Climate Change

Climate Change Debate Over, Again

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getting hotter
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Environmental Research Letters is publishing another study that mines the scientific literature to find that 97 percent of the studies that opine on the subject endorse the consensus that anthropogenic warming is real. The abstract from the study,"Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming is the scientific literature," reports:

We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics 'global climate change' or 'global warming'. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors' self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research.

And yet the climate has stubbornly refused to warm much and polls show that Americans aren't too worried about future temperature trends. Nevertheless, it is my sense that the researchers have it about right with regard to what the peer-reviewed literature is saying about man-made global warming.

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  1. The consensus of the research doesn’t appear to be that AGW is real, the consensus appears to be ‘no comment.’

    1. That was my takeaway too.

      1. 2/3rds of scientists don’t give a shit, but 1/3rd agrees with me, so that’s all I need to promote my agenda.

        1. More cynical takeaway:

          2/3rds of scientists refuse to comment to avoid losing their funding.

          1. I’m kinnath, and I approve of this message.

  2. Consensus! The science is settled!
    Nevermind that there has been no real warming since 1998, there is no proof that the warming since the 1800s is man-made rather than just a natural cycle, or that the models based on the human-generated CO2 assumption have proven to spectacularly wrong.

    1. Remember kiddies, Gallileo was excommunicated because he challenged the consensus opinions on the science of the day.

      1. Gallileo, the first denier?

      2. No, Kinnath, Galileo challenged the dogma of the day. He was part of the leading edge of what we now know as science which is based on observation and experimentation.

        1. Shush, you’ll ruin the joke.

          1. That’s his job.

            1. Ouch, Sparky.

      3. That’s not really true. The story on Galileo appears a lot more interesting than the oversimplified narrated version of Science vs. Dogma. Most of that shit is just a clich? that people repeat because they heard other people say it with no basis in history.

        Galileo wasn’t the first to come up with heliocentricity. Nobody persecuted Copernicus when he came up with it a hundred years earlier. Galileo only got into big trouble when he started politically attacking other religious leaders and called the Pope a moron.

        1. challenged the consensus opinions on the science of the day.

          Calling the pope a moron falls under the umbrella of challenging the consensus opinion of the day.

        2. I think it was actually people the Pope and his family were patrons to that Galileo called morons. He essentially named and ridiculed every scientist and alchemist in Italy who disagreed with him. The Pope basically told him that since GG had been such a dick, his choices were excommunication or apology by way of recanting.

        3. Yeah, and I knew that, but you can never go just a little into the weeds here.

      4. And you’re all little Galileos, as opposed to the experts in the field, who are almost unanimously wrong and/or lying. Very likely.

        1. Yes, of course. We should all just bow down before the experts in the field, despite their inability to make predictions that agree with observation. This pretty much explains your political opinions too. Despite the complete lack of evidence that the programs and policies that you support work, you believe that everyone who isn’t convinced must be wrong, because experts tell you so.

          1. God what faux cynics you are. Look, you defer to experts in any other field. The fields you choose to question just so happen to be highly politically charged. Well gee. Sounds like a problem with your politics, not science.

            1. Care to offer an example of the experts in any other field to which I’ve deferred? Or is it just another case of you not being able to defend your positions?

        2. You know who else was an expert in his field?

    2. To be fair, we had a major El Nino in 1998, so it looks flat after that. This is still the hottest two decades since the medieval warming period.

      1. So?

        It was warming. Then it stopped warming. If the temps don’t decrease for the next century, we’ll be able to say it’s the hottest century since the medieval warming period. The AGW theory would still be disproven.

        If you ask me, they’ve got a lot of esplaining to do already. None of the models predicted this. They all said, not only will warming increase, but at a faster rate as CO2 increases. So what’s causing the stall? They are certain of the doom that awaits us, but they cannot explain 15 years without any warming?

        Color me sceptical.

        1. It doesn’t need to be explained for climate change to be real. Relevant timescales are multi-decadal. Anyone talking about “since 1998” is using cherry-picked bullshit.

          How it is not utterly obvious that this bullshit talking points broken record is a lame excuse for you to deny facts?

          What possible stake do you have in hanging onto this thread of fringe nonsense? Because you don’t like the policy implications? Isn’t that a problem with your political beliefs, and not science?

          1. Re: Tony,

            Relevant timescales are multi-decadal. Anyone talking about “since 1998” is using cherry-picked bullshit.

            Is not saying “this is the hottest May since 1998” an example of cherry-picking, too? Or that “storm Sandy was made worse because of ‘Climate change'”?

            What possible stake do you have in hanging onto this thread of fringe nonsense? Because you don’t like the policy implications?

