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Climate change and politics





yagnyavalkya
Actually I am wondering how much of the scientific aspects of climate change do these world politicians really know
Are they being apprised by the right scholars
yagnyavalkya
Is it fair to ask the developing nations to cap emission with a legal binding?
ocalhoun
yagnyavalkya wrote:
Is it fair to ask the developing nations to cap emission with a legal binding?

Hardly any part of the laws they're trying to make would be fair to anyone.

Personally, I think putting 'the greater good' before fairness is a flawed approach.
yagnyavalkya
ACTUALLY YOU ARE NOT WRONG But what should be done
I have a feeling the Human race will eventually find a way to wade thru climate change
deanhills
yagnyavalkya wrote:
ACTUALLY YOU ARE NOT WRONG But what should be done
I have a feeling the Human race will eventually find a way to wade thru climate change
It may be the equivalent of a car that needs serious maintenance starting to sputter. Climate change may be one of the symptoms. We may soon find ourselves with many worse symptoms, such as shortage of water, seriously polluted air that is unfit for humans, shortage of healthy food. All products also of a severe overpopulation of human species that seem to use more of the resources of the world with less in return.
Phinx
We had a discussion on climate change in a Politics Society meeting in our university. It was very interesting to hear a number of ideas and fact about global warming. For example, Western Europe and China along with U.S. are being pointed at when people see the amount of pollution they produce. This sounds fair, unless you think on a different level. How much pollution does a country per person? Turns out that Australia's population cares least about nature, producing the biggest amount of pollution per person, putting China quite far behind.

Another neat idea was to pool up money, to help poorer countries implement green technology faster. Western Europe went through the era of industrialization, yet NICs are just entering it. So why not help them avoid the same errors the Economic Giants did in the past by financing new age technology implementation?

You can have a lot of good ideas, but this is politics we are talking about. Along with capping the output of green-house gasses, there is also the interest of capping ones power. It will take a a generation or two until all the old dinosaurs of the politics die out, so there can be a chance for a change.
deanhills
Phinx wrote:
You can have a lot of good ideas, but this is politics we are talking about. Along with capping the output of green-house gasses, there is also the interest of capping ones power. It will take a a generation or two until all the old dinosaurs of the politics die out, so there can be a chance for a change.
I'm not at all confident that new politicians would make a difference. They all come from the same political systems and will most probably be replaced by clones. While there is such a huge gap between those in the world who have wealth and those who don't, and millions and millions of people poor and destitute, and the wealthy have the politicians in their pockets, I doubt the world will come up with politicians who will make a fundamental difference to the deterioration of the world environment.
paul_indo
I am convinced there is much more politics than science involved in the climate change debats we are currently going through.

I saw an interesting program about the European Alps that revealed that the glaciers there were less when Hannibal crossed the Alps than they are now and that they have a natural process of receding and expanding.

I am convinced the climate is changing though, I am just not sure how much we are influencing this change. I am worried that rather than concentrating on stopping climate change we should be planning for it's effects and sea level rises because if it is a natural process and we can not stop it we will be stuffed if we are not prepared. Just like the dinosaurs.

I can just imagine them running around saying "we can stop this ice age" or comet or whatever did it.

The earth has gone through many massive climate changes in it's history. What makes us think we are the cause and can stop this one?
ocalhoun
paul_indo wrote:

I am convinced the climate is changing though, I am just not sure how much we are influencing this change. I am worried that rather than concentrating on stopping climate change we should be planning for it's effects and sea level rises because if it is a natural process and we can not stop it we will be stuffed if we are not prepared. Just like the dinosaurs.

Exactly. Even if we are partly the cause of it, I don't think we can possibly stop it. And why should we try to force the Earth's climate to stay steady, when it constantly varies naturally?

A much better use of our limited resources would be to prepare to adapt to any changes. Identify inhabited places where the ocean will rise, and start slowly evacuating, or build strong sea-walls to hold it back. Rather than putting money into wind turbines, put it into a fund intended to help populations that get stricken with droughts or floods, or whatever weather changes happen. If you're worried about failing crops causing starvation, start stockpiling and preserving food now.

If we put our efforts into adapting to it, rather than a vain attempt to stop it, then climate change would be no big deal.
yagnyavalkya
Now that the Copenhagen climate change talks are over who do you all think gained from this
Did the common man on the street even understand what is in it for him/her here
Are the developed nations unsatisfied? are the developing nations rejoicing?
was it a victory or just another round of talks
ocalhoun
yagnyavalkya wrote:
Now that the Copenhagen climate change talks are over who do you all think gained from this

Who gained? The 'developing nations', of course. They get billions of dollars, and all they had to do was sign a non-binding agreement (which they can ignore, since it is non-binding).
Quote:

Did the common man on the street even understand what is in it for him/her here
Are the developed nations unsatisfied?

Yes, though factions on both sides are unsatisfied for different reasons.
Quote:
are the developing nations rejoicing?

Not so much, though they made out well, they wanted even more.
Quote:

was it a victory or just another round of talks

Just another round of talks. 'Victory', for them, would be a binding resolution from all the countries in the world to reduce 'emissions' to stone-age levels.

In my opinion, though, all this talk of reducing emissions is a waste of time, effort, and money. (I'll play Nostradamus for a moment, and predict that they will not succeed in stopping global warming, and I doubt they'll even succeed in reducing emission levels.) All this time, effort, and money could be better spent preparing to deal with the consequences of climate change. Build up disaster relief funds. Evacuate low-lying areas near oceans, or build sea-walls to hold back the water. Start drawing up agreements on how do deal with (and possibly cause) mass migrations of people.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
yagnyavalkya wrote:
Now that the Copenhagen climate change talks are over who do you all think gained from this

Who gained? The 'developing nations', of course. They get billions of dollars, and all they had to do was sign a non-binding agreement (which they can ignore, since it is non-binding).
I thought that some of the undeveloped nations would be gaining to a lesser extent as well? At least they found a platform and opportunity to make their point "globally". I thought the Conference was a little like a circus where most of the discussions took place behind closed doors on a one on one bilateral basis, viz Obama meetings with China, etc.
ocalhoun wrote:
Quote:

Did the common man on the street even understand what is in it for him/her here
Are the developed nations unsatisfied?

Yes, though factions on both sides are unsatisfied for different reasons.
I heard a cacophony of platitudes and "non-binding" undertakings, none of which were transparent nor straightforward.
ocalhoun wrote:
Quote:
are the developing nations rejoicing?

Not so much, though they made out well, they wanted even more.
I thought there was a mixed response. Most of the developing countries agreed that not much has been achieved, however most of them followed the same script along the lines of saying "compared to "nothing" before, this is a good step in the direction of a signed agreement".
ocalhoun wrote:
Quote:

was it a victory or just another round of talks

Just another round of talks. 'Victory', for them, would be a binding resolution from all the countries in the world to reduce 'emissions' to stone-age levels.
Typical politicians talking and trying to do as little as possible for maximum return politically in their own countries, and using this Conference as a smoke screen for bilateral talks behind closed doors viz China and the US.

ocalhoun wrote:
In my opinion, though, all this talk of reducing emissions is a waste of time, effort, and money. (I'll play Nostradamus for a moment, and predict that they will not succeed in stopping global warming, and I doubt they'll even succeed in reducing emission levels.) All this time, effort, and money could be better spent preparing to deal with the consequences of climate change. Build up disaster relief funds. Evacuate low-lying areas near oceans, or build sea-walls to hold back the water. Start drawing up agreements on how do deal with (and possibly cause) mass migrations of people.
I think there are already talks in that direction, but more from the developing countries such as the Maldives who may face the loss of the whole of the country. It is still preventive in that the Maldives are appealing for assistance from the developing countries to prevent loss of the islands, but the Maldives made their plight very well known at the Conference. It is a good idea to make provision for bad case scenarios, but if the world cannot sort itself out on reducing emission levels, how would it get to sort itself out for helping countries who are facing disasters? The disasters would probably have to happen first, before they will start to pay serious attention to it.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
such as the Maldives who may face the loss of the whole of the country.

Confused
Their whole country is only a few inches above sea level!?!
yagnyavalkya
ocalhoun wrote:
In my opinion, though, all this talk of reducing emissions is a waste of time, effort, and money. (I'll play Nostradamus for a moment, and predict that they will not succeed in stopping global warming, and I doubt they'll even succeed in reducing emission levels.) All this time, effort, and money could be better spent preparing to deal with the consequences of climate change. Build up disaster relief funds. Evacuate low-lying areas near oceans, or build sea-walls to hold back the water. Start drawing up agreements on how do deal with (and possibly cause) mass migrations of people.

I think you have stated it in no uncertain terms
I encourage you to have a look at the articles I have just published in this area and give me feedback as to what do you think about my ideas on this very important area of adaptation to climate change
here are the links
I also encourage all other to have a look at these articles
http://www.agriculture.frih.net/Climate_Adaptation_Agrl.pdf


http://www.agriculture.frih.net/Climate_Small_Farmer.pdf
lagoon
In Britain, we have a split society on climate change, but the Government insists on doing something about it. The Conservatives have a green tree as their logo, yet many of their ranks deny climate change is actually happening.

Agrh, bad situation.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
such as the Maldives who may face the loss of the whole of the country.

Confused
Their whole country is only a few inches above sea level!?!
Right! That makes it almost inevitable and probably the first disaster case waiting to happen. As you pointed out, they probably need to start with some contingency planning with regard to evacuation, or perhaps the Dutch can help with ideas to drain water from their islands.
MYP415
The climate change politicians are driven largely by politics, which means nothing sufficient will get done. For example, the sulfur dioxide idea to counter global warming has even been accepted by some of the leading climate scientists- including ones that people like Al Gore have cited, yet these same politicians refuse to give that idea a shot. Why? There is no special interest money to be gained in simple solutions such as those.
deanhills
I like what Jared Leto and "30 Seconds to Mars" did with "A Beautiful Lie". Both the words and production are intense but put the message about the environment and politics across as it is. Jared said it was a dream come true to have filmed it 200km North of the Arctic Circle. Amazing photography for the show apparently produced under very challenging and even dangerous environmentally unfriendly arctic conditions:
http://www.youtube.com/user/RockItMeights#p/a/u/0/BZW7e9znRQY
Quote:
As beautiful as it was and excited as we were, I have to admit it was virtually impossible to shoot anything at all in that extremely challenging environment. We had the phenomenally good luck of a few hours a day of decent sunlight but mostly it was a fierce fight with the fog, clouds, wind, rain, equipment, schedule, dogs, seals and those pesky and unpredictable animals called human beings. It all added up to us being incredibly lucky to have even gotten a few decent shots a day… Oh yeah, and the fact that literally days before we left we didn't even think we would make it there at all definitely helped add to the chaos. Fun! Who needs preproduction anyway...

Quote:
P.S. - Being the first American video ever shot in its entirety in the Peoples Republic of China was an incredible honor, being the first (but hopefully not the last) shot in the Arctic is a dream. We're just wondering what we could possibly do next...hmmm.....well I do have this one idea......

P.P.S - Emissions from the energy consumed in connection with producing the A Beautiful Lie video were offset using Solar Energy Certificates purchased from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The certificates support enough solar energy to offset approximately 250,000 Kilowatt hours, or 350,000 pounds of CO2 emissions – the approximate emissions reduction equivalent of planting 46 acres of trees or not driving 36 cars for one year.

