The CIS and delusionism

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

178 thoughts on “The CIS and delusionism

  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. “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”.

  3. 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”.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

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

    BBB

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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!

  15. “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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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).

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.’

  26. 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,

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. “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?

  31. 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”.

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

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

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

  39. 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.

  40. “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.

  41. 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.

  42. “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.

  43. 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

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

  45. 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

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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?

  49. Mr Herman refers to “gas-driven lawnmowers”.

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

  50. 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?

  51. 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.

  52. 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?

  53. 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

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

    For example …

  55. 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.

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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?

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

  60. 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: jennifermarohasy@jennifermarohasy.com

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. “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!

  64. 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

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

  68. 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?

  69. 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

  70. 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.

  71. 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.

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

  74. 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.

  75. 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!

  76. “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.

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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. ken.miles@gmail.com

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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 🙂

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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

  88. Sure the science is all settled

    FTA:

    “Because of the large uncertainty we have in the radiative forcing of aerosols, there is a corresponding large uncertainty in the degree of radiative forcing overall”, Crozier said. “This introduces a large uncertainty in the degree of warming predicted by climate change models.”

    This is exactly why we mathematically literate sceptics (mostly engineers and physicists) have not been convinced by the supposed “consensus”. The climate models are very limited and prone to overfitting.

    If that makes me a “delusionist”, so be it. I’d rather be that than a fool.

  89. This is Jennifer taken from CIS’s idiot twin – Institute of Public Affairs.

    Taken from website:

    Jennifer Marohasy

    Senior Fellow

    Dr Jennifer Marohasy is a Senior Fellow at the Insititute of Public Affairs, a Director of the Australian Environment Foundation, a columnist for The Land and has her own blog at http://www.jennifermarohasy.com. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science and a PhD from the University of Queensland and over a dozen research papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals mostly from her work as a biologist in Africa during the 1980s and early 1990s. Jennifer is well known as a ‘global warming sceptic’ and like many of the early naturalists, including Thomas Huxley, considers scepticism important for the progress of science.

  90. Rog – Ditto. From our srub by the highway this yerar our year long rain data again shows @70% decrease and this is now a confirmed decadal trend. Temps up about 1.5 to 1.8% C over the same period. Outcome plans for carrying only about 20% of previous stock numers hold. Current stocking possible – nil. No end to the great dry here.

    I guess it has been caused by alarmist greenies in priestly outfits incanting doom and gloom for coal and fossil fuels.

    Fed up with city arm chair know alls opining that it is all good and there is nothing unusual happening, look out the windows guys!

  91. Postscript – unlike many with a view, I actually completed a professional course in meteorology. The science has always been understandable and relative to what I have been observing for decades now. Enough said, back to planning for adaptation not going to waste any more time in useless exchanges with fools.

  92. I ahve a book suggestion for Ms Marohasy. It’ll explain it all to her by someone far more qualified than me (or anyone here):
    Climate Change: Turning up the Heat
    by A. Barrie Pittock. That weblink includes a lot of fundamental references in an attachment. Hopefully she can go out, read and digest the book, and not bother a non-expert blog with a petty attempt to score some obscure point.

    I am confident she will find that if she approaches all of the arguments for and against with an appropriately sceptical mind, she will end up agreeing with the world’s meteorologists, who collectively agree that it is ‘very likely’ (90%+) that there is an anthropogenic cause to climate change.

  93. Ninderthana @ 101, the Lavoisier Foundation wouldn’t recognise a new idea if it bit them on the arse. They are not a credible source.

    Huh? @ 102, I too am mathematically literate (I have a degree in mathematics), and I find the climate models quite credible. I suggest you take another look, this time with an open mind.

  94. Jennifer really p’ed me off last night with her non-expert opinion (“critique”) on the work of a real climate scientist. It seems quite unfair to have these snake-oil salesman sniping from the sidelines, without any venue for their targets to respond.

    So, I decided that I’d send an e-amil to Thomas Crowley, giving him Marohasy’s “critique” and asking for his response.

    I didn’t actually expect one, but here it is. Thomas Crowley, author of “Causes of Climate Change Over the Past 1000 Years” from Edinburgh on Jennifer Marohasy’s “critique”:

    Thank you for the opportunity to respond

    I disagree with the assessment of my paper.

    If you consider the observational reconstruction as model output, the reader is correct. But the statistical reconstruction of observations is completely independent of the climate model, so any statistics derived from a correlation are still legitimate to assess, and the correlations are highly significant.

    The correlation with my own reconstruction is obviously not dependent on Mann et al.; the purpose of the study was to show that it is a reconstruction-independent conclusion

    The Wegman committee, at which I attended and testified, did not disprove Mann. Wegman merely pointed out that there was an error in the Mann approach. But another person testifyied that the error did not matter much, and I further showed my own reconstruction done in an entirely different manner.

    The skeptic is correct that correlation does not PROVE causality (although comparison of individual years of cooling with independent assessments of volcanism – which cause the cooling – shows a remarkable level of agreement). I suppose “blackening” of skies by volcanism and cold years is just accidental? You can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink it.

