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Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Denier weirdness: Quote of the Day from Anthony Watts at WUWT

Sou | 7:47 AM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment


This isn't from the WUWT comments, it's in an article from blog-owner Anthony Watts himself.

It isn't good enough for Anthony that NASA and 97% of climate scientists accept the science of climate change because the science says so.  Anthony says: "Really? That's the best you've got?"

Obama’s OFA (not actually Obama but they play him on Twitter) says
“because the science says so”.

Really? That’s the best you’ve got?

36 comments :

  1. I like your blog. Pity the bigotry, It spoils an otherwise good read. I won't be coming back.

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    1. My snark is certainly not everyone's taste and is bound to offend more sensitive folk at times. For more civil discussions on WUWT Wotts' blog is very good. For civil discussions on climate science by climate scientists realclimate.org is the must read blog and for non-scientists skepticalscience.com.

      I have to say, though, if anonymous is a WUWT fan, then the comment goes more to confirmation bias or world view than anything else. For some every day examples: here and here and here and here - just for starters.

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    2. Non sequitur AND tone-trolling. My Troll Bingo card is filling fast.

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  2. "I have to say, though, if anonymous is a WUWT fan, then the comment goes more to confirmation bias or world view than anything else."

    Hmmm... What does that remind me of...? Oh, yes! This statement:

    "Logic and reason are very rare commodities on climate science denying blogs."

    Is this an example of confirmation bias? Well, as someone once parroted, "[X - like world views, for instance] are in the mind of the reader. If the hat fits and all that."

    There is very little science presented at HotWhopper, though, insults are plenty. It's fine to be passionate about an issue, but passion without restraint can easily become fanaticism.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. Mr. Murphy shares prolifically to an audience of one - himself (check the circles - no one is there)! Too, too funny! Similar to Facebook, I have the account to access web sites that (more or less) require either of the services to comment more easily. I'm notorious at neglecting social media! But, yes, I have commented on WUWT - focusing mostly on the science, although not exclusively (we're all human, after all - just read Mann's book). Feel free to search WUWT for my name to confirm or deny my mostly science focus.

      And if you simply MUST know, I'm employed by a *gasp* electric and gas utility (although it does not generate either but rather transmits and distributes). Also, I've worked in the environmental field (permitting, remediation, compliance, and audit) for almost 25 years now with parallel stints of varying time in safety, business continuity, and emergency response. I received a BA in Biology (benefits of a classical education) with an Ecology minor and obtained a Certificate in Public Health. Lastly, I served 22 years in the U.S. Army Reserves - Army Medical Department, Health Services Command in various staff, general staff, and command positions at both the troop program unit (i.e., field-based) and fixed installation levels.

      But in the words of Jane Austen, "What are men to rocks and mountains?" Not much, I hasten to response because Nature ALWAYS wins.

      So, are we done with Mr. Murphy's possible argumentum ad hominem, or is there some juicy tidbit that discredits him from commenting on global warming/climate change/climate disruption/weather weirding/extreme weather and other creative euphemisms?

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    3. Thanks for sharing Thomas. A little bit too much information but whatever. Perhaps *you* can point us to your comments at WUWT where you objected to the abuse (not Sou style sarc but abuse) directed at climate scientists.

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    4. "Mr. Murphy shares prolifically to an audience of one - himself (check the circles - no one is there)!"

      More irony from Murphy. Murphy defends his WUWT shrine by claiming that he does not share it with anyone.

      This is the same person who whined that SKS are guilty of something because a hacker who used the FTP protocol, poked around until he found an unsecured directory which contained some graphics.

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  3. Thomas, I find both science and sarcasm here on HotWhopper. Look back at some of the past posts and you will find some dissection of Watts poor science and highlighting his hypocrisy. If the insult is that Anthony Watts isn't very good at science, which I think is what Sou has shown time and time again, then I am happy to support that insult. If it is insults you want, however, just have a look at any post at WUWT with Michael Mann's name mentioned in it.

