# It isn’t a yes or no answer, it’s about how much

By TinyCO2

Supporters of the consensus are strangely attached to asking people if they believe in climate change. Ignoring the issue of ‘climate change’ instead of ‘CAGW’, the answer is irrelevant. People think they believe in all sorts of things but what they do is the measure of how much.

To explain, it’s easier to use another issue like poverty.

Do you believe in poverty?
What a stupid question, of course we all believe in poverty.
Do you think poverty should be eradicated?
Certainly.
Give us a fiver.
What for?
To alleviate poverty.
Well ok, so long as you’re a proper charity.
Now fill out this direct debit for £5 a month.
Umm, not sure I like that sort of giving.
This is for poverty.
So long as you don’t fritter it on directors’ salaries and big offices. It’s not one of those things where the charity doesn’t get a penny until the chugger fee has been paid is it?
I’m a professional, you don’t need to worry that I have a financial interest in poverty.
Err? Ok then.
Excellent, you’re the first person today who really cares about the poor. Now write a blank cheque.
What? No way.
Why not? You said you wanted poverty to go away. Did you think a fiver a month would do it?
Well no, but I assumed you’d be asking lots of people to donate.
Oh we will, but firstly we don’t know what the final cost will be and secondly we don’t know how many others will donate. That’s why we need the blank cheque, so we can fill it in at a later date.
But the final sum might be massive and I might be the only one to write a cheque! I’m not giving all my money away. Anyway, who are you? I want to see some ID…
So you don’t believe in eradicating poverty?

There’s a lot going on in that scenario. Even though poverty is absolutely genuine and provable, support for reducing it isn’t unconditional. The higher the cost to the individual, the more doubtful the person becomes. If the charity worker had been collecting for Guillain-Barre syndrome or rhinitis or Oompa Lumpa disease, the member of the public might have even balked at the initial £5. They might have questioned what the diseases were, what the money would be for and if they wanted to contribute at all. None of the concerns by the person being asked to donate were unreasonable. That person wasn’t in denial of the reality of poverty. The person might even have said that they didn’t think that charity solves poverty and there would be merit in that viewpoint too.

So asking people if they believe in climate change is the easiest step on a very steep climb. If you’re only asking for a tick in a box or £5, then a lot of people would just err on the side of safety (assuming CAGW is real and that renewables would make a difference). However, CO2 reduction is a lot more than that. It’s an issue that will affect everything. The costs for solving it would be immense in both money and freedom. Why then are consensus supporters so shocked when people start asking questions? The first and most obvious being ‘are you sure?’ and the second ‘how much is this going to cost?’

## 118 thoughts on “It isn’t a yes or no answer, it’s about how much”

1. This is a good point, and a nice way to illustrate it.
If you ask people “are you concerned about climate change” the average person will of course say yes, as it’s the “correct” answer, the answer that the interviewer wants to hear. If you ask people “Are you concerned about the starving children in Bambiniland, yes or no?” or “Do you care about the dwindling population of the lesser Patagonian fruit bat?” you will get the answer you want. Brandon Shollenberger has made this point a few times in relation to climate opinion.

But if you give people a list of priorities and ask them to rank them, climate change usually comes very low. Here is the latest example. Only 6% of Canadians put climate change as the top priority, below 6 other issues starting with jobs and health.

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2. TinyCO2 says:

Yes Paul, the clues are all there, I can’t understand why the consensus side don’t see the wider picture. We had the early stages of the climate alarm conversation back in 2005 or beyond. People were alerted to the issue and rightfully became concerned. All the initial suggestions for reducing CO2 seemed reasonable and the cause seemed legit. People wanted to know how worried they needed to be and how much it was going to cost them.

Instead of the evidence getting stronger it has gone very vague and relies heavily on models or digital guessing as I’d call it. The solutions are dire, both expensive and unreliable. All indications are that they’re not going to do more than absorb money. The emphasis has been on business doing most of the work, which is naive in the extreme.

When a survey of people indicates that people believe in climate change, it lulls the consensus supporters into thinking that their tactics are working so they assume that more of the same will bear fruit. Hence the Consensus papers.

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3. michael hart says:

Years ago, I recall once being treated rudely by a charity collector in a pub when I declined to put into the particular tin shaken under my nose.

Serious charities long since learned that it is counterproductive to get high and mighty with potential donors to their cause. Why are the global warmers so slow?

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4. I agree, the question is not whether climate change is real or whether humans contribute. Those are no-brainers. The questions are how much? What will the feedbacks be? Are there any explanations for natural causes of the warming we’re seeing? And so on.

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5. I’m guessing none of you have bothered reading the IPCC reports, any of the relevant literature, or spoken with many people who work in climate science. Keep asking those questions though. Maybe one day someone will give you the answer you want to hear.

[Carry on making a fool of yourself with your clueless guesswork Mr “Physics”. I have written loads of articles based on the IPCC reports.]

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6. Glyn Palmer says:

You’d be guessing wrong, Ken, as all too many here are certain to tell you!

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7. Raff says:

The costs for solving it would be immense in both money and freedom.

Every significant part of the economy has immense cost, summed over a generation. That is not an issue in itself. But an immense cost in freedom? Care to explain?

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8. Michael 2 says:

Re: GP vs ATTP: Yes, I read something relevant pretty much every day. A consensus exists that Earth warmed and might be continuing to warm or will resume warming and might even begin cooling although that’s a bit less likely. That’s the easy part.

During my Navy days the equivalent “litmus test” of whether you are a human being not to be shunned was “do you believe in God?”

It is very easy to say “yes” because until it means something it means nothing. It is equally easy to say “no” because until it means something it means nothing.

