Two young climate hysterisists bravely go into the lair of a Deniar.
…are “looking less likely.” The climbdown begins, at least at the BBC.
But remember, we’re still doomed:
Is there any succour in these findings for climate sceptics who say the slowdown over the past 14 years means the global warming is not real?
“None. No comfort whatsoever,” he said.
Well. All right then.
[Update a few minutes later]
The Guardian says we can’t let our guard down:
Otto said that this most recent pattern could not be taken as evidence that climate change has stopped. “Given the noise in the climate and temperature system, you would need to see a much longer period of any pause in order to draw the conclusion that global warming was not occurring,” he said. Such a period could be as long as 40 years of the climate record, he said.
Got that? Only warming trends are important. Cooling is irrelevant.
And their unjustified self confidence never flags:
Richard Allan, reader in climate at the University of Reading, said: “This work has used observations to estimate Earth’s current heating rate and demonstrate that simulations of climate change far in the future seem to be pretty accurate. However, the research also indicates that a minority of simulations may be responding more rapidly towards this overall warming than the observations indicate.”
He said the effect of pollutants in the atmosphere, which reflect the sun’s heat back into space, was particularly hard to measure.
He noted the inferred sensitivity of climate to a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations based on this new study, suggesting a rise of 1.2C to 3.9C, was consistent with the range from climate simulations of 2.2C to 4.7C. He said: “With work like this our predictions become ever better.”
Is it a problem for suborbital spaceflight? The article says “space tourism,” but there will be a lot more applications than that.
The problem is that, like most “climate science,” we don’t really know. But if it is an issue, I suspect that it’s a worse one for Virgin than for XCOR, at least based on pictures of the plumes of both, and the solution to it would be LOX/hydrogen.
It’s not as simple as reported:
Put another way, this study says that liberals are a coalition of rich wimpy men and strong poor men. Bu contrast, conservatives are a coalition of rich strong men and poor weak men.
The study found that women are different from men: a woman’s upper body strength did not affect her politics.
Partisans would like to think that it is the smart people who support their side. In reality, though, that doesn’t work: both sides have their share of both smart people and dumb people.
Yes, the notion that smart people are naturally “progressive” is just one of their many conceits.
…are getting worse than we thought:
The author hypothesizes the reasons for this are that attempts in the latest generation of models to reproduce observed changes in Arctic sea ice are causing “significant and widening discrepancy between the modeled and observed warming rates outside of the Arctic,” i.e. they have improved Arctic simulation at the expense of poorly simulating the rest of the globe.
It continues to amaze me that so many supposedly smart people take this junk science seriously. You know what this stuff looks more and more like to me? Epicycles.
Shikha Dalmia points out, once again, the absurdity of taking the Left seriously when they accuse others of being “anti-science.”
@ChrisCMooney, call your office.
So here’s a study that says that Subway is just as bad for teenagers as McDonalds, based on nothing but counting calories. As though nothing matters except calories.
World’s greatest scientist?
Well, I wouldn’t go that far, but he’s certainly head and shoulders above most of the climate crowd:
Texas A&M has a large atmospheric sciences department. On their website there are 22 tenured and tenure track faculty. What is really unusual about the department is that all the regular faculty are seemingly required to sign a global warming loyalty oath called the climate change statement. Every faculty member except one new arrival has signed. None of the lowly adjunct faculty’s names appear.
The Texas A&M atmospheric sciences department is part of the College of Geosciences. That college also houses the department of Geology and Geophysics that operates practically as a satellite of the Texas energy industry. Texas A&M has a large endowment, heavily invested in energy industries, and of course, the revenue of the state of Texas is heavily dependent on carbon burning energy industries. There are strange bedfellows in the Texas A&M College of Geosciences.
Andrew Dessler wrote his paper attacking Spencer’s paper. It zoomed through peer review in 19 days, a remarkable speed record. It was published in Geophysical Research Letters, a favored journal of the global warming establishment.
