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CLOUD and climate change: an opinion or two


by Norman Pilon

CLOUD,  the cutting-edge physics experiment that will shed light on climate-related matters, has finished its assembly phase and is starting taking data using a beam of protons from the Proton Synchrotron.

CLOUD, the cutting-edge physics experiment that will shed light on climate-related matters, has finished its assembly phase and is starting taking data using a beam of protons from the Proton Synchrotron.

As a person who is neither a scientist nor well-versed in the minutia of climatology, it is interesting to survey the field of contentions over AGW, but in particular, how, on the one hand, the IPCC (sold to the public as a body of bona fide climate scientists solidly united in a singular consensus) publicly professes 95% certainty on the issue of AGW, while, on the other hand, measured observations and disagreements between highly credentialed climatologists belie both the professed ‘certitude’ of and the ‘consensus’ over ‘anthropogenic global warming.’

The imputations of deviousness leveled by the faithful of either side of the debate against the blasphemies of the other are also interesting: those who either deny or question AGW are accused of being in league with Big Oil or other such business interests. And those who ardently affirm the AGW hypothesis are accused of being extortionists who understand how to use fear to exact funds from terrified publics.

Each side is right and each side is wrong, of course: some who deny AGW are indeed doing it at the behest of some political and business interests, but not all; and some who ardently affirm AGW as undeniably and catastrophically upon us are doing it also as cynical professionals intent upon eking out a comfortable living for themselves, but not all.

Regardless of the side of the debate on which you stand, money is always a great temptation. And yet not everyone feels starved enough to compromise themselves in their honesty, whether in denying or affirming AGW to any degree of certitude. There are genuine holdouts: some climate specialists are skeptical of the AGW only because their method of approach to the data of climactic phenomena does not yield much support for the ‘attribution;’ other equally competent specialists, working from a different set of assumptions, ‘know’ that the data sets, properly understood, ‘must’ confirm AGW, and they ‘know’ this in all sincerity.

And then to add more muck to the embroilment, there is this propensity that we ‘all’ share, which is simply to talk one another into this or that consensus of opinion, rightly or wrongly. Everyone knows that consensus is not science, and yet it is both reasonable and possible for a group of people, collaborating in a spirit of critical thinking with one another, to come to a consensus of opinion on the basis of scientifically rigorous methods of analysis and investigation, as inherently dangerous and misleading as any kind of group consensus may be, scientific or otherwise.

Therefore, what sometimes appears to be bad faith, whether in an act of agreement or disagreement, is merely a manifestation of the ‘social’ nature of what ‘we’ are as humans in cultural terms, intellectually and cognitively. We cannot ‘think’ alone but under the discursive influence of others, many of whom with which on many things we come to agree, although we must at the same time, for the sake of finding our collective way forward to a more adequate understanding of ourselves and our world, be wary of deriving too much comfort from thinking too much as others do, that is to say, conventionally, however astute and sophisticated that general outlook or mindset might be.

If consensus is not science, the scientist cannot always avoid being under its sway and, moreover, if the ‘truth’ is eventually to win out over our collective cultural benightedness, it must eventually tempt and enthrall the reasoning assent of more than just a few and thereby itself become the basis of a consensus. If consensus is not science, science cannot for all that dispense with it.

The ‘global warming’ debate, then, is fractiously multidimensional in its appeals and interests. The political dimension itself bifurcates into at least two phyla or subspecies: the politics of competing for research funds and the politics of which business interests stand to gain or lose from policies that might be elaborated and instituted on the basis of the prognostications of ‘climate science.’ Most of what appears of the debate for broad public consumption is driven by these two highly politicized ferments.

On the one hand, scientific research must go begging for the resources it needs to further its inquiries, and it secures these resources to the degree that it can persuade prospective patrons or backers of the usefulness or necessity of its initiatives. Depending on who is being wooed as a prospective supporter, his understanding of the ‘usefulness or necessity’ of the initiatives being proposed can be very different from that of another, because different ‘interest groups’ do have different and often conflicting interests.

What is ‘useful and necessary’ from a public policy standpoint is not always what is ‘useful and necessary’ from a business standpoint, and even between business interests, what may be an opportunity for one sector of the economy may portend catastrophe for another. One only has to think of the economic implications of serious curtailments of CO2 emissions for, on the one hand, hydrocarbon intensive industries and, on the other, the burgeoning ‘green technology’ business consortia.

It is not to be wondered at that Big Oil and related business interests and foundations – assuming that reductions in emissions would negatively impact their bottom lines, which is not necessarily the case, as ‘climate alarmism’ can be turned to account by even these industries, if only by providing a pretext for creating conditions of ‘scarcity’ in hydrocarbon markets – will want to seek out and support ‘climate scientists’ skeptical or incredulous of the claim that CO2 is the main or sole driver of climate change. Likewise, ‘green technology’ interests will find their natural allies to be ‘climate scientists’ who are pushing the AGW line, sincerely or otherwise.

‘Climate scientists’ who manage to sell their theses to the wealthiest or politically most powerful patrons will receive the most by way of research dowries, but perhaps also more importantly, will be the ones whose ‘viewpoints’ will come to dominate public opinion, or at least appear to do so, since the uniformity of public opinion (through the mechanisms of the corporate media and universal education, tightly under the control of the dominant sources of funding in our society) is also a phenomenon under the sway of the wealthiest and most powerful patrons in our midst.

Consequently, the ‘truth’ or ‘untruth’ of the hypothesis of AGW has little to do with its dissemination and acceptance in a broad cultural sense. That dissemination and acceptance is predominantly determined by ‘political’ factors, by who control the main channels of information distribution. In our society, regardless of which position on the issue of ‘global warming’ becomes prominent, that control ultimately rests with the corporate capitalist cartels.

One can therefore expect that irrespective of the scientific validity or invalidity of the AGW hypothesis, the version deemed most propitious to advancing both the short- and long-term interests of the ruling elite will also be perceived to be, whether in ‘fact’ or not, the dominant ‘scientific consensus.’

The ‘truth value’ of this politically generated ‘consensus,’ then, whatever it may be, is and will continue to be incidental, largely arbitrary and coincidental, in a word, an accident, like so much else that is characteristic of our age and era.

It remains, however, whether ‘global warming’ is actually happening, and if so, whether it is being driven by an anthropogenically induced accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Apparently, most climatologists agree that in the last 150 years or so, there has been a measurable increase in the mean global temperature. But to say that the increase in that mean is measurable is to say nothing about its magnitude or its actual relevance for determinate changes in climate.

NOAA estimates that the global mean temperature of the earth has increased by about 0.85ºC, allowing for a probable error of 0.2ºC. [NOAA] [Lindzen] But as Richard Lindzen observes, this measurable increase in the mean global temperature is actually so small as to be invisible in its effects in either local weather or climate events: it is simply impossible, given the extreme inherent variability of climate and weather events, to determine the impact of an increase of 0.85ºC in the mean global temperature in any one location or area on the surface of the planet. [Lindzen] If the effect of a measurable increase in the mean temperature of the earth is in any real sense inappreciable, it is as if it hasn’t happened. With confidence, climatologists can say that coinciding with the rise of industrialization and the exponential increase in CO2 emissions, a warming of the planet has indeed occurred. But it is so far very slight and remains well beneath instrumental notice in its actual local climactic effects.

But is CO2 a greenhouse gas? According to climate scientists on all sides of the debate, it is.

Is the increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere for which we are responsible in the last 150 years or so the reason why the earth’s mean temperature has risen by roughly 0.85ºC? To my mind, this is highly improbable as well as unprovable. For to make that claim is by implication also to claim that over the last 150 years, in the absence of our CO2 emissions, the mean global temperature would have remained more or less stable. Is there a climatologist anywhere who claims as much and on what grounds? To confidently state as much would entail knowing all of the relevant cumulative factors terminating in the measure we call ‘the mean global temperature.’

Furthermore, it would entail knowing not only that the cumulative effects and interactions of these factors had to have been stable for the last 150 years, but all of the mechanics of that stability in detail. But this is simply impossible, not merely on account of the intractability of the complex interactions that go into generating climate and weather on our planet, but because many phenomena that we suspect implicate important weather generating mechanisms and climate effects have yet to be properly deciphered.

One such suspected phenomenon or correlation (and keeping in mind that it only takes one anomalous observation to falsify a theory) is the one being investigated by the teams of Henrik Svensmark and Jasper Kirkby: the apparent synchronicity between solar magnetic cycles and cycles of global warming and cooling. Svensmark has established that when the solar magnetic field peaks in strength, the surface temperatures of our planet tend to be markedly warmer; and when the solar magnetic field ebbs to its weakest, the surface temperatures of our planet tend to be markedly cooler.

Svensmark’s hypothesis for explaining these correlations is that cosmic rays raining down on our planet from disparate parts of the sky play a crucial role in building up the particulate aerosols necessary to the genesis of clouds. The denser the flux of cosmic rays raining down on us, the denser become the cloud forming aerosols in our atmosphere, and the more clouds we have overhead to counter our sun’s radiative heat emissions. And the density of the incoming cosmic flux, given its ionized and therefore electrically charged state, varies according to the intensity of the sun’s fluctuating magnetic field: the more intense the solar magnetic field, the more attenuated, because deflected, the cosmic flux will be, and conversely.

It remains for the Svensmark hypothesis pertaining to the influence of cosmic rays on aerosol formation to be confirmed or disproved. ‘The CLOUD Project’ at CERN being conducted under the supervision of Jasper Kirkby intends to do just that.

Left-to-right: Jonathan Duplissy, Jasper Kirkby and Albin Wasem, discussing the CLOUD gas system.

Left-to-right: Jonathan Duplissy, Jasper Kirkby and Albin Wasem, discussing the CLOUD gas system.

Now consider that if Svensmark’s speculations find corroborative support from Kirkby’s experiments, climate and weather events on earth will be shown to be influenced by distant cosmic events. Such events lie beyond the scope of any reliable weather or climate forecasting methods we currently possess. If it is demonstrated that distant cosmological events and cycles are themselves a source of significant climactic ‘forcing,’ climate forecasting becomes at least in part dependent on being able to forecast astronomical events such as, for example, super novae, but not only that, but also on being able to predict or map the probable paths of interferences of the cosmic rays generated by those events.

Suddenly, if Svensmark turns out to be right, a whole other layer of confounding complexities superimposes itself on an already incredibly complex system of energy redistributions. At this point, though we actually would have arrived at a better understanding of the “what and how” of weather and climate, forecasting climate on a scale measured in years would become what perhaps it currently is and will forever remain, little more than the occult reading of signs and auguries.

If experiments are being conducted to better determine the role of cosmic rays in cloud formation, it is clear that ‘climate science’ is not at an end or complete, and it cannot possibly be stated with any high degree of confidence as yet that, in the absence of anthropogenic CO2, the mean global temperature of our planet would not have increased by 0.85ºC over the last few hundred years. Svensmark’s theory about cloud formation is but one of what must surely be many examples of pivotal questions yet to be resolved by climate science.

I think, then, that it can reasonably be asserted with a certitude of 95% that ‘climate science’ remains a very long way off from being able to assert with 95% certainty that ‘global warming’ is already upon us and that its consequences will be nothing short of catastrophic, and that mankind and mankind alone will have been the cause of that catastrophe.

To my mind, because our world and its weather systems are so complex, and because our knowledge of those systems will always be a lot less than perfect, the most that we can aspire to in terms of understanding our planet’s climates is akin to what we can aspire to in terms of understanding the evolution of earthly life: though we have a pretty good grasp of the underlying mechanics, because the diversity of life on the planet is so sprawling, because the drivers of mutations are so numerous and random, our comprehension of evolution as a process, as profound as it may be, must remain for the most part spectatorial or contemplative.

Mutations, inherently random as they are in and of themselves, and even more so in their heritability, cannot be predicted in terms of the actual diversity of species that they will surely generate in the future that remains to life on this planet. Likewise, because of its intractable complexities, though we may eventually understand a great deal more about them than we currently do, the emergence and distribution of climate patterns years into the future will remain largely beyond our measure, as is certain that they currently do.

This article is published in our “questions of free speech” section. We are interested in taking all shades of opinion on the climate change debate. If you would like to submit an article please send it to submissions@off-guardian.org with the subject line “climate debate”.

183 Comments

  1. Butties says

    I find the discussion on climate change interesting especially as someone who’s profession has to react to cater for the effects that are taking place.
    In my mind and my actual experience the climate is changing and whether it is man made or not is not really relevant.
    If you do a basic review of geological history you will appreciate that the planet is undergoing a continuous transmogrification. What mankind does will not prevent this. Antarctica was attached to Australia which was part of Gondwanaland .
    Now I do not advocate blitzing our current world but in the wider view what we do is somewhat irrelevant in the timescale of things.
    We can either try and foster our little time place and accept that Gaia will do what it wants and submit to eventual OBLIVION (how many millions of years do you opt for?) or Use our knowledge to allow us to emigrate out into the Universe. The latter course may preserve our species but at what cost to the current nirvana?

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  2. MoriartysLeftSock says

    I don’t see this huge divide that you claim to see between how the media reports global warming and the views of scientists. The media seems to be reporting the science pretty accurately, IMO.

    Go away and spend a few weeks reading the studies referenced in the IPCC reports. Then read the peer-reviewed papers that question these studies. Then read some books by both warmists and skeptics.

    I think you will then understand exactly how dumbed down and agenda-driven the media version of the science actually is.

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    • CherryRedGuitar says

      You seem to think that “peer-reviewed” gives a paper some kind of legitimacy. It really doesn’t. Loads of crap science gets published in all the scientific journals.

      I don’t see why I would need to read books. I’ll read the science. If someone disagrees with the science, they should write some better science – but in a study, not a book, or a blog, or a newspaper article. If they are right, then they will become the accepted science, up there for other scientists to shoot down in flames.

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      • MoriartysLeftSock says

        You seem to think that “peer-reviewed” gives a paper some kind of legitimacy. It really doesn’t. Loads of crap science gets published in all the scientific journals.

        Peer review is the single accepted method by which scientific articles are judged to have passed a minimum standard of scientific accuracy and to be worthy of discussion. If you want to dispute this take it up with the science community. You do seem to have a lot of beefs with how they do things.

        I don’t see why I would need to read books.

        I see . That explains a lot. Thanks.

        I’ll read the science.

        Not unless you read books or scientific journals you won’t. That stuff you link to in the Graun etc is NOT science.

        If someone disagrees with the science, they should write some better science – but in a study, not a book, or a blog, or a newspaper article. If they are right, then they will become the accepted science, up there for other scientists to shoot down in flames………

        If someone disagrees with what science? We’re not talking about “disagreeing with science” we are talking about the fact that what the media presents as science isn’t science!

        Lord preserve us from the endless non-sequitors. Only you know what you’re even talking about any more….

        I’m off to get some late lunch

        Liked by 1 person

        • CherryRedGuitar says

          “That stuff you link to in the Graun etc is NOT science.”

          The studies in the articles that I linked to are certainly science, complete with all the lack of absolute certainty that science always has. You don’t appear to know how the scientific method works.

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          • Admin says

            You’re beginning to act like a troll Cherry Red Guitar.MLS has made his point clear. He believes the media are not accurately representing the accepted science and are deluding non-scientists into believing very narrow and extreme views of manmade global warming. You might not agree, but please don’t repeatedly misrepresent his view. It just bogs the discussion down and prevents any progress.

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            • CherryRedGuitar says

              Global warming is, potentially, extreme. There is 200ft of sea level rise in the ice of Antarctica and Greenland, if it all melts. That’s enough to submerge every coastal village, town and city in the world. Even a small proportion of that rise would be catastrophic. This site says that facts should be sacred. Those are some of the facts.

              The media should report stuff like that because submerged cities is not something that anyone wants.

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              • Admin says

                We are asking you to stop wilfully misunderstanding another poster, not challenging your view on global warming. Please move on.

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                  • CRG – we are VERY reluctant to delete comments, but you have been asked twice to stop spamming these empty antagonisms and move on, but you persist and are still persisting.

                    Any more such content-free trolling will be deleted also. Please move on to more productive discussion.

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  3. MoriartysLeftSock says

    .Too many authors of scientific theories have comes along shouting their mouths off about how their paper kills the global warming myth, only for it to be soundly debunked within days, that any responsible media learns from that experience and treats new scientific claims with caution.

    Bizarre.

    1) You have accepted the science is based on complex probabilities, not certainties, and that much is still unknown.

    2) You have accepted that the IPCC will claim no more than 50% of the current warming is “probably” manmade. Meaning up to a little less than half could be natural, even assuming these calculations are correct.

    3) You have accepted that a range of views are compatible with the known science.

    4) You have accepted that it’s the media not the scientists that have tried to outlaw certain views and promote others.

    And yet you still return to claims such as the above, even though they are contradicted by all the things you have already acknowledged.

    How much will it take for people to realise this is not about believers versus deniers, it’s about the whole gamut of real science from the IPCC to Judith Curry and Piers Corbyn versus the propagandised and fake ideas of certitude promulgated by the media?

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    • CherryRedGuitar says

      Why are you inventing my positions? I haven’t accepted most of those things.

      The science is either right or wrong. The accepted science is right. Judith Curry’s science is wrong. There’s no obligation to hear both sides of the story when one side is wrong.

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      • MoriartysLeftSock says

        You have accepted all of them. You just deny doing so again when you feel the need.

        The science is either right or wrong. The accepted science is right.

        You see? Just a while ago you freely admitted there was no certainty, but now here you are again becoming Inquisitorial and absolutist. “Accepted” by whom? Not the IPCC because you don’t think they’re extreme enough. You mean “accepted” by the alarmist media where you get your info don’t you.

        You’re on this website because you know the MSM lies. Yet you quote the Guardian as a good source and believe its propagandised claims rather than the more moderate claims of the IPCC – the body set up to assess the data!

        You have been absolutely brainwashed by the very media you deplore.

        Judith Curry’s science is wrong. There’s no obligation to hear both sides of the story when one side is wrong.

        Oh good lord……you’re descending into parody. I give up.

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        • CherryRedGuitar says

          ““Accepted” by whom?”

          Every scientific union in the world and every National Academy of Science in the world.

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          • MoriartysLeftSock says

            The concept of manmade global warming as defined by the IPCC is indeed accepted by a majority of scientists to varying degrees. But the IPCC definition embraces considerable doubt and uncertainty about the amount and predictability of said warming.

