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Wild Card Debate

Some of my readers have been asking for a separate arena to house their intellectual wrestling matches, and I’ve finally complied. Here’s the perfect place for your general debates, arguments, revelations, recommendations, epiphanies and verbal fisticuffs — any exchange of opinions that wouldn’t tie in neatly with my blog posts. Feel free to discuss the nature of centrist politics, candidates you like or despise, the virtues and vices of capitalism, the state of Western civilization or anything else that might intrigue our readers. This is your space. And of course, I still welcome you to comment on my own posts!

110 Comments leave one →
  1. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 5, 2011 10:40 am

    Great, Thanks Rick, this will save those of your regulars who Don’t want to listen to the great ideological battle between the Libertarian universe and the moderate universe, or any other tangents and don’t want their mailboxes filled with that.

  2. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 5, 2011 10:44 am

    My first question to Dhlii is an existential one. Since you have explained that moderate positions don’t exist and there is only Marx and Smith and no middle ground in between, then how is it that we are here? Moderates are just another of the many many items that apparently cannot exist based on first principles according to Libertarian ideology.

    How can you be debating people who don’t exist?

    • October 24, 2011 11:29 am

      You are mis-stating my claim.

      Ignoring that Smith is probably not the best representative for one pole, there are rational arguments, logic, theory, principles behind classical economics on one hand and Marx on the other.

      Essentially we have competing hypothesis’s, models, and we can try to evaluate them against the real world.

      If you wish to claim that truth lies between those two poles – you must provide competing arguments, logic, theory and principles for why – and these must be testable – atleast as testable as the existing alternates.

      I can conceive of myriads of possible “moderate” theories – models/philosophies that produce an optimum somewhere between. It could even be argued that we are or should optimise something other than economics.

      But despite the possibility of “moderate” alternate theories – they do not exist.
      I am arguing an army of Classical Liberal Political economists and ethicists primarily against statism, and Marx, and “moderates” are arguing that I am wrong without really postulating an atlernative.

      I am not saying there is no other possibility. I am saying moderates have not mad a case for one.

      At the same time I will argue that you can not take the statist and classical liberal positions and just compromise them. They are not compatible, they are irreconcilable. They have no theoretical common ground. If you want to stake out a claim for a middle position, you have to construct a framework for it – and moderates have not done so.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    October 5, 2011 6:25 pm

    You have two cows. One at the left one at the right. The far you move them the more they become extreme left and extreme right. The more you keep them together, the more extremism you avoid, thus you get moderation. Why would there be a third cow? It will complicate the identification of philosophical truths.

    If the cow from the left is moving far to the left, what do you get? Far left and center-right? But we already established that distances between the cow from the left and the one from the right measures the extremism. Does it mean that the extreme right cow actually hijacked the center? Or that the cow from the left has left the pasture (Fall of Communism)?

    But now we are back having two cows… No mater what you do, you allays have two cows…

    • October 24, 2011 11:34 am

      We are not starting with Cows.

      We are starting with two irreconcilable theories of government and economics.
      We do not have a third theory, and the existing theories can not be compromised and still be valid.

      Each postulates that conditions improves as they move towards their own ideal.

      Real world evidence pretty compellingly refutes one.

  4. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 5, 2011 6:38 pm

    But there are not two people, there are billions, and nearly as many points of view. Why talk of two? The existence of this multitude may be inconvenient to the attempts of an ultra simplifying philosophy to simplify, but that does not affect the fact that the multitude still exists. The simple view is rather useless and pointless under these circumstances unless you wish to explain things to a very small child. In the adult world this there are only two model will be an utter failure.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 5, 2011 7:10 pm

      Stop bullying me!

      You can explain your “multitude” until cows come home… I still have two cows.

      P.S. Ian, I am but a jester 🙂

      • The Phantom permalink
        June 7, 2017 12:36 am

        Just an observation that with just two cows you have a limited future. Somewhere in there you need a bull. Just saying!

    • October 24, 2011 11:39 am


      Brilliant – but only one system allows for billions of people each with different views on every possible subject.

      One of the models is based on that, and the other can not work without near unanimity of view.

      You have essentially discovered what is called “the information problem” of statism. A problem that does not exist in free markets.

      There is an enormous amount information on “the information problem” as it is the fundimental failure of all top down structures.

  5. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 5, 2011 7:22 pm

    But you said that I had two cows, now you want them for yourself. Nationalization of the Bullshit industry?

    Heh, got it I think.

    If you are a fellow with a Hungarian background then I have guessed correctly.

    • Anonymous permalink
      October 5, 2011 7:36 pm

      It is known that there are billions of cows. However, not every one of them is yours. Therefore, you must have a finite number of cows. There are infinite number of views but billions of cows divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average number of cows you have can be said to be zero… two cows are better than zero.

      …”Hungarian”? What do you thin I am? Holstein-Friesian? Holy cow!

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 5, 2011 7:43 pm

        … and to add

        The having of two cows is the “golden mean,” the proper balance between deficiency and excess. Happiness results from acting in accordance with rational principles such as golden means; ergo, happiness is having two cows.

      • Anonymous permalink
        October 5, 2011 7:48 pm

        … moreover
        The having of two cows is the “golden mean,” the proper balance between deficiency and excess. Happiness results from acting in accordance with rational principles such as golden means; ergo, happiness is having two cows.
        Ergo, moderation. QED

  6. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 5, 2011 7:56 pm

    The hole in your logic is that I, as a moderate, have already been proven not to exist, thus the 2 cows are divided by zero, the cows again are at infinity, not two.

    • October 24, 2011 11:44 am

      You exist but as of yet, I have not heard any exposition of a moderate philosophy or ideology.
      If you chose the middle on an issue, there must be a why. If you claim an approach to be right, it must have underlying premises. If you are going to mix elements of statism and laissez faire, you must have some basis for deciding how to balance them.

  7. Kent permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:35 am

    Hey, there Ian and Anonymous,

    You both have excellent points. There is something to think about here on both counts.

    Anonymous – You state that the cows are two. Ok, they are matter and they are big…just like the two Political parties. But, you are also separating the two from each other…which means you have to count in the matter between the two cows (parties). That is the “status quo”. Independents, Libertarians, Moderates, and Centrists in the middle “no man’s land”.

    Let’s say a new cow shows up and pushes his way in between the two larger cows because they left a “gap”. Now you have a Moderate group with a party known as Centrists.

    Anonymous, you know that if you have seen cows on the pasture that they are always coming up in the middle of two other cows either during feeding time or to get a space in the shade.

    Second, the wider the gap the more matter is between the two main cows. Thus, leading to more separated people from both parties…because something is empty (matter) filling the gap. This explains the Tea Party and the “Wall Street” party.

    Now, if the matter/status quo in the middle could organize into a new cow (party) appearing. Then the two main cows (parties) would mostly be jealous (because no one likes someone barging in their airspace) and get closer to the middle cow to force them out.

    The matter between the two cows is “priceless” it gives just enough space for both cows to exist individually. If they split a great distance from each other (either one), then you have some new matter to the middle. These are the alienated from the cow that moved away. It doesn’t have to be both cows moving away.

    • October 24, 2011 12:20 pm

      The cow analogy is poor. The existance of two polar cows tells us nothing. The views they are placeholders for have values, and make predictions. Each provides answers – even about what the middle looks like. But those answers are different irreconcilable.

      It is using Red and Blue as standins for an argument about good and evil.

      There are issues and situations where different competing (though not usually opposing) values can be compromised for an outcome that is net optimal.
      But all issues do not reduce to compromise. Some issues are binary or at the very least bias heavily one way or another.

      Finally, even if somehow you can successfully argue that top down and bottom up are not diametrically opposite, you have the burden for building a stable intermediate position.

      Claiming both extremes are wrong, neither makes that so, nor establishes any of the myriads of intermediate positions as right.

      Moderates at TNM are like Jello – they are sure everyone else is wrong, but take no actual position themselves – and to the extent they do it constantly shifts left.

  8. Kent permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:47 am

    If the cows were so close to each other then their would be no matter between them. Thus, a Political Civil War. But this is not the case. The gap is wider than ever before. So the alienated are in the wide gap between the two cows.

    The problem is that the Libertarian cow (in the middle) is still too small to worry the two big cows. To solve this problem. Bring in a bigger cow. There are two ways:

    Just bring in a Centrist Cow along side the Libertarian small cow and it looks like two. This is similar now to the Tea party and the Wall Street Party.

    or Create a “United Centrist Party” where multitude of parties that are “center” can express their ideologues. This would be a huge cow. Considering the wide gap now available.
    The organization would include Independents (with no affiliation to any main party), Libertarians (South Centrists), Moderates (Centered Centrists), and Centrists (North Centrists).

    You can change the last sentence to Libertarians (Left Centrists—more liberal), Centrists (Right Centrists). When I say left and right it is more inclined to be more social/conservative.

    Let’s face it even a Centrist or Libertarian shows some leanings toward the left/right ideas. That is because the Status Quo changes based on the distance between the two cows.

  9. Kent permalink
    October 6, 2011 9:59 am

    Also, when I say “Social/Conservative”…it is more Liberty/Central Planning.

  10. Kent permalink
    October 6, 2011 10:00 am

    or Liberty/Fairness or Anarchy/Fairness

  11. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 6, 2011 11:55 am

    Hi Kent,

    I think that this has been mostlly under the heading of silly. Someone, I thought it was Valdobiade in disguise was funnin me.

    Mostly, you lost me. But the part I like is:

    “The gap is wider than ever before. So the alienated are in the wide gap between the two cows.
    The problem is that the Libertarian cow (in the middle) is still too small to worry the two big cows. To solve this problem. Bring in a bigger cow.”

    And this:

    “Now, if the matter/status quo in the middle could organize into a new cow (party) appearing. Then the two main cows (parties) would mostly be jealous (because no one likes someone barging in their airspace) and get closer to the middle cow to force them out.”

    is my hope, expressed in cows.

    Libertairians are “other.” Dhlii has gone to great lengths to explain that. Libertarians = Adam Smith = the opposite pole from Marxism. Certainly NOT the center, at least by his explanation.

    • Kent permalink
      October 7, 2011 10:33 am


      Dhlii thinks that Adam Smith was a Libertarian?

      Libertarians built their party after Adam Smith.

      Marx believed in Capitalism. He just wanted to change it a worker controlled economy.

      Capitalism to Marx seemed to be controlled by few over the many.
      In other words, bartering controlled by the few non-workers over the many workers.

      Marxism still never proposed a new kind of “currency” to combat “money” did he? or a better way to “barter” than Capitalism.?

      • October 24, 2011 12:34 pm

        Ian is fixated on labels. It is easier to dismiss a card carrying libertarian – which I am not. Nothing is nuanced. If something can be labeled – conservative, economic fundimentalist, libertarian – even liberal, then it can be dismissed. Moderates are right – despite the fact that you can not pin anyone at TNM down, and that to the extent you can they are far from moderate – because everyone else can be labeled, therefore they are wrong, and can be dismissed.

        I beleive Marx felt capitolism was a way point on the road to communism, not an endpoint nor something to be managed more than briefly.

    • Kent permalink
      October 7, 2011 10:36 am

      I still would call it capitalism even though it is a Socialist economy. Money still flows like always. It’s only the Government that dictates where the money goes. People still barter like Capitalists.

    • October 24, 2011 12:28 pm


      Things are more complex than you describe.

      Smith is just the start the classical liberal tradition – that today is best represented by Libertarians.

      I have quoted myriads of political economists. Aparently Smith yanks your chain.
      You have carcitured me as a way of dismissing me, you are free to do that to all ideas you do not like, but it does not get you anywhere. Smith’s contribution to economics is greater than Darwins to anthopology or Freud’s to psychology – most of us do not berate Darwin or Freud because they did not get everything right.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    October 6, 2011 2:06 pm

    Yep, you got me guys! It’s me Valdobiade. I forgot to add my name every time I post, but I am the only one here writing mostly to lift up the spirits 🙂

    I came up with the “two cows” idea because actually I wanted to explain that one cow would be K. Marx and another A. Smith. Historically, people have been going back and forth and milking both cows. Why? Because there are only two cows in principle.

    The example of “two cows” went from economic to political. One cow will give socialist milk and the other capitalist milk…I think that was unavoidable. Why? Because even if we have a calf in the middle, it will suck either from the left cow or from the right cow. Even if the calf will suck equally from one cow or the another, can our calf came up with better ideas than the old cows?

    Humanity knows the Holy Cow, it is the religious cow that dominated most of the human history. That cow went OK with tribalist, slavist, feudalist and capitalist milkers. The capitalist cow kicked out the socialist-communist cow, not completely of course, because some of the socialist milk is still appealing in turmoil times.

    Those were the two economical-ideological cows. The US two cows, the cow D and the cow R, they just seem to be opposed, it helps the milkers get the big share of milk. Right now we need a calf that will feed form the old cows, but with the hope that it will became a better cow from which the milker will share its milk… no bull.

    Would we want to baptize the calf Moderatist? Will it become the best cow after the Tribalist, Slavist, Feudalist, Capitalist and Communist cows? The problem still persist: who will buy this cow? Would it be the property of a few or the property of the many? I have this feeling that I’m going back to the two cows…

    • Kent permalink
      October 7, 2011 4:44 am

      There is a middle cow Ideologue, but not a past philosopher to use such as Karl Marx or Adam Smith.

      Adam Smith – 1700’s – Capitalism/Industrialism
      Karl Marx – 1800’s – Socialism/Industrialism
      Ayn Rand? – 1900’s – Services/Individualism
      ????? – 2000’s – Meritocracy/Individualism

      • Kent permalink
        October 7, 2011 4:59 am

        I think that Ayn Rand was a great person…although I haven’t read her stuff. My schooling is mostly keeping me busy. She came into the time that services sector was just beginning to become the new giant in the late 60’s. Manufacturing was beginning to leave by this time (a.k.a. Hong Kong, Singapore cheap labor). She was a person who saw individuals as different in their own right. Free-roaming.

        The individuals free-roam and create their own specialty businesses and then what happens? Specialty skills! Now you have Adult Americans with Specialty skills. Each one has a skill that is important to a certain job. To get more skills on the job…you are learning at Specialty schools. Learning on the job… move into Meritocracy. Your skills determine your position.

        Unfortunately, between everyone moving up in a company with personal skills…you have to “push” the people that have lesser skills “out of the way”. Unfortunately, those above don’t like this and you get fired, even though you have more knowledge/skills than your boss.

        This has been going on for years, but it is becoming more competitive. This is where we are going. A person has to take “evaluation personality tests” just to apply for a job? Plus, what “skills” do you have? It’s not just “show up at 9am and start shoveling manure anymore”. Meritocracy/Individualism…It’s coming! Everyone wants the best employee with skills specific to the job. There is such a wide and growing population that anyone can eventually find the right person.

