Climate Debate Has Gone MAD

Posted by: Keith Kloor  :  Category: climate change, climate politics, insurgency

Remember the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)? To some, it justified the arms race between the U.S. and the old USSR. As Wikipedia explains:

The doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) assumes that each side has enough nuclear weaponry to destroy the other side; and that either side, if attacked for any reason by the other, would retaliate without fail with equal or greater force. The expected result is an immediate irreversible escalation of hostilities resulting in both combatants’ mutual, total and assured destruction.

Fortunately, no nuclear-armed country has tested this doctrine by preemptively launching nuclear weapons against a nuclear-armed foe.

The warring sides in the climate debate, however, are locked in a hostile embrace that threatens to destroy them both. There is one  difference to this war, though, in that it is not a conventional clash of superpowers, but more an asymmetrical conflict. Think of it like the war in Afghanistan, where climate scientists and campaigners are the U.S. military presence and Marc Morano and his like-minded band of ideologues are the Taliban.

Technically, the U.S. is waging a counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, trying to win over the populace with a hearts & minds campaign while also taking out the hostiles. For various reasons, it’s become a rather futile effort that military analysts can explain better than me.

But here are some of the parallels with the climate war. The Taliban, like Morano, are fiercely puritanical. They are not averse to cleansing their own side. Morano has shown that in the Republican Presidential race, where he’s gone after GOP candidates who once were in favor of taking action on climate change. Not coincidentally, global warming has become a litmus test for Republicans in this election year.

The Taliban, like Morano, are excellent provocateurs. They don’t have the manpower to go toe to toe, but they have successfully goaded the U.S. into committing what some experts have called ”own goals.” So it is with the climate movement, whose public spokespersons tend to  fan the flames that perpetuate the fighting.

Now before I go any further, let me state outright that I am not equating Marc Morano’s tactics with those of the Taliban. The latter is comprised of a brutal, extremist culture that terrorizes its own people in horrific ways. Morano merely uses excessive rhetoric and hyperbolic language to advance his aims. He runs an operation that has a political aim: To delegitimize climate science. To do that, he and his allies engage in a propaganda war that goads his opponents and smears the reputations of individuals prominently associated with the climate change cause.

His tactics, while ugly, can in no way whatsoever be compared to the actions of the Taliban. I’m merely saying that he is an insurgent who (with like-minded allies) has successfully forced the other side into a defensive crouch. The climate concerned community is fighting a battle on on his terms.

Morano-inspired fighters, like the Taliban, have also convinced themselves (or pretend to) that they are winning the war against their foes. In today’s NYT, there is a front page story that begins:

More Taliban insurgents are being killed or captured than ever before, yet when the captives are interrogated by the American military, they remain convinced that they are winning the war.

Similarly, Morano and his allies regularly charge that “the case for global warming has collapsed.”  In an interview last year, Morano said, “A to Z, the movement has collapsed.” This talking point, which has no basis in reality, is endlessly repeated. I honestly don’t think Morano believes it, but as he is a long-time political operator, he also knows that perception sometimes overtakes reality.

So where does this leave the climate community? Well, like the U.S. military’s rethinking of its strategy in Afghanistan, the climate-concerned community has to reassess how it can best achieve its aims. If it wants to win hearts & minds (broaden public understanding and support for its cause), then it should probably settle in for the long haul and rethink its communication strategy. But if the climate community prefers to expend most of its energy trying to defeat its most committed enemies, then it likely will stay on the current path of Mutually Assured Destruction.

Somehow, I think that would suit Morano just fine. For he will have achieved his goal and then move on to his next battle.

122 Responses to “Climate Debate Has Gone MAD”

  1. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    “ If it wants to win hearts & minds (broaden public understanding and support for its cause), then it should probably settle in for the long haul and rethink its communication strategy.”

    why? what is wrong with the current strategy? what exactly is the current strategy? Most importantly, why don’t you tell us what you’d do differently if you were king…

    On a side note, I find it a little depressing that you invoke MAD without any sense of irony when that this is exactly what the current policy agreements by world leaders is committing us to.

  2. Bart Verheggen Says:

    Keith,

    You make a good case for rethinking the strategy of fighting back on their terms. Ignoring has been shown not to work either. What’s left?

    One issue of course is that not everyone shares the asme goals. That’s the case also amomgst the climate-concerned: Some are mostly concerned about climate (scientific) literacy, whereas others are mostly concerned about strengthening support for mitigation. But both lack a good strategy towards achieving their goals.

  3. Michael "Quanah" Tobis Says:

    I am relieved that your previously stated intention to abandon c-a-s was some sort of bluff.
     
    Anyway, I think this is an interesting analogy, but it isn’t quite correct.
     
    Like Morano, you tend to view climate science through a political lens, as if the purpose of the discpline were to “win over hearts and minds”. It is not and never has been the purpose of climate science to do so. The purpose of climate science is science about climate.
     
    Scientists in general are a peculiar and independent lot. There is no cat-herding mechanism. No suggestion as to how scientists ought to behave to win the political battle is going to have great effect. Each of us figures this out for himself or herself. (I attribute this insight to Eli Rabbet, whom people ought to tolerate more on exactly this account.)
     
    Very few people have a job description of winning the battle for hearts and minds for climate policy, but as far as I know nobody at all has a job description of actually communicating climate science. Meanwhile, there are many people like Morano whose job description is to misrepresent science. Accordingly, he has a case that he is winning.
     
    In military terms Morano is the invading, occupying force and we are the bewildered indigenous people, hidebound by ancient mores and traditions. We haven’t yet developed our own Comanche warriors, who abandon their tribal ways in favor of tactics that really threaten the invaders. 
     
    Meanwhile, pending the organization of the Science Comanche, I think you are confused as to which side is better armed and better organized.
     

  4. Osama Morano? | JunkScience.com Says:

    [...] writes, …Technically, the U.S. is waging a counterinsurgency in Afghanistan, trying to win over the [...]

  5. hunter Says:

    You can lose the bogus term “climate concerned community” like the arrogant deceptive term it is.
     Since skeptics are right, I would suggest that skeptics are more concerned about the climate than AGW believers. the debate is not over who is concerned about the climate.
    The debate is about if the world climate is going to suffer a catastrophe that is caused by CO2 and which could be averted if the AGW policy demands are carried out.
     Since the absence of CO2 calamity is impossible for even you to ignore,a nd the failures of AGW policy demands abound, how about stopping the war by stopping the fighting?
      
      

  6. hunter Says:

    Michael,
    You climate hypesters have captured climate science, grabbed environmentalism, have damaged the agriculture markets, litter the landscape with windmills, and delayed (or worse) a much needed pipelline and development of Alaska oil. Don’t bs about how you poor believers are just bewildered peasants while the VRW horde invades.
     

  7. Keith Kloor Says:

    Bart,

    Good point about people having different goals. For my purposes, I’m talking about the public faces of climate science and climate community, those who have taken it upon themselves to represent the climate community.

    Michael,

    I hardly know how to dialogue with you anymore, as you truly appear to live in your own bubble. 

    I’ll just say this: if you fail to recognize the dynamics of the battle you’re in, you have no chance.  

    Lastly, I never said I was abandoning the blog. When the muse strikes, I’ll still put up a post every now and again.  

  8. Michael "Quanah" Tobis Says:

    Very sorry about the windmill litter. Fracking fluids in groundwater are so much less distracting from the highway…

  9. Michael "Quanah" Tobis Says:

    Odd. I think I said pretty much the same thing Bart said.

  10. hunter Says:

    Michael,
    You got the odd part right, lol.
     

  11. BBD Says:

    hunter
     
     Since skeptics are right, I would suggest that skeptics are more concerned about the climate than AGW believers. the debate is not over who is concerned about the climate.
     
    You should edit vigorously. This is ludicrous. Just read it again (and wince).

  12. Bob Says:

    Keith, I realize you are a committed warmist, but do you give any credence at all to the skeptics.  Can you honestly say you have read all the emails in Climategate I & II and still remain a CAGW ideologue.  You analogy of Morano is silly and sophomoric.