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    1. Re-posting or referencing articles from a web site that is contra or anti to another is not science; it's akin to saying, "My brother can beat up your brother." At best, the approach reflects social media savvy; at worst, it represents the logical fallacy of argumentum ad populum (i.e., an appeal to the consensus). And science is about preponderance of evidence and NOT consensus - period.

      Watts can defend his web site, but it very much does post original source, science articles via guest posts. To say that someone is "good" or “not good” at science is misleading – and probably deliberately so. Now, saying someone is not good at reporting on science is more correct (not necessarily valid but correct). Why? Science cares not about such qualitative descriptions, but social media savvy persons, as well as those writing about their heroic times in the climate war trenches, certainly do.

      As to the hypocrisy, both sides - skeptics and alarmists - are guilty of that. The more interesting... twists to the hypocrisy focus on which side believes (right, wrong, or indifferent) it has the moral high ground and how does it arrive at that conclusion?

      Presuming he's not faking his publicly-professed fear, only cognitive dissonance and compartmentalization could permit Gore to both reject the oil industry as uncaring and outdated (mind you, air travel is ONLY accomplished commercially using oil), while accepting oil industry millions for the sale of Current TV. But... is this not the very definition of hypocrisy - "the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one's own behavior does not conform?"

      In 2006, Gore warned that that we had 10 years to change our carbon-emitting ways. Otherwise, several (unnamed) tipping points would make it impossible for us to avoid irretrievable damage to the planet's habitability for human civilization. So, I sold Current TV to Al Jazeera to make the world better because it’ll be able to broadcast in America. And Al Jazeera receives 60-85% (varies by source) of its funding from the Emir of Qatar, whose wealth was accumulated by selling… oil.

      And alarmists are okay with this reasoning – seriously? Why has “irretrievable damage” been replaced by a third tier news organization funded by petro-dollars? Well, there never really was a threat of irretrievable damage, but it certainly played well in print, video, and social media (and still does for some). And thus, a USD 100+ millionaire was born. I have a general rule that has served me well for almost 50 years - if the prophet fails to correct his oil-enriched lifestyle to accommodate the coming apocalypse, then neither should you. Call me old-fashioned.

      Even the globe-trotting, jet-setting, fossil fuel-devouring lifestyles of COP members are glaring examples of hypocrisy. Resource hungry conferences are far more conducive to resolutions then cold, impersonal virtual, meetings. Interestingly, the skeptics have no particular lifestyles to defend, justify, or change because they aren't the ones spreading fear on a reportedly global and unparalleled catastrophe. Indeed, they're trying to restrain the deliberately-manufactured fear by focusing on the evidence, which is anything but "settled." Again, call me old-fashioned.

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    2. I've speculated a few times that the reason some people claim to be "skeptics" and flock to places like WUWT is because it calms their fear. This one was a classic if overdone example by the good lord:

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/03/hotwhoppers-monckton-and-his-scaredy.html

      PS Al Gore isn't really fat, is he?

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    3. Thomas Murphy, why should I care what Al Gore thinks and does? The preponderance of evidence in climate science has led to the consensus that continued CO2 emissions without any means of removing them again in a short time frame will lead to significant disruptions in our way of life. Those disruptions cover areas as divergent as sea levels, extreme weather, and various known and unknown impacts on the biosphere (and hardly ever positive).

      The claim that "skeptics" have no particular lifestyle to defend or justify is true in the sense that most have an *ideology* to defend or justify. That their own lifestyle frequently is in contradiction to that ideology doesn't matter, they'll find a way to explain that cognitive dissonance. The most frequent complaints are that AGW is just a hoax to create more taxes and that any measures to reduce CO2 emissions will destroy the economy. Wait, what? Did they just announce disaster, creating fear? Why yes, pseudoskeptics do that, too, but Thomas Murphy won't see that as creating fear.

      Marco

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    4. "science is about preponderance of evidence and NOT consensus - period"

      Another strawman argument from Murphy who then wanders off into the usual "Al Gore is fat" logical fallacy.

      Below is what SKS and the consensus project actually say.

      http://theconsensusproject.com/#evidence
      "Consensus doesn’t prove human-caused global warming. Instead, the body of evidence supporting human-caused global warming has led to a scientific consensus."


