Sunday, October 5, 2014

WUWT is going through a dry patch, plus some denier and scientist weirdness

Sou | 7:21 PM Go to the first of 148 comments. Add a comment

Hitting a dry patch

I've noticed over the past two or three weeks that WUWT has been going through a dry patch. There have been a disproportionate number of rather silly "guest essays" by the non-entity Eric Worrall and very few by former prolific contributors such as Willis Eschenbach (who may still be unwell, I don't know), Christopher Monckton (who I heard was travelling in my part of the world), and only a couple by Bob Tisdale (who's busy in paid employment, I believe). Anthony has even had to write quite a few articles all by himself, which is most unusual. He hasn't been increasing the number of press releases about science, from what I can see - though I haven't done a count.

Today he's taken the almost unprecedented step of calling for essays. He's also flagged a complete about face in his editorial policy, which I'll believe only when I see it. This time he says:
Anyone who wants to submit a guest post will be welcomed, provided it is factual and on topic. 
So if you've got a guest or an essay or a post that you want to get published at "the world's most viewed" anti-science blog, here's your chance. Anthony is even promising to publish "factual" articles for a change.

When Anthony says it must be on topic, he doesn't indicate what the topic should be. Probably anything relating to climate change and global warming would be okay. Here's an archive of recent topics which could be used as a guide.

Making it onto the social pages

In other news, I read at the Guardian about a private dinner put on by some retired UK financier for a few fake sceptics and disinformers and their hangers-on. No, it wasn't actually in the social pages it was, for some weird reason, in the Environment section.

Anthony Watts was the biggest outlier at the dinner. He's American - the others were all British. He's just a blogger. The others were more educated professionals. Anthony was probably a bit overawed by the company, which might explain why he came out with this bit of hilarity:
The next stage would be a shared conference between sceptics and scientists, says Anthony Watts, who runs the blog Watts Up With That.
“We’ve been at odds so long, it is time to present science together,” he says.
Ha ha ha. Anthony Watts presenting science. The mind boggles. I can't wait for him to present his science on Russian steampipes and Airport UHI disease.

Here is another quote from that article for your entertainment.
For the sceptics, the motivation for the meeting centered on shifting the perception of them as “denialists” to proficient scientists who can contribute to the debate.

What "debate" would that be, one wonders. The "denialists" would have included: 

And another quote from that same article. This time a straw man:
Sceptics, who generally work outside of academic institutions, are rarely accepted to present papers at scientific conferences – though almost all attendees at the dinner party, and many other sceptics, are scientifically trained. he exclusion festers, with many of them reading it as evidence of “establishment” hostility to divergent views.

Well, if deniers want to present work at scientific conferences, all they have to do is do some work and submit it. It won't wash to complain you are "rarely accepted" if you don't submit. That's what is called a straw man. They are not "excluded" - they just pretend they are. Anyone can submit a work to a scientific conference and lots of conferences will accept almost everything they receive.

And another excerpt, an apologia from Richard Betts:
He added that one of the criticisms that could be launched at his decision to meet with the sceptics was that it could be seen as condoning the more extreme views that he says they “let be taken seriously” on their blogs.
“As a scientist, I’m not trying to build anyone’s credibility. I’m just trying to discuss the science with all the stakeholders,” he said.

Good to know that Richard is not trying to build anyone's credibility. I guess that the fake sceptics will take any boost to their credibility as a bonus. An unintended by-product.  Just look at how much credibility they are trying to milk out of attending a dinner party, of all things. Also, I wouldn't describe science disinformers as "stakeholders", or if they are, they would be about the lowest on any stakeholder totem pole. There are much more important and relevant stakeholders who one could cultivate and engage with. Anti-science disinformers aren't among those I'd choose. It's not as if there is anything to learn from them. It's very high risk for scientists to go frolicking with people who'll stop at nothing to discredit science and scientists. It's a high risk approach even for people who know the risks - like politicians, policy advisers and diplomats. Most scientists aren't exactly worldly-wise when it comes to flirting with this sort of danger.

Tamsin Edwards, a climate scientist who seems to have been wanting to build her profile among fake sceptics over the past couple of years, had this to add, in reference to the decision to apply Chatham House Rules:
“Trust is precious – hard won, and easily lost,” said Tamsin Edwards, a climate scientist at Bristol University who maintains her own blog, and will publish her own account shortly.
The miscreants that she chooses to cultivate lost the trust of most scientists a long, long time ago. I wonder what she'll have to say about all this when she publishes her own account. Will she start lecturing her betters again I wonder?  Telling them how they should and shouldn't behave? Or maybe she, too, will attempt to rationalise the association. Or she might write something else entirely. Lets give her the benefit of the doubt for the time being.

Eli Rabett commented on the dinner party, as did ATTP.


  1. Did Anthony pass the port the wrong way? I think we should be told.

    1. It's fun to speculate snobbishly if not very polite :D (Did he know what to do with the cutlery?)

  2. His entire MO is cutlery based

  3. Sou

    You say "There are much more important and relevant stakeholders who one could cultivate and engage with"

    Attending that dinner, on a Sunday evening in my own time, didn't stop me talking to anyone else. I've just spent this last week in London at a series of meetings in various government departments and other places to discuss IPCC AR5, the HELIX project and the 2nd UK Climate Change Risk Assessment. Next week I'm off to Brussels to talk to EU climate policymakers. There wasn't anybody else on the list that I had to cross off because I went to dinner at someone's house on a Sunday evening.

    In fact I'd argue that it's precisely because I am prepared to do a lot of outreach, including having these conversations with critics to help me understand the communications issues, that I am successful in obtaining major research funding and get asked to advise those at the sharp end of policy formulation and negotiation. (It's not the only reason of course, but I believe it helps, and even if it doesn't, it certainly doesn't seem to have hindered.)

    1. Richard - I know my criticism could comes across as a personal attack. It's not. I hold you and your work in high regard. I disagree with your approach when it comes to dealing with people who misrepresent science for their own purposes.

      As you can tell, I don't regard courting disinformers as a productive use of one's time. If this were just one instance then it could be passed off as such. But it's not. There is a tendency of a (very) few scientists to make a habit of flirting with deniers while not calling them out (or not sufficiently) for their attacks on scientists and misrepresentation of science.

      It clearly was not your intention to give disinformers added credibility. But that's how they are playing it. And I find it hard to believe that one needs to sup with disinformers to "understand communication issues".

      Maybe I'm wrong. If you learnt anything about "communication issues" as a result of that dinner or anything similar, please let us know. Especially if it's something that's not already widely known. Something that will help combat all the disinformation that these people promote.

    2. I should add, that the way some deniers are portraying this should have been foreseen from the outset. Maybe it was. But if anyone didn't foresee it, that would have been pretty naive. If they did, then why give them the ammunition? The payoff would have to be very large and I don't see it.

      Also, I don't object to meetings between anti-mitigation lobby groups and scientists, like the one the Royal Society held with the GWPF. But just look at how the GWPF played that one. And that was fairly carefully planned.

      It's tricky business. Science and scientists wear all the risks. From the disinformers perspective, it's virtually risk free.

  4. Oh, BTW, describing Tamsin as "lecturing her betters" is a bit off, don't you think? Who's to say who's "better" than who?

    1. It's kind of sweet to see the white knight come charging to Tamsin's rescue once again, Richard. I hope she appreciates it as much as I do :)

      How about "lecturing scientists who are a lot more senior and have a lot more years of experience and science under their belt, and have been around much longer and travelled much further than a post-doc, not to mention those who are world-leading scientists".

      I thought that "betters" was pithier and would have meant the same thing to most readers.

    2. I remember tHe unfortunate blog post that Tamsin did, arguing that scientists should be neutral. By saying so she was, of course, not being neutral herself. I think she did herself no favours posting that argument. I saw some outright deniers take that argument up with some relish. I hope she reflected on the weakness of her position. After all, scientists are people too and I would want them to speak out if they knew of threats to our well being. Thankfully they do.

    3. http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2013/08/01/two-opinion-pieces-or-three-if-you-count-james-but-thats-four-if-you-count-me-oh-hang-on-ill-come-in-again/

  5. The only 'real' scientists it seems are those who agree with Sou's catastrophist view of the world. Still, I would like to see what would happen if someone submitted a serious, factual and referenced article to WUWT expressing a pro-AGW stance. Would it see the light of day?

    1. Give it a rest, Billy Bob. You haven't got a clue about my view of the world. I write about the science. If you regard that as 'catastrophist", take it up with the scientists - or write your own paper.

      Anthony often copies and pastes press releases about climate science. He usually prefaces them with the word "claim".

    2. Daylight and WUWT? You'd be more likely find ethical journalism at the Daily Mail.

    3. Cmon Sou, it (AGW) is either a serious problem or it is not.

      If you think it is, you are taking the 'catastrophic view': ie, you see it as CAGW.

    4. How does a serious problem become a catastrophic problem, with nothing in between? Seems like some people can only think in black and white.

    5. @marke. Yes it's a serious problem. CAGW is a denier term, not one I use.

