Why Climate Deniers Have No Scientific Credibility – In One Pie Chart

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Polls show that many members of the public believe that scientists substantially disagree about human-caused global warming. The gold standard of science is the peer-reviewed literature. If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature.


I searched the Web of Science for peer-reviewed scientific articles published between 1 January 1991 and 9 November 2012 that have the keyword phrases “global warming” or “global climate change.” The search produced 13,950 articles. See methodology.

I read whatever combination of titles, abstracts, and entire articles was necessary to identify articles that “reject” human-caused global warming. To be classified as rejecting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false or, as happened in a few cases, that some other process better explains the observed warming. Articles that merely claimed to have found some discrepancy, some minor flaw, some reason for doubt, I did not classify as rejecting global warming. Articles about methods, paleoclimatology, mitigation, adaptation, and effects at least implicitly accept human-caused global warming and were usually obvious from the title alone. John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli also reviewed and assigned some of these articles; John provided invaluable technical expertise.

This work follows that of Oreskes (Science, 2005) who searched for articles published between 1993 and 2003 with the keyword phrase “global climate change.” She found 928, read the abstracts of each and classified them. None rejected human-caused global warming. Using her criteria and time-span, I get the same result. Deniers attacked Oreskes and her findings, but they have held up.

Some articles on global warming may use other keywords, for example, “climate change” without the “global” prefix. But there is no reason to think that the proportion rejecting global warming would be any higher.

By my definition, 24 of the 13,950 articles, 0.17% or 1 in 581, clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming. The list of articles that reject global warming is here. The 24 articles have been cited a total of 113 times over the nearly 21-year period, for an average of close to 5 citations each. That compares to an average of about 19 citations for articles answering to “global warming,” for example. Four of the rejecting articles have never been cited; four have citations in the double-digits. The most-cited has 17.

Written By: James Lawrence Powell
continue to source article at desmogblog.com

88 COMMENTS

  1. I was trying to post an edit but couldn’t. Here it is

    I dont know much about climate change , but heres my view , the earth is old and it changes slowly , admitedly the science says that the earth is warming. My point is if the earth has a finite supply of oil and fossil fuels, then does that not dictate that when those resources become sparse , the polution output will disipate anyway. It seems some of these environment concerns is just about shuffling around some chairs on the sinking ship. Oil and fosil fuels are analogeous to the sinking ship . No?

    I do think the science does obviously inform futures decision of where to go with energy.

  2. You’re not counting the number of scientists who simply haven’t published on the topic or even looked into it.

    In any case, the validity of a claim rests on proof, not on the number of people (climate scientist or not) who accept it.

    • In reply to #3 by Jonathan Conway:

      You’re not counting the number of scientists who simply haven’t published on the topic or even looked into it.

      In any case, the validity of a claim rests on proof, not on the number of people (climate scientist or not) who accept it.

      How very clear minded of you – I was on the fence but when the data disagreed with the IPCC report on temperature I saw this for what it is just another incorrect scientific theory that has yet to be proven. Like so many others on this thread I will reiterate the old meme – consensus does not equal causation – show the evidence over a long enough period of time or admit that it is a religion – a system of belief based in human ignorance not scientific fact.

  3. I’m a bit rusty on my logical fallacies, but isn’t this ad populum? I could be wrong, but it might be a giant strawman too. I am unaware of these polls that the author does not cite. As far as I understand, ‘climate deniers’ don’t assert a debate amongst scientists. The obscurity of dissent in the scientific community is the basis of much rhetoric (conspiracy, hysteria, corruption, etc).

    It’s the content of papers, not the quantity, that matters. This is an argument against an uncited public perception. I hope no one mistakes this kind of content for evidence of AGW, but sadly I’m sure some will. Popularity and peer review are different things. If one paper survives peer review, there is scientific credibility. For instance, there are zero papers denying evolution, which is significant.

    Anyway, I’ve switched to light-roast coffee, so if anyone would like to purchase some carbon credits, holla atcha boi. All proceeds will go to the clear-cutting of old growth rain forest to plant eucalyptus trees, thus earning more credits.

  4. There can be no ‘proof’ of AGW until its effects become impossible to ignore; meantime the best we have is consensus-which is what this article supports. There can be few if any reputable climate scientists who have not ‘looked into it’ and the opinions of non-climate scientists carry little weight. You overlook the important term “peer review” I think.

    The first of the 24 deniers’ papers I looked at was written by petroleum geologists; hmmmm…
    Do you not think, even if not convinced, we should invest in prudent insurance policies??

    • In reply to #6 by Nodhimmi:

      There can be no ‘proof’ of AGW until its effects become impossible to ignore; meantime the best we have is consensus-which is what this article supports. There can be few if any reputable climate scientists who have not ‘looked into it’ and the opinions of non-climate scientists carry little weight….

      Nodhimmi, how does the structure of your logical argument differ from (argued within an Islamic-majority country):

      “There can be no ‘proof’ of Allah until his effects become impossible to ignore; meantime the best we have is consensus-which is what this article supports. There can be few if any reputable mullahs who have not ‘looked into it’ and the opinions of kaffirs carry little weight….”

      Or are you suggesting that AGW is a religion on par with Islam and that therefore this kind of argument is OK?

  5. Pollution may well decrease with reductions in fossil fuels but ‘dissipation’ is wishful thinking- CO2 can be reduced only by plant/algal absorption (?) which given destruction of forests and ocean warming/acidification may be a slow process. Perhaps CO2 sequestration or a yet to be developed process might help but the scale is daunting. I suspect we (meaning, our descendants) are screwed!

    • In reply to #7 by Nodhimmi:

      Pollution may well decrease with reductions in fossil fuels but ‘dissipation’ is wishful thinking- CO2 can be reduced only by plant/algal absorption (?) which given destruction of forests and ocean warming/acidification may be a slow process. Perhaps CO2 sequestration or a yet to be developed proces…

      Doesnt the increased CO2 in the atmosphere bode well for increased plant production ? We do see many challenges to increasing the plant growth output but with a higher carbon content in the air plants will eventually find themselves in a very friendly place. Increased CO2 should be measurable by looking at plant growth worldwide, meaning that we should see an increase of tropical environments due to higher temperatures and higher CO2 concentration yet we are not seeing these reports. If as you say it is because of destruction of the oceans or land we should still see dramatic increases in plant growth in rural areas yet I see no studies that speak to this. Is one of the climate studies above related to plant growth ?

  6. The fact is, the average person is not turning to scientists, but their preferred form of information.  Many if not most people still think global warming is not due to human causes. Conservative media claims this and people support this view. This actually came up during Thanksgiving dinner. The view is that warming has been happening all along. I commented that global warming is accelerating due to human causes and you can see the rate increase in the graphs since the Industrial Revolution. My comments fell on deaf ears.

  7. I wouldn’t even go as far as claiming there *cannot* be proof of anthropogenic global warming. I just think there *isn’t* any proof currently.

    I disgree with the idea that it’s right to act on something without proof, simply because of the risk of not acting on it if we discover proof later. This is a form of “Pascal’s Wager”. The argument was that we should act as though god exists, even if he doesn’t, because if he does, we’ll be better off. Unfortunately we can see all around us the sad results of living by faith, without proof. Humans are infinitely better off in practically every sphere of life when we’re honest and live by the facts, rather than by invented fantasies.

    If you doubt that so-called “climate action” (e.g. carbon taxing, “green energy” subsidies, banning of fossil fuels, etc) causes harm, and believe that man-made energy is destructive to the world, there’s an enormous body of evidence to suggest otherwise, which I beg you to consider.

    Consider the fact that China’s economic growth has relied on cheap, plentiful energy supplied by coal and oil. Consider that climate-related deaths have plummeted over the past 100 years, thanks to fossil-fuel-powered innovations such as air conditioning. (http://www.csccc.info/reports/

    In conclusion, I think we need some serious discussion/debate about the theory of anthropogenic global warming, we need to stop labeling those who disagree with pejorative terms such as “denier”, and we need to withhold government bans and subsidies in the absence of full proof that humans are responsible.

    (Note: I’m also against subsidies to fossil fuel energies. The government should allow individuals to decide for themselves, without being biased one way or another.)

  8. Hi Pauly, the pollution output will not dissipate. It can’t. That would be like breathing CO2 into a plastic bag and tying the mouth shut then waiting for the CO2 to dissipate. There is nowhere for the CO2 to go because the system is closed. That is why forests are important because plants use up the CO2 for photosynthesis and sequester it as storage carbohydrates, out of the atmosphere and thus alleviate the problem somewhat.

    • In reply to #10 by realperfectnose:

      Hi Pauly, the pollution output will not dissipate. It can’t. That would be like breathing CO2 into a plastic bag and tying the mouth shut then waiting for the CO2 to dissipate. There is nowhere for the CO2 to go because the system is closed. That is why forests are important because plants use up th…

      You somehow imagine that the carbon in our closed system came from outside of that system ? Is all human based carbon mined in some offworld asteroid ? Do you see the silliness of claiming it can not be absorbed, it was previously absorbed and with oil drills we liberated from its stored location. To claim the earth cannot reabsorb because we live in a closed system is ludicrous.

    • ‘the pollution output will not dissipate. It can’t.’ Our atmosphere isn’t a closed system, if it were how could solar radiation etc get in and reflected radiation get out? Also, CO2 does have a limited lifespan, between 8 and 50 years.

  9. The chart isn’t about the beliefs of Scientists it is about the data they have published in peer-reviewed publications. Some of the people you speak of may not have published for the very same reasons, that their data did not pass peer review.

  10. I’m a bit rusty on my logical fallacies, but isn’t this ad populum? 

    Not quite. Scientific consensus is a tad different.

    “Scientific consensus is built upon a foundation of logic and systematic evidence – the scientific method – rather than dogma (or that which is taught in Sunday school) or popular prejudice. The consensus comes not from blindly agreeing with those in authority but from having their claims to be thoroughly reviewed and criticised by their peers. Note that even long established scientific consensus can be overthrown by better logic and better evidence typically preceded by anomalous research findings”.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/A

  11. I agree that scientific consensus is much more than just asking a bunch of people for a show of hands. However, it still isn’t proof.