Source: http://abeautifullie.org/manifesto.aspx
yagnyavalkya
Now that the meeting is over
I think everyone are voicing concerns that the meeting never gave way to anything good that includes the third world developing countries and the developed countries as well
I think adaptation is the key here
deanhills
yagnyavalkya wrote:
Now that the meeting is over
I think everyone are voicing concerns that the meeting never gave way to anything good that includes the third world developing countries and the developed countries as well
I think adaptation is the key here

Amazing how this theme has been around for more than a number of years. I thought that the YouTube A Bit of Fry and Laurie - Kicking ass show was right on, and good for a little light relief. I did not realize what a musician Hugh Laurie is versatile at piano and guitar.

The following is a more serious live video called "A Beautiful Lie" that was produced live in Greenland, 200km North of the Arctic Circle in most environmentally challenging circumstances:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL9R_i9Of1c
azoundria
Everyone expects their government to do everything...

Stop driving when you don't need to! You'll get exercise, and save on gas. Put the savings towards a hybrid vehicle.

In any case, climate change will only revert the world to what it already was many billions of years ago. Who knows what diseases were frozen in the arctic and will now be unleashed on the world?
deanhills
azoundria wrote:
In any case, climate change will only revert the world to what it already was many billions of years ago. Who knows what diseases were frozen in the arctic and will now be unleashed on the world?
Interesting thought. Have not thought about that one before. Perhaps different possibilities for another 2012 movie? Shocked
ocalhoun
azoundria wrote:

In any case, climate change will only revert the world to what it already was many billions of years ago. Who knows what diseases were frozen in the arctic and will now be unleashed on the world?

Wouldn't a few thousand years at sub-zero temperatures tend to kill most diseases?
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
azoundria wrote:

In any case, climate change will only revert the world to what it already was many billions of years ago. Who knows what diseases were frozen in the arctic and will now be unleashed on the world?

Wouldn't a few thousand years at sub-zero temperatures tend to kill most diseases?
Perhaps, but when things warm up, I'm sure that something has to happen when the vapour is released into the air.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
I'm sure that something has to happen when the vapour is released into the air.

Yes, the dead viruses and dead bacteria are released into the air, and later they fall back onto the ground and into the ocean... where they are consumed by live bacteria.

Things trapped in the ice may be preserved enough for scientific study, but they're not going to spring back to life once free. Mutations of existing pathogens are a much better subject for your worries; just think: what if HIV developed an outer coating that let it become an airborne disease?
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
what if HIV developed an outer coating that let it become an airborne disease?
Do you think this is seriously possible? Not sure whether any vapours would be released during melting, as I'm not that learned about the process.

Global warming is probably hyped up in a great way, but there is that saying there is always fire where there is smoke, and there seems to be plenty of melting going on at the Arctic and Antarctic.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

Global warming is probably hyped up in a great way,

That it has... I have talked to (unintelligent) people who listened to all the hype, and now seriously believe that global warming could make the human species extinct.
Quote:
but there is that saying there is always fire where there is smoke, and there seems to be plenty of melting going on at the Arctic and Antarctic.

True, but the possibility of ancient diseases coming from the arctic is just the result of yet another person searching too hard for a new consequence of global warming to hype up.

And yes, an HIV mutation like that would be much more terrifying. Right now, it's only really containable because of how difficult it is to spread. If it mutated to be able to survive better outside the body, it would be much more dangerous, and I don't see any reason why it couldn't.
deanhills
Looks as thought scientists responsible for the UN 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have managed to confuse "sceptics" even more. Amazing how scientists easily pooh-pooh mistakes as "minimal", yet if a non-scientist should make a mistake like that they get clobbered into the ground as being "unscientific". Recent e-mail debacle is a case in point as well:
Quote:
Five glaring errors were discovered in one paragraph of the world's most authoritative report on global warming, forcing the Nobel Prize-winning panel of climate scientists who wrote it to apologize and promise to be more careful.

The errors are in a 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a U.N.-affiliated body. All the mistakes appear in a subsection that suggests glaciers in the Himalayas could melt away by the year 2035 — hundreds of years earlier than the data actually indicates. The year 2350 apparently was transposed as 2035.

The climate panel and even the scientist who publicized the errors said they are not significant in comparison to the entire report, nor were they intentional. And they do not negate the fact that worldwide, glaciers are melting faster than ever.

But the mistakes open the door for more attacks from climate change skeptics.

Source
Bikerman
I don't see your point.
Scientists make mistakes professionally - that is how science works. You theorise and then try to show the mistakes. No scientist I know would ever claim to be infallible, and nor would they expect that from non-scientists.
In the particular case you cite : yes, there was a glaring mistake and it should not have happened. It occurred because the working party, for some not yet adequately explained reason, used data from a non-peer reviewed journal (the NewScientist) which had the mistaken claim about 2035.
Now that is professionally bad conduct and you may rest assured that the individual or group who did this are suffering because of it. Their scientific credentials are now called into question and their peers are pretty un-chuffed by their behaviour.
It doesn't make any substantive difference, as the IPCC spokesperson rightly pointed out.
deanhills
@Chris. Agreed that mistakes happen to everyone. But then the person should take full responsibility for it, instead of minimizing it with this statement:
Quote:
The climate panel and even the scientist who publicized the errors said they are not significant in comparison to the entire report ....
How could errors not be significant? Especially when they are by a scientist?
Bikerman
The error is not significant because it doesn't alter the predictions and observations contained in the rest of the document. This particular paragraph talked about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing - but that is one tiny strand of debate.
You don't know what action was/is being taken against the scientist(s) concerned so you have no real grounds for criticising such action. I suspect he will be in some very hot water - but to expect fellow scientists to slag him off in public for your edification is asking too much.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
The error is not significant because it doesn't alter the predictions and observations contained in the rest of the document. This particular paragraph talked about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing - but that is one tiny strand of debate.
You don't know what action was/is being taken against the scientist(s) concerned so you have no real grounds for criticising such action. I suspect he will be in some very hot water - but to expect fellow scientists to slag him off in public for your edification is asking too much.


Well, it certainly alters at least one of the predictions contained in the rest of the document....that
of the Himalayan glacier disappearing Smile

As for the rest of the whole global warming stuff, I dunno what else to say about it that hasn't
been said. I actually live in the region that is supposedly most affected.....my house is actually built
right next to a lake....and on the other side of the lake is a glacier. There is a natural progression
to these things, some years the glacier recedes, and others it grows. Overall, we have actually
seen COLDER winters here. I think, because we live in a state that it gets very cold, many seem
to be skeptical of the global warming thing. For a good laugh, see here:

http://www.newser.com/story/77729/alaskas-frozen-gore-baits-climate-guru.html

They have the ice sculpture of Gore, hooked up to a pickup so that the exhaust goes through
his mouth.....while they play one of his speeches on global warming....making him appear to
spew hot air. They also have a contest.....to see who can figure out how many days they would
have to keep the truck running to equal the carbon emissions of a emissions of a private jet’s flight from Gore’s hometown of Nashville to Copenhagen, site of the recent climate summit.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The error is not significant because it doesn't alter the predictions and observations contained in the rest of the document. This particular paragraph talked about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing - but that is one tiny strand of debate.
You don't know what action was/is being taken against the scientist(s) concerned so you have no real grounds for criticising such action. I suspect he will be in some very hot water - but to expect fellow scientists to slag him off in public for your edification is asking too much.


Well, it certainly alters at least one of the predictions contained in the rest of the document....that
of the Himalayan glacier disappearing Smile

Really? I thought it was documented that it was retreating. The mistake was the timescale (2035 rather than 2135).
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
The error is not significant because it doesn't alter the predictions and observations contained in the rest of the document. This particular paragraph talked about the Himalayan glaciers disappearing - but that is one tiny strand of debate.
You don't know what action was/is being taken against the scientist(s) concerned so you have no real grounds for criticising such action. I suspect he will be in some very hot water - but to expect fellow scientists to slag him off in public for your edification is asking too much.


Well, it certainly alters at least one of the predictions contained in the rest of the document....that
of the Himalayan glacier disappearing Smile

Really? I thought it was documented that it was retreating. The mistake was the timescale (2035 rather than 2135).


Well, I must admit, I didn't read it real thoroughly, so you are probably right. That being
said.......

I live near a lot of glaciers....they come out of a icefield that is larger than some states in the US.
Sometimes, over a period of years they retreat.....when more snow melts from the icefield, than
falls on the icefield. So it is not only 'warming' but also snowfall or lack thereof that causes this.
There is ALWAYS some meltoff in the summer and there is ALWAYS some snowfall in the winter.
The thing is, how do these two compare to each other? That's where the 'advance' or 'retreat'
take place.
Anyways, I have seen this before.....a few years of 'retreat'......followed by 'extrapolation' meaning
they take the amount of feet the glacier has retreated in the past few years, average it, and then
extrapolate that out to the next 25 or 50 or 100 years and make some prediction that the
glacier will 'disappear' in a certain year. Then the next winter comes, and we have a TON of
snow.....and it reverses itself. So I guess, I always take these predictions with a grain of salt.
Of course, what I have seen, may also not have the number of years of
data to back them up, as these predictions, I didn't see that in the report either.
Of course, from MY point of view, a little global warming wouldn't be the worst thing in the
world! Smile

That being said, I think we should all be at least concerned with our environment.
Taking steps to try and reduce our footprint on the earth is just common sense.....there are
lots of little things you can do. My parents use solar panels to generate most of their electricity.
I actually live in a city that generates almost all of our power using hydro, which is really
nice (way cheaper than burning fossil fuels which means your electric bill is much less too!!)
Me and my wife recycle and try to 'plan trips' so that if we are driving to the downtown area, we
get all our errands done in one trip.....just simple things like that. I think, that where some of
the global warming people go wrong, is the very 'alarmist' and extreme positions they take.
People don't want to hear that they are 'evil' or 'ruining the earth' because they drive an SUV.
I happen to have a big family and live in a place where the roads are full of black ice.
Sorry, but I'm going to be driving an SUV.....and I'm not going to feel like I'm 'bad' or
'ruining the earth' because of it. I would be willing to bet, that I put out less carbon emissions
in 5 years than Al Gore does in one.

I know, I know, a bit off the topic of your reply. It was more a general statement to the entire
thread about global warming. Smile
Bikerman
Hmm,
I come at it from a position based more in the science (though I'm certainly not an expert, nor in fact a scientist). I know myself how treacherous memory is when looking at the weather. My childhood, 40 years ago, is firmly lodged in my memory as being one white winter after another, with snow enough for snowmen every year. When I check the data (both the 'formal' weather data and the 'informal' family history, photographs etc) I find that we had a couple of severe winters and the rest were snow-free.
It is also the case that even if our memories are correct (and I'm not questioning your account here at all) then local climate systems are often completely out of kilter with each other - often moving in opposite directions in terms of temp. We have the 11 year solar cycle, the 5 year el-la Niño, the Indian Ocean Dipole (fluctuates between about 8 and 12 years)....and so on.
The global average is the important one as it tells us what is happening on the gross scale rather than giving us weather reports or local climate histories. This is the mistake often made by deniers who point to a particular event - like the River Thames freezing in the 18th century, or a particular time period - like the Medieval Warm Period - as if they were globally representative.
The science seems clear to me. CO2 strongly correlates to temperature (albeit logarithmically). Tracks of both over many ice-age-interglacial eras (800,000 years) shows a max CO2 well below what we now have (nearly 400ppm now as opposed to a max of around 280ppm in previous times).
Of course we need to acknowledge uncertainties. The data on previous CO2/Temp is inferred mainly from ice cores and that doesn't give an absolute reading - only a relative one. So we have to be sure it is correctly calibrated. We also have problems with the surface temperature record in that it needs constant adjustment to individual station readings to account for visits, relocations, thermometer ageing inaccuracy, urban heat island effects etc. This, of course, is regarded with suspicion and deniers claim it is all a big fix, but now we are back in the la-la land of conspiracy theory since it implies that climate scientists are corrupt, not just wrong. We then have a discrepancy between satellite inferred temperature readings and direct thermometer readings over the last few decades which we are only just starting to fully understand.
All in all I think the most accurate summary of what the science tells us would be something like this:

