Climate change sceptics are ‘headless chickens’, says Prince Charles

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Charles uses green awards speech at Buckingham Palace to renew attack on 'powerful groups of deniers'

The Prince of Wales has launched an attack on climate change sceptics, describing them as the "headless chicken brigade" and accusing "powerful groups of deniers" of engaging in intimidation.

Charles, who has long campaigned to raise awareness of global warming and has hit out at sceptics in the past, unleashed his latest salvo during an awards ceremony at Buckingham Palace for green entrepreneurs.

"It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science," the prince said in a speech on Thursday evening.

"All of a sudden, and with a barrage of sheer intimidation, we are told by powerful groups of deniers that the scientists are wrong and we must abandon all our faith in so much overwhelming scientific evidence."

Written By: Ben Quinn
continue to source article at theguardian.com

79 COMMENTS

  1. “It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science,” the prince said in a speech on Thursday evening.”

    I read that far and when the laughter stopped I thought about this a bit more. Use this and forget the hilarious homeopathy nonsense he usually spouts.

  2. Well, we accept everything unless it conflicts with our prior ideological commitments. Climate science is just one example. Creationism is another. And then, as Neodarwinian points out, there is homeopathy….

    • In reply to #2 by Matt G:

      Well, we accept everything unless it conflicts with our prior ideological commitments.

      Thanks for speaking on my behalf. NO, I DON’T. And, if I do, then I’ve may well have made an error.

    • In reply to #2 by Matt G:

      Well, we accept everything unless it conflicts with our prior ideological commitments.
      In reply to #2 by Matt G:
      Well, we accept everything unless it conflicts with our prior ideological commitments.

      Thanks for speaking on my behalf. NO, I DON’T.

      And, if I do, then I may well have made an error.

  3. It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to climate science,” the prince said in a speech on Thursday evening.

    That is a peculiar way to say:

    It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we take for granted the hard-won progress scientific achievement gives us until, that is, it comes to talking about the very discipline that informed you that it would be a good idea to wear an overcoat today, Diana’s ex-husband said in a speech on Thursday evening.

    Mike

  4. And off camera he was reported to have said:

    “The good news is that there’s a cure for Headless Chicken Disease (HCD).
    1st you find a headless chicken, then take a piece of that chicken and mix it in a glass with some fresh clean water. Take a drop of that mixture and put it in another glass of water and follow this step over and over 200 times, shaking each glass in a successive pattern. Final step, give somebody with HCD a sip and presto!”

    A science denier pointing out other science deniers.

    Like Dara O’brian says: “Get in the fucking sack!”

    • In reply to #4 by JuJu:

      And off camera he was reported to have said:

      “The good news is that there’s a cure for Headless Chicken Disease (HCD).
      1st you find a headless chicken, then take a piece of that chicken and mix it in a glass with some fresh clean water. Take a drop of that mixture and put it in another glass of…

      “Reported as saying…” Not defending HRH but I don’t know of his commitment to Miraclewater. Could he possibly have realised his folly and be making amends by self-mockery?

  5. “It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything – until, that is, it comes to homeopathy and talking to flowers, then science can tell us bugger all,” the prince said in a speech on Thursday evening, as he stepped down from his private jet after racking up a 6.486-ton carbon footprint in one day by taking a seven-seater RAF Royal Flight HS125 jet to the summit in the Danish capital.

  6. I saw a video clip of this on the news. It makes a pleasant change from his support for quackery.

    It probably is “baffling”, as most of his education was spent studying political history and his family history, so science to Charles is something which your advisers tell you, and you choose to believe, or not, on “faith”.

    • In reply to #9 by Alan4discussion:

      a pleasant change from his support for quackery.

      Funny, my perspective (u.s.) is the opposite. I’d no idea Charles was en famille with the oblique notion of homeopathy – to wit, until I read about it here @ RD.net.

      His reputation here seems to be positive – invites to talk shows, a frog named after him, environmental work including a children’s book about animals.

      You say tomato, we say tom_ha_to :p

  7. Rarely do I listen to, much less agree with, anything Charlie says. On this occasion I find myself him giving a (very small) modicum of respect. Perhaps there is a tiny sliver of sanity still there; if so can it possibly be widened to include the scientific evidence re homeowoo?

  8. Question….Does Prince Charles’ ridiculous belief in quackery put his credibility in question? Note: I’m not questioning climate change, just his credibility in scientific topics..and common sense.

    Sadly, I believe that much of skepticism regarding climate change is rooted in selfishness. People, societies and governments will have to change their behavior. This is a major problem from individuals being inconvenienced to big oil’s strangle hold on politicians (at least in the US).

    This seems to be very difficult for those that completely accept climate change as fact- last time Al Gore rolled through my town, he traveled in a motorcade of 6 big-ass SUV’s. If one of the climate change poster boys won’t adjust his life style and be an example, it opens the door for doubt and apathy.

    • In reply to #14 by SPF:

      Sadly, I believe that much of skepticism regarding climate change is rooted in selfishness.

      …and greed. Let’s not forget greed. Much of the “skepticism” (it doesn’t deserve to be called that BTW) is financed by big oil interests. Paying huge sums of money to unscrupulous so-called scientists to spread their lies. Advocacy groups which are nothing but fronts for those oil companies engage in huge disinformation campaigns to spread doubt and disbelief about climate change.

  9. Why am I not surprised that Charles is a climate alarmist? Homeopathy and AGW have this in common: both belief systems hold that trace amounts of innocuous molecules have magical properties.

    To avoid unnecessary misunderstanding: It is not the fact that the trace gas CO2 has the property of back-radiating a very small spectrum of energy that is in question. What is “magical” is the property of the climate system to amplify this tiny signal into a global threat to civilization. The climate’s sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 depends very substantially on guesses about feedbacks and assumptions about the completeness of our knowledge of how everything in the energy system interacts. (Fifteen years ago, when the “science was already settled,” very little was known and even less was said about the role of oceans in the regulation of climate; but now that we need to find a cause for the pause, climatologists are suddenly telling us that we need to understand the entire global energy system, including the sequestration of heat in the deep oceans where it cannot be measured… God in heaven is as inscrutable as the heat in the ocean.)

