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Correcting Warren Meyer on Forbes

Posted on 8 February 2017 by Rob Honeycutt

In an online discussion last week I was directed to a 2012 article on the Forbes website written by businessman named Warren Meyer, titled Understanding the Global Warming Debate. The article contains a wide range of misleading and misinformed assumptions ostensibly to explain why there is a debate on climate change. I always see dissecting articles like these as a great opportunity to better understand the actual science over the perceived controversy of climate contrarians. Though the reference is somewhat dated now, this is the internet, so it lives in virtual perpetuity relative to how much traffic it receives. Over the past 5 years this article has received 186,000 views. That, in itself, makes this article worthy of addressing as an example of how motivated non-scientists get the science wrong.

Errors Straight Out of the Box

Mr. Meyer opens with a misleading attempt to frame the issue as a debate on "catastrophic man-man global warming theory." This approach conflates two very distinct elements of the science on anthropogenic climate change. Nowhere in the published scientific literature can you find the phrase he uses. When I did a search on this term in Google Scholar, what did I find? Mr. Meyer's Forbes article. Also searching "catastrophic man-made climate change" I get a smattering of non-research related materials coming from people who rejecting human influence on climate. Meyer has formed a completely irrelevant and fabricated framing of the issue for the basis of his discussion. 

In Mr. Meyer's article he claims this is the "core theory" and states that he will use the IPCC as the primary source for this, even though there is no place where the IPCC frames climate change in this manner. 

Compounding His Errors

In explaining "how this works" Mr. Meyer connects greenhouse gas effects, to warming, to impacts, but he immediately begins to demonstrate a lack of understanding about the science.

While he agrees that the adding CO2 will cause the Earth to warm and also agrees that this is almost universally accepted, he claims that climate science is a "young" area of research when, in fact, the research dates back to the 1820s and 1850s. The science on climate is older than the science on plate tectonics. It's older than the science on radiation. It predates our understanding of germ theory. The only way you could possible determine that climate science is a young science would be to define all science as young.

Mr. Meyer accepts the direct warming effects of CO2-only as ~1°C, which is accurate. But immediately he moves into simple errors. He states that, looking only at CO2, he ironically states the "relatively pessimistic" level of 800ppm would only produce a 1°C rise in temperature. This would be only if you also ignore warming since preindustrial, and that would be ignoring any warming already in the system due to thermal inertia from the oceans. 

Making up New Theories

Step three in Mr. Meyer's process is a theory of his own creation called "The Positive Climate Feedback Theory." While we get what he's talking about, it doesn't benefit his discussion to create, as a non-scientist, new terms that don't exist in actual science. 

New errors pop up when trying to describe this "theory" where he attempts to describe water vapor feedbacks. He states that the IPCC "assumed" a strong positive feedback from water vapor. The IPCC doesn't assume anything. The IPCC is a collection of leading experts in their fields who ware painstakingly cataloguing the scientific research. Meyer also makes an error suggesting the IPCC "just add" 2-4°C onto the 1°C for CO2 warming. Such figures, again, are completely manufactured by Meyer. They don't jibe with climate sensitivity figures and he provides no reference to what he means with figures like these.

The IPCC actually produces graphs such as the following to quantify forcings on the climate system, which also very clearly indicate levels of scientific understanding and uncertainty ranges.

One more error is, he claims Al Gore states that, "...we will see a tipping point where temperatures will run away, [Gore] is positing that feedbacks will be nearly infinite (a phenomenon we can hear with loud feedback screeches from a microphone)." Nope. Sorry. That is Mr. Meyer's misunderstanding and is nothing that Al Gore has ever stated. Meyer makes no attempt to reference such a comment, because no such quote exists. There are tipping points (plural) in the climate system. If we push past enough of them we will likely create a situation where we lose the capacity to affect the final equilibrium state of the climate through carbon emissions mitigation. It is well accepted that, even if we burned all fossil fuel reserves, we would not face the sort of runaway climate that Meyer describes. 

Lack of Understanding of the Published Research

Mr. Meyer goes on to claim that climate feedbacks might be high, but they also might be negative. After this he only bothers to discuss the negative, to the omission of positive feedbacks. Once again, there is no substantive support for such a position offered. By comparison, the IPCC and research scientists take the uncertainties involved with climate forcings and feedbacks very seriously. They clearly quantify and document them. The net result of the research suggests that our climate's sensitivity to forcing centers around 3°C for doubling CO2 concentrations. The low end probability is ~1.5°C, and the IPCC clearly state that anything lower than this is highly improbable.

Meyer is trying to claim there is some possibility that climate sensitivity could be less than 1°C, which is an extremely low probability. There is almost no research that can support that claim, and certainly no one could come to this conclusion looking at the full body of evidence available to scientists.

Observations on Observations

Meyer wants us to take the flawed argument he's proposed and compare those to temperature observations. But, he begins by stating that warming since preindustrial has been about 0.7°C. Clearly that is an error. This is not correct now and it was not even correct in 2012 when he wrote the article. He's most likely looking at the global mean temperature anomaly based on GISS or NOAA, which is based on a 30 year mid-20th century baseline, not preindustrial.

Right on the heels of this, Meyer claims that the surface temperature data are flawed. He does not offer any research supporting this position, he merely makes the claim. Then, after irrationally dismissing the surface temperature data, he turns to satellite data, which he claims, "...are not susceptible to these same flaws and coverage gaps..."

[Figure: satellite raw temperature data]

What Meyer clearly does not understand is that, for one, satellites are measuring something very different from the surface station data. Not only are the satellite data a temperature proxy, they are subject to far more adjustments and errors due to the fact the data have to be calibrated across different satellite missions, different sensors and have to compensate for various orbital adjustments. Surface station data are more consistent and more in agreement across the various groups compiling the data than the satellite data.

Beyond that, satellites are measuring an entirely different part of the atmosphere. Even the lower tropospheric satellite temperature data center about 3 miles up, not at the surface where we live.

Misunderstanding Attribution

At this point in Meyer's piece, things go a bit muddy. He rants a bit about Obama, Solyndra and Keynesian economics, which don't seem to be relevant as far as I can make out. This attempts to lead up to how the IPCC addresses human attribution with models. But here again, he's clearly not invested the time to fully understand the scientific research.

IPCC does use modeling to help eliminate other natural causes that might otherwise explain the warming we've seen in the past 50 years. Yes, models are imperfect, but climate modelers will tell you that we understand far more with models than we otherwise would without them. They help us validate other science. When climate modelers remove human contributions of CO2, they can't find a way to explain the warming we've seen. 

We get the same results when we look at forcings and temperature data. We get the same results when we look at temperature reconstructions. We get the same results when we look at many other areas of research. Models are merely one additional confirmation that what we observe is correct.

Meyer claims that the 0.7°C increase (observations), which he erroneously chose, can't be explained by the theory, which he's misguidedly constructed. He has essentially created a false scenario in order to prove something incorrect, which is the classic definition of a straw man argument.

There are a couple of points in there which I don't want to ding him for relative to Argo data and "the pause", since both of those issues have been put to rest since the time which he wrote the article. Both the points he makes about these are now shown to support man-made warming and are in full agreement with the body of climate research.

Gish Gallop Galore

After improperly defining the entire question at hand Meyer goes on a grand Gish gallop related to the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO), aerosol effects, weather extremes, the little ice age (LIA) and the like. There is more than enough material written here on Skeptical Science to answer any questions about these subjects, so it would be redundant of me to individually take these on yet again.

"What is it exactly that skeptics 'deny'"

Meyer claims that most "skeptics" don't deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but that's not always been the case. Still today, if you spend any time at WUWT or Roy Spencer's blog, you can see quite a few people who are stating emphatically that CO2 has no effect at all. Many have, over the past decade managed to finally accept the radiative properties of CO2 which have been understood for nearly two centuries. So there is some movement, but there still is much denial in play.

He claims what "skeptics" deny is catastrophe. That's a fascinating observation. I would agree that, if we can rapidly bring down our CO2 emissions over the coming decades to avoid a 2°C rise in global mean temperature, that would avoid much catastrophe. At very least it would act to slow the onset of the catastrophes we anticipate. The potential for catastrophe is a combination of climate sensitivity and emissions pathways. Estimations for climate sensitivity are many and they generally center around 3°C. But even if we err toward the lower end, that doesn't get us out of the potential crisis we face. A lower probability of 2°C for CS only buys us a little more time to decarbonize the global economy, and that would ignore the inherent risk that CS might actually be higher than 3°C.


Meyer ends with an unjustifiable conclusion, stating: 

So this is the real problem at the heart of the climate debate — the two sides are debating different propositions!  In our chart, proponents of global warming action are vigorously defending the propositions on the left side, propositions with which serious skeptics generally already agree.   When skeptics raise issues about climate models, natural sources of warming, and climate feedbacks, advocates of global warming action run back to the left side of the chart and respond that the world is warming and greenhouse gas theory is correct.    At best, this is a function of the laziness and scientific illiteracy of the media that allows folks to talk past one another;  at worst, it is a purposeful bait-and-switch to avoid debate on the tough issues.

The positions he's put forth in this article are the epitome of lazy analysis and scientific illiteracy. He's bizarrely framed his entire discussion attempting to attack the positions of the IPCC, a body composed of the world's leading researchers, as being scientifically illiterate. One has to ask, from where does his own "literacy" if not from leading climate researchers? It's certainly not based in the available published research which the IPCC reports are based on. 

In this, perhaps he's inadvertently answering his own questions in a manner that he would prefer to reject. What are "skeptics" denying? Answer: The scientific research.

Perpetuation of Misinformation

This article is just a run-of-the-mill exercise in climate denial Gish gallop. Meyer is picking points he thinks support his argument while actually only possessing a tenuous grasp of the science. So, why does it even matter? Why not just let this one go?