  13. RC Says:

    “…. Morano said, ‘A to Z, the movement has collapsed.’ This talking point, which has no basis in reality, is endlessly repeated.”….
    Any particular reason why this sentence didn’t contain a link to the ‘talking point’ you refer to? Do you advise readers here not to go to his site to see what is meant by that specific phrase - perhaps because readers will discover the ‘A to Z’ thing is not the simple talking point you claim it is?

  14. nofreewind Says:

    Michael “Quanah” Tobis Says:
    February 2nd, 2012 at 5:09 pm
    Very sorry about the windmill litter. Fracking fluids in groundwater are so much less distracting from the highway…

    Whaat?  You don’t even understand that the more wind turbines, the more nat gas we need to follow the fluctuating wind around?  Wind doesn’t not replace nat gas, it increases its’ need in the grid.
     

  15. Keith Kloor Says:

    Bob (12)

    What does any of that have to do with my post, and where do you get the impression that I’m a “CAGW idealogue”? Any link for that?

    RC (13),
    The link is in that sentence. It was wrongly placed on the word “an.” It’s now accessible at “interview.” Listen to it. But anyway, Marc says this all the time at Climatedepot, 15 different ways. So I’m not sure why you think that’s some sticking point.
     

  16. jeffn Says:

    #2 Bart: “what’s left?”

    How about taking yes for an answer? Even the allegedly evil Marc Morano and every single GOP candidate for president agree with the idea of building nukes and natural gas power plants.
    The only thing you can’t have is a giant energy tax and windmills, but we already know those wouldn’t work.
    What’s left? The imperative need for a climate community that cares enough about climate to do the only things that might affect climate. The nearly two-decade long failure of this to appear tells us much about the urgency and importance of the issue

  17. NewYorkJ Says:

    …here come the Morano-Milloy-bots.
    Varieties of the phrase below are common:
    the case for global warming has collapsed
    Example:
    hunter: AGW has become a toxic pseudo-religion, and you true beleivers are running out of time.

    Sort of like “my team will destroy your team”.  There does seem to be a steady drumbeat from deniers wanting to project their own beliefs on reality, but it seems to lose luster over time.
    From the previous thread, Joshua responds to one of the CurryBots, in a way considerably more thorough and clever (in my view) than his previous comment that Keith highlighted.

    CurryBot: With CAGW coming under so much pressure in recent months, it might only take our hostess’s signture on a document saying CAGW is nonsense, to drive a final stake in CAGW’s heart. Maybe if she did, she might be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize.

    Joshua: How many stakes were driven into the heart before the “final stake?” Seems to me, that just one stake into the heart would do the trick.

    Also, if you don’t mind answering, what is the point in driving the “final stake in CAGW’s heart” after so many “final nails” have been driven into CAGW’s coffin?

    To conclude with the obvious, over time, a good skeptic questions whether the claimed actions involving these figurative stakes or nails are actually occurring.

    Not exactly how science works.  Via Revkin, Nobelist Mario Molina put it pretty well:
     
    There appears to be a gross misunderstanding of the nature of climate change science among those that have attempted to discredit it. They convey the idea that the science in question behaves like a house of cards: if you remove just one of them, the whole structure falls apart. However, this is certainly not the way the science of complex systems has evolved. A much better analogy is a jigsaw puzzle: many pieces are missing, and some might even be in the wrong place, but there is little doubt that the overall image is clear, namely that climate change is a serious threat that needs to be urgently addressed. It is also clear that modest amounts of warming will have both positive and negative impacts, but above about 4 or 5 degrees Fahrenheit most impacts turn negative for many ecological systems, and for most nations.

    I don’t know if “gross misunderstanding” is the right term.  I think many of the Morano types know they’re full of it, and are relying on the notion that many won’t be able to figure that out.

  18. Bob Says:

    Keith, you talk about MAD in your post and loosely equate Morano with the Taliban, and wonder why people think your are an CAWG ideologue. Keith, most of us “skeptics” believe in GW and AGW, but consider it inconsequential and potentially beneficial to mankind.  You obviously do not .  Do you deny that you are a CAGWer? 

  19. Jay Currie Says:

    Morano is functionally equivalent to Rohm (albeit a much better rhetorician) - but neither are really representative of their respective sides.
     
    The problem the CAGW side has is not the fact that the skeptic box smarter and punch above their weight; rather it is a combination of factors many of which are exacerbated by an unbecoming arrogance. 
     
    To name a few: none of the models predicted the current temperature plateau which tends to suggest the models are rather poor.
     
    Climategate I&II have pretty much proven that the climate scientists worked underhandedly to suppress dissenting views and disguise data which did not agree with the consensus. (They were also entirely willing to break the law in order to prevent the disclosure of their data.)
     
    The hockey stick’s blade is a fake and shaft is broken.
     
    Al Gore is a buffoon.
     
    And so on.
     
    However, even more fundamentally, in the midst of a global recession and with massive unemployment, the idea of fuel poverty and the futility and expense of such things as wind and solar are biting very hard indeed.  Even if the science was absolutely certain - which it is increasingly obvious it is not - unless there was really a certain, catastrophic, near term threat, it is difficult to see any popular support for abatement measures. Especially given that both China and India have flat out refused to play along.
     
    This is not Morano’s doing. Instead it is the science falling apart and the economics of “climate action” looking loonier everyday. Add to that the fact that the certainty estimate in most of the IPCC Reports has been vastly overstated and the “climate concerned community” is not going to win any fights regardless of its tactics.
     
    Some free advice. Tell Rohm to shut up. Tell the “climate concerned community” to go home. Tell the scientists not to publish results of studies using model runs the “data” for which come from other model runs. Make all the data and the data transformations employed for any paper publicly available on the date of publication. Make it a condition of inclusion in the IPCC consideration that the paper be publicly available free.
     
    Tell the climate scientists to work very hard at coming to engineering levels of certainty before suggesting that money be spent fighting CO2.
     
    Do that, quietly, for about a decade and, perhaps, the stink of Climategate will dissipate and a new, untainted, generation of serious climate scientists will be able to tell us something useful about climate.

  20. TimG Says:

    Of course, the entire post missed the entire point:

    Climate scientists keep doing stuff that shows they are ideological zealots rather than disinterested observers. They really have no business complaining about Morano for pointing these facts out.

  21. Bob Says:

    Keith, still not comfortable that skeptics consider you to be a committed CAGWer?.  Try a thought experiment - tomorrow you wake up and Pres. Obama inexplicably becomes concerned that the world might be entering a cooling period.  He appoints Keith Kloor as Czar of all grant funding from the NSF, NIH, Doe, NOAA, EPA, etc.  All grants are to be aimed at understanding climate from a cooling perspective.  What, Keith, do you suppose the response would be from our aspiring academic climatologists?

  22. Keith Kloor Says:

    Bob,

    Did you find any writing of mine that pegs me as a “committed CAGWer”?

     

  23. Bob Says:

    Keith, do you choose to answer the “thought “experiment? I apologize for not being able to quickly point to any of you writings that peg you as a CAGWer, but it is my perception that you are so. Make my life easier and explain how you classify yourself?

  24. hunter Says:

    NYJ,
    Sorry, but I haven’t read Morano in a very long time. I don’t visit his blog. So dodging the points by pretending I am a ‘bot is just a nice way to avoid the topic. My perspective for several years is that the AGW movement is just another social mania. What is happening today is not surprising, and your reaction, Tobis’ and BBD’s (and many others) are basically religious in lack of critical thinking, avoidance of contrary evidence, denial of problems in your tenets, confabulation of evidence, etc. 
    BBD,
    I think my post was pretty much close to what I was trying to say. Are you going to join the Tobis psychiatric practice now?
     
     

  25. jr72023 Says:

    So, the science is settled.

    I call bull. True scientists are still trying to discredit Einstein.

    I notice that the post had no science in it, only a personal attack. Perhaps, after recess is over, the adults can get back to the discussion.

    If your science is as astute as you claim it to be, you should welcome every attempt to discredit the work as another way to validate your claims. The very heart of science is to prove and disprove in order to find the correct answer.

    If your science was any good, you would not be resorting to personal attacks. Rather, you would be convincingly rebutting your detractors.