It probably didn’t matter what Dessler’s paper said or how objective it was. All that really mattered is that the climate establishment could say to the world of media and politics that Roy Spencer had been refuted. Spencer had a response on his website within 24 hours of receiving a preprint of the paper. One problem for the establishment is that Dessler is prone to go a bit wobbly and lose focus as to the main task. The main task is making skeptics like Roy Spencer look like incompetent idiots. Dessler entered into a dialog with Spencer and accepted suggestions from Spencer to correct errors and otherwise improve the paper attacking Spencer himself. Spencer felt this was a great step forward from establishment figures ignoring him or taking potshots from afar.
The global warming scientific establishment is starting to look like the final days of the Soviet Union. On the surface it appears impregnable and the dissidents are a minor problem. But the huge soviet edifice quickly collapsed when people lost their fear of the system and the functionaries stopped following orders. There came a point when everyone decided to stop living a lie. I can’t believe, for example, that every faculty member at Texas A&M is really happy about signing a climate loyalty oath.
I think the collapse may be nigh.
Iowahawk has crowned the new champion:
I realize this choice is not without controversy, and that some Earth Day Cruisers may be grumbling about the contest being rigged. But before you send those “I wuz robbed” complaint emails, ask yourself this: did you fly a private 747 round trip to Chicago to deliver a 600 word, 20 minute speech touting….
[wait for it]
It was no contest, really. Our monster trucks never stood a chance.
50 to 1 cuts across all the noise and fury surrounding the ‘climate debate’ and gets right to the point: Even if the IPCC is right, and even if climate change IS happening and it IS caused by man, we are STILL better off adapting to it as it happens than we are trying to ‘stop’ it. ‘Action’ is 50 times more expensive than ‘adaptation’, and that’s a conclusion which is derived directly from the IPCC’s own predictions and formulae!
Here’s a link to the Indiegogo site.
Megan McArdle has an excellent piece on the nature of the discipline and its perverse incentives:
The system was rewarding a very, very specific thing: novel but intuitively plausible results that told neat stories about human behavior. Stars in that field are people who consistently identify, and then prove, interesting but believable results.
The problem is that reality is usually pretty messy, especially in social psychology, where you tend to be looking for fairly subtle effects. Even a genius will be wrong a lot of the time: he will invest in hypotheses that sound convincing but aren’t actually true, or come up with data that is too messy to tell you much one way or another. Sadly, the prestige journals aren’t looking to publish “We tested this interesting hypothesis, and boy, the data are just a mess!” They want a story, the clearer, the better.
Academics these days operate under enormous pressure to churn out high volumes of these publications. Hitting those targets again and again is the key to tenure, the full professorship, hopefully the lucrative lectures. Competition is fierce for all of those things, and it’s easy to get knocked out at every step. If getting good results is somewhat random, then all those professors are very vulnerable to a string of bad luck. The temptation to make your own luck is thus very high.
Again, I do not excuse those who resort to cheating. But as the consumer of these publications, we should be worried, because this system essentially selects for bad data handling. The more you manipulate your data (and there are lots of ways to massage your data so that it shows what you’d like, even without knowing you’re doing it), the more likely you are to come up with a publishable result. Peer review acts as something of a check on this, of course. But your peers don’t know if, for example, you decided to report only the one time your experiment worked, instead of the seven times it didn’t.
It would be much better if we rewarded replication: if journals were filled not only with papers describing novel effects, but also with papers by researchers who replicated someone else’s novel effects. But replicating an effect that someone else has found has nowhere near the prestige–or the publication value–of something entirely new. Which means, of course, that it’s relatively easy to make up numbers and be sure that no one else will try to check.
Most cases are not as extreme as Stapel. But if we reward only those who generate interesting results, rather than interesting hypotheses, we are asking for trouble. It is hard to fake good questions, but if the good questions must also have good answers . . . well, good answers are easy. And it seems that this is what the social psychology profession is rewarding.
What I found fascinating about this is that you can substitute the phrase “climate science” for “social psychology” and (say) “Mann” for “Stapel,” and it makes just as much sense.
This is probably worth a PJMedia piece.
[Update a few minutes later]
One other phrase that would have to change: “that told
neatpolitically appealing stories about human behaviorhumanity’s impact on the environment.”