I can think of 186,000 reasons; the number of views of this Forbes article. Forbes is a very high profile publication and thus someone there, at Forbes, decided that it was fine and well to give this person an internet soapbox to promote a position rejecting the climate science which he has absolutely no expertise. He is not genuinely adding to the discussion on climate change but is being placed into a position as someone to listen to. Meyer is polluting the discussion with misinformation and poor analysis which has no bearing on the actual issue of climate change. And thanks to Google, these types of discussions, lacking in any substance, are given equal weight to actual science due to the traffic they generate. 


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

 Rob Honeycutt 

Follow me on twitter @robhon_

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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. Thank's for an excellent point by point rebuttal of Meyers badly informed ranting.

    His style of rhetoric reminds me of "Sophistry". This was practiced by the ancient greek Sophists,and plenty of people today, including by my observation lawyers, politicians, lobby groups, and business people. Sophistry uses rhetoric that is superficially appealing, but is devoid of genuine logic, balance or content. It is full of strawman arguments, logical fallacies (those deceptive arguments with long latin names)

    But Meyers must also know many of his claims are at odds with the science. For example he must have read that the vast majority in the science community strongly believes on the weight of evidence that climate sensitivity is medium to high, and positive feedbacks outweigh negative feedbacks.

    So the question is really why is he choosing to ignore this? On what basis would he put his trust in a few of the more fringe scientists, that have contrary views, or non science based political websites? I can only draw the conclusion he put's his vested interests, or political leanings, above the peer reviewed mainstream science and what the vast majority of this says. On that basis we cannot take anything he says on the science seriously.

    Meyers says "So this is the real problem at the heart of the climate debate — the two sides are debating different propositions! In our chart, proponents of global warming action are vigorously defending the propositions on the left side, propositions with which serious skeptics generally already agree. When skeptics raise issues about climate models, natural sources of warming, and climate feedbacks, advocates of global warming action run back to the left side of the chart and respond that the world is warming and greenhouse gas theory is correct. At best, this is a function of the laziness and scientific illiteracy of the media that allows folks to talk past one another; at worst, it is a purposeful bait-and-switch to avoid debate on the tough issues."

    Well the two sides are not debating different propositions. That is another starwman argument. Clearly when sceptics claim climate sensitivity is low, to take one example, climate scientists do not run away and simply say global warming is correct. Climate scientists quite specifically argue why the weight of evidence shows climate sensitivity is considered to be medium to high.

    By the way temperatures over the last three years have destroyed the basis of the low climate sensitivity claims, as these were founded on belief in a large pause after 1998. One look at any of the many latest temperature data sets shows a weak, feeble sort of pause at best.

    And of course advocates of global warming will respond about the general strength of the global warming theory. The science is on their side, and it's their job to stick up for the science. Myers tries in his futile way to make it sound like some crime!

    However I do think the media are letting people talk past each other. Is it a purposeful bait and switch? Yes to some extent.

    So how does this work. The media are certainly turning the thing into a sport to entertain, and we see click bait article titles for the readers. Granted it's fair to say media have to get peoples attention, but click bait is becoming too extreme, in my opinion, and in many cases titles to articles are blatantly false, emotive or misleading and of course people sometimes only read the titles. And click bait and other empty rhetoric is filtering into articles themselves as well, and this is when click bait starts to seriously degrade articles.

    And we have the false news issues and alternative facts. Just what climate science doesn't need.

    And all we get are articles written by warmists and sceptics played off against each other. We have very few articles where the media evaluate the science in a responsible way, and ask the tough questions, and of both warmists and sceptics. But I think the media needs to look much harder at sceptical claims in this respect, as it is now well established that most of these have been provably deceitful or nonsense, or proven wrong when officially investigated (eg climate gate), so on that basis the media need to be putting them under far greater scrutiny.

    The media are in many ways perpetuating a false debate just to get readers.

    The media are either lazy, or captive to certain business orientated lobby groups, or both. Not all media are this way, and some media possibly favour environmentalism, but in my experience the majority of media are tilting towards corporate interests.

    And we are tired of false balance. Most climate scientists say we are warming the planet, (for example studies by Cooke, Doran, and several other studies of late) yet equal column space is often given to a few dissenting eccentrics, funded by groups with vested interests, and writing obviously deliberately provocative nonsense, that often has more to do with promoting some sceptics book.

    But regardless of media communications issues, Myers is clearly shown to be completely wrong about the science.

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  2. So let me get this straight. 

    You dismiss him because he uses the term CAGW.  

    Yet You use the term "Climate Change

    many CAGW proponents DO predict Catestrophic changes due to warming, so Catestrophic Anthropogenic Global Warmind IS an apropriate phrase to frame the issue.   

    You and your ilk have misused "climate change" and turned its meaning into something it is not, so should the world dismiss you?  

    As we enter the next ice age, how will you spin THAT "Climate Change"?

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Inflamatory sloganeering snipped.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  3. "His style of rhetoric reminds me of "Sophistry". This was practiced by the ancient greek Sophists,and plenty of people today, including by my observation lawyers, politicians, lobby groups, and business people. Sophistry uses rhetoric that is superficially appealing, but is devoid of genuine logic, balance or content. It is full of strawman arguments, logical fallacies (those deceptive arguments with long latin names"

    yes, agree - it reminds me of the quote

    "That's the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you're never wrong."

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  4. Meyer: "catastrophic global warming advocates are wrong to over-estimate our understanding of these feedbacks." It's frustrating that Meyer doesn't identify which feedbacks he is referring to. The primary feedback is increased water vapor, and there is no controversy over its magnitude. The secondary feedback is cloud cover. While more controversial, Meyer misses the chance to explain why he thinks this is strongly negative rather than neutral, as most Climate Scientists now think. And as feedbacks go, that's pretty much it, so where is the controversy?  Meyer additionally seems comforted by the fact that natural systems tend to be stable.  True, but what is 'stable' to a planet may not appear 'stable' to a creature of biology.  Earth's sea level can vary by +/- 50 feet or more without the planet becoming unstable.

    Meyer: "[skeptics]… argue that the theory of strong climate positive feedback is flawed" Meyer has the ultimate platform to make that argument, which rests on the cloud feedback, but he punts. He claims that unless warming to date is 1.5C, feedbacks must be lower than IPCC thinks. Warming to date is 1.25C, since pre-industrial. His claim that it is 0.7 C is suspiciously wrong for someone writing with much apparent knowledge of the topic. But, since he doesn't want to talk about feedback physics, his entire argument rests on that 0.7 C.

    Meyer: "What [skeptics]… deny is the catastrophe…" Here is an opportunity to talk about the hysteresis of the climate system. First you get the radiative imbalance, then the heat imbalance, then the climate change, and finally the catastrophe. Meyer should at least admit that by the time we get to 'catastrophe' we are late by 50 years. Should catastrophe occur, I somehow think Meyer will have little to say about it.

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  5. nanuk @3:

    "many CAGW proponents DO predict Catestrophic changes due to warming, so Catestrophic Anthropogenic Global Warmind IS an apropriate phrase to frame the issue."

    I am sure that all people who argue that Anthropogenic Global Warming is catastrophic predict catastrophic changes due to unmitigated warming.  By definition, in fact.  

    The IPCC, however, (and myself come to that) say that there is significant uncertainty in the outcomes, and and the low end of the probability range, costs will be significant but not catastrophic; and that while there will be catastrophic weather effects, they will not significantly increase in number or intensity than under a no warming scenario.  The IPCC (and I), however, also point at that at the high end of the probability range, truly catastrophic outcomes are likely in this century, and a certainty in following centuries if action is not taken to mitigate climate change.

    Your inappropiate label indicates that those people of whom it applies claim certainty that there will be catastrophic outcomes with no mitigation.  But you apply it to people who only say there is a significant risk of catastrophic outcomes (with no mitigation).  It straightforwardly misrepresents the opinions of those you choose to label with it.

    Which I think is the point.  It is a rhetorical device to paint as unreasonable and extremist people whose opinions are well judged on far more familiarity with the evidence than Meyers or those on whose opinion he relies. 

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  6. Exactly Tom. Whenever I use the term I always include that's on a busines-as-usual emissions pathway. We will see impacts based on emissions so far, but if we can rapidly reduce emissions we can avoid the worst impacts.

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  7. Tom Curtis @5, yes fair enough comment Tom.

    But I think there is another rather obvious angle beings missed here. The climate denialist crowd paint a picture that implies climate science as a whole or the IPCC are all preaching about catastrophic global warming. As a semi retired guy, I read a lot, and I just haven't heard many climate scientists talk about catastrophic global warming, or catastrophic events. Serious yes but not so much catastrophic. They would be in a small minority.

    So the denialist crowd are just unfairly generalising. But hey, what else is new? I'm used to that.

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  8. It isn't wrong to expect catastrophe, but it isn't in climate science that you find it.  It is in human behaviour when civilization is stressed to the point of collapse, or when it actually collapses.  The stress is inherent in the future conditions we're creating now.  The resulting wars, starvation and disease however, are not climate.

    That's sort of a problem.  Climate Science doesn't talk about those results because they aren't "Climate Science"  -  they are "Social Science" and Psychology and History that tell us of those results.  Economics seldom discusses them correctly, labeling them as "externalities".   Pollies think about them as vote losing propositions.  It is... a problem.    Without good communication of the real risks to the future, and Forbes is almost as guilty as the WSJ of making sure that businessmen and high-rollers are completely misinformed (Murdoch has a criminal disregard of truth - I understand the Daily Mail has been effectively "de-listed" by wiki), democracy is doomed and civilization depends on the efforts of whatever enlightened autocrats are found in control of the world. 

    Catastrophe isn't in the climate... the planet will be fine... its just that we humans will have a hell of a time. 

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  9. It's unfortunate that so much time and energy needs to be expended debunking the denialists over and over and over again. Another approach is to inoculate young people and others with open minds who are capable of being reached before they fall into the rabbit hole of denialism.  Search "LA Times fake news vaccine" for an article in the subject.