      • October 24, 2011 12:42 pm

        Rand has a great deal to contribute, but I think calling her a great person is a reach. I have read most of her fiction – despite myriads of weaknesses, Atlas Shrugged is one of the best works of fiction ever written. We the Living is a devastating expoloration of the USSR before Stalin. Anthem is one of the best distopia’s I have read. But I find the Fountain head boring.

        Further Rand’s followers essentially evolved into a cult. A very logical and well educated cult. If you expect Rand to answer every question you will be disappointed. If you glean from her writing its most important themes, she has great value.

        Ian would really freak out if an objectivist joined this blog.

  13. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 6, 2011 2:53 pm

    Can we have a scientist cow? The new improved moderate cow should follow that one and drink only very selectively from the other cows.

    As to keeping spirits up, за тебя, Valdobiade, сто грамм для храбрости, молоко или водка, каждый выбирает для себя.

    • October 6, 2011 9:23 pm

      Ian: All I got was “something, something, Valdobiade, something, something, vodka, something, something. Care to translate?

      By the way… good to see you back in action Valdo. I missed you.

      • Ian Robertson permalink
        October 7, 2011 9:03 am

        Hi Rick,

        I was replying to Valdo’s comment about keeping spirits up. Since he lived under the Soviet regime I figured I could lapse into Roosky. I offered him a toast, “Here’s To You Valdo, 100 grams for bravery, milk or vodka, take your pick, everyone is free to choose for themselves.’ The 100 grams is a standard dose of alcohol, not too much but noticeable. I was happy to see him and riffed a little off our silly cow conversation. My sense of humor is a bit odd, I can easily lose people.

    • Kent permalink
      October 7, 2011 5:21 am

      Yes, Ian the moderate should be able to discern common sense on which existing party to pick ideas, but it doesn’t have to be the extreme of the other party. Unless the issue being debated has swayed too far in one direction.

      In this case, and only in this case. Swinging to the other extreme might balance things more logically.

      I find that if you take your thought of something that is an issue.

      Think of an extreme to it and then think of the extreme to that…..find the middle.

      For example, I am pro-life and pro-choice (not pro-abortion…I want humans to exist!).

      I am male, can’t abort. So you can if your woman. That’s your life’s business.

      Yet, as a pro-life it would be nice to imagine a cute little baby….but if you are truly Pro-Life then all babies must be born….no exceptions! Rape, incest, etc… Does Islam practice this?

      If there are exceptions, then you are making a choice. Then you become Pro-Choice (for a choice) in a abortion.

      Either way someone can die and it isn’t always just physical, it can be emotional on both ends.

    • October 24, 2011 12:44 pm

      Can we just kill the cow analogy. It starts with the false presumption that we are debating interchangeable objects, not ideas.

  14. Kent permalink
    October 7, 2011 5:08 am


    Thinking that most people want “new milk” from old cows D and R right now is incorrect. Read the percent that think Congress is going down.

    People want inspiration, feel good about themselves, the environment, do things, go places. That isn’t happening as a majority anymore. They want “fresh milk” from a new cow.

    The agenda has to be something new, fresh and bold. I argue that Meritocracy is coming. Not just in philosophy, but in Government. Only when logic and common sense become strong enough to overwhelm the masses. Education is the key! Do it thru schools…Charter…because public doesn’t work as well or thru politics using a new party to project common sense and logic.

    The only way to project thru politics is at a time that people are looking for a better future than the one they have….and that is now!

    It is time to get Radical! or someone you don’t like, or a philosophy you don’t like will take hold to the people’s attention instead.

  15. Valdobiade permalink
    October 7, 2011 4:16 pm

    Thanks Rick,
    The “you have two cows” example is actually used as a reductionism.

    I don’t said that the new calf will get “new milk”, but will get some milk. You cannot bring an innovation, an invention , or a new idea if you don’t have something from before. Can you start from “tabula rasa”? Usually revolutions are violent and sometime bloody. I would like a somewhat a smooth transition if possible.

    “Cows” are abstract entities, so they can be ideologies, political parties, or whatever fit an idea.
    These cows can be owned, milked or cut for meat or destroyed if it becomes “mad cow”. A cow is not the owner, the milker or the slaughterer.

    I am Romanian, not Russian. I had Socialist milk, for about 23 years, for the last 27 years I drink Capitalist milk. The Socialist milk was good for about 15-18 years, then it turned sour. But not because of the cow, but because of the owner. He was milking he cow in his favor and his family only. They got executed.

    The capitalist milk, curiously is the same. It was also good for about 20 years, then in the last years it got sour too… The owners are now greedy. It seems that the population protest so the owners keep the cow, but share more milk, or the cow will be slaughtered.

    However, the protest against The Wall Street seems stupid. We have to seize and control the means of production not the means of speculation (the Wall Street).

    • October 24, 2011 12:48 pm

      Abstracting on top of an abstraction is pretty unsound. It completely ignores the fact that what underlies the abstraction has meaning. Cows tell you nothing about the merits or falacies of the ideologies they represent.

  16. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 7, 2011 5:03 pm

    Sorry Valdlbiade, For some reason I though you were Hungarian, my old head, the memory is going, going… I hope I did not offend you, I never thought you were Russian, I just thought you probably read it, along with your native romance language and English. Your phrase “keeping the spirits up” made me think of ideas that are said well in Russian. Ironically.

    • Valdobiade permalink
      October 7, 2011 5:59 pm

      It’s OK Ian. There’s no offense in calling me Hungarian. I just jested that I’d be a Holstein cow if you thought that I am Hungarian. It was just in the cow’s context. Holy cow! 🙂

  17. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:14 pm

    News Item, Europeans more respectful of science than many Americans:

    “Europeans believe that dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a new poll.

    The Eurobarometer poll (pdf) suggests that the majority of the public in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem. Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty.

    Connie Hedegaard, European climate commissioner, said: “This is encouraging news. The survey shows that the citizens of Europe can see that economic challenges are not the only ones we face. A clear majority of Europeans expect their politicians and business leaders to address the serious climate challenge now.”

    She said it was striking that the public were even more concerned about climate change than in the runup to the landmark Copenhagen summit on climate change in late 2009.

    The number of people rating climate change as a very serious problem has risen slightly, from 64% when the poll was last conducted in 2009, to 68% this year. When asked to rank the seriousness of the problem, people put it at 7.4 out of 10, compared with a score of 7.1 out of 10 two years ago.

    People also said there were economic benefits to tackling climate change, with eight out of 10 people saying that dealing with the problem would provide an economic boost and create jobs. Two years ago the number was just under two-thirds.”

    Entire article at:

    Not an issue that is going to just go away.

    • October 24, 2011 1:04 pm

      Best is busy producing a new record of surface temperatures. There results thus far have challenged sacred cows of both skeptics and warmists.

      Regardless, they are generally respected, conducting real science with open data and methods, using sound statistical methods.

      Thus far they have basically confirmed that despite serious skeptical criticism with respect to quality of data, Urban Heat Island’s and poor method’s, the warming theme of surface temperature records kept by CRU, GIS, … are essentially accurate.

      I still personally take issue to their dismissal of UHI, even Phil Jones eventually had to concede that it was a likely factor in modern warming. But I am aware of BEST’s approach to examining the issue and there methods seem to demonstrate diminished significance for UHI.

      At the same time their results (everybody is using the same data) depart from all other records with respect to the 19th century. Their analysis of the data continues the 20th century trend through to the begining of the 19th century.

      I do not beleive there is a single warmist scientist that has ever claimed that human CO2 could have effected climate prior to 1970. Absent an accelerating warming trend, there is no argument for CO2 based athropogenic global warming.

      Just as I an not in agreement with BEST’s analysis of UHI, warmists are critical of BEST’s q9th century results.

    • October 24, 2011 1:08 pm

      We decide science by poll ?

      Europeans are wrong on lots of things why shouldn’t AGW be one of those ?

      There are also studies that show skeptics are primarily White males. Of course the studies show that warmists are primarly white males.

      There are studies that show that the more you know about climate, and climate science – the more likely you are to be a skeptic. Yet I am constantly told only stupid people disbelieve the climate cabal.

  18. Valdobiade permalink
    October 10, 2011 2:41 pm

    I get irked by this “redistribution of wealth”. Let the rich keep their richness. Let’s just have a govern that will print money to give to the people to have enough to live decent.
    Is there a problem with that?

    • October 24, 2011 1:18 pm

      There are myriads of reasons this is an abysmal idea.
      Weimar Germany, as well as episodes in Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, Tiawan come immediately to mind. I do not think there is a single economic school – not even keynesians that advocates wanton printing of money.

      But the basic fallacy is a failure to understand the nature of wealth.
      Wealth is created. Increasing the money supply does not increase wealth. Without an actual increase in wealth you can not create a better standard of living. Even redistribution fails – in theory if redistribution had no effect on production, redistribution would produce a small increase in the standard of living of the least in return for a large decrease for the well off.

      However much you think the top 1% you have to divide that by 100, the top .001% by 10,000.

  19. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 22, 2011 10:08 am

    It looks like the Global warming skeptics have lost at least one of their more respectable supporters and one important argument, that about the accuracy and validity of the data the scientific community has come up with on warming. Richard Muller, who gave the skeptics a respectable sympathizer has left their skeptic fold.

    Muller’s group has completed a huge review of temperature data and concluded that the data that he had scathingly criticized (see youtube videos) was accurate after all and the scientists had avoided bias. Climate gate just lost a lot of its teeth.

    Muller just wrote a long opinion piece in the WSJ The Case Against Global Warming Skepticism.

    The piece states that he makes no conclusion about whether or how much of the the warming is caused by humans. But as Muller is known for having gone after the climate gate principles quite vigorously the following is sweet music to my ears:

    “When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.”

    Will deniers give up? Hardly. But they have lost a key battle on this one.

    • October 24, 2011 1:45 pm

      It is funny how we can see the same information and reach different conclusions.

      While confirming that the machinations of Hanson, Jones and company have not seriously corrupted the surface temperature record, is of value – and yes skeptics have been wary of the accuracy of those records, very few skeptics have claimed the surface temperature record was off enough to matter.

      Dr. Mueller has not back off this

      Whether BEST’s analysis of the 19th century is correct or not ONE of the key points of contention is past temperatures – not the 20th century – The 19th is only significant to the extent that it demonstrates that the “Little Ice Age” really occured, and that the 20th century is not unusual. More important still are the past two thousand years.

      The Mann, Biffra, Jones, Hockey stick is an absolute fraud. Both in that it was a deliberate deception, and bad science. Even more important, it was wrong. The scientific “consensus” that is emerging is that there were atleast two and possibly three periods in the past two thousand years that were as hot or hotter than any thus far in the 20th and 21st centuries.
      If you accept that CO2 was not an explanation then, how do you claim it is the only explanation now ?

    • October 24, 2011 1:53 pm

      I do not beleive the earth is warming due to CO2, but of the possibilities we have going forward that is one of the better ones. Past periods of warming have coincided with prosperity, cooling not so much. There is a very real though small possibility we should be far more concerned about cooling.
      We are in the midst of the weakest solar cycle in over 100 years, possibly almost 300 years.

      Dramatic solar minima have in the past corresponded to serious global cooling.
      The vikings left what had been thriving colonies in north america and greenland – when they became too cold to inhabit.

    • October 25, 2011 12:06 pm

      Wikipedia keeps an abreviated list of fairly well respected scientists that do not accept Anthropogenic Global Warming.

      Skeptics are in a fairly prestigious crowd.

      For reference I have not seen crying and gnashing of teeth among skeptics over the BEST work – it is being embraced – despite minor quibbles. While warmist sites are actually attacking it. They are very upset – a colder 19th century is a far more serious blow to AGW than independent confirmation of the 20th century record.

      I would also specifically refer you to Muller’s conclusion in his editorial

      “Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.”

      There are very few people who doubt that the planet has warmed since the depth of the little ice age.

      The have been two primary issues with respect to the human surface temperature record. Those are: Was the warming from 1970 through 1999 unusual ? To the extent BEST addresses that the answer is no. BEST is currently being savaged by the AGW community because their 19th century results are at odds with and essentially refute the conception that man has anything to do with this.

      The more minor issue is the Urban Heat Island effect. Many of us still think Muller is incorrect with respect to the significance of that – though the issue is complex.

  20. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 25, 2011 1:02 pm

    Sorry, dhlii, you and I live in entirely different universes.

    Your characterization of the reaction of the two camps to the Muller BEST report is unrecognizable to me. its spin, not truth. I see the AGW camp being quite pleased and the skeptics being mostly quite put out. There may be a few exceptions that you are trying to make into a case.

    Note that when I posted this I deliberately included the words you just reposted to make the context clear that cause was not addressed by BEST and I did not try to overstate the meaning of the report. This is in contrast the tactics of you deniers. Deniers are losing 98-2, its the bottom of the 8th and you finally get a runner on first, and declare that you’ve won and the debate is over, the AGW “Cult” is defeated. Once a month at least I see some permutation of this story by the denialists, a la “AGW proven to be a fraud.”

    I have seen who the skeptics are, Some are very successful people, many are complete loonies. Even taking the best of the skeptics. they are dwarfed by the prestige that is on the AGW side. Its every major National Academy of Sciences, every government, including ones like Russia and China whose economic plans are not consistent with admitting to AGW. Its 98% of the climate scientists. Its European public opinion.

    Your recent characterization of the hockey stick as a “fraud” in nonsense, Muller and BEST came up with the same conclusion, as have the US National Academy of Sciences and many other separate groups. I previously asked you for references on your temperature claims and you answered that you would not provide any. I provided the graph published by the US National Academy of Sciences showing many different ways of estimating climate for the last 100+ years, which showed the “Hockey stick” clearly. You provide a shotgun full of nonsense.

    And then you recently asked me why I believe that only human emissions are involved in climate change.

    I don’t think that! We settled that long ago. Only an idiot would think that. Its a strawman and its your best attempt to debate me. Why the strawman yet again? Because you have such a weak case.

    You have a whole shotgun full of extremely weak arguments and you never concede any point, no matter how obvious. Its a not very honest attempt to obscure reality. Not a word of it is your own either.

    Why do I even try to reason with you?

    You don’t like to be called a conservative, but the people who make up the hard core skeptics are nearly 100% conservatives. Its American conservatives (minus, Hunstsman, Romney, and McCain) against the world, armed with total belief in the the 2% of climate scientists who disagree with the consensus.

    Its not impressive, and I’d love to be impressed as I have no reason to believe we will cut GHG emissions any time soon.


    • October 25, 2011 8:54 pm

      To the extent that BEST covers the period in the Mann Hockey stick, they are not even close. You do not seem to grasp how great a fraud the hockey stick is.
      You can’t have both BEST and Mann.