      Will there be further catastrophes? Yes, particularly if we don't reduce CO2 emissions. Can we do something to avoid the worst or at least slow the extremely rapid warming? Yes. This is the critical decade.

      Plus what Jammy Dodger said.

    6. Global Warming will only be a catastrophe if we don't do anything about it. Billy Bob is trying on the straw men again.

    7. CAGW is a perfect term for the reality we are facing. F the deniers, re-annex it.

    8. Something else, we/you need to plan for +4° C by 2100, think especially of your kids. Move fast because the planet is going to be absolutely swamped with refugees and civil wars (Levant is in considerable part a climate war and shows what the future is going to be like).

  6. It seems to me there must have been another bout of contagious amnesia if people - on both sides - think the marginalisation of deniers is due to nothing more than their fossil fuel industry funded opinions. You don't sit down with people who seek to destroy scientists with vicious allegations of fraud. You just don't. And doing it betrays their victims.

    In the world I live in if you want to be treated with respect you have to conduct yourself in a manner that deserves it.

    1. Under Cugel House Rules ("my gaff, my rules") people should be treated with respect unless and until they demonstrate that they don't deserve it. Respect and consideration for others should, I think, be the default position.

      (By "I think" I mean, of course, that's what my parents beat into me :) )

  7. it seems selfish to me that the richest people in the world, having got there largely as a result of using cheap energy from fossil fuels, now want to deny this same benefit to the poorest peoples of the world.

    by all means, if you want to cut back on your personal emissions, go ahead. that is your right. after many decades of being the biggest source of emissions in the world, it is hypocritical to try and restrict coal use in the third world.

    It is as though you have come to a party, and having eaten and drunk your fill, you are now arguing that no one else should be allowed to eat or drink. instead they must go elsewhere.

    2 billion people need access to electricity today. not 100 years in the future. from your own self-interested point of view, consider this. these 2 billion, the ones you have your boot on their necks, they are tomorrows terrorists and Ebola victims.

    the lesson of history is clear. condemn people to poverty and they will eventually rise up to consume the rich. you cannot defend everywhere. no country, no empire is that rich. eventually the burden of defense overwhelmed even mighty Rome.

    1. Welcome to HotWhopper, ferd. Though your comment doesn't seem to be related to the article I can see that helping less developed countries go the way of Beijing is important to you. IMO it's what I believe is known as a false dichotomy. Fossil fuel energy has been used for a very long time so my question is, why the sudden concern? The world could have donated fossil fuel plants to less developed countries for decades, had it wanted to. What's so different now that you are suddenly concerned when there has been no such concern to date?

      This is what happens when you use fossil fuel instead of bypassing dirty energy and going straight to clean energy. If you really want to help people in less developed nations, why not help them like this or this?

    2. You are right to be concerned ferdberple. There will be wars caused by food and fresh water shortages and mass migrations in the sub continent and S.E. Asian delta areas following just a 300mm SLR. That's the height of your laptop screen.
      Ferdberple I know you are only motivated by your concern for the poor - I've read many of your comments on WUWT (you must have posted over a thousand by now). You're a truly great humanitarian and an inspiration to us all.

    3. Thank you Sou,

      as per your question: why the sudden concern?

      My concern is that we are considering a global treaty that would restrict availability of energy to the third world. My concern dates from the introduction of such a inhuman concept.

      I've lived in and sailed the third world for almost 20 years, living off the grid using solar and wind power, and raised a family along the way. We lived in some of the most remote tropical locations on earth, and have extensive first hand knowledge of what life is like for third world peoples and the harm done in the name of good intentions.

    4. What global treaty are you talking about ferd? I cannot imagine any less developed nation nor any developed nation being signatory to such a treaty. Are you sure you have your facts straight? How about a link.

      I agree that a lot of harm can be done in the name of good intentions. Witness how some people profess "good intentions" yet are willing to subject the people who are most vulnerable to climate change, to rising seas and pollution and disease and famine, all because they oppose any mitigation of global warming. (Professional disinformers have bad intentions and couldn't give a damn about anyone but themselves, but I'll allow that most climate science deniers - the people the disinformers target, don't mean to spread disinformation. They are just gullible and ignorant about science - some are prone to conspiracy ideation and have a deep distrust of what they regard as "authority". Plus they don't want to believe the facts.)

    5. If you really want to help people in less developed nations, why not help them like this or this?
      I recognize that your motives are noble. However, this is nothing more than an extension of colonial thinking; a repackaging of "the white man's burden".

      Third world people's don't need us to tell them how to run their lives. They are not poor because they are stupid and can't figure out what is best for them.

      China is simply following the same model that the industrialized world followed. The only model that has been shown to work. Industrialize first, then use the wealth created to cleanup the environment. We look down our noses at Chinese air pollution, forgetting our own past pollution.

      These people don't need us to tell them how to run their lives.

    6. Ferd, I don't understand what you are trying to say. I think, and correct me if I'm wrong, that you believe that someone somewhere is stopping less developed countries from developing. Just who and how and what you haven't said.

      From my perspective you are wanting to commit the entire world to global warming and, while you profess to care about people living in countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, you want them to hasten it. You also come across as a bit of a luddite, not accepting that new technology can be a better substitute for old. I presume that you think that bringing electricity to Bangladesh people for the first time is bad if it happens to be solar, and good if it's a dirty, expensive diesel generator.

      I expect your intentions are good. Your understanding of the world seems a bit off. That's all. Why are you so against modern electricity generation?

    7. @- ferdberple
      "China is simply following the same model that the industrialized world followed. The only model that has been shown to work. Industrialize first, then use the wealth created to cleanup the environment."

      Actually they are not.
      Despite the extensive availability of coal they are already putting in place strong constraints on its scale of use. And its utilisation of solar, wind and other renewable is expanding faster than many other nations. However the government is rapidly discovering that even this is not sufficient to prevent problems with smog and water pollution that provoke dangerous responses in the populous. In the interests of social stability it is likely that China will place increasingly strict controls to ensure that industrialization is carried out cleanly rather than needing expensive remediation of the environment after the event.

      @-"Third world people's don't need us to tell them how to run their lives. They are not poor because they are stupid and can't figure out what is best for them."

      Indeed, they may even be capable of learning from the mistake made by Western nations in industrializing with a polluting energy source that does short-term and long-term damage to the environment. Perhaps they will figure out a model of industrial development superior to the less than optimal western version and show us how it can work.


    8. I have no idea if Ferd is sincere in his belief but I do know there are a lot of people who come out with this who are normally the last ones you would normally expect to see expressing concern for the poor. Anyhow it's a poorly thought out concern anyway. We have already taken CO2 levels from 280 ppm to 400 ppm. To suggest we should get everyone in the world hooked on fossil fuels when they are a finite resource anyway is madness. What do you think is going to happen to a world having more than 7 billion people whose whole way of life depends on fossil fuels when they start to run out? It's madness. It's the poor who are going to feel the effects most when the **** really hits the fan. We should be doing our best to start weaning ourselves off them now.

    9. most climate science deniers
      My degree is in science and I find the use of such terms a barrier to meaningful exchange of ideas. Denial is a belief based concept, without meaning in science.

      We laugh at the foolish notions held by learned peoples 500 years ago, not realizing how we ourselves will be laughed at 500 years from now.

      The Law of Unintended Consequence is evidence of Newtons Third Law. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In seeking to do good we must also invariably do harm.

    10. We should be doing our best to start weaning ourselves off them now.
      By all means. Stop using fossil fuels and any products created by them. This is your right. Give up your cell phone and car and walk or ride a bike. There is no law preventing you. Someone must go first. Why wait for everyone else to agree before you act? That simply gives you an excuse for inaction.

      What I'm saying is don't try and decide for the poor what is best for them.

    11. Indeed. Climate science denial is a belief without meaning in science. That's a good way of describing it.

      Having a degree in science doesn't automatically mean that a person accepts science. There are a few weather forecasters in the USA who reject climate science despite having studied meteorology at some time in the past. There are probably people who've studied biology who are young earth creationists.

      Or are you saying that you accept climate science? From the comments I've seen from you at WUWT, that seems highly unlikely. Unless (as some here have suggested), you are playing an extended Poe.

    12. I presume that you think
      Please don't try and put words in my mouth. By all meas bring electricity to Bangladesh. By ALL means.

      Here is my challenge. We lived without refrigeration for 10 years in the tropics and raised two children. Powdered milk to the rescue. Turn off just your refrigerator at home and see what live is like for the two billion people. I expect not a single person reading this blog will make it past a month, let alone a lifetime.

    13. I read the Kumar coal article (India:.. "Coal is the problem, not the solution").

      I see all the concern about coal derived pollution in China. But I think the article, and the concerned in
      here, miss the reality of the situation.

      People need energy, more so if they live in a cold climate. And, they currently predominantly use coal as that energy source (in China at least, as I have seen in 7 years of travelling and working there... Disclaimer, I have spent no time in India). That coal is dirty, usuallt wet from outside storage, and is burnt in hundreds of thousands, or probsbly millions of basic, simple inefficient furnaces.

