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Old 04-09-2014, 09:04 AM   #16 (permalink)
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A classic example of politicization

NBC Hits Home On Climate Change Special | Blog | Media Matters for America

Just look at the title - Our Year of Extremes: Did Climate Change Just Hit Home?

Aren't we told over and over that weather and climate are two different things yet here is a 1 hour "news" program linking weather events in one year to climate change.

Predictably, the "something must be done now and that something looks like our political agenda" crowd is cheering this special on.
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:04 AM   #17 (permalink)
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If you don't think science is politicized then you haven't applied for grants to fund your science.

I'm not a GW denier. I'm skeptical about the dire predictions AND the proposed solutions.
According to Bart, you're a denier if you don't believe everything he says.

Because it's TRUE DAMMIT!
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Old 04-09-2014, 09:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You believe that looking at 2100 with 2000 eyeglasses on is valid in any way? You should read the whole article. The world will be a completely different place in 2100. For all we know human behavior in 20 years will be causing global cooling. That's how fast the world changes.

Of course not.

And obviously things will be markedly different in 2100 than we imagine now. I was just mocking the notion that, because we know that we cannot predict the future problems we will have, we should ignore them.

Sort of like if a big old asteroid has a 10 % chance of smushing us in 2040 but its up to gravitational forces on its path we can't predict this far out, we should just pretend its not there.

I think that is what others are saying itt about the difference between skepticism and denial.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Alright so I just got around to reading the actual speech. Entertaining, but misleading on several fronts.

Crichton gives several examples of consensuses that have been overturned, but none of them are really good analogues for global warming. Previously held views on fever, diet, and geology were ’t based on a robust, mechanistic understanding of empirical evidence, and often rested upon long-held assumptions that had not, or could not, be formally tested. For example, the dominant paradigm in geology going into the 19th century was largely drawn from Biblical accounts of Noah's Flood. In the mid 19th century, Charles Lyell challenged this with a theoretical framework of more gradual change based upon extensive observations.

In the 20th century Wegner’s idea of continental drift was at first controversial, not because the consensus failed to "acknowledge what any schoolchild sees", but rather because he didn’t have a mechanism to describe how continents could move (or any evidence that they in fact were moving). After accumulating more data and developing a mechanistic theory the consensus on plate tectonics was eventually formed.

Crichton states that "consensus is only invoked in situations where the science is not solid enough." He claims ‘good’ science boils down to clear ‘yes or no’ answers by suggesting that it's obviously unnecessary to invoke consensus around something like E = mc2. According to Crichton, this is apparently real science with a right answer. Well guess what? This fails the analog test again. Einstein developed his theory entirely on theoretical grounds. It was controversial at first, but eventually a consensus grew around it. It wasn’t until several decades later that we got empirical evidence of relativity.

In his simplistic portrayal of consensus, Crichton fails to see that the processes that formed the current paradigms in medicine and geology (and overturned the old ones) are same processes that have formed the current consensus on climate change. The consensus used to be that human activity is too insignificant to alter the climate. Science advances and things change.

His critique of climate models (and confusion of weather and climate) is tiring. Climate models don’t call for a specific temperature in the year 2100: they give a range of temperatures for a range of scenarios (based on energy consumption, emissions reductions, etc.). And they’re only a small part of the puzzle. Without models, we can still tell humans are causing global warming based on the physical science. There are many independent lines of evidence. To hold models up as the keystone of climate science is a strawman argument.

There are a number of flaws in Crichton’s critique of science and I won’t delve into all of them, but if you care enough this post [Michael Crichton: “Aliens Cause Global Warming”] goes into much more detail.

In conclusion Crichton builds an indirect case against climate change science based on guilt by association, although he never convincingly demonstrates association, nor guilt. It is a tremendous logical leap of faith to conclude that the search for extraterrestrial radio signals and one group of scientists' research on the potential impacts of nuclear war somehow invalidate decades of climate research by thousands of individuals. Overall, Crichton's lecture is primarily supported by his rhetorical skills, not his arguments.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Well obviously you do not know the difference because you have called me a denier for being skeptical.
If the shoe fits...

Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond?
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:10 PM   #21 (permalink)
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BartW - I'm guessing you see the distinction between whether or not GW is AGW and predictive models about the consequences

Likewise, the distinction between is GW actually AGW and the merit and scientific validity of any number of proposals to curb GGases?
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:11 PM   #22 (permalink)
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BartW - I'm guessing you see the distinction between whether or not GW is AGW and predictive models about the consequences or between GW/AGW and the merit and scientific validity of any number of proposals to curb GGases?
Holocaust denier!!!
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:18 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Of course not.