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9. It’s always been a question of ‘how much’. The IPCC say ‘this much [extremely likely all of it] since 1950’ based on a very unscientific and non-empirical attribution process. The IPCC say ‘this much’ in the future, based upon model projections which they have so much faith in they won’t even hazard a best estimate for a single value climate sensitivity, preferring instead to say it could be anywhere between ‘nothing much to worry about’ and catastrophic meltdown. Meanwhile, in the real world, real science and real observations bring into question the IPCC attribution statement because of uncertainties about aerosols and the influence of natural variability; real global mean temperatures stubbornly bump along the near the bottom of the graph of projected multi-model temperatures, and empirically derived estimates of climate sensitivity tend to support a non-alarmist position on climate change. All this inconvenient scientific research and data however is bull-dozed away by the 97% consensus pushers in order to try and force international agreement on urgent mitigation measures which may be unnecessary and are certainly economically, socially and environmentally very damaging.

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10. Dave L says:

“The first and most obvious being ‘are you sure?’ and the second ‘how much is this going to cost?”

TinyCO2, I believe you hit the nail squarely with the hammer. I was initially attracted to investigate the CAGW movement for 2 reasons: 1) Someone in my pedigree, who is a world class, statistical meteorologist, related to me in the late 1990s how depressing the field of meteorology had become because of the bogus CO2 global-warming- alarmism; i.e., ‘uncertainty’; and 2) Cap and trade, carbon credits, ethanol, auto industry and emission standards, etc., all co-opted by politics, made me realize that ‘Big Money’ was an underlying issue; i.e., ‘my wallet was in play’. And the more I investigated, the more I became a non-believer.

After closely following CAGW for circa 20 years, my conclusions are:
1) Uncertainty – I don’t believe anyone in the Climate World has a clue what the future has in store regarding ‘Climate Change’. The only people who seem to be able to offer reasonable forecasting results in the short term are meteorologists who possess abundant knowledge of weather history. The long term though remains a major unknown.
2) My Wallet – There is no question in my mind that CAGW politics has already cost me many thousands of dollars, and the future is scary if the Democrats remain in power in my country USA). And the ‘Big Money’ scammers (like Al Gore) and scams in CAGW are boundless, such as:
http://www.wnd.com/2016/05/sunedison-bankruptcy-exposes-climate-change-corruption/

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11. Roger Pielke Jr has written about the point Tiny is making here, that people aren’t prepared to pay very much towards “solving climate change”, He calls it the Iron Law of climate policy:

The “iron law” simply states that while people are often willing to pay some price for achieving environmental objectives, that willingness has its limits. Such limits may fall at different thresholds for different places at at different times.

It’s also discussed in his book The Climate Fix, which I regret I haven’t read. From the comments on the book,
“He proposes an “iron law of climate policy” that basically says that no climate policies that cause substantial, immediate economic pain will ever be implemented.”
“Pielke discusses the concept of an “iron law of climate policy,” which essentially acknowledges that any policy that might be construed to cause short-term adverse economic impact cannot be implemented.”

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12. Jaime,
So, they have told you how sure they are and how much is anthropogenic, but it’s not good enough. So, the question you are really asking is: “are you sure….are you sure you’re sure….really, are you certain you’re sure…..okay, but how sure are you …. that much, no come on, are you really that sure….no, I don’t believe you!”

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13. ClimateOtter says:

So, the question you are really asking is: “are you sure there will be more hurricanes and tornadoes (as numbers continue to FALL)….are you sure you’re sure that the Stratosphere will cool per the theory (as it continues to warm)….really, are you certain you’re sure that the Antarctic is melting down (as even Zwally says it is gaining mass)…..okay, but how sure are you that droughts will get worse (as papers come out saying they will not get worse) …. that much, no come on, are you really that sure that plants will be stressed to death by heat (as papers come out which show they soak up more CO2 in warmer conditions, thereby more efficiently using water, thereby becoming more drought resistant)….no, I don’t believe you! (and I am right to think so!)”

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14. ATTP, I have read AR4 and AR5 WG1 and WG2 cover to cover, and have written extensively about my findings using peer reviewed papers, and other verifiable footnoted information.
The short answers are not nearly as certain as IPCC claimed, the anthropogenic attribution has already observationally failed, and climate models have failed. For an AR4 WG1 example of shoddy, selection biased meta analysis see the water vapor feedback discussion in the climate chapter of The Arts of Truth. For an AR4 WG2 example of deliberate indisputable IPCC misrepresentation compounding a single very bad paper, see essay No Bodies in Blowing Smoke. For an example of faith based science in AR5, see essay Cloudy Clouds. And so on and on and on and on. Both ebooks are available at iBooks or Amazon Kindle stores. Go educate yourself.

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15. ristvan,
I’ve read some of your stuff. It’s rubbish, a bit like what’s typically posted on this site.