      It seems to me that China's building of dozens of modern, highly efficient, (at least 17% more efficient than the older coal fired stations in Australia.) large scale power stations may in fact be a great step forward. I suspect the same would apply to India.

      Note: In China, hotels, factories, farms, usually have their own furnace and boiler. Even a huge multinational pharma company I was dealing with in Beijing had their own coal fired boiler for their manufacturing processes. I noted that because they told me the coal quality could be so poor they had to install their own coal analysis lab. AND they had to shut down manufacturing for the duration of the Beijing Olympics.

    14. What is the point of me turning off my refrigerator? Is it so that I will feel empathy or something? I do already. Maybe you think then I'll be prompted to help people get access to electricity? But you've said that's a no no.

      BTW I assumed from what you wrote that you are against solar and wind generated electricity. That's what you seem to be arguing. Dirty diesel, dirty coal, dirty petrol. Anything as long as it's fossil fuels.

      Very confusing or should I say very confused.

    15. you accept climate science
      I accept that science has value only in its ability to reliably predict. Science that simply seeks to explain is not science, it is philosophy.

      Here is the classical example: A hound chases a hare. If the hound aims for where the hare is now, it will never catch the hare. Instead the hound must predict the path of the hare in the future to be successful.

      This is science and has positive value to the hound. To the rabbit the value is negative.

      Yet over time, the hunting pressure of large numbers of hounds on large numbers of hares will lead to increased efficiency in both rabbits and improved hounds.

      Thus, to improve efficiency, competition is key. Artificially restricting hounds or hare will artificially limit competition, limiting the gains in efficiency that could be otherwise achieved.

    16. ferdberple - I am sure you are sincere but to me you fall at your opening statement where you say that we poor deluded rich people "now want to deny this same benefit to the poorest peoples of the world."

      No one wants to deny anything to anyone or to make decisions on poor peoples' behalf. To say that is how people view the world is just a bit, how can I put this in a kindly way, well, crap. When difficult decisions need making there has to be a way to make them and that includes everyone. It is just deluded to think that somehow you are the only one concerned and that the rest of us are somehow being mean and uncaring.

      (Oh, have worked in developing countries. Check. Three science degrees. Check, check, check. Yes agree that we can get solutions wrong. Wish I knew all the answers like you do.).

    17. I hope you're enjoying the opportunity to discuss your ideas here, ferd. I am. Though I don't agree with much of what you say, your comments here are in a whole different league to what I've read at WUWT.

      I don't mean to sound patronising, so I hope you don't take it the wrong way. It's refreshing.

    18. Ferd: It is perfectly clear from your posts here that your objection to taking action to reduce our CO2 emissions has nothing to do with whether those emissions are harmful. It's a case of "I don't care. You cut your own emissions. I'm not going to. So wouldn't it be more honest to say that outright instead of trying to discredit the vast body of science which says that the rate at which we are raising CO2 levels is harmful? As they do at WUWT.

    19. fredberple

      Your free market analogy of hounds and hares is just free market, hand waving claptrap. A sort of pseudo Darwinian market idea of hounds and hares trying to improve the efficiency of something or other and this must be a good thing 'cos it's competition. For a start hare coursing is completely artificial. In nature hounds would chase rabbits if they failed to catch the hares. If they failed to catch rabbits they would probably hunt mice. Or form into packs and bring down mammoths collectively. All in the interests of making capitalism more efficient of course. And you confuse rabbits and hares. Different species altogether.

    20. A recent tweet I saw about interference in the free market.

      I think interference in the free market is only approved if it favours certain sectors.

    21. An Economist article about what is being invested in electricity generation in Africa. An excerpt:

      ...A second factor is the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy. Africa has some of the world’s best potential sites for wind, solar and hydropower. Investors are proving readier to test the market by putting up a few windmills than by committing to big power stations. Wind farms and solar parks can also provide decentralised or “off-grid” power directly to customers, reducing the load on congested transmission lines. Given the high cost of power from diesel generators in Africa, renewable energy can be an attractive alternative.

      Ahmed Heikal, chairman of Qalaa Holdings, an investment firm with holdings in several power producers, thinks that in Africa a “new model [of renewable energy] that bypasses the government is emerging”. It is one in which firms are able to offer competitively priced renewable power without the hefty government subsidies needed to encourage investment elsewhere, such as solar parks in cloudy Germany or offshore wind farms in the rough waters of the North Sea. Africa has the potential to jump from being the world’s electricity laggard to a leader in renewables—if inefficient governments don’t hold it back.

    22. Everybody needs energy, and Lomborg has done a good job of claiming "help the poor" although he doesn't actually do that. Given the serious impacts of climate change on the real poor of the world, serious people are working pretty hard to reduce the costs of distributed renewable energy, rather than expecting places like Africa to satisfy their energy needs by large coal plants and large-scale electrical grids (that don't exist). Advanced countries built huge wired phone system, but poorer places couldn't, and luckily late created cellphones ... and now a lot of poorer folks skipped over wired (which could never be afforded) for wireless.

      For calibration on ferd berple, PDF search berple in PDF attached to Pseudoskeptics exposed, especially:
      "If the facts support your case, argue the facts. If the facts support your
      opponent, argue the man. Salby is arguing the facts, Desmog is arguing the man"

      Salby was wrong on the science, obvious in 2011, to anyone who knew anything.
      But his email to bloggers wasn't about science, but about events based on nothingmore than his own personal credibility.

      By 2013 he'd had a nearly-20-year history of deliberate deception, including at least twice using his own students / junior associates as "human shields" for his own actions. It probably wasn't a good idea to mislead a very senior European atmospheric scientist into going out on a limb for him ... when the limb had been chainsawed weeks earlier.

      Many pseudoskeptics kept right on wanting to believe Salby was right on the science and honest about his stories.

    23. that your objection to taking action to reduce our CO2 emissions
      I have no objections to you reducing your emissions.

    24. your comments here are in a whole different league to what I've read at WUWT
      That you Sou. I believe you will find we have much more in common than you realize.

    25. BTW I assumed from what you wrote that you are against solar and wind generated electricity.
      No need to assume anything. What I wrote was:

      "I've lived in and sailed the third world for almost 20 years, living off the grid using solar and wind power, and raised a family along the way."

      Hardly the writing of someone that objects to wind and solar. My objection is to folk living high on the hog emitting tons of CO2 trying to impose their solutions on other people, without first taking personal responsibility to clean up their own acts.

      Cut you own CO2 as we did. Go with solar and wind. Get rid of the car, get rid of the fridge, get rid of the hot water heater. We did and so can you.

      And if you can't, then don't ask the third world to do so, because in the end it always comes down to forcing the least able to defend themselves to comply at the point of a gun. No matter how much may wish the world was different, the burden of compliance always falls on those least able to defend themselves.

    26. When difficult decisions need making there has to be a way to make them and that includes everyone.
      and why is the decision difficult? what is it about the decision that makes it difficult? the decision is difficult because it involves someone making a sacrifice.

      throughout history humans have tried to solve problems by way of sacrifice. it is part of our nature. somehow we don't believe we can solve problems without a sacrifice of some sort.

      And who is it that we sacrifice? Is it the High Priest that calls for sacrifice; do we sacrifice him? Or is it the King that calls for sacrifice; do we sacrifice him? Or is it the peasant, the slave, the virgin?

      Why do we never sacrifice the Priest and King? Surely if sacrifice is the way to salvation, then the Priest and King would want to take their place at the head of the line, and thereby show us the true path to salvation.

    27. "My objection is to folk living high on the hog emitting tons of CO2 trying to impose their solutions on other people, without first taking personal responsibility to clean up their own acts."

      Is that framing even faintly connected with reality? That framing smells of desperation, not sense. You do realise just how much higher US air and water pollution output would be without the EPA and preceding piecemeal instruments of regulation? All governments regulate pollution to some extent, and the wealthier the community, the greater the effort to 'clean up their own acts'...globalisation has served to undermine a lot of that effort, sadly.

      Whatever, that old chestnut of rejectionist theory is just nonsense. It's an implicit argument against passing on the knowledge gained from experience.

    28. Salby is arguing the facts, Desmog is arguing the man"
      this is correct. Salby was arguing that his version of the facts were correct. Whether I agree with his interpretation is another issue.

      As I recall Desmog was arguing that Salby cannot be correct because he is a bad person. This is not a valid argument.

      The Devil can be correct and an Angel can be incorrect. Infallibility is the province of Gods and Popes. Lesser beings are not so well endowed.

    29. A good point, Jimmy. The degree of the problem is an issue and there is a big difference in those two descriptions.

      'Catastrophic' implies that a disaster happens and there is no solution.

      'Serious' perhaps leaves room for adaptation, or solutions. Let's hope the problem is only 'serious'.

      Sou; however you do go on to mention "further catastrophes". Have there already been some directly attributable to AGW?

