Sunday, January 11, 2009

Twisting The Knife For The Global Warming Adherents

Did Al Gore recently visit?

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch strapped on skates and flocked to icy canals this weekend as freezing temperatures afforded an increasingly rare chance to skate across their flat country.

After more than a week of cold, an estimated 2.3 million skaters, out of a population of 16 million, have taken to frozen canals and lakes, according to a poll released ahead of the weekend.

That number is expected to double if Queen Beatrix decides to don her skates as well.

I love this quote, attributed to Sherlock Holmes: when the facts contradict your expectations, believe the facts. :-)


Donalbain said...

Weather != Climate

allen (in Michigan) said...

Oh sure it does. When the weather gets warmer.

Otherwise it doesn't.

Erica said...

Weather doesn't equal climate unless the weather supports one's preconceived expectation of global warming.

Don't take my word for it, just read the LA Times.

Donalbain said...

No. I will read the actual scientific journals, thank you very much.

socalmike said...

Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> No. I will read the actual scientific journals, thank you very much.

No you won't Donal. That's just a pose.

What you'll actually do is read some web sites that feed your addiction to the sensation that you're uncommonly compassionate, intelligent, insightful and noble.

Those web sites will provide you with a simulacrum of science, fairly crude propaganda which you will not, for a moment, consider critiquing and which you will defend as if your self-respect depended on doing so, which it does.

As far as global warming goes, we've come a long way since Svante Arrhenius propounded his theory of global warming. One thing that's become eminently clear to anyone who's willing to look at the science is that the simple, causal relationship between global temperature and carbon dioxide level proposed by Arrhenius is simply nonsense.

Donalbain said...

I still have my personal subscription to Nature and access to the web archives of hundreds of others thanks to my local university. But thank you for calling me a liar.

Erica said...

Nature? You might as well be getting "Global Warming Monthly."

Their editing bias is ridiculous.

Darren said...

Erica, that comment had me laughing a full minute. "Global Warming Monthly"--there I go again!

I don't know why, but that's freaking hilarious.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Thanks for verifying my prediction Donal and while Nature still publishes worthwhile science in some areas they, as Erica has already pointed out, have gone off the deep end with regard to anthropogenic global warming.

By the way, Svante Arrhenius published his hypothesis of carbon-dioxide induced global warming in 1896.

It would seem to me that in the time since, observational evidence would've been gathered to confirm the hypothesis of a straight-forward cause-effect relationship such as proposed by Arrhenius. Yet what's touted as evidence collapses like a house of cards under the pressure of any criticism.

Of course none of that impresses you and that's what I'm coming to find to be so fascinating - the motivations that drive certainties such as yours.

Donalbain said...

Well, I look forward to your critique of any recent paper from any scientific journal. Something tells me it won't be happening. But if you want to pretend otherwise, feel free.

You know what you sound like? You sound like creationists who whine that scientific journals are biased in favour of evolutionary biology!

Cameron said...

I've never read a scientific article that disputes the fact that we are causing harm to the earth due to our carbon emissions. I'd love to see one. I know there's that MIT professor Richard Lindzen who's against global warming, and - surprise! - he was paid by oil companies too. Isn't that funny?

Also, guess what? I don't get my science facts off of liberal blogs. I don't read liberal blogs. I read science sites. My scientific views have nothing to do with politics.
This series of articles:
disproves every talking point I have ever heard a global warming denialist say. But yeah, it's just "propaganda," okay.

Erica said...

Darren - Glad to make you laugh today. :) I ended up canceling my subscriptions to Nature, Discover, Popular Science, and National Geographic after just getting sick of 3/4ths of the articles being doom and gloom AGW (and/or "we must preserve the noble savage" BS). Popular Mechanics is about the only popular publication I've found that remains objective.