      Here is the Mann Hockey Stick from the 2001 IPCC

      I used the older one as a decade worth of beatings have forced Mann and company to introduce a tame version of the MWP and little ice age. But even the current version is irreconcilable with BEST.
      This is Best from 1800-2000

      The values in the graph above are 10 year rolling averages, therefore they stop in 2003 and do not show the subsequent decline.
      This is a wikipedia graph from 1850-2000.
      Here is a reconstruction based on Loehle and McCulloch (2008)

      Loehle is one of the more dramatic ones showing the MWP is significantly hotter that the present. But there are myriads of others.

      Proxy reconstruction of the past is fraught with problems. Various proxies and methods produce significantly different results – virtually no one beside Mann, Biffra, and Jones, obliterate the MWP, Little Ice Age, ….

      At the bare minimum BEST provides strong evidence of the Little Ice Age using actual temperature records rather than proxies – this is irreconcilable with Mann.

      There are other issues with the Mann, Biffra, Jones proxies – there is far more wrong that just a bogus graph. But critiquing that could take a book.

      Once you have BEST trends from 1800 and 1850 through the present with no significant trend deviation since 1970, AGW is in trouble.

      I will agree with you that the media has claimed the BEST results backup AGW – but warmist sites are busy attacking BEST’s methods for interpolating data – they are very disturbed by both the re-appearance of the little Ice age, BEST’s colder representation of it, and the fact that BEST went back to 1800. It is possible that those criticism’s may have merit – but if they do, they undermine the entire rest of BEST results that have made the media happy.

      Aside from the fact that Anthony Watts is up in arms because BEST has undermined his claims regarding UHI, I am not seeing a serious skeptic site that is unhappy about BEST.

      The AGW is a fallacy stories continue – because it is. If you do not grasp that you are not paying any attention. I do not think there is a single facet of AGW that has not been solidly slapped down in the past decade – and things are just getting worse. The stories you complain about are being driven by studies and evidence.

      The energy budget does not work.
      The cloud model in the GCM’s is wrong.
      Trendberth keeps trying to drive the missing heat – we have not seen predicted warming in the 21st century, deeper and deeper into the ocean – because nobody can find it where he claims it is – and this is despite that fact that decades ago the warmist claimed AGW heat had to be near the surface of the ocean – otherwise we can not get the requisite warming.

      I have no idea what claim it is you are saying I said I would not provide.
      All this stuff is readily available on the web anyway.

      If you accept that all warming in the 20th century was not due to CO2. What portion was ?
      Take a good look at BEST. Any deviation from prior trend is miniscule at best.

      Here is a UAH graph up to the present.

      Whatever trend you thought you had between 1970 and 1997 is gone now.
      It is arguable whether the planet is warming at all. It is not arguable – not even Jones, Mann, Trendberth, Biffra, or Hanson are arguing that we are still following the trend of the late 20th century.

      I would throw your own argument about conceding points back at you.

      The Artic Ice cap has been on the verge of disappearing my entire life – while the trends are debatable – the Antarctic has been increasing and net global Ice is just about constant – of course the global climate models (GCM’s) predict the predict polar warming 3 times that of the rest of the planet.

      Everyday we have some new AGW prediction – next Global warming will make us sterile.
      These are continuously being refuted.

      The change in language from “Global Warming” to Climate Change – is a tacit admission, the expected warming is not happening.

      Will you atleast agree that BEST seems to prove the existance of the Little Ice age ?
      That atleast BEST thinks it was colder than Mann, and the Warmists ?
      Will you agree that whatever has happened during the 21st century we have fallen below the trend warmist predicted, and the trend in the late 20th century.

      I do not know what the next decade or century will bring. But if had to bet my personal integrity on predictions of future global temperatures there is no possibility I would bet on AGW. I am far more concerned that we may be looking at a repeat of the conditions that led to the little ice age. I am not certain of that. I am not betting on that. The evidence is controversial – though no more than AGW. But the consequences will be far worse than warming. Given those two extremes – I hope the warmists are right.

      We live on a planet where change – including climate change, has been the norm for almost 4 billion years. Why do you think the past 4 decades have been unusual ?

      You are probably about as old as I
      Of all the cataclysmic disasters that have been predicted during our lifetimes, which one has come true ? Why do you still believe the chicken littles ? You are old enough and experienced enough to know better.

      • Ian Robertson permalink
        October 25, 2011 10:14 pm

        Dhlii. I start from a more reasonable position. With the weight of every major formal scientific body in the world behind AGW, I only claim its probable the scientists are more correct than not. With the weight of a small group of scientists and a larger group of knucklehead conservatives, most of whom are semi literate judging by their obnline comments, behind denialism, you claim that you are sure that AGW cannot exist.

        I am not a fanatic, I don’t want AGW to be correct and I do not foresee major or even any reductions in human GHG emissions anytime soon.

        You are a fanatic, you have made a huge investment in this and consider your opinions to be more informed than the scientists. That is a a delusion, as the idea that every portion of the theory has been “slapped down.” Its been hotly disputed, yes, your side continually, comically declares that you won the disputes.

        Most of your arguments are so primitive that I just laugh when I hear them..

        2005 was the hottest year on record, 2007 second. Temps fluctuate from year to year and decade to decade for a whole complex series of reasons, but the human GHG influence is superimposed on them. It does not mean that this year can’t be colder than last, by land surface temp, water temps are not even considered.

        I looked over data and arguments today that there has been no warming since 1998. Your side considers that you have proven this, game over, the AGW side has plausible explanations of why this is not so (2005 was the hottest year, water temps, an influence of ocean currents in the 1990s. etc.)

        If you want my advice, stop declaring victory, its comical.

        I’ll try to look at all your graphs tomorrow.

        Oh, and what earthly meaning could there possibly be in MY Opinion as to how much of the heating is due to Human GHG emissions? I leave that to the scientific community to determine and debate. I’m not competent in that field.

      • October 25, 2011 11:04 pm

        You think science is not political. Besides have you followed the numbers of prestigious scientists who have resigned from the very institutions you are citing specifically because they have taken scientific debate and turned it into a religious litmus test ? Do you understand how difficult it is to get funded, or published, or join any of those renowned bodies today if you do not lean left ?
        You claimed skeptics were near universally conservative – well warmists are near universally liberal, and liberals own most of academia, the media, …..

        How many times do the high priests have to manipulate and modify their arguments before you grasp you are in a cult ?

        I am aware of the explanations of the failure of the earth to conform to predictions since 1997. That does not change the fact that it has not. The burden of proof is actually on the warmists here. They need to more than explain it, they need to prove it. Further, their explanations are increasingly self contradictory. I have been in this long enough to have heard the very same people arguing that AGW would warm the ocean surface, but that it would take decades possibly centuries to warm the ocean depths. Now these same people ask us to beleive that warming that is not ocuring at the surface is being hidden in the depths.

        You say you looked at the data – really look at the BEST trend line. They are using a 10 year rolling average so their graph ends at 2001. Still without the past decade that has stubornly refused to follow the GCM’s the period from 1970 through 1997 hardly looks unusual. Even if the next decade reverts to the trend from 1970 through 1997, once 1998-2011 are added the trendline will be exactly as it has been for 200 years – more than 160 of which everyone admits humans had no effect on. And if the next decade follows this one as currently seems likely, we will be below the trend of the past 200 years.

        Of course Lindzen, Plimmer, …. are conservative neanderthals and idiots – they disagree with the “concensus”, they are by definition nutbars. Do you actually read what you write ? Keynes is wrong – because his General Theory has failed – not because he is conservative, liberal or an idiot. He was actually quite brilliant. Smart people are capable of being wrong.

        Hordes of scientists and intelluctuals were behind almost every sky is falling scenario of the past half century – and they were wrong.

        Judith Curry is now being excoriated as a denier – because she dared challenge mount olympus after climate gate – she is still pretty solidly in the warmist camp, just no longer enamored with Biffra, Jones, Mann, and their fraud.

        I think we all agree that weather and climate are not the same thing.
        I am not arguing weather. Nor am I arguing one year. I am not even arguing – though it appears to be true, that on the whole warming has stopped – I am arguing that for more than a decade the overall rate of increase has declined dramatically – below what the GCM’s predict without any effect from CO2.
        I am arguing something that most warmists scientists have accepted – that they are busy trying to explain.

        Which argument do you wish to make ? That the past decade is weather ? Or that the warming of that should have occured in the last decade is trapped deep in the ocean

        Evangelicals are the acknowledged experts on certain areas of theology – their own, and they are numerous and have a consensus among themselves, my personal opinion of the merits of their views has no significance – yet I do not defer to their expertise, I do not concede that they should set global policy because of their expertise.

        If I visit my doctor because my toe hurts and he offers operating on my liver as the cure, I am going to want to review everything I can find before going under the knife – and I trust my doctor far more than “climate scientists”.

        I beleive you said you were a biochemist – you know that it in most areas of science it takes decades, sometimes centuries for scientific knowledge to reach reasonable certainty – and even then absolute certainty is unacheiveable. Climate science is in its infancy. History is filled with myriads of discarded scientific theories that were believed by almost all scientists – until they were not.

        I am not particularly worried that my views on global warming will be proven wrong – I just do not see that happening. What I am concerned about is that the AGW high priesthood will come up with even more voodoo explanations for why things are not actually as they are. I am afraid that even though belief in AGW will fade, that we will miss the recognition that another fraud has been perpetrated, and be guilible enough for the next idiotic concensus – whatever that may be.

    • October 25, 2011 10:20 pm

      I do not like being called conservative, ultra-conservative, fundamentalist – because I am not.
      Though I call you out on it because it weakens your arguments – your world view places the center left at the center, and has everyone to the right of that falling off the edge of the planet.
      For the most part I could care less – or atleast I try not to care what you call me. You are free to speak as you wish – but I am not obligated to agree.

      I do not think conservatives are inherently evil people. I do not even think they are wrong on many issues – but like liberals they are wrong on some.

      I strongly suspect that conservatives are more likely to disbelieve AGW. I think conservatives are more likely to disbelieve almost all the chicken little catastrophism – and they are right to do so. At the same time I have not polled Lindzen, Plimmer, ….. on their political or religious views. Rand was an extreme atheist, does the fact that I am not mean I must think she is always wrong ? The left is right about many things. They are nearly universally wrong about the means to accomplish them. And means matter. Worse still with a near unending record of failure they still have faith in means that are not only ineffective , but actually evil.

      Libertarians mostly get along better with conservatives – because for the most part conservatives are not busy trying to concoct new ways to have the government take over everything. Though conservatives are not dependable advocates for limited government liberals are dependable advocates for bigger government – to the extent that very smart liberals will beleive almost any claim of impending catastrophe that justifies government takeover of anything.

      Even in the remarkably unlikely event that AGW somehow proved true and catastrophic – the most sure way to screw things up would be to allow government free range.

  21. October 25, 2011 11:12 pm

    1. Dr Robert Balling: “The IPCC notes that “No significant acceleration in the rate of sea level rise during the 20th century has been detected.” (This did not appear in the IPCC Summary for Policymakers).

    2. Dr. Lucka Bogataj: “Rising levels of airborne carbon dioxide don’t cause global temperatures to rise…. temperature changed first and some 700 years later a change in aerial content of carbon dioxide followed.”

    3. Dr John Christy: “Little known to the public is the fact that most of the scientists involved with the IPCC do not agree that global warming is occurring. Its findings have been consistently misrepresented and/or politicized with each succeeding report.”

    4. Dr Rosa Compagnucci: “Humans have only contributed a few tenths of a degree to warming on Earth. Solar activity is a key driver of climate.”

    5. Dr Richard Courtney: “The empirical evidence strongly indicates that the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is wrong.”

    6. Dr Judith Curry: “I’m not going to just spout off and endorse the IPCC because I don’t have confidence in the process.”

    7. Dr Robert Davis: “Global temperatures have not been changing as state of the art climate models predicted they would. Not a single mention of satellite temperature observations appears in the (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers.”

    8. Dr Willem de Lange: “In 1996, the IPCC listed me as one of approximately 3,000 “scientists” who agreed that there was a discernable human influence on climate. I didn’t. There is no evidence to support the hypothesis that runaway catastrophic climate change is due to human activities.”

    9. Dr Chris de Freitas: “Government decision-makers should have heard by now that the basis for the longstanding claim that carbon dioxide is a major driver of global climate is being questioned; along with it the hitherto assumed need for costly measures to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. If they have not heard, it is because of the din of global warming hysteria that relies on the logical fallacy of ‘argument from ignorance’ and predictions of computer models.”

    10. Dr Oliver Frauenfeld: “Much more progress is necessary regarding our current understanding of climate and our abilities to model it.”

    11. Dr Peter Dietze: “Using a flawed eddy diffusion model, the IPCC has grossly underestimated the future oceanic carbon dioxide uptake.”

    12. Dr John Everett: “It is time for a reality check. The oceans and coastal zones have been far warmer and colder than is projected in the present scenarios of climate change. I have reviewed the IPCC and more recent scientific literature and believe that there is not a problem with increased acidification, even up to the unlikely levels in the most-used IPCC scenarios.”

    13. Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen: “The IPCC refused to consider the sun’s effect on the Earth’s climate as a topic worthy of investigation. The IPCC conceived its task only as investigating potential human causes of climate change.”

    14. Dr Lee Gerhard: “I never fully accepted or denied the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) concept until the furor started after [NASA’s James] Hansen’s wild claims in the late 1980’s. I went to the [scientific] literature to study the basis of the claim, starting at first principles. My studies then led me to believe that the claims were false.”

    15. Dr Indur Goklany: “Climate change is unlikely to be the world’s most important environmental problem of the 21st century. There is no signal in the mortality data to indicate increases in the overall frequencies or severities of extreme weather events, despite large increases in the population at risk.”

    16. Dr Vincent Gray: “The (IPCC) climate change statement is an orchestrated litany of lies.”

    17. Dr Kenneth Green: “We can expect the climate crisis industry to grow increasingly shrill, and increasingly hostile toward anyone who questions their authority.”

    18. Dr Mike Hulme: “Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous … The actual number of scientists who backed that claim was “only a few dozen.”

    19. Dr Kiminori Itoh: “There are many factors which cause climate change. Considering only greenhouse gases is nonsense and harmful. When people know what the truth is they will feel deceived by science and scientists.”

    20. Dr Yuri Izrael: “There is no proven link between human activity and global warming. I think the panic over global warming is totally unjustified. There is no serious threat to the climate.”

    21. Dr Steven Japar: “Temperature measurements show that the climate model-predicted mid-troposphere hot zone is non-existent. This is more than sufficient to invalidate global climate models and projections made with them.”

    22. Dr Georg Kaser: “This number (of receding glaciers reported by the IPCC) is not just a little bit wrong, but far out of any order of magnitude … It is so wrong that it is not even worth discussing,”

    23. Dr Aynsley Kellow: “I’m not holding my breath for criticism to be taken on board, which underscores a fault in the whole peer review process for the IPCC: there is no chance of a chapter [of the IPCC report] ever being rejected for publication, no matter how flawed it might be.”