    30. Nothing happens in isolation. To say some weather is absolutely *caused*by global warming doesn't usually make a lot of sense. (Unlike melting ice sheets being caused by global warming, which does make sense. Ice melts as it gets hotter.) You could say that all weather is natural, but the natural weather conditions now, because of added CO2, are different to what natural weather conditions were when there wasn't as much accumulated energy in the earth system.

      Because extreme events are by definition rare events, it is difficult, but not impossible, to determine the likelihood of an influence of all the extra CO2 we've been pouring into our air. That is, is it more or less likely that a particular weather event will happen now, compared to the pre-industrial climates? Scientists have demonstrated that the following were influenced by global warming:

      - The 2010 Russian heat wave
      - Australia's hottest year on record - 2013
      - The European heat wave of 2003

      That's just three examples. The Munich Re Geo-Natural Catastrophes 2013 report shows that natural weather disasters are on the increase. That of itself doesn't mean the increase is not a statistical blip. The longer the trend continues, though, the harder it is to explain by anything other than the rapidly changing climate.

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

  8. Its hilarious that this "meeting of the minds" as ATTP puts it has made it into social media. Thousands upon thousands of groups of scientists meet over food and drink every day, some are probably also bloggers. All of that goes completely unnoticed, and yet many of those meetings will lead to collaborations resulting in significant research. Some of those meetings might even lead to scientific conferences. In the coming weeks hundreds of scientists will meeting to discuss grants submitted to the NIH for funding. There will be quite a few dinners attended at that time as well. Very few, if any, of those present will consider it "remarkable" that groups of highly respected scientists are talking shop over a cold beer and something to eat. Its only pseudo-skeptics that think that way and it tells you just how far the two groups are away from each other.

    1. "... groups of scientists meet over food and drink every day ..."

      I can't resist quoting Adam Smith :“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” From the Wealth of Nations.

      Not everybody's favourite Adam Smith quote, but definitely mine :)

  9. Sou, you are doing something right.

    Tisdale has absolutely no clue about the science of the oceans, yet he has absolutely polluted the space to the extent that anyone that googles information on the warming of the Pacific Ocean will run into his garbage.

    Talk about a Pacific gyre garbage patch!

    1. wht, maybe you should write a series of blog posts that shows how tisdale's interpretation of data is wrong. that would give us the ammunition to shoot him down.


    2. stillsoutherncross61, Tisdale says temperature increases as the integral of temperature. Wrong based on how physics works. Doesn't take a blog post.

    3. Since Bob Tisdale thinks ENSO is driving global temperature he also accepts that the climate system is sensitive to radiative perturbation. Or how else could ENSO drive global temperature?*

      For Bob's position to remain coherent, he must also agree that GHG forcing will cause climate change. If he disputes this, he has excused himself from rational discussion. And he does dispute it.

      There is therefore no need for a series of blog posts to show that BT's interpretation of data is wrong.

      *We'll leave aside the conservation of energy issue posed by internal variability driving a long-term trend.

    4. BBD, moreover "Bob Tisdale" creates scores of pretty graphs to hide the fact that he is aggressively anti-science. Why someone would get applauded for printing the equivalent of multiplication tables is a mystery to me.

    5. stillsoutherncross61, sounds like WebHubTelescope is angry that every time he does a Google image search of his own name, the first image is this one of Pacific Ocean SST from Tisdale’s post here. Webby called Tisdale a liar over at Curry’s place but it was Webby’s mistake. Webby couldn’t find the Pacific Ocean in the data. The Pacific is awful big, awful big, difficult not to find on a map, but Webby couldn’t find it. Webby kept posting graphs of everything but the Pacific. Tisdale kept warning Webby. Now Webby is mad at about own mistake but blaming Tisdale for it.

      WHT, Tisdale never said “temperature increases as the integral of temperature”. Please provide a link to where he stated that in those words. Tisdale presents ENSO as a “chaotic, sunlight-fueled, naturally occurring, recharge-discharge oscillator. If I recall correctly, over at Curry's place, Tisdale presented his graph of a running-total of NINO3.4 SSTa (which he describes as an oddity) in response to your multiple linear regression analysis. You remember. The one in which you included everything but the kitchen sink. He presented his oddity to your oddity. And your “Doesn't take a blog post” sounds like you’re not up to the task.

      BBD, see the post where Tisdale describes ENSO as a “chaotic, sunlight-fueled, naturally occurring, recharge-discharge oscillator.


    6. LIS71, oscillators oscillate and return to their starting state. They don't have a steady slope upwards as indicated by rising surface temperatures and increasing OHC (with confirmation by decreasing arctic ice and increasing sea levels ). Worse, if this oscillator was fueled by sunlight, the trend in energy should be down since solar radiation has been on the decline for 35 or more years. BBD already said it well. "the conservation of energy issue posed by internal variability driving a long-term trend."

      I just said this on another Tisdale blog post, but feel it's necessary to repeat: Bob Tisdale doesn't understand the law of conservation of energy, plain and simple.

    7. LongIslandSound71, So Wayman Tisdale scored a lone basket on me, woop-de-doo !

      ENSO is likely not chaotic. Since you are so close to ole Wayman, why don't you invite him to contribute to the azimuth forum over at mathforge.com ? We are trying to understand ENSO and predict El Nino using these things called math and physics.

    8. Joe, you’ve said that an oscillation always returns to its starting state. But ENSO is a recharge-discharge oscillator, periodically reducing cloud cover over the tropical Pacific, taking that sunlight warmed water, storing it, and then releasing and redistributing it…with all of those processes occurring chaotically. There is no returning to a starting state.

      Joe and WHT, I think everyone here is reading stuff into what Tisdale says that’s not there. He often says he can’t find evidence of the effects of manmade greenhouse gases in SST (satellite era?) and OHC data. He’s not saying it doesn’t exist. Read what he says. To me, he’s saying that the impacts of ENSO-related variations in surface DSR (sunlight) and all of the warm water released and redistributed by El Niños need to be properly accounted for. Example, he shows that the SST of large parts of the ocean make upward steps in response to some of the bigger El Niños (Trenberth’s big jumps) and that it appears to be caused by leftover warm water from the El Niños. (Watch how he uses the word “appears”.) And then he quotes two papers by Trenberth, that warm water for El Niños is created during La Niñas…a result of lower cloud cover and more sunlight warming the tropical Pacific. I think that pretty much sums up what he says. He’s reminding everyone that no one is accounting for those factors. Climate models don’t. They can’t simulate ENSO. I don’t think you’re giving Tisdale a fair shake. Read and understand what he says. He very choosy about his wording.

      WHT, you don't think ENSO is chaotic? Compare a typical ENSO index (NINO3.4 or SOI) to the OHC of the tropical Pacific. The tropical Pac OHC could be considered an ENSO index too.

      I gotta go. We’re casting off in a few hours and I’m gonna be real busy for a couple of weeks…might be incommunicado for a few months.


    9. The entire online persona of "Bob Tisdale", whatever his real name is, depends on him rejecting the greenhouse effect. He pretends to accept it a tiny little bit of it (sometimes), probably for fear that Anthony Watts would stop promoting his books.

      He's written endless articles and books trying to justify his nonsense. eg https://archive.today/DyKDk

      Complete nonsense from start to finish.

      "Bob" could scarcely be a more blatant greenhouse effect denier if he tried. Out of all the nutters that Anthony Watts patronises, he's probably only surpassed only by Tim Ball.

      "Bob Tisdale" is a one trick pony who claims to have "sliced and diced" sea surface temperatures to prove that ENSO causes global warming. He doesn't look anywhere else other than sea *surface* temperatures with a particular focus on areas that he claims haven't warmed in 30 years. He might as well be writing about Don Easterbrooks Greenland summit and claiming that the ice there is zero degrees or less, therefore global warming isn't happening.

      "Bob" probably likes to think of himself as the SST Steve McIntyre. He's nowhere close when it comes to understanding science or in terms of intellectual capacity (though he rivals him for nastiness). Both are examples of the Dunning Kruger effect and how tenacity can help self promotion way beyond what is merited.

      "Bob" dismisses the huge amount of land surface warming by claiming it's black soot or UHI.

      He carefully avoids any mention of the rapidly disappearing Arctic sea ice or melting ice sheets and glaciers all over. Nor does he spend any time on lower tropospheric warming. That would spoil his spin.

      "Bob Tisdale" is a charlatan, whether he knows it or not. A quack who thinks he invented climate science. A pseudo-scientist if ever there was one. He's put so much energy into rejecting science that he'd lose face if he ever admitted figuring out he was wrong.

      Not everyone buys into his fantasy. Anthony Watts has never given it resounding approval, except by filling up empty spaces in his daily blog quota. Willis Eschenbach doesn't buy into it either.

      This is the sort of information that "Bob Tisdale" ignores completely.


      PS I'm only allowing LIS71's comment to remain because he/she might not have seen my request to get back on topic, and because he/she says we've seen the last of them for a while.

    10. LIS71

      You and Bob are getting magic energy out of nowhere. ENSO can play around with energy but it doesn't create it. It does not and can not drive multi-decadal trends in GAT. That would violate conservation of energy.