    "The scientific consensus on climate change gets diluted as the public sorts between real news and fake news, facts and alternative facts. Misinformation can spread like a virus.

    But just like a virus, it may be possible to “vaccinate” people against the effects of fake news, according to a new study in the journal Global Challenges.

    “There’s phony arguments out there, but when you alert people to who’s putting them out and why, it may dampen their impact,” said Riley Dunlap, an environmental sociologist at Oklahoma State University who was not involved with the study."

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The article you are referencing is:

    It's possible to 'vaccinate' Americans against fake news, experiment shows by Sean Greene, Los Angeles Times, Jan 26, 2017

  10. William Leslie @9,  I have seen several polls showing young people accept climate science in much greater numbers than older people, despite the disinformation campaigns. I expect this is partly because schools teach the science these days, and also more about critical thinking. The older generation didn't get all this, and are set in their ways.

    But your studies are really interesting.

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  11. bjchip@8,

    I would laso add to your observations the fact that those who benefit the current use of FF, polluting the air with CO2 and stomping the largest footprint on environment in general are not those who are affected by the resulting climate change as revealed by (Samson 2011). Further to that, most impacts will play out with 30-40 year delay, i.e. within the lifetime of next generation; the more serious impacts, the more current generation procrastinates the mitigation. So, intergenerational ethics are involved here.

    All of that confirms what I've been pionting throughout this site many times: AGW is not an environmental problem but social problem. If it was environmental problem only, it would've been resolved already, or at least contained for the next couple hundred years. The technology for necessary emission reductions already exists, and the lifestyle changes to further reduce our emissions are not that hard, certainly much easier IMO than e.g. lifestyle changes in allied nations during WW2 to combat nazism.

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  12. Chriskoz @11, just another thing, people like Trump who don't care about climate change have enough money, and probably gamble that their children, and their childrens children will be insulated by inherited money. But of course it's a gamble, because ultimately nobody will be able to escape the negative affects.

    Climate change is not really a cost problem, but I'm not sure it is a social problem. I would say climate change is not basically even a science denial problem, with the vast majority.

    Climate change is an ideological problem about community versus individual rights, and it is a problem of political will that is tied to campaign donations, and a problem of psychological addiction to fossil fuels that subconsciously distorts our thinking.

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  13. Chriskoz @11, one correction to my comment immediately above. I meant to say climate change is not "only" a social problem. Clearly it is a social issue in that those who currently benefit from buring the most fossil fuels are not those going to be most affected. And it's a self interest family weath issue that is perceived to be an insulator.

    But it's also the things I said related to politics and so on. This is why humanity is struggling with the climate issue, its complex and muti facetted. What's needed is some circuit breaker that cuts through all this.

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  14. nigelj@13, Climate Change is a cost problem, and so much more. The future costs and challenges are faced by "others", not by the ones hoping to benefit.

    And I think that the challenge of the science of climate change may be a tipping point regarding the development of broad based understanding of the tragic history of human failure to improve the future for all of humanity.

    Exposing the unacceptable actions and the unacceptable excuses made-up to impress easily made-up minds (minds easily tempted to be greedier or less tolerant), will have a powerful effect far beyond climate change. There is a massive amount of undeservingly popular and profitable activity in the global economy rewarding undeserving winners.

    It is clear that games of popularity and profitability have failed to improve the future for all of humanity. Part of the proof is that many people still suffer through short existences on this amazing planet even though measures of wealth have increased more rapidly than population (regionally and globally). The less helpful and more harmful a person can get away with being, the more of a competitive advantage they have, the more likely it is they will Win.

    I understand this because the charitable acts I participate in and support are efforts to deal with the damaging results of the games people play. Almost all the other helpful charitable acts face similar challenges.

    And it is frustrating that the combined charitable activity cannot 'fix' all of the damage, meaning that effort that could have been directed toward improving the future had to be directed at trying to 'fix or reduce' the damage done by Winners who did not care about advancing all of humanity to a better future.

    A particularly galling case of damaging leadership was when the Conservative Government in Canada chose to impose an investigation into charities that had determined that it would be helpful to promote public awareness campaigns to raise awareness of what causes the problems they are trying to address (the smae government declared that government funded scientists could not publically discuss their science - they had to get passed through the Government's message control filter). The Conservative Government of Canada declared that such 'education of the public' was 'political'. And charities were legally not allowed to spend more than 10% of their money on political action (a measure that had been put in place to block attempts by groups like the Conservative Party from getting more funding or political advertising through "a charity").

    It is undeniable that unacceptable developed perceptions of prosperity and opportunity can be very difficult to overcome, particularly if popularity and profitability are considered to be legitimate measures of who and what actions are "Winners". It is even more difficult when deliberately unhelpful/harmful people have Won control of leadership (in pursuits of business or politics or media or sports or ....)

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  15. One Planet Only Forever @14

    I meant by climate change not being a cost problem, that a  transition to renewables is affordable. The Stern Report calculated it will cost 1% of a countries gdp per year.  I should have been more specific. I think this is also what Chriskoz meant.

    But I agree with your post entirely. I totally understand where you are coming from on costs, and all the rest of your views on humanity. But with respect, I just think your writing style is rather convoluted sometimes, and others may struggle. There must be a simpler, shorter, or more ordered way of saying it, although granted these issues can only be simplified to a certain extent. But you have some great ideas.

    You are really talking about "cheats" who cheat the legislative rules, or who simply act unethically, or selfishly.Your insight here is to note that the more they get away with it, the more emboldened they become (and Trump might be a prime example). And the more power they get, the more they get to control the rules.

    The only solution ultimately are government rules and boundaries on economic behaviour, and trying to get the balance right between firm rules, but not overly punative or petty or complex rules. The latest Economist Magazine discusses this challenge in terms of the big Dodd-Frank finance regulation legislation in the USA. Of course the challenge is convincing politicians to have a strong but fair regulatory framework, and set of boundaries, and convincing the population to support political parties that stand up for the same things. It's easier said than done given vested interests opposing these very same things.

    We had the exact same charities issue in New Zealand. Personally I think they absolutely must be allowed to speak out on political or social issues etc ( and the same applies to government agencies), but I would accept some upper limit and 10 -20% would seem reasonable. Given they are tax payer funded, or get tax breaks, there should be some upper limit I guess for obvious reasons.

    But when conservative parties try to shut down all rights of charities or other groups to speak out, or protest, by threatening to withdraw funding or tax concessions, this is absolutely wrong. Of course we are seeing something similar now in America under Trump, on climate issues, and a whole range of others as well.

    I get the last paragraph. I would  say capitalism promotes winning, and this can be healthy. But winning promotes cheating and abuse of power, and the winners often control the rule book, and then have a record of making it easy for their associates to abuse power as well.

    The public ultimately also weild power at election times and sometimes throw out leaders who abuse power. It sort of balances but only sometimes.

    It appears that underlying your discussion is a premise a that we as a species should be planning what we do using criteria of how this affects future generations. This appeals to me 1) because it just seems right and 2) it has the virtue of a simple goal and 3) because it propogates the species within a stable world and has forward looking economic value. I also think it is affordable for us to do anyway. Something a simple as fisheries quotas and conservation does not mean we stop all fishing, for example.

    However your views on considering future generation  as a prime goal, is ultimately a statement of belief or morality, although in my view a good one. In environmental terms it is the sustainablity concept. How do you get people to subscribe to such a view? Start a political party?

    But as with many things in life, we could at least start with protesting against the antithesis or opposite of your ideas, which is Donald Trump.

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  16. nigelj@15, I understand that I am referring to a higher level objective or ethic. I am fairly certain that root of the problem is that the higher level objective is mainly missing from consideration in what is going on. And because it relates to so many aspects of human activity commenting about it really has no limit.

    I am attempting to distill it into a climate science limited presentation and submit it as an OP for SkS to consider posting.

    My comments to date are exercises in trying to present the point, limiting it to climate science. But providing supporting points of evidence comes from a massive variety of issues. Trying to create the comments and getting feedback has been helpful. I am not a fan of brevity. Use of terms always needs definition of the term, so I find I try to present descriptions rather than using terms. I also type comments as I think of things (more things come to mind as the comment develops) then review and edit to a degree. That leads to longer statements potentially out of sequence that I find as difficult to follow as they are difficult to reorganize and break down into smaller statements then tighten up without becoming more open to misinterpretation.

    My current best concise presentation of my thinking is the need to focus on a scale for evaluating human actions that is "Helpful through Harmful" with the objective basis for positioning actions being "Advancing all of humanity to a better future". Other scales can be useful for differentiating thoughts and perspectives, but the “Helpful through Harmful” would govern over the other scales which would be personal preference or ideological scales.

    Another way to say that is that actions that are on the Helpful side of the scale are valuable to humanity regardless of where they sit on any other evaluation scale (regardless of their popularity or profitability). And actions that are “harmful” are just harmful no matter where they are on any other scale, with no consideration of credit for a benefit someone may perceive they get. And any action that is in no way harmful but is also not helpful would be at the lower limit of acceptable personal entertainment.

    Establishing the higher order valuable objective of human activity is essential (and it applies locally and globally). It cannot be allowed to be considered to be just a matter of personal opinion or preference. And there must be no “Balancing of Harm with Help”. Without that clear truly deserving objective basis for measurement and setting limits on acceptability (and I am open to considering stronger clearer more valuable objectives), claims could be made that misleading marketing is "Helpful" (to the people it provides an advantage to). And people could claim that investigating or explaining the unacceptability of a developed popular and profitable activity is "Harmful" (to the people who do not want to give up their developed perceptions of prosperity and opportunity).