            Why would there be policy implications in the first place, Tony, dear?

            Because the way you’re putting it, it would look like your defense for AGW is predicated on YOUR OWN preference for those policies and their implementation.

            1. Yes those are cherry picking. But a hurricane and one month in a given year are not the only evidence for AGW. Don’t look to me to defend how the media explains climate change. I think journalists’ boredom with the issue is practically a crime against humanity. Nothing you’re talking about is addressing any credible scientific position on this issue.

              “Why would there be policy implications in the first place?”

              It’s impossible to avoid. I endorse a policy of radical action to mitigate climate change. You advocate a policy of doing nothing about it. Because you are the lazier or more fatalistic one doesn’t reflect on the relative virtue of our policy positions.

              My supposition is that it’s hard to avoid strong government action in any substantial policy approach, and that fact contradicts your most basic article of philosophical faith: that government can’t do anything right and shouldn’t try. The policy implications must be so clear, indeed, that it forces you and your ilk into an infantile state of science denialism like a common Christian who is scared of being told he shares ancestors with monkeys.

              I for one thing the policy implications are open to debate. Of course I tend to reject the policy of doing nothing, as it is the most radical and destructive of all.

              1. Re: Tony,

                Nothing you’re talking about is addressing any credible scientific position on this issue.

                I am certain I’m addressing the fundamental contradictions with the theory compared to the predictions supoosedly derived from it.

                My supposition is that it’s hard to avoid strong government action in any substantial policy approach.

                Your position is based then on a question-begging conclusion. Who told you that a) there is really a problem and b) only government action can solve it?

                Because of the lack of cogency in your position, it is very easy to conclude that your defense of AGW is totally predicated on your predilection for government involvement on people’s lives and decisions. Whether AGW is real or not (and I do believe the warming is real), the fact that the main defenders are also too keen on seeing the state impose very serious restrictions on people’s living standards makes it more difficult to trust the proponents of AGW and thus the theory itself, because it is seen by more and more people as a vehicle for policy-making rather than simply a scientific explanation of a phenomenon.

                1. No, you’re wrong, and you’re being too obtuse for words. I would love a debate on the policy implications. But, conveniently for reactionary antigovernment nutjobs like you, we don’t get to have that debate, because you’re clogging the issue with antiscience bullshit tailor-made to shut down such debate. Your smug ignorance will no doubt persist long past the time your wrongness is patently evident, and you will no doubt never take responsibility for contributing to a culture of ignorance that precludes the necessary action for human beings to save themselves. So thanks for that.

                  1. You just can’t argue the points, can you? For you, anyone who disagrees with you is obviously some wacko. It’s impossible to have a debate with you, because you constantly refuse to answer points which crush your arguments or to counter legitimate points. In this case, you seem to be taking your ball and going home, which unfortunately is your usual pattern.

                  2. Tony,

                    Until you’re willing to admit “saving” the planet would necessitate re-subjugating most of Asia to Western edict, probably killing ~1 billion in the process, none of this can be taken seriously. The only way to quickly, drastically turn the momentum around is a fucking genocide. We can start talking about the merits of the “science” once you admit the best solution is murdering 1 out of every 6 people.

                    Let’s not forget all the other people who will probably starve since they are herded into centrally planned cities I’m sure you enjoy.

      2. The so-called Medieval warming was a local, not global, phenomenon.

        1. Re: Tony,

          The so-called Medieval warming was a local, not global, phenomenon.

          Don’t be ridiculous, what you say is preposterous. It is not like space aliens placed a big glass over Europe for 700 years. The event was GLOBAL; it is called the “Medieval Warming Period” to establish the period, you dum-dum, not the place.

          And yet you think we’re the unscientific ones…

          1. Wow you don’t know what you’re talking about. Are you claiming climate never differs from average locally (say in Medieval Europe)?

            1. Re: Tony,

              Wow you don’t know what you’re talking about.

              The pot calling the kettle black…

              Are you claiming climate never differs from average locally (say in Medieval Europe)?

              What kind of doubletalk is this? I am telling you that the name “Medieval Warming Period” does not indicate the warming was limited to Europe only.

              It’s like I’m arguing with a child.

              1. Who cares what the name says to you? It refers to a period of local warming.

                1. And explain what relevance the MWP has to today. It warmed up at some point in the past through natural means, therefore, despite all evidence to the contrary, it must be natural now?

                  Thin ice isn’t happening just at the poles, it appears.

                  1. Re: Tony,

                    It warmed up at some point in the past through natural means, therefore, despite all evidence to the contrary, it must be natural now?

