Home > Economics - General > The CIS and delusionism

The CIS and delusionism

August 10th, 2008

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, the claim that mainstream science is totally wrong about global warming is an orthodoxy that is almost universal among commentators, bloggers and thinktanks on the political right in Australia, even though the great majority of ordinary Australians, including Coalition supporters, believe the science.

The great majority of Australian take the view that, while scientists aren’t always right, it’s much better to act on the basis of the best available science than to assume that the scientists are wrong. For this, they are attacked by rightwing commentators as religious fanatics or, at best gullible innocents.

One limited exception to this appeared to be the Centre for Independent Studies. A while back Andrew Norton got stuck into Clive Hamilton for listing CIS in the delusionist camp on the basis of some fairly tenuous links. As Norton observed, the CIS had never published much on the topic (though what it did publish was in line with delusionist orthodoxy) and had published nothing since 2003.

CIS has made up for it now, with this piece by Arthur Herman (also published, less surprisingly, in the Oz). It’s got everything – “global warming as a religion”, Al Gore conspiracy theories, Godwin’s Law violations on eugenics, the Spanish Inquisition and so on, backed up by some typically dodgy Internet factoids. As with much in this genre, it’s important to note the call for the replacement of science, as it currently exists, with “real science” in which people like Herman (self-described as “an historian and author”) will lay down the rules.

What’s striking here is the contrast between the willingness of just about everyone on the political right to sign up to a set of beliefs that are dictated entirely by political tribalism and their self-perception as brave heretics, spelt out in more than usually ludicrous fashion by Herman.

Tim Lambert does garbage pickup on Herman’s “facts”. Strikingly, given that he’s supposed to be an (sic) historian, Herman seems to have a lot of trouble with dates and references. And there’s more from Nexus 6 and Gary Sauer-Thompson.

Update: In a comment from Jennifer Marohasy it was announced that Michael Duffy was willing to give $1000 to anyone who would nominate ““Some work/some research results that have been published in reputable scientific journals that:

1. examine the causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming, and

2. quantify the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide. ”

Several people provided responses and, after coming back from my hiatus I wrote to Duffy asking the status of my offer. He replied “I asked Jennifer Marohasy about this, because she’s the one who needs to be satisfied. ” and appended a response from her indicating that she was, in fact, not satisfied.

From the original statement, I didn’t realise that Duffy meant to include “satisfactory to Jennifer Marohasy” as a term of the offer. Now that we’ve cleared that up, I think we can regard the offer as in line with the Socratic irony approach to scientific discussion.
There seems to have been something of a meltdown chez Marohasy, so I think we can take this offer as being off the table for all practical purposes

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  1. spangled drongo
    August 10th, 2008 at 12:16 | #1

    John,
    “The great majority of Australians,, take the view that, while scientists aren’t always right, it’s much better to act on the basis of the best available science than to assume that the scientists are wrong.”
    This is because they are being fed a non specific religion.
    When Al Gore, Kevin Rudd, Penny Wong et al equate pollution with CO2, they are misleading the public.
    Subsequently this “great majority” are simply confused and grasp the precautionary principle for any comfort.
    That’s what comes of using propaganda instead of science even though that science may be right.

  2. jquiggin
    August 10th, 2008 at 15:45 | #2

    Thanks for proving my point, sd.

  3. Tony G
    August 10th, 2008 at 15:46 | #3

    “The great majority of Australians,, take the view that, while scientists aren’t always right, it’s much better to act on the basis of the best available science than to assume that the scientists are wrong.”

    “The best available science” at the moment can not put AGW beyond reasonable ‘scepticism’ (doubt). When “the great majority of Australians” are properly informed of that FACT (as now the are not), they will act on that “basis”.

  4. Ian Gould
    August 10th, 2008 at 16:17 | #4

    Yeah damn those stupid Aussies.

    Don’t they know that their libertarian betters are vastly wiser and better-informed than them?

    Somebody tell me again how the left are a bunch of out-of-touch elitists who despise the common man.

    Oh and Tony you might want to look up the definitions of the word “fact” (sorry FACT it’s so much more credible like that)and “opinion”.

  5. charles
    August 10th, 2008 at 16:22 | #5

    What I don’t get is why are they doing this, the ice is going to continue to melt no matter what words are written, making the right wing bloggers look like bigger fools as time goes on ( it is possible).

    I suppose that doesn’t matter if your a right wing blogger, but for a political party that is trying to convince us it is wise enough to form government. I just can’t fathom the stupidity of it.

  6. John Mashey
    August 10th, 2008 at 16:33 | #6

    Perhaps CO2 is not pollution in (most of) OZ, as it depends on the local atmospheric conditions in cities that are hot and have smog problems.

    CO2 very *definitely* is pollution, at least in certain areas of California, and very likely elsewhere. [If I had to guess, perhaps Sydney.]

    Stanford Professor Mark Z. Jacobson is very good – I’ve heard him talk a few times and read some of his papers. Here’s his April 9 testimony to the US House of Representatives.

    Simply:
    1) While CO2 is generally well-mixed, in big urban areas with the right climates, local CO2 concentrations are noticaebly higher.

    2) If the area is already polluted, the extra CO2 makes it worse, i.e., ozone and other things. If the area is not already polluted, the extra CO2 has little *local* effect.

    3) This likely happens elsewhere, but we *know* it happens here, given the strong attention of the CARB – California Air Resources Board and our top universities to this topic.

    It is not accidental that CA is so keen on electric cars and trucks. While cellulosic ethanol / biodiesel might be better for AGW issues, they actually aren’t particularly better for air pollution. Hydrogen would be fine, but is way off, although we’ve tried. For now, we need BEV/PHEVs in quantity, and we are gearing up for smart charging stations, Google is going at it, etc.

    SUMMARY: in some places, CO2 IS pollution. In other places it isn’t.

  7. August 10th, 2008 at 16:45 | #7

    When politics trumps reality, reality eventually bites… hard. Any political commentator who chooses to deny reality will one day find that no one wants to read their political comments any more.

  8. frankis
    August 10th, 2008 at 17:49 | #8

    That piece of fluff by Arthur Herman is very, very funny stuff!

  9. Nick
    August 10th, 2008 at 17:56 | #9

    This frantic burst of nonsense is part of the Denialist Winter Campaign of 2007/8, which has ground to a halt in a circling of wagons. The one rifle left, with a box of blanks,is being shared among the usual suspects. The effect -small explosions and agitated chattering- is loudest within the circle.

  10. Spiros
    August 10th, 2008 at 18:08 | #10

    If you google up Mr Herman you’ll see that he’s also an expert on how to fight to war in Iraq. What a Renaissance Man!