Don - Don't think I haven't thought of that. I've been debating creationists for years, and I'm fully aware of the perils of confirmation bias. However, editors who choose what goes into publications are human and biased. They will tend to chose things that they believe will make their publication more profitable in the popular market, or more respectable in the scientific one. These choices sometimes have nothing at all to do with the veracity of the published materials.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Nonsense. If you were willing to entertain the possibility that climate science isn't mature enough to reliably predict the near or distant future, that it isn't capable of accurately modeling various "what-if" scenarios, or to even provide a comprehensive list of factors that effect the climate you wouldn't have breezed by my mention of Arrhenius' hypothesis, published in 1896, that there's a cause-effect relationship between atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate temperature.

You may recognize Arrhenius' hypothesis, provided you're willing to examine climate science as something other then revealed truth, as identical to what's currently proposed as a reason to limit human carbon release. It was a hypothesis then and a hypothesis it remains since the sort of observational evidence that would make it the dominant scientific view hasn't been found.

> You know what you sound like? You sound like creationists who whine that scientific journals are biased in favour of evolutionary biology!

This is one of what I'm coming to refer to as "The Big Three". They're the rhetorical end-point of every progressive position when a bit of pressure's applied.

This one's "stupidity". Creationists are, according to progressives, stupid. That's why they're religiously devout and why they adhere to beliefs for which there's no objective evidence. Progressives make such pronouncements without the slightest trace of irony.

The other two of "The Big Three" are mental instability, i.e. "that's crazy!" and evil - greedy, cruel, narrow-minded, ungenerous, etc. If you keep those three responses in mind you'll see that they provide all the explanations progressives need to neatly pigeon-hole any idea with which they disagree.

In the interests of completeness there are several other qualities which progressive ascribe to those who disagree with their ideas but they're more distinctly and obviously juvenile. For instance, those on the political right are also ugly, graceless, tasteless and unfashionable.

For anyone who enjoys the company of children on a daily basis or can remember back to their days in the enforced company of childhood peers, they'll recognize the cliquishness that's the hallmark of the society of children. Who's in, what's in, who's out and what's out are all issues of frantic importance and beyond discussion. They just are and anyone who doesn't understand that must be out.

The world, ironically, divides into the white of that which is beyond question and the black of that which is beneath contempt. The irony being that one of the virtues progressives inevitably ascribe to themselves is the ability to appreciate nuance and shades of grey.

*Anyone* who can't see shades of grey and nuance must be really stupid.

Donalbain said...

No. Creationists are not stupid. They are often very clever, as seen by their ability to play the systems of school board elections and money gathering from church goers. What they are is ignorant and/or wrong. And a common whine of theirs is "Waaaaaah! The journals are biased! The journals are biased!" which is the exact whine from further up the thread.
Another thing they tend to do is hark constantly back to Darwin as though the science has not moved on and been developed since then. Which is of course, modelled in your constant whining about Arrhenius.

As I said, I look forward to the deteailed critique from anyone involved in this thread.

Darren said...

I have a label (see left) devoted to "global warming/environmentalism". If the 142 posts there, and the voluminous comments therein, don't constitute a "detailed critique", then you're not interested in debate at all. You're like those creationists you decry--"I'm right because I am!"

Donalbain said...

This is a post with that link. It is not at all a detailed critique. I will look at the rest later, but I will not hold my breath.

Erica said...

"Waaaaaah! The journals are biased! The journals are biased!"

And if the journals really are biased? What then?

They may be biased against creationism for a good reason, and biased against critiques of anthropomorphic global warming for a bad reason.

The positions are not mutually exclusive, you know.

Erica said...

The other thing that is being missed here is that while weather may not be immediately climate, climate is weather over time. They are not separable events.

Saying that weather != climate is like saying that myocardial infarction over a period of time != death.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Ah, creationists aren't stupid but they are ignorant along with wrong and clever. That's quite a combination. You sure you wouldn't prefer to stick with just a single label of convenience seeing as how creationists manage to be simultaneously wrong, clever and ignorant?