    • In reply to #16 by Thylacine:

      Why am I not surprised that Charles is a climate alarmist?

      Probably because you have no idea about how climate science works, so choose to ignore the scientific measured record and projected changes.

      To avoid unnecessary misunderstanding: It is not the fact that the trace gas CO2 has the property of back-radiating a very small spectrum of energy that is in question. What is “magical” is the property of the climate system to amplify this tiny signal into a global threat to civilization.

      Or in scientific terms, the knock on feed-back effect of atmospheric warming is increasing the largest greenhouse gas – water vapour! – No magic involved in science.

      The climate’s sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 depends very substantially on guesses about feedbacks and assumptions about the completeness of our knowledge of how everything in the energy system interacts.

      No it doesn’t. Natural laws work independently of anyone’s guesses. The climate’s sensitivity to changes in CO2 levels is a matter of physics and historical record.

      (Fifteen years ago, when the “science was already settled,”)

      The physics of the “greenhouse effect” increasing the retained global heat and raising temperatures, was settled about that long ago as far as the majority of expert scientific opinion was concerned.

      very little was known and even less was said about the role of oceans in the regulation of climate; but now that we need to find a cause for the pause,

      We know the physics and the global trends. The slight pause in the rise in SURFACE temperatures, was caused at least in part by (measured) heat sequestration in oceans, and by global dimming due to sulphate aerosol pollution.

      climatologists are suddenly telling us that we need to understand the entire global energy system,

      We do – if we are going to make useful predictions about LOCAL changes where action to mitigate effects on humans needs planning, but there is nothing “sudden” about it. Climate scientists have been saying this for years.

      Like so many denialist claims, it is just the deniers who have suddenly noticed some particular detail of the subject which is new to them, and which they choose to misapply.

      including the sequestration of heat in the deep oceans where it cannot be measured…

      .. . . . .Or more precisely, – where it cannot be measured by clueless deniers, who generally have no idea what to measure, let alone how to measure. !

      God in heaven is as inscrutable as the heat in the ocean.

      Fortunately climatologists have a more scientific approach involving MEASUREMENTS!

      http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/mls20100519.html

      “The ocean is the biggest reservoir for heat in the climate system,” said Willis. “So as the planet warms, we’re finding that 80 to 90 percent of the increased heat ends up in the ocean.”

      A warming ocean is a direct cause of global sea level rise, since seawater expands and takes up more space as it heats up. The scientists say that this expansion accounts for about one-third to one-half of global sea level rise.

      Combining multiple estimates of heat in the upper ocean – from the surface to about 610 meters (2,000 feet) down – the team found a strong multi-year warming trend throughout the world’s ocean. According to measurements by an array of autonomous free-floating ocean floats called Argo, as well as by earlier devices called expendable bathythermographs, or XBTs, that were dropped from ships to obtain temperature data, ocean heat content has increased over the last 16 years.

      • In reply to #19 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #16 by Thylacine:

        Why am I not surprised that Charles is a climate alarmist?

        Probably because you have no idea about how climate science works, so choose to ignore the scientific measured record and projected changes.

        To avoid unnecessary misunderstanding: It is not the fact that the…

        Keep at him, Alan. This Thylacine must be a Judith Curry groupie.

  10. Dear Alan4discussion #19:

    Anonymously asserting that another anonymous poster (me) knows nothing about “how climate science works” is mindless and accomplishes precisely zilch. It is bullying, nothing more elevated. The fact you cannot rise to any other level of debate says all one needs to know to decide whether or not to engage you in reasoned discussion. I decline.

    • In reply to #20 by Thylacine:

      Dear Alan4discussion #19:

      Anonymously asserting that another anonymous poster (me) knows nothing about “how climate science works” is mindless and accomplishes precisely zilch.

      Nope! It is just assessing the quality of your comments, answering your question, and inviting you to present some evidence and reasoning to support them. You seem strangely silent on ocean temperatures, now I have posted evidence.

      It is bullying, nothing more elevated.

      It’s amazing how facts bully the ignorant!

      If you come to a science site full of know-it-all-assertive-ignorance, you should expect to be challenged by people who have actually have studied the subject.

      If you can’t cope with that, it is probably better to be thought uninformed by keeping your mouth shut, rather than to remove all doubt of your foolish ignorance by opening it.

      The fact you cannot rise to any other level of debate says all one needs to know to decide whether or not to engage you in reasoned discussion.

      Posturing does not impress on this site. You are welcome to try to rise to my level of debate on this subject, but you will need scientific evidence, reasoning and understanding.

      Clearly it seems, you have no evidence or capability to debate the issues YOU have raised, or to support the vacuous assertions you have made so you are you are just posing!

      I decline.

      When you have nothing to offer in a debate, that is probably the better option, rather than making a fool of yourself copying nonsense from science deniers, and having it taken apart by scientists.

      Summary for Policymakers – http://www.climate2013.org/spm

      Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis – http://www.ipcc.ch/publications-and-data/ar4/wg1/en/spm.html

    • In reply to #20 by Thylacine:

      Dear Alan4discussion #19:

      Anonymously asserting that another anonymous poster (me) knows nothing about “how climate science works” is mindless and accomplishes precisely zilch.

      I await your demonstration of an informed understanding of the mechanisms of this subject, – which should not be confused with empty rhetoric or unsupported assertions.

    • In reply to #20 by Thylacine:

      Dear Alan4discussion #19:

      Anonymously asserting that another anonymous poster (me) knows nothing about “how climate science works” is mindless and accomplishes precisely zilch. It is bullying, nothing more elevated. The fact you cannot rise to any other level of debate says all one needs to know to…

      With respect, you did mention in you original post ‘Climate Alarmist’. Now I am no fan of Charles but with that statement you are painting about 10 000 hard working scientists around the world with a pretty broad brush without apparent evidence (other than assertion).

