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More than 500 people misunderstand climate change

Filed under: — rasmus @ 15 October 2019

A consensus is usually established when one explanation is more convincing than alternative accounts, convincing the majority. This is also true in science. However, science-based knowledge is also our best description of our world because it is built on testing hypotheses that are independently reexamined by colleagues.

It is also typical that there are a few stubborn people who think they know better than the rest. When it comes to climate science, there is a small group of people who refuse to acknowledge the facts that have convinced almost the entire scientific community. Most of these contrarians are not even scientists.

But there are also about 500 scholars who recently have come forward and signed a declaration at odds with the scientific consensus,  claiming “there is no climate emergency”. They represent a tiny fraction of the scholar community dismissing man-made climate change –  by comparison, there is about 20,000 participants on the annual meetings of the American Geophysical Union.

A press conferences has been scheduled on Friday October 18th in Brussels, Rome and Oslo in order to promote the declaration. The intention behind the declaration is to influence the EU and the UN.

Most of the academics who signed the petition have no or little experience within climate research (check Google Scholar). Some of the signatures also have connections with political think tanks.

The message of the declaration is the same that the contrarians have repeated over and over again – but repeating it doesn’t make it more true.

I and some colleagues have examined the most common contrarian papers on climate change and have found that all of them were based on flawed methods/analysis (see previous post Let’s learn from mistakes). Some of the people who signed this petition have demonstrated their incompetence – the proof is in the papers that I and my colleagues reexamined in that study.

We cannot expect every scientist to have the same understanding, especially when it comes to scientific disciplines other than those in which they have professional experience. When they dismiss evidence on matters in an unfamiliar discipline without a convincing explanation, then they demonstrate a lack of respect for both science and the wider public.

They obviously don’t care whether people get true facts of false ideas. Below, I’ll try to explain why their arguments still do not convince.

The following statement is misleading:

“The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming. Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic”

It is true that Earth’s climate has changed over the past, but such changes have had specific physical causes, which are reasonably well understood. 

There have been changes in the shape of the continents, formation of mountain ranges, changes in atmospheric composition, changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun (the Milankovitch cycles), changes in the sun, volcanic activity, and changes in ocean currents, all of which have influenced Earth’s climate. 

As for the “Little Ice Age”, it was very different to the present global warming. It had a more regional character and was not as synchronised on a global scale as the ongoing climate change. 

The scientific documentation of past changes in climate is one of the ways that we know that that the climate is sensitive to changed conditions. The Earth has never been as closely monitored as today, especially with the help of satellites and advanced modern instruments, giving unprecedented amounts of high-quality data. 

This monitoring shows that the conditions that caused climate change in the past are absent today, except for the increases in greenhouse gases. The IPCC reports provide lists of peer reviewed papers on the global warming. 

The following statement is incorrect:

“The world has warmed at less than half the originally-predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing and radiative imbalance. It tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.”

Indeed, comparisons between simulated and observed global mean surface temperatures indicate a good correspondence.  

I can believe that the people who signed the petition don’t understand climate change, but they should speak for themselves. The rest of the science community has a fairly good understanding. 

The fact that we can write computer code based on the fundamental laws of physics that is able to reproduce phenomena we observe on Earth, indicates that we do understand the climate system. See the description of climate models on both Carbonbrief.org and TED.com.  

The following statement is incorrect

“Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2. In addition, they ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial.”

The scientific knowledge underpinning climate policies is established both from observations as well as the laws of physics and climate models. 

The global climate models share common description of the atmosphere with weather forecast models used on a daily basis to provide operational weather warnings. 

All climate models have been evaluated and tested, and they do reproduce the observed global warming as seen with the observations. 

The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is increasing. Their physical properties can be established accurately through lab studies.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas which is a byproduct from the consumption of fossil energy, and the increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentrations represents approximately 40% of the total amount produced from the exploitation of fossil fuels. 

The CO2 bears a fingerprint that connects the increased amount to coal, oil and gas, in terms of the isotopes carbon-13 and carbon-14, as well as the comparable concentrations of oxygen and nitrogen and ocean acidification.  

The climate models reproduce the observed sensitivity, as shown in Benestad and Schmidt (2009) and the figure below.