                    What it means is that instead of simply jumping to conclusions, one has to take into account all variables. AGW proponents are just too keen to poo-poo other variables like the effect of cosmic rays on clouds or the wobble of the Earth, solar activity, carbon sequestration, etc. Climate is still too young a science to be making the extraordinary assertion that man is killing the earth.

                2. Re: Tony,

                  Who cares what the name says to you?

                  Are you really that dense, Tony? The name “Medieval” does not indicate REAL ESTATE, it establishes TIME, as in It Happened During the Medieval Era.

                  During that time, Greenland was GREEN.

                  1. The time was the medieval era. The warming was local. What you’re accomplishing here is a fiasco of a demonstration of how you cannot distinguish between the words people use for things and the specific facts that inform those words.

                    It’s nighttime. That means it’s nighttime everywhere!

    3. So it’s settled then.

  3. A peer-reviewed group of liars is still just a group of liars.

  4. One percent of lab coat models and the climate itself seem to be in the pocket of Big Oil.

  5. Wait, 97.2% of scientists say that the consensus among peer-reviewed literature is that global warming is man-made? Do I have that right? Is the conclusion really that dumb? Or am I completely misreading this?

    1. They believe that those studies exist.

    2. When believing in man-made global warming is a condition of joining the club, it’s no surprise when 97% of the people in the club believe in man-made global warming.

      1. Funding is important when you are working in research. Getting the ‘right’ results might result in more funding. Just sayin…

        1. The AGW defenders will say “Follow the money! The deniers are funded by CORPORATIONS! All they care about is profit! The research is tainted!”

          To which I respond “Well what about the researchers who are funded by the government? By your standard they should be held suspect since those finding them are interested in increasing their power.”

          “But, but, but…. CORPORATIONS! PROFIT!”

          1. Everyone knows that the gov’t can have no agenda in this matter; we are a democracy, after all. Any funding it provides will have no effect on the results of any scientific inquiry.

  6. John Cook once again demonstrates why he should have stuck to cartooning and left science to the people who understand how the scientific method works:

    Brandon Shollenberger grapples with Cook’s poor grasp of the meaning of words like independent.

    That’s right. The “independent” raters talked to each other about how to rate the papers. This must be some new form of independence I’ve never heard of. I’m not the only one thrown off by this. Sarah Green, one of the most active raters, observed the non-independence:

    Surely things can’t be any worse, right? …You can’t get much more non-independent than talking to each other about what answers to give. About the only way you could be less independent is if you actually compared answers then changed the ones that disagreed so that they would match. …
    What I suggest happens here is we all look through all the instances where we disagree with another rating, see what ratings/comments they have. If we agree with their ratings …, then we upgrade our rating to make it consistent with the other rating and it disappears from the list.

    Poor John, since his paper is being widely circulated, he can’t modify it post facto to make it look like he didn’t embarass himself.

  7. Meh.

    I have talked to several folks who have lived in MD for decades, and none of them ever remember it being this cold in May.

    I guess this cooling is just another part of the warming that is too complex for me to understand. Because weather isn’t climate, except when it is. Right, got it now.

    1. The warming also explains why there have been more snowstorms but less tornadoes than average so far this year.

      1. The warming also explains why there were so many tornadoes last year too.

        The only thing better than Koolaid is Koolaid that changes flavor periodically!

    2. Definitely been cooler in the usual hell of NOVA this year. But… I think summer is coming back with a heat-rapey vengeance.

  8. If the consensus is that a slight marginal increase in the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere will have SOME effect on climate, that’s a D-UH moment. Of course it does.

    The question is about HOW MUCH of an effect is it compared to natural fluctuations? Is it most of the change, or just a tiny blip barely noticeable among the background noise, or in between?

    And that is where the “consensus” has no hard figures.

    1. ^This.^

  9. Climate Change — older than the US.

    In 1769, in conjunction with several of the American astronomers, Mr. Williamson was employed in making observations on the transit of Venus, which happened in that year; and which were afterward referred to with peculiar notice and approbation by the astronomers of Europe. In 1770 he published “Observations upon the change of the climate of the United States.” In consideration of these valuable papers, he was elected honorary member of the Holland Society of Sciences; of the Society of Arts and Sciences of Utrecht; and as a further reward of his literary labors, the degree of doctor of laws was conferred upon him by the University of Leyden.

    1. Dr. Williamson (whom God Preserve) of Utrecht….

  10. I don’t see the big deal here. Is it so hard to believe that carbon dioxide traps some heat in the atmosphere? It’s pretty basic physics. Sure they haven’t worked out all the feedback mechanisms and they have no clue on long term trends, but I don’t think they deserve derision for believing something like this.

