I Can Engage In A Flawed Debate About Climate Change

APPARENTLY, science writer and academic Ben Goldacre would rather slam his “cock in a door” than engage in a phony debate with climate change deniers.

At least, that’s what he told former Liberal Senator and climate sceptic Nick Minchin and climate change campaigner Anna Rose during the filming for this Thursday evening’s ABC show “I Can Change Your Mind About… Climate”.

The concept of the show is simple. Get a climate sceptic and a climate advocate together and let them take each other around the world to meet people in an attempt to change each other’s mind.

Nick Minchin laid out his own position during an interview with the ABC’s Four Corners program, back in 2009. Basically, it boiled to “lefties” exploiting people’s innate fears about climate change “to achieve their political ends”.

Be warned, Mr Minchin, as secret lefties like British Tory Prime Minister David Cameron and that famous anti-capitalist Richard Branson are also in on the socialist plot.

I should admit I’ve known about the program for many months, as I was approached to act as an advisor in the planning stages. Nothing materialised. I also spoke many months ago to Anna Rose about the show.

In both instances, I said that in my view the show’s format was flawed in that it would put non-peer-reviewed, pseudo science conducted by largely unqualified non-experts alongside decades of genuine peer reviewed scientific research. It might make for engaging telly, but it creates a false sense of balance.

If I were a climate sceptic activist or a fossil fuel lobbyist designing a format for a TV show, this show is what I’d probably come up with.

In an excerpt broadcast on radio national’s The Science Show, Goldacre explains why he thinks the show’s format is questionable and how, as part of the broader treatment of the climate change issue in mainstream media, it is a “gift” for the likes of Minchin. Goldacre says

You will win every time. You can cherry pick data and there’ll be no time to point out the flaws, you can pull out dodgy science and there will be no time to point that out. You can pull out arguments that have already been resolved. You can find one of those [arguments] that the person you’re arguing with hasn’t heard of and then it will be next Tuesday by the time you have gone off to research it….

This technique of using a machine-gun style delivery of numerous misrepresentations strung together is perfectly demonstrated in the show by Marc Morano, of the free market, climate sceptic think-tank the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

Morano is a former communications director for Republican Senator James Inhofe, who himself believes global warming is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. Coal and oil interests obviously love him – according to Oil Change International analysis Inhofe has accepted more than US$1.3 million from the fossil fuel industry since the late 1990s.

In the show Morano delivers a devastating and convincing 35-second blitzkrieg of climate science misrepresentations, in the way that Goldacre describes. In the segment, Morano’s claims go unchallenged, but we can easily check them here.

First, Morano says Arctic sea-ice is “9000 Manhattans” above the low point of 2007. Morano is cherry picking one point in time to argue that sea-ice isn’t disappearing from the Arctic. As he must surely know, climate change is observed by looking at long-term trends rather than single events. So what’s the trend that Morano ignores? It looks like this, from the US Government’s National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Morano of course also ignores the serious reduction in the thicker, multi-year ice, which is also trending downwards.

Morano then moves on to sea level rise, caused by oceans expanding as they get warmer and by melting glaciers and ice sheets. He claims sea level has just seen a “historic drop” and is “falling”. He cites the European Space Agency and NASA as proof. Let’s take a look at what Morano has just dismissed.

First, NASA.

Now, the European Space Agency.

Remember, we’re still tackling Morano’s 35-seconds of trickery here. Next, he claims global temperatures hit a high point in 1998, desperately clinging on to a climate denial meme that has long-since died.

Morano’s previously favoured source NASA has pointed out that nine of the 10 warmest years on the modern meteorological record have occurred since 2000. In fact, the two major US Government agencies dealing with temperature records – NOAA and NASA – both put 2010 as the warmest year on record, as does the World Meteorological Organization.

But Morano now ignores those. The only main temperature record which did have the warmest year as 1998 was that of the UK’s Met Office, but after updating its method to include more observations from the Arctic (which was previously under-represented) the Met Office now says 2010 is the warmest year on it’s record going back to 1850. The year 1998 is now ranked third.

Morano dismisses this by claiming that temperature records that show 2005 and 2010 as being the hottest years are based on “hundredths of a degree”.

If only Nick Minchin or Anna Rose had pointed out to him that he based his own claim made in his previous breath – that 1998 was the warmest year – on two-hundredths of a degree. Apparently, this is OK when it suits Morano’s own argument. And don’t look at the trend.

Finally, Morano uses a recent Gallup survey of people in 111 countries to claim “that the majority of the human race are not even scared of global warming”.

Morano is likely referring to this Gallup survey, which found that in 2007/08, 41 per cent of the people surveyed (1,000 people each in 111 countries) said they thought global warming was either a “very” serious threat to them and their family, or “somewhat” of a serious threat. The latest result, for 2010, puts this figure at 42 per cent.

But is Morano seriously suggesting we should formulate policy based on people’s fears or beliefs, as expressed in a Gallup telephone poll?

If so, he might want to start formulating a policy response to the Gallup survey finding that 73 per cent of Americans hold a belief in the paranormal. Perhaps he’d advocate tax relief for witches or cutting red tape for owners of haunted houses?

Morano’s organisation, the Washington DC-based CFACT,  is one of the most overt and shameless climate sceptic think-tanks on the planet and has received funding from oil companies and the foundations of oil and banking billionaire heir Richard Scaife.

Morano also runs a blog for CFACT called Climate Depot, which publishes links to sceptic news items. But his blog has also been implicated in the campaign to intimidate climate scientists and writers around the world. Morano likes to publish their email addresses prominently on his blog.

ABC presenter and Sydney Morning Herald columnist Richard Glover has been one lucky recipient of the nasties sent out via Morano’s dog whistle.

Others who have had their emails published by Morano (who incidentally defends his action in the show saying they’re all publicly available) include Australian author Haydn Washington, atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel and the late Professor Stephen Schneider.

Morano has a very low opinion of climate scientists, once stating that they deserved to be “publicly flogged”. Another leading climate change scientist at the receiving end of Morano’s online bullying tactics has been Professor Michael Mann. The Penn State University scientist spoke to the ABC’s Lateline program in March about the intimidation of climate scientists – something he covers at length in his book, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars, in reference to his famous reconstruction of global temperatures going back one thousand years which showed a sharp spike after the world started burning copious amounts of fossil fuels.

