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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One problem with books on this topic is that they quickly grow out of date.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. 401
    Chris Dudley says:

    David (#273),

    I’m stuck, I guess, on your point. I don’t see methane as a hard problem. Amending agricultural practices and sealing landfills are obvious steps to deal with it.

  2. 402
    ThinkLife says:

    New evidence trounces claims of global warming deniers who say that the Earth’s temperatures are cooling. (This just came out October 27, 2009).

    This evidence adds to the mountains of data that demonstrates ever more conclusively that human activity is the essential cause for the spike in global termperatures since the Industrial Revolution began burning of fossil fuels on a mass-scale.

    “Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years”–either in data from the NOAA’s climate data center or data preferred by global warming deniers fromthe University of Alabama at Huntsville, reports Seth Borenstein, science and ecology reporter from the Associated Press:

    “Have you heard that the world is now cooling instead of warming? You may have seen some news reports on the Internet or heard about it from a provocative new book.

    “Only one problem: It’s not true, according to an analysis of the numbers done by several independent statisticians for The Associated Press.

    “The case that the Earth might be cooling partly stems from recent weather. Last year was cooler than previous years. It’s been a while since the super-hot years of 1998 and 2005. So is this a longer climate trend or just weather’s normal ups and downs?

    “In a blind test, the AP gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time.

    “‘If you look at the data and sort of cherry-pick a micro-trend within a bigger trend, that technique is particularly suspect,’ said John Grego, a professor of statistics at the University of South Carolina.

    Climate change has been the center of public debate and controversy since the late 1990s when vested interests like Exxon-Mobil began to pour millions of dollars into global warming denial claims designed to cast doubt on the work of trained, legitimate climate scientists. The oil and coal industries would obviously suffer under any rules demanding decreases in fossil fuel use and production.

  3. 403
    Ike Solem says:

    Einstein also famously objected to quantum mechanics on the grounds that “God does not play dice with the Universe”, which is the kind of background knowledge you need to appreciate Star Trek’s physicist skit.

    However, the general theory of light and matter which underlies the greenhouse effect is a fundamentally quantum theory, meaning it is a probabilistic theory, one in which exact predictions cannot be made, although odds can be stated. That’s just a fundamental feature of modern science, and the fact that it’s not widely understood really points to serious problems in basic public education – much of the public still labors under a 19th century vision of physics, chemistry and biology – and other sectors are still back in the Medieval Era, as far as science and math go.

    This is also why arguments about “global cooling” are proferred with a straight face, despite being debunked time and again, for example by the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization:

    Using short-term climate variability to argue about global warming and its effects is scientifically inaccurate and a misinterpretation of the data and scientific knowledge.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/science/news/article.cfm?c_id=82&objectid=10571517

    Thus, if one looks at the entire temperature record, one sees a number of downward dips in the running 5-yr average since mid-century: ~1959-1965, 1982-1984, 1989-1994.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A.lrg.gif

    These are followed by much sharper climbs in temperature – look at the graph. You see a little dip down, followed by a big jump upwards. Now, if you add the functions y=x and y=sin x on a calculator (y=xsinx) or even y=(e^x)(sin x), you’ll get something that looks like that graph. This matches the predictions, in that we expect to see natural fluctuations superimposed on an increasing temperature trend… although it seems that the amplitude of some natural fluctuations will also increase, leading to more extreme weather events…. meaning that the climate system overall is becoming less predictable.

    One has to wonder, looking at the historical reliance on farmer’s almanacs, which are simply compilations of historical data. Such almanacs are today largely useless as guides for farmers, which is more evidence that the climate really has become more unstable, less predictable.

    However, the forcing effect of CO2 remains quite predictable. It’s a quantum mechanical calculation: how much radiation does the molecule, O=C=O, absorb and at what wavelengths, and how does this depend on variables like pressure and temperature?

    At one level, it’s just like putting on a blanket – you expect to warm up a bit. If you want to know exactly how much you warm up, you can ask some scientists for a better guess, and then they will plague you with questions: what kind of blanket? Alpaca wool or cotton? What’s the external temperature? If your body temperature is 98.6 F (37C) then you are shedding radiation with a peak wavelength around 9000 nm:

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/HBASE/imgmod/bbrc4b.gif

    Depending on the physical characteristics of the blanket, some fraction of your emitted radiation will be absorbed by the blanket, which will then emit it back at you, and your skin registers this as a feeling of warmth, and your brain relaxes, having warded off hypothermia. On the other hand, if the blanket is to thick, the brain overheats and hyperthermia sets in.

    In order to get the best possible estimate of how much you will warm up, you need to go through the entire detailed scientific process – including the construction of a metal mannequin that can be held at a constant 37C for experiments, etc, etc.

    Now, we can talk about consensus among scientists – all scientists agree that putting on a blanket will warm you up, unless someone snuck a refrigerating coil inside it attached to an external power source.

    Likewise, climate scientists agree that by increasing the density of infrared-absorbing gases in the atmosphere, you end up warming the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. That’s based on a hundred years of physics, and is scientifically incontrovertible. The ratio of atmospheric forcing to surface warming is also well understood and is reproduced by models.

    This has secondary effects on global vapor concentrations (and precipitation) as well as on the global circulation of the atmosphere and oceans. Here, there is less certainty about the effects of warming, although the evidence all points to more droughts and floods and heat waves and powerful storms. Without a doubt, the ice caps and mountain glaciers are also melting, again with minor regional variability due to water vapor changes. A more stagnant ocean circulation leading to persistent low-oxygen conditions is also possible.

    This has tertiary effects on ecosystems, including human agriculture – for example, the effect of turning a forest or a garden into a floodplain or a desert. Biomass levels and primary productivity plummet, and scrub desert replaces it. The same thing is happening in the oceans. In both cases, the climate problems are exacerbated by overharvesting – overfishing and deforestation.

    Maybe the real problem here is that the social evolution of homo sapiens hasn’t kept up with the technological evolution – that was the opinion of Hubbert, who predicted the eventual peak in production of U.S. and world crude oil reserves with fairly good accuracy back in the 1950s.

