Unthreaded #1

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15 responses to “Unthreaded #1

  1. Posted for MrPete

    DC, your response indicates that your trust is in The Powers That Be, in the form of journal publication “hoops.”

    That’s an appeal to authority. None of your responses indicate that anything I said was actually incorrect. Nor were the conclusions of the referenced material incorrect. Yes, some errors had to be corrected. Nothing that invalidated the conclusions.

    The truth of the matter is not going to be decided by consensus, nor by who has best access to the best journals. (At the same time, policy actions are taken as a result of voting… and power plays.)

    As has been true so often in the past, e.g. plate tectonics, just because contrarian results are blocked from the journals for a time, doesn’t mean they are wrong.

    [DC: As far as I'm concerned, science is a meritocracy. The most compelling, original research gets published in real science publications. The weak "contrarian" studies have to settle for E&E, whose editorial policy is based on a preconceived point of view. I take great exception to your unsubstantiated claim that "contrarian" climate science is being "blocked".]

    Back to the underlying challenge, of PR influence. You and I are in vigorous agreement about “I see no problem in a communication strategy that insists on known facts as supported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.”

    Note that “known facts” is not the same as “in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.”

    Peer review is a gateway for status quo. It is in no way a verification of the truth of anything printed. Certainly not in this arena of science. What Steve M provides, and has demonstrated multiple times, is professional attempts to replicate the stats in these studies… and proof that they have not been properly reviewed, tested or replicated by the other reviewers.

    [DC: You don't seem to understand how science works. Peer review is just one part of the process, albeit a necessary one to winnow obviously flawed work. The real test is in how the research stands up subsequently.

    Steve M has not demonstrated what you claim. His blog is a mixture of half-baked analysis and unjustified innuendo. He himself makes a lot of mistakes, many of which I've pointed out myself. I don't take it too seriously and you shouldn't either.

    Sure, he found a mistake in the PCA analysis of the original MBH98 study. Not so co-incidentally that remains his lone peer-reviewed scientific publication. He'll be taken more seriously by scientists if and when he publishes in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.]

    If you read carefully even the quote I provided, you’ll see that the referenced PR firm is not suggesting promotion of the truth. They are directly promoting something quite different:

    interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won, at least for popular communications. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.

    I did not put “facts” in quotes. They did. They are promoting a PR version of science that says “it is settled” when it is not.

    If you want to play into that kind of “science”, then go right ahead.

    [DC: You're misinterpreting that statement. It simply refers to a strategy that refuses to argue against, or even acknowledge, the lies and distortions put out by the skeptics.

    In general, there is absolutely no question that public relations professionals representing environmental organizations have a much higher ethical standard than those, like Morten Paulsen and Tom Harris , who sow doubt about climate science surreptitiously on behalf of hidden corporate clients.]

  2. Posted for Jeff ID
    (Mostly off-topic, redundant, borderline potential libel)

    “It’s obvious that contrarians would not use a polynomial fit if it didn’t show a downward trend at the end.”

    It’s equally obvious that other blogs/scientists would insist that you can only use a linear fit when it shows an upward trend obfuscating a downward curve which is slight but real.

    I didn’t intend to offend you about the abuse of tools comment, it was directed to some equally obvious acts as in your post from both official and unofficial organizations promoting AGW.

    The IPCC is just a political organization and its views are not scientific. That’s my firm opinion but I would prefer to leave those comments and others about political bias in AGW for the Air Vent and stay on topic here.

    You seem more open to a reasonable discussion than RC or Tamino, I think you’ll find me to be reasonable in return.

    ‘Contrarians’ is a tired word. How about a more scientific, those who disagree’ or something, ‘contrarians’ has the taint of politics.

    BTW: I’m sensitive to the words because I’ve been inappropriately labeled denier and plenty of other things on your favorite blogs. I have absolutely never denied AGW and until I find some kind of proof I never will.

    That’s why I still read those blogs. Despite the little problems which are equal in magnitude and intent to the error pointed out in this post, I like to learn where I can.

    [I was going to rebut this point by point, but frankly life is too short. Suffice to say I disagree every one of your assertions. Your casual smear of the IPCC, along with some of the world's most prominent scientists is absurd and distasteful.

    My post on polynomial fitting was not about "little errors". It's about a highly misleading distortion of the science. But this is par for the course for the contrarians.

    If you keep your comments more focused (and less outrageous), they're more likely to end up where you post them rather than here.]

  3. No need, you convinced me not to post.

    I explained that if you don’t bring up the IPCC I won’t either. I also explained that I agreed with the post you had made along with your clear misunderstanding of high order polynomial fits. Try doing it more, you’ll see I was right about extrapolation.

    I was honest and open about my thoughts and this is your response. — I actually respected your comments in the past, this response though is pathetic.

    You even resorted to false name calling. I actually believe in AGW I just haven’t found the evidence supporting the magnitude or required actions.

    If you apologize I’ll reconsider, until then I know which context I should take your posts.

