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2012 SkS Weekly Digest #4

Posted on 30 January 2012 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights 

John Cook's post, The National Center for Science Education defends climate science in high schools started the week off with bang, generating nearly 100 comments to date. Cook followed with the  Debunking Handbook: update and feedback. Dana added to his "fact checking" posts with  Patrick Michaels Continues to Distort Hansen 1988, Part 1 and Part 2

Toon of the Week

toon of the Week 2012-4

Issue of the Week

How long have you been a reader of SkS? How did you become aware of its existence? How many times a week do you visit the site?

What issues would you like to discuss in future editions of the Weekly Digest?  

The Week in Review

A complete listing of the articles posted on SkS during the past week.

  • David Archibald Exaggerates the Solar Influence on Future Climate Change by Dana
  • Bilal Bomani, Cutting Edge Biofuels from NASA by Rob Honeycutt
  • Katharine Hayhoe, Intent to Intimidate by Rob Honeycutt
  • Public talk: Global Warming - The Full Picture by John Cook
  • New temperature record for the Arctic in 2011 by Neven
  • NASA scientists expect more rapid global warming in the very near future (part 1) by Rob Painting
  • Patrick Michaels Continues to Distort Hansen 1988, Part 2 by Dana
  • New research from last week 3/2012 by Ari Jokimäki
  • Patrick Michaels Continues to Distort Hansen 1988, Part 1 by Dana
  • Debunking Handbook: update and feedback by John Cook
  • The National Center for Science Education defends climate science in high schools by John Cook
  • Coming Soon

    A list of articles that are in the SkS pipeline. Most of these articles, but not necessarily all, will be posted during the week

    • Examining the Latest Climate Denialist Plea for Inaction (Dana)
    • New research from last week 4/2012 (Ari Jokimäki)
    • Measurements show Earth heating up, think tanks & newspapers disagree (MarkR)
    • Climate change policy: Oil's tipping point has passed (John H)
    • The Year After McLean - A Review of 2011 Global Temperatures (Dana)
    • Major Study of Ocean Acidification Helps Scientists Evaluate Effects of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide on Marine Life (John Hartz)
    • Greenhouse Effect Basics: Warm Earth, Cold Atmosphere (Tom Curtis)
    • Glaciers have retreated worldwide (MarkR)
    • RW Wood and the Greenhouse Effect (Eli Rabbett)

    SkS in the News

    A Comprehensive Review of the Causes of Global Warming was re-posted by Triple Pundit.

    Arctic methane outgassing on the E Siberian Shelf was re-posted by TreeHugger.

    Rob Painting also guest posted NASA scientists expect more rapid global warming in the very near future (part 1) on Planetsave.

    SkS Spotlights

    The Climate and Carbon Science component of the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a fantastic resource for SkS readers to tap into. 

    The Climate and Carbon Science Mission:

    In keeping with its mission to "enhance the energy and environmental security of the nation" LLNL promotes the many climate and carbon science research and development efforts that are described on these pages. These efforts involve teams of both environmental and computer scientists, as well as diverse support personnel, who work together to achieve scientific and technical innovations directed toward pressing national and international problems in these fields.

    Click here to access the home page of the LLNL's Climate and Science initiative.  

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    Comments 1 to 17:

    1. Issue of the week 1 About 18 months since I began 2 Just happened on it while trying to improve my knowledge of the subject. (Almost didn't bother because I thought it was a sceptical site - the term 'fake sceptic' being unknown to me at the time.) 3 Daily while dealing with my post 4 Issues I would like to see: Tipping points with months to go before we pass them, or months since we passed them and what is their importance i.e. implications of ignoring them.
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    2. Around 2 years. Since before climategate 1 broke. Think I just found it noodling around. maybe form Realclimate. maybe from Real Science - Steve Goddard's blog. I Look at the site at least whenever something is posted on it. Often when mentioned in other blogs. Does listening to John on "the Climate SHow" podcast count? What I would like to see discussed is how to mobilize more people to engage in analysis of as many skeptic articles on various blogs as possible. I read many, and while I have a foundation in principles of physics and vaguely chemistry, many arguments (outside things like logical inconsistency) are over my head. There are enough people interested in the reality to work on cataloguing and getting expert help on the validity of the facts used by skeptics. Sometimes SKs posts numerous skeptic articles that are never dealt with, and there are literally dozens of denier sites spouting "proofs" of the demise of ACC.
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    3. Issue of the week (2012-01-30): 1) Member for 1month ... Amazing site. Great articles! Emphasis on clear/critical thinking so refreshing; fair to all; extremely professional/civil commentaries compared to typical internet. Before, I was very frustrated, groping for positive civility; this site is a gold mine! I'm still extremely frustrated with our public attitudes, so just knowing this site actually exists gives me some newfound hope. 2) (like @1) found via happen-stance google search this last New Year's weekend (2012); also like @1 mistook the name for a denier's blog. 3) Read daily, no doubt! Look forward to every article! 4) Desired articles: 4a) I really like @1's tipping point suggestion. This moves toward putting deniers in a corner and seeing if they are so deluded to actually annihilate their own future children. The next hurdle is getting deniers to believe these tipping-point dates. 4b) Zoom in on the Vermeer, 2009 Figure 6 chart between years 1990-2040; show grid lines. Determine what year (looks like it would be somewhere between 2020 - 2030) when the Vermeer model (Eq#2, which accounts for ice sheet degradation) separates enough away from the thermal-expansion-only projections (roughly the linear extrapolation of the past data, i.e. the red line) to clearly demonstrate that with 95% confidence that the 75cm model projection in 2100 (least offensive boundary limit) will in fact really occur or be exceeded. When this year comes (say its 2025), and sea level is in fact at or above this level, then the demonstrated sustained success of the model (thereby promoting it to high confidence, 95%, of projecting future levels) might actually sway some real public opinion and force some real non-greenwash political change (though I know I'm being optimistically naïve by this last statement). 4c) Recommendations on best AGW 101 educational video. John Overpeck's video is best I've found so far, but he mishap's on one point (putting the avg temp rise for the whole globe in the same apples-to-apples comparison plane with the 2x temp rise for the higher northern latitudes) and, in addition, I'm looking for something a lot more polished. I want a 60min video that 1) succinctly explains the science (with top-notch computer graphics) and with 100% accuracy and exactness so to shutdown any denialist fodder, 2) dispels the major denial myths, and 3) projects future climate consequences if we follow BAU. Are there any such videos out there? 4d) Like to see articles that dig into understanding public opinion so to determine what it is really going to take to move people and ultimately society from 1) Denial, to 2) Apathy, to 3) Willing to listen (mildly interested), to 4) Interested in learning, to 5) Versed on the subject, to 6) Vocal activist. I work as a chemical engineer at a corn wetmilling company in Indiana. The sad reality in my local world is that 25% of the people are vocal deniers, 60% are apathetic about it, 10% are mildly interested, 4% are interested in learning and maybe 1% is versed on the subject (these being my educated guesses). And, those that might be sustained vocal activists, in technical position, would, no doubt, be quickly shown the door. Even the timid 'versed' are quickly ridiculed and put in their place if they dare say anything that marginally leans toward AGW. The published 50-60% of the people believe in AGW is certainly from a completely different planet. I'm very serious when I say that I think the 50-60% figure (for people who really fit in categories #4-#6 above) is completely delusional. For a poll that would ask the RIGHT questions, I'd put this figure at 5% (not 50-60%). The ONLY way something real (other than greenwashing) is going to happen is for >25% of the US population to feel some REAL SUSTAINED PAIN or be bowled-over by some biblical event that they witness with their own eyes & therefore come to stark realization what is in store for them in the future. Sadly, I predict that this sort of radical event(s) and subsequent transformation won't happen until 2035-2040 (requiring two more solar cycles and two more presidential cycles: Dem4yrs / Rep8yrs / Dem8yrs / Rep8yrs). Only then will enough real accumulated mass US pain reach its own tipping point, or else the scales will finally start to come off our eyes as we look upon biblically-scaled global events. Even then, like the Civil Rights movement, it will still take unprecedented marches and hunger strikes before finally the lies and greenwashing really stop, and people, governments & corporations fundamentally accept that they ALL have to change. To this end, I'd like to see an in-depth sociological study on this phenomenon titled something like "What is it really going to take before the US public really changes concerning AGW?" played out in various optional scenarios. Not only would this be an extremely interesting read, but it would help give some light to those of us who are so frustrated by the slow-death that is playing out before us.
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    4. SkS issue of the week (2012 -4) a. 3 months (just retired) b. I discoverd SkS by walking around on the web c. now SkS is part of my daily routine d. I use to search and judge with two questions in mind: 1/ is this scientific based information 2/ what is the intention / agenda of the writer e. SkS does address these two questions f. I am now looking for mass and heat balances of the climate system Moderator: please remove post #4
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    5. How long reading SkS - Today is my two year anniversary How became aware - Google Future topics - Would be nice to hear about the results of these little surveys. Were any changes made / planned to the comments policy based on the discussion of it? Are any of the features / design changes suggested under review for possible development? Et cetera. BTW, one of my comments was that it is sometimes difficult to find old features... just before this post I ran across an old article mentioning the 'Settled Science' button... which I now can't find. :]