  10. Your post appears to be prescient (it does pre-date Mr "PP" Tisdale's most recent, doesn't it?) I do so hate people who use first names without having been properly introduces, its so uncivilised.

    1. Yes. It pre-dated it.

      (So much for civilised discourse, let alone any of Anthony's "presentation of science". Is that what Anthony meant by his promise of "stepping up moderation"?)

  11. Millicent: You don't sit down with people who seek to destroy scientists with vicious allegations of fraud. You just don't. And doing it betrays their victims.

    I think it's possible that Betts, Edwards and many others have no clue of the actual atmospheric constituency of WUWT blog posts, Rose columns etc. I say that because it's hard to fathom how somebody could be aware of the generally vicious nature of SOP on WUWT and its other ilk and yet still share a table with Watts, Rose and the rest of the vandals.

    WUWT has a search function. Plug in "fraud," look at the many pages of results, assess whether it's worth breaking bread with the ringmaster of this circus of fertile imagination. Why not perform that due diligence before booking the dinner date?

    As well, anybody thinking they've somehow shifted Watts' thinking or civility ought to read his remarks yesterday regarding Ben Santer.

    1. dbostrom

      I think it's possible that Betts, Edwards and many others have no clue of the actual atmospheric constituency of WUWT blog posts, Rose columns etc. I say that because it's hard to fathom how somebody could be aware of the generally vicious nature of SOP on WUWT and its other ilk and yet still share a table with Watts, Rose and the rest of the vandals.

      RB has been commenting at Bishop Hill for several years (as has TE, on occasion). I think RB knows I'm uncomfortable with the way contrarians spin his outreach, but I admire his resolve and civility, since it exceeds my own.

    2. Ah, so. Sounds as though perhaps I'm the one who is uncalibrated. :-) Baffled, too.

    3. Re the article that dbostrom mentioned, here's a link. Is this Anthony's version of "presenting science together" and civil discourse with scientists?


      Note the comment by Ben Santer:

      Ben Santer October 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      Mr. Watts: Just to set the scientific record straight, you are misinterpreting the “17 years” statement in the 2011 Santer et al. JGR paper. That statement was based on an analysis of CMIP-3 control runs, with no changes in external forcings. This is clearly stated in paragraph [30] of the 2011 Santer et al. paper:

      “On timescales longer than 17 years, the average trends in RSS and UAH near‐global TLT data consistently exceed 95% of the unforced trends in the CMIP‐3 control runs (Figure 6d), clearly indicating that the observed multidecadal warming of the lower troposphere is too large to be explained by model estimates of natural internal variability”. Thus the “17 year” statement pertained only to the problem of discriminating a human-caused tropospheric warming signal relative to internally-generated variability.
      As a number of recent publications have shown, the post-1998 “warming hiatus” is not solely due to internal variability. It is also partly due to the cooling effects of a succession of early 21st century volcanic eruptions, to an unusually broad and low minimum during the last solar cycle, and to the effects of other negative external forcings (see, e.g., the 2014 paper in Nature Geoscience by Gavin Schmidt and colleagues).

      The fallacy in your argument, Mr. Watts, is that you have applied the “17 year” statement made in our 2011 JGR paper (a statement based solely on estimates of internal variability) to the post-1998 “warming hiatus” – a phenomenon that is due to the combined effects of internal variability and external forcing. You are misrepresenting our findings.
      In our 2011 interaction at Cal State Chico, I treated you with courtesy and respect, even though you filmed my entire Rawlins lecture without my permission, while holding your videocamera several feet from my face. Although our scientific positions on the subject of anthropogenic climate change are very different, I had hoped that you would treat me with equal respect and courtesy. Your recent post shows that my hope was misplaced.

      Sincerely yours,

      Ben Santer

      Then read some of the uncivil responses.

    4. Yes, do read the responses, remembering always that Anthony Watts is in full control of the tone of conversation at his site by suggestion and by brute force moderation. What appears on the site is what Watts approves of and is a window into his honest, true feelings.

      A few words of interpretation from Betts and Edwards would be helpful at this juncture. Where's the progress? How is it productive to continue grabbing a live wire and expect other than pain?

    5. Sou

      I think you know what I think about most of the contrarian commentariat :-)

      I cannot brush off what RB said here earlier though:

      In fact I'd argue that it's precisely because I am prepared to do a lot of outreach, including having these conversations with critics to help me understand the communications issues, that I am successful in obtaining major research funding and get asked to advise those at the sharp end of policy formulation and negotiation. (It's not the only reason of course, but I believe it helps, and even if it doesn't, it certainly doesn't seem to have hindered.)

      Perhaps someone has to do it and perhaps we should be grateful that RB is prepared to. I've said that I'm uncomfortable with the way this gets spun by the contrarians but I'm also unwilling to be too vocal in my criticism of RB for doing something that may be necessary and that I wouldn't wish to do myself.

    6. I have great respect for Richard Betts in general, but I can't say that I agree with his recent dinner. I understand his intentions and, too, want to be careful about criticizing. Unfortunately, everything I've read about this dinner has convinced me that my original judgment was correct. It's being used to grant legitimacy to pseudo-skeptics and criticize scientists. The worst offenders, such as AW, have not changed their behaviors in any way. Somebody somewhere made the analogy to evolutionary biologists sitting for a dinner with creationists to legitimize a debate about ID. That struck me as spot on. The hell with the Discovery institute (leading ID proponent).

  12. FWIW, I'd be surprised it RB hadn't done his research; I'm pretty sure he's aware of the general level of the posts at WUWT and so on. And also, FWIW, I wouldn't object to him sitting down with AW. I wouldn't want to do it myself (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nods0qC9l6c) but RB is only sitting down :-)

  13. Just wanted to say a genuine congratulations.
    Judging by the hate filled rants from the commenters on WUWT you have done an excellent job. I note the primary arguments used there are:
    1. using your real name
    2. noting that you are a woman
    3. complaining that your are against misogyny
    You have to winder how much further WUWT can sink when its supporters can't think of any better argument against the truth of global warming than some half-baked version of 'mens right' slime.

    Please keep up the sterling work.

    1. It's quite breathtaking. Let alone becoming so hot and humid while falling apart in public, how can folks be so completely oblivious to their own appearance? Like toddlers!

    2. That thread is reprehensible. I'm going to hope that at least some reading it decide that that's not a room they want to be in.

    3. The comments made about Sou and also to Ben after his polite but pointed comment shows exactly what WUWT is all about. I hope like you do BBD that lurkers are disgusted enough to seek out the truth elsewhere.

      On the positive side, it means that Sou, ATTP and others are doing a great job. Keep it up Sou!

  14. ferdberple said

    I accept that science has value only in its ability to reliably predict. Science that simply seeks to explain is not science, it is philosophy.

    This is a good test then according to ferdberple.

    The climate models from the peer reviewed science have made many predictions in the past with error bars. Any fair assessment would show that these models DID predict within the stated errors.

    How have the 'sceptics' or deniers faired with all their predictions? They have failed miserably!
    There is only one dogma in science. Signal to noise ratio of any parameter is all that really matters as to the validity of the measurement.

    When you have deniers or armchair scientists and those 'real scientists' that should know better than to present hand waving arguments outside their fields of expertise making predictions that have no basis in reality. It is no surprise any predictions they make are complete rubbish.

    It may have something to do with all the cherry picking of the data produced by real climate scientists to 'prove' their pathetic misconceptions of reality.
    This constant cherry picking of real measurements over short time scales means that their noise is as large if not greater than their signal. It is equivalent to choosing from a set of random numbers because they feel correct.

    This is why deniers continually fail at ANY prediction. They may as well pluck numbers out of thin air. In my opinion that is all they do.

    So ferdberple I agree entirely with you. Deniers are just spouting philosophy. They do not come even close to doing science.

  15. @- ferdberple
    "I accept that science has value only in its ability to reliably predict. Science that simply seeks to explain is not science, it is philosophy."

    On this basis the Ptolemaic descriptive mathematical method with a geocentric solar system would be entirely acceptable because it has an ability to reliably predict.
    In fact until the elliptical shape and changing speed of the planetary orbits explained the observations in the Copernican system the Ptolemaic system was predictively superior.

    You may have profoundly misunderstood the nature of science if your personal definition results in your rejection of the science explaining a heliocentric solar system.

    1. heliocentric does not answer why, it answers what.

    2. How can centuries of epicycles on epicycles be wrong if they are accurately predictive?

      Without an underlying physical mechanism, all mathematics are merely conjecture.

      They had the same conflicting beliefs that modern idiots have. Perfect unbreakable invisible spheres that intersected and passed through each other.

      Fairies or factor 'x'. I will go for I do not know yet!



  16. Ptolemaic ... would be entirely acceptable because it has an ability to reliably predict.
    We typically use Newton instead of Einstein to predict the effects of gravity, even though it is less accurate.

    Newton himself recognized that his Law was a humbug, because it required gravity to act infinitely fast at infinite distance. The simple act of waving your hand instantly affects the motion of all objects in the Universe according to Newton.