    Claims that reducing future challenges would be “too costly for people today” would clearly end up on the Harmful side. No amount of current perception of value having to be “given up” would justify a likely risk of future challenges being created. Businesses mitigate Risk. And the best way they do that, form their perspective, is set things up so that others will suffer the consequences or the evaluation of damage will be limited like the Horizon Disaster where only a living person who could directly prove how their life was financially affected could claim “Harm” and get the current shareholders to lose wealth (note that many shareholders benefited from the riskier more profitable approach to things that ultimately caused the Horizon Dister but were no longer shareholders when “payment for damages was required”). The fact that future generations cannot possibly continue to benefit from burning fossil fuels is an additional negative point about that activity, as are all the other non-climate related impacts of the activities related to extracting and burning fossil fuels.

    Of course the current challenge is undoing all of the damaging popular and profitable developments. That ultimately would happen quicker if leaders could be removed from positions of influence if it can be shown that they failed to be well aware and best understand what is going on (something that voters and shareholders should expect of their leaders) and apply that understanding to improve the future for all of humanity (the only worthy actions of a leader regardless of the potential popularity or profitability of other interests or objectives).

    A more difficult argument to make using what I have presented is claiming that exaggeration or misleading marketing is helpful if it raises awareness of an issue leading to the greater potential for people to realize the importance of changing their attitudes and actions to help improve the future for all of humanity. In the case of climate science, some people presenting the potential worst case future has developed a “Harmful” result, the creation of the CAGW argument as the excuse to discredit any and all climate science information.

    Nigel, I may have done it again.

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  17. nigelj@15, If Donald Trump truly honours his Inauguration Speech claim that he will end poverty in the USA. And he does it in a lasting way that does not harm the short-term future for people outside of the USA or harm or create challenges for future generations in any way. Then on that issue Donald Trump's leadership actions would not be the antithesis of my objective.

    I would love to see Team Trump, and all other leaders, succeed in legitimately honouring that Promise. However, I believe it is likely that Team Trump will only make-up more ultimately unsustainable perceptions of Winning on that issue. Making up appealing claims appears to be their only proven talent.

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  18. One Planet Only forever @16 &17,

    Some good points.

    Yes I agree your higher level objective or ethic should be front and centre. But read what I said, I already said it's a good simplifying goal, (and so obviously should be upfront).

    But the point is we need to consider is how we persuade people to adopt it, because it cannot happen at the point of a gun.

    In fact my country has a resource management act based around the idea of sustainablity, so we are half way there. Sadly it comes under a lot of attack.

    The rest of what you say makes sense.

    I personally think the use of the word "catastrophic" has been unwise. It plays into the hands of people who can then claim things like "hysteria, scarmongering, chicken little etc". Don't get me wrong, climate change is likely to be catastrophic in at least some regards, to those who have a bit of knowldege of earth systems, but sadly academics are not always experts in communication. I think the term very serious is accurate enough, and the better term.

    It's easy enough to get peoples attention without massive hyperbole. A few photos of shrinking glaciers is enough. I actually think most people do accept the science of climate change and that conesquences are serious. Polls tend to show this. The problem is everyone is kind of frozen in indecision and fear about what to do, and of course you have vested interests saying do nothing. In all fairness, humanity has never faced such a large and intractable problem before, or not many.

    But theres now no escaping we are altering a lot of things, partly due to the population explosion, and the only way forward is resource management on a global scale. This is challenging on several obvious levels.

    Donald Trump may have some fine objectives, to end poverty in America for example, and of course I hope he does well, and I try to take people at face value in good faith, "but" his detailed words and actions to date are very inconsistent to his objectives. Even if he "brings back" a few manufacturing jobs with his tariffs scheme, it's hard to see how that would help people in services industries on very low wages. My country tried tariffs in the 1970s, and although they pushed up some wages, they caused a vast range of other problems.

    And part of Trumps plan seems to be to "End Poverty" by sacrificing the environment. This does not make a lot of sense. You can't cure one problem by causing another problem.

    It all looks more like a transfer of wealth and power to the corporate sector. A few poor people might be slightly better off,in the process, at the most, but the net result will be lower overall wealth for America as a whole long term,  and mostly a win for the business sector in the short term. His protectionist thinking works short term, but not so much in the long term, imho.

    But obviously I hope I'm wrong, and it all works out well for everyone.

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  19. One Planet Only Forever, just adding to clarify my main repsonse directly above, we should obviously be trying to make it better for poor people, but with direct anbd genuine assistance of some sort, or higher minimum wage laws. Tariffs are not the way.

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  20. Warren like most skeptics got his idea from one of these posts (this response was previously posted on different topic -)

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  21. joe... Your comment is fairly nondescript. Can you clarify your point or be a little more specific?

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  22. Rob - thanks will gladly clarify.  The statement is made to the effect that Warren made up the second part of the theory catastrophic warming based on positive feedbacks.  (ie he pulled it out of his backside and/or his imagination) .

    I was only pointing out the theory has been put forth by many from the climate science community, including this site.  Granted, there has been some retreat from this position.  

    (my second part of my comment was pointing out that i originally posted to the same/similar comment to a different blog post in error)

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  23. joe...  I think you're misinterpretting here. In the article, I'm stating that Warren says the IPCC merely makes up positive feedbacks. That is clearly not true. On the other hand, Warren does make up the idea of negative feedbacks dominating, which would make CS lower than the direct effect of CO2. That is not scientifically supportable.

    And, no, there's not been any retreat from the position on the estimates of climate sensitivity. They remain basically where they've been for many decades.

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  24. "One more error is, he claims Al Gore states that, "...we will see a tipping point where temperatures will run away, [Gore] is positing that feedbacks will be nearly infinite (a phenomenon we can hear with loud feedback screeches from a microphone)." Nope. Sorry. That is Mr. Meyer's misunderstanding and is nothing that Al Gore has ever stated."

    I did a bit of research and managed to find the source for Al Gore's claims about "tipping-points".  It turns out to be a conflation of a comment Gore made to CBS news in 2006, and a review of An Inconvenient Truth, by James Hansen.

    CBS reported on January 26th, 2006 that:

    "And politicians and corporations have been ignoring the issue for decades, to the point that unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return, Gore said.

    He sees the situation as "a true planetary emergency.""

    You will notice that while the sentiment is Gore's, the initial sentence contains no quotations, and hence no indication that the term "point of no return" was Gore's.

    Meanwhile, in his review of "An Inconvenient Truth", Hansen expressed similar views when he wrote:

    "Any responsible assessment of environmental impact must conclude that further global warming exceeding two degrees Fahrenheit will be dangerous. Yet because of the global warming already bound to take place as a result of the continuing long-term effects of greenhouse gases and the energy systems now in use, the two-degree Fahrenheit limit will be exceeded unless a change in direction can begin during the current decade. Unless this fact is widely communicated, and decision-makers are responsive, it will soon be impossible to avoid climate change with far-ranging undesirable consequences. We have reached a critical tipping point."

    In January, 2016, Anthony Watts published an article by Jaclyn Schiff, which quoted the NBC article, before saying:

    "Well, the 10 years are about up, by now, warming should have reached “planetary emergency levels” Let’s look at the data:


    As you can see, little has changed since 2006. Note the spike in 1998, in the 18 years since the great El Niño of 97/98, that hasn’t been matched, and the current one we are in isn’t stronger, and looks to be on the way to decaying. So much for the “monster” El Niño."

    In the space covered by the ellipsis, Schiff published a graph of the UAH TLT temperature through to Nov 2015.  Why November, given that the Dec 2016 data was published by Roy Spencer on January 5th, 2016.  Perhaps it had something to do with the December values being higher than those of October, hence giving the lie to the claim that the temperatures "looks to be on the way to decaying".  Regardless, hindsight shows her claims to be utterly baseless:

    Indeed, so also did foresight for anybody aware of the relative delays of surface and mid troposphere temperature responses to ENSO fluctuations.

    More important than any shenanigans with out of date temperature data is the complete misunderstanding of what Gore is reputed to have said.

    Going back to the original NBC metaphore, a point of no return is that point in a flight, or expedition, were turning around will not leave you with sufficient fuel (or supplies) to return to base.  It could also be used of a scenario where you are driving rapidly towards the lip of the Grand Canyon, in which case the point of no return is that point at which no amount of braking, or rapidity of turning will prevent you from going over the lip.  In neither case is there any sudden change in your conditions.  The point of no return on a flight is not a point of sudden turbulence; and the point of no return as you follow Thelma and Louis to a premature death is as smooth as any other point you had traversed on the trip thus far.

    Applying this to Gore's thought, clearly he was saying (whether using that phrase or not) that if radical action was not taken by (approximately) 2016, then we would have reached a point where no economically achievable measures could prevent CO2 concentrations rising sufficiently to cause temperatures to pass the threshold beyond which their impacts are considered dangerous.  No sudden jump in temperature is predicted, and nor is it predicted that the temperature increase by 2016 will itself have passed a dangerous threshold.

    In any event, Schiff's misunderstanding was then picked up by the deniasphere, with Hansen's term frequently substituted.  From there, it was apparently further misinterpreted by Warren Myer.

    Ignoring the gross misrepresentations without which deniers have no argument, the question is whether or not we have in fact passed Gore's 'point of no return', or Hansen's "tipping point".  The answer is that we do not know.  We may have, and if we have not we certainly will do so soon.  My feeling is that we have for a 1.5oC increase above the preindustrial, but not quite yet for a 2oC threshold.  Unfortunately, whether we have or have not passed it, the actions of Trump in the US, and Turnbull in Australia seem geared to ensure we pass it very soon, if we have not already.



