CRU’s Jones on the stand: Pearce offers opinion as news

by Bryan Walker on March 2, 2010

Fred Pearce is obviously unrepentant over the unjust treatment he meted out to Phil Jones in his unfortunate series of artices on the UEA emails, one of which I commented on here. He has just produced an extraordinarily slanted accountof Jones’ questioning from the Parliamentary committee set up to look into the affair. How’s this for openers?

“Jones did his best to persuade the Commons science and technology committee that all was well in the house of climate science. If they didn’t quite believe him, they didn’t have the heart to press the point. The man has had three months of hell, after all.”

Then Pearce offers two highly prejudicial descriptions of Jones’ actions, each linked to one of his own articles:

“Jones’s general defence was that anything people didn’t like – the strong-arm tactics to silence critics, the cold-shouldering of freedom of information requests, the economy with data sharing – were all “standard practice” among climate scientists.”

Pearce expresses disappointment that one of his own pet projects was not pursued by the committee:

“Nobody asked if, as claimed by British climate sceptic Doug Keenan, he had for two decades suppressed evidence of the unreliability of key temperature data from China.”

Gavin Schmidt has comprehensively dealt with this claim on Real Climate (see his comments on part 5). If Pearce is aware of what Schmidt wrote he is undeterred by it and again links to his own article as demonstrating the topic worthy of the attention of a parliamentary committee.

Then Pearce apparently leaves the scene of the parliamentary committee and offers his own account of what he claims Jones has conceded publicly about the 1990 China study, translating Jones’ ‘slightly different conclusion’ into his own ‘radically different findings’.

There are other important Pearce conclusions which the committee failed to investigate, again expressed in prejudicial terms:

“Nor did the MPs probe how conflicts of interest have become routine in Jones’s world of analysing and reconstructing past temperatures. How, as the emails reveal, Jones found himself intemperately reviewing papers that sought to criticise his own work. And then, should the papers somehow get into print, judging what place they should have in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), where he and his fellow emails held senior positions.”

Pearce takes comfort from his feeling that the committee will have to pay closer attention to the issue in the light of the written submission from the Institute of Physics which is highly critical of the emailers.  He doesn’t mention that John Beddington, the government’s chief scientific adviser, told the committee the institute’s view was “premature” and that they should wait until the Russell inquiry publishes its findings in the spring.

Pearce’s Guardian report is clearly an opinion piece but not presented as such. It is an extraordinary example of the authority some journalists have taken upon themselves to declare judgment on matters of which they have shown very little knowledge. Pearce is not a climate change sceptic, but he is hounding a group of climate scientists and seems fired up by the thrill of the chase. It’s a sad spectacle in a leading newspaper.

[GR adds: The Guardian’s David Adam provides a more balanced overview here, and the paper’s live blog of the session is worth a look.]
[GR update: Simon Hoggart’s take: “Whatever your view on man-made global warming, you had to feel sorry for Professor Phil Jones..”]

{ 107 comments… read them below or add one }

cindy March 2, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Yes indeed. Pearce’s 30 year record as a science writer has taken a major step backward in recent weeks… maybe it’s the result of one of his own references being cited in one of the “climategate” [non] “scandals”? But I doubt there will be a climate scientist willing to speak with him these days.

With regard to yesterday’s hearing, what I particularly liked was Benny Peiser’s “I’m not in the business of modelling” [what IS he in the business of, one might ask – taking down climate scientists? Shame the cttee couldn’t get them to talk about who funds them]… and, more importantly, the admission by both Peiser and Lawson that the stolen emails didn’t bring into question the science of climate change. They should tell Sen Inhofe.

grrrr

Rob Taylor March 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm

One day quite soon, I fear, the name “Inhofe” will have the same meaning as the names “Quisling”, “Vichy” and “Benedict Arnold” have today.

Terry March 2, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Rob:

Why would you fear it? I would think you would celebrate it.

Rob Taylor March 2, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Terry, are you insane? Who would celebrate famine, forced migration, disease and war?

Terry March 3, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Rob:
I’ll need a second opinion regards your question, but the names you cited all went to the losing side and the winners are the ones that write history. So in the context of Inhofe on the losing side I made my comment.

Rob Taylor March 3, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Terry, listen carefully. Unmitigated AGW means we. all. lose. There is no winning side.

Terry March 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm

Rob, would you accept prevail? In the context of the original comment, of course. Cheering for disaster is not on the agenda.

It looks right now as though a lot of the previously accepted aspects of climate research disaster scenarios are being questioned by a lot of serious people. When the UK Met Office wants to revisit the entire temperature record and reconstruct it it is a bit difficult to brush them off as skeptics or ignorant or any of the other peremptory dismissals. The validity of a number of disaster predictions has been seriously questioned by serious people. Dr Jones has said that the MWP may well have been warmer than today, and that documented relatively recent warming periods (followed by cooling) are in the same range as today’s warming. And I support anything that would expand and promote food production (plant growth) is mostly a good thing that will relieve poverty and starvation.

I am not ready to write off AGW as a hoax or a fraud but they have not proved their case beyond the 1 degree or so generally accepted by all as the result of doubling CO2. The divergence between the forecast band of temperatures to be expected and the actual temperatures is becoming wide. The recent behavior of the sun is likely not included in any model, and there are some theories that TSI is only a part of the sun’s influence and that magnetic strength may play a large role. The forecast made some years ago by Dr Easterbrook based on changes in relatively near-shore ocean (PDO and AMO) is looking more and more credible.

Time, geologic time, will need to pass before the final answer is apparent. I’ve maybe 10 to 30 years to go, you a bit longer, and neither of us will see certainty. So we argue.

Rob Taylor March 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Terry, you trot out the same tired old straw men, circular arguments and pseudoscientific red herrings as the rest of the deniosaurs, then wonder why you have no credibility.

Again, your tactics are that of the concern troll who seeks to demotivate any action to mitigate AGW. As such, you serve the interests of those few billionaires who both profit from fossil fuels and believe their wealth will protect them from the consequences.

It will not take geologic time to see how this pans out.

Dappledwater March 4, 2010 at 1:47 am

“I am not ready to write off AGW as a hoax or a fraud but they have not proved their case beyond the 1 degree or so generally accepted by all as the result of doubling CO2″ – Terry

Must be my cue:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLYqzIhhT6o

Phil Scadden March 4, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Terry said “The divergence between the forecast band of temperatures to be expected and the actual temperatures is becoming wide. “

It is? http://www.realclimate.org/images/model09.jpg for latest
model/data comparison I am aware of. Model prediction from IPCC AR4.
Temperature from GISTEMP and HadCrut. UAH is even stronger. And with persistence of a moderate El Nino, I would imagine 2010 isnt going contribute any divergence at all. Nonetheless, you need to look over the 30 year trend as the theory doesnt say much about shorter time periods (yet anyway – better instrumentation might change that).

Do you have anything to back your assertion?

Carol Stewart March 2, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I don’t know, Bryan. I think Fred Pearce’s (and the Guardian’s) motivation in running those articles was to restore public confidence in climate science and scientists, by opening it all up to scrutiny. I don’t feel very inclined to defend Phil Jones. But I can take your point that Pearce has been overzealous.

Bryan Walker March 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Carol, if a properly constituted investigation finds Jones guilty of misdemeanours I won’t complain. But Fred Pearce rushed to judgment in his articles, as Gavin Schmidt and others have demonstrated pretty well, and now seems hell bent on pursuing those judgments. The Guardian’s motivation remains a mystery to me. In all my years of reading the Guardian I have never felt as perplexed as by their promotion and editorial support of Pearce’s articles. I’m not a scientist and don’t pretend to understand all the intricacies of what Pearce accuses Jones of, but I must say that as a lay observer I found his evidence open to question, to put it mildly – however he was not only prosecutor but also judge and there was no one assigned the role of defence. In my book that isn’t right. Admittedly the Guardian invited later comment from Schmidt on some of the articles, but you had to go searching to find it. He’s had to use Real Climate for his full response.

