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What has science done for us?

Filed under: — rasmus @ 13 December 2016

Where would we be without science? Today, we live longer than ever before according to the Royal Geographical Society, thanks to pharmaceutical, medical, and health science. Vaccines saves many lives. Physics and electronics have given us satellites, telecommunications, and the Internet. You would not read this blog without them. Chemistry and biology have provided use with all sorts of products, food, and enabled the agricultural (“green”) revolution enhancing our crop yields. The science of evolution and natural selection explains the character of ecosystems, and modern meteorology saves lives and help us safeguard our properties.

So what is science? It’s more than just a body of knowledge. It’s a mindset and strategy to build an understanding of our world. This understanding is extremely valuable for our society, especially when it comes to establishing where we stand and what the likely outcomes will be from perceived future actions.

The scientific method is perfect for resolving uncertainties such as controversial claims about facts. It builds on the principles of transparency, testing, and independent replication. Every scientifically trained scholar should get similar results when the analysis is repeated for a finding that is universally true.

Scientific testing and replicating scientific facts are usually based on data analysis and require an understanding of statistical reasoning and what the data really represent. The data analysis is often the point where differences arise. Climate science is no different to other science, and I have myself contributed to the process of checking the findings in a number of controversial papers (Benestad et al., 2016).

There is always a story behind each conclusion that goes back to its roots. The difference between science on the one hand, and dogma and propaganda on the other, is that the latter is not traceable. In other words, you should be more confident about scientific results and sceptical when it comes to intransparent or undocumented claims.

The scientific community has a well-established system for taking care of scientific findings, mainly through publication of papers in the scientific literature. A scientific paper should provide sufficient information for others to replicate the work done and reproduce results. Scientific results are also presented and discussed at conferences, such as the present American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting. The science presented in conferences, however, is not readily broadcasted to the wider society, partly because of difficult language and partly because of limited media presence.

I strongly believe we need a public voice of scientists and historians (see Defending Climate Science), but there is a concern for the future of Earth and space science. It is not just a potential problem for the science community. This is also a genuine worry that affects the wider society and its right to scientific facts and objective information. It is also an issue when it comes to education.

Science benefits everyone and is part of the fabric of our civilisation. It is therefore unwise to dismiss or twist for short-term benefits. The concept “science denial” has been discussed in the magazine called Physics World (September 2016), Nature, blogs, videos, as well as books, just to mention some examples. One of my favoutites is nevertheless the book with the title ‘Agnotology: the Making and Unmaking of Ignorance‘ by Proctor and Schiebinger

History of science can explain how absurd the notion is regarding global warming being a hoax from China. We only need to search for scientific publications from the past, as I did when I wrote a review about the greenhouse effect, based on a paper from 1931 by the American physicist Edward Olson Hulburt (Benestad, 2016)). There is an excellent historical account of modern climate science American Institute of Physics written by Spencer Weart.

It is also a disservice to our society to close down faculties, such as earth observations and climate science. We need both observations and updated analysis more than ever in the times of unprecedented global warming. They are essential inputs to fact-based decision-making concerning our global environment on which we all depend. Our society has progressed and become great much thanks to science, and it would be a sad story for everyone if we were to undo that.

References

  1. R.E. Benestad, D. Nuccitelli, S. Lewandowsky, K. Hayhoe, H.O. Hygen, R. van Dorland, and J. Cook, "Learning from mistakes in climate research", Theoretical and Applied Climatology, vol. 126, pp. 699-703, 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-015-1597-5
  2. R.E. Benestad, "A mental picture of the greenhouse effect", Theoretical and Applied Climatology, 2016. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00704-016-1732-y

222 Responses to “What has science done for us?”

  1. 101
    Dan DaSilva says:

    79 Hank Robert
    “But the complex feedbacks between the Earth’s climate and the carbon cycle have been hotly debated, and there is little scientific consensus on this issue.”

    Does not sound settled to me, Hank. What do you think?

    Complex feedbacks there is the rub.

  2. 102
    Dan DaSilva says:

    30 Thomas says: “I think you’re one of the millions suffering from an incipient mental illness.”

    Thanks for the tip I think it is the onset of senility. That man on your youtube link, however, appears to have a full-blown mental illness, not just incipient. You would think that a man that old would at least some self-awareness. That is what a life in academia will do in the worst case, sad.

