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Climate Hustle

The contradictory nature of global warming skepticism

Posted on 11 September 2010 by dana1981

A major challenge in conversing with anthropogenic global warming (AGW) skeptics is that they constantly seem to move the goalposts and change their arguments.  As a consequence, they also frequently contradict themselves.  One day they'll argue the current global warming is caused by the Sun, the next that it's "natural cycles", the next that the planet is actually cooling, and the next day they'll say the surface temperature record is unreliable, so we don't even know what the global temperature is.  This is why Skeptical Science has such an extensive skeptic argument list.

It should be obvious that the arguments listed above all contradict each other, yet they're often made by the same skeptics.  As one prominent example, in 2003 physicist and skeptic Fred Singer was arguing that the planet wasn't warming, yet in 2007 he published a book arguing that the planet is warming due to a 1,500-year natural cycle.  You can't have it both ways!

It's a testament to the robustness of the AGW theory that skeptics can't seem to decide what their objection to it is.  If there were a flaw in the theory, then every skeptic would pounce on it and make a consistent argument, rather than the current philosophy which seems to be "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks."

It would behoove AGW skeptics to decide exactly what their objection to the scientific theory is, because then it would be easier to engage in a serious discussion, rather than the current situation where we're basically playing whack-a-mole with the favored skeptic argument of the day, which totally contradicts the favored skeptic argument from yesterday.

Just as one example, you can't argue that the Sun is causing global warming and that climate sensitivity is low.   Solar output has only increased by about 0.1% over the past century, and the way you determine the associated global temperature change is to multiply the change in solar radiative forcing by the climate sensitivity factor.  So they only way you could argue for a significant solar warming would be if climate sensitivity is high.  You just can't have it both ways - if climate sensitivity is low, it's not just low with respect to greenhouse gases, it's also low to solar activity, orbital variations, volcanic emissions, etc.  And if it's low, then the Sun has caused less than 0.1°C of the 0.8°C warming over the past century.  Similarly, arguing for a low climate sensitivity contradicts the climate has changed before argument for the same reason.  If climate sensitivity is low, it will prevent significant climate changes regardless of the cause, whether they be anthropogenic or solar or some other natural forcing.

If you want to argue that the warming is due to a natural cycle, then pick a specific natural cycle and research it.  Make sure there's a scientific basis to your argument.  For example, don't argue that it's due to a 1,500-year cycle when the planet wasn't warming 1,500 years ago!  But most importantly, don't contradict yourself by claiming that the planet isn't warming the next day.  These kinds of flip-flops are common on Anthony Watts' blog, which had a very schizophrenic six month period:

And that's when he's not arguing that the surface temperature record is so contaminated that we don't even know if the planet is warming.  Or that this supposedly unreliable data shows cooling.

But until skeptics start making some consistent arguments, Skeptical Science has set up a page listing all the skeptic arguments that contradict each other in order to make the mole whacking a little easier.

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Comments 251 to 300 out of 353:

  1. Daniel... Good catch. I misstated based on the older satellite data which had the EAIS slightly gaining mass.
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  2. Re: Rob Honeycutt (251)

    You were mostly spot-on. The central, upper part of the EAIS IS gaining mass; it just so happens that the mass-loss from the outlet glaciers in the coastal part of the EAIS more than offsets this gain.

    Considering the mass-gain at the center, that's a lotta ice lost along the edges to get a net loss.

    I know! The ice lost along the edge adds to the "Antarctic Sea Ice is increasing" meme...

    The Yooper
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  3. johnd, I have already posted the following for Baz, but perhaps you too would welcome the opportunity to attend this symposium to help you out with your difficulty over acknowledging ocean-acidification :


    A consortium of institutions and organizations from Monterey, California has successfully bid to host the third symposium on The Ocean in a High-CO2 World in autumn 2012. The symposium aims to attract more than 300 of the world’s leading scientists to discuss the impacts of ocean acidification on marine organisms, ecosystems, and biogeochemical cycles. It will also cover socio-economic consequences of ocean acidification, including policy and management implications.

    The symposium is the third in a series and will build on the successes of the Paris and Monaco symposia in 2004 and 2008, respectively. The Paris meeting was seminal in identifying the magnitude of ocean acidification for marine ecosystems and the outcomes of the Monaco symposium, focusing on the advances in knowledge of the affects on marine organisms, also made an impact on a broader audience through a Summary for Policymakers and the Monaco Declaration.



    It is obviously UN-based and, therefore, automatically suspect, political and biased (according to so-called skeptics) but anyone who prefers to listen and learn, rather than claim to be able to tell the experts where they are going wrong, should be up for this.
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  4. @Baz: "I only brought it up to say I was unhappy with the term 'acidification' as it smacks of alarmism."

    So, let me get this straight: you're against using a term that is commonly used in scientific research because you don't like how it sounds in a particular context?

    The oceans are becoming more acidic, and less basic. It is affecting corals and crustaceans. "Acidification" is the right term, whether you like it or not.

    Seriously, your bias is increasingly showing. I'm beginning to doubt you were ever a "believer"...I think you're only claiming this in order to give yourself more credibility.

