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The Evidence For AGW

October 9, 2018

By Paul Homewood

 

An interesting question posed by one if our readers, David Murdoch, which I thought I would throw open for comments:

 

Neither my father in law, who was a geography lecturer nor I, are convinced in the arguments around man made climate change and we both read some of Chris Booker’s articles and books
I also read your blog frequently. We are clearly in the minority and our arguments are drowned out.

So the thing that worries me is that if the science ‘evidence’ is not as strong as most think then why isn’t strong evidence brought forward to disprove it? If man made effects aren’t true then why don’t a load of serious scientists come out and say so? It just seems odd- and it’s making me doubt my beliefs?

Would appreciate your comments

 

Some of my initial thoughts:

 

  1. The topic of climate change is not a simple black and white one, and there are many areas where there is substantial disagrement among scientists. However the official party line pretends this is not the case.
  2. It is generally accepted that there has been some warming since the end of the little ice age in the 19thC. But how much is natural, and how much man made?
  3. The LIA is reckoned to be the coldest era since the ice age, so it is reasonable to assume that at least part of the warming since is natural.
  4. We also know that tempratures in the MWP were at least as high as now, and almost certainly higher in previous warm eras. So there is nothing unusual or unprecedented about current temps
  5. Much of the alarmist position relies on modelled projections of future temperature rise.  Yet these models have grossly overestimated current temperatures.
  6. The effect of warming is also an issue of much disagreement. Climate history tells us that extreme weather was just as bad in the past, but this is not the story alarmists peddle.
  7. This also feeds into the question of what effect future temperature rise might have.
  8. Climate science has been so politicised that proper debate is largely shut down, and dissenting scientists muzzled.

 

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66 Comments
  1. James Lazarus permalink
    October 9, 2018 12:28 pm

    Really helpful. I would love some more points to make. I was so irritated by yesterday’s news, but my family just laugh at me when I express some skepticism. Please do continue to provide the sort of bullet points as above.

  2. October 9, 2018 12:36 pm

    The reason there is not the scientific literature he seeks is because there is no money to be made. There is a lot of incentive to create a problem which needs a large amount of tax money to solve.

    There is plenty of evidence that what we are experiencing is climate variation.

    • bobn permalink
      October 10, 2018 9:42 am

      There’s loads of good literature showing climate changes naturally and man has no meaningful impact. But nobody reads it.
      Try reading Prof Bob Carter, Prof Ian Plimer, Dr Tim Ball, Dr G Dedrick Robinson, Jim Steele, Joe Fone, for starters.
      Watch Bob Carter lecture on You-Tube and then follow links to hundreds of other good science lectures debunking the manmade climate myth. Its all out there but noone is reading, watching or listening.

    • October 10, 2018 10:01 am

      See: https://wattsupwiththat.com

    • Robin Guenier permalink
      October 10, 2018 11:27 am

      Yesterday I cited two studies from the Russian and Chinese scientific literature that take a very different view of global warming causation from that commonly publicised in the West. Here are two more:

      Ogurtsov et al., 2017

      Zhu et al., 2016

      • A C Osborn permalink
        October 10, 2018 1:02 pm

        There is masses of data available, try looking at the history on
        http://notrickszone.com/
        and as to scientists, they have written lots of letters to governments.
        What is missing is any Balance whatsever in the Mass Media and especially the BBC.

  3. stephen kent permalink
    October 9, 2018 12:56 pm

    Climate change is a religion… you cannot prove “god” does not exist to believers!!

    • anng permalink
      October 9, 2018 3:44 pm

      @ stephen kent
      God is not a physical being in this universe, so of course you can’t “prove” his existence.
      In exactly the same way as you can’t prove a future which hasn’t yet happened. As long as it might happen, the likes of Nicolas Taleb & Naomi Orestes can use the Precautionary Principle to campaign against the unproven danger of carbon-dioxide emissions.
      Personally, I think the heat they’re measuring is effluent from human motors of factories, traffic, central heating, air conditioning, fridges, freezers, etc.

    • October 9, 2018 4:12 pm

      BBC R4 Costing the Earth just now was a good example, with the standard lie about “The Arctic IS warming” being trotted out so often that they must believe it, despite the absence of any significant change in the last 20 years. They dare not talk about what conditions were like before 1970, they must fear the cold light of truth being shone on their religion.

