Fruit loops

It is I think, comparatively rare for a senior political figure to describe equally senior members of their own party as “fruit loops” and “f…wits”, going on to observe that “They don’t know how crazy they look, because crazy people never do”.

But that was exactly the reaction to last Monday’s Four Corner’s program in which Liberal Party Senate Leader Nick Minchin and others went on camera to spout delusionist conspiracy theories of the type Kevin Rudd had pre-emptively denounced only two days previously (i guess he had an idea what was going to be on Four Corners). Minchin described the scientific consensus view that human activity is driving climate change as the result of a communist plot, saying

For the extreme Left it provides the opportunity to do what they’ve always wanted to do, to sort of deindustrialise the Western world. You know the collapse of communism was a disaster for the Left, and … they embraced environmentalism as their new religion.

This is, of course, standard stuff on the political right – I had a string of people pointing me to the latest silly talking point in which a British unfair dismissal case was supposed to prove that global warming is a religion – but it was a big mistake to say it on Four Corners.

The real problem though is that Nick Minchin is not, in the ordinary sense of the term, a fruit loop or f…wit. Rather, he is a sharp and effective political operator, who doesn’t worry much about ideas and therefore takes his beliefs from the environment in which he moves. In the current state of the right that means his ideas on climate change, like those of most of the people with whom he mixes, are deeply delusional. So thoroughly embedded are delusionist assumptions and information sources on the right that, within the given cultural milieu, any psychologically normal person must necessarily, in exactly the same way as any psychologically normal member of an isolated tribal culture would accept the standard myths of that culture. The delusionist message is propounded by a parallel-universe of “scientists” (a handful of whom have relevant scientific qualifications), think tanks and bloggers, and continually reinforced by the distribution of talking points like the unfair dismissal case mentioned above.

This is bad enough as applied to climate change, which is one of the big problems facing the world. But the problem goes far beyond this, extending, for example to economic policy issues. It is unsurprising that advocates of market liberalism would like to downplay the implications of the global financial crisis for the theoretical foundations of their position such as the efficient markets hypothesis, and it ought to be possible to make a case that the current crisis does not provide sufficient evidence to abandon the EMH. But, thanks to the rightwing talking points machine, no one much feels the need to make such a case. Instead we get absurd claims that the near-collapse of global capitalism was brought about by the Community Reinvestment Act, a minor piece of 1970s legislation aimed at ensuring fair access to bank loans for credit-worthy borrowers in poor neighborhoods. This claim, silly on its face, has been comprehensively refuted, but people I would otherwise regard as sensible continue to put it forward.

And of course, the talking points machine was seen in full force before and during the Iraq war. The lionization of someone like Arthur Chrenkoff, who argued throughout 2003, 2004 and 2005 that the view of events in Iraq presented by the mainstream media was excessively gloomy and pessimistic (!) and presented a “Good News from Iraq” to explain how well things were going, was a typical instance. Chrenkoff ended up working for Liberal Senator Brett Mason, who is, unsurprisingly a prominent climate delusionist.

The fact is that the political right, at least in the US and among those sections of Australian opinion that take their lead from the US, has become utterly unhinged from reality, to the point where anyone who relies on rightwing sources for information is bound to be deluded. Even where individual pieces of evidence may be factually correct, they are selected to support delusional claims such as those cited above, with the often overwhelming evidence to the contrary being disregarded.

This raises an interesting question for those of my readers inclined to conservative or libertarian views but disinclined to joining the fruit loops. How should such a person form their views on current issues. My answer is that the only option is to ignore entirely everything written on “their” side of the debate and confine attention to factual evidence presented by reputable official and scientific sources and to critical analysis of the arguments of the “left:. Perhaps if enough people did this, they would be able to form the nucleus of a body of thought which would reclaim the ground once occupied by sane conservatives. But, at present, there is no sign of this happening.

174 thoughts on “Fruit loops

  1. @Tony G

    Tony G, in the words of McEnroe, “You can not be serious!” Here are some observations, which you seem to think aren’t available to climate scientists. Enjoy!

    Then there is the question around whether the “volcano burped”, a favourite of Ian Plimer.