We have, and continue to, increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to levels at least 1/3rd higher than any we can detect in the last 800,000 years. Much of this is anthropogenic. We know that temperature is affected by CO2 concentrations through the well understood greenhouse principle and we know that previous climate-cycles show a fairly tight correlation between the two. We are, therefore, warming the planet abnormally quickly and we have no historical data which could tell us what this might mean. The predictive models indicate serious problems if CO2 levels are not restrained and eventually reduced, but an exact forecast is way beyond our abilities.
In short, we are conducting the biggest experiment ever.
Alaskacameradude
I guess one of my other biggest issues with the science behind global warming, is that global warming
causes EVERYTHING (I'm being a bit tongue in cheek here, but the point remains). Glaciers
receding? Must be global warming. Glacier growing? Again, must be global warming

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2043047/posts
http://slapstickpolitics.blogspot.com/2006/08/global-warming-causes-glaciers-to-grow.html

Colder winters? Global warming. Warmer winters? AGAIN global warming! When EVERYTHING
supports your 'theory' it is really hard to prove or disprove it. So I pretty much take everything
the 'science' says about global warming with a grain of salt. Might it be true? Well, I would
say that areas of our earth may be getting warmer. Others may be getting colder. Not sure
exactly what that proves. Even if there was a total and complete worldwide trend towards
global warming everywhere, I am not 100% certain that it can be laid at the feet of humans.
There have been ice ages and thaws long before we lived here. So my take on it is,
be smart, try to limit your footprint on the earth and use your common sense, but no need
to resort to scare tactics and going crazy here. Really a lot of 'green' type ideas will take off,
because of FINANCIAL motivations once they start being implimented. Like I said, hydro power
drastically lowers your electric bill. Higher gas milage cars save you money too, and many
people, even in my area of the world (think snow and ice) have one car that gets very good
milage to drive when the weather is good, and another (think SUV) to use when the ice and
snow is all over the roads. I am hopeful that technology can help us with many things,
but maybe I am just an eternal optomist.
Bikerman
I think optimism in this is misplaced and misguided.
The thing about previous ice-ages is that you can track the temp/co2 changes - they happen over many hundreds of years - thousands in most cases. We have already done more than this in 100 years. If you look at a graph of CO2 coming out of ice-ages (interglacials) and then superimpose the last 100 years then you get a 45 degree plot for the interglacial period and an almost vertical plot overr it representing now. That is scary.
The fact that some commentators overstate the case shouldn't really distract from the hard science - ie what we know, to a very high degree of certainty. What we know is set-out above in my last posting. There is no speculation there at all.
the consequences can only be predicted but the 3 major GCMs (General Climate Models) predict very bad things, and they don't factor-in some of the potential 'tipping' points.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman wrote:
I think optimism in this is misplaced and misguided.
The thing about previous ice-ages is that you can track the temp/co2 changes - they happen over many hundreds of years - thousands in most cases. We have already done more than this in 100 years. If you look at a graph of CO2 coming out of ice-ages (interglacials) and then superimpose the last 100 years then you get a 45 degree plot for the interglacial period and an almost vertical plot overr it representing now. That is scary..


Not trying to be silly here, a serious question.

How do we track temp/co2 changes that happened in the previous ice ages? When we weren't even
around then? So how do we really know the temp/co2 that was happening then? Is this
again something that some scientists are telling us?

I guess it's a little like religion here. If you accept as truth, what they are saying, then you believe
it. If you are a little skeptical......
Afaceinthematrix
Alaskacameradude wrote:
How do we track temp/co2 changes that happened in the previous ice ages? When we weren't even
around then? So how do we really know the temp/co2 that was happening then? Is this
again something that some scientists are telling us?


Since when did you have to be somewhere to measure evidence left behind? Nobody was around when dinosaurs died but we can use their fossils to measure their age within the accuracy that the limitations of our current knowledge (which is pretty good) allows us to...

The same can be said about CO2 levels in the air. Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are the "fossils" of previous ice ages and can tell us a lot about CO2 levels during previous years. The ice caps tend to be formed in a layer method that helps scientists who specialize in the field to determine their approximate age. Once their approximate age is determined, scientists can use air bubbles in the ice caps to measure the CO2 level of the atmospheric air during that time period... So essentially, air pockets make it possible to study CO2 levels of past years... I'm not a chemist or a climatetologist, so I am unsure if there are other ways to measure CO2 levels of previous years, but I do know that that method works...

Quote:
I guess it's a little like religion here. If you accept as truth, what they are saying, then you believe
it. If you are a little skeptical......


Religion = acceptance based on blind faith
Science = acceptance based on evidence and lack of theory being falsified...


Oh, and by the way:
Bikerman wrote:
In short, we are conducting the biggest experiment ever.


I like the way you put that... Nicely said...
Bikerman
Getting the age from ice cores is more tricky. You need good thick snow layers to be laid down.
As you go older (deeper) then you can't distinguish individual years - too compressed - so a variety of other techniques have to be used and these produce a range of answers with a variation of hundred or thousands of years. That is why you need as many sites as poss and as much information to correlate as poss. We can be pretty confident, though, that the general span is about right.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
Since when did you have to be somewhere to measure evidence left behind? Nobody was around when dinosaurs died but we can use their fossils to measure their age within the accuracy that the limitations of our current knowledge (which is pretty good) allows us to...

The same can be said about CO2 levels in the air. Antarctic and Greenland ice caps are the "fossils" of previous ice ages and can tell us a lot about CO2 levels during previous years. The ice caps tend to be formed in a layer method that helps scientists who specialize in the field to determine their approximate age. Once their approximate age is determined, scientists can use air bubbles in the ice caps to measure the CO2 level of the atmospheric air during that time period... So essentially, air pockets make it possible to study CO2 levels of past years... I'm not a chemist or a climatetologist, so I am unsure if there are other ways to measure CO2 levels of previous years, but I do know that that method works...


Well, first, thanks for the info, as I said, I honestly didn't know how they tried to figure this.
I am still not sure how they know how old a ice cap, which tends to be the 'fossils' as you put it
is? I don't think there is carbon dating for ice?

Anyways, it sounds like you do have a little blind faith, as you say that you are not a chemist or
climatetologist, but you do know this method works?......it seems like you are then 'taking the word'
of scientists......much like some people 'take the word' of clergy.
There are a lot of religious people who claim they have all kinds of evidence for the
existence of God. You may not believe their evidence, may claim their evidence is false,
or may even say you have stronger evidence that there is NO God......and that was kind of
my point here. When ALL evidence, no matter WHAT is used as evidence of global warming,
there is no way to prove or disprove it to my way of a REAL scientific method. For example,
if scientists said, that winters in the arctic would warm up by 2 degrees each year (appoximately)
THEN it would be easy to look at the theory and see if it was proved or disproved. HOWEVER,
when they say that warm winters in the arctic prove global warming, then have 5 years
of COLDER winters in the arctic and try to turn around and claim THAT TOO is evidence of
global warming???.....that's when I get skeptical. They are leaving NO WAY to disprove
their theory.....and that is NOT the way the scientific method works. You are supposed to
TEST your theory or hypothesis......this test HAS to have an opportunity for failure to be
a true scientific test! If there is no opportunity for failure, then it isn't really a test, you have
'fixed' the game, and no matter WHAT the outcome of the test is, you will claim that it
proves your theory. Some say that's what religious people do. I see some
similarities here....
deanhills
Bikerman wrote:
You don't know what action was/is being taken against the scientist(s) concerned so you have no real grounds for criticising such action. I suspect he will be in some very hot water - but to expect fellow scientists to slag him off in public for your edification is asking too much.
If you read my posting carefully I did not ask for his fellow scientists to slag him. Those are ENTIRELY your words. I also said in that same posting that everyone makes mistakes. What I did criticize is that there was no real apology taking responsibility for the mistake. Just an excuse that it is really not such a big mistake. So that is supposed to then make the mistake OK?

Scientists usually have a very high standard for accuracy, and they are also generally super critical of those who do not keep to the same high standard of truth and accuracy. When anyone of the public comes with less than accurate remarks, they get zapped right to the ground. I would therefore expect that scientists, more so than non-scientists provide a genuine apology when they make a mistake. Not come up with ''..... but it was not really such a biggie" type explanation.
Bikerman
deanhills wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
You don't know what action was/is being taken against the scientist(s) concerned so you have no real grounds for criticising such action. I suspect he will be in some very hot water - but to expect fellow scientists to slag him off in public for your edification is asking too much.
If you read my posting carefully I did not ask for his fellow scientists to slag him. Those are ENTIRELY your words. I also said in that same posting that everyone makes mistakes. What I did criticize is that there was no real apology taking responsibility for the mistake. Just an excuse that it is really not such a big mistake. So that is supposed to then make the mistake OK?
Do you know who made the mistake? The vice chairman said that an error had been made and that they would review the process - meaning they will be checking how it happened. Who exactly should be apologising?
Quote:
Scientists usually have a very high standard for accuracy, and they are also generally super critical of those who do not keep to the same high standard of truth and accuracy.
Yes, that's twice you have said that and this is the second time I point out that most scientists I know are nothing of the sort. Truth and accuracy are necessary in science, therefore scientists do indeed expect honesty in reporting from their professional colleagues. In everyday life scientists are just folk - as wacky, normal or weird as any other bunch of folk - certainly not hypercritical.
Quote:
When anyone of the public comes with less than accurate remarks, they get zapped right to the ground. I would therefore expect that scientists, more so than non-scientists provide a genuine apology when they make a mistake. Not come up with ''..... but it was not really such a biggie" type explanation.
Who zapps who here? What zapping are we talking about? I'm lost...
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Anyways, it sounds like you do have a little blind faith, as you say that you are not a chemist or
climatetologist, but you do know this method works?......it seems like you are then 'taking the word'
of scientists......much like some people 'take the word' of clergy.

Arghhh...this argument comes up too often for my taste (no offence intended).
OK - two main points :
a) Scientists say something about our universe that is useful. Something that can be tested and has been tested, can normally be repeated, and makes predictions which can be falsified. Religion does non of those things.
b) Assuming that scientists don't have a global conspiracy then it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that the process of peer review will weed-out flaws, though sometimes it can take a while, true. Religion has no such mechanism.
Quote:
There are a lot of religious people who claim they have all kinds of evidence for the
existence of God. You may not believe their evidence, may claim their evidence is false,
or may even say you have stronger evidence that there is NO God......and that was kind of
my point here.
Yes I would question their evidence but how do you produce evidence of a negative? Can you prove that the invisible pink unicorn does not exist? The fact is that it is simple to provide positive evidence - God is a pretty powerful dude, and he knows what is down on the street, so paying a little visit to his homies is no big thaang...But we find nothing testable, and where it is testable it fails...
Quote:
When ALL evidence, no matter WHAT is used as evidence of global warming,
there is no way to prove or disprove it to my way of a REAL scientific method. For example,
if scientists said, that winters in the arctic would warm up by 2 degrees each year (appoximately)
THEN it would be easy to look at the theory and see if it was proved or disproved. HOWEVER,
when they say that warm winters in the arctic prove global warming, then have 5 years
of COLDER winters in the arctic and try to turn around and claim THAT TOO is evidence of
global warming???.....that's when I get skeptical. They are leaving NO WAY to disprove
their theory.....and that is NOT the way the scientific method works. You are supposed to
TEST your theory or hypothesis......this test HAS to have an opportunity for failure to be
a true scientific test! If there is no opportunity for failure, then it isn't really a test, you have
'fixed' the game, and no matter WHAT the outcome of the test is, you will claim that it
proves your theory. Some say that's what religious people do. I see some
similarities here....
I disagree. The reason you can't give a 1, 2, 5 or even 10 year prediction is pretty obvious. Trend emerge out of a lot of background. 30 years is a reasonable timescale for a prediction based on trend data - and we have those predictions. Disproving a climate model is, I agree, hard - because they don't make definite predictions. They generally return probabilities. That is, however, like trying to invalidate physics because a graph of temp/pressure for a classroom experiment didn't follow the ideal gas prediction. The GCMs reflect best understanding of the individual climate components, based on scientific method.
I think, though, in terms of predictions (rather than tests) the basic science seems to have it about right. The last decade is characterised as breaking the whole case when in fact temperatures have still been in the records, just not in top spot, which is not surprising for reasons explained earlier.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:
I disagree. The reason you can't give a 1, 2, 5 or even 10 year prediction is pretty obvious. Trend emerge out of a lot of background. 30 years is a reasonable timescale for a prediction based on trend data - and we have those predictions.