Earlier this week I asked Professor Mann about the role which Marc Morano was playing in the climate debate. He told me:

Morano is just a cog in a larger attack and disinformation machine. As I point out in my book, he is funded and abetted by the very same corporate interests who help bankroll the climate change denial effort in the U.S. His modus operandi of publishing scientists emails, portraying them as enemies of the people, is just one of the lines of attack used. Morano is the pit bull who carries those attacks out for them. He’s a hired hand and his main role is to intimidate and discredit climate scientists in the hope that they will withdraw from participating in the public discourse.

And this is the guy who Nick Minchin thinks deserves to be part of the climate change debate. For me this goes to major flaw in the format of this show, in that it gives fringe-dwellers, ideologues and vested interests access to a prime time television audience to spread doubt about the science.

No matter how well “balanced” the views of the sceptics might be, the outcome is the same – an audience increasingly confused and apathetic.

What’s next? I can change your mind about… astrology… evolution… the earth being round… tobacco… gravity… fairies…..

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Author: Graham

Graham Readfearn is a Brisbane-based journalist. Go to the About page in the top navigation for more information.

121 thoughts on “I Can Engage In A Flawed Debate About Climate Change”

  1. Great piece Graham. The media just doesn’t know how to report climate change without feeding the egos of deniers. The way science is being politicised and too loudly questioned is not only unjust but deeply scary in a way I wish most people would understand.

  2. I heard the segment on the Science Show yesterday. It sounded as if Anna had nothing to say in response to Morano’s Gish Gallop. I was surprised she didn’t call him out for it, since it’s one of the favourite tactics of deniers and creationists, and it’s a well-known indicator of bogus science.

  3. You guys really should drop the nine of the 10 warmest years mantra.

    If you have a maximum year then short of a drastic increase immediately preceding that year and/or a drastic drop immediately following that year, then you will have many “near” maximums on either side of that peak. Whoopee. I’m not saying it proves or disproves anything but it does not have the significance that you are claiming. If the world keeps warming the way your models have predicted, you’ll have hundreds of warmest years to play with and they will all be on the way up the graph.

    Now you can spin, swerve, twist, bend or otherwise but It is a fact that the global average temperature (whatever that really means) has remained stationary or at the least has decreased slightly over the past 12 years. Yes, I know it rose for a number of years prior to that so don’t bother throwing graphs at me (unless they have an accurate representation of the last 5 billion years). Again, it does not prove or disprove anything. Not sure why your so sensitive about this.

    And, Arctic ice extent is currently above expectations. Again, it does not prove or disprove anything so you really should chill out and be happy that we have more ice.

    It’s almost like you guys are desperate for things to get hotter to justify your convictions but that may just be my reality distortion field kicking in. Don’t get so frustrated when the globe doesn’t behave the way you think it should for 12 years. The science is settled. 97% (is that right?) of scientists are convinced the planet will melt if we do not take drastic action.

    Have faith. Stay strong. You have the numbers.

    Regards
    OctalBear

  4. I hope my worst fears won’t be realised on Thursday night. There is a myth that debating deniers happens on an even playing field; it doesn’t. They throw bombs, dissemble, cherry-pick and have no intention of debating peer-reviewed evidence because they are propagandists, as the method described above by Graham describes. Our side is expected to communicate complicated scientific understandings in 30 second bursts. Debating the scientific detail suits the bomb throwers. Debating their credibilty is the way to go, as George Monbiot showed when he demolished Plimer with exactly that tactic. Let’s hope Anna has learned that lesson.

  5. Oh dear. You seem to have misunderstood the whole climate “debate”.

    The skeptics do not deny that climate changes. Over time It never stays the same. The debate is how,if at all, catastrophic it is going to be and whether it is driven by man-made CO2, and if it is, what balance is to be sought between prevention and adaptation.

    The scientific argument that man-made CO2 is driving catastrophic climate change and that we can legislate and regulate to prevent it is preposterously weak and supported only by computer models which have spectacularly been shown to have NO predictive skill.

    Banging on about millimetres of sea level rise and the Arctic sea ice is a red herring.

  6. “But is Morano seriously suggesting we should formulate policy based on people’s fears or beliefs,…” In a democracy this is actually necessary. To discount people’s “fears and beliefs” leads to lost elections and loss of power. The anti-democratic implications of this remark are actually offensive (well to me). Also as a retired academic, and especially after Climategate, I find the worship of “peer-reviewed” literature ridiculous.

  7. Wow. I was going to use my real name, and bag OctalBear (Andrew?) for not using his, and then I read the Richard Glover article Graham linked to above at http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/a-climate-change-wave-of-hate-20110609-1ftix.html – Frightening stuff. You do get a hint of this if you hang out too much on twitter at #auspol, but the volume and nature of abuse Glover copped is staggering.

    The minds of these sorts of people will not be changed as logic doesn’t enter into any discussion, it’s pure emotive fear and rage, and we have plenty of them here in Australia I’m sure.

    One of the most senior and respected climate scientists I know (and I’ve met a great many) once advised me to “never argue with an idiot lest those looking on have trouble telling the difference”. He’s an American, and having read Glover’s piece casts his advice in a new light. It’s not like I’m naive about the extent and twistedness of the US climate denial machine, but 300,000 hits on an obscure SMH opinion piece (sorry, Richard!) selected for demonisation by these malevolent spin doctors is impressive and deeply worrisome.

    The success of our own climate denial machine in gaming the “I can change” survey by swamping it with deniers at a very early stage is a testament to the outreach of the right wingnut denier campaigners too.

    It’s hard to find a better example of the ease of making denier assertions, and the huge amount of work that goes into unpicking and debunking them that the Eureka prize winning website http://www.skepticalscience.com

    But given that the vast majority of deniers are driven by ideology and emotion, any amount of rational plain english explanation of the science seems lamentably destined to fall on ears so deaf they cannot hear.

  8. Go ahead and bang your cock in a door then, Ben — don’t let us stop you. But once the swelling goes down you might want to have a look at the extent of Arctic sea ice

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

    which is about to reach its 1979-2000 average. The corresponding Antarctic figures, of course, have been above the average all year.

    Looks like Santa and the penguins didn’t get the memo about ‘global’ warming.

  9. “There is a myth that debating deniers happens on an even playing field”

    1/ Holocaust terminology means the other side wins first point. :)
    2/There is little debate with people who question CAGW..99% of mainstream media dont run a thing..so you would have to look hard for any “debate”.

    “They throw bombs, dissemble, cherry-pick and have no intention of debating peer-reviewed evidence because they are propagandists”

    No references/no examples..no evidence..but good sound bites though.. :)
    But a great example of CAGW “science”..