Fig 2 from Benestad & Schmidt (2014)

Observed 〈T〉 and “all” (thick curves), together with predictions based on equation (1) (open circles) and linear multiple regression models in equation (2) using all known forcings as input (solid circles). Source: Benestad & Schmidt (2009).

The following statement is irrelevant:

“CO2 is not a pollutant. It is essential to all life on Earth. Photosynthesis is a blessing. More CO2 is beneficial for nature, greening the Earth: additional CO2 in the air has promoted growth in global plant biomass. It is also good for agriculture, increasing the yields of crops worldwide”

Water too is essential to all life on Earth. Too much is not good, such as flooding or drowning.

The following statement is incorrect:

“There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and such like natural disasters, or making them more frequent. However, CO2-mitigation measures are as damaging as they are costly. For instance, wind turbines kill birds and insects, and palm-oil plantations destroy the biodiversity of the rainforests.”

CO2 has an indirect effect on extreme weather conditions through increasing the greenhouse effect and changing Earth’s hydrological cycle. It is well-established that increased surface temperatures lead to increased evaporation and water vapour in the atmosphere. 

Water vapour is the main fuel for weather phenomena such as storms and rainfall. Global warming is also accompanied by changes to the large-scale circulation pattern, such as the Hadley cell, affecting both extreme rainfall in the tropics and drought conditions in the sub-tropics. 

The observed number of record-breaking temperatures and rainfall provide statistical evidence for the weather becoming more extreme. One example is the increased probability of heavy precipitation.

The following statement is misguided:

“There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm. We strongly oppose the harmful and unrealistic net-zero CO2 policy proposed for 2050. If better approaches emerge, we will have ample time to reflect and adapt. The aim of international policy should be to provide reliable and affordable energy at all times, and throughout the world.”

There is ample evidence of changing risks connected to weather, with more heatwaves and more extreme rainfall. 

The global mean sea-level is rising and coral reefs are dying. Glaciers providing predictable water supply are melting, such as in the Himalayas. The consequences for ecosystems and agriculture are dire. 

The insurance sector is already affected, and the consequences from climate change will increasingly disrupt new sectors such as agriculture, water management, transport, tourism, and trade. 

There will be regions where people no longer will be able to reside and there will be increased levels of migration and conflicts connected to climate change.

Rather than pushing a petition, the contrarians should present scientific evidence for their view. If such evidence exists, it needs to be transparent so that others can reexamine it and get swayed by the information. So far, the typical contrarians (and one of the signatures) have preferred not to disclose their work.

There have already been some reactions to this petition, e.g. on Climatefeedback.org. It was also preceded by a similar Italian “pro-fake-news” petition (signed by more or less the same Italian contrarians as this version) that prompted a response from Italian scientists.

The claims presented in the petition signed by 500 contrarians is the strongest case the contrarians can muster against climate science. In other words, the best shot from the majority of world’s supposedly prominent academics known to have an alternative opinion (i.e. the majority of a tiny minority).

Obviously, there is not much convincing evidence against anthropogenic climate change.

References

  1. R.E. Benestad, and G.A. Schmidt, "Solar trends and global warming", Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 114, 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2008JD011639

174 Responses to “More than 500 people misunderstand climate change”

  1. 51
    nigelj says:

    Susan Anderson @23

    “Thanks, useful exposition, but as usual way too many people feel they need to answer the fakery in one of the comments. Several of you used humor to imply it was artistry in irony, which is an improvement.”

    You deplore people responding to the fakery in one of the comments, yet seem comfortable with the main article responding to the fakery in this signed petition of sceptics and peoples efforts to expose F Singer’s fakery. Do you not see the contradiction?

    Leaving nonsense unchallenged gives it life. But I agree with most of your comments.

  2. 52
    nigelj says:

    Steve Dombroski @25

    “I note this challenge to the 506 scientist’s is not very factual at all”

    Oh come on the article is full of facts, hundreds of them so you are either lying or can’t comprehend simple english. Moncton is out of his depth and simply doesn’t have the academic background for this. His only maths qualification is a course in geometry for architectural history. His previous attempts at debunking climate science have been fizzers.