  3. 103
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Thomas: “Engineers are really nice people and quite practical usually. They are also the people (like economists and accountants) whose High School results precluded them from getting into university degree courses in Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Math and Science.”

    WTF does that even mean? Dude, I know people who have both engineering degrees and law degrees, engineering and science degrees, and even engineering and medicine degrees.

    Come on, you’re either conducting a performance art piece or you’re living in your mother’s basement. Nobody can be that dim and be surviving on their own in the real world.

  4. 104
    Ray Ladbury says:

    You seem to want to blame science for human stupidity. Science is merely one of the chief underpinnings of Enlightenment values. Do you suggest we return to the time when the Inquisition enforced that ol’ time religion?

    Science does provide a moral perspective:
    1) It values truth above all else
    2) It establishes relations between different interacting components of a system, which is responsible for the entirety of the modern environmental movement.
    3) It even lays out rules for harmonious interactions in human society through the study of psychology, game theory and comparative studies of other social species.

    Add all of these together, and you have a pretty good recipe for the survival of the human species. That does not mean that all humans subscribe to this code. It also does not preclude those rejecting Enlightenment values from using the fruits of science to achieve their dark ends. Science provides a thin veneer of civility and objectivity over the top of our ape brains. The victory of that veneer is the only way we survive as a species.

  5. 105

    Dan Dasilva, #90–

    If a majority of people believe the above quote we a screwed beyond the worst possible climate change. The “Moral Arc” marching till 100 millions of lives was snuffed out in the 20th century.

    The last 100,000 years of human evolution changed dramatically in the last 70 years? and science has done it?

    A couple of observations. First, of the last 10,000 years, it’s really only about the last 3,000 that there were even “100 millions of [human] lives” extant at all. And it wasn’t ’til sometime after 1800 that the world reached the 1 billion mark. Nevertheless, there is in the historical record abundant evidence of mass murder, documented in archaeological, historical and literary evidence. Why would fortified cities have been the norm before the modern era, if not because of real security needs, especially given the expense and difficulty of building such walls with the methods then existing? Why would genocides be recorded in sacred literature, and given the imprimatur of divine authority–to the embarrassment of modern apologists, as here:

    http://religionnews.com/2015/01/12/god-command-genocide-bible/

    Some specific instances:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocides_in_history#Before_1490

    So the mass murders of the 20th century didn’t happen because humans became more vicious. They achieved the magnitude they did because for the first time there were more than a billion people in the world, and because killing became technologized and much more efficient than ever before. (Yes, you can blame science for that–but also for the medicines and sanitation technologies that enabled people to live longer, healthier lives to such an extent that none of those technologized mass murders had much impact on global population generally.)

    Second, there are obvious counterexamples suggesting that in fact moral progress is not only possible, but may be happening. One is the abolition of legal chattel slavery. That is, quite literally, unprecedented in human history (and almost certainly pre-history, too). Yes, abolition is still incomplete in practical terms. People get trafficked into prostitution and other forms of forced labor. But it is everywhere illegal, and almost everywhere subject to some level of legal enforcement. That’s a huge moral change for the better, IMO.

    The end of colonialism is another such change. In the ‘old days’, conquest was pretty much accepted as a source of national pride. Oh, it might sometimes have been the subject of mild, genteel regret that ‘others’ might suffer during the process, but hey, omelets and eggs. You couldn’t very well civilize India without British cannon, the Congo without Belgian cannon, Algeria without French cannon–or the Dakotas, or Central America, without American cannon. Today, even Vladimir Putin has to pretend that his ‘little green men’ were all indigenous Crimean freedom fighters.

    A third is the decline of racist ideology. Yes, it feels odd to be making that claim as we breathlessly await the inauguration of a racist President of the US, and as racism and xenophobia are on the rise in Europe. But I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, and where we are now, as opposed to where we were in 1970, or 1990, are quite simply radically different. It’s comparable to a phase change–and like mixing in physics, it’s not a reversible process. You can’t ‘unknow’ your experience of living and working together. (There was a reason that a bulwark of the old racist order here was to avoid ‘mixing’.)

    Finally, I observe that this bit is very telling:

    The last 100,000 years of human evolution changed dramatically in the last 70 years?

    You seem to conflate all evolution with biological evolution. Culture evolves, too, and much, much faster.

    The pertinent question today is, can it change–and in an adaptive direction–fast enough to avoid implementing the most obvious solution to the Fermi paradox?