Carol Stewart March 2, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I can see what you mean about the difference between reportage and opinion, Bryan. Monbiot has also been very critical of the CRU crew, but it’s via his personal soapbox. I still think the basic motivation is to reclaim the moral high ground for climate science.

Bryan Walker March 2, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Maybe the motivation and the execution are at odds. One of the difficulties for me is that climate science hasn’t ever lost the moral high ground. I hate to think of where we’d be without it. I was surprised by Monbiot’s reaction. I wonder whether we’ve allowed the onslaught from denialism to unnerve us.

Terry March 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Opinion as reporting has been happening for a long time and the various “victims” have complained and nothing has changed. There does seem to be a bit of the “pack” mentality in the press, and sometimes they love you and sometimes they view you as lunch. This week AGW and any and all of the UEA Crew are lunch. Next week it may be different. The press still is predisposed to love AGW. But it can’t get over the Woodward-Bernstein Watergate scoop and keeps hoping to find the next one.

The AGW side has had a very bad 4 months. Dr Jones looks quite old and haggard in the current photos compared to the publicity ones. It must have been a quite bad time for him.

He used to share his data before claiming it violated the confidentiality agreements and asserting that hiding the data was standard practice.

Results of the inquiry yet to come.

Bryan Walker March 2, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Inhofe’s antics awaken memories of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was active in my student days accusing many decent Americans of communism and putting them through humiliating interrogations with often disastrous results for their careers. John Steinbeck’s verdict reverberates: “Joseph McCarthy proved [that] the more ridiculous the charge, the less possibility there is of defense.”

RW March 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm

McCarthy was a total b***ard. One should also not forget that Nixon started his congressional career a few years earlier by smearing the reputation of a Democratic congresswoman withn similar tactics.

Bryan Walker March 3, 2010 at 7:24 am

The Guardian has an opinion piece from Simon Hoggard which indicates the toll on Phil Jones. Actually it’s more of a report than Fred Pearce’s was. The headline: “The sight of another scientist being skewered makes for painful viewing.”

He takes a rather different view of the committee’s questioning than Pearce did. “The questioning from the Commons science committee was courteous but extremely persistent – unlike some committees, who can resemble a dog, chasing after whatever ball the witness has thrown.”

Hoggard comments that Jones hadn’t been helped by an earlier witness, Lord Lawson: “Lawson laid about the ‘climate alarmists’ and, without naming Jones, spoke with dripping contempt. ‘Proper scientists, scientists with integrity, wish to reveal their data and all their methods. They do not require freedom of information requests!’”

Nigel Lawson was invited to New Zealand by the Business Roundtable in 2007 and enjoyed the meek attention of the media for his lordly message that climate change fears are a socialist plot to put a spanner in the works of capitalism, that the science is uncertain, and that even if warming does take place humans will have no problems adapting to it. The thought of him lecturing scientists about integrity before a parliamentary committee is sickening.

It looks to me as if character assassination is going to be a prominent theme in the current round of assaults from the denialist forces. The media should be on the alert, but I fear they will take whatever bait is laid out for them.

Bryan Walker March 4, 2010 at 9:08 am

Terry, I’m not sure where you got some of your interpretations from, but I offer some alternatives for those about which you are sufficiently specific:

You write:
1) When the UK Met Office wants to revisit the entire temperature record and reconstruct it it is a bit difficult to brush them off as skeptics or ignorant or any of the other peremptory dismissals. ”

There’s no suggestion from the Met Office that this proposal for a new analysis represents some kind of doubt about the warming of the globe. They say specifically in their proposal: “To meet future needs to better understand the risks of dangerous climate change and to adapt to the effects of global warming, further development of these datasets is required, in particular to better assess the risks posed by changes in extremes of climate. This will require robust and transparent surface temperature datasets at finer temporal fidelity than current products.”

You may be interested to read Joe Romm commenting on the proposal, and welcoming it.

You write:
2) “Dr Jones has said that the MWP may well have been warmer than today, and that documented relatively recent warming periods (followed by cooling) are in the same range as today’s warming.”

This interpretation of Jones’ words, though common in denialist websites and articles, hardly accords with what he actually said in his careful replies to questions from the BBC. Read the questions and his answers here and see for yourself. Skeptical Science comments.

You write:
3) “The divergence between the forecast band of temperatures to be expected and the actual temperatures is becoming wide.”

This is simply not so. James Hansen’s famous 1988 forecasts, for example, are standing up well. He offered different forecasts for different CO2 emission scenarios. The divergence which denialists claim is obtained only by taking his forecast for a high emission scenario(which didn’t eventuate) and ignoring those he offered for the medium emission scenarios which have obtained. There is a patient explanation here on Skeptical Science and another here on Real Climate.

Terry March 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Was it the Guardian that just had a discussion of terminology? When even the Brits realize the gratuitous insult is likely not the best path to persuasion, perhaps you have a problem. I previously had a discussion with Rob on why it is insulting and demeaning to continue using this term, but it did not dissuade him. Ok, you want to insult rather than either communicate or persuade. You have staked out your position that you are convinced and will brook no argument or evidence to the contrary. It is no longer about science but rather a belief system which must not be challenged and must be defended so lets vilify anyone who raises a question. Actual Science has little or not part in the defense.

On the evidence available to date, there is an influence on temperature of changing levels of CO2. There is also an influence on temperature based on where on wishes to take the temperature and which stations/locations one wishes to include in the record. Recent and historical evidence shows a significant influence of the behavior of the Sun on the temperatures extant on earth. There is a case to be made that the heat content of the surface of the oceans has a significant influence on global surface temperatures. There is a strong theory that the Sun’s magnetic field, not measured in TSI, has a meaningful influence on global earth weather. It is yet to be discovered which of the many influences has the greatest impact, and under what conditions. Now what part of that statement involves any form of denial?

I’m off to Death Valley for about 3 weeks, limited to absent access, apologies if I fail to respond. No power, no cell. Nothing personal. More like simply glorious nothing. As Phil Jones would say, Cheers.

Bryan Walker March 4, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Terry, I was not aware that any of the alternative views I offered for your interpretations was insulting to you. Indeed I went to quite a lot of trouble to provide them and thought I did so in a reasonable way. I certainly didn’t use any demeaning terms that I was aware of. However I won’t try again, nor offer any further response to your comments. You have your own sources and prefer them. But why offer them here if you are going to be offended by rebuttals?

Rob Taylor March 4, 2010 at 9:20 pm

Bryan, Terry’s gone off in a tiff because you demolished his flimsy arguments, leaving him with nothing to cover his intellectual nakedness but a flurry of red herrings and a grizzle about the term “denialist”.

I expect he is a professional spinmeister who spreads his particular brand of apathy from blog to blog in the service of one of the reactionary “think tanks” who fund such activity.

Bryan Walker March 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Yes Rob, I fear I was somewhat taken in and wasted effort as a result. I treated him as an enquirer who’d been reading some denialist websites and was open to other possibilities. Seems your antennae are more reliable than mine.

tomfarmer March 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Interesting re Lawson unto NZ, and by whom. Being a ‘skeptic’ so-called and self-confessedly, you’d guess his Lordship knows of other questioners – ie Douglas Keenan – and what such association can lead to in responsibility (or not) terms. Hardly peer review tho peer-emboldened is a possibility!

Personally I’d say that if the UK’s Mets office involvement amounts to one big assist to Prof. Jones’s work and team then great. No one ought be subject to unnecessary stress in performance of their work.

The commenter here who refers to “serious people” as scrutinising the science, its processes, whatever, is correct in presuming the matter of their involvement as serious. But having said so, and in such an overbearing manner, he has, by the same token, severely risked himself as being if not serious then insincere. Advise speak your own mind, boyo.

I remain on hold regarding the guardian whose capacity to guide a more educated public and readership has a responsibility of its very own in British media-dom. [ point: Pearce is New Scientist isn’t he?]