    But, as you have virtually admitted, it is all about politics, isn’t it?

  26. stan Says:

    When Morano reaches the slander and disinformation depths of Algore, maybe you’ll have a point worth discussing.  Lies and slandering opponents in climate politics was a full blown weapon of Gore and his alarmists long before Morano ever hit the scene.

  27. Michael Tobis Says:

    “none of the models predicted the current temperature plateau which tends to suggest the models are rather poor.”

    I know that there have been many attempts to explain why this is not among the many questions that climate models are useful in addressing.

    (In short, getting the frequency spectrum about right is a big triumph. But getting a dynamical prediction, prediction of the specific bumps in the temperature curve, for instance is largely limited to less than a year. I can understand why this is confusing, but again, there have been many attempts to explain this every which way.)

    Being confused in this way is understandable. Other people are expert in things I know nothing about. But it is enervating that because someone fails to have as deep a grasp of the situation
    as the average grad student in the field, they feel compelled to tell the rest of us what is going on, and that we must be deliberately lying. 

    Imagine how charming that experience is on our side of the fence before you say we are arrogant.
     

  28. Sashka Says:

    @ 25
     
    I know that there have been many attempts to explain why this is not among the many questions that climate models are useful in addressing.
     
    Could you post top five (or 10 if you’re up to it) most important questions that climate models are useful in addressing?
     

  29. Sashka Says:

    @ 1
    what is wrong with the current strategy? what exactly is the current strategy?
    Never mind. Carry on. Everything is fine.

  30. J.Doug Swallow Says:

     
    Keith Kloor, instead of saying this: “Remember the Cold War doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)? To some, it justified the arms race between the U.S. and the old USSR.” and likening this to Marc Morano’s logical take on this scam known as anthropogenic global warming should consider what these folks are saying.  
     
    “We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” - Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports
     
    “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” - Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC
     
    “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” - Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace
     
    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.” - Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation
     
    “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony… climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” - Christine Stewart, fmr Canadian Minister of the Environment
     
    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” - emeritus professor Daniel Botkin
     
    “We require a central organizing principle - one agreed to voluntarily. Minor shifts in policy, moderate improvement in laws and regulations, rhetoric offered in lieu of genuine change - these are all forms of appeasement, designed to satisfy the public’s desire to believe that sacrifice, struggle and a wrenching transformation of society will not be necessary.” - Al Gore, Earth in the Balance
     
    “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsiblity to bring that about?” - Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme (This is the same SOB that is partnered up with Al Gore, whose company, Generation Investment Management, which is now worth over $200 million.  Strong spends most of his time in China, the worst polluter on the planet, (CO2 is not a pollutant but an essential ingredient for life on earth). & he is doing what he can to make this communist country the world’s next superpower.)
     
    “A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.” - Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies
     
    “The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.” - Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund
     
    “Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.” - Professor Maurice King
     
    “Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.” - Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute
     
    “The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.” - Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation
     
    “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.” - Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University
     
    “The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.” – Sir James Lovelock, BBC Interview
     
    “My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.” -Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!
     
    “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.” - Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major UN donor
     
    “… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.” - Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind
     
    “If I were reincarnated I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” - Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, patron of the World Wildlife Fund
     
    “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.” - John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal
     
    “The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.” - Christopher Manes, Earth First!
     
    “Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.” - David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

  31. Dan Moutal Says:

    @ 2 “What’s left?” @ “building nukes and natural gas power plants”

    Leaving aside the fact that natural gas might  not be as good for the climate as once thought thanks to fugitive emissions (though research into this is still tentative), how exactly do we get the  ’climate community’ to embrace nuclear power?

    I agree that the anti-nuclear stance of many in the ‘climate-community’ is not helpful (I am less sure about NatGas). I am not sure what can be done about  it.  It isn’t like there are monthly strategy meetings where such things can be decided.

    We aren’t exactly a hierarchical group. And our goals tend to be far more complicated and varied than the simple goal of not-the-IPCC.

  32. EdG Says:

    I just love this phrase:

    “the climate-concerned community”

  33. JLS Says:

    “I’m merely saying that he is an insurgent who (with like-minded allies) has successfully forced the other side into a defensive crouch.”
     
    What has forced the other side into a defensive crouch is their lack of evidence which MM is merely pointing out because it is important to do so. BS needs to be called out. BS for Bad Science, of course.

  34. EdG Says:

    On the great ‘climate debate,’ this post about this book is about as enlightening as they get.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/02/terrifying-new-book-about-climate-change/

    Seems that the proposed solutions stay the same whether we’re supposedly facing an ice age or the planetary fever. 

    It is almost as if the science was beside the point.

  35. Don Simpson Says:

    Interesting how global warming believers view science through a political lense. The rest of us are simply looking for evidence to confirm or deny the global warming theory. Thisfar there is very little natural evidence to support the theory as a result Morano’s points resonate. When we have some warming perhaps the debate will shift until then it is much ado about nothing.

  36. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Keith, Your analogy is off and you should consider an AGW exile to Alba some years down the road.

  37. BBD Says:

    hunter @ 24

    My perspective for several years is that the AGW movement is just another social mania.

    Sums it up nicely. Your perspective does not take into account the opacity of GHGs to IR, the laws of physics and paleoclimate behaviour. It’s a bit… limited.

    I find NYJ, Tobis and Marlowe Johnson to be meticulous thinkers. This does not mean that I always agree with them, individually or collectively, but it would be wrong to accuse them of a ‘lack of critical thinking’.

    In summary, if you wish to be taken seriously it is vital to avoid talking bollocks.

  38. Paul in Sweden Says:

    Yeah… /Elba/

  39. J.Doug Swallow Says:

     
    EdG Says:
    February 3rd, 2012 at 1:11 am
    “On the great ‘climate debate,’ this post about this book is about as enlightening as they get.”
     
    Thanks for the link and this from that site reaffirms what I posed above on February 2nd, 2012 at 11:48 pm
     
    “In order to weaken and eventually destroy the existing industrialized nations, we must devise an ecological “crisis” so severe that only voluntary economic suicide can solve it; and if this first crisis doesn’t materialize as planned, then devise another, and another, even if they flatly contradict our previous claims.”
     
    How could anyone, using logic, believe that a trace gas, CO2, that makes up .036% of the atmosphere and is 1 & 1/2 times heavier than air can be the driver of something as complex as the earth’s climate?  They can not and there has to be ulterior  motives present for these types to put forth their nonsense.

  40. hunter Says:

    BBD,
    My perspective is based on noticing that you rely on deceptive use of the word ‘opaque’. That you are self-trapped into apocalyptic clap-trap, and that if you would look around and study the history of weather events, nothing significant is happening.
    You should try, in a discussion of reality, to limit yourself to reality.
    As for Tobis and pals being ‘meticulous’, well confusing ‘entertaining’ and meticulous is your choice.
     

  41. hunter Says:

    Michael,
    Being wrong does not mean you are deliberately lying.
    But inferring you are a scientist when you are not is deceptive.
     

  42. BBD Says:

    hunter
     
    My perspective is based on noticing that you rely on deceptive use of the word ‘opaque’.
     
    Please explain further.

  43. BBD Says:

    J. Doug Swallow
     
    How could anyone, using logic, believe that a trace gas, CO2, that makes up .036% of the atmosphere and is 1 & 1/2 times heavier than air can be the driver of something as complex as the earth’s climate?
     
    On the face of it, a reasonable-sounding question. Which has been examined in great detail by numerous researchers over the years.
     
    A recent example which got plenty of exposure in the blogosphere was Lacis et al. (2010). This is very much a ‘CO2 as control knob’ paper. Discussions linked below, along with the science brief, press release etc. You do not necessarily need to read the paper itself.
     