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16. It seems my explanation of why we should not blindly place our trust in IPCC ‘scientific’ conclusions was lost on our Ken, who chose to interpret it as little old me just saying ‘I don’t believe what the IPCC says’. So, I’ll quote respected physicist Pierre Darriulat, former Research Director of CERN in that case, who gives a rather more technical and far more qualified insight into the way the IPCC deals with uncertainty:

“It is sensible to ask for a scientific summary of the IPCC work, not addressing policy makers but as objective as possible a summary of the present status of our knowledge and ignorance about climate science. Such a report must refrain from ignoring basic scientific practices, as the SPM authors blatantly do when claiming to be able to quantify with high precision their confidence in the impact of anthropogenic C02 emissions on global warming. Statistical uncertainties, inasmuch as they are normally distributed, can be quantified with precision and it can make sense to distinguish between a 90% and a 95% probability, for example in calculating the probability of getting more than ten aces when throwing a die more than 10 times. In most physical problems, however, and particularly in climate science, statistical uncertainties are largely irrelevant. What matters are systematic uncertainties that result in a large part from our lack of understanding of the mechanisms at play, and also in part from the lack of relevant data.”
http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/WrittenEvidence.svc/EvidenceHtml/4360

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17. manicbeancounter says:

TinyCO2
You raise some good points – and some I disagree with.
Rather than looking at the problem of alleviating poverty from the perspective of an outsider, try questioning it from the perspective as somebody who wants to get the maximum relief of poverty for the a finite amount of money. After all there are still nearly a billion people globally living in abject poverty, and a few billion more at below the British definition of the poverty line.
Given this you would want to see the most effect solutions sought. You would want to replicate successes and learn from failures. You would properly control of any money raised and make sure it is focused on the most effective solutions, in the areas of greatest need. Where you were funding others, you would want to make sure that was properly controlled. If you wanted to raise the maximum funds, you would register as a charity, and clearly adhere to rigorous audit guidelines.
But even more importantly there would have to be an element of ruthlessness. Projects that fail to deliver positive results would have to be cut, so resources can be redirected elsewhere. And if you have to spend most of the resources of insubstantial image-making and fund-raising then it is time to shut up shop and let others have a go.
To be effective would require proper understanding of the reasons for continued poverty, and the reasons why countries, or groups of people, have climbed out of poverty. Swallowing whole the opinions of others, simply because they claim competency, or because they accord with your own outlook, is a route to failure. For a charity this is to focus on very specific projects where detailed understanding can be obtained.

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18. catweazle666 says:

…AND THEN THERE’S PHYSICS says: “I’m guessing none of you have bothered reading the IPCC reports”

Prat.

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19. catweazle666 says:

…AND THEN THERE’S PHYSICS says: “ristvan,
I’ve read some of your stuff. It’s rubbish, a bit like what’s typically posted on this site.”

LOL!

Pretty damn good that, coming from some fantasist that claims to be an astrobiologist!

Go play with your Xbox Kenny boy, you’re right out of your depth debating science with real scientists – and especially so with engineers.

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20. ATTP,
there is good reason to believe that the IPCC has underestimated both the uncertainties and the natural contribution to recent warming in such statements. For a good summary about uncertainties, see Curry 2011. For reasons to believe a more significant natural contribution to the recent warming, see
1/10

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21. Just,
I’ll just respond to one. Consider Lean et al. (1995). It says maybe half the warming since 1860 could be the Sun, and a third since 1970. However, according to their reconstruction, the change in solar forcing might be as much as 0.5W/m^2. The change in anthropogenic forcing up till that point was maybe 1.5W/m^2, so that the solar influence could be quite large, relative to us, is not a surprise and I don’t think this is being ignored. Also, if you assume that the Sun provided half of the 0.55C warming, that produces a TCR of about 2C, so right in line with expectations. Today, however, the change in solar forcing since 1750 is now much smaller (0.05W/m^2) and yet we continue to warm. So, I don’t think Lean et al. (1995) is somehow at odds with our overall understanding.

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22. Even Stott ends the abstract with

Nevertheless the results confirm previous analyses showing that greenhouse gas increases explain most of the global warming observed in the second half of the twentieth century.

It’s quite possible (likely, in fact) that we will modify our understanding. Nobody is claiming that it’s fixed in stone. However, if you spend some more time reading the literature, or talking to experts, you will probably find that there is little evidence to suggest that we are likely to suddenly that solar influences are dominant and that the impact of anthropogenic forcings is somehow much smaller than we currently think.

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23. TinyCO2 says:

ATTP, you miss the point, this isn’t about what scientists discuss amongst themselves, this is about the people they want to convince. Do you think the average person has read an IPCC report? Do you think the average politician has read an IPCC report let alone any updates? They get their information second, third, even fourth hand. For many people, climate change started with Al Gore’s movie. It was so clear and alarming. There was no outcry from scientists telling them that the movie was wrong on certain issues or that all of the effects come with a range of possibilities. If the worst case scenario was pushed at them, they expect it to happen. It’s no good saying that reality is covered by the very bottom of the range if they never got told there WAS a range. Telling them that there is a consensus endorses the version they’ve heard about, no matter how extreme.

A lot of people still think we’re on track for the most catastrophic version of AGW. Oxford educated actress EmmaThompson, thinks we’ll be 4ºC up by 2030 and so does BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis and her team because they didn’t question her claim. I know Dr Betts tried to put some sanity into the issue but it was too little, too late. When did the Union of Concerned Scientists ever move against an article or programme that was too extreme?

Scientists have been slow to emphasise the range because they like the pressure the upper end gave the issue. Well if you use it, you’ve bought it and you will be judged on it.

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24. Tiny,
I don’t think I am missing the point, I just don’t think it’s a very good one. Whatever mis-information might be out there, you are responsible for the information you choose to accept, as are politicians, the media, etc. Blaming scientists for not always correcting things that you think should be corrected, is simply shifting the blame away from those who are really responsible for the positions they choose to hold.

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25. TinyCO2 says:

Raff “But an immense cost in freedom? Care to explain?”

The sinplest connection is that money IS freedom. But many of the things we now take for granted are not compatible with low energy and because there is no logical or affordable alternative to fossil fuels. Those things would have to be curtailed until there was. Climate change will be all about what you can and can’t do. Now maybe that’s necessary but to accept it, people have to agree that it is necessary. So far the public have been misled about the costs and the lack of success with existing renewables and policies. Not a good start for a project that requires massive amounts of trust.