  11. Bingo Bango Boingo
    August 10th, 2008 at 19:18 | #11

    Spiros, our humble professor is the only person qualified to have an opinion on everything. Withdraw your comment immediately.

    BBB

  12. chrisl
    August 10th, 2008 at 19:36 | #12

    The great majority of Australian take the view that, while scientists aren’t always right, it’s much better to act on the basis of the best available science than to assume that the scientists are wrong. For this, they are attacked by rightwing commentators as religious fanatics or, at best gullible innocents.

    Assertion of the year.
    Where does this come from?
    And please don’t say a poll.

  13. August 10th, 2008 at 19:44 | #13

    Wow that is pretty out there stuff. I always thought the the CIS, while be right wing, was a ‘reasonable’ organisation. The presence of Andrew Norton being a pointer. But that piece is off the planet.

    I know the libertarians don’t like climate change because it suggests a collectivist solution and they can’t process the fact that there might be at least one problem not requiring an individualist solution (‘Does not compute! Does not compute!”).

    But I am with Charles on this one, are the so self-deluded that they really believe what they are saying?

  14. chrisl
    August 10th, 2008 at 19:48 | #14

    The great majority of Australians wouldn’t have a clue about the science, poltics or economics of climate change.
    Assertions aren’t that hard
    Any one can do it.

  15. Ian Gould
    August 10th, 2008 at 19:52 | #15

    Well, obviously, ChrisL the otherwise inexplicable fialure of the Australian electorate to embrace the Liberal Democratic Party displays how ignorant and foolish we all are.

    Clearly we’re all in need of a healthy dose of Hayek’s liberal dictatorship.

  16. Tony G
  17. chrisl
    August 10th, 2008 at 20:20 | #17

    Ian: I have never heard of the Liberal Democratic Party. How is this relevant.

  18. melanie
    August 10th, 2008 at 20:28 | #18

    I must say about #3 that we are not in a court of law here. But actually there’s not even ‘reasonable doubt’ about whether it’s happening. The only doubts, and this is where the scientific debate is at, are about the effects of it.

    Anyway it’s fun to see how many delusionists are still rising to the bait every time Professor Q stirs the pot!

  19. Ian Gould
    August 10th, 2008 at 21:19 | #19

    “One thing that is clear is that AGW is a hypothesis not a fact.”

    As are gravity, relativity, the germ theory of disease and the existence of atoms.

    Your assessment of whether there’s a “reasonable” degree of doubt regarding the AGW is not “fact” it’s opinion.

  20. Ian Gould
    August 10th, 2008 at 21:24 | #20

    ChrisL,your lack of knowledge doesn’t dtract from the fundamental point that most libertarians underneath their rhetoric about freedom despise about 99% of the human race and think they’re uniquely qualified to dictate how society should be run.

  21. Gaz
    August 10th, 2008 at 21:27 | #21

    charles (5) said “What I don’t get is why are they doing this..”

    I share your bewilderment.

    I can understand the occasional hired gun for the oil or coal industry.

    But the apparent fervency of this belief that AGW cannot be happening, despite all the evidence, is truly bizarre.

    It’s also difficult to understand how a group of people could be so wedded to a belief when defending it involves so much deliberate intellectual sleight-of-hand.

    It is a truly, truly strange phenomenon.

  22. wilful
    August 10th, 2008 at 21:34 | #22

    It’s also going to (I hope) really really truly destroy their credibility (unfortunately at the cost of large parts of the world economy and countless lives).

    Andrew Bolt, there’s a special place reserved for him when all this is over.

  23. jquiggin
    August 10th, 2008 at 22:19 | #23

    It’s striking how well the comments support the post. On the sole factual point

    ChrisL, how would you suggest determining the opinion of the majority of Australians other than by a poll (whether it’s a sample or a vote of the entire electorate)? Perhaps we should rely on the infallible intuition of Andrew Bolt and similar commentators.

  24. August 10th, 2008 at 22:20 | #24

    Dear Friends of John Quiggin,

    I’ve been having some discussions with a friend who has never thought too hard about AGW.

    Anyway, he says there must be some work/some research results that have been published in reputable scientific journals that:

    1. examine the causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming, and

    2. quantify the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

    Can anyone help please?

    What I really want is copies of/links to research papers or citations to research papers, not links to opinions and blogs.

    Best, Jennifer Marohasy

  25. jquiggin
    August 10th, 2008 at 22:51 | #25

    On reading this, I thought it must be a hoax. Surely, having written for years on this topic, Jennifer Marohasy would be aware of at least some of the relevant scientific literature. But apparently not – there’s a post at her site in exactly the same terms. This certainly helps to explain how the political right gets things so badly wrong.

    My suggestion for a reasonably well-educated novice would be to start with the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report Working Group 1, particularly Chapter 9, on understanding and attributing climate change. This summarises the literature on these questions, and the reference list includes hundreds of papers on both the causal link and the question of sensitivity (the standard way in which these questions are addressed). There’s also a supplementary CD-ROM on sensitivity, if you’re really keen. (All this is well-timed as I’m just working on a paper for an econ journal which has required me to go over some of this literature).

  26. chrisl
    August 10th, 2008 at 22:53 | #26

    Ian: You must be confusing me with someone else.I don’t know what a libertarian is, I don’t despise 99 % of the human race,and I wouldn’t dictate how the human race should be run. Not guilty .
    John: What was the poll and how was the question posed Be careful, it might be a trick question.

  27. Alan
    August 10th, 2008 at 22:54 | #27

    A few people here know something about the Beer-Lambert Law for calculating energy absorption and something about the fourth power law for calculating radiative heat transfer.

    If these terms mean nothing to you, kindly sit down, shut up, learn some science and come back when you are less ignorant about atmospheric physics.

  28. Ikonoclast
    August 10th, 2008 at 23:27 | #28

    Post 24 is a doozy. JQ’s riposte at 25 is nicely understated and all the more devastating for that.

    Er um, yes, maybe I am also trying to curry a little indulgence from JQ since I now have posted a very long (for a blog) piece on energy economics in Weekend Reflections. I must beg his indulgence because I am merely an amatuer and self-taught thinker in such matters. However, I think that an intelligent layperson (I flatter myself as a Jane Austen character might say) ought to be able to have thoughts on the subject.

  29. johng
    August 10th, 2008 at 23:28 | #29

    I am suspicious of Jennifer Marohasy’s plea for papers. I suspect she is trying to set up the argument ‘I asked for scientific papers about causality but all I got was papers showing association not causality. This shows the evidence is not there.’

