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Unforced variations: May 2016

Filed under: — group @ 4 May 2016

This month’s open thread. Usual rules apply.

370 Responses to “Unforced variations: May 2016”

  1. 101
    Edward Greisch says:

    84 BPL: I agree with 94 MartinJB.

    88 my own comment: The people who study chimps and bonobos say that chimp and bonobos morality is the same or almost the same as human morality and ethics. See Jane Goodall and others in that field. Humans are a “race” of chimpanzee.

    89 Nemesis: Here is my correction: Humans have the same morals and ethics as other chimpanzees. I didn’t mean that other comment to be taken so literally.
    Religion has nothing to do with science. Religion is not required for science. History is past.
    On Richard Dawkins: I think Richard Dawkins is on the receiving end of prejudice.

  2. 102

    V: I see lots of wailing and whining but NOTHING of any substance from anyone who’s chosen to attack me here.

    BPL: You want substance? List one point in your attack on AGW theory. Just one, not a long list. Make it specific. I’ll respond to that. Then you respond to my response. Think you can handle that?

  3. 103

    MJB 94,

    I am not impressed that you studied sociobiology, still less that you did so with E.O. Wilson. The point of sociobiology is that it is an attack on the conventional sciences of sociology and anthropology, saying they can be reduced to biology. Have you taken even one course in sociology, or cultural anthropology?

    I am well aware of Wilson’s contributions to biology and his activism to preserve species diversity. But when he talks sociology he is talking outside his field, just as Shockley the physicist was when talking race and IQ. And I am not impressed that there are “evolutionary psychology” journals with important “findings.” There were parapsychology journals in the same proper academic format in the 1950s, and they had lots of interesting findings, too.

    Sociobiology is dedicated to the proposition that human behavior can be reduced to genetic advantage. I don’t think it can, and I have yet to see a testable proposition for a specific case. If you can find one, please let me know. And if you can find one in a sociology or anthropology journal, rather than an evolutionary psychology journal, ten extra points.

    Note that the vast majority of people in sociology and anthropology do not accept sociobiology as being a legitimate field. Sociobiologists say that’s because social scientists have a left-wing bias–you should see the attacks on Richard Levin for being a Marxist. And social scientists say right back that sociobiologists have a right-wing bias. And I think the social scientists have the better ad hominem case. Don’t think it’s just my side.

    Obviously, in one sense sociobiology is trivially true–humans have no flight behavior because humans can’t fly; we don’t have to howl or chirp at great distances for mates because we live in groups; etc., etc. But the variation in human behavior among different cultures is vast and usually traceable more to historical contingency than to differential reproduction. The sociobiologist looks for universal human behaviors and finds them, because to the man with a sociobiological hammer, everything looks like a thumb.

  4. 104
    Killian says:

    Re #63 Geoff Beacon said These feedbacks will eat further into the IPCC remaining carbon budgets. Given the relation between economic activity and greenhouse gas emissions, it looks like we should accept a fall in world GDP. See Green growth or degrowth?

    Does anyone here think “green growth” is possible?

    No. We are using 5+ earths. To compensate, we must get down to using less than one. That means <20% of current consumption. Really, less than 10% because we must actually rebuild the ecosystem and sequester an awful lot of carbon. Once we areback to around 260 ppm, we can stabilize production at whatever carrying capacity won't move the CO2 needle up or down much.

    Comfort is possible both during and after simplification. Growth is not. As population falls, voluntarily (Korea currently around 1.2 replacement of 2.1 or so for replacement, e.g.), two or three generations hence, say, that born around the beginning of the next century if we do everything almost perfectly right between now and then, could be quite comfortable.

  5. 105
  6. 106
    Mal Adapted says:

    BPL, I’m surprised at you. It’s clear that for some reason you are uncomfortable with the idea that human behavior has an inherited component. Do you accept that Homo sapiens evolved from predecessor species, by descent with modification under natural selection? Do you accept that the behavior of all animals evolved from the behavior of predecessor species, by descent with modification under natural selection? If your answer to both questions is yes, then it’s ineluctable that human behavior evolved as in other animals

    That does not mean that our behavior is wholly determined by our genes! Nature vs nurture has always been a false dichotomy. Every functioning organism, in all its complexity, is the product of a unique developmental trajectory. Every moment between birth to death, we express information encoded in our genes, but always as modified by the environments and events we’ve experienced up to that moment.

    I’m not going to defend any particular theory or proposal, only that the inherited component of behavior is a legitimate subject for investigation. Scientists who are interested in it have organized the academic discipline of Evolutionary Psychology. They come from diverse backgrounds in evolutionary biology, psychology, physical and linguistic anthropology, archaeology and paleontology, and other disciplines. They have their journals and their conferences. Like all scientists, each has his or her own motivations and agendas, but as a community of scientific peers they model other scientific disciplines.

    You, OTOH, are reacting to a social construct of “Sociobiology” left over from the 1970s. Your antipathy toward Richard Dawkins is understandable, but you seem to have identified the entire field of evolutionary psychology with him. You are using the same rhetorical tactics to discredit the field that AGW-denialists use against climate science: argumentum ad consequentiam and ad hominem, poisoning the well, conspiracism – need I go on? I’m sorry, Barton, but Evolution denial is no more respectable than AGW denial.

  7. 107
    Nemesis says:

    @Edward Greisch, #101

    I bet, in the end, when we go back to Mother Earth, it makes absolutely no difference, if you are a shimpanzee, a scientist, a priest or a potato^^ And it will make no difference either, if you have a clue about the history of religion, science and ethics or not. But still, I always have fun, watching the show of science against religion. Remember:

    Both, science and religion need eachother, because otherwise I couldn’t enjoy the funny show :-)

  8. 108

    T 97, If you don’t like falsifiability as a criterion for good science, what do you prefer to use instead?

  9. 109

    EG 101, No. Humans are not a “race” of chimpanzee since ‘race’ isn’t even a proper taxon, since Montagu and others demolished scientific racism in the 1940s. Not only are we not the same species as bonobos, we are not even the same genus. Pygmy chimpanzees are Pan paniscus, regular chimpanzees are Pan troglodytes (though, despite the name, they do not live in caves), and humans are Homo sapiens. The closest relation we share with chimps is that of the superfamily Hominoidea.

  10. 110

    Mal, sorry, we are not going to agree on this point.

    “Do you accept that the behavior of all animals evolved from the behavior of predecessor species, by descent with modification under natural selection?”

    BPL: No, the closer you get to humans, the less I accept that. You’re still thinking of “behavior” as something that has to be genetically programmed. That’s true for ants. It’s mostly true for beings as advanced neurologically as cats. When you get to great apes, it is far less true, and for humans, as far as I can tell, it’s barely true at all.