    [DC: Jeff, I'm not sure exactly what "name calling" I'm supposed to apologize for. For the record, though, the term contrarian was applied in this case specifically to those who misused polynomial fitting i.e. Gunter, MacRae and Spencer. I'm not sure what I should call you, as I know you mainly through your comments here and on other blogs.

    Bottom line: if you confine your comments to what is being discussed in a particular blog post, there's a better chance of the comment not being moved or snipped.

    I'll be commenting further soon ...]

  4. Pingback: Maintaining the Consensus « the Air Vent

  5. DC, this is your house. I don’t have any problem with you responding to Jeff any way you see fit except for one thing: either something is libelous or it is not.

    [DC: It's not that clear cut, actually. But I agree that "borderline libel" is not the correct phrase and I've amended it to "potential libel". See my next comment below for more on this ...]

  6. I thought I should expand on the “potential libel” justification mentioned above. Maybe another time I’ll simply snip statements I find problematic, but so far I have not snipped anyone (except once for slightly offensive language) and I’d prefer to keep it that way. We’ll see how it goes.

    Here are the statements from Jeff ID that were problematic for me:

    1. “Of course I have seen the binomial smoothing including some of the highly manipulable versions which straighten endpoints based on user input parameters. …These useful tools are also abused by people who want to make the data look different than it is.”

    2. “It’s equally obvious that other blogs/scientists would insist that you can only use a linear fit when it shows an upward trend obfuscating a downward curve which is slight but real.

    I didn’t intend to offend you about the abuse of tools comment, it was directed to some equally obvious acts as in your post from both official and unofficial organizations promoting AGW.

    The IPCC is just a political organization and its views are not scientific.”

    To my mind, these statements imply that the IPCC, HadleyCRU and various scientists who blog at realclimate.org (along with others perhaps) are deliberately distorting the temperature record. Now of course I can’t know for sure exactly which organizations and scientists Jeff ID has in mind, but on his blog he did refer directly to one of the groups.

    “Hadley is one of the two groups that I know manipulated the endpoints of their graphs through different filtering.”

    (If you really need to see it, just follow one of the trackbacks that are now littered about).

    So I had a choice:
    a) Snip the comment.
    b) Flag the comment, move it to unthreaded and express my profound disagreement

    I decided on (b).

    Perhaps I’ll comment on Jeff ID’s wilder musings about me another time. For now, I’ll leave you with the definition of libel from Wikipedia. Frankly, I don’t think comments from a minor blogger would ever give rise to an actual libel action, but I do think they require vigorous demurral.

    “Libel (for written publications) … is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual [or] group … a negative image. It is usually, but not always, a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed (the claimant).”

  7. DC: As far as I’m concerned, science is a meritocracy. The most compelling, original research gets published in real science publications.

    DC, if you really believe this statement of yours, you are very naive.

    Humans are emotional creatures. We all have our own preferences, prejudices and biases, oftentimes for completely unreasonable reasons, and scientists are no different. It is something that is very difficult to guard against because it is so intrinsic to human nature.

    We also tend to form social groups with other like-minded people. Too often times, but not always, the journal peer-review process turns into a good old boy-review process. This is not a situation that is unique to climate science. It is widespread throughout all human endeavors.

    Perhaps if humans were perfectly logical, unemotional creatures, like the Vulcans in Star Trek, this situation would not exist, but we are not and it does.

  8. I’ve crossposted the following comment at Jeff ID’s site, replying to some speculation on his part.

    “Deep Climate is on the team, I don’t know who he is but I’m sure his name falls on team papers. He’s not the mathematician though. I’ve had a unique welcome by the team in general. The libel comment makes me think he’s Steig who was going around all offended like he was ready to sue from someone else’s minor comment. Steig has a blog though.”

    No, I’m not a practising scientist and have no connection to the “team” whatsoever (and no doctorate except for the honorific you have bestowed). But I did have a good laugh about that one. I didn’t even know Steig had accused Morano of libel (had to look it up).

    By the way, what I considered “potential libel” was the implication that Hadley CRU or IPCC “abused” smoothing to “make the data look different than it is.” But your statements are unclear, so it’s hard to know exactly what you meant.

    If that particular statement was not made with those organizations in mind, then I would consider the statements “vague unfounded accusations of scientific fraud” or some such, rather than “potential libel”. Either way I discourage such statements as my updated Comment Policy makes clear.

    You’re also wrong about the cubic spline and “hidden points”, of course. You should read a little more carefully.

  9. Pingback: saved post to RC « the Air Vent

  10. John A. Jauregui

    [DC: Off topic comment reposted here.]

