    There is also a frequent misunderstanding of the GCMs. Many are under the impression that they are statistical fits to the data and are concerned about overfitting. Claims are made that by tuning a large number of parameters you can get whatever result you want.

    But I think most of it is that they don’t know what is going on inside the models and are not willing to trust the output of a complicated system if they do not understand the principles behind it. You might say that they are willing to trust say the results of computer modeling when they fly in an aircraft that has been designed on computers. There are however two important differences in this case. The first is that they usually understand the general principles that the aircraft designers are using when the model something even if they don’t know all the details. They do not have this familiarity when climate models are concerned. The second is that aircraft are tested so discrepancies between modeled and actual behaviour is found and the calculations are revised to accord with reality. They do not see this happening in climate science. They are unaware of how models are tested. I would think that since quite a few different models are used for there to be a bias in the results there have to be common underlying flaws. With the number of people working on them I would expect such flaws to have been discovered long ago. For it not to be detected an underlying flaw would have to be a subtle one.

    What is missing is an accessible source for information on how climate models work. We need someone to write a book that would serve both as an introduction to climate modeling for people who want to continue their studies in that are and a source of information for scientifically educated
    individuals in other fields. To be useful it would need to assume a moderate amount of mathematics. It might be best if it was written as a collaboration between a climate scientist and a scientist in another field who has an interest in climate science. A climate scientist might miss the areas that people have difficulty with.

  30. 230
    Dan says:

    “As for your thousands of papers defence, I recall a quote of Eintein’s where he said “Thousands of experiments supporting my theory cannot prove it to be right. But only one can prove it to be wrong”. I paraphrase somewhat.”

    Then you (not Einstein) clearly do not understand how science works or the meaning of the scientific method. Of that there is no doubt at all.

  31. 231

    #217 Craig,

    Which large mass of information did you read? Was it from peer-reviewed science journals or from the Web? If it was the former then you are fairly unique.

    I think most Americans get their information from the Web and other forms of mass media and that is why there is such confusion or even a denialist mentality.

    “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.”
    – Mark Twain

  32. 232
    Jim Bouldin says:

    “Richard Steckis, Is it seriously your contention that thousands of climate scientists, who have collectively published several thousand papers on Earth’s climate, are bullshitting?”

    Some are Ray. Not all.

    Who exactly then?

    …People are sick and tired and increasingly skeptical of the constant “It is worse than we thought” mantra that comes from the press releases of both scientists (a minority of) and eco-political groups.

    I think you confuse your own biases and preconceptions with those of the “People”. And even if this were true, so what? We’re supposed to shut up because you or your “People” are tired of hearing about it? Good luck on that.

    In Australia the public support for AGW as a crisis needing attention is softening rapidly. According to the latest poll in 2007 68% thought that AGW was a dire problem for the world. In 2008 this had reduced to 62% and in 2009 reduced further to 52%. Far from being weapons-grade stupid, the people of Australia are turning away from the cry wolf syndrome and are asking for hard facts not conjecture.

    Your conviction on climate change rests on polls of what Australians supposedly think on the matter, bolstered by your conjecture of why they think what they supposedly think?

    Despite what you say Ray, the AGW science is not settled and probably never will be. The physics alone does not explain all of climate change.
    It cannot in the absence of biotic, geological, chemical and other factors. Those other factors interact with the physics, changing its dynamics from the purely theoretical to the real-life situation which is little understood at this stage.

    Brother, if you think climate change evidence rests on “theoretical physics” you are quite blatantly ignorant on the topic, and are displaying it openly for everyone to see.

    See, as just one example:
    Rosenzweig, et al., 2008, Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change. Nature, 453, 353-357.
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=ro06900t

    As for your thousands of papers defence, I recall a quote of Eintein’s where he said “Thousands of experiments supporting my theory cannot prove it to be right. But only one can prove it to be wrong”. I paraphrase somewhat.

    So which one has done it then?