    It’s the apocalyptic view: we’ve unleashed powers we cannot control, and in so doing will end up destroying the very basis of human civilization, which is, it turns out, a healthy global ecosystem. If there was no such thing as renewable energy, that might be true, but happily there is.

    What we really need is a widespread recognition that a healthy economy relies on a healthy ecosystem to provide such essentials as air, water and food – something the 19th and 20th century economists seem to have completely forgotten, even those from the most prestigious academic institutions. They should all be asked to read The Princeton Guide to Ecology (Levin et al. 2009), for starters… particularly the sections on Ecological Economics:

    To put this point differently, the market outcome, or the outcome stemming from individual actions, regarding the harvesting of ecosystem services and the time paths of the stocks of natural capital (or natural resources) is different from an outcome (or a state) that is socially desirable.

  4. 404

    #352 Dale

    Tell your friend the scientist that he needs to read a dictionary. I find it odd when people claim to be scientists but then use words with confidence when they actually don’t know what those words mean…

    How unscientific of your fried the scientist.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consensus

    1 a : general agreement : unanimity b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned
    2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief

  5. 405

    #380 Jose Duarte

    As a conservative I resent your naive, narrow-minded, in fact ridiculous interpretation of the manner in which mitigation issues are handled on this web site. In fact, I don’t care what brand of politic you personally claim. Based on that one post I claim that you are a liberal.

    Try being conservative with your words and skeptical of your opinions. Then actually read the posts on this site, the majority of the regulars here are quite conservative in their analysis of mitigation policies.

    Take the politics elsewhere. This is not about politics and your pathetic attempt to paint it that way clearly shows that you don’t know what you are talking about.

  6. 406
    Tom Dayton says:

    Re: My mention of the need for multiple scientists to try to think of reasons for or against an hypothesis: Another classic article is Greenwald’s 1975 Consequences of Prejudice Against the Null Hypothesis.

  7. 407

    Anthropogenic Global Warming: Physics, Feedbacks and Evidence

    Part I: Physics

    Dale, when your acquaintance states:

    I stand corrected. There is concensus with regard to proven “Laws of Nature”. None the less, even these are subject to repeated testing.

    … I would remind him that in no small part this is precisely what the climate models are based upon: well established laws and relationships of physics.

    They do, however, differ from one another in terms of the physics which they model and the resolution with which they treate the physics which they incorporate — and given the complexity of the phenomena, particularly in terms of cloud feedbacks and the physics involved in aerosols, this is sufficient to result in differences in terms of the details of the projections. But the basics are the same. And the results? No recent, major general circulation model shows a climate sensitivity as low as 1.5 degrees per doubling — or as high as 4.5 degrees per doubling of carbon dioxide.

    Raising the level of carbon dioxide renders the atmosphere more opaque to thermal radiation. We can measure this opacity in the laboratories and have done so as far back as the 1800s. The opacity is the result of infrared radiation being absorbed by carbon dioxide as described by its absorption spectra, and the absorption spectra falls derivable (in close approximation) from the first principles of quantum mechanics. (The fact that there isn’t an exact match is due to collisions between molecules resulting in additional energy levels and/or the modifying of existing ones.)

    When energy is absorbed by carbon dioxide, rather than simply re-emitting the energy, that energy is generally lost in collisions to other molecules, typically oxygen and nitrogen. At 20 mb or above, over a timespan equal to the half-life of a state of excitation, a carbon dioxide molecule will undergo a million or more collisions. So the energy is generally lost to the surrounding atmosphere and absorbed by the gases, and the major atmsopheric constituents aren’t good emitters or absorbers of infrared radiation.

    This follows essentially from Kirchoff’s law — which largely follows from the second law of thermodynamics as it applies to systems which are in local thermodynamic equilibrium. Local thermodynamic equilibrium is where the Planck temperature of radiation is equal to the Maxwell temperature of matter. When these are equal, one can show that at any given wavelength, the emissivity is equal to the absorptivity. So as non-greenhouse gases are unable to radiate away the thermal energy the atmosphere heats up. However, given the collisions with greenhouse gas molecules (mostly water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane) the energy is eventually re-emitted, but roughly half is upwelling, half downwelling, where the downwelling radiation warms the earth’s surface.

    The long and the short of this is that when the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, it lowers the rate at which energy escapes to space. You can actually see it here:

    CO2 bands in Earth’s atmosphere
    http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=37190

    .. and here:

    Measuring Carbon Dioxide from Space with the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder
    http://airs.jpl.nasa.gov/story_archive/Measuring_CO2_from_Space/

    The latter of these shows how — at an altitude of roughly 5 miles — carbon dioxide is thicker where the winds carry it from the heavily populated West and East coasts of the United States as it begins to mix throughout the atmosphere.

    However, radiation from the sun is entering the climate system at the same rate, and as such the amount of thermal energy in the system must increase. This follows from the principle of the conservation of energy. Since the amount of thermal energy in the system increases the average temperature of the system increases. And as the temperature increases, in accordance Planck’s law, the rate at which the surface radiates energy increases, and it increases until the rate at which energy escapes the climate system is equal to the rate at which energy enters the climate system. When one goes through the math, a doubling of carbon dioxide by itself will result in the temperature rising by somewhere between 1.1-1.2°C — where the uncertainty is largely a function of the distribution of carbon dioxide in the atmospheric column.

  8. 408

    Anthropogenic Global Warming: Physics, Feedbacks and Evidence

    Part II: Feedbacks

    However, there are feedbacks. For example, as polar ice melts it exposes darker ocean and land which results in less shortwave radiation (light) being reflected directly into space and more being absorbed and converted into thermal energy. But more importantly, as the temperature of the climate system increases, this raises the partial pressure of water vapor in accordance with the clausius-clapeyron equation. The partial pressure of water vapor roughly doubles for each additional 10°C. However, there are other feedbacks.

    For example, clouds will have both an albedo effect and a greenhouse effect, where the higher albedo is a negative feedback that reduces the net extent of the warming and the cloud greenhouse effect increases the net extent of the warming. The exact balance depends upon the clouds. High altitude clouds will be colder, and as such they will tend to absorb more radiation than they emit — in accordance with Planck’s law. Lower level clouds are closer to the temperature of the thermal radiation, and as such they will tend to emit as much thermal radiation as they absorb — so it is the albedo effect that matters most.

