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Increasing trend keeps on increasing

January 19th, 2015

Unsurprisingly, 2014 was the warmest year so far in the incremental record, as measured by NOAA and NASA. A few quick observations

* It’s silly to base global judgements on local observations. Still, living through January 2015 in Queensland, it’s easy to believe that the warming trend has continued into the New Year

* There’s nothing special about a calendar year. The first part of 2014, particularly February, was cooler than the rest of the year. So, it’s a safe bet that the 12 months ending Feb 2015 will be even warmer than the 12 months ending Dec 2014

* The biggest source of short-term fluctuations is the El Nino cycle, responsible for the very warm year in 1998 that is the basis for so much silly talk about “no global warming for x years”. 2014 was the first record year without a full-scale El Nino, though it kept threatening to emerge. Predictions are mixed for 2015.

* Of course, this long-expected news had no effect on denialists. But, like anti-vaxers, they are no longer getting the kind of “balanced” hearing they have counted on for so long, at least outside the Murdoch press. It’s now generally recognised that climate science denial isn’t a scientific viewpoint but a tribal shibboleth, and this is reflected in news coverage.

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  1. derrida derider
    January 19th, 2015 at 11:22 | #1

    “this long-expected news had no effect on denialists…”

    Actually, most of the denialists I know personally have moved in the last couple of years from “the earth is not warming” to “climate change is always happening and it has nothing to do with manmade CO2”. So reality is, even for the most ignorant and self-deluding, slowly moving them up the ladder of denial:

    1) It aint happening
    2) It’s nothing to with us
    3) Maybe it was our fault but it’s too late to fix it now
    4) It was those dirty hippies fault

  2. Uncle Milton
    January 19th, 2015 at 11:33 | #2

    But, like anti-vaxers, they are no longer getting the kind of “balanced” hearing they have counted on for so long

    That’s not what you said a fortnight ago in Catalyst teaches the controversy.

  3. January 19th, 2015 at 11:47 | #3

    Uncle Milton, I think John may be referring to a trend. And while some things buck the trend, the increasing trend keeps on increasing.

  4. John Quiggin
    January 19th, 2015 at 11:48 | #4

    @Uncle Milton
    I meant to say “outside the Murdoch press”, and have added this. But even the Oz ran the story straight this time

  5. Michael
    January 19th, 2015 at 11:56 | #5

    An example of how far off the deep end people inside the Murdoch press bubble are – I was sitting in a waiting room and this guy reading The Australian turned to his wife and said “2014 was the hottest year on record” then added “but you can’t trust the Bureau of Meteorology, they will manipulate the data to say whatever they want”.

  6. Chris O’Neill
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:01 | #6

    @derrida derider

    moved in the last couple of years from “the earth is not warming” to “climate change is always happening

    This is a consequence of the term “climate change” being given so much more prominence than the term “global warming”. The denialists would sound a bit strange just from saying “global warming is always happening”.

    It was always a mistake to use the term “climate change” instead of “global warming”. People who use the term “climate change” are playing into denialists’ hands.

  7. rog
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:19 | #7

    @Chris O’Neill The term “climate change” is a bit of a trap for denialists; they can either say it is changing or it isn’t. Those that say it isn’t have a problem explaining where fossil fuels come from.

    Those that can accept change find themselves agreeing with actions to conserve resources, like water and air. And fossil fuels are so polluting.

  8. Chris O’Neill
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:28 | #8

    @rog

    Those that can accept change find themselves agreeing with actions to conserve resources, like water and air.

    So what? (Assuming they care about complicated arguments anyway.) In any case, using the term “climate change” is a gift to denialists.

  9. Dave Lisle
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:30 | #9

    derrida derider
    I like the ladder metaphor. Perhaps we could cause this the “nuancing” of denial. Without going through a comprehensive history, our dear federal government is spinning some (more) nuance into its position. Out of the Lima talks we see the firming of a position (that I have seen little critical attention directed at) that seeks to undermine the notion of “common but differentiated responsivities” – that is based on the (strongly positive) relationship between historic responsibility for carbon emissions and national wealth, used in the UN climate framework as a proxy for a country’s ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
    This is denialism in the sense that, while formally accepting the science, the govt. is engaged in a history war on the 1992 Rio Summit that seeks to scuttle attempts to implement policy that is informed by the science. Upon her return from Lima, Julie Bishop tried to assert that the notion of “common but differentiated responsivities” agreed to by all countries in Rio, is passé. Her primary data source for this convenient repudiation of the UN climate framework is that some wag recently decided that not only was China the world’s number one carbon emitter (based on Kyoto carbon accounting), it was also the world’s biggest economy (based on purchasing power parity). The implications are simple: if China is the world’s “biggest economy” (whatever you think of using PPP for this purpose) then they are clearly very rich and so we shouldn’t do anything – they are rich they must do more than us.

  10. Ikonoclast
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:39 | #10

    @derrida derider

    I have already seen a person on another blog make the equivalent of the argument “It was those dirty hippies fault.”

    According to this right-wing person global warming was and is the fault of the Ecologists and Greens etc. for not arguing hard enough and well enough to stop all the actions leading to global warming.

    It’s a bit like this. You drive your car at high speed like a madman while carrying three passengers. One person (as crazy as you) is unperturbed. A second calmly but firmly requests you to slow down. A third screams in panic “OMG! Please slow down!” Then you crash. Then you berate the others for not advising enough you to slow down. One, they mostly did and two, you should have had enough judgement yourself to slow down (which incidently demonstrates the fact you should not have a licence to drive).

    The current people driving our economy don’t deserve a licence to drive it: neither in economic nor in ecological terms.

  11. Donald Oats
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:54 | #11

    @Chris O’Neill
    I agree, Chris. I try very hard to stick with AGW, i.e. “Anthropogenic Global Warming,” for the simple reason that this is the aspect of climate (change) which matters to humanity. We are responsible for AGW, irrespective of how the climate would have changed if we weren’t a force of nature. Furthermore, because AGW is happening at a rate far beyond most natural climate change events in the geological/paleontological records, the consequences are much more severe. Choice of words really matters, and the ones pushing the denialists’ tropes are acutely aware of it.

    Another example of problematic word pollution is the trope of their being a “pause”. Climate scientists have been suckered into using that term themselves, and yet the evidence (which they have) before them says anything but. The fallacy of the “pause” is that the yardstick for measuring trend (upwards) is statistical in nature, usually based on the previous 30 years, or thereabouts; the trouble with the notion of a pause (in the last 16 years) is that it looks like a pause if you switch from long term statistical trend to short term year-by-year comparison. In other words, we inadvertently switch from one way of determining (long term) trend to a different way of determining (short term) trend, i.e. swapping from statistical calculation to using the eyeball. Bad mistake and an easy one to fall for. I personally like the work of Tamino on this front, and also Skeptical Science’s recent graphics, for their graphics clearly show the manner in which the statistics elucidate the trends.

  12. Uncle Milton
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:55 | #12

    @Michael

    The BoM is so powerful they can bend NOAA and NASA to their evil will.