    Sure genetic influence on behavior is a legitimate field for investigation. Although your saying that makes you sound awfully like Shockley or Charles Murray whining about how “the influence of genes on IQ in different races” should be a “legitimate field for investigation.” But if you’re going to investigate, make your hypotheses testable and your findings reproducible.

    There have been widespread academic disciplines before that have gone by the wayside because they did not observe proper empirical discipline: racial anthropology, Freudian psychology, phrenology, parapsychology. My considered opinion is that “evolutionary psychology” is just such a field–that in fifty years it will be only a historical curiosity. And again, if you want to critique sociology–and that’s where sociobiology came from–I don’t want to know how much biology you know. I want to know how much sociology you know. Otherwise YOU are the climate denier saying all this greenhouse stuff can be explained by “cycles.”

    What did Emile Durkheim study? What’s the difference between “culture” and “society?” Who was Franz Villas Boaz’s most famous student? Why is the maximum lifetime of a defense city no more than 300 years? What is a “defense city?” How did Ashley Montagu’s advice to President Truman prevent a Japanese insurgency after World War II? Why did the Egyptian, Seleucid, Inca, and Hawai’ian royal families prefer brother-sister marriages? Can you answer any of these questions without first looking them up?

    Remember that the success of the sociobiology enterprise demands the demise of conventional sociology and anthropology. Considering that those fields are over a century old and still going strong, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  11. 111
    Victor says:

    BPL: You want substance? List one point in your attack on AGW theory. Just one, not a long list. Make it specific. I’ll respond to that. Then you respond to my response. Think you can handle that?

    VG: Love to. A major problem I see with the AGW orthodoxy is the notion that there has been a long-term global warming trend over the last 100 years or so. Yet when I examine the actual data, as illustrated by several different graphic representations, I fail to see the long-term trend that’s been claimed, nor do I see convincing evidence that whatever warming actually took place is due to CO2 emissions.

    For example:

    As both graphs clearly show, there was a period of roughly 39 years (ca. 1940-1979) when temperatures either declined or remained stable. Moreoever, the strong temperature increase from ca. 1910-1940 took place when CO2 emissions were only a fraction of what they are now, so this can hardly count as evidence linking CO2 and global warming. What remains is roughly the last 20 years of the 20th century, when there was in fact a strong upward trend that appeared to correlate with a strong upward trend in atmospheric CO2. From then on, however, that trend mitigated considerably, to produce what has been called the “hiatus,” or “pause.” While it’s been claimed by some that the 21st century pause is some sort of myth, this has been convincingly denied in the recent paper by Fyfe et al., as I’m sure you know.

    In sum, while things are certainly warmer now than they were at the beginning of the 20 century, it looks to me as though the warming was produced by two separate trends, the first largely unrelated to CO2 emissions and the second limited to only the last 20 years or so of the previous century. Of course, anyone can produce a “long-term” trend statistically by carefully choosing endpoints, as is clearly evident from the (misleading) trend lines so prominent in that second graph. All that tells us is that it is now warmer than it was around the beginning of the 20th century, which no one would dispute. It’s easy to produce misleading results with statistics, which is why I tend to greet such results with a degree of skepticism.

    I eagerly await your response.

  12. 112
    Scott says:

    Geoff @ 63,
    You said, “Does anyone here think “green growth” is possible?”

    I believe it is possible, yes. But certain areas will take dramatic change for that to happen. Most importantly energy and agriculture. Right now both those sectors have already overgrown what can be sustained. Quite predictable since they were never really sustainable since the industrial revolution anyway. Just took a while for people to realise it.

    For it to happen though, agriculture production models will need to be changed to regenerative systems, energy will need technological fixes like solar and fusion etc. and overall since population has already exceeded environmental capacity, a large amount of ecosystem recovery projects will be needed as well. All of these are possible, however I personally believe they are unlikely to happen given social and institutional inertia.

    My focus is on agriculture. Having studied it quite intensely for years, I believe we currently have the ability to fix that one. Only a few minor gaps remain. I can only hope others committed to the other two big ones meet with similar success. But then comes the hard part, actually doing what we know how to do before these unsustainable systems currently in effect start failing world wide, collapsing even our ability to do what we know how to do! That’s the actual tricky part.

    For example, if agriculture fails before we fully institute regenerative models and the infrastructure changes needed, civilization collapses. Not much going to be done about it then. AGW will see to it that all three will fail if changes are not done soon enough. Once again with the potential to collapse civilization, or at least many nations. Again making it near impossible to implement what we already know how to do.

    I don’t want to sound too pessimistic. There is hope, but it gets smaller every year.

  13. 113
    Edward Greisch says:

    New topic
    “09 May 2016
    After record, mind-numbing coral bleaching, what would it take to “Save the Reef”?”

  14. 114
    Edward Greisch says:

    I was going to leave this paragraph in the wastebasket, but Bart, you are beginning to sound paranoid. I don’t know that much about your background, but if you are Jewish, or even a member of the Anti-defamation League, you can quit worrying. The number of people killed by genocide in the 20th century was 150 million, not 6 million. 96% were not Jewish. There is nobody here who is pushing any of that stuff that you are worried about.

    I like most of what 106 Mal Adapted said except that the old Sociobiology was left over from 1877 to 1945. There is a gap from 1945 to 1970, then a new science was invented in the 1970s. For science to be science, there can’t be any taboo subjects. Scientists have to be able to go where ever their research leads them. Science is not leading anyone into eugenics or genocide because neither of those makes any sense.

    If you wanted to improve the species Homo Sap, you would use the genetic engineering methods like CRISPR. China is actually doing such research on non-viable human embryos. I didn’t record the reference. This is off topic. I hope Bart feels re-assured.

    The mass death we are concerned about here are crop failure, bigger forest fires, and the other effects of GW. Please, Bart, remember that Nature can kill a thousand times better than any 20th century dictator could ever dream of. We are all in this together. That doesn’t mean we should discriminate against ourselves by being self-destructively altruistic.

  15. 115
    Steve Fish says:

    Re: Comment by MA Rodger — 8 May 2016 @ 1:53 PM, ~#91

    Thanks MA, but I still have questions. I accept that the process by which all the sea creatures that form calcium carbonate shells, houses, and skeletons lowers pH. Here is my problem, Piotr said that corals, and presumably all the other carbonate producing critters, “are a net source of atm. CO2.” So, 1.) the ocean is taking up CO2, not outgassing; 2.) If this were true, the calcium carbonate producers would run themselves out of business; 3.) If the formation of calcium carbonate sinking to the bottom, being covered over and cycled through the mantle is the way that excess atmospheric CO2 is absorbed, the process must not cause outgassing of CO2. I freely admit that there may be some simple solution to my ignorance. Piotr sounded like he was knowledgeable.