            The media version of manmade global warming that you promote, which eschews all doubt in favour of simplistic propagandist memes is not accepted by a majority of scientists, and is not promoted by the IPCC.

            I wonder if you will EVER understand these very basic and uncontentious distinctions. :-/

            Liked by 1 person

            • CherryRedGuitar says

              The science is more defined than the IPCC states, because the IPCC is a political body, which means that policy statements get watered down. They underestimated sea level rise and they are hugely underestimating the proportion of warming that man’s actions is responsible for. If they are also underestimating the speed at which ice sheets melt, then we could all be in very big trouble.

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              • MoriartysLeftSock says

                The science is more defined than the IPCC states, because the IPCC is a political body, which means that policy statements get watered down.

                Where did you read this? Why do you uncritically accept it? The IPCC takes a moderate pro-warmist position and is attacked by the extremes of both sides. Neither of which are well-supported by the data.

                On what basis do you think the extreme Warmist view is better science than that proposed by the IPCC?

                (please answer by citing peer-reviewed science not mainstream media views or oversimplified alarmist blogs).

                They underestimated sea level rise

                Where did you read this CRG? How much did they underestimate the rise by? How much have sea levels actually risen?

                they are hugely underestimating the proportion of warming that man’s actions is responsible for

                Says who? Based on what data? Please find me any actual credited scientific source that claims this degree of certitude on the subject.

                If they are also underestimating the speed at which ice sheets melt, then we could all be in very big trouble.

                Yes, IF. But first of all you have to show your other claims are true.

                Proper science sources please. Peer-reviewed journals or papers. Good blogs written by real scientists of any persuasion, but again with sources cited. Let’s cut the crap and actually get some data on this.

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                  • MoriartysLeftSock says

                    Was it just too much trouble to read the science first?

                    Look at your first link. No, just look at the subhead for heaven’s sake! here it is:

                    “A new study suggests that sea-level rise over the next 100 years could be nearly double earlier estimates.”

                    You see? The paper proposes a possibility for a future event. Not a proclaimed and established fact. The paper specifically rejects the certitude that you – a non-scientist deluded by the media – believed to be there.

                    The paper is not saying the IPCC has been proved wrong as you claim. The paper is saying the IPCC may be wrong.

                    This is the difference between the real science and the media trope-science.

                    Your second link is exactly the same as the one you already posted and which i have already pointed out is not new research and does not claim to be proving anything. It’s just one of many dozens of climate models which uses assumptions to project hypothetical outcomes.

                    Neither of these proves the IPCC is wrong, and doesn’t claim to. You have read them wrong. Been bamboozled by media spin into thinking they said much more than they do.

                    See if you can find any published papers anywhere that reflect the certitude you were led to believe exists by reading the neoliberal media.

                    You won’t.

                    Welcome to real science 🙂

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                    • CherryRedGuitar says

                      Science deals in likelihoods, so nothing is ever absolutely certain. You want the whole scientific method changed just for you?

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      • Catte says

        There’s no obligation to hear both sides of the story when one side is wrong.

        Hilarious.

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        • CherryRedGuitar says

          Do you think that whenever the curvature of the Earth is mentioned in the media, flat-earthers should be given a right to respond? Where does this nonsense end?

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          • Catte says

            If someone has something interesting to say about flat earth ideas then why not? If his theories are stupid (as I’m sure they are) then they’re easily refuted and – as JS Mill said – everyone is better off for that.

            Where did this idea develop that truth has to be protected from contamination?

            If you would like to read my article on this subject it will explain my POV without me having to repeat myself BTL.

            https://off-guardian.org/2017/03/11/in-a-society-of-believers-or-deniers-we-all-become-inquisitors/

            Liked by 1 person

            • CherryRedGuitar says

              Free speech is everyone getting the right to say what they like and I get to call them names if I think they are being dishonest.

              But I don’t see why the mainstream media should give propagandists free publicity.

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              • MoriartysLeftSock says

                The mainstream media gives propagandists free publicity every day! The neoliberal wing is openly propagandising for a very narrow and simplistic view of AGW that is not even supported by most warmist scientists. And now Trumps administration is joining in.

                http://www.mintpressnews.com/trumps-defense-secretary-cites-climate-change-as-national-security-challenge/225920/

                The science of global warming has been hijacked by powerful people with agendas they are not being honest about. This much is beyond doubt.

                Liked by 1 person

                • CherryRedGuitar says

                  The accepted science is propaganda? Do you think the same about gravity? Or nuclear fusion?

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                  • MoriartysLeftSock says

                    The accepted science is propaganda?

                    No CRG. The accepted science is overlooked almost entirely. What you believe to be the “accepted science” is actually a dumbed down media-created trope that is not supported by the IPCC or most scientists.

                    Do you think the same about gravity?

                    No, why would I? Gravity isn’t an hypothesis, and it isn’t being promoted anti-scientifically by an oligarch-controlled media

                    Or nuclear fusion?

                    I once did some work in muon-catalysed fusion (a kind of cold fusion) and have been watching out hopefully for breakthroughs. I wish it had the exposure the AGW hypothesis receives.

                    That’s a ‘no’ again by the way.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • CherryRedGuitar says

                      I don’t see this huge divide that you claim to see between how the media reports global warming and the views of scientists. The media seems to be reporting the science pretty accurately, IMO.

                      Like

      • Manda says

        “The science is either right or wrong. The accepted science is right. Judith Curry’s science is wrong. ”

        I have no time or inclination to get involved in this particular discussion but I cannot ignore this comment. May I politely and respectfully suggest you add that well used caveat… ‘n my opinion. Remember, the so called consensus was once that the earth was flat.

        Like

        • CherryRedGuitar says

          Everything written on this site is someone’s opinion. It seems particularly pointless to keep saying “in my opinion”.

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          • Manda says

            Thank you for clarifying those statements as your opinion not statements of absolute fact.

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  4. MoriartysLeftSock says

    This is nonsense:

    According to all the natural forcings the Earth should be cooling slightly, but our actions are instead causing it to warm. That means that all of the current warming is man-made.

    The IPCC will not commit to any more than “more than half” the current warming being caused by human activity.

    This is because the IPCC, unlike Skeptical Science and other popular media, has to answer to real scientists of every persuasion who would simply laugh to scorn claims of certainty of the kind made by lay people on this subject.

    The IPCC knows the climate is a coupled chaotic system whose numerous variants we have not begun to understand. Please try to read some of its reports and stay away from the silly stuff you have been posting here.

    The IPCC is not a ‘denier’ btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CherryRedGuitar says

      If earth would be cooling at the moment under entirely natural forcings (as it would), then it stands to reason that all of the current warming is man-made.
      Do keep up.

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      • MoriartysLeftSock says

        Think for a moment.

        You know what the IPCC is? You know they are at the epicentre of the manmade global warming movement?

        If we have proven beyond doubt that no natural forcers are warming the climate, why does the IPCC say manmade forcers “probably” account for around half the current warming?

        Why do Skeptical Science, the BBC, the Guardian and the neoliberal news media want you to believe the science is beyond doubt when even the IPCC says it isn’t?

        That’s the question to be asking

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        • CherryRedGuitar says

          The IPCC has been shown to be conservative in it’s predictions. No science is “beyond doubt” and nobody (apart from denialists) is saying that it should be beyond doubt. It is all based upon likelihoods.

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          • MoriartysLeftSock says

            Very well then, you accept we are talking in terms of probability. So, are you revising your initial statement in light of this acceptance?

            Will you now say ”if earth would be cooling at the moment under entirely natural forcings (as it possibly would be)”?

            The follow up question would seem to be – how robust do you believe the probabilities to be on this question?

            Thirdly – why do you assume the allegedly “conservative” IPCC assessment to be in error, and not the more extreme assessments of the more alarmist alarmists?

            (Yes, I do have an opinion, but I’m interested in exploring the factual basis of your own, and why it is you believe there is no credible scientific basis for different views on manmade global warming)

            Liked by 1 person

            • CherryRedGuitar says

              “So, are you revising your initial statement”

              No, I stand by my statement. If Earth under wholly natural forcings would be cooling, as it would, then human activity MUST be responsible for all of the current warming. And science supports my view:
              https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2016/apr/19/study-humans-have-caused-all-the-global-warming-since-1950

              Apologies for the link to the Guardian on this site, but it was the best article on the precise subject that I could find.

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              • MoriartysLeftSock says

                What do you think this article is? You seem to think it’s some sort of breakthrough research, but it’s really not, nor does it claim to be. It’s just one more statistical exercise which takes existing climate data, makes assumptions about it and then pumps those assumptions through a computer model. The reason the Graun is featuring it is because this model, unlike many others, has managed to produce a result of virtually zero warming from natural forcers.

                And if you look close even the article itself admits this model , and all such models, are based on speculation:

                Studies attempting to figure out the global warming contributions of various human and natural sources usually use a statistical approach known as ‘linear regression’. This approach assumes we know the pattern of warming that each source (forcing) will cause…”

                It says “assumes”, because we don’t actually know that. We don’t even know what all the forcers of climate are, let alone how much impact they have.

                And
                “As an example of this approach, this animated graphic shows what happens when a 2011 study by Foster & Rahmstorf removed the known natural influences from the observed global surface temperature record, leaving behind the human-caused global warming signal….”

                Note again “known natural influences.” Because of course we can’t remove the unknown influences – which even the IPCC acknowledges probably exist in untold complexities. And the existence of only one such unknown influence completely buggers any projection.

                This is why the IPCC refuses to accept more than around 50% of current warming as being “probably” manmade. It knows this is the upper limit of certitude that our limited knowledge can possibly justify. It discounts outlier studies such as the one quoted in the Graun as being unsafe.

                So, let’s ask again – Why is the Guardian cherrypicking only the most extreme models and claims in order to make us think global warming is far more certain and far more dangerous than the current level of research can justify?

                Why is it presenting the data without all the qualifiers inserted by scientists and modelers ? Or at least why does it present those qualifiers minimised to the extent readers such as yourself don’t notice they are there?

                Why has it succeeded in making you, and others like you believe you have read some sort of proof, when you’ve simply been presented with another lot of speculation?

                Why is the neoliberal agenda focusing on propagandising about this science issue in this way?

                That’s the question I would like OffGuardian to address.

                Liked by 1 person

                • CherryRedGuitar says

                  You think all climate scientists are neoliberals> Was Arrhenius a neoliberal when he discovered the greenhouse effect in the late 1800s?

                  So what do you think is causing the warming, if it’s not natural and it’s not man? Alien beings with massive bunsen burners?

                  Like

                  • MoriartysLeftSock says

                    I’m not talking about the scientists. I’m talking specifically about the media – as I made perfectly clear.

                    The scientists are well aware of the caveats. It’s the likes of the Graun that remove the caveats and fool people into thinking the scientists are laying claim to proof when they aren’t and woudn’t dream of doing so,

                    So what do you think is causing the warming, if it’s not natural and it’s not man?

                    Who said it wasn’t natural? Who said it wasn’t manmade? You keep clinging to the idea there is proof that natural forcers can be eliminated, even when you’re shown clear source admissions from the researchers themselves that there is no such proof!

                    The IPCC thinks we can assume around half the current warming is manmade, and the remaining percentage is natural.

                    That’s not unreasonable in my view – though we do need to emphasise that this is just a guesstimate. The known forcers can be estimated in their strength within limits. The unknown ones obviously can’t be. And when you’re dealing with a coupled chaotic system the interaction of even the known forcers is impossible to predict.

                    Remember the IPCC has also made it clear that longterm predictions about climate are not possible.

                    So, I take a lukewarmer position. Manmade Co2 could well be involved in the current warming. It’s possible there will be positive feedbacks that augment this possible effect.

                    There is no science to justify any more certainty than that at the moment.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • CherryRedGuitar says

                      If someone thinks the current science is wrong, they are free to write some better science, but until they do that the currently accepted science stands. That’s how the scientific method works.

                      The IPCC report isn’t a scientific study. It’s a political document. Concentrate on science, not politics.

                      Like

                    • MoriartysLeftSock says

                      “The problem is the mainstream media has persuaded people to regard all but a tiny proportion of this ongoing research as illegitimate, or even phoney.”

                      That’s because most science is illegitimate or phoney. Hardly any science goes on to become the accepted scientific view.

                      Neoliberal media outlets like the Guardian just know what science is going to be accepted before even the scientists themselves know?

                      ??

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • CherryRedGuitar says

                      “Neoliberal media outlets like the Guardian just know what science is going to be accepted before even the scientists themselves know?”

                      Too many authors of scientific theories have comes along shouting their mouths off about how their paper kills the global warming myth, only for it to be soundly debunked within days, that any responsible media learns from that experience and treats new scientific claims with caution.

                      Like

                  • MoriartysLeftSock says

                    If someone thinks the current science is wrong, they are free to write some better science, but until they do that the currently accepted science stands. That’s how the scientific method works.

                    The current science isn’t wrong. The current science is a huge complexity of research and hypotheses that contain numerous potential interpretations. it’s diverse because we don’t yet know enough to be able to exclude very much from the field of legitimate enquiry.

                    The problem is the mainstream media has persuaded people to regard all but a tiny proportion of this ongoing research as illegitimate, or even phoney.

                    The question is – why have they done this?

                    The IPCC report isn’t a scientific study. It’s a political document.

                    The IPCC report is a synthesis of the science. Yes, it’s politically charged. But tries to remain within scientific constraints and does so a lot better than Skeptical Science! (to give one example of the more pugnacious and irresponsible populists out there)

                    Concentrate on science, not politics.

                    Good idea. But that will mean staying away from SS an the Guardian, and reading the papers from all sides of the debate.

                    Shall we agree to do that?

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • CherryRedGuitar says

                      “The problem is the mainstream media has persuaded people to regard all but a tiny proportion of this ongoing research as illegitimate, or even phoney.”

                      That’s because most science is illegitimate or phoney. Hardly any science goes on to become the accepted scientific view.

                      Like

  5. CherryRedGuitar says

    According to all the natural forcings the Earth should be cooling slightly, but our actions are instead causing it to warm. That means that all of the current warming is man-made.

    Like

    • Does your research include the results of Svensmarks’s study?

      Can you enumerate all the natural forcing agents for us, i.e., itemize them as a list and then assign to each one of those natural forcing agent its relative weight in the overall category of “all natural forcings?”

      And since you claim that absent human activity, we should be observing a “cooling” trend, you are saying that CO2 is responsible for more heating of the atmosphere that currently observed, i.e., more than 100%. By how many percents, then, has CO2 warmed the atmosphere of the earth, and name only one, or even half-of-one, climate scientist who makes this claim.

      Like

      • CherryRedGuitar says

        Science determines the temperature of planets (including Earth) using a variation of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. And we have tested that science by calculating the temperature of the moon and Mars and then going there to see if our calculations were correct, and they were. So the calculations of Earth’s temperature under solely natural forcings is robust.

        Here’s some more information on whether the planet should be cooling under natural forcings.
        https://skepticalscience.com/should_earth_be_cooling.html

        Like

        • Lets see:

          About John Cook

          Skeptical Science was created and maintained by John Cook, a research assistant professor at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. John co-authored the college textbooks Climate Change: Examining the Facts with Weber State University professor Daniel Bedford. He was also a coauthor of the textbook Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis and the book Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand.

          In 2013, he lead-authored an award-winning paper analyzing the scientific consensus on climate change that has been highlighted by President Obama and UK Prime Minister David Cameron. In 2015, he developed a Massive Open Online Course on climate science denial with the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland (see a full list of his scholarly publications).

          There is no funding to maintain Skeptical Science other than Paypal donations – it’s run at personal expense. John Cook has no affiliations with any political organisations or groups. Skeptical Science is strictly a labour of love. The design was created by John’s talented web designer wife.

          So “Skeptical Science” is blog being run by John Cook who is a “public relations expert” and who essentially knows nothing about climatology. That’s one thing.

          What about Michael Searcy? Is he a climate scientist? Why can’t I find any information about this guy’s credentials? Maybe someone can do better than I?

          But here is another thing: the only natural forcing agents mentioned in Searcy’s “research” are three: Solar Irradiance, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO). Surely there are others. You said something about “all the natural forcings,” but here we have mentioned, only three. It’s a short list, I guess.

          There is no mention of cloud cover. Maybe clouds have no natural effect on temperature whatsoever. Others disagree. Others seem to think that it’s the most important factor impinging on climate. See the article and accompanying videos that you apparently glossed over or perhaps didn’t even glance at.

          Then you admit that you missed Svensmark’s work. But that’s okay, because you already know that “There is no lasting correlation between cosmic rays and cloud cover.” Except that if there is one and only one thing that Svensmark’s work “proves,” it is that, indeed, there is a lasting correlation between cosmic rays and cloud cover.

          Provide your source overturning the work you missed and that challenges in the peer reviewed literature Svensmark’s established correlation between cosmic rays and cloud cover. Because I seem to have missed that.

          In the meantime, here is something to entertain you in your idle moments if ever you have any:

          Warming Hypothesis …Evidence Of Svensmark’s Solar Amplifier Theory Solidifies — by Pierre L. Gosselin | NoTricksZone

          Like

          • CherryRedGuitar says

            “Except that if there is one and only one thing that Svensmark’s work “proves,” it is that, indeed, there is a lasting correlation between cosmic rays and cloud cover.”

            No, the correlation stopped after he wrote his paper. When the graph was extended, the correlation vanished.

            Like

            • Oh, this is interesting:

              About Skeptical Science

              This site was created by John Cook. I’m not a climatologist or a scientist but a self employed cartoonist and web programmer by trade. I did a Physics degree at the University of Queensland and while I achieved First Class Honours and could’ve continued onto a PhD, I instead quit academia and became a professional scrawler. Too much doodling in lectures, I think. Nevertheless, I’ve pursued a keen interest in science and if anything, found my curiosity about how the world works increased once I wasn’t forced to study for impending exams.

              I don’t mean to engage in ad-homs, but, you know, “credentials.” Yup, he did a degree in Physics and knows that he could have gone from that to do his PhD. Did he know that after completing his masters or before?

              And, of course, his interest is not in the least biased either in favor or against AGW: “This website is an attempt to examine all the scientific arguments that reject AGW.” — John Cook.