  13. Michael
    January 19th, 2015 at 12:57 | #13

    @Uncle Milton
    Is there anyone who can challenge the power of these climate scientists overlords?

  14. January 19th, 2015 at 13:04 | #14

    @Dave Lisle

    One of the funny positions deniers find themselves in is that on the one hand they wring their hands and say that by limiting emissions we are condemning much of the undeveloped world to poverty, but on the other hand, they are fuming at the idea that action on global warming might actually transfer some wealth to undeveloped countries.

  15. rog
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:08 | #15

    @Chris O’Neill I think that it’s more important to maintain factual correctness rather than catering to denialist idiosyncrasies.

  16. Megan
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:36 | #16

    There is a guy who lives around the corner and he drives around in a brand new noisy red ferrari.

    Probably a climate scientist.

  17. Dave Lisle
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:36 | #17

    @John Brookes
    Yes. As someone wiser than I recently noted “Coal is good for humanity”. Here was the alignment of Australia’s national interest with universal prosperity. To not expand our coal exports would be extremely selfish. We need to supply enough coal to drag the developing world out of poverty – the MCA makes this much extremely clear in its glossy brochures. And if you’re worried about the impact of global warming on those countries then just utter the words “climate science is crap”.
    (Fun fact – the NSW Environmental Defenders Office is challenging Greg Hunt’s approval of the Carmichael Mine on the basis that it failed to take into consideration the environmental impact that might result if someone actually burnt the coal that Adani plans to export. Clearly the NSW EDO is anti-poor.)

  18. RexR
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:38 | #18

    @Chris O’Neill
    There’s a very good reason why “climate chage” is a gift to delinalists. It’s because they invented it. Or more correctly, the George W Bush government spinmeisters selected this term to neutralise their vulnerability on environmental issues.

    The whole denialist playbook was devised way back then and it’s taken more than a decade for the whole edifice of obfiscation that they created to start to crumble.

  19. Uncle Milton
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:41 | #19

    @Megan

    Probably not. These socks and sandals types are good at a lot of things, but making money isn’t one of them.

  20. John Quiggin
    January 19th, 2015 at 13:44 | #20

    I think it’s too late for a retreat to the line that climate change is real, but that human activity is not the cause. In scientific terms, the main alternative hypotheses (solar variation and cosmic rays) have been investigated and refuted. In polemical terms, there’s hardly anyone to present this view who hasn’t already accumulated a track record of denialism with respect to the temperature record.

    Their best bet is the line that doing anything is too expensive, as pushed by Lomborg. But, Lomborg is a much less impressive figure now than he seemed when he first came on the scene, and they haven’t found anyone better.

  21. January 19th, 2015 at 14:23 | #21

    The climate changed before people were around, as it has always changed and it will keep changing when we are all gone- it changes so what.

    AGW has been classified a fraud by mainstream society as the data is virtual and homogenised. Also, people have been trying unsuccessfully since the beginning of time to control the weather and climate and it is delusional to think they can.

    NASA scientists think 2014 was the hottest year on record but they are only 38% sure. (as they forgot to mention the increase is well within their margin for error) Not mentioning that their data is subject to a margin of error helps mask the fact that their data is imprecise (as wellas virtual and homogenised).

    Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. This is because NASA’s homogenised virtual data has a margin of error 0.1degrees C which more than double the alleged increase of 0.04 decrees C.

    No statistically significant warming trend since 1997’ – because the entire increase over this period was smaller than the error margin.

  22. Uncle Milton
    January 19th, 2015 at 14:45 | #22

    @John Quiggin

    But, Lomborg is a much less impressive figure now than he seemed when he first came on the scene

    Indeed he seems to be now a marginal player. Why is this?

  23. Ikonoclast
    January 19th, 2015 at 15:17 | #23

    Lomborg is completely unmasked by real events. If you think young Professors, without even the Emeritus excuse, can’t be really stupid just look at the career of Lomborg. Clearly he only did well because he played the tune those who pay the piper wanted to hear. Of course our own Prof. Barry Brook is another one of these foolishly misguided young professors, in this case in terms of blind support for nuclear power and complete denial about the dimensions of the Fukushima disaster. Which is a shame, because at a personal level in his interviews B.B. seems like a really nice person.

    Erm, am I allowed to say things like this? Does it fall under the rule of reasonable, if trenchent, criticism of public or well-known figures and their positions on matters of public debate?

  24. Jack Williams
    January 19th, 2015 at 15:41 | #24

    You seem like reasonable and balanced (mainly) folks.

    Come on over to this (Facebook) site:

    Global Warming Fact of the Day

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/GWFofD/

    Our goal here is simple: to provide a lively forum where members and science communicators can discuss the topic of human caused climate change – which is a topic many of us consider to be mankind’s greatest challenge…and greatest opportunity.

    Before posting and commenting on our wall we ask that you read our objective, guiding principles, membership guidelines and moderator responsibilities:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/global-warming-fact-of-the-day/membership-guidelines/10151659535115938

    The forum is moderated. Moderators will do their best to enforce these guidelines as fairly and respectfully as possible.

    Moderated, in other words, deniers not welcome.

    Jack

  25. Chris O’Neill
    January 19th, 2015 at 16:12 | #25

    @rog

    I think that it’s more important to maintain factual correctness rather than catering to denialist idiosyncrasies.

    That’s like saying we shouldn’t use tactics in a war because we are “catering to the enemy’s idiosyncrasies”.

  26. jungney
    January 19th, 2015 at 16:12 | #26

    @Uncle Milton
    Lomborg is a lesser figure now because he has been revealed to be in possession of ‘feet of clay’. From the original description:

    Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.

    This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,

    His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.

    (Daniel 2:31-33)

    We’ve reached the limits to spin.

  27. Chris O’Neill
    January 19th, 2015 at 16:13 | #27

    @rog

    maintain factual correctness

    What is factually incorrect about “global warming”?

  28. Uncle Milton
    January 19th, 2015 at 16:30 | #28

    @jungney

    But we haven’t reached the limits of spin. Some people manage to spin nothing into something for many years.

    Maybe Lomborg is a bit too counter-culture for his right wing audience.

  29. Sancho
    January 19th, 2015 at 17:07 | #29

    Note that the corruption of science only extends to the fields of evolutionary biology and climatology. Research in pharmaceuticals, mining and agriculture are pure reason, untainted by concern for profit.

  30. rog
    January 19th, 2015 at 17:07 | #30

    @Chris O’Neill Nothing but the effect of global warming could lead to localised cooling as climate patterns shift.

  31. rog
    January 19th, 2015 at 17:09 | #31

    @Sancho Yes and errors are within acceptable limits!

  32. bjb
    January 19th, 2015 at 18:23 | #32

    phoenix :
    The climate changed before people were around, as it has always changed and it will keep changing when we are all gone- it changes so what.

    I think the main thing deniers neglect when they mention this, and that CO2 levels have been higher in the past, is that none of this occurred at a time when mankind depends fundamentally on predictable seasonal variation. I’ve always thought that rather than “climate change” or “global warming”, “climate variability” or a similar term would be much easier for the general public to grok.