    Thus, the scientific value of Newtons Law of Universal Gravitation is not that it is "correct" or "true". Rather it provides a simple method to predict the effects of gravity with a high degree of repeatable accuracy. Had Ptolemy provided a simpler method, we might still be using that.

    Yet, neither Einstein nor Newton, nor Copernicus, nor Ptolemy, nor any computer today can reliably predict the orbits of more than 2 objects, unless all the object lie in a plane.

    This problem affects all attempts to calculate the future. It lies at the heart of the Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle in quantum mechanics. It is fundamental problem that suggest the Future is not Written. That the universe is not a clockwork, and that our actions are not predetermined by the past. That we are afforded free will.

    1. Without an underlying physical mechanism, all mathematics are merely conjecture.
      in an infinite universe the question of the underlying mechanism can never be resolved. each time you peel back a layer of the onion to see what is at the heart, you find instead another layer of the onion.

      thus, the question of the underlying mechanism itself is a conjecture, based on the assumption that the universe is finite. yet if it is finite, what makes up the rest of infinity?

    2. This is pure humbug on your part ferple. You are just another idiot than has an agenda. I do not care to discuss anything with you as you do not have even the beginnings of an idea.
      So you understand indefinite partial integral elliptical integrals?
      In an infinite Universe everything that can happen will happen again and again. In an Infinity of Universes this happens a bit more quickly.
      You are playing very dumb word games. I do not play with idiots. So ho away.
      By the way for morons like you infinity is a long way especially near the end!

    3. is name calling what passes for reasoned discussion on this site?

      if your argument was valid you would have no need for name calling, the facts would stand on their own. your frustration lies within yourself.

    4. Ferd!! Can't believe I missed your arrival. First, to all others on HW, I was wrong to think Ferd was a Poe.

      OK, next - what the heck are we talking about? Quantum mechanics? So, I take it that Ferd agrees that 1. There is global warming (of about 0.8C to date) 2. That CO2 is rising and the increase is driven by humans. 3. Finally, that this CO2 is driving global warming.

    5. "Newton himself recognized that his Law was a humbug, because it required gravity to act infinitely fast at infinite distance." You've used a more modern interpretation of what followed as a consequence of Newton's Law, the speed of a gravity wave, to suggest that Newton was aware his law was "humbug". There was no humbug, Newton made no effort to identify the cause of gravity. Read his General Scholium.
      "The simple act of waving your hand instantly affects the motion of all objects in the Universe according to Newton." Which of Newton's Laws, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Grav., are you invoking here? Without elaboration on the posited point, I think that you should re-phrase that to "according to Berple".

      "Yet, neither Einstein nor Newton, nor Copernicus, nor Ptolemy, nor any computer today can reliably predict the orbits of more than 2 objects, unless all the object lie in a plane." And yet, ESA's Rosetta spacecraft has rendezvoued with Comet 67P/C-G, orbital inclination 7.04 deg to the plane of the Earth and Sun, travelling at 55 000 kph and at a point 405 million kilometres from Earth. That's after three gravity assist orbits around the Earth, one gravity assist around Mars, looping around the Sun five times and flying close enough to asteroids Steins and Lutetia to gather data and photos. Not a lot of reliable prediction involved in that lot is there?

      "each time you peel back a layer of the onion to see what is at the heart, you find instead another layer of the onion." In this context, the onion is a poor model; it may even be a misapplied example of the nuclear model proposed by Nobel Laureate Maria Goeppert Mayer, 'The Onion Madonna',. The onion is finite not infinite so eventually you reach 'the truth' if that's defined as seeing what's in the centre of the onion. "the assumption that the universe is finite. yet if it is finite, what makes up the rest of infinity?" This is reminiscent of the problem of renormalisation from particle physics. In answer to your question, in a cosmological sense if the universe is finite, there is no beyond as that's all there is. That's it in a nutshell or an onion skin, so to speak.

      "your frustration lies within yourself"!! Don't pseudo-psychoanalyse, it's unbecoming. 'Pseudo-psychoanalyse' is there such a word? No matter, there is now.

      "… all attempts to calculate the future… lie(s) at the heart of the Heisenberg Uncertainly Principle". Say what? The HUP relates to simultaneously determining or measuring complementary properties such as the position and momentum of a subatomic particle. How is the particle-wave nature of sub-atomic particles related to calculating the future for ...? "suggest the Future is not Written." Well there goes the Book of Revelations aka The Apocalypse "That the universe is not a clockwork …" Now you're talking crazy Monktonesque talk. You're starting to scare me. Unless … (a bit of self indulgence by me here) Oh! I see where you're going with this, it's the old Cornwall Alliance gambit. The Laws of God supplant the Laws of Physics do they? But how can they, when your God created your universe and its laws of physics?

    6. I was wrong to think Ferd was a Poe.

      It is a shame to have that illusion broken by your statement Joe and to see ferdberple's meandering, muddled thoughts here. When I thought he was doing a Poe it was quite amusing. Now it is just tedious.

    7. "Newton himself recognized that his Law was a humbug, because it required gravity to act infinitely fast at infinite distance. The simple act of waving your hand instantly affects the motion of all objects in the Universe according to Newton." said Berple.

      I do not see how this relates to topic, but this observation is of course correct.
      It does not mean no 'neat' solutions could be found within the dynamical set for 3-or-more-body problems, example (using Einstein, of course) given by Montgomery.
      Numbers & butterflies: http://www.anecdote.com/2007/10/the-billiard-ball-example/ .
      No need for Heisenberg here - but sure, can always see things as they are and yes they are worse by HUP: calculate some 'butterfly effects' including that and wonder some about the complexity of the world, brought about by such dead simple principles (onion cut).

  17. ferdberple You still not have answered my long post above.


  18. This looks like another case of "give an inch" syndrome that deniers are prone to. Ferd is angling for a spot in the HotWhoppery.

    (I wondered if I'd made a mistake complimenting him on being able to compose a coherent comment that could be understood by one and all, even if not agreed with.)

    Take this as a warning, Ferd.

    1. Yes, I wouldn't give an inch, since I fear ferd berple's memory is equal to his grasp of climate science. :-)
      Climate, Etc on Salby 2011:
      Fred eagerly bought Salby's pseudoscience.

      "ferd berple | August 5, 2011 at 9:47 am |
      What is important about the study is not simply the material, but also the author. Science has historically been slow to accept new findings based on a single paper. As more and more scientists study the question and release their findings the mainstream position shifts. Like CO2 and temperature, there is a lag. 20 years after ulcers were shown to be caused by bacteria, surveys showed 80% of all doctors still believed they were caused by stress."

      "ferd berple | August 5, 2011 at 10:06 am |
      The continued rise in CO2 after temperatures start to drop, as shown by the ice cores, cannot be explained by AGW without aerosols. Volcanoes must cause the temperatures to drop, and since there is almost always a volcano active somewhere, this explanation can be used to explain any temperature change that is not in accordance with AGW."

      "ferd berple | August 5, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
      Recent analysis of RC traffic has shown just how alarmingly high the censorship is. One could hardly expect any such site to provide an objective scientific discussion."

      "ferd berple | August 5, 2011 at 11:21 am |
      Natural emissions exceed the annual rise by a much greater factor. Thus, using the same logic, this would establish beyond doubt that the anthropogenic environment is a net sink.
      We in fact see this, as atmospheric CO2 levels peak over areas where there are limited people and are least over areas where populations are greatest." NO: Cheshire Claims

      (and more there, plus WUWT.

      When Salby fed his MQ story to Jo Nova, Watts and Montford, of the 400+ dismissives who commented:
      a) Some dismissives had no comment (~12%) or mixed views (~5%) on his MQ story.

      b) Some (~6%) were credibly cautious/skeptical of his story from start to end, i.e., "look, we really don't know anything, there is no evidence, this is just Salby's side...."

      c) But the majority of dismissive pseudoskeptics, ~78% bought Salby's story.
      The level of naiveté displayed must surely be focused on climate issues, since if applied more widely, it's hard to believe people could function. Nigerian 419 scammers would have the mother lode. :-)
      They liked Salby's story, even though it had obvious holes and unlikelihood's. Its only support was his own personal credibility, which the 78% took as absolute. About 45% of the 78% subscribed to conspiracy ideas, especially malice at MQ.
      WUWT July 10, 2013
      " ferd berple says:
      July 10, 2013 at 8:03 am
      It does seem strange that a disciplinary hearing would be held without all parties at the table, especially if one of the parties took steps to make sure the other would not be present."

      For anyone familiar with misconduct proceedings and large organization accounting there is an obvious plausible explanation for that involving no malice at all.

      DeSmogBlog then demonstrated solid evidence of Salby's patterns of deception and mis-use of others. Many commenters just stopped, but some fought on for Salby's MQ story with attacks on NSF, CU or DeSmogBlog for posting history or just writing platitudes like ferd berple's.
      ~"back to Salby's fine science" was another theme.

      Once again, I thank the commenters in the SalbyStorm for great data.
      Pseuoskeptics Are Not Skeptics.