But, in something that usually takes hundreds, if not thousands of years, is a 30 year trend really enough for predictions either?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:
I disagree. The reason you can't give a 1, 2, 5 or even 10 year prediction is pretty obvious. Trend emerge out of a lot of background. 30 years is a reasonable timescale for a prediction based on trend data - and we have those predictions.

But, in something that usually takes hundreds, if not thousands of years, is a 30 year trend really enough for predictions either?
Not really, but it is at least more likely to give you something meaningful than less. The confidence level won't be in the high 90 percents, but it is going to be fairly high.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
(a) Scientists say something about our universe that is useful. Something that can be tested and has been tested, can normally be repeated, and makes predictions.


But this ISN'T useful if these tests have no way of disproving the thing the scientists say will happen!
If no matter the outcome, the scientists say that it proves what they said about our universe,
I contend that the whole system is 'fixed'.

Quote:
(b) Assuming that scientists don't have a global conspiracy then it is perfectly reasonable to suppose that the process of peer review will weed-out flaws, though sometimes it can take a while, true.


Is perfectly reasonable? I guess I'm just not as confident in this process of peer review as you are then.

Quote:
Yes I would question their evidence but how do you produce evidence of a negative? Can you prove that the invisible pink unicorn does not exist? The fact is that it is simple to provide positive evidence - God is a pretty powerful dude, and he knows what is down on the street, so paying a little visit to his homies is no big thaang...But we find nothing testable, and where it is testable it fails...


Ahhh....and here we get to the heart of the matter. How indeed do you provide evidence of a
negative......expecially when ANY evidence collected, no matter how contradictary, is used
as evidence of a positive? As opposed to religion, which you say we find 'nothing testable,
and where it is testable, it fails' in global warming, we find PLENTY testable. The difference
is, that when it is testable and fails, they somehow turn it around into saying that it
actually somehow PROVES their point. You say that the given a 30 year timescale, they should be able to make an accurate prediction? Care to guess their record on predicting 'one of the warmest
winters on record in Alaska?' We certainly haven't seen the 'arctic thaw' that has been
predicted so much around here....
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2127053/posts

As a matter of fact, want to guess how many of the top 10 COLDEST winters on record in Alaska
have occurred during this so called 'period of global warming'? Here's the newest statistics I
could find:
http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/faidata/FaiIndex.html
Looks like 16 of 21 days in January so far have been colder than normal. Is that somehow
evidence of global warming as well? I bet you ANYTHING that some scientist somewhere could
make that case.


I find this interesting as well:

'Global-warming activists insist that we can’t take an assumption from a single year. However, if the CWS forecast turns out to be correct, we will have gone eleven years without any warming at all — eleven years in which carbon emissions did not decline in any significant manner. How does one begin to explain that? And how will Kerry and Boxer and the rest of their Democratic colleagues try to sell cap-and-trade as a scientific necessity while people spend a fortune heating their homes in the coldest winter in a decade?'
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/29/coldest-winter-in-a-decade-coming/

And to say that there is some 'basic agreement' that all scientists have about global warming
seems to be maybe at least a little bit of a stretch. There are plenty of scientists who
disagree with those in the global warming crowd....some of them are seen and quoted in
the 'Not Evil.... Just Wrong' movie which is the counterpoint to Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth.'
Of course, the people I have talked to who believe in global warming, somehow dismiss these
scientists as somehow 'less credible' than those who believe in global warming. Why is that?

http://landshape.org/enm/science-experiment-at-home-to-disprove-global-warming-theory/
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=2154
http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/5515

Talk about an Inconvenient Truth.....I think that every time I exhale, I am breathing out a
'pollutant'. Maybe we should all just 'off' ourselves, then we could save the world.....
Bikerman
This is pretty desperate stuff, but OK..one more time...
a) You can't use one district, region, country or even continent to measure global average temp.
b) You keep talking about evidence. What evidence do you mean? Do you know something I don't? Is there a credible body of evidence that the IPCC has it all wrong?
c) Temperatures have not passed the 1998 figure for 10 years according to some - yet 2005 was hotter according to the NOAA data. HADCrut has it slightly the other way with 1998 warmer. There is about 0.03 degree in it either way. The two points that should also be mentioned are always omitted:
1) 1998 was a record el-nino and the temp was about 0.4 degrees above the rising trend (measured then at 0.18 degrees per decade I think)). That means that if warming continued on trend, as it had for 1970-1998 then we might expect it to take up to 2 decades to read 1998 levels. As it happens we are probably on schedule to do it next year.
Of course a much more telling way of putting this is that the 10 warmest years on record have been since 1997...sounds a bit different then, eh? Or you could look at the hottest decade on record (2000-2009).
2) Climate models, as I said before, can't do short range (less than 10 year) forecasts, let alone regional forecasts. There is too much noise for that sort of resolution. You have la and el-nino, the great conveyor, the 11 year solar cycle and many more global cycles. The trend line takes time to emerge from the background - but on anything other than a perverse choice of measurement it is upwards still.

The first of your links is to a 'home experiment' which looks like the only thing it proves is that some people will believe anything.
The second is to an article claiming that 'science disproves global warming'. I looked for the science and found non. A few anecdotal quotes from scientists. Notice the dishonesty - we are offered evidence from some scientists who say Brazil had heavy snowfall. Not a word about climate change though, which has little to do with it - in fact we are told then that this is the Decadal Pacific Oscillation so that is explained. Next we have a climatologist making the startling observation that the el-nino cycle affects the temperature, and solar minimums do too. Err, yes, duh! we know, and the point is?
and so it continues, research is claimed (no sources), scientists comment (no publications)...not worth the effort. (You always know they have nothing when they trot out the 'solar irradiance' ploy, claiming it accounts for the observed warming. Rubbish and they must know it.

Does that look like a rising trend?
What they dishonestly refer to is the sunspot activity graph which has been rising in a superficially close way to temp:

But not when you look closer - like from 1950 onwards.

The last one is the biggest joke of the lot. An idiot who doesn't know basic stats lecturing a gawping bunch who don't even know that he calculates uncertainty on the mean completely wrong (statistics 101) and what follows is pure garbage - dishonest comment, cherry-picked graphs with cherry-picked axes. It is trivially obvious that this clown isn't worth another second. Judging from the comments at the bottom it is a father and son sad-act duo.
Sheesh - this amateur show-off blog stuff gives me the hump.
yagnyavalkya
What was the accuracy of the instruments that were used to measure temperature say 50 years ago and how better are they in the present days
This a basic question
How well do predictive science or predictive conclusions of scientific observations stand up in the scientific method of inquiry?
Afaceinthematrix
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Anyways, it sounds like you do have a little blind faith, as you say that you are not a chemist or
climatetologist, but you do know this method works?......it seems like you are then 'taking the word'
of scientists......much like some people 'take the word' of clergy.


I did take a year of chemistry in college so I am not completely ignorant on the subject. But scientists spend almost a decade taking chemistry (or whatever their specialty is) in college. Their level of expertise in the subject will also be quite higher than mine. You cannot be expected to know every subject in depth - that would be impossible. If your specialty is biology, physics, mathematics, engineering, etc. you will obviously suffer some when it comes to knowing chemistry. But their comes a point when anyone can sit down, examine all the evidence (most of it is usually easily accessible online) and make what they can about it. I may not understand completely how the levels of CO2 were determined (as I mentioned when I was giving you a rough picture of how scientists do find those results), but that does not mean that once someone else gets those results, and they go through the peer-reviewed process that I cannot access those results and study them.

One thing that you're failing to grasp is that in science (any scientific field), there is a rigorous peer-review process. If you want to be published in any credible scientific journal, you have to get your work rigorously examined by a team of other scientists. So whenever you look at anything that has anything to do with science, make sure that you're looking at a credible source that was peer-reviewed.

So let's look at some of these links:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2127053/posts

I did not find any scientific credibility anywhere on the site. Please, get your sources from scientists, not people that didn't spend a decade studying this stuff.

Besides, what does this site actually say? All if says was that in one isolated place (Yukon), there was a below average-temperature winter and then it poked fun at "global warming." Look, the greenhouse effect is fairly well know and established and if the greenhouse effect was the only thing affecting the climate then I could see this as credible evidence against global warming. But it's not the only thing affecting climate. Wind patterns, el-ninos, sun spots, etc. all affect climate which is why in some areas you can get extreme weather. Those things will still have an effect on the weather. However, if CO2 levels continue to rise then the global mean temperature will probably rise...

http://climate.gi.alaska.edu/faidata/FaiIndex.html

This link is alright. It just reports the temperature in ONE place. So this actually doesn't say anything about the mean global temperature or about what factors were making those extreme temperatures.

Quote:
I find this interesting as well:

'Global-warming activists insist that we can’t take an assumption from a single year. However, if the CWS forecast turns out to be correct, we will have gone eleven years without any warming at all — eleven years in which carbon emissions did not decline in any significant manner. How does one begin to explain that? And how will Kerry and Boxer and the rest of their Democratic colleagues try to sell cap-and-trade as a scientific necessity while people spend a fortune heating their homes in the coldest winter in a decade?'
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/29/coldest-winter-in-a-decade-coming/


Really? You find it interesting? First off, get your science from a scientist.

I don't even see them citing any sources. And I'm supposed to trust that why? Before you accept anything on the internet, you should look for their sources.

And to say that there is some 'basic agreement' that all scientists have about global warming
seems to be maybe at least a little bit of a stretch. There are plenty of scientists who
disagree with those in the global warming crowd....some of them are seen and quoted in
the 'Not Evil.... Just Wrong' movie which is the counterpoint to Al Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth.'
Of course, the people I have talked to who believe in global warming, somehow dismiss these
scientists as somehow 'less credible' than those who believe in global warming. Why is that?

http://landshape.org/enm/science-experiment-at-home-to-disprove-global-warming-theory/

LoL. Serious? I remember doing 21 experiments in chemistry back when I took it but none of them were quite like that... All this "experiment" claims is that the amount of warming that can occur from greenhouse gasses have a maximum. I do not know if there really is a maximum but it's sort of silly because they're basing it off of the conditions and amounts of gas in the container. The conditions and amounts are quite different in the real world... And that doesn't take into account the possibilities out here (such as the possible death of the Amazon Rainforest - a huge climate regulator).

http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=2154
Jesus Christ! This reminds me of when Creationists complain about scientists who deny evolution are never heard or paid attention to or are automatically discredited... When in reality it's because there are so few of them around that you don't hear about them and they actually are listened to in the peer-review but they have nothing to bring to the table that actually holds up so then you end up having a bunch of journalists with no scientific education whining and bitching. That's all I got off of that link.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/5515

Ehh... I'm getting tired of this post now - I've spent enough time on it. i don't feel like looking anymore and I think Bikerman covered it anyways... But simply from the outside I can see that it was posted on a blog - which most likely means that it was NOT peer-reviewed and probably ISN'T from an actual scientist...