    When you have seasons you cannot depend on, you can kiss goodbye to broad acre agriculture, so food shortages are a very likely consequence that most people will quite easily comprehend.

  33. Ikonoclast
    January 19th, 2015 at 19:00 | #33

    @bjb

    Exactly. It’s goodbye to the relatively benign and very predictable Holocene climate during which humanity developed agriculture and civilisation. We are now entering the Anthropocene.

    “You would have to go back at least 15 million years to find carbon dioxide levels on Earth as high as they are today, a UCLA scientist and colleagues report Oct. 8 in the online edition of the journal Science. “The last time carbon dioxide levels were apparently as high as they are today — and were sustained at those levels — global temperatures were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than they are today, the sea level was approximately 75 to 120 feet higher than today, there was no permanent sea ice cap in the Arctic and very little ice on Antarctica and Greenland,” said the paper’s lead author, Aradhna Tripati, a UCLA assistant professor in the department of Earth and space sciences and the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences.”- ScienceDaily – 9 Oct 2009.

  34. David C
    January 19th, 2015 at 19:03 | #34

    bate.

  35. David C
    January 19th, 2015 at 19:06 | #35

    Sorry I pressed enter key before I was ready. Sloppy fingers

    RexR, the IPCC was actually formed in 1988 so the term climate change was being used by scientists well be Frank Luntz decided he could use to spin the debate.

  36. Chris O’Neill
    January 19th, 2015 at 19:13 | #36

    @rog

    Nothing but the effect of global warming could lead to localised cooling as climate patterns shift.

    So what you really meant was not just being factually correct (which “global warming” is) but trying to say something with even more facts than just “global warming”. A laudable goal but one at which the term “climate change” fails because it leaves you wide open to attacks such as “climate has always changed”.

    When dealing with denialists the message has to be kept simple. The term “global warming” succeeds at this but the term “climate change” fails.

  37. Chris O’Neill
    January 19th, 2015 at 20:37 | #37

    @phoenix

    No statistically significant warming trend since 1997

    And no statistically significant slowdown in the global warming trend either. There just isn’t enough data since 1997 to tell either way. If you want information then get enough data.

  38. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2015 at 20:53 | #38

    PrQ … Suspect you meant ‘instrumental’ rather than ‘incremental’ at line one but got autocorrected after a typo.

    David C … ‘Climatic change’ was in wide use in the 1950s and was taught to school students under that title in the 1960s. It assumed its current firm in 1977 and became commonplace in the early 1980s. That’s why when the WMO and UNEP formed a united body in the late 1980s, this term was chosen.

    Best.

  39. January 19th, 2015 at 21:49 | #39

    @Chris O’Neill

    “If you want information then get enough data.”

    Thats the whole point Chris. It is impossible to measure the whole atmosphere to get enough data. (that is why AGW proponents make up homogenised virtual data in a model)

    So you can choose to ‘believe” it is warming and others (like me) can choose to say they do not ‘believe” or that it is not possible to know conclusively one way or the other.

    The thing is most people hate having other peoples ‘beliefs’ shoved down their throats. AGW is just another metaphysical belief akin in more ways than one to worshiping the sun.

  40. bjb
  41. January 20th, 2015 at 01:08 | #41

    Just who is the patron saint of hopeless causes, Phoenix?

  42. doug
    January 20th, 2015 at 08:20 | #42

    Donald Oats :
    @Chris O’Neill I try very hard to stick with AGW, i.e. “Anthropogenic Global Warming,” for the simple reason that this is the aspect of climate (change) which matters to humanity.

    I don’t think we know if that’s the case or not. The acidification of the oceans (which doesn’t fit easily under the ‘global warming’ descriptor) may well have greater impact on humans and be much harder to deal with. And of course there hasn’t been any ‘pause’ in ocean acidification.

  43. Fran Barlow
    January 20th, 2015 at 09:00 | #43

    @phoenix

    Thats the whole point Chris. It is impossible to measure the whole atmosphere to get enough data.

    That’s just not so, and if you knew more about atmospheric physics and were not pressing some other agenda you wouldn’t make such an absurd claim.

    (that is why AGW proponents make up homogenised virtual data in a model)

    No, it isn’t, and once again your use of these terms and your comment at #21 underline your failure to grasp not merely this piece of science but scientific methodology. Your contribution here really is an excellent example of the Dunning Kruger thesis. On the face of it, you are asserting that you have a better grasp of which data is salient, how salient it is, and how to model it than whole teams of people whose expertise in this field has been developed over decades, and whose public reputations are put on the line before hundreds if not thousands of their peers and in a setting where some of the richest people in the world and the regimes they back in government want to show them to be wrong.

    That you can assert equivalence with a scientific community of that standing under that scrutiny is bizarre. The odds against the ten hottest years in the instrumental record all occurring randomly in the last 20 years have been calculated as 1 in 1.5 quadrillion. Your chances of winning Lotto with a single ticket are better than that.

    So you can choose to ‘believe” it is warming and others (like me) can choose to say they do not ‘believe” or that it is not possible to know conclusively one way or the other.

    Yes. People can choose to believe anything. The mind is an infinitely malleable tool. Yet this is not about belief but about known (and thus knowable) physical processes that can be demonstrated under controlled conditions and that have multiple lines of corroborating measurable data. If you want to dismiss that as mere ‘belief’ in order to create equivalence between what you assert and what suitably qualified and responsible scientists and their peer organisations assert, then even your own existence, and that of the planet is merely a ‘belief’. The logic of your position is epistemically nihilistic and thus pointless. You hope nothing will be done, but most people pay little heed to the ramblings of the eccentric chap in the corner of the pub clinging tightly to his beer. I am a little kinder, because I care about others, but the untidiness of your commentary remains unappealing all the same.

    The thing is most people hate having other peoples ‘beliefs’ shoved down their throats. AGW is just another metaphysical belief akin in more ways than one to worshipping the sun.

    In practice, AGW is not a belief but a salient scientific theory which ought to guide public policy unless and until a better description of the relationships between insolation, the atmosphere, the Earth’s heat sinks, and other elements of the biosphere relevant to human well-being is devised.

  44. Ikonoclast
    January 20th, 2015 at 09:11 | #44

    Our friend phoenix has a very ironic moniker. I’ve been attempting to find a clever pun combining (St.) Jude and phoenix but I can’t manage it. Something that would imply “genies and jinxes and unrisen phoenixes” would do it.

  45. Ikonoclast
    January 20th, 2015 at 09:41 | #45

    @Fran Barlow

    The trouble is Fran, to convince someone like phoenix you have to advance an argument more complicated than he/she can understand. I wonder if there is a term for that or does “Dunning–Kruger effect” still cover it?

    Thus I can read your argument which is against phoenix’s position and ostensibly directed at phoenix but I can see that phoenix will not be able to understand it. Even if phoenix could begin to understand it, emotional investment and emotional denial would come into play and still prevent understanding.