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  25. Warren Meyer here.  I am happy to argue about details of temperature measurement systems another time (or you can see my full response here:


    However, it strikes me that the basic purpose of the article from oh so many years ago was lost here.  I wrote this article based on my extreme frustration in the climate debate. I have no problem with folks disagreeing with me.  But I was frustrated that the skeptic argument was being mis-portrayed and folks were arguing about the wrong things. Specifically, I was frustrated with both of these two arguments that were frequently thrown in my face:

    • "Climate deniers are anti-science morons and liars because they deny the obvious truth of warming from greenhouse gasses like CO2"

    In fact, if you read the article, most of the prominent climate skeptics (plus me, as a non-prominent one) totally accept greenhouse gas theory and that CO2, acting alone, would warm the Earth by 1-1.2C. What we are skeptical of is the very net high positive feedbacks assumed to multiply this initial warming many-fold (and believe me, for those of you not familiar with dynamic systems analysis, these numbers are very large for stable natural systems) . Of all the groups I have spoken to in the past, perhaps less than 1% were familiar with the fact that warming forecasts were a chain of not one but two theories, both greenhouse gas theory and the theory that the Earth's atmosphere is dominated by strong net positive feedbacks. And, that the majority of warming in most projections actually comes from this second, lesser-dsicussed theory.  Even if the audience does not choose to agree with my skepticism over feedback levels, isn't this education of the public about the basic theory useful?  

    I actually can't tell if the author agrees with my framing of the theory in these two parts or not.  Wikipedia seems to agree ( for what that's worth.  

    The author accuses me of purposeful obfuscation, but for those of us who are skeptical, it is odd that alarmists seem to resist discussing the second part of the theory. Could it be that the evidence for strong positive feedbacks dominating the Earth's long-term-stable greenhouse gas theory is not as strong as that for greenhouse gas theory? Evidence for high atmospheric positive feedbacks simply HAS to be weaker than that for greenhouse gas theory, not only because they have been studied less time but more importantly because it is orders of magnitude harder to parse out values of feedbacks in a complex system than it is to measure the absorption and emission spectrum of a gas in a laboratory.

    • "Climate deniers are anti-science morons and liars because there is a 97% consensus behind global warming theory.

    Well, studies have shown a 97% agreement on .. something. If one is sloppy about the proposition being tested, then it is easier to get widespread agreement. The original study that arrived at the 97% number asked two questions — "do you think the world has warmed in the last century" and "do you think a significant part of this warming has been due to man". 97% of scientists said yes to both. But me, called a climate denier, would have said yes to both as well. Alarmists attempt to shut off debate with skeptics by citing 97% agreement with propositions that have little or nothing to do with skeptics' arguments. Try asking a large group of scientists if they think that the world will warm 3C per doubling of CO2 levels, the proposition with which I disagree, and I guarantee you are not going to get anywhere near 97%. This is simply a bait and switch.

    By the way, I would advise the author to work on his reading comprehension scores. It is clear from the text he quotes near the end form me that I called the media scientifically illiterate, not the IPCC and researchers. The basic framework of greenhouse gas incremental warming multiplied many times by assumed positive net feedbacks is in the scientific literature and the IPCC — my frustration is that the feedback theory seldom enters the public debate and media articles, despite the fact that the feedback theory is the source of the majority of projected warming and is the heart of many climate skeptic's criticisms of the theory.

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  26. Warren Meyer herea again.  Thinking about it more, at some level I find this article weirdly totalitarian, particularly the last paragraph where I am described as doing nothing but polluting the climate discussion.  This seems an oddly extreme response to someone who:

    - agrees in the linked article that the world has warmed over the last century

    - agrees in the linked article that a good chunk of that warming is due to manmade CO2

    - agrees in the linked article that CO2 acting as a greenhouse gas will increase temperatures, acting alone, by about 1-1.2C per doubling

    - argues for a form of carbon tax (in a different article:

    - but disagrees on the magnitude of added warming from net feedback effects.

    It seems that we have moved beyond "you are either with us or against us" and entered the realm of "you are either entirely with us on every single detail or you are against us".   

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  27. Hello Warren. Thanks for dropping by.

    There is nothing remotely "totalitarian" about this article. All I'm doing is pointing out how you've grossly misinterpretted the science.

    Even with your points put forth in this comment you're contradicting your original article. In your article you argue net negative feedbacks which would bring climate sensitivity below 1°C. But now you're arguing that human contribution makes up a "good chunk" of warming? These two statements are incompatible.

    I'm very happy to hear that you argue for a carbon tax. I completely agree that is the most appropriate and politically viable approach to this issue.

    Regarding your "disagreement" with the magnitude, you're really not in a position to agree or disagree. The data and research tell us what the relative likelihood of the climate sensitivity range. You are randomly selecting a climate sensitivity that fits your own ideological bent. That's not a rationally supportable position any more than someone selecting 6°C for climate sensitivity. And, understand, these two wildly different points (1°C and 6°C) hold an almost identical likelihood of being correct!

    This is not a with-us-or-agin-us situation. It is purely a risk management issue. 

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  28. coyote @25:

    1)   "... most of the prominent climate skeptics ..."

    I am uncertain how you quantified that "most".  Certainly the folks at Principia Scientific do not.  Nor do those behind the arrogantly named Galileo Movement in Australia.  Even among those who do accept the existence of an atmospheric greenhouse effect, many accept a distorted version of the theory in which the only relevant component is the back radiation at the surface, whereas in the actual theory the most important component is the effect on the Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR), and consequently on Earth's overall energy balance.

    Incidentally, the theory as regards to the OLR is sufficiently stunningly confirmed, and follows so directly from basic and well confirmed laws of physics that it is, for all intents and purposes, settled science.  Further, the 1 - 1.2 C direct impact of a CO2 doubling from that follows directly from that very well confirmed part of the theory.

    2)  "What we are skeptical of is the very net high positive feedbacks..."

    I am skeptical on what basis you consider the feedbacks to be very high.  In AR5 Chapter 9, feedbacks are treated as feedbacks on the radiative forcing.  As a result they are dominated by the planck feedback of -3.2 +/- 0.1 (units of W m-2 oC-1, 90% confidence interval).  Compared to that the 1.6 +/- 0.3 water vapour feedback, or the 1.6 +/- 0.9 total feedback excluding the Planck feedback are not "very high".  Figures from IPCC AR5 Chapt 9, table 9.5; figure for total excluding Planck feedback determined by adding the values and summing the uncertainty in quadrature.)  Nor are they at significant risk (despite the large uncertainty from the cloud feedback) of making the total feedback (including the Planck feedback)  net positive, the precondition of a runaway greenhouse effect.

    You may be more familiar with the feedback presented as a response to an initial temperature increase, but in that case the response necessary for a runaway effect is in infinite positive feedback, so again, the approximate doubling to quadrupling of the initial temperature response is not "very high".

    3)  "... isn't this education of the public about the basic theory useful ..."

    Educating the public with a string of "false facts" is never useful.  Even getting one basic fact right is unhelpful when it is introduced out of context and surrounded by a cloud of untruths.

    In this instance, the consensus surveys do not use questions that delve into feedbacks and planck responses, but can be resolved at a purely emprical level.  Further, that the temperature response to a doubling of CO2 is in the order 1.5-4.5 oC (66% confidence interval) can be determined solely on an empirical basis.  That it is also predicted on a theoretical basis (ie, by the Global Circulation Models) is just icing on the cake.  When historical records since 1850 (including ice core records) show a linear response by temperature to CO2 forcing gives a linear response of 0.58 +/- 0.02 C/(W/m^2) (r^2:0.811), then an effective climate response of 2.15 +/- 0.7 C per doubling of atmospheric CO2 is a matter of empirical observation.  When the energy imbalance at the TOA remains unclosed with that temperature responce, that the equilibrium response to a doubling of CO2 will be larger than that is again a matter of empirical observation.  (Note, those uncertainties are for the calculations alone, uncertainties from the data will significantly increase the uncertainty range, but not change the observed sensitivity.) 

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  29. I'll add here... Warren, the frustrating part of what you (and many other skeptics) are doing is, you're asking people to accept your small minority position as absolute. You're asking people to not consider the low probability high end potential, while at the same time you say we must accept your very low probability low end potential.

    That is a recipe for disaster.

    What the scientific community is saying is, given the balance of all the available research, here is the low end probability, here is the high end probability, and in the middle are our best estimates where thing likely are.

    That's not taking an absolute position on any side. It's an act of constraining the probability to a range within which we can take appropriate action. 

    As I stated in my original article here, you can't just pick and choose the answers you like and exclude those you don't. You must look at the full body of evidence and act within the limitations of our knowledge. That is what risk assessment is.

    Based on that, there are no two ways about this. The entire likely range of climate sensitivity is an argument for strong action.

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  30. coyote @25 is actually a cut&paste of part of a web-page from the commenter's website. What he doesn't bring here is the start of this web-page. In it he is suggesting that the climate forcing since pre-industrial is incompitable with the temperature record given IPCC ECS values. As well as some seriously trivial stuff, he presents two graphics to demonstrate how models cannot be (entirely) trusted. Thus the commenter tells his flock with emphasis "There are good reasons to distrust models. ... There are also good reasons to distrust climate models and forecasts" and less-forcefully "These forecast failures are not meant as proof the theory is wrong, merely that there is good reason to be skeptical of computer model output as somehow the last word in a debate."

    The first graphic shown compares the trends from Hansen (1988) Scenario A & B (but not Scenario C) with HadCRUT4 & UAH TLTv6.0. The second is the second-order-draft AR5 Fig1.4 (below), a graphic oft annotated by denialists and so it could perhaps do with some sensible annotating for once - pehaps with a plot of the temperature record 2012-16. Suitably adjusting GISS & NOAA for a 1961-90 anomaly, by 2015 they and HadCRUT are showing respectively anomalies of +0.76ºC, +0.78ºC, +0.76ºC, which are smack the centre of the AR4 projection. Of course 2016 was warmer still, but that was an El Nino year.AR5 s-o-d Fig1.4

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  31. coyote / Warren Meyer @25 ,

    some very good points have been made in reply to you — so I will just add some general observations :-

    Firstly, there are very few denialists as intelligent and well-spoken as you are.  Exceedingly few.  Seemingly even fewer than the very tiny [single figures?] number of climate-knowledgeable scientists who dispute the consensus view about the severity of the present global warming problem.  These few could be called "lukewarmers", because they only dispute the degree of AGW.  But the consequence (and possibly intention?) of their actions is to reinforce denialism by the science-ignoring groups.    *Judging by scientific publications and the expressed position given by the world's peak scientific bodies, it is a fair assessment to describe the "consensus" as well over 99% (rather than the oft-repeated 97% which is really a figure from a decade ago).  And in the subsequent decade, the physical evidence supporting the mainstream science has grown even stronger than you were thinking, back in 2012.