  6. 106

    #101–“Does not sound settled to me, Hank. What do you think?”

    I think it’s odd to take a general, introductory statement about a subject as the last word as reason to dismiss the specific, more recent conclusions to which it is introductory.

  7. 107
    zebra says:

    Romain #96,

    It seems obvious that your are trolling, but I’ll give you one more chance to demonstrate that you are serious.

    First, “global warming” means a change in the global energy balance; the claim that it is “unprecedented” refers primarily to the rapidity of the change.

    Global mean temperature is one indicator of the change. (Cause and effect, again– CO2 causes the effect of energy increase, energy increase causes the effect of temperature increase. I repeat this point because you still seem unclear on it.)

    Now, since I have tried to clarify what I’m saying more than once, how about you explain what you mean by “stable century scale”, because I am not sure what you are thinking when you say that. If you can do that, I will continue the discussion.

  8. 108

    DDS 101: “But the complex feedbacks between the Earth’s climate and the carbon cycle have been hotly debated, and there is little scientific consensus on this issue.”

    BPL: Actually, there’s a lot of consensus on this issue by now. A lot of work has been done on just that in the past fifty years.

  9. 109
    Dan DaSilva says:

    I would like to thank the moderator for allowing me to enter into this sheltered forum. At times I felt like a domestic cat entering the Hawaii Islands and threatening wonderful Hawaiian Nene. Why has not the moderator sent me to the borehole to die of exposure like the cats who are trapped in cages on the Maui mountian Haleakalā? He is much wiser than the other moderators and knows that I have strengthened your defense so that the next series of cats does contribute to your extinction.

    Two words of advice, the straw man attack is no use in a written forum and ad hominem attack is the weakest of all approaches.

    So goodbye and good luck on your quests to save the world from carbon and to mold mankind for the common good.

  10. 110
    Hank Roberts says:

    High-resolution Atmospheric CO2 during 7.4-9.0 ka

    This data set provides a CO2 record from the Siple Dome ice core, Antarctica, that covers 7.4-9.0 ka (thousand years) with an 8- to 16-year resolution.

    Nice page, good info there.

  11. 111
  12. 112
    nigelj says:

    Dan DaSilva @90.

    Read the book the Moral Arc. To summarise this book finds evidence human morality has improved over the last 100 years or so, actually starting about 300 years ago, and that science is a large factor in this improvement. Then show me which parts you disagree with and why. You have to prove it wrong in specific detail not just wave your arms around. I doubt you would be able to prove it wrong.

    It’s the same in principle as climate science. If you want to be a sceptic you have to prove the key research papers wrong in specific detail, not just make generalised noises on websites.

    Regarding human morality, and your point on world war two. This was a terrible thing, but it was terrible because of the scale and weaponry unleashed and because of one morally bankrupt leader. The book The Moral Arc points out that wars in a more general sense have declined over the last 100 years or so, murder rates have generally declined, slavery has declined on the whole globally (although not everywhere). Well thats enough, I assume you get the picture. Read the book, its interesting.

    Obviously im not claiming things are perfect morally, but they are not universally deteriorating either. This is if you consider morality in a wide sense on the whole, and dont just cherry pick one aspect.

  13. 113
    nigelj says:

    Regarding people who want proof that global warming is ” unprecedented”. I think people claiming this are referring to within the last 10,000 years.

    I dont think anyone is claiming warming has never been strong in the more distant past. During earths very early history the geology was quite different and there were periods of reasonably strong warming related to this different geology but this has little relationship to the current global situation.

    We need to look at the last few thousands of years when geology and orbital relationships to the sun have had some measure of stability or constancy, so the picture is clearer. Research has found temperatures since 1970 are both higher and accelerating at a steeper rate than the so called medieval warm period. There are dozens of studies finding this by Jones, Briffa, Esper etc. So in this sense warming is unprecedented. Other studies have found warming is unprecedented in the last 10,000 years and is proceding at a faster rate than the warming that ended the last ice age so again we have unprecedented warming.

    Given the lack of any clear evidence that natural causes are behind this recent strong warming since 1970 (compared to anything over the last 10,000 years) carbon dioxide is an obvious suspect.