    Therefore your argument is really for the delectation of the already convinced (I enjoyed it and I have argued in the same manner myself so no judgement is involved). Maybe it is also for the undecided. Even then I wonder what will decide the undecided? Is it facts or fear of ridicule? Whose ridicule do the undecided fear most? That would depend on which authority figures and authority narrative or grand narrative they have cathected to.

    If someone hasn’t accepted the scientific world view and understood (at least implicitly) some of the philosophical underpinnings of this view, by about the age of say 20 years then in the main such a person is lost to reason based on empiricism (beyond the nearest and most obvious everyday phenomena). Thus education of the young up to 20 years is the key. On the other hand, a person who has accepted the scientific world view and understood some of the philosophical underpinnings of that view still faces a constant battle almost every day to avoid illogical analysis and emotive conclusions on complex matters.

  46. John Bentley
    January 20th, 2015 at 09:43 | #46

    Thanks for your timely comments on global warming John. I, too, find that basing warming on global and/or national figures to be irrelevant and that’s how most people think. Talking to people re global warming, I find that ignorance is a major factor ie denialism = fear, fear of the unknown similar to that of many people with new technology.

    As an amateur weather watcher I decry the sensationalism the mainstream media carry-on with by cherry picking figures of the hottest this, the coldest that &c. Records are made to be broken, but as usual most hard work goes unnoticed. That is to say here in northern Victoria last October was hotter than the norm for November and November for December, but there no outright records broken. Furthermore, what happened here isn’t relevant to what occurred in the rest of the country. Climate statistics must be area/town specific.

    After 6 years of collecting climate data the trend is quite evident. Even our cooler years are generally above average. We’re currently running 1.3 degrees C above the norm for both maximum and minimum temperatures. The biggest change to our weather, however, has been the increase in humidity levels which most people have noticed and are having whinge about.

    Then again that may not be the only thing we’ll be having a whinge about if some of the stuff I’m reading at the moment is anywhere near right. The book I’m reading, Sustainable Futures, has a pretty grim message for those of us contemplating living to 150. Briefly the book discusses the topics of overpopulation, energy and resource depletion and environmental degradation.

  47. January 20th, 2015 at 09:54 | #47

    With regard to the concept of body temperature and the consensus that hyperthermia is a real medical condition:

    It is impossible to measure the whole human body to get enough data. (that is why hyperthermia proponents make up homogenised virtual data in a model)

    So you can choose to ‘believe” in the existence of fever and others (like me) can choose to say they do not ‘believe” or that it is not possible to know conclusively one way or the other.

    The thing is most people hate having other peoples ‘beliefs’ shoved down their throats. Hyper thermia is just another metaphysical belief akin in more ways than one to worshiping the sun or germ theory.

  48. rog
    January 20th, 2015 at 10:12 | #48

    NASA discusses the terminology

    Global warming refers to surface temperature increases, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas amounts will affect.

  49. Fran Barlow
    January 20th, 2015 at 10:16 | #49

    @Ikonoclast

    Oh I am not trying to convince Phoenix of anything. My (late) grandmother was in most matters a lovely woman though like many of her birth year (1916) her education was partial and her acculturation one of submission to all men and conflict avoidance in all social settings. Her policy was to agree with whatever the last person to speak said. Plainly, she had taken the lesson from The Taming of the Shrew very seriously indeed.

    As a child, I found this utterly infuriating, because I realised quite quickly that it rendered all argument entirely moot. There really was no point discussing anything I cared about with her, much less seeking her opinion on any matter because she had none. She was merely a retailer. When I put this to her, at the age of ten, she responded without even a touch of bitterness ‘I suppose you’re right Love … would you like a Lifesaver?’ (This was a small lolly popular in Sydney at the time, and her standard way of diffusing incipient tension). Undeterred, and excited by her recognition that some tension might be arising, I continued … ‘So if I said that you were a prattling fool, you’d have to agree?’. ‘Yes, I suppose I would.’ she continued. ‘But wouldn’t that be rude and really nasty?’ I prompted. ‘If you say so Love’ she answered with a smile. ‘Sure you don’t want a Lifesaver?’

    I groaned in defeat. ‘But that would mean there was no point talking to you about anything important at all wouldn’t it?’ I pleaded. ‘You could be right’ she added. I gasped and stormed off, a lot more irritated than she apparently was, but not before grabbing a Lifesaver.

    People like Phoenix have assertions, but I doubt these point in a direct way to any underlying cognition peculiar to them. Phoenix is almost certainly no more than a retailer of the assertions of others who have lifted them wholesale from memes produced to serve those with a stake in the asset values of fossil hydrocarbons. No good purpose can be served trying to ‘change his/her mind’ because what drives Phoenix’s posts is derived ultimately from a macro feature of human organisation, possibly intersecting with Phoenix’s own personal cultural paradigm — possibly socio-spatial angst (SSA), a lot of free time, paid freeping — who knows?

    I’d actually be more interested in Phoenix’s assertions about why s/he posts and what s/he gets out of it. I like tidiness and it would be nice to know, in an anthropological sense, what sort of troll category Phoenix best fits into.

  50. Obviously Obtuse
    January 20th, 2015 at 10:59 | #50

    I’m in shock, Fran. I think you’ve just explained many things i suspected about family members, but i’ve never seen it put so succinctly.
    Ruth Ozeki, in “My year of Meat” says “Ignorance is an act of will, a choice that one makes over and over again, especially when information overwhelms and knowledge has become synonymous with impotence (p. 334)” She goes on to say that we live in a perpetual state of repressed panic. “We are paralyzed by bad knowledge, from which the only escape is playing dumb. (ibid.)” This explains why academics are derided whereas tv shows like masterchef thrive. She’s talking about the foods we eat and our subsequent thinking but it, obviously, is germane to the current discussion as well. a final quote: Ignorance becomes empowering because it enables people to live.
    I feel like i live in Germany in the 30s (Godwin’s, I know.)

  51. Ikonoclast
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:01 | #51

    @Fran Barlow

    Your grandmother had a kind of zen-like but very negative position. As you say, it was a way of coping when put into a position of powerlessness and subservience. Her consistency in her position was quite impressive. It made her imperturable in the face of criticism and attack. I can even imagine that she had very strong secret thoughts that all those about her were hypocrites and fools and that precocious little girls were the worst of all. At least, I can’t equate her patronising (matronising?) attitude with genuine care for children and their development.

    One has to pity her. It’s a lonely and isolated position to take. She missed out on a lot that an intelligent little girl could have taught her. She had nothing worthwhile to teach and therefore could not learn. Isn’t said that good teachers learn as much from their pupils as their pupils learn from them?

  52. Ikonoclast
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:10 | #52

    @Obviously Obtuse

    “All of life and human relations have become so incomprehensibly complex that, when you think about it, it becomes terrifying and your heart stands still.” – In the Cart (1897) – Anton Chekov.