    Secondly, I enjoyed reading one of your climate-related "coyote blog" articles a few years ago (sorry, I cannot recall which one — but it was lengthy and published in several parts).  The initial third of your article was rigorously well-argued, and was impressive and persuasive.  Unfortunately, things went downhill from there.  The middle part became less rigorously correct, and might be described (colloquially) as getting quite flaky.  And the final third was quite atrocious in its large amount of logical faults.   It seemed that you had used your utmost "Motivated Reasoning" to convince yourself (and readers) that black was white.

    I sincerely hope you will achieve better in the future: though that will require you to overcome your inner emotional bias.  The so-called Motivated Reasoning is a powerful force, mis-directing you away from the very clear conclusions reached by mainstream science.  Perhaps you enjoy being a maverick despite the scientific evidence being so strongly (or rather, so entirely) against you — or perhaps there is a gaggle of more interesting inner forces!

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  32. Eclectic @31, Steven Mosher, as much as anyone, has a right to define the term, "luke warmer".  And he has done so at WUWT:

    "Over the years a few of us have worked to define what we mean by Lukewarmer and what defines the position.

    1. Acceptance of radiative physics.
    2. Acceptance of a lower bound to sensitivity. basically the no feedback estimate is 1.2C per
    doubling. We think that the true sensitivity will be above 1.
    3. over/under line. The over under line is 3C. That is, if offered a bet that the climate sensitivity
    is either ‘between 1 and 3 or over 3, we take the under bet.

    less than 1.2 5%
    1.2 to 3. 50%
    3 to 4.5 45%
    4.5+ 5%

    So if you believe that GHG can warm the planet and not cool it, and you think that the mean estimate of the IPCC of 3.2 is more likely high than low, then you are a lukewarmer. But you have to drop the crazy refusals over radiative physics."

    In contrast, Meyer wrote:

    "Not only may the feedback number not be high, but it might be negative, as implied by some recent research, which would actually reduce the warming we would see from a doubling of CO2 to less than one degree Celsius. After all, most long-term stable natural systems (and that would certainly describe climate) are dominated by negative rather than positive feedbacks."

    The suggestion that ECS might be less than one removes Meyer from the Luke Warmer camp.  (I have discussed his misrepresentation of the nature of climate feedbacks above.)

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  33. I would almost call Warren a climate denier with a hedge. Any argument of near or below 1°C is abundantly rejected within the scientific literature. Saying you agree with radiative physics, but reject all other physics, doesn't buy you a ticket to the lukewarmer club. 

    I would go even further to state that, such rhetorically hedged statements like Tom just recounted ("might not be high, but might be neg") border on the irrational. It's certainly not a scientifically nuanced point at all. It's a statement designed to defend a cognitive position against scientific facts.

    It's the 'Global temperature changes all the time, always has... but feedbacks are negative and climate sensitivity is below 1°C' argument.

    I don't see that as lukewarmer in the least. That's just straight up denial packaged up to sound sciency.

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  34. Tom @32 , my apology for not making my statement clearer.

    When I said "these few", I was referring to the "very tiny" number of climate-knowlegeable scientists (such as Curry and Christy, for example) who are "lukewarmers" in the sense of bending over backwards to minimise the importance of the present-day global warming process.

    Mr Warren Meyers quite evidently does not fit that description, though he seems to wish to masquerade as lukewarm.   His advocacy/sophistry fails to be scientifically logical.   He would benefit from some self-examination, as to why he (as an intelligent man) is striving to be in denial about the very straightforward findings of climatological science and about the major global warming changes that have already occurred in the physical world.

    The effect of denialism is much the same, regardless of whether the intention is anti-scientific advocacy or semi-scientific Lukewarmism.

    As you imply, Tom :- those who aim to be "semi-scientific" are really aiming to be semi-pregnant.

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  35. I wonder if Ron Honeycutt is an IPCC supported columnist. IE paid to write. I am writing as a skeptic of all. I have found in my years that the more I think I know the less that I actually do know. By that criteria, I find myself researching more and more and would offer that others do the same. My experiences are in US History which requires a deep understanding of political and military history. In that arena I study Combat Veteran studies from the front line. I also have research in Psychology, Philosophy, Current events. I have an equisitive mind that dates back 50 years. I am published, and will be published again soon. But that all together by no means makes me a master of any of this, but it does make me informed or at least better than average. You may have to excuse my punctuation as I have professionals handle what I miss. From a scientific point of view i agree with Einstien and will let the others do all the math. 

    I come at this from the perspective of neutrality. I have read Warren Meyer's Forbes magazine articles and I have red Honeycutt's above. Coming to this from a neutral stance I would argue that what I am seeing is piling on of one columinst's points of views over another columnist's point of view.  As such, one has to ask the question, who is selling what to whom. And all I am seeing is more of the same. Arguements that I am seeing here are in direct parrallel with the types of arguements that I see regularly on FaceBook, and with the same amount dressing down. Ibeit the verbage is of higher caliber, the reality is still the same. He said, she said, we have more evidence than you, you are wrong, I am right, etc. 

    Let me applaud Warren Meyers first and foremost for coming into the devils den and assert again his opinions based on his knowledge. That is a tough thing to do. I am sure that Ron Honeycutt would have similar difficulty for coming into a group that is heavily weighted against him. But here is the point. Sites like this will draw in people like me looking for answers and in the end result based on previous experiences and from what I have seen here, nothing is accomplished. 


    1) 'Global Anything" should and must keep social sciences and logic in the equation at all times in order to cover the realities of the subject. 

       1a) The reason for that is because all science is built upon human experience so that at the forefront it must be accounted for. Because if there is no humans, there is no science. Honeycutt's article seems to purposely avoid this reality and as such gives only a partial explanation or 'tunnel vision' point of view at best. 

    2) Solidifying the science of weather is one thing, but offer solid conclusions on how best to address it. It must have in it a solid understanding of not only Human Nature, but human population growth, psychology, and social accepted norms and realities. Honeycutt's article does scant addressing of this hard reality. 

    3) Deniers, Luke Warmers, Climate Change Promoters, are all stereotypes and affords nothing much beyond Identity Politics/categorizing. While it seems scientific, in the world humans it is mostly just degrading. It also supports the logic that people in these subgroups are stuck in a bubble. 

    4) When someone like myself comes to see what he can discover for himself in order to form thier own opinions, they are not looking to categorized and could generally care less about opinions. 

    5) A failure on Honeycutt's article should include other findings that Meyer's speaks about in his Forbes articles. Issue like Mann and good ole Uncle Sam preventing data to be retrieved so that it could be researched and duplicated. Freedom of Information Acts have to be employed in order to even get to the data that is built into the IPCC findings. Why would a neutral party buy into Honeycutt's perspective if all he did was attack Meyers and never even bother to bring this up. I am just asking here. Science should never require a FOIA.

    6) Meyer's in his articles speaks about the NIPCC. Honeycutt does not bother to even mention that either. Why as a neutral party doing research would one trust his finding while at the same time he leaves this inportant section of research completely out of the subject matter that was there in Meyers articles. Nor does he state anything regarding VP Gore's actions.

    7) Climate Change/Global Warming/Weather is a 4 billion dollar taxpayer funded research paycheck annually. Why is it that no one here as ever spoke about the reality that their are people who would most definetly lie about thier findings in order to get a piece of that Pie?

    8) New American said that the US government will spend 22.2 billion to fight Global Warming this year alone. I am sure that all the players in this equation is on the up and up. Dont you? Why is no one here other than Meyers speaking about this. Surely any basic understanding of human nature would support that thinking and yet, Science can not be concise with those types of motivators screwing up the works. Can it?

    9) When a novice looks for data and wants to learn from the ones in the know they could fair better with out all the opinions and deal only in the facts. We are, contrary to popular belief, able to understand. That is why we come to sites like this. 

    10) The Science is not settled in my honest opinion because of out liers that are into it for the money, and when I see this level of attacks on one side or the other, the observer cant help but think that is far from being accepted science. That, IMHO, is where we are at, and where we will stay for years to come. If you cant convince people like myself. you have no chance of convincing enough. As it stand right now, the 22.2 billion and the 4 billion research causes every US citizen on the tab for about 83.00 dollars a person for this unconvincing science just this year alone. We are simple creatures designed to see patterns and the only exact fact that can be proven to me is Change. It is the only constant in the universe that I trust.  

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  36. Rbrooks502... First of all, my name is Rob, not Ron. Second, no. I am not a paid writer. After that, it's really hard to know where to begin.

    I'll state that, thinking that I wouldn't have the ability to go into the devil's den in a similar way as Meyer's has come here... That would be incorrect. I've spend years wading into debates with climate skeptics. Anyone who knows me can attest to that.

    Let's see if we can go through your list here...

    1) I'm sorry but this is very close to word salad. I'm having a hard time making heads or tails of what you're trying to say.

    2) Ditto on this one. I do not understand what you mean by "solidifying" in respect to weather or how this relates to anything discussed in my piece, or how this relates to anything relative to human nature.

    3) I had to do a quick search on this page to see where the term "denier" is used. The first occurrance here is in your comment.

    4) I agree (I think). That's why I've tried to keep my entire article based in the evidence presented in the body of scientific research.

    5) All of Michael Mann's relevant data is available to the public. No FOIA req'd.

    6) The NIPCC report comes from a very small group of scientists, most of whom have no specific expertise in climate science. They are funded by oil companies. Unlike the IPCC, the NIPCC goes through no formal review process. In short, it's a farcical report (and that's trying to put it kindly). 