    Andy Lacis on CO2 as ‘control knob’:

    Part 1:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/lacis-at-nasa-on-role-of-co2-in-warming/

    Part 2:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/part-2-a-scientists-defense-of-greenhouse-warming/

    Lacis et al (2010) science brief:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/lacis_01/

    Lacis et al. news release:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20101014/

    Lacis response to Spencer at Curry’s:

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/09/atmospheric-co2-the-greenhouse-thermostat/

    Lacis et al. (2010) full paper:

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Lacis_etal.pdf

     

  44. hunter Says:

    BBD,
    Opaque means something is blocking out light at the relevant wavelength completely. That is not the impact of GHG’s in the atmosphere, and cannot happen unless much higher concentrations than are likely to happen occurs.
    Additionally, the GHG’s are not simply blocking the wavelengths. That energy is being re-emitted, used.
    By the way, Lacis’ control knob is not widely accepted and is disputed by other scientists.
     
     

  45. Nullius in Verba Says:

    #44,
    I recall BBD recently telling me that liquid water could not possibly cause a greenhouse effect because it was opaque to IR.
    (We were discussing a shallow pond, that lets sunlight in but absorbs and back-radiates the IR going out. BBD got a little upset to discover he didn’t understand as much physics as he thought he did.)
     
    The full thickness of the atmosphere is opaque at certain wavelengths. That was basically how Angstrom falsified Arrhenius’s original greenhouse mechanism in 1900. The greenhouse theory was dismissed by the scientific consensus for about the next 50 years until someone came up with a different mechanism by which it could work. They don’t normally talk about that one, though.
    People still usually cite the old, falsified mechanism, but they’re about a century out of date.

  46. BBD Says:

    hunter

    Opaque means something is blocking out light at the relevant wavelength completely. That is not the impact of GHG’s in the atmosphere, and cannot happen unless much higher concentrations than are likely to happen occurs.

    Tactical nitpicking. GHGs are opaque to IR. At atmospheric concentrations (ie LOW) concentrations, IR is able to pass through the atmosphere although a fraction is absorbed and re-radiated by GHGs. That fraction increases as the atmospheric concentration of GHGs increases. The transparency of the atmosphere as a whole to IR is reduced. Please be less free with the use of ‘deceptive’ in future.
    Additionally, the GHG’s are not simply blocking the wavelengths. That energy is being re-emitted, used.

    See above.

    By the way, Lacis’ control knob is not widely accepted and is disputed by other scientists.

    Examples would be helpful.

  47. BBD Says:

    NiV
     
    (We were discussing a shallow pond, that lets sunlight in but absorbs and back-radiates the IR going out. BBD got a little upset to discover he didn’t understand as much physics as he thought he did.)
     
    How deep is this shallow pond? Be precise, because I know (and you know) that it matters.

  48. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    @45
    this should be fun. care to include some specific cites? 

  49. harrywr2 Says:

    But if the climate community prefers to expend most of its energy trying to defeat its most committed enemies


    The most effective insurgent knows he can never win, he can only provoke the other side into losing.
    His best tactic is to provoke the governing power to over-react and resort to ‘collective punishment’ or an ‘injudicious’ use of violence.
    The ‘climate community’ appears to me to have long since resorted to collective punishment with the ‘denier’ language.
    I.E. Anyone who doesn’t accept all the ‘worst case’ scenario’s as facts becomes lumped in with those that don’t accept the basic physics of thermal radiation.
    Then  the ‘climate related community’ has trotted out numerous studies  showing ‘it’s worse then we thought’ that are weakly supported by the science.
    Then to add ‘insult to injury’ the climate community allowed it’s cause to be hijacked by windmill and solar panel ‘enthusiasts’ that convinced various governments to expend whatever ‘taxpayer’ good will they had on ‘half-baked’ solutions.
    As an example…In Washington State we are above 45 degrees north and the weather forecast for  ‘forever’ is cloudy with a chance of sunshine. We are a ‘winter peak’ region. Our legislature addressed climate change thru very generous solar panel feed in tariffs.
    The climate-war is over. Whatever public support there was has been wasted on half-baked solutions that solved nothing.
    The big 1980-2000 steep upward trend in temperatures has moderated.
    The only hope for the ‘climate concerned’ community now is that big coal appears to be scoring an ‘own goal’ itself with rising extraction costs.

  50. BBD Says:

    NiV… ?

  51. Joshua Says:

    Heh. Interesting analogy. I’m not sure that it works to say Morano is like the Taliban except I’m not saying that he’s like the Taliban. You know that you’ve laughed your ass off at Beck when he’s done something similar.
     
    That said, I think that the analogy is useful as a question about effective strategy. To continue that analogy,  I think it’s unfortunate that someone like Tobis would engage in “friendly fire” as a response.
     

  52. Dr. Killpatient Says:

    Do you AGW True Believers want to know why and how you are losing the debate so badly?  

    You write ludicrous, laughable blogs and articles comparing people you disagree with to terrorists.

    That’s why.

    Glad I could help.

     

  53. hunter Says:

    NiV,
    I wonder what clouds are made of?
     

  54. Joshua Says:

    Dr. Killpatient
     
    “Do you AGW True Believers want to know why and how you are losing the debate so badly?  
    You write ludicrous, laughable blogs and articles comparing people you disagree with to terrorists.”


    The logic of that comment (in light of the Lysenko analogy and every freakin’ thread at WUWT) is outstanding. If I’m not mistaken, perhaps the only person in the blogosphere that has a sharper sense of logic is hunter.

  55. Alcheson Says:

    The premise is false. The author claims the skeptics “don’t have the manpower to go toe-to -oe”. On the contrary, it is the catastrophic warmists who refuse to go toe-to-toe. Every challenge/debate that is offerred by the skeptics is refused by the warmists, claiming “the debate is over, there is no reason to debate you”. Sometimes even, a prominent warmist will publicly offer to debate a skeptic only to cancel later when the cameras are off. Name one time when a prominent skeptic has done this? These are tactics one uses when the facts are clearly NOT on their side.

  56. BBD Says:

    hunter
     
    By the way, Lacis’ control knob is not widely accepted and is disputed by other scientists.
    Examples would be helpful.

  57. Jarmo Says:

    #49

    Agree with your points. In addition, it would be odd if nobody in democratic countries raised their voice to debate these multi-billion dollar projects, their pros and cons. I agree that climate science has done its best to provide as much (and sometimes too much) evidence but like Dee Snyder once sang, ” If that’s your best, your best won’t do.” ;)

    About those solar subsidies, Der Spiegel ran a story a month ago about the 100 billion euros Germany is committed to pay:

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,809439,00.html 

  58. RC Says:

    Keith (comment #15) I wasn’t talking about the interview, I was asking why you did not link specifically to Morano’s ClimateDepot page dedicated to the ‘A to Z’ line. Astute readers would absolutely understand why that omission is a sticking point.
    By failing to do this, you only add to the appearance of AGW supporters playing a shell game with the issue. You insinuate the ‘A to Z’ thing is literally only a few words with nothing to back it, but when people go to his site and click on one of two links in plain sight there - “Climate Depot Special Report: A-Z Climate Reality Check” or the even bigger one front-and-center at the moment, “Read All About it: Al Gore’s ‘melting’ Antarctic claims refuted by reality — Climate Depot’s A-Z Global Warming Report counters Gore” - it becomes abundantly obvious that his line is no shallow talking point.
    AGW promoters seem to be oblivious to how self-destructive this kind of shell game tactic is. Surely you understand that when anyone portrays a statement they way you did (“nothing to see here, move along”), it doesn’t bolster your position, it makes it look like you are trying to hide something that greatly undermines your side of the issue.

  59. Keith Kloor Says:

    RC, I don’t understand your point. I gave you a link to Morano’s exact words, where he says, “A-Z…” Marc and others say this everyday in 15 different ways, and they point to various statements and/or articles as so-called proof of this.

    You are entitled to believe the spin Marc puts on all his links. They are often very entertaining. They also just as often absurd. It’s a political game, he’s playing, nothing more.

    That anyone would actually take Marc’s spin seriously is surprising to me. It probably surprises him, too, as he is a smart guy, who knows exactly what he’s doing.

  60. thingsbreak Says:

    The parallels between the kind of “analysis” afforded Presidential elections and the so-called “climate debate” by certain schools of journalism come sharply into focus during election years.
     
    Outcomes of different policies aren’t deemed as interesting as who got the best soundbite. Civility is demanded far more from one side than another, and any lack thereof becomes more important than the truth of a given position. Substantive issues are hard, armchair analysis much less so.
     