    In doing some research on this I found out that photosynthesis in water releases O2 and produces bicarbonate ions, and I found the article I referenced (post 68) that talked about this process relative to the creation of calcium carbonate. Coral and all the other animals that make calcium carbonate are dependent upon photosynthesizing organisms. Perhaps this is an explanation to my questions. Where is Piotr on this?


  16. 116
    Steve Fish says:

    Re- Comment by Richard Caldwell — 7 May 2016 @ 1:04 AM, ~#55

    Richard says: “I’d say Steve Fish was being conservative.”

    Richard, you still haven’t done your homework. I guess this behavior is what you refer to as “manning up.” I gave you the search terms to understand the process whereby the huge coal fields were generated in the carboniferous period. Hint- when plants evolved lignin and suberin for strength and protection the organisms of decomposition did not yet have the enzymes to break these substances down. This resulted in very large mats of undigested carbohydrates that were buried and became hydrocarbons. Peat deposits today are comparatively a tiny, tiny trickle of potential coal.


  17. 117

    V 111: A major problem I see with the AGW orthodoxy is the notion that there has been a long-term global warming trend over the last 100 years or so. Yet when I examine the actual data, as illustrated by several different graphic representations, I fail to see the long-term trend that’s been claimed, nor do I see convincing evidence that whatever warming actually took place is due to CO2 emissions.

    BPL: Excellent! Thank you for clearly taking on one point.

    You do not see the trend because you apparently do not know how “trend” is defined. It is a statistical term. Specifically, if the slope of a linear regression against time is statistically significant, the data exhibit a “trend.” That’s it. That’s the definition.

    Using the 100 years from 1915 to 2014, I find that the slope of dT against year is 0.01038, and that that value is significant at the level p < 1.75 x 10^24 (i.e., the confidence level is 99.999999999999999999999825%).

    Therefore, there is a clear trend.

    V: nor do I see convincing evidence that whatever warming actually took place is due to CO2 emissions.

    BPL: I asked you to deal with one point at a time. Please stick to that.

  18. 118

    EG 114, I am well aware of the magnitude of 20th century genocide, thank you very much. And if you think the old “scientific” racism is dead, you apparently missed “The Bell Curve.” Or much of what gets published by John Hartung.

  19. 119
    Thomas says:

    Poor sad Victor in retirement so lacking in attention. He claims in the BH “there is a considerable scientific literature pertaining to many of the issues raised here that I’ve become aware of and have been quoting” That’d be a lie.

    “As a citizen I have a perfect right to debate this issue”… and a ‘right’ to be a perfect fool as well. Go forward.

    “… the key to evaluating the meaning of any scientific claim is, ultimately, critical thinking, not necessarily technical expertise.” That’s called bullshit in anyone’s language. Since when do so called giants in ‘critical thinking’ need a Primer (as your book is subtitled) to help them think critically about climate science?

    “…so I’m used to picking through such claims to separate the wheat from the chaff.” Appeals to your own authority do not impress me. Especially when the level of your own intellectual incompetence rises to outright delusional.

    “I could name a long long list of scientists, including climate scientists, who have raised objections to the “consensus” view similar to the ones I’ve raised here” …. and offers up this wiki page as “proof”?

    Wow ~60 individuals versus over 30,000 individuals engaged in climate science research, publishing papers over decades who disagree with the 60 and Victor? There’s more than 60 scientific institutions who disagree with this list of manipulative incompetent clowns listed on the wiki page.

    0.20% might by a figure that impresses a ‘critical thinker’ like Victor but it sure doesn’t impress me. I have read what they ‘claim’ and have seen how they do not ‘think’ properly and have heard how they ‘speak’ spin endlessly. It makes me wonder how some people ever got to hold a PhD in anthropology in the first place.

    imo Victor should get off his backside, catch a plane back to Africa, and revisit his Pygmy friends there. They are far smarter, wiser and much better critical thinkers than he is.
    Vulnerability of indigenous health to climate change: A case study of Uganda’s Batwa Pygmies

    ‘Pygmy’ peoples issue warning on climate change policies 15 July 2010

    ALL indigenous peoples are saying the same things about climate change. I do not need ‘science’ to tell me what I have observed for myself in my lifetime in how much the climate has changed from when I was child and as short as only 20 years ago too. The climate science that has been done simply explains the why of it in great detail.

    Such is the power of humanity when we choose to work together for the good of all and put aside our ‘ego’s need for attention’ while doing it.

  20. 120

    BPL (103) said: “I am not impressed that you studied sociobiology, still less that you did so with E.O. Wilson. The point of sociobiology is that it is an attack on the conventional sciences of sociology and anthropology, saying they can be reduced to biology. Have you taken even one course in sociology, or cultural anthropology?”

    I think we are talking past each other. I did not mention my studies to try to impress you. (Believe me, that’s not in my to-do list!) What I was trying to convey is that fields can look very different from the outside (where naturally you get the controversial bits) than from the inside (where I LOVED the eusocial insects and mammals – naked mole rats ROCK!). The point of the post was that sociobiology is not fundamentally about replacing sociology or anthropology, as you put it. It is the study of the evolutionary or ecological contributions to animal (which can include human) social behavior.

    I do not disagree, broadly if not in some of the specifics, that looking at human behavior through the lens of evolutionary science can lead people to some pretty suspect conclusions. But most of what I read from sociobiologists investigating human behavior was just that: investigative. There was no agenda. They were not trying to prove human behavior was determined solely (or even predominantly) by evolutionary imperatives or tear down other disciplines. (Please don’k ask for cites… this was over 20 years ago.) They were trying to pry apart what aspects of human behavior might have had evolutionary roots, how have environmental factors contributed etc..

    Ultimately, it seems to me that you are addressing a very narrow aspect of what sociobiology is about and maybe viewing it through a highly polarized lens. There really is some interesting stuff that has been done. I recommend it highly (especially the naked mole rats; seriously, they’re potentially cool grist for an author).

    And for the irrelevant record (given what sociobiology is actually about), I have taken cultural anthro courses. I also grew up with two parents that between the two of them had several degrees in anthro. I’ve been absorbing cultural anthropology since I was born (literally – I was born during my parents’ sojourn overseas doing field research!). Despite their knowledge of sociology and my own penchant for quantification, I never had a lot of interest in that particular field.

  21. 121

    BLP (116) Don’t bother. We’ve been down this road with Victor. He seems to think that in order for a relationship to exist that there be no other factors that can offset it (because, Occam – you couldn’t see me rolling my eyes when I typed that). He has this idea that through critical thinking blended with a compelling combination of personal ignorance and arrogance he can reveal the flaws in entire fields of scientific endeavor.

  22. 122
    Thomas says:

    90 Victor says: “But then please don’t assume you know what I’m thinking or what it is that keeps me from following the herd.”