  53. TerjeP
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:16 | #53

    My 2 cents worth:-

    1. In 1998 champions of AGW were not generally refering to it as an anomaly. So even if it was an anomoly they ought to reflect on their past rhetoric.
    2. Increasing CO2 will cause warming, all else being equal. The physics is pretty basic. Anybody who denies that basic premise deserves to be called a denialists. But I don’t personally know anybody with that opinion. Nor do I know of anybody of prominence with that view. Occasionally I see such people in comments on blogs but I must say it’s pretty uncommon.
    3. If you focus on the denialists (see definition above) you miss the best of the sceptics argument but that was probably your aim anyway.
    4. Lomborg is right, most solutions cost more than they are worth and we have more important challenges. At current prices wind, solar and battery storage are completely ridiculous investments for society to make. Such investment can only be justified as some sort of innovation drive and even that logic is really weak. Or in some niche applications unrelated to CO2 reduction.
    5. As Richard Tol points out warming will be of benefit to humans in many parts of the world. And maybe overall be a net positive on balance.
    6. 10,000 years ago it was so cold that Tasmania was connected to the mainland. We probably don’t want to warm things up too much or too quickly but given our interglacial will end at some point a bit of warming offers some good insurance. As such there are risks attached to halting the warming which should be included in any risk assessement but usually isn’t.

    I won’t stay for further chit chat because invariably I’ll get called a racist.

  54. David Irving (no relation)
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:52 | #54

    @TerjeP
    I can’t believe you wrote all that with a straight face. What part of “a global temperature rise of more than 2 degrees will probably make agriculture (and therefore human civilization) impossible” don’t you understand?

  55. Fran Barlow
    January 20th, 2015 at 11:55 | #55

    @Ikonoclast

    Indeed …

    For her it was an absolutely impenetrable defence. She did the equivalent of the ALP’s small target strategy so well that by comparison the ALP would have looked like wild-eyed risk takers.

    But as OO says it saved her having to think and allowed her to live in her own little box free of responsibility for anything and denied even the most hectoring of adults any shred of satisfaction. Nobody had het coined ‘whatevs’ but this was her version of it, decades early.

    Years later, when I came to understand something about power relations between men and women, I regretted greatly dealing with her as harshly as I often did. She had been damaged by the culture whereas I had had the benefit of the 60s. Despite my utterly unfair and objectively cruel taunting — bullying really — I cannot recall an uncivil word from her. I came to realise that what I was dealing with was merely ‘the face at the window’ – not the source of the problem, but its manifestation, and that my argument was really not with her but with the usages that shaped and diminished her. There was another kind of invisible hand at the throat of every woman from childhood, squeezing and stunting them while others pretended all the while that we were all equal and thus all responsible for our opinions.

    Certainly, my experience with her was both a source of great regret and one of the factors that inclined me to elevate inclusion and social justice to a foundational position in public ethics.

  56. Ikonoclast
    January 20th, 2015 at 12:00 | #56

    @TerjeP

    I will reply to some points not all.

    4. “Lomborg is right, most solutions cost more than they are worth and we have more important challenges. At current prices wind, solar and battery storage are completely ridiculous investments for society to make. Such investment can only be justified as some sort of innovation drive and even that logic is really weak. Or in some niche applications unrelated to CO2 reduction.”

    There is plenty of good evidence now that Lomborg is wrong. The Lomborg Errors site is a good place to start.

    “It has been richly documented that Lomborg´s claims are often erroneous and misleading. When his book `The Skeptical Environmentalist´ was reviewed in 2001/2002, it got favourable reviews in newspapers and other lay journals where readers were impressed by the amount of technical details, notes and references. But in Scientific journals, not least Nature, Science and Scientific American, the reviews were very negative because specialists were able to see that many of Lomborg´s claims simply were not true. Likewise, the more recent book by Howard Friel, `The Lomborg Deception´, documents many errors, especially in Lomborg´s book `Cool it´. And here at the Lomborg-errors web site are listed a total of more than 500 errors for the two books, some of them minor errors, but others are gross and severely misleading. To this may be added the manipulated and misleading outcomes of the Copenhagen Consensus conferences.

    Lomborg´s response has mainly been to refuse to acknowledge the errors.

    Many of the errors are of such a type that if they were corrected, then Lomborg would no longer be able to make the points that he is making. So there is an obvious suspicion why he would not acknowledge them – if he did, he would have to change or modify many of his conclusions – just those conclusions that appeal to many readers. ”

    5. As Richard Tol points out warming will be of benefit to humans in many parts of the world. And maybe overall be a net positive on balance.

    Most evidence now point to tha fact that warming will only be of a benefit to only a few parts of the world. Most parts of the world will be worse off as the benign and stable Holocene climate is disrupted and weather extremes become more common. If ocean currents change, climate disruption will be enormous.

    6. … We probably don’t want to warm things up too much or too quickly but given our interglacial will end at some point a bit of warming offers some good insurance. As such there are risks attached to halting the warming which should be included in any risk assessement but usually isn’t.

    “Next glacial period
    See also: Milankovitch cycles

    Since orbital variations are predictable,[5] computer models that relate orbital variations to climate can predict future climate possibilities. Two caveats are necessary: that anthropogenic effects (human-assisted global warming) are likely to exert a larger influence over the short term; and that the mechanism by which orbital forcing influences climate is not well understood. Work by Berger and Loutre suggests that the current warm climate may last another 50,000 years.[6]” – Wikipedia.

    “Short Abstract

    Today’s comparatively warm climate has been the exception more than the rule during the last 500,000 years or more. If recent warm periods (or interglacials) are a guide, then we may soon slip into another glacial period. But Berger and Loutre argue in their Perspective that with or without human perturbations, the current warm climate may last another 50,000 years. The reason is a minimum in the eccentricity of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. ”

    So TerjeP, you suggest we worry about risks 50,000 years ago but not about risks running from right now to 100 years out (even to a 1,000 years out)? How does this make any sense?

    The real long term view would say stop using fossil fuels now. Retain in cultural memory and data the knowledge of how to use them. If human scientific civilisation is around in circa 49,000 years times do an assessment of glaciation danger and start burning fossil fuels again if need be to avoid a long glaciation period.

  57. Ikonoclast
    January 20th, 2015 at 12:02 | #57

    Correction: “So TerjeP, you suggest we worry about risks 50,000 years in the future but not about risks running from right now to 100 years out (even to a 1,000 years out)? How does this make any sense?”

  58. Donald Oats
    January 20th, 2015 at 12:12 | #58

    In 1998/1999, we were told it was one of the largest el Nino events of the 20th century: of course we were also told it was the hottest year, based on the instrumental record, of the 20th century.

    The following is from a 1998 news article in the New York Times:

    Despite the 1998 record, a number of scientists said they believed the world was likely to be cooler in 1999 and possibly 2000 as well. The reason, they said, is that a fair measure of the warming in 1998 can be attributed to the effects earlier in the year of El Nino, the extensive pool of warm water that develops from time to time in the tropical Pacific. It both warms the global atmosphere and disrupts worldwide weather patterns.