Quote:
Talk about an Inconvenient Truth.....I think that every time I exhale, I am breathing out a
'pollutant'. Maybe we should all just 'off' ourselves, then we could save the world.....

Wow...
Alaskacameradude
Ok, you are right, the articles I posted to were NOT from scientists so I will accept that criticism as
valid ....well except for a science experiment which I found interesting, but apparently you
all think was rubbish. So, this time, I will attempt to use articles from actual scientists.....not
that I think it will change anything, you will still find a reason to dismiss them, but the fact is,
there are plenty of scientists out there who do NOT accept the global warming 'evidence'.

http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/2951.html

If you don't want to click there... this is what it says
Quote:
'Is global warming really a hoax which merely benefited grant-seeking scientists and academics, ratings-obsessed television networks and their misinformed viewers and opportunistic eco-activists, all of whom show the same tolerance to opposing views as the communists did in the 1960s and 1970s? The result of a new study by Dr Richard Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi from MIT that uses temperature data from satellites raises precisely such doubts. The fact is that the only evidence that human activity is causing global warming came from computer models. Computer models can be changed by their creator. In fact, the creator of the model can make it say whatever the creator wants it to say by adjusting the parameters. According to scientists, the computer models, all 11 of them, predicted that as the oceans and atmosphere warmed, the amount of heat escaping into space should decrease by three watts per square metre. If this were true, the theory of manmade global warming would have a strong footing.

However, the satellite data used by Lindzen and Choi inflicted a crushing blow to this assumption. As the oceans and atmosphere warmed, the measurements showed that the amount of heat escaping into space increased by four watts per square metre from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s. Hence, all the computer models were wrong. Their study says that if the atmosphere is not trapping the heat generated by warming oceans, there is no manmade global warming taking place. But who is listening?'

Dr. Lindzen is a professor of atmospheric science at MIT. Here is a much longer article by him.

'Don't Believe the Hype
Al Gore is wrong. There's no "consensus" on global warming.

By RICHARD S. LINDZEN
Sunday, July 2, 2006 12:01 A.M. EDT

According to Al Gore's new film "An Inconvenient Truth," we're in for "a planetary emergency": melting ice sheets, huge increases in sea levels, more and stronger hurricanes, and invasions of tropical disease, among other cataclysms--unless we change the way we live now.

Bill Clinton has become the latest evangelist for Mr. Gore's gospel, proclaiming that current weather events show that he and Mr. Gore were right about global warming, and we are all suffering the consequences of President Bush's obtuseness on the matter. And why not? Mr. Gore assures us that "the debate in the scientific community is over."

That statement, which Mr. Gore made in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC, ought to have been followed by an asterisk. What exactly is this debate that Mr. Gore is referring to? Is there really a scientific community that is debating all these issues and then somehow agreeing in unison? Far from such a thing being over, it has never been clear to me what this "debate" actually is in the first place.

The media rarely help, of course. When Newsweek featured global warming in a 1988 issue, it was claimed that all scientists agreed. Periodically thereafter it was revealed that although there had been lingering doubts beforehand, now all scientists did indeed agree. Even Mr. Gore qualified his statement on ABC only a few minutes after he made it, clarifying things in an important way. When Mr. Stephanopoulos confronted Mr. Gore with the fact that the best estimates of rising sea levels are far less dire than he suggests in his movie, Mr. Gore defended his claims by noting that scientists "don't have any models that give them a high level of confidence" one way or the other and went on to claim--in his defense--that scientists "don't know. . . . They just don't know."

So, presumably, those scientists do not belong to the "consensus." Yet their research is FORCED, whether the EVIDENCE supports it or NOT, into Mr. Gore's preferred global-warming template--namely, shrill alarmism. To believe it requires that one ignore the truly inconvenient facts. To take the issue of rising sea levels, these include: that the Arctic was as warm or warmer in 1940; that icebergs have been known since time immemorial; that the evidence so far suggests that the Greenland ice sheet is actually GROWING on average. A likely result of all this is increased pressure pushing ice off the coastal perimeter of that country, which is depicted so ominously in Mr. Gore's movie. In the absence of factual context, these images are perhaps dire or alarming.

They are less so otherwise. Alpine glaciers have been retreating since the early 19th century, and were advancing for several centuries before that. Since about 1970, many of the glaciers have stopped retreating and some are now advancing again. And, frankly, we don't know why.

The other elements of the global-warming scare scenario are predicated on similar oversights. Malaria, claimed as a byproduct of warming, was once common in Michigan and Siberia and remains common in Siberia--mosquitoes don't require tropical warmth. Hurricanes, too, vary on multidecadal time scales; sea-surface temperature is likely to be an important factor. This temperature, itself, varies on multidecadal time scales. However, questions concerning the origin of the relevant sea-surface temperatures and the nature of trends in hurricane intensity are being hotly argued within the profession.
Even among those arguing, there is general agreement that we can't attribute any particular hurricane to global warming. To be sure, there is one exception, Greg Holland of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., who argues that it must be global warming because he can't think of anything else. While arguments like these, based on lassitude, are becoming rather common in climate assessments, such claims, given the primitive state of weather and climate science, are hardly compelling.

A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse. Regardless, these items are clearly not issues over which debate is ended--at least not in terms of the ACTUAL SCIENCE.

A clearer claim as to what debate has ended is provided by the environmental journalist Gregg Easterbrook. He concludes that the scientific community now agrees that significant warming is occurring, and that there is clear evidence of human influences on the climate system. This is still a most PECULIAR claim. At some level, it has never been widely contested. Most of the climate community has agreed since 1988 that global mean temperatures have increased on the order of one degree Fahrenheit over the past century, having risen significantly from about 1919 to 1940, decreased between 1940 and the early '70s, increased again until the '90s, and remaining essentially flat since 1998.

There is also little disagreement that levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen from about 280 parts per million by volume in the 19th century to about 387 ppmv today. Finally, there has been no question whatever that carbon dioxide is an infrared absorber (i.e., a greenhouse gas--albeit a minor one), and its increase should theoretically contribute to warming. Indeed, if all else were kept equal, the increase in carbon dioxide should have led to somewhat more warming than has been observed, assuming that the small observed increase was in fact due to increasing carbon dioxide rather than a natural fluctuation in the climate system. Although no cause for alarm rests on this issue, there has been an intense effort to claim that the theoretically expected contribution from additional carbon dioxide has actually been detected.

Given that we do not understand the natural internal variability of climate change, this task is currently impossible. Nevertheless there has been a persistent effort to suggest otherwise, and with surprising impact. Thus, although the conflicted state of the affair was accurately presented in the 1996 text of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the infamous "summary for policy makers" reported ambiguously that "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." This sufficed as the smoking gun for Kyoto.

The next IPCC report again described the problems surrounding what has become known as the attribution issue: that is, to explain what mechanisms are responsible for observed changes in climate. Some deployed the lassitude argument--e.g., we can't think of an alternative--to support human attribution. But the "summary for policy makers" claimed in a manner largely unrelated to the actual text of the report that "In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."

In a similar vein, the National Academy of Sciences issued a brief (15-page) report responding to questions from the White House. It again enumerated the difficulties with attribution, but again the report was preceded by a front end that ambiguously claimed that "The changes observed over the last several decades are likely mostly due to human activities, but we cannot rule out that some significant part of these changes is also a reflection of natural variability." This was sufficient for CNN's Michelle Mitchell to presciently declare that the report represented a "unanimous decision that global warming is real, is getting worse and is due to man. There is no wiggle room." Well, NO.

More recently, a study in the journal Science by the social scientist Nancy Oreskes claimed that a search of the ISI Web of Knowledge Database for the years 1993 to 2003 under the key words "global climate change" produced 928 articles, all of whose abstracts supported what she referred to as the consensus view. A British social scientist, Benny Peiser, checked her procedure and found that only 913 of the 928 articles had abstracts at all, and that only 13 of the remaining 913 explicitly endorsed the so-called consensus view. Several actually opposed it.

Even more recently, the Climate Change Science Program, the Bush administration's coordinating agency for global-warming research, declared it had found "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system." This, for Mr. Easterbrook, meant: "Case closed." What exactly was this evidence? The models imply that greenhouse warming should impact atmospheric temperatures more than surface temperatures, and yet satellite data showed no warming in the atmosphere since 1979. The report showed that selective corrections to the atmospheric data could lead to some warming, thus reducing the conflict between observations and models descriptions of what greenhouse warming should look like. That, to me, means the case is still VERY MUCH OPEN.

So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.

First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus RELIEVE policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to INTIMIDATE the public and even scientists!--especially those outside the area of climate dynamics.

Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Mr. Gore claims is not a political issue but a "moral" crusade.

Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth NOT by scientific methods but by PERPETUAL REPETITION! An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce--if we're lucky.'

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110008597


But of course, a scientist who disagrees with global warming is WRONG and you are right I am sure......Or maybe this is the ONLY scientists who disagrees....maybe that is it, Lindzen is
a quack scientist and is the only one (with Choi) who disagrees. Well then we find this:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/01/increasing-atmospheric-co2-manmade…or-natural/

Near the end of his article he says this:
Quote:

'Now, the experts will claim that this is all bogus, because they have computer models of the carbon budget that can explain all of long term rise in CO2 as a result of fossil fuel burning alone.

But, is that the ONLY possible model explanation? Or just the one they wanted their models to support? Did they investigate other model configurations that allowed nature to play a role in long term CO2 increase? Or did those model simulations show that nature couldn’t have played a role?

This is the trouble with model simulations. The ones that get published are usually the ones that support the modeler’s preconceived notions, while alternative model solutions are ignored.'

Ok like I said.......maybe ANY scientist who disagrees with global warming is crazy or 'not a
real scientist' or who knows what other claims you may make? I guess it's like I've heard
someone say before, we ALL modify the evidence to fit in with our own world views.
I do it.....you do it....and the global warming scientists do it as well.....as do the anti global
warming scientists. We reject certain evidence and accept other evidence. We try to convince
ourselves that 'our' evidence is stronger than 'their' evidence. So when one of us on either side
try and debate....it's almost pointless as we tend to reject the other side's evidence and accept
only our own. So maybe all the debating is really pointless.....but hey, it's still fun Smile
Voodoocat
Even more bad news for the global warming cabal: more errors have been found in data "proving" global warming:

Quote:
The Indian head of the UN climate change panel defended his position yesterday even as further errors were identified in the panel's assessment of Himalayan glaciers


And where do you think that the "esteemed" U.N. got their data from? Peer reviewed data? Well respected scientists? Maybe highly structured and controlled studies. Of course not! This is global warming and such defensible data is passe! The data came from one single scientist.


Quote:
The IPCC’s 2007 report, which won it the Nobel Peace Prize, said that the probability of Himalayan glaciers “disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps sooner is very high”.

But it emerged last week that the forecast was based not on a consensus among climate change experts, but on a media interview with a single Indian glaciologist in 1999.


Yet another glaring example of the pathetic excuse for science that the global warming community is founded on.
Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6999051.ece
ocalhoun
Voodoocat wrote:

Yet another glaring example

Eh... It's not 'another' example; it's the same example repeated again...
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude
On a netiquette point and distinct from the debate itself - I must ask you to use quote tags for the sort of extended quotes above. I have attempted to do this - but I may have enclosed too much or too little (I had to guestimate what was quoted and what was yours). If you edit the posting you will see how the quote tags work and you can then change them if I have it wrong.