    May I make a humble suggestion Victor? Try following the science! :-)

    And “Read my book and then feel free to review it in any manner you like. If you dare.”

    I might take you up on that. By quoting some of your comments here as a reason for people on Amazon not to waste their $6 on your 133 page self-published vanity ebook…. and to go read the Climate Science literature instead.

    Because it’s free and actually makes some sense!

  23. 123
    Thomas says:

    103 Barton Paul Levenson says: “But the variation in human behavior among different cultures is vast and usually traceable more to historical contingency than to differential reproduction.”
    I’m no expert in this field, however what I have seen over the years from a range of scientific and academic papers by those who have studied human behaviour (especially in the last 30 years) indicates the similarities in human behaviour far outweigh the differences across time and space. The ‘apparent’ differences in cultural beliefs, dress, social norms, and technology are all surface distractions imo. Linguistics, psychology, cognitive science and neuroscience all tend to prove this is so when seen holistically as interconnected in the human species.
    Such research can also explain why agw/cc denial exists in the first place and what drives it.

  24. 124
    Mal Adapted says:

    BPL, we’ll disagree then. If you’re willing to fool yourself, it would be pointless to ask how you know you’re not. In all honesty though, I’ve lost some respect for you. If you’re OK with that, then so am I.

  25. 125
    Thomas says:

    108 Barton Paul Levenson says: “T 97, If you don’t like falsifiability as a criterion for good science, what do you prefer to use instead?”

    There are hundreds of thousands of high quality published papers in science that side step the criterion of falsifiability. Read some of James Hansen’s ‘papers’ as an example. Theory and knowledge are mutually exclusive criteria. And yet are still bound in a self-fulfilling loop. One can lead to the other and vice-versa. Time seems to play an active role in that. :-)

    I’d prefer it if you skimmed through the paper and 118 refs and then consider some self-reflection about where you are coming from and why.

    Frank Wilczek Theoretical Physicist MIT synthesizes the larger truth to which complementarity speaks:

    “To address different questions, we must process information in different ways. In important examples, those methods of processing prove to be mutually incompatible. Thus no one approach, however clever, can provide answers to all possible questions. To do full justice to reality, we must engage it from different perspectives. That is the philosophical principle of complementarity. It is a lesson in humility that quantum theory forces to our attention… Complementarity is both a feature of physical reality and a lesson in wisdom.”

    Was a hundred years too long to wait for the detection of Gravity Waves? I think not.

  26. 126
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Hank: You could read it that way, if you wanted to spin optimism out of lack of data. But who would want to do that?

    Richard: You could read my comment that way, but why would you want to do that? My comment had two caveats and was written without any definitive conclusion, and then attributed the half-baked non-conclusion to them, not me. (They said something like ~”up to several decades” I accepted that but minimized it by noting that it was only for a single factoid.) The caveats minimized any hope of a conclusion without further data. I gave no indication of significant optimism for quick turnover harvest cycles. In fact, the proposed possible harvest rate I gave was their definition of “not harvested” (100 years), but it left the possibility that the optimum is 10,000 years or 1 year.

    Hopefully that answers your question as to how long it would take. To make it abundantly clear, I’ll repeat myself:

    Dunno, but I’d start with either the natural fire cycle or the experts’ guess, which in this case might possibly be several decades to 100 years, but that’s just one dude/group’s results/definitions, and so it’s just a starting point, not a conclusion. I maintain nothing of any sort except a desire to dig deeper, with the only starting points being that one can selectively, not completely, harvest at least 1/10,000th of a forest each year without doing significant damage, that not harvesting wood often enough in a non-old-growth forest increases fire risk and might prevent old growth conditions from arising, and that harvesting wood provides benefits for humans that should be factored into any analysis.

    How could you have misinterpreted my comments so badly? (This is a serious question. What communication errors did I make in the original wording?)


    Thomas, grand posts. I’d delve deeper, but it’s not for this site.


    MartinJB: Victor, the reason no-one here is likely to read your book is that

    Richard: obviously I exist, so your calculations are flawed, as they appear to have omitted that factoid. Perhaps you should have said, “few”? (But your point is still valid)

    Victor, I’d be happy to read and analyze your book. It sounds fascinating, especially since I’m a psychologist by trade (No, I won’t tell you my name)

    So, Victor, send a copy to I’ll read your book and do the analysis, all without charge.

    ———– Just BPL stuff follows, so skip if disinterested

    BPL: You emit more stupid in one post than our entire galaxy emits in a year. Please, don’t stop. If there’s one thing this blog needs, it’s more Dunning-Kruger.

    Richard: Dude, your ignorance of set theory is amazing. This is a science site. Please keep your insults at least tenuously linked to math and science realities. When you don’t, the result is, appropriately, everybody laughing their a** off at you. But if you could wrap my “stupidity” with a reality, as opposed to a 4th-grade error, then I’d laugh at myself along with everybody else. (since you probably still don’t get it, I’ll explain: it should have been “than the rest of our entire galaxy”. Errors in civil discourse are fine, but errors within insults only paint yourself as an idiot. Nobody else would leave themselves so open to ridicule.)

    And your deflection of your being called Dunning-Krugerfull onto me is telling. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but your lashing out in exactly the same way (inappropriately) you were just (appropriately) thrashed is probably psychologically significant. And since this flaw in reasoning (the difficulty of positively relinquishing a position) seems so pervasive, your claim that humans are blank programmable sheets seems unsupportable. That somebody who claims to be Christian thinks such drivel is amazing. (and expected) Either we’re (almost) inherently imperfect or not. What you claim (blank sheets) is incorrect according to every Christian tract I’ve ever read, as well as incorrect according to all accepted science I’ve read. It’s tough to bat zero, but some folks are perfect at it….

    BPL: Which chromosomes are the altruism genes located on?

    Richard: Taking serious scientific work and reducing it to ridicule describes you quite well. Altruism is a result of both genetics and experience. And dogs belie your point completely. Some breeds are biters, some are lovers. Some bite out of fear, some bite because of the joy of it. That individuals deviate from those norms is expected only if animals have a mixture of genetic and experientially-derived traits.

    That humans aren’t different from animals in this respect is obvious. Ask any parent who has multiple kids if the kids’ personalities are 100% formed by experience.

    How many times have you admonished folks for speaking about climate science without the appropriate training/education? Yet you bound right in about psychology et al when you’re obviously totally clueless about the fields.