  14. 114
    Thomas says:

    96 Romain says: “Ok so the next question is: which studies back up this claim?”

    Too many to list….
    http://lmgtfy.com/?t=sc&q=rapid+global+temp+increase+past+10%2C000+years%3F

    and https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=IPCC+reports+rapid+global+temp+increase+past+10%2C000+years%3F&btnG=&hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5

    and https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/

    We are born with two eyes and two ears and …… some choose not to use them as designed. :-)

  15. 115
    Thomas says:

    101 Dan DaSilva says: “Does not sound settled to me, Hank.”

    Poor bugger. Two different questions/issues but wants one answer to apply to both. Doesn’t know the difference and still assumes he’s an ‘expert’. How sad.

  16. 116
    Thomas says:

    Dan Dasilva, #90 “The last 100,000 years of human evolution changed dramatically in the last 70 years? and science has done it?”

    Yes. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4574615.htm You didn’t notice all that? :-)

    Ray Ladbury, don’t let it bother you so. The post went over the top of your head – it had nothing to do with you nor your work.

  17. 117
    Thomas says:

    109 Dan DaSilva says: “Two words of advice, the straw man attack is no use in a written forum and ad hominem attack is the weakest of all approaches.”

    ROFL – ’tis Dan’s favorite ‘discussion’ style. too funny. I’ll simply repeat that there is no sustainable way to ‘discuss’ entrenched agw/cc/ideology beliefs that arrives at a change of view/opinion. The rare exception proves this fundamental rule, imo. It’s also why the long term solution to agw/cc will have to rely upon legal actions and changes to the Law (eventually).

  18. 118
    Thomas says:

    96 Romain says: “Ok so the next question is: which studies back up this claim?”

    Yes, I do realise this information will make no difference, however for the record, here’s another hat tip to the IPCC

    “The atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.

    Carbon dioxide concentrations have increased by 40% since pre-industrial times, primarily from fossil fuel emissions and secondarily from net land use change emissions.

    The ocean has absorbed about 30% of the emitted anthropogenic carbon dioxide, causing ocean acidification (see Figure SPM.4). {2.2, 3.8, 5.2, 6.2, 6.3}

    Concentrations of CO2 , CH4 , and N2O now substantially exceed the highest concentrations recorded in ice cores during the past 800,000 years.

    The mean rates of increase in atmospheric concentrations over the past century are, with very high confidence , unprecedented in the last 22,000 years. {5.2, 6.1, 6.2}”

    From Page 11 – https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

    Unprecedented then Ipso facto……? :-)

    Just follow the IPCC refs to specific articles, studies, peer reviewed science papers etc.

  19. 119
    Thomas says:

    In case it’s not obvious to all, the last 10,000 years sits within the 800K and 22K years and must therefore fit the ‘unprecedented’ time frame as well.

    Some other *unprecedented* climate issues to face up to eventually:

    Arctic summer sea ice retreat was unprecedented and sea surface temperatures were anomalously high in at least the last 1,450 years. {4.2, 5.5}

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.

    The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased (see Figures SPM.1, SPM.2, SPM.3 and
    SPM.4). {2.2, 2.4, 3.2, 3.7, 4.2–4.7, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5–5.6, 6.2, 13.2

    https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

    *smile*

  20. 120
    Li D says:

    #105 ” cant “unknow””
    Absolutely true. I see the same in my own community as time passes.
    Thankyou Mr McKinney for that passage.

    Li D
    Australia.

  21. 121
    Romain says:

    Zebra, 107:

    I am not a troll, I just want to know how strong is the claim “unprecedented”, in the last 10,000 years.
    And from your answers and other’s, it’s far from being clear.
    And thank you to take the time to try to clarify.

    You keep refering to CO2 in your responses. Please stop. The claim is about unprecedented global warming, not CO2. CO2 could be a cause, it could be a consequence (with a long lag, according to ice cores), but you seem to use it as if it was a good proxy for temperature (or heat content or energy if you prefer).
    As far as I am aware, there is no study showing that CO2 is a proxy for temperature. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    As for the “stable century scale” it is quite simple: the actual warming (measured) is about a century long, and we’ve seen about 0.7°C warming. So any study purpoting to compare the past with this needs to be on this time scale as well: the century. So the parameters you are talking about (you did not answer: which ones? Is it only CO2 for you?), you need to prove they were stable during a whole century or two. That’s it. But first answer: which parameters you think can create a quicj global warming during a century? Thanks.