    To argue that ‘x’ is necessarily true, merely because it passed the peer review process, is to argue from authority. That is, to argue that one should suspend one’s own judgement and rely on the infallible authority of the peer review process.No matter how detailed and thorough the process of peer review, it isn’t a substitute for an individual’s own judgement. It is always possible (even if improbable) that a  peer review process might come to faulty conclusions or omit important and relevant information.

    For evidence that peer review has gotten it wrong in the past, see the flaws many nutritionists are finding in the Harvard food pyramid studies.

  12. jonathanconway
      In conclusion, I think we need some serious discussion/debate about the
    theory of anthropogenic global warming, we need to stop labeling those
    who disagree with pejorative terms such as “denier”, 

    The debates have already been held among thousands of specialists in climate-related subjects.  Those who dispute the evidence they have not bothered to study, are deniers! 
    Most deniers cannot even name the sciences which contribute to the studies!

    and we need to withhold government bans and subsidies in the absence of full proof that humans are responsible.

    ..and those who advocate obstruction of urgent government action from a viewpoint of ignorance are simply backward and reckless. 
    There is abundant proof that human CO2 emissions are responsible for the temperature increases over and above the the natural cyclical trends.  The figures on annual global carbon burning are readily available, as are atmospheric measurements.

    That is, to argue that one should suspend one’s own judgement and rely
    on the infallible authority of the peer review process.  No matter how detailed and thorough the process of peer review, it isn’t a substitute for an individual’s own judgement.

    Are you seriously suggesting that some individual’s own judgement (on some unspecified basis) is superior to the evidence from thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies???  (This is a regular creationist claim re. evolution!)

      It is always possible (even if improbable) that a  peer review process might come to faulty conclusions or omit important and relevant information.

    It is however VERY unlikely that thousands of independent peer-reviewed processes would ALL reach the same faulty conclusions using a diversity of different methods, and that nobody would spot any errors or omissions!

    I wouldn’t even go as far as claiming there *cannot* be proof of anthropogenic global warming. I just think there *isn’t* any proof currently.

    This is just an assertion from ignorance!

    It is VERY likely that those who are misled by media disinformation from the carbonaceous luddites of obsolete polluting industries, may indulge in whimsical thinking as an alternative to studying the available options which will solve the problems.

    If you doubt that so-called “climate action” (e.g. carbon taxing, “green energy” subsidies, banning of fossil fuels, etc) causes harm, and believe that man-made energy is destructive to the world, there’s an enormous body of evidence to suggest otherwise, which I beg you to consider.

    Really???? I have seen no evidence that green power generating systems cause more harm than carbon systems. While there are initial investments required for green energy systems, there is no need to buy fuel to power them later, making savings at that stage.

    The cost to the planet and human developments from atmospheric heating is potentially enormous!

    The change to renewable energy systems (Tidal turbines, solar thermal, photovoltaic, geothermal, heat storage, improved building heat management, and thorium or gas-cooled nuclear reactors), all look like good investment strategies.

  13.  Science is immune to argument from authority because findings are accessible to all. By my own reason, I know the awesome theories of relativity and evolution are true. No matter what genius was required to make these discoveries, anyone who can reason is free to slouch on the shoulders of giants and evaluate evidence for themselves. The only time consensus should be evoked is if consensus is questioned, such as the “teach the debate” nonsense of creationists. However, I have not heard consensus questioned by AGW deniers, which has me question the spirit of this blog entry.

    The objections to AGW proponents I am aware of include: no predictive models thus not science, triple negative reasoning (‘smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud’), speculation on financial and political incentives, hysteria, Luddite AGW proponents, NWO conspiracy theory, fraud, and many other assertions, some more respectable than others. Since this whole blog entry addresses a questioning of consensus, it would be nice if they included a link to that. It would mean a lot more than documenting their search engine methodology (which is absent the data needed to qualify the methodology). The whole article reduces to lmgtfy.

  14. The debates have already been held among thousands of specialists in climate-related subjects.

    Who says the debates have ended? Roy Spencer contends that many climate models have been unable to predict future climate, and climate scientists such as Judith Curry have been calling for more transparency and engagement with the broader community, including skeptics, on the part of climate scientists.

    and those who advocate obstruction of urgent government action from a viewpoint of ignorance are simply backward and reckless

    I think it’s reckless to advocate government action on the basis of an assertion (that man-made CO2 is causing of catastrophic global warming) which hasn’t been completely proved.

    And I would call it backward and regressive if that action included efforts to ban the energy sources which currently support millions of people, including some of the poorest people in Asian countries.

    There is abundant proof that human CO2 emission are responsible for the temperature increases over and above the the natural cyclical trends.  The figures on annual global carbon burning are readily available.

    I haven’t seen any proof that man-made CO2 is the main cause of temperature increases, apart from statistical correlations represented in climate models. Confusing correlation with causation is a common logical fallacy.It’s true that carbon burning has increased over the past 100 years, but this in itself doesn’t prove that carbon burning is the primary cause of increased temperatures, nor does it prove that a slight increase temperatures is catastrophic for human beings.

    Are you seriously suggesting that some individual’s own judgement (on some unspecified basis) is superior to the evidence from thousands of peer-reviewed scientific studies?

    No, please don’t confuse my position with theism.

    I’m saying that it’s up to the judgement of each individual’s own mind. We shouldn’t have blind faith in anyone or anything – either an individual, or “god”, or the consensus reached by a peer-review process. Each of us should be the sole judge of what we accept or reject.

    I demand full causal evidence before I will accept the assertion that man-made CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming.

    It is however VERY unlikely that thousands of independent peer-reviewed processes would ALL reach the same faulty conclusions using a diversity of different methods, and that nobody would spot any errors or omissions! It is VERY likely that those who are misled by media disinformation from the carbonaceous luddites of obsolete polluting industries, may indulge in whimsical thinking as an alternative to studying the available options which will solve the problems.

    There are incentives on both sides of the debate, including funding incentives (yes, scientists do receive funding, often from government agencies such as the IPCC).

    What matters is what’s true and proven, not what people may think or feel.

  15. Science is immune to argument from authority because findings are accessible to all.

    Yes, but science isn’t defined as “whatever theory or assertion is upheld by the peer review process”.

    Peer review is a way of maintaining standards and regulating the publishing of a scientific body. It isn’t the standard for evaluating the truth of assertions.

    That evaluation can ultimately only be made in the mind of the individual who is asking the question.

    The objections to AGW proponents I am aware of include:

    I’m aware of a great many erroneous attacks on AGW. However this in itself doesn’t prove that there aren’t legitimate criticisms of AGW.

    For example, the criticism that climate models are basically correlations between temperature and CO2 emissions, which don’t prove a necessary causal connection.

  16. I have seen no evidence that green power generating systems cause more harm than carbon systems.

    That’s not what I’m claiming.

    I’m claiming that we *do* have evidence that fossil-fuel energy has drastically improved human living conditions, and we *don’t* yet have evidence that the so-called “green energies” (mainly wind and solar) can sustain the same living conditions, since they haven’t done so in the past.

    In the future, wind and solar might be able to do what fossil fuels can do.

    In the meantime, we’re wrong to A) ban the energies the world depends on, B) have governments subsidize *either* fossil fuels *or* wind/solar. Let the best technologies rise by their own merit – i.e. by proving themselves on the free market.

  17. jonathanconway

    The debates have already been held among thousands of specialists in climate-related subjects.

    Who says the debates have ended?

    Science debates don’t end, but when well evidenced conclusions are reached, they can and should be, acted upon.

      Roy Spencer contends that many
    climate models have been unable to predict future climate,

    The exact details on climate models have nothing to do with the fact of AGW.  Most of the reasons for difficulty in making predictions are political, and derived from denialist obstructions and luddite lobbying.

    and climate scientists such as Judith Curry have been calling for more transparency

    There are thousands of published peer-reviews studies – what more “transparency is she talking about?  There will always be some mavericks or well meaning dupes who just don’t get it!  The pseudo-skeptics are not interested in being persuaded by scientific evidence.

    and engagement with the broader community, including skeptics, on the part of climate scientists.

    There is no merit in engaging in discussions with ignoramuses or disingenuous carbon industry stooges, who would only gain opportunities to further promote unjustified doubts while contributing nothing of value to the debate. 
    Every major scientific body in the world has debated and is agreed that global warming is man-made.

    To help people assess the evidence, NOAA have just published State of the Climate 2009.
    The report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge global temperature changes. All of these indicators are moving in the direction of a warming planet.
    http://www.skepticalscience.co
    Seven indicators are rising: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, air temperature over oceans, sea level, ocean heat, humidity and tropospheric temperature in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the Earth’s surface. Three indicators are declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers and spring snow cover in the
    Northern hemisphere. Jane Lubchenco sums it up well:

    “For the first time, and in a single compelling comparison, the analysis brings together multiple observational records from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean.
    The records come from many institutions worldwide. They use data collected from diverse sources, including satellites, weather balloons, weather stations, ships, buoys and field surveys. These independently produced lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion: our planet is warming.”

  18. jonathanconway
    And I would call it backward and regressive if that action included efforts to ban the energy sources which currently support millions of people, including some of the poorest people in Asian countries.

    Nobody is suggesting that people should be deprived of all energy!  What is being proposed is a change to more environmentally sustainable methods of energy generation, – some of which I have already listed.

    I haven’t seen any proof that man-made CO2 is the main cause of temperature increases, apart from statistical correlations represented in climate models.

    Perhaps you should study the subject.  The opinions of those who have not looked at the evidence are of little consequence.

    No, please don’t confuse my position with theism.

    Why not?  It is asserted belief without evidence!

    I’m saying that it’s up to the judgement of each individual’s own mind. We shouldn’t have blind faith in anyone or anything – either an individual, or “god”, or the consensus reached by a peer-review process.

