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Monday, May 12, 2014

Let's have a serious debate about climate...

Sou | 8:46 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment

In the HW comments recently there was been a bit of a discussion (no, not really a debate) about scientific consensus and climate.  Here's a video that should help you work through all the ifs, buts and maybes that are inherent in any climate science debate.

Over to you, John Oliver.





Cook, John, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A. Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs, and Andrew Skuce. "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 2 (2013): 024024.doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024

26 comments:

palindrom said...

That's wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT!

(PeteW)

Millicent said...

Nice, but not quite there. In a debate which pits every prestigious scientific body on the planet against the denizens of various fossil fuel funded fake institutes there needs to be something indicating the relative credibility of the three 'sceptics'. I'd suggest they should be wearing clown suits complete with red nose and baggy trousers.

Too cruel?

Sou said...

When I first posted this video last night - (h/t to UKW), it had around 4,000 views. Now, less than 24 hours later it's had 864,841 views - it's in lots of places like Huff Post etc.

I think that rates as "gone viral" :)

Anonymous said...

Yet another deceitful attempt to misrepresent the sceptical position on climate science. In fact most sceptics accept AGW as real (as per 97% of climate scientists), they question its importance. That is, they question the view that we face an immediate existential threat that requires drastic intervention. As the video says, the debate now is about policy, yet those who argue that AGW is not (relatively) important are howled down as deniers. Of course i expect the regular denizens of an alarmist site like HotWhopper to immediately flame me as a denier, which will prove my point. So go for it folks ...

Flakmeister said...

Working the troll lines pretty hard, aren't we?

PL said...

What a load of revisionist crap. But I'll give you a chance: What fraction of modern warming is anthro? And what do you think the anthro contribution to warming by 2100 will be?

cRR Kampen said...

Just in, the WAIS, whose addition to sea level rise this century may end Holland. But oho no existential threat huh.
You should go to the upper Danube region today and try tell the people there something about 'immediate existential threat'. Be quick, first evacuations are beginning as we speak. That would be the region still paying for the losses of the milleniumflood last year where the people were still paying for the losses of the milleniumflood twelve years ago. Get it?
But maybe you like sunshine. Good news is there is great sunshine state out there and this is how wonderful it looks: http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2679

Anonymous said...

Flakmeister avoids calling me a denier, in favour of calling e a troll. It is still name-calling.

PL has missed the point. The issue is (as the video implies) whether a consensus of 97% is in favour of [insert drastic climate policy /social program] .

And Kampen wants to argue that some variations in hydrological cycle in the Danube, or some bushfires in California, represents an existential threat. Obviously there are bigger problems in the world, folks.

The debate has moved on to policy, yet the HotWhoppers are still trying to prove an alarmist agenda for extreme action by lumping anyone who does not agree with that agenda into the category of scientific ignoramus, and then hurling abuse at them. No wonder this site rates so badly.

Sou said...

Anonymous got what they asked for, expected and deserved - and successfully diverted the discussion onto Anonymous' hurt feelings (that someone would assume a science denier denied science). That's why it's called "trolling".

Don't feed the troll.

PL said...

Anon: As you know, but pretend not to, "97%" refers to scientists who accept that the majority of 20th century warming is due to human activity. Do you agree with that scientific assessment? Yes or no?

Would you agree that the majority of WUWT commenters accept the IPCC range for ECS of 1.5-4.5 C ? Yes or no?

The "debate" at WUWT has *not* moved on to policy, unless you mean that denying the science is a policy decision.

Anonymous said...

PL, there you go again trying to obfuscate, just like the moron in the video. The 97% consensus refers to whether AGW is real, not how important it is (deserving of intervention policies). And I don’t know nor care what the majority of WUWT commenters think about ECS, but I know the number is not nailed down yet. There are many complicating factors which make the future extremely uncertain.

The true sceptics have moved on to discuss policy, suitable timescales for decarbonisation, viability of cap and trade or carbon taxes, regulation and investment in technology advancement, etc. Only a small minority still want to argue that CO2 does not cause warming, and a similarly small group here at HW wasting your time getting angry and uptight about it. You guys need to ignore the riff raff and move on with the majority to discussing solutions.

We do not all need to agree on the facts or know exactly what the future holds (as if that were possible) to settle on good policy. But you do need to get used to policy being based on economic imperatives and technical viability, not just your alarmist enviro-scientific perspective, nor idealistic notions of a green energy nirvana.

BBD said...

Dear Anon.

And I don’t know nor care what the majority of WUWT commenters think about ECS, but I know the number is not nailed down yet.

Paleoclimate behaviour rules out values below ~2C and points to a most likely value of ~3C for 2xCO2 (Rohling et al. 2012).

This requires a policy response to avoid rapid and ecologically damaging warming under BAU emissions.

All we ever hear from the "true sceptics" is a sub-Lomborgian argument proposing uncertainty as a basis for doing nothing. This is absurdly illogical and also runs counter to the scientific evidence.

This is simply emotive contrarian framing:

your alarmist enviro-scientific perspective, nor idealistic notions of a green energy nirvana.

Your reasoning is specious from start to finish.