    The other very interesting tidbit from that article is the following information:

    The earth’s average surface temperature in 1998 is the highest by far since people first began to measure it with thermometers in the mid-19th century, the World Meteorological Organization reported yesterday.

    The organization, an agency of the United Nations, said 1998 would be the 20th year in a row that the globe’s surface has been warmer than its recent long-term average, which is the average for 1961 through 1990. Seven of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1990 and the other three occurred after 1983. Most recently, new monthly high-temperature records were set in each of the 18 consecutive months ending in October 1998.

    which shows that, although the el Nino contributed to the temperature, the trend preceding the 1998 record was already itself a record.

    While I’m sure we can find some tired scientist somewhere who has used 1998 in isolation, to make a point on something or other, the New York Times article conveys the facts as they were seen in mid-December 1998. The petulant snipes don’t alter the record, there for those inclined to look.

  59. January 20th, 2015 at 12:54 | #59

    TerjeP, you wrote, “4. Lomborg is right, most solutions cost more than they are worth and we have more important challenges. At current prices wind, solar and battery storage are completely ridiculous investments for society to make. ”

    There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals. And individuals can purchase rooftop solar systems that provide electricity at a far lower cost than purchasing it from the grid, making it an excellent investment for individuals. And so many individuals now own the means of production of half or more of the electricity they consume and have increased their wealth, independence, and freedown by doing so.

    There are in this world running pig dog lackies of oppression who spread lies about the costs of solar power so that people will be unaware of their options and so reduce their freedom, but I, and others like myself who truly love freedom, will never stop fighting them.

  60. John Quiggin
    January 20th, 2015 at 13:22 | #60

    “In 1998 champions of AGW were not generally refering to it as an anomaly. ”

    That’s a lie, propagated from the denialist sites you frequent. Here’s the IPCC Third Assessment Report, published in 2001.

    “A new record was set in all four series in 1998 (anomalies relative to 1961 to 1990 of CRU, 0.68°C; NCDC, 0.87°C; GISS, 0.58°C; and SHI, 0.58°C). 1998 was influenced by the strong 1997/98 El Niño; the warming influence of El Niño on global temperature is empirically well attested (e.g., Jones, 1994) and the physical causes are starting to be uncovered (Meehl et al., 1998).” (emphasis added)

    I can’t be bothered re-refuting Lomborg and Tol for you until you stop recycling this trash.

  61. Ivor
    January 20th, 2015 at 14:43 | #61

    @TerjeP

    And some pointed out that slavery was of benefit to humans in many parts of the world.

    You overvalued yourself at 2 cents worth.

  62. rog
    January 20th, 2015 at 15:36 | #62

    @TerjeP

    My 2 cents worth

    Rounding it out the amount becomes $0.00 which is about right; nonsense.

  63. January 20th, 2015 at 16:09 | #63

    @TerjeP

    Lomborg is right, most solutions cost more than they are worth and we have more important challenges.

    Again, the “more important” challenges usually cited by deniers are things like third world poverty, and since we are doing precious little to solve that now, I don’t see that reducing global warming will make any difference. Its like telling people that you can’t go on a diet because your room isn’t tidy.

    But, having been around in 1998, I can tell you what the view of at least one person at the time was. I thought, “Bloody hell, its happening more quickly than we thought!”. So I’m rather pleased that it was an outlier, as things would be getting unbearable had it marked the start of a more rapid upward trend.

  64. Chris O’Neill
    January 20th, 2015 at 16:45 | #64

    @phoenix

    Thats the whole point Chris. It is impossible to measure the whole atmosphere to get enough data.

    No you are dishonestly moving the goalposts. You said:

    No statistically significant warming trend since 1997’ – because the entire increase over this period was smaller than the error margin.

    There is statistically significant warming since 1996 and any previous year since the records began. So your point about there being none since 1997 is insignificant and irrelevant. Your response to being shown this irrelevance is to move the goalposts onto disinformation. You are nothing but a Gish Galloper.

  65. Chris O’Neill
    January 20th, 2015 at 17:16 | #65

    NASA discusses the terminology

    Global warming refers to surface temperature increases, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas amounts will affect.

    That’s nice. Trouble is, climate change also includes everything affected by global cooling as well. As I said, a gift to denialists.

  66. John
    January 20th, 2015 at 17:32 | #66

    Why the sudden mockery of anti-vaxxers? I have been reading this blog and enjoying your commentary for over a decade and I am suprised that you have suddenly acquired this prejudice. Vaccination is a huge multinational industry which makes billions for big pharma, a sector with a terrible record of falsifying data, bribing politicians, influencing doctors to prescribe their drugs, demonising alternative therapies and generally embodying the very worst aspects of western corporate culture. With these mocking throw-away references to anti-vaxxers you are helping do their work and doing yourself no credit. Should you spend an afternoon critically examining the anti-vaxxers evidence and arguments you might find it time well spent. I don’t expect you will publish this comment. Consider it a personal message from a disappointed fan.

  67. zoot
    January 20th, 2015 at 17:56 | #67

    @John
    Got some credible evidence for your assertions?

  68. rog
    January 20th, 2015 at 17:59 | #68

    @Chris O’Neill I think you are overly concerned about the terminology; as Terje and Phoenix have shown is that despite a B-double or two of quality evidence they will continue to favour the opinions of some guy down at the pub.

  69. Tony Lynch
    January 20th, 2015 at 18:57 | #69

    TerjeP, one brilliant Dunning-Kruger is illustrative, two is, well, more.

  70. Julie Thomas
    January 20th, 2015 at 20:10 | #70

    Two D-K’s could be “Anosognosia”, according to Dunning. He says that the with the D-K, you’re incompetent so you can’t know you’re incompetent.

    And has more recently said that this behaviour is very much like Anosognosia in which brain damage produces a deficit of self-awareness and a person who suffers certain and undeniable disability seems unaware of the existence of this disability and do deny that it afflicts them.

  71. Megan
    January 20th, 2015 at 22:20 | #71

    Might solar power be an issue in the Queensland election?

    [brisbanetimes]:

    The Palmer United Party is getting green on the campaign trail by promoting the use of solar to reduce the state’s soaring power and electricity prices.

    The party’s candidate for Callide, John Bjelke-Petersen said the average household could see significant drops in their power bills of up to 65 per cent by installing solar.

    “More than 380,000 Queensland homes are already powered by the sun and the Palmer United Party is committed to ensuring this number reaches one million by the end of the next term of government,” Mr Bjelke-Petersen said.

    Good to see that at least one party takes it seriously!

  72. January 20th, 2015 at 22:46 | #72

    @Chris O’Neill
    That is right Chris,

    It could be cooling as you say Chris, because the entire increase (or decrease) over this period was smaller than the error margin.

    i.e Climate Change is the correct term (as opposed to AGW) because the climate could be changing from hot to cold or from cold to hot, unfortunately nobody knows the exact temperatures only homogenised virtual ones, but a consensus of 97% of scientists do agree climate changes.

    kind regards,

    Phoenix

  73. January 20th, 2015 at 23:51 | #73

    @Fran Barlow
    Fran Barlow

    Thankyou for the lengthy reply.