    24. Dr Madhav Khandekar: “I have carefully analysed adverse impacts of climate change as projected by the IPCC and have discounted these claims as exaggerated and lacking any supporting evidence.”

    25. Dr Hans Labohm: “The alarmist passages in the (IPCC) Summary for Policymakers have been skewed through an elaborate and sophisticated process of spin-doctoring.”

    26. Dr. Andrew Lacis: “There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department.”

    27. Dr Chris Landsea: “I cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”

    28. Dr Richard Lindzen: “The IPCC process is driven by politics rather than science. It uses summaries to misrepresent what scientists say and exploits public ignorance.”

    29. Dr Harry Lins: “Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now. The case for alarm regarding climate change is grossly overstated.”

    30. Dr Philip Lloyd: “I am doing a detailed assessment of the IPCC reports and the Summaries for Policy Makers, identifying the way in which the Summaries have distorted the science. I have found examples of a summary saying precisely the opposite of what the scientists said.”

    31. Dr Martin Manning: “Some government delegates influencing the IPCC Summary for Policymakers misrepresent or contradict the lead authors.”

    32. Stephen McIntyre: “The many references in the popular media to a “consensus of thousands of scientists” are both a great exaggeration and also misleading.”

    33. Dr Patrick Michaels: “The rates of warming, on multiple time scales have now invalidated the suite of IPCC climate models. No, the science is not settled.”

    34. Dr Nils-Axel Morner: “If you go around the globe, you find no sea level rise anywhere.”

    35. Dr Johannes Oerlemans: “The IPCC has become too political. Many scientists have not been able to resist the siren call of fame, research funding and meetings in exotic places that awaits them if they are willing to compromise scientific principles and integrity in support of the man-made global-warming doctrine.”

    36. Dr Roger Pielke: “All of my comments were ignored without even a rebuttal. At that point, I concluded that the IPCC Reports were actually intended to be advocacy documents designed to produce particular policy actions, but not as a true and honest assessment of the understanding of the climate system.”

    37. Dr Jan Pretel: “It’s nonsense to drastically reduce emissions … predicting about the distant future-100 years can’t be predicted due to uncertainties.”

    38. Dr Paul Reiter: “As far as the science being ‘settled,’ I think that is an obscenity. The fact is the science is being distorted by people who are not scientists.”

    39. Dr Murray Salby: “I have an involuntary gag reflex whenever someone says the “science is settled. Anyone who thinks the science is settled on this topic is in fantasia.”

    40. Dr Tom Segalstad: “The IPCC global warming model is not supported by the scientific data.”

    41. Dr Fred Singer: “Isn’t it remarkable that the Policymakers Summary of the IPCC report avoids mentioning the satellite data altogether, or even the existence of satellites–probably because the data show a (slight) cooling over the last 18 years, in direct contradiction to the calculations from climate models?”

    42. Dr Hajo Smit: “There is clear cut solar-climate coupling and a very strong natural variability of climate on all historical time scales. Currently I hardly believe anymore that there is any relevant relationship between human CO2 emissions and climate change.”

    43. Dr Roy Spencer: “The IPCC is not a scientific organization and was formed to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. Claims of human-cause global warming are only a means to that goal.”

    44. Dr Richard Tol: “The IPCC attracted more people with political rather than academic motives. In AR4, green activists held key positions in the IPCC and they succeeded in excluding or neutralising opposite voices.”

    45. Dr Tom Tripp: “There is so much of a natural variability in weather it makes it difficult to come to a scientifically valid conclusion that global warming is man made.”

    46. Dr Robert Watson: “The (IPCC) mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact. That is worrying. The IPCC needs to look at this trend in the errors and ask why it happened.”

    47. Dr Gerd-Rainer Weber: “Most of the extremist views about climate change have little or no scientific basis.”

    48. Dr David Wojick: “The public is not well served by this constant drumbeat of alarms fed by computer models manipulated by advocates.”

    49. Dr Miklos Zagoni: “I am positively convinced that the anthropogenic global warming theory is wrong.”

    50. Dr. Eduardo Zorita: “Editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations, even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed. By writing these lines… a few of my future studies will not see the light of publication.”

  22. October 25, 2011 11:14 pm

    U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

    • Ian Robertson permalink
      October 26, 2011 10:19 am

      There are literally millions of scientists in the world. Few of the 400 listed are climate scientists

      Ten minutes of research on this list go me the following info:

      . “Inhofe’s “scientists” include economists, the retired, TV weathermen, mathematicians, amateurs and industry spokespeople”


      “At Grist, climate scientist Andrew Dessler, has continued running “The ‘Inhofe 400′ Skeptic of the Day” repeatedly identifying some skeptics who were completely unqualified and others who are qualified but not actually skeptical. His latest posting is so good, parts deserves repeating here. Meteorologist George Waldenberger is on the list. In response, George sent an email to Inhofe’s staffers that began:

      “Take me off your list of 400 (Prominent) Scientists that dispute Man-Made Global warming claims. I’ve never made any claims that debunk the “Consensus”.
      You quoted a newspaper article that’s main focus was scoring the accuracy of local weathermen. Hardly Scientific … yet I’m guessing some of your other sources pale in comparison in terms of credibility.
      You also didn’t ask for my permission to use these statements. That’s not a very respectable way of doing “research”.

      Yet, as Dessler notes, “he’s still on the list.” Dessler’s other conclusions:
      Second, the more I look through this list, the more it perfectly demonstrates the weakness of the skeptics. The AGU, for example, has 50,000 members, the majority of whom are Ph.D. Earth scientists. Inhofe would have been tickled pink to take any one of them. But he couldn’t. Despite the huge numbers of qualified scientists out there, Inhofe could barely muster a few dozen for his list.”

      Back to my opinions. Guess what, if we take a political poll we will most likely find out that all of the VOLUNTARY and QUALIFIED members of the list, the true skeptics, will turn out to be political conservatives who let their political irritations leak into their views on climate science.

      Another question: How many of these guys signed the Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming? Your old buddy Roy Spencer, #43 on your above list of quotes, is a member of the Cornwall alliance and a proud signer of the evangelical declaration.

      “We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception. Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history.”

      When we get done with this piece of your best supporting evidence it just turns out to be pathetic.

      You are aware of all of these issues I’m sure and yet you still post this as your best evidence when just that fact alone that Inhofes list includes unwilling members who deny having made any statements denying AGW makes it untouchable political garbage..

      Dhlii,it gives me no pleasure to say it, and I’m not actually trying to be nasty, its just a fact you have proven over and over.

      You have no intellectual integrity.

      Its a very strong statement.

      • October 26, 2011 12:01 pm

        Many of the scientists contributing the the various IPCC reports have specifically asked to have their names removed as purportedly endorsing it.
        Many prominent sceptics have contributed to past IPCC reports an a few still contribute in the hope of small influence.

        Maybe there are millions of scientists in the world – too my knowledge we have not polled them all. Regardless, there is little reason to beleive that the majority of scientists are informed enough to have a meaningful opinion.

        What we do know as true is that the better informed one is the more likely one is to be a sceptic – and that includes better informed scientists.

        10, 50, 400, 30,000 – it really does not matter, what the numbers are, what matters is that there are extremely intelligent highly educated and knowledgeable people that see AGW for one reason or another as a crock.

        Atleast one list is just quotes from various scientists. Dr. Curry is on that list, she is generally consider an AGW proponent – but more recently she has become highly critical of the IPCC process as well as the way in which the high priests control and blackball publication and dissent.

        A list of quotes from various scientists, is not science, no more should be drawn from it than the content of each quote. But you can not unsay something you have said – most are not looking to retract what they said, they are looking to get off a list that may negatively effect their careers. It is more meaningful than Dr. Spenser’s signature on some document drafted by others.

        If the fact that some people want off a sceptic list discredits the list – then the IPCC report is equally discredited.

        Sure some of them are weathermen, and some are probably evangelicals – lots of “consensus” scientists are marxists, virtually all are liberals, many are social scientists. Both sides claim lots of physicians and vets.

        Go play the Youtube video of Muller berating the hockey stick, and talk about intellectual integrity – or even qualifications, remember that the “Climate scientists” that are responsible for the hockey stick are at the pinacle of the IPCC and of this entire mess.
        Climate Science did not exist a few decades ago. Most warmists are not “Climate scientists”, their degrees are in other fields, they are “climate scientists” by self proclamation. An extremely large proportion of sceptics are from hard sciences – astronomy, physic, mathematics, chemistry, geology, engineering.

        We also know from climate gate the extent to which the high priest go to blackball, not only those who disagree, but even those who do not unconditionally agree.

        I will be happy to pit my intellectual integrity against that of Mann, Biffra, Trendberth, Jones, … any day.

        I do not care whether Spenser or whoever has ties to evangelicals – or even is one – evangelicals are the largest single religious group in the US – more than 1 in 4. Are you intent on disqualifying all of them from having an opinion ?

        Do you beleive there are no evangelicals that believe in AGW ?
        If I found an evangelical scientists that beleives in AGW would that discredit AGW ? Would it discredit them ?

        Go bother to read Dr. Spenser. He is well respected – even in the climate community – atleast by all but a very tiny fraction – the high priests.
        Real scientists cope with the fact that people disagree.

        Spencer and Dressler are actively engaged in an ongoing debate over their respective papers on radiative forcings. You have already written Spenser off. Fortunately Dr. Dressler is not so arrogant as to discount the criticism of a fellow scientist because of religious affiliation.

        The IPCC is preparing their next major tome. Despite active ongoing debate over the issue of radiative forcing – that issue will not be included.
        Svensmark’s theory of cosmic rays and cloud formation has been ridiculed by climate scientists for three decades. The results are in Svensmark is correct, the remaining debate is only about the magnitude of the effect of Cosmic rays – with the low end being 25% of the magnitude attributed to CO2 and the high end dwarfing that of CO2 – yet there will be no mention of Cosmic rays in the next IPCC report.

        Would the IPCC be your model for intellectual integrity ?

        Do I need to send you to a bunch of links on the leftist, marxist rantings of many of the most prominent AGW enthusiasts ?
        If being conservative or even evangelical disqualifies ones opinion on the issue of global warming – does being a marxists, or some other extreme leftist ?

        You presume all conservatives take common marching orders – but not the left ?

        I will be happy to agree that there is some correlation between ones position on the political spectrum and ones views on AGW – but that works both directions. All of the chicken little catastrophe scenarios of the past half century have come from the left. Why should I see AGW is anything less than another effort by the extreme left to destroy humanity in the name of saving the world ?

  23. AMAC permalink
    October 25, 2011 11:37 pm

    Using your doctor visit scenario- What if 9 doctors told you that the liver operation was necessary and 1 doctor told you otherwise? I am sure you could find as much documentation that the one doctor was correct, but wouldn’t you trust the 9 out 10 doctors? And why do you continually say that the only reason that overwhelmingly published data supports AGW is because anything stating otherwise won’t be published? How did you come up with that assessment. I don’t have a clue wether AGW is correct or not, but I will defer to the majority of experts in that field. Yes, the majority of experts have been wrong before, but why deny completely and write it off as propoganda? Anyone can research statistical information to support our own ideas, but without the training to properly analyze the statistics, eventually you have to defer (in some form, even if in a limited amount) to an expert. It sounds like you are choosing to defer to the minority analysis because of bias.

    • October 26, 2011 12:35 pm

      In the end the decision would be mine – not that of 9 or 1 doctor. I would have to make it based on the information I gathered including the relative credibility of each doctor.

      Some of the strongest attacks on AGW have been from scientists and mathematicians in the areas of statistics and forecasting – something that most of the “climate scientists” are completely ignorant of.

      I am used to being on the minority side of numerous issues, I have been so most of my life. In those rare instances when I have accepted some purportedly majority end of the world catastrophic consensus – I have been proven wrong.

      If 9 out of 10 surgeons told you they needed to remove your liver because it was cancerous and the oncologist said not to – what would you do. Much is made that many sceptics are not “climate scientists” – Hanson is a physisct and astronomer, Mann is a physicist and geologist.
      Most of the experts on both sides are old enough there was no such thing as a climate science education. McKitrick is an economist, Mcintyre a mathematician.
      Which of these are qualified to opine on the significance of two thousand years of tree ring measurements ? Which are more qualified to address whether the purely statistical aspects ?
      Scientists as a whole are notoriously bad at mathematics and statistics. Yet only a brief look at the land temperature graphs for the past two centuries – no matter whose you chose, should leave you grasping that AGW is going to hinge on statistical analysis and forecasting.
      We have two centuries of irregular upward sloping data. The AGW thesis requires you to isolate a signal that can only be present in the past 4 decades – before that everyone acknowledges there was no human effect. I will be happy to concede that the slope from 1970-1997 looks the smallest amount steeper than anything that preceded it. I would expect that any rational person would also conclude that the slope across the last 4 decades is shallower than most of the past two centuries. That does not disprove AGW – but it should fairly well establish that the proof will be mathematical and statistical, based on isolating a small signal that is on top of a much larger signal, all mixed in with alot of noise.
      “Climate Scientists” have put forth their hypothesis. Its validity rests less on the credibility of the underlying science than on the mathematical and statistical analysis. Why are “Climate scientists” more credible on that ? Why is any scientist that fights tooth and nail to keep their raw data as well as their statistical methods secret credible on anything ?

      If I am to decide whether a building will stand – do I ask 9 carpenters, or a structural engineer ?

  24. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 26, 2011 9:15 am

    Thanks AMAC. What dhlii does not understand is the power of science.


    Both linguists and molecular biologists worked independently of each other for decades on the question of how humans had originated and then migrated through the world from Africa outwards. Both sets of scientists had to find some characteristics that were most basic, the root of a tree, and work outward. I was aware (a bit) of both sets of work, I used to sometimes read articles in Science or Nature in the lab about the molecular side of it. I thought they were really reaching, it seemed like an impossible problem to really tackle with certainty. On the linguistic side they had to decide which parts of language were the most primitive and the most basic, its an even much harder job than the molecular side, I never would have believed their reasoning and choices.

    Then, the two groups discovered each other and got together and compared results. The maps of human migration compiled by the molecular Biologists and the linguists agreed with each other nearly perfectly.

    That is the power of science.

    I’ve seen it myself at a smaller scale in the lab in my own work. You run a protein sample of some protein you have altered the sequence of via gene manipulation through a flourimeter many times, excite it at one wavelength, observe its spectrum, and repeat that process many times on many samples. Every run looks a bit different. When you average them together after weeks or months a fuzzy picture comes out, but its just above the noise level. Then you do several other types of experiments on the proteins, binding curves, radioactive time resolved assays,and they all have similar issues of the data being just above the noise. Then you consider the experiments together and, boom, a clear picture of agreement emerges and you start to believe your results.