    BPL: 0. Romans 3:23

    Richard: Is that a score? ;-)

    So you agree with me? I ran a test on a group which ought to be somewhat less prone to the flaws than the general population. The test had an obvious-to-anybody answer: Will an 8×8 stud wall on 8.05″ centers that is exteriorly enclosed in impermeable structural foam and whose interior is open to conditioned space be strong and last a very long time? Yep, absolutely nobody would deny that the answer is, in human terms, “super strong and will last forever, as long as the exterior foam is maintained/replaced as needed”. Yet everybody involved vehemently ridiculed the idea, not on the merits, but on a mistaken visualization based on 1600s technology. Once they finally figured out the obvious, the primary result, if any, seemed to be bad feelings driven by being forced from a position by somebody they consider an opponent. The hypothesized flaw showed up in 100% of the test subjects, which merely indicates that we’re all human, and that your deity’s analysis might be accurate. Got a problem with any of that? (Other than ad-hominem)

    Where’s that Eemian map? It’s like, sooo critical to getting your paper accepted – or are you afraid that the map would completely trash your fantasy novel turned reality show? Actually differentiate yourself from Victor, if you can. So far you’re just some fantasy writer who says all climate scientists’ results are garbage. What’s the difference between you and him, other than the direction of the garbage? He’s got a book, you’ve got a rejected paper. Are you willing to do the work which will most likely force you to give up a position? Based on the evidence so far, I’d say the subject animal has about a 0.1% chance of success, with success defined as “acting like a scientist”.

  27. 127
    Chuck Hughes says:

    “For Christsake sometimes admit that you could be wrong man!”

    This possibility is, in fact, the topic of the final chapter of my book. But of course you dare not actually read the book for fear there might possibly be something in it that might change your mind.

    Comment by Victor — 8 May 2016

    Weaktor! You are an arrogant ass. I mean a REAL ass. Nobody here is going to read your stupid book. You are the Donald Trump of the Climate blog but without the money. Please go away. I come here to read about climate science and learn a few things. You’re clogging it up with ignorance. Go back to the borehole and stay there. Take a hint!

  28. 128
    patrick says:

    Russell, 54: “…despite Rutan’s weird view of climate science…”

    Your characterization of Burt Rutan’s view of climate science as just “weird” is itself extremely weird. Rutan’s attack on climate science is methodical, aggressive, and sustained, and he gives it everything he’s got in every forum he can, in my view. Here’s an hour of Anthony Watts talking denial with Burt Rutan:

    “That’s alright, we’ve got as much time as you need, Burt.” (–Watts) Rutan is running these slides:

    Your credibility fails the test if you ridicule the climate view of Anthony Watts but let Rutan’s view pass as merely “weird.” Rutan’s effort is to impede and damage climate science as much as possible, I think, despite disclaimers and gambits he shares with other hobbyists. (One gambit is “…this is one of my hobbies.”) Open Mind and DeSmogBlog have noticed his hobby.

  29. 129
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Steve Fish: Peat deposits today are comparatively a tiny, tiny trickle of potential coal.

    Richard: And what did I say that was any different? DUH, I said it was small and DUH I said our actions swamped it, resulting in net negative.

    I went from asking a question and “I’ll tell you tomorrow” to “Yep, I agree.” I even poo-pood the “0.01 does not equal 0 so you’re technically incorrect” answer. I was nice to you and stretched my answer to deliberately praise you. And even that was inadequate for you. Why? Are you saying that I didn’t quantify my agreement with you to your satisfaction? Are you just being a jerk?

    I note that you IGNORED the actual topic, whether forests lay down ANY soil. Do forests sequester carbon in the soil, or are all those fossils just stuff somebody buried in layers so as to fool scientists? MAN UP!

    I was going to dive deep, but I started off slow because you ruined the topic for me. Thanks.


    BPL: Therefore, there is a clear trend.

    Richard: Nope. His proposal is that there are multiple sequential trends. To counter that, you’d have to show that ONE trend is the only scientifically plausible answer. (In other words, you haven’t shown diddly. A scientist would explain why the huge deviations from the one trend occurred.)

    So far, it’s Victor: 1 BPL: 0.

  30. 130
    Thomas says:

    111 Victor says: “… nor do I see convincing evidence that whatever warming actually took place is due to CO2 emissions.”
    That’s probably because it isn’t due to CO2 emissions (alone) Victor. It is easy to see where your basic assumptions are faulty almost every time you write something. :-)

    Let’s test those ‘critical thinking’ skills shall we? Imagine that T represents the Temp increase from say 1850 to 2000 as indicated by the science. Victor what % of that T was cause by CO2 emissions, according to the climate science? Feel free to also offer a Ref from either the IPCC reports or a relevant Review Paper in support your answer.

    Let’s go harder shall we? Take the period 1960 to 2000 – is the % the same, higher or lower? And what is it?

    Let’s now go even harder again – in the scientific projections in GCM’s of the period 2000 to 2040 what is the % of the forcing being caused by CO2 emissions (where “emissions” is that produced by burning fossil fuels) – is the % the same, higher or lower? Any ideas?

    I recommend searching on google scholar for the answers. Or you could of course ask an Anthony Watts or a Jo Nova. They may know but I seriously doubt it. Judith Curry sure would not. So, good luck.

    And once you have all that down pat for what the “science” suggests the Net forcing is from CO2 emissions, then you can go hard at arguing why they are wrong. Climate Science is complex Victor. :-)

  31. 131
    MA Rodger says:

    Barton Paul Levenson @116.
    You should be made aware that Victor the Troll appeared at RealClimate in October 2014 pressing essentially the same argument that he does here @111. (Back then he was arguing the toss over SLR or OHC and their apparent lack of correlation with atmospheric CO2.) Beyond his initial position he was quite immune to further discussion on the subject.
    As I was involved in that interchange back in 2014, I would suggest that Victor the Troll will require explanation for the shape of the 20th century global temperature record and will not be satisfied with simple linear trends. Indeed, that is the whole thrust of his argument. We “warmists” are so obsessed with our liner trends, we fail to see the multi-decadal wobbles which, according to Victor the Troll entirely disprove AGW.

  32. 132
    MA Rodger says:

    Victor the Troll @111.
    We have been here before with you insisting CO2 cannot be the cause of global warming and then with you ignoring all responses demonstrating why you are wrong. But, hey, I always enjoy a good laugh and, guess what, I certainly find those crazy ideas that end up in the bore hole good for a laugh.
    Note, Victor, I would never presume to know what others are thinking even when they are as stupid and obvious as you are.
    Because if this, while I was well aware of the list of high profile denialist fools on Wikipedia, I would never be so rude as to presume they were the “distinguished scientists” you meant when you talked here previously of such people being ignored by the science. To learn what you meant by “distinguished scientists” it did require a visit to the bore hole as I am not a mind reader. Saying that, you are evidently unaware that I am on record ridiculing one on you list. See here and here. So your list of people who “deserve to be taken seriously” was shown a worthless shame even before you adopted it for presentation here. On matters AGW, the list presents not a single person whose work is being ignored or in any way undermines the UN IPCC assessment reports. “Deserve to be taken seriously?” They deserve no such thing. (Of course, your list never made it here, never made it past the bore hole which in truth is where it belongs).