On the substantive issues:
1) There are a few scientists who disagree with the mainstream on this. That is neither surprising nor is it something to worry about. Science relies on dissenters being given free reign to do science.
Lindzen has made this complaint before (that scientists are 'forced' to support the 'Gore' model). You will note that the article was written soon after Gore's film was released and is largely concerned with that. Things have moved on since then. The satellite data which Lindzen puts so much store by has been found to have several problems, and when those problems are addressed, surprise surprise, the satellite data is pretty close to the land recorded data and shows the rise quite clearly.
This is an old issue - it was first addressed seriously around 2004-5.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/08/et-tu-lt/

On whether we are entering a cooling, or even a pause to warming:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/10/a-warming-pause/
Quote:
]But of course, a scientist who disagrees with global warming is WRONG and you are right I am sure

Please don't put words in my mouth. If you check my postings you will find little in the way of personal opinion on this matter. That is because I am still considering the matter, in light of evidence. Of course there are genuine doubts (as opposed to the sort of nonsense in your first links), but if I had to put numbers to it, I would say that it is 90% or thereabouts probable that the climate scientists (or the vast majority) have it about right with the IPCC reports.
I have not (and WILL not) slung any mud at scientists who take Lindtzen's position. I have no problem at all with genuine objections to part, or all, of the AGW models, as long as they are rooted in science, not pseudo-science or wishful thinking, or cherry-picking data, or plain dishonesty.

What I have difficulty with (and what actually annoys me quite a lot) is the amateur idiot websites that have sprouted all over the web (overwhelmingly deniers). This debate is rooted in science and will be settled scientifically - not by the ill-informed rantings of bloggers who know nothing about the basic science and whose opinion is basically worthless. There seems to me to be a move over my lifetime to 'democratise' science - with ignorant comment being treated seriously. This is profoundly wrong. Science doesn't need a fan club and it certainly doesn't work as a popularity contest.
Alaskacameradude
Bikerman,

Sorry about not using the quote tags.....I thought I had done that and apparently did not do it the
correct way.

The article that Lindzen wrote, was dated as a 2006 article (unless I am mistaken)....so not sure how your first referenced article which you say addressed it seriously around 2004-05 applies, or
maybe I am misunderstanding things here? Quite possible that I am.....

As for the quote about a scientist who disagrees with global warming being wrong and you right,
that was not really pointed at YOU....but I can certainly see why you thought it was. That was
supposed to be part of my point about how WE ALL give more credibility to the evidence which
supports our world view. I admit, I do it too. It was pointed at EVERYONE who disagrees with
global warming and tries to claim that ALL science backs up global warming. I do not think that
this is the case, and while the large majority of scientists may.......there was a time when the
largely established 'science' of the day claimed that the earth was flat......and most 'scientists'
agreed and claimed that those who disagreed were 'quacks'. As you state, this is not a
'popularity contest' or a 'majority rules' type of situation.
Bikerman
Arghhh,,,,
Can we please nail this once and for all:
No educated person in Europe thought the world was flat*, and science did not really exist at the time such belief was supposedly widespread. We have known since the ancient greeks that the world is not flat (and, incidentally, that it is not the centre of the universe).

* OK - that is probably not the case - let me rephrase - MOST educated people in Europe knew fine well that the earth was/is not flat.
Alaskacameradude
You know, I really don't know about Europe or what people may or may not have thought,
and I'm not sure exactly what time frame you are talking about, I certainly did not set any time
frame! I bet there was a time that people in Europe believed the earth was flat!

I am merely stating what I read in my SCIENCE textbooks in school. There was a time, the
prevailing 'wisdom' of the day was that the earth was flat. Egyptians, Greeks, and Hindus
among others all agreed the earth was flat. Later on (the date is debated) Greeks started to
notice things which made them start to think the earth was NOT flat. They also did believe
that the earth was the center of the universe, and then later rethought that as well.

You may not call what they had 'science', but they appear to have had 'astronomers' or those
who studied the sky. Our science of today is advanced far beyond theirs, admittedly. However,
in 10 thousand years, the science of the day will probably make ours look pretty primative too.
Bikerman
The following explains this myth better than I can here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth
It goes to show that not everything printed in text books should be trusted Smile
Alaskacameradude
Apparently some science textbooks are false......that's a good post you had there.

However, it does seem that some cultures did believe in the flat earth....including
some pre-Socratic philosophers.....others believed Earth to be a short cylinder with a
flat top which remained stable because it was the same distance from all things...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth
Bikerman
Oh sure. Go far enough back and you'll find all sorts of weird and wonderful beliefs. The point is that in any era where you could reasonably talk about a scientific approach (and let's not be picky - let's widen 'scientific' to include any systematic observation and theorising) then the notion of a flat earth is not one you find - largely because anyone looking systematically at the world around him/her quickly finds objections to that hypothesis. The only way it can be maintained is via some religo-social taboo/diktat - which is actually the antithesis of science.

I don't actually think that our science will one day be refuted. Science doesn't work like that. Newton's gravitational laws work for our normal scale of observation. That means that unless the universe suddenly changes the fundamental rules, it will ALWAYS work at this scale of observation. Sure, as we observe more, Newton isn't up to the job and we need bigger models - enter Einstein. The point is, though, that our current models explain observations pretty well, and that isn't going to change. The observations will certainly lead to much better, (perhaps even simpler), models, with much greater applicability,but you will still be able to predict how fast the apple will fall using nothing more than good old Newtonian mechanics.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
I don't actually think that our science will one day be refuted. Science doesn't work like that. Newton's gravitational laws work for our normal scale of observation. That means that unless the universe suddenly changes the fundamental rules, it will ALWAYS work at this scale of observation. Sure, as we observe more, Newton isn't up to the job and we need bigger models - enter Einstein. The point is, though, that our current models explain observations pretty well, and that isn't going to change. The observations will certainly lead to much better, (perhaps even simpler), models, with much greater applicability,but you will still be able to predict how fast the apple will fall using nothing more than good old Newtonian mechanics.


There have been plenty of examples of modern science being disproven when further scientific
study is undertaken.....so I don't agree that 'science doesn't work like that.' Your example of
Newton's gravitational law certainly hasn't been disproven, but other things certainly have.
That IS the way science is SUPPOSED to work, when new studies show we have been wrong in
the past.
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:
I don't actually think that our science will one day be refuted. Science doesn't work like that. Newton's gravitational laws work for our normal scale of observation. That means that unless the universe suddenly changes the fundamental rules, it will ALWAYS work at this scale of observation. Sure, as we observe more, Newton isn't up to the job and we need bigger models - enter Einstein. The point is, though, that our current models explain observations pretty well, and that isn't going to change. The observations will certainly lead to much better, (perhaps even simpler), models, with much greater applicability,but you will still be able to predict how fast the apple will fall using nothing more than good old Newtonian mechanics.


There have been plenty of examples of modern science being disproven when further scientific
study is undertaken.....so I don't agree that 'science doesn't work like that.' Your example of
Newton's gravitational law certainly hasn't been disproven, but other things certainly have.
That IS the way science is SUPPOSED to work, when new studies show we have been wrong in
the past.

No, that simply won't do. You can't make a claim like that without providing at least one example to back it up. What scientific theory, based on good observational evidence, has been shown to have not explained the evidence at all, and been completely wrong?
We have a lot of stuff from blindly accepting the Greek 'masters' - a nice mix of Platonic and Aristotelian misconceptions, given a nice little religious kick by the Catholics - but once we get to Kepler, Galileo, Newton then the die is cast and proper science begins. From that point on science was concerned with challenging the old myths using the 'method', and it has pretty much never taken a backward step since. A few fumbles and stumbles. but where theory matched observation then theory, wrong though it might ultimately be in the bigger scheme, was useful.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
No, that simply won't do. You can't make a claim like that without providing at least one example to back it up. What scientific theory, based on good observational evidence, has been shown to have not explained the evidence at all, and been completely wrong?
We have a lot of stuff from blindly accepting the Greek 'masters' - a nice mix of Platonic and Aristotelian misconceptions, given a nice little religious kick by the Catholics - but once we get to Kepler, Galileo, Newton then the die is cast and proper science begins. From that point on science was concerned with challenging the old myths using the 'method', and it has pretty much never taken a backward step since. A few fumbles and stumbles. but where theory matched observation then theory, wrong though it might ultimately be in the bigger scheme, was useful.


Well, I am NOT saying that theory, wrong though it might be is not useful. I am merely saying
that theory is sometimes WRONG....or maybe just misunderstood the evidence. I am further
saying, that global warming theory MAY be misunderstanding the evidence! You seem to be disputing this, and saying that it CANNOT be wrong.....presumably, because of such a large
body of scientific evidence to back up global warming theory.

But if you must have examples of our modern science gone wrong....or if you prefer,
discoveries which 'clarified' things.

It was long thought that we had 9 planets in our solar system. Now science has discovered a
10th. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2005/29jul_planetx.htm

When I was in high school, it was taught that there were 109 elements in the periodic table.
Now, I think it is taught that there are 119.
http://periodic.lanl.gov/default.htm

A recent theory about a large comet explosion over North America, now seems to be in
doubt. This is interesting, because it also relates to global weather patterns.
http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/article.php?q=09012715-comet-impact-theory-disproved

Not to mention a lot of recent research about dark matter, which seems to disprove a lot of
earlier theory about the 'big bang'.

'The results show that these galaxies did not form in a simple collapse in the early universe, but that their formation is more gradual over the course of the Universe's evolution, taking about 5 billion years.'

'The presence of dark matter in the universe is a recent belief that is based on the rotational velocities of the stars in galaxies, all of which appear to be moving at or near the same speed. This does not conform to Newton's gravitational theory, but the presence of some sort of unseen matter permeating the universe can account for this phenomenon. Hence the recent proposition that "Dark Matter" must exist throughout the universe.'

http://www.universetoday.com/2009/04/23/new-hubble-survey-supports-cold-dark-matter-in-early-universe/
http://www.science-site.net/darkmatter.htm

Another question I have about the scientific method....and the 'Big Bang' theory, is that, as
I understand it scientific law states (roughly) that matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed...but then try to use the 'Big Bang' theory to talk about how matter WAS created? Am I understanding this right? You'd think, using scientific law, that they would instead say that the universe ALWAYS existed....but I think there may be some scientific problems with that one too.
This seems to be where 'dark matter' may explain some things about the beginning of the
universe better than the 'Big Bang' theory.

I just don't see why you seem to think it is impossible for new science to come along that
shows that 'global warming theory' was not right. There are scientists, who using science believe
this, so I guess I just don't understand why this particular theory is so 'ironclad' that it
could NOT be wrong. Maybe it didn't 'not explain the evidence at all' but maybe it just 'misunderstood the evidence'. Would you consider that a possibility?
Afaceinthematrix
^^The first two examples aren't valid to your point. The rest are. Scientists never said that there were only 9 planets or that there were only 109 elements. School teachers may have said that - but not scientists. What would be more accurate is to say that scientists said that they only knew about 9 planets (of course they later reclassified Pluto... but that's still not related to GW) and that scientists only knew about 109 elements. There's a difference between saying:

1) "Chemists only know about 109 elements and so that's what the put in the textbook. Years later, they discovered more and so they're going to put more into the textbook (also, this is even more invalid considering there are only 94 naturally occurring elements on Earth - others have been created in labs. So they may not have been created yet when you were in school. So of course there would have been fewer in your textbook)"

2) "Scientists were completely wrong on a theory and the opposite holds true."