    ——————

    Steve Dombroski @34, creationism is off topic. Read the moderation rules. And thousands of transitional fossils have been found, eg early horses. There’s no such thing as a missing link, just common ancestors. Now please just go away.

    ——————–

    Steve Dombroski @37 Moncton is not trying to get at the truth. He is an attention seeker and fanatical libertarian who doesnt like where the science leads. Psychology 101. Read his frigging history.

    Ideal global temperature is a strawman argument. Whats ideal is stability. Nobody is suggesting CO2 at 150ppm. Do you seriously think posting all this already debunked rubbish is going to fool anyone anymore? The public have finally woken up to you people and your ridiculous lies.

  3. 53
    Keith Woollard says:

    When I was young and idealistic I had a very strong religious philosophy. I started to question some of what I believed and what I was told. I searched out and read a great deal and the one book that convinced me of the truth was one that tried to do the opposite. It was called “Evidence that Demands a Verdict”. It used the same false arguments used in this article. In the book, he would dismiss an entire tree of logic by suggesting one component could not happen.
    That is what you are doing here.
    The letter you are trying to critique said that the earth’s climate has constantly changed and we are coming out of the little ice age. You say this is misleading because “such changes have had specific physical causes, which are reasonably well understood.” Absolute rubbish! We have theories on what caused the more recent extinction events but these theories vary widely. We don’t even know how many extinction events there have been.
    We have a bit of a handle on what causes past climates but to say it is well understood is laughable.

  4. 54
    Susan Anderson says:

    @Dombrowski
    It is a crashing bore to hear the same old antifacts. Piers are pillars, and you ignore the whole concept of review by equals – peers, that would be – those who have done the hard work of qualifying themselves, in favor of fakery. Here at RealClimate you have access to the most qualified science there is, and you insist on presenting a range of gobbledygook and ignoring the expert information from which you could benefit.

    There is no “both sides” to this, unless you prefer discredited and increasingly irrelevant arguments. You wouldn’t do that with your health, would you? There are a bunch of cranks and some people who make real money telling big fossil, big money, and their dupes what they want to hear. Their credibility is rapidly reaching zero.

    A teensy bit of skepticism would send you to the vast and growing amount of information available instead of back to the same old fakery. SkepticalScience collects all the arguments in one place, that would be a good place to start.
    https://skepticalscience.com/argument.php
    And DeSmogblog gives you the backgrounds and insider connections of your phony authorities.
    https://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database

    Meanwhile, look around you. Get out of your hermetically sealed room and see what is happening all around you. Since science is beyond your ability to evaluate, try reality. Deniers Deflated as Climate Reality Hits Home
    https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/08/11/heartland-deniers-deflated-climate-reality

  5. 55
    Dan DaSilva says:

    rasmus:
    “The fact that we can write computer code based on the fundamental laws of physics that is able to reproduce phenomena we observe on Earth, indicates that we do understand the climate system.”

    The IPCC can do no better than 1.5 to 4.0 degrees C for sensitivity. Is that statement (as you say about other statements) misleading? After all, you make the claim that the climate system is understood.

    [Response: You are confusing observations with an inferred metric. CS itself is not observable directly, and so the two statements are not contradictory. – gavin]

  6. 56
    Steve Dombroski says:

    #36
    CC Holly thanks for your reply and taking the time to view the presentation, Quoting the holocene global temperature doesn’t give us the optimum global mean temperature because humans civilization developed. We are developing really well now and the temperature is apparently higher. Unfortunately no-one recorded the temperatures during the holocene period, its impossible for any scientist in the present to observe or test events in the past, we rely on computer modelling and that depends on the data that is imputed. Data from ice cores, rocks etc provide some of this data and the data not been altered over time by contamination, leeching etc
    Monckton refers to the feedback from the sun which isn’t accounted for in the current formula. If the peer review is able to refute his formula with fact then we can dismiss it. Calling a person a loon isn’t good science, challenges to theories by presenting alternatives is what science demands once again this seems to have flown out the door in this debate. Also Science does not rely on a consensus it relies on facts. There are many influences causing global temperature, its extremely complex, and the big question remains – is a small rise in Co2 levels as detrimental as the current predictions suggest, when we also know Co2 is beneficial for plant life to flourish. Hopefully we will find out the truth using the scientific methodology and egos are willing to be changed by absolute facts.