    The horserace makes for “better news” than the future of the country. Or climate.

  61. Nullius in Verba Says:

    #47,
    The depth of the pond doesn’t matter. I kept it shallow enough to be effectively transparent to visible light in our discussion, to make the analogy to sunlight hitting the surface of the Earth clearer, but even deep water still has to absorb the energy and re-emit it as IR. Back-radiation still applies.
     
    #48,
    Citing what?
    If you meant BBD’s comment, I was thinking of the one here.
    It can be a fun topic to discuss, the one I had with BBD wasn’t one of the better ones. It depends which aspect you want to talk about.
     
     

  62. Hugh K Says:

    Thank you for posting this aricle.  Without the article, I would not have had the humbling experience of reading such enlightened rebuttals which can only accurately be defined as a concensus opposing the narrative. 

    Contemplating all of the notable points offered by these surprisingly deep-thinking ’taliban’ commenters, it should become obvious to even a blind scout that scientific debate may have been wouded in action but is certainly far from deceased.  Speaking of which, no need to roll-over quite yet Galileo Galilei.

    War doesn’t determine who is right or wrong, it determines who is left. A prevalent number of commenters have provided renewed hope the scientific method will remain long after this vacuous political war has ended. 

  63. Louise Says:

    “That anyone would actually take Marc’s spin seriously is surprising to me.”

    But people repeat his points day in day out at other blogs and clearly believe it all (e.g. Wagathon, mike, cwon14, Jim Cripwell, etc to name a few that hang out at Dr Curry’s blog).

    “It probably surprises him, too,” - I doubt it very much

    “who knows exactly what he’s doing.” - agreed. See my first paragraph about the people that believe him and repeat his vitriol.

  64. Keith Kloor Says:

    Louise, there are people who I’ve referred to as dead-enders, who actually believe the nail-in-coffin/stake in heart stuff. Yup, any day now…

    Look, there are always going to be a small percentage of people that will believe in anything.

    The same can be said of the other side, BTW, which is guilty of overplaying its hand. An example is the overhyping/conflating of every latest flood, wildfire with global warming. The smart ones know better, the diehards who are convinced that climate doom is around the corner believe this and sound like Old Testament prophets.

  65. BBD Says:

    NiV
     
    #47,
    The depth of the pond doesn’t matter. I kept it shallow enough to be effectively transparent to visible light in our discussion, to make the analogy to sunlight hitting the surface of the Earth clearer, but even deep water still has to absorb the energy and re-emit it as IR. Back-radiation still applies.
     
    Since most of the DSW is absorbed as heat at the surface and upper layers, the depth of the pond is very important to discussion of energetic penetration sufficient to warm the bottom. It’s why the bottom waters (hypolimnion) are cool.
     
    I feel that the problem with this is exactly as originally stated - it is a very poor analogy for mixed atmospheric gasses radiating into space. Which is why you use it. 
     
    And sooner or later, I assure you, this will be clarified.
     
     

  66. Louise Says:

    “An example is the overhyping/conflating of <b>every</b> latest flood, wildfire with global warming.” (my bold)

    I don’t see anywhere near as much* evidence of this as of the nutters who follow Marc Morano and parrot his tripe.

    *In fact I can give your scores of quotes straight to the nutters in about 10 minutes but I think it would take me quite a while to find even one zealot who claims that any or every extreme weather event is a direct consequence of AGW.

  67. Keith Kloor Says:

    Louise, you’re not looking very hard, are you? For just a few one- stop shop examples, look here and here.  

  68. Louise Says:

    Keith - clearly not, I tend not to visit those web sites. I stick with SkS, RC, Tamino, Stoat, Eli, etc for realists views. Nobody there (to my knowledge) blames ‘every’ extreme weather event on AGW.

    BTW - for balance I visit WUWT, CA and BH. Dr Curry’s is an odd site with extremist anti-AGW diatribes posted a plenty with very few if any extreme realists (possibly Robert but recently not seen).

    Note that I don’t visit either Rohm or Morano’s places - too political (although WUWT leans that way too).

    Note also that I don’t tend to bother with medie sites other than this but I do visit science sites such as Bart’s, Nick Stokes and Isaac Held. Very few denialists visit these places - perhaps because they can’t argue against the science?

  69. hunter Says:

    Louise,
    I am glad we agree that Trenberth is a nutter, since he attributes every weather event to AGW.
     

  70. Jarmo Says:

    The beauty is of course that all extreme weather events can be linked with CO2:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/12/us-climate-australia-floods-idUSTRE70B1XF20110112

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/its-not-drought-its-climate-change-say-scientists-20090829-f3cd.html 

     http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

     http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/expect-more-extreme-winters-thanks-to-global-warming-say-scientists-2168418.html

  71. hunter Says:

    Keith,
    Your underlying implication/assumption, that Morano is cynically lying to push an anti-AGW agenda only makes you look foolish. And here you are, one of themore reasonable of the ‘climate concerned’. As you point out elsewhere, your movement is suffering greatly from foolishness. Then you go and add to that foolishness. I don’t mind if you do this, but I come here because you seem to be more serious than the average believer. Enough of your fellow believers are doing this so as to make ‘climate concerned’ a synonym for ’silly’. 
      

  72. Louise Says:

    hunter - when are you going to argue the case for ‘natural’ climate change with real scientists such as Bart, Nick and Isaac?

  73. hunter Says:

    Louise,
    I will simply enjoy the warmth and fellowship of knowing you and I agree on Ternberth being an ignorant extremist for awhile, if you don’t mind.
    As to natural variability, I think the POST report to Parliament says it better than I could.
    ttfn,
     
       

  74. Louise Says:

    BTW Keith, before you linked to them, I was completely unaware that blogs/web sites for either LA Times or The Daily Beast existed. I’m UK based and don’t follow UK media bever mind foreign media.

    and hunter - Dr Trenberth has never said that all parts of every extreme weather event can be laid at the door of climate change. He has said that it is likely that there is an element of exterme weather (whether that be probability or severity) that may be due to AGW but then I would expect somebody as determined to twist the facts as you to ignore this (and you live up to expectations).

    PS - yes USA is foreign to us Brits

  75. BBD Says:

    hunter
     
    You do have to smile. Trenberth: ‘nutter’ and ‘ignorant extremist’.
     
    Anyway, years ago, before the poor man lost the plot, he co-authored an interesting paper - which I highly recommend - about the way the planetary energy balance operates. 
     
    There’s a good discussion here. An updated paper came out in 2008, which is briefly introduced here. Both articles link to free downloads of the original studies.
     
    This stuff doesn’t bite. It won’t poison you. Just dip in and have a read. How otherwise can you be certain (in some detail) that you are or are not being misled?
     
     

  76. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    @67
    From your first link:

    “The map, Knowlton said, shows “how climate change could increase either the frequency or the intensity or the extent of some of these unfortunately rather damaging extreme events, and the kind of preparedness steps we need to be taking. Because there is a heck of a lot we can be doing to prepare ourselves to better meet these challenges.””

    Where is the overhyping/conflating here?  

    From your second link the worst I could find was this:

    “The Midwest suffered the wettest April in 116 years, forcing the Mississippi to flood thousands of square miles, even as drought-plagued Texas suffered the driest month in a century. Worldwide, the litany of weather’s extremes has reached biblical proportions. The 2010 heat wave in Russia killed an estimated 15,000 people. Floods in Australia and Pakistan killed 2,000 and left large swaths of each country under water. A months-long drought in China has devastated millions of acres of farmland. And the temperature keeps rising: 2010 was the hottest year on earth since weather records began.

    From these and other extreme-weather events, one lesson is sinking in with terrifying certainty. The stable climate of the last 12,000 years is gone. Which means you haven’t seen anything yet. And we are not prepared.”

    But even that paragraph isn’t that bad, as it is indeed supported by evidence.  And yet we’re supposed to believe that these two examples are the mirror equivalent of the mendacity of the Morano/Watts types? You seem to be inadvertently making our case for us that your reflexive tendency to split the difference is misguided and unsupportable. 