  22. 122
    Ray Ladbury says:

    DaSilva: “Does not sound settled to me, Hank. What do you think? Complex feedbacks there is the rub.”

    Your ignorant opinion is noted. Note, Dan, that they are talking about complex feedbacks in the carbon cycle. Those do not negate the well understood and well known effects of adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere. Nor do they negate the well understood and well known feedbacks due to water vapor. Moreover, there are climate reconstructions that support the model results. Maybe, it is time to become a real skeptic, Dan, and actually investigate the science, rather than looking for phrases to take out of context to justify your complacency.

  23. 123
    Dan DaSilva says:

    112 nigelj I will read it.

  24. 124
    Dan DaSilva says:

    #166 Thomas
    Thomas, you are confusing “human evolution” with “geological and other impacts on earth”.

    #104 Ray Ladbury
    “So the mass murders of the 20th century didn’t happen because humans became more vicious”, Ray that is my point exactly human evolution is not changing us very fast.

    Bye again guys promised to leave before, but broken promises are also human nature. I am an expert in nothing but my own failings, also old and not too bright. Others with like views who are younger, much smarter and studied will eat your collective lunches unless you keep an open mind and study your craft, Cheers.

  25. 125
    SqueakyRat says:

    C. S. Lewis says quite clearly that the willingness to accept scientific findings as fact varies “inversely” with scientific education — i.e., the greater the education, the less the willingness to accept. Scientific education, in other words, encourages skepticism about scientific claims. I would guess that the readership of RealClimate rates fairly high on the scale of scientific education. So what the hell is Dan de Silva’s point?

  26. 126
    RALPH says:

    Hey,
    Great job here on your blog. This is so chock full of information. I can’t wait to dig deep and start utilizing the resources you have given me.
    I read a lot of blog posts and I never heard of a topic like this. I LOVE this topic you made. Very ingenious.
    I’m going to share the post on your favorite social media platforms and I’ll be back to read more of your content.

    Here’s some useful info I found for everyone:

    Five easy tips on how to lower your electric bills while you’re away.

    Vacation Energy Saving Tips:

    1. If you have a programmable thermostat, use the “vacation” mode. If you have a manual unit, adjusting your thermostat just a few degrees cooler will have a significant impact. A change of just three degrees for 24 hours a day can save 30 percent on your heating costs. Also, set the fan to “auto,” not “on.” Leaving the fan on all the time costs up to $25 a month. If the forecast is for mild weather, consider turning the system off completely.

    2. Turn off your electric water heater at your breaker if you plan to leave home for a few days. Most models will reheat the water to the set temperature in about an hour. A large amount of the cost of running a water heater is due to the “standby” losses. Water heaters are among the top three energy using appliances in your home.

    3. Most of us empty our refrigerators before heading out of town, but did you know a fully stocked refrigerator keeps cold better than an empty one? Keep the fridge and freezer full and tightly packed, and the cold items will keep one another cold. It doesn’t even have to be food; you can use water containers or ice trays. Conserve even more energy by adjusting the thermostats on your refrigerator and freezer to higher settings; 38°F for the refrigerator and 5°F for the freezer. For trips lasting four weeks or more, consider emptying your refrigerator completely and unplugging it.

  27. 127

    R 121: CO2 could be a cause, it could be a consequence (with a long lag, according to ice cores)

    BPL: It can be either. At present, it’s a cause. Please read:

    http://bartonlevenson.com/Lag.html

    R: As for the “stable century scale” it is quite simple: the actual warming (measured) is about a century long, and we’ve seen about 0.7°C warming.

    BPL: And the difference between now and a mile of ice atop Chicago and New York is 5.5°C. When you’re talking about the mean global annual surface temperature, a little means a lot.

  28. 128

    DDS 124: Others with like views who are younger, much smarter and studied will eat your collective lunches unless you keep an open mind and study your craft, Cheers.

    BPL: I have studied my craft since the 1970s, sir. Please stop shoving your ignorance in our faces as if it were a virtue. It is not a moral failing, but embracing it as a good thing is.

  29. 129
    Hank Roberts says:

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2016/12/25/comments-of-the-week-141-christmas-edition/

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/files/2012/04/krugeranddunningfig2.jpeg
    “Perceived knowledge vs. actual knowledge. Image credit: Justin Kruger and David Dunning, 1999….