  7. 57
    Mal Adapted says:

    DDS:

    What caused the cooling from 1940-1970?

    Nobody knows, but 1980-2020 that was CO2. You know that for sure because you have a consensus, not science.

    When random guys on the Internet say ‘consensus isn’t science’, they either aren’t trying hard enough not to fool themselves, or they’re trying to fool you.

    We have a consensus on AGW because the peer community of climate specialists all examined the multiple, consilient lines of evidence and debated them iteratively in venues of record, until they mostly reached similar conclusions. Their focus has moved on to new questions drawn from their common understanding. That’s how science makes progress. No one recognized by other specialists as an expert on the radiative properties of atmospheric gases, for example, would waste time trying to falsify CO2 backscattering of heat radiating away from the Earth’s surface. As we recently discussed on another thread, that science was settled decades ago.

    Today’s climate experts will gladly acknowledge that “if they have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants”. Consensus rejecters, OTOH, are deceived by motivated reasoning, and can only repeat claims long since definitively shown to be erroneous. Sadly, DDS is determined to remain erroneous. AFAICT he’s clinging to the ankles of midgets.

  8. 58
    Dan says:

    “When it comes to climate science, there is a small group of people who refuse to acknowledge the facts that have convinced almost the entire scientific community. Most of these contrarians are not even scientists.”

    E.g., the deniers who post here. KIA, etc.

  9. 59
    Mal Adapted says:

    Steve Dombrowski:

    We can’t test or observe any thing in the past all scientist can do is look at something in the present, this is historical science which should not be confused with good operational science. the methodology is not based on observation or testing at the time of occurrence.

    SD:

    by the way the so called deniers absolutely agree the earth has gone through a warming phase and human activity assists in this. From what I have read the disagreement is – can a small rise in Co2 produce the affects that are been predicted.

    Science only works if you’re trying not to fool yourself. Mr. Dombroski, unfortunately, appears to be another scientifically meta-illiterate victim of the Dunning-Kruger effect. He’s apparently from a world where modern scientific philosophy, culture and practice are alien. I wonder how he feels about forensics. Does he think only eyewitnesses or confessions can convict someone of a crime? Mr. Dombrowski has much to learn, though it’s nobody here’s job to walk him through it, and anyway the verdict is long since in: astronomy and astrophysics, geology and geophysics, climatology, ecology and evolutionary biology, etc. all are “good operational sciences”. Methodologically, they all investigate subsystems of a hierarchical system of causation rooted in the Big Bang, which is the standard model of cosmology even though nobody was around when it happened. Under it, the God of the gaps can only be a remote, hands-off sort, who bespake the primordial singularity and retired. Biology and the Earth sciences may be more complicated than physics or chemistry, but their approach is the same: progressive cyclical empiricism and verification by trained skeptics, as a way of accumulating justified knowledge. They know what questions to ask, while recognizing that all answers are preliminary and conditional. They all correct themselves a lot, and none of them will ever know everything about their subjects, but they already know more than nothing, way more than non-specialists do, and more yet as time passes. You know, science.

  10. 60
    Andrew says:

    I am not sure why we are still wasting time, energy and internet bandwidth with climate change deniers.

  11. 61

    Dear Rasmus — Thank you for your point by point take on the 500 strong letter. I don’t agree with your logic at some points, but it is great that you provide your reasoning. I must say that I do not share your confidence in our knowledge of climate dynamics — there is still a lot of mystery that can have huge effects (take the Gulf Stream for starters…Europe would be a different place without it!). I describe some of the problems in my recent op-ed about how I, a Democratic professor of statistics, became convinced that the uncertainty on sensitivity, let alone on outcome on climate variables, is too great to strip us of our cheap, reliable energy. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/a-democratic-professor-explains-what-his-party-gets-wrong-about-climate

    But it is on models I think you have strayed much too far. They use so many guess work parameters that they can’t help us past a year or two. Your chart here does not show their predictions and their 3-1 gap with reality, like Pat Michaels and I did here: https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/op-eds/the-great-failure-of-the-climate-models

    Should you be in DC, I’d welcome the chance to sit down and talk.