    A confidence in multiple peer-review studies is not blind faith.  Unevidenced denial is!

    Each of us should be the sole judge of what we accept or reject.

    You are entitled to your own opinions.  You are not entitled to make up your own facts!

    What matters is what’s true and proven, not what people may think or feel.

    So start looking at the evidence and present some if you are making claims.
    As I have pointed out – There are thousands of honest peer-reviewed studies.

    Head-in-the-sand is not a default option!

  19. Science debates don’t end, but when well evidenced conclusions are reached they can and should be acted upon.

    If your criteria for “well evidenced” includes anything other than full proof, I’d have to disagree. Especially if we’re talking about forceful government action.

    The exact details on climate models have nothing to do with the fact of AGW.

    On the contrary, climate models are used as the primary basis of arguing for AGW.

    Most of the reasons for difficulty in making predictions are political, and derived from denialist obstructions and luddite lobbying.

    It’s true that politics plays a big part.

    But there are also difficulties inherent in climate modelling, as Judith Curry demonstrates in “Climate Science and the Uncertainty Monster” (http://journals.ametsoc.org/do….

    “Model imperfection is a general term that describes our limited ability to simulate climate and is categorized here in terms of model inadequacy and model  uncertainty. Model inadequacy reflects our limited understanding of the climate system, inadequacies of numerical solutions employed in computer models, and the fact that no model can be structurally identical to the actual system (e.g., 
    Stainforth et al. 2007).”

    There is no merit in engaging in discussions with ignoramuses or disingenuous carbon industry stooges, who would only gain opportunities to further promote unjustified doubts while contributing nothing of value to the debate.  Every major scientific body in the world has debated and is agreed that global warming is man-made.

    But there is merit in engaging with those who have legitimate concerns over the validity of AGW claims which are essentially based on correlations, not full causal proof.

    This is all the more important when considering the momentous government actions being taken on the basis of the AGW claim.

    To help people assess the evidence, NOAA have just published State of the Climate 2009. The report defines 10 measurable planet-wide features used to gauge  global temperature changes. All of these indicators are moving in the direction of a warming planet.

    I don’t doubt that the earth is warming, neither do many other reputable climate scientists who deny AGW (e.g. Richard Lindzen).

    What I doubt is the attribution of most warming to man-made CO2.

  20. jonathanconway

    If your criteria for “well evidenced” includes anything other than full proof, I’d have to disagree. Especially if we’re talking about
    forceful government action.

    Government action should be taken on the best available information which is exactly what the scientific consensus is.

    The exact details on climate models have nothing to do with the fact of AGW.

    On the contrary, climate models are used as the primary basis of arguing for AGW.

    You have just demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    The climate models are predictions based on the record of past climate trends combined with predicted future CO2 discharges into the atmosphere.

    The evidence of AGW is calculations based on climate cycles and basic physics and chemistry. 

    As I pointed out earlier, most deniers have no idea what is input into the calculations, or where to look for the input data. 

    The understanding of the greenhouse effect is quite simple and well proven.

    C + O2  = Co2  .. as school children can tell you.
    Billions of tons of CO2 from burning coal oil and gas are added to the atmosphere each year – (they can be calculated from available industry statistics).

    Even anti AGW sources give consumption figures.
    http://www.consumerenergyrepor

    http://www.consumerenergyrepor

    http://www.consumerenergyrepor

    But there is merit in engaging with those who have legitimate concerns
    over the validity of AGW claims which are essentially based on
    correlations, not full causal proof.

    This is simply another assertion from ignorance.

    Perhaps you could explain how the annual additional billions of tons of CO2 could not be increasing global temperatures via the greenhouse effect, 

    why the measured Co2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing year on year in line with burnt carbon, 

    and why the isotope signatures in the carbon of the increased CO2 indicates a fossil fuel source?

  21. Let’s see if I have the logic of this argument correct…

    Since the majority of scientist believe global warming is manmade (only 0.17% rejects), then it must be true….

    Using the same logic… Since the majority of people around the globe believe in the same God – Christians, Muslims and Jews combined – then God must Exists!!

    LOL…..

  22. Government action should be taken on the best available information which is exactly what the scientific consensus is.

    Not necessarily. The scientific consensus at one time was that the human population should be purged of “less desirable” people and traits – i.e. the eugenics movement. Governments in various parts of the world took disastrous, murderous action based on these claims.

    There was also at one time a scientific consensus in favor of high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets (see the Harvard food pyramid). Based on this consensus, government agencies such as the USDA started promoting these diets. However more recent findings have suggested that this kind of diet, in fact, contributes to heart disease and obesity.

    You have just demonstrated that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    I was referring to the way AGW is argued for in popular discussions and the media, not the exact method by which climate scientists themselves try to demonstrate it.

    The climate models are predictions based on the record of past climate trends combined with predicted future CO2 discharges into the atmosphere.

    The evidence of AGW is calculations based on climate cycles and basic physics and chemistry.

    This is true. However, basic physics and chemistry will only indicate that CO2 increases warming in the atmosphere. On its own, without climate modelling, it can’t prove that man-made CO2 is the primary cause of the current warming trend.

    The understanding of the greenhouse effect is quite simple and well proven.

    C + O2  = Co2  .. as school children can tell you.
    Billions of tons of CO2 from burning coal oil and gas are added to the atmosphere each year – (they can be calculated from available industry statistics).

    Absoutely, but again, to prove that the overall warming of the climate is primarily due to man-made CO2 emissions requires modelling. It can’t be proven simply by analyzing the nature of CO2.

    This is simply another assertion from ignorance.

    So you deny that the argument for AGW depends on models which (simply put) correlate temperature to CO2 emissions?

    Perhaps you could explain how the annual additional billions of tons of CO2 could not be increasing global temperatures via the greenhouse effect, 

    why the measured Co2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing year on year in line with burnt carbon, 

    and why the isotope signatures in the carbon of the increased CO2 indicates a fossil fuel source?

    The above seems to me like an argument from ignorance.

    You’re saying that because I can’t *disprove* the predictions suggested by climate models, therefore those predictions are true.

    But I’m asking for *positive* proof that the predictions are true. And my criteria for positive proof includes necessary causal connection, not just correlations between temperature and CO2 emissions.

  23. It’s difficult for me to take seriously anyone who uses a phrase like “climate deniers”. Climate, good, bad, or indifferent, is not deniable. Climate change might be (it isn’t, in my view, but it could be); human-induced climate change might be too, but climate simply is not deniable. It’s a small point about clarity, but an important one. Using a phrase like “climate deniers” immediately shows sloppy thinking. I though the RDFSR was trying to reduce sloppy thinking so it’s a bit surprising to find such a phrase in an article highlighted on here.

  24. No, it’s just a snappy phrase used in a known context, like “linesman” or “park keeper”. I mean, the former isn’t made of lines and a park is far too large to carry. Being dully literal-minded is not a path to clarity.

  25. Point taken, PERSON, but it’s not quite in the same category as those examples you give. There are no negative connotations, moral judgements, or even political correctness, associated with ‘linesman’ or ‘park keeper’. There is unpleasantness associated with the phrase ‘climate deniers’, mainly because it appears to me to be used somewhat indiscriminately and unfairly to lump people who are simply asking questions and genuinely searching to understand together with people who have political reasons for denying that climate change happens.

    I don’t actually know anyone who denies climate change. Mind you, I don’t know anyone who denies evolution either. Sheltered life, maybe. I do know people who are not convinced by everything the mainstream media publishes about climate change. Labels with negative connotations should not be used for them. It is just childish name-calling. Not a scientific approach.

  26. NellyB
    It’s difficult for me to take seriously anyone who uses a phrase like “climate deniers”. Climate, good, bad, or indifferent, is not deniable.
    Climate change might be (it isn’t, in my view, but it could be);
    human-induced climate change might be too, but climate simply is not deniable.,

     

    You are simply misunderstanding the terminology.

    AGW (anthropogenic global warming) denial, and climate CHANGE denial, are descriptions of disbelief in the scientific evidence, from a viewpoint of ignorance, based on a lack of study, or blind acceptance of media disinformation.

    Using a phrase like “climate deniers” immediately shows sloppy thinking.

    There are of course the more profound ignoramuses who actually deny that the climate is warming and changing, rather than only denying the man-made aspects. They also deny the climate measurements.

    I though the RDFSR was trying to reduce sloppy thinking so it’s a bit surprising to find such a phrase in an article highlighted on here.

     The site promotes rational evidence based thinking, so it is those making assertions without studying the evidence, who are just making up nonsense based own their sloppy poorly informed thinking.

     

    In the scientific field of climate studies – which is informed by many different disciplines – the consensus is demonstrated by the number of scientists who have stopped arguing about what is causing climate change – and that’s nearly all of them.
    A survey of all peer-reviewed abstracts on the subject ‘global climate change’ published between 1993 and 2003 shows that not a single paper rejected the consensus position that global warming is man caused.
    75% of the papers agreed with the consensus position while 25% made no comment either way, focusing on methods or paleoclimate analysis (Oreskes 2004).

    Several subsequent studies confirm that “…the debate on the authenticity of global warming and the role played by human activity is largely nonexistent among those who understand the nuances and scientific basis of long-term climate processes”. (Doran 2009).
    In other words, more than 95% of scientists working in the disciplines contributing to studies of our climate, accept that climate change is almost certainly being caused by human activities.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    We should also consider official scientific bodies and what they think about climate change.
    There are no national or major scientific institutions anywhere in the world that dispute the theory of anthropogenic climate change. Not one.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    In the field of climate science, the consensus is unequivocal: human activities are causing climate change.  http://www.skepticalscience.co

     

    There are some critical papers in some peer-reviewed journals specialising in in subjects not directly related to  climate science (such as mining engineering, and oil and gas drilling), along with a lot of commercial and politically motivated disinformation, in the scientifically illiterate popular media.

    Arguments from deniers are easy to recognise by their ignorance of the basic science and inability to tell expert opinion and “settled science”, from muppet conjecture or personal incredulity.

  27.  