      These men and women are poorly paid, hard-working individuals that have drilled ice cores, become nauseated in rough and dangerous seas setting buoys and taking measurements followed by years of tedious calculations to figure out our climate system. They believe based upon their decades of work that we are at risk. You are denying without presenting any evidence a lot of science. So crying foul when someone pulls you up on this is just a little rich. So before accusing someone else of being a bully how about you check your own tone first. Or accept that in forums about ideas your ones might get knocked about, life’s hard get a helmet.

      If the climate scientist are wrong then cite some evidence from the peer reviewed literature, if you are only citing evidence sprouted by the pet scientists of fossil fuel industry who refuse to submit themselves to peer review or publish in economics journals and such then essentially what you are saying is ‘while I have done no actual science on this, haven’t taken any measurements, haven’t subjected myself the process of peer review, I claim the right to insult those who have – but refuse anyone else the right to reply with any level of frustration without accusing them of being a bully’.

      I genuinely hope you will stay and present some evidence to the contrary because this site has taught me an enormous amount by having people pick apart my arguments piece by piece and leaving them shattered on the floor. If you refuse to participate in this process you are refusing to learn anything new or see if your ideas will stand the test of counter argument.

    • In reply to #20 by Thylacine:

      Dear Alan4discussion #19:

      Anonymously asserting that another anonymous poster (me) knows nothing about “how climate science works” is mindless and accomplishes precisely zilch. It is bullying, nothing more elevated. The fact you cannot rise to any other level of debate says all one needs to know to..

      If one looks at your comment and then at Alan4′s comment above it, it’s no contest.
      His “level of debate” is “elevated” way beyond yours.

      • In reply to #52 by quarecuss:

        In reply to #20 by Thylacine:

        The fact you cannot rise to any other level of debate says all one needs to know to decide whether or not to engage you in reasoned discussion…

        If one looks at your comment and then at Alan4′s comment above it, it’s no contest. His “level of debate” is “elevated” way beyond yours.

        Ah! But when one confidently “knows” “all one needs to know “, a bit of posing with a self awarded “elevated reasoned discussion badge”, will do – You don’t need study, find evidence, work at understanding, present reasoning, or comprehend any of that sciency stuff – like the list @45 !

        Dunning–Kruger effect

    • In reply to #20 by Thylacine:

      Anonymously asserting that another anonymous poster (me) knows nothing about “how climate science works” is mindless and accomplishes precisely zilch. It is bullying, nothing more elevated. The fact you cannot rise to any other level of debate says all one needs to know to decide whether or not to engage you in reasoned discussion. I decline.

      I’m glad you changed your mind, Thylacine. I’ve been in the position in which you find yourself and I respect you for not giving in to the mindless, blustering, bullying tactics you’ve been subjected to on this thread.

      Genuine free thinkers are pretty rare on this site; your opponent most definitely doesn’t fall into this category.

      Carry on sir.

      • In reply to #54 by Katy Cordeth:

        I’m glad you changed your mind, Thylacine. I’ve been in the position in which you find yourself and I respect you for not giving in to the mindless, blustering, bullying tactics you’ve been subjected to on this thread.

        Oh! dear! – Projected emotional mindless cheer-leading for ignorant AGW denial – just when we were getting some science and reasoning on to the thread!

        • In reply to #56 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #54 by Katy Cordeth:

          I’m glad you changed your mind, Thylacine. I’ve been in the position in which you find yourself and I respect you for not giving in to the mindless, blustering, bullying tactics you’ve been subjected to on this thread.

          Oh! dear! – Emotional mindless cheer-leading…

          Nah, just my usual tone trolling with regard to your comments, Al. The weird thing is that even when all the evidence is on your side, you still feel the need to attack the person rather than his argument.

          I’m on your side vis-à-vis climate change, but I just find your approach so obnoxious and off-putting, and Thylacine so reasonable, that I found myself rooting for him.

          Sorry if I hurt your feelings though.

          P.S. I still think you owe Richard an apology for what you said on this thread. It was way out of order IMHO.

  11. Royalty can hold forth, and thank Charles for doing so, but big petroleum calls the shots, reaps the rewards and refuses responsibility for the mayhem unleashed in said acts. Greed doesn’t care about the next generations, nor this one.

    • In reply to #25 by Light Wave:

      When he is the King will he actually use his influence to do more ?

      I bloody well hope not. I’m no royalist but “long live the queen”

      just because he recognises climate change when driven up a high street in a boat does not make him any less of an anti-science dangerously well known woo-merchant. climate change is an issue that has economic consequences. that in itself should ensure the world will eventually take note. When he’s king he needs to shut up and wave, I do not ewant someone who talks to plants, tells architects how to do their jobs, speaks out against genetic modification and supports homeopathy doing any more thanks all the same.

      a stopped clock is right twice a day

      • In reply to #48 by SaganTheCat:

        In reply to #25 by Light Wave:

        When he is the King will he actually use his influence to do more ?

        I bloody well hope not. I’m no royalist but “long live the queen”

        just because he recognises climate change when driven up a high street in a boat does not make him any less of an anti-science dange…

        Did I mention that I’d prefer No monarch at all …..and the current one clearly has even less interest than Charlie on the most important climate change issues, they could be using their wealth and influence so much more than they do

        • In reply to #55 by Light Wave:
          >

          Did I mention that I’d prefer No monarch at all ..

          It’s a bit like “democracy being a very bad form of government” – The others are so much worse!

          Who would want a Bush, Galteri, Pinchet, Mugarbe, or Berlusconi?

          • In reply to #67 by Alan4discussion:

            In reply to #55 by Light Wave:

            Did I mention that I’d prefer No monarch at all ..

            It’s a bit like “democracy being a very bad form of government” – The others are so much worse!

            Who would want a Bush, Galteri, Pinchet, Mugarbe, or Berlusconi?

            Apples and oranges, Al. The alternative to a constitutional monarchy is not a dictatorship. Get rid of Brenda and her brood and Britain would still have its democratic framework, a similar one to those which elected Bush, Berlusconi…

  12. Comments 22 & 23 are typical of what I find so discouraging about RDnet: the mindless links to “studies” that do not even support what is claimed, and fly in the face of plain observational evidence.