    “Our side is expected to communicate complicated scientific understandings in 30 second bursts. ”

    Your side could spend a few minutes trying to explain to the general public the following.

    1/Why do climatology INC (C) papers have no data/codes supplied with them
    2/Why do climatologists refuse to hand over source codes.?
    3/Why did your side not “apologise” for the disgraceful way scientists were caught out in both cimategate leaks..(yes..I know your side did not read them but just knows there was nothing to it)
    4/Why does your side not explain why the billions spent in the last 20 years of co2 mitigation/talkfests/trading/conferences(only in sunny locations..has done nothing to the climate.
    5/Why doesnt your side tell us how tax and tarding will make the weather better..that should be a flippping laugh..Go on..
    6/Why doesnt your side actually tell which weather event your side will not blame on CAGW
    7/Why doesnt anyone on your side read books like “The HockeySticl Illusion”.
    A friend of mine is a science teacher and he will not read it because “It scares me”.
    8/Why does your side bow before models that fail over and over..
    I could go on..but whats the point..

  10. Here’s the link to the current northern sea ice anomoly.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png

    Question: What caused the northern sea ice anomoly to be positive until 1979 in your graph above? Surely not related to CO2 was it? So, conversely, the sea ice anomoly is currently negative (and barely at that, it may be headed back to positive). Surely this is also not related to CO2 is it? Perhaps CO2 has some minor influence on northern sea ice (apparently it causes southern sea ice to increase if you use the same logic). Please spare me the twisted “climate science” argument for CO2 and sea ice.

  11. Boris (Boris?)

    When you refer to “pure emotive fear and rage”, I assume your not talking about any of the following from your post above:

    idiot, denier, denial machine, right wingnut denier, twistedness, malevolent spin doctors, ears so deaf, denier assertions.

    Regards
    OctalBear

  12. Just so Grahame.

    Although the basic science is straightforward enough for those with at least a passing interest in science to grasp, and has never been seriously contested, the more fine grained reasoning attached to long term modelling and statistics really is out of the skillsets of most people. One might as well have a public debate on the advantages of different types of aircraft or drugs for dealing with depression or AIDS or the efficacy of vaccines for bird fl .

    It;s far easier to troll as the denier than to explain complex scientific reasoning to a lay audience. Presenting climate science (as opposed perhaps to public policy responses) as if it were “a debate” in which non-scientifically educated people could meaningfully participate and to which they should bring an open mind simply insults those who have taken the trouble to do good science — by which I mean those who have done the painstaking work in actual research in the area required to pass muster with their accredited peers. It grants at the outset that science is a matter of opinion, when it is overwhelmingly about documented inference-making based on rigorously defined and gathered data which others with the requisite skills can critique. It’s nothing like a debate in which witty rejoinders and semantic cleverness can win the day.

    If people want to become involved in science, let them do science, gain accreditation, and participate. The kind of nonsense one sees on the denier side is, at best, ignorant tomfoolery aimed at frustrating important public policy. Whether they know it or not, the deniers are the playthings of interests they can barely understand. It’s unfortunate that the ABC has fallen victim to this in a faux attempt at evenhandedness.

    Nonsense and sense don’t deserve equal time in serious media. Serious media shoud focus on what may be gleaned using the most compelling reasoning and comprehensive salient data.

  13. More generally,

    The phenomenon — in this case climate change — can only at this stage be explained if we accept greenhouse gas theory. No other explanation can hindcast the data. If someone can offer a credible and testable alternative explanation for the data that has been measured (including the energy balance data, then I would have some doubt. They’d probably also have to show that both GHGs and this other hitherto undiscovered phenomenon exactly affected the radiation in the same bandwidths as GHGs so that both could co-exist without being additive. It’s also clear that if there were some other way of explaining the data that, given the enormous interest in maintaining business-as-usual that pretty much every first world government (and quite a few non-first world governments) has — that someone would have found it by now. Nothing would help them so much as a plausible alternative theory. Yet to dat, they have nothing. Nada.

    Given that we have a theory that explains the phenomenon of climate change very well, and no alternative with any credibility, the conclusion is forced. If there were no implications at all for public policy, we might well say “isn’t that interesting?” and move on. Of course in that case, the denier movement would be about as active as people who argue that Shakespeare wasn’t really the author of Shakespeare’s plays.

    The problem here is one of equivocation. It is so that one cannot prove causality. There is an inevitable bootstrapping problem. The close association with science of maths inclines people to think that scientific proof must be the same as proof in maths. Of course, it isn’t because maths is a closed system with deductive reasoning, whereas science is inductive — we gather more data and rule out explanations that are not plausible leaving behind what may well be truth.

    Science however is mainly focused on utility — knowledge about the world that is useful to humans. We would like truth, but we accept that even if we get it, we won’t be absolutely certain we have it. What we do want from science are useful insights that can steer us away from doing things that are harmful or sub-optimal. Science doesn’t need to give us truth in an absolute sense to meet that standard. It only has to give us the best guidance that rigorous observation and inference-making can achieve. For us, that will count as proof because any human response that is based on that will either be optimal, or sub-optimal in ways that reflect the incompleteness of our work or the limits of our technology. We are doing the best we can with what we have.

    That is why the objectors to mainstream science are wrong. Of course we can’t say with the certainty that attends religious faith that the science as it stands can never be refuted. What we can say is that to reject using what we are very confident is the best explanation for climate change to guide public policy would be a reckless course, on par with ignoring traffic signals on the basis of doubts one had about the consequences of such a course. No court would acquit someone behaving like that on the basis of doubts about the physics and localised impacts of potential collisions.

    Stripped of the sophistry, the denier claim is incipiently epistemically nihilistic. If the mere partiality of insight makes insight worthless, then all insight is worthless at least until one can show that it is whole and complete. Of course, by definition, one can’t have complete insight save by the route of partial insight first. Nobody could know anything and the “skeptic” case would by their own standards implode into nothingness. If they were consistent, they would joing trappist monasteries and take a vow of silence. Of course they aren’t consistent. Nobody outside of a mental institution behaves as if the world isn’t knowable — at least in part.

    Every bit of human progress has been built on partial insight, and it will continue to be so. Intrepid humans have tried things out, sometimes to their personal cost but almost always to the beneift of those who could learn both from their triumphs and their failures. We, more than any other species have learned that learning is a good and worthy thing, to stand on the shoulders of those who have shed light where there is darkness and to spurn those who prattle from the margins that we humans are the playthings of fate.