    Not necessarily. The scientific consensus at one time was that the human
    population should be purged of “less desirable” people and traits –
    i.e. the eugenics movement.

    This is nonsense! You clearly do not know what a global consensus is!  These were local political ideologies.

  28. This is nonsense! You clearly do not know what a global consensus is!  These were local political ideologies.

    No, eugenics was an international movement, which was taught as an academic discipline at colleges and universities around the world and received funding from a variety of sources. Check it up on Wikipedia.

  29. There is unpleasantness associated with the phrase ‘climate deniers’

    One unpleasant connotation is “holocaust denial”.

    I find this absurd on the face of it, since there is a staggering amount of evidence supporting the holocaust, from eyewitness accounts, to diaries, to confessions, to exhumed bodily remains, to gas chambers, and so on.

    To compare AGW to this is really offensive to the victims of the holocaust.

    it appears to me to be used somewhat indiscriminately and unfairly to lump people who are simply asking questions and genuinely searching to understand together with people who have political reasons for denying that climate change happens

    Yes, and also, to lump people who distrust science and the scientific method together with people who *do* advocate science, but who don’t advocate dogmatic claims made on the basis of mere correlations.

    I don’t actually know anyone who denies climate change. Mind you, I don’t know anyone who denies evolution either

    You have been sheltered, I’m sorry to say. Yes there are fools who prattle about “conspiracies”, who downtalk science, who believe the earth was created by a supernatural being 6000 years ago, etc.

    But please don’t confuse those idiots with people such as myself who are atheists and firm advocates of science – the science practiced by the great innovators, such as Aristotle, Newton, Gallileo, Darwin. Science which is aimed at discovering how nature works, and which is based on proof and evidence, not on correlation and endless model-building.

  30. This is true. However, basic physics and chemistry will only indicate that CO2 increases warming in the atmosphere. On its own, without
    climate modelling, it can’t prove that man-made CO2 is the primary cause of the current warming trend.

    You are again quoting the creationist style fallacy:  “scientists do not know everything therefore they know nothing”!

    I will repeat again climate models with significant uncertainties are about timing of changes and specific LOCAL  details.

    The  AGW consensus is based on analysis of  GLOBAL CLIMATE RECORDS and basic physics, not detailed predictive models.

    The above seems to me like an argument from ignorance.

    You answer looks like psychological projection. 
    The ignorance is yours. 

    I have presented the evidence of where the added CO2 is coming from, and what effect it is having.   You have failed to understand it, offered no alternative explanation of what effect this is having, and then denied it.

    You’re saying that because I can’t *disprove* the predictions suggested by climate models, therefore those predictions are true.

    No!
    I am saying you have no idea what you are talking about, because you persist in quoting the uncertainty in predictive climate models which is not relevant to the basic conclusions based on climate history and objective measurements.

    But I’m asking for *positive* proof that the predictions are true. And my criteria for positive proof includes necessary causal connection, not just correlations between temperature and CO2 emissions.

    Your problem is that you do not understand the basic climatology which calculates the base-line from natural cycles ( Milankovitch cycles – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M… Sunspot cycles, geology, atmospheric physics etc).

    The additional man made warming is added on to these baseline variables and compared with Earth’s history. 

    I have already given the figures of the AGW CO2 increases.

    Nature is unforgiving:  – refusing to look at, or understand evidence, gives no protection from floods, storms , droughts or famines.  The costs of increasing these effects will be vastly greater (by a large factor) than any cheap energy savings. 

    Some of those who sat in hurricane-denial in New Orleans or New York paid a heavy price. We can expect more of the same if nothing is done.

    The stupidity of  of building on areas vulnerable to flooding, must stop. 
    So must the escalation of increasing the energy of the atmosphere by adding CO2. 
    The effects are known even if local timing and details are not.  Millions are already likely to starve or re-locate as refugees, because of ice-cap melting, increased flooding, and increased droughts.

    I have already listed some of the alternatives to carbon technologies which are already proven and in use in some localities.

    We discussed climate studies earlier on this site here:

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

  31. I certainly won’t confuse you, jonathanconway, with fools. I’m an atheist and an advocate of science and rational discussion myself, especially about things which we don’t fully understand yet, such as how Earth’s climate works. That’s why I object to encompassing, negative labels such as “climate denier”. They are not helpful to meaningful debate.

    By the way, if growing up in a family of educated people and mixing since leaving home with more educated people, the majority of whom were/are atheists and advocates of the scientific method is being ‘sheltered’, then I have to say I’m rather in favour of it. I hope it spreads, this sheltering from lunacy. It helps one recognise the lunacy when it crops up, I find.

  32. Hi voiceofarabi,

    Sorry but, no, you don’t have the logic down right.

    The Pie Chart refers to studies of EVIDENCE.  That is; the papers that make up the numbers in the Chart started out by looking at things that really exist – things that anyone else can find – and studying them.

    The results of these studies (of independently verifiable facts), overwhelmingly support the case for global climate change and that the change is man-made.

    People who believe in gods only very rarely agree on what gods are, what they want, how they communicate, what their likes and dislikes are, what they consist of, what they can do, their history, etc. etc. – indeed their knowledge claims about gods are almost always contradictory even within each religion let alone between, say, Sunni, Shia, Wahabi, Ibadi and Ahmadiyya.  But, for the sake of argument, I’ll accept just this once that the Abrahamic religions are talking about the same God.

    None of these believers is currently presenting any evidence.  That is; the people claiming that God exists have no independently verifiable facts.  Or, to put that another way, even if I give you a free pass on the definition of God you still have all your work before you.

    Peace.

  33. NellyB
    I’m an atheist and an advocate of science and rational discussion myself, especially about things which we don’t fully understand yet, such as how Earth’s climate works.

    You are confusing what YOU don’t understand with what climatologists may be uncertain about.  Rationality is no substitute for studying the evidence.

    What you advocate is of no consequence unless you actually apply the science and rationality to the topic under consideration. 

    That’s why I object to encompassing, negative labels such as “climate denier”.

     

    Denial is a scientifically recognised psychological term for a refusal to look at, or understand evidence.

    labels such as “climate denier”. They are not helpful to meaningful debate.

    Such terms accurately describe the refusal of the ignorant to accept overwhelming evidence, so are very useful in meaningful debate where they describe the validity of arguments.

  34. No, eugenics was an international movement, which was taught as an academic discipline at colleges and universities around the world and received funding from a variety of sources.

    It was a hypothesis of a particularly politically orientated school of thought, and was promoted for furthering political agendas – a bit like AGW denial.

    Even if you had a long list of failed hypotheses, these are irrelevant to the evidence of AGW.  The sheer number of reputable published confirming studies makes the comparison false.

  35. You are again quoting the creationist style fallacy: “scientistists do not know everything therefore they know nothing”!

    I never said anything of the kind.

    I’m simply saying that the attribution of most global warming to man-made CO2 emissions is based on correlation, not on full causal proof.

    To accept a correlation as equivalent to proof is to depart from reason, let alone the scientific method.

    I will repeat again climate models are about timing of changes and specific LOCAL details.

    The AGW consensus is based on analysis of GLOBAL CLIMATE RECORDS and basic physics, not detailed predictive models.

    Wrong for one simple reason: what about controlling for natural factors/forcings which also affect the climate, such as solar radiation and ocean absorption?

    Modelling of some kind is used in all the prominent arguments for AGW, going back to the Mann graph.

    Your problem is that you do not understand the basic climatology which calculates the base-line from natural cycles ( Milankovitch cycles – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M… Sunspot cycles, geology, atmospheric physics etc).

    The additional man made warming is added on to these baseline variables and compared with Earth’s history.

    Here’s a study based on the Milankovitch hypothesis, which fits the data by considering the time rate of change of the global ice volume: http://www.agu.org/journals/ab….

    I’m not saying I necessarily agree with the above model, but I’m demonstrating a more general point: models, on their own, are just correlations. You can explain the same data with completely different models.

    As such, models aren’t the equivalent of proof or “hard evidence” in the same way that, say, bone fragments or DNA samples are.

    Nature is unforgiving: – refusing to look at, or understand evidence, gives no protection from floods, storms , droughts or famines. The costs of increasing these effect will be vastly greater than any cheap energy savings.

    Technology is how we, as a species, A) adapt to nature, B) adapt nature to our needs by modifying it where possible. Technology is what got us from the caves to the Internet.

    Air conditioning is an example of a technology which has not only increased our comfort, but enabled us to live in environments which would usually be hostile to humans. If you doubt it, go visit Dubai or Las Vegas sometime – both flourishing cities in the middle of deserts.

    I would argue that the cost of banning important energies (such as fossil fuels) or distorting the market through government subsidies, in a likely ill-fated attempt to alter the entire global temperature by a few fractions of a degree, based on corellations in computer models is far greater than any savings it might bring.

    We’ve had extreme weather events throughout history – from a mini ice age to many floods, hurricanes, earthquakes etc that bombard different parts of the world constantly. The best way to deal with these isn’t to try to re-engineer the entire climate, but rather, to free up the market in energy and technology, so that progress can proceed swiftly.

    Try taking your “green energy” nonsense to Africa or India, where people are struggling daily just to get enough to feed their families, and where the need for cheap, abundant energy and technological progress (such as coal-powered electricity generation) is more desperate than ever.

    Even Germany is hedging its solar/wind bet with a bunch of new coal plants. (http://www.spiegel.de/internat

    Some of those who sat in hurricane denial in New Orleans or New York paid a heavy price.

    You’re mixing weather with climate, and implying that I disagree with global warming, which I certainly don’t.

    I have already listed some of the alternatives to carbon technologies which are already proven and in use in some localities.

    I’m fully in favor of alternatives, as long as they’re not forced upon us through bans and/or subsidies.

    Let individuals decide what energies they want to adopt, and the better ones will rise to the top by merit.

  36. jonathanconway
    One unpleasant connotation is “holocaust denial”.

    I find this absurd on the face of it, since there is a staggering amount of evidence supporting the holocaust, from eyewitness accounts, to diaries, to confessions, to exhumed bodily remains, to gas chambers, and so on.