    So what of Victor the Troll’s grand theory. He tells us CO2 cannot be responsible for AGW because there was warming before 1940 when CO2 emissions were so so low that pre-1940 warming has to be “largely unrelated to CO2 emissions” and the only other warming period was “limited to only the last 20 years or so of the (20th) century” which is certainly not when all those nasty CO2 emissions happened. Not by a long chalk!! So AGW theory suffers a fatal anachronism.
    Thus speaks Victor the Troll.
    My God!! How could science be so stupid as to have missed that one!!! Luckily they didn’t. They are very aware of such silly argument and have many times explained why it is so silly. One such explanation is posted at SkS. Unfortunately, Victor, it is probably too much for you to understand.

  33. 133
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    122: Chuck. Phew! Ditto to that. C’mon Gavin shove Victor in into his icy cylinder and pile drive the core, who cares if he contaminates the data. I’m with Chuck, I partake in this blog to learn and contribute the perspective I have, not to read the inane ramblings of an arrogant troll.

  34. 134
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    I’m not going to waste another picojoule of my energy on Dicktor.
    On to something important!… reading nevin’s blog and the growing army of us that believe that this year’s summer could be ice free. For one I hope it happens, for that must surely send a deafening message to the ‘whom it may concern’s out there in the global community that we have reached a defining moment in our Cenozoic era. I hope it scares people, I hope it initiates heated discussion in all walks of life and I hope it turns the corner to what people define as terrifying. Smashes through the critical mass of those that do give a damn so that even a megalomaniac such a Donald Trump cannot undo the tremendous efforts and sacrifices that many many countries are making on climate change

  35. 135
    Lawrence Coleman says:

    Just to make you all aware of what we’re up against, I just read an article that only 20% of all British people were aware of the presence of ocean acidification and only a measly 14% knew anything at all about the subject. Now I’m assuming here that the figures for americans and australians are in the same ignoramus camp. These people vote. If you don’t know we have a problem you ain’t going elect a leader that prioritises action on climate change. I see that a hell of a lot of education need to happen..NOW. Oh dear!..soo much little time…

  36. 136
    zebra says:


    Since you’ve implicated me in your logorrheic rant, I’m going to remind you that I pointed out that your “stud wall” was a terrible design (there are many reasons) and would tear itself apart.

    One of my “tests” for people who comment online is that if I can make their argument (or design their walls) better than they can, even after they have been given multiple chances to self-correct, they are not interested in learning anything.

  37. 137

    Richard, on Victor, #123:

    His proposal is that there are multiple sequential trends.

    And that from a guy who’s hung large chunks of argumentation on Occam’s Razor!

    Richard, I think you are confusing arguments. Victor’s proposition was that there is no warming trend over 100 years–a period of reference he chose. Barton showed conclusively that, by the usual criterion, that proposition is incorrect.

    The argument that it ‘doesn’t count’ because it’s not monotonic is irrelevant to its actual existence over the defined period. Clearly there is, in fact, a warming trend over 100 years.

    Victor’s argument about attribution hasn’t been addressed yet in this forum–or rather, in this go-round–but the ‘multiple trends’ proposition belongs there, not as part of an ‘existence test.’ On my scorecard, it’s BPL 1, Victor 0.

  38. 138
    mike says:

    Daily CO2

    May 9, 2016: 407.66 ppm
    May 9, 2015: 403.35 ppm

    April CO2

    April 2016: 407.57 ppm
    April 2015: 403.45 ppm

    We are pushing in to a 4 ppm increase range on a regular basis now. That may well fall back in the 3.1 to 3.3 ppm increase range that is still disastrous, but less shocking than anything in the 4 ppm range.

    Despite the wildly humorous inability of some folks to spot a trend of planet warming directly related to ghg accumulation, our species continues to drive ghg accumulation higher and higher and I think the planetary temperature trend is very clean. I am interested to hear what the Fort McMurray refugees have to say about global warming over the next year. How will Alberta (and maybe Canadian) public opinion shift on the question of tar sand development? Time will tell.

    The burning of Fort McMurray is one of those rare instances where an impact of global warming strikes close to a source of global warming (tar sands). Most of the time the impacts are on the other side of the planet. With advancing slr, the impact will be felt on the developed world which has a lot of infrastructure build in the blue line zone.

    I continue to think the GW modeling is shite. Did anyone read the story in the Guardian?

    The story refers to modeling of Antarctica melting that previously relied on passive melting and ignored possible disintegration of ice cliffs. Whoops! from that article:

    “Active physical processes are well-known ways of breaking up ice sheets but had not been included in complex 3D models of the Antarctic ice sheet before. The processes include water from melting on the surface of the ice sheet to flow down into crevasses and widen them further. “Meltwater can have a really deleterious effect,” said DeConto. “It’s an attack on the ice sheet from above as well as below.”

    I recognize their is great reverence for the climate models and the scientists that do climate modeling. I just think that is as funny as the climate denial in some ways. The climate modelers and the global warming deniers love to march at the front of the parade, but these marchers are wearing the emperor’s new clothes. Tragic and comic.

    Make no mistake, we need to find a way to start driving the ghg ppm/ppb concentration down as soon as possible. 407 ppm is not safe, it is a driver of the sixth great extinction. I appreciate Killian’s take on degrowth at 104. Nailed it. Killed it. Well done.

    Don’t feed the trolls, dudes. It’s like asking Mr. Magoo to read the handwriting on the wall. Does not work.

    Have to take a few minutes and read the recycling carbon post. A quick scan suggested that might be an interesting post.

    Warm regards


  39. 139
    Edward Greisch says:

    121 Richard Caldwell: “BPL: 0. Romans 3:23” That is a biblical reference to book, chapter and verse. My parents were Sunday school teachers. I have never found anything in any holy book that made any sense at all to me. So Bart needs to write out in modern English what he wants to say rather than refer to a bible verse. Religion is off topic, so I will try to avoid giving my opinion of religion. I will only say that among some people, specifying a bible verse is a message, but that is no longer something you can assume of everybody.

    Bart has done good and interesting physics in the past for which I am grateful. So go easy on Bart.

  40. 140
    Hank Roberts says:

    How could you have misinterpreted my comments so badly? (This is a serious question. What communication errors did I make in the original wording?

    Verbosity trumps readability.