  30. August 10th, 2008 at 23:35 | #30

    Thanks for the quick feedback, including from John and Alan.
    But can I also get from you please, as originally requested, the title of the relevant peer-reviewed paper, journal reference etcetera? Cheers,

  31. Tony G
    August 10th, 2008 at 23:49 | #31

    Nice try Ian

    You cannot prove any theory to be true. You might think up a thousand totally different tests to try to disprove the theory, and it might pass every one. Does that mean it is “true”? No, because the 1,001st test could prove it false. While scientific theories are never supposed to be considered to be absolute truth, some have passed so many tests that they are called “laws.” For example, we will learn Kepler’s laws, and Newton’s laws. A scientific law is like a theory that has been inducted into the “Science Hall of Fame.” But even then it might have to be modified. Einstein found some corrections even for Newton’s laws, but they are normally far too tiny to even be able to measure.

    The word fact can be used several ways, but in general in science, “facts” refer to the observations. They are best when they are repeatable observations under controlled conditions, such as “It is a fact that the speed of light is constant in a vacuum.” This is the part of science which will be the same a century from now, unless more precise measurements show otherwise.

    It is a fact that every time Newton dropped his apple, gravity pulled it to the ground.

    In AGW there are no are repeatable observations under controlled conditions.

    There are essentially three steps to the
    scientific Method;
    1. Make Observations.
    2. Propose a Theory.
    3. Use the Theory to Predict Future Observations.

    The heart of science lies in this third step. Having your theory, use it to predict the outcome of a future observation. This is the “testing” part of science. AGW scientists can not test their theories in the real world (only a computer).

    Falsification. An important point is that if the prediction fails then the theory must be discarded or changed. AGW has not passed one prediction yet.

    These three steps are usually repeated over and over, often refining the theory after each set of new observations or experiments, with increasingly difficult testing hurdles for the theory to overcome. The most valuable theories are those which make precise and risky predictions, which could easily disprove the theory if they failed.

    AGW has not yet successfully predicted the outcome of a future observation..

    Repeat the Three Steps Until Satisfied. If your theory passes the first falsification test, then think of another experiment to test another aspect of the theory. The idea of science is to repeat the three steps over and over until you are convinced you have a theory good enough to correctly predict the outcome of experiments in a wide variety of situations. To do this, scientists like to use “controlled” experiments when only one thing changes each time. . Each time your theory should make a measurable prediction.

    In the case of AGW where are the measurable predictions that have been past?

    Unscientific Theories. If your theory makes no prediction, then it cannot be tested and hence it is not scientific. It still might be the correct explanation, it is just not scientific because the scientific method cannot be used to falsify it. There are many theories out there which cannot be tested, masquerading as scientific theories in order to have credibility. BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THEM.

  32. August 11th, 2008 at 00:21 | #32

    Nice gotcha from Jennifer.

    John, there may very well be (as there indeed are) many hundreds of peer-reviewed, published and oft-cited scientific papers on the subject. And you probably thought you where very clever to allude to them, but there’s no out-clevering our Jennifer.

    All those IPCC cites no doubt show that CO2 is rising and that there is a demonstrable rising trend in global temperatures. But, do they clearly indentify the effect of the anthropogenic CO2 vs. the non-anthropogenic CO2???

    It may be the non-anthropogenic CO2 that’s causing the problem. Hadn’t thought about this had you JQ?

    Until we have the science on this, there can be no AGW, and Jennifers “friend who has never thought too hard about AGW” (or is it one of those ‘I have a friend…’ things) will remain unconvinced.

  33. Ian Gould
    August 11th, 2008 at 00:50 | #33

    Tony G., your description of Popperian falsification is simplistic in the extreme.

    You’re also misusing the term law and theory.

    The AGW hypothesis is based on the application of whole succession of physical laws (for example the laws of thermodynamics, the laws describing the absorption and re-emission of photons by carbon dioxide molecules).

    The fact is that the Earth has warmed since humans started adding largwe amounts of additional carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. This was predicted by scientists as far back as Arrhenius in the 18th century.

    The AGW computwer models also, for example, predicted that the northern polar regiosn would warm more rapidly than the southern – which ahs happened.

    I guess you want the models to predict the temperature at yoru hosue next Febreary 23rd to the nearest tenth of a degree.

    Not going to happen.

    Do you follow the search for asteroids on potential collision causes with the Earth. The asteroid Apophis has been being studied for years – and the published estimates of the odds of it hitting the Earth this century keep fluctuating from anywhere between several hundred to one and several thousand to one.

    That’s because we only have estimates (albeit pretty accruate ones) fot such key variables as orbital velocity, rotational velocity and composition and we don’t know every single other asteroid which causes slight perturbations to its orbit.

    Does that make Newton;s laws nonsense?

    If 99% of the world’s astronomers announced tomorrow that the probability of it impacting us was actually 80 or 90% would you believe them or the other 1%? Would you point ot past uncertainty to argue that it “reasonable” to take no action.

    Let’s see: “Astronomer isn;t really a science because its impossible to conduct controlled experiments, all you do is observe.”

    “Astronomers used to think the stars were holes in the celestial sphere, what do they know?”

    “They’re just out to get more money for telescopes.”

    I’d suggst also that you might benefit from read Thomas Kuhn’s critique of Popper.

  34. Ian Gould
    August 11th, 2008 at 01:09 | #34

    “All those IPCC cites no doubt show that CO2 is rising and that there is a demonstrable rising trend in global temperatures. But, do they clearly indentify the effect of the anthropogenic CO2 vs. the non-anthropogenic CO2???

    It may be the non-anthropogenic CO2 that’s causing the problem. Hadn’t thought about this had you JQ?”

    I’m inclined to think that this post may be intentionally ironic. If so, my apologies to Michael.

    1.Scientists can differentiate anthropogenic carbon dioxide from naturally occurring carbon dioxide. They do so measuring the ratio of the different istopes of carbon. Carbon in the atmosphere is exposed to cosmic radiation which results in some of the stable isotopes C-12 and C-13 being converted into the radioactive isotope C-14. Carbon which has been buried for millions of yearshas not been exposed to cosmic radiation while buried and is depleted in carbon-14.

    2. Becasue we know how much anthropogenic carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere, we can calculate how much non-anthorpogenic carbon dioxide is there as well. There has been no statistically signficant change in the amount of non-anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmopshere during the recent warming.

    3. From easuring carbon dioxide levels in air trapped in ice cores we can see in detail how natural carbon dioxide level fluctuated over the past 850,000 years or so. At no point during that period did carbon dioxide levels change as rapidly as they are currently.

    4. If some mysterious unidentified natural process is somehow pumping billions of toones of additional carbon dixoide into the atmosphere at a rate unseen for at least the better part of a million years then, if anything, the situation is even more serious than the so-called alarmists have been saying.