    Please continue not answering me, that makes my jobs of countering your irrational statements even easier.
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  5. archiesteel at 09:14 AM, to be correct the oceans are becoming more neutral before they can become more acidic, a solution cannot become more acidic from being alkaline without becoming neutral first.
    So can you explain why "becoming more neutral" is not more correct than "becoming more acidic".
    Are you indicating that there is no problem with the ocean being a neutral pH?
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  6. Regarding ocean acidification... Sorry if this is really basic level stuff but googling around I find that CO2 is an acidic oxide. CO2 reacts with water to produce carbonic acid. So, if you add an acid to an alkaline solution are neutralizing the solution or are you acidifying the solution? Or are both terms acceptable?

    I know, I know, it's semantics. The net effect in the ocean is the same but I always say, "Words matter."
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  7. johnd, Even pH7 isn't "neutral" unless conditions are exactly right.

    More acidic and more alkaline are terms commonly used in relation to soils even when the measurements don't cross 'neutral'. Acidification is a general term describing decreasing pH - it says little to nothing about the starting or ending pH values of the process.
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  8. adelady at 10:18 AM, the soil is an excellent example to illustrate how the terminology is used in another field especially one where the subject is of concern to most participants, who do have a working knowledge or greater on the subject, and it is not just an interesting theory.

    Soils can be naturally acid or alkaline, however agriculture does generally cause soil pH levels to decline and only once a soil has reached a pH that determines it is actually acidic is the term more acidic used to describe a continuing declining pH.
    So, if the soil is alkaline to begin with and the pH begins to decline, the process is described as declining alkalinity, NOT as the soil becoming more acidic.
    Only once it has passed the neutral point do terms relating to acidity come into use and any further decline will be described as the soil becoming more acidic.
    If action is taken to counteract soil acidity, it is described as reducing or neutralising the acidity, NOT making the soil more alkaline.

    What more would you expect for an industry where the participants literally have their feet on the ground and don't take kindly to anyone who tries to call a shovel a spade.
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  9. @johnd: "a solution cannot become more acidic from being alkaline without becoming neutral first"

    True, but we're not talking about a solution here, but the ocean. The fact is there is more carbonic acid in the oceans due to dissolved CO2. Therefore, there is more acid in the ocean, i.e. it is becoming more acidic.
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  10. Paul Daniel Ash 249. Actually, as I clearly said, there was only one question in 177, and I answered it. As for 'response', no, not really, unless you actually want to debate the whole issue of AGW, satellite data, and OHC! Surely to 'respond' would just open up a massive debate which is surely best served item by item on threads as they come up.

    All the best.
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  11. Rob 246. As I understand it Grace reports an annual loss of 190 GT (+-77). As the Antarctic has 20,000,000 GT of ice then that 0.001% of ice is well within Grace's normal error, surely? If the Antarctic were gaining 190 GT of ice (according to Grace) then I'd say it wasn't gaining it! For me, it appears that the Antarctic is extraordinarily stable. As for the other end, as I said, we've been here before (just 70 years ago) but we never had television news crews to show how thin the ice was then. I'm not alarmed about the Arctic. Let's see what happens over the next few years.

    Thanks.
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  12. Who's going to point it out to archiesteel?
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  13. Re: Baz (261)
    "As I understand it Grace reports an annual loss of 190 GT (+-77). As the Antarctic has 20,000,000 GT of ice then that 0.001% of ice is well within Grace's normal error, surely? If the Antarctic were gaining 190 GT of ice (according to Grace) then I'd say it wasn't gaining it! For me, it appears that the Antarctic is extraordinarily stable."
    Actually, I covered the net (bottom of the error range) loss of Antarctica here. The majority of losses have come since 2006, so the loss is just ramping up. And many sources point to catastrophic instability in the WAIS, particularly in the PIG.

    Just pointing it out to, um, you.

    The Yooper
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  14. Baz... So, how is it that you, with no particular expertise in ice, would come to a very different conclusion than the experts who are actually working with the data?

    There is very a big difference between "Antarctic ice is stable" and "Antarctic ice loss is accelerating."
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  15. Rob, what I'm saying is that the 'loss' is so small (in context with the amount that the Antarctic has) as to be insignificant, and within Grace's error, surely? As of now, it's losing 0.001% of its mass. Do you really react to that with alarm, seriously? Within five years that could be reversed, and as I said, it could be in error anyway (haven't yet clicked on Daniel's link yet).

    Rob, reverse this. If the Antarctic were gaining 0.001% of its mass annually would you be afraid that we're heading for a new Ice Age? [Please ignore the other metrics as we're talking about the poles.] I'm willing to bet you wouldn't. I see no alarm about the poles as of now. The Antarctic looks healthy, and only time will tell on the Arctic. Certainly all the scare stories we got from what should be level-headed people after 2007 look somewhat shaky. 2008 ice was supposed to be so thin that 2009 would be disaster. Not so. Despite the thickness it recovered fairly well. 2010 is inconclusive as of now (let's see what happens in the coming weeks). But like I said, let's see what happens over the next few years.
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  16. Baz... I would trust what the experts in the field have to say. If they told me that increasing ice mass in Antarctica was a signal of a coming ice age, I would listen.