    … I think the best path to science literacy — and this follows the scholarly work of Morris Shamos (RIP), which you can get for a penny on amazon.com — is to teach people an awareness of what the scientific enterprise is and to give them an appreciation for what science knows and does as a result. You can give them more or fewer details as you like, but that should be the main message. Anything more than that is going above and beyond what’s required, but that’s what I choose to look for. It’s sort of in the same vein as Star Trek.

    — Ethan Siegel, Starts With A Bang

  30. 130
    Dan says:

    “Others with like views who are younger, much smarter and studied will eat your collective lunches unless you keep an open mind and study your craft”

    This really sums up the willful ignorance of deniers. They can’t understand the science or how the scientific method has worked for hundreds of years, they make no effort to do so yet somehow claim to know more than every professional climate science society in the world, and then run and hide because the peer-reviewed science does not provide affirmation of their per-conceived beliefs so they keep whistling loudly past the graveyard.

  31. 131

    #120, Li D–“I see the same in my own community as time passes.” That is good to hear, and my sense is that that is true in many places. I hope that before too long it will also be true of the communities currently plagued by xenophobic outbreaks. Thanks in turn.

  32. 132
    Dan DaSilva says:

    #130 “and then run and hide”

    I take the “run and hide” comment as an invitation to stay. However, another comment here compared me to a “waste product in the punch bowl”

    On the large denier site my pitiful comments go unrecognized but at RealClimate, they are given a critical thoughtful reply. So I am torn, do I stay or do I leave. I love the attention but feel I am may not be worthy. Even waste products have usefulness but surely they are not welcomed in a punch bowl.

    On a compeltely side note: This website appears to need a little engineering. Did a scientist design this site?

  33. 133

    I am looking for specific information about how everyday people will be hurt by the potential cuts to climate research. For example, how would weather forecasting suffer? The goal is to have reliable information for outreach and education through the media, social media, and educational events.

    Thanks.

  34. 134
    Dan DaSilva says:

    I just noticed something of statistical significance. Every one of the many climate models over predicts the rate of warming and every one of temperature adjustments has either lowered long past temperature or raised the recent temperature. Since this represents much more than 30 cases the odds are much more than 2**30 or 1 billion to one that this could take place. Surely there is a reason for this. Need help on this one.

  35. 135
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    130 – “claim to know more than every professional climate science society in the world”

    I see it all the time among the spectacularly ignorant.

    It is referred to as Dunning Kruger syndrome. The ignorant have no means of knowing how truly ignorant they are.

    Rocks, and door knobs suffer from the same problem.

  36. 136
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    127 – we’ve seen about 0.7°C warming”

    1.1’C ! 0.7’C

  37. 137
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    91 – ” what about rampant governmentism?”

    Proportional to the U.S. population, the U.S. government has half the employees that it did in the 1960’s.

    What is this “rampant government” that you are jabbering about?

    It doesn’t exist, and you are living in a fantasy universe.

  38. 138
    Dan DaSilva says:

    128 BPL:
    How smart do I have to be to realize that if the proxy for temperature is going in opposite direction of actual recorded temperature history that some problems exist with the proxy? Do I need a Ph.D. to be able to discern that? I do not think a Ph.D. helps if you are consumed in a quest for a predetermined answer that will then make you famous.

  39. 139
    Dan DaSilva says:

    128 BPL Greetings again,
    Sorry, but how did your face get shoved into my ignorance? I do not consider myself ignorant and certainly did nothing that could not have been easily ignored. If you really believe yourself to be so superior, remember the words Jesus and “do not cast your pearls before swine”.

    I am self-aware enough to know that I am not an expert. Self-awareness of your own limitations is critical. As an example did you know that some climate scientists are as arrogant as to think that they can accurately model the earth’s climate?

  40. 140
    Thomas says:

    seems related … quite relaxing calm & very good talk and Q&A by M.A.S.H. star and science advocate, Alan Alda, speaks at the National Press Club in March 2016 about the importance of communicating science. [and how to do it well]
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-10/actor-alan-alda-addresses-the-national-press-club/7238316
    More info http://www.centerforcommunicatingscience.org/alan-alda/

    from 52:52mins … the dangers of not communicating science… “The Public has a chance to think like scientists if they hear scientists thinking out loud about their work.”

    eg Individuals and those in national assemblies think without the use of evidence. They make decisions without evidence. Scientists don’t do that, scientists question their hypotheses. eg at xmas Uncle Roy says X is true and that’s it. no one discusses it or questions Uncle Roy.