  77. Sashka Says:

    @ 49

    “The climate-war is over. Whatever public support there was has been wasted on half-baked solutions that solved nothing.
    The big 1980-2000 steep upward trend in temperatures has moderated.”

    It’s over until/unless the next upward trend in temperatures begins. Which it can, any time.

  78. hunter Says:

    Louise,
    Speaking of twisting, I did not state or claim that Trenberth said the entirety of weather events are driven by AGW. I stated, accurately, that Trenberth said that every extreme weather event is impacted by AGW. I know that Britain and the USA are two nations seperated by a common language, but I do think we both know you are fibbing about what I said.

    Time after time it is AGW true beleivers misrepresenting deceiving, and manipulaitng arguments. The famous Michael tobis implying he is a scientist, Louise twisting  things when caught out, the IPCC palying games with transparency (still!), Trenberth and his corruption of the null hypothesis, Hansen and his disgusting support for books calling for xenocide, etc. etc. etc. AGW seems to be very homogeneously mixed to support its believers into deceptive practices at every level.
      

  79. Sashka Says:

    @ 76
    “But even that paragraph isn’t that bad, as it is indeed supported by evidence.”
     
    What evidence?
     

  80. Nullius in Verba Says:

    #74,
    Trenberth was the one who proposed reversing the null hypothesis: to assume by default that observed climatic changes were attributable to humans unless proved otherwise.
     
    As to your other point, yes. There are different levels of debate - the upper end where intellectually respectable figures argue equations, and the lower end where political operators and activists trade insults like “denier” and “nutters”. That’s where Morano lives, too.
     
    I’ve discussed science with Isaac Held in the past, but at the time he only checked in at long intervals, and it was all too slow to hold a proper conversation. Commenting at other pro-AGW blogs is difficult because of moderation policies. Sceptics, even when they’re being polite, tend to get blocked or banned. Keith’s approach to open debate is a lot better.

  81. Keith Kloor Says:

    Marlowe,

    When smart people such as yourself defend the information in those two pieces, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. “The stable climate   of the last 12,000 years is gone.” Really? You’re okay with that? And that’s just one example.

    As for this being a mirror equivalent, that is your wording, not mine. I merely said that your side overplays its hand and hypes/conflates such things as weather disasters. Indeed, I might also say:you’re making my case for me.

  82. Louise Says:

    hunter - Bart Verheggen, Nick Stokes and Isaac Held. All posting blogs for you to argue the science. None of them part of the ‘team’. All of them supporting the realists view. Where’s your rebuttal of their evidence?

  83. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    @81
     “The stable climate   of the last 12,000 years is gone.” 

    Indeed I am.  Aren’t you? This is unexpectedly interesting!  

    Keith I think that you’re misunderstanding of the state of the science and the likely impacts associated with our current emissions path mistakenly leads you to think that that sort of statement you mention above is an ‘overhype’ when in fact it is not. It’s not my place to educate you on what the latest science says (i’ll leave that to MT and Bart), but I will suggest that you should at least admit to the possibility that your failure to keep abreast of the prognosis on this issue is skewing your perceptions of the debate.

  84. Keith Kloor Says:

    @83, I wish I could say this was interesting. It’s kinda sad, actually, and predictable. I wasn’t talking about “likely impacts associated with our current emissions path.” You are, suddenly. I was referring to recent extreme weather and other disasters regularly conflated with global warming.

    As for the bit about stable climate, rather than get into a lengthy and fruitless back and forth on that, I’ll just link to Revkin here.

  85. Louise Says:

    Keith, I know that you’re a journalist but your reliance on other journalists for your ‘facts’ underpinning the science of global warming does leave you open to criticism from those that read the science journals.

  86. Keith Kloor Says:

    Louise, can you point to where this “reliance” has given me wrong facts? Which part of climate science am I getting wrong?  

  87. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    @84
    consider me underwhelmed. If you think that it is reasonable to talk about the disasters mentioned in the article (e.g. russia, texas/australia droughts, pakistan floods, etc.) without mentioning climate change, then your thinking on the subject is stranger than I initially believed.

  88. Nullius in Verba Says:

    #85,
    The ‘ad hominem’ fallacy is when you say an argument is false because of some characteristic of the person arguing it. It’s irrelevant where Keith got his facts from, the question is whether the argument is correct.
     
    And even the mainstream science of global warming does not claim that recent weather events can be attributed to AGW, and they certainly don’t claim that the climate has been stable for the past 12,000 years. The climate has always been unstable. It has always changed.
     
    It’s all very well insisting that sceptics should go read the science journals, so long as you also insist that all the advocates do the same. Most people arguing for AGW action know as little about it as many of those who argue against.
     
    For example, the version of greenhouse physics mentioned above that BBD spent several days arguing against, and calling me all sorts of names in the process, I actually got originally from one of Isaac Held’s papers, someone you would tell us to listen to. The argument cuts both ways.

  89. Keith Kloor Says:

    @87, If climate change was talked about in a reasonable fashion when mentioning those disasters, your side would be able to claim the high ground in this debate.

  90. BBD Says:

    Keith

    You ask MJ @ 81:

    “The stable climate   of the last 12,000 years is gone.” Really? You’re okay with that? And that’s just one example.

    Certainly the Holocene climate has been variable. Such variability indicates sensitivity to minor perturbation. I wonder if the meaning intended is that it will appear ‘stable’ in comparison to future variability if the climate system is perturbed hard enough?

    To the point, I suspect you would agree with this, and that the discussion might be at cross-purposes.

    I must admit having a hard time convincing myself that the accumulation of energy in the climate system indicated by rising GAT will not have effects on the frequency and severity of weather events. So…

  91. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    @89
    I’m still waiting for the unreasonable part. just because you think it’s unreasonable doesn’t make it so.  Contrary to what Revkin believes, the global climate during Holocene (i.e. the last 12,000 years) has been relatively stable compared to other geological epochs. Furthermore, historical emissions (and other activities) have already changed (i.e. destabilized) our climate and will continue to do so in the future.  You seem to think it’s an either/or thing that will happen sometime in the future.  If that is indeed your belief then you are wrong.

  92. BBD Says:

    MJ
     
    Stable compared to the Eemian, yes. Stable in the sense misunderstood by many to mean monotonous, no. I’ve got a sneaking feeling this is at least in part about definitions.

  93. Keith Kloor Says:

    I’m still waiting for you to discuss what I actually said. Instead, you move the goalposts.

  94. EdG Says:

    The stable climate of the last 12,000 years.

    Oh no. We are back on Fantasy Island.

    “If you think that it is reasonable to talk about the disasters mentioned in the article (e.g. russia, texas/australia droughts, pakistan floods, etc.) without mentioning climate change”

    Oh, no. Double Fantasy Land. Somebody is choosing to be uninformed, or in a state of genuine denial.

     

  95. EdG Says:

    #92 BBD explains:

    “Stable compared to the Eemian, yes.”

    Which 12,000 year period of the “Eemian” are you comparing it to? 

  96. EdG Says:

    Well, they did sort of mention AGW “climate change.”

    Reference
    Dole, R., Hoerling, M., Perlwitz, J., Eischeid, J., Pegion, P., Zhang, T., Quan, X.-W., Xu, T. and Murray, D. 2011. Was there a basis for anticipating the 2010 Russian heat wave? Geophysical Research Letters 38: 10.1029/2010GL046582.

    “In summary,” to quote Dole et al., “the analysis of the observed 1880-2009 time series shows that no statistically significant long-term change is detected in either the mean or variability of western Russia July temperatures, implying that for this region an anthropogenic climate change signal has yet to emerge above the natural background variability.” Thus, they say their analysis “points to a primarily natural cause for the Russian heat wave,” noting that the event “appears to be mainly due to internal atmospheric dynamical processes that produced and maintained an intense and long-lived blocking event,” adding that there are no indications that “blocking would increase in response to increasing greenhouse gases.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/07/13/peer-reviewed-paper-2010-russina-heat-wave-mostly-natural/

  97. Nullius in Verba Says:

    #91,
    Climate varies on all scales, over all time periods. It always depends what you are comparing it to.
     