    The net effect of all the feedbacks ulimately depends in part upon the distribution of the continents, and as such climate sensitivity (the number of degrees that the temperature rises per doubling of carbon dioxide) will depend upon this as well. Thus different paleoclimates have different climate sensitivities. However, over the past million years or so the climate sensitivity appears to have been roughly 2.6-3.0°C.

  9. 409

    Anthropogenic Global Warming: Physics, Feedbacks and Evidence

    Part III: Evidence

    But how do we know that it is our carbon dioxide that is raising the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? First, isotopic analysis shows that it is geologic in origin — fossil fuels. Second, levels of oxygen are decreasing as levels of carbon dioxide increase — at just the rate that we would expect given the combustion of fossil fuel. Likewise, we know that it can’t be coming from the oceans, for example, as the partial pressure of carbon dioxide is higher in the atmosphere than in ocean water.

    Likewise, warming due to increased solar radiation would tend to be strongest during the summer, weakest during the winter. This is because with the sun, the source of warming would be a function of the increased rate at which energy enters the system. With an enhanced greenhouse effect the source of warming would be a function of the decreased rate at which thermal energy escapes the climate system. Therefore the warming trend will be strongest during the wintertime. Likewise the warming trend due increased solar radiation will be strongest during the daytime. The warming trend due to an enhanced greenhouse effect will be strongest at night. In each case the signature warming has been consistent with an enhanced greenhouse effect.

    But furthermore, with increased solar radiation one should expect the stratosphere to warm as the troposphere warms. With an enhanced greenhouse effect one should expect the stratosphere to cool (due to the reduced rate at which thermal energy escapes the troposphere) as the troposphere warms. We have seen the latter.
    *
    Now Donald Oats states:

    It is the cumulative effect of scientific communities working upon many independent and interdependent ideas that eventually settles on a web of stable knowledge. The robustness of science and its progress rely on the aggregate efforts.

    Likewise, I have stated before:

    This forms the basis for the correspondence principle which you are no doubt aware of. As such, there is nothing invalid in the cummulative nature of climatology. Additionally, it is clearly falliblistic. We will make mistakes. But given the systemic nature of human knowledge and empirical science, we can expect to uncover our mistakes in time.

    There are degrees of justification, and where a given conclusion is justified by multiple independent lines of investigation, the justification that it receives is often far greater than the justification that it would receive from any one line of investigation considered in isolation…

    Here I have identified a fair number of lines of evidence which support the fact that global warming is taking place and that our carbon dioxide emissions are a large part of the cause. We have the principles of physics and the large body of empirical evidence which they so economically summarize. We have the paleoclimate evidence — which actually consists of numerous studies of different kinds of evidence. We have the signature effects which demonstrate that the warming is due to an enhanced greenhouse effect rather than an increase in solar radiation — or for that matter, reduced albedo which would result from reduced levels of reflective aerosols. There are others. And their cumulative weight is sufficient for every major scientific body to conclude that global warming is taking place, that it is largely due to an enhanced greenhouse effect, that this effect is due to our carbon emissions, and that it is dangerous.

    Anyway, we can look up some articles if he is interested in something specific. However, I would suggest exploring this website and…

    Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming”
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

  10. 410
    Nick O. says:

    # 393, Ray Ladbury: “…. The problem is that the denialists don’t do experiments and they certainly don’t publish. I would love it if they would start doing experiments designed to falsify climate change. …”

    Well said, Ray!!! I only wish we could have insisted that Booker (see my note in #366) and people like him submit their new books to peer review in the same way scientists generally have to submit articles to peer review. Jeepers, the agonies I go through trying to get facts right, and to ensure that everything is properly cited, and to be sure I have got all my calculations right, and my graphs properly labelled etc., and have used the right statistical tests etc., and that’s while making sure my argument makes sense in the first place, and while trying to be honest about counter examples that appear to conflict with my own work.

    I can’t myslef think of a single scientist who actually WANTS anthropogenic global warming to be true, or likes the idea of it, seeing as the consequences – even if we are lucky – don’t look at all appealing for humanity as a whole. I should be quite happy if the science were wrong – only too happy! – so we could all carry on regardless, and had nothing to fear or be in the least bit concerned about, so that human industrial expansion and technological advance could continue without limit and without the Earth ever failing to clear up our mess for us and provide us with ever more in the way of resources for all our wants and needs – clean air, fresh water, fertile soil, you name it. Trouble is, as they say in Yorkshire (where I do a lot of fieldwork), “you don’t get owt for nowt”. Whether ‘denialist’ is the right term for Booker and similar writers is perhaps beside the point, but I just do not understand why he thinks it’s okay for him to publish without scientific review, and that by contrast the rest of us are a lot of charlatans, verging on the boundaries of massive scientific fraud, because we have submitted our work to scientific review. Inverted snobbery, just plain lunatic, or what? And yet people will buy his book, and believe Clive James is really on to something, etc.

  11. 411

    CORRECTION to the above:

    And their cumulative weight is sufficient for every major scientific body to conclude that global warming is taking place, that it is largely due to an enhanced greenhouse effect, that this effect is due to our carbon emissions, and that it is dangerous.

    That should have been “… for every major scientific body that has seen fit to take a position to conclude…”

  12. 412

    PS to 406

    Where I stated, “No recent, major general circulation model shows a climate sensitivity as low as 1.5 degrees per doubling — or as high as 4.5 degrees per doubling of carbon dioxide,” that is degrees Celsius, not degrees Fahrenheit.