              Like

              • CherryRedGuitar says

                Have a read of a what a proper climate scientists says about the hurdles that Svensmark’s hypothesis needs to clear before it can be accepted:

                “First, the particles observed in these experiments are orders of magnitude too small to be Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN). In the press release, this is why they talk about the ‘building blocks’ of CCN, however, aggrandisation of these small particles is in no sense guaranteed (Missing step #1). Secondly, the focus is on low clouds over the ocean. However, over the ocean, there are huge numbers of condensation nuclei related to sea salt particles. Thus to show that the cosmic ray mechanism is important, you need to show that it increases CCN even in the presence of lots of other CCN (Missing step #2). Next, even if more CCN were made, you would need to show that this actually changed cloud cover (or optical thickness etc.) (Missing step #3). And given that change in cloud properties, you would need to show that it had a significant effect on radiative forcing – which despite their hand waving, is not at all well quantified (even the sign!) (Missing step #4). Finally, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been (see the figure) (Missing step #5). All of this will require significant work and there are certainly no guarantees that all the steps can be verified (which they have been for the greenhouse gas hypothesis) – especially the last! However, they would seem essential to justifying the claims in the press releases.”

                http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/10/taking-cosmic-rays-for-a-spin/

                [Please see the response by Admin below]

                Like

                • Mr. Guitar,

                  You wrote about the correlations investigated by Svensmark that, “No, the correlation stopped after he wrote his paper. When the graph was extended, the correlation vanished.”

                  Clearly, you imply that the evidential basis for Svensmark’s work has been shown to be nonexistent. Because if Svensmark has no established “correlation” to investigate, his hypothesis or theory is about nothing.

                  Then in support of your claim, you quote a piece by Gavin A. Schmidt that says that Svensmark’s hypothesis will “. . .require significant work and there are certainly no guarantees that all the steps can be verified.”

                  Do you notice a bit of a discrepancy between what you claim and what you quote in support of your claim?

                  Let me help you: what you quote actually concurs rather well with the piece that I authored above, and NOT at all with your implied claim that Svensmark’s work has been finally and forever vitiated by evidence.

                  Maybe you can do a little better?

                  Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    Did you miss step 5, which says:

                    “Finally, to show that cosmic rays were actually responsible for some part of the recent warming you would need to show that there was actually a decreasing trend in cosmic rays over recent decades – which is tricky, because there hasn’t been ”

                    That’s a lack of correlation, right there.

                    Like

                    • But I thought there were more than just “one” natural forcing agent? That sometimes, while one forcing agent might be moving in one direction which would impel cooling, another, or a group of others, might act to together to create a net opposite effect. Didn’t you mention something like that, already?

                      Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    I can’t respond to your comment below, so I’ll do it here. There are indeed loads of natural forcing agents, but there’s no evidence that galactic cosmic rays are one of them.

                    Like

                    • Really. Then why would the “Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics” publish a piece, in 2016 — not in 2010 or 2006, like the pieces you linked to — titled, <a href=”http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/2016JA022689/full>The response of clouds and aerosols to cosmic ray decreases?

                      A team of scientists from the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space) and the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has linked large solar eruptions to changes in Earth’s cloud cover in a study based on over 25 years of satellite observations.

                      The solar eruptions are known to shield Earth’s atmosphere from cosmic rays. However the new study, published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, shows that the global cloud cover is simultaneously reduced, supporting the idea that cosmic rays are important for cloud formation. The eruptions cause a reduction in cloud fraction of about 2 percent corresponding to roughly a billion tonnes of liquid water disappearing from the atmosphere.[Soure: here

                      I guess the peer reviewed journals just don’t know what it is they are publishing, eh?

                      Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    So you’re using a Svensmark study to show that there’s evidence to support Svensmark’s hypothesis?

                    You’re obviously a dishonest arguer, so I’ll leave you to it.

                    Like

                    • So, when a Svensmark study, published in a peer reviewed journal, provides “evidence” for its thesis, it is dishonest. How dare they find “evidence.” And dare I refer to a piece of work by Svensmark corroborating Svensmark et al.’s thesis. I can’t imagine anything more dishonest. If I were you, I would run away, too.

                      Like

                    • Dear Mr. Guitar:

                      Just a final note about that “dishonest” rag, eh:

                      From Wikipedia:

                      The Journal of Geophysical Research is a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It is the flagship journal of the American Geophysical Union.[1] It contains original research on the physical, chemical, and biological processes that contribute to the understanding of the Earth, Sun, and solar system. It has seven sections: A (Space Physics), B (Solid Earth), C (Oceans), D (Atmospheres), E (Planets), F (Earth Surface), and G (Biogeosciences). All current and back issues are available online for subscribers.

                      Like

                • Without taking sides – how do you define a “proper” climate scientist? Is it your contention no proper climate scientists have any doubts about the cause or likely progress of current warming?

                  If you explain your view on this it might help the discussion become more useful.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    My use of the phrase “proper climate scientist” was in response to quibbling by the article author about John Cook’s qualification to pontificate on the issue of climate science. As he is one of the most famous climate scientists in the world, nobody questions Gavin Schmidt’s qualifications.

                    Like

        • MoriartysLeftSock says

          Science determines the temperature of planets (including Earth) using a variation of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law.

          Steady on. Applying S-B’s law to earth has a LOT of caveats attached to it. We can’t and should not make direct comparisons with bodies such as the Moon and Mars. And it’s not anything as simple as a measurement of surface temp!

          Are you a physicist?

          Liked by 1 person

          • CherryRedGuitar says

            Some of the worst climate science ever written was authored by physicists – Soon and Baliunas, for one and Gerlich and Tscheuschner for another.

            All science has caveats, so I carefully phrased my comment to refer to “a variation of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law”, and that’s what is used to determine the temperature of planets.

            Like

            • MoriartysLeftSock says

              Ok, you’re not a physicist. Are you a scientist?

              Why do you think physicists can’ t do climate science?

              Who can?

              Like

            • MoriartysLeftSock says

              All science has caveats, so I carefully phrased my comment to refer to “a variation of the Stefan-Boltzmann Law”, and that’s what is used to determine the temperature of planets.

              it’s a measure of the radiating temperature – the energy a body is radiating into space. Our multilayers of atmosphere and different terrains with different emissivities makes it very hard to get a solid estimation of this with regard to the earth, and its value as a tool is debatable.

              Where did you read about SB in this context?

              Like

              • CherryRedGuitar says

                In order to determine the temperature of a planet we need to determine its albedo, discover its atmospheric composition, find out how far away from the Sun it is, take into account the axial tilt, precession and eccentricity of the planet and we can calculate the temperature of that planet. We can do that for Earth just as well as we can do it for the Moon or Mars.

                I thought everyone with an interest in this matter knew that the Stefan-Boltzmann law was used in the calculation to determine planetary temperatures.

                Like

                • MoriartysLeftSock says

                  SB is applied to black bodies with homogeneous surfaces. It is not designed to apply to earth. Yes, it can be tweaked but the results are arguable.

                  And again it isn’t a measure of “temperature”, or at least not surface temp on earth. It’s a calculation of radiating temperature. the amount of OLR being emitted into space.

                  Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    Earth is a “black body” for this calculation, as are all planets. The phrase “black body” is used to differentiate planets from stars (which emit light).

                    Like

                    • MoriartysLeftSock says

                      It can be assumed a virtual black body for certain calculations. But the fact of its multipart atmosphere and the different emissivity of its surfaces means the calculations are fraught and the usefulness of using SB at all is questionable.

                      Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    No, that’s nonsense. This is basic science you’re arguing against.

                    “How do we calculate the effective temperature?

                    From the Stefan-Boltzmann Law which says that the emitted radiation is equal to a constant times the effective radiating temperature raised to the fourth power.”
                    https://www.atmos.washington.edu/2001Q1/211/notes_for_011001_lecture.html

                    Of course, there are other factors involved as well, but the Stefan-Boltzmann Law is an integral part of the process of determining the temperature of a planet, any planet.

                    Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    The idea that science can’t cope with complexity is an interesting, if evidence-free, one.

                    Like

                    • MoriartysLeftSock says

                      The idea that science can’t cope with complexity is an interesting, if evidence-free, one.

                      Agreed. But what has that to with this discussion?

                      Like

                  • CherryRedGuitar says

                    You were saying that I didn’t “understand much about the complexity of adapting SB for use with a non-homogeneous body such as the earth.”

                    Science can handle complex stuff. That’s what it does.

                    Like

                    • MoriartysLeftSock says

                      Err…I was suggesting you don’t understand it, not that science can’t handle it.

                      Or are you claiming to be science personified?

                      Like

      • CherryRedGuitar says

        Missed the bit about Svensmark. There is no lasting correlation between cosmic rays and cloud cover. His work is interesting, but as yet changes nothing.

        Like

        • Yup, it’s interesting. But you already know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the if not for CO2, the world would be in a cooling trend.

          Like

  6. Innocent x says

    Screw these arguments because meanwhile, back at the ocean, acidification is killing life NOW!

    Like

      • Husq says

        Gaia

        Green Guru James Lovelock on Climate Change: ‘I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess’ – Lovelock Reverses Himself on Global Warming.

        BBC interviewer Jeremy Paxman noted to Lovelock during the April 2 program: “Sure. But you then, after publishing these apocalyptic predictions, you then retracted them.”

        The newly skeptical Lovelock responded: “Well, that’s my privilege. You see, I’m an independent scientist. I’m not funded by some government department or commercial body or anything like that. If I make a mistake, then I can go public with it. And you have to, because it is only by making mistakes that you can move ahead.”

        Lovelock dismissed the entire basis for global warming concerns in his BBC television interview. “Take this climate matter everybody is thinking about. They all talk, they pass laws, they do things, as if they knew what was happening. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses,” Lovelock explained.

        http://www.climatedepot.com/2014/04/03/green-guru-james-lovelock-on-climate-change-i-dont-think-anybody-really-knows-whats-happening-they-just-guess-lovelock-reverses-himself-on-global-warming/

        Liked by 1 person

        • On Lovelock’s Caia thesis, Steele writes this:

          Gaia theory stimulated great scientific interest (as well as controversy) since the 1970s, and stimulated more extensive investigations into how the biosphere affects the earth’s chemistry. Gaia’s founding scientist James Lovelock formulated Gaia theory while working for NASA seeking chemical signatures of life on other planets. For example, due to living organisms our atmosphere maintains about a 21% concentration of oxygen. Without photosynthesizing organisms, the atmosphere would contain extremely low amounts of oxygen. Thus Lovelock argued, “if life has merely a passive role in cycling the gases of the air, then the concentrations will be set by equilibrium chemistry; in fact they most certainly are not.” Shedding the mystical connotations that many “New Age” adherents attributed to Gaia, several universities have now created departments studying Gaia’s effects, but under less anthropomorphic titles such as Earth System Sciences or Biogeochemistry.

          Unfortunately Gaia is often misrepresented as a conscious super-being deserving of religious devotion, with some adherents even advocating Gaia should replace the earth’s major religions. Gaia’s deification was resented both in established religious circles, and by Gaia’s scientific proponents like Dr. Lynn Margulis. She stressed Gaia is simply “an emergent property of interactions among organisms”. Or as one of her graduate students suggested, Gaia is simply “symbiosis as seen from space”.

          Gaia theory also weighed in on climate change debates and was advocated by Al Gore and climate scientists such as Stephen Schneider. While basic Gaia theory simply argues a variety of biological interactions provide negative feedbacks from which a degree of self-regulating homeostasis emerges, those with a more alarmist view of the earth’s changing climate argued those self regulating processes had been pushed to a disastrous tipping point by rising CO2. In contrast climate skeptics like world-renowned physicist Freeman Dyson also embraced the concepts of Gaia as a “great force for good” uniting people to save natural habitat and endangered species. But Dyson also bemoaned, “I am horrified to see the environmental movement hijacked by a bunch of climate fanatics, who have captured the attention of the public with scare stories.”
          Despite Lovelock’s belief that life regulates earth’s chemistry via a variety of negative feedbacks, his logic was at first swayed by those CO2 scare stories. In a more fearful state of mind Lovelock published books like “The Revenge of Gaia” and in newspaper interviews predicted fast-approaching, global-warming doom stating, “Billions of us will die” and only the “few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic”.

          More recently however Lovelock recanted stating, “I was ‘alarmist’ about climate change & so was Gore!” ‘The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago”.

          With the upshot being this:

          “Putting politics and religion aside, the Gaia perspective provides a valuable framework that incorporates the biosphere as a critical active player in global climate and chemical cycles. And only from that framework can we fully account for oscillations in the oceans’ pH on daily, annual, decadal and millennial timeframes.”

          Like

          • Husq says

            “Putting politics and religion aside, the Gaia perspective provides a valuable framework that incorporates the biosphere as a critical active player in global climate and chemical cycles.<

            And this. The Earth itself is in an environment.

            Plumbing a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado, a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Northwestern University has found evidence confirming a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the sun.

            The finding, published Feb. 23, 2017 in the journal Nature, is important because it provides the first hard proof for what scientists call the “chaotic solar system,” a theory proposed in 1989 to account for small variations in the present conditions of the solar system. The variations, playing out over many millions of years, produce big changes in our planet’s climate — changes that can be reflected in the rocks that record Earth’s history.

            See more at: http://news.wisc.edu/from-rocks-in-colorado-evidence-of-a-chaotic-solar-system/#sthash.LcyzHT9p.dpuf

            Liked by 1 person

            • Now that is a fascinating read. As I was reading it and watching the embedded video, I was reminded of Velikovsky and his “world in collisions” thesis and how “establishment science” has savaged both his reputation and theory. It may yet turn out that the ‘facts’ will vindicate his not entirely groundless hunches.

              A so, again, another instance that demonstrates that a willingness to change one’s mind in matters of fact and science is a bigger asset for getting at the truth than any belief in final certitudes.

              When the facts change, we really should change our minds. Keynes at least got that one thing right.

              Like

        • Innocent x says

          I have and I did. The theory here is that some or many scientists are paid liars, or self deluders, cherry picking their way to a resulting ‘belief’, as though science has competing religions. If that’s the case, then the lay person can only go by personal observation for an understanding of what’s happening. And nothing can, and will, be done.
          Silage, like verbiage, gives off a warm, comforting gas. Believe it.

          Like

          • “Silage, like verbiage, gives off a warm, comforting gas. Believe it.”

            You mean like the “facts” and rational “analyses” you’ve just brought to the “discussion?” Yes, I do believe you do have a point.

            Like

          • MoriartysLeftSock says

            @Innocent X

            Science has competing interpretations , not “religions.” That’s the proper, healthy way it should be. If we can freely debate and discuss we are more likely to arrive at a good synthesis of reality.

            Ad since you willingly believe the “deniers” are all paid shills, why do you balk at the other side also being paid?

            The truth is some on both sides are being paid to shill. But most are not. And we all have personal bias that can tend to lead us astray. That’s why we need the check and balance of differing interpretations.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Innocent x says

              As I continue to read more, I understand more. But even if emissions are contributing to 50% or so of warming, we should try to stop. Oil extraction and delivery are environmentally filthy businesses.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Manda says

      But oceans are alkaline, they have a ph of approx 8.1! The misuse use of words is one of my biggest bugbears with the AGW theory. Arctic is ‘hot’ when it is still well below zero. Oceans are acidifying when they are still alkaline.

      Like

  7. Joerg says

    1) The carbon dioxide (CO2) propagandists don’t believe in their ideology themselves. And we can prove it, because of their absolutely contradictious behaviour:
    Since millions of years nature has a system of producing CO2 by breathing creatures (e. g.: dinosaurs), by wood- and steppe-fires and so on. But nature also has a perfect System of dismantling CO2 into carbon and oxygen again.

    So whoever believes erroneously – but honestly – in a supposed danger of CO2 as a “greenhouse gas” would not only demand that the output of CO2 should be reduced, but also that our earth’s ability to dismantle CO2 back to carbon and oxygen again should be supported and reinforced.
    Thus an honest CO2-believer would demand that all of that big money out of this “Emissions trading” should not disappear into some pockets, but put into reforesting (and also ‘re-bushing’) our planet. This because a rising CO2 output would not be a problem, if the power of dismantling CO2 would rise proportionally. But instead of demanding a reforesting of our planet those CO2 ideologists don’t even care.
    This proves that they themselves don’t believe their own propaganda and ideology!

    2) And while “climate warming” and not the danger – and CO2 is indeed not that dangerous “green house gas” it is made to – the real danger our plant faces is the speeding “desertification” of our earth!
    I would swallow this “climate warming” ideology if they at least put the money of “Emissions trading” into a global program of reforesting – or at least a program of stopping the deforestation that’s going on worldwide!

    Everywhere the desert spreads. Now the desert even comes close to Beijing! A lot of lakes in Iran and even the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea are disappearing.
    In Vietnam I saw areas where they chopped down the trees and where those very heavy and very long lasting tropical rains washed out the humus soil completely and left over only washed out yellow-reddish desert sand. In Cambodia – like in Russia in the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union – gangsters and corrupt politicians chopped down great parts of the jungle in order to sell those precious tropical woods. In a film about Cambodia I saw the same as in Thailand: Between the few trees that were left over there was this washed-out sand and only here and there a little grass between the left over trees.
    Already in the late 1990s people in Singapore and in towns in Malaysia walked around with a scarf before their face – because of the heavy smoke that came over from Indonesia, where they burned down massive parts of the jungle.
    Also in Africa they destroy the woods. See: http://mg.co.za/article/2015-03-19-moz-will-be-stripped-of-its-forests-in-just-a-few-years . In Mozambique the jungle is disappearing completely. The same is true to other continents (e. g. Brazil).

    3) But also in the rich countries (of mostly moderate climate) nature’s ability to dismantle CO2 gets more and more destroyed.
    3.1) This because year by year we consummate enormous parts of landscape. This by buildings roads, railways, houses, factories, airports and so on and on.
    3.2) But to make things even worse this consummated/destroyed landscapes get – in most cases absolutely unnecessarily! – always totally sealed off. As an elder person I still remember the villages and cities of the 1950ies. Then not all of the footpaths, public places, factory and supermarket places were totally sealed with concrete, asphalt or gapless concrete-plates. Instead these footpaths for example were often surrounded by huge bushes of so many kinds of weed that I don’t even the name of.
    And, yes, there were puddles and slops. Do city-kids of nowadays still know what a “puddle” is? As kids we had fun with them! And in those days no major considered it a shame for his town, if footpaths, parts of public places, factory and supermarket areas where not totally sealed off.