    It is great to hear you and others resorting to narcissistic argumentum ad hominem. I suppose it is horrible to hear that it might not actually be warming when you are so sure that it is.

  74. Chris O’Neill
    January 21st, 2015 at 00:40 | #74

    @rog I think you are under concerned about the terminology. Denialists will always be denialists but when you are fighting a war, every bit helps (and keeping the terminology as simple as possible is more than just a “bit”).

  75. Megan
    January 21st, 2015 at 00:44 | #75

    The PUP also have a policy on CSG:

    “Coal Seam Gas needs to stop right now, until proper safeguards and procedures can be put in place…”

    Asset sales:

    “Successive generations have toiled, passing down from one generation to the next, building on what’s been achieved in the past for all of us, so that we can be secure in the knowledge that in the future our children and our grandchildren will have an even better future. Now Newman wants to privatize Queensland’s assets. …”

    An Upper House (not adding extra pollies, just splitting the numbers so we have a house of review):

    “Palmer United will use its seats in Parliament to achieve the re-establishment of an Upper house in Queensland so we can ensure checks and balances are in place for all legislation.”

    Independence of Judiciary and police:

    “Palmer United believes in the independence of our judiciary and of the police. Under Newman, the Queensland Police force has become the LNP enforcer of Newman policy. …”

    What if PUP is being less slimey than the ALP/LNP duopoly and might actually deliver something of these commitments? In my view that would be OK.

  76. Chris O’Neill
    January 21st, 2015 at 00:46 | #76

    @John

    With these mocking throw-away references to anti-vaxxers you are helping do their work

    You forgot the thank you.

  77. rog
    January 21st, 2015 at 05:54 | #77

    Terje, Phoenix et al should spend their time refuting the position taken by the CSIRO and BOM. Phoenix has demonstrated, on his website, that he is no stranger to defending himself (as they say, he has a fool for a client).

  78. Dave Lisle
    January 21st, 2015 at 09:26 | #78

    @ Megan
    I understand your position on PUP – that you consider it (possibly) a less disastrous option. At the federal level the Palmer senators have certainly mitigated some potential liberal damage.
    But the PUP position on CSG seems entirely disingenuous. Clive wants to stop CSG (bravo!) yet his party was foundered – inter alia – to get back at Newman for stifling his attempts to push forward his mine in the Galilee Basin (with its considerable warming potential and groundwater impacts).
    While Ben Oquist is credited with turning Clive into a climate change believer, this alliance of sorts between the Australia Institute/Greens on the one hand and PUP on the other seems most ironic
    When we clamor for (or at least faintly praise) “least worsts” like this, things must really be dire.

  79. John Quiggin
    January 21st, 2015 at 09:31 | #79

    @phoenix

    Perhaps you should take a course in statistics before (mis)using terms like “error margin”. The only way not to get a statistically significant upward trend in global temperatures is to cherry-pick the starting date, something you are warned against at the very beginning of such courses. Of course, most denialists can’t be bothered doing even this basic work before setting themselves up as experts: the handful who know enough stats to get it right (Lindzen, for example) don’t enlighten the others.

  80. January 21st, 2015 at 10:10 | #80

    @rog
    Rog,

    I am not Shane Dowling,

    I link to his site to promote it; some of his endeavours are worthwhile. He is not patently left wing like the majority of journalists, and that is rare.

    I support any opposition to big business and big government.

    I used to be econwit, but I was banned from this site many moons ago. Sometimes by the grace of JQ my comments get through moderation That is why I am called phoenix; I crash and burn and sometimes rise from the ashes.

    JQ
    Spencer a real climate scientist sums up the (mis) leading statistics this way:

    “In what universe does a temperature change that is too small for anyone to feel over a 50 year period become globally significant? Where we don’t know if the global average temperature is 58 or 59 or 60 deg. F, but we are sure that if it increases by 1 or 2 deg. F, that would be a catastrophe?”

    Kind regards,

    Phoenix

  81. Megan
    January 21st, 2015 at 10:18 | #81

    @Dave Lisle

    Things ARE dire.

  82. Ken Fabian
    January 21st, 2015 at 10:32 | #82

    Anyone who thinks “the pause” is anything other than natural variation overlaying an ongoing warming trend is loudly declaring how deeply ignorant of real climate science is. What is most disappointing is that our mainstream media “informers” fail to call out those who make such brazen declarations of their misunderstanding.

    The problem isn’t that people like phoenix declare themselves ignorant and misinformed this way, it’s that people who hold positions of trust and responsibility and authority and influence also do so – and not merely manage to give the Phoenix’s the impression that their ignorance and misunderstandings have a credible basis, but appear to count it as good that a great many ordinary people hold such views, that are diametrically opposed to the mainstream scientific consensus. And such influential people count it as good that these people are effectively immunised against any persuasion based on compelling scientific evidence.

    Of course when people in positions of power and authority decide they can no longer sustain their political rejection of mainstream science, a large body of voters (who’s views they helped establish through tolerance, encouragement and direct and indirect support) they will be reluctant to alienate will retain those false convictions and continue to impede rational policy.

  83. BilB
    January 21st, 2015 at 12:10 | #83

    Pheonix, the process underway is Global Waming induced by the heat trapping effect of initially Athropogenic Carbon Dioxide, AGW. That is the primary fact. Climate Change is one of many subsequent effecs caused by the increase in the energy within the biosphere. Average Atmospheric Temperature is one of the many measurements that assist in determining some aspects of the warming process. Air is a circulating and cooling medium, but its temperature is not the most significant factor in its role in moving energy around. The more significant factors are the atmospher’s near surface moisture content and its circulation rate.

    The air temperature in your freezer will remain the same throughout the defrosting proces and it will only rise once the ice has all melted, at which point it will rise very rapidly. If you want to defrost your freezer more quickly the you would use a an to increase the energy transfer rate, but the air temperature will not change other than to perhaps become slightly warmer.

    The above is exactly what is happening in the amosphere coupled with many other factors.

    The reality is that the bulk of the biosphere energy absorption is in the ocean near surface waters, in atmospheric moisture, melted glacial and polar ice, and in accelerated chemical feactions through out the earth’s surface. We only talk about average surface temperature as this is the feature of global warming that we encounter most often. Climate Change being the general effect of Global Warming is the more general collection of Global Warming affects that we have to live with.

    I suspect that you have been wallowing in the ooze of the climate denialosphere recently judging by your arguments. And I say ooze because denialists like to look back to the primeaval earth to mount arguments that climate has change over time. Yes Furnace Earth was hotter than now, and Snowball Earth was colder than now, but there were no humans then and no cities or condominiums on shore fronts during those times. The climate that our civilisation needs is the climate of the last one hundred years, the climate that enable it to thrive. Our problem is that the waste products of our rapid growth are so great in volume that they are affecting the stability of our environment.