    Ocean heat: Ocean thermometers are vastly more sparse and unrepresentative than the land surface set, and they literally only “scratch the surface.” They say nothing about the “deep ocean” where Trenberth claims the “missing heat” is sequestered. Definitive claims that the ocean surface is warming globally, and significantly, are premature by any normal scientific standard. What signifies and alarmist is that he is happy to jettison scientific standards as soon as confirmation bias opportunities present themselves. Hint: Calculate the volume of the oceans, and let me know how sensitive and extensive your measurement instruments would have to be to detect the heat increased caused by a bit of back-radiation from CO2 molecules in the atmosphere….

    Funding: The amount of money spent promoting climate alarmism absolutely dwarfs the amount of money spent on climate skepticism. I see climate alarmists holding mega-lavish conferences all over the world every year, and lesser conferences nearly weekly – with nothing remotely comparable in terms of expense or frequency for skeptical conferences. The IPCC process alone costs hundreds of millions per year in hotels, conference centres, and plane fares. (That nasty jet fuel made from oil has never been so wantonly wasted.) The US government, headed by a climate alarmist who appoints like-minded climate alarmist cabinet ministers and underlings, spends $22billion a year, in 18 different departments, promoting climate alarmism. “Big oil” has for a long time given more money to “green” organizations than to skeptical foundations and think tanks; they know how public relations work. Saudi Arabia sponsors Western environmentalists in the hopes of reducing production from fracking and other “sensitive” or “controversial” sources. The billion-dollar-study includes ALL funds transferred to “conservative” organizations, no matter what percentage of it is actually designated to climate issues. Meanwhile, the Tides Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Hewlett Foundation, Ford Foundation, Tom Steyer, Neil Young, Hollywood celebrities, and so on and so forth contribute more money and publicity to climate alarmism than have ever been given to climate skeptics.

    Climate alarmists don’t even know what is in their own Bible – the IPCC reports. They don’t know the errors bars, the parameterizations, the conjectures about feedbacks that have never been validated…. They don’t know the known unknowns in climate science, much less the unknown unknowns. They don’t realize that it is a house of cards. They know the Cliffnotes version that is released in advance and conveniently removes all of the science. But as for having a clue about what the science at this early stage in the game can plausibly say about the climate in 2100, forget it.

    The early eugenicists thought they had science on their side, too – indeed, they believed they were the vanguard of scientific governance. Thank heavens for one lonely skeptic in the British Parliament for putting the breaks on that train wreck before we ended up in some Brave New World…. I guess every generation has to learn their own lessons about subservience to the preening authorities who claim to know it all. Learning from the long and ignoble history of scientism is so squaresville….

    • In reply to #26 by Thylacine:

      Comments 22 & 23 are typical of what I find so discouraging about RDnet: the mindless links to “studies” that do not even support what is claimed, and fly in the face of plain observational evidence.

      Ocean heat: Ocean thermometers are vastly more sparse and unrepresentative than the land surface

      You have demonstrated that you can parrot rhetoric from ignoramuses and contradict presented evidence, but you have yet to demonstrate that you have any idea of the range of subjects or the range of scientific tools used in climate studies.

      The US government, headed by a climate alarmist who appoints like-minded climate alarmist cabinet ministers and underlings, spends $22billion a year, in 18 different departments, promoting climate alarmism.

      As I pointed out earlier, this “alarmism” drivel, is rhetorical propaganda from carbon industry stooges, media muppets, and ignorant deniers.

      It has nothing to do with the science, which clearly demonstrates that failing to deal with climate change and the man-made causes of climate change, will cost vastly more than any measures to mitigate the problems.

      97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming. – 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.

      The alternative low-carbon energy systems and technologies, are available are already running in some places, and are under development in others. Humans just need to get on with dumping obsolete polluting systems and get the new cleaner technologies in place.

      They don’t know the errors bars, the parameterizations, the conjectures about feedbacks that have never been validated…. They don’t know the known unknowns in climate science, much less the unknown unknowns.

      You have yet to demonstrate that you know the well-knowns, but like to pretend that your ignorance of the subject extends to climate scientists.

      • In reply to #28 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #26 by Thylacine:

        The alternative low-carbon energy systems and technologies, are available, are already running in some places, and are under development in others.

        They sure are. The 2009 Credite Suisse analysis of where to invest if you wanted to cope with the still growing energy demands pointed quite clearly to investment in NegaWatts (energy efficiency using new and existing technology). In their review of the levelised cost of energy (fully serviced, end to end costs) NegaWatts came out with the highest return, lowest risk profiles, including all conventional energy sources. Why hasn’t it done better? Vested interests, active suppression through lobbying, sunk cost fallacy with existing technology, the technical incompetence of politicians.

        Thylacine: They don’t know the errors bars,

        Oh we sure do. That’s part of the reason for the deep concern. The problems could be moderately bad or they could just be insanely bad. Under such circumstances the precautionary principle is the wise move, especially when the precautions are things you should be doing anyway to build new locally secure more autonomous and indefinitely sustainable economies. You can only steal from your kids and their kids for so long.

        The hunter gatherer phase of our energy consumption needs to catch up with the rest of our lifestyle.

    • In reply to #26 by Thylacine:

      Comments 22 & 23 are typical of what I find so discouraging about RDnet: the mindless links to “studies” that do not even support what is claimed, and fly in the face of plain observational evidence.

      So comments 22 & 23 “are typical”, because they look more like less than 1 in 10 to me rather than in some way “typical of what I find”. You said something incorrect in comment 26, I will not judge anyone else based on your lack of understanding nor should you.

      Typical.