    Now his claim is that a single volcano can burp more CO2 into the atmosphere in a day than

    humans emit in a year. Sounds plausible. Could happen. Is it? Did it?
    Well, to the best of my knowledge, to find a volcano that even potentially emitted

    8Gigatonnes of CO2 in a day, we need to find a caldera – I think that’s what the

    vulcanologists and geologists call it – that was created during the reign of modern man,

    and with a sufficiently large diameter that it physically could expel that amount of CO2 in

    a day. A one km diameter caldera is probably not going to cut it. I’ll leave it to a

    vulcanologist to do the calculations.

    Perhaps a string of volcanoes, all blowing their tops simultaneously, could do it. Maybe.

    Perhaps the oceanic volcanoes could do it without humans noticing. But then, if they do

    this, is it just one day a year, or more regularly than that? Alas, Plimer doesn’t say.

    Anyway, if a lot of CO2 is released by oceanic volcanoes, for it to be relevant to the

    atmospheric concentrations, it must mix in the deep ocean enough to affect higher layers.

    Observations of the net flux of CO2 from ocean to atmosphere show that the flux is

    negative, which means that the ocean is still a net absorber of

    atmospheric CO2. Therefore, if there are oceanic volcanoes belching such large amounts of

    CO2 as Plimer’s – now hypothetical – case, they are not managing to affect the atmospheric

    concentrations of CO2 positively.

    If we look at volcanic activity from well before the Holocene, then we may find some

    spectacular “CO2 burps”. However, a series of scientific papers have determined by direct

    measurement of ice core isotopes and ocean floor sediment cores, that atmospheric

    concentrations of CO2 have been fairly stable for at least 420,000 years to recently, say

    1850 to give a concrete date – see [Petit et al, 1999; Siegenthaler, 2005]. The CO2

    concentration stayed in a tight band of 180 to 260 — 280 ppm, with only one excursion as

    high as 300ppm.

    Note: since 1850, humans have managed to lift CO2 from about 285ppm up to 384ppm today. This does not bode well, considering that we

    are already in an interglacial period.

    The previous time that atmospheric levels were as high as now was 15Myr ago. Wow!
    To get significantly higher levels of CO2, say greater than 500ppm, we need to go back a

    few million years. Perhaps to the early Miocene, about 24Myr ago! No humans back

    then!

    To get to the extreme “super-greenhouse” levels of CO2, say 1000–2000ppm, we travel back

    in time to the late Palaeocene and early Eocene periods; that is, about 60 to 52Myr ago –

    see [Pearson & Palmer, 2000]. As far back as then there was – finally, Plimer’s missing

    gases – substantial oceanic volcanic activity due to tectonic rifting and other interesting

    geologic activities. It’s worth noting that the combination of geographic location of the

    landmasses and oceans, and the steamy tropical “arctic” regions, life went on. However, a

    number of significant extinction events happened during that period, without a meteor in

    sight (cf 65Myr ago)!

    At least one study I’m aware of attempts to estimate atmospheric CO2 as far back as 500Myr ago, but I would

    treat that as rather speculative.

    Anyway, a couple of references to get interested folk started:
    * Petit et al (1999) Nature, Vol 399, 3 June 1999 pp 429–436 is one of the early analyses

    over the 420kyr “Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 year from the Vostok

    ice core, Antarctica”
    * Siegenthaler et al, (2005) Science Vol 310, 25 Nov 2005, pp 1313–1317, “Stable Carbon

    Cycle-Climate Relationship During the Late Pleistocene”
    * Pearson and Palmer (2000) Nature Vol 406, 17 August 2000, pp 695–699, “Atmospheric

    carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years”
    * (For those who aren’t averse to mathematical/computer models) Langebroek et al (2009),

    Climate of the Past, 5, pp 633–646, 2009, “Antarctic ice-sheet response to atmospheric CO2

    and insolation in the Middle Miocene”

    No one knows all in this multidisplinary field; then again, the relevant scientific

    community have a fairly good picture now of what is going on today.

  2. @Ian Gould
    says ” So, at last, the communists who piled out of the Berlin Wall and into the environmental movement, who took over Greenpeace so that my friends who funded it left within a year, because [the communists] captured it – Now the apotheosis as at hand. They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. ”

    Listen Ian Gould. The day that the liberal / conservatives gave up any acknowledgement of responsibility for the environment was probably the day the greens gained strength (and they have gained strength precisely because the libs got lazy and slack and refused to acknowledge environmental concerns).