And obviously things will be markedly different in 2100 than we imagine now. I was just mocking the notion that, because we know that we cannot predict the future problems we will have, we should ignore them.
Nobody is suggesting we ignore it.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:29 PM   #24 (permalink)
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BartW - I'm guessing you see the distinction between whether or not GW is AGW and predictive models about the consequences

Likewise, the distinction between is GW actually AGW and the merit and scientific validity of any number of proposals to curb GGases?
Come again? This is a bit scrambled, I'm really not sure what you're trying to ask.
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:41 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Come again? This is a bit scrambled, I'm really not sure what you're trying to ask.
Is questioning the predicted severity of GW effects (e.g. questioning the temperature projections that have shown to be poor predictors of the last 15 year) the same as questioning whether or not:

GW is AGW - anthropologic (caused by man's activity)?

Likewise is questioning the scientific validity of plans to combat GW such as those in the Kyoto Protocol or any number of carbon cap/ carbon trading plans the same as questioning whether or not:

GW is AGW.

More simply: Am I a denier if I believe GW is occurring to some extent and man has a role but I question the predictions of the severity of outcomes and the validity of proposed solutions?
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Someones been watching too much Highlander 2.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:27 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Is questioning the predicted severity of GW effects (e.g. questioning the temperature projections that have shown to be poor predictors of the last 15 year) the same as questioning whether or not:

GW is AGW - anthropologic (caused by man's activity)?

Likewise is questioning the scientific validity of plans to combat GW such as those in the Kyoto Protocol or any number of carbon cap/ carbon trading plans the same as questioning whether or not:

GW is AGW.

More simply: Am I a denier if I believe GW is occurring to some extent and man has a role but I question the predictions of the severity of outcomes and the validity of proposed solutions?
No, all those things are not the same. I’ll address them point by point

1) The past 15 years have been 15 of the hottest years on record. The “pause” is an artifact of cherrypicking your data set (surface temperatures) and starting point (1998 – a hot El Nino year).



Focusing on surface temperatures ignores the fact that the oceans continue to warm and acidify, ice continues to melt, and sea levels continue to rise unabated. In fact these processes are happening faster than predicted.

Despite the "pause" or "slowdown", surface temperatures over the past 15 years remain within IPCC predictions

2) There is no doubt over whether it’s caused by man. “Natural cycles” would have Earth cooling right now. We have spectroscopic proof that the rise in greenhouse gases is causing more heat to be trapped. We have isotopic proof that the increased level of CO2 is from the combustion of fossil fuels (also, duh…). Ipso facto we’re causing global warming.

3) Questioning the strategy to combat climate change is fair, but I’m not sure how you could question the ‘scientific validity’ of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade. One way or another we need to curb emissions. Unless you support the geoengineering option, but that opens a whole new can of worms.

4) People are flinging the term ‘denier’ around rather loosely. I’m not calling all the skeptics denialists. Some people are just legitimately ill-informed. Denialism isn’t a position so much as it is a style of debate.

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Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one’s viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions.

5 general tactics are used by denialists to sow confusion. They are conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic.
Denialism is rather formulaic and easy to spot. The Galileo gambit especially is a dead giveaway. Anyhow, we digress from the topic. If you'd like to discuss any of these issues in detail I suggest we take this over to the global warming thread.

If anyone wants to discuss the details of Crichton's lecture, I suggest first reading the link I provided in my rebuttal above.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:47 PM   #28 (permalink)
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No, all those things are not the same. I’ll address them point by point

1) The past 15 years have been 15 of the hottest years on record. The “pause” is an artifact of cherrypicking your data set (surface temperatures) and starting point (1998 – a hot El Nino year).



Focusing on surface temperatures ignores the fact that the oceans continue to warm and acidify, ice continues to melt, and sea levels continue to rise unabated. In fact these processes are happening faster than predicted.

Despite the "pause" or "slowdown", surface temperatures over the past 15 years remain within IPCC predictions

2) There is no doubt over whether it’s caused by man. “Natural cycles” would have Earth cooling right now. We have spectroscopic proof that the rise in greenhouse gases is causing more heat to be trapped. We have isotopic proof that the increased level of CO2 is from the combustion of fossil fuels (also, duh…). Ipso facto we’re causing global warming.