  33. 233
    Jim Bouldin says:

    Craig says:
    My views come from reading the large mass of info available and doing my best to decipher when necessary. I don’t need reporters or television programs to help with the ability to recognize what I consider to be the truth. I don’t think that most other Americans are any different.

    Have you read the AR4? How many Americans would you guess have formed their conclusions from the IPCC reports instead of the popular media?

  34. 234
    Silk says:

    Recycler – “And the Gregory paper is 2002. While that doesn’t invalidate it, it does suggest that Lindzen’s paper is at a level beyond.”

    Don’t be absurd. Newness has ZERO LINK to validity. The only test of validity is whether or not the approach is scientifically rigourous. Which (as we shall see below) this paper is not.

    Gregory’s paper, and a MASS of other papers (all the ones, with full references, that BPL provided for you) provide evidence that CLIMATE SENSITVITIY IS CONSTRAINED BY OBSERVATION.

    Lindzen and Choi come out with a new paper that is NOT CONSISTENT with the observations.

    A new level? Or an error?

    An error.

    If I come up with a paper next year that suggests a wildly different value for, say, G, that doesn’t mean I’m at a higher level than Newton. Merely wrong.

    You want an explaination of why Lindzen came up with the WRONG number.

    Try

    http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/lindzen-on-climate-feedback/

    Google again.

    The Lindzen Choi paper is wrong. It is wrong because it is inconsistent with OBSERVATION and it is wrong because it has been shown to fail when the correct data set is used.

    All of this has been demonstrated in the public domain. All you have to do is look.

    The problem here is that, even if you now accept that the Lindzen paper is wrong (or at least, that the Lindzen paper is a long, long way from what the body of science suggests is the correct value of climate sensitivity, and should be treated with extreme skeptism unless SIGNIFICANTLY more evidence where unearthed to support it AND someone were to provide evidence as to why the current interpreation of observations (by a multitude of authors) was incorrect) it has taken me an hour or so of my not very precious time to convince you.

    When you could have convinced yourself.

    Like I said, I’m not a climate scientist. But I /do/ have a job. And if I spent my time constantly addressing RC queries from people who really have ALL THE TOOLS to hand that I do, then I’d get sacked.

    If you have a question, google a bit. It’s not hard to find the answers you need.

    Personally, I’m amazed that people are still banging on about climate sensitivity. It’s been so much damm studied that there’s an absolute mass of evidence that it’s 3 K, give or take 1.5 K. That simply isn’t going to change. It’s *much* more interesting (and debatable) to look at IMPACTS, their effect on humanity and mitigation efforts we may or may not take to reduce the risk of these impacts. Not only is there a scientific question about what these impacts would be, and what mitigation would deliver, but there’s a whole body of moral and economic stuff about whether we have a duty to act, how much action we should take, and what the most effective way to act would be.

  35. 235
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Craig, the question, then is where you are getting your “large mass of info”, because it sure isn’t the peer-reviewed scientific literature. And it sure isn’t all the scientific professional and honorific societies–since not one dissents from the consensus. The real question is how people like you manage to get ahold of only misinformation and disinformation when so much good information (i.e. real science) is available.

  36. 236
    Silk says:

    #216 “Despite what you say Ray, the AGW science is not settled and probably never will be. The physics alone does not explain all of climate change. It cannot in the absence of biotic, geological, chemical and other factors. Those other factors interact with the physics, changing its dynamics from the purely theoretical to the real-life situation which is little understood at this stage.”

    Despite what you say, the science is well enough understood to tell us that if we burn coal and oil on a “business as usual” path to 2050, global mean temperature will go up significantly, and the impacts of this will cause severe economic hardship and millions (perhaps billions) of premature deaths that would otherwise be avoided.

  37. 237
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Steckis, You’re as piss poor at paraphrasing as you are at science. Since you guys love this quote so much, you might as well have the actual quote:

    A group of Nazi scientists under Nobel Laureate Philipe Lenard had published a pamphlet Fifty Scientists Against Einstein. When told about it, Einstein said: ‘If I were wrong, one would have been enough.’