Jammy Dodger said...

"97% refers to scientists who accept that the majority of 20th century warming is due to human activity.

followed by Anon's

"The 97% consensus refers to whether AGW is real, not how important it is ..."

Tell me Anon - who introduced the idea of importance? Or the concept of "real"? Perhaps it is you who is indulging in obfuscation.



numerobis said...

It's true that many fake skeptics now claim to accept the science that was well established by the 1970s, whereas previously they often rejected science well established in the 19th century. So in just ten years you've caught up on about one hundred years of research -- congrats! At that rate, it'll only be four years to catch up on the about 40 years of research done since the 1970s, and then you'll just about be current.

In fact, you only need to catch up on about another 10 years and you'll be accepting enough of the science to broadly agree with the first IPCC report, which already warned clearly of a major problem.

cRR Kampen said...

"But you do need to get used to policy being based on economic imperatives and technical viability, not just your alarmist enviro-scientific perspective, nor idealistic notions of a green energy nirvana."

You can write, so you are human. You really need to get used to walking being based on two legs, not four, six or eight.

(what rare convoluted paranoia up there... merchant of obfuscation)

Anonymous said...

BBD. Paleoclimate behavior does not count as a valid analogue since the current rate of rise in CO2 has never been experienced before. Feedback mechanisms may cause a warming lag of 100s or even 1000s of years. We don’t know. It is better that we admit that we don’t know rather than pretend that we do.

Further, I don’t recall suggesting that we take no action, you have constructed a strawman. Most sceptics who are acquainted with climate science (including Lomborg) recognise that there may be negative ramifications with BAU (eventually), the question on policy is not what should be done, but the manner and degree of response, and timeframe for action. Doing nothing is indeed illogical and counter to scientific understanding, however taking action must be effective, affordable, and consistent with global resource priorities.

Decarbonising the global economy to any significant degree will be difficult and will take time. But it is possible. We need to all give some ground (as do developed and developing countries) and agree to some solid and equitable policies, and an open mind to developing and deploying new technologies. We need less arguing and name-calling, more diplomacy, polite acceptance of others views, and compromise.

Anonymous said...

Jammy wrote: who introduced the idea of importance? Or the concept of "real"?

The video above does not make a distinction between climate change being real and climate change being important, it assumes “real” and “important” are synonymous. Climate change is real, but it may or may not be important, the relevance of AGW needs to be accurately quantified. That is crucial to developing a policy response. Clear now?

Bernard J. said...

I suspect that I recognise this troll.

Anyway...

" Feedback mechanisms may cause a warming lag of 100s or even 1000s of years. We don’t know."

Correction - you don't know.

The professional climatologists and physicists have a very good idea, and the professional biologists have an extremely good idea of the consequences of the warming that will result.

As for policy options, there are no "good" ones left. Your appeal to that adjective confirms your ignorance of the facts.

JAST.

Jammy Dodger said...

Hello Anon

Not only does the above video not make a distinction between "importance" or "real", it does not even mention them as concepts, so it certainly does not suggest they are synonymous. So, did you just make that up? Why? I guess you are more used to your denier acquaintances who do not bother to read words or check any facts.

Anyway your accusation of obfuscation was to PL, not a satirical comedy video. And he did not introduce the concepts. It was just you and you alone. Basically you just appear to be trying to railroad the discussion into your own strawman words.

So the answer to your question is it "Clear now"? No it is not, you are still obfuscating.

PL said...

Yes, Bernard, Anon acts a lot like a previously banned poster.

Anon, your last reply to me wasn't very precise. Answer a couple of questions succinctly:

1) Have you posted multiple times at WUWT and other pseudoskeptic blogs, telling them to stop wasting their time denying the science and villifying scientists, and move on to policy? That would be more even-handed than coming here and telling us to shut up, wouldn't it?

2) What is the ECS we should be basing policy decisions on?

3) What is an acceptable change in global T that we should adapt to rather than prevent?

4) It is simply not true that we (at least in US, Australia, UK) have moved on to policy. We still have politicians saying "greatest hoax", all four candidates in a Republican primary saying "no" when asked about "Is Climate Change real?", a potential president denying human involvement in climate change, ... Would you like to reconsider your statement that we've moved on to policy?

BBD said...

Dear Anon.

BBD. Paleoclimate behavior does not count as a valid analogue since the current rate of rise in CO2 has never been experienced before. Feedback mechanisms may cause a warming lag of 100s or even 1000s of years. We don’t know.

You sound familiar, and banned.

Your argument is nonsense and nonsense by assertion at that.

Paleoclimate behaviour demonstrates unequivocally that the speed of climate system response to a change in forcing is determined by the rate of change in forcing.

If you are who I think you are, you tried this crap on me before and it didn't get you anywhere last time either.

George Montgomery said...

"“well I don’t think all the science is in yet”. He didn’t say that he denied humans cause climate, he actually simply stated an obvious fact, and yet 97 scientists wanted to argue with him."