    Compared to the glacial cycle, the past 12,000 years has been relatively stable - but by that definition of stability, the stability has not gone. We are still well within that range of variation. If you want to set a tighter limit, to be able to claim that the end of the 20th century is “unstable”, then so has much of the holocene. You can’t have it both ways.
     
    If you read the IPCC’s chapter on attribution, you will see that even they cannot unequivocally attribute the changes to AGW. (Implying that anyone who does is using equivocation.) The change can just about be detected by averaging over continent-sized areas for decades. Local weather, on shorter timescales, is simply noise.
    It’s like claiming a biased coin has a 52% chance of coming up heads. By averaging thousands of observations, you can maybe prove it. You can’t point to individual coin tosses coming up heads, or even short runs of heads, and claim them as evidence. On that level, a 52% coin looks like a 50% coin. The difference is too small to tell, and there are no detectable differences in the incidence of extreme weather yet.
     
    Whether there will be by the end of the 21st century is another matter, one on which the mainstream does disagree with the sceptics, but as for the here and now, the weather disaster stories are no more scientific than claims that cold and snowy weather is evidence against AGW.
     
    #90,
    Weather is driven not by the total or average energy, but by energy/temperature differences. And since the cold areas are supposedly warming faster than the warmer ones, thus reducing the differences, the violence of the weather would be expected to abate. It’s not so simple as that, of course.

  98. Sashka Says:

    @ 81

    There is no universal meaning of smart. Surely MJ, BBD & NYJ have great ability: for endless lawyering, equivocation, obfuscation, distortion of opponents’ opinions, misrepresenting evidence, avoidance of anything resembling hard physical or mathematical argument etc. I’m not taking it lightly since it does require a certain type of intelligence. But smart, to me, is something else. Smart people learn, analyze arguments on their merit, think for themselves and question authority. These guys don’t.

  99. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    ” for endless lawyering, equivocation, obfuscation, distortion of opponents’ opinions, misrepresenting evidence, avoidance of anything resembling hard physical or mathematical argument etc.”

      
    That’s quite precious coming from you Sashka.

  100. Keith Kloor Says:

    Sashka, You fault climate advocates for:

    “endless lawyering, equivocation, obfuscation, distortion of opponents’ opinions, misrepresenting evidence, avoidance of anything resembling hard physical or mathematical argument etc.”

    Based on my own experience (the distortion of my writing at other blog sites by lovelies such as Lambert and Romm), and what I read, yeah, that would be a fair characterization of the partisans in that camp.

    But make no mistake, the shoe also fits for the partisans on the other side, such as WUWT, Morano, etc. That you never call them out for the same crimes says something.

  101. EdG Says:

    #100 Keith

    How about one specific example of that from WUWT?

    Thanks.

  102. Keith Kloor Says:

    EdG,

    You’re serious? 

  103. Keith Kloor Says:

    Well, since I’m sure you are, all you have to do is put WUWT in the search engine of my blog for some examples.

  104. Sashka Says:

    @ 100

    It is simpler than you think and doesn’t betray any of my biases because I don’t have any. I simply never visit Morano or Watts. I tried that a few times and found the experience beyond annoying. If they show up here please rest assured they’d get an earful from me. As for local “deniers”, I work hard to ignore them, too. To be fair, they are not mirror images of the “lawyers”. Those are at least “smart” in their own very special way. The hard-core “deniers” are not at all sophisticated; they are best at hurting their own cause. These people give bad name to all skeptics and I really wish they stopped blogging.

  105. thingsbreak Says:

    @96 EdG:
     
    You might want to reevaluate citing Dole et al. to try to downplay the role of man-made global warming.
     
    * Otto, F. E. L., N. Massey, G. J. van Oldenborgh, R. G. Jones, and M. R. Allen (2012), Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL050422, in press.
    In the summer 2010 Western Russia was hit by an extraordinary heat wave, with the region experiencing by far the warmest July since records began. Whether and to what extent this event is attributable to anthropogenic climate change is controversial. Dole et al. (2011) report the 2010 Russian heat wave was “mainly natural in origin” whereas Rahmstorf and Coumou (2011) write that with a probability of 80% “the 2010 July heat record would not have occurred” without the large-scale climate warming since 1980, most of which has been attributed to the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. The latter explicitly state that their results “contradict those of Dole et al. (2011)’. Here we use the results from a large ensemble simulation experiment with an atmospheric general circulation model to show that there is no substantive contradiction between these two papers, in that the same event can be both mostly internally-generated in terms of magnitude and mostly externally-driven in terms of occurrence-probability. The difference in conclusion between these two papers illustrates the importance of specifying precisely what question is being asked in addressing the issue of attribution of individual weather events to external drivers of climate.

  106. BBD Says:

    EdG # 95

    #92 BBD explains:

    “Stable compared to the Eemian, yes.”

    Which 12,000 year period of the “Eemian” are you comparing it to?

    The dating of the Eemian interglacial does vary between sources, but 130ka - 115ka is uncontroversial. So you can ignore the dramatic change at the beginning and the end, and have the 12ka in the middle ;-)

  107. EdG Says:

    #103 Keith

    Yes I am serious. I did plug WUWT into your search engine, just to see what it came up with. Not surprisingly, given how many posts have appeared there, there are a few examples that could arguably fit your comment. But I fail to see any assymetry between what appears at WUWT and, say, skepticalscience or Realclimate. 

    Yes WUWT has had its moments. Who doesn’t? Who can forget Obama’s 57 states? But I see no deliberate concerted effort to misinform or misrepresent the scientific evidence at WUWT while I see that all the time from the AGW Team. That is one reason (along with the “missing heat”) why the credibility of the latter is tanking daily.

    That said, I see your ‘MAD’ analogy in a rather different light. I see the Cold War ca. 1990, not 1960, with the AGW Team as the equivalent to the USSR.

    More importantly, it seems to me that by picking out WUWT or Morano as symbols that this only encourages the polarized debate which you seem to want to chill. Like waving a red flag at a bull. Although in my opinion there is no comparison in terms of credibility, Morano and WUWT is to the “climate concerned community” - God I love that phrase! - what Gore and Hansen are to the climate accepting community.

  108. Sashka Says:

    @ 105
     
    Thanks for the precious quote from Rahmstorf and Coumou (2011). That’s a hall-of-famer. I especially love the 80% number.

  109. EdG Says:

    #105 TB - Interesting. What this third paper essentially states is that they have no clue about the “causes” of that event. So why do some people keep insisting that it was “caused” by AGW?

    That said, this is funny on several levels: 

    “Rahmstorf and Coumou (2011) write that with a probability of 80% “the 2010 July heat record would not have occurred” without the large-scale climate warming since 1980, most of which has been attributed to the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    You do know who the lead author is, don’t you? He as as credible as Hansen.

    I am not aware of any credible evidence that “most” of the “warming since 1980″ has been shown to be “attributed to” GHGs. Perhaps you could enlighten me?

    And about this “large-scale” warming. perhaps you could enlighten me on this re since 1998.

    If some people choose to believe that unusual weather events are “caused” by or related to AGW or unicorns or whatever, that is their choice. Similarly, they can also choose to blame anything on anything. More hurricanes, AGW. No hurricanes, AGW, Etc.

    l

  110. thingsbreak Says:

    @109 EdG:
    What this third paper essentially states is that they have no clue about the “causes” of that event.
     
    No. No it doesn’t say that at all. What it says is “the same event can be both mostly internally-generated in terms of magnitude and mostly externally-driven in terms of occurrence-probability“. There is no contradiction.
     
    Did you actually read the abstract before making that comment?
     
    I am not aware of any credible evidence that “most” of the “warming since 1980″ has been shown to be “attributed to” GHGs. Perhaps you could enlighten me?
     
    Sure: 
    * Huber, M., and R. Knutti (2011): Anthropogenic and natural warming inferred from changes in Earth’s energy balance. Nature Geoscience, 5, 31-36, doi:10.1038/ngeo1327.
    * Lean, J.L., and D.H. Rind (2008): How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006. Geophysical Research Letters, 35, L18701, doi:10.1029/2008GL034864.

  111. EdG Says:

    #110 TB - Note words “can be.” In other words, they do not have a clue other than mere speculation.