  13. 413

    Dale, here are some articles with evidence of global warming that might help with your friend…

    Robert N. Harris and David S. Chapman (1997) Borehole Temperatures and a Baseline for 20th-Century Global Warming Estimates, Science, Vol. 275, pp. 1618-1621
    ftp://ftp.gfz-potsdam.de/pub/home/se/nina/Material-zur-Geothermie/Literatur/harris-science-1997.pdf

    Rowan T. Sutton, Buwen Dong, and Jonathan M. Gregory (2006) Land/sea warming ratio in response to climate change: IPCC AR4 model results and comparison with observations, Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 34, L02701, pp. 1-5
    http://atmosdyn.yonsei.ac.kr/nrl/seminar/Sutton_etal_GRL2007.pdf

    S. Levitus, J. Antonov, and T. Boyer(2005) Warming of the world ocean, 1955–2003
    Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 32, L02604
    http://atmosdyn.yonsei.ac.kr/nrl/seminar/Levitus_etal_GRL2005.pdf

    Brian J. Soden et al. (4 Nov 2005) The Radiative Signature of Upper Tropospheric Moistening, Science, Vol 310, pp. 841-843
    http://www.gfy.ku.dk/~kaas/forc&feedb2008/Articles/Soden.pdf

    Gian-Reto Walther et al (28 Mar 2002) Ecological responses to recent climate change, Nature, Vol 416, pp 389-395
    http://eebweb.arizona.edu/courses/Ecol206/Walther%20et%20al%20Nature%202002.pdf

    Eric Rignot et al (FEBRUARY2008) Recent Antarctic ice mass loss from radar interferometry and regional climate modelling, Nature Geoscience Vol 1, pp. 106-110
    http://www.phys.uu.nl/~broeke/home_files/MB_pubs_pdf/2008_Rignot_NatGeo.pdf

    Michael Zemp et al. (2009) Six decades of glacier mass-balance observations: a review of the worldwide monitoring network, Annals of Glaciology 50, pp 101-111
    http://www.igsoc.org/annals/50/50/a50a018.pdf

    Hamish D. Pritchard et al (15 Oct 2009) Extensive dynamic thinning on the margins of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, Nature;461(7266),971-5
    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/extensive-dynamic-thinning-on-the-margins-of-the-greenland-and-antarctic-ice-sheets.pdf

    A. Cazenave (18 October 2008) Sea level budget over 2003–2008: A reevaluation from GRACE space gravimetry, satellite altimetry and Argo, Volume 65, Issues 1-2, Pages 83-88
    http://penoflight.com/climatebuzz/Docs/SeaLevelRise2008.pdf

    … and as I stated above:

    There are degrees of justification, and where a given conclusion is justified by multiple independent lines of investigation, the justification that it receives is often far greater than the justification that it would receive from any one line of investigation considered in isolation…

    However, this only scratches the surface of what is available.

  14. 414
    CTG says:

    Re 410 Nick O.

    “submit their new books to peer review”

    Amen to that. Even a decent editor would help. My wife is a scientific editor, and she catches a lot of that stuff before it gets to print – mislablled axes, incorrect captions, even problems with fairly basic stats. This kind of thing is hard even for trained scientists to kind 100% right, so it’s pretty galling when some amateur with an opinion can just rattle off a book that gets no scientific scrutiny before it gets published.

    We have an example of this in NZ. A journalist has published a book full of all the tired old denialist nonsense claiming that AGW is just a con. When I published my little toy to demonstrate that it is nonsense to talk of cooling trends, this journalist said I was just getting “garbage in, garbage out” because I was using GISTEMP and HadCRUT, rather than the satellite data. I asked why he thought the land records were not reliable, and he claimed that GISTEMP overestimates the temperature, because the GISTEMP temperature anomalies are above zero more of the time than HadCRUT! That’s right, he did not understand that the two series use different baselines. If he can’t even grasp something as basic as that, how likely is it that he has understood any of the science? And yet his book is still on sale… D’oh!

  15. 415
    CM says:

    Corey (#391),

    Perhaps the apparent contradiction is a matter of different levels and contexts.

    There is such a thing as scientific consensus. On one level there is the well-established consensus on textbook theory that provides the basic conditions for doing further science. And there is the emerging consensus, which can be harder for outsiders to grasp — we are unusually lucky to have the IPCC to sum it up. It emerges from a growing published literature filtered through expert judgment. It’s not a show of hands: It’s a /qualified/ consensus — not every opinion counts equally towards it, and it’s largely implicit, not something that is determined and announced.

    When policy-making and media enter the picture, perhaps a different, simpler kind of consensus is instinctively looked for, one that is more like a head count of scientists saying aye or nay: a /census/, more than a consensus.

    A real scientific consensus (a huge and convergent body of /evidence/ pointing to man-made global warming as a serious threat) may thus get “communcated” to the public as the plebiscitary agreement of thousands of /scientists/ who agree on a platform of “settled science”. Which indeed is not how science works — or for that matter how the IPCC reports are written.

    Playing on this confusion, it should be added, the carbon lobby has countered with arguments like the Oregon Petition of 31,000 self-selected alleged scientists opposing the consensus. That kind of thing is not a scientific /consensus/, nor even a fair /census/ of scientists, but a category by itself: a /con census/ perhaps?

  16. 416
    David B. Benson says:

    Chris Dudley (401) — Methaneless rice production? Methaneless cattle? (I was once in India for a week. So-called sacred cattle, as gaunt as could be, everywhere, unattended.) Also methaneless lamas and alpacs, guanacos?

    Most of the people in the world don’t have landfills; see, for example, the two part “Road Trip Across Siberia” in issues last summer of The New Yorker.

    Perhaps out of ignorance, I view reducing methane as much harder than reducing CO2 to whatever level is found best.

    We seem to be in general agreement that we want a climate like that of the first two decades of the previous century, I think.

  17. 417
    Mark says:

    David Benson, there are changes being done to the gut bacteria of ruminants to reduce the methane output of their digestion.

    And one rather amusing method of de-farting the cows by giving them incontinence pants…

  18. 418
    Hank Roberts says:

    PS — ask at your local bookstores and libraries for the _Climate_Coverup_ book, folks.

    Interesting — my closest bookstore (3-store-chain) replied that they can’t get it because their distributor can’t get it. I passed the word to the authors to push from their end.

    I also, perhaps coincidentally, got list mail from grammar guru Bryan Garner asking everyone to consider buying one of his books from Amazon — because he’s been told that his (or anyone’s) English writing/grammar/usage books are not going to be in local bookstores; the distributors say they won’t distribute them because they think nobody cares.