    [Response: Dr. Rossiter, could you please explain why your evidence of the ‘great failure’ of models depends on graphics that are misleading in multiple ways? And why do you not look at the surface temperatures which have indeed been well-forecast? By the way, your claims about the ‘unphysicality’ of extrapolations into the Arctic are utter nonsense. Satellite retrievals even suggest we are still underestimating change there (or are they the wrong kind of satellite?). Thanks. – gavin]

  12. 62
    Dan DaSilva says:

    ramus:”[Response: You are confusing observations with an inferred metric. CS itself is not observable directly, and so the two statements are not contradictory. – gavin]”

    If you had a model that could predict with any accuracy the future climate you would have a value for CS. Just run the model as needed and it will tell you CS. The fact that it is not DIRECTLY measurable does not mean it can not be determined by an accurate model.

    Even I can make a model that works for hindcasting or predicting the past. Just because it gives a good curve fit does not mean you are modeling anything.
    Understanding all the interactions of water vapor would help but nobody understands that.

  13. 63
    Dan DaSilva says:

    34 zebra says
    If you really want to have a serious discussion, why don’t you first tell us whether you agree that increasing CO2 increases the energy in the climate system? If not, why not?

    I agree. What to do about it is the ultimate discussion.

  14. 64
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Caleb Rossiter,
    Dude, when the only place you can publish your thoughts about climate is the Examiner, it is safe to assume that you are full of fetid dingo kidneys. The fact that you need to specify your politics is also another tip-off that you aren’t serious. And then there’s the fact that you are publishing your op ed with Pat Michaels.

    Next!

  15. 65

    SD 56: no-one recorded the temperatures during the holocene period

    BPL: Google “paleoclimatology”

  16. 66
  17. 67
    Dan DaSilva says:

    I would like to praise all the skeptics on this blog. You are truly doing needed work under harsh circumstances. Derision and the constant threat of the borehole we trudge on in an attempt keeping science honest.

  18. 68
    dhogaza says:

    Dr. Rossiter says:

    “there is still a lot of mystery that can have huge effects (take the Gulf Stream for starters…Europe would be a different place without it!)”

    If the Gulf Stream is such a mystery how can you claim that Europe would be a different place without it?

  19. 69
    b fagan says:

    Steve Dombroski @25 – you suggest we watch a long video by the famous pier, Viscount Monckton.

    I’ll return the favor, and suggest watching him the way he should be seen – being meticulously fact-checked by Potholer54.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpMZ4EpCseM

    Potholer54 can help you with that creation thing, too. He’s good at pointing out holes in what might sound like science when it’s not science.

  20. 70
    zebra says:

    #63 Dan DaSilva,

    But if you agree that the energy in the climate system is increasing, and the models produce results consistent with that increase (e.g. higher GMST), why do you keep saying that the models are wrong?

  21. 71
    jgnfld says:

    @DDS 67 “honest”

    Deniers fit some definitions of “honest”. For example, deniers tend to be as honest as corrupt politicians. They stay bought.

  22. 72
    William B Jackson says:

    #67 LOL!

  23. 73
    nigelj says:

    DDS @62

    “Even I can make a model that works for hindcasting or predicting the past. Just because it gives a good curve fit does not mean you are modeling anything.”

    Ok but if your models equations use physics that is orthodox, appropriate and sensible, and you are trying to genuinely understand the past and the result hindcasts rather well, you can have good confidence cant you? This would be the case even if it has a few constants introduced to make it work.

    If you are trying to just be a clever dick for the sake of it, then something will fit, but it will be rubbish and scientists don’t do that because their models would get torn to shreds, as has happened to some of the sceptics models.

  24. 74
    nigelj says:

    Dan DaSilva @67

    “I would like to praise all the skeptics on this blog. You are truly doing needed work under harsh circumstances. Derision and the constant threat of the borehole we trudge on in an attempt keeping science honest.”

    The derision poured on the pure as driven snow sceptics makes up for all the derision sceptics pour on climate scientists. For dishonest science read anything written by C Moncton. When are you going to do an honest sceptical evaluation of his ‘work’? Why do you focus only on warmists? I’m sceptical of anyone at times.