    No one can PROVE global warming. It is like using circumstantial evidence in court and the conclusion is based on the weight of evidence in favor of the conclusion – the melting of Greenland and the Arctic ice cap, independent evidence from proxy data, record temperature increases, increases in precipitation in northern mid- and high latitudes, the near-global scope of the warming, decreases in precipitation in the U.S. southwest, increases in global ocean heat storage, and sea level, the agreement in global warming trends over the last twenty years with a model prediction from 1988 – all consistent with model predictions, one can go on and on. The pile of evidence in favor of global warming is quite convincing, which is why IPCC made such a strong statement.

    Alternate explanations do not wash either, nor does the natural variability argument, which I showed cannot explain the unusual nature of the 20th century warming (when compared against the background of the last 1000 years).

    One can choose not to believe in global warming, but it is a choice, a believe, and trying to change the minds of people with that mindset generally does not work because very often (although not always) their mindsets are grounded in emotions, resentments, political leanings, etc that are concealed under a hazardously thin cover of “logic”.

    Tom Crowley

  95. Huh? @ 102, I too am mathematically literate (I have a degree in mathematics), and I find the climate models quite credible. I suggest you take another look, this time with an open mind.

    With all due respect, having a degree in mathematics is not quite the same as being a practitioner in the field of modeling (I have a PhD in mathematics and build models for a living).

    I suggest you take another look: climate models are overparameterized and as the link above demonstrates (along with countless other examples), their ability to model the climate is weak.

  96. Michael, thanks for emailing Tom Crowley (and thanks to Tom for replying so quickly).

    An important point which Prof. Crowley didn’t mention is that the model that he used was an energy balance model. This type of model is considerably simpler than the Global Climate Models that are more commonly used. The major feature is that they are have a heavily reliance on the fundamental physics (but they sacrifice transient responses) which makes them much more resistant to the standard hand waving global warming “sceptic” criticism.

  97. I suggest you take another look: climate models are overparameterized and as the link above demonstrates (along with countless other examples), their ability to model the climate is weak.

    I’ll just point out that the parametrisation of GCM’s have been extensive studied in the scientific literature and the effects of adjusting the parameters through a sensible range isn’t particularly significant. The ability of GCM’s to model is the climate is far from weak. I would suggest that Huh? get some basic familiarity with the scientific literature before making such sweeping statements.

  98. Huh

    I build mathematical models for a living too but they are not in climate forecasting so I don’t pretend to be an expert in that field. Even so, saying that something is over-parameterised and dismissing it this is hardly a counter argument. That is a very purist argument for an applied field. Not many areas of science or economics would pass such a test.

    Many types of mathematical models suffer from too many parameters and/or too little data. We still test them and use them where justified. There are many problems with long range predictions of climate because they depend on assumptions of future human behaviour. That doesn’t stop us from using such models to test outcomes of various (realistic) assumptions about current trends continuing. Provided the theory the model is based on is sound and the base model has been calibrated reasonably the predictions should at least be comparaatively valid. That is normal practice in many fields. Current climate models are not perfect, but they are good enough for anyone but an extreme skeptic to accept and use. That is the point – once they are good enough to reach a conclusion that we need to change current behaviour, then we rationally should do so. We will not have absolute proof till its too late.

  99. Huh 109

    Further to my above, I build models of transport systems for a living. What sort of mathematical models do you build? I find it odd that any practitioner would accetp the over-parameterisation argument, even if true, and as Ken has said, it may not be anyway.

  100. I see “delusionist” is the new “denialist”.

    I remember reading in 2001, that there was a 95% confidence that the temperature of 1998 would be exceeded in the following years. Apparently the science was settled, the debate was over, anyone who questioned it was spouting nonsense. (“Denialist” had not yet been coined.)

    Protests by sceptics that 1998 was an exceptional El Nino, and didn’t really count, were dismissed. Of course, positions on the importance of 1998 have reversed.

    Now we have the disparity between the predictions, the “committed” warming, and the actual temperature.

    http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MTYwMjRiZjJhMmUxYWE2MmQ0NDZhOGM0M2Q3ZWUzMmE=

    Ok, temperature could start rising again, but attempts to deny that it has fallen for the last few years seem a bit, well, delusional.

  101. Can somebody help me with Thomas Crowleys comment? He seems to suggest that in 1988 a climate model predicted the climate for the next 20 years (or some limited variable such as temperature perhap) and that the predition has subsequently been shown to have been highly accurate. Can anybody point me to the prediction made in 1988 that he is refering to? Or have I misunderstood his comment?

  102. p.s.

    Based on the following:-

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/hansens-1988-projections/

    One model used in 1988 made predictions and today we know that those predictions might have been right. However it seems that it is still too early to say if the model from 1988 was reliable. It might also have been wrong. In fact if we had a model that took the same input data (ie temperature from 1959 to 1984) and assumed that the trend would continue totally independent of CO2 levels we would also be in a position today to claim that our model might have been right.