    Since we have no idea what is causing this putative increase in non-anthropogenic carbon dioxide we have no idea how long it’ll last or how much it’ll ultimately increase the global temperature. If that’s true, then the case for trying to limit the contribution to the overall rise from the bit we can control – anthorpogenic emissions – is probably even stronger.

    Essentially Jennfier’s argument is – yes we’re heading straight for a brick wall but it isn’t necessarily only my foot on the accelerator which is causing the car to accelerate. There might also be a gigantic electromagnet hidden behidn the wall. So why should I take my foot off the accelerator?

  35. Patrick Caldon
    August 11th, 2008 at 03:48 | #35

    Jennifer,

    If I might suggest the best place to start is with undergraduate textbooks.

    I recently had a long e-mail discussion with (co-incidentally) another historian which I found a little unsatisfying, since we discussed the chapter 9 above and his response boiled down to “this chapter is based on models and I don’t trust models”. The IPCC report doesn’t really give you a tutorial for how this sort of thing works.

    Recently I’ve had a little time on my hands, and sat down with some undergraduate textbooks on meteorology and climate modelling. These are much more readable and structured than the IPCC stuff. So try:

    * Atmospheric Science, Second Edition: An Introductory Survey. Wallace and Hobbs

    * Climate Modeling, A Primer. (I don’t have the authors handy)

    * An Intro. to Three-Dimensional Climate Modeling. Washington and Parkinson.

    The first and third of these have got a bit of vector calculus, the second is probably a bit more readable, but then glosses over stuff; on the other hand, it’s a great backgrounder. Chapter 6 of the last one answers your questions above, as does the last chapter of “Atmospheric Science”.

  36. jquiggin
    August 11th, 2008 at 06:14 | #36

    Michael, perhaps you’d like to spell out what you mean by out-clevering. Jennifer Marohasy claims not to know of the hundreds of papers cited by the IPCC and (even more surprisingly) appears to be unaware that the best way for novices to approach an area of science of which they are ignorant is not to dive into the current journal literature but to read a good textbook or summary. I and others here have taken her at face value and sought to set her straight.

    Since it appears that you’re set on journal articles, here are some cited in the paper I’m currently working on

    J.D. Annan and J.C. Hargreaves (2006), Using multiple observationally-based constraints to estimate climate sensitivity, Geophysical Research Letters, 33 (6): Art. No. L06704

    Harvey, L.D.D. (2000), ‘Constraining the Aerosol Radiative Forcing and Climate Sensitivity’, Climatic Change, 44(4), 413-18.

    Stainforth, D.A. et al. (2005), ‘Uncertainty in predictions of the climate response to rising levels of greenhouse gases.’, Nature, 433(7024), 403-06.

    But these articles are focused on the question of how best to estimate and express uncertainty about sensitivity – they assume that you already have a reasonably good handle on the basic points. The good thing about them, for me, is that the central issues are statistical and therefore within my area of expertise. For the physics and climate science modelling stuff, I stick with the IPCC and more accessible expositions like

    Thorpe, Alan J. (2005), ‘Climate Change Prediction: A challenging scientific problem’, Institute of Physics, http://www.iop.org/activity/policy/Publications/file_4147.pdf

  37. Jill Rush
    August 11th, 2008 at 08:18 | #37

    As in so many cases accusations made against others are a reflection of the mind set of the accuser. Those who accuse others of behaving like a religion are not sceptics but believers with a delusion which will not be changed despite scientific evidence.

    Unfortunately for us all this is not a religion but a situation which needs a response urgently. Religious responses of unshakable belief by Delusionist believers are not helpful.

    The Luddites were well meaning but in the end irrelevant and overtaken by events. Any historian should bear this in mind as the science of global warming is examined.

  38. frankis
    August 11th, 2008 at 08:32 | #38

    Watch out scientists and modest folk, that charming and widely written Jenny has a devastating sucker-punch alright. With her super friends Arfur, Don, Andy, Timmy, Janet, BobbyC, DickyL – and Miranda – she’s well on your case.

    They’re skeptics doodz, skeptics … lock up your daughters!

  39. Ian Gould
    August 11th, 2008 at 08:52 | #39

    Un case anyone wonders, a libertarian did not run over my dog.

    But having twice now been threatened with physical violence by libertarians, I can’t really bring myself to care about their remarkably sensitive little egoes.

  40. August 11th, 2008 at 09:06 | #40

    I tell you, the state of scientific literacy in this country is shocking. It’s probably not helped by those on the right choosing to set aside the science in favour of ideology. And here I was believing that scientific rigour was meant to be the basis of modernism.

    What we have is a bunch of right wingers adopting the tenet that global warming can not be real and then accusing the rest of the world of being part of some vast leftist conspiracy seeking to destroy the global economy.

    Bolt, Herman, etc. are not scientists and, from what I’ve read of their work, don’t really understand science all that much. People like Ian Lowe, Dr Karl, Al Gore, etc. are trying to help people come to an understanding of what’s going on and convince them to press their politicians for action. Unfortunately, they come up against right wingers for whom denying the very idea that the science could be correct is a well-paying job.

  41. Ben
    August 11th, 2008 at 09:10 | #41

    I see John Quiggin is using the Emperor’s new clothes approach to convincing skeptics of the veracity of the AGW threat. Call your target audience names until they submit through fear of looking stupid.

    Calling someone a delusionist is hardly going to convince them of your argument. This is the reason why people who have no deep understanding of the argument end up supporting the skeptics. If I look at the arguments from skeptics I am not insulted. I am told in a very simple to understand fashion the reasons that the author is skeptical of the threat. If I look at deltoid, realclimate or here all I see is personal attacks and insults.

    I would recommend to any who understand the science and have a genuine belief that action needs to be taken soon to show a little maturity and treat their intended audience with respect.

  42. August 11th, 2008 at 09:35 | #42

    Sorry JQ and Ian, I wasn’t being at all serious.

    Just poking fun at Jennifers attempt to redefine the area of scientific contention.

  43. jquiggin
    August 11th, 2008 at 09:36 | #43

    Umm, Ben, have you read the article linked in this post, Nazis, Spanish Inquisition and all? That piece alone (and there are dozens like it) show your claims to be not merely false, but ludicrous.

    But, to be clear, I have no project of convincing delusionists. Everyone who can be convinced by evidence, including the vast majority of the Australian public, has been. The only thing to do with the remaining delusionists is to keep them away from political power as much as possible. Pointing out their silliness is one way of doing that.

  44. jquiggin
    August 11th, 2008 at 09:37 | #44

    Sorry Michael, it’s hard to tell the parody from the real thing sometimes.