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26. TinyCO2 says:

ATTP and I think you have a very simplistic view of the world and human beings. People are the biggest part of AGW. You can make all the plans you like, think up all the theories you like but at the end of the day the public can say ‘get lost’. Blaming them for getting the wrong impression of the science is laughable. And pointless because it will still happen.

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27. TinyCO2 says:

What is the point of all the science if the community CAN’T convey an accurate picture of itself to the public and politicians? What’s the point of a consensus vote if nobody knows what it is?

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28. Tiny,

You can make all the plans you like, think up all the theories you like but at the end of the day the public can say ‘get lost’.

Of course, but if the decisions that are made are poor, that’s still not going to be the fault of scientists.

Blaming them for getting the wrong impression of the science is laughable.

I’m not blaming anyone. Try reading my response again.

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29. What is the point of all the science if the community CAN’T convey an accurate picture of itself to the public and politicians?

I think they are. It’s pretty clear that communicating science accurately and carefully does not guarantee acceptance of what is being presented. That the public and politicians do not necessarily accept what is being presented is not necessarily an indication that it is being presented badly. The deficit model has failed, remember.

What’s the point of a consensus vote if nobody knows what it is?

People do know what it is. Basically, it is “humans are causing global warming”.

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30. Ken Rice,

You say ‘That the public and politicians do not necessarily accept what is being presented’

But this is not necessarily an accurate description of reality. The public and politicians may perfectly accept what is being presented. But it is in their ambit to decide what level, and what nature of response is the best course forward.

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31. But it is in their ambit to decide what level, and what nature of response is the best course forward.

Of course.

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32. TinyCO2 says:

Dave L, consensus supporters will argue that if you’re not a climate scientist you can’t have a say in the science but that’s ludicrous. Climate science is all about statistics.

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33. TinyCO2 says:

“humans are causing global warming”. ATTP

And most sceptics would agree with that but that’s not what the consensus is. The consensus is “humans are causing global warming and it’s going to be catastrophic and we must reduce CO2 to 350ppm at the most, by any means, even ones that demonstrably don’t work as a reliable energy source. Cost is no object when the risk is this high.”

There are both scientists and non scientists pushing the second version of the consensus. Other scientists and non scientists would have a problem with some or all of the extra bits. Is it the public’s fault for getting the second message, not the first? Is it their fault when they question the extra bits that they also reject the real consensus?

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34. TinyCO2 says:

Climate scientists don’t want the responsibility of telling the public what to do but they reserve the right to tell everyone that they’ve got it wrong. By and large the public are putting climate change last in their list of priorities – that IS a decision. If you want to make them change their mind you have to prove things to their standards, not your own. If you throw your hands up and decide that they’ll never change their mind, then that’s your level of support for the issue. Perhaps if you cared more about climate change, you’d want to try anyhting that might work, rather than keep doing it your way?

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35. “humans are causing global warming and it’s going to be catastrophic and we must reduce CO2 to 350ppm at the most, by any means, even ones that demonstrably don’t work as a reliable energy source. Cost is no object when the risk is this high.”

That is not the consensus.

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36. Perhaps if you cared more about climate change, you’d want to try anyhting that might work, rather than keep doing it your way?

I’m simply a scientist. I don’t claim to know how to get people to accept the science, how to get people to act on climate, or even if that is something that I should really be doing. All I try to do is explain it as clearly as I can. I may not even succeed in doing that. What people choose to do, given that information, is up to them.

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37. TinyCO2 says:

It doesn’t matter what the consensus IS, the version I gave is the one one that is used.

When I write about caring, I’m not just talking about you, I’m talking about the consensus side in general. What you’re doing isn’t really working. You may be cheered by Paris or not. If it was me I’d be worried. I’d be worried about the failure of renewables and declining governmental support of them. Governments are playing at CO2 reduction, not taking it seriously. They’re counting on a technological breakthrough. Well if that’s enough, let’s just wait for the breakthrough and stop wittering on about CO2 in the interim. If a bit of effort is enough, then work out how much everyone has to do and tell them. Let them decide how they get there or if they want to get there at all.

Alternatively if you (the consensus side) want more engagement, you have to stop acting like climate science is still in the lab.

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38. I’ll just respond to one. Consider Lean et al. (1995). It says maybe half the warming since 1860 could be the Sun, and a third since 1970. However, according to their reconstruction, the change in solar forcing might be as much as 0.5W/m^2. The change in anthropogenic forcing up till that point was maybe 1.5W/m^2, so that the solar influence could be quite large, relative to us, is not a surprise and I don’t think this is being ignored. Also, if you assume that the Sun provided half of the 0.55C warming, that produces a TCR of about 2C, so right in line with expectations. Today, however, the change in solar forcing since 1750 is now much smaller (0.05W/m^2) and yet we continue to warm. So, I don’t think Lean et al. (1995) is somehow at odds with our overall understanding.

There’s a lot to respond to in there! The reason that the authors think this about the solar contribution, I believe, is that they use the Hoyt and Schatten data set, as well as ACRIM’s, and I believe the IPCC doesn’t. If they did, they would find a different solar contribution, but it’s my understanding that they use something like Wang et al. 2005’s reconstruction, and if that reconstruction is accurate it makes sense that solar activity probably contributed very little to recent climate change. About the TCR, I think it is probably slightly lower than that, perhaps about 1.5 C (in line with some recent studies), and since I have heard this brought up before in regards to solar forcing I shall try to explain it again. I think that the reason the lower TCR is compatible with large solar forcing is that there is just a lot of solar forcing due to a solar amplification mechanism. I think two great papers on this topic demonstrating the large amplification are Shaviv 2008 and
1/2

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39. diogenese2 says:

“I don’t claim to know how to get people to accept the science, how to get people to act on climate”

Yet you seem to know why people reject it, signing up to this;

“manufacturing doubt about the scientific consensus on climate change is one of the most effective means of reducing acceptance of climate change and support for mitigation policies”

Didn’t you learn anything from Stephan? You were there didn’t he tell you what the paper was for?