    Every little area of science has its 2% of total skeptics, The field in which I did my post doc work involved how muscle fibers work at the molecular level, how actin and myosin work together to make heart muscle contract. There is a well-known theory of muscle contraction that has been worked out over literally a hundred years, its in all the physiology textbooks. There are a small number of perfectly intelligent people, who wee normal students did their doctoral studies and post docs, got their own positions and then became skeptics who think that one of the earlier variants of muscle contraction are more fetching. They are considered as harmless cranks, they have great difficulty getting published and therefore getting funding. The field has moved on long ago to more subtle questions, the basic theory was long ago convincingly settled by enormous weight of evidence. Its true in every little field and no one notices it, because the science is apolitical. Its just some law of human nature.

    There are some people who can never be convinced of anything, whether its that NASA really put men on the moon, or whatever. I accept that. I accept that dhlii and his 2% will never change. The world will move on.

    • October 26, 2011 6:16 pm

      The science you describe – whether is is that of linguists or molecular biologists or what you do in the labs is vastly different from what has occurred in climate science.
      The normal progress of science involves offering ideas, that often are not accepted, but become stronger as the are examined sceptically. Data is collected, everything is made public – sceptics are expected to attempt to repeat and refute the experiments, to challenge your data, your analysis, to gather their own data, and when your hypothesis continues to hold up under intense scrutiny it gradually gains acceptance. Along the way myriads of other promising ideas are discarded or revised – because they did not hold up.

      Climate science has not been conducted that way. From nearly the begining its truth has been an article of faith. We are still chasing Trendberth’s missing heat, first it was here, then there, now it is in the ocean depths. I am certain there will be some explanation that warmists will accept when it is not found there.

      We all fixate on the hockey stick – there are numerous reasons it is important – first because it is a pretty blatant fraud by some of the most prominent warmists. What “Hide the decline” means is not that current tempertures are declining, but that the Biffra, Mann, Jones tree ring proxies that are at the core of thousands of scientific papers on paleoclimate – suck as proxies. Next because it predicted a fairly stable planet for the previous 2 millennia – this is necessary otherwise warmists must explain why current conditions are unusual. It is also important because there is actually no current means to distinguish human caused warming from warming from other sources. The entire AGW hypothesis is based on the ability of the Global Climate Models to accurately predict the future. One of the earliest challenges was to demand that they accurately predict the past – a much easier task. The GCM’s predict the hockey stick. If the hockey stick is false the GCM’s are in error. And if the GCM’s are in error, we are back to not knowing what causes temperture variation.

  25. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 26, 2011 11:33 am

    More on Sen Inhofe’s hilarious list of dissenters, this an excerpt from an Atlantic article:

    Inhofe’s 650 “dissenters” (make That 649… 648…)
    The Senate’s proudest global-warming skeptic, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, recently released a list of “MORE THAN 650 INTERNATIONAL SCIENTISTS” who “DISSENT OVER MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING CLAIMS.” Exciting! Let’s take a look.

    First, a bit of background: In January, Inhofe posted his initial list of more than 400 “prominent scientists” who, he claimed, disputed that man-made greenhouse gases were responsible for rising global temperatures. Trouble is, when people started sifting through the names, they found that many experts on the list were actually weathermen, economists, and people with no real background in climate science. Worse still, when Andrew Dessler started contacting some of the actual climate scientists listed, many of them expressed first shock, then horror, and then e-mailed Inhofe’s staff and demanded to be taken off, since they didn’t disagree with the scientific consensus on climate change at all.

    Well, fine, every list has its warts (and, in fairness, Inhofe’s list still looks more reasonable than Rolling Stone’s best-of-2008 album list), and we’ll grant Inhofe a do-over. So here’s the latest release. Many of the names are the same as before. But now, among other things, Inhofe’s website cites a study allegedly proving that half of recent warming is due to the sun. Well, Joe Romm e-mailed the paper’s author, Anja Eichler, who replied that she was “misinterpreted” on this point, and that her study actually shows something perfectly compatible with the IPCC consensus: Variations in solar activity have been correlated with temperature change in the past, but over the last 150 years, that hasn’t been the case. “In this time,” Eichler notes, “the increase in the CO2 concentrations is significantly correlated with our temperature.” That’s… pretty much what all the other recent scientific studies say. Not an auspicious start.

    • October 26, 2011 7:04 pm

      If you are going to use cites from The New Republic – I am going to start using ones from Climate Audit, or Climate depot.

      So how many of Inhoffe’s “scientists” have backed away as compared to say the number who contributed to the IPCC reports who claim the results do not represent their work ?

      I am unfamiliar with Eichlers studies but there have been myriads of studies correlating the earth’s temperture to solar cycles – no one desputes that, nor do they dispute that the sun is and has been a factor since the 70’s. The only debate is over the relative magnitude as compared to that of CO2. I am pretty sure the IPCC previously accepted that approx 25% of the increase is solar. Most everyone in the climate community also knows that the correlation between the earth’s temperature and the sun is an order of magnitude stronger than anything the GCM’s predict for CO2. The only thing missing from the pure solar model is the mechanism by which the sun is driving warming. Inside the narrow bands of solar radiation we have examined there is insufficient variation in total energy to account for the amount of warming we have had – BTW – that is also true throughout the past two millennia – we have no explanation for the Little Ice Age, nor the Medieval Warm Period – basically no explanation for any past climate variability. And we know it was not man made CO2 then.

      Yes, the majority of weathmen – many of which have degrees that would lead you to beleive they know something about the earth’s weather – i.e. climate science, do not beleive in AGW. Equally important that grasp that weather is – well weather, that hurricanes, tornadoes and many other “catastrophic weather events” follow natural cycles, and that aside from still following those cycles, there is no evidence that these have changed in some important way.

      Do you understand that if your method of discrediting everyone who disagrees with you is to denigrate their views because of their politics, religion, profession, what you are essentially saying is that you will only beleive something from a very narrow perspective. You are claiming that the extreme political left owns the truth. You are claiming that the very same people who have been wrong repeatedly in the past are somehow finally right about something.

  26. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 26, 2011 11:42 am

    My last one on Inhofes so called list of dissenters, I promise, (gotta get some real work done today)

    Shortcut on White Paper More on Inhofe’s alleged list of 650 scientists
    How many on Inhofe’s list are IPCC authors?

    Jim Prall has compiled a list of the authors of the IPCC Working Group 1 report for AR4. There are 618 WG1 authors, which is more than the 604 names on Inhofe’s list. There are just three names on both lists, which is no surprise given the shortage of climate scientists on Inhofe’s list.
    First Erich Roeckner. He’s not a sceptic at all. Brad Plumer explains how Inhofe quote mined Roekner:

    I see Inhofe’s “Gang of 650” also includes Erich Roeckner, a renowned climate modeler at Germany’s Max Planck Institute, who’s quoted as saying there are still kinks in current climate models. But that’s not controversial; all climatologists recognize that their models can’t account for every last physical process. Inhofe’s report then cites Roeckner telling Nature in 2006, “It is possible that all of them are wrong”–implying that he’s casting doubt on the link between human activity and climate change. But he’s not! Roeckner was referring to the IPCC’s emissions scenarios, which involve assumptions about the rate of growth of greenhouse-gas emissions. (Scroll down here for the full quote.) We already know that emissions are growing faster than the IPCC’s worst-case scenario, and that’s bad news, not good.
    Anyway, Roeckner’s as far as you get from a “dissenter”: See this 2004 paper, which yet again establishes the link between greenhouse-gas emissions and temperature increases. Or see this link, where Roeckner is quoted in multiple news stories sounding downright alarmist about the consequences of man-made warming. “Humans have had a large one-of-a-kind influence on the climate… Weather situations in which extreme floods occur will increase,” he informed Deutsche Welle in 2004. “Our research pointed to rapid global warming and the shifting of climate zones,” he told ABC News in 2005. Quite the heretic, that one.

    Second, Oliver Frauenfeld. Inhofe quotes him from his chapter in Shattered Consensus:
    “Without question, much more progress is necessary regarding our current understanding of climate and our abilities to model it. Before we can accurately understand the midlatitudes’ response to tropical forcing, the tropical forcings themselves must be identified and understood … Only after we identify these factors and determine how they affect one another, can we begin to produce accurate models. And only then should we rely on those models to shape policy. Until that time, climate variability will remain controversial and uncertain.”
    Frauenfeld is talking about the modeling of ENSO events by General Circulation Models. He doesn’t think they are as good at this as the IPCC does, but he is not saying that GCMs can’t successfully model the rest of the climate system.

    Finally, John Christy. He really does belong on Inhofe’s list.
    So, Inhofe was only able to find one (out of 618) IPCC WG1 AR4 authors who is a skeptic.

    • October 26, 2011 7:30 pm

      It is not only possible that all the IPCC scenarios are wrong – at this point it is pretty well certain.

      This is not even your own stuff, please do not bother my with third party opinions about what other people though about what someone else said. I could care less what Mr. Lambert has to say about Inhoffe.

      I am still trying to find the actual Frauenfeld quote to get the real context – as opposed to what some other idiot says it means. Besides that why do you think ENSO is insignificant ? It is an important part of climate. Is it uninfluenced by CO2 ? If it isn’t than what else isn’t.
      If we can not accurately model ENSO – which is far simpler than the global climate, then why are the GCM’s right about everything else. And how is it that our inability to model ENSO prevents us from making policy decisions – what policy decisions would be forestalled by an inability to model ENSO. As I said I still have not found Frauenfeld’s actual quote with context, but I think the argument that it is narrowly confined solely to ENSO appears unlikely.

      What is happening more and more, is that numerous scientists – particularly those not part of the AGW high priesthood are hedging their bets. There is substantial politics in science. We all know that politicians can cite their own past speeches and votes to demonstrate that they were on whichever side of the issue is convenient at the moment.

  27. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 26, 2011 1:09 pm

    Dhlii:”Why should I see AGW is anything less than another effort by the extreme left to destroy humanity in the name of saving the world ?”

    Lets repeat that, it sums your worldview up pretty nicely: “Why should I see AGW is anything less than another effort by the extreme left to destroy humanity in the name of saving the world ?”

    Ah, Libertarian moderation.

    You don’t know when to just walk away and stop trying to spin a disaster into something respectable. Inhofe’s list is a disaster. I was absolutely sure, and there are very few things in this world I am absolutely sure about, that you would not repudiate Inhofe’s comical and obviously dishonest list.

    Do you really think I am going to read just one more link, look at one more graph, read one more report provided by a person who cannot tell S*** from Shinola? The work of the US National Academy of Sciences on climate is just so much crap to you, but Inhofe is rock solid?

    You complain that I caricature you, I don’t, you caricature yourself: “another effort by the extreme left to destroy humanity in the name of saving the world.”

    The threat from Global warming is an issue that most liberals take seriously yes, but along with the last GOP presidential candidate and the most likely next GOP candidate and many intelligent conservatives, moderates and liberals. The far left is a tiny group, less than 5% of the US, if you think that the AGW scientists and the public that support their work are far leftists and marxists, well, its irrational and illogical, i.e., it sounds just like you.

    The AGW Scientists, who would seem from my recent reading to outnumber the denialists by more than the 98-2 I previously believed, are from all political persuasions. They come from countries all over the world, they are international and the US right-left divide is not in play in places like Russia and China, is it?

    Climate denialism is phenomenon that is overwhelmingly driven by US conservative nutjobs like Sen Inhofe. Worldwide, denialism is a much smaller factor. It is one of the many reason that I do tend to think of many US Conservatives as nutjobs, yes its true. Your comments above just support my idea on this.

    • October 26, 2011 8:59 pm

      So what happens to your world view when there is no Catastrophe ?

      • AMAC permalink
        October 26, 2011 9:32 pm

        Most do not believe the world is going to end in our life time because of AGW. We are worried it is going to be drastically change for the worse for future generations, and eventually it will lead to a disaster. Planets die and most believe that climates can change for the worse on planets. Why is it so hard to believe that it can’t be rushed by man made pollution? We have seen what man made pollution can do from other sources other than CO2. Why can’t we believe that CO2 could be as harmful in the long run? How is it such a stretch. This is not an end of the world, sky is falling, apocalypse scenario. Scientist are warning we are harming the planet. If you forget the fact that government intervention may be needed, could you not agree with that?

      • Ian Robertson permalink
        October 27, 2011 9:10 am

        Be overjoyed, as I have said many times. You don’t hear anything you don’t want to hear. Its not a plus for you.

        I suppose if I argue with skeptics long enough I might eventually get my brain warped in the opposite direction that skeptics have their brains warped and WANT AGW to be a disaster just to prove you wrong, I have got to stop myself from arguing with you before that happens!

      • October 27, 2011 12:23 pm

        The IPCC’s worst case projection is 4C warmer than 2000, its best case scenario is 1C warmer. The likely scenario according to the IPCC is 2-3C.

        During the past decade we have already dropped almost a full 1C below the AR4 projections.

        BEST had the earth warm by 1C in the 19th century and 1C in the 20th.

        There are myriads of studies of different proxies confirming the Medievil Warm Period – even Mann, Biffra, Jones, have finally accepted it – albeit far colder than most.
        Most of these have the MWP atleast 2C warmer than the present, A few have it as much as 4C warmer, even Mann has is as warm as the 60’s

        I would take note in the Mann graph all the proxies diverge from the human record – decline, in the 60 – just as Human CO2 based warming is supposed to start. What any rational scientist would conclude is Mann’s proxies are poor quality.

        From NOAA/NCDC we have the past half million years.
        This is a version of Gores famous CO2 causes warming chart. It is hard to tell at this resolution, but even here CO2 lags temperature by about 600 years.
        Regardless, the past has been both warmer and far colder – and is very
        cyclic. Since every 100,000 or so years the earth is almost 10C cooler than present I would ask what causes that ? That is an enormous amount cooler, and it is fairly regular.

        I will not argue that some parts of the world will be in worse shape if the earth is 4C warmer. It is also inarguable that some off the world would be far better off. There would be substantially more arable land,
        There are far more deaths worldwide due to cold than heat.

        The US BTW has only shown .10F/decade increase since 1895

        Regardless, let us assume the IPCC’s worst case scenario a 4C increase by 2100. Exactly how on net, will the world be worse off ?

        Given that I have a choice for my children of a warmer or colder planet, I would choose warmer.

  28. October 26, 2011 10:00 pm

    A decade without warming.

    2010 was warmer, but 2011 restores the flat trend.

    On cosmic rays – this is a middle of the road estimate if correct it would diminish the purported effect of CO2 by more than a factor of 2.