    The catastrophic AGW adherents do, however, deserve derision for believing that AGW will cause runaway warming or that CO2-driven AGW will have a net negative impact on our civilization. (It’s very hard to outweigh the massive benefits of relatively cheap energy.) Does this study address the issue of risk at all, or does it just say “Yeah, most scientists agree that our current understanding of physics is pretty accurate”?

    1. they haven’t worked out all the feedback mechanisms

      This is my big problem. For one thing, instead of being clueless, there seems to be an assumption of a positive feedback loop when all evidence (the fact that the earth isnt venus, for one thing) seems to suggest otherwise as the default assumption.

      Its as moronic as the “deflation spiral” morons. We have had deflationary periods many times, we have never failed to come out of it.

      1. I have a sneaking suspicion that most scientists in these would happily agree with the following statement:

        “Increases in atmospheric CO2 levels are likely to cause increases in global atmospheric temperature, but these increases are unlikely to cause irreparable damage to global civilization.”

      2. Its as moronic as the “deflation spiral” morons. We have had deflationary periods many times, we have never failed to come out of it.

        Exactly. I ask these people how the economy ever recovered from recessions before the Fed and such existed. Sometimes I go even further and point out how the economy always recovered faster before there was routine government intervention to “fix” it.

        All I ever get in response is blank stares or personal attacks.

        1. Thats why I call them morons in my opening statements.

        2. I usually get exasperated attempts to tell me why all those times were different. The recessions immediately before the fed were short and rebounded quickly and the recessions since have been longer and more painful.

          Its as if the government knew EXACTLY when recessions would start being reaaally bad and created the fed at the precise moment it was needed. Good job congress!

          That is literally how they twist logic to fit their world view. Fucking exhausting, isn’t it?

    2. That feedback is the heart of the controversy. That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is beyond debate, the big question is what’s the feedback like. Is it positive or negative, and to what degree? There is no consensus over that, yet that’s the part that drives the political side of the debate.

      1. The simple fact of the matter is that we don’t know. Some feedbacks are positive; some are negative. We emit a lot of stuff into the atmosphere and get an extremely complex reaction from it. Since the models don’t take all of these effects into account, we have to turn to empirical studies. And what’s actually happening is that there has been a ton less warming than every IPCC model has predicted.

        I came up in the world of computer modeling. I would be hesitant of any results derived from a complex partial differential equation with no analytical solution (compressible Navier-Stokes) alone. Add in all the coupled variables and the fact that we don’t even know what all the relevant variables are, and I would never even think of publishing model results. They’d be absolutely unacceptable in a physics or engineering journal.

    3. ^This, also.^

  11. “Environmental Research Letters is publishing” – Yeah, no bias there.

  12. And the idiotic cult continues to blather on about “consensus”. These people are stupider than Scientologists.

  13. See there. Everyone says it is. Therefore, it is so.

  14. They can assuage my fears my demonstrating a decent mechanism for the glacial and interglacial periods. Once they’ve got the big stuff worked out, we talk about the small swings.

    1. Actually, the Milankovitch orbital cycles explain this fairly well. Not by comparing the ice volumes over time (which both skeptics and alarmists have tried to argue), but by the rate of change (its derivative). This analysis was done by Gerald Roe back in 2006 and discussed here.

      In this case, the basic correct observation is the following: If you suddenly get more sunshine near the Arctic circle, you don’t immediately change the ice volume. Instead, you increase the rate with which the ice volume is decreasing (ice is melting).

      1. Sorry, I should have clarified: Those who claim that there is a clear human component would first have to explain the large deltas using GH theory as well as damping at two (more or less) poles. Milankovitch cycles, being analagous to winter and summer in changing how the sun’s radiation is distributed across the Earth, make too much intuitive sense.

        1. Agreed. Moreover, Roe’s paper explicitly shows that CO2 forcing is not needed to explain his results.

  15. Does he make any attempt at all to include papers that were submitted to scientific journals but refused by them? Because it seems to me this result says a lot more about the prejudices of their editors than about science.

    1. It also says a lot about the prejudices of the readers who analyzed the papers and assessed their conclusions.

  16. This is like plate tectonics. People doing real science started to figure out that there was something wrong with the static continent model in the early 1900’s, but it took a half-century of research and the deaths of some senior scientists until the respectable journals would publish articles about plate tectonics.

    1. Plate Tectonics went against the consensus so obviously it was crap.

  17. My science teachers did me a real disservice. I was taught that the scientific method consisted of coming up with a testable hypothesis to explain an observed phenomenon, and then designing an experiment to test the hypothesis and documenting the results in a way that others can replicate your experiments.

    Apparently that’s all bullshit. All you have to do is take a poll of some TOP. MEN. Who knew?