    What I think you're failing to recognize or read is the accelerating nature. If you look at 0.001% (a figure that I still need to confirm) as a linear figure, you're right, that's not going to amount to much very fast. It's the fact that this is accelerating that is pause for concern. And it's not even a concern over, "Oh crap the southern ice cap is going to melt soon" it's just yet another indicator of the impact anthropogenic CO2 is having on the climate.

    And relative to the Arctic ice, maybe you haven't been watching the PIOMAS ice volume chart. 2010 is going to be a dramatic low for ice volume.
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  17. @Baz: Point what to me? That you admitted not being rational about this subject? That you picked a five-year (or is it ten years now) time frame in a completely arbitrary way, and this change a belief you claim to have had before?

    Oh, yeah, and let's not forget that you've "worked with acids." Well, so have I, so I guess it makes me as much of an expert as you.

    It's not surprise you've decided to make this personal instead of answering my counter-arguments, however I have to remind you this is against site policy. As for me, this will be my last intervention on this thread.

    Next time we meet, try to have actual scientific, rational arguments, m'kay?
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  18. acrchiesteel. That was close, you almost posed a question for debate! No, it's okay, reading back, you didn't. Is this your style, to try and brow-beat? As I pointed out way back, I'm happy to discuss, but not with people who act ill-mannered. Try and 'discuss' even when someone frustrates you, rather than poke them with a stick. It serves absolutely no purpose when they don't respond (as I have not) as you cannot converse. And before you say "I wouldn't want to" then why all the postings? Clearly you want to talk, but (IMHO) you lack the civilised ability.


    Rob, my 0.001% figure comes from loss gainst volume. The Antarctic contains 20,000,000 GT of ice. The annual loss of 190 GT is a little less than 0.001%. Rob, clearly it's completely insignificant. Even 100 years of (even accelerated) loss would still be completely insignificant! If you had £20m and donated £190 to charity every year, I would say that your donation is insignificant against your wealth, wouldn't you?

    And before we debate this any further, you might want to read this:
    http://www.martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/sept2010/greenland-icemelt.html
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  19. Rob that PIOMASS reference is out of date, it was for June, and was much discussed at WUWT.

    See here for all the charts:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/reference-pages/sea-ice-page/

    2010 isn't over yet! Let's wait and see how the line performs as the Arctic re-builds. You may be in for a surprise.
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  20. Aha, now we see where Baz has been coming from all along - WUWT. That explains a lot.

    Firstly, for your own benefit, you should do some reading on this website, starting here and here.

    That should help to wean you off WUWT...


    But, more importantly, I can see how your reliance on secondary sources is giving you a warped picture of reality.

    Take your MartinFrost link : that is two reports spliced together, with only one source shown at the top - to claim that it is all coming straight from Physorg.com. However, that particular report ends two paragraphs before the graphic. From there on (including the graphic) the report is direct from The Register, that fine, unbiased source...not.

    And he's using two uncredited pictures, one (perhaps both) from NASA.

    Tut, tut. This is your usual sort of source, is it Baz ? You only read what confirms your beliefs, it would appear. No wonder you are so willing to accept very short trends.
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  21. @Baz: more posturing to avoid responding to my questions, Baz?

    I'm not being ill-mannered, I just want to get to the bottom of this, and for some reason you cannot answer the questions I ask.

    Perhaps I wouldn't sound so aggressive if I hadn't seen this tactic over and over again from denialists posing as "concerned believers" or "ex-believers who were convinced otherwise by a statistically insignificant period of time." When people start to confront you with the errors in your reasoning, you begin to complain of being badly treated. Give me a break!

    In fact, it is *you* who is starting to act rude by ignoring counter-arguments and explanations as to why your "change of heart" was based on actual science, but an impression.

    "2010 isn't over yet! Let's wait and see how the line performs as the Arctic re-builds. You may be in for a surprise."

    How does this not sound like wishful thinking? Thanks for confirming my earlier musings: you do not want to find the truth, you want truth to conform to your pre-made opinion.

    The fact that you refer to WUWT in your last post (instead of some scientifically accurate source) is the icing on the cake, really.

    So, let me ask my question again (no need to provide anything but the answer): point *what* to me? If you're going to mention me in a post, at least have the common decency to tell me what you meant.
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  22. Re: Baz (269, et al), JMurphy (270), archiesteel(271)

    "2010 isn't over yet! Let's wait and see how the line performs as the Arctic re-builds. You may be in for a surprise. "

    "You only read what confirms your beliefs, it would appear."

    "How does this not sound like wishful thinking? Thanks for confirming my earlier musings: you do not want to find the truth, you want truth to conform to your pre-made opinion."
    Baz, as JMurphy and archiesteel rightfully address, the preponderance of your comments display confirmation bias.

    Perhaps a period of honest self-assessment is in order. It's not like we all went over to WUWT and engaged you on this. You came here, ostensibly to learn. When advice and sourced correction has been proferred, you either ignore it or only selectively address it.

    If you actively wish to learn here and make positive, substantive contributions to everyone's understandings, please cease the posturing and try to more actively engage. Or you're wasting everyone's time here. And I'm sure you consider your time to be valuable, right?