  103. Calling all modellers.
    Please help me with next year’s crop. I need to know if there will be drought, the price of fuel, the world price of my crop and the interest rate so that I know how much my borrowins will cost. Kind regards

  104. Terje,

    I think the post you’ve linked to explains pretty much the whole story. Three scenarios were run, so there was no definitive prediction made, but it’s a general approach. Hansen claimed success in hindsight. Given the state of the science at the time, I think it’s pretty good. Gavin discusses (also in hindsight)the strengths and weaknesses of the approach used at the time.

    The models all show that if you run them without greenhouse forcing, temperatures do not rise as experienced.

    Would you do as well on a prior trend model? No. There is a statistically signficant shift in the trend of global warming from 1976. The trend since is the one that models have been reproducing with forcing included. (No climate scientist would expect the Earth system to show a purely linear response to warming, despite the fact that models produce such a proportional response – this is a weakness of the current approach and rather than discount the models, we think that the chnace of a more complex response in the real world is a source of concern).

    Crowley’s experience is in palaeoclimate. When we look at past changes in orbital forcing we see big flips in conditions regionally and globally. I have worked on this myself. The worry we have is, if we provide regular radiative forcing, will Earth systems flip? The only way we can test that (without hindsight) is with models and they’ve a way to go yet.

    Anyway, as Crowley said, this is just one of the lines of evidence. You wouldn’t bet your farm just on this one, but when all the evidence is gathered …

  105. chrisl – I hope you’re just taking the piss. No-one (except god, assuming there is one) can tell you what next year’s weather is going to be except in general terms (winter cooler than summer, that kind of thing). I can tell you with some confidence that fuel will cost more, but interest rates may be up or down, as may the world price for whatever you’re growing.

  106. Terje

    I don’t know what the 1988 reference was but I remember reading proceedings of a 1988 conference (in Australia) on atmospheric modelling that included a number of papers trying to estimate the future impacts of climate change. I can’t recall the title but from memory Pearson was the editor. My recollection is that subsequent trends have matched those forecasts quite well. they included predictions of both future temperature change and changes to average rainfall (dryer in SE Australia was forecast then). I think CSIRO ran the conference if it helps.

  107. David,
    chrisl is possibly not taking the piss. It is a standard complaint of many that the weather cannot be predicted – so many in the sceptical community will revert to simplistic attacks that because we cannot predict the weather reliably (even out to more than a few days) then we should not presume to predict climate out many years.
    This is, of course, nonsence, as the models do not attempt to predict the weather day to day, but to look at trends in the climate.
    In much the same way, I believe we will steadily reduce our dependence on fossil fuels over the next several decades in response to increases in its cost. I do not know when the various technological breakthroughs that will allow this will occur, or by how much each of them will reduce it, but the trends over the last several decades are heading in this direction.
    Simplistic attacks like this are the easiest to deal with. Unfortunately they are the hardest to explain to the people that frequently make them.

  108. Andrew, I’ve seen the “You can’t predict tomorrow’s weather, let alone the climate in 50 years time!” gambit before, and you’re right, it’s asinine. I thought chrisl might be taking the piss because I thought I’d seen that name elsewhere on the thread. When I checked what he/she had actually said, I realised you’re right: not taking the piss, just an empty vessel incapable of making a serious contribution to the discussion.

  109. The only way we can test that (without hindsight) is with models and they’ve a way to go yet.

    Models are the only way any prediction about the future can ever be made. So criticising the use of models would be foolish. In this regard we would seem to agree.

    However just to be clear some models that predict the future work and some don’t. The key distinction between such models is their track record. The newtonian model of the world has demonstrated some remarkable accuracy in terms of ballistics and planetary orbits and it is on the basis of this track record that we regard it as a good (although still imperfect) model and adopt it for general usage. If it didn’t allow such predictions then in spite of it’s mathematical beauty it would have been disregarded long ago.

    As such I think the predictive success of climate models matters. And the fact that todays climate model is newer than yesterdays model does not allow it to claim superiority in performance. Of course we should update our models but when it comes to relying on models I think we should go with the ones that have a track record of success. And if none has a track record of success then we should indeed be cautious. I’m still cautious because I can’t see the success. I’m not waiting for hindsight but neither am I ready to turn the world on it’s head for a model that has little history of predictive success. If and when a good model (based on successful predictions) is demonstrated I might become less resistant to change.

  110. David, What is the point in predicting the climate in 50 years time? Why not put all resources into predicting it in one or 5 years time so we can either take advantage if it is good news or batten down the hatches if it is bad news.

    In climate science, people come out all the time saying their new you-beaut computer model has provided the “smoking gun” that proves that AGM is real. Or they say their model has found the “fingerprint” of AGW, in a clear claim of unshakeable identification. In other words, in the climate science field computer model results are treated as evidence.

    In other engineering and scientific fields, this is absolutely not the case. Model results are treated as guides, as indications, as insights, as probes into unknown realms, as learning tools … but not as evidence.