Your first two examples are basically like number 1. Scientists weren't wrong on anything. They never said there were only 109 elements or that there were only 9 planets in the solar system. They merely said that they only know about those (and no real scientist would say that they've found every planet in the solar system or every element). Since scientists collect data everyday as part of their job, they're, of course, going to report this data. Major data, such as a discovery of a new planet in the solar system, will make it into the text books. Number 2 would be a scientist being completely wrong - which is what you're basically saying is a huge possibility with scientists and GW.


Your other examples are closer to being valid, but are still invalid. While they do show that scientists make mistakes, there is a major difference between those and GW. Those that you mentioned, despite what you called them (theories), are NOT theories. They are hypothesis. A hypothesis is an explanation that has some evidence but that has not been tested. After many, many tests and not a single falsification, a hypothesis may be considered a theory. A theory will have much more evidence than a hypothesis, have been much more rigorously examined, and must explain some phenomenon (in this case, that phenomenon is, of course, climate change).
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
School teachers may have said that - but not scientists.
This is very confusing to me. I always thought that school children were being taught science by qualified science teachers. If any people should be worried about the accurate communication of information, it would have been science teachers more than the scientists themselves? Wikipedia communicates it well, but I can't imagine school teachers communicating it any differently to their students either:
Quote:
The discovery of the elements known to exist today is presented here in chronological order. The elements are listed generally in the order in which each was first defined as the pure element, as the exact date of discovery of most elements cannot be accurately defined.
Bikerman
A few things:
a) I certainly don't believe that it is impossible for AGW to be shown to be wrong. I think it is unlikely (I think the warming this century is as close to a done deal as I can imagine - anthropogenic). That doesn't make predictions/models certain and nobody but a fool would say otherwise.
b) You have completely misuderstood what I typed. Of course scientists are wrong. My point is, if scientist A says - that apple, I have observed, will accelerate under a force at approx 9.8 m/s/s in this situation, then in that situation the apple will do so - in centuries or millenia. Why should it not?
Now you can, of course, say - Hang on Newtons, you just called it a force but actually you don't explain it at all - you just give us a model for working with it. That is a fair criticism - and we still haven't got a good explanation. Doesn't mean that 9.8 m/s/s is suddenly going to become 10 though....
c) Yes you can have a BB and not break conservation law.
energy+matter = gravity
energy + matter - gravity = 0
d) Pluto is simply a case of changing definitions - science does it all the time to allow new observations or models to 'fit' better.
e) Periodic table was a good model, and still is for most purposes. If you add an alkali metal to water you will still get a fiz or a bang, regardless of how many new elements we discover. The periodic table isn't really wrong, just incomplete.
f) Dark matter doesn't prove or refute BB theory. Both can live quite happily together.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
This is very confusing to me. I always thought that school children were being taught science by qualified science teachers. If any people should be worried about the accurate communication of information, it would have been science teachers more than the scientists themselves?


School teachers are not scientists - and you cannot expect them to be. They may say things that many real scientists would not say. If you ask them how tall they are, they may simply respond with 6 feet. If you ask a scientist, they may respond with something like (if they're trying to be extremely scientific), "According to the knowledge used by my best measuring equipment, with a degree of accuracy to x%, I'm approximately X ft. tall."

Most scientists aren't going to say, "There are 117 elements." They'll say that we know about 117 elements. A school teacher might just tell their students that there are 117 elements. It's a subtle difference and in a classroom environment, I do not see it as being a huge deal. You're educating students on the basics and teaching them to learn (which is one of the biggest points of high school). If they want to learn to be a scientist - they go to college for that.

Granted, it would probably be better if all science teachers spoke in a way like what I describe (and some of my high school teachers did speak that way) - but you cannot expect them all to.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
School teachers are not scientists - and you cannot expect them to be.
I don't know whether it is different in the United States, but in most countries of the world teachers who teach science are qualified to teach science like you would find math teachers who are qualified to teach math. We would refer to them as science teachers.

In the specific example that you made of school teachers teaching misleading facts of science, it would be difficult for me to comprehend. I remember when I was taught science at high school wording was very carefully chosen, along the lines of the Wikipedia article I quoted in my previous posting. It is logical that there is a difference between a scientist and a science teacher, but a science teacher who is qualified to teach science would be more professional as a science teacher about what it teaches school children about science than a scientist, who probably would more likely assume that everyone knows and understands the basics.
Alaskacameradude
All I was trying to point out, is that science is CONSTANTLY 'evolving' and discovering new ways
to explain the world, and what happens in it. Things, which were previously unknown are discovered,
and hypothesis or theories have new information found, which explains things in a drastically different
way.....

Quote:
After many, many tests and not a single falsification, a hypothesis may be considered a theory. A theory will have much more evidence than a hypothesis, have been much more rigorously examined, and must explain some phenomenon (in this case, that phenomenon is, of course, climate change).


Umm....I think many people (INCLUDING SCIENTISTS) would disagree that there has never been
a single falsification in global warming theory. Of course you can contend that any falsifications
are not important or that the entire body of evidence outweighs any falsifications....which
may be a totally valid viewpoint.

Quote:
d) Pluto is simply a case of changing definitions - science does it all the time to allow new observations or models to 'fit' better.


Yup, and that's what I contend could happen with global warming theory. Lindzen quite rightly
criticizes scientists who claim global warming 'must be caused by man, because there is no other
explaination that makes sense to me.' I don't think that's good enough either. You may feel
differently.

I think that we don't disagree on science that much here, we are just using different definitions
to mean the same thing. WHen I talk about science being 'wrong', I am just saying, that
in a particular time, something that science says or uses to explain the world, becomes
'updated' or changed to better explain the world as science makes new discoveries.
So it was 'wrong' in the sense that maybe a large comet did NOT explode over North America
as they once thought, but instead......three small ones did....or something of that nature.
I hope you see what I mean. I was NOT debating the scientific laws such as gravity or
'action/reaction' or anything of that nature.

I think where we disagree, is in what importance we put on current scientific knowledge
of global warming. You seem to feel that it is on very solid scientific footing and is
almost certainly true. My contention would be, that global warming
has NOT reached the 'scientific law' position, and that climate science is relatively new and
climatologists themselves say that there is a lot they can't explain with current science....
Which to me, (and to the following scientists) it means that this debate is still open.

http://www.oism.org/pproject/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
Bikerman
No. I carefully distinguish between two things - the hypothesis that humans have released a very large amount of greenhouse gas (primarily CO2 but not solely), and that this is historically correlated to temperature and is also almost certainly a major factor in recent observed temp rises. That I take to be very solid. We have mechanism, we have observation, we have models which support the basic mechanisms. No, it isn't a scientific law - that would be to misunderstand the word law. It is an observation and a simple deduction - call it a theory, OK, and the point is that there is nothing else challenging it. If you read the proposals from the genuine science deniers, they fall into three categories:
a) Deny that there is anything specific going on and therefore no problem. To defend that you have to basically disregard most of the climate evidence we have.
b) Deny that CO2 is the mechanism for the majority of recent warming.
c) Accept some warming and some contribution by man, but think that we are going about things wrong and that we should relax. (This is the position that the UK Tory sceptics are coalescing around).
I find all those to be untenable.
To deny warming of about 0.7C over the last century is frankly to stick ones fingers in the ears.
To deny CO2 and other G/house gasses are the major 'driver' of recent warming requires another driver. The sun (which is the only other possibility) fails all tests when you examine irradiance data.
That leaves....well basically some unknown mechanisms.
Now, they may well exist but it seems rather silly to me to dismiss a good model based on sound principles which indicates trouble, on a hope that the model is wrong...
Now, of course, when it comes to predicting what, for example, a 2degree gobal rise will do, then we are into speculation and the best we can do is use what data and what models are available to us, whilst trying to refine/develop them.
ocalhoun
Bikerman wrote:

To deny CO2 and other G/house gasses are the major 'driver' of recent warming requires another driver. The sun (which is the only other possibility) fails all tests when you examine irradiance data.

Really? The sun and greenhouse gasses are the only things that affect global temperature?
Quote:

That leaves....well basically some unknown mechanisms.

That it does... What caused temperature variations in the past?
Bikerman
ocalhoun wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

To deny CO2 and other G/house gasses are the major 'driver' of recent warming requires another driver. The sun (which is the only other possibility) fails all tests when you examine irradiance data.

Really? The sun and greenhouse gasses are the only things that affect global temperature?
Over any large timescale, yes.
Earth's climate is driven by heat from the Sun. The only way that I can think of to increase global temperature is to either move closer to the sun, for the sun to put more energy out, or for the Earth to retain more energy from existing output. There are, perhaps, some sci-fi alternatives (a second sun, some alien technology) but basically the science says energy in is the important factor and everything else is just weather.
Quote:

That it does... What caused temperature variations in the past?
Best current estimate is:
1...Milankovich cycle maximum forces a rise in temperature, and we begin an inter-glacial.
2...This causes a release of CO2 (hence the 'lag' in the ice core sample data).
3...The CO2 now acts in a feedback manner to continue to raise temperatures.
4...Milankovitch minimum reduces solar irradiation sufficient to 'break out' of the feedback cycle and temperatures start to drop into an ice age.

The important thing to note is that currently we are in the middle of the cycle, and the rate of warming over the last century is not something seen before. Neither is the level of CO2 - nothing like it for about 800,000 years for which we have records.
As I said before - we are conducting the biggest scientific experiment ever with the climate, and I'm not altogether sure that this is a good idea.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
If you read the proposals from the genuine science deniers, they fall into three categories:
a) Deny that there is anything specific going on and therefore no problem. To defend that you have to basically disregard most of the climate evidence we have.
b) Deny that CO2 is the mechanism for the majority of recent warming.
c) Accept some warming and some contribution by man, but think that we are going about things wrong and that we should relax. (This is the position that the UK Tory sceptics are coalescing around).
I find all those to be untenable.


Well you may find them to be untenable. I am pointing out, that many people, (with a FAR more
advanced knowledge of the science than you) DISAGREE with you! There seems to be this notion
that the global warming theory is 'totally agreed upon by all scientists' and that those of us who disagree have 'no scientific backing' and are 'sticking our fingers in our ears'. I am merely
pointing out, that there are LOTS of scientists who do NOT agree with this position.....admittedly
lots do as well.....
Bikerman
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:
If you read the proposals from the genuine science deniers, they fall into three categories:
a) Deny that there is anything specific going on and therefore no problem. To defend that you have to basically disregard most of the climate evidence we have.
b) Deny that CO2 is the mechanism for the majority of recent warming.
c) Accept some warming and some contribution by man, but think that we are going about things wrong and that we should relax. (This is the position that the UK Tory sceptics are coalescing around).
I find all those to be untenable.


Well you may find them to be untenable. I am pointing out, that many people, (with a FAR more
advanced knowledge of the science than you) DISAGREE with you! There seems to be this notion
that the global warming theory is 'totally agreed upon by all scientists' and that those of us who disagree have 'no scientific backing' and are 'sticking our fingers in our ears'. I am merely
pointing out, that there are LOTS of scientists who do NOT agree with this position.....admittedly
lots do as well.....
Lots is not a useful word. As regards climate scientists (ie those who know FAR more about the science than I do) I can think of 3 that deny warming completely, about half a dozen that say the IPCC is overstating the case, and probably a similar number who think that the rise is there, but has natural causes. Add to that the usual suspects (you can always find a few hundred 'scientists' to agree with anything - including creationism), and you get what I would call a tiny minority.
jmi256
Apparently the 'scientists' at the center of the global warming emails will be able to avoid criminal prosecution and a hefty fine due to the university's procedural policies. There is a 6-month limit for being prosecuted, but the university’s process must be completed first, which seems to take longer.