The same cannot be said of other print and online media among whom some recent editorial swaps have come into play. The hope, of course, being how confusion and readership keeps journos in jobs.

TomG March 5, 2010 at 7:49 am

I don’t think you were wasting your time Bryan.
There is a large number of people floating about that don’t realize that their understanding of Climate Change is totally wrong, mainly due to the spoutings off of fools such as Terry.
You explained why he was wrong very well, without insult and if any lurkers were here, they had all the evidence presented before them proving why he was wrong.
I agree with Rob that Terry is “a professional spinmeister.
The phoney claim of insult and the Death Valley excuse for leaving are dead giveaways.
When these people start to find the going getting tough, how many times have you noticed some sort of an excuse for leaving a thread?
Last time his son might have been sick with the flu, this time it’s Death Valley.
I suspect “Terry” is busy at other sites with different names and spreading the same bunk.

RW March 5, 2010 at 8:33 am

“Terry” lost the argument and has left the ring. The fact that some of the more cunning anti-AGWers stay away from this site – preferring to peddle their junk where there are more gullible readers – is really a compliment to the skill of Bryan, Gareth and many others here in refuting such stuff.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 10:53 am

Pearce may be introducing some personal opinion, but from what I have seen in the emails the evidence is pretty damning.

Do we really need an “independent” enquiry when the information is in the public domain?

Mosher and Fuller’s book, The CRUTape Letters, in my opinion, provides a fairly reasonable appraisal of what looks like, to me, a fairly low standard of scientific practice and ethics.

Mosher and Fuller follow the story right back to the early days of Climate Audit and McIntyre’s involvement with Mann’s hockey stick.

I am a scientist who wants to see honesty, transparency and quality in the scientific process.

I see very little of that in evidence from the CRU emails, and many submissions to the Muir Russell enquiry are in agreement. This is nothing to to with a “denialist” industry funded by big oil, but by independent thinkers who see gaping holes in the scientific process.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 11:04 am

Right. Tell me what you think is the most damning thing to come out of it – something that would suggest to you that the underlying science is flawed?

I havent read the book, but with Fuller involved, I would have some severe doubts about it. I assume you have also looked at explanations of the context provided by Gavin Schmidt at Realclimate?

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 11:11 am

@Phil Scadden

(1) Corruption of the peer review process
(2) Refusal to release data and code under FOIA laws

How does Gavin Schmidt defend this position?

I can provide links to emails if you need

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 11:32 am

Before believing anything in that book (you are are aware of the authors biases?), you should perhaps check out the explanation. Unlike the soundbites from emails, though you have to wade through the full context. Both charges are discussed by Schmidt. There is a lot of detail though.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack-context/
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/cru-hack-more-context/

Beside the post, there is a great deal to be learned in Gavin’s response to comments so just skim to them. I assume your charge of avoidance of FOIA letters refers to refusal to release national data to CA’s orchestrated requestors. While I think Jones’s response was very poor, I dont know how rational I would be faced with this kind of rubbish. Surely you are not condoning the CA’s approach (with Mosher I suspect well involved)? The data requested wasnt CRU’s to release. How would you like that kind of interference in what you do? CA was just hampering research with yet another unfounded attack on scientific credibility.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

Oh come on! So this “whistleblower” also had the skills to engineer a sophisticated break-in to Realclimate in an attempt to upload the file? How likely is in an insider to possess those skills?

Johnmacmot March 5, 2010 at 11:44 am

Phil, this poster is plainly a troll, and not worth a lot of your energy to reply to.

Referring to Mosher and Co’s book is a giveaway, but their dirty hands won’t trouble someone like this.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 11:51 am

Pardon? I am concerned by this statement.

In what way is Mosher and Fuller’s book a giveaway?
I have read Mosher several times, and he seems a very reasonable man to me
He has contacted Dr Judith Curry and they seem to be of the same opinion that an open approach to climate science is the best way forward.

How, exactly, does that make me a troll?

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 11:46 am

>Before believing anything in that book (you are are aware of the authors >biases?)

Last words from the book…”Global warming is real and it is a problem, if not the catastrophe they want you to believe.. and yes we do need to do something about it”

I am unaware of any Oil funded corporation funding Mosher and Fuller. My understanding is that Mosher works in Open Source software and pursues from this point of view.

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the authors biases.

>CA was just hampering research with yet another unfounded attack >on scientific credibility.

Part of the scientific process is to try to refute your findings, and allow others to do so.

I understand that M&M found major flaws in Mann’s hockey stick reconstruction.

Why is this construed as hampering science? Is it not an integral part of the scientific process?

McIntyre initially engaged Jones on an amicable tone. When it became clear that McIntyre was trying to “prove something wrong” with Jones’ work, he changed tack and blocked access to data and methods.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Well, reading other works and then looking at critical analysis of them?

“Hampering scientific effort” is 60 FOIA requesting data that you are not entitled to release. Not exactly the first time either.

Also when you ask for code and data so can “audit”, you are essentially saying “I think you are lying and that your code and data will not produce what you published”. Wonder why people get insulted? The proper way to check something is that you redo the analysis yourself. This gives far more insight. And if there is a coding bug, then it gives you much better way to find it. Eg the UAH corrections with the wrong sign; the V&R analysis of the Siddall et al data. If the aim is audit, then why not the audit like of Douglass et al which was full of flaws?

And as for finding errors.. please. All this is well documented, easily verified by looking at the published papers through the cites. In McI dreams perhaps.

Since you read the prosecution, I certainly hope you will read the defense too. While at RC, look at
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/close-encounters-of-the-absurd-kind/
Near bottom is another encounter with CA shenanigans.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 12:23 pm

“Also when you ask for code and data so can “audit”, you are essentially saying “I think you are lying and that your code and data will not produce what you published”

No, this is science.

Is it the opinion of the contributors to this blog that Climate science should be left inside an ivory tower, impenetrable to outside scrutiny?

>And as for finding errors.. please. All this is well >documented, easily verified by looking at the >published papers through the cites. In McI dreams >perhaps.

Phil Jones himself admitted in the UK parliamentary enquiry this week that no one checks his numbers.

Given that a multi-trillion dollar re-engineering of the Western economies relies on this science, it seems only reasonable to expect a certain amount of scrutiny.

Gareth March 5, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Science, in this instance, is to write your own code to apply the methodology, and then see if it produces different results. If it does, you contact the authors, and take it from there.

Anyway: on the subject of the auditor-in-chief, Deep Climate has an excellent series of posts running through the history of his operations: one, two.

And the risks are not symmetrical: if we’re wrong about the severity of climate change, we’ll have reengineered the world’s energy systems to be clean, saved the tropical rainforests and reduced the risk of ocean acidification. On the other hand, if we do nothing and change is bad, then we risk severe impacts — a real challenge to our civilisation. Like building a bridge over a river, you engineer for a plausible worst case, not the average flow.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm

No, this is science.
No its not. Rerunning the same program on the same data is only a test of lying. The normal and productive means of checking results is repeat the analysis yourself, then get together with author. With all of CA “auditing”, can you point to a single published error that has been found in all the millions of open climate code? If everyone is so hot
on the open source code, then where are the contributions and corrections to the climate modelling code from outside the modelling community. This stuff is just a stunt.


Is it the opinion of the contributors to this blog that Climate science should be left inside an ivory tower, impenetrable to outside scrutiny?

Of course not. You scrutinize in the normal way, getting the data through the normal channels (ie the data custodian). It would appear everyone but CA understands this.


Phil Jones himself admitted in the UK parliamentary enquiry this week that no one checks his numbers.

Except that Hadcrut uses around 95% of the same data as GISTEMP but analyses it differently. The differences are mostly due to well studied (and published) differences of approach in polar regions. Understanding that difference is illuminating. I’d say that was useful checking.


Given that a multi-trillion dollar re-engineering of the Western economies relies on this science, it seems only reasonable to expect a certain amount of scrutiny.