  111. chrisl,
    The point is to try to avoid actions (or inactions) that are likely to result in seriously adverse outcomes. If we can take action(s) now that greatly mitigate bad outcomes 50 years from now, then it may be worth taking them.
    For example, say a model predicted there was a 50% chance of Halley’s Comet striking Earth on its next circuit of the sun (resulting in, presumably, catastrophe) – but we could take action now that would reduce this possibility to, say 1%. Even though this would only see benefits more than 50 years from now, it may be worth taking the action.
    What we would (under this scenario) know of Halley’s comet is simply data. The models turn it into information – in this case possibilities expressed as probabilities – from which we (as individuals or a society) can then choose to take action (or not).
    Asking the people operating the models to predict the weather is (to use David’s wording) asinine – and clearly demonstrates either ignorance or disinformation. Attempting to validate the model, and examining the recommendations that flow from it (or them), is useful and productive.
    In regards to the future, all we can do is model based on past experience and the best data we have (as Terje agrees above). We then have to, through various processes, take action (or not) based on our best information.
    Sniping at the models as they are not able to do what they are not designed to do is worse than useless.

  112. Andrew I would like to draw your attention to The Millenium Bridge in London. It was designed, modelled, constructed and failed. It was opened by the queen and closed by the police two days later.Google wibbly-wobbly bridge.
    The question is, how to you validate a climate model that is predicting something 50 years into the future?

  113. chrisl – I hope the engineers who designed that bridge are being sued to within an inch of their lives, however I don’t see its relevance to this discussion.

    As I understand it, the models have been validated by starting them at some point in the past, then seeing how the results match up with, say, now. They’ve done pretty well, and I’m quite comfortable (after a fashion) in relying on them giving us a reasonable idea of what our future holds for us. (My discomfort relates more to the consequences of the predictions than the models themselves.)

    If you’re unable to understand that, I guess it’s pointless to continue the discussion.

  114. chrisl,
    I was living in London at the time. I also crossed it during those infamous two days – so I do not need to google it. The wobble has been greatly overstated: it was safe to cross.
    Back to the point – is it your contention, then, that we should never model or forecast anything? Any forecast could be wrong, so it is pointless to do anything in this line? Sorry – but nonsence.
    .
    At least we now seem to have moved on from the argument of weather over climate. Do you at least understand why your original attack was misguided?

  115. Separating weather from climate is like splitting hairs to me because they are both localized and widespread phenomena in a sense. The ‘weather’ aspect comes from the need for local forecasts but that does not mean a weather system is local. We use the term ‘climate’ in the general sense to mean the ambience in a region over time. Is it wet, is it dry, is it hot or cold. Naturally, hot dry climes can be very wet at times and desert regions are famed for being hot in the day and cold at night. Those local ambient conditions can be due to local conditions, or affected by large scale weather systems.

    The long term trend of weather systems is climate, would you agree? The climate in a region can be influenced by the climates in adjacent regions. For example, hot warm air rises in the tropics, condenses and cool. Precipitation removes moisture from the air and that cooler, dry air falls into the desert regions adjacent to the tropics. Precipitation and temperature are signatures of weather but also of climate.

    How does one go about predicting climate change? The IPCC said they can’t do it. Then they go on to say the only thing they can do is use an educated guessing system in a computer model. If they can’t do it directly that presumes they don’t know what causes climate change in the first place. So how are models going to do it when they are programmed by the very thought processes that did not know how in the first place? There are no magical properties in computers and the program is a reflection of human thought with all it’s biases and distortions.

  116. I’m still cautious because I can’t see the success. I’m not waiting for hindsight but neither am I ready to turn the world on it’s head for a model that has little history of predictive success. If and when a good model (based on successful predictions) is demonstrated I might become less resistant to change.

    I think that climate models do a pretty good job at determining broad features of the climate system (localised effects are harder) for a couple of reasons:

    * Real world climatic features such as seasonal migration of rain bands tend to arise spontaneously out of them without the model having any knowledge of these features

    * The models have a good record of predicting trends before we know about them. The best example of this is tropospheric warming. The models predicting a warming troposphere whereas satellite data indicated that the troposphere was cooling. Surely a big tick against the models. However, closer examination of the satellite data showed that the calculations used to derive the trends were incorrect and the models were in fact correct.

  117. Tropical troposheric warming is a not necessarilly a good example of the models’ predictive ability. The GCM models all predict that this region should have warmed at a rate of 2 – 3 X the surface warming – if recent global warming (roughly 1975-2002) was caused by GHGs.
    In fact the tropoical troposhere has warmed at the same rate, or slower, than the surface. If the models “were in fact correct” that would show that this period of warming was mainly not GHG related.

  118. My god, Terje. I’m still wiping the spittle off my face from following that link you gave. The bloke who wrote it is clearly off his medication.

  119. In fact the tropoical troposhere has warmed at the same rate, or slower, than the surface. If the models “were in fact correct� that would show that this period of warming was mainly not GHG related.

    Sorry Bill, but you’ve been played by Dennis Evans or some other “sceptic”. Tropical tropospheric warming is an indicator of ALL warming, not just GHG warming. A better indicator of GHG warming is stratospheric cooling. Unfortunately our ability to measure trends in this region are limited and there are good indications that the dataset is poor.