  25. 75
    S.B. Ripman says:

    This statement seems strange: “It is well-established that increased surface temperatures lead to increased evaporation and water vapour in the atmosphere.”
    Why not avoid a such a theoretical statement and instead make a clear declarative statement of fact, namely, that there has been a measurable increase in atmospheric water vapor — that scientific instruments have been monitoring the constituents of the atmosphere for many years and have observed that the heating of the world has coincided with an average water vapor increase of X percent?
    Such factual evidence would be more convincing, especially if one considers that water vapor is itself a greenhouse gas and thus there is a feedback loop factor. Not only convincing, but a reason for concerted action to address the issue.

  26. 76
    Joe says:

    Sure, termites create 10x more CO2 than humans, yet humans 1/10th is breaking the planet. Even though plants would happily take more CO2, increase their growth and product more oxygen. Nutters!

  27. 77

    DDS 67: I would like to praise all the skeptics on this blog. You are truly doing needed work under harsh circumstances. Derision and the constant threat of the borehole we trudge on in an attempt keeping science honest.

    BPL: Not to mention the heavy burden of calling yourself “skeptics” when what you actually are is “deniers.” Oh, the unbearable heroism of it all! Why, we skeptics are like the US Marine Corps, only tougher! The sacrifice! The honor!

  28. 78
    Dan DaSilva says:

    73 nigelj

    “Ok but if your model equations use physics that is orthodox, appropriate and sensible ”

    It is possible (and very likely) to make working hindcasting models that are orthodox, appropriate, sensible, inaccurate, and incorrect.

    Why is it very likely? There are an infinite number of wrong assumptions and values for every correct one even if they are “orthodox, appropriate, sensible”.

  29. 79
    Dan DaSilva says:

    70 zebra

    Zebra, you must not think model verification is that simple.

  30. 80
    Paul Donahue says:

    Regarding the first quoted statement, isn’t the most salient way it is misleading is that it:

    1. Confuses (deliberately?) the extreme rapidity (instantaneous on the geologic time scale) of human fossil CO2 emissions and resultant warming, with other climate change events in the geologic past almost all of which were orders of magnitude slower.

    2. The rare geologic events that did change climate and atmospheric composition with the approximate rapidity of the current human caused event are indeed associated with catastrophic mass-extinctions i.e. the P-Tr (CO2 from the exceptional Siberian traps LIP eruptions) and the K-Pg event (Chixulub impact event) and to a lesser extent, the Paleocene-Eocene event (whose CO2 emissions were still at least an order of magnitude slower than current) which caused massive marine extinctions.

    Needless to say, it would be a good idea to avert such geologic catastrophes from happening due to our own (Homo sapiens) fault, while we are inhabiting the earth anyway.

    But on a personal note, it is becoming very difficult in my old age to not become very bitter about my fellow humans. How can so many people go to such depths of intellectual dishonesty in order to serve the wealthy individuals and corporations, who are willing to sacrifice countless future generations to retain their privilege and power for their brief, ultimately useless, lives. Don’t they have children? Is the money that good?

  31. 81
    Dan DaSilva says:

    71 jgnfld
    It is too bad that the word denier (in this context) could not have a precise definition and proper usage. I for one do not deny any climate science. I am not that smart or educated. I just have some opinions and ideas. The odds that at least some of what I believe is a male bovine waste product is high and we can agree on that.

  32. 82
    Dan Dasilva says:

    72 William B Jackson
    William, glad to provide some humor to mankinds otherwise bleak existence made bleaker by unsubstantiated catastrophic AGW.

  33. 83
    Al Bundy says:

    Orig Post: Rather than pushing a petition, the contrarians should present scientific evidence for their view.

    AB: Total goop. Why on Earth would contrarians destroy their money-grubbing system? Their work is currently enriching themselves and destroying the biosphere so all you’re doing is spouting a Loser’s Lament.

  34. 84
    Al Bundy says:

    Steve Dumbroski: apparently no-one, so how do we know what is to much heating or to much cooling?

    AB: Going to school and learning how to spell “too” would be a start. With hard work and study, within 100 to 200 years you might understand that species generally thrive in the thermal environment that they evolved in. When the thermal environment changes, the then current set of species generally mostly go extinct, which would mean that your body would follow your brain. Dead.