    But its just plain laziness.

    You can turn it into a communist red threat if you want to but no-one will take you seriously as anythibg but unhinged. The communists are finished (there wasnt every communist anyway – Stalin was a dictator – so was pol Pot and so was Mao) but the environmenal concerns continuen and are real.

    The conservatives either get off their lazy denialist butts and do something or they get left behind (as they are in the wilderness right now).

    None of your ridiculous red terror threats are going to work now. Move one. 1970s, 1980s maybe…but the red terror threat is finished and over. You wont get electooral points from that anymore. The younger generation doesnt know what in the hell you are talking about. It was nnsence then but its even bigger meaningless nonsense now. (and will be completely obsolete and anachronistic tomorrow).

    Are you really listening to what people want – ??? NO!!!

  3. There are lots of spelling mistakes in the above post but I still make a hell of a lot more sense than Ian Gould.

  4. Serously – the converstaion gets inane. I dont know how old Ian Gould is but he is seriously out of tough when trying to communicate with youth and the next generation of voters. Do you really imagine for one minute they care a jot about a communist threat??

    Insane and ridiculous….but they do care about the environment, clearly more than the idiot denialists in here want to face up to.

  5. Alice, Ian Gould was accurately quoting the crackpot Monckton in order to refute John Dawson’s spurious claim. The bollocks about communism was Monckton’s. It’s perfectly clear that Ian does not agree with what Monckton said.

  6. @Tim Macknay
    Then Ill read it (Ian Gould’s post) again and decide. Until then Im not convinced…and if I change my mind Ill apologise..and if I dont I wont…but thanks for bringing your interpretation to my attention Tim.

  7. Alice, the bit you’re objecting to is a quote from Monckton. I’ve been reading the comments that Ian writes for many, many years, and that’s clearly not anything that Ian would write himself or approve of. Ian’s one of the good guys.

  8. hmmm…SJ. Im reserving judgement. Ian Gould has had a couple of swipes at me in the past…It wouldnt be beyond me to retaliate (Im only human and freely admit to irrationality)!

    Ill re read his post.

  9. Oooops. Mea culpa…..my apologies owed to Ian Gould. Misread that lunatic Moncktons statements quoted in Ian’s post as being Ian Goulds opinion.

    Made a mistake. I know I can trust you SJ.

    Ian…olive branch?

  10. James @ 41 said;

    “Refuted by a scientific paper 150 years old. Epic fail, Tony G. Epic fail.”

    John Tyndall under Main scientific work here;
    “concluded that water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere and is the principal gas controlling air temperature. Absorption by the bulk of the other gases is negligible.”

    Tyndall is no help to your AGW BS James; Epic fail, James, Epic fail.

    I am not disputing carbon has increased from 315ppm to 385ppm since the late 1950s.

    Glen & Don, you are asserting that a change in the amount of carbon in the atmosphere from 315 ppm to 386 ppm is causing the planet to warm. Where is the evidence? No one has demonstrated with a million part sample of the atmosphere that ‘varying the carbon content by 70ppm affects any transfer of thermal energy’. If you can not demonstrate ‘that’ fundamental your AGW theory is proved hoax fraudsters. Point me to someone varying that volume of atmosphere’s carbon by 70ppm and prove me wrong AGW fraudsters.

  11. Maybe there’s a book in all this Minchin stuff ?? … Yeah .. “Twilight of the Fruitloops” sounds a good working title.

  12. Alice Says:

    I know I can trust you SJ.

    I’m gratified by that. But you’re obviously sceptical enough not to actually take my word for anything. That’s a good thing. 🙂

    Alice Says:

    Ian Gould has had a couple of swipes at me in the past…

    I’ve had swipes at you, too, and Ian has had swipes at me, and I’ve had swipes at Ian. Again, that’s a good thing.

  13. @Tony G

    “water vapour is the strongest absorber of radiant heat in the atmosphere”. Absolutely true. But it is not a driver in changes in “absorption of radiant heat in the atmosphere”. Please go and gain an understanding of the difference between effects that are a ‘Forcing’ of the climate, and things that are a ‘Feedback’ on the climate.