” VLADIMIR; That passed the time.
ESTRAGON; It would have passed in any case.
VLADIMIR; Yes, but not so rapidly ”
(Waiting for Godot Act1

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40. 2/2 Howard et al. 2014. They demonstrate a large climatic response to the 11-year solar cycle (though it isn’t visible in global temperature observations very much, due to lag times and the huge capacity of the oceans to absorb heat). If there are amplification mechanisms in place, even little solar variations like those in Wang et al. 2005 could contribute at least more than they do now to climate change. Now, don’t get me wrong, as Stott et al. 2003 and Solanki et al. 2004 (Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the previous 11,000 years) say, solar activity probably wasn’t the main contributor to recent (1950s-present) climate change, and I think even Scafetta would acknowledge that. But, as other papers I linked to argued, there may be other natural mechanisms in place that could’ve caused a significant portion of recent warming.

It’s quite possible (likely, in fact) that we will modify our understanding. Nobody is claiming that it’s fixed in stone. However, if you spend some more time reading the literature, or talking to experts, you will probably find that there is little evidence to suggest that we are likely to suddenly that solar influences are dominant and that the impact of anthropogenic forcings is somehow much smaller than we currently think.

I appreciate your willingness to communicate (despite what many would’ve told me), and I think that is a reasonable position to take. However, I think that other natural forcings than solar variability played a somewhat important role in recent climate, in addition to a significant anthropogenic forcing, which includes (but isn’t limited to) greenhouse gases. If you would like me to list some more papers on natural variability other than solar forcing and their influences on recent climate change, I would be happy to. I think that you make a good suggestion though, and though I have read some of the IPCC report (AR5), I think it would do me good to read some more.

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41. Dave L says:

“Climate science is all about statistics.”

TinyCO2, no, it is all about fudging data, creative modeling and political propaganda.

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42. TinyCO2 says:

manicbeancounter, I don’t disagree with how you view poverty but that’s not how it’s handled by poverty activists. It gets wrapped up in idealism and practical solutions are ruled out. Climate change is not disimilar. It gets mixed up with anti capitalism, socialism, anti western success, old Christian views of right and wrong. No wonder the church has jumped on board. Where are they going to go if real poverty (not having food, water, shelter, etc) is mostly eradicated?

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43. TinyCO2 says:

Dave L, LOL, Yes, those too but statistics is the tool they use to achieve those things. Lies, damned lies and statistics.

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44. Diogenese,

Yet you seem to know why people reject it, signing up to this;

“manufacturing doubt about the scientific consensus on climate change is one of the most effective means of reducing acceptance of climate change and support for mitigation policies”

Your quote isn’t a reason why people reject it.

jap,

I think that the reason the lower TCR is compatible with large solar forcing is that there is just a lot of solar forcing due to a solar amplification mechanism.

I’ve read some of Shaviv’s stuff and it appears to mostly be curve fitting and correlations/causation. People promote this idea of there being some kind of special solar amplification mechanism, but apart from suggesting that it might be clouds, or UV, noone seems to have demonstrated that it exists.

If the solar influence (either via energetic particles, or UV, or something else) is considerably stronger than we think and may dominate our observed warming, there are a number things to bear in mind.

1. We have yet to demonstrate that such a special solar amplification mechanism exists.

2. We would also need to show why our sensitivity to other forcings is smaller than we think – to a certain extent it would imply that the feedbacks to anthropogenic warming are zero, or negative, and this is very difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of the physical mechanisms that likely amplify externally-driven warming.

3. Why now? If we are indeed much more sensitive to changes in solar flux/energetic particles, why is it having a big impact now and yet there is little evidence for anything similar in the last few thousand years. I realise that we do have to be careful of correlation/causation issues, but why has the Sun suddenly started causing warming that just happens to coincide with our emitting of GHGs, which we know to have a radiative impact.

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45. Michael 2 says:

ATTP writes of the consensus: “Basically, it is humans are causing global warming”.

Agreed. It is the complaint part of a complete breakfast.

I suspect there’s a presumed or expected response, like when my S.O. says, “the floor is dirty.” It is not really just a simple observation.

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46. Raff says:

…there is no logical or affordable alternative to fossil fuels.

Yes there are. Nuclear, solar, wind, depending upon location.

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47. TinyCO2 says:

Raff, you can pretend that but it doesn’t make it true.

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48. LMFAO…solar…wind…..dream on Raff. Look at the figures for every country/state that has tried to put solar and wind into the mix. Even Nevada is struggling and is starting to cut back on solar.

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49. TinyCO2 says:

How timely.

Consensus supporters regularly use ‘we must’. Even more popular is ‘they must’, by which they mean businesses.

Another favourite meme is that western countries take the lead on cutting CO2 but when I suggest that consensus supporters take the lead on their own, the enthusiasm fades away. Apparently 50% (or whatever) of the West can’t make a move without the other 50%.

Maybe the consensus side is made up of people who can’t visit a public loo on their own or something.

However, the sort of technique described in the paper is of limited effect. You can fool some of the people…

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50. Mother Nature and climate change sceptics are involved in a cunning conspiracy against the warmists, most likely in a joint effort to derail vital carbon dioxide emissions reductions.