Hockey stick and Hadcrut are sideshows. AGW is outcome of a comprehensive theory of climate grounded in physics. That has seen off the scrutiny pretty well so far.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 1:40 pm

>Hockey stick and Hadcrut are sideshows

WOW!!

The Hockey stick was the poster child of the TAR

Is the TAR now a “sideshow”?

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Perhaps you should see latest reconstructions in Mann 09? (or Ar4, WG1). Why do think it is important? Anything in paleoclimate is up against problem of uncertain temperature compared to uncertain forcings. Paleoclimate supplies some constraints and provides some validations. It frankly sounds to me like you should do some solid reading of the AR4 WG1 chapter.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for the links Gareth.
I am going to read these, plus
“The Hockey Stick Illusion” by Andrew Montford, and see if I can come to my own conclusions as to the validity of the Hockey Stick (which gets a lot of mention in your links)

It is interesting that the MWP was mentioned at the UK parliamentary enquiries. Prof Acton suggested that the MWP needed more research, and also Jones has expressed similar views in his BBC article with Roger Harribin.

I have to disagree on the symmetry argument. I think there is a very real possibility that the UK economy will collapse in the next 5 years, and some of that can be put down to the EU’s myopic obsession with CO2 which puts global warming at the top of every list, ignoring real issues that affect people now, such as feeding themselves and keeping warm.

Gareth March 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I have to disagree on the symmetry argument.

It’s not an argument, it’s basic risk management. I suppose you never buy household or motor insurance… Remind me never to cross any bridges you may have designed.

Bryan Walker March 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Dr Checkzor, yesterday I spent a good deal of time offering answers to a seeming innocent like you (Terry on this thread) who only wanted to have a few concerns put to rest. I was then turned on and abused for being insulting. Unlike you I’m not a scientist, but I’m sufficiently well read in history to know a witch hunt when I smell one. That is what Phil Jones is the object of, and Michael Mann not far off. I don’t know anything about Phil Jones as a person, but I know I have seen nothing in what he has written (however unwisely) which suggests to me that he is guilty of anything like the villainy you seem to take for granted. “Do we really need an “independent” enquiry when the information is in the public domain?” you ask. Lynch mobs have never needed confirmation of the guilt they presume.

Judith Curry’s essay struck me as foolish and naive. Joe Romm says what needs to said about it.

However, I’m not going to be pulled into the kind of time-wasting exercise I landed myself with yesterday. I only write my posts because of the deep alarm I feel about the human future as we continue to overload Earth’s atmosphere with greenhouse gases. Phil may continue to be patient with you, though I notice you seem to be building up a head of steam and may well explode soon like those who came before you.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I have no head of steam.

I cannot see any future, if you think Judith Curry is naive.

The EU is happy to fine Microsoft $100 billion dollars for not sharing its source code. Yet the science of climate change is shrouded in mystery (yes yes we know it is a robust peer reviewed process and thousands of scientists cannot be wrong etc etc, roll out the usual rhetoric)

The public is rapidly losing trust and interest in AGW. Realclimate is a pathetic attempt by a PR company

I have as much concern about the future of this planet as the next guy. I am deeply concerned at the implications of Cap and Trade, ETS etc, which will tax the hell out of the little guy. Carbon trading will become the biggest market on the planet. And believe me, oil companies will benefit here – they are not stupid.

I’d love to see all New Zealanders get subsidies to insulate and double glaze their houses, but all we get is taxation.

What will change on the emissions front? Absolutely nothing. China and India will take over any remaining manufacturing jobs from us because we will have priced ourselves out of the market

NZ, the UK and EU will dwindle into insignificance economically.

Energy policies driven by CO2 myopia will push many Kiwis over the poverty line.

I am sorry, I won’t waste any more of your time.
I have no head of steam about to explode.

All I feel is sadness at the death of science and reason. There is no hope for my children. Their inquisitive minds are being destroyed by the mind-numbing political correctness of post-normal science and neo-Marxist green politics.

Have a nice weekend.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Wow. It is clear from the things that you have read that you believe a lot of this that I dont think is true. RealClimate isnt a PR company – its the actual scientists talking to the public. Unlike other outlets, its closely references the published science. If you think that the allegations in the book you read are not answered by Gavin, then I suggest you take them up with him. You see, I think you will find that his explanations are VERIFIABLE – either by looking at the context in the emails and/or looking what has been published. I think it is extremely unfair to make your judgments simply based on the prosecution, but you so far haven’t engaged with any of the defense from your statements so far. Instead we have a rant about proposed political solutions (which may have a lot of merit), claims about a trillion dollar cost to economy (hmm, if we immediately stop all subsidies on fossil fuel, require new generation to be CO2 free, is this going to cost trillions?), and more wild accusations about loss of science and reason. Rapid warming will push many more beyond poverty line and worse. Please engage with the science and not with the rhetoric. Not liking proposed solutions is rotten reason for denying there is a problem.

Bryan Walker March 5, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Well, the explosion (with or without steam) came even sooner than I expected, unless Phil’s patience entices him back.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

This is Gavin Schmidts comments in the NYT recently:

“There have always been people accusing us of being fraudulent criminals, of the I.P.C.C. being corrupt,” Dr. Schmidt said. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the ‘climategate’ release. It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”

Calling your critics “nutters” hardly engenders good debate does it?

So I either agree with Gavin Schmidt on all points, or I am a “nutter”.

Well, thanks for the advice.

Dappledwater March 5, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Bryan, it’s a familiar pattern on every climate blog I frequent. Nice to see the deniosaurs lies and insinuations taken apart. I find it interesting watching the various approaches when dealing with them.

The appeal to science and reason is truly weird, every time I read that from a deniosaur I can’t help but think “WTF????!!!!”

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 3:00 pm

@Dappledwater

I find your comment extremely offensive

I find that every AGW blog I visit where I do not act the cheerleader routine, jogging up and down with my Al Gore pom-poms, and ask to QUESTION ANY ASPECT OF THE SCIENCE OR POLICY WHATSOEVER, I get labelled a “troll” “denier”, “deniosaur” (that’s just today on this site btw)

I find it impossible to communicate. I am not a denier, (athough I find that word as offensive as fag, nigger queer, etc)

>find it interesting watching the various approaches when >dealing with them.

THEM????

You exactly do you think THEM is????

Personally, I like the style of Roger Pielke Jr
http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com
He seems to talk sense.
Policies that are achievable and not based on alarmist claptrap.

but I am sure that the cheerleaders amongst you will scoff. You can scuttle back to your chums and sneer at US (whoever WE might be, but We are not YOU)

Read your damned “peer-reviewed” science, listen to uncle Gavin. Some of you actually believe Al Gore has a brain.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

I have a great deal more time for R Peikle senior. If you persistently underestimate risks then it is hard to take policy seriously. I find your sneering comments about “uncle Gavin” and “damned peer reviewed science” extremely hard to understand. You mean you don’t like peer-reviewed science??? Where do you publish? One issue in climate science is that you have people saying one thing when talking to the gullible and another when speaking (via paper or at conference) to scientists. For this reason alone, you want to stick to published science. You opened this discussion with an attack (ill-founded in my opinion) on climate scientists. Now digressed into politics and whatever, – all good to discuss – but it would be best to find out whether you attacks in the first place were valid. I couldnt care whether you think Gore a half wit or a god, but it does matter whether you think there is a reasonable risk that climate sensitivity is 3 or greater.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I have worked in academia and as a software engineer.

I am very unhappy with academics and the peer review process.

I cannot comment on the climate sensitivity issue. I am still trying to understand this

Dappledwater March 5, 2010 at 4:06 pm

“@Dappledwater I find your comment extremely offensive” – DrC

How did I know your were going to respond in that manner?. Because it’s a well rehearsed routine. See Terry’s recent comments.

“I find it impossible to communicate. I am not a denier, (athough I find that word as offensive as fag, nigger queer, etc)” – DrC

As far as I’m aware it’s not possible to alter ones sexual orientation or race, you can however stop being a deniosaurus by educating yourself on the subject of climate. Note that Phil Scadden is trying to help you in this regard.