Quote:
Scientists in stolen e-mail scandal hid climate data

The university at the centre of the climate change row over stolen e-mails broke the law by refusing to hand over its raw data for public scrutiny.

The University of East Anglia breached the Freedom of Information Act by refusing to comply with requests for data concerning claims by its scientists that man-made emissions were causing global warming.

The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act but said that it could not prosecute those involved because the complaint was made too late, The Times has learnt. The ICO is now seeking to change the law to allow prosecutions if a complaint is made more than six months after a breach.


The stolen e-mails , revealed on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, showed how the university’s Climatic Research Unit attempted to thwart requests for scientific data and other information, and suggest that senior figures at the university were involved in decisions to refuse the requests. It is not known who stole the e-mails.


Professor Phil Jones, the unit’s director, stood down while an inquiry took place. The ICO’s decision could make it difficult for him to resume his post.

Details of the breach emerged the day after John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser, warned that there was an urgent need for more honesty about the uncertainty of some predictions. His intervention followed admissions from scientists that the rate of glacial melt in the Himalayas had been grossly exaggerated.

In one e-mail, Professor Jones asked a colleague to delete e-mails relating to the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

He also told a colleague that he had persuaded the university authorities to ignore information requests under the act from people linked to a website run by climate sceptics.

A spokesman for the ICO said: “The legislation prevents us from taking any action but from looking at the emails it’s clear to us a breach has occurred.” Breaches of the act are punishable by an unlimited fine.

The complaint to the ICO was made by David Holland, a retired engineer from Northampton. He had been seeking information to support his theory that the unit broke the IPCC’s rules to discredit sceptic scientists.

In a statement, Graham Smith, Deputy Commissioner at the ICO, said: “The e-mails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information.”

He added: “The ICO is gathering evidence from this and other time-barred cases to support the case for a change in the law. We will be advising the university about the importance of effective records management and their legal obligations in respect of future requests for information.”

Mr Holland said: “There is an apparent Catch-22 here. The prosecution has to be initiated within six months but you have to exhaust the university’s complaints procedure before the commission will look at your complaint. That process can take longer than six months.”

The university said: “The way freedom of information requests have been handled is one of the main areas being explored by Sir Muir Russell’s independent review. The findings will be made public and we will act as appropriate on its recommendations.”

Source =
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7004936.ece
Bikerman
Yes, I've read that already - it's interesting how the TimesOnLine often lead quite 'hard' against the CRU (this happened when the story broke) and yet the next day the headlines and editorial are much more measured. I'll keep an eye on tomorrow's edition.
Nothing new here really.
Deniers wind up the climate scientists by asking for every bit of data, every algorithm, which takes time. Phil Jones gets naffed off with them (mainly ClimateAudit.com and WUM) and gets a bit childish - handbags at dawn and the CRU try to block access to a couple of climate deniers.
(The idea that they were keeping the data secret is silly - hundreds of researchers have access to it all the time).
Was Jones wrong? Yep - but having debated some particularly 'devoted' deniers myself (not here!), I really feel for him. I don't think people realise just how damaging it is to have constant messages saying you are corrupt, a liar, an idiot, coming in from semi-literate bloggers who once passed an exam in metallurgy and think that this makes their opinion somehow important.

The real scientists in the field will do the job - in fact they are the only ones who can. It is a bit harsh to also expect them to put up with nutters in every morning inbox - but physicists have been doing it for years, so I suppose they must simply adjust...
jmi256
Bikerman wrote:
Yes, I've read that already - it's interesting how the TimesOnLine often lead quite 'hard' against the CRU (this happened when the story broke) and yet the next day the headlines and editorial are much more measured. I'll keep an eye on tomorrow's edition.
Nothing new here really.
Deniers wind up the climate scientists by asking for every bit of data, every algorithm, which takes time. Phil Jones gets naffed off with them (mainly ClimateAudit.com and WUM) and gets a bit childish - handbags at dawn and the CRU try to block access to a couple of climate deniers.
(The idea that they were keeping the data secret is silly - hundreds of researchers have access to it all the time).
Was Jones wrong? Yep - but having debated some particularly 'devoted' deniers myself (not here!), I really feel for him. I don't think people realise just how damaging it is to have constant messages saying you are corrupt, a liar, an idiot, coming in from semi-literate bloggers who once passed an exam in metallurgy and think that this makes their opinion somehow important.

The real scientists in the field will do the job - in fact they are the only ones who can. It is a bit harsh to also expect them to put up with nutters in every morning inbox - but physicists have been doing it for years, so I suppose they must simply adjust...


So challenging the scientists is wrong? We should just accept their opinions as gospel and like it? I understand your point of the difficulties of defending themselves to non-scientists, but I think the issue is that they are turning around and asking the same non-scientists to fund their work. Perhaps they aren’t simply using scare tactics to maintain and increase their grants, etc., but it sure seems that way. If they don’t want to explain or support their work, the answer is simple: pay for it yourself or find someone to fund it who doesn’t care about ethics, integrity or results. But as long as they’re working on someone else’s dime, they should be accountable to the people providing the dime.

Liberals, however, are then using the ‘scientific findings’ as a premise for more government control and interference. People who support their positions are “real scientists.” Those who provide contradictory evidence or question the evidence provided are called “deniers,” “childish,” “semi-literate” and “nutters” (that was a new one), and that is just from your one post. My stance is simple and mirrors my above paragraph: If liberals want to raise money to somehow combat what they think the faulty opinions claim, they should do so voluntarily. Pass around a cup for all I care. But if they are asking me for my money, they should be prepared to explain, debate and defend their requests. If they are unable to do so, it is their failure, not the ones who refuse to be taken for a ride. I’m tired of liberals trying to take what productive people have worked for and earned, and when those people question anything we’re treated in a “how dare you” manner.
Afaceinthematrix
deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
School teachers are not scientists - and you cannot expect them to be.
I don't know whether it is different in the United States, but in most countries of the world teachers who teach science are qualified to teach science like you would find math teachers who are qualified to teach math. We would refer to them as science teachers.

In the specific example that you made of school teachers teaching misleading facts of science, it would be difficult for me to comprehend. I remember when I was taught science at high school wording was very carefully chosen, along the lines of the Wikipedia article I quoted in my previous posting. It is logical that there is a difference between a scientist and a science teacher, but a science teacher who is qualified to teach science would be more professional as a science teacher about what it teaches school children about science than a scientist, who probably would more likely assume that everyone knows and understands the basics.


Again, the job of a science teacher isn't to turn children into scientists - we have college for that. It's to teach them the basics of science, the scientific method, help them learn to think, and most importantly to inspire them and teach them that science can be fun. Their job isn't scientist. They aren't expected to act like scientists. To say that there are 117 elements would be completely honest even though a scientist will say, "As of now, we know about 117 elements."

They aren't being misleading. They are not lying. They are teaching the general scientific consensus. That's what they are paid to do.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
Again, the job of a science teacher isn't to turn children into scientists - we have college for that. It's to teach them the basics of science, the scientific method, help them learn to think, and most importantly to inspire them and teach them that science can be fun. Their job isn't scientist. They aren't expected to act like scientists. To say that there are 117 elements would be completely honest even though a scientist will say, "As of now, we know about 117 elements."

They aren't being misleading. They are not lying. They are teaching the general scientific consensus. That's what they are paid to do.
Matrix, the discussion was that it was unlikely that a teacher who teaches science would have made a statement like that. Teachers through their focus on communication in teaching the basics of science and scientific method would have been more guarded in what they would have said. By nature of what they teach, I'm almost certain they would have been aware that there had been many less elements known to scientists in previous centuries. There could be new elements discovered in the next century. Maybe a layman journalist would come to that conclusion, but I cannot see a science teacher teaching that.
jmi256
Something to lighten the mood, yet seemingly appropriate....


handfleisch
Hey, all you fringe-group climate change deniers. Here's another opportunity to answer this question.

The basic facts of global warming have been supported by thousands of studies, endorsed by dozens of scientific societies and the national academy of science in every first world nation.

How many can you cite on the other side?
deanhills
handfleisch wrote:
Hey, all you fringe-group climate change deniers. Here's another opportunity to answer this question.

The basic facts of global warming have been supported by thousands of studies, endorsed by dozens of scientific societies and the national academy of science in every first world nation.

How many can you cite on the other side?

Good point, I have not thought of this before. See, we need you to remind us of the obvious now and then. Wink

PS: Welcome back ...!
handfleisch
deanhills wrote:
handfleisch wrote:
Hey, all you fringe-group climate change deniers. Here's another opportunity to answer this question.

The basic facts of global warming have been supported by thousands of studies, endorsed by dozens of scientific societies and the national academy of science in every first world nation.

How many can you cite on the other side?

Good point, I have not thought of this before. See, we need you to remind us of the obvious now and then.


Beside the fact that climate change deniers can't answer this simple question, there is the fact that the organizations pushing the denial down are throats are funded by oil companies. For example, the oilman who is ninth richest person in the USA has spent $50 million on climate denial front groups.

http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/campaigns/global-warming-and-energy/polluterwatch/koch-industries

Quote:
Billionaire oilman David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is “the biggest company you've never heard of.” But the nearly $50 million that David Koch and his brother Charles have quietly funneled to climate-denial front groups that are working to delay policies and regulations aimed at stopping global warming is no joking matter.

Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch have a vested interest in delaying climate action: they’ve made billions from their ownership and control of Koch Industries, an oil corporation that is the second largest privately-held company in America (which also happens to have an especially poor environmental record). It’s time more people were aware of Charles and David Koch and just what they’re up to.
yagnyavalkya
I cant understand why he should spend that much money to denial groups I what is the gain anyway
exactly how is the oil company profit by denying climate change
ocalhoun
yagnyavalkya wrote:
I cant understand why he should spend that much money to denial groups I what is the gain anyway
exactly how is the oil company profit by denying climate change

If legislation results from the climate change debate, it will likely include drastic efforts to reduce consumption of oil.

This means that oil companies would sell less oil, and the oil they did sell would sell for a lower price.

Therefore, oil companies do have a large financial stake in this.
Alaskacameradude
Quote:
Add to that the usual suspects (you can always find a few hundred 'scientists' to agree with anything - including creationism), and you get what I would call a tiny minority.


Well......I would definitely contend that 'the usual suspects' are the ones agreeing in lock step with
everything the climate change people say as well. There is DEFINITELY politics involved in this whole
issue on both sides.
Bikerman
That argument only works to a point. There are many scientific bodies that take positive delight in being stubbornly against political orthodoxy and most scientists I know either don't care about politics or are too 'ornery to be pushed around by other scientists.
Few doubt warming - and those who do strike me as odd figures, because the evidence for it over the last 150 years is not really subject to doubt. The doubts come with longer reconstructions back in time (quite validly) or with the exact shape and/or extent of the rise since around 1860.
Most are happy to have heated debates about exact mechanisms and models - that's how science usually works and how it is actually designed to work.
handfleisch
Alaskacameradude wrote:
Quote:
Add to that the usual suspects (you can always find a few hundred 'scientists' to agree with anything - including creationism), and you get what I would call a tiny minority.


Well......I would definitely contend that 'the usual suspects' are the ones agreeing in lock step with
everything the climate change people say as well. There is DEFINITELY politics involved in this whole
issue on both sides.


The basic facts of global warming have been supported by thousands of studies, endorsed by dozens of scientific societies and the national academy of science in every first world nation.

How many can you cite on the other side?
ocalhoun
handfleisch wrote:


The basic facts of global warming have been supported by thousands of studies, endorsed by dozens of scientific societies and the national academy of science in every first world nation.

How many can you cite on the other side?

Anybody else get a feeling of Déjà vu there?
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