The cleverness of the creationists is great enough to cause them to notice anyone can publish a journal and make any claims about it they wish.

Naturally, their journals don't have the august lineage of the journals they ape, you should pardon the expression, but then the likes of Science and Nature have fallen on hard times, journalistically speaking. The discovery by journalists of their social responsibility has put the authoritative voice of several previously fine publication at the service of the making of a better world and creationists, being simultaneously clever, ignorant and wrong have seized the opportunity provided by that discovery. If journalists are willing to sell their heritage cheaply then creationists are willing to buy.

Now, about Arrhenius. Or rather why you have to characterize my repeatedly bringing up Arrhenius as "whining".

It's because you have no other response to make and you're unwilling to forgo the feeling of intelligence, insight and correctness that unexamined repitition of Arrhenius' hypothesis confers. If you did have some more substantive response you'd, of course, use that. It's an unpracticed eye that can't spot an evasion as obvious as that and baby, I've had practice.

But all you're really interested in is feeling smart and noble without any of that bothersome studying or the taking of scary risks and so global warming fits the bill nicely.

A blessedly simple cause-effect relationship, no tedious math, easily identifiable, unsympathetic antagonists and the exciting pretense of being involved in a struggle of planet-wide import. Heck, if I'm not careful I might just talk myself into being a "progressive".

If only I hadn't come to the realization some time ago that the world doesn't revolve around me.

Donalbain said...

Being wrong is not even close to the same as being stupid. You can be clever and wrong at the same time.

And again, you just claim that Nature and Science have "fallen on hard times." No evidence is presented to support that claim.

Once again, I look forward to your presenting a critique of any article of your choice on the subject of anthropogenic climate change.

allen (in Michigan) said...

Let me explain how this "science" thing works, Donal.

You start with a hypothesis.

Generally that hypothesis is based on some observation. For example, that carbon dioxide is opaque to infra-red radiation but not to visible wavelengths of light.

The hypothesis is a generalization based on that observation. For example, that visible light from the sun heats the earth, converting visible light to infra-red which would be trapped by atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting in a temperature increase of the atmosphere i.e. the greenhouse effect.

Then you go looking for evidence of the likelihood of the correctness of the hypothesis or, where possible, you construct an experiment to verify the hypothesis. A third method is gaining cautious credibility - computer modeling - but the standard for acceptance of insights so derived is necessarily cautiously extended the opportunities for mischief being apparent to anyone who understands even the basics of computer modeling.

Once you've got your observational/experimental evidence in hand you generally put it out in the public sphere so that interested parties can critique your ideas, looking for math errors, misinterpretations, insufficient research, observational errors, etc. You put this evidence out for public review because, as a scientist, you're interested finding out if your ideas are right or wrong.

If no substantive fault can be found with your observations or experiments, and they support your hypothesis, then your hypothesis graduates to the august status of being a theory.

Ignoring your demand I prove your hypothesis wrong, the onus is on you, or Arrhenius, to provide proof to support the hypothesis. Then the proof can be inspected for veracity, accuracy, completeness and how well it actually supports the hypothesis. As it stands, anthropogenic global warming - it was global *warming* after all before the past few years of cooling - is still a hypothesis and a none too healthy looking hypothesis at that.

The above was just a writing exercise because I know, as do you, that you're not really interested in that boring science stuff. Otherwise you'd be familiar with the experimental/observational data, if any, that verifies Arrhenius' hypothesis. The really interesting question, to me at least, is why someone with little to no interest in the natural world, is so certain and so vociferous about an issue which doesn't excite enough interest to result in serious study.

Donalbain said...

The evidence (not proof, that is only for maths) is published continually in the scientific journals including Nature. If however, you wish to provide a critique of any such paper, then please do so.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> The evidence (not proof, that is only for maths) is published continually in the scientific journals including Nature.

No, it isn't and you could save us all a lot of time by simply making it clear that this isn't a fit subject for anything other then agreement.