  41. 141
    Victor says:

    #116 BPL, the analysis you’ve provided is a perfect example of why my guard goes up whenever someone tries to convince me of anything based purely on statistics. Statistics is a tool, one among many, NOT an oracle. OK? And yes, I do know something about statistics, based on many years of working closely with statisticians. I’m not trained in statistics, but that’s not necessary when you’re collaborating with experts in that field. In all my interactions with such experts, no one has ever attempted to convince me of anything based purely on statistical results. The programmers do their job. The statisticians do their job. And it’s up to the project leaders to evaluate the results and draw reasonable conclusions, based on their own training and experience, guided by critical thinking. No statistician I’ve ever worked with has objected to that approach. I’ve eyeballed many a statistical chart or table and there’s never been a conflict between the way things looked “on the surface” and the statistical results. The two almost always reinforce one another, and when they don’t, it’s almost always due to an error in the statistical methodology.

    To return to the issue at hand, the trend you think you see is what is called an “artifact.” An artifact is a distortion in certain results due to a flawed or simplistic methodology. In this case, the trend line has nothing to do with any real trend, but simply the fact that things were cooler at one endpoint and warmer at the other. The absence of any warming at all during a period of almost 40 years out of 100 tells us that there could have been no trend. That should be obvious. The trend produced by the statistics is clearly an artifact. On could indeed produce just about any trend one wanted using such methods.

  42. 142
    Victor says:

    #131 MARodger: “One such explanation is posted at SkS. Unfortunately, Victor, it is probably too much for you to understand.”

    No, I understand it very well. “One such explanation” is right. Because there have in fact been several. All offering the same basic argument (offset of AGW due to various natural forcings), but interestingly enough, each offering a different set of “forcing factors.” I discuss two others in my book, a 2009 offering by cartoonist John Cook (, based very heavily on a much more impressive study by James Hansen et al. (which he fails to attribute), and the well known paper by Foster and Rahmstorf, “Global temperature evolution 1979– 2010” (;

    While each is focused on a different “pause,” the reasoning is essentially the same. As Cook puts it, “The broader picture in this scenario is to recognise that CO2 is not the only factor that influences climate. There are a number of forcings which affect the net energy flux into our climate.” For Cook (basing his argument on the Hansen study), it’s necessary to consider 10 such forcings. But curiously, Foster and Rahmstorf, in considering the more recent 21st century pause, require only three. How is it that 10 forcings are required to explain the 20th century pause, yet only three are needed to account for what happened in the 21st?

    Apparently the more recent study cited by Mr. Rodger focuses on “the preponderance of El Niño events in the 1990s and La Niña events in the 2000s.” Only two “forcing factors” in this case, it would seem. As I wrote in my book: “In other words, when certain elements, cherry picked so as to produce the desired warming when factored in, are factored in, then the desired warming is – presto chango — revealed.”

    The heart of the problem is neatly summarized in a treatment of Occam’s Razor from which I’ve already quoted more than once. Mr. Rodger, please forgive me if I repeat myself one more time:

    “[F]or each accepted explanation of a phenomenon, there is always an infinite number of possible and more complex alternatives, because one can always burden failing explanations with ad hoc hypotheses to prevent them from being falsified.” ( )

  43. 143
    Moseley says:

    In an earlier post, I noted that I had trouble understanding a lot of the back and forth on the site, and there was a question as to what I meant.  My concerns are not technical – I get that part.  I just don’t understand the motivations of people who take positions at odds with the scientific consensus on this discussion board.   If one doubts human-caused climate change, and has expert information, then go into the relevant venue, which is the scientific arena, and make your case.  Certainly not a site like this where most of the readers, I think, are like me, technically or scientifically educated enthusiasts trying to get more insight into climate issues.  If you have a bone to pick with the scientific community, this certainly is not the place to take that fight. 
                Remember, the scientific community is the only source of knowledge about climate change. They collectively are the group that takes data, analyzes it, fits models, and make prediction about future climate.  If you don’t like their consensus, no one here has anything to offer you.  So what if you convince a person on this site that the scientific community is incorrect?  You are still most likely wrong, as is the person you convinced.  Science as a whole is so conservative and requires so much internal consistency among such a wide range of parameters in a problem that the standard of proof of any hypothesis is very high.  In highly technical fields, it is very hard to have a first hand informed position without being a practicing scientist yourself.  If your information is second hand, it is only as good as the person who convinced you.
                There are many questions that arise in science, and these topics on the edge of understanding are interesting to discuss, and sometimes lead to new connections that provide new insight into processes.  At this point, the general conclusion that humans are driving most of the observed climate change is well established science.  The National Academy of Sciences has stated: “It is now more certain than ever, based on many lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate”.  Having watched this institution for many years, when the National Academy takes a position on anything, it is well established, because they by necessity a very conservative organization; they cannot afford to be wrong on a key scientific question.
                If you want to take on the scientific community, dive in. Educate yourself, do research, write papers, and find out what is going on. But I have always thought that if you have a strong a priori opinion as to what the answer to your problem is, that should almost disqualify you.  You have to want to understand what is happening more than you want any particular answer.  Science is where different people with deep expertise challenge each other on their measurements and interpretations.  The venue where not-so-expert people try to convince others who are not so expert is politics, and on a site like this, it becomes very tedious.

  44. 144
    Richard Caldwell says:

    Edward, duh it was a bronze-age reference. Didn’t you see the smiley-face? To paraphrase you, do I have to write out in old-style English what I want to say rather than use an emoticon?

    As to going easy on BPL, sure, as long as he makes an effort. I make it a point to sincerely praise him when possible, such as when I mentioned his “eviction” from a writing contest for being too good. But I’ve got to disagree with you that he’s done interesting science. I seem to be in the majority in this opinion. (restricting the population to climate scientists, of which I’m not one) IIRC, according to Secular, with scientific papers, “rejected” tends to mean “not even interesting”. And bringing up a rejected paper as evidence here would get anybody skewered. Are you saying that to find good science we should look at rejected papers?

    The biggest (of many) issues are, one, his conflation of his work with a calculator and ruler with climate models run on supercomputers, and two, the whole “Where’s the Eemian data? Is it compatible with your hypothesis?” thingy. So far, BPL has done nothing but go Silent Cricket on the science and raging lunatic insulter on the personal level. That ain’t the mark of any sort of scientist, even a wannabe.

    So, the vain hope is that he’ll up his game and address the Eemian. If he does, I’ll praise the bejesus out of him, even if his findings are contrary to his original hypothesis. BPL is currently ranting about falsibility, yet he’s refusing to test his own work. Hypocrisy ain’t something I’m gonna go easy on.


    Hank, thanks for the cryptic suggestion. You made me smile by using a technique that was neither verbose nor readable. Well done!

    I’ve always struggled with conserving bandwidth versus art versus completeness. One never knows if a four-year-old who doesn’t yet know what bronze-age references look like is reading. How ignorant/knowledgeable is the audience? How good are they at analysis? This stuff is hard for me, because what I find “obvious” often isn’t.

    Given that you didn’t respond to the science side of the comment, I take it you agree with what I said in both the original and subsequent comment 100%? (Silence trumps nothing.)