  45. August 11th, 2008 at 09:44 | #45

    “If I look at deltoid, realclimate or here all I see is personal attacks and insults.” – Ben

    Well then, you aren’t reading very carefully.

    Both Deltoid and Realclimate give detailed and point-by-point breakdowns of the errors, misrepresentations and misunderstandings of the so-called ‘sceptics’.

    Go have another look.

  46. Salient Green
    August 11th, 2008 at 09:45 | #46

    I see little danger from the AGW delusionists/deniers/skeptics from here on, being relegated to time wasters. This latest round of intensity is a last flurry of desperation to be heard or confuse the issue when the vast majority have made up their minds.

    The really dangerous ones are those advocating the ‘populate or perish’ line, the jennifers, the pells, the david cappos and the real estate sector and it’s interest groups. This will be the next great debate and I have noticed an increase, in the last few months, of experts and reports willing to forthrightly say that we cannot continue to grow our populations, where once it seemed to be taboo.

    The longer we fart around arguing about AGW, the longer it will take to get to the Population Growth problem.

  47. August 11th, 2008 at 09:51 | #47

    “Sorry Michael, it’s hard to tell the parody from the real thing sometimes.” – JQ

    Yeah, I thought the same after seeing my post up – you can’t parody these people, they’ve already done it.

  48. Tony G
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:02 | #48

    For reasons that aren’t clear to me, Tony, I keep hoping that you’ll learn something here, but apparently not. That’s another week’s block, and this is your last chance. Any repetition of abuse, or attempt to evade this block will result in a permanent ban. – JQ

  49. Patrick B
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:26 | #49

    “Typical commo statement.”
    Devasting comeback. Pity it’s about 50 years out of date. Or maybe it’s parody?

  50. August 11th, 2008 at 10:28 | #50

    Michael Duffy has just offered A$1,000 to the first person to provide a reference to the sort of paper I describe in the original comment at my blog which is more a less what I have written in the above thread, that is :

    “Some work/some research results that have been published in reputable scientific journals that:

    1. examine the causal link between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming, and

    2. quantify the extent of the warming from anthropogenic carbon dioxide.

    What I really want is copies of/links to research papers or citations to research papers, not links to opinions and blogs.”

    John Quiggin replied in the above thread that: “the reference list includes hundreds of papers on both the causal link and the question of sensitivity (the standard way in which these questions are addressed).”

    So if you believe Professor Quiggin someone should be able to make a quick A$1,000 from Michael Duffy?

    More information here: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003315.html#comments

  51. Socrates
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:31 | #51

    To me it is the inconsistency of the Libertarians that betrays their bias. I won’t hold my breath waiting to see them apply the same degree of skepticism and statistical proof to their own cherished economic theories. Anyone familiar with the accuracy of economic forecasting would fall about laughing at someone who won’t accept evidence for anthropogenic climate change yet is still happy to believe unregulated free market economic theories.

  52. frankis
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:35 | #52

    There’s no future in attempting to dissuade delusionals from their beliefs Ben. The best that could possibly happen were you somehow to succeed in helping a delusional to see clearly at last their mistake would be for the helped one to hate you bitterly ever after for it. “No good deed goes unpunished” etc. No, just enjoy the entertainment that self-anointed climate scientists of the calibre of Arthur and Jenny present to us for our pleasure (while of course wishing them well).

    Speaking of respect though, Ben – it’s typically earned if you’re to get it at all.

  53. wilful
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:39 | #53

    Call your target audience names until they submit through fear of looking stupid.

    Oh dear, if that’s what you got from this post then there’s no hope for you, you are delusional.

    Your para two is complete bollocks. Did you actually read the Arthur Herman piece? Or anything by Bolt? And then claim that these people never use personal attacks or insults? Do you ever read the counter-pieces, explaining in simple terms why they’re wrong?

  54. BilB
    August 11th, 2008 at 10:52 | #54

    A quick glance over Herman’s article reveals rhetoric parading as science. Not worth the effort.

  55. Sean
    August 11th, 2008 at 11:18 | #55

    Mr Herman refers to “gas-driven lawnmowers”.

    I bet the LPG tank takes up half the room in the grass-catcher.

  56. August 11th, 2008 at 11:42 | #56

    I take Jennifers question to mean that Anthropogenic Global Warming is essentially accepted, hence the move onto, what seems to me, a red herring – anthropogenic CO2.

    Is it significantly different from other CO2 in it’s molecular structure or warming effect?

    And then what – will we be asked to provide links to studies that look at country-specific CO2, eg. the causal link between Australian-anthropogenic CO2 and warming?

  57. David
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:05 | #57

    Our Jennifer is, as usual, being disingenuous. As I’ve said before, she’s either a liar or a fool, the categories not being mutually exclusive.

    On to my main point. A few people have expressed surprise at the Right’s obdurate denial of the evidence for climate change, but I think I understand it, in part at least. It’s because they’d have to admit that the hippies were right (or at least less wrong) forty years ago. Please excuse the lengthy and discursive musings which follow.

    About forty years ago, the people I hung about with could have been loosely described as the psychedelic left. Although I’m sure most of us had never heard of Hubberd’s Peak, we could see that it was self-evident that the oil would run out sooner rather than later and the best time to think of alternatives was while there was still a fair bit left. Additionally, anyone with a smattering of mathematics could see that unrestrained growth of both population and economies just wasn’t possible (let alone a good idea), given a finite world in which to do it. As well as that, we could see there were problems with dumping a whole lot of stuff into the air and water.

    Turns out the hippies were right, and the Right were wrong. Oh, we were right about Vietnam, too, which seems to be another thing they can’t forgive us for.

  58. Spiros
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:39 | #58

    The real mystery is why anybody still tries to discuss these issues with the denialists. It’s as productive as discussing with Mohammed al Fayed the car crash which killed his son Dodi and Princess Diana.

    In both cases, the protagonists believe that the mainstream view is part of a conspiracy to hide the truth (climate scientists are just out to get research grants; Diana and Dodi were murdered by MI6 on the orders of Prince Phillip; etc) and any contrary evidence is part of the conspiracy.

    There is no logical or factual way of changing the mind of anybody who thinks like that, so why bother?

  59. Bingo Bango Boingo
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:54 | #59

    Why the hell has this turned into an anti-libertarian thing? There are plenty of libertarians who are quite happy to accept the prevailing scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming.

    BBB

  60. Spiros
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:55 | #60

    “There are plenty of libertarians who are quite happy to accept the prevailing scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming.”

    For example …

  61. James Haughton
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:59 | #61

    Hi Jennifer,
    References for you and Duffy:
    Callendar, G.S., 1938: The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 64, 223–237.