    1. New Science is consensus. And we all know there have never been any controversial scientific theories that went against the consensus that were later proven to be true.

      1. Its hubris.

        “But we’re soooo much smarter now! Today’s scientists don’t get anything wrong.”

    2. Well, now science is all about supporting the narrative. Facts are bourgeois and vulgar.

      Srsly, this reminds me of soviet science. They held onto Lysenko long after he’d been disproven because his views fit their narrative. Same thing with CAGW.

      1. Crap. Should have read downthread. Homple nailed it.

      2. There is an abundant supply of facts on this issue. They just happen to not support your claims.

        1. Re: Tony,

          There is an abundant supply of facts on this issue.

          For instance? The piece de resistance, the non plus ultra of all evidence – rising temps – has FAILED to show up in the manner predicted by the very scientists that purportedly study the climate.

          1. So global temps plateau for a while–at a historically high place–ergo there was no climate change? Why don’t you address some other lines of evidence, such as the ones that incontrovertibly support the claim, a claim you deny for no discernibly rational reason?

            1. Re: Tony,

              So global temps plateau for a while–at a historically high place–ergo there was no climate change?

              Forget “climate change” – that’s a misleading and dishonest tautology. What it proves is that the models purported to support the notion of constantly rising temps as CO2 levels rise were WRONG.

              Why don’t you address some other lines of evidence, such as the ones that incontrovertibly support the claim[…]?

              Like what? Rising sea levels? They haven’t been as dramatic as advertised, not even close. The reduction of the Arctic ice sheet? Who said it is not a natural phenomenon? Besides, the ANTARCTIC ice sheet is INCREASING. How does that mesh with the predictions made for 20 years of mutant humans navigating in fancy catamarans on a completely sea-covered world?

              1. Any number of models can be wrong in their predictions without challenging the underlying facts. Most models to come along have been too optimistic, in fact. What about an ounce of the precautionary principle? Even if we were as confounded as you claim we are (we aren’t), it’s pretty good policy to assume the worse predictions are possible. If we guess wrong, we’re pretty screwed.

                Blah blah blah antarctic ice. See: Google.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  Any number of models can be wrong in their predictions without challenging the underlying facts.

                  Even you have to realize that what you just wrote is pure bullshit. If your models which are based on your theories fail to predict what happens in the real world, then you cannot conclude that the theories are correct. Otherwise you’re getting out of the realm of science and into mere belief.

                  If you realize that the phenomenon you’re studying is more complex than what you previously supposed, then you should be honest enough to say so and start over; check your premises and look for other answers. It is clear the climate is NOT driven by the simple equation Man is Evil therefore Global Warming.

                  1. And I’ll go ahead and apply Tony’s precautionary principle. Based on the fact that governments killed 300 million people in the 20th century, I distrust them extremely. I apply the precautionary principle to this insight and conclude that I should not give any more power to governments than necessary. Since there is uncertainty over how severe the warming will be, there is uncertainty over how much government action is required. Therefore, the precautionary principle leads me to say no government action.

            2. This is fucking retarded, Tony. You’re the one making the policy prescription of massive government intervention based on PROJECTED future warming. No one in their right mind would claim that we should take action because it’s already gotten bad. People only argue it’s necessary because it WILL DO SO. Thus, we’re having a debate about future events. We’re talking about modeling. Since the models refuse to fit the data we have so far, we refuse to believe them. It’s called taking an evidence-based approach to these types of things.

              1. Oh! And before I get told what an anti-science moron I am…PhD in physics, UC Berkeley.

  18. They agree with the “consensus on AGW”

    Really, what does that mean exactly?

    See I always hear that there is a consensus and that scientists agree with it but that doesn’t really mean much unless you can elaborate in very precise terms exactly what the consensus entails.

    For example, there is a consensus in our society that cheating on your spouse is wrong. Saying this tells us nothing without defining what cheating is. What’s that you say, other than a very few very big picture items there is little agreement on exactly what activities constitute cheating but everyone who “agrees with the consensus” thinks their own personal definition of cheating is what the consensus is? So there really is no consensus on cheating because there is no real usable universal definition of what cheating is.

    Similarly sure, the overwhelming majority of scientists “agree with the consensus” problem is each and every one of them has a different opinion of what that consensus is and miraculously it matches what they believe.

    I’d love to see this study with that exact set of scientists, ask them a bunch of true/false questions about the climate and global warming and see if there is indeed any meaningful consensus with regards to Global Warming beyond “The Earth has warmed and Humans were the cause of at least some of that warming”.