    Using simple logic, historic observation and just a touch of common sense we can ask two revealing questions:
    1) What is the likelihood the recent warming, and now cooling, we have been experiencing is caused by small variations of radiant output and magnetic field strength in the nearby star, which provides 99.9999% of our energy budget? In their technical reports, the IPCC admits it doesn’t have a clear and complete understanding how our nearby star drives our weather and climate over time. Furthermore, how might our likelihood estimate change should we observe other planets in our solar system warming and cooling coincident with earth?
    2) What is the likelihood the recent warming, and now cooling, we have been experiencing is caused by infinitesimally increasing concentrations of an infinitesimal trace gas, which composes less than .04% of our atmosphere and has been shown by the IPCC to have a Global Warming Potential (GWP) several orders of magnitude smaller than most other atmospheric trace gases, especially water vapor, which has an atmospheric concentration ten times greater? Just as important, it has been shown that human activity is only responsible for 3% of this minute trace gas. What then is the likelihood that reducing the human activity which produces this minute trace gas will have any material impact on atmospheric concentrations over time?
    Finally, what benefits might all living things on earth reap should this trace gas reach levels approaching 1000 PPM, where studies have shown it optimizes plant growth, with or without the help of humans? Professor Mann’s infamous “hockeystick” study and graphic of bristlecone growth proxy data shows conclusively that nothing has done more to “GREEN” the planet over the past few decades than moderate sun-driven warming in conjunction with a CO2 enriched atmosphere.


    [DC: There are so many errors in the premises of your questions that I hardly know where to start.]

  11. Geoff Pohanka

    [DC: Moved here - off topic.]

    Here is an interesting article. Explains a lot about what is happening.

    http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=104031&cat=12

    [DC: During the Bush era, the U.S. administration did all it could to distort and suppress climate science.]

  12. Off Topic Comment for Roddy Baird

    [Off topic comment posted on behalf of Roddy Baird]

    The facts are that the LIA was real, as was the medieval warming period, the hockey stick is fraud, the current warming is not particularly unusual and no-one knows what is causing it, and most importantly whilst CO2 may play a part in slowing down the heat loss from the oceans to the cold of space and thereby slightly warm the atmosphere, it cannot affect the long term ocean heat content, by far the most significant “driver” of the earth’s climate. Therefore it can never materially affect the earth’s climate. Almost everything one reads or hears in the mainstream media about “climate change” is pro-agw propaganda, so a few small exaggerations from real scientists is no big deal. As I read in the Bible once, (no, I’m not religious in the slightest, so put down that straw man!) “attend to the log in your own eye before you attend to the mote in your brother’s”.

  13. Off Topic Comment - for Jeff

    [off topic comment reposted for Jeff]

    As far as your insinuations go about suspicious funding for people and organisations that dare question The Faith, the ratio of funding available for the alarmists as compared to the realists, see the below link to see who gets most of the money:

    While we’re talking about truth in Journalism, how much space do you reckon the Mainstram Media (MSM) has devoted to this?

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/07/truth-about-realclimateorg.html

    And as for NASA & the NOAA being the absolute source of uncorrupted raw temperature data, well…

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/28/nasa-giss-adjustments-galore-rewriting-climate-history/

    These days James Hansen is more of an activist than a scientist:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/23/dr-james-hansen-of-nasa-giss-arrested/

    And as for the accuracy of weather stations – particularly in the US – 89% at last count were sited where the readings could be corrupted by unnatural influences such as ashphalt, concrete, air conditioning units, etc, all giving a warm bias to their readings.
    But hey, you just go on believing that man-made CO2 emissions are heating the world to hell and we’re all going to fry and die unless Kevin comes to the rescue with his CPRS.
    Personally, I think Barnaby makes more sense.

    http://barnabyjoyce.com.au/Issues/Thisweekinpolitics/tabid/56/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/949/Senator-Barnaby-Joyce-Transcript-of-Speech-Nationals-Fed-Council-2009.aspx

  14. Off topic comment - Dave

    [off topic comment reposted for Dave]

    BTW, I’ll believe warmers are truly serious about a climate crisis when you embrace modern, passively safe, clean, antiproliferative nuclear power (think thorium molten salt reactors) as the obvious and only viable alternative to hydrocarbons for electrical power. Dirt cheap, lowest environmental footprint, and eats uranium and plutonium from decommissioned weapons for lunch.

  15. Off topic – reposted for John Smith101

    As there is such a certainty on this blog as to the correctness of your position perhaps someone can explain the following: while the natural ocean-atmosphere CO2 transfer is said to be equilibrium, as governed, in part, by Henrys Law, by what physical processes is the addition of anthropogenic CO2, said by the IPCC to be accumulating in the atmosphere, not governed by Henrys Law? Prof Ashley – can you explain this?

    Furthermore, can someone here explain how the trading of CO2 emissions will reduce (just one industrial gas example) the global warming potential (GWP) of hydroflurocarbon (HFC 23), used in domestic air conditioners, a very powerful greenhouse gas with a GWP 14,800 times more potent than CO2?

    Whilst there is no doubt that humans have greatly impacted the planet the desperate clinging to an anthropogenic CO2-cause still looks very shaky. One would hope that the scientists contributing to this blog still maintain a healthy scientific scepticism and are open to falsifying their hypotheses. If not then perhaps they should clearly state that their position is one of advocacy, in which case they need to reconsider their use of publicly-funded science research grants.

    [DC: I don’t want to waste too much time on your nonsense, but you should read these:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/11/is-the-ocean-carbon-sink-sinking/

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