      "As to the hypocrisy, both sides - skeptics and alarmists - are guilty of that."

      LOL. Murphy tries to position himself in the middle but his shrine to WUWT and his regurgitation of denier talking points is hard to hide.

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    5. Getting back to the article. Anthony Watts reckons that if solid scientific evidence is all the scientists have got, well...that's all, he asks? Really?

      Who knows what else Anthony wants besides a humungous amount of solid scientific evidence. He isn't saying.

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  4. I means, hell, Watts has masseurs... ;-)

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  5. Zero progress. I should have not checked back. But thank you for listing the other sites. I am familiar with some of them and it is the same "insults as arguments" approach. I'll check the others. This sucks though. You guys might be able to win an argument by saying about all scientist agree in a joyful chorus of consensus while one single, lone, clueless loser is a ridiculous denier but I'm being totally destroyed at the dinner table. And to make matters worse, some of you almost accused ME of being a denier. What the heck, honestly, what the heck.

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    1. I don't buy your yarn, Anonymous. If you have a specific question, ask it and you might convince me otherwise.

      (To do a Miss Marple, your behaviour reminds me of someone who played games at HotCopper.)

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  6. “The preponderance of evidence in climate science has led to the consensus that continued CO2 emissions without any means of removing them again in a short time frame will lead to significant disruptions in our way of life.”

    No, the preponderance of evidence in climate science for the global average surface temperature anomaly (presuming the Earth has one, ideal temperature) has revealed warming and cooling trends, depending on the measured time span and referenced baseline - period. Interestingly, evidence also exists that indicates the Earth has experienced more extreme warming and cooling trends than we are currently witnessing. Evidence also exists that concentrations of a trace atmospheric gas, which has an endangerment finding against it with respect to the public health and welfare, have been significantly more than we are currently witnessing. And this historic evidence occurred overwhelming in the absence of an anthropogenic signal.

    It’s the multiple climate models that have forecasted rapid temperature increases over a compressed time period. And it’s the multiple, UN IPCC assessment reports which have synthesized the forecasts and other data to speculate or hypothesize as to (1) the cause and (2) the effect of the forecasted rapid temperature increases (e.g., significant disruptions in our way of life). To date, though, there has been no worthwhile disruption to anyone’s way of life due to climate change, although many will try to convince you otherwise. One of the effects predicted if significant changes weren’t made (which they haven’t) was the manifestation of climate refugees. The UN predicted 50 million climate refugees by 2010. yet they never materialized. Weird, right?

    However, the climate models, under almost every scenario, are failing to validate against observational data collected over the models’ forecasted time periods. The observed temperatures are consistently and significantly lower than the models. So, although your model may be eloquently complex, displays well, and gains global media attention, if it fails to validate with statistical significance, it’s essentially useless. And logic dictates that if you reference the invalid models to speculate as to a cause and effect, then your assessment is also invalid – to the extent it relies on the models as input.

    That’s what the consensus has truly produced to date. The hype about 97% has been and is (clearly now) a political talking point, which is used to gain global media attention. As another general rule I try to live by, if a group is reporting 97% acceptance, then it’s likely untrue. The only time you see 95% or greater acceptance/approval/consensus by a reviewing group on speculated cause and effect is when a dictator is running the show and controls the voting. The human condition – even amongst credentialed, climate scientists – dictates a varied minority of more than 3%. There’s always a healthy spread of people who can find different degrees of madness in a McDonald’s jingle. Limiting it to 3% is gauche - quippy but gauche.

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    1. Murphy, you surely have a degree in journalism. Regardless, apply your 'life rule of 97 per cent consensus indicates likely untrue' to your oncologist's recommended regimen of treatment should the occasion arise.
      WUWT may be iconic to you but it's 97 per cent rubbish in the phlogiston genre and an echo chamber for a disparate group of individuals, with mutually exclusive climate hypotheses, made one by the commonality of their anti-AGW beliefs. Being a contrarian doesn't magically confer them or you, Murphy, with an Eisteinian status let alone intellect. It's time you put your Ecology minor to good and sorted the nektonics from the benthics as personified by Anthony Watts.