    And if radiation bands in the Terrestrial Irradiance spectrum are being absorbed by gases such as CO2, resulting in troughs in the spectrum at those frequencies then that is an impact on the transfer of heat. Heat in those frequencies is not moving out into space as easily as it would otherwise because it is being re-radiated back to Earth.

    However, if you want that last poofteenth of precision, then patience. Just wait for the followup science to provide it or perhaps, maybe, fail to. But to say that the absence of those test results at this point in time demonstrates the failure of a theory is invalid. You can’t judge something until all the data is in. The bulk of the data which we have collected so far supports the theory. The final results, that last i, are some years away yet. But its looking pretty solid so far.

    Finally, from someone who obviously values precise and exact analysis, backed up by rigourous evidence, you have now repeatedly made vague accusations with words such as ‘Fraud’, ‘Fraudsters’ and ‘Hoax’. These are terms that have quite precise definitions in the legal statutes of most countries. They are often Criminal offenses. So please Tony, backup your allegations of this with concrete evidence, admissable in a court of law and testable by the very same scrupulously high standards you demand of others.

    For to do otherwise would be totally hypocritical, and when hiding behind the anonymity of the Blogosphere, rather gutless.

    However, if the vehemence of your views and the anger that comes forth from your posts is an indication of your underlying fear at confronting the implictions of AGW, for anger is a common mask for fear, and the potential of AGW sure scares the bejeezus out of me, then let me suggest some essential reading, a book from the 70’s:

    ‘On Death & Dying’ by Dr Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Essential reading on the subject of how we confront truely terrible news about our mortality. She covers the 5 emotional stages we tend to go through when presented with the worst news. The first 2 stages are Denial & Anger. Sound familiar? Essential reading for all AGW Denialists.

    Bad news is Bad. But trying to pretend it isn’t so is far, far worse.

  14. @Chris W

    My goodness. Gotterdammerung in Canberra. Does that make Steven Fielding Brunhilda? Is Barnaby the Niberlung

    Wait for it… Yep, Wagner is definitely rolling in his grave

  15. @Tony G
    Hey, look at that very next sentence in Wikipedia!

    “Prior to Tyndall it was widely surmised, but he was first to prove, that the Earth’s atmosphere has a Greenhouse Effect. The sun’s energy arrives on the ground as visible light mostly, and returns back up from the ground as infrared energy mostly, and he showed that water vapor and some other atmospheric constituents substantially absorb infrared energy, hindering it from radiating back up to outer space.

    In any case I’ll take a direct quote from Tyndall over the Wiki summary, thanks.

    You say “No one has demonstrated with a million part sample of the atmosphere that ‘varying the carbon content by 70ppm affects any transfer of thermal energy’. If you can not demonstrate ‘that’ fundamental your AGW theory is proved hoax fraudsters. Point me to someone varying that volume of atmosphere’s carbon by 70ppm and prove me wrong AGW fraudsters.”

    With pleasure. Just ask the good folk from HITRAN, who measure the increase and its thermal effects directly in the atmosphere, without even using a bottle of gas in a lab! is that cool or what! But in case you find this concerning, Spencer Weart both summarises their results wrt CO2 and compares them to the lab results, here.

    Finally, your mode of discourse is oddly familiar. You aren’t Graeme Bird by any chance are you? In fact, I’d like you to prove that you aren’t a fraudulent GB, fraudster.

  16. @Ian Gould
    Humblest humblest apologies Ian …. it was a case of mistaken identity in all comments. You are one of the good guys. I read it properly …sorry I read luny lord Moncktons quote in your post and it set off an minor explosion in my brain.

  17. Here’s the state of play by the way, peer reviewed, albeit reported by nasty Murdoch and Co but short of quoting great slabs of it, it seems fairly succinct and to the point- http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26366149-23109,00.html
    For me it illustrates the nonsense of believing in ETS as salvation without giving the natural environment real countervailing market power to its utilisation and destruction. Without carefully constituted price, left green quants are really fighting a losing rearguard action but perhaps it’s a case for them of the nobility of the struggle over the irrational futility of what they’re doing.