    2. Thanks for the list of Berplisms. With those in view I feel I can safely say that I don't think that Ferd is virtuously concerned for the poor: his suggestion that Bangladeshis need fridges even if they will not have food and drink to put in them thanks to climate change can derided as another piece of denialist gobshite motivated purely by his desire to justify his own lifestyle.

    3. Sou, my apologies if I've overstepped policy. Please send specifics to my email address and I will be happy to comply.

      Let me rephrase my earlier explanation. The question of mechanism is a fundamental that has only recently appeared in science. One that I strongly disagree with.

      Humans learned to successfully predict the seasons long before we understood the mechanism. We learned how to minimize disease centuries before we knew the mechanism behind infection. Vaccination was developed before we knew the mechanism behind immunity. We have yet to discover the mechanism underlying gravity, yet we predict if with precision. To this date the propagation speed of gravity remains one of the great unknowns in science.

      Thus, there is a great danger to scientific discovery when we insist on mechanism as a condition of prediction. How can one propose a mechanism if that mechanism is as yet unknown?

      However, if one can predict a future event reliably, even if one does not know the underlying mechanism, then this can have great value to humanity.

      For in the end it matters not if the seasons change do orbital mechanics or because the earth is carried on the back of a turtle. What matters is how we prepare for the change of seasons.

    4. Ferd your first comment, being off topic, contravened the comment policy (see top nav bar). I allowed it because you're a newcomer here and were polite.

      Thing is, once comments verge into the ridiculous (pseudo-science or other similar nonsense) and/or are off topic and/or don't acknowledge previous responses and/or hog the limelight, especially if they gish gallop like here (shifting goal posts, jumping from one off topic topic to another off topic topic) - any or all of those will end up in the HotWhoppery, unless I'm really too busy or can't be bothered. In which case they may simply be deleted without being shifted.

      Usually I do move deleted comments to the HotWhoppery. (Unless they are not suitable for family viewing, which happens from time to time.)

      This policy is at the request of regulars, who prefer threads not be cluttered with nonsense and irrelevancies and worse. I concurred after discussions with readers here.

    5. BTW don't feel too put upon. I've moderated myself from time to time :)

    6. his suggestion that Bangladeshis need fridges
      my suggestion was that we make electricity available to those that do not have it, without trying to limit the solutions they choose for themselves. for peace and prosperity go hand in hand.

      we would not take kindly to other countries trying to dictate policy from a position of strength. we should expect them to feel the same. to the poor of the world we are the rich..we are officially vilified in a great many countries as the cause of their governments failures.

      We lived in Muslim countries for 10 years on and off while traveling, including during 911. The next day, a villager in the market town near to where we were living, a man I had never met, pointed a make believe rifle at me and pulled the trigger. In a country where possession of a single bullet carries the death penalty.

      Over the next days and weeks my Muslim friends came to me in great fear and asked what it meant. What would happen as a result of the planes. I told them it would mean war, and war came. And continues to this day.

    7. Ferd, that's a straw man argument. Did you look at the links I provided above? Different countries are developing away, building a mix of modern and old-fashioned power sources. Modern is arguably the fastest and cheapest option, and will benefit a lot more people, particularly those in small towns and rural areas. Modern is less reliant on expensive distribution networks and more scaleable. As well as that there are much less social costs by way of health problems, pollution and global warming. And less reliance on ownership of dwindling fossil fuels that would otherwise have to be shipped long distances, in many cases.

      First you claimed there was some weird global treaty. You gave that up when pressed. Now you are arguing against something that isn't happening. Well woopy doo. There are no ogres or One World Government or shadowy world dictator who is limiting solutions your "they" choose for themselves.

      Now - you've had your say, ferd. You're not adding anything new.

      That is enough thread hogging. In future if you want to keep posting here, stick to the topic of the article. There are many to choose from.

    8. BTW don't feel too put upon. I've moderated myself from time to time :)
      Thanks Sou. I appreciate the light hand.

    9. You gave that up when pressed.
      Apologies Sou, I thought you were purposely being obtuse. I was talking about next year:

      The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.

    10. That conference is aimed at all nations agreeing to a plan to reduce CO2 emissions. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, and using your own words: "a global treaty that would restrict availability of energy to the third world".

      "My concern is that we are considering a global treaty that would restrict availability of energy to the third world. My concern dates from the introduction of such a inhuman concept."

      Elsewhere you argued that what you condescendingly call "third world" should be able to determine their own future. Well they can. No-one is stopping them.

      On the contrary, governments from developed nations are providing funds to some of the less developed nations so they *can* build up their infrastructure, including energy infrastructure. (We've exploited them for so long it's time we gave a bit back.)

      Businesses from developed nations are also investing in energy projects in less developed nations, including many large and smaller scale modern energy projects.

      Are you really a conspiracy nutter or are you just pretending to be one?

      BTW another question if it's not being too personal. Do you have a vision impairment or reading difficulty? I won't repeat myself. Go back and read my last comment again.

    11. All is not lost for the 3rd world. Perhaps common sense prevails after all:

      World Bank President Jim Yong Kim indicated today that African “demand for access to power” may lead the lender to support coal projects on the world’s poorest continent.

      “We are very sensitive to the idea that Africa deserves to have power,” Kim said, referring to the possibility of supporting coal projects. “There’s never been a country that has developed with intermittent power.”


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

    13. "my suggestion was that we make electricity available to those that do not have it"

      Yes I know. I think we all get that. But my suggestion is that people who will starve because of the effects of climate change will certainly, given a choice, prefer to have food. Food is a necessity, electricity is a luxury. Its pretty simple really.

    14. Hi Millicent. It is interesting to note that famine is an economic condition. If there is a functioning economy, transport infrastructure and people have an income or savings, food is readily transported and sold into areas where there is a demand.

    15. Subsistence farmers do not have much if anything in the way of savings, and if their crops fail, they have no money to buy even if there were a nice, six-lane blacktop right up to the edge of the village.

      On a personal note, I am revolted by people who suddenly discover their conscience over the bottom billion when engaged in anti-emissions policy rhetoric.

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

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

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

    19. Ha.

      You guys do not thrive on practicality do you? It is all about the dogma.

      Mankind is running roughshod across this good earth, and some have fixated on one control lever to rectify it all. I don't know, (and you don't know) but I hope for the sake of all that you are focusing on the correct lever.

      Thanks for the little play in your sandpit. I won't be back soon.

    20. I don't see the relevance of your comment, marke. I've requested that comments stay on topic, that's all. There are plenty of topics to choose from at HotWhopper.

      Anyway, I hope you enjoyed your sojourn here. You are welcome back any time.

    21. Sou, it was simply irritating to see BBD's erroneous and deceptive comment stand while my simple counterpoint was deleted.

      October 7, 2014 at 1:41 AM

    22. Okay. I've had to draw the line somewhere. Probably should have done it sooner.

      It'd take several lifetimes to fix everything on the internet that you think is wrong ;(


    23. Ha ha. Too true! That's me to a T.

    24. marke

      If my comment was "erroneous and deceptive" then you must point out why. You didn't (because it wasn't) but chose to lie instead.

      For the record here, I find that profoundly offensive.

    25. BBD - That was me. Marke did say why he thought whatever ...I removed it because I was trying to get some sort of order back.

      I'll publish it below.

    26. Hi BBD,

      You perhaps miss the point. The whole idea is to move them up from being subsistence farmers. ..“There’s never been a country that has developed with intermittent power...." ie, If we/they create a modern functioning economy, they will progress beyond subsistence.

      It is a matter of priorities. People are currently starving because of lack of development of their economies. Are their actual deaths somehow trumped by the theorized climate deaths of the future?

      On a personal note, I am somewhat annoyed by people who are quite happy to keep living their modern, airconditioned, air-travelling, car driving life while deciding amongst themselves that 3rd world countries would be far better off to try skipping development using coal fired power generation, and instead rely on the future promise of several times more expensive, untried and incomplete technologies. (While in the meantime continuing to walk miles every day to collect wood and cowdung to burn inefficiently in health threatening conditions).

      Happily, that situation may be changing as a more practical approach seems to be coming to the fore at the World Bank and among those who can have influence.

      Paul Ehrlich may have got a lot of things wrong in his timing but surely the basic principles he espoused are correct, and curbing population growth (that takes economic development and education) is the major factor in making mankind's longer term existence on this planet sustainable.

      I was a great fan of solar power, imagining us all linked in our own self sustaining grids, with little need of a central power station. But then the lack of suitable storage technology became the obvious stumbling block, and as I learnt about the basics of electrical distribution grids (the need for baseline power, and the need for dispatchable power, and the economic fact that central power station is still needed and must be paid for on top of the other newer technologies) I realized I had been sold a pup.

      [Note: I'm publishing this comment, which I initially removed. I'll lift any restrictions here. Anyone who wants to add their thoughts can do so. Sou. 7 Oct 2014 8:04 pm]

    27. On an individual basis the view espoused by marke has some merit, but when it is voiced by most pseudoskeptics it is mere rationalization. Very few of them would are clamoring for increased foreign aid, few of them are in favor of technology transfers to developing countries, most of them abhor government (hence the high correlation between pseudoskeptics and libertarian economic views).