    Coincidence? Perhaps. Who owns the distributors?

  19. 419

    CM wrote in 415:

    There is such a thing as scientific consensus. On one level there is the well-established consensus on textbook theory that provides the basic conditions for doing further science. And there is the emerging consensus, which can be harder for outsiders to grasp – we are unusually lucky to have the IPCC to sum it up. It emerges from a growing published literature filtered through expert judgment. It’s not a show of hands: It’s a /qualified/ consensus – not every opinion counts equally towards it, and it’s largely implicit, not something that is determined and announced.

    The way that I view it is that a consensus is something that is required by the division of cognitive labor that exists within science. In the final analysis, science is a unity because reality is a unity. But given the limits of human cognition we can’t approach the world that way. The discovery of the world must be done piecemeal. But the conclusions in one field will often be dependent upon conclusions that have been reached in another.

    Nevertheless, it is not possible for a given scientist to become an expert in all areas that his work depends upon, in the premises and the evidence for each and every principle that his work presupposes. As such, the work of an individual scientist relies upon the the existence of a consensus, that is, of conclusions in other fields supported by a wide body of evidence where this individual is able to take those conclusions for granted.

    Yet as there are degrees of justification, there are degrees to which a given conclusion may or may not be a part of the consensus within a given field. Furthermore, within the actual practice of science, what constitutes part of the consensus and what does not is largely tacit, and generally it is only when dealing with the rest of society that it becomes necessary to articulate what constitutes part of the developing scientific consensus and the degree to which it is a part of the consensus.

    Anyway, more on this view (which I see as being largely like your own) here:

    On “Scientific Consensus”
    http://axismundi.hostzi.com/0/007.php

  20. 420
    David B. Benson says:

    Mark (417) — Boutique stuff, won’t make a bit of difference to the vast majority of the world’s belching cattle.

  21. 421
    Mark A. York says:

    Hey CM. Funny stuff in #374! RE: 407: I saw that AIRS data at JPL Saturday. Awesome presentation. They gave us some cool holographic cards based on it.

  22. 422
    EL says:

    389 Ray Ladbury

    I’m forming estimates based upon the projected demand of coal. I took the projections straight from the EPA web site, and used the numbers to calculate the lifetime of our supplies. If you doubt the EPA projections, you may find others. You can and should do the calculation yourself. Every source I have seen shows a 2 to 3 percent projected increase in coal demand per year. Although the number may sound very small to most people, it is extremely large. The “current production” calculations are made to give people a warm and fuzzy feeling that our coal supplies are just fine and dandy because signs are showing that we are nearing peak production. Peak production has a very important impact on the damage that can be done in terms of global warming. In other words, if we peak out in 10-15 years, we will be declining in coal usage in exponential decay afterwards.

    The calculation on coal supplies is not made upon population growth alone. We have reached peak production in world oil resources. Although most governments would rather blame speculators at the moment, oil production is going to decline never the less. If there was so much oil, we could pour it on the heads of speculators and wash the speculators out of the market. Apparently, governments are content to blame the ever increasing oil prices on the boogie-man for the time being. (I’m curious about the motivations behind this propaganda. Money from scarce supplies?) Anyway, the world must turn to electricity to power its transportation; thus, a projected increase in coal is nothing to laugh at. I would also like to point out that there has been a growth in coal production for a very long time.

    The human population is not sustainable at the 6 billion figure. I would shoot for about half or less than half of our current population for sustainability. Our resources are disappearing at an exponential rate. People are living in a fantasy land, and they think the world has infinite supplies. Economists believe that exponential growth can be maintained forever. I think there is going to be major changes in the modern world over the next one hundred years with forced adjustments to population. As supplies decline, the population will decline.

  23. 423
    Ray Ladbury says:

    EL, my estimated increase was based on burning known reserves in whatever time it takes us to do so. It would effectively double CO2 concentration above where it is now.

    So, just how do you plan to “shoot for about half or less than half of our current population…”. I hope you are not talking shooting in the literal sense. Attaining sustainability will require us to keep the environment as healthy and productive as possible. We need to aim for a soft landing rather than a crash.

  24. 424

    Corey #391:

    I refer you to Einstein:

    “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”
    http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alberteins100017.html

    Well, quite. But that experiment has to be verified, repeatable and of sufficient weight to throw everything in doubt. My point is that doing one experiment cannot as a matter of practicality overturn a theory because you need to double-check your results. Almost all attempts at overturning a theory by an unusual result turn out to be in error. One of the chief flaws in denialist science is making a claim that fits very specific data, then walking away from that claim when either the data is shown to be flawed, or new data arrives that no longer fits. These are examples of “overturning experiments” that do not succeed in overturning a theory.

    If for example someone did an experiment that deviated from a prediction of general relativity, it would “prove Einstein wrong” — but no one would believe a single experiment. Others would have to do it, to verify the result was real. If you want a good example of how this works, look at the history of the Michelson-Morley experiment, which established the light invariance of light speed. Even Michelson and Morley didn’t believe their result, and it took many repetitions by themselves and others under a variety of conditions to convince everyone that Newtonian relativity was wrong in this case.

    So yes, one experiment can overthrow a theory technically. Practically, no. M-M overthrew Newton in one experiment, but only in practical terms after it was repeatedly checked.

  25. 425

    Since we had been discussing the nature of the motivation behind climate denialism and the possible roots of denialism in ideology, I thought that this in particular might be interest…

    … three names that seem so familiar:

    Steven Mosher to Speak Against Population Control at Heritage Foundation Book Event
    Population Research Institute, 06/05/08
    http://www.pop.org/20080608829/steven-mosher-to-speak-against-population-control-at-heritage-foundation-book-event

    Please see:

    This is a response to Steven Mosher’s #157…

    As I like to know who I am dealing with, I decided to do some digging.

    Within five minutes, I found that you are the president of Population Research Institute, a spinoff of Human Life International, a pro-life organization. You advocate population growth as you view any attempt at zero population growth as being contrary to your pro-life stand.