I hadn’t known about this:
Researchers are making headway in mapping the genes that help bees overcome these obstacles, including which genes help them safely break down pesticides. Now researchers have identified several compounds that help turn on those genes. They’re present in honey, something commercial bees don’t get to keep–their food supply is taken for human use, and bees are feed sweet substitutes like corn syrup.
Wenfu Mao and colleagues found three compounds in honey that increase the expression of a gene that helps bees metabolize pesticides. The most important chemical is something called p-coumaric acid, which is found in pollen cells. By eating honey, which contains pollen, the bees are exposed to a compound that basically boosts their ability to break down dangerous chemicals. So honey substitutes like high-fructose corn syrup may compromise their health.
You don’t say. Corn syrup isn’t good for anyone. No reason to think it would keep a bee healthy, but apparently the industry fooled themselves into thinking so.
Now that they understand this, maybe there’s something they can do about it, and still harvest honey.
We’d always known that it was rough there early on, but they’ve actually found solid evidence of cannibalism:
The researchers used this reconstruction, along with the other data, to determine the specimen was a female, roughly 14 years old (based on the development of her molars) and of British ancestry. Owsley says the cut marks on the jaw, face and forehead of the skull, along with those on the shinbone, are telltale signs of cannibalism. “The clear intent was to remove the facial tissue and the brain for consumption. These people were in dire circumstances. So any flesh that was available would have been used,” says Owsley. “The person that was doing this was not experienced and did not know how to butcher an animal. Instead, we see hesitancy, trial, tentativeness and a total lack of experience.”
As I discuss in the book (though I don’t mention this, and it’s probably not worth adding it at this point), the settlers were not well chosen, in terms of skill sets for settling. The only really useful skills most of them had were in fighting, not farming or homesteading.
I have to say, the one time that I visited the island, maybe twenty years ago, there were deer on it in rodent-like abundance. I guess they weren’t as plentiful back then. And of course, by then, it was a national historical park, and they were protected.
It took an economic disaster for them to reduce their carbon output:
But the data shows that even though EU economic weakness and US natural gas are responsible for significant drops in emissions in the developed world, developing countries, led by China, continue to drive the global total higher.
This underscores the disconnect between green policies and green results. The US hasn’t checked off many items on the green wish list for domestic legislation; Europe has. But it turns out that the introduction of the euro and the subsequent economic disaster had more to do with European emissions drops than Kyoto or the shambolic carbon-trading program.
The usual suspects are headed to Bonn next week for another forlorn attempt to carve out a meaningful global climate treaty. Meanwhile in the real world, the challenge is to find a way for developing countries to continue rapid growth without driving greenhouse gasses and other pollutants to potentially dangerous levels.
That’s assuming that the high levels of the “other” “pollutants” is more dangerous than slow economic growth, of course. And meanwhile, it turns out that the US has twice as much oil, and three times as much gas as we thought. And “peak oil” continues to recede into the future, to the tears of the Malthusians. Which are delicious.
[Update a while later]
Gazprom (and the Russian economy) are in trouble, too:
The US has begun exporting gas to Europe, and has also ramped up coal exports by more than 250 percent since 2005. The net result has been to knock Gazprom back on its heels. The WSJ reports that the negotiations with Bulgaria were heated, with Gazprom’s negotiators shouting in frustration on several occasions.
In public statements, however, the Russian company remains defiant (and perhaps in a state of denial) about the implications of the shale gas boom…
Well, that’s one tactic, I guess. Not one I’d recommend, though.
This is the essay I’ve been meaning to write, but not taken the time. Fortunately, someone else did:
Consensus, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. The more easily testable and verifiable a theory, the less debate we would expect. There is little disagreement, for example, about the sum of one plus one or the average distance of the earth from the sun. But as a question becomes more complex and less testable, we would expect an increasing level of disagreement and a lessening of the consensus—think: the existence of god, the best band since the Beatles, or the grand unified theory of physics. On such topics, independent minds can—and should—differ.