      • Lezz permalink
        October 9, 2018 7:19 pm

        Now well into my second week of BBC abstinence. Pleased to report that my blood pressure is now back to within normal limits.

      • Sheri permalink
        October 11, 2018 5:27 pm

        The Arctic is LOCAL. So it matters not.

  4. Alasdair permalink
    October 9, 2018 1:01 pm

    David Murdock: The answer is institutionised censorship via the grant and peer review process. Scientists who attempt what you ask jeopardise their careers.
    The sceptical website is the only area where an open debate may be found.

    We are talking about a politicised Meme here, little to do with science.

    • dave permalink
      October 9, 2018 1:34 pm

      “Why isn’t strong evidence brought forward to disprove it?”

      Perhaps, because ‘it’ is a muddle of half-truths and ever-changing predictions, rather than a single mistake; a mess which pollutes discussion via a sort of ‘Gresham’s Law’ – whereby “bad arguments drive out good ones.”

      The writer obviously has the uneasy feeling, “How can so many clever men be so wrong?” He might consider the proposition that ‘clever’ and ‘wise’ are different qualities,

    • A C Osborn permalink
      October 10, 2018 1:04 pm

      There have been hundreds of Peer Reviewed anti AGW papers published by Scientists, the average person just doesn’t get to hear about them.

  5. cockneygit permalink
    October 9, 2018 1:03 pm

    Although I’m aware there is no tropical hotspot – the LT over the tropics isn’t warming at 1.2 degrees above the surface temp; and although I’m aware that hurricanes have shown less activity, not more; and although I’m aware that tornado frequency is down, not up; and although I’m aware that the Antarctic isn’t warming when it should… nevertheless it unnerves me that so many scientists go with the flow, instead of speaking out for genuine science. According to the science, the surface temp should have gone up far more than the half a degree in 60 years – as we continue to pour more and more CO2 into the atmosphere. The predicted temps haven’t happened, and the ludicrous claims by James Hansen haven’t happened either (sea level rises)… and yet where are all the scientists to stand up about this?

    We have countless professors in university tenure with no worries on stating truth… so where are they? Why aren’t they stating that the climate worries don’t add up? We all know that consensus in science means zero to the theory, and yet ‘disastrous man-made climate change’ has so many scientists on its side. Having researched the subject so much, I’ve little doubt about my scepticism (though I wouldn’t ever say die-hard belief). However, the fact that so few scientists are prepared to state the actual truth about what has happened, the data, and what might not happen, leads me to harbour tiny doubts about what I believe. That’s healthy, and not like the unhealthy, devout belief favoured by the likes of John Cook et al. But I would much prefer it if many more scientists stated what the truth is, rather than resorting to puerile name-calling.

    • Lorne Newell permalink
      October 9, 2018 1:57 pm

      Those with tenure have it because they can attract grants. Without the grants there is no tenure. Grants come with a mandate attached. Follow the money!!!

      • October 10, 2018 12:38 pm

        You saved me the trouble of saying precisely that.

        Administrators hire those who get grants whether they can teach or not. Foundations and entities such as the National Science Foundation (government) here have let it be known for decades that you will only get money should the results of your research agree with their preconceived edicts.

        For example, the recent University of Cincinnati, OH study on fracking was funded by an anti-fracking group. The geology researcher and her students found no evidence that there was contamination of the water with methane related to fracking. Their study showed that the methane was from natural sources already existing in the area and was in water where there was no fracking taking place.

        This did not sit well with the granting organization and the university delayed publication of the article for several years until public pressure led to their acknowledgement of the research.

        https://www.energyindepth.org/new-university-of-cincinnati-study-finds-no-water-contamination-from-fracking/
        https://freepressstandard.com/university-of-cincinnati-study-finds-frackings-bad-rap-is-not-supported/

        Grant money comes with a little “shipping and handling” fee for the institution for their “trouble.” It can now amount to more than 30% of the value of the grant. This gravy is used to hire a bevy of overpaid administrators which clog up most university hierarchies.

    • Old Englander permalink
      October 9, 2018 7:52 pm

      “We have countless professors in university tenure with no worries on stating truth… so where are they? Why aren’t they stating that the climate worries don’t add up?”

      Most of them do it, but behind closed doors:

      “It’s a religion … you won’t get anywhere ”
      “This (the CO2 theory) is being challenged by some very credible people”
      “I could see straight away that they hadn’t modelled clouds adequately”

      Just some quotes from actual (or former) tenured professors in different countries.
      Two were Fellows of the Royal Society. Simply not in their interests to achieve notoriety as a “climate change denier”.