What the skeptic character in the video did was state a truism based on ignorance. Here's why. All the science will never be in. Every last vestige of science knowledge about our world will never be in That's the nature of science e.g. all the science is not in yet on the structure of the atom (the internal structure of nuclear particles, the exact outer boundary of an atom, …), on what gravity is (an exchange of particles, a dip in the time-space fabric, …), etc. Aside from the obvious, such as the effect that taking a measurement might have on the property of the phenomenon being measured, there are philosophical considerations in the nature of science involving perceptions that I won't go on with.

Turning to the video itself. Implicit in the statement: "So I say again, this video is deceitful in the way it represents the sceptics position." is the adage: 'Your perception is your reality'. But, the perception that "this video is deceitful" is a generalisation and inherently wrong. One of the themes of the video itself is climate science but ... this video is not meant to be reference for someone studying climate science principles. It is a comedy piece, c-o-m-e-d-y, a satire in which the point about "false balance" is made by using the vehicles of ridicule, irony, wit, etc.

I think that your comment is an overworked, over-indignant, missed-the-point justification for your own position on AGW. But that's just my perception. In other words, rephrasing the dialogue of Dr. Who in The Deadly Assassin (circa mid-1970s), 'I reject your reality and substitute my own.'

PS I'm surprised that you didn't pick up on the point that just because someone wears a lab coat doesn't mean that they're a real scientist e.g. they could be beauticians working in a large department store. Now that's … satire.

Sou said...

The headline was meant to be tongue in cheek, not an instruction to HW readers. Anonymous, do you analyse everything so intensely? (Have you noticed invitations to parties have been dropping off lately?)

George has pointed it out already but just to restate his point, the video is not really meant to be dissected and analysed in the way you are doing. It's just a short video ridiculing fake sceptics and Fox and the BBC etc while pointing out the obvious.

Dave said...

"i expect the regular denizens of an alarmist site like HotWhopper to immediately flame me as a denier"

For a start, HotWhopper IS NOT alarmist!! Can you point to a single post by Sou where she has 'exaggerated a danger' or caused 'needless worry or panic' (Which is the definition of alarmist). She has instead always clearly stated the facts, using peer-reviewed studies to back her case. Yes, of course rapid climate change in the past has caused numerous mass-extinction events, and if rapid climate change is allowed to continue, our society will face an increasingly difficult future on a planet already burdened by over-population, deforestation and pollution. This is not an exaggeration or needless worry. A world where it will become increasingly difficult to feed a burgeoning population is NOT a needless worry, but a REAL worry.

So why do you question that rapid climate change does not represent a threat to our society? Your ideology is not represented in the scientific literature. All of the past major extinction events (bar one) were caused by rapid climate change, what makes you think that the current rapid climate change will be any different when history has shown different. You might accept that humans are causing the current rapid climate change, but you deny that rapid climate change poses a threat. That still makes you a denier, since you are denying the current knowledge that rapid climate changes poses.
Then you write.

"Feedback mechanisms may cause a warming lag of 100s or even 1000s of years. We don’t know. It is better that we admit that we don’t know rather than pretend that we do. "

But you are completely wrong. Climate scientists do have a good understanding of feedback mechanisms, with the most important fast feedback's being albedo, water vapour and methane. These don't take hundreds or thousands of years to take effect, but occur very rapidly. You are relying on the flawed Kehoe Paradigm to support your assertions.

The Kehoe Paradigm (or perhaps the Curry Paradigm) has been used for almost 100 years by polluting industries to delay action on environmental concerns, preferring instead to wait until we have all the facts at hand before determining policy. It is now being used by those who oppose action on climate change, and you have encapsulated it's ideology perfectly, and taking it to the extreme. You are confusing uncertainty with 'don't know'. You then state
"The video quotes a poll which concluded that 1 in 4 people think that the issue of climate change “has been exaggerated”

NO, in the video it said that 1 in 4 people 'are sceptical on the effects of climate change'. NOT that it has been exaggerated. It's obvious that your ideology affects what you hear. (try watching the video again to see where you went wrong). It seems that you would be also in that minority, as yes, you are sceptical on the effects of climate change, since the major effect is that it will disrupt our society. You stated that 'Climate change is real, but it may or may not be important'. Of course climate change is real AND important. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to work out that increasing droughts, wildfires, floods and ecosystem interference is an important issue. How can you say that it isn't. The GFC has shown us that a small effect can be magnified and intensified to the point where our economic system crashes in a cruel game of KerPlunk. Our society is on a razors edge, so we are more prone to shocks. A drought here, a flood there, and the price of staples like corn and wheat skyrockets, causing severe economic hardship to the poor, and the next thing you know there is a civil war or a coup. (Take Egypt or Syria as an example)

You seem very disconnected from reality, and coming here onto this blog to try and defend your ideology with pejorative's and ignorance will, to be blunt, make you look like an idiot.

Jammy Dodger said...

Hello Anon

It is a satirical comedy video for heaven's sake! Not a definitive definition of climate change. It is taking the piss out of the absurdity of the denier position. It is painfully obvious that "not all the science is in" and never will be. The video is not at all deceitful about representing the denier methods - this is exactly what they do again and again.

I have not forgotten you were berating PL for obfuscation and not the video ...