    The IPCC-consensus is for mine amply proved to scientific standards. Future science may refine it and make it even more useful as a guide to policy and in the very unlikely event that it is overturned, it will be because someone using the very tools that got us to this point, wielded them even more impressively, not because some self-serving loudmouth did an impression of Mr Horse.

    One more thing:

    In the real world, data must not only be accurate and salient. To be useful, it must be timely. By timely, we mean that it is available and can be processed in time to inform action. Sometimes, when I’m on hold on the phone, I play a game called “Quadropops”. It’s a spawning game in which one tries to keep the spawn at bay by continually manipulating the spawn into patterns in which four of the same colour are all in contact. When that occurs, they disappear and any resting on them fall to the next point and if another group of four arises they also vanish. As one accumulates more points, you level up and the spawn comes faster and includes blockers that can only be destroyed by putting one of the four beside them. These two constrain your choice raising the degree of difficulty. By the time you get to level 10 if the spawn have built up much beyond half way, you have no time for careful modelling or the available data. You might have just enough time to work out where things should go but if you take it, they will spawn too early for you to direct them efficiently and you lose control of the game.

    The basic point is the value of even salient and accurate data is substantially a function of your ability to deploy it to serve an end. The less time you have to process it and develop responses based on it, the less valuable it is. It would have been better to have had less accurate and less salient data a lot earlier providing the extra time you had allowed you to make better use of it.

    In the case of climate change, while there is continuing marginal value in seeking to narrow error bars in areas where uncertainty remains, the reality is that the marginal value in trying to refine the theory before taking action, in areas where uncertainty is for all practical purposes, frivolous, is negative — and if the current projections are on the optimistic side, perhaps catastrophically so. How much better off would we be going from 95% certainty to 99% certainty, if, while we waited to act, we also became more certain that the previous modelling was excessively optimistic and that we had a chance of foreclosing some of the harm if we’d simply acted earlier? We’d have to conclude with hindisght that our search for ever more impressive certainty had been very costly indeed, even though we now had it.

    The problem is that one of the things that is not knowable with certainty is when the last moment that we can make a decision that will maximise its utility will occur. It may already have passed and the time we are wasting may be further prejudicing the human calculus. One hopes that’s not the case, but with every passing day, that hope must decline. Public policy can’t be implemented and become effective ten minutes after the ink on the agreed plan is dry. So one of the costs that the denier movement is imposing on humanity is the risk that they will render wisdom on climate change policy entirely moot.

  14. Some of us understand it’s about FEEDBACKS, not “CO2.” Of course, we also understand it’s about relying on an unregulated fusion reactor for your primary heat source, and an eccentric if predictable elliptical orbit around said fusion reactor. It’s also about starting the temperature measurements at the tail end of a “little ice age” – the CAGW advocates couldn’t have cherry-picked a better starting point.

    We also understand that it’s about unscrupulous people on both sides of the debate seizing the opportunity to “correct” thousands of social ills caused by policy and random chance, while punishing those who are arrogant enough to be the beneficiaries of the accidents of birth.

    But I would also point out that Galileo fought the consensus of his day – not the church, but academics who KNEW there was nothing new in the sky to be discovered. Maybe he should have “done science” and “gained acceptance” rather than spout all that “nonsense” about a heliocentric solar system.

  15. Graham – good research and a very good article. I admit to having doubts about this show when I first read about it. Visiting the website some time ago and seeing it had already been spammed by climate science deniers, I figured someone had been spreading the word. Was it via Morano – the usual one to start the ball rolling?

    Anyway, looks as if your latest article must be doing the rounds of the denialati blogs too. Sad to see the same old ‘predictions are based on models so they can’t be true’ nonsense. Or all climate science is ‘based on models’.

    Where do these idiots live? Maybe they use astrology for projections. I prefer models based on physics. As for looking at past observations and making sense of rigorous measurements of the world around us – maybe they count on their fingers or have advanced to an abacus. I find computers a tad faster and able to handle a lot more data.

  16. Sigh. Once people wake up to Svensmark, you are all going to look like those who refused to believe plate tectonics. The real deniers are those who think co2 is driving some insane climate feedback.

  17. That is an interesting opinion Fran Barlow, but in my experience skeptics are not lay people but non-climate scientists, engineers and professionals who do have the skill sets to ask informed questions about methodologies and results. Many skeptics are programmers with years of experience developing and using models and are very knowledgable about the limitations of complex models. Some are skilled statisticians with indepth knowledge about how confident one may or may not be when stating conclusions.

    It is much more difficult being a skeptic because one has to wade throught the sloppy work being presented as climate science.

    It is far easier trolling from the side of those who support the concept of AGW/CC because you don’t have to think at all, just use the few well worn catch phrases about the concensus, peer review, warmest years, etc.

    I am amused by the way you hold Marc Moranno up as some sort of skeptical strawman, and knock him down.

  18. OK , I understand that the ice recovery, the sideways trend of global temperature, the stubbornness of sea level not to accelerate upwards and the absence of the tropical troposphere warm/hot spot are not adequate to show that CO2 and rising temperature are unconnected. So . . .

    what would it take to disprove the link of man made CO2 to climate catastrophe?

  19. Fran Barlow,

    What you mean like Stiegs “Antarctica melting” paper, which had that beautiful Times magazine cover but sadly was destroyed by O’Donnel et al in a devistating rebuttal that showed the warming Stieg had “created” was nothing more than an artefact of his data?

    Let’s not of course then get in to the lengths that Steig and the other do called “climate scientists” in the jockey team then went in to keeping O’Donnels paper out of the peer reviewed literature. It was simply disgusting that so called climate scientists would work together to attempt to keep another paper out of the peer review literature for no other reason than because O’Donnel et al were so called denialists!

    Sadly for Stieg he got caught out. However what climate gate did show us is that this incident of perverting and subverting the peer review process wasn’t an isolated incident.

    But by all means, bury your head deeper in to the ground if that’s what makes you happy. The reality is today until those of you who are so eager to “defend” the faith actually open your eyes and stop branding snyobe that disagrees with you as denialists, the climate debate will continue to be non-existent.