  13. Dear Alan4discussion:

    The farcically childish demand for “proof” and “evidence” for my statements here sets you apart as a fanatic. Your ignorant insults, without the foggiest notion of whom you are talking to, sets you apart as a bully. And your reference to the “97% consensus” sets you apart as a gullible fool. Yes, if it makes a difference to you, I’m part of the “97% consensus;” I believe that humans are responsible for some fraction of global warming since we departed the Little Ice Age. What I dispute is the need for knee-jerk alarmism over climate. It is the alarmism on the subject that needs to be curtailed if reasoned discussion is to prevail. (I use the alarmism tag advisedly: global warming, and even anthropogenic global warming, has never been an issue worth debating. It is only the alarmism that warrants discussion.) You have proven time and again on this site to be incapable of it.

    • In reply to #31 by Thylacine:
      >

      The farcically childish demand for “proof” and “evidence” for my statements here sets you apart as a fanatic.

      Expecting evidence or at least an understanding of the data to input would be a basis for a claim to be informed on the subject. Assertive rhetoric about “childishness is just psychological projection.

      Your ignorant insults, without the foggiest notion of whom you are talking to, sets you apart as a bully.

      I am talking to an ignoramus posing as a scientist, but who shows no capability to produce scientific evidence to support his claims, and then plays the insulted card when the vacuous nature of his claims are exposed.

      And your reference to the “97% consensus” sets you apart as a gullible fool.

      Really?? A survey of 12,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers carries no weight??? and oh yes! Only “gullible fools agree with the conclusions of all the world’s leading scientific bodies – in your insufficiently humble opinion!

      Yes, if it makes a difference to you, I’m part of the “97% consensus;”

      Really?? You have published a peer-reviewed paper on climate science in a reputable scientific journal,??? and yet cannot list the key factors for input data, and do not understand a requirement for evidence to support your claims?? Amazing!!! Or did you just not bother to read the link that told you it was 97% specialists publishing scientific papers, rather than some percentage of opinionated individuals.

      13,950 peer-reviewed climate articles 1991 -2012. 24 reject global warming!

      What I dispute is the need for knee-jerk alarmism over climate. It is the alarmism on the subject that needs to be curtailed if reasoned discussion is to prevail.

      You keep ranting about “reasoned discussion”. Are you going to start to present some scientific evidence and reasoning or are you only into spouting rhetorical nonsense you have copied from some low-grade anti-science newshounds?

    • In reply to #31 by Thylacine:

      Dear Alan4discussion:

      The farcically childish demand for “proof” and “evidence” for my statements here sets you apart as a fanatic. Your ignorant insults, without the foggiest notion of whom you are talking to, sets you apart as a bully. And your reference to the “97% consensus” sets you apart as a…

      I was going to stay out of this, but….,

      ” The farcically childish demand for “proof” and “evidence” for my statements here sets you apart as a fanatic “

      Asking for evidence makes one a fanatic?!? Alan and me have had our tiffs but nothing like this I am sure. What do you have against skepticism? Following the evidence where it leads?

  14. There is a difference between being anti-science, and being modest about what science in its present state can accomplish. Alan4discusion seems to have a boundless faith that anyone with the credential of “scientist” can easily answer any question with a simple unreplicated experiment, the first time an answer is attempted. He has no concept of the scale of the issues, the complexity of the total Earth energy system…. But it is hopeless trying to give him a sense of the challenges; science has settled them all.

    • In reply to #32 by Thylacine:
      >

      There is a difference between being anti-science, and being modest about what science in its present state can accomplish.

      You have demonstrated no understanding of either. You rant on about “unknowns” but demonstrate no knowledge of the subject which would show that you have any idea what the “unknowns are”! Being unknown to you does not count as being unknown to science.

      Alan4discusion seems to have a boundless faith that anyone with the credential of “scientist” can easily answer any question with a simple unreplicated experiment, the first time an answer is attempted.

      Don’t you really love making up drivel. I quote 13,000 reviewed scientific studies which have been exposed to scrutiny and testing, and you make up that silly assertion! Do you actually know what a scientist is??

      He has no concept of the scale of the issues, the complexity of the total Earth energy system…

      You have absolutely no knowledge of the extent of my knowledge of the Earth Sciences, but are like to find out if you post any erroneous claims with any actual substance in them.

      But it is hopeless trying to give him a sense of the challenges; science has settled them all.

      Your inability to tell the difference between settled science and areas under development or investigation, is not evidence of anything other than your own ignorance of Earth sciences and climatology.

      I have asked you to demonstrate that you can list the subject areas which provide the inputs for calculations of climate trends you are disputing.

      So far you have named nothing which causes increases or decreases in global temperatures or residual heat, other than a misrepresentation of the effects of CO2 and a vague claim about oceans.
      I do know what they are, which is why I am again asking you to demonstrate you have any credible concept of how the heat balance of a planet works, – otherwise the rational conclusion is that you are just repeating copied nonsense which you don’t understand, from dubious sources.

      BTW: – Total Emissions in 2011 = 6,702 Million Metric Tons of CO2 equivalent

    • In reply to #32 by Thylacine:

      He has no concept of the scale of the issues, the complexity of the total Earth energy system…. But it is hopeless trying to give him a sense of the challenges; science has settled them all.

      **Let’s have a look at the EVIDENCE you have presented on these issues:- **

      Understanding the effects of astronomical cycles: NIL.

