It's been a bad week for Believers

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by amped, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. amped

    amped Senior Member

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    First this, a Nobel Laureate calls out APS:

    In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period.

    DailyTech - Nobel Laureate Resigns from APS Over Global Warming Policy

    Then this, shredding another GW so-called "consensus" theory:

    "We believe that the figure of a 15 percent decrease in permanent ice cover since the publication of the previous atlas 12 years (ago) is both incorrect and misleading," said Poul Christoffersen, glaciologist at the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) at the University of Cambridge.

    We concluded that a sizable portion of the area mapped as ice-free in the Atlas is clearly still ice-covered."

    Other scientists agreed.

    World Atlas ice loss claim exaggerated: scientists | Reuters

    These scientists certainly aren't the first or only ones speaking up about the corruption of science by special interest money and resulting pressure to bend the data to fit an agenda. I agree with Harold Lewis' statement last year:

    US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life'

    US physics professor: 'Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life' – Telegraph Blogs

    No worries, some politicians will always be beating the dead horse while others present another hand-wringing "crisis" to feather their nests, science be damned.

    Maybe it's time for the minority who still "believe" to find a new religion.

    "Public perception of climate change has steadily fallen since late 2009. A Rasmussen Reports public opinion poll from August noted that 57 percent of adults believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community on global warming, up five points from late 2009.

    The same study showed that 69 percent of those polled believe it’s at least somewhat likely that some have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs. Just 6 percent felt confident enough to report that such falsification was "not at all likely." "

     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    and the beat goes on...
     
  3. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Wow....
    First the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter casts doubt on the "faked moon landing" theory.....now this.

    *sigh!*
     
  4. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    oy . . . another article ending the controversey

    :confused:
     
  5. MontyTheEngineer

    MontyTheEngineer New Member

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    I can't help but notice... not a single one of those links show a person who studies climate disagreeing with any other person who studies climate.

    You have a scientist who studies magnets disagreeing with climate scientists. You have a scientist who studies nuclear power disagreeing with climate scientists. You have climate scientists disagreeing with an atlas's odd choice to define ice cover exclusively as areas over 500m thick.

    What you do not have is anyone with a good understanding of climate disagreeing with climate change.
     
  6. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    And I'll go you one better. The first scientist (the elderly physicist) displayed his lack of understanding of both the topic and observational data.

    First, he ought to look up the answer to "how can you measure the temperature of the earth" before questioning it so publicly.

    Second, a rise of 0.8C should be compared to the roughly 5 to 6 degrees C in average global temperature rise occurring over 10,000 years, from the pit of the ice age to the industrial era. We've covered 15% of the ice age's entire temperature span in 1% of the time. That's pretty impressive. And there is no shortage of articles projecting what the earth will be like at 2-3-4-5 degrees warmer. It's not pretty.

    So to scoff at 0.8 degrees C because it looks small to you is to demonstrate that you know nothing about this area. From paleological data, we know that -5C is enough to produce vast (and inhospitable) changes in the earth's surface. From the models, we project that +5C is enough to do the same. Going 15% of the way to a complete Earth makeover, in a century, is really nothing to dismiss.

    (Pre-emptive note for those of you who are fixated on the ice cores these days. The Vostok temperature reflects the temperature around the poles, not the earth average temperature. Hence, 5 or 6 degrees, not 10 to 12 degrees.)

    Third, the comment about human health disregards the obvious. You think that, maybe, technological change had more to do with that than climate change, over the period? He treats it as single-cause single-effect -- like, maybe, a physicist who only knows experimental data. Anyway, that's obviously not a correct argument. The correct comparison is: What would human health and happiness be if we hadn't had the 0.8C temperature rise, but life had otherwise progressed?

    And the comment about human health boils down to this: Nothing too bad has happened so far, so there's nothing to worry about. That's simply illogical.

    Finally, probably the least logical thing about his letter (if you bother to read it) was his comparison of global warming to acid rain and the ozone hole. If only that were true. Acid rain was reduced via the Clean Air Act and similar actions worldwide, mainly to limit S02 and N0x emissions. And as anyone old enough can recall, the ozone issue was dealt with by a ban on the worst of the CFCs, replacing them with somewhat more benign substances.

    So that part of his argument boils down to: We should do nothing about global warming, because what we actually did do for acid rain and ozone actually worked. Huh? That's not exactly as stupid as an argument gets, but its pretty close.


    For the Atlas story, two things to note.

    First, the original writeup says clearly that the makers of the atlas, who are not scientists, created a picture that scientists in the area disagreed with. So the description in the post:

    "Then this, shredding another GW so-called "consensus" theory:"

    Huh? There's a "consensus" theory that Greenland's ice has already melted? I think I missed that. I think I missed it because there's no such thing.

    The "consensus" remark is in fact a complete non-sequitur. No scientists said the ice cover had retreated that much. Just these mapmakers. The scientists were the ones who disagreed.

    The interesting irony there is that the company that published the atlas is owned by Rupert Murdoch. Somehow that didn't make it into the Fox story.

    For the third guy, this seems to be a year-old quote. Again, in the context of the title of the posting, another non-sequitur.
     