      Look at the websites of their “research interests” – packed with lines about how their work helps “mitigate climate change” or similar. Go public on your doubts, trash your dept’s grant income. No one does this, certainly not in a university system where grant money is essentially the only metric of professional performance.

      Those like John Christy that do say it doesn’t add up get bullets through their office windows. I have seen one professor who gave an “incorrect” talk at a prestigious venue told, to his face, that he “was a disgrace and should not be allowed to give talks like that here”.

      Enough reason for most to choose the quiet life.

      • Sheri permalink
        October 11, 2018 5:29 pm

        Tenure just keeps you from being fired (usually). You can still be harrassed, mocked, shamed and driven out.

  6. Chris, Leeds permalink
    October 9, 2018 1:13 pm

    The answer to the question is because the International Panel on Climate Change is a political process, not a scientific one. And also because ‘THE science’ is actually a whole suite of disciplines encompassing many lines of enquiry – geological, glacial, atmospheric, historical climate research etc…and there is no ‘one science’. In reality there are a wide range of different ‘types’ of scientific research ongoing. I find the website http://www.notrickszone.com, run by Pierre Goselin interesting. He publishes lists and precis of a huge number of academic papers each year – covering a huge range of fields, all reporting on scientific research that raises questions about man-made climate change, or show that the climate now is within the bounds of what we have seen before.
    But the biggest reason why we don’t hear much that disagrees with the IPCC is because you would probably lose your job or get no research money and the mainstream media obviously don’t want to hear or read anything that disagrees with the new ‘religion’.

  7. October 9, 2018 1:18 pm

    I’m not so sure that sceptics are in a minority. The MSM/education/civil-service and social media are probably mostly True Believers, but normal people don’t seem too bothered. They would be more bothered in the other direction if they knew how much “the fight against CC” was costing them.

    The so-called govt, being driven by EU directives, has to pretend that it is leading the country on a cost-free path to green nirvana, they can’t tell the truth, which is that they have to make energy (and thereby everything) more expensive for no benefit, because of orders from Brussels, and because of past mistakes that all parties supported.

  8. October 9, 2018 1:24 pm

    The two striking difference between the two teams are 1:Realists/Deniers want to debate the data and are happy to change their view; Alarmists/Consensus scientists do not/are not. 2: The latter have only one explanation CO2 (and humanity) and one cure, a ‘carbon free world’, and 97% agree absolutely with this one idea.
    Realists see a multiplicity of cause and effect and only agree on some of them, because climate is a ‘coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible’. While 97% of thinking people all agree that climate change is real, the big issue is – is it us or the earth that drives it?

  9. John Brydon permalink
    October 9, 2018 1:27 pm

    The views of the general public on climate change are based on belief rather than evidence; this is the way of the world and means that they are swayed by whatever they see in the media.
    You would think, though, that most (non-climate) scientists would try and read some of the relevant papers before forming their views on the subject.
    It’s my strong impression that most of them haven’t and so are also functioning on pure belief.
    This is massively unimpressive for the profession, particularly as you don’t have to read many climate papers to discover that the science can be pretty mediocre and the IPCC summaries wildly inaccurate.
    When the truth about the emperor’s new clothes is finally revealed, the reputations of all scientists will be ruined for a generation and most will deserve it.

  10. Gerry, England permalink
    October 9, 2018 1:52 pm

    The hounding of true scientists from their jobs provides a pretty strong disincentive to telling the truth. A lot of the most noted sceptics are retired or self-funded.

  11. Joe Public permalink
    October 9, 2018 1:54 pm

    Is there a consensus as to what the globe’s *ideal* temperature is?

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      October 9, 2018 2:18 pm

      The ‘planet’ has existed through all temperatures over 4.5 billion years history, it is life which has limits not the planet 🙂

    • Sheri permalink
      October 9, 2018 3:12 pm

      It is the temperature we have now. Depending, of course, on what base period you use. Considering anamolies are generally small, we should be able to come up with a fairly accurate answer to what the temperature is “now”. Why now? Because we’re here now and people can relate to now. So you can’t sell a temperature from say 1700 because peope don’t relate.

      Actually, warmists do say “now” because this is when man is thriving, which ironic since they want man living in caves again…..