    4.) Why we should continue to attack those CO2 fanatics the way we already do we should additionally use this strategy: If we are confronted with one of these ideologists we should ask him this:
    So You tell us You are worried about a growing CO2 level! Then tell us, what did You do and demand to reinforce the million of years old ability of nature to dismantle CO2 so effectively? Did You do something about the permanent loss of landscape in our(!) area? Did You do something for it, that at least these lost landscapes don’t get totally sealed off? Did You do something for the reforesting of the destroyed jungle and wood areas in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Russia, Africa, USA and so on? Did You do something against this fast and dangerous desertification in so many places of our world?

    5.) What is going on? Why do those CO2 fanatics care about the CO2 “output” – but not at all about the “input” – that is the ability of earth to recycle CO2?
    The reason is that they are “identitarians”.

    What are “identitarians”? “Identitarians” are Sunnites that bomb mosques of Shiites and kill and wound hundreds of Shiite-believers. But Islam doesn’t allow such murderous actions.
    Identitarians are Buddhists in Sri Lanka that kill and drive away Hindu-Tamils. Now these “Buddhist” turn against those few Moslems on the isle.
    In Burma – appreciated by Aung San Suu Kyi! – they kill Moslems an and drive them away from their land they live on. Same in Thailand. But Buddha never said to do anything like that.

    Identitarians define their “identity” by their “opinion” about this or that. They never go into thinking deeply into the matter. It is enough for them to have this or that opinion and they put it on like a skin. This is why the author of the article above is wrong by looking for a “compromise”2 with these identitarians! there is no compromise possible!

    I am furious about this massive hatemongering of the mainstream, the deep state, and those “pussy hats” against Donald Trump.
    But by bombing Yemen and killing the hole population of a village over their he is a war criminal. Nothing less!
    And if there was now a demonstration of those “pussy hats” against Trump in the town I live now, a would take part – provided we would lift a big signboard with the words on it “TRUMP – YOU MURDERER AND WAR CRIMINAL – HANDS OFF OF OIL-RICH YEMEN!”.
    But those “pussy hats” are identitarians. This means: Ask one of those Trump-haters in Your community why they are so brought up against Trump – and they will talk and talk and talk. But they will never mention the US-war crimes in Yemen! The war crimes against the Syrians, the Palestinians, the Afghans and so on – or his LOVE for the CIA ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsIigA2j8KI ).
    .
    Now by these IDENTITARIANS we are back in the middle age! If you don’t believe in what was then “Jesus”, the “Pope”, “Luther”, “Calvin”, they will burn you at the stake (of cause caring about and minimising the CO2 output then)!

    Like

      • Joerg says

        @Norman Pilon:
        “Didn’t you post this already, word for word?”
        No – compare both post and You will see that one given link is missing in my second posting. So in fact not “word for word”
        The reason for my second (nearly identical) posting: When I posted my comment the first time, on 2/8/2017 at 11 a. m. (British time) I was informed: “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”
        But even 9(!) hours(!) later, at 7:24 p. m. my comment was still not given free. In the meantime this article had gone old, because there was then the newer article “(Quasi)Academic Foundations of a Racist “Greater Albania”.

        So – since my comment (with 3 hyperlinks) hat not been published after 9 hours, I assumed it had been filtered out and posted my comment once more – but his time with only 2 hyperlinks (because a lot of filters activate only when a comment has more then 2 hyperlinks) And now my comment appeared.
        My suggestion: You, Norman Pilon, should care, that moderation is properly done. or – if this is done by an admin – You should look after this admin and see that he/she does his/her job!.
        I posted my comment to start a discussion. But this was brought to nought, when my comment didn’t show up for nearly a day and when Your article (and my comment) had become ‘old’ because Off-Guardian already published newer articles.

        Like

        • Okay. That explains that.

          “My suggestion: You, Norman Pilon, should care, that moderation is properly done. or – if this is done by an admin – You should look after this admin and see that he/she does his/her job!”

          Actually, the responsibility for your comments is your own. Certainly it is not mine. If your comment is not appearing as quickly as you would like, you yourself can contact Admin. See, for example, this notice: Admin announcement: problems with commenting>/a>

          And you are correct: more than 2 links automatically consigns your comment to moderation. Consequently, there is an easy and obvious way to avoid that automatic moderation.

          Now to discuss in part issues that you raise:

          Most people who worry about the possible connection between CO2 and global warming have been misinformed into believing that CO2 will be and is our global collective doom. Originally, climate alarmism was a concerted media disinformation campaign by the political and corporate establishment. But once the campaign got on its own legs, so to speak, the scaremongering took on a life of its own, and that’s the situation in which we find ourselves today.

          People now just take the fright as fact because, after all, we all tend to be conformists in our concerns and beliefs.

          An interesting article on the origin of CO2 scare is this one by Richard Courtney: Global Warming: How It All Began

          So that is one thing on which I think we agree.

          On the other hand, and we appear to disagree on this point, I don’t think we yet know how dangerous or not CO2 may be in terms of its effects as a green house gas. If we don’t yet on the whole understand how climate change unfolds as a process, we cannot say with certainty that our CO2 emissions cannot accumulate to dangerous levels, that they cannot unduly accelerate and dangerously aggravate, say, a natural warming trend.

          As for the contradiction between the level of alarmism over CO2 and the reckless commercial extraction of timber and other resources in the most environmentally destructive ways imaginable, on one level it is “deliberate,” while on another level, it is not.

          Not everything is a matter of conspiracies perpetrated by the ruling classes against the public interest. Capitalism is, after all, an ideology in its own right informing behavior and intent.

          Every bit as much as it is for everyone else, the rich and politically powerful are ruled by ‘fixed’ ideas, that is to say, by values and beliefs taken for granted and in that sense beneath awareness, and the primary ‘reflex’ of those values and beliefs, in both their individual psychological and institutional manifestations, is to place profits above all else. To my mind, this is the root of what explains the contradictions between sincerely avowed concerns for human welfare and the environment, and the commercial practices that run counter to those concerns.

          We find ourselves in a difficult situation. Capitalism is the dominant economic practice and mindset of our society, but its practice cannot but ride roughshod over human welfare and everything in our world necessary to the maintenance of that welfare.

          How do we break with this deeply entrenched economic practice and life-blind value system? Somehow it must be overturned, and mankind must pass on to, that is to say, must develop or resurrect or privilege already existing but currently marginalized alternative and potentially collective practices and values that are not prepared to compromise either human life or the quality of the air, water and land on which we all absolutely depend to live.

          How we are to accomplish this, I do not know. I do believe, however — perhaps even naively — that it cannot happen unless we make an effort to clearly diagnose the civilizational impasse or dead end into which we seem to have wandered.

          Capital, I think, is the bigger part of the problem. It seeks profits above all, even deliberately at the cost of life, and too often in the most brutal of ways imaginable. More than anything else about us, capital is today the thing most responsible for devastating the environment and the direct destruction of human life through wars of expropriation and wage slavery.

          Like

          • Joerg says

            @ Norman Pilon March 11, 2017
            First of all I thank you for your answer and will myself answer soon..

            Like

          • Joerg says

            @ Norman Pilon March 11, 2017
            Yes, we agree on a lot of points. To the rest I’d like to bring forward some thoughts.

            CO2:
            You said: “we cannot say with certainty that our CO2 emissions cannot accumulate to dangerous levels
            But I think we have enough facts, that show that it is quite improbable that CO2 leads to a warming of earth atmosphere:
            1. Probes of stones and polar ice (which is some kind of “calendar” for what happened in millions or hundred thousands of years to the atmosphere) show that CO2 rose only after(!) a global hot period began (sadly I don’t have the source/the link of that information anymore) ,
            2. There was no global warming since the end of the 1990ies – although the CO2 level of the atmosphere rose in these years.
            3. CO2 is said to heat up atmosphere by letting sun rays in, but hampering earth to emit – as usual – a lot of that heat back into space by a so called “mirror-effect”. But this “mirror-effect” of CO2 is not really possible, because for that CO2 had to exist high in the atmosphere. But CO2 can’t be found there – CO2 is always o the ground. This is why in former times, when people had to go into a deep wine-caller, or coalmine or a cesspool they took a canary-bird with them or a candle. Because CO2 is always on the ground – and doesn’t leave the wine-cellar, coalmine or Cesspool by flying up into the air.

            Capitalism:
            You said: “How do we break with this deeply entrenched economic practice and life-blind value system?
            There is a way.
            But first: I am not so happy about Your use of Marx’ word “capitalism”. This because for Marx all that was not socialist was “capitalism”. And this definition is too rough to be useful. What You and I criticise and oppose is not “capitalism” but “liberalism“.

            And they way out of this mess is the (Prussian) mercantilism.
            Although I am not a communist/socialist I’d be happy if nowadays socialists/lefties would oppose liberalism. But they don’t! If you ask them if they want to reinstall the former east-block “plan management economy” they reject this vigorously. If you ask them what state economy they’ d want instead, they mumble something, but don’t come forward with an answer. If you then research them a little bit, you find out that they want liberalism, but a nice one – or as I call it “liberalism with a rubber jonny”.
            But liberalism is foul from the root! And there is no ‘nicer’ or ‘more social’ liberalism possible, because liberalism (or “neoliberalism”) is a-social from the root!

            Some time ago I came to the conclusion, that we can only oppose this asocial liberalism, if we come up with a counter concept. I wrote a pdf “Welche Staatswirtschaft?” (“Which State economy?”), her it is: http://www.imagenetz.de/f40e13f7c/Welche-Staatswirtschaft_2.3.pdf.html . But it’ s in German and my English is poor (as You, Mr. March, already noticed). And these machine-translations of google-translate or others are usually horrible. But if you want to try ….

            Enjoy Your Sunday!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Thanks for the reply, Joerg. I’ll eventually get back to you on this. Please be patient. I’m juggling more than a couple of balls, so to speak. 😉

              Like

            • Hi Joerg,

              Yes, it seems we agree on a lot of points. I’m rushed for time, so I can’t at the moment adequately address our points of agreements as I see them.

              But I’m not sure we see eye to eye on the question of “capital” and “lilberalism.” To help you get a better grasp of where I stand on this particular questions, since Samir Amin has had a fairly pronounced influence on how I see these things, I offer you a video that is a 4 part interview with the old man, each segment lasting about 15 minutes, give or take (If and when you’ve viewed it, maybe we can take up our exchange from there?):

              Like

  8. a) The Climate Change argument on Fox and others is pitched much the same in all of the pervasive “entertainment news models” as a belief fight between the man-made and not the man-made “believers”; their classic two horse race depiction.

    b) CO2 growth and other combustion products are measured and are man-made since the industrial revolution, this is a standalone fact, and has nothing to do with any of the consequences. It has been done, is measured and continues to be done.
    One can say there is a liability on the combustion-products-producers and the associated regulation actions by governments as they have both deliberately and consistently chosen more combustion-production rather than less. The greater good of energy production for populations is a defense for the pollution and thereby an adjudication will ultimately be needed on such a balance of benefits.
    The resistance by the producers and regulators to accepting the liability is massive, an inevitable outcome, and to date remains overwhelming. If liability becomes a monetary charge the cost would be enormous. Some parties do want the liability made clear and with those consequences.

    c) The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system is agreed too.
    Has CO2 started a ripple in the system, … discuss …, and hence effectively a nonsense debate.
    Whether it did or didn’t does not hide the facts of increasing temperature in the record.
    It is already consistently warmer on the earth and no one is saying a reversal in the temperatures around the earth are going to happen any time soon. In logic and in binary a “1” maybe be complicated and difficult to ascertain; however a zero outcome is usually relatively easy, in this case the point being the earth is not cooling.

    d) Now, incoming solar power to the earth is estimated at 174PetaWatt. Note, humans only produce 0.03PW globally (and so it has been said human impact is negligible within the scale of the earth with sun energy interplay). Energy re-radiated to space is estimated as over 173PW, the vast majority. The necessary intermediary of the energy exchange (sun and earth and space) is the atmosphere. Clearly the vastly majority radiator of energy to space is the atmosphere. Affecting the atmosphere affects the energy balance. 1PW is just 0.575% of the estimated input solar power, a small percentage change in the balance will have an unpredictable outcome. 1PW is the estimated energy retained on earth from the solar power, with the oceans absorbing the majority of this energy as they cover 71% of the surface. An increase in energy into the oceans will have an unpredictable outcome.

    e) Temperature is up, so that means the balance is we are retaining more energy than before.
    The big picture is the temperature is not going to fall any time soon and consequences to this temperature rise include sea level rise, among many other effects. The liability argument, the belief argument and the various “different” predictions of the coupled non-linear chaotic system models are altogether nonsense with respect to the real problem.
    Something has to be done to change the increase in temperature. Doing nothing but argue “philosophy” is a deliberate framing by the powers that be and the chattering class. Actually doing something majorly significant is not what the powers that be are doing, with few exceptions.

    f) “Why the powers that be are doing very little …… discuss …… ?” is also a wasting time response IF the actions that are needed are not being done simultaneously. Walking, chewing gum and thinking/planning can all be done together, obviously.
    Action is the requirement; action that will change the rise in temperature to a reducing trajectory and soonest would be best. If not all seawater-front property is at financial and physical risk, drought and flood are inevitable, areas of the earth will achieve temperatures that humans cannot tolerate causing migrations and there are many more not good effects.

    g) The irony of a longish post decrying discussion in favor of action is not lost.
    Solar and Wind “fuel” are free.
    Weather is predicted a lot, such that district renewable energy predictions can be made within a smart grid and power routing organized, all this is within our remit .
    Energy Efficiency and Quality Design are all within our remit.
    Unpredictable climate is already out of our control, that is done.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, You are an engineer. Some climatologists disagree with you. They, too, have credentials and have every bit as much a grasp of the fundamental science as you do and perhaps even more in some respects and probably as it pertains to climate in particular.

        And engineers work for a living, right? Developing new technologies is what they earn a living at, right? I thought so.

        On the other hand, who can really argue with reducing our emissions, whatever they may be.

        jus sayin

        Like

      • Husq says

        Interesting read for you then?

        At a mid-January meeting in parliament buildings in London, Professor Fritz Vahrenholt provided a very detailed monologue on the motivations behind Germany’s energy transition, and why he feels it’s misguided and potentially disastrous.

        Had the lecture been delivered by somebody from the coal power sector, they might have been written off as a ‘climate denier’, but given Vahrenholt’s background and pedigree as a backer of renewable energy, he is not so easily dismissed and his position must cause some unease for those so adamant that climate change is manmade.

        http://www.powerengineeringint.com/articles/2017/01/vahrenholt-rails-against-the-climate-priests.html

        From James Hansen no less.

        To solve the climate problem, policy must be based on facts and not on prejudice. The climate system cares about greenhouse gas emissions – not about whether energy comes from renewable power or abundant nuclear power. Some have argued that it is feasible to meet all of our energy needs with renewables. The 100% renewable scenarios downplay or ignore the intermittency issue by making unrealistic technical assumptions, and can contain high levels of biomass and hydroelectric power at the expense of true sustainability.

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/03/nuclear-power-paves-the-only-viable-path-forward-on-climate-change

        Like

        • BigB says

          “For example, a build rate of 61 new reactors per year could entirely replace current fossil fuel electricity generation by 2050”

          This Guardian article is worse than utter BS. It is talking about building fast breeders (FBRs); R and D into which stopped in the ’80s due to the prohibitive cost. Currently there are limited plans to bring them back, but certainly not at the rate of 61 per year globally. In the UK, there are no plans to build any. That leaves us with current generation Pressurised Water Reactors (PWRs) that are not so “uniquely scalable.” Hansen et al should hang their heads in shame. The Guardian is not even fit to wrap chips in. Utter verbiage.

          Like

      • Husq says

        It’s often been said the AGW is textbook science. Here’s an example of textbook science breaking down.
        I have thought for a while that there maybe something happening with the climate that cannot be measured yet?

        “We discovered that the standard chemistry textbook rules broke down,”
        A team of researchers led by Prof Artem Oganov of Stony Brook University has shown that, under certain conditions, ordinary rock salt can take on some surprising forms that violate textbook rules of chemistry.

        http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/chemistry/science-sodium-chlorides-foundation-chemistry-01633.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+BreakingScienceNews+(Breaking+Science+News)

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Floppy Floop. says

    Hmmmm, this is a tricky one…who shall I trust, the 97% of the people with actual qualifications to properly evaluate such a complex issue – even spend most of their working time trying to find out what is going on, or the other 3% and some guys with a laptop and a deep sense of resentment of anything that is mainstream. Uh, I just don’t know!

    Ah, but you say all those 97% of scientists probably have all been bought off by large evil companies, by governments who just want to follow the really difficult option of trying to change the whole set up of global energy production rather than just sticking with the easy, cheap fossil economy. It’s definitely not the case that the fossil fuel has got an incredible amount of resources and definitely wouldn’t dare or try to influence any climate scientist, it’s definitely the up and coming ‘green’ companies that have bought all of the scientists and make them publish papers that support man made climate change. I mean, it’s not like 97% is an an unprecedented number of scientists to agree on anything really… it’s like, the big oil companies had enough influence to have been at least partly responsible for decades of war in the niddle east, but they definitely wouldn’t have enough resources to try to influence scientists. Obviously not. I’m not stupid.

    Oh, and what if we now follow up on this ‘man made’ climate change rhetoric, and then it turns out to have actually been a hoax, and Then we’ve got all of this ‘green’, ‘clean’, energy production lying around that has reduced the number of toxic gases in the athnosphere, reduced that number of harmful nano particles in our cities, and saved millions of lives, and created thousands of jobs. What do we do then?!!! The world will end, I say.

    I used to enjoy reading the off-guardian.

    Like

    • Did you read the article you are replying to? Nowhere does it advocate that we don’t reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and nowhere does it say manmade global warming is a lie.

      Our banner says “facts really should be sacred.” But we can’t establish facts if only certain viewpoints or data are permitted to be heard. The best way to arrive at the truth is through open and uncensored discussion. If any of our readers don’t support this then they should go elsewhere. We certainly have no interest in following party lines on climate change or anything else.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Husq says

      who shall I trust, the 97% of the people with actual qualifications to properly evaluate such a complex issue

      How many of the 97% forecast the ‘pause/hiatus?

      https://phys.org/news/2017-03-reveals-atmospheric-footprint-global-hiatus.html

      Regardless of whether or not scientists are wrong on global warming, the European Union is pursuing the correct energy policies even if they lead to higher prices, Europe’s climate commissioner has said.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/environment/climatechange/10313261/EU-policy-on-climate-change-is-right-even-if-science-was-wrong-says-commissioner.html

      Like

    • Husq says

      A global temprature increase from what?