    Hmm, maybe I should change the punctuation and spelling of those last three words.

  35. 85
    Al Bundy says:

    Keith Woolhead: You say this is misleading because “such changes have had specific physical causes, which are reasonably well understood.” Absolute rubbish! We have theories on what caused the more recent extinction events but these theories vary widely. We don’t even know how many extinction events there have been.
    We have a bit of a handle on what causes past climates but to say it is well understood is laughable.

    AB: To misquote is to admit being wrong. Leaving out “reasonably” before “well understood” speaks loudly about your ethics and honor. You, surely without conscious thought, twist and warp things to suit your prejudices.

  36. 86
    Al Bundy says:

    Steve Dumbroski: its impossible for any scientist in the present to observe or test events in the past,

    AB: No, it’s impossible for you to learn to spell simple words (such as “it’s”). It’s impossible for you to look up and absorb anything that isn’t irrelevant, misleading, or a flat-out lie. Well, that might not be true, but so far you’re batting a perfect 0. You see, ANY scientist can look at the isotopic signatures of gasses in ice bubbles to determine lots of stuff about the past. Why, believe it or not, those fossils didn’t just “poof” appear exactly as “any scientist” dug them up. Those fossils actually allow “any scientist” to observe and test events in the past.

  37. 87
    Al Bundy says:

    DDS: Derision and the constant threat of the borehole we trudge on in an attempt keeping science honest.

    AB: A TRIO! The third denier to show that he’s got less ability to write than the average fourth grader!

  38. 88
    Al Bundy says:

    What Nigel said. Do you have a non-evil bone in your body, DDS? Prove that you are as pure as snow by analyzing Mockton skeptically. Unfortunately, that’s an impossible request, since your “skepticism” is a ruse

  39. 89
    Dan DaSilva says:

    57 Mal Adapted
    Thanks for the response however when I made those comments I was hoping to spark a science-based discussion at a layman’s level. That the monkey/ankle comment was funny and gives me hope that you may indeed have the mental resources for a fruitful discussion if your default response mode can be redirected.

  40. 90
    Bedros demir says:

    THis is some of the biggest bullshit i have ever read get your facts straight and write a real story.

  41. 91
    Mal Adapted says:

    nigelj:

    The derision poured on the pure as driven snow sceptics makes up for all the derision sceptics pour on climate scientists.”

    Thank you. Denial of uncomfortable reality may be understandable, but aggressive denial of AGW like DDS’s is IMHO socially unacceptable, because after all it isn’t just about him. To the extent social confrontations between reality and fantasy can be won by reality’s superior derisive firepower, he’s a legitimate combatant. As “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf, despite looking like he could have, apparently didn’t actually say when asked how it was possible to fight an enemy willing and ready to die for his cause: “Accommodate him.” ;^).

  42. 92
    Mal Adapted says:

    With sincere respect for the late US Army General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. despite any implied irony, I should have included his rank at retirement.

  43. 93
    John Monro says:

    I was actually taken in by Thomas Binder’s contribution – I assumed it was an OTT satirical piece, and when some contributors seemed to take it seriously, I was chuckling to myself. Now I realise that I was the one taken in, this man is deadly serious. I used to be a physician as well, and whilst most of my colleagues do recognise AGW, the most outspoken denialist I have ever been in contact with was a medical colleague and who expressed himself in similar, if not quite such outrageous and hyperbolic terms. It seems our medical knowledge of scientific principles is no guarantee of it being applied in other spheres – a case of a little knowledge is a dangerous thing? Can I at least trust for his patients’ sake that this serious, almost delusional, misuse of science isn’t also being applied to his medical practice? My fervent wish for such people is to see the practical application of Planck’s Principle of Intergenerational Scientific Understanding come to fruition.

  44. 94
    John Monro says:

    …..and then there’s Mr Dombroski. Not quite so outrageous as our Dr Binder. But still barking up the wrong scientific tree, or should that be just barking…..?