    7) That's rather easy. Because if you lie as a scientific researcher you will get incorrect answers and your research will not stand the test of time. The scientific process works exactly the same with climate science as it does with any other science.

    8) Meyers is not the only person talking about the costs. The entire world is discussing the costs AND the benefits relative to the costs of inaction. 

    9) Yes. I agree that you are able to understand, but for some reason it's quite clear that you are choosing not to. You are choosing to take a non-neutral position which is contrary to the position presented by the vast body of scientific evidence.

    10) There are areas of settled science, and there are areas that are not settled. The elements that are not yet settled do not affect those that are.

    RBrooks... Contrary to your claims of neutrality, it's clear that you are anything but. If you are, at this point in history, unconvinced by the science then it would be completely impossible for there to ever be enough evidence to convince you. That is not an opinion. It's just an observation. 

    As for the $83/person for climate science, that works out to about 23 cents a day. You likely spend many times that on coffee each day. Given that much of that cost is also related to weather predictions, I'd have to suggest, when the population of entire southern half of Florida can evacuate in a timely manner because of those weather predictions... That $83 more than pays for itself. It's a net return on the investment.

    Given that there is almost certainly always going to be a sub-set of the human population who will never accept the science related to climate change, as a species we will have to continue to take action without your help. That's fine. A great deal is already being accomplished in reducing our carbon emissions. Other nations like China and India are also starting to take aggressive action to decarbonize. 

    Please don't take it personally, but I don't think we need you to agree with us in order to fix the problem. 

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  37. Your closing arguement is exactly what I was referring to in 1) and 1a). You will find that there are many out there who have a higher respect for that 23 cents a day than evidently you do. And by the way, that is 23 cents a day for every Citizen of all ages in the US every day, every year by the looks of it. It is not your 23 cents, it belongs to the tax payers. The social construct as you so aptly suggest here for its value is not the consensus of everyone. You see I have a problem to the core with the concept that forced taxation is theft. This is something that shows itself in what many call taxation for charity. IE Social Programs. An issue many Americans have a problem with. This is part of the social science that is never applied to any of this.  If this concept of mine eludes you and still feel that it is nothing more than word salad, I have no response for you.

    BTW, Dopler radar is the reason that so many were able to leave Florida. That science was and is a worthy pursuit without a doubt, but I dont see where that has anything to do with Climate Change and or Warren's article. 

    My neutrality is based on my own perceptions and not yours. I find that often times taking the devil's advocate allows me to see things in broader scope. Surely you have done this once or twice. Being as I am like most people, and can see patterns like all others, the patern that I have seen through out the years is a force feeding of Global Warming, Climate Change, Man's influence, all of which have always pointed to catastrophe. Each and every time that so called science has come up short. In the 70's it was global cooling. Now we are heating up the planet.

    You speak about sciences that are proven, and perhaps that is true if we are measuring Irredium for example to determine if there was a fifth Snow Ball Earth. Perhaps that science has weight and definitive. But surely you can appreciate the skeptic based on past performances.

    Here is what I can say, in the upper corner of the page there is 10 things listed that represent the 10 most used Climate Change myths. To the casual observer, these will continue to be used until someone can put forth a convincing arguement one way or other to the average reader that they should not be included in thier skepticisms. For me the appearance of Sun spots, Solar flares, Solar cycles stand out above all others, and as yet, for every article that I read, it is left out of the equation as if it is not relevant. Mind you I recall the Ohio River freezing over twice in my lifetime, when it only did it once before a century earlier. A reason to be skeptical. Mind you that happened after we built the locks and dams. In 1925 there was less than a foot of water in the mighty Ohio in some places.

    Regarding getting the information out to help luke warmers or deniers, I recall the instance of the Korean War. In the battle of the Chosin Reservoir in 1950 where temperatures in North Korea were 30-40 below F. virtually all the information regarding the battle at the Chosin/Changjin Reservoir was manipulated and managed by the US Marine Corps. It took over 60 years and the tireless work of a few people that show the realities of that battle, that refute virtually all the statements the Marine Corps and the Media put out. Thier data far out weighed that of the Army's in both quantity and scope to the point that virtually no one ever even thought that there were members of the US Army even in the battle. And it would show, after the research was done, had it not been for the Army, the surviving Marines would probabley have been destroyed like the members of the 31RCT and Col. Faith.

    This same logic has and is still playing out on the subject of Global Warming/Climate Change or what ever it is you scientist are calling it these days. You have far outweighed the information output on the subject that anyone with the slightest bit of skepticism wants to take a different tack and try to get thier own conclusions, they are almost immediately dressed down as you have done with your comment regarding "I dont think we need you to agree with us in order to fix the problem". And you wonder why you cant be convincing. Strikes me as working in a bubble.

    You want to be scientific, break down these ten myths one by one and offer your evidence, and show where that evidence was verified by other scientist who were skeptical. If you have no Climate Science degree you will have to forgive me if I take your writing with skepticism.   

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Perhaps you should actually read the posts about the myths. For instance, "Its the Sun."

  38. In the meantime, this prediction is out saying that in 2030 we should start seeing more global cooling. I quote the article. "However, at the National Astronomy Meeting in Wales, Northumbria University professor Valentina Zharkova said fluctuations an 11-year cycle of solar activity the sun goes through would be responsible for a freeze, the like of which has not been experienced since the 1600s.

    From 1645 to 1715 global temperatures dropped due to low solar activity so much that the planet experienced a 70-year ice age known as Maunder Minimum which saw the River Thames in London completely frozen."

    Seems to me that even if Warren was completly wrong about any of his assertions, the science community has some bugs to work out. My skepticism will continue, as well as my anger regarding how my taxxes are spent. Enough said?

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] No, "the prediction" is not out. Use the Search field at the top left of this page to look for Zharkova.

  39. Rbrooks @38 & prior ,

    : several points for you to consider :-

    (A) You say in #35 that you "have research in Psychology ..." (unquote).    Yet there is no internal evidence of that to be seen in your posts.   Permit me to recommend you read more deeply into several important psychological topics : Motivated Reasoning ; and Dunning-Kruger Effect ; and Encapsulated Paranoia .

    For greatest benefit with those, you need to read with personal insight.  As the colloquial cliche goes . . . "And good luck with that!"

    (B) In #37 you imply you believe "that forced taxation is theft" (unquote).   It is (psychologically) interesting that you seem to favor only the voluntary payment of taxation.

    Once again . . . "And good luck with that!"   But this is well off-topic for the SkS website, so let's move on.

    (C) Rbrooks @38 , you have also failed to do sufficient reading of very basic concepts in climate science.

    Please note that Professor Zharkova's work showed little more than a "possibility" of a Grand Solar Minimum occuring in the mid part of this Century.

    Read somewhat more deeply, and you will see that [proposed] Grand Solar Minimum would produce a transient global cooling effect in the region of 0.3 degreesC.   In other words, quite trivial (and not cooler than today's hot climate, bearing in mind the ongoing global warming which is occurring currently & in the next few decades.


    ( Rbrooks, you have a lot of reading to do, to catch up with the current circumstances! )

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  40. Eclectic @39   As predicted above, out come the claws to dress any skeptic down in any way. Ahhhh the grandiose ideology of the academic. There are reasons why they should be taken with a bit of skepticism. Suggesting that I have this superiority complex with an inability to see my own noviceness on the subject has nothing to do with my last statements above.  And I think you meant to say Encapsulated Phsychosis

    I dont need you to frame my thinking by your accusations and I could care less if you attempt to define what it is and where I stand. Try getting out of the bubble

    Regarding your last statement I quote "Read somewhat more deeply, and you will see that [proposed] Grand Solar Minimum would produce a transient global cooling effect in the region of 0.3 degreesC. In other words, quite trivial (and not cooler than today's hot climate, bearing in mind the ongoing global warming which is occurring currently & in the next few decades."

    This 0.3 degree issue is that you speak of is no where in that article. But the article did predict with a 97 percent rating. 

    There seems to me that there are so many variables both positive and negative and so many unknowns like natural Methane release. volcanic eruptions above and below the surface, that I still hold that the science is far from completion. You might as well say that the science on dark matter is settled. It is not that what you are saying is falling on deaf ears either. I am trying to keep an open mind as much as possible but thus far it is quite difficult based on the reactions that I am getting. I admitted that I am no master of this, but I will argue that you cant produce anyone who has mastered this subject. If you have one, I will greatly appreciate the name and contact information

    I have said this 100 times and perhaps this is a good time to say it again. Social media like this string here are good for starting conversations but are terrible for true communications to take place. For that you need so many other factors involved. I personally think face to face and eye to be the very best

    I will part this tidbit. "If everyone is thinking the same way, then someone is not doing thier job" General George S. Patton

    Perhaps a little more openmindedness and little less of other things would be helpful for anyone casually looking this subject over

    The concept of forced taxation seems to have eluded you my friend. Since you require me to do more reading, i will offer to you to get more involved and read more yourself. Perhaps if you framed your thinking a little different you might spend more time doing some good ole fashion educating for the novice instead pf taking the dressing down tack that you are on. It doesnt help the cause at all. Everything you posted IMHO did nothing to move the conversation forward. IE more negatives than positives.

    Regarding your "B)" comment. You couldnt possibly be more off base and the fact that you find it psychologically interesting, for me, is nothing more than a veiled assertion and an insight into your own phsychology. Yes, I noticed

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can and will be rescinded if the posting individual continues to treat adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Moderating this site is a tiresome chore, particularly when commentators repeatedly submit offensive or off-topic posts. We really appreciate people's cooperation in abiding by the Comments Policy, which is largely responsible for the quality of this site.
    Finally, please understand that moderation policies are not open for discussion.  If you find yourself incapable of abiding by these common set of rules that everyone else observes, then a change of venues is in the offing.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

    Multiple instances of sloganeering, inflammatory and off-topic snipped.