    Regards

    Mailman

  20. Fran Barlow, One big problem with your statement in #14 is that green house gas theory by itself cannot correctly hindcast climate change. That makes everything you wrote after that point irrelevant. First, greenhouse gas theory is based on fairly well understood radiative physics. But it only explains about 1/3 of the expected change. To “explain” climate change, you need strong positive feedbacks, whose physics is not that well understood and which tend to contradict what measurements there are (such as measurements of atmospheric humidity, etc.). You also need to invoke aerosols. To make some kind of qualitative hindcast, assumptions about aerosols need to be made. Unfortunately, those models which each have some hindcast ability, make contradictory assumptions about aerosols in order to make their hindcast work. They can’t all be right. Having contradictory models each “hindcasting” past climate reduces confidence in any of them. Also, in contradiction to your statements, it is possible to hindcast climate (at this level) without invoking AGW.

  21. Debating climate has become tedious so I’ll just make a joke about Ben Goldacre’s choice of an explicit word to create an indelable image in our minds.

    Q. What happens when Goldmember (Austin Powers) slams his goldmember in a door?

    A. He becomes Goldacher

  22. Boris, you say poor Richard Glover is scared silly by us surly Yanks? I say good, great even. In this country, gutless politicians and media types walk on eggshells trying not to offend Muslims. These same vermin feel free to openly insult Christians. Why? Because they believe Muslims will strike back and Christians won’t. In the climate wars, I don’t want to see skeptics treated like meek Christians.
    This issue is that important to us. You people should feel threatened. We don’t care how stupid you think we are. We don’t care what rubbish you want to pass off as proof that we should bow to some self-appointed scientific elite. You want to take our money and our freedom AND you want to insult us as you do. You can and will be opposed with extreme prejudice.
    As Andrew Breitbart said shortly before he passed away, “Fuck you! War!”

    Have a nice day! :)

  23. Apologies for the spelling mistakes in my earlier post…iPhone screen, fat fingers and trains dont mix well :)

    Regards

    Mailman

  24. Apologies for #22. My earlier post was apparently still in moderation (for over an hour) and I thought it had been deleted. I was too quick to jump to conclusions, and I’m sorry for that.

  25. Why Mr Readfern do you only cite the Morice et al global temperature graph? Why do you not cite the Brohan one at teh same site: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/crutem3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/annual_bar.png which shows recent temperatures going down. You’re not doing exactly what you claim the sceptics do are you? That is, only picking the evidence you like the look of.

    I note also that there are plenty of Arctic sea ice metrics that don’t show the death of Arctic ice (as if Arctic ice was good thing rather than a blessed nuisance). Why only show the exact one that fits your message, rather than the other less alarming ones?

    Finally, your rebuttal that sea level rise is dropping is less than convincing. Obviously the local dip is temporary. But the CO2 claim is that sea level is rapidly accelerating. You need a graph showing sea level curving upward, not the flat line. Unless you think the current few centimetres a century is a problem.

  26. Jeff Norman @ 16 — nope. There are some engineers and non-scientists who have the skillz to engage the science, and there are some who don’t. And there are some who do, but when their errors are repeatedly pointed out, they stop responding. Grant Foster, a professional statistician who has published in major atmospheric science journals, runs a lively blog that features regular demolitions of wannabes who are comp sci or engineer types. There’s no shortage of Excel-happy amateurs. Some know their limitations, and some seek out Anthony Watts to publish their latest revelations. And just as there are capable and incapable types, there are righties, lefties, conservatives, liberals, reds, greens, blues, purples, libertarians, socialists, anarchists, free marketers, and the apathetic–and everyone in between–who understand AGW, the wealth of evidence for the theory, and the complete lack of comprehensive alternatives.

    As far as sloppy science is concerned, show me, don’t tell me. I can show you sloppy science all day long from what you probably call “skeptics” (who are anything but). Spencer is sloppy in his attempted publications and in his book, as has been demonstrated over and over again. Eschenbach? Tisdale? Pielke Sr.? Lindzen? Salby? Michaels? Is there anyone I’m missing in the pseudo-respectable “skeptic” camp? Perhaps you can dig through the thousands of peer-reviewed published studies that provide evidence for the theory of AGW (google scholar “global warming”) and point out a few that are “sloppy”?

    Are there people who agree with the theory who do sloppy work? Sure. Yet within the peer-reviewed research, there’s little sloppy work done. After all, climate science is one of the most scrutinized areas of science (setting Wegman, Spencer, Energy & Environment, and the Remote Sensing fiasco aside). Errors and misinterpretations do not survive very long, if they make it through peer review. Climate scientists know that if they make even the smallest mistakes, nutters will use those mistakes (that happen in all areas of science) to claim “fraud!”

  27. Mark P @ 25: what does the downward bit tell you? What does it mean? Does it mean that the climate-scale (30 years) trend has reversed? Perhaps you need to see this.

    As far as sea ice metrics go, show me the money. Here is a whole raft of metrics from a variety of monitoring agencies.

  28. Let’s look at Nick Minchin for a second. Qualifications and occupation before entering Federal Parliament‎: BEc, LLB (ANU), Solicitor, Party official. Not much scientific background there.

    What about Anna Rose? She holds a first class honours degree in Arts (Asian Studies) and Law. Not much scientific background there either.

    So what have we got here? Two lawyers haggling over a topic they are not qualified to understand, each advocating hir position from the political perspective.

    Rather than have them discuss the science, the show might actually add to the sum of human knowledge if the two protagonists spent the time, instead, discussing policies for mitigating the global warming already locked in.

    Better, the show could have presented two actual opposing scientists, currently researching and publishing in the field, to discuss the science.

    Of course, the producers would have had to dig deeply to uncover a scientist, currently researching and publishing in the field, who was willing to take the negative position in the debate, but I’m sure they could have found one amongst the nay-sayers who have posted on this thread. Any volunteers (please state your qualifications that make you a better choice then Nick or Anna)? No, I’m not volunteering, as I am not qualified any better than Nick and Anna.

  29. Aren’t you doing exactly the same thing that you’re claiming Morano is doing………cherry picking data. Pick the right point in time and you’ll always find statistics that support your argument.

    The key question for me is ” are the model predications (which is what all CAGW claims are based on) supported by real world observations”. The answer is obviously no. Why? Are the models wrong?

  30. Craig@17 “what would it take to disprove the link of man made CO2 to climate catastrophe?”

    Well, to start with, not sure what catastrophe means to you or anyone else, so leave that aside.

    To challenge the basic science, there are a couple of avenues. (I’m pretty sure that the well-funded industrial groups have had a go at these and not got any results they can use. Otherwise we’d have heard about them.)