    So, Mr Dombroski, you’re suggesting that the relatively stable climate of the holocene is a) not particularly relevant and b) we don’t know it was stable. Well, b) first, in geological and scientific terms obtaining a climate history of the holocene is like trying to remember what you had dinner last night, not that difficult and not that contentious. As to a), perhaps if you’d made this point a few hundred years ago when the planet’s population was about half a billion, and most of that half billion lived a simple, hazardous and rather brief existence that hadn’t changed that much during the whole holocene, then one might be a bit more sanguine in regard to global warming, sea level rise, increasing storminess and other climate extremes, water shortages, loss of habitat and species loss or migration. Just a few crummy old cities to go under the waves, like Venice, Amsterdam and London, etc. But now, when humanity has inserted itself and supposedly is “developing really well” in the every habitable, and near habitable, environment on the planet? When 7 billions of us have invested so much of our wealth and indeed our very welfare on the assumption of a stable climate? Prof. Albert Bartlett’s microbes were developing really well, even until one minute to twelve. I dare say a good number of Roman citizens said much the same thing before the hoards took over and many Germans might have been reassured in their future by the exciting developments taking place in their country in the 1930s, too.

    It takes a particular kind of smugness, though I think hubris is the more apt word, to make assumptions about what’s happening to our one home that it doesn’t matter what we do to it, or how many more people we breed, that nothing’s going to go wrong. With the industrial revolution we embarked on a social and geophysical experiment without knowing or understanding what the result might be, like for instance poor old Dr. Frankenstein’s experiment which didn’t end to too well either. Well, we now have a pretty good idea how this will end, and it’s starting to look a bit frightening. A climate tsunami wave is approaching , maybe we’ll be ok? but generally speaking it’s best to run when the tide goes out. .

    You add: “….and science doesn’t rely on a consensus, but relies on the facts”. Exactly. It’s just that a few of you seem to have acquired and have come to rely on a large number of alternative facts; I can’t blame you I suppose, it’s all the rage at the moment – a faithful adherence to such principles can even elevate you to the highest office in the land.

  45. 95
    bcw says:

    Dombromski’s up to 4000ppm of CO2 in greenhouses is misleading to the point of being false. All sources I found stated an augmentation by 1000ppm to about 1400pm total was optimal and only useful if water, light and nutrient supplies were first added to and optimized. 5000ppm is dangerous for humans. Even the recommended levels can damage plants that are short of other growth supplies.

    In the real world, plant growth is never limited by CO2, with light(from shade), water and fixed nitrogen and phosphorous being the prime limiters and the dominant plants in each ecological zone being those best adapted to the limiting component in that zone. Add CO2 to a rain forest and you’re still limited by phosphorous and then nitrogen, add CO2 to desert and you still need water etc…

  46. 96

    I would like to see some research saying there are other probable explanations of the increase of the global mean temperature (1±0.2 °C) compared to the mean temperature 1850-1900. A list of peer reviewed articles, someone?

  47. 97
    Adam Lea says:

    I have one question regarding a statement on the climatefeedback site:

    “The warming from the late 1800s to the present is all due to human-caused climate change, because natural factors have changed little since then and even would have caused a slight cooling over the last 70 years rather than the warming we have observed.”

    I thought that from the late 19th century to early 20th century, the warming was mostly natural. From early to mid 20th century, the warming had both natural and anthropogenic contributions, and from the mid 20th century onward, it is pretty much all anthropogenic. Is this an underestimate of the anthropogenic component? I’m sure in the past, when I have seen climate model simulations of the last 200 years of global mean temperature, with and without anthropogenic influence, the lines start diverging from early to mid 20th century.

  48. 98
    MPassey says:

    Gavin @61.

    You ask “Why do you not look at the surface temperatures which have indeed been well-forecast?”

    It seems to me that it would be helpful to present the CMIP5 (circa 2011) surface to model data in the same format as the histograms at the bottom for satellite data. The term “well-forecast” isn’t meaningful if you’re making a claim about the statistical validity of the model forecasts versus data. That histogram format at least gives a good visual indication of how temp trends compare quantitatively to models.

  49. 99
    Kalle Anka says:

    Is climate science what we really need? What’s the point guessing on how close to the truth science can get? That won’t do any good. It seems more interesting with climate engeering.

  50. 100
    Kalle Anka says:

    An engeener wouldn’t estimate the probability for a bridge to collapse, but calculate the safety margin for it to last. And then act!

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