  18. Moderated. I’ll try without the links.

    Tony G, whom I suspect of being a Graeme Bird sockpuppet, says “No one has demonstrated with a million part sample of the atmosphere that ‘varying the carbon content by 70ppm affects any transfer of thermal energy’. If you can not demonstrate ‘that’ fundamental your AGW theory is proved hoax… Point me to someone varying that volume of atmosphere’s carbon by 70ppm and prove me wrong…” [abuse snipped]

    With pleasure. Just ask the good folk from HITRAN (HIgh-resolution TRANsmission molecular absorption database), who measure the increase and its thermal effects directly in the atmosphere, without even using a bottle of gas in a lab! Is that cool or what! But in case you find you want to see the bottle of gas in the lab too, Spencer Weart both summarises HITRAN’s results wrt CO2 and compares them to the lab results at Real Climate, in the article “A saturated gassy argument, part ii”.

    Since all Tony G’s objections have been answered with reference to the evidence and peer-reviewd literature, I expect he’ll realise his mistakes now.

  19. You were right Ian, and I was wrong, Monkton does ham it up a bit. Although he’s a rank amature compared with your AGW scaremongers.

    I can’t remember ever calling anyone a “gullible fool” but I am certainly one of your Fruit Loop F…wit bad guys.

    Well argued Donald, I hope I can find the time to respond in kind.

  20. You were right Ian, and I was wrong, Monkton does ham it up a bit. Although he’s a rank amature compared with your AGW scaremongers.

    I can’t remember ever calling anyone a “gullible fool” but I am certainly one of your Fruit Loop F…wit bad guys.

    Well argued Donald, I hope I can find the time to respond in kind.

  21. @John Dawson
    So John, would you say that you were wrong because you relied on your skeptical independent judgement about what you thought Monckton might posibly have said?
    Is it possible that your judgement about global warming equally suffers from a fact-checking failure?

  22. Moderated again. It must be a reference to a certain someone. My apologies if this post comes through 3 times…

    Tony G says “No one has demonstrated with a million part sample of the atmosphere that ‘varying the carbon content by 70ppm affects any transfer of thermal energy’. If you can not demonstrate ‘that’ fundamental your AGW theory is proved hoax… Point me to someone varying that volume of atmosphere’s carbon by 70ppm and prove me wrong…” [abuse snipped]

    With pleasure. Just ask the good folk from HITRAN (HIgh-resolution TRANsmission molecular absorption database), who measure the increase and its thermal effects directly in the atmosphere, without even using a bottle of gas in a lab! Is that cool or what! But in case you find you want to see the bottle of gas in the lab too, Spencer Weart both summarises HITRAN’s results wrt CO2 and compares them to the lab results at Real Climate, in the article “A saturated gassy argument, part ii”.

    Since all Tony G’s objections have been answered with reference to the evidence and peer-reviewd literature, I expect he’ll realise his mistakes now.

  23. I’m not sure that it’s beyond possibility that we’ll get satellite maps of IR leaving the atmosphere (AGW is more about changes in what leaves than about irradience – what arrives) and it’s changing rate over time and specific to changing concentrations of CO2, CH4 and other atmospheric constituents. Anyone know if that kind of satellite sensing is in the works? Of course no arguments or evidence will change the minds of those who refuse to look or listen to them – and that’s clearly the case with most denialists.
    As for the likes of Minchen, Joyce and others, are they proposing a purge of government sponsored science were if their position is popular enough to get them elected to office or do they propose just ignoring it? I can’t imagine the CSIRO being purged of ‘alarmist’ thinking but stranger things have been tried.

  24. @James
    says “Since all Tony G’s objections have been answered with reference to the evidence and peer-reviewd literature, I expect he’ll realise his mistakes now.”

    I dont think so James…some things are a long time coming, if ever.

  25. As I’ve said before – but in a post that seems to have vanished into the Aether, along with an offensive post which I had a go at – I believe that Nick Minchin has been waiting until very close to Copenhagen, and just as the CPRS is due to get stuck in parliamnet, before letting off a blunderbus shot (“Labor scientists and Green scientists are Commie scum who want to control the world”, or something as equally incoherent; and, “Liberal/National scientists are nice people who help voters understand that climate change and AGW are ‘part of a Commie UN plot to control everybody’s thoughts, raise taxes, bloated welfare, etc etc'”, or something as ludicrious, for Heaven’s Sake!), to rally the rag-tag troops, as it were.