      Climateclips.com interviews Professor John Christy, expert in measurement of global temperatures talks about Calamitology
      -a new kind of journalism where reporters have a template in their minds that whenever some unusual weather event is occurring sets in and creates catastrophic headlines.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, Floppy Floop, who should you trust? Certainly not yourself.

      And why engage with the guy with the lap top behind the argument, and not with the substance of the argument, regardless of its provenance?

      And you trust the “97%” of the people with actual qualifications? Where did you get that number? Do you have a source?

      Oh, never mind. I have it right here. Why, it’s the “Cook et al.” study.

      Oh, and what is this? A critique of the “Cook et al.” study, titled,The conceits of consensus.

      Maybe you should read it.

      It was, after all, cobbled together by “a gal with a lap top,” well, maybe with a desktop, but nevertheless a gal with the very heavy credentials you rightfully insist upon as the bedrock basis of what should be believed by anyone, and certainly a Floppy Floop, such as yourself.

      There is something in there about the 97% actually being rather less than 50% of the actual number of heavily credentialed people with lap tops (or desktops) actually in a position “to properly evaluate such a complex issue” as AGW, at least among those queried by Cook et al.

      So a bit of a conundrum for you: which part of the heavies are you going to believe and why? The “less than half” who insist that AGW is happening? Or the “more than half” who aren’t certain that it is? That is to say, who shall you trust, Floppy Floop, now that it’s not “the 97%,” but “the 47%” — “the 47%” on the actual basis of the Cook et al.‘s data correctly interpreted?

      You will, however, have to try to read what is actually written if you are to “get” the gist of it. Just saying.

      Like

      • BigB says

        Hey Norm, that’s not fair. Your reply to Floppy Floop is misleading to put it mildly. To point out the Cook et al ‘97.1% of the 32.6% that expressed a preference’ hoax is fair enough, but to reinterpret the fallacious paper to suggest that the consensus is as low 47% is disingenuous. There are other studies, that you just linked to in fact – or did you not read the critique that you admonish Floppy Floop with? The range of consensus is 78-84%. Which is not insubstantial.
        http://www.joseduarte.com/blog/the-climate-science-consensus-is-78-84-percent
        (A link to this page is embedded in the Judith Curry critique.)

        Like

        • Well, perhaps I need to go and re-read what I thought I read. I misread things all the time. And if I did, Ill owe you one. As soon as I get the chance, Ill have a look again. Many thanks.

          Like

        • Well, I’ll stand by my more than misleading (according to you) reply to Floppy.

          Judith Curry writes:

          “The only credible way to ascertain whether scientists support the consensus on climate change is through surveys of climate scientists. This point is eloquently made in another post by Joe Duarte: The climate science consensus is 78-84%. Now I don’t agree with Duarte’s conclusion on that, but he makes some very salient points:”

          And then later she also writes:

          “The 797 respondents who are highly confident that more than 50% of the warming is human caused) are 43% of all 1,868 respondents (47% excluding the “don’t know” group). Hence this survey finds that slightly less than half of climate scientists surveyed agree with the AR5 keynote statement in terms of confidence in the attribution statement.”

          Now you and I may disagree about which surveys of climate scientists yield a better assessment of where the “consensus” lies, but for the moment, I’m inclined to see the matter from Curry’s perspective. But I’m going to dig into this a bit more today, at your prompting. Maybe I’ll change my mind. I don’t think I was being “more than a little misleading” in my reply to Floppy. Unless I was completely misrepresenting Curry’s position, from which it was that I was taking my cue. But if I am, please do show me how I am misrepresenting her point of view, which admittedly I might well be if inadvertently.

          Like

        • BTW: it occurs to me that I did imply something misleading in my reply to Floppy.

          It is this:

          “the 47%” on the actual basis of the Cook et al.‘s data correctly interpreted?”

          I must retract that. I is entirely false. The “47%” is actually based on “data” generated by other surveys thought by far better, qualitatively speaking, than the Cook et al. study. That particular study, at any rate, has been completely discredited, but it was the original source of the “97%” meme which the alarmists never tire of trotting out.

          But I should get back to re-reading Curry’s critique and following up all of her links again and more carefully.

          Later.

          Like

          • BigB says

            “As I will demonstrate, appeals to consensus are laden with problematic logical and halakhic assumptions such that while “consensus” may constitute one factor in determining a specific psak, it is not nearly the definitive halakhic criterion its proponents would like to believe.”

            Good luck with that particular task, when you can decode the above paragraph on Jewish law, perhaps you can explain what relevance it has to the consensus in the climate debate. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Ms Curry was obfuscating by conflating issues of Jewish Law and the consensus. It is a very dense analogy, you could almost draw the conclusion that she does not want one to think there can be a consensus at all (the conceit of consensus.)
            She uses Jose Duarte’s research, opinions and even his criteria for conducting a proper survey, but rejects his conclusions (based on three papers.) Then offers her own figure (47%) backed by BS.
            (I didn’t read the link to Halakhic rhetoric, if you think that it adds relevance to Ms Curry’s assertions I may give it a go, but frankly I don’t see the relevance. I’m sticking with Duarte’s range 78-84% – at least I can follow the logic. Regards.)

            Like

            • I don’t know who is obfuscating what, here.

              If you read the Duarte article, the only thing he is doing is “pointing to” other “surveys” he thinks are methodologically far superior to the original fraud that was the Cook et al. study — which amounted to no more, to quote Curru, than a search “. . . of broad academic literature using casual English terms like “global warming”, which missed many climate science papers but included lots of non-climate-science papers that mentioned climate change – social science papers, surveys of the general public, surveys of cooking stove use, the economics of a carbon tax, and scientific papers from non-climate science fields that studied impacts and mitigation.”

              Duarte’s article, without qualification or detailed analysis, is essentially saying to the reader no more than that,

              “here are three surveys that have been conducted by researchers competent in the field of “survey research,” and whose results, because of a superior survey methodology, are far more trustworthy than what the Cook et al. study produced. These surveys suggest that between 78% and 81% of “climate scientists” subscribe to the view that “”human-induced greenhouse warming is now occurring.” (I’m paraphrasing, but accurately (I, Norm))

              But here is the point of emphasis, of the possible opportunity for obfuscation at hand: to agree to the view that “”human-induced greenhouse warming is now occurring” is to assert no more than – and this is Curry’s point, and one with which I agree – that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

              Consequently, Curry gives the surveys to which Duarte refers a failing grade, not on their survey methodology per se, which she happens to rate highly, but on not asking a far more discriminating question: to what degree is CO2 responsible for the recent warming, or what is the same, whether humans are the dominant cause of that warming.

              It is for this reason that Curry points to the Verheggan et al. (2014) study as the one she likes the best, and she likes it the best because the questions it puts to actual climate scientists are ‘materially’ or ‘epistemologically’ meaningful.

              And you already know what the result of this study is, when the climate scientists are asked very specifically whether it “ . . . is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. ”

              Less than half are willing to assert that humanity was responsible for half of the estimated .5 degree Celsius increase since 1951 to 2010, and that’s without even accounting for a margin of error.

              Like

            • Oh, and by the way, from the Duarte piece, Duarte makes a correction:

              After I first posted, Georgia Tech climate scientist Judith Curry argued that the relevant figure for the Stenhouse et al study is much less than 78%. For the self-identified professional field category “Meteorology and Atmospheric Science”, the consensus is 61%. [Norm’s emphasis]

              Like

              • BigB says

                “Consistent with other research, we found that, as the level of expertise in climate science grew, so too did the level of agreement on anthropogenic causation. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver of recent global warming. “

                OK Norm, if you are endorsing Curry endorsing Verheggen, then this passage quoted from the Abstract of Verheggen is, ipso facto, endorsed?
                No one is going to try to pin down any group of scientists to merely agree that CO2 is a GHG, that is elementary. We are talking about driving, beyond that which could be attributed to natural warming? Otherwise, we are both reading different documents.
                From the abstract we can ascertain that the greater the depths of ones knowledge, the more specific it is, the less doubt and the greater the consensus is: stated as 90%. From their own figures (1,868 respondents); 840.6 (90% of half the respondents) of those most uniquely qualified (with 10 or more peer reviewed papers) “explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver of recent global warming.”
                Surely, and it seems reasonable of me to conclude that, extending the survey sample to 934 less qualified scientists is a diminution of this key consensus?
                I’m not a statistician, but as far as I can, I’ve checked the results for the relevant “AR4 WG1 author” group and I do not believe I am misrepresenting Verheggen’s findings. Although the Jim Prall database of invitees is public, it is impossible for me to ascertain who responded and who declined; but, according to them, all the ‘major players’ were invited.
                Verheggen et al claim a strong correlation with Doran and Kendall-Zimmermann (88% consensus among self-identified climatologists) which leads me to conclude, that amongst those who really understand the science, there is indeed a high degree of consensus – around 90% – for anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) being the dominant driver of recent global warming.

                The rest of us are just shootin’ the anthropogenically warmed breeze.

                (PS. If I don’t respond until Monday, I’m not ignoring you, I’ve got a busy weekend lined up, that’s all. Regards.)

                Like

                • While you will be busy, I’ll carry on. You can catch up if and when you get the chance.

                  You write:

                  “Surely, and it seems reasonable of me to conclude that, extending the survey sample to 934 less qualified scientists is a diminution of this key consensus?”

                  Indeed. So lets turn that around and limit the survey to the absolutely most qualified and see what we get.

                  Here is another way of laying even more emphasis on your point:

                  Quote begins:

                  Roy Spencer also addresses this issue in his Senate testimony (cited above):

                  “(R)elatively few researchers in the world – probably not much more than a dozen – have researched how sensitive today’s climate system is based upon actual measurements. This is why popular surveys of climate scientists and their beliefs regarding global warming have little meaning: very few of them have actually worked on the details involved in determining exactly how much warming might result from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.”[Norm’s emphasis]

                  The number of real experts on the detection and attribution of climate change is small, only a fraction of the respondents to these surveys. I raised this same issue in the pre-Climate Etc. days in response to the Anderegg et al. paper, in a comment at Collide-a-Scape (referenced by Columbia Journalism Review):

                  The scientific litmus test for the paper is the AR4 statement: “anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for “most” of the “unequivocal” warming of the Earth’s average global temperature over the second half of the 20th century”.

                  The climate experts with credibility in evaluating this statement are those scientists that are active in the area of detection and attribution. “Climate” scientists whose research areas is ecosystems, carbon cycle, economics, etc speak with no more authority on this subject than say Freeman Dyson.

                  I define the 20th century detection and attribution field to include those that create datasets, climate dynamicists that interpret the variability, radiative forcing, climate modeling, sensitivity analysis, feedback analysis. With this definition, 75% of the names on the list disappear. If you further eliminate people that create datasets but don’t interpret the datasets, you have less than 20% of the original list.

                  [. . .]

                  But perhaps the most important point is that of the scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus, a disproportionately large number of these skeptical scientists are experts on climate change detection/attribution. Think Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, etc. etc. [Norm’s emphasis]

                  Bottom line: inflating the numbers of ‘climate scientists’ in such surveys attempts to hide that there is a serious scientific debate about the detection and attribution of recent warming, and that scientists who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus conclusion are disproportionately expert in the area of climate change detection and attribution.

                  quote ends.

                  So I agree with you. It really is a question of “who is best qualified” and therefore whose opinions should count the most.

                  The next to last paragraph of the forgoing long quote (in bold) would seem to fly in the face of, and here I quote you:

                  “From the abstract we can ascertain that the greater the depths of ones knowledge, the more specific it is, the less doubt and the greater the consensus is: stated as 90%. ”

                  And how would Curry know? Because the dozen or so in climate science who really count, who have not merely the greater depths of knowledge, but the greatest depths, she knows, as it were, personally, or at least who they are, and they are not in the thousands, they are not even in the two dozens.

                  Now either Roy Spencer is right and the abstract you quote comes from an inherently and seriously flawed survey with a bias you yourself note in favor the “dominant” attribution, or there isn’t much that is wrong with the survey.

                  Furthermore, Curry’s analysis of how the numbers of the flawed survey ought to be interpreted doesn’t fit the abstract, does it?

                  Consequently, on this particular difference, the question really becomes: is Curry correct or is it Verheggan et al.?

                  It appears that based on the numbers of the study, leaving entirely aside the question of the inherent bias of the survey, it is Curry who is both the better statistician and interpreter of the “significance” of the responses to questions:

                  “The 797 respondents who are highly confident that more than 50% of the warming is human caused) are 43% of all 1,868 respondents (47% excluding the “don’t know” group). Hence this survey finds that slightly less than half of climate scientists surveyed agree with the AR5 keynote statement in terms of confidence in the attribution statement.”

                  So no, not 90%. Not even close. And then even if so on the actual results of the survey, as Spencer makes clear, the result is actually statistically meaningless because it has no qualitative purport.

                  But I’ll continue looking at this. You raise good points and questions. As you say, for the moment, this is all “just shootin’ the anthropogenically warmed breeze.” 😉

                  Like

                • You write:

                  No one is going to try to pin down any group of scientists to merely agree that CO2 is a GHG, that is elementary.

                  Don’t be so sure.

                  That’s the part you aren’t quite getting, I think, that the quality of the surveys is rather mediocre, of a piece with the quality of the information produced by the MSM.

                  Curry quoting Roy Spencer:

                  “It should also be noted that the fact that I believe at least some of recent warming is human-caused places me in the 97% of researchers recently claimed to support the global warming consensus (actually, it’s 97% of the published papers, Cook et al., 2013). The 97% statement is therefore rather innocuous, since it probably includes all of the global warming “skeptics” I know of who are actively working in the field. Skeptics generally are skeptical of the view that recent warming is all human-caused, and/or that it is of a sufficient magnitude to warrant immediate action given the cost of energy policies to the poor. They do not claim humans have no impact on climate whatsoever.” [Norm’s emphases]

                  Now if no one is going to try to pin down any group of scientists to merely agreeing that CO2 is just a GHG, why would Spencer bother writing that?

                  Or what of this aspect of the surveys: the “participant selection bias.” In other words, who are the “climate scientists” being interviewed?

                  Most people who are selected to take part in the surveys as “climate scientists” tend to be anything but. Rather and on the whole, they are researchers involved in mitigation and impact studies. They are not themselves specialists in climate change or its causes. Given the kind of work they do, already they presuppose that climate change is today primarily being driven by CO2 and therefore mostly anthropogenic in origin, The participants in these surveys, therefore, tend to be preselected ideological prisoners of the “global warming consensus (to paraphrase Duarte)

                  These are not trivial problems. That they exist at all should give anyone pause about the quality of work being done in the “field of survey research,” and in particular as it pertains to climate science.

                  Part of the problem, obviously, is that the people wanting to get a fix on the points of agreement and disagreement among climate scientists don’t know enough about either the field of climatology or the nuances pertaining to the objects of its concerns.

                  What needs to happen is that designing the survey questionnaires, the selection of those to be surveyed and the interpretation of the surveys — all need to be done in close collaboration and consultation with actual specialists in the field of climate science.

                  Like

                  • BigB says

                    Hi Norm, see you’ve been busy!
                    I did get time for a little light reading, and was able to conclude that the major thrust of Curry’s review – that 47% is the new 97% – and the faulty logic of the Fab Max ‘proof’ she draws upon, is the main conceit here.
                    Don’t take my word for it, unsurprisingly, Bart Verheggen has dealt with it extensively on his blog – including a lengthy BTL debate with the editor of Fab Max.
                    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/pbl-survey-shows-strong-scientific-consensus-that-global-warming-is-largely-driven-by-greenhouse-gases/
                    Incidentally, GOP candidate Rick Santorum pulled the same 47/53 figures on Bill Maher’s programme – so Politifact and Factcheck did their own rebuttal – if that makes any difference. It didn’t to me.
                    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/rick-santorum-misrepresents-our-climate-survey-results-on-bill-maher-show/
                    The point is, any claim that Curry is a superior statistician, or is in any way better qualified to interpret the survey are null and void. You may take a different view, but in reproducing the Fab Max analysis that she should (by your criteria) have been able to detect the fallacy in – I am convinced she is either inept, or wilfully practicing deceit by attempting to make the level of consensus appear lower. Let us just leave it as inept.
                    If Curry cannot be trusted to competently represent the data, ergo, by default, Verheggen is best placed to interpret his own joint paper.
                    No offence Norm, I can see you are ‘juggling several balls’; but did you actually get time to read the Verheggen paper, their article in ES&T, and the “more detailed report” (which was in fact only a partial data release – another fact misrepresented by Curry)?
                    The reason I ask is that many of the points you raise – i.e. about question design and structural bias – are answered therein. Probably any future points that may be raised are already answered above and BTL on Verheggen’s blog.
                    I’ll let you form your own opinion, but the graphics and the way the data is presented in Verheggen’s paper is very clear. Table S3 in the Supporting Information (reproduced in the first blog post I linked to) gives the range of consensus – 66% of all respondents is the lowest – but this rises to 83% when you filter out the ‘undetermined’ categories. Figures for the relevant subgroups are given as well. (‘SD attr or aer’ – the attribution and aerosols group may be the most pertinent with 74% and 88%.)
                    This, I suspect is inconveniently too high for many who post here, and will be dismissed on any number of grounds by the epistemically closed- but it is good enough for me to confirm my lukewarm warmist bias! Catch you later, I’ve got a bit of catching up to do!

                    [Re: Is CO2 a GHG? “According to climate scientists on all sides of the debate, it is.” Source – you!]

                    Liked by 1 person

    • TIm Groves says

      Hmmmm, this is a tricky one…who shall I trust, the 97% of the people with actual qualifications to properly evaluate such a complex issue – even spend most of their working time trying to find out what is going on,

      or the other 3% and some guys with a laptop and a deep sense of resentment of anything that is mainstream. Uh, I just don’t know!

      it’s like, the big oil companies had enough influence to have been at least partly responsible for decades of war in the niddle east, but they definitely wouldn’t have enough resources to try to influence scientists.