  12. October 9, 2018 2:07 pm

    Quote (Ottmar Edenhofer): One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole. We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”

    Quote (Christiana Figueres): This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 – you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation.

    There are hundreds more where they came from.Climate Change has little, if anything, to do with science, and everything to do with environmental politics. The demonisation of CO2 by eco-activists has no scientific basis. If that were all that concerned them they would welcome a non-CO2-emitting source of energy generation such as nuclear to which they are as opposed as they are to the use of “fossil fuels”.

    Why they have been allowed to get away with what are increasingly evident blatant lies about climate and the science of climate is indeed something of a mystery but clever manipulation of data, group think, the establishment of what is essentially a cult (and what can best be described as the occasional Jedi mind trick!) have embedded the concept too deeply in the minds of western politicians for it to be easily overcome.

    To give one simple example. Politicians and the media accept unquestioningly the need to keep temperature increase below 2°. This figure was plucked out of the air by Schellenhuber, on his own admission, to give politicians a figure they could hang onto. The 2° limit is supposed to be compared with the “pre-industrial” temperature though no-one is willing to define what “pre-industrial” actually means. 1750? 1400? 1066? 8BC? And nowhere have I seen quoted what that mythical mysterious temperature actually is. 14.2°? 14.0? 13,7?

    It’s hardly surprising laymen are confused. But that suits the activists.

  13. Colin Brooks permalink
    October 9, 2018 2:13 pm

    Dear David

    There are a few facts that are never reported that help put everything into perspective: they do not answer all your questions but they do explain why you ( and many others) are still asking them (and will continue to ask them for all of our lifetimes).

    There is as yet no full understanding of the factors which influence our climate (and as Paul states above) there are many scientists who claim that they do.

    No scientist can give a list of every factor and no scientist can give you a full explanation of all the factors we do know about. The bottom line is that currently your questions can not be answered by our current understanding of the science.

    So how do the alarmists keep persuading governments that there is a problem, that we are causing it and that we can solve it? It is done by deliberately ignoring the well proven scientific ‘method’. Scientists (plus uncle Tom Cobley and all) can have ideas about science and produce theories about how things work but today those theories are presented as science: they are not science fact. Every theory needs to be ‘tested’ and only if it is proved to be correct is it then able to be presented as fact.

    The case for AGW is supported only by unproven theories and by models (which themselves incorporate unproven theories).

    My advice is to always look at the big picture and not the detail (i.e. clever looking theories).
    The big picture does give us sceptics some support in that ice core studies going back a short period admittedly (just a million years or so) show not one single period where rising CO2 levels are followed by rising temperature. If you get bogged down with every unproven theory that comes along then you can never reach a sensible position.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      October 9, 2018 2:32 pm

      There is a need to emphasize that peer review is very superficial and does not test the theory.

      • October 9, 2018 4:20 pm

        Peer review is meaningless, as we have just had proved in spades by the report of half-a-dozen hoax papers planted deliberately to see what the journals would do. All will have undergone peer review before being published.

        The reason the climate science community likes peer review is because in their relatively small and tightly-knit community it is their peers who doing the the reviewing. I don’t like the rather glib phrase “pal review” — it always seems to smack of sour grapes on our part — but it does sum up the situation succinctly.

        When they ask the question, “Ah! but has it been peer-reviewed?” what they mean is “has it been approved by the climate community?” and the general public (not unreasonably) see sense in the question and ask why we should know better than those who are supposedly better qualified than we are.

  14. Lorne Newell permalink
    October 9, 2018 2:15 pm

    Joe Public
    Who decides?

  15. Broadlands permalink
    October 9, 2018 2:39 pm

    ….why isn’t strong evidence brought forward to disprove it?

    That’s the wrong question. Why isn’t evidence brought forward to show it is quite impossible for humans to affect the Earth’s climate by stopping the use of carbon for energy and removing hundreds of billions of tons of the waste product and safely burying this compressed gas somewhere? The technology is not there, nor is the space to bury it. The arithmetic is quite simple. Fifty ppm of oxidized carbon is 370 gigatons. Hundreds of years and billions of currencies to return the climate and the weather to that of 1987 when CO2 was at the “safe” value prescribed by those who provide the most scary scenarios to the public if we don’t act urgently. Now the IPCC tells us it must be done in less than two decades? Really???