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    6. Whupps, missed 'how often'... around 15 times per week. Also, for discussion topics, it might be good to talk about what myths people are seeing most often recently and/or what data/evidence people think makes the most compelling case on AGW and might be good to 'feature' more prominently somehow.
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    7. 1. I visit on a regular basis since about 2 years. Not posting here but I do use information found on other blogs / newspaper sites 2. I read something somewhere (other blog don't remember which) 3. Daily normally morning and evening 4. Requirements? not really. Keep on doing the good work!
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    8. 1. About 2 years, ever since "climategate I" 2. I don't remember how I found the site. At the time when "climategate I" broke I said, "WTF" and started looking around the web for some real answers. It didn't take me long to find them at Skep Sci. 3. I visit the site daily, or try to anyway. 4. Can't think of anything. One small nitpick: When I first found this site what really impressed me was the even, measured tone of the posts. It was very refreshing to just read the scientific arguments clearly stated, as opposed to the bloviating and bluster of the denier sites. But lately, it seems to me, the posts have become a little more biting in their tone (a bit more like Tamino's site). I know it is very frustrating to have to constantly counter the unending stream of disinformation spewing from the deniers. And sometimes it's best to fight fire with fire. But what I love best about this site is when the science is presented as a rock-solid bulwark against the stream of denier nonsense. Like I said, it's just a small nitpick. Keep up the great work.
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    9. 1 a couple of years 2. dobn't recall exactlt, maybe a dorlomin link fronm the guardian 3.10-20 4. maybe doug cottons dichotomys, or can we chuck in to raise some money for his counsellors counselling
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    10. First comment was 22:14 PM on 25 May, 2010 so I started reading some time before that. That thread, on polar bears, was subsequently revised to include some discussion of hunting. The link that brought me here may have been on polar bears but many links brought me here posted by "walter in falls church" on the Capital Weather Gang blog. I don't have enough time for much extra reading for a month or two, but I'll read daily when I do. These weekly wraps are good, I would not change much.
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    11. 1) Since late 2008 2) Through a link posted on a Norwegian climate science website 3)30-40 4) I think the extremely rapid changes in the Arctic is the most interesting topic right now. It will play a crucial role in getting the world to open their eyes in the coming years, especially when Santas' home is nothing but open ocean sometime before 2020. When that happens, and we can point to the deniers earlier (2008-2012) claims of imminent rapid and dramatic cooling, the disinformers will have nowhere to run, and the public might finally see them for the dangerous clowns that they are. It might turn ugly, but I can't help looking forward to it.
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    12. I've been a regular reader since almost the beginning of the site's existence. I found it either following a link from Real Climate or by researching a topic on climate. As the site grew I acted as a moderator for a little while before time constraints prevented me from doing so any longer. Not to mention that the level of scientific expertise required of moderators has increased quite a bit since the early days. I visit daily, even if briefly perusing to see what's new. The site is exemplary by many accounts. If I have any remark, it would be a concern similar to that of David Kirtley above in post #8.
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    13. How long have you been a reader of SkS? Around the time you won the Euraka Award. How did you become aware of its existence? From a link on another site, I think. How many times a week do you visit the site? Several times a day, to keep up with comment threads. What issues would you like to discuss in future editions of the Weekly Digest? How to connect with like-minded true AGW skeptics/truth seekers in my local area, which has a right-wing regional paper and is dominated by right-wing pollies who expressly reject AGW evidence.
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    14. How long? About two years. Where found? An article on ABC Drum site. How often? A few visits every working day, and try to read all article and follow links to sources for topics of particular interest. What issues? Keep up the good work, although I'd like to echo Doug's suggestion of connecting with local AGW genuine skeptics in some kind of network.
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    15. How long have you been a reader of SkS? Since September 2009. How did you become aware of its existence? Not sure but probably from a link within someone’s comment on another website, maybe at RealClimate. How many times a week do you visit the site? Daily, or sometimes more often on weekends. What issues would you like to discuss in future editions of the Weekly Digest? I spend a fair amount of my time countering anti-science arguments made by the Denialati on my national news site and occasionally elsewhere. What I look for here is concise arguments that I can use against their usual rhetoric. For example, your “Escalator” (SkepticsvRealistsv3.gif) has been immensely useful in this respect. I also appreciate your educational articles with links to peer-reviewed papers. I have invested 3000+ hours reading published climate literature and serious blogs such as this one over the past few years. I’ve also taken a physics, chemistry & climate course to help me understand this area of interest (it’s not my profession), but I still learn from SkS articles, especially those by Dana. I like the weekly “new research” article. I’ve found commenters’ links to various studies over the years very helpful too (my thx to them).
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    16. I've been reading about 4/5 years now since I found it during a google search. I look in 5/6 times a week. I find it the best place to find the numerous strands of evidence relating to any particular topic, together with links to all the peer-reviewed papers. Hard facts from credible sources, like NASA, NOAA etc., help to shut up those who seek to confuse. I rarely quote SkS directly now but instead always refer back to the source as far as I can. I'm happy that you continue to follow up on whatever you think is topical. I can't say you've ever failed to cover any issue adequately. My only comment: try not to be too aggressive with the fake skeptics. Remaining calm when provoked is the best way to win any argument. Remember that it's not the person you're putting right that matters, it's the undecided onlooker who can be influenced by the way you deal with dissent. John Cook was always very good at this -- some later contributors (no names no pack drill) have shorter fuses than John, and would be wise to learn from his approach.
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    17. I should add that I really value when you cover a post on a fake sceptic site and take it apart to show exactly why it's in error. The quicker you can do this the better. I can often see reasons why it's wrong but -- many heads being better than one -- you sometimes see angles that are not immediately apparent and your links to the contradictory evidence are invaluable in helping those like me who seek to take on the misinformation.
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