  120. ChrisL: I think Ian is confusing you with me. He has me pegged as a right wing libertarian ideologue because I sometime argue with immigration evangelists. On the global warming issue, I happen to think that (a) it is real, (b) there is a fair chance the effects could be way worse than the most likely scenario, (c) we owe our grandchildren a decent future, (d) a few percent of GDP doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. And yet I am still not keen on high immigration levels for this continent. Go figure Ian. Maybe the world isn’t one dimensional.

  121. My god, Terje. I’m still wiping the spittle off my face from following that link you gave. The bloke who wrote it is clearly off his medication.

    He seems to think the CIS is part of a conspiracy trying to impose a carbon tax on the Australian community. Then again on an earlier occasion he had me tagged as a hippie. Just for giggles see the following account of the incident by Catallaxy:-

    http://catallaxyfiles.com/?p=3470

  122. Thomas Crowley said above; 108

    “No one can PROVE global warming. It is like using circumstantial evidence in court and the conclusion is based on the weight of evidence in favor of the conclusion”

    “Circumstantial evidence is normally used in science only to support other forms of evidence, so that you can figure out what happened”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumstantial_evidence

    i.e. Direct evidence. You guys do not seem to have any direct evidence.

    Both sides of the debate and the science seem to agree that carbon in the atmosphere is increasing.

    Carbon is only a small percentage of the atmosphere, approximately 0.04% on a molar basis, although this is increasing it is far from proved that the small extra amount of carbon relative to the rest of the atmosphere is doing anything.

    see these graphs and article;
    http://jennifermarohasy.com/data/Caseofthewarmandfuzzy.pdf

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003351.html

  123. #139 Oddly enough, I read this aphorism this AM, attributed to Sir Montagu Norman in a Time article from 1941 (aren’t the Intertubes wonderful?). I assume you weren’t reading the same article.

  124. Amazing that people can dismiss the work from every scientific body that studies climate in favour of a few articles by opinion writers who get their “science” only from sources that say what they want to hear – said articles when subjected to review by people who know the subject well being shown to lack substance. More amazing that the results of ongoing scientific inquiry get labelled cultish belief whereas unfounded opinion that it’s all cultish belief is believed cultishly.

  125. Ken,

    ‘Circumstantial evidence’ is opinion not scientific method ;

    “No one can PROVE global warming. It is like using circumstantial evidence in court and the conclusion is based on the weight of evidence in favor of the conclusionâ€?

    People are still waiting “to get their “scienceâ€? from every scientific body that studies climate”

  126. No, in fact that’s the first time I’ve heard of the 1st Baron Norman (and Czech gold). One of my favourite aphorisms, up there with “like herding cats”.

    Back to delusionism. For those of us who are not climate scientists, what we are essentially asked to believe is that a global conspiracy has formed before our very eyes by all of the colluding evil climatologists, backed by the deep green communist cabal, which has totally co-opted every reputable scientific institution and publication, leading to completely erroneous claims about fundamental physical processes. And the only people wise enough to see this are a bunch of bored, almost universally far-right-wing, amateurs on the internet.

    Oh, the moon landings were faked too.

  127. Tony G, anyone who regards Our Jennifer as an authoritative source is as delusional as she is. I won’t bother to go into detail or post supporting links (as I doubt if you’ll follow them up anyway), but she’s either a fool or a liar, but most likely both.

  128. David, I base my opinions on information I source myself. There are radicals on both sides of the fence and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle.

    “For those of us who are not climate scientists” there seems to be valid arguments regarding the science methodology used. To say the ‘science’ is settled is delusional, because generally science never is. There are credible climatologists and people with related scientific expertise that dispute AGW science.

    No one is asked to believe that a global conspiracy has formed, but they are asked to believe ‘circumstantial’ as opposed to ‘scientific’ evidence. This ‘circumstantial’evidence is being put forward by people with vested interests.

    There are many theories out there which cannot be tested, masquerading as scientific theories in order to have credibility AGW might be the correct explanation, but at this stage it is just not scientific-this could change.

    The AGW lobby are proposing a major changes that could wreck the economy. Thank God they do not have a majority in the Senate, because it looks like they will have to prove their case there.

  129. There are credible climatologists and people with related scientific expertise that dispute AGW science. Oh goody, you can easily identify them, and their particular issues.

    It is a sheer impossibility outside of quantum physics to have evidence of the future. For you, climate science can never be ‘proven’, until it has already happened. You do realise the risks with this approach?

  130. Why do people call this the “climate change debate”? the “debate” ended for the rest of the world years ago, you go anywhere in Europe, Brazil or the UK and you see solar panels on roofs, wind farms, economical vehicles, switch engines (100% ethanol or petrol vehicles), fantastic public transport and unpopular political action such as london’s congestion charging but in Australia apparently theres still a debate on whether there is a problem or not.
    The real problem is this notion that everyone should be heard and given an equal voice.
    Real balanced journalism or debate should reflect the views of society in other words if you have a debate on climate change there should be 1000 scientist arguing the case for action for every 1 who is arguing the case for selfish inaction.