    So let's try this: your comment I quoted above is refuted by Romm over at his place.

    As the Arctic ice volume is at an all-time low (remember, 60% of melt occurs from the bottom of the ice, so thinning occurs 24/7/365...w/ rising OHC, the volume loss of multiyear[MY] ice doesn't get completely replaced every winter anymore), the melt season has lengthened, with greater periodicity/variability from one year to the next. This is direct testimony to the loss of MY ice. The melt/export season continues, the volume losses continues.

    So, the question is this: given your statement I quoted and direct evidence indicating your position has a confirmation bias, what will you do about it? Will you continue your current trajectory arcing you towards denier status? Or will you use your evident intelligence, amply demonstrated, to objectively consider all of the evidence before positing an opinion? If the latter, we all welcome your contributions here.

    The Yooper
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  23. Daniel... I am very curious why Anthony and Steve at WUWT are so tenaciously clinging to the Arctic ice issue. They surely know this is a topic on which they are going to lose in the end. Every expert on the Arctic is saying the summer ice is going to be gone, and fairly soon. But these non-experts are pounding the "ice is rebounding" meme like there is no tomorrow.

    Anthony seems to laying the entire credibility of his site on the line with this one. It just makes no sense.
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  24. Baz... Case in point. Your link at WUWT does not include PIOMAS ice volume. Out of sight out of mind.

    Based on the first hand observations this season by Dr Barber at U of Manitoba I would expect that the MY ice situation is like worse than is being reported by the satellite data.
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  25. Rob wrote: "They surely know this is a topic on which they are going to lose in the end."

    Unfortunately, no they don't. Indeed, the fact that every expert on the subject says the ice is in full scale collapse is itself sufficient to convince deluded conspiracists that the opposite must be 'true'. The thing that makes 'skeptics' so tenacious is that they truly believe what they are saying... not on a rational basis, but on the level of 'faith'. At such a point it becomes impossible to 'prove' them wrong because they simply dismiss any and all facts which contradict their world view.

    Sadly, even when the Arctic ice DOES melt away completely I can guarantee that most of these people won't waver in the slightest. They'll deny that they ever predicted anything different. Say it doesn't indicate that current warming is unusual. Insist that it has all happened many times before. Et cetera.
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  26. Rob, that's true, but WUWT did cover it earlier here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/28/does-piomass-verify/
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  27. Perhaps I should clarify something, it's unfortunate that some here think that, as believers in a certain theory, you are somehow self-consored in visiting a website which is the opposite to what you believe. This type of thinking pervades society, not just beliefs on the internet. If you are right wing in politics, then it's actually beneficial to understand what the left is saying. In fact, it's really important. However, if you hover somewhere around the middle, it's not just important, it's essential. I make no excuses at all for visiting WUWT (and I've posted there). Neither would I apologise (while there) for visiting (and posting) at realclimate and Tamino's Open Mind. So if some of you shameful people think that you're going to try and curtail me from visiting websites which shoq all side then you are really wasting your fingers tips. You REALLY have to understand that this issue of AGW needs discussion, debate, and resolution. If you strangely believe that the 'other side' should not be even visited then, believe me, you REALLY need to take a look at yourselves. You're not just closing your mind, your building a big wall where you cannot see anything but your own opinion, and the opinions of people who think just like you. It's actually dangerous.

    JMurphy, IF you had read my posts (IF!), then you may have seen that I have been reading THIS site for some days now - but that's not going to stop me reading teh opinions of others at WUWT. I heartily suggest you go there. Some people (ably qualified) write there (just as they do here) with interesting opinions and theories.

    archiesteel. You might want to be careful with the term "denialists". I read John Cook's conditions when I came here, and you are apparently "skating on thin ice". BTW, I've "ignored" no other's comments other than yours - and you know why. Try and write calmly rather than classic prose like, "you do not want to find the truth, you want truth to conform to your pre-made opinion...The fact that you refer to WUWT in your last post (instead of some scientifically accurate source) is the icing on the cake, really." It's ill-mannered. If you can't write civil then don't bother at all. You said you weren't going to add anymore, by the way!

    Daniel Bailey, I've already stated that I'm a sceptic, so my bias surely comes as no surprise, does it? Odd. I came here to learn what your beliefs were/are - I have made this plain time and again, I don't know how you've missed it. I will read your Joe Romm link (I've been there too!). However, I have stated my beliefs on the principle issue. I have even stated that if surface temperatures rise in the next five years then I will be back on board. But as I currently see no cause for alarm (especially with regard to OHC) then it's more likely that my early jump-of-ship may prove to be a correct one. As for my comment on Arctic ice for 2010, let's wait and see who's right, shall we? FYI, 'confirmation biases' are perfectly natural and excusable - on BOTH sides, it's human nature and can be witnessed plainly on this site as well as WUWT. However, refusing to listen to an opinion opposite to yours is also natural, but dangerous.
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  28. @CBDunkerson: I don't think every skeptic truly believes what they say. I think many of them are "political" skeptics, who simply repeat the arguments they've seen on contrarian sites with little regard as to whether the information is correct or not.