We can use a simple formula to express how an idea’s popularity correlates with its verifiability. Let us introduce the K/C ratio—the ratio of “knowability,” a broad term loosely encapsulating how possible it is to reduce uncertainty about an idea’s correctness, to “consensus,” a measure of the idea’s popularity and general acceptance. Topics that are easily knowable (K ~ 1) should have a high degree of consensus (C ~ 1), whereas those that are impossible to verify (K ~ 0) should have a low degree of consensus (C ~ 0). When the ratio deviates too far from the perfect ratio of 1, either from too much consensus or too little, there is a mispricing of knowledge. Indeed, in cases of extreme deviations from the perfect ratio, additional support for a concept with such a lopsided K/C ratio increasingly subtracts from its potential veracity. This occurs because ideas exist not simply at a single temporal point, but rather evolve over the sweep of time. At the upper reaches of consensus, there is less updating of views to account for new information—so much so that supporters of the status quo tend to suppress new facts and hypothesis. Government agencies deny funding to ‘sham’ scientists, tenure boards dissuade young researchers from pursuing ‘the wrong’ track, and the establishment quashes heretical ideas.
…To see how this works in practice, we turn to the evergreen topic of climate change. Notwithstanding the underlying ecological threat of climate change itself, the debate about how to confront human-caused global warming has spawned unprecedented financial, political, and social risks of its own. Entire industries face extinction as the world’s governments seek to impose trillions of dollars of taxes on carbon emissions. The New York Times’s Thomas Friedman approvingly writes that Australian politicians—not to mention public figures through the world—now risk “political suicide” if they deny climate change. But if carbon dioxide turns out not to be the boogey-man that climate scientists have made it out to be, tens of trillions will be wasted in unneeded remediation. Much of the world—billions of humans—will endure a severely diminished quality of life with nothing to show for it. The growth trajectory of the world in the twenty-first century may well depend more on the “truth” of climate change ex ante than ex post.
With climate change, as in many areas of scientific complexity, we can (and do) use models to understand the world. But models have their problems. This is particularly true when dealing with complex, non-linear systems with a multitude of recursive feedback loops, in which small variations produce massive shifts in the long-term outcome. Pioneered by the mathematicians Edward Lorenz and Benoit Mandelbrot, chaos theory helped explain the intractability of certain problems. Readers of pop science will be familiar with the term the “butterfly effect,” in which “the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set[s] off a tornado in Texas.” The earth’s climate is one such dynamic, chaotic system and it is within the whirling, turbulent vortex of unpredictability that the modern climate scientists must tread.
And boldly have they stepped into the breach. The scope of agreement achieved by the world’s climate scientists is breathtaking. To first approximation, around 97% agree that human activity, particularly carbon dioxide emissions, causes global warming. So impressed was the Norwegian Nobel Committee by the work of the Inter-governmental Committee on Climate Change and Al Gore “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change” that it awarded them the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. So many great minds cannot possibly be wrong, right?
Are we on the verge of conquering it?
The comments are sort of interesting. A lot of the naturalistic fallacy is showing up there. I found particularly amusing the one commenter who couldn’t imagine that evolution could make a mistake.
[Via Geek Press]
…is the new Lysenkoism:
All the climate alarmist organizations simply rubber stamp the irregular Assessment Reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). None of them do any original science on the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. But the United Nations is a proven, corrupt, power grabbing institution. The science of their Assessment Reports has been thoroughly rebutted by the hundreds of pages of science in Climate Change Reconsidered, and Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim Report, both written by dozens of scientists with the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, and published by the Heartland Institute, the international headquarters of the skeptics of the theory of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming.
Again, check it out for yourself. You don’t have to read every one of the well over a thousand pages of careful science in both volumes to see at least that there is a real scientific debate.
The editors of the once respected journals of Science and Nature have abandoned science for Lysenkoism on this issue as well. They have become as political as the editorial pages of the New York Times. They claim their published papers are peer reviewed, but those reviews are conducted on the friends and family plan when it comes to the subject of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming. There can be no peer review at all when authors refuse to release their data and computer codes for public inspection and attempted reconstruction of reported results by other scientists. They have been forced to backtrack on recent publications relying on novel, dubious, statistical methodologies not in accordance with established methodologies of complex statistical analysis.