“You exactly do you think THEM is????” – DrC

Idiots, wishful thinkers, those frightened or threatened by change, professional liars funded by fossil fuel interests, vested interests – deniosaurs in other words.

“Personally, I like the style of Roger Pielke Jr” – DrC

I’m sure you do. He likes to paint himself as some middle ground between two extreme views, rather than the science vs anti science reality.

“Read your damned “peer-reviewed” science” – DrC

Okay.

“Some of you actually believe Al Gore has a brain.” – DrC.

No doubt some people make that mistake with you. I don’t.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 4:15 pm

>Idiots, wishful thinkers, those frightened or threatened by >change, professional liars funded by fossil fuel interests, >vested interests – deniosaurs in other words.

How about INDEPENDENT THINKERS??

Ok, Phil is a reasonable guy, and I respect his input into this matter

I will follow up with his suggestions personally. I will not bother on this tiresome blog

nommopilot March 5, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Yes, you’re an independent thinker: Your thoughts are independent of reality…

Your comments have followed the exact same trajectory of Terry yesterday: start out as if you’re honestly trying to understand, inject denier “concerns”, refuse to accept the scientific reality and act all hurt when your denialist cover is blown, then storm off in a huff. You probably are Terry.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Please read my comment on Post Normal Science below

and, I am not Terry

nommopilot March 5, 2010 at 5:51 pm

I read it. It’s mostly rubbish.

It is a mistake to think that climate scientists blindly over-simplify their work or ignore the chaotic and unpredictable factors. They are well aware of the complexity of their science.

He is right though that “for science the dangers are real” because if the deniers succeed in undermining trust in the scientific process then any chance of useful action being taken to mitigate it will be lost. And so will much of the progress that the scientific process has delivered to man, for better or worse.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm

“It is mostly rubbish”

says nommopilit

Well, thanks, I have to say I kind of agree, but I thought I’d let the Marxist philosopher who has driven much of the background philosophy to Climate Change science have his say.

Mike Hulme, director of the UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, had this to say
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/science/nature/6115644.stm

Also this article in the Guardian

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2007/mar/14/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

There are not simple answers to these questions.

I think it is really important to understand these philosophical issues, but hey, I am an old guy.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I’ve been in email contact with Terry today, who is definitely on route to Death Valley. I’ve had private conversations with him before and think you are being way too judgemental on him. Lets keep it civil.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I never made any comments about Terry. I just said “I am not Terry”.

I hope that clears matters and I hope Terry enjoys Death Valley. An old friend of mine died in a paragliding accident there.

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I’m confirming to those wondering that you arent Terry. Comment not directed at you.

(1) Why is Mosher / Fuller’s book on Climategate so unacceptable?
See earlier comment. It immediately stirs my suspicion on basis of past experience with both. Google would find that quickly


(2) Why is the “hockey stick” a side issue when it was the poster child of TAR?
It was? You mean it was on a poster? The fundamentals of the science were same in TAR to AR4, just more uncertainty. See earlier comments on physics versus paleoclimate. Thats been case since beginning. Its just CA making it a punchball.


(3) Why is the lack of quality at CRU a non-issue?

When are you stopping beating your wife? You have accused CRU of poor quality in their science but that doesnt make it true. Furthermore, your impression is from cherry-picked emails by misinformation merchants. I am waiting for you to discuss the defense as put up by Schmidt and others. VERIFY IT before leaping into judgements either way.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm

The science is not settled.
‘The science is shit

My 9 year old could do better

John Graham Cumming, who is “not a skeptic”, has found several issues with the code. I have seen the CRU code. It is complete crap.

I give up.

Let’s face it, the average Kiwi only has to pay a mere $90.000 over their lifetime for this fix. Don’t worry about the quality of the science

They will trust you, Dr Phil

Just pop up to Northland and tell em how it is eh?

The science is settled, the debate is over. But please, all you luvvies, get on your full suspension mountain bikes and ride up top Northland and explain how the average kiwi up there will have to take a 3* hike to their power bills

Remember to take a bank note with noted “denier” ernest rutherrford” to explain all the post normal marxist science to them

I will watch in anticipation

Dr Checkzor

Again ,I hope you all have a lovely weekend

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Are you a “nutter”? I doubt it. Are there nutters jumping on Climategate as proof that AGW is a hoax – well yes their are. I would call someone so bound up in partisan politics that they cant comprehend reality a nutter. However, you taking exception to Gavin’s media statements is completely irrelevant to questions as to whether his defense of science is accurate or whether his contributions to climate modelling are accurate. This has to be ascertained from examination of the facts as I am sure you will agree. So things like – was CRU required to hand over data that they are not custodians of, are matters of fact.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 3:20 pm

By the way, Phil, I am reading your post on renewable energy with interest

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 3:13 pm

My overwhelming feeling of reading the Climategate emails is one of bungling amateurishness.

Whether they broke any laws or not is open to question.

If the CRU is generally representative of the quality of Climate science then we have good reason to feel worried.

nommopilot March 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

“My overwhelming feeling of reading the Climategate emails is one of bungling amateurishness. ”

Funny that’s my overwhelming feeling from reading your comments.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 6:05 pm
Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Again – vague allegations, no mention of the defense, nothing resembling anything that suggests issues with the core of the science. Tarring everyone with the same brush? Are you now satisfied that the FOIA requests were not for valid data and CRU were not wrongly withholding them?

Your position would be:
1/ Accept we are warming – if you dont like Hadcrut, then I assume you like GISTEMP – all public data, all public code.
2/ Accept we are causing it.
3/ Believe that either sensitivity is less than 3 or that the climate sensivity doesnt warrant much change.
or maybe you do accept that we have problem but dont like tax as way
of dealing with it.
Is that fair?

On these last points, we can have sensible discussion about the science or the policy options. Unfounded name-calling isnt needed.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I accept (1)
I believe (2) is open to question. Unproven IMO. Does that make me a “denier”? I have been called a troll, deniosaur, etc on this site
I am unaware of any compelling evidence that man is causing warming, but I accept that clean energy solutions are a good way forward if they are cost-effective and don’t drive energy prices through the roof

As for (3) I don’t know, as I am not familiar with climate sensitivity.

I do not accept that taxation is a solution irrespective of any of the above
I take the view that investing in clean energy is a solution,
I have read your post, Phil, on energy solutions for NZ

I do question the windmill option as I don’t believe these have had great success in Europe.
I do think Hydro is good. Insulation and double glazing, absolutely.

Electric cars? Not so sure. Where is the energy coming from?
Photovoltaic cells – if these can be made cheap enough, then sure.

One major problem we have is consumerism; we buy truck loads of Chinese rubbish from the Warehouse. Should we impose massive trade tarrifs on imports? Maybe

I would def. like to see more R&D into clean energy, but I don’t see Cap and Trade as a solution. If we drive production offshore to China and India, who continue to burn our NZ coal, then who wins?

Dappledwater March 6, 2010 at 12:22 am

“I am unaware of any compelling evidence that man is causing warming” – DrC.

No point arguing from ignorance:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=149

Phil Scadden March 5, 2010 at 3:47 pm

am unaware of any compelling evidence that man is causing warming
Well compelling always has to be in the eyes of the beholder but I think I can make a massive case of AGW. However, have read any of AR4 WG1? What is unconvincing there? If you are unwilling to accept the published scientific data on which the case is based, then no hope of me changing your mind.

Sensitivity is the amount that temperature will rise for a doubling of CO2. You can project CO2 increase quite well for a “business as usual” case, and thus estimate the temperature rise rate. Its an OUTPUT of the climate models, but it can be independently estimated by a variety of other means. (WG1 again has a whole section on the publications of this so far – and their limitations).