    To compare AGW to this is really offensive to the victims of the holocaust.

     

    Oh dear! The “offence card” played, with a forced analogy of comparative denial – (my AGW denial is not TRRrroo a denial claim!)

    I find this absurd on the face of it, since there is a staggering amount of evidence supporting the holocaust,

    Gazzoinggg!! Irony meter explodes!!

    Argument from ignorance:- “All these world-leading climate scientists and their mountains of evidence are wrong – because I have no idea what they are talking about”!

    http://www.skepticalscience.co

  37. Let’s see if I have the logic of this argument correct…

    Having read your whole comment, no, you haven’t got the logic of the argument correct.

    Since the majority of scientist believe global warming is manmade (only 0.17% rejects), then it must be true….

    The problem word is “believe”….it’s a sticky wee bastard of a word really. The OED states ..Believe: accept that (something) is true, especially without proof.
    So, NO, it’s not because the majority of scientists “believe” global warming is man made that it must be true. Thousands and thousands of scientists around the world didn’t just suddenly and independantly start believing in AGW…neither did the holy rollers in their various faiths.

    Using the same logic… Since the majority of people around the globe believe in the same God – Christians, Muslims and Jews combined – then God must Exists!!

    The majority of people around the globe do not believe in the same god…very few people in fact believe in the same god. If you ask two Christians to independently describe the attributes of their god, I would assert you’ll get differing definitions and descriptions. Go ahead and try it…in fact, what attributes do apply to the god of the Christians, Jews and Muslims?

    LOL…..

    I am…at your asinine comment. I’m just hoping it was made with your tongue in your cheek, though there is no indication that it was meant that way.

  38.  voiceofarabi –

    “Let’s see if I have the logic of this argument correct…

    Since the majority of scientist believe global warming is manmade (only 0.17% rejects), then it must be true….

    Using the same logic… Since the majority of people around the globe
    believe in the same God – Christians, Muslims and Jews combined – then
    God must Exists!!

    LOL…..”

    No you haven’t got the argument correct. 

    1) religion organisations don’t publish their findings openly in peer review journals so that they can be corrected as necessary.  When they claim miracles and they are found to be wrong they bend over backwards to fudge or avoid admitting ridiculous claims.

    2) religions preach dogma based upon faith and ancient stories.  they do not base their beliefs on FACTS.  Climate scientists for a very long time have been gathering FACTS. 

    A short list of examples of the types of FACTS:  weather readings, rate of glacier melting, ocean bouys measuring salinity temp etc at different depths, ice samples, sediment sample, tree ring records, coral core samples, proxy temperature records, readings of relative isotopes of O17 to O16, for the core samples correlated between ice core samples and ocean sea floor samples opposite by the way one goes up the other must go down if its due to fall or rise in temps, satellites,  correlations to  rainfall patterns, length and duration of droughts, migration patterns of animals, fossils of animals, places where animals sensitive to temperature have lived in the past compared to now and how that is changing, patterns of extinction, times when breeding seasons for plants and animals begin as compared to historical records…..etc. I could go on or you could try reading some scientific papers.

    3) religions are all coming to different conclusions, all of them believe in something different almost all the climate scientists based on the FACTS have come to THE SAME CONCLUSION!  Show me all the worlds religion reaching consensus and you might be onto something.

    Let’s look at some situations of similar proportions.

    99.9% of medical scientists believe that smoking causes lung cancer – are they wrong?  Why doesn’t your argument work there?

    99.9% of airline pilots refuse to fly through the core of a thunderstorm – are they wrong? Why doesn’t your logic work there.

    99.9% of engineers think its a bad idea to make a bridge out of cheese – are they wrong?

    You visit a doctor worried about a mole that’s changed colour he biopsy’s it and tells you it’s malignant melanoma and you need to get it cut out before it metastasises.  You seek 99 other opinions one disagrees.  Do you get it cut out or leave it because based upon your logic LOL that’s just silly.  I need 100% proof. 

    What is the difference between a scientific theory backed up 150years of facts and study (particularly in the last 50).  FACTS!  In every other area of your life you I bet unless you are a complete moron are happy to rely on the scientific consensus of people far more qualified than you, but in this area because it clashes with your political ideology you get upset. LOL indeed.

  39. Denial is a scientifically recognised psychological term for a refusal to look at, or understand evidence.

    By using the term ‘denier’ in an argument, you’re assuming that you’ve already won the argument.

    Whether or not your position is correct, it’s not good rhetoric to argue in a way that assumes that you’re right from the beginning, because this will discourage the other person from actually engaging with your ideas and encourage them to be defensive.

    I’m not criticizing you personally for this; you absorbed this rhetorical method from the most prominent AGW supporters.

    Whether AGW is true or not, AGW advocates need to be a bit more tolerant of viewpoints other than their own – at least in permitting them the benefit of a doubt.

    Rationality is no substitute for studying the evidence.

    I would think this is obvious but: without the use of one’s rational faculty, it’s impossible to understand and evaluate evidence.

  40. You continue singing the carbonaceous Luddite “irresponsible business as usual”, song , while nit picking bits of information you have not understood.

    jonathanconway
      Wrong for one simple reason: what about controlling for natural
    factors/forcings which also affect the climate, such as solar radiation
    and ocean absorption?

    This is basic climatology! Do you seriously think that the specialists have not looked at these?  They are discussed on my earlier linked discussions.

    Air conditioning is an example of a technology which has not only
    increased our comfort, but enabled us to live in environments which would usually be hostile to humans. If you doubt it, go visit Dubai or Las Vegas sometime – both flourishing cities in the middle of deserts.

    This is an example of your blinkered thinking.  There are good green heat storage systems for running air conditioning, and green solar electrical generation systems in desert climates (see my linked discussions).

    Let individuals decide what energies they want to adopt, and the better ones will rise to the top by merit.

    “Take the decisions out of the hands of specialist scientists and let the uninformed public decide!?”

    I have seen this argument before about evolution -” Don’t learn science from text books – let the children read creationism and decide what they would like to believe”!  – Sounds familiar??

    I would argue that the cost of banning important energies (such as fossil fuels) or distorting the market through government subsidies, in a
    likely ill-fated attempt to alter then entire global temperature by a few degrees, based on corellations in computer models is far greater than any savings it might bring.

    You can argue and assert what you like from personal ignorance, but the evidence you refuse to recognise or study is overwhelming.  We have been  blindly altering global temperatures for decades. You clearly have no idea about the effects or feed-back effects of raising the global temperature “a few degrees”!

    I would try taking some of your “green energy” nonsense to Africa or India, where people are struggling daily just to get enough to feed their families, and where the need for cheap, abundant energy and technological progress (such as coal-powered electricity generation) is
    more desperate than ever.

    This is just more asserted nonsense.
    Local solar energy is a key benefit avoiding the need for extensive power-lines in Africa.

    Millions of them will struggle a lot harder when the ice-caps which provide them with their dry season irrigation water and food supplies are gone!

    You need to see the big picture, including the population explosion.

    You’re mixing weather with climate,

    No I am not! 
    While we can only tell retrospectively if particular events are rare one offs, or part of a trend,  there is strong  evidence of increased atmospheric energy powering up more frequent, forceful, and mobile,  extreme weather events as a climate feature. 
    It is the specific timing and localities which are uncertain.

  41. It was a hypothesis of a particularly politically orientated school of thought, and was promoted for furthering political agendas – a bit like AGW denial.

    AGW originated in the environmentalist movement, which had definite political agendas – from calling for the banning of DDT in the 70s (which led to thousands of unnecessary deaths from malaria) to lobbying the EPA for nuclear bans, which has dramatically increased the cost of nuclear energy in the US. (Nuclear, by the way, is the most efficient, concentrated and carbon-free energy in existence, with the lowest death rate from accidents of any energy source).

    Even if you had a long list of failed hypotheses, these are irrelevant to the evidence of AGW.  The sheer number of reputable published confirming studies makes the comparison false.

    I wasn’t citing eugenics as proof against AGW, but rather, to demonstrate that “consensus science” isn’t infallible. I think I made my point pretty well.

  42. This is basic climatology! Do you seriously think that the specialists have not looked at these?  They are discussed on my earlier linked discussions.

    Of course specialists have looked at these factors, that’s why we have climate models!

    So we agee, awesome!

    There are good green heat storage systems for running air conditioning, and green solar electrical generation systems in desert climates

    Yes there are, but the majority of the world’s energy is currently generated by fossil fuels, and if you suddenly take that away, there will be massive problems.

    But as I said in previous posts, I’m all for alternatives, as long as they’re not forced upon anyone.

    “Take the decisions out of the hands of specialist scientists and let the uninformed public decide!?”

    No, I’m saying, put the decisions in the hands of the public, including the specialist scientists and the businessmen who transform scientific discoveries into usable products for the mass market.

    Take the decisions out of the hands of governments and politicians – right-wing or left-wing – so that individuals can use their minds to discover and create the innovations of the future.

    We have been  blindly altering global temperatures for decades. You clearly have no idea about the effects or feed-back effects of raising the global temperature “a few degrees”!

    Assuming the AGW models are correct.

    Local solar energy is a key benefit avoiding the need for extensive power-lines in Africa.

    Too expensive for impoverished communities to afford. And guess where the materials used to manufacture solar panels come from?

    I have seen this argument before about evolution -” Don’t learn science from text books – let the children read creationism and decide what they would like to believe”!  - Sounds familiar??

    I agree, but that’s off-topic and guilt by association.

  43.  Jonathanconway –

    “There is unpleasantness associated with the phrase ‘climate deniers’

    One unpleasant connotation is “holocaust denial”.
      I find this absurd on the face of it, since there is a staggering
    amount of evidence supporting the holocaust, from eyewitness accounts,
    to diaries, to confessions, to exhumed bodily remains, to gas chambers,
    and so on.

    To compare AGW to this is really offensive to the victims of the holocaust.”