    Here is the evidence for you position as president of PRI:

    An Interview with Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute
    By John Mallon
    http://www.pop.org/main.cfm?id=151&r1=10.00&r2=1.00&r3=0&r4=0&level=2&eid=678

    14 August 2007 at 12:48 PM
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/1934-and-all-that/comment-page-5/#comment-47661

    … and yes, this was precisely who I was thinking of when I wrote earlier in this thread:

    But for a lot of people it is about ideology. Many are conservatives or libertarians — people who were opposed to passing laws about where you could smoke and who are now opposed to regulating fossil fuel – even though they haven’t suddenly switched from owning tobacco companies to owning oil companies or from family-owned tobacco farms to independent oil fields. Chances are the vast majority of them never owned either one – or sold either tobacco or fossil fuel — unless it was while working for only a little more than minimum wage at a convenience store. Some are opposed to environmentalism, seeing it as the new communism – and they view the recognition of anthropogenic global warming as the back door to radical environmentalism. And many of those oppose environmentalism as they see it requiring widespread birth control.

    Some people are just so motivated that you know money has little or nothing to do with it. Oh, and yes, the Population Research Institute isn’t simply opposed to abortion but from what I am able to gather, all forms of birth control.

  26. 426

    PS

    What got me to looking at the old post from 2007 again was the bit that I had quoted above in 409 of this thread:

    This forms the basis for the correspondence principle which you are no doubt aware of. As such, there is nothing invalid in the cummulative nature of climatology. Additionally, it is clearly falliblistic. We will make mistakes. But given the systemic nature of human knowledge and empirical science, we can expect to uncover our mistakes in time…. There are degrees of justification…

    The sentence, “This forms the basis for the correspondence principle which you are no doubt aware of.” The context was missing for that sentence, and so I decided to look again at the post that it was from to see what the context was. At that point I saw that it was the post where I had pegged Steve for who he was, and then I saw the reference to the Population Research Institute and the roots of its opposition to climatology in ideology. Then that got me to thinking back to the Heritage Foundation.

    Here at Real Climate we tend to think of it as an organization that is dedicated to the denial of climatology, but what is actually at the root of that organization is religious extremism. It was created with seed money from Richard Mellon Scaife — it was the first major think tank of the “new conservativism,” and Scaife was one of the major funders of the Religious Right. The Heritage Foundation has to at least some degree promoted Intelligent Design, and it promotes a cultural conservativism. And in all likelihood it played a major role in pushing the Religious Right to the forefront of politics.

    It seemed only natural that the Population Research Institute and the Heritage Foundation would hook up. So on a whim I performed a Google search:

    “population research institute” “heritage foundation”

    The top result was:

    Steven Mosher to Speak Against Population Control at Heritage Foundation Book Event

    … and I said to myself, “Self, that name sounds familiar.”

    * * *

    If you have two individuals where each has only three insights which neither shares with the other, each individual is able to make only three connections between any two points. However, if these two individuals come together, there exists the possibility of making fifteen different connections. Bring in a third person and the number goes up to twenty-eight, and a fourth brings it to sixty-six. And if instead of simple, directional two-term connections, one thinks in terms of paths between all the available points, with one individual there are six possibilities, but with four people the number of potential paths goes up to more than 479 million.

    A Conspiracy of Silence
    http://axismundi.hostzi.com/0/004.php

  27. 427
    Mark says:

    David (420) what about engineering cow gut bacteria?

    Or did you want to ignore the solid answer so you could cherry pick the silly one?

  28. 428
    CM says:

    Timothy (#419), I don’t think we disagree. You give a more considered account of “scientific consensus” than I offered. (Though I think a distinction can be usefully drawn in our context between [1] an effectively settled consensus, on conclusions that are taken for granted as premises for further work, and [2] a growing consensus in a field under active study, on more provisional conclusions that can be contingently taken as premises for further work.)

    You also phrased better the point I was trying to make regarding the usually tacit nature of the consensus and the social circumstances requiring it to be articulated. I’m still happy with the distinction between a scientific “consensus”, a “census” of scientists, and a denialist “con census”, though…

  29. 429

    Hank’s point about online book orders is well-taken. It would also apply to Greg Craven’s book, apparently.

    It’s also true of many “specialized” tomes–for instance, I use a British trumpet method book that my local distributors can never seem to find via the American publishing arm , but which I’ve consistently been able to buy quickly and easily online. So I doubt we need suspect a sinister conspiracy, unless Scaife has been investing in publishing.

  30. 430
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Kevin and Tim,
    I find it most profitable to think about scientific consensus in terms of the concepts, methods and theories without which one cannot advance understanding in the field. In other words, there is consensus on the aspects that have indispensible explanatory and predictive power. In that sense, anthropogenic causation is not part of the scientific consensus, but is rather an unavoidable consequence of the consensus theory of Earth’s climate.

    I prefer this view because scientists rarely sit down and discuss what they believe. Instead, they ask “What concepts do I need to understand this?” I also believe that it places the challenge facing the denialist/dissenting community in perspective: If they are serious about overturning the science and not just shaping politics, what is demanded of them is nothing less than an alternative theory of Earth’s climate that has greater explanatory and predictive power than the current one.

  31. 431

    Kevin McKinney wrote:

    So I doubt we need suspect a sinister conspiracy, unless Scaife has been investing in publishing.

    Oil, uranium and banking — if I remember correctly. But at this point I believe the family wealth is largely in the hands of his daughter — and at least on one fairly significant point she seems to have taken a softer stand. Maybe she is into publishing…

    Oh, but as for conspiracy theories…

    Sometimes there are actually conspiracies. A conspiracy theory is a problem only when you have no evidence for the conspiracy — and becomes especially problematic when it makes the participants out to be so powerful and so intelligent that the lack of evidence for a conspiracy is taken to be proof of its extent, depth and planning.

    In this case we have the names and addresses of organizations, we have external and some of the internal documentation — not that much different from what we had on the tobacco industry, the names of people, proof of money being exchanged… Heck, I mapped some of it out earlier in this thread — with references to Media Transparency — which itself has plenty of references to documentation of one form or another. And then there is a more or less coherent ideology that largely makes possible coordination without a centralized authority. And then…

    Oh dear… I hope I didn’t ruin a joke.