” Why now? If we are indeed much more sensitive to changes in solar flux/energetic particles, why is it having a big impact now and yet there is little evidence for anything similar in the last few thousand years. I realise that we do have to be careful of correlation/causation issues, but why has the Sun suddenly started causing warming that just happens to coincide with our emitting of GHGs, which we know to have a radiative impact.”

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51. Raff says:

Tiny, no need to pretend. France runs on nuclear already. It has good solar resource too. It will need more of both to exit from fossils, but it s doable. More northerly countries like the UK will need much more nuclear.

MiaB, Nevada has problems becuase the incumbent utility is good at politics and protecting is monopoly profits, not because of any technological issue.

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52. I’ve read some of Shaviv’s stuff and it appears to mostly be curve fitting and correlations/causation. People promote this idea of there being some kind of special solar amplification mechanism, but apart from suggesting that it might be clouds, or UV, noone seems to have demonstrated that it exists.

If the solar influence (either via energetic particles, or UV, or something else) is considerably stronger than we think and may dominate our observed warming, there are a number things to bear in mind.

1. We have yet to demonstrate that such a special solar amplification mechanism exists.

ATTP,
if you mean that no one has proved that a solar amplification mechanism exists, then you fall in the same trap as Jaime (on another thread.) But if you mean that there isn’t evidence in favor of it, you are dead wrong. Take these papers: Harrison and Stephenson 2006,
1/6

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53. TinyCO2 says:

France passed a law last summer to reduce its nuclear capacity from 77% to no more than 50%.

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54. jap,
If I’d wante to say “proved” I would have said “proved”. I haven’t looked at all your links, but is there any that isn’t simply an analysis that compares observations/measurements of cosmic rays and some kind of climate observation (temperature, for example)? If you really want to demonstrate some kind of special solar amplification mechanism, you do need more than just “we see a relationship between cosmis rays and …..”. You need to actually illustrate how this mechanism operates and that it can indeed do so. My understanding of the latest CERN-related experiments is that cosmic rays are unlikely to nucleate clouds.

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55. 2. We would also need to show why our sensitivity to other forcings is smaller than we think – to a certain extent it would imply that the feedbacks to anthropogenic warming are zero, or negative, and this is very difficult to reconcile with our current understanding of the physical mechanisms that likely amplify externally-driven warming.

I think this is definitely a legitimate point, and one that certainly deserves attention. However, I would like to point out the existence of negative feedbacks and problems determining feedbacks.

First of all, I want to talk about the difficulties in determining feedbacks. I would like to point out two papers on this topic:
1/2

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56. jap,
As far as I can tell Spencer and Braswell (2008) doesn’t make any sense. The standard form the 1D climate model is

$C \dfrac{d T(t)}{dt} = \Delta F(t) - \lamba \Delta T(t),$

where the left hand side is the planetary energy imbalance at time $t$, $\Delta F$ is the forcing time series, and$\lambda$ is the feedback response.

Spencer and Brasell (2008) have

$C \dfrac{d T(t)}{dt} = F + S,$

where they say $F$ is the total TOA flux anomaly and $S$ is heating anomalies not related to TOA flux. But that doesn’t really make sense. The equation is meant to describe how the total energy is changing in the system, so you can’t have some internal energy process on the right-hand-side. That would suggest that something unrelated to a TOA flux can change the total energy, which seems to violate energy conservation.

[PM: This is complete rubbish. The equation is not meant to describe the total energy in the system. They say that T is “the temperature” when they introduce the equation, which is a bit vague, but earlier on they say “surface temperature (T)” which is a bit clearer. As usual, you show that you have no idea what you are talking about! ]

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57. The unparsed formula is

$C \dfrac { d \Delta T(t)}{d t} = \Delta F(t) - \lambda \Delta T(t).$

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58. Choi et al. 2014. They argue that our current estimations of feedbacks may be significantly biased, and if they are, then that has implications for our understanding of climate change. Secondly, there are significant negative feedbacks to climate change. There’s the “iris hypothsis”, which garnered recent support from Mauritsen and Stevens 2015. There are papers on the eruption of volcanoes, and determining feedbacks from that, like Lindzen and Giannitsis 1998 (On the climatic implications of volcanic cooling), Douglass and Knox 2004 (Climate forcing by the volcanic eruption of Mount Pinatubo), and Douglass et al. 2006 (Thermocline flux exchange during the Pinatubo event). There’s mechanisms by which the Arctic becomes cloudier with less ice (Liu et al. 2012, A cloudier Arctic expected with diminishing sea ice) and by which less water vapor can enter the stratosphere in response to warming! (Garfinkel et al. 2013, Temperature trends in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere: Connections with sea surface temperatures and implications for water vapor and ozone) What I mean is that, negative feedbacks are not inconsistent with what we know (though there are certainly positive feedbacks involved).

3. Why now? If we are indeed much more sensitive to changes in solar flux/energetic particles, why is it having a big impact now and yet there is little evidence for anything similar in the last few thousand years. I realise that we do have to be careful of correlation/causation issues, but why has the Sun suddenly started causing warming that just happens to coincide with our emitting of GHGs, which we know to have a radiative impact.

There are many, trust me, many papers demonstrating solar forcing, even driving of climate, over geological and shorter timescales.

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59. ATTP,
though I don’t have the time right now to work out the more technical aspects of the paper, I can tell you that if it didn’t make any sense, it probably wouldn’t have made it into publication. But I can point you to a paper which suggests that global temperature change can result from something other than radiation balance changes: White et al. 2001.