    What is happening here is the experts in the field have reached a
    scientific consensus based upon mountains of evidence which you have not
    taken the slightest trouble to avail yourself of.  But, you insist on
    taking offence at a term that relates directly to what you are doing. 
    Denying AGW.  Sorry the best evidence is, thist is happening.  If you don’t
    want to be accused of a AGW denial.  Show some evidence that you have
    read and understood (not necessarily agreed with) the actual science.  

    ” I find this absurd on the face of it, since there is a staggering
    amount of evidence supporting the holocaust, from eyewitness accounts,
    to diaries, to confessions, to exhumed bodily remains, to gas chambers,
    and so on.

    To compare AGW to this is really offensive to the victims of the holocaust.”

    This speaks volumes for how little you have read of the actual published climate science.  What’s more it smacks of emotional blackmail. If you have FACTS let’s hear them, if a label so offends you consider that some of us would like a planet without constant weather in hyperdrive and all that that entails, you risk my son’s future with your denial.  I know you don’t accept this but if I was going to be so impolite as to insult you I’d use stronger than that.  And any offence you incur as we accurately describe what you are doing while you and your side risk all of our lives is your problem. 

  44. Jonathan Conway, 

     .. to lobbying the EPA for nuclear bans, which has dramatically increased the cost of nuclear energy in the US. (Nuclear, by the way, is the most efficient, concentrated and carbon-free energy in existence, with the lowest death rate from accidents of any energy source).

     

    I know! I linked a discussion (and 3 others) on this here: http://richarddawkins.net/news
    Thorium and Advanced gas-cooled reactors, are probably very good options to supplement other carbon reduced systems. So here is the link again:
    Water-cooled nuclear power plants aren’t the only option ; http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    AGW originated in the environmentalist movement, which had definite
    political agendas – from calling for the banning of
    DDT in the 70s (which led to thousands of unnecessary deaths from malaria)

    What? AGW denial arose from enviromentalists?

    DDT actually can increase Malaria by killing the fish which eat mosquito larvae!

    Humans were very lucky on this one!  Fortunately human metabolism can slowly break down DDT, but this was not known when it was introduced.
    If we built up DDT in our bodies the way we have built up DDE, we would now be dead!
    The banned Parathion was pretty lethal too!
    These are however off topic side-tracks.

  45. This speaks volumes for how little you have read of the actual published climate science.

    Sure. But I could fill my head with a million charts and graphs, and that wouldn’t alter the basic fact that a corellation, no matter how strong, is not equivalent to proof.

    If you have FACTS let’s hear them

    Here’s a fact: climate-related deaths over the past 100 years have decreased, while fossil fuel usage has increased: http://www.csccc.info/reports/….

    if a label so offends you consider that some of us would like a planet without constant weather in hyperdrive and all that that entails, you risk my son’s future with your denial.

    How are you and your son going to adapt to events without fossil fuels, which supply over 80% of the world’s energy needs – from transportation to electricity?

  46. Thorium and Advanced gas-cooled reactors, are probably very good options to supplement other carbon reduced systems.

    I’m glad we at least agree on nuclear. Greenpeace have been helping to block it for decades.

    What? AGW denial arose from enviromentalists?

    No, AGW rose from environmentalists. James Lovelock was one of the first to propose catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. (See “Gaia hypothesis”.) Of course other environmentalists have proposed theories of global cooling or overpopulation, but they didn’t quite work out.

  47.  

     
    Jonathan Conway
    How are you and your son going to adapt to events without fossil fuels,
    which supply over 80% of the world’s energy needs – from transportation
    to electricity?

     
    Read my linked discussions for the info.

    Plus these others; –
    http://richarddawkins.net/news

    http://richarddawkins.net/news

    http://richarddawkins.net/news

    Desert climates really do not need coal!

    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/135

    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/135

    ..And neither do areas by rivers or tidal areas

    http://mediacdn.disqus.com/135

  48. No, AGW rose from environmentalists. James Lovelock was one of the first to propose catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. (See “Gaia hypothesis”.) Of course other environmentalists have proposed theories of global cooling or overpopulation, but they didn’t quite work out.

    What the hippies say has nothing to do with the University based environmental Earth Sciences.

    Bad arguments do not rub-off on sound science.

    Scientific studies on Global cooling effects are discussed on one of my linked discussions.
    http://old.richarddawkins.net/

  49. Watching heavy hitters/fast typists Jonathan Conway and Alan4discussion going at it here and rooting for Alan4discussion. Why? As soon as I see the “AGW” abbreviation being used almost exclusively (by Jonathan Conway in this case) in such arguments, the hackles go up. “Climate change” is a much broader term which encompasses a whole raft of human-caused environmental, chemical and biological changes that are occurring alongside global warming, many linked to it, some not. Climate change deniers zero in on “AGW” in a very blinkered way because temperature change itself is more unpredictable and an easier target for deniers (they think) probably because of those cooling scares of an earlier era. 

  50. I agree that scientific consensus is much more than just asking a bunch of people for a show of hands. However, it still isn’t proof.

    But that’s exactly what it is…a scientific consensus is proof…in as much as there is such a thing as a proof in science, which most will say there isn’t. There is just evidence and data in support of the best hypotheses…have look for yourself.

    Proof: evidence or argument establishing a fact or the truth of a statement.

    To argue that ‘x’ is necessarily true, merely because it passed the peer review process, is to argue from authority.

    But you bandy about words like “merely” like it’s “just asking a bunch of people for a show of hands”…which you’ve admitted already, its not. The peer review process is about much more than “just asking a bunch of people for a show of hands”. Granted, peer review has its problems, but it is the best system available for data verification. It is certainly not a system of “ad populum”

    “Scholarly peer review (also known as refereeing) is the process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research, orideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field, before a paper describing this work is published in a journal. The work may be accepted, considered acceptable with revisions, or rejected. Peer review requires a community of experts in a given (and often narrowly defined) field, who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Impartial review, especially of work in less narrowly defined or inter-disciplinary fields, may be difficult to accomplish; and the significance (good or bad) of an idea may never be widely appreciated among its contemporaries. Although generally considered essential to academic quality, and used in most important scientific publications, peer review has been criticized as ineffective, slow, and misunderstood.”

    That is, to argue that one should suspend one’s own judgement and rely on the infallible authority of the peer review process.No matter how detailed and thorough the process of peer review, it isn’t a substitute for an individual’s own judgement.

    Yet we all accept peer review hundreds, if not thousands of times daily, in just about everything we do…unless you are suggesting you are omniscient or give scrutiny to your every action?

    It is always possible (even if improbable) that a  peer review process might come to faulty conclusions or omit important and relevant information.

    Of course, as has happened many times throughout history, but your alternative is what?

    For evidence that peer review has gotten it wrong in the past, see the flaws many nutritionists are finding in the Harvard food pyramid studies.

    Again, no one is saying the system is flawless, no one here needs evidence of it faults…in many individual occasions it has been found wanting with the hindsight of subsequent discoveries, but that is academic to the system, we have nothing to replace it with to date. You seem to want to cherry pick which elements of peer review to trust. A bit like a creationist, happy enough with science until it doesn’t conform to a particular belief…then its wrong, regardless of the mountains of  evidence to the contrary.

  51. I don’t doubt that the earth is warming, neither do many other reputable climate scientists who deny AGW (e.g. Richard Lindzen).

    Lindzen doesn’t doubt the Earth is warming, but he is at odds with the experts on other points of the issue.
    http://www.skepticalscience.co

    He even misrepresents the evidence to make his point…for which he had to apologise.

    http://repealtheact.org.uk/blo

    What I doubt is the attribution of most warming to man-made CO2.

    It doesn’t need to be “most” warming caused by man-made CO2, it only has to be the percentage that cause the tipping point to oblivion…why isn’t that so obvious, especially to someone that is patently erudite as yourself, judging by the articulation of your comments…even if they are erroneous.

  52. Obviously the poll that was made presents a soviet-like result: 99.83 % in agreement. Who dares be against this?

    Apart of dumb deniers who have no consideration for any scientific reasoning there is no way to pretend the absence of climate change mechanisms. The poll doesn’t say less, but doesn’t say more neither.

    Yes CO2 induces some forcing, and yes, the atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising in proportion with human-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. But also the induced forcing induces itself some feedback, which are, as far as I could grasp, overall negative, which means that they have a dampening effect on the original consequence of CO2 concentration increase.
    This aspect remains quite open and controversial. Was it included in the search? By reading the methodology I doubt it.

    And from CO2 to temperature to climate there are quite a few steps to go.

    Is actually the climate changing? Only when a definition of this word is made is it possible to provide any answer to that question.

    If climate would be equal to temperature the matter would be simple. But it is a little more complex. Where I live in Switzerland we enjoy a so-called temperate climate. One that is supposed to undergo most changes according to climate pundits. And yes there are some changes going on, but no big ones and not rapidly. It is still cold in winter and we have few hot days in the summer. Every year is distinct from the previous one: more or less rain, more or less snow, no more no less catastrophes. And the glaciers are, with few exceptions, receding. By the way it would be interesting to understand these exceptions, they are not sovietically correct. We grow all sorts of crops, make wines, but during Roman times the climate was apparently more propitious for it. There are some shifts in the biodiversity, some insects come from warmer southern region and populate our forests, which are as healthy as ever. 
    And people all around the World can tell a similar story, whatever the climate zone they are living in.

    So in full respect for any black swan theory, we calmly expect the sky to fall down on our heads.

    Obviously if someone has the hubris to think that humankind is responsible for all good and bad things happening on Earth this is a shamefully irresponsible posture!

    If CO2 went up we have to bring it down and everything will be solved!
    Is it so? Is it the first and foremost priority for our societies?
    Have we really a planet to save? From what? With which objective?

    I challenge any one on Earth to achieve any kind of consensus in defining the objective that a climate strategy should aim for.

    Is the goal to stop any change? But which one? The one induced by humans or the one resulting from natural variations? How to decouple one change from the other?