    Remember, Nicholas Minchin is one of the ultra-dry pollies, and an enthusiastic supporter of the H. R. Nichols Society – you know the rhetoric, get rid of worker’s rights (which are the employer’s obligations just as much as they are employee’s rights) so employers can remunerate the hard-working board members.

  26. @Donald Oats
    I have heard the HR Nicholls society’s pov described as: “The poor don’t work hard because they are paid too much, and the rich don’t work hard because they aren’t paid enough”.

  27. As someone who is probably considered left-wing, I would like to point out that I have never been a Commie, never harboured any secret desire to be one – even if I could be at the top of the heap. All I was wondering was how could being a citizen of a Communist state make a person “evil”, and how being a citizent of a Democratic-Capitalist state could make a person “pure” in thought and deed? Well, I didn’t bother wondering about that for very long, since the answer was clear enough even to me as a kid in the 70s. In fact, I probably spent more time wondering why a fat “lady” wearing boxing gloves kept wanting to rip yer bloody arms off!

  28. Nice try James @23;

    Did you read this part?

    “HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic parameters that a variety of computer codes use to predict and SIMULATE the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere.”

    You can also use the HITRAN computer codes and program to predict winners at Randwick this weekend, good luck.

    Ditto for your ‘real climate’ [sic] link as it is a simulation too:
    “These absorption results were COMPUTED for typical laboratory conditions, at sea level pressure and a temperature of 20 Celsius.”

    James simulations are fiction they do not exist in the real world, we do. All I am asking is for you to Back up your AGW fraud with its fundamental claim, that a variation in the volume of CO2 in the atmosphere affects the transfer of thermal energy’. Surely someone has bothered to demonstrate this, if they haven’t, I put it to you that they can’t, because it doesn’t.

    EVERYBODY wants “to see the bottle of gas in the lab”. Produce someone who has ‘varied the carbon content by 70ppm and shown that it affects any transfer of thermal energy’. Virtual XBox renditions are not counted, so until you do, we will have to presume AGW is BS.

    I will make it simpler for you. Co2 has increased from 315ppm to 385pp an increase of about 21%. The demonstration can use any volume of atmosphere and just vary its carbon content by 21% to show the variance of either ‘absorption’ Q>0 (+) or ‘release’ Q<0 (-) depending on the CO2 volume.

  29. Presumably Tony G is happy to step off cliffs, knowing that although Newton’s Laws can mathematically “simulate” what will happen, this has never been “experimentally verified” in the case of this particular cliff and particular person. I am amazed that Mr G has survived this long – but then maybe he does not put his doctrines in regard to global warming into personal practice.

  30. Peter, I do not need to simulate what ‘would’ happen as I could demonstrate it by throwing you off and anyone happy to step off would know full well the implications before they tried. This is a lot different to the fundamental assertion of AGW, where the nexus between a change in carbon and a variation in thermal energy can not be demonstrated.

  31. TonyG, you appear to be arguing that anything too complex to be explained in a simple non-technical paragraph can’t be true. In that case, at some stage won’t we run out of simple problems and therefore won’t be able to progress science any further because it can’t be explained to school kids?

    Is there any complex science that you do believe? Examples?

  32. Tony, a lot of the real world cannot be bottled and tested under perfectly controlled conditions. Individual bits and pieces might be testable in the lab, and maybe even various groups of the individual bits might be manageable; but to ask for the hamburger with the lot is usually an ideal. Therefore, scientific results are often claims supported by a lot of empirical evidence which is circumstantial. If there is enough then a claim is supported with some confidence.

    Secondly, you seem to reflexively cast out anything that mentions calculation or code. If someone writes a Runge-Kutta ODE solver and solves the Lorenz Equations using it, then a few checks of the code is sufficient to demonstrate that it is as correct as anything that a rational person would accept. It simple isn’t true that:

    You can also use the HITRAN computer codes and program to predict winners at Randwick this weekend, good luck.

    However, in the case of the Greenhouse Effect as it is understood, lab tests have been done, although probably not to your satisfaction. If you are willing to provide some constructive suggestions on how to improve the current tests, that would no doubt please a lot of scientists.

    Here is a minute fraction of the evidence for an atmospheric greenhouse effect:

    Trivially easy Lab Test:
    Here is a CO2 lab experiment even you can do Tony! If you look around, there are more rigorous testing rigs.