  16. October 9, 2018 2:47 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  17. theguvnor permalink
    October 9, 2018 3:02 pm

    Have you noticed that the ill effects of ‘global warming’ are always reported on in remote out of the way places which are difficult for others to experience and therefore criticise? I would always try to personalise the issue and invert the question asking ‘What are the adverse effects of global warming local to you in the last 20 years or so?’ This is because its within the then timescale of the supposed oncoming catastrophe, I have lived in my house nearly 20 years and haven’t noticed any worrying changes which if its global I should have.

    • October 9, 2018 6:05 pm

      They didn’t used to be … but after a while when nothing happened they had to move elsewhere.

  18. GEORGE LET permalink
    October 9, 2018 3:09 pm

    As Richard Lindzen has remarked on the subject, “Proving something to be impossible is itself almost impossible.”

    Classic Lecture on Climate Sensitivity by Professor Emeritus Richard Lindzen

  19. October 9, 2018 3:19 pm

    Yes, Richard Lindzen’s latest GWPF annual lecture explains why it is so hard.
    As he remarked in the Q & A that followed he tells his students studying in the field not to contradict the current dogma or they won’t go anywhere in the field. Frightening statement!
    google 2018 Annual GWPF Lecture.

  20. anng permalink
    October 9, 2018 3:30 pm

    The official theory depends upon the microscopic, molecular properties of carbon-dioxide (it outputs infra-red which we humans feel as heat) plus the macroscopic Laws of Thermodynamics which act at the level of millions of molecules.
    However, you can’t have those nasty, denying, sceptical engineers spoiling a good reason to call a halt to technological advances, can you?

    Much better to be a pessimistic Malthusian and watch the world starve.

    Ref. see Club of Rome.

  21. Vernon E permalink
    October 9, 2018 3:43 pm

    The High Priest of the new religion was Sir John Houghton (b. 1931) founder member of the IPCC and author of the First Assessment Report. I attended the same school as he where his father was deputy head and teacher of religious studies. The family were neighbours and were all passionate evangelical Christians (Plymouth Brethren) and Sir John upheld his convictions for life. There are many suggestions on the internet that he believes that global warming is a punishment from God. There may or may not be a connection but the new religion has all the characteristics evangelism – it has its creed that is held with blind faith, its priesthood, its disciples and its silencing of heretics. Logic and facts don’t work – it will be with us for a long, long time.

  22. Peter Hollander permalink
    October 9, 2018 3:51 pm

    Scientists are herd animals and funding comes when group think research backs up group think. Your professor who is a believer in AGW isn’t going to get or seek funding for projects to disprove it because that would make him/her look foolish and plain wrong!

  23. October 9, 2018 3:55 pm

    I believe there is considerable scientific data available that shows IPCC modelling to be flawed. The IPCC is politically motivated and many governments have made the mistake of pursuing the wrong energy policies based on this flawed data. There’s pushback rightly taking place against these failed policies in the USA, in Australia and in Canada. The reliance on flawed data, extravagant funding, environmentalists, weak political leadership, religious like obsession, and a compliant media, has conspired to fail ordinary citizens. It’s called propaganda and it’s exemplified here in the UK by the BBC.

  24. ringochutney permalink
    October 9, 2018 4:21 pm

    why don’t scientists come forward , I can tell you why in one name , Dr Peter Ridd , he has been studying the great barrier reef for decades , he suggested that coral bleaching may be part of the coral’s natural life cycle , and said the parts of the reef that had been bleached had made a great recovery , to quote him ” it’s in great shape ” , James Cook university , where he was a professor , sacked him for ” repeated breaches of his employment’s code of conduct ” , or in layman’s terms ” not keeping your gob shut ” ,

  25. Robin Guenier permalink
    October 9, 2018 4:22 pm

    David: climate alarmism is essentially a Western phenomenon. Senior scientists from, for example, the Russian and Chinese academies of science have expressed clear doubts about “man made effects”. Here are two recent papers:

    Stozhkov et al., 2017

    Wang et al., 2017

    • October 9, 2018 4:31 pm

      As Chris from Leeds points out up-thread, Robin, Pierre Gosselin is forever linking to papers that challenge the consensus. More on past climate than on the current science but since the whole thrust of the activists is that it has never been so bad and it’s only going to get worse unless we behave ourselves his site is a useful corrective. Or ought to be.