      Understanding the natural carbon and CO2 recycling system of the Earth: NIL

      Recognising that there are effects from adding billions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere per year; – NIL

      Understanding ocean acidification: NIL

      Understanding that generally warm ocean currents are on the surface and cold currents are in the depths: NIL

      Understanding the physics of radiation forcing:- NIL

      Recognising the gasses which cause the greenhouse effect: NIL

      Understanding that AGW is about understanding the historical underlying natural cycles and comparing them with the present figures including industrial CO2 and pollution. NIL

      Recognising the dishonesty of the “Tobacco Strategy”: NIL

      Understanding the triggering of feedbacks adding further CO2 or methane as the climate warms: NIL

      Recognising the terrestrial scientific tools used to measure the present climate:- NIL

      Understanding the satellite imaging systems monitoring Earth: NIL

      Understanding the scientific methods for establishing past climate history: NIL

      Recognising the potential loss of ice-caps and irrigation water for millions of people: NIL

      Recognising progressive desertification in the tropics: NIL

      Recognising rising sea-levels: NIL

      Understanding that a heated atmosphere powers up more destructive storms: NIL

      Recognising the loss of millions of tons of Arctic ice:- NIL

      Understanding a hotter atmosphere holds more water with more intense rainfall causing more local flash flooding. NIL

      Recognising the ways of reducing waste of energy: NIL

      Recognising systems of low-carbon energy generation: NIL

      Mentions of photovoltaic, Solar thermal, geothermal, ground-heat storage, waste energy recovery, building insulation, tidal turbines, wave power, wind-power, bio-fuels or hydroelectric: NIL

      Recognising the climate mechanisms which can reduce global warming: NIL

      Alan4discusion seems to have a boundless faith that anyone with the credential of “scientist” can easily answer any question with a simple unreplicated experiment, the first time an answer is attempted.

      Checking the accuracy of claims posted: NIL

      Recognising the expert work of the thousands of scientists in providing data for the IPCC: NIL

      Recognising the value of peer-reviewed science, and seeking reputable sources of information: NIL

      Presenting reasoning based on scientific evidence: NIL

      Following up with rational discussions of evidence presented on links: NIL

      He has no concept of the scale of the issues, the complexity of the total Earth energy system…. But it is hopeless trying to give him a sense of the challenges; science has settled them all.

      Psychological projection – Projection is the psychological phenomenon where someone denies some aspect of their behavior or attitudes and assumes instead that others are doing or thinking so. It is usually seen as the externalisation of a person’s negative traits, placing blame on an outside force such as the environment, a government, a society or other people.

      Persistently claiming to want to rationally discuss these issues (while churning out bumbling verbosity), but consistently failing to do so;- COMICAL!

      Proving Charles’ point: PRETTY CONCLUSIVE!

  15. In reply to #32 by Thylacine:

    There is a difference between being anti-science, and being modest about what science in its present state can accomplish.

    Science expresses itself modestly in those error bars we spoke of earlier. We have long learned that needful mitigating action is hardly ever possible with 20/20 vision. Mankind’s big trick is to see into the future well enough to survive another day. With seven billion remarkably interdependent people and hopelessly entwined economies, global catastrophes don’t need to be so catastrophic to set us back centuries. The failure of imagination here is not so much on the part of science, which expresses itself modestly, but on the part of economics and politics which have no concept of their own fragility, even after our recent upset with a few people with their hand in our till. It won’t take much boat rocking.

    Alan4discusion seems to have a boundless faith that anyone with the credential of “scientist” can easily answer any question with a simple unreplicated experiment, the first time an answer is attempted.

    Hardly. His position has only ever been Science can more reliably answer questions than other processes. You’ll need evidence for your assertions

    He has no concept of the scale of the issues, the complexity of the total Earth energy system…. But it is hopeless trying to give him a sense of the challenges; science has settled them all.

    Lol. I think you are trying too hard here. Had you one scintilla of evidence, one teeny tiny scrap to illustrate your complaints you might get a hearing. But this looks like meltdown

    • In reply to #34 by phil rimmer:

      In reply to #32 by Thylacine:

      He has no concept of the scale of the issues, the complexity of the total Earth energy system…. But it is hopeless trying to give him a sense of the challenges; science has settled them all.

      Lol. I think you are trying too hard here. Had you one scintilla of evidence, one teeny tiny scrap to illustrate your complaints you might get a hearing. But this looks like meltdown

      ..and I have not even mentioned Earth monitoring satellites yet! – Or Milankovitch.

  16. OK, the quality of critical thinking going on here is so relentlessly low that I can’t possibly keep up with it all. I say certain comments are “typical of what I find so discouraging”, and someone renders that as “typical of what I find on RDnet.” That fails reading comprehension 101.

    I allude to a childish demand for “proof” and “evidence,” and I’m scolded to the effect that demanding evidence is never inappropriate. Well, perhaps you will agree that it is childish to demand “evidence” that “proves” evolution in a blog post. The evidence that supports evolution cannot be even summarized on a blog post. Evolution is the kind of high-level scientific theory that does not rise or fall on the basis of isolated empirical observations. It is the totality of the evidence from many fields that supports evolution. Likewise, demanding that I produce “evidence” for the claim that oceans are big and the heat content not easily measured with any degree of reliability or confidence by a single study defies common sense. I’m not going to produce a textbook chapter to explain that to you. You are either familiar enough with the literature and its critiques to understand the point, or it is lost on you. Making wholly unmeetable demands given the forum is indeed childish. And the belief than any demand for evidence can be met on a blog (if the evidence exists) is childish.

    That’s only two of the more obvious (deliberate) misconstruals of my statements. A bit of advice: keep your fingers off the keyboard long enough to make an attempt to understand (and not over-interpret) what someone says, before responding. It is just possible you might have something yet to learn, and being charitable in interpretation is a better way to discover that.

    There is too little appetite for wonder on the climate file, and too much appetite for proselytizing. I’m surprised that RD approves. We aren’t going to solve the climate debate here; but surely it isn’t too offensive to point out that all of the evidence is not on one side. Surely it is inappropriate to reference a piece of junk science that purports to demonstrate a “97% consensus” on climate alarmism, when it does no such thing. (The critiques are out there, and google is your friend. I’m not interested in a war of links.)

    • In reply to #39 by Thylacine:

      Surely it is inappropriate to reference a piece of junk science that purports to demonstrate a “97% consensus” on climate alarmism, when it does no such thing.

      I think you just lost an argument with the world’s leading scientists and scientific bodies!

      Anyone who cannot tell “junk science” from thousands of peer reviewed studies clearly is absolutely clueless!

      Parroting “alarmism” is not presenting a rational argument!

      I think any scientist reader will have worked out by now that you have no idea about science or about presenting scientific evidence.

      We aren’t going to solve the climate debate here; but surely it isn’t too offensive to point out that all of the evidence is not on one side.