    It is also probable there is a certain number of oil industry shills out there, considering how much money Koch Industries and such have put into Climate Denial propaganda (through conservative think tanks, notably). The money flow has been well-documented, and it's naive to believe that no portion of that money is going to a number of Internet foot soldiers. Needless to say, such thought mercenaries aren't concerned with the validity of the science in the least.

    That said, it is also highly likely that many of them *do* believe what they write. It is for these people we must engage with, as they are the likeliest to be convinced of the scientific reality of AGW. This is why civil debate is so important, and why we must be patient with people who challenge the science in good faith.

    So, in the interest of peace and good will, I'll offer Baz an olive branch. I'll all ask him is to keep an open mind, to consider that changing your mind based on a statistically insignificant period might not be the rational thing to do, and to be as skeptical (i.e. questioning) of what he reads here than what he reads on WUWT. As a lurker there, I look forward to see Baz challenge Anthony and co. on their various positions...
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  29. @Baz: "archiesteel. You might want to be careful with the term "denialists". I read John Cook's conditions when I came here, and you are apparently "skating on thin ice"."

    I didn't call you a denialist, I said I've seen such tactics being used by denialists quite a bit.

    But, hey, at least you're speaking to me now!

    "BTW, I've "ignored" no other's comments other than yours"

    You haven't, but you've ignored most counter-points presented to you, such as the fact that the last five or even ten years are not enough to gauge a statistically significant climate trend.

    "and you know why."

    Yes, I do. You have no responses for my counter-arguments, as you demonstrate yet again.

    "Try and write calmly"

    I am extremely calm. In fact, I am on medication that prevents me from being agitated. :-/

    I think you're simply mistaking intellectual incisiveness for emotional aggressivity. This is a rational debate, and it can be frustrating when one side does not play by the rule (i.e. refuses to address counter-arguments, uses logical fallacies, etc.)

    "rather than classic prose like, "you do not want to find the truth, you want truth to conform to your pre-made opinion...The fact that you refer to WUWT in your last post (instead of some scientifically accurate source) is the icing on the cake, really."

    Well, prove me wrong, then. Admit that you were wrong about changing your mind based on a perceived five-year trend, when such a period of time is much too short to make such a call.

    "It's ill-mannered. If you can't write civil then don't bother at all."

    "Civil discussion" doesn't mean I won't call you on your mistakes when you make them, and not when you refuse to admit them, cite scientifically-deficient sources, or misrepresent a temperature graph. In fact, I am making great efforts here to remain polite; if you want to see how uncivil I can be, I can give you a few links!

    I respect this forum and what it stands for, and in that spirit I will now apologize if I've been too forceful in my criticism of your position. I will also retract any speculation I've made as far as your motives go. In exchange, I hope you'll finally admit that the last five years - even the last ten years - represent too short a time period to warrant changing one's mind about the validity of AGW theory and whether or not the world is still warming.

    "You said you weren't going to add anymore, by the way!"

    You said you weren't going to respond to me, so I guess we're even. :-)
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  30. Baz writes: "BTW, I've "ignored" no other's comments other than yours"

    Far from true. There have been several comments you did not respond to... such as both of mine (#39 & #105). I just assumed that was your standard response when you didn't have an answer.
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  31. @Baz: "Perhaps I should clarify something, it's unfortunate that some here think that, as believers in a certain theory, you are somehow self-consored in visiting a website which is the opposite to what you believe."

    First, science is not about beliefs, it's about rational thinking. I don't "believe" in AGW, I believe the scientific method can be used to correctly interpret the facts. So far, the evidence supporting AGW theory is nothing short of overwhelming, so it is my opinion that the theory is very likely true. As someone else said here the other day: I don't believe in AGW, I accept the theory is true.

    Second, there's nothing wrong with visiting WUWT or other denialist/contrarian sites. What we're objecting to here is you using them as a source.

    "This type of thinking pervades society, not just beliefs on the internet. If you are right wing in politics, then it's actually beneficial to understand what the left is saying."

    I think that's the crux of your misunderstanding, if I may be so bold as to suggest you are mistaken: the left/right debate is mostly about opinion, which is why it's a political debate.

    Scientific debate is not the same, for it is not about opinions, but about scientific evidence, theories, and the like. You can't just say "I believe X" without expecting to be ask to support X with some peer-reviewed evidence.

    "If you strangely believe that the 'other side' should not be even visited then, believe me, you REALLY need to take a look at yourselves. You're not just closing your mind, your building a big wall where you cannot see anything but your own opinion, and the opinions of people who think just like you. It's actually dangerous."

    You're being overdramatic, here. Actually, you're being a little ill-mannered, suggesting we have closed minds because we don't regard WUWT as a scientifically valid web site.

    The truth is that we *are* open-minded, and most of us have probably spent some time visiting WUWT and similar sites. The very fact that Skeptical Science lists a compendium of contrarian arugments is proof we are aware of the arguments presented (time and time again) on such sites.

    So, you see, it's not that we don't want to hear what the other side is saying - it's just that the other side is always saying the same thing, even though what they're saying has been debunked ad nauseam.