      Obviously not. I’m not stupid.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Husq says

    Interesting piece by Hans von Storch:

    We—society and climate researchers—need to discuss now what constitutes “good science.” Some think good
    science is a societal institution that produces results that serve an ideology. Take, for instance, the counsel that then-Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen gave to scientists at a climate change conference in March, as transcribed by Environmental Research Letters: “I would give you the piece of advice, not to provide us with too many moving targets, because it is already a very, very complicated process. And I need your assistance to push this process in the right direction, and in that respect, I need fixed targets and certain figures, and not toomany considerations on uncertainty and risk and things like that.”

    http://www.hvonstorch.de/klima/pdf/091223.WSJ.good-science.pdf

    Anders Fogh Rasmussen:
    Russia ‘secretly working with environmentalists to oppose fracking’
    Nato chief, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, says Moscow mounting disinformation campaign to maintain reliance on Russian gas.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/19/russia-secretly-working-with-environmentalists-to-oppose-fracking

    Like

    • Dave Hansell says

      Ah, the sheer nostalgia of it all.

      ‘The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!’

      Well it’s certainly taking them a long time to arrive. They’ve supposed to have been coming since before I was born and that was in the early 50’s. What the bloody he’ll can be keeping them because I don’t know about anyone else but I’m getting tired of waiting them. They are certainly not russhin’. At this rate there’s more chance of Godot arriving.

      One of two hand picked financial elite candidates gets defeated in a presidential election. It’s the Russians.

      The defeated candidate is caught red handed gerrymandering and fixing the party voting nomination and its not their criminal activity which gets attention. No. It’s the Russians.

      A fascist coup goes part belly up. Oh! Look over there. It’s the Russians.

      Another regime change turns to dust in the desert. Fault of the Russians.

      People are opposed to fracking. They must be controlled by the Russians.

      Our dogs just come back from having a crap on next door’s lawn and it’s suddenly got a gammy leg. Definately the Russians.

      I thought vinyl had been replaced by digital downloads? It’s like listening to the needle stuck in the groove of the record.

      Liked by 1 person

      • rtj1211 says

        The problem is that journalists across the West let wordsmiths and propagandists get away with nonsense. Even Andew Neil of the BBC is doing it now, so I switched him off last week as swearing at pugnacious Scotsmen after midnight is not good for sleeping patterns.

        Sooner or later, someone should ask: ‘If you knew that the punishment for telling anything other than the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth would be selling your children/grandchildren into sex slavery until they die of HIV, would you wish to change your answer?’

        Then do not let go until they burst into tears.

        Respect gets no-one anywhere on this subject.

        Emotional brutality is the only way to stop it.

        Like

  11. In 1973, I worked as an apprentice carpenter for a ‘turn-key’ housing contractor. Turn-key meant we did it all, from the concrete footers to the roofing.
    Back then, the concrete footer-which supported the entire foundation–had to be poured below the ‘Frost Line,’ which is the possible depth to which the ground could freeze, so the footer had to be BELOW that depth to prevent havoc from the footer being moved about by frozen ground.
    Back then, the frost line was at 42 inches. Now it’s at 36 inches in Central Missouri.

    Another anecdote: The nine-banded armadillo from Central America, which used to call the desert SW USA its home, is now making inroads as far North as Nebraska, USA. You’ll see the dead ones while driving on I-70 in Central Missouri, killed trying to cross the road.

    People can argue back and forth all they want and use charts, figures, studies etc. But I use my own eyes and can state that the climate is getting warmer and screwier.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moriartys Left Sock says

      No one disputes it’s getting warmer – very slightly. We just have no firm idea why.

      Like

    • TIm Groves says

      Greg, your anecdotes are wonderful, as far as anecdotal evidence goes. But the frost line varies year by year, just as other weather-related phenomena such as temperature and rainfall do. What builders have to do is follow regulations about how deep the footer has to be, regardless of where the actual frost line may lie. All your story indicates is that the regulation has changed.

      In Missouri, there are official records from some sites that go all the way back to 1967, and they indicate that the frost lines were at their deepest at various times, with some in the late 1970s and others in the 1980s and ’90s.

      Many factors such as air temperature, snow cover, ground cover, soil type, soil moisture etc. will determine how deep the frost line penetrates but some long term soil temperature observations for the state can be utilized to get a general idea. There are only a handful of sites that have established official records of soil temperatures at multiple depths in Missouri. These sites include Spickard (Grundy county), Columbia (Boone), and Mount Vernon (Lawrence). Soil temperature observations at these University of Missouri Agricultural Experiment Stations began in 1967 and are collected at various depths including under a bare soil at a depth of 2 inches and under a sod at 4, 8, 20 and 40 inches.

      Using the historical soil temperature records for the three aforementioned regions in Missouri, we can get a general idea of how deep the frost line has penetrated in the past 43 years. For northern Missouri, in Spickard, the coldest 8-inch soil temperature was 29° in 1977 and 1982 and the coldest 20-inch temperature was 35° in 1977, 1978 1994 and 1997. The coldest 40-inch temperature was 37° in 1986 and 1994. In mid-Missouri, the frost line at Columbia has also never reached the 20-inch depth. The coldest temperature at 20 inches was 35° in 1996, and the coldest 40-inch temperature was 42° in 1978. The coldest 8-inch temperature was 28° in 1982 and 1996. Soil temperature records in southern sections of the state indicate the frost line has never reached the 20-inch depth at Mount Vernon. The coldest temperature at the 8-inch depth was 28° in 1979 and the coldest 20-inch temperature was 36° in 1977 and 1979. The coldest 40-inch temperature was 40° in 1979.

      Fortunately, during most bitterly cold outbreaks, Missouri will have a blanket of snow. Snow is an excellent insulator and will prevent freezing temperatures from penetrating too deep into the soil surface. There have been occasions, however, where minimal snow cover (less than 1-inch) was on the ground and an arctic outbreak ensued. In fact, the coldest outbreak on record for Missouri occurred between February 8-12, 1899 when the average statewide temperature was -6°F, or 40 degrees below normal! During this time, most of east central, south central, and southeastern Missouri had an insulating blanket of snow but northern and western sections reported bare ground. Actual soil temperature records were not taken at this time but a subjective report from an observer in Oregon, MO stated the ground was frozen 2-3 feet deep!

      http://climate.missouri.edu/news/arc/feb2010.php

      On the whole, US temperatures seem to have been higher in the 1930s and 40s than they are today, IF we can believe the people who put together the charts, figures and studies and post them on the Web. there was a roughly three decade cooling between the late 1940s and the late 1970s, then a roughly three decade warming from the late 70s into the first decade of this century, and a horrible row and endless bickering about what’s been happening since. Most people including most CAGW skeptics would agree with you that its gotten warmer since the 1970s. Whether it’s gotten any screwier is a matter of personal opinion. The prairie states are world renowned for the vagaries of their climate, floods, droughts, deep freezes, tornados, killer hailstorms, the 1930s dust bowl… How could things be any screwier now they’ve been historically?

      Liked by 1 person

      • How could things be screwier? Tell me where these monsoon like rains are coming from, the ones where we get 4-8+ inches of rain in an afternoon?

        40+ years ago, those kind of rains were unheard of, now they’re a regular part of the weather in late Spring and Summer.

        Or the Winter drought, where Snow has slacked off to barely a couple of inches but when Summer arrives, all Hell breaks loose with flooding rains.

        Maybe you could explain the weird, geometrically-shaped clouds in the sky, like the square holes which appear or the ‘Sargent’ striped clouds, some of which move, then stop, then move, then stop, then evaporate?

        Guess the best thing to do is what Americans like to do with most of our problems; pretend they don’t exist and dump them on our kids and grandkids backs.

        Like

        • TIm Groves says

          It’s nice talking about the weather, Greg, and you may be right about it being screwier than it used to be. But I remember well going back to the 1960s in the UK that people always complained that the weather was screwier than it used to be. And back in the 60s, I remember they used to blame it on the atom bomb tests.

          I’m afraid I have no experience of these geometrically-shaped clouds or square holes you’re alluding to. Here in Japan, our clouds still come exclusively in the traditional shapes, sizes and patterns.

          Re. monsoon rains in Missouri where they were unheard of 40 years ago, you may not have been around to witness the 12″ of rain that fell in 42 minutes at Holt, Missouri on June 22, 1947. Not a lot of people know this, but the foot of rain at Holt is accepted as a world record for the amount of rainfall measured in a single hour.

          And not too far away from Holt, Plainville, Illinois picked up 8.40″ in 40 minutes between 6:05 and 6:45 p.m. on May 22, 1941. So extremely heavy rain in your part of the world may not have been as common in previous decades as it is now, but it was not unheard of during the 1940s, even if you’ve never heard of it.

          And to add to what I said earlier, there are climate/temperature cycles of 60+ years that appear to be tied to ocean cycles. The 1930s and 40s were warmer, the 1960s and 70s were cooler, and the 1990s and 2000s were warmer. If, and I say IF, these natural cycles are more powerful than any influence people are having on climate, then we may, and I repeat MAY, see it cooler again in the 2020s and 30s.

          Here’s a detailed scientific report on the Holt event written in 1954.

          https://docs.lib.noaa.gov/rescue/mwr/082/mwr-082-02-0050.pdf

          Liked by 1 person

    • “Back then, the frost line was at 42 inches. Now it’s at 36 inches in Central Missouri.”

      You don’t think this might have anything to do with building a “cheaper” yet equally adequate footing, do you? Are you saying that the Turn-key contractors conduct ongoing experiments to keep an eye on the varying “Frost Line,’ and that as it moves up closer to the surface, they adjust their building code accordingly? How do they know that 15 years from now, that “line” won’t be at 55 inches?

      As for species “migrating” into new areas, that happens all of the time. It may be usual for someone who has lived in area all their lives to see a never before heard of critter, but it happens. Here in Ottawa, no one had ever heard of a opossums, much less seen one, and now we have “Opossum Control: Trapping & Removal Services,” and trust me, it ain’t because the climate has suddenly become kinder and gentler for that particular critter. It is the same for cayote. And then what are we to say about that other ubiquitous invasive species from Europe, the European settler? Was that Global Warming, too?

      Like

      • I guess I’m not entirely awake yet. That’s, ” It may be unsual for someone who has lived in area all their lives to see a never before heard of critter, but it happens.”

        Time for a much needed nap, I think.

        Like

  12. Joerg says

    1) The carbon dioxide (CO2) propagandists don’t believe in their ideology themselves. And we can prove it, because of their absolutely contradictious behaviour:
    Since millions of years nature has a system of producing CO2 by breathing creatures (e. g.: dinosaurs), by wood- and steppe-fires and so on. But nature also has a perfect System of dismantling CO2 into carbon and oxygen again.

    So whoever believes erroneously – but honestly – in a supposed danger of CO2 as a “greenhouse gas” would not only demand that the output of CO2 should be reduced, but also that our earth’s ability to dismantle CO2 back to carbon and oxygen again should be supported and reinforced.
    Thus an honest CO2-believer would demand that all of that big money out of this “Emissions trading” should not disappear into some pockets, but put into reforesting (and also ‘re-bushing’) our planet. This because a rising CO2 output would not be a problem, if the power of dismantling CO2 would rise proportionally. But instead of demanding a reforesting of our planet those CO2 ideologists don’t even care.
    This proves that they themselves don’t believe their own propaganda and ideology!

    2) And while “climate warming” and not the danger – and CO2 is indeed not that dangerous “green house gas” it is made to – the real danger our plant faces is the speeding “desertification” of our earth!
    I would swallow this “climate warming” ideology if they at least put the money of “Emissions trading” into a global program of reforesting – or at least a program of stopping the deforestation that’s going on worldwide!

    Everywhere the desert spreads. Now the desert even comes close to Beijing! A lot of lakes in Iran and even the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea are disappearing.
    In Vietnam I saw areas where they chopped down the trees and where those very heavy and very long lasting tropical rains washed out the humus soil completely and left over only washed out yellow-reddish desert sand. In Cambodia – like in Russia in the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union – gangsters and corrupt politicians chopped down great parts of the jungle in order to sell those precious tropical woods. In a film about Cambodia I saw the same as in Thailand: Between the few trees that were left over there was this washed-out sand and only here and there a little grass between the left over trees.
    Already in the late 1990s people in Singapore and in towns in Malaysia walked around with a scarf before their face – because of the heavy smoke that came over from Indonesia, where they burned down massive parts of the jungle.
    Also in Africa they destroy the woods. See: http://mg.co.za/article/2015-03-19-moz-will-be-stripped-of-its-forests-in-just-a-few-years or http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/07/15/420429/CAR-GlobalWitness-Seleka-antibakala-Alexandra-Pardal . In Mozambique the jungle is disappearing completely. The same is true to other continents (e. g. Brazil).

    3) But also in the rich countries (of mostly moderate climate) nature’s ability to dismantle CO2 gets more and more destroyed.
    3.1) This because year by year we consummate enormous parts of landscape. This by buildings roads, railways, houses, factories, airports and so on and on.
    3.2) But to make things even worse this consummated/destroyed landscapes get – in most cases absolutely unnecessarily! – always totally sealed off. As an elder person I still remember the villages and cities of the 1950ies. Then not all of the footpaths, public places, factory and supermarket places were totally sealed with concrete, asphalt or gapless concrete-plates. Instead these footpaths for example were often surrounded by huge bushes of so many kinds of weed that I don’t even the name of.
    And, yes, there were puddles and slops. Do city-kids of nowadays still know what a “puddle” is? As kids we had fun with them! And in those days no major considered it a shame for his town, if footpaths, parts of public places, factory and supermarket areas where not totally sealed off.

    4.) Why we should continue to attack those CO2 fanatics the way we already do we should additionally use this strategy: If we are confronted with one of these ideologists we should ask him this:
    So You tell us You are worried about a growing CO2 level! Then tell us, what did You do and demand to reinforce the million of years old ability of nature to dismantle CO2 so effectively? Did You do something about the permanent loss of landscape in our(!) area? Did You do something for it, that at least these lost landscapes don’t get totally sealed off? Did You do something for the reforesting of the destroyed jungle and wood areas in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Russia, Africa, USA and so on? Did You do something against this fast and dangerous desertification in so many places of our world?

    5.) What is going on? Why do those CO2 fanatics care about the CO2 “output” – but not at all about the “input” – that is the ability of earth to recycle CO2?
    The reason is that they are “identitarians”.

    What are “identitarians”? “Identitarians” are Sunnites that bomb mosques of Shiites and kill and wound hundreds of Shiite-believers. But Islam doesn’t allow such murderous actions.
    Identitarians are Buddhists in Sri Lanka that kill and drive away Hindu-Tamils. Now these “Buddhist” turn against those few Moslems on the isle.
    In Burma – appreciated by Aung San Suu Kyi! – they kill Moslems an and drive them away from their land they live on. Same in Thailand. But Buddha never said to do anything like that.

    Identitarians define their “identity” by their “opinion” about this or that. They never go into thinking deeply into the matter. It is enough for them to have this or that opinion and they put it on like a skin. This is why the author of the article above is wrong by looking for a “compromise”2 with these identitarians! there is no compromise possible!

    I am furious about this massive hatemongering of the mainstream, the deep state, and those “pussy hats” against Donald Trump.
    But by bombing Yemen and killing the hole population of a village over their he is a war criminal. Nothing less!
    And if there was now a demonstration of those “pussy hats” against Trump in the town I live now, a would take part – provided we would lift a big signboard with the words on it “TRUMP – YOU MURDERER AND WAR CRIMINAL – HANDS OFF OF OIL-RICH YEMEN!”.
    But those “pussy hats” are identitarians. This means: Ask one of those Trump-haters in Your community why they are so brought up against Trump – and they will talk and talk and talk. But they will never mention the US-war crimes in Yemen! The war crimes against the Syrians, the Palestinians, the Afghans and so on – or his LOVE for the CIA ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsIigA2j8KI ).
    .
    Now by these IDENTITARIANS we are back in the middle age! If you don’t believe in what was then “Jesus”, the “Pope”, “Luther”, “Calvin”, they will burn you at the stake (of cause caring about and minimising the CO2 output then)!

    Like

  13. Darren pigott says

    There are also other theories out there. I’m not qualified in any way to verify this source but it peaked my interest. If anyone is capable of discerning the validity of this theory it would be much appreciated
    http://enouranois.eu/?page_id=1336

    Like

    • Secret programs for modifying the weather or climate? Maybe. But good luck with that since an effective clandestine climate modification program would entail knowing and being in a position to influence all the major factors interacting together to produce weather and climate effects.

      But it doesn’t look as if we “know” very much about how climate actually works, and if we don’t know that, how can we consciously influence that process to achieve desired outcomes?

      You know, people sometimes used to engage in dances and the utterance of incantations to make it rain or storm, and sometimes they probably did it in secret, too, to undermine an enemy. Sometimes “it worked;” sometimes “it didn’t work.”

      We laugh at these rituals now, but in the main they were every bit as rational as what modern clandestine climate modifications programs might be about: our ancestors, every bit as ourselves, grasped that the world was a process, and that if could only understand it, we might be able to intervene in the great chain of causes and effects to bring about desired ends.

      But just because this is in fact the case, that the world is a process involving causes and effects, actions and reactions, it doesn’t mean that you either understand how to intervene or that any of your interventions are adequate to your designs.

      Personally, I think the world is far larger and fantastically more complicated than we think it is.

      Consequently, when I hear about possible clandestine climate modification programs, which very likely exist, I think about our ancestors dancing and chanting for rain. Good luck to them. Although I wish them very little success if their intentions are nefarious.

      Like

  14. I’m with Dave Hansell and Michael Mcinerney. What I’d like to know is when, in history, has a more complex scientific explanation proven a heuristic, common sense, scientific-at-a-very-basic-level explanation to be wrong, that is, when we’re talking at a macro physical level (not quantum physics – which, by definition, is simply not an arena for common sense). Excuse my ignorance if there’s simply too many cases to mention but I do not know of any.

    I’m a little obsessed with 9/11 at the moment and I feel that all the scientific explanations for why the buildings came down just get in the way of the extremely obvious explanation that can be obtained through simple observation.

    Like

    • Moriartys Left Sock says

      This quote….

      “The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

      is from the Executive Summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group 1 (quoted by another commenter below). If even the IPCC is saying we can’t tell what climate will do longterm because there are too many variables we don’t understand – maybe there’s some truth to that?

      The idea that dangerous manmade global warming is a simple and obvious fact is being promoted by the same people who deny there could be any government collusion in 9/11.

      The truth is we don’t know for sure why the climate is warming and we have no reason at the moment to believe said warming is dangerous or unnatural. But the Mainstream media want us to believe differently.