      When the Roy Spencers of the world and his fellow Cornwall Alliance members are pushing politicians to increase foreign aid to impoverished African countries, then I might believe they're actually serious. Until then I find most people using this rationale to be arguing in bad faith.

      I don't know enough about marke to say that he is or isn't concern trolling.

    28. Kevin

      It is as I said: the sudden "discovery" of concern for the bottom billion when discussing emissions abatement policy is the rankest imaginable hypocrisy. I think marke is concern trolling because he inserted the "intermittency" meme. That does not play well in the face of the rapid evolution of utility-scale battery technology and the abundance of year-round solar energy available in eg. Africa. It's just denier rhetoric and for some reason today, I have had enough of the incessant, self-serving lies spewed out by the contrarian swarm.

    29. Thanks Sou. I do appreciate the posting.

      Of course, I do not much appreciate Kevin and BBD's redirecting of the argument from factual discussion to deciding on my motives. I am however impressed by their ability to spout categorizations for those who would debate them.

      Lemme just say, them's the facts boys, and good luck with those batteries, I have no doubt they will turn up eventually. The only question is when.

    30. Marke, you gave as good as you got, probably more, when you said BBD's comment was "erroneous and deceptive". You'd be hard-pressed to find a more honest person or diligent researcher in the climate blogosphere.

    31. marke

      Lemme just say, them's the facts boys, and good luck with those batteries, I have no doubt they will turn up eventually. The only question is when.

      They are already here. As I said, self-serving lies.

    32. Some people have great faith in technology's inability to progress any further than they remember it as. It's time to close the Patent Office now that everything's been invented.

    33. Sou, BBD's "6 lane blacktop to the subsistence farm's doorstep" version of development was simply wrong, and I (rightly or wrongly) presumed deliberately so when the value of economic development of poor communities is widely known and is clearly stated in my post.

      Whether BBD is regarded a diligent researcher and an honest person does not change that. Similarly, my motivation in pointing out relevant facts does not alter those facts.

      However, having lived and travelled in developing SE Asian countries constantly for the last twenty years, I have witnessed first hand the value of economic development, and have developed certain viewpoints on what is important.

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

  20. Off topic from the discussion above I was scanning through the comments on the Ben Santer paper and at least a couple of times dbstealey posted a graph of temperature changes since 1880 relative to (I assume) 0 degrees C. As intended it makes the temperature change look very flat. That made me think that we need a graph of temperature change for the past 400,000 years relative to 0 Kelvin. It would probably look just as flat. After all isn't absolute zero the basis of all physical measures of temperature?

    1. I once did a chart showing Chicago temperature doesn't vary all year around, summer or winter, to any great degree.

      See the top animated chart in this article.

  21. ferdy ferdy you are a total twit. Just because you do not know what is obvious to us that practice science does not make you an idiot. What makes you an idiot is your denialism of reality. It is sad. Bert

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

  22. Umm I'll just point out that ferd isn't commenting on this thread any more, unless it's a comment about guest posting at WUWT or Nic Lewis' dinner party or a related subject. So, because he won't be responding, can I ask you to refrain from any more comments on his chosen topics or about him.

    Thanks everyone.

    1. Sorry Sou, posted before I saw your Berple block comment!

  23. @- ferdberple
    "Newton himself recognized that his Law was a humbug, because it required gravity to act infinitely fast at infinite distance. The simple act of waving your hand instantly affects the motion of all objects in the Universe according to Newton."

    Wrong, Newton was apparently quite content with an infinitely fast at a distance effect from gravity, the same assumption had been made about light until Astronomical measurements of the eclipse timing of Jupiter's moons from different distances in the respective Earth-Jupiter orbits gave a figure that was within 3% of present measurements.

    And in fact Gravity DOES act infinitely fast at infinite distances as a static field. If you try to determine the position of the sun from the direction of the sunlight you will be ~8min out because of light speed. However if you try and measure the position of the sun from the direction of the gravitational force (or its magnetic field) you will accurately determine the instantaneous position of the Sun without any light-speed delay.

    Similarly all your hand-waving results in a hand being instantaneously affected by the change in gravitation influences from the rest of the universe - the static field effect. However the CHANGES in gravitational effect from moving your hand propagate at light-speed and do NOT affect the rest of the universe instantly.

    Don't feel too despondent about your confusion on this point, Laplace made the same mistake, it wasn't really until Lorenz cleared up the distinction between the instantaneous effect of a static field on a changing frame of reference and the light-speed propagation of changes in the field that this issue was fully grasped.

    There is certainly no dispute about the speed of gravity, it is limited like everything else to light-speed, in fact from SR and GR It is explicitly constrained to light-speed for those extremely accurate predictive theories to make correct forecasts.

    Others haev pointed out your errors on infinite/unbounded/bounded universe and Heisenberg uncertainty,
    Such misconceptions about these basic facts in cosmology/physics do not really give any confidence that your grasp of climate science is very strong.
    The claim that searching for explanatory mechanisms is an epistemological mistake in science is one that I think few scientists would regard as rational.


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

    1. Give me the courtesy of referring to me properly, post on topic and I will return the courtesy by allowing your comments.

      BTW you give yourself far too much credit.

    2. Why would I or anyone want to? selective censorship drives people away and you end singing to the choir. It killed RC because it is boring. one might as well have a football game and invite only one team.

      There is only one way to keep both sides talking when they don't agree. Let them talk. And the more they talk the more people you can reach. And the more more you reach, the more likely we are to reach agreement.

    3. Well, ferd, you've "wanted to" 25 times so far. Some would call it thread-bombing. And you object to "censorship" when all I asked was what any blogger asks - that you stay on topic. You refused my request so I sent a stronger message.

      I notice you don't object to the much worse censorship at WUWT - talk about "singing to the choir". WUWT is one of the worst examples of "singing to the choir" there is. (And a very low brow, one might say vulgar and coarse choir too, going by the comments there the last few days.)

      Anthony bans almost everyone who prefers science to pseudoscience. He keeps a couple around so that his mob has someone to flame. He knows the lynch mob mentality well and that it needs food to thrive.

      BTW. This is typical of deniers who come here. They bomb threads with their nonsense, then fake being irate, spit the dummy and waddle off in a huff when they are simply asked to comply with the comment policy.

      Others will have noticed that I "censored" comments from regulars as well as newcomers in this thread. I try to be even-handed :)

  25. Sou, hi,

    A bit late to the party, but I could have told you from the start this would end in tears (in fact, I think I warned people about Ferd on an earlier thread here where the regulars thought he might be a poe. And I see our resident documenter, John Mashey, has Ferd pegged as well).

    The entity known as Ferd Berple has been posting on WUWT and other sites popular with contrarians for as long as I have been following the so-called AGW 'debate' - sometime in 2009 is when I became interested, I think. Coincidentally, that was just a few months before Climategate broke.

    I can tell you that Ferd is a straight up anti-science denier, with a libertarian bent that he is trying to disguise here. Move along, nothing to see.

    1. Thanks, metzomagic. Ferd might not have heard of HW before, but he's a minor celebrity here. I particularly like his theory about CO2 pressing on the walls of the sky :0

      I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. There are a few like ferd (and Richard) and some others who aren't satisfied with one or two comments. They have to repeat those same thoughts over and over and over again.

      It gets very tedious.

    2. One more time:
      The world needs blogging software where a moderator can:
      a) Accept as is
      b) Delete (with code to say why)
      c) Hide, with a reason code, either hiding in place, or moving to a shadow thread, in either case leaving commenter name, date, and reason code in place.

      If a reader wants to see a comment, they click. (That already exists in places like Amazon comments on reviews, so it is certainly possible. Fancier versions for readers could include a cookie to ignore the moderator, or not even see the headers.)

      Sou: if you'd had that intermediate Hide choice, would you have used it in this thread? And what sorts of reasons would you have chosen?
      I conjecture that most deletes and hides would be covered by about a dozen codes.

    3. It'd be nice - though probably more work for me :(

      In any case, I can't see Google ever introducing anything like that, but it is given free of charge, so I'm not complaining.

    4. Sou: it shouldn't be any more work, but for many moderators, there is agonizing over whether or not to delete a post.
      The problem is that S/N ratios can get degraded.
      Some comment threads actually generate useful discussion worth keeping.
      Others: well, I usually stop reading comments after I see the appearance of some commenters, since experience tells me the discussion will go downhill.

      Here's a good test: go back to a year-old discussion with many comments and ask yourself how much is useful.

  26. I have always wondered if Fourier when he measured heat flow in metal plates came up with The Fourier Series which is really just a fancy mathematical description of complex waveforms with sinusoids just like epicycles. We will never know. My humble opinion is was just a smart fellow.


  27. By the way Fourier first postulated the greenhouse effect in 1824, This is why he has relevance. He knew the earth should be far colder than what is it was just due to incoming radiation from the Sun.



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