    But you know, Einstein was right. And indeed it would only take one scientist to prove the current model of Earth’s climate wrong. All he’d need was evidence. And yet, the consensus–the one that matters–only strengthens. Physical reality doesn’t care about polls, and physical reality, in the form of all available evidence says you are wrong. The thing is that you have NO evidence favoring your position. NONE. You merely have your contention that it’s all too complicated to understand even as climate scientists prove you wrong over and over and over again. You claim that biology and geology and chemistry will trump physics. OK, produce some evidence. Everything we know about geology says it will take hundreds of thousands of years to bring CO2 levels down to preindustrial levels. Biology doesn’t seem to be helping us out much either.

    All of the known science says we are in trouble. YOU are saying we should ignore the science because…well, why, actually. You keep asserting that we don’t understand things, but the thousands of papers on Earth’s climate and the very strong evidence favoring the models says you are wrong. I simply don’t see how you can justify your position in any evidence-based way. And if your position is ideological, then aren’t you on the side of Lenard rather than Einstein?

  38. 238
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Edward, Climate science is a multi-disciplinary field. Here is a list of often cited authors on the subject”

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html

    Now, when you figure that most scientific papers have multiple authors…

    You can also add to the consensus the large majority of members in professional societies–American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, etc., since not one professional society dissents from the consensus. Richard S. is alleging that the entire scientific community is defrauding the global population. I guess otherwise, he might actually have to learn the science.

  39. 239
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B.,
    No, what I said was that the failure to publish is not necessarily an indication of lack of talent. As Martin says, it takes more than talent to make one a good scientist. What is often called scientific objectivity, isn’t so much objectivity as it is the ability to put aside one’s opinions and agenda and try to advance real understanding. Understanding is the common goal in science–and for most scientists, it’s the thing they value most. It is a rare case of having the common good coincide with the strongest of personal motivators for a scientist–his or her curiosity.

  40. 240
    Mark says:

    Dog says:

    “Perhaps it’s because you constantly misrepresent what people – including me – say, and are therefore a boor?”

    Hmm.

    Let’s look at the evidence:

    Post 165:

    ” You’re channeling denialist mentalism dog.

    Oh, yes, I’m a denialist. I’m sure everyone here believes that, too.”

    Post 92:
    “We know you think you are ”

    Now who is misrepresenting who? Who is being the boor?

    You.

    You’ve done this before. Proclaimed I know nothing and as “proof” proclaimed I was wrong before.

    And you were wrong.

    You’ve avoided answering the question.

    You’ve lost the right to demand anyone else answer the question.

    PS Moderators, if you don’t like where this is going why the feck are you letting dog’s tripe through?

  41. 241
    truth says:

    Gavin —since you asked to know:
    Most of the issues I’ve raised on this blog at different times, have been in response to the subjects you’ve raised for discussion in your main comments.
    If I raise them again, it’s because they haven’t been answered, either by you, or by the past RC blogs you refer me to—as is the case with the issues I raised here and you felt the need to edit out.
    Why is that?
    You haven’t debunked them at all—the response every time has just been disdain.
    You and the other consensus scientists have managed to convince most of the world’s political leaders that you and only you have the knowledge on climate change —- that it’s all due to CO2—that other well-credentialled scientists who disagree with you are just a bunch of stupid or malevolent people.