  26. October 9, 2018 5:06 pm

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” -Upton Sinclair

    • October 9, 2018 5:07 pm

      “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.” -Tolstoy

  27. Geoffb permalink
    October 9, 2018 5:08 pm

    I too, like David Murdoch, was beginning to have some doubts about my denial of global warming. There are some well qualified persons on the IPCC panel, can they all be so wrong? I would like to see a proper debate, where the IPCC experts address our concerns and if they are indeed right then they will demolish our ideas. I would hope that they would jump at the opportunity to destroy climate change deniers. If we could get the BBC or Guardian to organise this, I would be first in the queue to ask simple questions about previous predictions. that have not actually occurred…No Summer Arctic Ice, Maldives under the sea etc etc

    • October 9, 2018 6:03 pm

      Did you ever have that debate about creation at School with some born again Christians.

      They just wouldn’t believe that natural variation could possibly have caused such large-scale changes.

      It’s the same debate with alarmists. They just won’t believe that natural variation could possibly have resulted in long term climate change.

      Some people just don’t have it in them to see how relatively small changes over relatively short periods, can build up over a long time to create a largescale change.

  28. Athelstan permalink
    October 9, 2018 5:09 pm

    In the geological fossilized climate record, CO2 rises LAG rises in Temperatures.

    That eejit was exposed, showed up to be false prophet in al goracle banal pscience film ‘an inconvenient truth’ – he, gore thought wrongly that CO2 rises were causal to warming, where: actually CO2 rises as a factor of increases in Temperature.

    All the rest is just knackers.

  29. Reasonable Skeptic permalink
    October 9, 2018 5:49 pm

    IMO this is a long story of good scientists each pushing the agenda forward a tiny bit at a time. You have to imagine the world as it was back in 1990. A new science with a defined issues of global concern appears out of nowhere. Money is thrown everywhere and the problem is immense. People wanted to help solve a real issue but each one also added to the bias in their own way. Bias creep is the process here.

    The people that could slow down the evolution got lost in the stampede to save the world. Object to the issue and your career is threatened.

    If you want proof that this is overblow, look at the history of ECS. ECS is the single most important question to be answered, yet the first estimation from 50 years ago is essentially the same as the last IPCC report. Explain to me how the science is vastly more confident we have a problem but we have made no progress on the single most important question?

    Here is another line of thought that should be considered. Humanity did not have the tools to observe change that we have now. Guess what, they find change. The change was always there we just lacked the tools to observe it, so the perception is we have new change and we seek a culprit. The culprit is Global Warming, because that is where the funding is.

    Scientifically you can’t prove it isn’t dangerous, so don’t look to the science to do that. You look at the process to create the science, you look at underlying assumptions and you look to psychology to explain group behaviour.

    Great question and I hope that I have helped somebody see something they hadn’t yet thought of.

    • DaveR permalink
      October 10, 2018 5:27 am

      “IMO, this is a long story of good scientists each pushing the agenda forward a tiny bit at a time.”

      Hardly. What’s accountably the difference here is real and capable science has become subsumed within a pseudo-elected self-appointed academic elite.

      I didn’t get where I am today – much – or not – by misunderstanding Dr. Ritchie (Abdn) – tho I could’ve if I’d followed some contemporary others.

      It’s not too long ago. Back then top dawg Aberdeen DAGFS profs swarmed around the prospect of NH cod annihilation…

      It’s about enabling good scientists that counts.

  30. manicbeancounter permalink
    October 9, 2018 5:56 pm

    In my view, the reason for the dogmas is that the supporters do not recognize that any other view can be possible. This goes much deeper than the AGW theory and the associated policy. Try to Google or Bing “Climate Scepticism”. There will be no dissenting views on the first page. There will be Guardian columnists who dogmatic upholders of the CAGW scare.
    For Wikipedia there will be the entry for “Climate Change Denial”. In my Shorter OED the two mean quite different things, but not to the climate faithful.

    The Wiki entry begins

    “Climate change denial, or global warming denial, is part of the global warming controversy. It involves denial, dismissal, or unwarranted doubt that contradicts the scientific opinion on climate change, including the extent to which it is caused by humans, its impacts on nature and human society, or the potential of adaptation to global warming by human actions.”