  29. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 27, 2011 9:07 am

    Its amazing, you have misinterpreting the point of absolutely everything I have written or posted. You are absolutely not able to interpret any fact, no matter how toxic it is to your case, as not meaning that you are right about AGW or economics. There IS NO evidence that would convince you, If an angel with huge white wings came down with a tablet from God saying that AGW is real and must be stopped now, you would have some way of interpreting that as meaning that Mann is a fraud. You are a fanatic. Why do I argue with you, I know that you are programmed and cannot be deprogrammed, not on economics and not on AGW. I accept it. I must just love to argue.

    The argument sketch by Monty python is close at hand.

  30. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 27, 2011 9:34 am

    Dhlii: Do you understand that if your method of discrediting everyone who disagrees with you is to denigrate their views because of their politics, religion, profession, what you are essentially saying is that you will only beleive something from a very narrow perspective.

    Me: Oh, the irony, if only you could see it. You have rejected the findings of 99% of all climate scientists scientists because it is “an attempt by the extreme left to destroy humanity” and now you want to lecture me…I tend to believe the side that has the NAS of every nation in its camp. You claim to have weathermen on your side. You don’t know when to stop digging yourself a hole.

    Dhlii: You are claiming that the extreme political left owns the truth.

    Me: Show me where I sad that! Another strawman. By the way, I have supported nuke power forever and pay no attention to the views of the International Union of Concerned Scientists on that subject because they are biased by their left-wing political views. I’m a moderate, Dave, I reject mixing either left wing or right wing politics into science. Its a reasonable view, but I fearlessly predict you will not understand it or you will find a way to misinterpret it to mean that Mann is a fraud.

    Religious people are welcome to their views. but since Roy Spencer is giving his Religious point of view when he denies AGW, based on his religious conviction that God would not allow AGW to exist in his perfect design of the world, and since I do not subscibe to Spencer’s religion, I am obviusly not going to listen to Spencer. We have gone over that point a few times, still, you cannot wrap your brain around it, simple as it is. In some ways you seem to be an intelligent person, in others… Why should I have any respect for or pay attention to the opinions of a person who cannot understand something so simple?

    OK, I have put about 15 minutes into arguing with an oak tree this morning, and now, I go onto more rewarding things.

    • October 27, 2011 1:46 pm

      Again it is a question.

      Why should I trust people who have engaged in fraud ?
      Why shouldn’t I be sceptical of new claims by people who have been repeatedly wrong in the past ?

      Yes, I will be perfectly happy to weigh far less strongly the assertions of a group regardless of its size that has a past history of failed predictions of catastrophe.

      When Nobel prize winners are resigning from their professional societies because the societies have become political rather than objective – again why should I pay attention to those societies. Regardless, If a simple majority of a group beleive something, and the group is a strict democracy, then the expression of the group will be the same as the majority of its members. Essentially when you say all the proffesional societies are on one side of the issue, you are being redundant.

      Further what do all these groups claim ?
      Do they claim the earth is warming – apparently 10% of scientists disagree, but I will be happy to agree that up to 1997 the earth has been warming. I might even agree depending on the latest data available, that there has been a minimal amount of warming since 1997.
      If all professional societies are claiming that how does that advance your argument ?
      Most of us agree the sky is blue, that says nothing about why ?

      Do they claim that humans have contributed to that warming ?
      Even Dr. Spenser – who you go out of your way to malign beleives that.
      The critical debate is over the causes – Pielke (An IPCC contributor) as an example believes land use and other human effects is far more important than CO2.
      Most so-called “deniers” beleive CO2 is a contributing factor – but do not accept the claims of positive feedbacks. CO2 alone would produce less than a 1C rise over the next century. Higher figures depend on positive feedbacks, they also depend on eliminating all other non-CO2 factors such as cosmic rays. There is also increasing reason to beleive that CO2 sensitivity rather than log linear – #C/doubling has a diminishing rate for each doubling, with an upper bound. Whether the cause is positive feedbacks or just an unlimited trend based on CO2 alone, the assumption that any process is unbounded needs seriously questioned. The planet would have self destructed otherwise. Whether caused by CO2 or not the global temperatures have cycled over more than 10C in the past. Why do they reach a peak and fairly abruptly drop ? Why do they bottom ? Having bottomed why do they start increasing fairly steeply ? We know none of the answers. It is not necessary to know everything to credibly predict the future, but everyone concedes climate projections are incredibly complex. The GCM uses gigantic arrays of the most powerful grid computers in existance. Runs take substantial amounts of time, and there has been little improvement in computing power over the past decade. Many fundamental processes that are actually known have to be plugged rather than computed – as the computing horsepower just does not exist. The cell size for computations is large – too large to reflect many know processes, but we do not have the power available to do more fine grained calculations.
      Finally the GCM’s do not work backward. They do not produce either the little ice age or the medieval warm period – this is also part of the importance of the hockey stick – a nearly flat past proves the GCM’s, while significant variation is inconsistent with their predictions of the past. If you can not accurately model the past, why should we trust your model of the future ? If we do not understand the past – why should we beleive we understand the future.

      Do they claim AGW will be “Catastrophic” ?
      What even does catastrophic means ? And why is what is best described as an economic value, being opined on by scientific societies ?

      Regardless, at times I have found myself on the side of “scientific majorities” and I have universally ended up wrong. At others I have found myself in the minority – and time has proven me correct.

      The track record for Catastrophe predictions, particularly those claiming we will shortly grow ourselves to death, and must impose a statist solution or die is abysmal. Many have had substantial scientific support. You are old enough to know that. Why are you buying the latest end of the world scenario ?

    • October 27, 2011 2:00 pm

      When you reject without examination anything from a conservative or someone with a religious identification, you are making truth political. You are doing precisely what the Bush people were doing – only tipping the scales using different ideological weights than they choose.

      You are fixated on Dr. Spenser. I have read his blog and papers for a long time. I have never heard a religious or politically conservative argument from him. The closest thing is that more recently he has chosen to publish a booklet on economics – that is essentially libertarian. I had no idea what his religious or political views were – and so long as they did not enter his arguments – which they did not, I did not care. I weighed his arguments – not his views on other issues.

      Spenser has been fairly vigorously defended – on the substance of his arguments, and on his personal integrity as well as the unscientific viciousness of the attacks against him – the very attacks you are repeating. If you wish I can bombard you with quotes from the AGW community about world government, communism, … These are actually more germane to this debate. But I have avoided that. It is not their political views that matter – except where they propose political solutions.

      What of the myriads of others I have cited ? I grasp they are not the majority, but you presume this is a battle of good vs. evil – and anyone that does not exactly toe the AGW line is evil.

      Need I remind you again, that Dr. Spenser believes in CO2 based human caused global warming – what he does not beleive is that the human portion is nearly as significant as the IPCC.

      You make this a binary issue – either one accepts Catastrophic human caused CO2 driven global warming demanding statist intervention, or you are an idiot.
      You position is more religious than those you criticise.

      • Ian Robertson permalink
        October 27, 2011 2:38 pm

        Dhlii: You make this a binary issue – either one accepts Catastrophic human caused CO2 driven global warming demanding statist intervention, or you are an idiot.
        You position is more religious than those you criticise.

        Well, it might be AS religious as the skeptic position if I HAD actually said that.

        Since what I have actually said instead, over and over, is that I consider that it is probable that the consensus is more correct than not and that I do not see any chance that we are going to reduce our GHG emissions any time soon, this goes goes back to the most fundamental of your problems. You have a GIGANTIC reading disability. You get nothing right. You see ONLY what you want to see. Its fanaticism.

      • October 27, 2011 7:47 pm

        Is that not the position that you think is the consensus ?

        I would be happy to agree that Global Warming has occurred – since the depth of the little Ice age.

        I will even agree that since approx. 1970 there is possibly a small human component due to CO2.

        Depending on how you interpret Doran’s questions that would label me as a warmist and count me (and Spencer, and just about every so called sceptic I know) as part of the 97%.

        I do not beleive the human component is significant, nor do I beleive that regardless of what is driving climate change and even if we manage the IPCC’s worst case – which I think is less likely than Vesuvius erupting – something that is going to happen with near certainty, we just do not know precisely when, that that worst case would be net negative for humanity.

        regardless, if your position is not Catastrophic man made global warming requiring state intervention – then what is it ? And in fact if it is anything less than that – why are we even having this debate ? Remove any adjective and there is really no problem.
        If it is not catastrophic – why are we debating this ?
        If it is not primarily man-made – how can we be so arrogant as to beleive we can prevent it ?

        If you place yourself anywhere but the most extreme position – you are indistinguishable from Spencer, Pielke, and all the other so called sceptics.

        If you decide that all those prestigious institutions are not at the extreme of “Catastrophic man-made global warming requiring state intervention”
        Then their positions are not irreconcilable with my own – or Spencer’s or most other sceptics.

        This is why I am saying that you and other warmists have made this binary.
        Absent every adjective – there is not an issue requiring state intervention.
        Yet you are saying your not that extreme – then you are a sceptic.

    • October 27, 2011 2:08 pm

      How is “God would not allow” distinctly different from “the laws of nature or thermodynamics prevent” ? If you beleive in a god that created everything, then he created science and its laws.

      The declaration of independence sets God up as the source of all rights and power, the foundation of nature.

      My view of God is likely different from Spenser’s or yours. But I do not disagree with the assertion that whatever the cause it is extremely unlikely that nature has some run-away feedback loop leading to self destruction. And if Spencer wishes to base the dame conclusion on a view of God – why should I care ? What matters is the scientific quality of his arguments.

  31. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 27, 2011 11:50 am

    Here is an excerpt from New York Magazine. Its obviously from the liberal perspective. I can’t find a strong Khaddafi angle in it, well, its about getting some money back from the top of the pyramid, as may now happen in Libya, how’s that? <— Humor, don't bite.

    God help me, after months of discussing economics with dhlii, I seem to becoming (or admitting to myself that I am) a liberal (notwithstanding the fact that I can't stand the loony left or even many more ordinary but still obnoxious liberals) because I find myself agreeing with most of this.

    "Rising income inequality, like climate change, is an ideologically inconvenient issue for conservatives. They would prefer not to discuss it altogether. If forced to discuss it, they will generally either deny its existence or simply carry on as if it doesn’t exist.

    The underlying facts, like the facts of climate change, are stark. Over the last few decades, income growth for most Americans has slowed to a crawl, while income for the very rich has exploded. That’s a reversal of the three decades following World War II, when all income groups got richer, with the poor and middle class rising at a faster rate than the rich. Crucially, the Congressional Budget Office’s new analysis shows that changes in government policy over this period have made inequality worse. (In CBO-speak: “The equalizing effect of transfers and taxes on household income was smaller in 2007 than it had been in 1979.”)

    We’re not having a debate about how to reverse or even stop the growth of inequality. Nobody has a real plan to do that. The Democratic plan is to slightly arrest the growth of inequality by hiking taxes on the rich a few percentage points, so as to minimize the need to cut the social safety net. The Republican plan is to slash taxes for the rich and programs for the poor, thereby massively increasing inequality.

    That is a hard position to defend in the context of exploding inequality, and conservatives would rather not defend it. Instead the right’s response has been to persistently deny or ignore the facts. Rick Perry, pressed by a reporter to explain why he was proposing a tax plan that would widen income inequality further, replied, "I don’t care about that." The Wall Street Journal editorial page today dismissed the Tax Policy Center, whose calculations persistently show the ways in which various Republican tax proposals would widen inequality, as “liberal.” It didn’t even pretend to dispute the substance of the calculations. Eric Cantor gave a speech about income inequality centering on stories about how his grandmother worked hard and pulled herself up by the bootstraps in the old days. It was a nice speech if you like stories about plucky grandmothers. It failed to grasp the central dilemma, which is that it was a lot easier for poor people to move up sixty years ago, when tax rates on the rich happened to be far higher, than it is today….."

    • October 27, 2011 2:50 pm

      I have repeatedly been willing to debate income inequality and Global warming with you.

      Both are based on bad science, and particularly bad statistical analysis.

      To a small extent I will even agree with Perry – income inequality is irrelevant. What should matter most – even to the left, is what benefits those on the bottom the most, and what benefits the majority the most.

      Transfers fail. Whether you grasped it or not that was the clear message of those myriads of papers on the cost of taxes and government spending.
      The greater you engage in wealth redistribution the worse off you make everyone.

      I have rebutted the other premises of the inequality argument repeatedly.

      But again like AGW, we are facing another everything is going to hell proposition offered by those who want government – which has done such an abysmal job in the past, to take over everything and save us from ourselves.

      Again we are dealing with something that all you need do it look around you to know is false.

      I have mentioned that I manage a 4 unit apartment building before. My tenants are all in the lower quintile. One family in particular, is from Cuba. The parents speak almost no english. The father was mauled by police dogs in Miami and is on probation for resisting arrest. He has a crappy job. The mother has none. Neither have a high-school education.
      They have cell phones, a huge flat screen TV, a game system. They bought and additional refrigerator for their apartment, they just purchased an SUV that is newer than any care I own. They are preparing to move to a better apartment.
      in 1981 after I graduated from college, I had no tv, no computer or computer games, no cell phone they did not exist, no car. In a few years I was able to marry, buy a small used car and a house – in a worse neighbourhood than my apartments today. No TV, No Cell, no ….
      I did not think of myself as poor at the time. I had friends that actually were poor. They rented, had no car, no TV, pretty much no nothing.
      The cuban family appears to be doing the best of my tenants. But all of them have more than I had for several years after I graduated from college.

      This is all anecdotal, but the NBER statistics I provided you before confirm the same thing across the nation. The poor today possess more wealth than they did 10, 20, 30, 40 years ago. I have no interest in whether some arbitrary measure of grevance has increased. Should it matter to those on the bottom whether the income of the rich has improved faster than theirs – if they are better off ? The average American still moves up two quintiles during their life time. If you are poor today, the probability is extremely high you will not be for long.

      In the face of that the left still wants to fixate on GINI indexes and statistics that do not mean what they purport to. If you really want a low GINI index – return to the 50’s. To black and white TV’s, shorter life spans, three networks – most of us only able to get one, most of us unable to afford a TV. No computers, phonographs, few radio stations, fewer goods all of which were more expensive. For half of the 50’s Polio was still a grave threat. The average home was less than 1/2 the size today. Paul Krugman may wish to go back – but I do not.

      John D. Rockefeller’s grandson contracted scarlet fever. Rockefeller offered $1m to any doctor that could cure him, but this was the early 20th century and one of the wealthiest men on the planet did not have enough money to cure a fatal illness trivially cured today.

  32. October 27, 2011 8:48 pm

    I am struggling to find this great sceptic outcry against BEST that you are claiming.
    I am having no problems finding warmest sites claiming this is the end of the world for sceptics. I am also not having much problems finding warmists sites that are unhappy with BEST.

    Watts published a scathing statistical criticism – that would apply equally to all the other human temperture records, including as one would expect a strong critique of their dismisal of UHI. But the critique ended by asserting that BEST probably had things generally right and was better – or atleast no worse than any existing sources.