      Liked by 3 people

    • With respect to 9/11, you are right, I think, that to grasp the criminal nature of what really happened, it isn’t necessary to understand or to go into all of the very abstruse details of the mountain of forensic evidence that only scientific and engineering specialists can truly understand and elicit, and indeed, that mountain of evidence does tend to get in the way of helping the general public appreciate the truth of 9/11. For a basic grasp of elementary high school physics and David Chandler’s proof that building 7 came down in free fall is all that anybody really needs.

      But you want something comparable with respect to Global warming.

      Here is something, I think, that we can all easily and readily appreciate. Climate change is not something that happens in weeks or months or even decades. It happens over many thousands or years. Ten thousand years of climate change is from the standpoint of this process truly but the blink of an eye.

      In other words, if we can all agree that if we can point to a pronounced trend that has happened over roughly such a time span in the absence of any possible human influence, we demonstrate how changes that we think we are observing today may plausibly be happening as a result of eminently natural processes.

      Consider, then, that only some 15 to 10 thousand years ago, in the spot where I sit in Ottawa, Ontario, the ice sheet that overlay most of North America was over one mile (1.6 km) thick. All of that ice, across the vast and astounding expanse of this country, east and west and north and south, not even to mention Asia and northern Europe, has since completely disappeared, and from a geological standpoint, in the twinkling of an eye.

      So, what kind of a sustained natural warming trend does that suggest to you? And it happened in geological terms very abruptly. And what evidence do you have that that abrupt warming trend has already subsided, that we are not even now in the midst of it, at yet its beginning or middle or not quite its end? You have none. But what you can be certain that you do have in this instance is incontrovertible evidence that extreme and rapid global warming can and does happen quite independently of anything that humans may do.

      You don’t have to be a solar physicist or scientist of anything to grasp this: extreme climate change is sometimes (actually often) what climate does.

      Now I’m ready to receive my probably well deserved comeuppance form Moriartys Left Sock. Maybe there is not going simpler than that the “. . . climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

      Like

  15. My comment didn’t appear. I tried a different broweser and got ‘duplicate comment’ but it hasn’t appeared… yet

    Like

  16. TIm Groves says

    The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.

    The above gem appears in the Executive Summary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group 1. And even if it is not as clear and simple a statement as it looks, it is at least reassuring to hear that the IPCC doesn’t claim to have anything like the Papal infallibility or God’s eye view of climate that is so often claimed for it implicitly by alarmists.

    https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/501.htm

    Kip Hansen has attempted to enlighten us to the meaning and some of the implications of this fact.

    The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic dynamical system – the two major coupled systems being the atmosphere and the oceans. These two unevenly heated fluid systems acting under the influence of gravitational forces of the Earth, Moon and Sun while the planet spins in space and travels in its [uneven] orbit around the Sun produce a combined dynamical system of incredible complexity which exhibits the expected types of chaotic phenomena predicted by Chaos Theory – one of which is a profound dependence on initial conditions. When such a system is modeled mathematically, it is impossible to eliminate all of the non-linearity’s (in fact, the more the non-linear formulas are simplified, the less valid the model).

    Averaging 30 results produced by the mathematical chaotic behavior of any dynamical system model does not “average out the natural variability” in the system modeled. It does not do anything even resembling averaging out natural variability. Averaging 30 chaotic results produces only the “average of those particular 30 chaotic results”.

    Why isn’t the mean the result with natural variability averaged out? It is because there is a vast difference between random systems and chaotic systems…..

    To conflate the mathematically chaotic results of the modeled dynamical system with real-world “natural variability” – to claim that the one is the same as the other – is a hypothesis without basis particularly when the climate effects are divided into a two-value system consisting only of “natural variability” and “human-caused climate change” …..

    What the image produced by the NCAR/UCAR Large Ensemble Community Project does accomplish is to totally validate Edward Lorenz’ discovery that models of weather and climate systems are, they must be, by their very nature, chaotic – profoundly sensitive to initial conditions – and thus resistive of, or possibly impervious to, attempts at “precise very-long-range” forecasting.

    https://judithcurry.com/2016/10/05/lorenz-validated/

    Predictions or projections, forecasts or prophecies… Listen to self-identifying climate experts or TV talking-heads who insist they are not predicting future climate but merely projecting it based on the application of sound scientific theory and validated scientific models (although such subtleties are lost on you laymen), and then listen to them go on to warn us all of catastrophe, disaster and doom unless, of course, we take their recommended course of action.

    Clearly, these people have about as much of a clue as to what’s going to happen decades from now as Nostradamus, Jonathan Cainer or Senna the Soothsayer.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Catte says

      Oh do grow up. We don’t work 12 hours a day here for no pay to produce “astroturf”. If we were that way inclined we could all be making a good living elsewhere.

      Liked by 4 people

      • james bate says

        Flat turf society, this is the second in a month , I know a click’s a click even if crazy but have some restraint.

        Like

  17. Michael McInerney says

    Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. ‘Scientific theory’ thus predicts that adding it to the atmosphere will cause the temperature to rise. The temperature is observed to rise. Science does not have much more to say.

    A way to determine what people really believe is to ask them to put their money down. Would you invest your pension in a housing project at sea level in Florida? Without a government insurance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulcarline says

      Carbon dioxide is indeed a so-called “greenhouse gas”, but it represents such a minuscule portion of the atmosphere that no self-respecting scientist should have ever proposed a significant warming effect. Arrhenius actually reasoned that it would have a cooling effect. So only a flawed “scientific theory” (flawed because not based on a full assessment of the factors – or on a detailed examination of the historical record, which shows that increases in CO2 always follow increases in temperature, not vice versa).

      The AGW hysteria is not adequately explained by poor science. It has a commercial and political history i.e. one has to speak of conspiracy. At least since the advent of satellite records, the claim of AGW has lacked any scientific foundation. It has been sustained and exploited for entirely non-scientific reasons.

      Unfortunately, what people believe is rarely based on solid ground, especially in our age of mass propaganda and disinformation.

      Liked by 2 people

      • MoriartysLeftSock says

        @paulcarline

        the historical record, which shows that increases in CO2 always follow increases in temperature, not vice versa

        I’m assuming you mean the pre-historic record – ie the story of climate we can find in ice cores etc. I have to disagree with you there. The correlation between temperature and atmospheric Co2 does look very strong. I agree we do not have a causal mechanism established. And it remains possible oCo2 levels rise as a result of warming and not as a cause. But we can’t say this is an established fact.

        There is a great deal of experimentation that shows good data for C02 as a warming agent. Though how much of an impact the tiny levels present in the atmosphere will have is another question.

        I would say that certitude in either direction is unwarranted.

        Liked by 3 people

        • There is pretty sound science that supports warming as the cause for increased atmospheric CO2. It is well known that CO2 is more soluble in cold water than in warm water. This information is freely available in any book of physical and chemical constants. It is also well known that the oceans are a vast reservoir of CO2. Coming out of a major ice age the oceans would warm slowly relative to land releasing CO2 to the atmosphere. The oceans are vast and they warm slowly which would account for the 800 – 1000 year delay in the rise in atmospheric CO2. It might also be of note that earth recently experienced the Little Ice Age that ended in the 1800’s. Are the increased CO2 levels we see today the result of warming from the Little Ice Age?

          Liked by 1 person

    • MoriartysLeftSock says

      @ Michael Mcinerney

      Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. ‘Scientific theory’ thus predicts that adding it to the atmosphere will cause the temperature to rise. The temperature is observed to rise. Science does not have much more to say.

      I choose to assume you are not a scientist being disingenuous enough to pass this parody of the scientific method off to the readers here. I choose instead to believe you are a misinformed lay person. So I will take the trouble to explain why your summation of the situation is incorrect.

      The statement “Co2 is a greenhouse gas, there is more of it in the atmosphere, the climate is warming ergo Co2 makes the climate warm” is only justified if we can eliminate all other variables that might be making the climate warm. Only then can we make such a statement with any degree of validity.

      The only scientifically legitimate statement we can make so far is the far less sweeping, but accurate: “Co2 is observed to be a greenhouse gas; there is more C02 in the atmosphere; the earth is warming; our current ideas of C02 suggest its potential involvement in this warming.”

      Nothing further is justified by any of the current research.

      A way to determine what people really believe is to ask them to put their money down. Would you invest your pension in a housing project at sea level in Florida? Without a government insurance!

      You are making the common mistake of confusing global warming with manmade global warming. No one can doubt the former. Many doubt the latter.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Dave Hansell says

      Exactly Michael.

      In general terms there is nothing actually new here in this article nor others like it. This very same debate, with the same generic points and arguments made in this contribution, took place around the scientific consensus that emerged linking cancer with tobacco consumption; depletion of the ozone layer with the use of CFC’s; asbestos with lung disease; and radon with teeth rot in match production – along with a whole plethora of other issues up to and including evolutionary theory – which is still being challanged and denied on the ground of free speech up to and including in certain schools here in the UK.

      In every case there were howls of anguish from various interested parties at different levels, from those with an economic stake in in the product or system found by the scientific consensus to be the cause of the problem through to those using the product and those whose psycological faith based belief system and/or political and ideological beliefs refused point blank to face reality. Again, in each case there was rearguard actions, arguments, etc designed to muddy the waters and project their faith based interests onto those claiming a particular product or system was harmful.

      One still retains in ones head the now grainy news footage of Tory MP John Gummer force feeding his young child a beef burger to demonstrate that British beef was safe to eat and all this scientific consensus about feeding shit to cows causing what the papers referred to as ‘mad cow disease’ was pure claptrap, using in generic terms precisely the same approach and arguments used in this and similar articles.

      What I would be interested to see is if offguardian has the bottle and courage of its convictions on this free speech issue to run a series of similar articles challenging, on the same grounds as above, the ‘so called scientific consensus’ on other issues:

      For instance, let’s see some input along the lines of why the scientific consensus that breathing in vehicle exuast gases is harmful to health and increases child asthma rates is unproven or unprovable because there are so many other unmeasurable variables, like the levels of dog shit on the streets or pollen from plants, which means that those fumes cannot possibly be proven to cause those effects.

      Perhaps as we speak there are indeed a team of proper scientists, that’s the type who, like Svenmark and Kirkby in this article, cannot possibly have any sponsors to please and research funding to obtain which taints their findings cross our hearts and hope to die, unlike all those other scientists who should not be taken seriously because to do so would offend and oppress the free speech beliefs of those who want to believe the earth is flat, the moon is made of green cheese and babies arrive by stork.

      Or how about the scientific consensus on the harmful effects of lead in drinking water, petrol, and hat linings. If this site is going to be consistent on the issue it surely cannot be too long before we are treated to a fascinating argument, purely for the purposes of free speech mind, along similar lines as presented in the above article that this is down to over eager writers like Louise Carroll with a financial interest in selling books depicting mad hatters and the like in order to please their sponsors.

      Perhaps this could be followed up with a foray into why it is that the scientific consensus on washing ones hands after going the toilet is not actually a consensus which should be followed ( and that bit is key point in this debate) cannot possibly be a consensus when some scientists from Trump University disagree.

      And I for one am eager with anticipation to see something along the lines of rubbishing the scientific consensus regarding the role of processed sugar in diabetis, fatty junk food in obesity, alcohol in alcoholism and the impact of Edward Berney’s psycological public relations techniques on the terminally gullible, from which play book this article and others like it represent prime examples.

      The problem here is that just like the philosophers union in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy it’s not the answers which those running this theme on offguardian don’t understand, it’s the question.

      No one is actually arguing that free speech should or ought to be curtailed. That is not the issue here. The issue here is that as Clint Eastwood ‘s character ‘Dirty’ Harry Callaghan observed “opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one.” The purpose of speech as a form of communication is to convey information with a view to achieving a specific outcome. No one here, one trusts, would waste any time trying to defend anyone’s right to exercise free speech to stand in front of a crowded and confined space and shout fire.

      The problem is that for too many people their opinion and the right to express it remains indivisible from their belief that their opinion is not in fact an opinion but fact on the grounds that they wish it to be fact because that is what they firmly believe. Out here in the real world many of us have been first hand witnesses to regular examples of cognitive dissonance of individuals and groups with particular axes to grind, based on their individual and group belief systems to which they have committed both their psyche ‘s and ego’s to, who refuse point blank to accept any fact or reality which conflicts with their belief system.

      As far as it goes this is harmless. The problem arises when that free speech goes beyond mere expression and moves onto attempting to achieve specific outcomes in line with those faith or ideologically based belief systems which, if successful, have a negative impact on others. This can be anything from persuading others to elect legislatures who will remove regulations governing the prevention of the dumping of huge quantities of contaminated waste water from shale gas fracking into water courses adversely impacting on the health of themselves and others through to persuading everyone, purely on the basis of free speech mind, that there is no problem with any activity they are involved in which has any negative impact on the environment.and everyone can go on dumping their trash at the side of the road; filling the Pacific with waste plastic; or dumping vast amounts of CO2 , methane and other gases into the atmosphere.

      That is a whole lot worse than shouting fire in a crowded and confined space. It’s a matter which affects the very basics of species survival and as such has absolutely nothing to do with free speech, just like this article and others like it.

      If those at offguardian are incapable of understanding the nuances here and the difference they have no business claiming to be responsible citizens never mind responsible journalists.

      Like

      • To sum up your lengthy post – “only people who agree with me, Dave Hansell, or adhere to an arbitrary collection of belief-systems I find amenable should be permitted to be heard in public, because I only believe true things and am therefore empowered by the natural order to silence anyone who doesn’t

        God preserve us from the arrogant idiocy of the new liberal.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Dave Hansell says

          Seem to have touched a raw nerve there.

          That really is a lazy bullshit response which merely demonstrates that the nuances of what is taking place here has gone straight over your individual and collective heads. Indeed it’s on a par with the kind of shallow argument and company/corporate line one finds in rags like the Guardian.

          Is it really too much to ask to actually engage seriously like a grown up rather than projecting your own position and behaviour onto others? Clearly ‘free speech’ is only supported up to a point here. Once it starts to challange some of the lazy right on operating assumptions you stick your mardy heads on and come out with the sort of knee jerk responses one finds in the school poayground, which underlines and demonstrates some of what I was attempting to put across.

          If that is the best response you can offer than some serious questions need to be asked as to whether or not you are in fact an asset or a liability to the team you work with. If it represents a collective rather than an individual response than offguardian is on a similar trajectory Tory as the Guardian, only moving a lot faster.

          Like

          • Catte says

            You’re trying to hawk censorship of opinion as some sort of enlightened choice by right-minded people, and you’ve been called on it.

            The fact that we believe in genuine free speech, as opposed to the “nuanced” fake kind is evidenced by the fact your comments are still here.

            And if you want a wider audience for your view you’re welcome to submit an article to us. We try to reflect a range of opinions, not merely the individual POV of a given editor.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Dave Hansell says

              Your interpretation not mine.

              This is not just a technical and scientific matter it’s a political issue with not just different interests but also different values at play. People are entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts and there is a difference between simply expressing an opinion and trying to tout a particular line because it suits particular vested interests and value beliefs.

              As previously outlined, it’s not like we have not been around this loop before with a plethora of other issues, from employers insisting they will go out of business if hours are cut because all their profit is made in the last hour through to tobacco/cancer, asbestos lung disease etc etc, using the same approaches to muddy the debate, confuse, anything to prevent progress or a particular identified matter being properly addressed.

              When that happens, and it does, that is no longer an issue of freedom of speech it becomes an abuse, like (and this is for the pedants who have to have everything Janet and John’ed for them) shouting fire when there is no fire because rights, like free speech, don’t exist in isolation they come with responsibilities.

              As fellow engineer Big club &uAin’t innit implies further up this comment chain, people can talk till they are blue in the face but at some point you can guarantee the engineers will be sent for and asked to fix a problem that the oxygen breathers insist does not and cannot possibly exist.

              Like

              • Wrap it in as much bloated verbiage as you like, you’re just saying clever people like you who believe true things have the right to silence stupid people who believe wrong things.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Dave Hansell says

                  If you don’t want to engage with issues raised -so much for the rhetoric on free speech – just have the honesty and bottle to be up front about it.

                  Deliberately misinterpreting what is being said and projecting your own position onto others just comes across to readers as trying to protect a particular agenda and does you no credit.

                  Like

                  • Your assumption of concern is simply intended to create a moral ambiguity where there isn’t one. The examples you cite are nothing to do with the issue of free speech and everything to do with the exploitation of the poor by the privileged. Pretending these issues of inequality might or could be fixed by a bit of censorship is the kind of weasel-worded sophistry the Guardian specialises in. Historically, truth is never defended by censorship. Lies and special interests are defended by censorship.

                    Like

                • Dave Hansell says

                  Again, your simplistic interpretation is way off the mark.

                  It’s not about censorship it’s about being aware that vested interests and particular value systems inevitably seek to manage perceptions and utilise those perception management tools to maintain an existing status quo, hierarchical relationships, relative advantages and so on, including inequalities, whenever an issue challanges either those interests and values. The techniques and methodologies may well improve over time but the broad tool box used to achieve those ends always includes abuses of free speech designed to confuse, misrepresent, muddy the waters etc in order to divide, slow down or prevent and progress on an issue.

                  Let’s consider an example on a totally different subject. Here is part of a btl comment from a current blog post on a site which is pro Scottish Independence which makes similar points:

                  “Unionist dissemblers want the debate to get lost in the weeds of particular issues: oil, EU, racism, fisheries, etc. Anything where they can muddy the waters and let their media dominance confuse and distract the voters – or so they hope.

                  In fact they don’t want it to be a single debate – they want a ton of debates, on and over different issues, that they can try to make as conflicted and as confusing as possible in an attempt to fatigue people into sticking with a status quo that does not value them, and indeed can be shown to be actively harming them as pensions dwindle, and funds for economic development get diverted away from Scotland. (Renewables and farming subsidiies, anyone.

                  The people who rule over us have spent centuries working on our collective psyche, telling us and our forebears that we couldn’t possibly manage our own affairs, and to ignore any examples of nations that do. Especially others that left the blessed Empire, and somehow continue to exist, and even prosper. Those countries should be ignored because Scotland would be nothing like them, because we are told so, and should believe what we are told at all times by our nice Aunty in the corner.”

                  Now, on the criteria encountered from your interpretation this poster, attempting to make progress on an issue, is saying only they know the truth, everyone else is wrong , trying to close down free speech etc etc etc.

                  What I’m saying is s/he is spot on. They have recognised a familiar approach which is obvious to a blind man on a galloping horse and are calling it out. My take, at present, is that you are working so hard at what you are trying to achieve that you just don’t get it.