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    2. "So, are we done with Mr. Murphy's possible argumentum ad hominem, or is there some juicy tidbit that discredits him from commenting on global warming/climate change/climate disruption/weather weirding/extreme weather and other creative euphemisms?"

      Well, of course, there was something more to discredit the person rather than the points! Thank you, Mr. Montgomery, for providing your opinion, which clearly disbars Mr. Murphy from commenting. Well done - well done, indeed!

      A pity, though, you didn't crush the silliness about the validity of the models, but you did get the Einstein jab in there - jolly good shot!

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    3. TM

      65Ma of paleoclimate behaviour suggest that ECS/2xCO2 is not less than 2C and probably closer to 3C.

      See the recent detailed reanalysis by Rohling et al. (2012)

      Many palaeoclimate studies have quantified pre-anthropogenic climate change to calculate climate sensitivity (equilibrium temperature change in response to radiative forcing change), but a lack of consistent methodologies produces a wide range of estimates and hinders comparability of results. Here we present a stricter approach, to improve intercomparison of palaeoclimate sensitivity estimates in a manner compatible with equilibrium projections for future climate change. Over the past 65 million years, this reveals a climate sensitivity (in K W−1 m2) of 0.3–1.9 or 0.6–1.3 at 95% or 68% probability, respectively. The latter implies a warming of 2.2–4.8 K per doubling of atmospheric CO2, which agrees with IPCC estimates.

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    4. The paper looks interesting, and I'll certainly review it. Strangely, the abstract concludes that the paper's results confirm that a doubling of atmospheric CO2 aligns with the UN IPCC's projected 2 to 4.5°C, as detailed in previous assessment reports. However, the UN IPCC may lower that range in the upcoming Fifth Assessment Report, starting at 1.5°C - http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21581979-peek-inside-next-ipcc-assessment-sensitive-information . I suspect that if the change does occur, there's the research (possibly counter to this paper's conclusion) to support the decision.

      As an unrelated aside but quirky nonetheless, this statement in the abstract, "...[A] lack of consistent methodologies produces a wide range of estimates and hinders comparability of results," could be said of the role of aerosols in the different climate models - http://www.nature.com/news/climate-forecasting-a-break-in-the-clouds-1.10593 . Reportedly, aerosols have been addressed more definitively in the upcoming report, given that continued uncertainties remain.

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    5. ECS/2xCO2 cannot be much below ~2C or we would be stuck in a glacial. Just *think* about it.

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    6. Okay, I thought about it, and... you're assuming symmetric climate sensitivity between glacial maximum and the present, which I don't believe has been established. The likelihood of asymmetrical climate sensitivity remains a distinct possibility given the significant differences between the two "Earths."

      With respect to a lowered ECS, a recent paper (one in a growing string of papers) asserts, "Observations of the energy budget alone do not rule out an ECS value below 2°C, but they do rule out an ECS below 1.2°C with 95% confidence." (Otto, et al. 2013) - http://www.uwe-merckens.com/bilder/Wetter/ngeo.pdf .

      This is noteworthy because climate science has been stuck on the 2 to 4.5°C since the early 1980s. Conveniently, an ECS of less than 2°C aligns nicely with the observed data - especially for the past decade where the climate models have failed (significantly) to forecast or project the stable global mean. And an ECS of even l.5°C certainly doesn't mean the Earth is heading towards an ice age; thus, the warnings of a forthcoming, global cooling are decidedly premature.

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    7. Okay, I thought about it, and... you're assuming symmetric climate sensitivity between glacial maximum and the present, which I don't believe has been established.

      No, I'm not. See Rohling et al. linked above and Hansen et el. (2013).

      S/2xCO2 over the *Cenozoic* seems to be ~3C.

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    8. That's what happens when you rely on disinformers for information. They highlight mostly Bayesian studies with some of the newer ones coming in at the lower end of the scale. Deniers pick up on that and ignore all the other studies, of which there are quite a few. Eg what BBD wrote and from a recent article I posted.