      Ah! The false dichotomy of “two sides”, – a sure sign of ignorance in a multidisciplinary subject!

      We not having a climate debate at all. you have nothing but vague doubt mongering and rhetoric to offer. – and have now sidetracked into a false analogy, by suggesting you don’t know how to concisely present evolution either.

      I again asked you to demonstrate that you understood the subject areas providing the inputs for climate calculations, and you failed miserably, so are clearly not competent to participate in any useful discussion on climate change and the necessary changes which human populations need to make.

      Many regular posters will know I am well informed on climate issues, as I have been having rational RDFS discussions with informed scientists here for the last three years. I even linked some of the discussions earlier.

      Are you seriously disputing my claim that there are many known unknowns in the climate science? Such as cloud formation (even according to the IPCC). Such as the role of the oceans in climate change? Are you seriously disputing the possibility of unknown unknowns

      No! I am disputing that they are relevant to your claims or that you understand any of the connections between them and the climate.

      a) because I understand the implications of uncertain variables and the possible range of outcomes., and

      b) Because it is quite obvious that you have no understanding of the other well known factors which you fail to identify when requested, so have no evidenced basis to make the judgemental claims you do.

      It is very common in deniers, that they do not understand the statistics, the astronomy, the physics, the climate history, or the monitoring technologies.

      I could tell you what some of these are , but you would only contradict me or spout rhetoric.

      Like evolution, there is complexity in specific details of climate science, but the evidence of it happening and being man-made is absolutely solid.

      Just like those “alarmist” climate scientists – who told the people of New Orleans how deep the water would be when the next big hurricane hit them! 12 months be BEFORE Katrina! – Climate scientists do know the possible range of outcomes – and those outcomes arising from taking no action with continuing pollution as usual are pretty dire in the long term!

      http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2004/10/louisiana-wetlands/bourne-text# – When did this calamity happen? It hasn’t—yet. But the doomsday scenario is not far-fetched. The Federal Emergency Management Agency lists a hurricane strike on New Orleans as one of the most dire threats to the nation

  17. A4: The only one “ranting on” here is you, in case you hadn’t noticed. I merely threw out a few observations and platitudes.

    Are you seriously disputing my claim that there are many known unknowns in the climate science? Such as cloud formation (even according to the IPCC). Such as the role of the oceans in climate change? Are you seriously disputing the possibility of unknown unknowns – i.e. the possibility that there are gaps in our understanding of climate that we aren’t even aware of yet? Astonishing claims like those require astonishing evidence. And if you aren’t making such bold claims about the completeness and comprehensiveness of our knowledge of climate, then exactly what were you “ranting on” about in response to my innocent observations?

    Keep up the bombastic rhetoric, A4. You discredit yourself better than I ever could.

  18. I doubt that any government ever funded a study whose final conclusion was that things are all right the way they are, and no changes need to be made. It is always “WE GOT A PROBLEM! SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE! (And throw us more money).

    • In reply to #42 by 78rpm:

      Post-modern cults are less sceptical and a lot costlier than the traditional faiths these days. The global mega-sect of the Religious Right despises climate science.

      Prince Charles isn’t very bright and yet he, along with the Flat Earth Society and most slightly educated Xians, all respect the climate science which terrifies those faithful to the Religious Right.

      And throw us more money.

      What would a headless chook do with money? Buy a new head or faster legs?

  19. “It is baffling, I must say, that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything -
    I had to read this a couple of times.. the beauty of science is that anyone with half a brain can comprehend the concepts… oh never mind. Guess I won’t comment on Thylacine either..

  20. I totally agree with Prince Charles. Climate change has happen for millions of years on this planet, And building on flood plains, near the sea, or even near a river is asking for trouble if you do nothing about defending yourself for the rain.

    • In reply to #59 by bluebird:

      “King” William, perchance?

      Actually if we have to continue with monarchy then William would be a great young guy who’s more aware and in touch with reality to do the job….but I’m not a monarchist – not many Scots are…we had our own kings and queens before they were all beheaded by the English ones…

      Climate change sceptics here in the UK have been flooded out of their houses for the last two months – with rising sea levels and wild storms but its nowhere near London or the Palace so nothing much is being done…..

      • In reply to #60 by Light Wave:

        …I’m not a monarchist – not many Scots are…

        Ahhh, understood.

        …nowhere near London or the Palace, so nothing much is being done

        Ex`actement; roughly translates to “walk a mile in my moccasins, then you will understand”. Just watched a video of a cruise ship caught in a rough storm (do not know the nautical term) off the coast of Spain – good metaphor.

      • In reply to #60 by Light Wave:

        Climate change sceptics here in the UK have been flooded out of their houses for the last two months – with rising sea levels and wild storms

        Cameron seems to have stopped shouting about “getting on-board with gas-fracking, for the moment, as these unfortunates learn the meaning of the term “floodplain”!

        With rising sea-levels and a powered up atmosphere the long-term future holds more of the same.

        Of course as the pseudo-sceptics point out, predicting weather and climate is uncertain, so next year with a shift in the jet-stream, the UK may get the ice and the US get the floods!

        I am fortunate that in choosing my home, I chose a house with a special anti-flood feature.

        It is on the 500foot contour on a slope.

        • In reply to #62 by Alan4discussion:

          I am fortunate that in choosing my home, I chose a house with a special anti-flood feature. It is on the 500foot contour on a slope.

          Hi Alan. That’s one reason why I live at 750ft ASL on Richmond Hill above Toronto, on the stable Canadian Shield, where we get occasional low level tornados or hurricanes – although this winter is very cold & snowy after the big Dec 21 ice storm. I have little long-term hope for those who live on flood plains, hurricane zones or tornado alley…. Mac.

        • In reply to #62 by Alan4discussion:

          In reply to #60 by Light Wave:

          Climate change sceptics here in the UK have been flooded out of their houses for the last two months – with rising sea levels and wild storms

          Cameron seems to have stopped shouting about “getting on-board with gas-fracking, for the moment, as these unfortunates learn…

          I too live on a hill above the flood plain with a great view of nature -
          The ancient Celtic Brits and Irish had a ‘God of the Sea’ called Manannan mac Lir – they placated that God for a vey good reason !