    How a lamen such as Andrew Bolt can be given more TV airtime than real climate scientists is beyond me and can only be explained by entertainment value for ratings.

  131. “It is a sheer impossibility outside of quantum physics to have evidence of the future”

    As I said above “The heart of science is once you have your theory, use it to predict the outcome of a future observation. This is the “testingâ€? part of science”. The most valuable theories are those which make precise and risky predictions, which could easily disprove the theory if they failed. If it does this it is classified as scientific evidence based on the scientific method.

    AGW evidence is not based on the ‘scientific method’. AGW scientists do not test their theories in the real world and they do not make make precise and risky predictions, which could easily disprove their theory if they failed. The nexus betwenn anthropological activity and global warming is far from proved by a ‘scientific method’.

    Computer models are not the real world and they inherently prone to making misleading predictions, ask anyone who relies on them to beat the TAB.

    The case based on the‘circumstantial’evidence put forward by the proponents of AGW can and will be countered by circumstantial evidence put forward by the opposite side until ‘scientific methods’ prove otherwise.

    Wilful We will just have to agree to disagree.

    Shane A, if everybody started to jump off the harbour bridge would that make it right?

    ‘The rest of the world” could easily be wrong especially considering the science is not based on a ‘scientific method’.

  132. Tony G, believe it or not, the predict-and-test stuff has already been done. The models predicted that the Arctic icecap would disappear, and it’s doing so, but rather quicker than the models predicted. There are probably other examples, but you should be as capable of finding them as I am.

  133. Re #121 Socrates:

    The 1988 conference you refer to Socrates, was probably the Greenhouse workshops that were held nationwide in November 1988. These followed on from the Greenhouse 87 symposium “Greenhouse — planning for climate change”; editor Dr Graeme Pearman, Division of Atmospheric Research, CSIRO.

    Every state government should have published the outcomes of their workshop Greenhouse 88 as a book, held by your local or state library.

    Regards,

    Don.

  134. We will just have to agree to disagree.

    yeah but it’s not my (or your) opinion that counts – it’s the countless numbers of qualified climatologists that you’re disagreeing with. I’m merely disagreeing with a lunatic fringe.

  135. Sorry Tony but it looks to me you accept unquestioningly the line fed to you from sources that have opinions you agree with. Real world evidence of warming abounds – ice loss, phenological shifts, borehole temperatures, ocean and surface temperatures – and basic physics and chemistry underpin the anthropogenic attribution. There’s been ample opportunity for alternative scientific explanations for those real world changes to emerge and no shortage of well resourced vested interests to see that the imagined resistance to “orthodoxy” won’t prevail, but none has. But is there any point in pointing this out to you? The capacity of science to find order within complex systems really shouldn’t be so hard to believe, but climate science’s detail is complex and can be hard to understand, whereas all that’s required to understand and believe the drivel that Marohasy writes is an absence of real knowledge and a lack of desire to look at what real scientists who actually do real science are saying.
    I’ll go on taking the opinions coming from NCAR, NASA, Hadley, CSIRO, NSIDC, NOAA – that actually study climate – over any of the lightweight fluff and puff you link to.
    The editors at the Australian really should be deeply ashamed for printing misleading drivel about such an important issue.

  136. Ken
    Scepticism about the science is warranted and healthy especially considering “climate science’s detail is complex” and it can hardly be described as transparent.

    Anyway talking about the Australian; in this article about Climate Porn Dominic here sums it up well;

    “First it’s scientists going for the research cash. Then its pollies going for the votes. Now it’s TV stations going for the audience and ad dollars. I am very sceptical of the climate change debate simply because scientiests are no longer practicing science, which is about continual testing of the hypothesis against facts. There is a large (and growing) bank of data that contradicts existing climate change models but the scientists are now choosing to ignore it and attack those who produced the data instead. But, despite my misgivings, I think it’s probably time I got on board. After all, there seems to be a buck in climate change for everyone. Time I started spruiking and got my share as well.”

    Maybe I should buy shares in Frigrite or the Hastie Group so I can cash in too!

  137. There is a large (and growing) bank of data that contradicts existing climate change models

    See, if this was true, then it actually does require a massive conspiracy to work, because of the nature of the system. Completely contradictory data is able to be published, and it is up to modellers to respond. The contradictory stuff isn’t getting published anywhere respectable, so there must be a conspiracy.

  138. “the lightweight fluff and puff ”

    “drivel”

    “The contradictory stuff isn’t getting published anywhere respectable”,

    As Dominic said above in the Australian article ‘climate porn’ @6;52 am

    “the scientists are now choosing to ignore it and attack those who produced the data instead.” i.e now its shoot the messenger and the message.

    You guys can be convinced you know everything about; the temperature of the sun and the energy it emits, the temperature of the atmosphere, fluxing, forcing,ocean currents,palaeontology,holocene, gravitational effects,,etc etc,etc, etc and put it into a convenient number that strangely points to a new tax, but forgive me if I am sceptical .