    “Denial” is not denying facts or well-supported and non-controversial scientific opinions, but it is expressing an opinion that contradicts the mainstream. It also involves contradicting policy and values. By this perspective Paul Homewood is a climate “denier” for stating that there was a LIA, so recent warming might be to some extent natural. This is “unwarrented” as it completely undermines the IPCC SR1.5 launched yesterday. Why? One assumption is that 100% of all warming since 1850 is due to human emissions – a subset of human-caused warming. If even 10% were natural then with ECS = 2.7 we would already be past 1.5C of warming. If ECS were 2.8 we would also be past 1.5C of warming as well or if the warming impact of GHGs other CO2 were not completely offset by aerosols.
    Another aspect where the charge of “denial” could be levied is to read and understand the Paris Agreement. Based on the IPCC’s assumptions constraining warming to 1.5C or 2C is not going to happen, as it excludes “developing countries”. They have 80% of the global population, 65% of GHG emissions and account for about 100% of the emissions increase since 1990.
    This gives people a real conflict. You can stand up for the evidence, logic, and basic science, or you can accept the consensus. Most non-believers just quit the field.

  31. October 9, 2018 6:00 pm

    Their argument is this: “Nothing but CO2 could have caused the warming”.

    This allows them to ignore the fact that the vast majority of observed warming cannot be scientifically linked to CO2 and then claim “CO2 is the only think causing climate change”.

    The problem is we’ve had 4.5billion years of climate change and very little of it has anything at all to do with changes in CO2. The reality is that there are many things other than CO2 than can, and have, caused, and will continue to cause, climate change and CO2 is just a relatively unimportant thing.

  32. El Bobbo permalink
    October 9, 2018 6:52 pm

    Why isn’t the burden on proof on the side which claims man-made CO2 is causing catastrophic global warming??

  33. Dave B permalink
    October 9, 2018 8:49 pm

    I am associated with an Earth Sciences department of a local university, where I am an adjunct professor. While there are one or two ‘true believers’ in the ranks, most of the faculty are sceptical but prefer not to talk about it; but rather, keep their heads down and get on with their own interests. In modern day universities, it pays to toe the line.

  34. Bruce of Newcastle permalink
    October 9, 2018 9:28 pm

    My answer is to describe the natural variables that caused most of the warming last century.

    1. The ~60 year cycle in the oceans
    2. Indirect solar warming, most likely due to impact upon cloud cover

    The first is easily seen in this graph of HadCRUT 3v after detrending. The IPCC takes as their validation century 1906-2005. If you look at the graph you can see that 1906 was right at the bottom of the cycle. Then 2005 was right at the top of the subsequent cycle. So the IPCC is taking something like 0.3-0.4 C of cyclic temperature change and calling it warming by CO2. Clearly an artefact.

    Michael Mann in his paper Knight et al 2005 (in GRL) shows the ocean cycle has been persistent for at least the last millennium and is related to the thermohaline cycle.

    The second I address by a paper from Prof. U.R. Rao which I linked a few threads back. He analysed the indirect effect of the Sun and came to the conclusion that it caused about 0.33 C of warming last century.

    Several other lines of estimation can get the same general value, give or take. I use the indirect relationship worked out by Butler & Johnston 1996.

    So adding the two together you get:

    Cyclic: ~0.3 C (conservatively)
    The Sun: ~0.33 C
    Total: ~0.63 C

    In AR4 the IPCC said overall warming in their century was 0.74 C. So the two natural variables describe 85% of it. Doesn’t leave much for CO2…just enough to fit with Lindzen’s 0.7 C/doubling value for 2XCO2.

    Which means CO2 is harmless.

  35. Roberto permalink
    October 9, 2018 9:36 pm

    I point people to a little item called the Tree of Tenere. Wikipedia has a photo (so far). When I graduated, here was this demented acacia tree blooming out in the howling desert, 200 miles from any other tree or bee or puddle or anything. Half the State of Nevada, and precisely one tree. It is no oasis, as they showed by drilling a well. The nearest water is 110 feet straight down, and the well is 130 feet.

    So here is a region in mid Niger where acacia seedlings used to be happy little acacia trees. Then it slowly went dry, and year after year and decade after decade, this tree had to send roots deeper and deeper and deeper, and now there is no tree anywhere for hundreds of miles because after all the years of protecting this unique landmark from being chewed by camels or chopped up for firewood, some drunken idiot whacked it with a truck.

    Now where did all THAT climate change come from? Who ate the trade winds of northern Africa? I’ve heard decades of theories, including in Scientific American, but I don’t think anyone found them very convincing. It just happens, and we understand so little about why or how. But I can guarantee that CO2 had nothing to do with it.