Your questions about windpower in europe is about the kwh per PERSON. Europe has little hope of getting far with wind alone, not so much because of potential (though we have better), but because there are too many people. Read deeper. That said, 33kwh/p/d is a LOT of windmills. You have obviously only skimmed paper. Read it further on weekend – the power for electric cars is in that calculation – and so is the crap from the Warehouse. (“Stuff”). Strongly recommend MacKay’s book – its online. Follow the URL.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

I’ll have a read of your stuff over the weekend

Cheers

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I have made a start in reading WG1 but it’s hard to see the wood for the trees rings.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 5:13 pm

The sad thing is that, if you met me in person, (all, no one specifically in mind) you might actually find that we share a lot in common

I ride a bike, I despise 4WD owners (at least those you drive to the mall with them). I would like to see less consumerism and a greater connection with nature.

I believe that sustainable technology is the future, and that NZ can and should lead the way.

I also believe in personal freedom and scientific curiosity. My mother was a child in Nazi Germany, (Arian, not Jewish). She had a gun pointed at her head for not saluting Adolf Hitler when she was 12 years old.

I guess that in part leads to my lack of respect for authority. I lead a simple life, don’t need a lot of “gadgets”, and feel “connected” with nature.

I have climbed in the world’s highest mountains, India, Canada, NZ US and Europe.

I can see glaciers retreating, and I can see season patterns change.

However, I do question whether CO2 is the main driver of these changes, and whether taxation is the answer

I really have no time for ivory tower peer reviewed science. The Post Normal Science of Ravetz and Funtowicz (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-normal_science ) is really a must read.

Ravetz has written some powerful essays recently. I would suggest a read of

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/09/climategate-plausibility-and-the-blogosphere-in-the-post-normal-age/

where Ravetz has some fairly harsh criticisms of both his philosophy and how it is applied to climate science.

We need to bear in mind that Ravetz is a Marxist philosopher, not a right-wing Oil shill

I hope that these closing thoughts for today are taken in a good spirit.
I thank Phil for his patience, and I apologise if I lost my rag a few times

nommopilot March 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm

“I really have no time for ivory tower peer reviewed science”

No, what has peer-reviewed science ever done for the human race?

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 5:46 pm

Would you prefer that all knowledge comes from a top-down approach from a group of experts?

Please read the article by Ravetz. it is most insightful.

Thank you

nommopilot March 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

“Would you prefer that all knowledge comes from a top-down approach from a group of experts?”

No I don’t want experts doing science. I want all knowledge to be made up by PR hacks in think tanks and then passed to the media by a process of chinese whispers, which luckily is how the denial industry operates.

Where do you think our knowledge comes from? Most of what you take for granted as common knowledge, came from this scientific method. Whether you characterise it as top-down depends on your perspective. I like Greg Egan’s (excellent sci-fi author) characterisation of science as knowledge mining, ie. bottom-up. Those at the coal face digging out the data then the data being further refined to yield the useful nuggets of knowledge.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Did you read the piece on Post-Normal Science?

Please read

If NZ cannot understand the philosophical and social context then I am afraid we are destined for the graveyard.

Hello Gareth?? This is your blog, I heard,

Any comments?

Thanks again to all, and I hope you all have a fun and family/gaia friendly weekend,

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Well, I am sure glad to be so welcome in this wonderful community of open minded souls

Unanswered questions so far:

(1) Why is Mosher / Fuller’s book on Climategate so unacceptable?
(2) Why is the “hockey stick” a side issue when it was the poster child of TAR?
(3) Why is the lack of quality at CRU a non-issue?

I am happy to debate these issues at length here, and I am prepared to keep an open mind.

Let me hear……

AndrewH March 6, 2010 at 10:09 am

Alright…I’ll have a quick go at number 2.
“(2) Why is the “hockey stick” a side issue”
(I don’t think the second half of the question warrants any attention).

So three reasons
1. It is one of many past climate reconstructions which all show pretty much the same thing.
2. The past is only a useful indication of the future if the climate forcings are the same..quite clearly they are not.
2. The M&M criticism addressed one very specific aspect of the modelling technique (something to do with selection of which data to represent the whole dataset). Their criticism is readily eliminated by plotting the entire data set. When this is done you get something that looks like…………a hockey stick (well an ice hockey stick anyway)

If you want to read more try skeptical science

tomfarmer March 5, 2010 at 8:48 pm

Dr C,

Ravetz and the PNS – where are you from on this? – Ravetz alone..?

I don’t see myself as being premature in saying that I think that you are. FYI Ravetz is cooked by pns people of note. Reliance on that guy makes for singular taste/s. People in need of a creed. What’s more he knows this, and is cashing your and others’ credulous chips.

I’d say stick with science: one thing for sure is that it will put you at 180 degrees for someone else’s pleasure.

Your own use of language here – “appears” – “understand” etc is more revealing still. Though not “open-mind”ed.

As a test of that – an open or neutral matter to the point of this thread – I’d welcome your interpretation or assessment of the UK’s most recent guardian investigations pertaining the IOP submission to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry. Ken Perrott obliges the required links per..

Nice weekend to you.. yours..

tomfarmer March 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Oops, correction – 3rd par – should read will not put you

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 9:45 pm

Thanks for your input, however, the opening line

‘ The UK Institute of Physiscs (IOP) is currently the darling of the climate change deniers”

Priceless. Rutherford, possibly the most eminent NZ scientist ever, famously said that “All science is either physics or stamp collecting.”

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ernest_Rutherford

I hope you enjoy your weekend. Thanks for the target practice

Major confontation with NZ coming soon :-)

PS AM I still following the “denialst trajectory” ???

Dappledwater March 5, 2010 at 11:39 pm

“PS AM I still following the “denialst trajectory” ???” – DrC

Yup, pretty much. All air headed narrative, because that’s all you deniosaurs have.

Rob Taylor March 6, 2010 at 3:30 am

Checkzor, where in your buckshot of irrelevancies and red herrings is the evidence for your claim that “the science is shit”?

Can you refer to any paper in atmospheric chemistry or radiative physics that disproves the science of AGW?

Sorry, vague mutterings about “post-normal science” and “Marxist philosophers” don’t count.

Dr Checkzor March 6, 2010 at 3:44 pm

“Vague mutterings?”

If you cannot understand the relevance of Post Normal Science, Popperian science or whatever, then it would help to brush up.

I don’t see any evidence that AGW is SCIENCE, because it is unfalsifiable.

I would be really pleased to see the definitive paper that “proves” the AGW thesis. All we get it “overwhelming” “robust” , “consensus” and other such statements that have nothing to do with science and everything to do with political advocacy.

You can come up with models and fit them to graphs. This is not science.

Apparently, I am a denisaurour. This means I don’t take on faith the acceptance of the AGW thesis, simply because I don’t see any “proof”

The comments above about the Institute of Physics sums it up. No understanding of science and the scientific method. No understanding of philosophy and its relationship and importance to science.

Keep your church of global warming. Just don’t waste my tax money on your misplaced ideologies.

Johnmacmot March 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm

How do you guys manage to do this with a straight face?

How about you produce the proof that the large body of real science that points to a warming climate is not true? Because there is no evidence that does that, despite the years of opportunity that the denialist camp has had to make a case.

Your best shot is to pull out “Post Normal Science” becuse you have nothing to offer with any other kind.

I called you a troll early in the thread. You’ve convincingly fullfilled that judgement, as others have pointed out.

True Believers like yourself slip and slide, come up with any argument you can to try to pick holes and raise doubt, whatever it may be. Congratulations: you’ve utilised a good range of the standard armoury of denialist weaponry.

You’re operating out of your beliefs and idealogical rigidities, and are incapable of looking at the evidence with an open mind.

It’s beautifully ironic that you throw around the religious word games, as a last blast from the armoury of denialism. But then you know you’re playing games, don’t you, just as everyone reading your posts knows too.

If you want to see a True Believer, look in the mirror.

Dr Checkzor March 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Warming planet – check
CO2 increasing – check

Cause and effect -please explain

We have had warming and cooling periods many times in the history of our planet, and also many variations in CO2 levels.