  32. 432
    Timothy Chase says:

    CM wrote in 428:

    Timothy (#419), I don’t think we disagree. You give a more considered account of “scientific consensus” than I offered. (Though I think a distinction can be usefully drawn in our context between [1] an effectively settled consensus, on conclusions that are taken for granted as premises for further work, and [2] a growing consensus in a field under active study, on more provisional conclusions that can be contingently taken as premises for further work.)

    I acknowledged there being different degrees of justification, and in a sense this suggests the continuem that exists between and effectively settled consensus and the growing consensus. But this doesn’t actually make the qualitative distinction between an “effectively settled” consensus and that which is still “growing” — and I believe that distinction is important. Particularly in terms of how an effectively settled consensus will be taught as something which is established and may more or less be taken for granted whereas a growing consensus may be more relevant in a political context. Something else to incorporate into the next revision of the essay.
    *
    CM wrote:

    You also phrased better the point I was trying to make regarding the usually tacit nature of the consensus and the social circumstances requiring it to be articulated.

    Tacit vs. articulated — if I am not mistaken, this sort of distinction is more common in dialectical, Continental European philosophy as opposed to the analytic, Anglo-American tradition. I believe Frederick A. Hayek makes the distinction, and I may have run across it in the work of Thomas Sowell — as a means of understanding the systemic causation that exists in a decentralized society in which there is a division of cognitive labor. We also make this sort of distiction in the context of learning — between knowing how to do something vs. being able to describe how it is done — such as riding a bicycle.

    But more recently (about fifteen years ago) I may have run across it in one or another online course being given by Chris Matthew Sciabarra. He is a libertarian political theorist who was taught under Bertell Olmann, a marxist political theorist — his mentor. Both are in the dialectical tradition. In fact Sciabarra who authored “Ayn Rand: The Russian Radical”) has also written a book “Dialectics and Liberty” in which he traces dialectics back to Aristotle.
    *
    CM wrote:

    I’m still happy with the distinction between a scientific “consensus”, a “census” of scientists, and a denialist “con census”, though…

    That definitely brought a smile to my face. Incidentally, I believe that humor makes us better thinkers. It teaches us to rapidly shift between different contexts and different perspectives — then see how the earlier and the later one are related. It’s very dialectical.

  33. 433
  34. 434
    EL says:

    423 Ray Says:

    “EL, my estimated increase was based on burning known reserves in whatever time it takes us to do so. It would effectively double CO2 concentration above where it is now.
    So, just how do you plan to “shoot for about half or less than half of our current population…”. I hope you are not talking shooting in the literal sense. Attaining sustainability will require us to keep the environment as healthy and productive as possible. We need to aim for a soft landing rather than a crash.”

    Although worries over global warming may seduce you to look at the problem from that angle, the method gives you an incorrect picture. Since you are so worried about the effect, you are missing an important implication inside the cause.

    The world is facing peak production on several vital world resources. As these resources begin to decline, modern society will deteriorate at a very rapid rate. Oil production is projected by several organizations to be fifty percent of current production by 2030. (food distribution problems?) Some geologists are also signaling that coal reserves are nearing peak production. The biologist are informing us that a gigantic number of species are going extinct. Ray, modern society is going to collapse from these things alone. At this point, you can now add global warming on top of the collapse.

    If you would like to explain to me how 6-7 billion people are going to survive without resources, I would love to hear it. There are going to be massive population adjustments in the future as we head into these declines. The population size is very linked with these resources. You can think of the problem as wolves and rabbits. When the wolf population becomes overpopulated, the rabbit population collapses. Without food, the wolf population collapses.

    Attaining sustainability has long since been thrown out the window. We could never convince economists that exponential growth is unsustainable, and people trust economists more then mathematicians or scientists. The worlds population is too high, and the world’s resources are too low in order to do much to softening the landing. We should have acted once we had a decent idea of the peaks instead of waiting until we are coming down off the peaks and saying, “oh shit.” The only good news I can see is that global warming will not be as bad as it would have been with a later peak. In a basic nutshell, society cannot hold together long enough for all the resources to be consumed. So I believe much will be able to recover although the recovery will take many decades. Trees, for example, should experience a very nice recovery in the future.

  35. 435

    My “enhanced” review of “Climate Cover-up” is now online at:

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Climate-Cover-Up-A-Review

    It’s got the customary pretty pictures to keep it from looking too arid, so feel free to link it to those you know who appreciate multimedia more than print!

  36. 436
    Brian Dodge says:

    “‘…plunging our economy off the cliff without any climate or environmental benefit at all.’

    A brave statement.

    PROVE IT.

    Show us where this has happened before, not any of your namby-pamby “models”, using REAL SCIENCE. EMPIRICAL science.”

    It’s not a brave statement, it’s just really, empirically, wrong. See
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1920/to:1945/mean:5/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1930/to:1935/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1935/to:1945/trend
    and http://econ161.berkeley.edu/TCEH/Image46.gif
    Of course, if we drove our economy off a cliff, and stopped producing CO2, it wouldn’t result in an immediate cooling, since there’s already a bunch of excess CO2 in the system to which the climate hasn’t yet equilibrated. but it would slow the rise in temperatures over decadal time scales.
    There are less painful ways to address global warming, but at this point, there aren’t any painless paths forward. What I have observed of human nature leads me to expect that the wealthy and powerful will minimize their pain at the expense of more pain and suffering of the poor and powerless. I doubt that attitudes have changed much among the Mellons, Scaifes, Coors, Bradleys, and other rich people since 1929 -

    “Secretary of the Treasury Mellon felt that government must keep its hands off and let the slump liquidate itself. Mr. Mellon had only one formula: ‘Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate’.He held that even panic was not altogether a bad thing. He said: ‘It will purge the rottenness out of the system. High costs of living and high living will come down. People will work harder, live a more moral life.” http://econ161.berkeley.edu/TCEH/Slouch_Crash14.html

    Liquidate the Polar bears, liquidate the Bangladeshis, liquidate Larsen, Wilkins, Greenland, and glaciers worldwide so we can live a more (“high albedo”, Anglo-Saxon, Christian) moral life?