    [Response: ok, this is where you lose me. I have never claimed climate change is all due to CO2. Why do you think I have? Instead of actually listening to what is being said, you are continually projecting statements here onto a strawman argument of your own designing. It is no wonder you can't communicate here if you aren't listening. CO2 is however very important and over the next few decades will strongly dominate the forced component of climate change. The rest of your argument is simply based on what you perceive the consequences for policy are. I don't agree with your description in the slightest, but even if I did, it still wouldn't matter a jog to the science. CO2 (and methane and aerosols and ozone and the sun and volcanoes.. ) still has an radiative impact regardless of what society decides to about it. If you aren't happy with the choices society makes then vote, demonstrate, write letters etc. Just don't try and make a problem go away just because you find it politically inconvenient. -gavin]

    And now the world is about to get down to planning the upheaval and re-ordering of governance , trade and international finance that will do permanent harm to some countries, while allowing others to leapfrog over them to economic superpower status.
    A massive global bureaucracy is to be established to police the mandates of the Climate Change Convention—and it will reach into the operations of every economy—every industry and business in all our countries—controlling our living standards according to its mandates, no matter how much an individual country tries to establish its own policy for its own conditions.
    It will levy many new taxes—and fine any country not seen to be toeing the global line—all run by the dysfunctional UN of course , as is the IPCC.
    It will require developed democracies to provide funding for developing countries and to transfer their own homegrown technologies to developing countries, including those like Communist China, whose developing status has something to do with the fact that it [ the Communist State], murdered millions of its best and brightest not too many years ago.
    The global climate enforcers [ aptly known by the acronym COP] will require every country to have an emissions trading scheme or equivalent, under which regime, prices will increase on everything we buy, and every service we pay for.
    To meet the targets required, many more nuclear power facilities will be built, many probably inevitably in politically and seismically unstable regions.
    There is no energy scientist, as far as I know, who will pretend that any renewables will be ready to provide base load power in the foreseeable future, or that anything but coal and nuclear power can fill the needs of the next half century.
    For industry and housing and other purposes, that leaves mainly coal .
    Obama said that no new coal-fired power stations would be built—or if they were, his administration would bankrupt them. Where he stands now, no one seems to know—but we do know that nothing is available take the place of the ones that were planned, presumably because they were needed.
    CCS is not at all certain to be viable, and has already met with great public resistance in small scale trials.
    We know that wind power , even in Denmark, the much-touted success story for wind, is only an adjunct—that in Denmark it must be supplemented by large quantities of energy [ coal-fired, nuclear and hydro] from neighbouring countries.
    We know that the figures don’t stack up for any of the renewables—even if deployed, they would have to have coal-fired power stations standing by to supplement them.
    Meanwhile, Germany plans more coal-fired facilities and more nuclear.
    China plans to build more than 800 new coal-fired power stations.
    India is importing ever more coal—some of it of the dirtiest kind.
    The media in just about every country ignores all of the difficult issues , shuts down debate and information—and throws all its focus on the IPCC and the science of the AGW[CO2] consensus.
    So if ever science needed to be right and scrupulous about the truth it’s now—but what do we have?
    We have scientists refusing to allow their data to be seen by those who might question their conclusions—character assassination of dissenting scientists, and for many, career damage or worse—legitimate questions on data and methods ridiculed and then ignored, even when they go right to the core of this issue, and even when those questioning have been proven right on other occasions.
    And this new attitude to science is spelt out and labelled as the new way of doing things, by a prominent member of the consensus club in his exposition of ‘post-normal science’, where he says scientists must ‘trade truth for influence’, and ‘recognise the soc ial limits of their truth-seeking’ .
    Most people want to get this right, for their own countries and the world, but how can we be anything but sceptical?
    The response the world needs is for scientists [whether they be mathematicians, solar scientists or any of the sciences related to climate science]who disagree with the consensus to be treated with respect, and their ideas to be explored and discussed with the seriousness and maturity that the enormity of this issue requires.

  42. 242
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    The final retort question for the ECONOMIC denialists, is “What do you think 4C GW will cost?”

    The final retort question for the POLITICAL denialists, is “How do you think the political landscape will look at 4C GW?”

    Check out the following and give us a guesstimate (be sure to click on the + signs, the go to “more info” for sources:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2009/oct/22/climate-change-carbon-emissions

  43. 243
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:

    RE #207 & my 190 – you’re just wrong. Of course, first the tech & savings measures would have to be implemented to realize the savings (reminds me of a joke about praying & praying to win the lottery….then God’s deep voice booms, “First you have to enter it.”