                  Like

                  • You keep saying it in different ways, but no matter how many ways you say it it will always be the same. You think free speech should be curtailed for people you don’t approve of. The fact you define these people as vested interests or cynical manipulators, and the fact you try to hide the starkness of your point in pints of waffle does not change this. You have said it yourself – when public interest is threatened by free speech, then free speech is an ‘abuse.’ Ergo…what? What else can you conclude than free speech has limits. Not just the existing limits defined in law, but new limits you want to see imposed. And those limits are set by some vague definition of public interest.

                    In your ideal world any one who disagrees with a ‘consensus fact’ ought to be forcibly silenced if his expressed doubt might appear to you or those like you to threaten public wellbeing. The only thing to conclude from this is a) you are incapable of understanding what a totalitarian hell this would create or b) you know this quite well and rather like the idea. Either way you are selling a truly terrifying degree of social control encased in a handknit woolly jumper of faux ‘concern.’

                    Please don’t restate your basic points yet again to give the impression I don’t understand you. I DO understand you, rather too well and better than you would like. Let’s leave it there.

                    Like

              • Dave,

                You want free speech. But you don’t want free speech. You want free speech for yourself. You don’t want it for others because they may wander off the track of issues you want to discuss and thereby confuse the issues you specifically want to focus on and discuss.

                It’s kinda what you are doing in this thread, isn’t it? I thought the piece I wrote was about whether with respect to the issue of AGW, there wasn’t in addition to a purely scientific dimension, a political dimension as well.

                But here you are wanting to debate the merits and demerits of “free speech.”

                I think OffG should censor your comments. They don’t belong in this thread. There is another thread where the issue being discussed has to do specifically with “free speech.” Why don’t you go and make your comments on “free speech” there instead of here, where you are derailing and confusing the debate over AGW?

                Could it be that you understand perfectly well that the issue of “free speech” and the “debate” over AGW are actually intertwined?

                And so it is with a great many things, eh. It would be nice if “issues” having to do with “the way we live” could be taken up entirely separately, as objects unrelated to one another. It would certainly be less confusing and conclusions arrived at much faster.

                Unfortunately, all things with a “social” dimension, however circuitous the paths may be, actually do tie into one another.

                So it’s complicated and messy, and if we are to come to a better understanding of our collectively shared situation, what is required is a lot of minds seeing things from a lot of different perspectives — perspectives that are of necessity always blinkered and partial — coming together to express those perspectives, so that at the end of the day “we” at least potentially end up with “broadened” perspectives, that is to say, a better appreciation of where we stand in the world and with respect to other people with whom we share this world.

                If you shut people up, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to “learn” something you did not know before, whatever may be the moral qualities or intents of the people expressing their opinions, however ingenuous or disingenuous may be their motives for participating in the discussion.

                On the other hand, it’s true. Disruption of debate is a tactic of the powerful and the troll, and not all points of debate carry the same weight of relevance to an issue in focus. But then that at some point sometimes becomes obvious, doesn’t it, and when it does, you can discount or ignore any further contributions from that particular disruptor — no?

                Like

            • “Either way you are selling a truly terrifying degree of social control encased in a handknit woolly jumper of faux ‘concern.’”

              Now that’s beautiful.

              Ah, I love reading your comments. They never fail to put a devilish smile on my face.

              Liked by 1 person

      • @Dave Hansell

        So, are you saying that reducing atmospheric emissions of any kind would be a good thing?

        That limiting toxins in our domestic and occupational and natural environment might also be a good idea?

        Do you imagine that the author of the article would disagree with you?

        Are you saying that it looks like we are living in a society where the basic rule governing all else is “profits over people?” I don’t see that you did. Do you think that might have something at all to do with all of the numerous public policy failures you itemize?

        Liked by 2 people

        • Dave Hansell says

          It is certainly accurate to say that the point about “profits over people” was not explicit although it would seem reasonable to observe that the fact it has been teased out of some the cited examples is sufficient to say it was implicit within them.

          What I am saying is that this is not just a scientific or technical matter alone it is also a political matter impinging on not just conflicting interests, which any negotiator will observe are relatively straightforward to resolve, but also on values and belief systems.

          At present I’m revisiting an issue through some basic research which I first encountered over 30 years back which touches on energy policy . Nothing has changed. As was the case in the 1970’s any technology which provides sustainable safe and clean energy is being starved of not just financial but also political support with current support and investment in the range of 3:1 in favour of shale gas extraction (which compared to other gas technology is only just above being an energy sink – ie more energy input then obtained) v sustainable/renewable. This is a political choice not just on the part of politicians but also other players/actors and not just obvious ones with a financial interest lobbying those same politicians..

          There are plenty of others who have bought into the value system being touted here as a direct and indirect result of fake news/information/facts and pseudo science propoganda masquerading as free speech. A phenomenon not limited simply to this issue but many others and a two edged sword which, going by some of the official responses received, seems to have gone over certain people’s heads unless they are knowingly part of the problem ( and yes, I accept I’m not exactly the trusting type).

          The elephant in the room which too many seem to be skirting around is the implicit, but never stated, recognition that should the consensus on climate change be generally accepted this will require more than the current feeble and half hearted attempts to manage the matter in order to continue business as usual. Seriously systemically engineering and tackling such a scenario would likely threaten not just business as usual but a whole existing set of hierarchical arrangements.

          Managing such possibilities involves amongst other things the management of perceptions. An art crafted by Sigmund Freud ‘s nephew Edmund Berney, who counted Goebbles amongst the admirers of his methods and techniques. Techniques which were used to good affect in many cases, including those examples previously cited and which are clear to a blind man on a galloping horse on this issue and this debate, as with others currently exercising the chattering classes.

          As the Average White Band used to sing, ‘let’s go round again.’

          Like

          • Part I:

            Subsection A)

            “It is certainly accurate to say that the point about “profits over people” was not explicit although it would seem reasonable to observe that the fact it has been teased out of some the cited examples is sufficient to say it was implicit within them.”

            So we agree. That was one of the focal points of my piece, and very explicitly so, wasn’t it?

            Subsection B)

            “What I am saying is that this is not just a scientific or technical matter alone . . .”

            This is just a rehash of what has already been said. If a big part of the debate over AGW is about “profits over people,” then by definition it’s not just about the data and the science. See A)

            Subsection C)

            “. . . it is also a political matter impinging on not just conflicting interests . . .”

            You make a distinction without a distinction: by definition “conflicting interests” are “political matters” that will be resolved by whichever of the contending parties will at the end of the day wield the most “influence” or, if you will, “power.” Effectively what you’ve just written here is: it is also a political matter impinging on not just political matters. It’s a bit redundant if not circular.

            Subsection D)

            “. . .it is also a political matter impinging [. . .] on values and belief systems.”

            Again, you make a difference that is not a difference. If it’s “profits over people,” that is a governing moral precept, politically enforced, and it is nothing if not a value and a belief, albeit one that is “life-blind.”

            Summation of ‘Part I:’

            To sum up this section of my reply to you, your first two paragraphs, it seems to me, can be summed up thus:

            The debate over AGW is not merely a scientific controversy, but one that is eminently political.

            In effect, you plagiarized my thesis, passed it off as your own, and tried to present as an objection to my piece. (I jest, of course, but barely).

            Consequently, you haven’t really raised a substantive ‘objection’ against anything I wrote. And worse, even, you essentially make the same point, but in the blandest, most generalized and abstract form possible. And yet in your first comment, I’m pretty sure I was accused of the sin of rehashing old and tired “generic points and arguments.” But I guess if you plagiarized me, that would explain the “generic,” all-purpose quality of the “objection” you raise against both yourself and me.

            Part II)

            Subsection A)

            At present I’m revisiting an issue through some basic research which I first encountered over 30 years back which touches on energy policy . Nothing has changed. As was the case in the 1970’s any technology which provides sustainable safe and clean energy is being starved of not just financial but also political support with current support and investment in the range of 3:1 in favour of shale gas extraction (which compared to other gas technology is only just above being an energy sink – ie more energy input then obtained) v sustainable/renewable. This is a political choice not just on the part of politicians but also other players/actors and not just obvious ones with a financial interest lobbying those same politicians.

            Okay. But this doesn’t have anything to do with my piece or the questions I put to you. Maybe you should turn this into an article and submit it to OffG to be included among the “climate debate” submissions. I’ll be the first to read it.

            Part III)

            Subsection A)

            There are plenty of others who have bought into the value system being touted here as a direct and indirect result of fake news/information/facts and pseudo science propoganda masquerading as free speech. A phenomenon not limited simply to this issue but many others and a two edged sword which, going by some of the official responses received, seems to have gone over certain people’s heads unless they are knowingly part of the problem ( and yes, I accept I’m not exactly the trusting type).

            I’m not sure what you are saying exactly. But it sounds as if you mean to say that people here at OffG are every bit as much the captives of some (even many, perhaps most) of the values disseminated by the “propaganda machine” which exists solely for the purpose of controlling public opinion so as to make the masses subservient to the interests of the ruling class. Granted. How could it be otherwise? At least many of the individuals who frequent this website know this and that is their reason to come here, so that together we can “try” to counter the “brainwashing” that we are continuously being subjected to. No?

            Part IV)

            Subsection A)

            The elephant in the room which too many seem to be skirting around is the implicit, but never stated, recognition that should the consensus on climate change be generally accepted this will require more than the current feeble and half hearted attempts to manage the matter in order to continue business as usual. Seriously systemically engineering and tackling such a scenario would likely threaten not just business as usual but a whole existing set of hierarchical arrangements.

            Whatever resistance to or enabling of technological fixes happen with respect to the actually already generally accepted consensus (see the mainstream media) on AGW, all of that is “political,” as you yourself have already acknowledged.

            The corporations and the government bureaucracies, which the corporate rich effectively control, under existing relations of political dominance, decide and alone decide.

            Remember: it really is “profits over people.” Until that changes, we can only at best hope to keep our minds uncluttered of at least some of the propaganda, so as to be ready if and when the day to overturn this order finally dawns.

            Part V)

            Subsection A)

            Managing such possibilities involves amongst other things the management of perceptions. An art crafted by Sigmund Freud ‘s nephew Edmund Berney, who counted Goebbles amongst the admirers of his methods and techniques. Techniques which were used to good affect in many cases, including those examples previously cited and which are clear to a blind man on a galloping horse on this issue and this debate, as with others currently exercising the chattering classes.

            Sorry. I can’t make head or tale of what you are trying to say, here. But, let me take a stab at it regardless:

            Subsection B)

            Managing such possibilities involves amongst other things the management of perceptions.

            Well, from the standpoint of the ruling class yes. And they do have extremely powerful means of “perception management” in hand, and it is “this” perception management that we must try to resist. And that’s the entire point of this website, isn’t it?

            Subsection C)

            An art crafted by Sigmund Freud ‘s nephew Edmund Berney, who counted Goebbles amongst the admirers of his methods and techniques. Techniques which were used to good affect in many cases, including those examples previously cited and which are clear to a blind man on a galloping horse on this issue and this debate, as with others currently exercising the chattering classes.

            So, I’m guessing you are suggesting that “we” should “emulate” their “brainwashing” techniques.

            No. Absolutely not.

            Otherwise you leave people vulnerable to that very thing. Rather, you want to teach yourself and others how one can “think” one’s way through the fog of bullshit that really threatens to submerge one’s sanity. Again, isn’t that the remit which this website gave itself?

            Like

      • Pained Scientst says

        @Dave Hansell

        No one here, one trusts, would waste any time trying to defend anyone’s right to exercise free speech to stand in front of a crowded and confined space and shout fire.

        1) Why does one trust that? If a person believes there to be a fire why would he not shout “fire”? What is your point, and why are you using a favorite Langleybot meme?

        2) Isn’t shouting “fire” in a public building exactly what the alarmists are doing? Are you suggesting they should be prevented?

        3) Why is there a less than 5% chance of you giving a direct answer, or any answer at all?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Dave Hansell says

          It would probably be helpful if you could rephrase your requirements here.

          If, for the sake of argument, an agreement response is given to question 1 -ie that if someone believes there is a fire they have a responsibility to alert others to the fact – then logically the only possible response to question 2 is to disagree, particularly with the assertion of ‘alarmism.’ Of course the converse also applies.

          This would help with question 3 as it is only possible to give a straight answer when a straight question is presented. I suspect once you have resolved this the pain will ease, if not go away entirely.

          Like

      • TIm Groves says

        This very same debate, with the same generic points and arguments made in this contribution, took place around the scientific consensus that emerged linking cancer with tobacco consumption; depletion of the ozone layer with the use of CFC’s; asbestos with lung disease; and radon with teeth rot in match production.

        No it isn’t the same debate at all. Indeed, each of the debates you allude to is unique and punctuated with different claims and counterclaims. Of course, if you seriously want to argue that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are harmful in any way whatsoever to human health, you are welcome to have a bash at it—and if you elect to do that I for one SHALL enjoy reading as you making a complete fool of yourself.

        That is a whole lot worse than shouting fire in a crowded and confined space. It’s a matter which affects the very basics of species survival and as such has absolutely nothing to do with free speech, just like this article and others like it.

        Spoken like a true totalitarian, Dave. If you’d prefaced it with “in my humble opinion”, I might have have nodded, “it’s a point of view.” But taken as an assertion it brands you as an enemy of freedom of expression, democracy and moderate rhetoric. This seems like a good point to quote Noam Chomsky: “If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise.”

        If those at off guardian are incapable of understanding the nuances here and the difference they have no business claiming to be responsible citizens never mind responsible journalists.

        Dave, I suspect you wouldn’t notice nuances if a bunch of them rained down on your head like sledgehammers. You appear tone deaf and color blind when it comes to the subtleties and the nitty gritty of the subjects at hand. That’s probably what makes you such a good fire & brimstone preacher.

        The problem is that for too many people their opinion and the right to express it remains indivisible from their belief that their opinion is not in fact an opinion but fact on the grounds that they wish it to be fact because that is what they firmly believe. Out here in the real world many of us have been first hand witnesses to regular examples of cognitive dissonance of individuals and groups with particular axes to grind, based on their individual and group belief systems to which they have committed both their psyche ‘s and ego’s to, who refuse point blank to accept any fact or reality which conflicts with their belief system.

        Yes, I’ve witnessed this many times, and in your rant I feel I am witnessing it once again. I beseech you in the bowels of James Hansen and Al Gore, think it possible you may be projecting. Think it possible some of the opinions you hold to be fact may be fiction despite your confidence in their veracity. And every time that demagogue inside your head urges you to tell somebody off for being dumber than you, climb down off your high horse and think it possible you may be falling victim to the Dunning–Kruger effect. I do this all the time. ANd I can attest from the horse’s mouth that it works like a charm. I don’t even try to debate Jehovah’s Witnesses on the doorstep any more.

        The problem arises when that free speech goes beyond mere expression and moves onto attempting to achieve specific outcomes in line with those faith or ideologically based belief systems which, if successful, have a negative impact on others.

        Like the attempts to prevent the exploitation of cheap energy sources that everybody relies on these days in order to survive and replace them with expensive, capricious, unreliable and ultimately unworkable intermittent energy sources that will, if adopted in great enough quantity, crash the economy and lead to mass hunger, unemployment and poverty because, as most people have worked out by now, renewables simply aren’t up to the task of powering industrial economies.

        Liked by 1 person

        • “I don’t even try to debate Jehovah’s Witnesses on the doorstep any more.”

          Me, too, Now I just invite him in and offer him a cup of coffee that he always graciously declines.

          His name is Albert. Probably in his mid sixties. Walks with a cane. Quite a nice fellow, actually. We like each other. And we are honest and forthright with one another.

          He knows I’m an atheist. And he chuckles at my profanities as I sometimes become exercised in discussions we engage in.

          Oddly, we agree on most everything except the existence of God or how many of us will survive to enjoy life in the hereafter.

          I suspect he feels somewhat personally aggrieved by my obstinacy on this particular issue. He seems, however, resigned to accepting that the ultimate responsibility for my beliefs and salvation rests with me.

          I’m sure that from his perspective, I’m more than a bit simple in my dismissal of his core conviction, a conviction so obviously self-evidently true to him that only a borderline moron could be incapable of seeing it. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I do in a simple sort of way lack the wherewithal to see the intelligent design that truly and very obviously may lie behind everything.

          But I must be honest with both myself and Albert, and so most Saturdays, sometimes on Sundays, I always repeat more or less what I stubbornly cling to: “To me, Albert, what is obvious is not the intelligent design in everything, but the accidental, albeit a contingency structured into and by a multiplicity of structures and patterns, all interacting with one another if at different levels and varying and changing intensities of qualitatively aggregated coherencies, processes unfolding in a matrix of jostling necessities, of colliding but discrete systems of causes and effects that in time dissolve into entirely new and novel constraining patterns of necessity, in effect accumulating incremental changes that in the fullness of time become the complete erasure and rewriting of the laws of all existence, of laws that may have appeared to mere mortal and ephemeral creatures such as ourselves, to entire epochs of written and transmitted scientific wisdom, to having been immutable and eternal in all times and in all places, but in reality merely by degrees less ephemeral and contingent than the beings who were able to observe and describe them.”

          And when after blurting out something like that and falling silent, Albert usually says something like, “Well, I can see that you aren’t quite ready to change your mind. Anyway, it was nice chatting again. But I must get on with my day. Maybe I’ll see you again next weekend?”

          And I usually do see him again, and we will cover the same ground, like two hamsters sharing a cage and a wheel.

          The Dunning-Kruger effect: is it me or is it him? I always wonder.

          Like

  18. Jim Porter says

    As the Solar System travels through space with the Earth in tow, interstellar radiation (in addition to the Sun) no doubt waxes and wanes and the ozone layer is a good protector from radiation in general. I feel like a broken record but we should look after it to reduce the extremes the Earth might be bombarded by. There are many factors to why things are changing (including us) but shouldn’t we just look after the place, mend what we break, and if the changes continue to make life more difficult we can turn our thoughts to that as well, but later – after we fix what we can now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paulcarline says

      What primarily needs to be fixed is the distortion and suppression of truth by the political and corporate/financial so-called ‘elites’. We can indeed “mend what we break” (Masaru Emoto’s work showed to what remarkable extent that is possible). In fact, there are very many examples of good people doing just that. But money helps, and what we have seen is a massive diversion of financial and other resources into a bogus project for which ordinary taxpayers will be paying for generations – including all the donations to organisations like Greenpeace which dishonestly sustain the AGW myth.

      Liked by 2 people

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