    Although old this is pre-computer modelling and explains the physical principles involved from the basics – it is a “seminal” paper as CoRev suggests. The IPCC cite it as one of the first sources to examine the connection between CO2 and global temperature against temperature measurements (you didn’t specify recent). The mechanisms are still the same as they were then and because it is so early it gives an overview rather than today’s hyperspecialisation.

    All that is necessary is to use more up-to-date figures for CO2 caused radiative forcing (as we now call it) in Chamberlain’s equation for the determination of temperature by forcing and an estimate of how much of the CO2 has been added by humans.

    This is supplied by:
    D. J . HOFMANN, J. H. BUTLER, E. J . DLUGOKENCKY, J . W. ELKINS, K. MASARIE, S. A. MONTZKA and P. TANS, The role of carbon dioxide in climate forcing from 1979 to 2004: introduction of the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, Tellus B, Vol 58, Issue 5, pp.614-619, 2006.

    This explicitly states, inter alia:
    “Calculation of radiative forcing does not rely on climate feedbacks (e.g., changes in albedo or atmospheric water vapour content), and computationally intensive climate models are not needed.”, so no carping about this being a model or a theory, not scientific observational measurement.

    Tell Duffy to pay up. 15 day terms. I accept Paypal. If you are unable to access copies of these papers I am happy to email them to you.

  62. Bingo Bango Boingo
    August 11th, 2008 at 13:04 | #62

    Spiros, Tyler Cowen and a decent slab of his commenting audience for a start.

    BBB

  63. Neil
    August 11th, 2008 at 13:11 | #63

    You don’t actually expect to get the money, do you James? The original challenge wasn’t made in good faith, so the assessment of contenders won’t be done in good faith either.

  64. Ken Miles
    August 11th, 2008 at 13:15 | #64

    It will be interesting to see if Michael Duffy is carrying on Kent Hovind’s tradition. Fitting that this thread has already had the “AGW is a hypothesis not a fact” treatment.

    And to test this hypothesis I present: Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years by Thomas Crowley. It was published in Science (July 14, 2000 Science, 289: 270-277).

    The abstract reads:

    Recent reconstructions of northern hemisphere temperatures and climate forcing over the last 1000 years allow the warming of the 20th century to be placed within a historical context and various mechanisms of climate change to be tested. Comparison of observations with simulations from an energy balance climate model indicate that as much as 41-64% of pre-anthropogenic (pre-1850) decadal-scale temperature variations were due to changes in solar irradiance and volcanism. Removal of the forced response from reconstructed temperature time series yields residuals that show similar variability to control runs of coupled models, thereby lending support to the models’ value as estimates of low-frequency variability in the climate system. Removal of all forcing except greenhouse gases from the ~1000 year time series results in a residual with a very large late 20th century warming that closely agrees with the response predicted from greenhouse gas forcing. The combination of a unique level of temperature increase in the late 20th century and improved constraints on the role of natural variability provides further evidence that the greenhouse effect has already established itself above the level of natural variability in the climate system. A 21st century global warming projection far exceeds the natural variability of the last 1000 years and is greater than the best estimate of global temperature change for the last interglacial.

  65. Spiros
    August 11th, 2008 at 13:23 | #65

    There’s as much chance of Duffy paying up as there is of Jennifer Marohassy putting on a bikini and competing in the Olympic beach volleyball.

    When will you people learn not to bother with these characters?

  66. Salient Green
    August 11th, 2008 at 13:23 | #66

    James has delivered checkmate, top stuff James. They lose more if they don’t pay up.

  67. James Haughton
    August 11th, 2008 at 13:25 | #67

    I’m just looking forward to phoning Counterpoint every week and accusing him of Welshing. Sides, I learned a bit from reading those papers.

  68. August 11th, 2008 at 14:14 | #68

    Thanks guys. I shall be critically reviewing the papers you suggest to see if they fit the bill. So far from the above thread I have:

    1. Callendar, G.S., 1938: The artificial production of carbon dioxide and its influence on temperature. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc., 64, 223–237.

    2. D. J . HOFMANN, J. H. BUTLER, E. J . DLUGOKENCKY, J . W. ELKINS, K. MASARIE, S. A. MONTZKA and P. TANS, The role of carbon dioxide in climate forcing from 1979 to 2004: introduction of the Annual Greenhouse Gas Index, Tellus B, Vol 58, Issue 5, pp.614-619, 2006.

    3. Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years by Thomas Crowley. It was published in Science (July 14, 2000 Science, 289: 270-277).

    But give me a few days and I’m not sure how long Michael will need. Also you could potentially speed up the process by emailing me pdfs. The address is: [email protected]

  69. Bingo Bango Boingo
    August 11th, 2008 at 14:19 | #69

    Brazen stuff, Jennifer. I wish I could get others to do my research for me!

    BBB

  70. David
    August 11th, 2008 at 14:49 | #70

    James, I’ve engaged with Counterpoint on their dishonesty a couple of times in the past. Your phone calls will be ignored (and certainly not aired), and any emails you send will not be displayed on their website (or not, at least, until the moment is so far past that no-one will ever read them).

    You’ve wasted your time with Our Jennifer as well, as a number of people have already pointed out. She’s as well acquainted with the science as anyone else, she just chooses to deny it. She has been given equally impressive references in the past, many, many times.

  71. August 11th, 2008 at 14:56 | #71

    Brazen, at the very least.

    Jennifer expounds her considered view, then asks contributors at a blog if they could kindly point her in the direction of the scientific research pertaining to that view.

    Credit to her……..I’d be way too embarrassed.

  72. August 11th, 2008 at 15:00 | #72

    “Brazen stuff, Jennifer. I wish I could get others to do my research for me!”

    Jennifer – Perhaps in return for this you could post us the research that you used to make the claim that warming has stopped for the last 10 years.

    You still have not coughed up that one!

  73. Ken Miles
    August 11th, 2008 at 17:55 | #73

    Since we are being somebody else’s research assistant, I thought that I’d think up some excuses for Michael Duffy to use in advance:

    * OMG, there’s a climate model involved
    * OMG, the only cites that you can come up with are really old
    * OMG, it uses data from MBH
    * OMG, it’s just not good enough
    * If these papers really had evidence why did ten billion scientists sign a petition against global warming
    * OMG, the authors are just in it for the funding
    * You call those respectable journals? Where are the energy & environment papers?
    * A guy on a blog thinks those papers are dumb

  74. Ken
    August 11th, 2008 at 18:26 | #74

    Jennifer, your request would look more genuine if it preceded your opinion pieces, but if you are prepared to review those opinions in the light of overwhelming scientific opinion, that can only be good. Just remember that the critiques of climate science need to be subjected to careful scrutiny before being presumed true (and the vast body of scientific knowledge presumed false). And when working scientists consistently tell you those arguments don’t hold up they are almost certainly correct. Articles intended to persuade the lay public generally sound more convincing, but only to the lay public – whilst being clearly seen as drivel by those who actually spent 5-10 years studying the subject prior to commencing their career.
    Oh, if you are looking for a face saving way of changing your views you could take a leaf from alpha denialist, Bob Carter’s book, and talk about ocean acidification. That way can support emission reduction policies but still claim AGW is overblown.