      I would be surprised if the next IPCC report was markedly different from the previous ones in regard to climate sensitivity. Perhaps the top end will be constrained a bit more but the lower end - I doubt it will be below what has been indicated in the past.

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    9. Otto was not a Bayesian study but artful attempt at a straw man argument. Also, the Economist article, which you link to in the above reference, did not detail any study (Bayesian or otherwise); instead, it referenced a portion of the UN IPCC's draft AR5.

      I, too, would be surprised - especially where the Otto paper came out this year - far too late for inclusion in AR5. But one can wish, can't they?

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    10. Ah, yes, the joys of a Gish Gallop.

      Mr. Murphys post can be seen as a collection of the various arguments at http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php - a sequence of unrelated rhetorical myths lacking any scientific value. Rather sad, actually.

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    11. Oh dear. Thomas Murphy really, really is confused. Although others have already pointed out the Gish gallop, I'll take on the last part:

      "As another general rule I try to live by, if a group is reporting 97% acceptance, then it’s likely untrue. The only time you see 95% or greater acceptance/approval/consensus by a reviewing group on speculated cause and effect is when a dictator is running the show and controls the voting. The human condition – even amongst credentialed, climate scientists – dictates a varied minority of more than 3%. There’s always a healthy spread of people who can find different degrees of madness in a McDonald’s jingle. Limiting it to 3% is gauche - quippy but gauche."

      So you are saying you can find more than 3% of credentialed physicists who deny gravity? I'd love to see that.

      Marco

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    12. Yes, if one went by Thomas Murphy's golden rule he'd reject practically all scientific knowledge.

      For example: it can't be true the earth is a spheroid or that the moon orbits the earth and the planets in our solar system orbit the sun.

      Equally it can't be true that atoms exist or that DNA carries genetic code.

      It can't be true that some bacteria cause disease or that viruses exist.

      There is no such thing as plate tectonics; solids won't melt if heated enough; as for the periodic table - it's rubbish.

      Let's toss out all the learnings of the past two centuries and go back to the dark ages. None of it can be true if 97% of respective experts in numerous scientific disciplines have found it to be so.

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    13. I wonder if Thomas is deliberately avoiding the facts. For example I posted a link to an earlier article mine, saying how it listed a number of other studies about climate sensitivity. Thomas avoided those studies, instead referring to other things I wrote about - and even there he doesn't get it quite right.

      I'm thinking he just likes to be mischievous. He apparently rejects all known science for some unfathomable reason (according to him anyway) and wants everyone else to do the same.

      There is an alternative hypothesis that could be argued.

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    14. Well, Thomas probably just doesn't think about things very much when they start colliding with his ideology. I sometimes like to ask these pseudoskeptics what they think of mass extinctions: good or bad? They all agree it is bad. I then point out that four out of five of the biggest mass extinctions the earth has seen are all linked to global warming (one to major cooling). This usually causes either silence or moving of the goalposts, especially when I point out that even half the IPCC projected rate is much faster than the warming rate observed when those mass extinctions occurred. Stuff like "see, the earth can warm all by itself, it's not us" also comes up, but those people are really really lost for reason.

      Of course there are studies that show a significant contribution to *current* extinctions by the *current* climate change (yes, Thomas, that little bit of T increase and altered precipitation patterns), but those studies usually involve a few species that people don't care too much about (some butterflies, for example).

      Marco

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    15. Otto is just another example of the recent vogue for underestimating TCR/ECS by "observationally-derived" estimates. It is uninformative. They all are.

      The results are excessively sensitive to the estimated aerosol negative forcing and the decadal variability in ocean heat uptake/vertical mixing.

      Fake sceptics miss two things:

      - The unreliability of the result
      - The lack of policy relevance even if accurate

      All they see is a low number. The usual uncomprehending and uncritical yammering follows. It's tedious.

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  7. ironically, the computer Thomas has been using to comment here works using quantum mechanical principles accepted by >>97% of physicists.

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