    1. When will people realize that “consensus” is not in of itself proof of anything?

      1. Sure it is. It’s proof that a consensus of experts believe something to be true. That is not a useless fact. If you’re a layperson, it’s an extremely useful fact with respect to your own opinion.

        But what pristine nuggets of logic do we get here? “Almost all scientists believe something, thus it’s false, because Galileo.”

        1. Re: Tony,

          It’s proof that a consensus of experts believe something to be true. That is not a useless fact.

          Indeed, it is not useless. It either tells you that all of them are equally right or that all of them are equally wrong. It leaves little room for ambiguity.

          If you’re a layperson, it’s an extremely useful fact with respect to your own opinion.

          Not necessarily. It would only mean you prefer to defer to a body of experts rather than formulating your own conclusions.

          1. It either tells you that all of them are equally right or that all of them are equally wrong. It leaves little room for ambiguity.

            The claim that they are all wrong is, I’m sure you agree, certainly not a default position, considering they are experts and by definition know what they’re talking about more than anyone else. If they’re all wrong, that is a positive claim that requires some evidence, which you can’t provide, and which no scientist has been able to prove to the satisfaction of practically anyone. The fact it imparts on laypeople is that this claim is most likely to be true given all the available evidence. It’s not a 50/50 thing. It’s a 97/3 thing, in fact.

            It would only mean you prefer to defer to a body of experts rather than formulating your own conclusions.

            What a breathtakingly ignorant, arrogant viewpoint. I am not an expert. I don’t know everything. I have no rational choice but to trust the experts. If I thought I were smarter than almost every scientist and yet disagreed with them, then either I am and should go get published and celebrated, or I’m the most narcissistic human alive. You defer to expert consensus on everything in the world except, curiously, those few fields that have implications for your politics. What does that suggest, really?

            1. Re: Tony,

              The claim that they are all wrong is, I’m sure you agree, certainly not a default position,

              Neither is the other one, otherwise I would have to conclude that what 1 billion Catholics believe is then the truth. The default position for ME is to have real evidence and not hysterical predictions of doom and gloom that made most of those scientists sound like car salesmen during the prime time talk shows. That was one of the main reasons I became skeptical of their “consensus.”

              I am not an expert. I don’t know everything. I have no rational choice but to trust the experts.

              You do have a rational choice not to trust the experts. What you probably mean is that you value their expertise more than finding out for yourself, but you can always choose the latter. I did and I found that a) the experts are actually many less people than first advertised, and b) most people are too lazy to find out for themselves, which is why many scientists who are NOT climate scientists will normally defer to the experts, just like you.

              1. Ugh. You didn’t find out anything. You are a walking confirmation bias. You read what you wanted to read because it confirmed what you wanted to believe.

                Lest you try to change the subject and accuse me of the same, let me assure you that literally the last thing I want is for catastrophic climate change to be a reality.

                1. Good thing all the data coming out seem to show that it’s not, huh? We’re seeing a gradual lowering of climate sensitivity in every published study as we see that the models don’t work.

                2. I’m not sure that I believe that, Tony. Let’s say we nailed down a model that perfectly fits the data we have, that all of us “deniers” believe it, and that it predicts a measly 0.1C increase in global mean temperature over the next century. What would your policy prescription be?

        2. Um, Tony go back and reread my post.

          If a body of experts believed a concisely stated fact that would be one thing. The problem here is that the consensus is a vague generality which means there really isn’t a consensus on anything actionable as a matter of policy.

          The fact is YOU do not believe in the consensus, you believe a MUCH stronger set of facts to be true that that which can be supported by this consensus but then claim that your beliefs ARE the consensus.

          I’ll agree with you that the guys here saying that AGW does not exist are just sticking their heads in the sand and not listening. Problem is you are doing the same. AGW is real, it is and has been happening but right now there is absolutely no evidence that it will ever be a problem for human civilization as a whole and there is as much evidence indicating it could be a net positive as there is that it could even cause localized problems.

          1. The consensus seems to be “AGW is happening”. As a scientist, I agree with this general statement. Ok – so what? For policy, it’s a completely useless statement. I need to answer the following questions. How much AGW is happening? What problems will it cause? What will the benefits be? What can be done about it?

            The answers, in order: a lot less than we’ve predicted; we don’t know (even the IPCC now agrees that “extreme weather” is a bullshit prediction); coastline erosion (not sure how much); increased access to oceanic trade routes, increased per-acre food production (not sure how much); probably nothing.

            That wouldn’t make for a nice little 97% statistic, though.

  19. I’m sure that polling scientists would show that Phlogiston, Caloric Fluid, and Luminiferous ?ther were real. In the past, anyway.

    WHile we’re at it, once upon a time 100% of Russian scientists would have polled in favor of the theories of Mr. Lysenko.