Formerly respected scientific bodies in the U.S. and other western countries have been commandeered by political activist Lysenkoists seizing leadership positions. They then proceed with politically correct pronouncements on the issue of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming heedless of the views of the membership of actual scientists. Most of what you see and hear from alarmists regarding global warming can be most accurately described as play acting on the meme of settled science. The above noted publications demonstrate beyond the point where reasonable people can differ that no actual scientist can claim that the science of anthropogenic catastrophic global warming has been settled or that there is a settled “consensus” that rules out reasonable dissent.
Climate “science” doesn’t seem to have very many actual scientists involved with it.
Judith Curry’s prepared testimony:
My written testimony summarizes the evidence for, and against, the hypothesis that humans are playing a dominant role in global warming. I’ll make no attempt to summarize this evidence in my brief comments this morning. I will state that there are major uncertainties in many of the key observational data sets, particularly before 1980. There are also major uncertainties in climate models, particularly with regards to the treatments of clouds and the multidecadal ocean oscillations.
The prospect of increased frequency or severity of extreme weather in a warmer climate is potentially the most serious near term impact of climate change. A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found limited observational evidence for worsening of most types of extreme weather events. Attempts to determine the role of global warming in extreme weather events is complicated by the rarity of these events and also by their dependence on natural weather and climate regimes that are simulated poorly by climate models.
Given these uncertainties, there would seem to be plenty of scope for disagreement among scientists. Nevertheless, the consensus about dangerous anthropogenic climate change is portrayed as nearly total among climate scientists. Further, the consensus has been endorsed by all of the relevant national and international science academies and scientific societies.
I have been trying to understand how there can be such a strong consensus given these uncertainties. How to reason about uncertainties in the complex climate system is neither simple nor obvious. Scientific debates involve controversies over the value and importance of particular classes of evidence, failure to account for indeterminacy and ignorance, as well as disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for assessing the evidence.
For the past three years, I’ve been working towards understanding the dynamics of uncertainty at the climate science-policy interface. This research has led me to question whether these dynamics are operating in a manner that is healthy for either the science or the policy process.
No kidding. And emphasis mine. I’ve been trying to understand that, too. It increasingly appears to be driven by politics.
[Update a few minutes later]
This comment, from a post earlier today, seems apropos:
When I was young, I was taught history as a narrative of mistakes, errors of judgment, and closed minded attitudes which were subsequently found to be irrational. The motivations of those benighted souls who believed these things were effectively random ignorance and bias, with no logical basis or external impetus.
The implication to a naive, young mind was that, that was all in the past, and we had now monotonically converged upon an era of unprecedented enlightenment, and humans now were effectively immune from the foibles of the past. Adults knew everything that was needed to know, and only a small minority of troglodytes, who were invariably the butt of derision on evening sit-coms, had failed to keep up.
The “science” of the past was full of leeches, geocentricism, and arbitrary religious conviction. Today’s scientists were immune to bias, their conclusions based on objective, reproducible evidence, and infused with 20/20 foresight. Knowledge was the key. The more knowledge you had, the less vulnerable you were to irrationalism. But, knowledge and wisdom are not, in fact, synonymous.
Eventually, as I grew and gained knowledge, I realized that the people of the past were no different than those of today. That they made erroneous inferences based on pat answers which seemed “obvious” based on the knowledge base of the day, and that we were no more immune to mistakes of that sort than they were. But, today, a large portion of the average population remains in the arrested stage of my youth, in which “scientists” are authorities whose word is inviolable holy writ, and anyone who questions “science” is a troglodyte worthy of being made the butt of derision on evening TV.
It is not just bizarre and surreal, but utterly teeth gnashing to see these fools strut their faith and ignorance in smug certitude that they stand on unshifting, bedrock solid ground. They have no inkling that they are the believers in leechcraft and other folderal of today. And, they will carry us all into the abyss with unblinking faith that they are the righteous heirs of the enlightenment, whose ends justify whatever means necessary to rescue we troglodytes from ourselves.
Indeed. This isn’t about science — it is about the false faith of scientism.
Switch to our mobile site