    It is possible to do a similar test with a more realistic atmosphere; however, the “bottle” needs to extend at least 2 metres (maybe more) in order to detect the effect of changes in a low concentration of CO2. Tyndall’s test apparatus wasn’t adequate to that task, IIRC.

    Statistical Evidence of a link between CO2 and Temperature [Tol & de Vos (1993)], as at 1993 (which, of course, misses the most recent 17 years, the vast majority of which were record breaking). Note: if you follow this up, you’ll note that by adding the extra variables of volcanoes, el-Nino, and the sun, the CO2-temperature link actually strengthens.
    As they state, back in 1993:

    Although statistics cannot constitute a proof of the hypothesis, the results of this paper are strong enough to conclude that at least part of the recent high temperatures is, with high probability, caused by the increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide.

    Evidence: Direct Measurement by Satellite:
    The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) explains how CO2 concentrations are measured at various atmosphere altitudes, and relates this to temperature fluctuations. Just as importantly, it can detect perhaps 30 or so other atmospheric gases and other chemical forms. In their words:

    The Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) is a satellite mission on board the Canadian satellite SCISAT-1, that takes measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere.

    The relevant papers concerning CO2 are [Foucher et al, (2009)] and [Beagley et al (2009)],
    and may be obtained from the ACE site.

    References:
    * [Tol & de Vos (1993)]: “Greenhouse statistics-time series analysis”, R. S. J. Tol and A. F. de Vos, Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Vol 48, Nos. 2–3 / June 1993.
    * [Foucher et al, (2009)]: “Technical Note: Feasibility of CO2 profile retrieval from limb viewing solar occultation made by the ACE-FTS instrument.”, P. Y. Foucher et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys., 9, 2873–2890, 2009.
    * [Beagley et al, (2009)]: “First multi-year occultation observations of CO2 in the MLT by ACE satellite: observations and analysis using the extended CMAM”, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 11551-11587, 2009.

    Then there are countless chemists who have used a variety of instruments and techniqus to measure absorption bands for CO2 (they publish this stuff in a really big Chemistry Book – look up their society and you’ll see what I mean), and for other atmospheric constituents.

    Finally, quantum mechanics is in essence all about finding eigenstates and eigenvalues for a wave equation with specified potential. Finding transition rates is a bit messy though! This is a mathematical problem, solvable by hand in only some restricted cases; however, a computer can solve the same problem more accurately and more reliably than a person can. The results of such a solution provide the absorption/emission bands for CO2 (for example), and may be cross-checked experimentally by spectrascopic analysis of CO2 “in a bottle” 🙂

    Come on Tony, drop the belligerent attitude and have some fun learning how this climate science stuff actually works.

  33. @Tony G

    Tony

    “HITRAN is a compilation of spectroscopic PARAMETERS that a variety of computer codes use to predict and SIMULATE the transmission and emission of light in the atmosphere.” (my highlight added)

    Parameters are DATA Tony, not Simulation. Measurements of the characteristics of gases over many years. HITRAN then provide this data (see it says its in a DATA BASE) to other parties who may use it in their simulations. But it is not the product of simulations.

    As for the article at RealClimate.org, did you read both parts of it. Herr Koch’s ‘experiment in a bottle’ in 1900. And the whole point of the article being that you have to be very careful about applying this small scale lab type experiment.

    If you want your ‘experiment in a bottle’ Tony, then you start building the bottle. It needs to reach to the top of the atmosphere with a pressure gradient matching the atmosphere, so that it correctly matches the radiation characteristics of a real column of Air and the pressure effects on the absorbtion patterns It will probably need to have a huge diameter to avoid spurious results due to influences from the side. then….

    …Wait a minute, Aren’t we already running that experiment.

    As for the idea that you can test this in a laboratory scale experiment, aren’t you falling into the same trap that Ångström and Koch fell into in 1900, as I am sure you understand from having read both parts of the article in full. It is one of the biggest traps in Science – Faulty Experimental Design leading to faulty results due to logic errors.

    As for your other comments:
    “These absorption results were COMPUTED for typical laboratory conditions, at sea level pressure and a temperature of 20 Celsius.”