    It's useful to bring these anti-AGW arguments *once*, so that the scientific community can address them, but once they've been shown wrong, repeating them is nothing more than engaging in anti-scientific propaganda.
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  32. Re: Rob Honeycutt
    (273; Anthony, Steve, WUWT Arctic Ice)

    You're asking me to go to a very dark, irrational place where illogic and emotions rule. Well, I'm married, so I have some experience in that regard, so here goes. ;)

    Anthony (because WUWT IS Anthony; it's a reflection of who he is and what he's all about) gives his audience what they came for: to see the Jerry Springer of "Science Blogs" and the circus that it is. Whatever mainstream consensus shows, he's against. Hence the "recovery" meme.

    As for Steve...I will be charitable and say that understanding of systemic behaviors, dynamical responses and even statistics are not his forte. Anthony is the Dark Lord, Steve is Saruman. Anthony has set up Steve to take the fall on this one (note the recent censoring Anthony imposed on Steve; a prelude to the coming finale).

    Anthony is far from clueless; everything is by design. Credibility isn't to be worried about because pertinent criticism get either ignored or deleted. A behavior all too common in denizens of lairs like that.

    In closing, all symptomatic of a thought process:

    " Draw your curves, then plot the data that agrees with it."

    The Yooper
    0 0
  33. Daniel Baily :221,282, and just about everything else.
    archiesteel : 281

    Thank you both for being both more eloquent and more knowledgeable than I. It is the well thought out and well sourced commentary that keeps the site so interesting. The primary posts are great beginnings to the discussion but only a beginning.

    @BAZ
    I too am a born doubter, but doubt is not the same thing as evidence. Evidence is on the side of AGW. WUWT and the other contrarians (with whom i spend much too much time arguing) seem to mistake imperfect/incomplete evidence as as a lack of evidence. SkSc is the best resource I have found for a layman like myself to learn what the science actually says.
    0 0
  34. Re: pbjamm (283)

    Thank you for the kind words. We are all walkers on the path of learning (for there are many side paths, some that rejoin, others to lead one astray). Some are ahead of us on this path we walk, others just beginning. When we work together, all benefit from the learning.

    The Yooper
    0 0
  35. Baz... I would suggest to anyone that it's bad to spend time over at WUWT. I go there and sometimes even post. A few times I've been jumped by the hoards and called a liar and incredible other epithets that I won't bother repeating just for saying very very simple stuff, like "CO2 absorbs long wave radiation."

    Other times Anthony seems to have his moderators on a shorter leash and I've been able to make a few comments. I have a strong sense that there is actually common ground between the two side and I want to figure out how to help resolve it.

    My objections - I think most objections here on SkS - come from very anti-science attacks on GW. Like the aforementioned CO2 comment. Or even when you look at a paper discussing GRACE ice mass losses in Antarctica and come away with the conclusion that the ice is stable. That's like your oncologist telling you the cancer is malignant and you saying, "Nah, looks stable to me."

    There is plenty that is unknown and uncertain about climate change. There is plenty to discuss about whether sensitivity is high or low. This is where the science is actually operating now. There is a TON to discuss about how society should respond to climate change. But to totally reject fundamental physical aspects of climate change is just beyond the pale.
    0 0
  36. Re: Baz (277)
    "However, refusing to listen to an opinion opposite to yours is also natural, but dangerous."
    On the contrary, I listen to far more differing opinions than you realize. If it is supported by reason and citations that make sense, I am more than amenable to change my position.

    My position, based on a preponderance of evidence and facts, is that the globe (land, water, ice) is warming and we humans are causing it. I have spoken with many skeptical of this over the years. None have presented a coherent argument, let alone one supported by science.

    Personally, it was with great reluctance that, after weighing the evidence and the implications of the evidence, that I accepted AGW as an ongoing reality. I daily eagerly listen to alternatives, for the future that comes near now, is not one I would wish for anyone. And daily I am disappointed.

    I have listened to you, Baz. Weighed what you have had to say. Waited for the evidence to be provided to back up your opinions. And I'm still waiting.

    So unless you can provide some citations for me to weigh, all we have now is debate. And we both agree that is pointless.

    The Yooper
    0 0
  37. Daniel, my opinions are worthless to you. I have a view on climate change which I have expressed here many times. However, as I'm sceptical (because I've witnessed 10 years of flat HadCRUt data) then this is worthless to you too. You may well point to other metrics as evidence, and that may be valid, but after all is said and done, I am sceptical that the future will be warm - based on those 10 years and the fact that we know so little about climate science. Now that may well be illogical to you, even irrational. That's fine, I can live with that, but you have to understand that people like me, who hover on the fence, and who will be swayed by a few year's worth of data, are the norm, the mainstream. We've both seen that very many people are swayed by one hot summer or cold winter! You're not going to change our view by pointing us to climate metrics that are still disputed by very eminent people. Let's be honest with each other, if ALL the scientists were on one side then to believe the opposite would be pretty obtuse. Take OHC as a classic example - with Pielke. So Daniel, the only 'evidence' I can offer you is the evident opposition to your beliefs by people like Pielke, Spencer et al. You may well rule these out of hand (although I wouldn't do that if I were you). The 'evidence' for my beliefs is that some very clever people say that we cannot be sure about future feedbacks. I have pointed this out many times Daniel, and I am a little weary that you say you're "still waiting". So I'll say it yet again. The evidence for my scepticism is that we don't know enough about the climate system.