    #1 Would be the killer. Show that the radiative properties demonstrated by CO2 in laboratories, lasers and heat seeking missiles do not work the same way for CO2 in the atmosphere.

    #2 In the absence of #1, show that a radiative imbalance at the top of the atmosphere as shown by satellite measurements of radiation released and absorbed will not result in an increase of energy held within the atmosphere and oceans below. Needs to overturn a lot, heaps and heaps, of classic physics equations and relationships used in all sorts of fields, not just climate.

    Either of these would be Nobel Prize earning results.

    And then there’s #3. If either of #1 or #2 is a goer, what physical phenomena could possibly have matched so closely the climate changes we’ve seen so far – which have so closely matched the conclusions of climate scientists working with the current theories.

    More Nobel Prizes here, I suspect.
    .

  31. Mark “Unless you think the current few centimetres a century is a problem.”

    Well, the current results simply show what happens by expansion when you heat a certain quantity of water by a certain amount.

    It says nothing about how much, how fast sea level can rise when you increase the quantity of water itself. By adding additional meltwater from glaciers and icesheets.

    How confident are you that the amount of meltwater coming from the landbased ice on Greenland and Antarctica won’t increase – at all, a little, a lot, slowly, steadily, rapidly. (Bear in mind also that when it comes to Antarctica especially, the stuff doesn’t even need to melt. It only has to slide off the land into the sea. Even if such huge, kilometres across, chunks take months or years to melt, their impact on sea level is done at the slipping point.)

  32. Graham – you can see why Morano resorts to the “gish gallop” or calling out his attack dogs by reading some of the comments here. These “geniuses” are not going to win a debate by the power of their intellect.

    OctalBear @ 3

    “you’ll have hundreds of warmest years
    Er – maybe you should try looking up “warmest” in a dictionary.

    Peter Mott @ 6
    “…I find the worship of “peer-reviewed” literature ridiculous.”

    Well at least a back handed acknowledgement that there is no support in science for the position of the deniers. So throw out the scientific method because it comes up with conclusions you do not like.

    Jon Jermey @ 8
    Laughable. See the trend @ 10.

    Jeff Norman @ 16
    “…skeptics are not lay people but non-climate scientists, engineers and professionals who do have the skill sets to ask informed questions …”

    Who never publish in the scientific literature where their claims would be subject to scrutiny.

    Mike Mangan @ 21
    “In this country, gutless politicians and media types walk on eggshells trying not to offend Muslims. These same vermin feel free to openly insult Christians. Why? Because they believe Muslims will strike back and Christians won’t. In the climate wars, I don’t want to see skeptics treated like meek Christians.

    Breitbart? You mean Breivik don’t you!

    Mark P @ 25
    “as if Arctic ice was good thing rather than a blessed nuisance

    Words fail me.

    NZGroover @ 27
    “are the model predications (which is what all CAGW claims are based on) supported by real world observations

    It is AGW. It is based on physics the key elements of which have been known for over 100 years and a study of past climates. Here are the real world observations supplied by NASA.
    http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/

  33. When will you Alarmists learn the difference between observations and proving a theory?

    And when will you stop knocking over Straw Men?

    Nobody doubts that the climate is changing – it is people Mann, Hansen and Jones that deny that the climate hasn’t always changed.

    Simply showing what everone believes is utterly meaningless. Try showing that the MWP or RWP didn’t eixyst and wasn’t as warm as now- without dodgy tree rings.

    Or point out the flaws in Svenmark’s latest paper.

    Grpahs of ice do not prove that CO2 released from fossil fuels is causing anything.

  34. Tim:

    “And when will you stop knocking over Straw Men?”

    which he follows with the strawman:

    “Grpahs of ice do not prove that CO2 released from fossil fuels is causing anything.”

  35. @Graham If Minchin were right, Anna Rose is the sort of person who would recognize and admit it. Not so in reverse for Minchin, or any of the denier troll fools and liars who have posted here, with whom debate is pointless for the same reasons it’s pointless with Minchin.

  36. it is people Mann, Hansen and Jones that deny that the climate hasn’t always changed.

    Mann’s life’s work involves showing how the climate has changed in the past. What a remarkably stupid thing to say.

    There is an entire chapter on paleoclimate in the IPCC report you haven’t read. Go and read it.

    Why do you not cite the Brohan one at teh same site: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/crutem3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/annual_bar.png which shows recent temperatures going down.

    Because it doesn’t. Learn the difference between trends and averages.

    That is an interesting opinion Fran Barlow, but in my experience skeptics are not lay people but non-climate scientists, engineers and professionals

    In my experience they are elderly men who have the time to spend their days spamming blogs and completing online surveys as they are terrified that acceptance of global warming will lead to the destruction of the fossil fuel driven industries that made them wealthy, cheaply.

    Mostly they are just frightened of change.

    What deniers can’t accept is that they are in the minority. That’s why they spam websites – to seek the illusion of a public consensus that doesn’t exist. Maybe if they got off the internet and stopped spamming surveys they might lead happier lives. Cheer up you miserly lot!

    You want to take our money and our freedom AND you want to insult us as you do. You can and will be opposed with extreme prejudice.

    A perfect example of an ideological denier, exactly the kind who would have locked up scientists in the past for daring to challenge their faith. Mike, your attitude does more harm than good. Not that you care. I’m sure God will take care of everything for you.

    Yes, I know it rose for a number of years prior to that so don’t bother throwing graphs at me

    Tough shit – here’s one you haven’t seen.

    Do any deniers here have a scientific argument? Are any denier’s able to rebut the actual blog post?

    All I hear is silence.

  37. Good Link at: http://climate.nasa.gov/

    1. We know CO2 causes warming because:
    – Experiments demonstrating it are done in high schools globally
    – Fourier calculated Earth’s distance from Sun can’t account for heat.
    – Historic temperature records are consistent with CO2 concentrations

    2. We know the increased CO2 is from fossil fuel burning, not natural
    – Carbon comes in 3 natural isotopes. C12, C13, C14. in specific ratios
    – Plants absorb C12 and C14 created at high altitude by radiation
    – By measuring ratio of CO2 isotopes, we know excess CO2 is fossil fuel

    3. Historic cycles should mean we kept cooling from 1970s but no way

    4. Arctic sea ice is falling 11.2% per decade. See: http://is.gd/9XGE66

    5. Antarctic sea ice (area over 15% covered) has risen slightly. True. BUT
    – (NASA) Is Antarctic melting? http://is.gd/meOct4
    – Sea ice floats. As it melts, the area covered remains visibly similar.
    – New measurements show accelerating ice loss and deglaciation
    – We have lost a DRAMATIC amount of ice *VOLUME* from all regions.
    – See Glacial Retreat in Antarctica and Deglaciation of the Earth System (GRADES) – http://is.gd/bqfm0t
    – GRACE – http://www.csr.utexas.edu/grace/
    – SIPEX http://is.gd/TVYCqf
    – Antarctic Master Directory – Cryosphere Reasearch http://is.gd/rrzI2f
    – The above repository is the largest for climate data in the world.
    ( 1,471 Research papers on Antarctic sea ice is found there )

    You can’t look at ONLY ice cover, you have to look at the speed of glaciers which is accelerating and the ice thickness which has dropped dramatically It’s a nasty realisation.