    The most important realisation that you need to make is that your opinion, and my opinion, have absolutely no bearing or influence on what is happening to our environment. This is not an argument to be won or lost, it is a realisation that must be understood.

    We all thrive or perish on the basis of what we do with our emissions now.

    The world’s scientists say we perish if we do not change. A legal blogger, a sociopathic political leader, an avaricious media mogul, a bunch of fossil fuel industry geologists, and some British psuedo peers claim that all of the scientists are wrong and there is nothing wrong, and we perish financially if climate action is taken.

    Observe, think, decide, act.

  84. Chris O’Neill
    January 21st, 2015 at 12:19 | #84

    @phoenix

    It could be cooling

    No it cannot be cooling because there is other evidence that shows that it is warming even with just a few years data e.g. http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ Graph 2.

    a consensus of 97% of

    climate

    scientists do agree

    that most global warming is human caused.

    Fixed your quote for you.

  85. Chris O’Neill
    January 21st, 2015 at 12:42 | #85

    @phoenix

    I suppose it is horrible to hear that it might not actually be warming

    No there is no chance that it might not actually be warming. The only way to get that impression is to put on ideological blinkers that restrict the amount of data that you look at (e.g. only 18 years of surface data). None so blind as those who will not see applies to such people.

  86. Chris O’Neill
    January 21st, 2015 at 12:47 | #86

    It could be cooling

    No it cannot be cooling because there is other evidence that shows that it is warming even with just a few years data e.g. http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/ Graph 2.

    (My more detailed comment is being moderated btw. We’ll see if this gets through.)

  87. Ikonoclast
    January 21st, 2015 at 12:53 | #87

    An article by Noam Chomsky from about a year ago spells it out very well;

    http://isreview.org/issue/88/can-civilization-survive-really-existing-capitalism

  88. J-D
    January 21st, 2015 at 20:16 | #88

    @TerjeP

    I have never yet encountered anybody who is prepared to give a flat denial of the relevant basic physical facts. But I have encountered a number of people who, after having been given an explanation of them, are still not prepared to give an explicit acknowledgement of the truth.

    Will phoenix do so, for example?

  89. Donald Oats
    January 21st, 2015 at 23:24 | #89

    The Flat Earth Society, aka the paradoxers, still live. I read this article and shook my head.

  90. Chris O’Neill
    January 22nd, 2015 at 03:30 | #90

    @phoenix

    No statistically significant warming trend since 1997

    Actually there is statistically significant warming in probably the best estimate of surface warming in 16 years. If you check the calculator at http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php and see what it gives for HADCRUT2 with either the krig v2 or hybrid compiled by Cowtan and Way then there is statistically significant warming since the beginning of 1999.

    But of course only fools think that’s the only thing that matters anyway.

  91. John Quiggin
    January 22nd, 2015 at 11:52 | #91

    And of course, it’s only a few years since the line was “no statistically significant warming since 1995”. If you had a clue about statistics you’d understand why this goalpost keeps shifting. The number of observations needed for a statistically significant trend depends on the ratio of the trend to the variance.

    http://johnquiggin.com/2010/03/03/lindzen-and-no-statistically-significant-warming-since-1995/

  92. Donald Oats
    January 22nd, 2015 at 15:04 | #92

    @Chris O’Neill
    I agree with you, and to prove the point, Republican Senator James Inhofe says:

    “Climate always changed,” Mr Inhofe said, noting there was archaeological, historic and “biblical” evidence of that.

    “The hoax is, that there are some people who think they are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change the climate. Man can’t change climate,” he insisted.

    So much for that.

  93. Donald Oats
    January 24th, 2015 at 23:24 | #93

    Meanwhile, Tamino plays a straight bat, and demonstrates that the last 15 odd years of temperature data march along the trend line from the 1970 to 2000 data: see the very first chart in his latest trend blog post.

    As I’ve pointed out before, the so-called “pause” is a result of eyeballing the last 15 years of data, and ignoring the prior data of 30 years, which shows a clear positive trend (as in the very first chart in Tamino’s post).

  94. chrisl
    January 25th, 2015 at 14:20 | #94

    Donald Oats
    Meanwhile Roy Spencer plays a straighter bat and hits it out of the park
    “Reports that 2014 was the “hottest” year on record feed the insatiable appetite the public has for definitive, alarming headlines. It doesn’t matter that even in the thermometer record, 2014 wasn’t the warmest within the margin of error. Who wants to bother with “margin of error”? Journalists went into journalism so they wouldn’t have to deal with such technical mumbo-jumbo. I said this six weeks ago, as did others, but no one cares unless a mainstream news source stumbles upon it and is objective enough to report it.

    In what universe does a temperature change that is too small for anyone to feel over a 50 year period become globally significant? Where we don’t know if the global average temperature is 58 or 59 or 60 deg. F, but we are sure that if it increases by 1 or 2 deg. F, that would be a catastrophe? “

  95. Megan
    January 25th, 2015 at 14:47 | #95

    Stunning.

    I read somewhere that he is describing 2014 as “the mildest year on record”.

    His argument about not knowing the average temperature reminds me of the Japanese government’s reaction to radiation levels from Fukushima that were “higher than safe levels” – they increased the definition of “safe level”. No problem!

  96. Chris O’Neill
    January 25th, 2015 at 14:50 | #96

    @chrisl

    In what universe does a temperature change that is too small for anyone to feel over a 50 year period become globally significant?

    That would be the universe where solids such as ice melt at an exact temperature (under constant pressure) i.e. solid and liquid can both exist at exactly the same temperature.

  97. Julie Thomas
    January 25th, 2015 at 15:51 | #97

    chrisl

    Would Monsanto lie to farmers? So wtf are they saying here in these direct quotes from a page on their site:

    “we’re just beginning to feel the impacts of climate change. Some effects of agriculture—such as the greenhouse gases produced by farm machinery and the production of fertilizer—are contributing factors. And of course, agriculture itself can suffer from the effects of climate change. Agriculture needs to adapt to changing conditions and use farming techniques that reduce the impact of our changing climate.

    …”the elimination of thousands of acres of trees also reduces the ability of the Earth to trap carbon. More carbon in the atmosphere can intensify the effects of climate change, increasing the potential negative effects on crop production.

    “The relationship between agriculture and climate change is complex. Just as agriculture is searching for ways to dramatically increase food production, the effects of climate change are making production increases more difficult.”

    I believe that corporations lie to us to sell us their crap but why would they lie to farmers who are supposed to not believe in climate change? Does not seem like a good marketing move to me but corporations are devious things.

    http://www.monsanto.com/improvingagriculture/pages/how-agriculture-is-connected-to-the-planet.aspx

  98. chrisl
    January 25th, 2015 at 16:16 | #98

    Would Monsanto lie to farmers?
    Hell yeah!

  99. Julie Thomas
    January 25th, 2015 at 16:22 | #99

    Oh good we can agree on something then; so why are they lying about climate change?

  100. rog
    January 25th, 2015 at 16:57 | #100

    Monsanto are a bit like jumping off a cliff, for most of the time they are correct except for the last little bit.

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