    We must approach this with open minds - as I indicated before. We MUST be sceptical. That's not just good science, that IS science!

    We all show confirmation bias. It's quite evident on here. To contribute on a Creationist website (as I have many times) you go armed with your confirmation bias - it's impossible not to. But with Creationism we have a mass of reliable evidence against total faith and belief. Man-made climate change is NOT the same debate in different clothes; for here we have uncertainty and opposite opinion from very knowledgable people.


    I will respond to the other posters, but I will also say that I WILL continue to visit WUWT as well as realclimate. I have posted at WUWT and argued there - even pulling Anthony up once on the subject of CO2 emissions, to which he replied. If nothing else, then I urge you to use it as a reference source (like the link I gave for Arctic ice graphs), but also use it to read other's opinions (as I do with realclimate - though I've stopped posting there).

    Reply later when more time allows. All the best.
    0 0
  38. Baz #287 wrote: "However, as I'm sceptical (because I've witnessed 10 years of flat HadCRUt data)"

    So you are 'skeptical' based on a false claim. Go figure.

    What's fascinating is that when you cite the numbers you start from 2001, which was less than ten years ago, round the anomaly values down, and wildly underestimate the 2010 value. The actual numbers are;

    2000: 0.271
    2001: 0.408
    2002: 0.465
    2003: 0.475
    2004: 0.447
    2005: 0.482
    2006: 0.425
    2007: 0.402
    2008: 0.325
    2009: 0.441
    2010: 0.531 (so far)

    Drawing a trend line from the start and end points yields;

    2000-2009: +0.17 C/decade
    2001-2010: +0.123 C/decade

    Neither seems particularly "flat".
    0 0
  39. CBD. I could have chosen 1995 to 2009, which would give a negative 0.12 c per decade. Or I could have chosen the past 10,000 years, or...whatever. Including in a year or few years introduces wildly different per decadel trends, which makes them jump from statistically-significant to insignificant. The past few years have also seen no volcanoes to add any cooling effect. If there had been, then we’d be looking at negative decadel trends. This at a time when CO2 emissions have never been higher. Where’s the heat, CBD, where’s the heat? With no volcanoes the global temp should be ramping up and away. Why isn’t it, CBD?
    0 0
  40. BTW, you didn't ask me any questions in 39. I HAVE made an effort to respond to genuine questions.
    0 0
  41. 289. Sorry, that should say, "would give a positive 0.12 c per decade". (which isn't statistically significant)
    0 0
  42. Baz, so essentially...

    By carefully cherry picking the start and end points, and/or citing false values for the data, you can come up with a situation where the warming is 'only' 0.12 per decade (i.e. 1.2 C total by 2100 IF we assume no acceleration)... which you can then falsely describe as "flat"... and on that basis you can then falsely say that this is sufficient to 'disprove man made global warming'.

    Where's the heat? Gee, I dunno... hottest decade in the temperature record; 2000-2009. Second hottest; 1990-1999. Third hottest; 1980-1989. Are we seeing a pattern here? You seem to be arguing that if AGW theory is correct then the temperature would have to increase at a near constant rate... which, of course, is completely contrary to AGW theory. Of course the rate of increase will fluctuate with various other conditions... such as the current prolonged lull in solar activity.

    As to there having been "no volcanoes" since 1995... absurd on its face. Tell it to all the people who couldn't fly in Europe earlier this year because of the eruption in Iceland.

    BTW, you're also wrong about CO2 emissions being higher than ever... they actually dropped a bit the past couple of years due to the global recession.

    Finally, let's compare two of your recent statements;

    Baz #277: "BTW, I've 'ignored' no other's comments other than yours"

    When I pointed out that this was false as you'd ignored my comments in #39 and #105 (amongst others) the response was;

    Baz #290: "BTW, you didn't ask me any questions in 39. I HAVE made an effort to respond to genuine questions."

    So... you switched from having answered all COMMENTS to having made an effort to respond to QUESTIONS. Except, of course, you didn't respond to my questions in #105 either. You're falling short even when you move the goalposts.
    0 0
  43. Baz... How can you state in one moment that 1995-2009 is 0.12C/decade but is "not statistically significant" while at the same time telling us that flatting temps from 2002 to 2010 is somehow this problem for global warming?
    0 0
  44. @Baz: "because I've witnessed 10 years of flat HadCRUt data"

    The HadCRUt data isn't flat, no matter how much you claim it is. Stop repeating this false statement, or we won't have any other choice but to consider you a liar.

    "You may well point to other metrics as evidence, and that may be valid, but after all is said and done, I am sceptical that the future will be warm - based on those 10 years and the fact that we know so little about climate science."

    We know enough to say that the last 10 years aren't statistically significant.

    "Now that may well be illogical to you, even irrational. That's fine, I can live with that,"

    So, you admit you're wrong, but you'd rather be wrong that accept the science? What are you doing on this web site, then?