    Curb, stop, or even reverse CO2 emissions? Would it affect climate in a significant way? (let’s not forget if negative feedbacks on positive forcing are taking place they will be also negative on negative forcing, dampening any corrective measure: do you understand what I mean?).
    What are thinking people in emerging countries, dare they have an opinion? And what if they disagree as they do nowadays? Nuke them?

    What equations or literary slogans would define a desired climate? How much ice over Greenland? How many rainfalls in the Sahel? How much organic matter in the Arizona soil? How much sunshine over the Norwegian beaches? What biodiversity in the Corn Belt? Of course no contradictions will arise from such objectives: it will all be peer reviewed!

    Burning fossil fuels has been and still is the engine of progress for all of us on Earth. Other sources of energy also contribute to this but not to the extent that we could abandon coal, petrol and gas. Those advocating negative growth and return to their grand-mother’s apple pies should go back into their caverns, but please be consequent and leave internet connections and cell phones at the entrance. Just bows and arrows should do. If we deny others the use of plentiful energy sources isn’t it a backward step to totalitarianism?
    It was good to us, we improved our health and life expectancy, and we accumulated wealth and enjoy the highest comfort that any human society has had. But please Chinese, Indians, Bengali, Africans and others: don’t ask for it, we have curbed our emissions and it is you turn not to grow by increasing them; you have to save the Planet! No more can we colonialize you, but our green movement will do better to align you to the array of well thought objectives (which is a definition of fascism).

    In summary, scepticism has a lot to do with science; it is one of its tenets.

    But climate scepticism has nothing to do with climate science. It has to do with climate activism.

    My heresy is not to accept the alarming gospel, to not to participate to the hubris “we are all guilty and we are going to save the Planet”, and to not want a new totalitarian wave “I know all what is needed and you should think the same and obey”.

    Counting scientific literature may be an interesting past time, but one that is not leading to any new insight in the subject matter.

  53. Very enlightening indeed, and welcome, but will it change the minds of deniers?

    Those who think that there’s a world wide conspiracy among scientists, will probably view this as part of the ruse.

    Notwithstanding the fact that getting scientists to conspire would be rather like herding cats.

    Although I have nor know of any evidence to submit on the matter, I suspect that more than few global cynics have vested interests in areas that would, and probably will, be deleteriously efffected by legislation deriving from such findings as these; especially if they’re politicians and there’s money and votes in it for them.

    Perhaps it should pointed out to them that that island paradise they’re planning on retreat to on the proceeds will in all likelihood be submerged by the time they get hold of their ill gotten gains.

    Tee-hee-hee!

  54. Sorry, I always pish myself laughing when I read “climate denier”…”denier” being a unit of weight in measure of ladies stockings, or a French coin. Perhaps the word should be denyer…but there’s English for ya.  Mind you “bonito” in Spanish means ‘nice’ or ‘tuna’…go figure.

  55. By using the term ‘denier’ in an argument, you’re assuming that you’ve already won the argument.

    Brilliant logic!!!….I’m a deity denier…so how does that play out? How do you describe your approach to the fact that you deny the consensus of 98% of the worlds experts assertion that the worlds population is contributing significantly to climate change?

    Denier: One that denies: a denier of harsh realities.

  56. I would think this is obvious but: without the use of one’s rational faculty, it’s impossible to understand and evaluate evidence.

    Did you really write that? 

    Young Earth Creationists and Evolution deniers…there’s that word again…have no dificulty in using antibiotics when ill.

    There are many, otherwise rational individuals, that have difficulty evaluating evidence…at the very minimum on at least one subject. e.g. Francis Collins, head of the NIH.

    Yet there are many, otherwise irrational individuals, that have no difficulty evaluating evidence…at the very minimum on at least one subject. e.g. Pastor Fred Phelps, head of the Westbro Baptist Church and Lawyer.

  57.   Jonathan Conway

      and green solar electrical generation systems in desert climates 

    Yes there are, but the majority of the world’s energy is currently generated by fossil fuels, and if you suddenly take that away, there will be massive problems. 

    Nobody has suggested replacing carbon burning with nothing!  What is being proposed is to run down carbon burning as investment in new technologies takes over.

    But as I said in previous posts, I’m all for alternatives, as long as they’re not forced upon anyone.

     

    The polluters are not going to stop polluting if they are allowed to continue  to profitably pollute while future generations and the public, pick up the bill for the damage they cause.

     

    “Take the decisions out of the hands of specialist scientists and let the uninformed public decide!?”

    No, I’m saying, put the decisions in the hands of the public, including the specialist scientists and the businessmen who transform scientific discoveries into usable products for the mass market.

     

    The decisions are already in the hands of businessmen.  Who do you think manufactures the Solar thermal systems, photo voltaic panels, tidal turbines, hydroelectric stations, geothermal generation and hot water systems, and the improved building management systems?

    Take the decisions out of the hands of governments and politicians – right-wing or left-wing – so that individuals can use their minds to discover and create the innovations of the future.

    Unfit as some governments and politicians are, the necessary changes can only come about quickly enough with direct government investment in new technologies, or if governments set clear policies and targets and follow them.

    Private sector investors will hesitate to make the necessary investments while politicians are flip-flopping all over the place with policy changes and denials of science. 

    Of course specialists have looked at these factors, that’s why we have climate models!

    Some of the things you are disputing don’t need climate models.  All they need is access to the  historic weather records from numerous weather stations scattered across the globe, a brain, and a calculator.

     

      You clearly have no idea about the effects or feed-back effects of raising the global temperature “a few degrees”!

    Assuming the AGW models are correct.

    No assumption or complex model is required.  The principles of feedback effects can be (and have been), established experimentally with basic physics. 
    You are still making it up as you go along!

     
    Local solar energy is a key benefit avoiding the need for extensive power-lines in Africa.

    Too expensive for impoverished communities to afford.

    You just made that up as well! [see footnote] Solar
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    cookers are very cheap and photo voltaic panels
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    with batteries are far more cost effective than power-lines in remote villages.

    Solar-thermal Power-towers are a good substitute for coal burning stations supplying cities in sunny climates.

    And guess where the materials used to manufacture solar panels come from?

     

    They come from industrial processes – just like coal power-stations, steam-turbines, and overhead power-lines do, but don’t need a road or rail network to deliver expensive coal or oil.
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    FOOTNOTE on solar cooker in Africa:-
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    http://solarcooking.wikia.com/

    Solar Cookers International (SCI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, non-governmental organization that spreads solar cooking awareness and skills worldwide, particularly in areas with plentiful sunshine and diminishing sources of cooking fuel.

    SCI has enabled 30,000 families in Africa to cook with the sun’s energy, freeing women and children from the burdens of gathering wood and carrying it for miles.

    Tens of thousands of individuals and organization from all over the world have learned about solar cooking through SCI’s international programs,
    education resources, and information exchange network.
     
    http://solarcooking.wikia.com/

  58. Yes CO2 induces some forcing, and yes, the atmospheric CO2 concentration is rising in proportion with human-made emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

     
    Fewer denialists are disputing this these days.

    But also the induced forcing induces itself some feedback, which are, as far as I could grasp, overall negative, which means that they have a dampening effect on the original consequence of CO2 concentration increase.

     

    It looks like you have no idea and just made that up!

    This aspect remains quite open and controversial.

    No it isn’t!  It is included in the numerous studies you haven’t bothered to read!

    Was it included in the search? By reading the methodology I doubt it.

    Methodolgy??  I’m betting you don’t even know the names of the subjects inputting the data!

    And from CO2 to temperature to climate there are quite a few steps to go.

    Which have been explained in great detail by the 13950 studies cited. … and also on some of the links I posted.

    My heresy is not to accept the alarming gospel, to not to participate to the hubris “we are all guilty and we are going to save the Planet”, and to not want a new totalitarian wave “I know all what is needed and you should think the same and obey”.

    Err no! Your “heresy”, is posing as a offering an informed opinion, when you have made no effort to study the subject and are absolutely clueless!

    Counting scientific literature may be an interesting past time, but one that is not leading to any new insight in the subject matter.

    Statements like this are an indication of profound ignorance of scientific methodology. 
    Reviewing the work of other specialists, is the normal starting point for research looking for new insights.

    I’ll skip the rest of the assertions of confused verbose, rhetorical, waffle, and stick to the science.

  59. 13950 peer-reviewed expert studies!
    ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
    If you were buying a used car or a building, I wonder how independent teams of specialist engineers, architects, or surveyors  you would need to cross-check each other’s work before you could be confident you had a clear view and picked out any faults and errors?

    Of course there are some with theist-like revelatory skills who just “know” the answers, without bothering to read reports, or even to study the subject(s).

    In fact some “know” the answers without being even able to name the subjects upon which the answers are dependent!

    I could ask them how 3D radar mapping is used in evaluating climate changes, or how infra-red false colour imaging helps, or what sort of zero-fuel cooker you can buy for about £6 in Africa, but that would probably draw a blank.

  60. Jonathan Conway –

    “Sure. But I could fill my head with a million charts and graphs, and
    that wouldn’t alter the basic fact that a corellation, no matter how
    strong, is not equivalent to proof.”

    A scene of an accident.  A car has run a red light slamming into another and the driver who ran the red light is 3 times over the legal limit.  Correlation no link to causation? 

    So as I see your position, you will not believe we should do anything until it is absoutely proven. A) you’re wrong about Correlation -causation we know based on experiments you can do in your kitchen and basic phyisics that CO2 abosrbs infrared heating the atmosphere and oceans, we know higher ocean and air temps mean more water vapour is held in the air (try heating water or boiling a kettle) and that as water vapour is a potent greenhouse gas that this forces up the temperature even higher. B) corelation is used all the time to point us in the direction of what evidence to look for which has been done to find the FACTS.

    “Here’s a fact: climate-related deaths over the past 100 years have decreased, while fossil fuel usage has increased: http://www.csccc.info/reports/….”