    So, if you had to guess, what forest rotation would you think is optimum? I’m leaning towards 50 years. It embodies the “up to several decades” our single soil reference suggested, is in the ballpark of the alternative “cutting” by fire, (choosing to not harvest is choosing to burn) allows for the possible evolution to Old Growth, and a couple hundred yard strip of reduced (not barren) vegetation perpendicular to prevailing winds every 10,000 yards gives firefighters a serious advantage, saving lives and property while maintaining forest and soil health, and providing wood products. If the cutting rotation is done from the windward side, fires would generally be traveling into younger and younger stands, thus, by the time they hit the break, they’d be running on fumes and about out anyway. Plus, stands older than that which initially caught fire would often be protected by the wind. Pick a firebreak, defend it, and if overwhelmed, simply fall back 10,000 yards.

    The big issue with this technique might be animal behavior. Are there species that wouldn’t like such a regime?

  45. 145
    SecularAnimist says:

    Geoff Beacon wrote: “Does anyone here think ‘green growth’ is possible?”

    I think that throwing around undefined phrases is not conducive to useful discussion.

  46. 146
    Thomas says:

    134 Lawrence Coleman: Those figures do not surprise me. It’s not the ‘peoples’ fault as those who have manufactured the “No Vote” on agw/cc action knew all they had to do was sew conflicting information in the public domain. It’s called “marketing and advertising” at work. The ‘mass mind’ cannot cope with confusion, they switch off as living is a full time job in itself.

    Imagine a decades long media campaign targeted to sew doubt in the notion that driving drunk caused unnecessary car accidents and deaths. Would the Police, the doctors, the politicians have tolerated that by the naysayers? Obviously not. Therein is the problem.

    “The People” need a consistent message (based on the true facts) being presented over time – repeat repeat repeat – backed by all parts of the media, the community and political parties and operatives. Denialists will of course still exist and “rage against the machine”, but so does the KKK and Nazism on the margins.

    imo while a major event like summer arctic ice disappearing might make the news, unless and until there is a strong group of well known global voices singing in harmony the same tune, the denier industry will still create doubt. imo little to nothing will change in the mass consciousness about agw/cc even then.

    People have forgotten that it was two key voices that started the ball rolling in the first place. No not James Hansen or people like he but Margret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan speaking out and being repeatedly mentioned in the Media which led to the first Rio Summit on Climate Change.

    I also don’t think summer ice loss will be this year. It’s a few years off yet. see Year to year variation swings in the Minimum are 500K to 1mln sq klms in recent times. To expect a massive and sudden ~4 mln sq klm loss in one year to me is not realistic – no matter how hot it gets or what happens with this seasons weather. Patience, the VO5 moment will happen one day. :-)

  47. 147


    Thanks for getting my back. :) I take it you have some statistical literacy. A couple of folks on this blog don’t, but fail to realize it (DK and all that).

  48. 148

    EG 138: 121 Richard Caldwell: “BPL: 0. Romans 3:23” That is a biblical reference to book, chapter and verse. My parents were Sunday school teachers. I have never found anything in any holy book that made any sense at all to me. So Bart needs to write out in modern English what he wants to say rather than refer to a bible verse.

    BPL: He asked me what fraction of Christians, or people, I forget which, lived up to Christian standards. I gave the standard Christian answer, which is “0” (none). Romans 3:23 reads, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

  49. 149

    Mal 123: BPL, we’ll disagree then. If you’re willing to fool yourself, it would be pointless to ask how you know you’re not. In all honesty though, I’ve lost some respect for you. If you’re OK with that, then so am I.

    BPL: I lost some respect for you when you attributed Dunning-Kruger to me at the first sign of a disagreement between us, then accused me of “evolution denial” because I don’t accept sociobiology–as if I hadn’t crusaded AGAINST creationism, publicly, for many years. You were rude first, pal. So you ignore me and I’ll ignore you, how does that sound?

  50. 150
    Thomas says:

    137 mike says: “I continue to think the GW modeling is shite.
    Ouch, tis a tad harsh mike. :-) My perspective is this: The politicians/national leaders asked questions of the scientists that go back to the 1990s. The key one being: “How bad will it get and by when?” Nothing like asking an unanswerable question to set some one up for failure.

    Now whether that was by clever design (I doubt it) or just an unintentional accident is besides the point today. It is what it is, and the is is that the scientists and the IPCC process have been made to look like failed mystical prophets instead of the what they are: Sensible and cautious and constrained by process.

    The question was put to the UNFCCC & IPCC and the scientific community responded in good faith. But at that time this was like asking Fred Flintstone to chisel out a War & Peace epic on slabs of rock. No point blaming Fred or the scientists for the outcome. It was a dumb question in the first place imo – in a world of ‘natural variability’ and an indefinable ECS (at that time and still today) every answer could only ever “be wrong”.

    This situation has been compounded imo by the manipulators of and inside the UNFCCC to set Avg Global Temperature as the defining goals. That is so irrational and lacking in any scientific surety or logic to be bordering on the insane. But this is where it’s at now. In a world of ‘natural variability’ and an indefinable ECS and an eternally fluid Avg Global Temperature the only definable meaningful measurement denotes Failure! We are already under 2C and under 1.5C = success?

    It’s a set up not a plan for success. Business, finance, marketing and advertising people are not this dumb or gullible. No business for-profit enterprise sets a maximum Labor Cost % of Sales and then tells the management they are not allowed to cut Labor when it gets too high. It’s a recipe for business disaster, financial ruin and eventually Bankruptcy.

    The Temperature Goals are intrinsically in error (wrong) and the marketing of these Goals by the political and business leaders of our UNFCCC nations is a Lie. At best illogical or unintentionally deluded.

    What should be being measured and set as Goals must be specifically definitive in time and space as well as being based on scientific facts and knowledge. One such measurement is atmospheric ghg levels. Not just CO2ppm but upon CO2e (equivalent) yardsticks. Another is Ocean Acidity even if it is less than an optimal measurement than CO2ppm at present. This is where “models” could be used much more effectively than Avg Global Temperature projections across decades or a century.

    Similarly to me the level of Arctic sea ice or Greenland ice melts from year to year and in long term GCM projections are irrelevant. What is far more relevant are reports by scientists like Peter Ward who says there has never been a time where CO2 levels were above 1000ppm and there was still Ice at the Poles. If that is correct and provable by science then the rest is basic mathematics and unarguable imo.

    What this means Mike is that I basically agree with you. But scientists are everyday people living in a screwed up world like the rest of us. Let’s cut them some slack about GCMs etc while still pointing out the limitations in those GCMs that they themselves repeatedly acknowledge have serious limitations. imo they have all been set up as modern day witches to be burnt at the stake over nothing.