    To say to someone, hey, this occurs to me (an hypothesis), what do you think? They don’t do this in politics (in debates) or around the dining room table in families. Scientists have a lot to offer people by the way they think. (and as they discuss alternatives and possibilities, keeping an open mind and test/check the evidence.)

    Following the scientists lead of looking at the evidence, it’s worth listening to them about what are we going to do about Water? (aquifers etc)

    55:00 mins in Australia now just over half accept man made caused climate change…. “the people have legitimate concerns, they don’t have all the information, what the scientists know”

    “scientists have to respect that people don’t know and communicate accordingly. Find out what people do know and are concerned about and deal with that – build bridges in understanding. Communication is a two way street – so scientists have to get to know what people care about and know when they want to communicate with them and connect.” (a rough quote)

    30mins .. news media bridging the gap between science and the public … don’t give too much detail/info at once; all science is dramatic; open the door to learn more;

    Good science communicators are often resented by their peers.

    from 40:30mins Dumbing down and anti-intellectualism today …. ‘a hostility to the facts’? Art and science are very similar in a couple of ways, eg both are rigous, imagination needed in both art and science.

    a better future is when it’s like “Science, the place you go for trusted News.”

    Alda also talks about Jargon and that other scientists also have trouble understanding what other fields are talking about.

  41. 141
    Dan DaSilva says:

    84
    Thomas says:
    “Up your game. This isn’t a role play training session at Langley.”

    Are you talking about the CIA? My wife does like watching NCIS, I like actress Cote de Pablo but she is gone from the show.

  42. 142
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    137 – “How smart do I have to be to realize that if the proxy for temperature is going in opposite direction of actual recorded temperature history that some problems exist with the proxy?”

    People who believe such nonsense have a smartness level that goes heavily to the left of zero on the number line.

    How do you denialist flat landers manage to feed yourselves?

  43. 143
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    “some climate scientists are as arrogant as to think that they can accurately model the earth’s climate?” – 138

    Yup. And they are doing a very good job of it too.

    You did know that, didn’t you? Or is reality different in your Flat Land reality?

  44. 144
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    137 – “I do not think a Ph.D. helps if you are consumed in a quest for a predetermined answer that will then make you famous.”

    Do you just string random words together because your interpretation of their incoherence makes you happy?

    In science of course, all answers are pre-determined…. By Nature.

    Isn’t that how it works in your denialist Flat Land Reality?

  45. 145
    Vendicar Decarian says:

    Liar.. Liar… Pants on fire.

    134 – “Every one of the many climate models over predicts the rate of warming”

    http://www.mri-jma.go.jp/Dep/cl/cl4/yosoku/fig1.gif

  46. 146
    Romain says:

    Nigelj, 113:
    “Other studies have found warming is unprecedented in the last 10,000 years and is proceding at a faster rate than the warming that ended the last ice age so again we have unprecedented warming.”

    Which studies please?
    AFAIK, no studies do such a claim.
    The most relevant study I could find, after having asked many times to people here, is Marcot et al 2013. But their resolution is 300 years at best.

  47. 147
    Dan says:

    RE 138, Dan DaSilva: “As an example did you know that some climate scientists are as arrogant as to think that they can accurately model the earth’s climate?”

    If that direct attack on the scientists who run this site is not grounds for complete banning, nothing else is. It is one thing for you to flaunt your ignorance, but to then believe you know more than peer-reviewed experts is way beyond arrogance, sport.

  48. 148

    DDS,

    Feel martyred all you want. You came in here with a chip on your shoulder and it’s still there. I don’t believe you really want to know what’s going on. What you want is affirmation of what you already think. You won’t get that here. Deal with it.

  49. 149
    Dan DaSilva says:

    #18 Hello Ray Ladbury
    Quote, “No, science made them possible. Humans and their greed and fear did the rest.”

    On the human enhanced atmospheric fertilization of plant life (know as global warming by the omnipresent Earth Gaia religion) I would agree.

    Surely you agree that development of the Atomic bomb is closely linked to very upper echelon scientists.

    Your point on “fear and greed” is well taken, in life and trading exchange markets. Remember that both bulls and bears can make money but chickens and pigs will get slaughtered

  50. 150
    Hank Roberts says:

    > I do not consider myself ignorant

    Famous last words.

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