  37. 437
    Norman says:

    If the theory is that any opposing view to man-made Global Warming is funded by certain industries, then why does it not follow that this web site and others are funded by Golman Sachs who stand to make billions of of Cap and Trade? If industry can buy information opposed to climate change, why can’t other industry buy information favorable to climate change?

    “Haven’t you heard, it’s a battle of words and most of them are lies!” Pink Floyd, “Us and Them” Dark Side of the Moon.

  38. 438
    Steve Fish says:

    Norman (#437, 2 November 2009 @ 7:10 PM:

    Yours is an on-topic post. You are suggesting that the “Climate Cover-Up,” described in the book, is counterbalanced by the possibility that “Golman Sachs,” and other big time investors are funding and biasing climate science. The book provides a lot of connections between the pseudo skeptics and biased interest groups, and provides information for the reader to check for themselves.

    It may seem logical to you that, because you think that Cap and Trade is a sham (I don’t wish to argue this), the science that says there is a problem must also be biased. The question is– what evidence is there for your contention?

    In my experience, science is generally not driven by political or cultural ideals. I think you should consider that the science is true, but there are interest groups that are, by definition, biased regarding how to deal with the problem on both sides of the issue. This is, in fact, where the rubber meets the road.

    Steve

  39. 439

    I don’t agree with the description that “the theory is that any opposing view to man-made Global Warming is funded by certain industries.”

    First, “any” implies that there is no “independent” opposing view, and I don’t think that that is claimed.

    Second, “theory” implies doubt, and there is no room for doubt regarding the activities of Exxon or the Chamber of Commerce in lobbying against CO2 mitigation, nor for ACCE or the Heartland Institute for propagandizing against the same. (And of course there are many other entities who’ve been involved–read the book.)

    These activities have been thoroughly demonstrated and documented, unlike your allegations about “Golman Sachs,” which seem–speculative. Perhaps brokerage houses could buy advocacy, as Exxon has done–but what do you find if you look at the time line?

    That is, when was the science set forth, compared with the proposals for mitigation, such as cap-and-trade? And just how farsighted does that make the brokerage industry in designing their propaganda campaign?

    Did their chicanery go all the way back to Plass, in the 50s? Callender, in the 30s? Arrhenius, at the turn of the twentieth century, or even Tydall, at the time of the American Civil War?

  40. 440
    Lulo says:

    I have to admit that this book is rather powerfully persuasive with regard to the disinformation campaign. As a lukewarmer with what I feel is an independently-acquired and rational degree of skepticism toward some of the more dire claims being made by the ant-AGW lobby, I feel at unease by the potential to be associated with this disinformation campaign when expressing these opinions. Hoggan clearly feels strongly, and has done some rather impressive detective work.

  41. 441
    Norman says:

    Mr. Kevin McKinney

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/

    This website shows area of sea ice. It melts and freezes every year, about 10 million square kilometers in the artic.

    Look down at a lower graph labeled “Global Sea Ice Area 1979 – present”
    Almost a flatline for 30 years, slight anomaly showing more melting in the last few years but not real convincing. From that data I do not see a reason to believe we are heading for a disaterous climate change [edit -OT]

    Mental manipulation is an art form.

    [Response: Look at the Arctic numbers where the signal is much larger. Antartic numbers are much noisier and less is happening there (for various reasons). - gavin]

  42. 442
    Mark says:

    “This website shows area of sea ice. It melts and freezes every year, about 10 million square kilometers in the artic.”

    NSIDC also have a picture of the age of ice which is a fairly good predicator of thickness (in that any change in precipitation as snow is unlikely to make a consistent yearly change and therefore be visible as a pattern).

    And it’s all OT so rather than give Karst another reason to put up his irrelevant cut n paste job *again*, I’ll bugger off.

  43. 443
  44. 444
    Norman says:

    Greetings Mr. Gavin,

    I guess you do not like the content of some of my posts. Is it possible for you to inform me on what type of information I am allowed to post on this website?

    [Response: It's easy. Don't insult people, be substantive and don't repost tired old talking points that have been discussed hundreds of times before (this goes for everyone). - gavin]

  45. 445
    Norman says:

    [edit]

    [Response: That's exactly what's wrong with your postings. People claiming vast conspiracies and scientific misconduct, based on changes in analyses that are clearly documented and justified in the literature, are not making substantive points - regardless of the length of their webpages. - gavin]

  46. 446
    Steve Fish says:

    Norman (#445, 4 November 2009 @ 11:25 AM):

    I looked at your link and found a standard denialist site, but how do I know this? I found a large number of articles that did not cite any actual science, just other denialist sites for redrawn graphs and quotes, and other popular culture articles.

    For example, there is a piece on how Mars is warming that suggests that the sun must be responsible for warming of both Mars and Earth, but it did not cite any of the actual research on Mars. I already know that this suggestion is a fabrication (try a search for the word “Mars” on the RC site to see the science). In fact, warming on Mars is local, very recent, predicted by a modified climate model, and due to dust storms, not the sun.

    You can suggest that this is all just a matter of opinion, but it is not. Bloggers and talking heads do not create any science, and before you accept their opinions over the actual scientists that produced the information in question, you should at least find out what the scientists actually said.

    As a good skeptic, my baloney detector says that when someone tells me a falsehood (an actual lie in this context), then everything else they say is suspect and should be discounted.

    Steve

  47. 447
    reviews says:

    perfect site !!!!!!!! Perfect piece of work fellows !!!!!!!

  48. 448
    Norman says:

    Gavin, I thank you for the link to the United States surface temperatures. I am still digetsting this information and want to be sure I take it in before any comments.

    Here is a link with substance to curb Global Warming in a positive productive way. I hope the Climate Change Group will push as hard to develop this as they do other means of curbing Carbon Dioxide release.

    http://iecfusiontech.blogspot.com/2009/01/easy-low-cost-no-radiation-fusion.html

  49. 449
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Gerry Beauregard #188: found out by accident that Tim Lambert did the homework on this:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2008/1/the_australians_war_on_science_24.php

  50. 450
    Martin Vermeer says:

    Oops. Replace /1/ by /11/.


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