If I’d wante to say “proved” I would have said “proved”. I haven’t looked at all your links, but is there any that isn’t simply an analysis that compares observations/measurements of cosmic rays and some kind of climate observation (temperature, for example)? If you really want to demonstrate some kind of special solar amplification mechanism, you do need more than just “we see a relationship between cosmis rays and …..”. You need to actually illustrate how this mechanism operates and that it can indeed do so. My understanding of the latest CERN-related experiments is that cosmic rays are unlikely to nucleate clouds.

There is such a paper, which gives a great summary of how the mechanism(s) operate and that they can operate. The paper is Cosmic Rays and Climate, in Surveys in Geophysics, written by Jasper Kirkby. On that note, I will tell you my interpretation of their major results in regards to cosmic rays.

First paper (Results from the CERN pilot CLOUD experiment): 2010, Duplissy et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys.
Results:

suggestive evidence for ion-induced
nucleation or ion-ion recombination as sources of aerosol
particles

Second paper (Role of sulphuric acid, ammonia and galactic cosmic rays in atmospheric aerosol nucleation): 2011, Kirkby et al., Nature.
Results:

Although we have
not yet duplicated the concentrations or complexities of atmospheric
organic vapours, we find that ion enhancement of nucleation occurs
for all temperatures, humidities and cluster compositions observed so
far. Ion-induced nucleation will manifest itself as a steady production
of new particles that is difficult to isolate in atmospheric observations
because of other sources of variability but is nevertheless taking place
and could be quite large when averaged globally over the troposphere.

Third paper (Molecular understanding of sulphuric acid–amine
particle nucleation in the atmosphere): 2013, Almeida et al., Nature.
Results:

The ion-induced contribution to amine ternary nucleation is gen-
erally small, except at low overall formation rates. Ions can enhance
nucleation either by an increased collision rate between a charged
cluster and polar molecules (such as H2SO4
or H2SO4 DMA) or by
an increased cluster binding energy (and hence decreased evaporation
rate). Because neutral clusters of H2SO4
and DMA are highly stable,
charge offers little competitive advantage. Taken together with pre-
vious CLOUD measurements
3, this suggests that ions can be signifi-
cant in atmospheric particle formation provided that the associated
neutral particles have appreciable evaporation and provided that the
overall nucleation rates are low and below the ion-pair production rate.

Fourth paper (Oxidation Products of Biogenic Emissions Contribute to Nucleation of
Atmospheric Particles): 2014, Riccobono et al., Science.
Results:

Recent experimental results and quantum chem-ical calculations have shown that amines andions can also effectively stabilize the sulfuricacid clusters, reducing evaporation rates andenhancing the nucleation rates at low H2SO4 concentrations (24,39,40). Thus, the dominant nucleation pathway may ultimately depend on the local atmospheric concentration of H2SO4, ions, and amines and on the concentration andfunctionalization of BioOxOrg, all of which vary considerably over time and space.

According to the physics section of their website, sulfuric acid is thought to be the main gas responsible for aerosol nucleation, (with contributions from ammonia, amines, and organics as well). According to Kirkby et al. 2011, ions (from cosmic rays) significantly enhance nucleation of both ammonia and sulfuric acid. So, the main gas responsible for aerosol particle formation is significantly influenced by cosmic rays, as well as ammonia. However, amines and biogenic vapors are not affected by cosmic rays very much, only at low formation rates. So, for a good summary, see the above quote from the end of Kirkby et al. 2011. It remains to be seen, of course, (but Svensmark et al. 2013 is about this) if these small, new particles can grow to clouds.

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60. jap,
The paper you mention ends the abstract with

Since it occurs in the absence of extraterrestrial and anthropogenic forcing, global warming on decadal,
interdecadal, and centennial period scales may also occur in association with Earth’s internal modes of
climate variability on those scale

which is clearly true at some level. However, the paper was published in 2001, and we know have pretty good evidence that ocean heat content has been increasing. Therefore, it can’t simply be internally-driven warming or else we’d expect to see some reduction in energy somewhere, and that isn’t evident.

Going back to the Spencer paper, the term

$C \dfrac{d T(t)}{dt},$

is typically taken to be the planetary energy imbalance, therefore – by definition – it can’t be associated with internally-driven warming. If they want to define it as somehow differently and suggest that it represents a part of the climate system that could be warmed internally, then they really need to explain that and also explain where this energy is coming from.

Going back to cosmic-ray nucleation, I realise that there are papers proposing mechanisms, but my understanding is that these either haven’t been tested, or – if they have – the results are at best inconclusive.

[PM: Again, this is complete nonsense. If you have difficulty understanding what $C \dfrac{d T(t)}{dt}$ is, consult an undergraduate, who will tell you it’s the rate of change of T, multiplied by a constant! It doesn’t have to be “typically taken” as anything at all, certainly not the “planetary energy imbalance”. Though unfortunately they are a bit vague about exactly what T is. ]

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61. Raff is in dreamland again…well nactually he never seems to leave it. His risible assertion that France will expand its nuclear industry…..ha ha ha. And solar will come to the rescue….that is just a moronic thing to write.

And then again, if he truly believes that saying “MiaB, Nevada has problems becuase the incumbent utility is good at politics and protecting is monopoly profits, not because of any technological issue” demonstrates anything other than that solar power is uneconomic, then he really ought to pull his head out of his backside. The facts and figures are there but those things are difficult to interpret for the hard of understanding

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62. The IPCC had to extend their timeframe to 2100 because up to 2050 global warming is not dangerous, the problem of this extension is that – although it seems dangerous – present day policymakers can’t do anything to stop it without wrecking present day welfare. And present day policymakers care more about present day people than future people.

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63. Like I said, you may be correct, and about OHC I think you are right, but I don’t know a ton about this math, but I can, as before, tell you it probably makes at least some sense, because it was published in a prestigious journal of the AMS.