  41. Rbrooks @40 . . . very droll of you.  No, I definitely didn't mean Encapsulated Phsychosis [sic].

    As to "educating the novice" (unquote) : the novice has to have a wish to learn (and not start out by declaiming that all the climate experts are wrong).   SkS website is an excellent website for learning : indeed, SkS has recently received an award from the National Center for Science Education.   You can learn much here, Rbrooks — if you truly wish to.

    Back to the science itself, Rbrooks.   Please read a little more deeply about Professor Zharkova and the 0.3 degreeC of trivial cooling — a matter which entirely fails to support any of the denialists' hype & "bad science".

    Even more on topic (for this thread) is the psychology of Warren Meyer.   Meyer is an intelligent guy : but as Rob Honeycutt's article has shown in much detail, Meyer gets it very wrong.   From your experience, Rbrooks — why do you think that Meyer has allowed himself to be hijacked by his own Motivated Reasoning?   Aye, there's the rub!  Over to you, Rbrooks — how & why do you think Meyer chooses to purvey his nonsense?!   I am definitely interested to hear your opinion on that. 

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  42. Rbrooks502: The 0.3 degrees cooling is in the first graph of the article that a moderator comment told you to find by searching for Zharkova. So either you can't read a graph, or you did not bother to actually read the article.

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  43. Rbrooks... At this point I would just restate what I said before. There is no amount of evidence that will convince you that all the world's experts are correct on this topic. The research is all available to you, the same way it's available to me. It is not my responsibility, nor anyone else's, to ensure that you (and people similar to you) understand it.

    The world is moving forward without your agreement. And yes, governments are likely to force you to contribute your 23 cents/day so that we can solve problems you won't acknowledge exist. That's just a reality.

    If there are aspects of climate science that you are curious about, there are a great number of people here who would be more than happy to help you understand it. Dozens here would gladly spend hours showing you the published research and going over the details of what it means. The only challenge is that you need to be willing to learn.

    As Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, "The great thing about science is, it's true whether or not you believe it."

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  44. I searched the website for an article by Gary Novak and came up empty. Self proclaimed Independent Scientist. Over the past 72 hours I read several papers and articles both for and against. Articles from NASA, the above mentioned "It's the Sun", reports from the Sierra Club,,, the IPCC, EPA, David Biello of Scientific America and Yale, as well as others. I would like to see the response regarding Gary Novak's paper listed below. There are two links regariding his work. 

    Honeycutt @43 You are right regarding Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
    "The great thing about science is, it's true whether or not you believe it." But since we are talking about a constant influence of a new set of eyes, Science will show that this statement was wrong. If he had said this back in 1100 AD, 1400 AD, 1600 AD, and virtually any other time we would see that Science has been proven wrong consistantly. After all, the earth is not flat, and the earth is not the center of the universe. Science's job is to evolve and get smarter if you will. It is not to take hard black and white stances that can not see further than the current technologies or limited modelling. So here is Novak's work.



    I also discovered that looking at the list of papers by Biello over the last 10 years or so, and overlaying it on the data that I have consumed both here and other locations, it would appear that we are too late, and if the EIA is correct looking towards 2040, we should expect that we are screwed anyway based on thier findings. So should I pack my bags and move to the south pole with a bag of seeds? 


     I dont think I will look into this further, I would like to find the measureing sites that are used to CO2 for example as well as looking at the math. So far it is only cursory in my searches but I am held to the thought that if someone like myself who is novice and enters into this line of research, wouldnt it be wiser to be less derogitory to us and more instead be more supportive and offer more solutions than the Paris Accords. Solutions that are not only logical but are cost effective and motivator skeptics like myself to get on board with your agenda. For me, you have to walk us through the science better and more convincingly. 

    The last charts that I could find for example regarding what countries are producing what in terms of CO2 date back to 2009. Almost a decade old. Along with that is this logic that seems to permeate the research saying that we contributed 336 million tons CO2 from 2000-2006. Making it 1/3 of the maximum amount that we can produce up to 2030 when we must show a reversal. Meaning that if 2007-2013 represents another 1/3 of the maximum amount, and again from 2014-2020, we are just 2 years away from being screwed anyway. Witht that being said, Biello's report show that we are just not going to make the cut off regardless of what we do now short of turning off virtually all polluting products like trucks, cars, farming equipment, concrete manufacturers etc.


    So allow me to take you up on your offer regarding the challenge of me being willing to learn. Can we start with Novak's articles and move forward from there so that I can stay linear in my research. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Your links were breaking the format of the page in width.  I have shortened them for you.  Please learn to do this yourself with the link tool.

  45. Rbrooks... If you apply this to issues that haven't been sufficiently researched, you usually end up with the wrong answer, and that's not science. The conclusion that the earth is flat is, and never was, a claim based in science. It was science which revealed the truth to us.

    I'm curious why you would want to start from Novak's paper? There is nothing, on the surface, that suggests the paper is credible. I've not read it yet so I don't know for sure, but what I do know is this:

    1) The source is suspicious. "" somehow doesn't suggest to me this is coming from a reliable source.

    2) This is not a published paper and therefore likely it's not peer reviewed. 

    3) The subtitle straight up rejects what has been established science for over 100 years: "There is no Valid Mechanism for CO2 Creating Global Warming"

    Honestly, don't you think it would be more reasonable to start from work that is well established and thoroughly reviewed by leading experts around the world? I mean, if a student wants to learn about the planets in our solar system we don't start by trying to teach them the earth is flat. Right?

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  46. Rbrooks502: Novak’s first article you linked is all over the place, and is vague and ambiguous, so even dealing with only that one article first unfortunately will not let you stay linear in your research. There are too many misconceptions there for me to deal with all of them at once, but here is a starting set. SkS appreciates your attempt to deal with one topic at a time, so though I’ll list here several relevant posts, please focus on only one of them first (any one). Please make further comments on these specific topics on these listed threads, not here.

    1. Novak’s claims that there already is so much CO2 in the atmosphere that adding more won’t matter, and that scientists are wrong/crazy/stupid in explaining that what’s important happens high in the atmosphere:
      1. Read the analogy of the greenhouse effect as a stack of blankets.
      2. Then read "Is the CO2 Effect Saturated?." Read the Basic tabbed pane, then watch the video there, then read the Intermediate tabbed pane, then the Advanced tabbed pane.
      3. Then read Eli Rabbett’s explanation.
      4. Then read RealClimate’s “A Saturated Gassy Argument” Part 1.
      5. Then read Part 2.
      6. Then play with this U. of Colorado PhET simulation.
      7. Then Stoat's simple explanation of the greenhouse effect.
      8. Then Science of Doom’s slightly less simple explanation of the Greenhouse Effect.
      9. Then V. Ramanthan’s Trace-Gas Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming.
    2. Novak’s claim that “water vapor will swamp whatever CO2 does.”
      1. Explaining How the Water Vapor Greenhouse Effect Works.” Read the Basic tabbed pane, then watch the video, then read the Intermediate tabbed pane.
      2. If you want technical detail, see Science of Doom’s series on Clouds and Water Vapor, but remember that clouds are liquid water, not vapor.
    3. Novak’s claim in the last paragraph that “ice age” (really glacial cycles within an ice age) are not affected by CO2:
      1. First read “Milankovitch Cycles
      2. Then read the multipart series that begins "The Last Interglacial - An Analogue for the Future?"
      3. Then "What Influence Do Underground Temperatures Have on Climate?"
      4. Then watch the excellent lecture “The Biggest Control Knob: Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s Climate History
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  47. Thank you Tom

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  48. Tom@46 So after reading 1-3 as you posted and watching the video, one thing stands out. The video shows scientific study at the north east coast of the US to measure the IR. Why was this location chosin? Wouldnt the high population density have an effect on not only the CO2 produced but also the amount of IR released out? If so (and I believe it matters)  Wouldnt it be more logical to do this same experiment over all other areas? Using this experiment is very limited. While I love airplanes, this sole experiment is very limited and I think it should not be used as a sole test. It would be like putting a CO2 measuring instrument only on volcanic islands.  Imagine creating a thermometer if you will for the planet by using many measurements along the same criteria. IE more airplanes going up continously evenly spaced through out all the areas. 

    Also, (side thought) the thought of other gasses beside hydrogen and helium at a rate of 53KG per second be the only gases released into space came to mind. To date these are the only gases being released out of the atmosphere as far as I know. Do you have any data on this?

    Your thoughts?

    I will continue on you list and post where applicable. 

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  49. Rbrooks502:

    1. No, that study described in the video did not measure only at the north east coast of the U.S. I don't understand how you got that idea. The narrator clearly says "The Eastern US and near Ascension Island."
      1. The name "Eastern US" means anything to the east of the midline of the continental US.
      2. Ascension Island is in the middle of the southern Atlantic Ocean.
      3. That was only one of many studies measuring the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. The video (at 3:22) explicitly says "We've also measured the greenhouse effect with satellites and at observatories all around the world." This video does not name them, because this video is not intended to be a survey of the entire scientific literature. This video is merely a simplified, introductory, overview lesson. One recent example of a ground-based study done in Oklahoma and Alaska in the US, was Feldman et al. (2015). (The news release summarizing it is here.) You can easily find more studies by reading the Intermediate and Advanced tabbed panes of that SkS post that has that video. Click the links in that text to find the details of the studies being cited. You can also look in the reference list of any study's paper. You can search the internet for other studies that reference that study. For example, you can use Google Scholar to find that study, and click the "Cited by" link below the study's name. And you can borrow a climatology or atmospheric science textbook.
    2. The amount of CO2 is not relevant for studies that verify the greenhouse gas signature spectra of absorption and emission. The patterns of absorption and emission are the same regardless of the amount of CO2. A separate question is whether the total amount of downwelling radiation in that CO2-signature-pattern has increased as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased. The answer is yes, having been measured by Feldman et al. I linked to above.
    3. Wikipedia has an explanation of gas escaping the atmosphere to space.
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  50. cool thanks.

    I will follow with more as I progress. I thank for taking the time with me. 

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