    People cite mistakes. There have been some along the way. In hundreds of thousands of research groups around the world, of course there are occasional mistakes. They are a red-herring and do not discredit the proof shown above.

    You can occasionally find a chart showing little or with suprising results but again, in the context of all the other research, a chart showing little, shows little. Nothing else.

    We’ve been running models for 30 years now and they keep getting exponentially more sophisticated. We know double in 2012 compared to what we knew only 5 years ago. It’s rediculous to use older or low resolution info. There has been huge variations but even a child can see what the charts all plainly show beyond the year 2000. We are in deep shit. You could argue otherwise as late as 1990. Those who still do need to get up to speed. The smiles are over.

    Much is said about various climate models. All have performed well. Most have not fully taken into account the acceleration we are now seeing. unfortunantly, the public has been given the “middle estimate” and what we’ve been getting is the “worst estimate”. Outlooks are revised down.

    Sea level rise is accelerating
    Warming is accelerating
    Ice loss in Arctic, Greenland and Antarctic is accelerating
    Ocean currents have changed alarmingly
    The sea is now warming at an alarming rate
    The ocean acidification is now causing widespread damage
    Unexpected huge levels of methane now from thawing permafrost

    Just in case you had thought that cant affect the climate, by now we are certain it is causing unprecedented storms and severe weather events which are now just accelerating.

    People complain about the small costs of actually facing this emergency but have not read or been told of the known property losses we know are now unavoidable for Australia. Please look at what your family will be paying because of over a decade of inaction. You should be sitting down.

    Known Climate Change Risks in Australia http://is.gd/c2MhZz

    Keep in mind, this is BEST CASE, assuming carbon taxes and global ETS can halt climate change at 2 degrees warming. At this point, the losses below would be a miracle. We’re on track to blow these figures FAR out of the water. If emissions keep rising after 2012, we’ll never limit losses to these figures based on a 2 degree warming.

    Losses within 200m of the coast including:

    – Loss of up to 247,000 of the 711,000 homes along our coast
    – Homes costing up to $63 billion (2008 dollars)
    – 258 police, fire and ambulance stations,
    – 5 power stations/sub stations,
    – 75 hospitals and health services,
    – 41 landfi ll sites,
    – 3 water treatment plants, and
    – 11 emergency services facilities

    The idea that people are still debating as the planet plunges into irreversible catastrophe around us is beyond all comprehension.

    Think the consequences through in your own mind. is this worth ignoring?

    Find me one nation who isn’t in a panic over this. I count 195 nations and all are sweating on how we coordinate our way out out of what can only really be considered a narrow and painful escape at best anymore. When the financial resources to keep rebuilding run out, that’s it.

    I’m also putting some bookmarks online at: http://pear.ly/bluFP

    Please drop into Twitter and chat more. This is my area of focus. I can’t imagine a more important time in human history.

  38. Mike Mangan @ 26, thank you very much indeed for putting on public display one of the best examples of an unhinged right wing nut job denialati menace to the public interest I’ve ever come across. And believe me, hanging out on #auspol as I occasionally do, this is saying a lot!

    I’ve no idea where your islamophobic rant came from, or what that has to do with climate change, but it perfectly illustrates why your type of paranoid and delusional ideologies need to be confronted and exposed (and monitored by national security agencies) before they erupt in the violence perpetrated by Anders Behring Brievik (from Norway, a small country in Scandinavia North of Europe not far from the lair of the commie bastards of the old USSR, for the geographically challenged) or your own Oklahoma Bomber Timothy McViegh.

    Thanks too for posthumously introducing me to your mate Andrew Breitbart, thankfully in life he wasn’t well known down here in Australia (find China on a globe and head South, stop before you hit the white bit), but it was no surprise to discover what a delightful character he was in the following concluding para of his “Rolling Stone” obituary:

    “But I guess no homage is complete without a celebration of the whole man, and the whole man in this case was not just a guy who once said, “It’s all about a good laugh,” but also someone who liked to publish peoples’ personal information on the internet, hack into private web sites, tell lies in an attempt to get his enemies fired, and incite readers to threats against his targets and their families, including death threats. I left all of that stuff out of my obit, but now, thanks to you readers, that’s all in there as well, leaving, for posterity, a much more complete picture of the man.”

    Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/andrew-breitbart-death-of-a-douche-20120301#ixzz1t4BWsMB9

    Please keep opposing action on climate change with all your might, as it clearly shows any rational onlookers why it is worth listening to and acting on the views of your opponents. No wonder people like you are so good at starting wars.

  39. Does this site accept HTML tags? Apologies in advance if it doesn’t as this comment will look weird.

    Tim:

    When will you Alarmists learn the difference between observations and proving a theory?

    What is this nonsense supposed to mean?

    Climate scientists, like any other scientists, observe phenomena occuring in the natural world, propose hypotheses consistent with known physical principles accounting for these phenomena and then test their hypotheses and revise or reject them based on the tests. The conclusions that human-emitted greenhouse gases are responsible for a warming proceeding at a rate which appears to be almost unprecedented in the Earth’s history comes from observed phenomena in the natural world (cryosphere melt, rising ocean, surface & atmosphere temps, changing concentration and isotope ratio of atmospheric CO2, ocean acidification, changing climate bands, changes in species distribution, elevated rates of species extinction, top-of-atmosphere energy imbalance, &c.) and accounts for these phenomena far, far better than any proposed alternative. This conclusion is consistent with the basic radiative physics of greenhouse gases, as well as with current knowledge base of paleoclimate showing solar, noncondensing greenhouse gas & albedo forcings being primarily responsible for changes in Earth climate over time and with rapid climate changes being deleterious overall for large, dominant species (such as humans).