  139. Thanks Tony for the pocket book political message. CO2 traps heat, fact.
    Whether its the sole reason for climate change or not is irrelevant it’s certainly not helping the situation.
    Theres obvious motivation for scientists and climate change believers to have a voice, which is clearly to avoid future catastrophies but what possible motivation is there for the so called “sceptics” to make such loud noises….
    Vested interests and investment income is the only answer i can think of.
    If the bigger picture is what “sceptics” are really on about then what do they care if the rest of us make an effort? Oh yeah it cost money.

    Its also interesting to note everytime you hear a “sceptic” banging on about how wrong science is they are of the age group that won’t be around long enough to find out what happens if they are wrong.

  140. Duffy’s money is safe.

    No one can come up with “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. ”

    Clearly the nexus between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming can not be proved, it can only be assumed.

    Worse still she ONLY asked for credible ‘work/research papers or citations to research papers, not links to opinions and blogs”.

    Obviously if something reputable existed Duffy’s money would be claimed by now. It HAS NOT been claimed and now all we hear is excuses.

  141. Tony, the IPCC’s own reports are nothing but literature reviews and are full of citations. The money was claimed several times over on Jennifer’s site. The problem is that the audience there has a counter-authority or other objection for every result which might otherwise be regarded as contributing towards a validation and quantification of AGW.

  142. It is a pretty simple task, some reputable science to back up the AGW assertion.

    If you are confident the evidence exists, it should be relatively simple to enforce the claim.

    IMHO the evidence doesn’t exist and that is why it has not been claimed.

    Surly this blog with its connections in academia (Legal, Scientific etc), it should be a simple task to enforce the claim. It hasn’t and only one conclusion can be drawn from that.

    Duffy’s money is safe.

  143. Tony G, Duffy’s money has been (legitimately) claimed by James Haughton and a few others, some days ago now. I believe James is thinking about pursuing Duffy for payment in the Small Claims Court. You really need to keep up.

  144. David,

    Duffy “offered A$1,000 to the first person”.

    Is this the first legitimate reference in a post made after Duffy put up the offer?

    Posted by: James Haughton at August 11, 2008 12:55 PM
    HERE

    And is this the paper he will be using to convince the court?

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

    Obviously, if he is successful with the claim a lot of ‘sceptics’, me included will be silenced, keep me and the world posted on James’ progress.

  145. Tony, why go through the strong case for AGW with someone who cultishly believes unsubstantiated drivel? When almost every working practitioner of a science tells you that’s how it is, you need extraordinary evidence to credibly deny it – which has not been forthcoming. The absorbtion and emission characteristics of CO2 are solid fact. The real world evidence of warming is factual. These fantasies about conspiracies to delude the world for short-term funding are bunk. To repeat myself -I’ll go on taking the opinions coming from NCAR, NASA, Hadley, CSIRO, NSIDC, NOAA – that actually study climate – over any of the lightweight fluff and puff you link to.

  146. Ken the evidence is there that Duffy has put up a $1000.

    If he doesn’t pay up he is liable for costs as well as the $1000.

    If it is as you say;

    “The real world evidence of warming is factual.”

    Then you should be able to produce the ‘scientific paper’ he requests to back up your claim.

    It appears it doesn’t exist.
    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003366.html

    JQ says he is dealing directly with climate professionals so a single document should be available from them for the above mention transaction to be completed. If you guys are to timid to enforce the claim, produce the document so it can be assessed, so as to let someone else can get the cash..

    I’ll be back Monday I hope to see it then, bye

  147. Jesus! It’s like talking to a stubborn but stupid three-year-old.

    Tony G, I doubt if there is one single paper that proves AGW conclusively all on its own (although I’d be pleased to be proven wrong here), in the way for instance that Einstein’s paper explained the photoelectric effect. It’s more that there’s a vast, compelling weight of evidence and papers (summarised in the IPCC reports) which leads anyone who’s prepared to give it more than a nanosecond’s attention to believe that AGW is happening and it’s serious. As far as I can see, those who deny AGW think in much the same way as those who assert the earth is flat, that the sun goes around the earth, and that some god created the earth and all its species in 6 days about 6,000 years ago.

    As has been explained before, Duffy did not, in fact, make the offer in good faith (it’s a bit like Bolt’s “Name just ten!!1!” shtick). He’s very low on intellectual honesty, so would refuse to pay up no matter how compelling the evidence.

  148. I’ll up the stakes Tony. $5000 if you can produce a peer-reviewed journal article proving to my satisfaction that 2+2=4. If you can’t deliver, I’ll just have to conclude that climate sceptics can’t add up.

  149. It is quite perplexing that someone with a BA (1st Class Honours in Mathematics) would need proof that 2+2=4. (Maybe it is because he received his degree for free from the taxpayer, and like anything for free it is worth nothing).

    Tarski, Alfred, “A simplified formalization of predicate logic with identity,” Archiv für Mathematische Logik und Grundlagenforschung, 7:61-79, 1965 [QA.A673];p. 77, system S2

    Or reproduced as system S3 in Section 6 of Megill, N., “A Finitely Axiomatized Formalization of Predicate Calculus with Equality,” Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic, 36:435-453, 1995 [QA.N914]. HERE $35 US.