  7. MontyTheEngineer

    MontyTheEngineer New Member

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  8. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    is this the same Rupert Murdoch who owns Fox Broadcasting?
     
  9. tochatihu

    tochatihu Senior Member

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    Good week for science, though:

    EurekAlert! - Earth Science

    If you peruse the list, you will see some recent publications that seek to improve our understanding of climate science, carbon cycling, and climate mitigation options. IMHO that's what it's all about.

    I want a copy of Meehl et al.'s ocean heat storage study, but my 'library card' doesn't work at Nature Climate Change. Emailed him directly; he's on vacation till the 23rd. Made me wonder how many 'wild-eyed' (for lack of a better term) emails will be in his inbox upon return.

    Steve Running (for another example) gets a zillion emails whenever he publishes another study that irritates deniers/sceptics/gosh we wish it were all not true so we could keep making money burning fossil fuels forever. (I invented that last category myself). It has become part of life for high-profile earth system science researchers.

    Perhaps off topic for this thread, but a little insight that I thought to share.

    Carry on arguing here, by all means. Those who do research will carry on doing so, and those who wish it not to be so will carry on spinning. Everyone has a role in this vast world, it seems.
     
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  10. tripp

    tripp Which it's a 'ybrid, ain't it?

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    Cheeky, DAS. I like it.
     
  11. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    Me too. :)
     
  12. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    Totally, completely on-topic.

    In any given month, you might have 200 mainstream journal articles in this area. Of which 199 reinforce the mainstream view or probe legitimate uncertainties within it, and one that provides a juicy denialist tidbit. So its the tidbit that gets the press coverage. And that's completely intentional, to spread FUD, to provide the illusion that there is a lot of dissent about the basics, and to reinforce those who want to believe this isn't a problem but are too lazy to look at the science.

    I mean, how many times here on PriusChat have we see something touted as "the article" or "the research" that "completely demolishes" the global warming "fallacy", finally destroys the credibility of the "warmists", or other baloney to that effect. From people who clearly don't grasp that no single bit of evidence could possibly do that, given the existing body of evidence. Just as no single weather event or piece of research can definitively demonstrate that the mainstream view is correct. And yet, that headline sells.

    Anyway, I've been looking for some sort of comprehensive monthly listing of on-topic research, just to be able to post it and say, see, here's what the scorecard really looks like. With all due respect for publication bias issues. I've seen a lot of advocacy-organization new summaries, but those are not useful for this purpose. I'm really looking for something like a comprehensive monthly listing.
     
  13. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    ^^^ @chogan2

    it matters little for deniers at the end people like you and me are just a bunch of cuckoos who believe the earth is round.
     
  14. chogan2

    chogan2 Senior Member

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    Odd coincidence. I just stumbled across a quote from Asimov that sums up the FUD issues here for me, particularly the "science isn't settled" meme. It just happens to be organized around the flat earth.

    Asimov - The Relativity of Wrong

    Key passage:

    "The young specialist in English Lit, having quoted me, went on to lecture me severely on the fact that in every century people have thought they understood the universe at last, and in every century they were proved to be wrong. It follows that the one thing we can say about our modern "knowledge" is that it is wrong...

    My answer to him was, "John, when people thought the earth was flat, they were wrong. When people thought the earth was spherical, they were wrong. But if you think that thinking the earth is spherical is just as wrong as thinking the earth is flat, then your view is wronger than both of them put together."

    It's a nice read. It starts by demonstrating that a flat earth is not a bad approximation, given what the ancients had to measure with. And working up from there.
     
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  15. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    It's the Bee's and Spiders...
    They stole my food stamps, and theys sleepin with my wife...
    Mr President, where can I get a job......

    I wish the damn experts would make up their mind!
     
  16. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    This post gets close to a central point for me.
    That is, Physicists getting too much say in the public debate. We've got some EVangelist physicists out there basically saying, Physics is Good and Chemistry is Bad. This fellow is apparently not on board with that crowd, at least we can say. Naturally, I am not a physicist myself.
     
  17. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    I've got to go with the nobel prize winning physicist here, and with science. Climate science is much easier to understand than quantum mechanical effects such as tunneling. I'm sure most of the politicians trumping consensus in "warming" would have been for the consensus of Newtonian gravitation over relativity let alone thought it was impossible for an electron to show up on the other side of an impenetrable barrier. He was quite right that the APS should hold a sceptical open mind and not pass statements that some majority vote make this one piece of science incontrovertible.

    Now that doesn't mean that there is not a mountain of supporting evidence, only that the issue has become a matter of belief. Let's allow the skeptics to talk without calling them names. The evidence supports AGW, but that does not mean we should close the door to new evidence, however unlikely, changing the theory.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903927204576572842778437276.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

     
  18. spiderman

    spiderman wretched

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    Actually it is more pear-shaped. :rolleyes:
     
  19. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    While the terms 'pear-shaped' and 'oblate spheroid' may describe a fat monk, only the latter describes Earth's shape accurately. :p
     
  20. cyclopathic

    cyclopathic Senior Member

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    If you have to, then which one?


     
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