I am a simple troll, I look to The Scientists to help, but all they do is tell me “to do a little reading” I am sorry, I am not an Expert. I am not a Climate Scientist. Just a bumbling amateur. I bow before your superior knowledge, oh all knowing ones who are so knowledgeable yet cannot explain to the proles their grand theories

Denialism, believers, yes these are all religious terms, used by you, not me. I am a scientist, I use evidence supported by science. Perhaps you can help me. I am a poor troll. I only have 3 science degrees.

Rob Taylor March 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Dr Checkzor (is that as in “cheques or cash, I really don’t mind”?), AGW is indeed falsifiable, e.g. by demonstrating warming of both the troposphere and stratosphere, rather than just the troposphere alone.

I suggest you do a little background reading in the subject before pontificating any further.

Dr Checkzor March 6, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Rob.
Thanks for the usual patronising comment we get for The Scientists.
” I suggest you do a little reading”

Please send me the links. I will read them
‘Thanks

I don’t have time to wade through the mire of green propoganda the constitutes the IPCC report

Rob Taylor March 6, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Oh come on, “Dr”, you’re the one who, in your infinite wisdom, told us that “AGW science is shit” – are you now admitting that you just made that up?

If you are truly ignorant of the basics, click on the “About” button at the top of this page and then “Notes and Sources”. Or try the intro pages at realclimate.org. Or read Gareth’s book. Or check out the links given by Phil Scadden, Dapplewater, Bryan, Gareth and many others on this blog.

Dr Checkzor March 6, 2010 at 9:15 pm

No one has answered these questions:

(1) Where is the anthro signal that indicates that we are dangerously warming our planet. Papers and references please
(2) Why is the “Hockey Stick” and HadCRUT a “side issue”? (Phil comment above) Hockey stick was the poster child of TAR. Now seriously undermined. Even Phil Jones accepts that MWP needs more work
(3) Why is the book by Mosher and Fuller unacceptable interpretation of the CRU email issue?

However, My MAJOR concern is not with the details of AGW, which we are unlikely to know for real whether it is an issue for quite some time, but the insidicious underlying contempt for sceptical arguments.

My understanding of the scientific method is that self correction and doubt are integral to the process. Yet we have developed, in our society, a meme where it is somehow appropriate to call someone who questions your science a “troll”, denier”, “deniosaur”. “flat-earther”.

I don’t find it acceptable to call someone “nigger”, “fag” etc, yet these terms above are somehow acceptable to the liberal elite.

There are many thousands of scientists and non-technical people who question the so-called “consensus” on climate change, yet we are forced into hiding behind pseudonyms for fear of reprisal. This is, for me, an Orwellian nightmare.

You, not us, are responsible for this. You need to show the average man in the street the “overwhelming” evidence that massive and expensive changes are needed.

Us “flat-earthers” do not need to justify our position. You do. Extraordinary measures require extraordinary evidence.

I have an open mind. I accpet the man’s infleunce on the planet is, at a basic physics level, a tautology. What we need to know is what are the parameters, and what are the risks. The IPCC reports do not explain this, at least in language I can understand. Remember, I am a mere “troll” who is not worth discussing with.

Many of the scientists with whom I have commicated with on this issue faer that we are entering a “dark age” of science.

I think it is much worse. It is a new age of Faschism. So called “liberals” who block free speech are, in my view the new order of faschism.

My mother was brought up in Nazi Germany, and I see many parallels with then and now.

You can sneer and rant at me. Or you can engage with the “sceptics” who have as much a say as anyone else. Judith Curry seems to think so, even John Beddington has said so.

However, if you continue to marginalise the “sceptics”, then we will destroy you.

Of that, I can offer my 100% guarantee.

nommopilot March 6, 2010 at 10:00 pm

I’ll ignore the flecks of spittle, Dr Evil, and just engage with this bit:

“My understanding of the scientific method is that self correction and doubt are integral to the process. ”

What is integral is sceptical science. That means refuting the science with scientific evidence of it’s errors. Generally this would mean publishing a paper. Oh but you don’t trust science, oh dear. Guess we’ll have to go read wattsupwiththat. Can certainly trust what people write on the net even if you can’t trust peer-reviewed journals.

Arguing on a blog is only ever a political undertaking. If there is some argument that has any scientific validity to refute AGW by all means get it published in a reputable journal so all these people can stop wasting their time on the current best scientific hypothesis. Which is, from my understanding, that Man has deforested most of the planet and is now burning millions of years worth of sequestered fossil carbon in a matter of decades and this is destabilising our climate and causing weather to become more extreme.

There is no need for the unstable outbursts and threats, we’re just talking on the internet. Please don’t destroy us, Dr. Checkzorb…

Dappledwater March 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm

“Warming planet – check,CO2 increasing – check, cause and effect -please explain” – Dr C

The Carbon Cycle:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/CarbonCycle/

The natural & enhanced Greenhouse Effect:

http://www.niwa.co.nz/our-science/climate/information-and-resources/clivar/greenhouse

Increased atmospheric CO2 since the start of the Industrial Revolution:

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/pns/current_ghg.html

Atmospheric CO2 in 1750 = 280ppm

Atmospheric CO2 in December 2009 = 384ppm

A 37% increase in Atmospheric CO2, which was formerly in equilibrium.

Measure of human contributions of atmospheric CO2 since 1750:

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/trends/emis/glo.html

Determining mankind’s contributions in the atmosphere – The Suess Effect:

http://www.nvcc.edu/home/cbentley/geoblog/2009/05/suess-effect.html

Actual radioisotope ratio measurements:

http://cdiac.ornl.gov/carbonisotopes.html

Short story = increase the atmospheric levels of a known and long lived greenhouse gas and the Earth gets warmer (as proposed by Svante Arrhenius over a century ago), which is what we are seeing:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.A2.lrg.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

“Perhaps you can help me. I am a poor troll. I only have 3 science degrees.” – DrC

Were they those internet jobbies, where you don’t actually have to study?

Dappledwater March 6, 2010 at 9:24 pm

“yet we are forced into hiding behind pseudonyms for fear of reprisal.” – DrC

“However, if you continue to marginalise the “sceptics”, then we will destroy you.” – DrC

Are you shizophrenic?.

Dappledwater March 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm

“Extraordinary measures require extraordinary evidence.” – DrC

Have lots of coffee ready. Bon appetit!.

http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html

Rob Taylor March 6, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Checkzor, you must have got your “three science degrees” by mail-order if you don’t know how to research a topic that is apparently of so much interest to you.

I am not a scientist, but I have made the effort to buy / borrow books, read up on the topic, talk to people, ask questions, watch debates, engage with sceptics and deniers, attend seminars and so forth.

What, exactly, is your problem – are you merely lazy, or have you, in fact, already made up your mind for ideological or other reasons, and just want to waste other people’s time?

Dr Checkzor March 6, 2010 at 9:42 pm

I have not made up my mind. I am not lazy.
If you know the answer. PLEASE [expletive deleted} TELL ME

Rob Taylor March 6, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Here is a short summary of the [expletive deleted] answer.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLYqzIhhT6o

If you want the full answer, Dappledwater has given you a link above to a reasonably complete summary, from which you can refer to the original research, supplemented by later papers, many of which have been linked to on this blog.

Problem is, you will have to do your own thinking – good luck with that…

tomfarmer March 6, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Now, now, C — neither nice nor nicety!

Noah read this as profane. Noah, you’ll recognise as the good fellow whose most simple question all mountaineers are asked, whether they climb high or step low; When, Noah asks, did he build the Ark?

Your turn. To answer, C.

Guaranteed to put you back on track to enjoying the weekend. And, kindly if you will avoid upsetting Noah again and spoiling mine.

AndrewH March 6, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Dr C
I gave a simple answer to your number 2 question at comment 79.
Wanna discuss it?

Dr Checkzor March 7, 2010 at 11:53 am

I am a denialist troll, but I accept that humans are affecting nature.