  36. Japan T permalink
    October 10, 2018 4:56 am

    I think this headline answers why the voices of serious scientists aren’t heard, “UN Calls For $2.4 Trillion A Year To Be Spent To Save Us From Global Warming”

  37. October 10, 2018 7:47 am

    The fundamental problem is that people have the wrong view of science and think that it is based on consensus among “experts”. In fact, science is adversarial and driven by constant questioning and attempts to refute apparent truth. Einstein was a complete outsider in physics whose official expertise at the time was patents. His theory of relativity addressed two small anomalies in Newtonian physics: the orbit of Mercury and the bending of light by the sun and proved that Newton’s laws were not the complete, consensual truth some took them to be. But physics is a mature science, ready to question any orthodoxy in its quest for truth. So-called “climate science” is a dumbed-down caricature, a Hollywood cartoon travesty of truth brilliantly satirised in Gulliver’s Return, as I describe in my most recent post on Psychology Today.

  38. bobn permalink
    October 10, 2018 10:15 am

    There’s loads of good literature showing climate changes naturally and man has no meaningful impact. But nobody reads it.
    Try reading Prof Bob Carter, Prof Ian Plimer, Dr Tim Ball, Dr G Dedrick Robinson, Jim Steele, Joe Fone, for starters.
    Watch Bob Carter lecture on You-Tube and then follow links to hundreds of other good science lectures debunking the manmade climate myth. Its all out there but no one is reading, watching or listening.

  39. riveness permalink
    October 10, 2018 12:20 pm

    I do not think that climate change, and its acceptance, is the problem. In fact, I believe you can ignore that entire debate and instead focus on a solution whereby you strive to create less pollution (where CO2 is usually a function of such).

    What this would mean is that you are completely focuses on methods to reduce emissions and other pollutants. Solutions that only partly achieve this (i.e. intermittency) would have much less of a footing or could even be ignored. You would very quickly come to a solution for electricity, and recognise the take at had for other energy vectors, which cannot be solved with intermittency. But at least you would be starting down a path that might be possible for these issues (energy for steel, cement, transport etc)

    As with any good thoughts, you would then return to check against the status quo to see if your new plans are disproportionate.

    When people propose intermittents, they forget that these can only ever be part of a solution. Adding gigantic overcapacity in solar and wind only locks us into gas and battery use, even knowing that the latter is infeasible.

    So instead of worrying about the climate change debate, take a different tack and just straighten to the real solutions. In that way, you avoid all the stigma and put the responsibility back on those who are demanding a huge spend.

  40. October 10, 2018 12:45 pm

    As a botanist, I use paleobotany examples. Not until Devonian did earth have enough atmospheric gases (now dubbed pollution) to keep land plants from frying due to ultraviolet light. Now consider that coal beds formed in ancient swamps which had a similar climate to parts of Indonesia. West Virginia hardly resembles Indonesia today. Neither does Antarctica where there are coal beds. Climate changed without man’s input. CO2 levels were much higher during the Carboniferous when plants thrived.

    Computer models are only worth the data which is put into them. We simply do not know enough about atmosphere, plants, animals, etc.and their interactions to make them worth anything. When the powers that be ignore actual on-the-ground data in favor of their models, “whoa, Nellie.”

  41. A Norwich Tory permalink
    October 10, 2018 4:39 pm

    And ‘adjustments’ to temperature records

  42. Richard Shackelford permalink
    October 10, 2018 7:30 pm

    As in our legal system, the burden of proof should be on the ones making the accusation or, in this case, the scientific claim. If this were a true debate, then both sides would be given equal opportunity to present facts and evidence to make their case. Since that is not the case, it should fall upon the “Warmists” to make their case for AGW as long as those with an opposing view can challenge that view. Since the proposed “remedies” for AGW are so severe, the degree of evidence for the Warmists should be beyond a reasonable doubt. Don’t look for that to happen in the world or agenda-driven science.

  43. October 11, 2018 8:45 am

    There are two ways that climate science relates surface temp to emissions.

    The first is the ECS climate sensitivity parameter.
    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/09/25/a-test-for-ecs-climate-sensitivity-in-observational-data/

    And the second is the TCRE transient climate response to cumulative emissions.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2018/05/06/tcr-transient-climate-response/

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