  75. charles
    August 11th, 2008 at 19:37 | #75

    Bingo Bango Boingo Says:
    August 11th, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    “Why the hell has this turned into an anti-libertarian thing?”

    As someone who considered himself a small l liberal, my view is the whole movement ( including the Liberal party) has been taken over by right wing nutters. And nutters it is, reality is going to make all this sound and fury irrelevant. The ice is still going to melt.

    What did I learn reading this thread, Jennifer Marohasy needs to learn how to find the library, a good start is nothing more complicated than going to wikipedia and typing in greenhouse gas,the explanation is pretty clear and really isn’t that hard to understand.

    Perhaps post 57 is right, it’s nothing more than the last salvos fired in retreat.

  76. Lord Sir Alexander “Dolly” Downer
    August 11th, 2008 at 20:04 | #76

    I’m interested in the link between climate change “sceptics” and stolen generations sceptics. High profile names such as Bolt, Windschuttle, Chris Mitchell of the Australian … anyone who’s anyone on the Right of the culture wars. No doubt David Irving, if anyone asked him would reckon both were left-wing myths.

    Most deniers of one, it seems, are deniers of the other. A clique raging against science.

  77. James Haughton
    August 11th, 2008 at 20:21 | #77

    Ken Miles, it doesn’t matter what excuse Duffy comes up with – he didn’t say anything about the papers measuring up to his satisfaction, just to the specifications of Jennifer’s request. Nor did he phrase it as a bet, but as a statement that he would pay for something that met those conditions. You’re welcome to join me as plaintiff at the small claims tribunal if he doesn’t pay up. Any bush lawyers out there find any faults in this reasoning?

  78. mitchell porter
    August 11th, 2008 at 21:14 | #78

    What Jennifer should be asking for, I think, are the papers behind the estimate of 3 degrees for climate sensitivity. That’s the one parameter, more than any other, which sums up the case for AGW being catastrophic; whereas, e.g., Lindzen thinks it’s just 1 degree, which would not be catastrophic. And the number has an interesting history; I gather it was an estimate made in the 1970s by Jule Charney and others, which remains as the consensus value; what has evolved over time is the range of values considered realistic (with the lower bound increasing, according to the IPCC review). My impression is that the evidence for the number comes from two directions: from general climate models and from paleoclimatology. Understanding this history should be of interest to everyone – obviously the skeptics should be scrutinizing it for evidence that the persistence of 3 degrees as the consensus is just groupthink and “theory bias”; but equally, if one assumes that climatology has done its job properly and actually validated Charney’s estimate, it would be worth understanding how he arrived at that estimate, because it presumably derives from a simple yet valid argument.

    There are definitely IPCC chapters reviewing this stuff, so people seeking sources can look there. I regret I’ve never had time to look into the details myself. There may also be some leads here:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/climate-research-media-focus-whiplash/#comment-71720

  79. MH
    August 11th, 2008 at 22:10 | #79

    Re:
    “What’s striking here is the contrast between the willingness of just about everyone on the political right to sign up to a set of beliefs that are dictated entirely by political tribalism and their self-perception as brave heretics, spelt out in more than usually ludicrous fashion by Herman”.

    and the dominance of the Australian media by opinionated pundits of a reactionary ilk. Murohassy has been successfully peddling her brand of faux science to the rural sector via ‘The Land’foer quite some time as well as Duffy’s mediocre representation of a critical Sydney intellectual. When they can show me their own scientific research equivalent appropriately peer reviewed disproving the theoretical basis of the AGW and CO2 hypothesis then they may have some credibility. Murohassy would do well to study the laws of thermodynamics.

  80. August 11th, 2008 at 22:54 | #80

    I critic the first (Hoffmann et al) of the three papers listed early today in this thread as a new blog post here: http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003319.html .
    Cheers.

  81. Sean
    August 12th, 2008 at 09:30 | #81

    Who is this Jennifer person, why can’t she spell “critique” even after Ken has given her the answer, and why are you doing her work? I’ve got some hideously complicated rural estate planning stuff here that I can barely face, if youz are bored.

  82. frankis
    August 12th, 2008 at 11:13 | #82

    No, apparently they can’t get enough of this marvellously scented Jennifer person Sean. You probably used to think they were most interested in people who not only could spell but were also a little bit schooled in thermodynamics (or physics, climate science or economics, or whatever else it was taking JQ’s fancy for the moment). But now! – such a sad pass some commenters have come to; one despairs.

  83. john armour
    August 12th, 2008 at 11:38 | #83

    David at #57
    You remind me of someone I knew in Kuranda around 1970 !
    We all knew who the Club of Rome was and could quote the numbers from Limits to Growth.

    Now it looks like the chickens are finally coming home to roost.

    But to your more interesting point: The hippies were right, and as the all-to-readily identifiable proxy for the Left, their association with the environmental cause gave the issue a political bias the ramifications of which are being fought out in blogs like this. Teh Environment is a Lefty thing that die-hard conservatives hate with a passion that’s deeply rooted in their reptillian cortex. It’s all about reflex, not reason.

    I’ve given up trying to argue the science. Now I just resort to ridicule. At least I come away from the fight less frustrated.

    It might’ve been better had we been wrong. The word Pyrhhic springs to mind.

  84. MH
    August 12th, 2008 at 13:22 | #84

    As to be expected Murohassy has critiqued the papers and hey presto – their faulty. Pity they never did engineering or chemical engineering or meteorology and then they would understand that entropy is king here.

    At least Garnaut, JQ et al are trying to put a workable solution not resorting to theatrics and ad hominems.

    Always new the fight would be on once the cost of pollution were sheeted home to producers and consumers alike. Failed to realise that many would prefer to die or destroy their world proving that they do not have to pay.

  85. wilful
    August 12th, 2008 at 13:37 | #85

    It might’ve been better had we been wrong. The word Pyrhhic springs to mind.

    yes john that’s the worst thing – I wish ACC wasn’t true!