    I’ll get back to you on this after work however for the moment, off the top of my head- Air conditioners will both decrease climate related deaths and help increase fossil fuel use.  How many of those were there 100 years ago?  Also as climate change has only significantly increased in the last few decades and standards of living poor over most of the century I’d imagine that the advance of the West would have resulted in fewer deaths due to better designed insulated homes.  Tell me what to the sats say about deaths due to climate in poor countries/ areas in the past decade are they higher or lower than the previous 2 or 3?

    “How are you and your son going to adapt to events without fossil fuels,
    which supply over 80% of the world’s energy needs – from transportation
    to electricity?”

    Same way you will when they run out.  Like it or not at some point global warming or not we will need to live within the energy budget our planet and Sun provide us.  Better adapt now while we can to a advert climate change and b) have alternatives in place before peak oil hits.   But we won’t so long as Luddites like you continue to fight against the inevitable change.

  61.  Alan,

    I’m not responding to a particular point in this thread (I just learned responses are indicated on this new site!).

    Looking into the sources you provided in a previous thread on the validity of current climate models I wandered into other sources, and I still don’t see the current models as adequate. There are many ways I could be wrong (which I would be ignorant of), but the way I could be right is if the inability to account for clouds/water-vapor does invalidate claims. The assertion is carbon incites water-vapor to produce the greatest factor of global warming, so clouds are a huge deal. The absence of this data kills the models.

    If the current models are adequate, when did that happen? Was That in the 90s? 80s? 70s? Was the claim made prior to adequate models? If so, then there is long history deceptively dressing AGW as scientific.

    Not only do current models admit clouds are not well enough understood, but the discoveries we make on clouds are profound and new. In 98 or 99 a European scientist asserted contrails may significantly cool the atmosphere. Following 9/11, this was observed in the atmosphere over the US. That is a significant discovery. There are all kinds of feedback issues, and we don’t know if this stabilizes the system or makes it more dynamic. We assume the worst.

    I believe in AGW for non-scientific reasons, and I really want to be validated by science. Ice sheets melting is not proof of AGW, as that is affirming the consequent. Carbon data is a correlation argument. I can’t think any scientific assertion with so many fallacious and flawed arguments in support of it. Why is that?

  62. This Is Not A Meme
     
    Looking into the sources you provided in a previous thread on the validity of current climate models I wandered into other sources, and I still don’t see the current models as adequate. There are many ways I could be wrong (which I would be ignorant of), but the way I could be right is if the inability to account for clouds/water-vapor does invalidate claims. The assertion is carbon incites water-vapor to produce the greatest factor of global warming, so clouds are a huge deal. The absence of this data kills the models. Following 9/11, this was observed in the atmosphere over the US. That is a significant discovery.

     
    I think the 9/11 contrails were a useful confirmation, rather than a discovery. It also had implication for climte record of the second world war period when many con-trails and much smoke was pumped into the sky.
    We discussed negative feedbacks here: http://old.richarddawkins.net/

    The warming is going to be damaging even without the feedbacks, which on balance will increase temperatures. Much of the uncertainty (not to be confused with ignorance) is about at what level particular feedbacks will kick in and how big the feedbacks will be.  (No competent people are suggesting they will be zero or negative.)

    I hope this helps clarify the issue.

  63. Micheldr
    Alan:
    what are your credentials to dispute mine in such an uninformed and derogatory way? If I’m just another man with an opinion what difference do you offer?

    All opinions are not equal.  There are uninformed opinions, informed opinions, and expert opinions based on scientific research and study.

    We do evidence and reason and science on this site, not “my badge of authority is bigger than your badge of authority”.  Arguments are evaluated on the their reasoning and evidence base.

    Yours is just ill-informed conjecture which despite the OP topic, being evidenced peer-reviewed expert opinion, show that you have no idea about the well researched scientific studies of the subject, and are just making up opinions based on ignorance.

    to dispute mine in such an uninformed and derogatory way?

    If you had looked at the links to earlier discussions which I provided, you would know that I have looked at this subject in considerable detail, and would not make the silly assertion that I am uninformed on this subject. 

    If you have some scientifically validated evidence for your opinions – produce it. 
    Most of your opinions contradict well evidenced science and look as if they were copied from scientifically illiterate journalists, or ignoramus websites, or just made up on the spot according to wishful thinking.

  64. Edit from earlier post:-  This para seems to have been omitted from my earlier post for some technical reason. ( It is still present in the edit window so I have cut it out to paste here)

    This Is Not A Meme

    You are right that there is uncertainty about the detail on models and that clouds are one source of that uncertainty.

    Where the asserted denialist fallacy fails, is to equate knowledge of an uncertain range of possibilities, with ignorance of the subject.

    Water vapour is a powerful greenhouse gas, while clouds of water droplets reflect solar input back into space.  Atmospheric water content increases with temperature rises. (as does the atmospheric mobility and ferocity of weather events)

    The local details should not be confused with the overall picture.  Clouds are one reason why weather-forecasting is inaccurate.

    For example if 40% of the sky is covered by clouds which are moving in a breeze and reflecting sunlight back into space, it is very difficult to calculate the solar heat input in all the detailed ground locations of sun and shade.   It is however very easy to recognise the total radiant input of the sun shining through 60% of the clear sky.

    That is why the sum of the globe’s weather-station average figures, gives an overview, while local day on day and year on year, details are variable.

  65. I think most of you are missing the point of the OP: Which is that claims by deniers that there is no scientific consensus can be easily disconfirmed.

    The average denier might be more concerned with the economic and political implications and hasn’t yet seen much reason to delve into the scientific evidence. Presumably because there’s a historical precedent for irrational scares used to justify various economic and political implications – mostly which ended in tears. So it’s plausible that claims of nil consensus might be true, or irrelevant.

    The OP talks about polls showing that many people believe there is no consensus. But what if many remain unconvinced regardless of the scientific consensus? A correlation without causation.

    Most people are instinctively concerned with the short term. Considerations with consequences deferred well into the future are heavily discounted. But the problem might also be that scientific consensus doesn’t carry much weight in many people’s minds. Consensus doesn’t have a good track record where it really counts: direct and immediate impact on ordinary people, where vested interests are at stake, along with centralised and politicised research funding processes.

    The issues people care about are their immediate health and wealth, especially for their kids. Consensus science has a disappointing track record there. So it’s no surprise that most people aren’t fully on board when things of more immediate impact areas, like routine nutrition and macroeconomics, are obviously wrong.

    Quite clearly those expert authorities have no idea what they are doing. Consensus justifies more of the same of whatever it is that produced present unsatisfactory results. ‘Evidence’ efforts are directed towards how very much worse things would be if not for conventional enlightened efforts. Their real expertise is maintaining the status quo by impeding alternative contestants.

    Another symptom of consensus distrust is the extent of parents opting out of childhood immunisations and embracing homeopathy. It doesn’t need to be a majority for the affected groups to determine the outcome for everyone. It’s not just a matter of education. If anything it may be that the more intelligent and better educated are relatively more inclined to notice the acute failings of consensus science in some key areas.

    It might be that the wider scientific community needs to address serious defects in these other areas, to turn around public acceptance of science, before climate change can be taken seriously. The flaws in macroeconomics are fundamental, despite the apparent trappings of scientific methodology. Pretty much any scientist should be able to tackle them, despite the acute specialisation that may have given rise to the situation, and the blissful assumption that scientists in other fields can be equally trusted.

  66. All anyone needs to do is watch the weather all over the world, then there would be no argument….. The realities are obvious to an unbiased mind. You need to start teaching your children how to adapt, or how die.

  67.  

    L.Lawrence –
      All anyone needs to do is watch the weather all over the world, then there would be no argument…..

    ….We have had satellites doing that for decades now, and ground stations doing it for a lot longer.

  68. Reckless Monkey

    Jonathan Conway-   “”Here’s a fact: climate-related deaths over the past 100 years have decreased, while fossil fuel usage has increased: http://www.csccc.info/reports/….”

    Tried to look up the link you proved, doesn’t work, please provide one that does.

    I did a google search with the incomplete link and found; -

    http://www.csccc.info/reports/report_...

    The Political Economy of Global. Warming, Rent Seeking and Freedom.  By Wolfgang Kasper. November 2007. International Policy
    Network.

    It is a pressure group which calls itself – “the Civil Society Coalition on Climate Change.

    @link:disqus “It was established as a response to the many biased and alarmist claims about human-induced climate change, which are being used to justify calls for intervention and regulation”.

    The Author is Wolfgang Kasper is a professor of economics at the University of New South Wales – and I would surmise from a brief look at the basic errors in his article, that he is  a doubt-monger and climate science illiterate!
    The article is a pdf scan which cannot be cut and pasted.

    In any case there seems to be little relevance in whatever definition of “climate-related deaths” is being claimed, to the issue of man-made climate change.

  69. I remember the arguments against the links between smoking and lung cancer. A small group of compliant scientists,mostly in the employ of large tobacco companies, were able to conjure up results that showed there was no link despite ALL the evidence to the contrary. It’s laughable in retrospect. We’ve progressed significantly since the 1964 report by the US Surgeon General.

    Despite the distractions that are being put forward to lure the public away from complete acceptance of the reality of climate change and it’s links with the burning of fossil fuels, the truth will out given time. I wonder if the tiny percentage of scientists disputing the links this time, are in the employ of oil corporations.

  70. I am happy to be proved wrong but I predict that Homo sapiens ( as a species) will do nothing practical to control anthropogenic climate change until it reaches an unstoppable level ( already has?), it’ll just keep stuffing about with ‘intergovernmental committees’ and their choice of hotels and meal allowances. Future generations will adjust to a different world and man will greet a brand new day (and diminished environment) with great nonchalance and discomfort. Basically in order to reduce carbon emissions the world would require a permanent change to a Stability economic model (and economists can’t spell that). What democratically elected, or otherwise, government could stay in power Long Term if it implemented such a plan? – the reduction in peoples standards of living would ensure political retribution. The problem with anthropogenic climate change is that the people who will be most severely be affected (great- great- great+ grandchildren ) are less related (less than 1/32) to present day humans than a substantial number of strangers that we pass on the street. And humans don’t like strangers, do they, especially those that haven’t been born yet?

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