    Tony, you do understand the difference between Computation and Simulation don’t you. If I want to measure the volume of a sphere what do I do? I measure its diameter with a ruler then I COMPUTE its volume. Is that Simulation?

    You seem to labour under the impression that Science is about taking a simple measurement in a lab and then you look at the number and Bingo, Theory Proved or Disproved. Did you read the RealClimate articles. Many pages of quite complex information. And that was the scaled up laymans explanation, not the full description.

    As for Simulations being ‘fiction’. They are not, they are Approximations. Which is the best that is possible when analysing complex systems. I am sure you are very comfortable with Simulations every time you get on to an airliner and are glad it stays in the air because of the fluid mechanics simulations used in its design; every time you drive over a bridge you must be glad of the finite element analysis Simulations used in the design of the bridge. And the simulations of Protein Folding behaviour used to predict the behaviour of drugs such as the panadol you might take for a headache.

    You said “I will make it simpler for you”. Don’t you get it. This is the real world. Simple doesn’t exist. Everything is ferociously complex. So if you want to find simple answers to real wworld questions, then that is BS. Reality is complex, Simplicity is the fiction.

    And if by now, with several different people pointing out the faults in your argument, you haven’t yet seen the faults in your reasoning then you probably never will

    Finally
    “James simulations are fiction they do not exist in the real world, we do. All I am asking is for you to Back up your AGW fraud with its fundamental claim”

    Now you are directlly accusing James of Fraud. Deliberate and Intentional deception. Anywhere else but the Blogosphere that could be Actionable under the Libel laws.

    So if you have evidence of Fraud, Put up or Shut up. And If my tone seems a little bit testy, thats because I have run out of patience with your rudeness.

  34. Glenn, Donald, I think I appreciate your civil and civic persistence with Tony. But really, how far do you think you’re getting here? This isn’t about rationality.

  35. @wilful

    This is as far as it is worth going with him. If we haven’t been able to convince him up to now, then obviously Tony lives in Tony World.

  36. I think if Tony could find a little gratitude for the free education he undeservingly receives here he might not only learn something but could cheer up a little too. From the naked hostility in his every comment it seems likely he’s one of the unhappiest souls around. Good luck Tony!

    Delusionalism peeps – just say No.

  37. Update, Update, Update, according to the latest reports, Labor & the Coalition (excluding the climate change sceptics) are close to striking a deal over the CPRS. And whilst the Greens, Family First & Independent Senators have different views on how best to tackle climate change, they should give Labor’s emissions trading scheme the thumbs up when voting on the CPRS Bill.

  38. Nice one Glenn, but I was making a somewhat less classical (and less stylish I have to say) allusion to a certain book by Prof D. Flint. DFO, KFC, and bar etc 🙂

    Cheers
    Chris

  39. If you want to hear some public stupidity the senate debates on the federal climate change bill are a great start. Stupidity First is having his say, along with the various Lib and Nat AGW deniers. Free range loonies, and so many voted for them! The hockey stick is a hoax, they say. The IPCC and Gore have been proven to be frauds, they say. Global Warming, its all a hoax, they say. They are like the poor sod that has his arms and legs chopped off in a Monty Python sketch, and still can not admit defeat.

  40. @Michael of Summer Hill

    And whilst the Greens, Family First & Independent Senators have different views on how best to tackle climate change, they should give Labor’s emissions trading scheme the thumbs up when voting on the CPRS Bill.

    I want them to vote it down and I don’t care what rationale they give. This is a very poor bill.

  41. mosh – can you explain to me why the greens should give it the thumbs up?

    If the CPRS does not provide effective and low cost administration (and hence may invalidate Coase’s Thereom), should it get the thumbs up?

    If a secondary market creates further inefficiency and failure points including; permit allocation numbers subject to vested interests, and not all relevant “buyers” and “sellers” are included (indeed, you often leave many of them out by ignoring agriculture “indefinitely), should it get the thumbs up?

    Should free permits that compensate illegitimate businesses (over and above Garnaut’s compensation recommendations for EITI companies) be given the thumbs up?

    The greens are right to give the CPRS a thumbs down -even if the CPRS’s sycophantic supporters give it the thumbs up for locking in failure.

  42. There is no need to compensate any businesses. The government should be ready for some bankruptcies though. Some thought should be given to improve the bankruptcy laws to handle the situation.

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