  21. For those who are interested in the technical and detailed scientific aspects of climate change, we had this earlier discussion back in 2011:-

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/discussions/642733-why-the-laws-of-physics-make-anthropogenic-climate-change-undeniable

    For those who want to see examples of “headless chickens”:-

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/642270-noaa-study-suggests-aerosols-might-be-inhibiting-global-warming

    For examples of defenders of the ignorance this discussion is enlightening!

    http://old.richarddawkins.net/discussions/632585-beware-the-black-knights

  22. @ CdnMacAtheist and Light Wave,

    Environmental scientists have been warning people for years about building on flood-plains, but the political “business as usual brigade”, have been more interested in promoting house-price inflation bubbles and bankers’ bonuses.

    Just recently, Cameron has been singing the “deregulate and get rid of red-tape song”!

  23. In reply to Thylacine

    As soon as I started reading your post alarms bells began. You really stand out here. I claim no understanding of the complexity of climate science. But I am able to recognize, as most on this site, when someone is unreasonable.

    As Shakespeare would have said today ” Evidence is All “

  24. Most people look to Scandinavia as a fair and progressive democratic model….hope Scotland goes more toward that than the previous victorian system after Indipendance Day….as for the rest of Britain you can come and live on My Island if you want….

  25. In reply to #45 by Alan4discussion:

    Understanding that a heated atmosphere powers up more destructive storms:

    Understanding a hotter atmosphere holds more water with more intense rainfall causing more local flash flooding.

    An interesting news item has come up today confirming my earlier comments on fiercer storms and more erratic weather:-

    Climate change is likely to be a factor in the extreme weather that has hit much of the UK in recent months, the Met Office’s chief scientist has said. – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26084625

    Dame Julia Slingo said the variable UK climate meant there was “no definitive answer” to what caused the storms.

    “But all the evidence suggests there is a link to climate change,” she added.

    “There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events.”

    More than 130 severe flood warnings – indicating a threat to life – have been issued since December. In contrast, there were only nine in the whole of 2012.

    In reply to #4 by JuJu:
    “The good news is that there’s a cure for Headless Chicken Disease (HCD). 1st you find a headless chicken, then take a piece of that chicken and mix it in a glass with some fresh clean water. Take a drop of that mixture and put it in another glass of…

    Of in Somerset – just pour it out of the window into the river for maximum dilution – and a cure for all in the area.

    • In reply to #72 by Alan4discussion:

      In reply to #45 by Alan4discussion:

      More than 130 severe flood warnings – indicating a threat to life – have been issued since December. In contrast, there were only nine in the whole of 2012.

      I wish the Met office, as reported by the BBC, wouldn’t phrase things this way. If you throw 60 dice and get 5 sixes, then throw another batch of 60 and get 15 sixes it does not mean the dice are biased. Repeat the experiment 100 times and you have rock solid evidence.

      I don’t know what the historic probability of 130 flood warnings is, and what it is in the current models.
      If I say it was 0.5% (once in 200 years), and the model is 5%, then the likelihood ratio is 10:1 it is AGC.

      I think blaming one-off events or even one-off seasons is counter-productive. If the UK has severe flooding for 10 of the next 20 years then that is good evidence against AGC deniers, but only if climate scientists make those predictions now. This news is after the event – “Oh, or course it was AGC”. The prediction might be buried in some academic journal, but that it too obscure.

      What climate scientists should do is make some “long term weather forecasts” (well, actually long term climate forecasts) very very public and “in your face”. I would like to know how many severe droughts are expected in Austin, Texas in the next 10 years, preferable plastered on billboards across Texas. Get that right and even the oil men might take notice.

      • In reply to #76 by God fearing Atheist:

        What climate scientists should do is make some “long term weather forecasts” (well, actually long term climate forecasts) very very public and “in your face”. I would like to know how many severe droughts are expected in Austin, Texas in the next 10 years, preferable plastered on billboards across Texas. Get that right and even the oil men might take notice.

        Increased rainfall/precipitation in the temperate latitudes is predicted in the IPCC climate models, but the pseudo-sceptics like to point out they don’t totally agree with each other so doubt-mongering is all the rage.

        Some models say much the of increased rainfall in Norway will be on the coast – others say it will be heavier inland. With many variables to try to track, this “proves” – according to pseudo-skeptic thinking, that the models are totally wrong and it must be doubtful if there will be any increase in rainfall or snowfall at all! So much for wish-thinking!!!! (After all they are computer models which “nobody understands” -allegedly) .

        But as the lady and myself have said – a hotter atmosphere holds and dumps more water + hotter oceans generate bigger hurricanes – and a heated more energetic atmosphere, is more mobile in mixing polar and tropical air – the rest is physics.

    • In reply to #72 by Alan4discussion:

      In reply to #45 by Alan4discussion:

      “There is no evidence to counter the basic premise that a warmer world will lead to more intense daily and hourly rain events.”

      The level of rainfall is quite unprecedented in North London. As I look out of my kitchen window at the Lea Valley flood relief channel I can see that it has been continuously near its limit for weeks as opposed to just a few days for previous years in the last decade. I anxiously watch the level on a scale on the opposite bank with binoculars, noting the peaks and the rate of rise to try and anticipate an overflow.

      Getting within 300mm of the top, as given by the scale, has been nerve wracking to see time and again, though flood relief of a sort was achieved yesterday when the scale was carried away entirely by a ferocious surge. I can see the deniers view point now….best not to know.

  26. Hitch had Charles to rights when he called him (I’m paraphrasing) “a flap-eared twit with an appalling taste in women.” Nevertheless folks like Charles and the young William have influence with the general public and we should go along with the charade when they, occasionally, get things right. And dump on them when they get things wrong – as in Charles’ stance on homeopathy. However, in the long run I side with Diderot: “Man will not be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Right on Denis!

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