But I have lost all faith in climate science, and many of the general public are of the same ilk

We are getting a bit sick of the peer reviewed literature we keep hearing about. It is as corrupt as the IPCC that drives it. The incessant bleating of the liberal left, who believe they are on the moral high ground.

No one can come up with a paper in the peer reviewed literature that doesn’t agree with the IPCC’s a priori AGW hypothesis.

It is not science. But what do I know. I am only a Cambridge educated mathematician with a PhD. Worthless, of course, because I not in the demi-god status of Climate “Scientist”

What I find tragic is that you actually believe this is science

Climate is a very complex issue and many scientists agree we are only at the start of the journey. It has been hijacked by Politicians who present the public with this simplified, and probably wildly inaccurate response.

I can’t write a paper in the “peer reviewed” literature that disagrees with AGW, because it won’t get published.

Climate change is the biggest money spinner of all time. Estimated to have cost $100 billion globally. We have very little to show for it, except a nation of brainwashed climate-bots.

I am wasting my time here. You all seem to accept that this fascism is acceptable. It is even endorsed in Hot Topic under the guise of an appendix on “skeptics”., with its patronising and anti-science message.

I will keep my head down. AGW is dying, and I really don’t need to do anything except watch the great ship sink, taking all the climate bots with it.

Goodbye

Rob Taylor March 7, 2010 at 2:55 pm

So, Checkzor troll, you just wanted to waste other people’s time with your empty denialist rhetoric and your fake PhD?

At least you’ve generated some useful links for other readers who, unlike yourself, have retained their self-respect and integrity.

I’d like to say goodbye, but I suspect you’ll soon be back under another pseudonym…

RW March 7, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Checkzor – a troll and a jerk. But then – you just want to distract and annoy, don’t you.

Phil Scadden March 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Checkzor, you keep saying where is evidence we are causing warming. Here is the evidence that I find personally compelling, and perhaps you can see why I dont have much time for the side shows. I hope it isnt too big for a blog comment. The philosophic basis is that the science is about creating a model consistent with fundamental physics and then
testing against observation. This is how I think science works.

So firstly, AGW comes out of a model of climate. This expresses an energy balance so that you can say that
surface T = F(solar, aerosol, albedo) + GHG in an EQUILIBRIUM (no forcings). The complexity arise from feedback and the complex heat redistribution systems in the atmosphere and particularly the ocean.

So how does it support AGW and how do model prediction tie to observation? Lets do this step at a time.

First we ARE warming. No way to fudge this.

Now what are the forcings causing the change? Everything from todays weather to ice ages have a physical cause, whether natural or man-made. Picking the obvious candidate is GHG. Is the increase in GHG manmade? Yes, we can determine this for certain because the isotope signature of our emissions to different to the carbon cycle CO2. CO2
and methane are both forcings AND feedbacks from temperature rise, but for this moment, the GHG increase is due to us. What about other causes? Solar isnt trending over the warming period; nor are cosmic rays (not that I think that mechanism likely even as a past cause of climate change); land use change is predominantly a negative feedback; which leaves aerosols. Now here is another issue. At same time as we started pumping CO2 into atmosphere, we also pumped out aerosols ( especially sulphates) so you warm with one and cool with the other. Aerosols are short-lived in atmosphere whereas CO2 isnt and aerosols have dropped. We would love more accuracy in estimating past (1940s) aerosol levels but now GHG overwhelm aerosols. So lets pollute more – China is trying – but if you dont bring down GHG at same time, then you cop the warming with a year or two of when you reduce emitting.

There are a number over other lines of evidence for CO2 being the cause which I think are robust.

How about direct empirical measurement of the GHG effect? This is the vital one for me. Two ways to do this – look at the spectra of long wave radiation leaving the earth measured by satellite looking at bands due to emission from CO2 and CH4. Compare early reading to late ones. This matches what you calculate the measurement should be from the GHG equations. Actaully this has been done several times with different satellites. Harries 2001, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v410/n6826/abs/410355a0.html; Griggs 2004, http://spiedl.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServlet?prog=normal&id=PSISDG005543000001000164000001&idtype=cvips&gifs=yes&ref=no; and Chen 2007, http://www.eumetsat.eu/Home/Main/Publications/Conference_and_Workshop_Proceedings/groups/cps/documents/document/pdf_conf_p50_s9_01_harries_v.pdf

Problem, you have to trust NASA isnt making up the data from their satellites. Cant trust those commies scientists in NASA. Oh well, how about do same kind of thing but on the ground but measuring the longwave re-radiated by greenhouse effect as it directly warms the earth? This is the direct measurement of the heat from GHG on surface temperature. Also been done by several people. Philipona 2004,
http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/philipona2004-radiation.pdf; Evans 2006, http://ams.confex.com/ams/Annual2006/techprogram/paper_100737.htm and another approach by Wang 2009, http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JD011800.shtml.

You get nearly 4W/m2 of extra energy warming the surface as direct result of increased GHG. This more than 3 times the variation in solar from solar min to solar max.

The models dont just predict global temperature but also predict the PATTERN of warming which is different for different forcings. Significant and easy to understand without the models are:
1/ Arctic warms more than tropics (Antarctic changes very slowly because of local factors). A solar forcing would warm bits closer sun (tropics) more than arctic.
2/ Stratospheric cooling – this is smoking gun of CO2 but complicated. Best explanation I know of is at
http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/20c.html
However, the upper stratosphere is not well observed so at best we say the observation to date show cooling. The importance of this observation is all other forcings will warm the stratosphere.
3/ Warming owes more to milder, shorter winters, warmer nights rather than higher day temperatures – a characteristic of enhanced GHG effect.
4/ Land temperature anomalies stronger than sea anomalies. This one is important in the context of the “natural cycle” argument. External cycles are ruled out so the only internal source of this much heat has to be the ocean. El Nino events are example of that heat being released again. Could there be another cycle also releasing heat that somehow has escaped detection? The trouble with this is (besides where is the evidence for it) is that then you expect overall sea anomalies to be stronger than land. Solar and GHG forcing by contrast both cause strong land anomalies. Now the ocean is overall accumulating heat not exchanging it back to atmosphere.

The final issue here is the CO2 sensitivity – how much will the temperature rise for a doubling of CO2? This is not a fixed number (eg when all the ice is melted then you dont have much an albedo feedback) but useful for short range (100 years). The simple, direct calculation number of CO2 + CH4 plus water is about 1.5. To get a number less than that you have to find negative feedback that significantly overwhelm the positive feedbacks. Models to calculate it and the number they produce in the current generation is 3.

Of course, if you have decided that you trust no science researcher and all published papers are part of conspiracy than obviously I have no way to dispute you. I also fail to understand what basis you have then for understanding the world we live in.

RW March 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Attempts to continue fudging the undeniable warming continue – that well-known expert-on-everything Roger Kerr has repeated the misstatement that Jones “admitted there has been no warming in the last 15 years”. He did nothig of the sort, as has been already noted in these columns. Some should skewer this reticulator of climatological claptrap.

tomfarmer March 8, 2010 at 4:41 pm

C,

Nothing for Noah, I see. Disappointing. Such an easy question and, frankly, no answer for Noah amounts to no philosophy either. Personally or professionably. Chicken does not suit you, so weigh the risk and take your chance. Don’t let it be as a chicken before—objecting to KP when you were there for the links and facts.

Perhaps other folks here see no relevance to their take on science and Noah. Be that as it may to philosophers there is a very obvious connection.

Phil Scadden above almost says it for you and others assist. No seeing is, however, your problem. No one elses.

tomfarmer March 9, 2010 at 12:07 pm

RW,

this fellow has been skewered – whether like other deniosaurs he knows it or not is another matter – on his home ground of economics. Insofar, I recall, of Mark Thoma @ economistsview presenting Adam Smith as a morally bound monetary man rather more than RK has him constantly appear his own preferred seer.

Anyway, do I take it that a kebab job will do the trick.. as and when..

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