    Denialists – whether they deny that HIV causes AIDS, that vaccines are an effective, life-saving medical practice, that Barack Obama is a US citizen, that al-Qaeda was responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, that the Earth is a roughly spheroid-shaped ball of rock flying through space in orbit around the Sun, that 6+ million ethnic Jews were deliberately murdered by Nazi Germany over the course of the Second World War, or that the mainstream conclusions of climate science are true (for all intents and purposes) – appear incapable of coming to grips with the mass of evidence supporting the conclusions they wish to contradict and can at best nibble at loose ends and rough edges or rely on the kind of rhetorical fallacies which define denialism – cherry-picking, fake experts, logical fallacies, conspiracy theories, and shifting goalposts.

    Glenn Tamblyn, a contributor to Skeptical Science, lays out a large number of empirically-validated phenomena which climate contrarians must overcome in order to overturn mainstream climate science. Since I began following climate science in the news and online (starting around the first CRU hack in 2009) I have yet to see any contrarian succesfully present a cogent scientific case which both effectively refutes the current mainstream conclusions and also accounts for the observed phenomena which led to the current conclusions in the first place.

    Nobody doubts that the climate is changing – it is people Mann, Hansen and Jones that deny that the climate hasn’t always changed.

    Unless you can provide cites to the peer-reviewed literature showing these scientists claiming that there are no climate changes in the paleoclimate record until the present, as far as I can see this statement can scarcely be considered anything other than an outright falsehood.

    Try showing that the MWP or RWP didn’t eixyst [sic] and wasn’t as warm as now- without dodgy tree rings.

    The NAS has a booklet published in 2006 which shows, using a very large manner of proxies, that the global climate before the present was not as warm as it is today. Discussions at Skeptical Science and elsewhere on newer papers (such as Mann 2009) which show regional anomalies over the period 950 – 1250 AD/CE, particularly in the North Atlantic but also elsewhere, which are comparable to the present. However, they also show unambiguously why the global reconstructions are not warmer as there are substantial colder regional anomalies.

    As far as the accusation of “dodgy tree rings” goes, please provide citations to the peer-reviewed literature showing methodological flaws in creating tree ring reconstructions or showing that the tree rings chosen were in fact unsuitable temperature proxies for the historical record (up until the well-known and openly-discussed divergence in the 1960s); if you are unwilling to do this, please admit your retraction of this accusation.

    Please provide a link to Svensmark’s “latest paper” and explain why you think it, alone, is sufficient to overturn the mass of evidence described above. Otherwise IMO there is not even any point trying to look for flaws in it.

    It is worth noting that contrarians argue Svensmark’s work shows that the Sun is primarily responsible for the recently-observed warming, where the mechanism of action is increased solar magnetic field deflecting cosmic rays, reducing formation of sunlight-reflecting clouds, allowing increased solar radiation to reach the Earth’s surface.

    However, the observed characteristics of the warming (nights warming faster than days, winter faster than summers, stratosphere cooling & shrinking, troposphere warming & expanding) and other characteristics (rate of change of warming, changing concentration & isotope ratios of CO2, ocean uptake of excess CO2 despite ocean warming, as well as known radiative properties of CO2) are compatible with fossil fuel-derived CO2 being primarily responsible for recent warming and not compatible with the Sun being the primary warming agent (where solar warming would see atmospheric warming from top to bottom, days warming faster than nights, summers warming faster than winters, ocean outgassing of CO2 instead of uptake, and possibly other characteristics).

    So even if Svensmark’s research bears fruit in showing a causal chain from solar magnetic activity to cosmic ray activity in the atmosphere to cloud formation to solar insolation on the Earth surface, based on other observed phenomena it does not appear to be a significant contributor to the present global warming.

  40. Skeptic here and enjoying the banter.

    Firstly…warmists see feedbacks as multiplying the basic increase in temperatures. They look for tipping points where catastrophic results become inevitable. Skeptics see feedbacks as being cancelling themselvs out (or nearly so), not approaching any tipping points.

    Ok, so the science says it is real, but I still do not believe. It comes down to motivation, basic logic and data.

    Motivation:

    People are motivated to make their lives (research) have meaning. People rarely will go out of their way to prove themselves wrong. US reseach says accupunture is meaningless, Asian resarch show the positive impacts of accupuncture. Human nature will try to work to prove the theory correct, not to prove the theory incorrect. That is at the basic level. There is also funding and career concerns which want the theory to be correct. Those are the motivations.

    Basic Logic

    Basic logic leads me to doubt that we really know enough of a extremely complex system. Let us look at polar bears and penquins. Up until recently, these two species were deemed to be threatened by Climate Change. As it turns out, both are in fact have populations substainially above what were we previously lead to believe. Now the fact that our best were not able to count Polar Bears or Penquins accurately, but rather relied on projections and estimations is not going to help people believe that our best scientists can project and estimate that the climate is about to change drastically due to our consumption of fossil fuels. The difference in level of complexity between the two is enormous, yet they completely failed on the simple task.

    The Data

    At this point in time, the data are not showing temperatures are increasing according to the theory, nor are the sea levels rising at the projected rates. The graphic of sea level rise is hilarious. 33 cm in a century? Is that substantially above normal rates of sea level rise? Not really. Is it far less that projections? Yup. Is it enough to spend billions upon billions of dollars each year for the next century to prevent? Not even close.

    In the end, data, motivations and basic logic tell me not to worry. (Oh, don’t try to convince me otherwise. Only data will convince me.)

  41. Goldacre would rather slam his “cock in a door” than engage in a phony debate with climate change deniers?

    No need for that. Instead of a phony debate, engage in a real debate using empirical data. That’s the only thing “deniers” ask. Show us the data!

  42. Louis, data?

    If you read any published science in this area, you will find the links to the data and to any necessary computer code in the attachments.

  43. Louis Hooffstetter:

    Show us the data!

    More empirical data citations than you can poke a stick at: http://www.ipcc.ch

    But of course, you knew that already, otherwise you would be a wilful ignoramus.

  44. In the end, data, motivations and basic logic tell me not to worry. (Oh, don’t try to convince me otherwise. Only data will convince me.)

    What you really mean is your political biases, cherrypicked data and strawmen arguments tell you not to worry. This is not the convincing argument you think it is.

  45. Since the deniers are so quick to tell us that the “climate’s always changed!” (gosh, really?) and they just follow the data (lol) perhaps they could enlighten us as to what has caused the warming over the last century, if not Co2?

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