    The complete proof of 2 + 2 = 4 involves 2,452 subtheorems, These have a total of 25,933 steps, do you want me to to verify the proof by hand in complete detail all the way back to the axioms, and then you review them before you cough up?

    For your convenience I will email you my BSB and Account number.

  150. 2 + 2 = 0. Sorry, Tony (#166).

    Proof:
    The complete (commutative) addition table is:
    0 + 0 = 0
    1 + 0 = 1
    2 + 0 = 2
    3 + 0 = 3
    1 + 1 = 2
    1 + 2 = 3
    1 + 3 = 0
    2 + 2 = 0
    2 + 3 = 1

    All seems in order, yet 2 + 2 /= 4. 😦

  151. Donald, further to your most excellent proof that 2 + 2 = 0, numerical analysts will, of course, be aware that 2 + 2 = 5, for sufficiently large values of 2 (finite-precision arithmetic, of course). I could prove it, but the margins of this blog are insufficient …

  152. He asked for “4” but you guys can prove whatever number you feel like, that doesn’t mean you can prove AGW.

    A trait when losing the debate is to change the subject isn’t it?

    Lets get back on track then.

    Duffy’s unqualified offer is safe, the nexus between between anthropogenic carbon dioxide and warming is delusional and Sydney and the rest of Australia just experienced its coldest recorded august in 65 years according to the BOM.

  153. “The complete proof of 2 + 2 = 4 involves 2,452 subtheorems, These have a total of 25,933 steps, do you want me to to verify the proof by hand in complete detail all the way back to the axioms, and then you review them before you cough up?”

    Of course – that’s the point of this kind of exercise, as our Jen could tell you. But before you do that, make sure that the result is derived from a complete and consistent axiomatisation of arithmetic.

  154. Wonderful, Prof Q. Herr Doktor Goedel has his uses.

    I’ve been waiting for some idiot to point out this has been an exceptionally cold winter, btw, and right on queue, Tony G lives down to my expectations.

  155. Maybe that Mathematics BA is worth more than you paid for it, that coupled with your government funded ability to infinitely postulate about theorems and 2+2, it is unlikely that it would be cost effective for me to meet the hurdle of your “satisfaction”. I will just have to try and minimise the tax I pay from this end, rather than trying to get $5000 of it back directly from you.
    Any way thanks for the offer.

    David,
    Those idiots to “point out this has been an exceptionally cold winter” in fact the coldest in 64 years are the BOM and climate scientists/meteorologists like Matt Pearce . Yes they are using the same weather station readings in their models to predict global warming, idiotic isn’t it.

  156. Tony G, Prof Q alluded to Kurt Goedel’s ground-breaking paper, “On some problems with Principia Mathematica” (or something – my copy is not to hand), in which he proved that any consistent formal system which is powerful enough to deal with elementary arithmetic is incomplete. To summarise, such a system will contain statements which are true but not provable.

    As to the cold winter, I should have specified that you’d claim it proves that AGW is either not happening, or has stopped. The BOM has made no such claim, as far as I’m aware.

  157. In the game of pedantic semantics the answer to a question is usually a question.

    A cold (or hot) winter proves nothing. That is the point you people are missing.

  158. #173 Umm, you do realise that the “offer” was meant to get this reaction, which, of course, applies exactly to Duffy’s “offer”.

    Also, any further personal snarks (eg government-funded) will result in an immediate and permanent ban.

  159. Of course, Tony, you don’t really have to be snarky to be censored here. Although in point of fact, our genial host, an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow, does seem to be government funded. http://www.arc.gov.au/ncgp/fedfellows/ff_default.htm

    No, just try to post some information that contradicts one of his more out there predictions, such as https://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2006/01/24/yet-more-nonsense-on-global-warming/#comment-209130, and he will claim he didn’t see it, or that it was spam. Like he claimed here http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003338.html#comments starting at 9.20 Aug 18.

    Here’s another try at what I was attempting to post. http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20080827_Figure2.png

    Your comments trigger either automoderation or the spam filter because they have too many links. But if I had a filter for already-abandoned delusionist talking points, that would have been triggered as well. And, since you’ve chosen to be deliberately insulting, I’m happy to announce your immediate and permanent ban. JQ

  160. Sorry John,
    We can see you have your hands full with snarks due to the position you take on certain issues.

    I apologise for any “personal snarks (eg government-funded)” and retract such statements. I will contain myself in the future.

    Anyway, while we are on the subject of tax, or more specifically increasing existing ones or introducing new ones like a carbon tax .

    Today has been a joyous one because The ‘revenue lobby’ (comprising the ATO, the Treasury and their allies in politics, academia, the media and the welfare industry) have had their attempt to increase their filthy tax defeated in the Senate. Senator Fielding has stood up to the “excesses of government”.

    I hope he keeps up the good work, because the tax bill is just one of five that the government has to negotiate through a hazardous Senate.

    This bodes well for the rational side of the AGW debate. Hopefully the ETS tax grab is stayed for 3 years in a hostile senate. With a little bit of luck by that time this global warming nonsense will be disproved.

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