    A few off the track sites poked fun at the fact that BEST like the other records flies in the face of the 1970’s claims of Global Cooling – loosely based on work by Hanson. but that was more a stick in Hanson’s eye.

    Steve McIntyre’s preliminary look was favorable.

    So where are all the sceptics quaking in their boots ?
    Yes, I would have been happy had Best found all kinds of bogus manipulation in the datasets – and given the nature of many of the people involved (at CRU and GISS) I still reserve judgement on that. But aside from demonstrating another reason to distrust people I already do not trust that would be meaningless.

    There is little dispute over the general shape of the human recorded land temperature curve for the past 200 years. Aside from issues such as were the 1800’s colder as BEST indicates, were the 70’s colder as many now warmists were claiming at the time (which would actually faver the AGW claim), and to what extent has the warming trend declined or ever reversed, there is not some incredible fight over the general shape of the temperature curve.
    The dispute is over analysis. It is over the hockey stick – which best pretty much refutes.
    It is over the difference between natural warming and man made warming – almost all of us accept that there is some of both. It is how much that matters. And I can not personally look at BESTS curves and say honestly that I see anyway that the human contribution is significant.

    But maybe yours eyes are better at finding catastrophe in gnat hairs.

  33. October 27, 2011 9:09 pm

    Precisely what this means is still debatable.

    Regardless, the GCM’s do not handle it. At very best for warmists, it indicates that variations in solar UV – which are much greater than variations in IR, have a significant effect on circulation patterns. At worst it is a new mechanism by which the Sun varies global temperatures. The current analysis suguests it effects only the distribution of heat rather than the average global temperatures – but it is disconcerting because periods of decrease Solar UV activity strongly correspond to periods of serious cooling.

  34. Ian Robertson permalink
    October 28, 2011 6:56 am

    If we stayed level at today’s CO2 level, perhaps things would not be too bad.

    But we aren’t, the human GHG output grows exponentially (perhaps not as strongly in a financial downturn.) If this trend remains unchecked there is almost no level the CO2 won’t reach given enough time. That is the problem, its not even today’s high atmospheric CO2, its where we will get, faster and faster, in the future.

    I don’t say a catastrophe is certain, I say its possible. You say its impossible. I say you and your fellow denialists are reckless and give much more of a damn about your obsession with a regulation-free world than the environment, which you have pretty much stated is protected by your nutball theory that positive feedback can’t exist in a natural system. I give a damn about the environment. As usual we live in two different universes, we have two nearly completely different sets of values.

    • November 1, 2011 9:38 am

      CO2 has gone from 285ppm in 1880 to 380ppm in 2010 The increase has been slightly faster since 1970.

      No one is claiming the increase prior to 1970 was caused by humans. The theory is the human contribution is the difference between the rate of increase prior to 1970 and the slightly higer rate of increase post 1970.
      Human produced CO2 is trivial in comparison to natural CO2 – particularly that of the ocean. But again the theory is that despite the fact that our contribution is dwarfed by that of natural processes, that there are no negative feedback and anything humans create must increase the net atmospheric CO2.

      Regardless, CO2 has been increasing for a long long time – Gore absolutely got it right that CO2 increases and temperature correlate. He just screwed up the causation part. CO2 increases LAG temperature increases. It is increased temperatures that cause increased atmospheric CO2 – there is potentially a positive feedback, though it is very small.

      Of all the GHG’s that we know of CO2 is perhaps the weakest.
      A great deal of the current debate is trying to derive the actual temperature sensitivity of the earth to CO2 increases.

      The first issues to note is that the form of that sensitivity is X degrees C per doubling of CO2. So the effect of CO2 is logrithmic rather than linear.

      Numerous aspects of the debate between so called sceptics and warmists is in deriving X.
      Warmist claim the low range for X is 1.5C and the high may be greater than 4C.
      They have their studies to try to demonstrate this.
      There are other studies that appear to show sensitivity from 1.2C to below .5C. There is also evidence that the sensitivity is not log linear. – that the effect of CO2/doubling decreases with each doubling, and that there is an upper bound beyond which CO2 can not increase the earth’s temperature.

      The debate between Dressler and Spencer is over deriving the energy budget for the earth – and from that calculating the actual sensitivity of the earth to CO2.

      Today’s concentrations are not particularly high historically.

    • November 1, 2011 10:02 am

      I do not claim catastrophe is impossible. I claim that in comparison to all the things we could worry about it is extremely unlikely.

      If the earth’s sensitivity to CO2 was 4C or greater/doubling we would know that by now. The past decade would have been far different.

      The past decade has been a gift to sceptics. Whether we understand what is going on or not it is absolutely clear that climate is far more complex than the models suggest. That there are other very large factors at play.

      I personally beleive the evidence that the effects of the sun are far greater than the IPCC credited. But even should that prove false – the earth is just no behaving as the models have predicted.

      Sure in another year or decade or century global temperatures could start climbing dramatically. But without knowing why the past decade was different, we can not claim to really understand enough about climate to derive causes with confidence.

      I think it is highly unlikely that when all this is resolve that science will conclude that CO2 is a significant driver of climate.

      During the later quarter of the 20th century it was somewhat reasonable to presume significantly warmer temperatures in 2100. Though there have been periodic unexplained – atleast by warmists plateau’s and even brief drops in global temperatures what is otherwise a strong increasing trend – a trend that accelerated slightly from 1970 through 1997, and it is probably one way or another that that small increase in the trend was the signature of humans (even if it may have been caused by something other than CO2)

      A warmer 2100 is still not the same as a catastrophe.
      As I have said repeatedly – I sincerely hope warming continues.
      The effects of Global Warming are net positive. Those of cooling almost all negative.

      Absolutely there must be some point at which warming becomes a catastrophe.

      As we have moved forward the catastrophic predictions from as much as 4C of warming have proven increasingly unlikely. I am not exactly sure where we are now, but ocean level increases have declined from 100’s of meters to a few centimetres. The melting of the poles is increasing unlikely. In fact the southern hemisphere – and particularly antartica is cooling (and growing) and the infamous maldives are growing rather than shrinking.

      Presuming the earth does resume its warming – which I suspect it will probably when the sun leaves its minimum in a bit more than a decade, 4C in the next 100 years will be highly unlikely. But even if it somehow occurs, it is highly unlikely to be catastrophic.

      I will not argue that the effects for everyone will be positive – they will not. People will die who would not have died otherwise – but more people will live who would have died otherwise.

      Essentially we are back to the same argument as free markets.
      Leaving things to work as they do on there own will cause both harm and good. But the good will outweigh the harm.

  35. Ian Robertson permalink
    November 1, 2011 11:13 am

    Ah, some actual progress, a slight softening of the rhetoric and an admission that a positive feedback Could occur. Bravo.

    Yes, it would be ironic if we made a massive effort to combat global warming and then global cooling occurred. But that seems like a red herring to me, yes we are in an interglacial, no we have no idea when the pendulum will swing back. As well, since we both admit that that climate system is terribly complex, destabilizing it may in the end lead to cooling after the warming. Which is the reason I am really prefer to talk about climate change rather than global warming. In the long run, a warmer planet can lead to a colder one via cloud and albedo effects, its certainly an unknown but its possible. Just don’t destabilize the climate; that would be the Conservative thing to do.

    When one tries to correlate CO2 with heat over the entire earths history it does not work, because CO2 has a warming effect, All Other Things Being Equal, but through the earths history everything was FAR from equal, continents move, ocean currents were not the same when the continents were in a completely different configuration, etc. The vegetation has been different. The Sun has been different. The biosphere has changed, oxygen producers, oxygen users have waxed and waned. The atmosphere has been different. If its hard to sort out the effects of CO2 now, then its about impossible to pick out its contribution to a series of radically different systems. So, I just ignore that, its interesting but highly deceptive and just not relevant. I’d call the CO2-temp relationship over hundreds of millions of years one of the weakest denialist arguments.

    Its as much time for pontification as I have today, I’ve got work deadlines and a car repair to do.

    • November 1, 2011 2:23 pm

      I am glad that you seem to recognise that negative feedbacks are possible.

      I would ask, pretending you are have never heard of AGW, would you presume that the earth response to warming by say CO2 would be dominated by positive or negative feedbacks ? Unregulated Positive feedbacks are rare to non-existent. They are nuclear chain reactions, and result in destruction. If we really are on a CO2 positive feedback ride – we might as well go back to living in caves, because one way or another that is where we are headed.

      Actually we have a pretty good idea that the pendulum is poised to swing back. The hysteria over Global cooling in the 70’s we because we are near the inflection point. The question is how near – 10 years, 100 years, 1000 years ? Cycles ranging from 10,000, to 1million years can not be measured that precisely. Further though the cycles are regular, they are not perfectly regular. This one could be longer or shorter. Beyond that we do not know enough about what causes these cycles to accurately predict the future beyond the generalisation that sometime soon – in geologic time, the earth is going to get much colder.

      Further most of the problems we have predicting the start of the next ice age apply equally to Global warming. We do know the transitions are sharp – again in geological time, and preceded by abrupt warming.

      I am pretty sure the past correlation between CO2 and warming is fairly well established.
      Yes, CO2 is a weak greenhouse gas. And if the direct effects of CO2 were all we cared about this debate would be over and I would have one handily. No one argues that CO2 alone can sufficiently warm the earth to be a problem. The vast majority of AGW theory depends on strong positive feedbacks. The quest for the elusive CO2 sensitivity value is the search for the planets response to CO2 in the system as opposed to the laboratory.
      The lab effect of CO2 is insufficiently large to be a concern.

      The AGW theory is:
      CO2 mildly warms the planet. This warming increases water vapor – which is presumed to be a strong positive GHG – possibly as much as 4 times as potent as CO2. Further the warming reduces the oceans ability to hold CO2, releasing even more into the atmosphere.

      CO2 is a mild GHG. Warm water can hold less CO2 than colder water.
      The later is the likely reason that CO2 lags warming and not the other way around.

      But the behavior of water vapor is extremely complex, and the Global Climate models for it are extremely simple.

      One of the most significant debates has been over the nature of water vapor as feedback. There are studies showing it as both strongly positive and strongly negative.
      Even clouds are not simple. The sign on the feedback of clouds seems to vary with their altitude. If I recall correctly low clouds contribtue to surface warming, but high clouds result in net cooling. This is why the CERN Cosmic Ray results are so threatening to warmists.

      Anyway Aside from Al Gore i am not aware of any warmists of consequence still arguing that past warming was directly caused by CO2. Though most everyone agrees that CO2 has a minor warming effect, It is considered a follower in the past rather than a driver.
      AGW posits that this time is different.
      Even if you think the lags argument is weak, until recently the Climates sensitivity to CO2 has been based on that past that is complex and not clearly understood.
      It is only within the past few years that we have had the tools to try to derive the climates sensitivity to CO2 through other means. Again this is the Dressler Spenser argument.
      What is the energy budget of the earth ? If we can accurately observer the earth from the OUTSIDE, the energy budget of the planet becomes much simpler. How much energy goes in, how much out ? There are other complexities, but they are far less than dividing the planet up into myriads of cells, and mathematically modelling each of these.
      Further from outside observation and measurement, we can accurately derive values such as the CO2 sensitivity that we have had to fudge before.

      While it is arguable that more recent increases in the rate of CO2 increase are not due to humans, It is likely that the minuscule human contribution is responsible for the increase in the rate of increase since 1970.

      Warming has all but stopped over the past decade. CO2 has continued to increase.
      AGW has no credible explanation for that. Of the thousands of pro AGW papers over the past 3 decades, only a handful relatively recently have addressed this.

      AGW theory is like a bowling ball being held up by tooth picks – it can be done, but it only takes a few tooth picks to fail before it comes crashing down.

      • Anonymous permalink
        November 2, 2011 7:10 pm


        Out of curiousity, what are you basing your comment that warming has stopped over the last decade on? The recent data I have read does not support that at all.

      • November 7, 2011 8:51 pm

        I have been careful in my choice of words. While I personally beleive we reached a peak in 1997, have plateaued and are starting to decline – following natural cycles that predate all this AGW hysteria. I also beleive(hope) that we will see a return to significant worming – probably in a decade or two. But that is speculation no better informed than that of the IPCC.

        You can argue with me over whether we have had slight warming, cooling, or no change over the past decade.

        There are even a few warmist sites playing statistical games that can produce graphs that appear to show something close to a continued trend.

        But you can take just about every major source of temperature data and compare the last decade to the preceding three and unless you are blind recognize that we are no longer following the same path we were for the preceding thirty years.

        We are well below all but the most recent warmist projections.
        We are almost a full degree C below Hansen’s 1988 Scenario A nearly as much below Scenario B and still below his best case scenario C

        We can argue about the accuracy of past predictions and many are. Regardless, it is hard to credibly argue based on current data for an increase of more than 1C in the next century. I beleive that is less than the preceding two centuries.

        We are only 1 decade into the 21st century and predicting based on one decade are weak (just as the warmist predictions based on three decades are weak). Anything could happen in the future – and that is the point.

  36. Anonymous permalink
    November 2, 2011 7:12 pm

    Dhlli: “Warming has all but stopped over the past decade.”

    What are you basing this comment on. The data I have reviewed does not support this claim at all.

  37. AMAC permalink
    November 2, 2011 7:13 pm

    Dhlli: “Warming has all but stopped over the past decade.”

    What are you basing this comment on. The data I have reviewed does not support this claim at all.

    • November 7, 2011 8:21 pm

      Are you honestly prepared to argue that the past decade has continued to follow the 1970-1997 trend ? Or even the trend from 1850-2000.

      There are pissing contests between various factions over whether we had warming or cooling since 1997. I have heard no one – not even the IPCC high priests like Trendberth and Jones argue that we are still following the trend of the last quarter of the 20th century.

      Here is the past century and a half from NOAA.

      • AMAC permalink
        November 8, 2011 10:14 am

        So because we have a 10 year period not following the same trend, and you claim warming has stopped?

      • November 17, 2011 9:01 pm


        The earth has been warming since the depths of the little ice age.
        The AGW claim fails completely if warming between 1970 and the present is not significantly greater than at any time in the preceding 200 years.

        I have specifically avoided claims that warming has stopped or even that the earth has cooled in the past decade – it is possible to play statistical games and get a 10 year warming or cooling trend with equal credibility.

        What you can not get is anything close to a continuation of the preceding 30 years. i would note that the solar cycle is 11 years long and that is a harmonic for other longer cycles – like 33 years.

        Further adding the past decade to the preceding thirty years AT BEST you get warming at a rate matching that of the preceding 200 years – a time when no scientist on the planet thinks humans had any effect.

        However you look at the current trend, it is increasingly impossible to attribute any consequential portion of the planets warming to humans.