    Your links. The Abstract of the first one states:

    “Here we present an alternative attribution method…”

    Wow. A new method in a just published paper is supposed to be credible? get back to me in two years, or less.

    Your second link. First, good to see one of Hansen’s colleagues at the GISS data factory still getting published.

    From the Abstract:

    “To distinguish between simultaneous natural and anthropogenic impacts on surface temperature, regionally as well as globally, we perform a robust multivariate analysis using the best available estimates of each together with the observed surface temperature record from 1889 to 2006.”

    Hmmm. “best available estimates” of those two sources of impacts. Wonder where those came from?

    It just gets better!

    “The results enable us to compare, for the first time from observations, the geographical distributions of responses to individual influences consistent with their global impacts. We find a response to solar forcing quite different from that reported in several papers published recently in this journal, and zonally averaged responses to both natural and anthropogenic forcings that differ distinctly from those indicated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose conclusions depended on model simulations. Anthropogenic warming estimated directly from the historical observations is more pronounced between 45°S and 50°N than at higher latitudes whereas the model-simulated trends have minimum values in the tropics and increase steadily from 30 to 70°N.”

    Yes. Their exercise produced results that “differ distinctly” from the IPPC version. How inconvenient! And worse, it disputes the legend of the warming poles, which their colleague Hansen uses to invent warming data.

    In other words, neither of these papers are credible evidence of anything. But they do show us how easy it is to tweak models or data or methods to produce whatever one wants to.

    In the meantime, has anyone broken this news to the IPCC or Hansen? 

     

  112. NewYorkJ Says:

    Marlowe (#99),

    It’s merely projection, which is a form of denial, sort of like:

    It is simpler than you think and doesn’t betray any of my biases because I don’t have any.

    On the new topic, I agree with Keith on those articles having some clear overstatements.

    “Stable climate”, first and foremost should have a “relatively” qualifier.  It also isn’t defined.  One could define it as global mean temperature fluctuation compared to the glacial transitions.

    One could define that in terms of volatility of global mean temperature on the century timescale compared to the recent century, and be correct for 1000+ years, but it’s a bit more murky when you go back a few thousand (not guaranteed they weren’t more volatile at some point), and peak Holocene temperatures on average were probably as warm or warmer, although we’re rapidly approaching the peak.  Of course, warm or warmer tends to imply more of certain types of extremes, but then one must be careful to not group them all together.  Within the context, though, it seems to be defining stable as less weather extremes, but that’s on shaky ground through such a time period.

    Louise correctly notes that the overstatements are from a couple of media articles, not from mainstream climate science, to which I suspect most realists here would equate to being “our side”.  For a more nuanced and appropriate discussion, I recommend RC posts “The Moscow Warming Hole” and “Going to Extremes”.

    Overstatements on the so-called “skeptic” side are perpetual and regular, and their rhetoric goes far beyond ”overstatements”.  There’s no equivalence.

  113. thingsbreak Says:

    @111 EdG:
    Wow. A new method in a just published paper is supposed to be credible? get back to me in two years, or less.
     
    Behold, climate “skepticism”!
     
    Don’t like the conclusions of a paper? Find a superficial, baseless criticism to avoid discussing its contents entirely.
     
    Your second link. First, good to see one of Hansen’s colleagues at the GISS data factory still getting published.
     
    Don’t like the conclusions of a paper? Engage in guilt-by-association source degradation that has literally nothing to do with the contents of the paper in question. 
     
    Yes. Their exercise produced results that “differ distinctly” from the IPPC version. How inconvenient! And worse, it disputes the legend of the warming poles, which their colleague Hansen uses to invent warming data.
    In other words, neither of these papers are credible evidence of anything. But they do show us how easy it is to tweak models or data or methods to produce whatever one wants to.
     
    Alternatively, highlight a few sentences that you quite obviously don’t understand, and try your darnedest to spin them as somehow saying exactly the opposite of what the paper actually concludes.

    This is- apart from WUWT and Morano regurgitating every blog post in the denial-o-sphere and Steve McIntyre whining about bureaucratic minutia- the best “skeptics” can apparently come up with.
     
    Tedious.

  114. Fred Says:

    While all these interesting arguments are hashed out here the UAH global temp has gone negative:
     
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/02/uah-global-temperature-anomaly-goes-negative-2/
     
    Warmists have been saying for a long, long time the climate is warming and then this happens. Must be frustrating to argue the warmist side only to see temps go negative at this late date. Morano is not your worst enemy, reality is.

  115. Mervyn Says:

    We are now seeing very good measurements relating to climate… what we call the real world observational data.  This is real science.

    I look at the real world data and what it is telling us about the climate.  I look at the IPCC’s ominous model-based predictions.

    What do I see?  I see observed realism versus fantasy.

    I cannot for the life of me understand why people would dare dismiss the real world measurements (that demonstrate there is nothing unprecedented about today’s climate) in favour of forecasts and predictions of climate models that cannot predict next weeks weather yet we’re supposed to believe they can forecast climate conditions 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 years into the future.

    To do so is simply insane. 

  116. BBD Says:

    Fred
     
    La Nina. January. Wow.

  117. RickA Says:

    If by stable, they mean that the sea level has been rising the entire 12,000 years, by around 50 meters, then we are still stable.

    When looking at climate over the last 200 years compared to climate over the last 12,000, it is hard to see that humans have made much difference.

    The sea is still rising - but humans are not to blame for the first 49 meters, so why are we at fault for the last 1 meter? 

  118. EdG Says:

    #113 - TB

    > “Behold, climate “skepticism”! Don’t like the conclusions of a paper? Find a superficial, baseless criticism to avoid discussing its contents entirely.”

    The fact that that paper was just published and is based on some new methodology is not a “superficial, baseless criticism.” It is a recognition of what it is, reinforced by the track record of this field of ‘science’ producing convenient pal reviewed papers which are subsequently debunked.

    In the meantime, apparently it does fit your beliefs so you eagerly jump on it.

    > “Don’t like the conclusions of a paper? Engage in guilt-by-association source degradation that has literally nothing to do with the contents of the paper in question.” 

    Again, since the ‘conclusions’ of this paper are not supportable conclusions at all. And since they differ from the IPCC version of reality, I find this part of the story rather amusing.

    In my well informed opinion, anyone who works with Hansen is not credible. If they were they could not work with him or be associated in any way with him. Would you invest with a Madoff associate?

    >”Tedious.”

    Yes. And it will probably get even more tedious as this thing winds down in the face of reality.

    Back to where this began, which was the precise or even approximate role that anthro-GHGs play in climate change, versus natural factors/cycles.

    NOBODY KNOWS. But it does appear to be much, much less than the IPCC social engineering project was fearmongering about.

  119. hunter Says:

    The believers are grasping at some pretty stale straws trying to confabulate a link between a hot summer and CO2.
    But it is all they have: straw and magic thinking. Sort of a pseudo-Rumpelstiltskin sort of science that spins straw into phony gold.
     

  120. Tom Says:

    Keith Kloor,
     
    #64 …
     
    “The smart ones know better, the diehards who are convinced that climate doom is around the corner believe this and sound like Old Testament prophets.”…
     
    Just to be clear about this subject; please bear in mind that the ‘Old Testament prophets,’ faced certain death if they erred. AGW scientists are unable to match the accuracy of these men of the past. Perhaps if the same penalties were to be applied today for error, there would be a statistical improvement in the current understanding of PNS scientists relative to the Global Temperature today?

  121. George Clymer Says:

    “But here are some of the parallels with the climate war. The Taliban, like Morano, are fiercely puritanical. They are not averse to cleansing their own side. ”
    Yes, like when Morano cleansed Judith Curry.
     
    Oh wait, that wasn’t Morano, that was the warmists.

  122. Steven Sullivan Says:

    As I understand it , Judith Curry still holds her academic position still wins grants,  still publishes in respectable journals, still, and even occasionaly has a reply published on Real Climate threads.
    That’s some ‘cleanse’.  It appears to be as based in reality, and as effective, as the ones practiced by New Age health fans
     
    But then, yours isn’t a reality-based community, is it?
     
     
     
     
     

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