    "but you have to understand that people like me, who hover on the fence, and who will be swayed by a few year's worth of data, are the norm, the mainstream."

    You're not, actually. Most people worldwide believe the warming is real, and that humans are responsible. Even if you were right (which you aren't), the argument still wouldn't make sense. It's like saying "most people believe the Earth is flat, so it's okay if I believe this as well, even though I've been presented with evidence to the contrary."

    "You're not going to change our view by pointing us to climate metrics that are still disputed by very eminent people."

    Which climate metrics are disputed by which very eminent people? Asking for a twenty year (or even 15) years period for statistical significance isn't controversial.

    "Let's be honest with each other, if ALL the scientists were on one side then to believe the opposite would be pretty obtuse."

    97% isn't enough for you?

    Let's be honest with each other (and I don't care what you think, since you'll no longer respond to me): you have admitted yourself to not being rational, i.e. you will not accept any rational argument that goes against your unscientific opinion. No wonder you trust contrarians like Spencer and the Pielkes - they reinforce your belief, so you accept what they say wihout question.

    You've made it clear you have no credibility on this matter, and that you're only interested in spreading FUD. Please stop wasting our time.
    0 0
  45. @Baz: "Where’s the heat, CBD, where’s the heat?"

    It's here, Baz, it's here!
    0 0
  46. Okay, there seems to be some mis-reading here again. Rob, first of all, 0.12 c per decade is NOT statistically significant - ask CBD if you don't believe me. As for flat, well that would be here then:
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend
    Now, you can always shoose different years and time frames if you want to! It's not exclusive.
    Whether it's VERY slightly up, or VERY slighty down, it's flat!

    CBD, Try getting your facts right if you're going to accuse others. I didn't "carefully cherry-pick" that period, it was done by Phil Jones here
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm
    Happy?
    Re volcanoes, you know perefctly well I was talking about cooling volcanoes (the Iceland puff never did anything) as it was written clearly in 289, not any little puff (which are always happening somewhere in the world). Talk Pinotubo. As for comments, you must also see that I have taken great pains to answer genuine questions actually posed. If I missed one of your posts then it was as I was replying to others at the time. I'll leave others to judge that.

    You say, "You seem to be arguing that if AGW theory is correct then the temperature would have to increase at a near constant rate."
    No, I've never said that, not once.

    archiesteel: Flat?
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend
    Please retract the "liar", and I've never said I am irrational. Read back and check what I actually said on that. Re 'Where's the heat?' So 3 years is good enough for you? I say again, the last 10 years of HadCRUt is flat.
    0 0
  47. http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2000/trend

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2001/trend

    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:2002/trend

    Flat
    0 0
  48. quoting Phil Jones:

    "I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods. "


    Baz You are confusing the statistical usage of 'significance' with its everyday use. He is not saying 0.12c/decade is unimportant, he is saying that he can only say it is 0.12C with slightly less than 95% confidence.
    0 0
  49. Re: Baz (296, 297)
    "CBD, Try getting your facts right if you're going to accuse others. I didn't "carefully cherry-pick" that period, it was done by Phil Jones here
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm
    Happy?"
    Ok, you got my interest with your use of "cherry-pick". Let's actually look at what your cite says, shall we?
    "C - Do you agree that from January 2002 to the present there has been statistically significant global cooling?

    No. This period is even shorter than 1995-2009. The trend this time is negative (-0.12C per decade), but this trend is not statistically significant."
    The time period in question, 2002 to present, was actually brought into play by the commentator, BBC's environment analyst Roger Harrabin (who put questions to Professor Jones, including several gathered from climate skeptics). So you're wrong on that part. I also see that Professor Jones said the period in question was "not statistically significant". Wrong again, sir.

    You seem to have a severe mental block about statistical significance and trends (it must be that cherry-flavored icing on all the graphs).

    Dude, you seriously have to get over your trying to force the data to say what it simply doesn't say. The evidence shows you're wrong, the science shows your wrong and your own source you cite to support you shows you're wrong. If you think you're right and everyone else (including experts with lifetimes of experience in the field) say you're wrong, maybe it's because you are wrong...

    The Yooper
    0 0
  50. Spot the differences :


    Baz : "Please retract the "liar", and I've never said I am irrational."

    Baz : "Archiesteel - I never claimed to be rational!"

    So, if you don't claim to be rational and have never said you're irrational, what do you claim to be ?



    Baz : "You say, "You seem to be arguing that if AGW theory is correct then the temperature would have to increase at a near constant rate."
    No, I've never said that, not once."


    Baz : "With no volcanoes the global temp should be ramping up and away."

    Baz : "How so - against ever-increasing emissions of CO2 and methane? Why isn't the temperature rising Guy?"

    Baz "Because when warming didn't continue at the same pace (around 2005) I began to question if I was right about my beliefe in warming."

    So, temperatures should be "ramping up and away", "rising", continuing "at the same pace" but that doesn't mean the same as "at a near constant rate" ?
    I think you are getting more confused with every post and that is highlighted by this quote from your penultimate post above :

    "...0.12 c per decade is NOT statistically significant..."

    What does that mean ?
    0 0

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