3) Questioning the strategy to combat climate change is fair, but I’m not sure how you could question the ‘scientific validity’ of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade. One way or another we need to curb emissions. Unless you support the geoengineering option, but that opens a whole new can of worms.

4) People are flinging the term ‘denier’ around rather loosely. I’m not calling all the skeptics denialists. Some people are just legitimately ill-informed. Denialism isn’t a position so much as it is a style of debate.



Denialism is rather formulaic and easy to spot. The Galileo gambit especially is a dead giveaway. Anyhow, we digress from the topic. If you'd like to discuss any of these issues in detail I suggest we take this over to the global warming thread.

If anyone wants to discuss the details of Crichton's lecture, I suggest first reading the link I provided in my rebuttal above.
Obviously you are talking about your ideals right?
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:12 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:45 PM   #30 (permalink)
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No, all those things are not the same. I’ll address them point by point

1) The past 15 years have been 15 of the hottest years on record. The “pause” is an artifact of cherrypicking your data set (surface temperatures) and starting point (1998 – a hot El Nino year).



Focusing on surface temperatures ignores the fact that the oceans continue to warm and acidify, ice continues to melt, and sea levels continue to rise unabated. In fact these processes are happening faster than predicted.

Despite the "pause" or "slowdown", surface temperatures over the past 15 years remain within IPCC predictions

2) There is no doubt over whether it’s caused by man. “Natural cycles” would have Earth cooling right now. We have spectroscopic proof that the rise in greenhouse gases is causing more heat to be trapped. We have isotopic proof that the increased level of CO2 is from the combustion of fossil fuels (also, duh…). Ipso facto we’re causing global warming.

3) Questioning the strategy to combat climate change is fair, but I’m not sure how you could question the ‘scientific validity’ of a carbon tax or cap-and-trade. One way or another we need to curb emissions. Unless you support the geoengineering option, but that opens a whole new can of worms.

4) People are flinging the term ‘denier’ around rather loosely. I’m not calling all the skeptics denialists. Some people are just legitimately ill-informed. Denialism isn’t a position so much as it is a style of debate.



Denialism is rather formulaic and easy to spot. The Galileo gambit especially is a dead giveaway. Anyhow, we digress from the topic. If you'd like to discuss any of these issues in detail I suggest we take this over to the global warming thread.

If anyone wants to discuss the details of Crichton's lecture, I suggest first reading the link I provided in my rebuttal above.
On the temperature predictions I'm referring to what predicted surface temperatures were supposed to be (as modeled in the "hockey stick") and what has been observed. We don't have to see things get suddenly cooler to question whether the predictive models are accurate with regard to amount of GW occurring. To be fair there has been cherry picking in the data as well.

I'm also referring to Al Gore style predictions; predictions that tornadoes, hurricanes etc are going to just get more severe, etc. New York underwater. There is plenty passed off as the effects of GW that simply are not scientific consensus yet they get bundled into the whole deal so questioning them makes you a heretic.

I'm not questioning man's effect.

My problem with the solutions are 2 fold: 1) they are not done with real cost/benefit analysis so they are simplistic in only looking at a) potential impact on GHGas levels and b) have implementation problems of not everyone playing nice - eg. Kyoto exemptions doomed any real impact.
2) the solutions are also often agenda laden - several are redistribution schemes and social justice schemes more so than purely scientific schemes.

To summarize - there are degrees of certainty for the larger problem.

We are most certain that:

GW is occurring and man plays a role. This is the primary domain of climate scientists.

We increasingly lose certainty when we start to "predict" the outcomes to life and land and short term weather. Here we see other specialties chiming in - biologists, geologist, sociologists, etc.

Here we also see more doomsday predictions of impact.

We rarely see science (not published? not funded?) about any positive effects of a warmer planet. Clearly there are some. There will be some winners.

We also increasingly lose certainty when we talk about specific fixes to a massively complex system. Sure cutting carbon use sounds like a winner but how much can be cut and what will the real effect be. To hear some of the "legitimate scientists" we are already too far gone.

Additionally we don't see the cost/benefit analysis. What is the financial impact and connected health and mental health impact on decimating the coal industry? Too bad for you?

Strategies always involve trade offs so for this to be legit science we have to objectively consider the trade offs; not be hell bent on reducing GHGases regardless of the consequences.

Those decisions require facts and when one side demonizes another as "deniers" they have given up on looking at the matter scientifically and have moved to political decision making (see how I brought it back to the thread topic )
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