    1. Or that the germ theory was bullshit, that washing your hands is unnecessary or that plate tectonics was crap.

      1. Thanks for the reminders, especially Semmelweis.

    2. But…but…Peer Review! …and stuff

    3. Orgones. Never forget Orgones.

  20. The science is secondary. When the fear-mongering political operatives are literally saying nonsense like global warming is an extinction level event with a straight face, any opposition in any form, making any claim, is justified, because under that scenario, any opposition will lead to a political outcome preferable to the one the crazy alarmists/opportunists would have.

  21. Coincidentally, roughly 97% of Catholic priests believe that homosexuality is immoral… but that doesn’t necessarily make it so.

    Climate studies are written by climate scientists. People spend tons of money and years of education becoming a climate scientist because they are passionate about that field. Generally, that passion comes from their belief in AGW and their desire to do something about it.

    People who believe that AGW is total BS aren’t inclined to spend the time, money, and effort associated with becoming a climate scientist.

    1. And just for the record, I’m not necessarily arguing that their conclusions about AGW are wrong. I don’t know; I’m not convinced one way or the other. But, I think the current science is certainly not definitive.

      And the political use of the current science is just out of control.

  22. Well I’m glad we have Ron’s “sense” to tell us what a rigorous study just did.

  23. What amount of certainty in the scientific community will convince you guys? Irrelevant metric? So what do you go by? Half-assed bullshit long-debunked talking points? The feeling in your heart? How do you guys come to your informed decision on this topic?

    1. Re: Tony,

      What amount of certainty in the scientific community will convince you guys?

      For MANY years, scientists were certain that homosexuality was a mental disease. During the time of Trofim Lysenko, the theory of adquired traits was the CONSENSUS among all leading geneticists in mother Russia. Those that were still alive, of course. So “certainty” cannot and NEVER should be the validation of a specific scientific hypothesis. It is evidence and cogency that should matter.

      For instance, Natural Selection enjoys PLENTY of evidence that most people can review for themselves, predictive powers and falsifiability. You can expect a fish to have most traits found in other fish and not in fungi, for example. You can expect to find less developed fossils in lower rock strata than in upper strata, and so on.

      Instead, “Climate Change” does not enjoy plenty of evidence as much of it has either been debunked or shown to be fraudulent, or based on computer models with no useful predictive powers. The MAIN phenomenon the hypothesis purported to explain has STUBBORNLY failed to show a behavior consistent with the expected result, i.e. thre has been almost NO rise in global temps since 1998. The fact that the phenomenon is now called “Climate change” (a tautology) rather than Anthropogenic Global Warming, proves the people who say the phenomenon is real do not trust the very name that better describes the phenomenon they try to prove exist!

      1. You have to do better than this if you are going to continue to play logic police. Because the consensus was wrong in the past at certain times has absolutely no relevance to whether this consensus is correct. Nobody is asking you for certainty, you’re being asked to proportion your beliefs about the world to the available evidence. You are not doing that; you are explicitly doing the opposite.

        It is so easy to debunk the “since 1998” thing I’m not going to dignify it with more than: ever heard of Google? Turn off the blinders to any remotely reliable scientific source while you do your reading. It won’t take long.

        Back? Okay, so now explain why the ice caps are on their rapid way to not existing? Explain, for that matter, how pumping enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere has no effect. Got something? Now go win your Nobel Prize for the discovery of a phenomenon contrary to our well-established understanding of basic physics. Or is there too much of a consensus on that for it to be trusted?

        1. Re: Tony,

          Because the consensus was wrong in the past at certain times has absolutely no relevance to whether this consensus is correct.

          Indeed, it does not. The point is that consensus per se is not evidence.

          you’re being asked to proportion your beliefs about the world to the available evidence. You are not doing that; you are explicitly doing the opposite.

          What the hell are you talking about, you mendacious petulant? If the MAIN evidence for AGW is NOT SHOWING UP, what is one to conclude? I’m seeing the real world and the real world is not acting like the predictions said. What should I conclude from that?

          Okay, so now explain why the ice caps are on their rapid way to not existing?

          There are TWO polar ice caps, you twit, and while one is decreasing, the other is INCREASING – again, totally defying the predictions purported to provide evidence that the hypothesis of constantly rising temps is correct.

          Explain, for that matter, how pumping enormous amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere has no effect.

          Because CO2 does NOT “trap” heat.

          1. The point is that consensus per se is not evidence.

            Straw man. I agree with that. What it is, is a consensus of experts. That’s what I’ve got. What do you got?