    I’m not talking projected savings based on armchair thinking — I myself and others I know have reduced by 50 to 75% fairly easily (I’m not couunting moving closer to work in this reduction, since I’ve done that ever since the 70s oil crisis). And I haven’t even started. Not until I get my electric car to plug into my 100% wind powered electricity. When people actually put their mind to it, solutions rain down aplenty. Be creative.

    RE my 192, What’s meant by denial in the psychological sense is that people don’t consciously know there is a problem. They are in denial. We probably all have our areas of denial. It’s a common phenon. GW would be the ultimate problem in which to be in psychological denial. I think it works this way (but I’m not a psychologist or up on the lit) — the more serious the (impending) problem the more likely people would deny it.

  44. 244
    dhogaza says:

    Mark, I said “I’m done”. Please stop. I don’t care what you think. You’re acting like a 14 yr old kid who’s broken into daddy’s liquor cabinet.

  45. 245
    dhogaza says:

    You and the other consensus scientists have managed to convince most of the world’s political leaders that you and only you have the knowledge on climate change —- that it’s all due to CO2

    Truth: as long as you post lies like this you’re going to be treated with disdain, OK?

  46. 246

    #241 truth:

    You wrote: “The response the world needs is for scientists [whether they be mathematicians, solar scientists or any of the sciences related to climate science]who disagree with the consensus to be treated with respect, and their ideas to be explored and discussed with the seriousness and maturity that the enormity of this issue requires.”

    With some exceptions (because the process is not perfect) this is EXACTLY what is done through the peer-review process. There is a reason you are seeing very few anti-AGW papers and it is not because these papers are being black-balled.

  47. 247
    Mark says:

    “You haven’t debunked them at all—the response every time has just been disdain.”

    You haven’t shown that all the responses require debunking. Or that disdain is not the right answer.

    After all, isn’t the commonest denialist disdain of AGW “computer models aren’t science”? That isn’t debunking the use of computer models in modelling the weather or climate, it’s just disdain for using computers in this manner.

    Show that there’s a point to answer before you demand they all be answered.

  48. 248
    Jim Bouldin says:

    Truth, not that many people outside of you and I realize that the IPCC has a military wing to it. Pretty scary for sure.

  49. 249
    tharanga says:

    Lloyd, re 229:

    This was a good comment, and it sums up what I’ve seen. Due to some personal experience with other sorts of models, people project all sorts of things onto the climate models. Yet it becomes apparent that they don’t know what’s in the climate models, nor are they aware of how they have been validated. What’s strange, though, is that they don’t realise they don’t know what they’re talking about, so they don’t take the time to learn more.

    This is why efforts to demonstrate simple models are useful – technical people can then quickly see that physical first principles (conservation of energy and radiation laws) are all you need to understand the basics.

    As for people who want ever more detail: yes, it’d be nice to be able to resolve clouds, but then they’ll want you to resolve individual droplets, CCNs – it never ends. People have to consider how likely it is for the basic results of the model to leave the current stated uncertainty bounds if only some particular microphysical process were in there directly.

    To be fair, some complaints have some basis; there are indeed some fitted parameters for sub-grid scale processes, and not all those parameters are well-constrained by observation. But it seems like people think those parameters are tuned by fitting against the history of global mean temperature.

    Finally, isn’t it strange that some errors in the model results that really would be good to clean up (like the double ITCZ) are frequently mentioned by the modelers themselves, but don’t seem to be on the radar of the denial camp?

  50. 250
    Rod B says:

    dhogaza, et al? Here is what Ray said: “Have fun looking for your denialists. Hint: Look way, way down the list. Is this because they are bad scientists? No.”

    You should read what was written and what I responded to before displaying your ignorance just so you can throw out a cheap-ass barb. [That Ray better explained what he meant does not mitigate your stupid comment.]


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