        My best guess based on the anticipated behavior of the sun, is atleast 1 more full solar cycle of cooling, possibly more, followed by a resumption of the warming as it was 1970-1997. But that is a guess. It is entirely possible we are at a peak, preparing to enter another “little ice age” – there is again another 200+ year solar cycle that suggests that, or worse that we are approaching the end of an interglacial – which is almost certain, though whether we are 10, 100, or several thousand years away from the beginning of a real ice age is unknown.

        My explanations do not matter. I am not claiming to know everything about climate. I am not claiming to be able to predict it enough to make public policy decisions of enormous cost and consequence.

        What does matter, is that this is inconsistent with AGW theory. The desperation with which Trendberth is pursuing stored heat deeper and deeper into the ocean is specifically because of this.

        Whatever the earth is doing, it is not what the GCM’s predict – not even close. I will not pretend that the high priests of AGW have no explanations, but the explanations are getting more and more complex, and convoluted, and are starting to contradict critical elements of their own theory.

        This is a big part of the spat over Spencer’s remote sensing article.

        Trendberth has been looking for the “lost heat” for some time. Dressler purportedly demonstrated that it had to be here somewhere, Spencer’s paper essentially demonstrated using physics and thermodynamics, that in all likelyhood the “missing heat” had radiated into space.
        Regardless, warmists do not actually know where it is, the thesis that it is deep in the ocean is because we have pretty much proven it is not anywhere else. But that theory has problems – the capacity of the oceans to store heat is enormous, even if the missing heat is deep in the ocean that would do serious damage to the models – though things are even worse if it is not. Separately, while we do not have good records of deep ocean temperatures, we have fairly good records of shallower temperatures and any heat in the deep ocean had to pass through the surface and it has not.

  38. Chuck Lorre permalink
    February 8, 2012 8:50 pm

    Forgive me a moment of political reflection, but I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss something that’s been on my mind for a very long time.
    I’ve always understood the Republican Party to have, as its central platform, the idea that human beings should never be dominated by a monolithic government which tells them how to live their lives. I like that. It feels like a fundamental truth, and I can’t imagine any right-minded person finding fault with it.
    I’ve also noticed that there are many in the Grand Old Party who insist on telling people exactly how they should live. For example: Alcohol, yes. Pot, no. Straight marriage, yes. Gay marriage, no. Jesus, yes. Others prophets, no. The death penalty, yes. Abortion, no. Capitalism, yes (by force if need be). Collectivism, hell no! Added to this is an inclination to find anyone who chooses these other paths to be deeply repugnant. All of which causes me to wonder, is there a middle ground? In fact, are there big political gains awaiting those of a conservative bent if they can figure out a way to celebrate individual freedom while simultaneously tolerating diversity of opinion and lifestyle?
    With that in mind, I humbly propose the following slogan designed to both embrace this paradox and ignite the general electorate in the coming presidential campaign.

    “Vote Republican and be free to live your disgusting life”

  39. February 28, 2012 5:29 pm

    AGW skeptic Blogs sweep the “Bloggies” – including a lifetime acheivement award for Watts up with that.

  40. The Grand Wazzoo permalink
    March 14, 2012 9:07 am

    Some say corporate greed does not exist and would not be any problem if it did. Some say otherwise!

    Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs
    Published: March 14, 2012

    TODAY is my last day at Goldman Sachs. After almost 12 years at the firm — first as a summer intern while at Stanford, then in New York for 10 years, and now in London — I believe I have worked here long enough to understand the trajectory of its culture, its people and its identity. And I can honestly say that the environment now is as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.
    Enlarge This Image

    To put the problem in the simplest terms, the interests of the client continue to be sidelined in the way the firm operates and thinks about making money. Goldman Sachs is one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks and it is too integral to global finance to continue to act this way. The firm has veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say that I identify with what it stands for.

    It might sound surprising to a skeptical public, but culture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’s success. It revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients. The culture was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years. It wasn’t just about making money; this alone will not sustain a firm for so long. It had something to do with pride and belief in the organization. I am sad to say that I look around today and see virtually no trace of the culture that made me love working for this firm for many years. I no longer have the pride, or the belief.

    But this was not always the case. For more than a decade I recruited and mentored candidates through our grueling interview process. I was selected as one of 10 people (out of a firm of more than 30,000) to appear on our recruiting video, which is played on every college campus we visit around the world. In 2006 I managed the summer intern program in sales and trading in New York for the 80 college students who made the cut, out of the thousands who applied.

    I knew it was time to leave when I realized I could no longer look students in the eye and tell them what a great place this was to work.

    When the history books are written about Goldman Sachs, they may reflect that the current chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn, lost hold of the firm’s culture on their watch. I truly believe that this decline in the firm’s moral fiber represents the single most serious threat to its long-run survival.

    Over the course of my career I have had the privilege of advising two of the largest hedge funds on the planet, five of the largest asset managers in the United States, and three of the most prominent sovereign wealth funds in the Middle East and Asia. My clients have a total asset base of more than a trillion dollars. I have always taken a lot of pride in advising my clients to do what I believe is right for them, even if it means less money for the firm. This view is becoming increasingly unpopular at Goldman Sachs. Another sign that it was time to leave.

    How did we get here? The firm changed the way it thought about leadership. Leadership used to be about ideas, setting an example and doing the right thing. Today, if you make enough money for the firm (and are not currently an ax murderer) you will be promoted into a position of influence.

    What are three quick ways to become a leader? a) Execute on the firm’s “axes,” which is Goldman-speak for persuading your clients to invest in the stocks or other products that we are trying to get rid of because they are not seen as having a lot of potential profit. b) “Hunt Elephants.” In English: get your clients — some of whom are sophisticated, and some of whom aren’t — to trade whatever will bring the biggest profit to Goldman. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t like selling my clients a product that is wrong for them. c) Find yourself sitting in a seat where your job is to trade any illiquid, opaque product with a three-letter acronym.

    Today, many of these leaders display a Goldman Sachs culture quotient of exactly zero percent. I attend derivatives sales meetings where not one single minute is spent asking questions about how we can help clients. It’s purely about how we can make the most possible money off of them. If you were an alien from Mars and sat in on one of these meetings, you would believe that a client’s success or progress was not part of the thought process at all.

    It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as “muppets,” sometimes over internal e-mail. Even after the S.E.C., Fabulous Fab, Abacus, God’s work, Carl Levin, Vampire Squids? No humility? I mean, come on. Integrity? It is eroding. I don’t know of any illegal behavior, but will people push the envelope and pitch lucrative and complicated products to clients even if they are not the simplest investments or the ones most directly aligned with the client’s goals? Absolutely. Every day, in fact.

    It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.

    These days, the most common question I get from junior analysts about derivatives is, “How much money did we make off the client?” It bothers me every time I hear it, because it is a clear reflection of what they are observing from their leaders about the way they should behave. Now project 10 years into the future: You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the junior analyst sitting quietly in the corner of the room hearing about “muppets,” “ripping eyeballs out” and “getting paid” doesn’t exactly turn into a model citizen.

    When I was a first-year analyst I didn’t know where the bathroom was, or how to tie my shoelaces. I was taught to be concerned with learning the ropes, finding out what a derivative was, understanding finance, getting to know our clients and what motivated them, learning how they defined success and what we could do to help them get there.

    My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, known as the Jewish Olympics — have all come through hard work, with no shortcuts. Goldman Sachs today has become too much about shortcuts and not enough about achievement. It just doesn’t feel right to me anymore.

    I hope this can be a wake-up call to the board of directors. Make the client the focal point of your business again. Without clients you will not make money. In fact, you will not exist. Weed out the morally bankrupt people, no matter how much money they make for the firm. And get the culture right again, so people want to work here for the right reasons. People who care only about making money will not sustain this firm — or the trust of its clients — for very much longer.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      November 20, 2012 7:09 am

      Ian, a very telling letter. Thank you for posting it. Moral bankruptcy, moral confusion, and “culture” (within companies and collectively as a nation of people) are the core and also all around the core of our country’s problems and the world’s problems.

      By now I shouldn’t be astounded at the Black Knight’s post below, but the post below is particularly glaring as an example of a mental handicap.

  41. dhlii permalink
    March 15, 2012 7:27 pm

    I have no idea how to distinguish “Greed” from Legitmate self interest – and I doubt that anyone else does either.

    I have no special love for Goldman – I know that giving Goldman $10B while allowing Lehman to fail demonstrates the evil of government picking winners and losers.

    As to Greg Smith – he is free to chose where he works, free to voice his opinions, and Goldman’s customers are free to stay or go. One of the problems with all the ranting about greed is that if Goldman is not truly serving the interests of its customers – it will not survive long – that is how free markets work.

    We repeatedly hear arguments that the poor the less well educated the less able need governments protection – otherwise evil greedy corrupt businessmen will deceive and cheat them. The presumption of liberalism is that the rich and powerful – AKA Goldman’s clients are knowledgeable and powerfull enough that they do not need the protection of government, yet the argument here is the opposite. If Goldman’s rich and powerful clients are sufficiently weak to be vulnerable to deception by Goldman – then those same clients are insufficiently powerful that the rest of us require protection from them.

    In fact absent the minuscule percentage of us truly incompetent to manage our own affairs, the rest of us are capable of making our own choices and deciding our own values in life – where we invest, work, bank, eat, seek healthcare. If we are unable to take care of ourselves in one, we are unable in all, and we have all seen how badly things go when government tries to run everything.

    I am not seeking to defend Goldman, just expecting that they are judged by the only group entitled to judge them – their clients, by the only standards that matter – the extent to which they meet their clients expectations.

    • Pat Riot permalink
      November 20, 2012 7:40 am

      dhlii, really? You have “no idea how to distinguish “Greed” from Legitmate self interest – and (you) doubt that anyone else does either. ” ??? Really. Wow. Amazing. It’s that nuance thing. Subtlety of meaning.

      Actually, the distinction between amassing wealth and greed is quite recognizable and has been recognizable by the populace now and throughout history.

      Deciding where “excessive” comes in during a particular time period in history doesn’t have to be tangled in confusion with morality and perceptions of God. It can be very practical. People engaging the market place can be motivated by self-interest, competetive, agreessive. Those who put others out of business because they came up with a better way–that’s fine. Humans will allow that. Accumulating wealth by legitimate means–by providing something people actually need–people will allow that. Like heat applied to a material, there’s a WARPING point. The warping point comes in at a particular scale of dishonesty and trickery, knowingly harming people while providing no benefit to people, for the purpose of personal gain. People will hope it caves in upon itself like a rotten pumpkin, but sometimes it goes on and on and on, causing damage. Eventually, people will not allow it.

      The distinction between legitimate self-interest and Greed–it’s just the sort of thing you have trouble with. I don’t know whether to remain frustrated by you, feel sorry for you, or be impressed that you can argue at all given your blind spots.

  42. Michael permalink
    June 20, 2012 9:24 am

    I think both Ian and dhlii have really missed the mark here. The “True Republicans” (codename for most of the Tea Party) believe that the best way for America is the corporate way. The Liberal agenda appears to be more of a socialist theme where doing the RIGHT thing (typically a leftist program) is good for America. Crows and Cows may make for interesting metaphors for squawking Republicans or cows that provide the masses milk, but they are a distraction from the core point. The Moderate position would be to do what makes sense.
    One might ask where are we today? Both political parties practice something a friend of mine has termed as “Crony Socialism”. One of the things that change when power shifts from one party to the other is which crony gets paid with our tax dollars. In today’s political environment, the right and the left do everything possible to crush the other side which has led to political gridlock. There is no moderate voice that might sway either side for what is best for America. If moderates could elect 20 or more representatives to the House of Representatives, ten seats from each party, I believe we could see a fundamental shift in Washington politics. This is an opportunity for moderates to seize the day.

  43. Pat Riot permalink
    November 20, 2012 8:16 am

    Michael, thank you for your post above. I agree that the “Moderate position would be to do what makes sense.” The moderate position adjusts depending on the conditions. So, for example, if our nation is addicted to foreign oil, and if this addictioin is causing problems for the nation’s people, then we do what is within our means to develop alternatives via private and public means. If in the future we see that we will soon be overwhelmed by the hum of a zilliion wind turbines, then we adjust our course accordingly. We don’t just continue because it worked previously.

    Some would argue that “what makes sense”in a given situation is not knowable, or is merely an opinion of a small group of people, and therefore it is best to follow some principle or ideology that they are convinced is “the way things really are,” such as trickle-down type economics making all the boats float or a belief in government or belief in free markets or what-have-you.

  44. mike300spartan permalink
    August 4, 2016 7:40 am

    Ok Rick, in your Orlando article, you correctly pointed out how righty sees assault rifles for civilians as necessary to overthrow a dictator should the need ever arise. You somewhat dismissed that notion by saying something like, good luck taking on state of the art military weapons with your glocks and AR-15s. Granted, an assault rifle cannot overcome a modern tank. But there are plenty of modern examples of rebellions and insurrections that either topple a government or put up quite a stout resistance with only small arms vs. tanks and such. One reason is that while a tank may be able to obliterate a house, it isn’t well suited to search a house, or successfully run a road checkpoint. You generally need people outside the tank to do those things. While there are lots of tyrants that would not give a second thought about indiscriminately killing their own population to get an enemy, in practice, it is hard to pull that off, the more they kill people that would have otherwise either supported or at least tolerated their tyranny, the more enemies they make determined to bring them down.

  45. January 14, 2017 3:15 am

    So, I searched the phrase, “were mattis and petraeus drinking buddies?” and I found this great article that explains everything that is wrong with the state of our society today. Now, let’s see if Mattis is not the one who would stab Donald Trump in the back. After all, he is one of four top generals who the White House has eliminated within the past decade. He is at risk of turning against the White House that stripped him of the only thing he valued in his life, namely his military career. In addition, he will not tolerate Congressional interrogation sessions that last several hours in duration as well as Dempsey tolerated it. Cheers. Okay, I hope there is no one chasing me around with a .38-six revolver tomorrow.

  46. robert The carey permalink
    November 3, 2017 7:31 pm

    I would like to comment on the extremists debate over creation vs. evolution. First and foremost, I do consider myself a moderate. God, however, is not merely a “belief” to me but a fact. He has spoken to me audibly and has healed a broken hand of mine miraculously. I have also broken my left foot which had to have it set in a cast; the point I’m attempting to make is that God works in processes as well as in miracles. Perhaps evolution was a process and Adam and Eve were created miraculously. Unlike the far left evolutionists I don’t believe life evolved from a single life form or that us humans are related to tomato plants. If macro evolution was a reality, perhaps it was on a limited basis. Conversely, with regard to the far right proprietors of creation who believe that all life forms were created instantaneously, I would like to bring up this point; as an artist, I like to create paintings. I enjoy the process. It would not nearly be as fun if I just pointed my finger at a canvas and “instantly” created a painting. God is known as the Creator; perhaps He took his time with evolution because he enjoyed the process. Robert Carey

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