            MAIN evidence for AGW

            The average global temperature records from 1998 on is not the main evidence for AGW by a longshot. All you’re doing is playing like you’re an idiot and saying this timeframe specifically cherry picked to demonstrate a plateau (AT A HISTORICALLY HIGH LEVEL) means something for the overall hypothesis.

            You evidently didn’t read the article you linked on Antarctic sea ice. Another stale, long-debunked challenge to the overall hypothesis. Quote me where that article says “thus, global warming is a myth.”

            And don’t link me to fringe explicit denier websites when you refuse to even read credible sources.

            1. Re: Tony,

              The average global temperature records from 1998 on is not the main evidence for AGW by a longshot.

              The predictions made based on the theory were the main evidence, Tony. The predictions were totally WRONG. All of them.

              Another stale, long-debunked challenge to the overall hypothesis. Quote me where that article says “thus, global warming is a myth.”

              I didn’t post it to show that GW is a myth, but to debunk your contention that the ice CAPS [plural] are receding. That was obviously not true, so now you’re obfuscating.

              And don’t link me to fringe explicit denier websites

              Yeah, and Fox News is not a real news outlet. Sure, Tony, sure. I’ll take your word for it.

              Twit.

              1. Here, read this. Jesus, must I always hold your hand. This is the age of Google. All you require is a sense of reliable sources. They usually teach that in high school.

                Fox News is not a real news outlet, I agree. It’s quite obviously a partisan propaganda outfit. What, do you live on Mars?

    2. “What amount of certainty in the scientific community will convince you guys?”

      No amount of certainty in the scientific community will convince me. Predictions that agree with observation will lend credence to the theory. That’s how science works. Einstein came up with relativity, and it took many years before everyone was convinced he was right, but they were convinced because experiments confirmed the theory. If the experiments hadn’t match relativity’s predictions, the theory would have been discarded. That’s how science operates. It doesn’t work by “gee, we all think it must be true, even though our models don’t work.”

      Face it, Tony. The reason that most of us are so unwilling to compromise on this issue has everything to do with the fact that you and your ilk desire to utilize “science” as an excuse to implement your utopian, centralized, and dictatorial visions. There needs to be convincing proof, not just “everybody agrees”. In other words, there need to be predictions that agree with what actually happens, and proof that human action is directly responsible. Then there needs to be evidence that the carbon tax schemes those who think as you do tend to favor will actually do a damn thing about it.

      1. No amount of certainty in the scientific community will convince me.

        You could be a three-second bit on The Simpsons with this material.

        1. Way to completely dodge all the points I made and cherry pick one sentence. I remember prior to 2007 or so “scientists”, or economists, insisting that everything was lovely and no problems were coming. Those who did attempt to sound the alarm, that a crash in the real estate market was coming, were derided as kooks and crazies, until the crash hit.

          Let me put it in terms your mollusk sized brain can grasp. Your argument for AGW has everything to do with your authoritarian utopian politics and nothing to do with the scientific method. You constantly appeal to authority, screaming about how much in agreement everyone is, as opposed to answering the legitimate questions about why the predictions of climate scientists do not agree with observed data. You refuse to answer practical questions such as how exactly the United States, even if it were to slash its carbon emissions (which thanks to natural gas, it’s doing anyway), presumably through draconian government energy controls, is supposed to stop other countries from continuing to burn fossil fuels. You routinely duck points you can’t answer and instead change the subject. In short, you continually restate the same line over and over, and for that you are justifiably mocked.

    3. Where is this certainty of which you speak? Climate scientists are certain that climate change is happening. Ok – so what? That could mean that temperatures will increase by 0.1C over the next century. It could mean 10C. It could mean anything in between. I would hope that you can see the difference here – 0.1C would not be enough for a normal person to accept massive government intervention. 10C probably would. So, there’s a need for predicting these things. A need for modeling. And that’s where the problems lie. The models we have suck and don’t fit the data we currently have. So why should we rearrange entire economies around something we suck at predicting which may or may not come to fruition? Give me certainty on a model (i.e. one that fits the data) and I’ll start caring.

      Oh! And don’t talk about the “precautionary principle”. I’ve already addressed that above.

  24. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming.

    That means 2/3 of the abstracts do not have a position, not that 97% of all abstracts show a consensus on AGW.

    For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time.

    “Marginally increased”? That to me means that the ratio of 2 to 1 has changed very little over the years, not that there has been a substantial increase. That’s not a consensus, that’s still a debate.

    Nevertheless, it is my sense that the researchers have it about right with regard to what the peer-reviewed literature is saying about man-made global warming.

    And what are they saying about man-made global warming, besides that is real? Because it is one thing to say “it’s real” and quite a big whopper to say “we’re all gonna die!”

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