  86. August 12th, 2008 at 13:46 | #86

    “As to be expected Murohassy has critiqued the papers and hey presto – their faulty.” – MH

    I’m sure Jennifer is preparing to submit her research to the relevant journal demonstrating this to be so.

  87. David
    August 12th, 2008 at 14:10 | #87

    I just looked at Our Jennifer’s rejoinder linked @ 80 (I couldn’t help myself – a horrid fascination) and, as expected, she’s not convinced. She also introduces a rather clever ploy, one I’d never heard before (removes tongue from cheek), citing a paper that proposes that the increasing temperature (perhaps caused by something else entirely like maybe sunspots) is driving CO2 out of solution in sea water. I guess we could test this by sticking some litmus paper into the sea to see if its acidity has been correspondingly reduced.

    So, is Our Jennifer a liar or a fool? You decide.

  88. David
    August 12th, 2008 at 14:15 | #88

    John @ 83, I’ve never been to Kuranda (I’m an Adelaide boy), but it seems we moved in similar circles.

    My son and daughter-in-law have just been up from Mt Gambier for a few days, and my son postulated that the loony right actually have a mental disability that prevents them from accepting overwhelming evidence of things they don’t want to believe in. You’re right; it seems to be a reflex.

  89. Ken Miles
    August 12th, 2008 at 14:36 | #89

    I guess we could test this by sticking some litmus paper into the sea to see if its acidity has been correspondingly reduced.

    Small pedantic correction: The acidity is increased, the pH is reduced.

    citing a paper that proposes that the increasing temperature (perhaps caused by something else entirely like maybe sunspots) is driving CO2 out of solution in sea water

    More important correction: It didn’t come from a scientific paper – just a post on a blog. The work is pretty poor quality and wouldn’t be accepted into any quality journal.

  90. Ken Miles
    August 12th, 2008 at 14:57 | #90

    Ken Miles, it doesn’t matter what excuse Duffy comes up with – he didn’t say anything about the papers measuring up to his satisfaction, just to the specifications of Jennifer’s request. Nor did he phrase it as a bet, but as a statement that he would pay for something that met those conditions. You’re welcome to join me as plaintiff at the small claims tribunal if he doesn’t pay up. Any bush lawyers out there find any faults in this reasoning?

    I suspect/know that we are just going to see a bunch of rubbish excuses as to why you shouldn’t be paid. If Duffy has a shred of intellectual integrity then he will read the papers and pay up, but I expect to be disappointed.

    However, I love the idea of Michael Duffy getting caught up in Jennifer Marohasy’s crude attempt at a gotcha. So I would be curious about the small claims option. [email protected]

  91. wilful
    August 12th, 2008 at 15:01 | #91

    Oh my, what a wonderful blog that is, Graeme Bird and Louis Hissink together with Duffy.

  92. Roger Jones
    August 12th, 2008 at 15:28 | #92

    Re #80 Shorter Jennifer

    I reject all conclusions made in any paper if I can think of an alternative – regardless of whether this alternative has already been covered elsewhere and can be located through citations therein.

    This is an odd take on scholarship. No more short papers in learned journals, I’m afraid. The underpinning science will need to be discussed at length to satisfy those who demand instant gratification of their own priors.

  93. David
    August 12th, 2008 at 15:41 | #93

    Ken @ 89 – I thought the idea was that if CO2 was being driven out of solution by rising temperatures (totally unconnected with any human activity, of course) that the acidity of the ocean would be reduced. I may have misunderstood what Our Jennifer was getting at. I certainly didn’t read carefully enough to realise that her source for this hadn’t been published in a journal of some kind – I was skimming, so I could get out quickly before any of the stupid rubbed off on me.

    As to Michael Duffy having any intellectual integrity – dream on.

  94. Ken Miles
    August 12th, 2008 at 15:44 | #94

    David, sorry I misread you.

    Removing carbon dioxide should decrease the acidity.

  95. Socrates
    August 12th, 2008 at 18:15 | #95

    After reading this thread I wonder why people even bother engaging with Marohasy and others of her ilk? They will never admit they are wrong, for reasons of ego more than science. (It would be interesting to ask them when was the last time they ever admitted they were wrong about anything important to them in their lives.)

    They write in a desperate attempt to obtain relevance in an area they have no qualifications or expertise in. They selectively quote facts that suit their pre-determined political beliefs, because their only real desire is to promote those beliefs. The politics is their main game, because that is either all they are interested in or all they understand. I say, don’t play their game. Ignore them, even use ridicule, and don’t read their blogs or articles. Its a waste of time – like trying to convince a religeous zealot using rational argument.

    Here’s a real bet for these people – if they think the CC science is bunk, then inland rainfall is sure to soon “turn around” from the current “cyclical downturn”. Why don’t they borrow a few million and buy a rural property in the far west! Never mind the water license, it will recover, and you will get a bargain :)

  96. rog
    August 12th, 2008 at 22:10 | #96

    Anyway, farmers my way are hoping for an “average’ year, after years of dry followed by a wet summer (turning lucerne into silage) all the signs indicate that things will be average.

  97. August 12th, 2008 at 22:52 | #97

    My critique of the paper suggested by Ken Miles is here:
    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003315.html
    (I was interested to see the reconstruction of past climate in the paper is based on the work of Michael Mann.)

  98. August 12th, 2008 at 23:28 | #98

    Jen Marohasy,

    You are making a complete ass out of yourself. Ken Parish banned you from Club Troppo earlier this year when you acted the goat over there.

    If you were genuine you would direct your queries to a climate scientist with an extensive record of contemporaneous peer-reviewed literature in leading publications.

  99. August 13th, 2008 at 00:06 | #99

    Oh dear, I did it. I looked at Jennifers “critique”.

    And the prize goes to whoever first suggested that Jennifer’s weasel would be ‘it’s just comparing models’,
    In other words, the paper looks at the fit between output from two models. So the paper is about correlation not causation.“- JM

    Jennifer the climate scientist finds herself “disappointed” with the paper.

    I’m a touch “disppointed” that Jennifer seems to think that the actual recent measured global temperatures are merely “models”. What a pity that Jennifer has completely misunderstood the paper. And that she struggles with notions of correlation and causation. Yes, we’ve all heard that ‘correlation does not imply causation’, but Jennifer misunderstands this as well. More accurately, correlation does not prove causation, but it certainly does suggest it, and it bloody well is a pre-condition for establishing causation.

    Most causation is inferred from careful experimental design of models that test various factors against observed reality – just like the Crowley paper.

  100. Bingo Bango Boingo
    August 13th, 2008 at 00:13 | #100

    Well it’s straight from the tobacco playbook, isn’t it? “Prove causation. I mean actual causation, not statistical correlation, etc. blah blah blah.”

    BBB

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