Going back to cosmic-ray nucleation, I realise that there are papers proposing mechanisms, but my understanding is that these either haven’t been tested, or – if they have – the results are at best inconclusive.

Did you even look at the papers I gave? Kirkby 2007 doesn’t just propose mechanisms, it looks at the link over time, and talks about evidence in favor of Svensmark’s conclusions. Plenty of papers testing such mechanisms have been done-and many have been conclusive. See Svensmark et al. 2007 (above), Enghoff et al. 2008 (Evidence for the Role of Ions in Aerosol Nucleation), Enghoff et al. 2011 (Aerosol nucleation induced by a high energy particle beam), Kirkby et al. 2011 (above), Pedersen et al. 2012 (Aerosol nucleation in an ultra-low ion density environment), and Svensmark et al. 2013 (Response of Cloud Condensation Nuclei (>50 nm) to changes in ion-nucleation). They find conclusive evidence of ion-induced nucleation, and some of them find that it’s a significant effect. And, by the way, it’s not just some fantasy that I believe that ion-induced nucleation has been demonstrated to have an effect, see Tsonis et al. 2015 (Dynamical evidence for causality between galactic
cosmic rays and interannual variation in global temperature):

Although the connection between CR and climate remains controversial, a significant body of laboratory evidence has emerged at the European Organization for Nuclear Research [Duplissy J, et al. (2010) Atmos Chem Phys 10:1635–1647; Kirkby J, et al. (2011) Nature 476(7361):429–433] and elsewhere [Svensmark H, Pedersen JOP, Marsh ND, Enghoff MB, Uggerhøj UI (2007) Proc R Soc A 463:385–396; Enghoff MB, Pedersen JOP, Uggerhoj UI, Paling SM, Svensmark H (2011) Geophys Res Lett 38:L09805], demonstrating the theoretical mechanism of this link.

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64. Raff says:

JaP, we discussed this before, in particular Svensmark 2013 I think. The experiment he did that found growth in larger CCNs was done at above atmospheric pressure and at 296 C (from memory). Yet the theory applies to GCRs hitting the troposphere from above at thousands of meters where these conditions do not exist. It seems unlikely that results from such an experiment are very relevant, a point you didn’t argue with, so it is disappointing to find you using the same research once again as evidence in your argument.

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65. Michael 2 says:

Hans Erren wrote “present day policymakers care more about present day people than future people.”

Essentially everyone cares more about the living (starting with self) than either the dead or not-yet-alive (*). Perhaps you meant something less obvious.

* The not-yet-alive have no rights; and the not-yet-alive are not alive until they are breathing.

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66. Raff, while I do not know exactly how (and if) pressure and temperature affect ion-induced nucleation, I can tell you that these results are relevant, very relevant. So much so that phys.org reported on them here. I personally think that if their methods didn’t make sense, their paper wouldn’t have made it through peer-review, and someone probably would’ve picked up on it down the pipeline. You could always email Dr. Svensmark at hsv@space.dtu.dk. Thanks for pointing that out in the first place; it must’ve gotten lost in all the other stuff I was responding to.

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67. TinyCO2 says:

ATTP ” So, the question you are really asking is: “are you sure….are you sure you’re sure….really, are you certain you’re sure…..okay, but how sure are you …. that much, no come on, are you really that sure….no, I don’t believe you!””

No. We’re asking for more tangible evidence (which the scientists haven’t got yet) that they not only understand how the climate works but can accurately predict what the future effects will be. Part of that proof would be the creation of a team charged with the task of pulling the science to bits. A bit like the HSE and a consumer protection department for climate science. You’re right that it’s not the job of scientists to bridge the gap between the science and the public/governments. It’s a vactant position and needs to be filled.

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68. Tiny,

Part of that proof would be the creation of a team charged with the task of pulling the science to bits.

Who would do this, how would they do it, and why do think that it isn’t happening already?

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69. TinyCO2 says:

I know because there is no such body. I know because of the state of the science. I know because you wrote ‘who would do this, how would they do it’. It’s not enough to have people doing the job within the existing climate science community. It’s too cosy.

You set up a body (per country) and give them government money to do it. Just in the same way the HSE was set up.

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70. Tiny, “the creation of a team charged with the task of pulling the science to bits.”

This has been suggested. For example here, page 22.

“I propose that five to ten percent of the funds be allocated to a group of well-credentialed scientists to produce an assessment that expresses legitimate, alternative hypotheses that have been (in their view) marginalized, misrepresented or ignored in previous IPCC reports (and thus the EPA Endangerment Finding and National Climate Assessments).”

“Such activities are often called “Red Team” reports and are widely used in government and industry.”

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71. More from Christy’s testimony (see Paul’s link above) referring to Red Teams:

‘Such activities are often called “Red Team” reports and are widely used in government and industry. Decisions regarding funding for “Red Teams” should not be placed in the hands of the current “establishment” but in panels populated by credentialed scientists who have experience in examining these issues. Some efforts along this line have arisen from the private sector (i.e. The Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change at http://nipccreport.org/ and Michaels (2012) ADDENDUM:Global Climate
Change Impacts in the United States). I believe policymakers, with the public’s purse, should actively support the assembling all of the information that is vital to addressing this murky and wicked science, since the public will ultimately pay the cost of any legislation alleged to deal with climate.’

I think the NIPCC have been doing a pretty decent job of trying to fill this gap. Their reports are free to download: http://climatechangereconsidered.org/

From the Foreword to ‘Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science’:

‘For many years, the Green Team of the IPCC has dominated the global debate over climate change. In 2003, however, at a meeting in Milan, a Red Team started to emerge composed of independent scientists drawn from universities and private institutions around the world. Since 2008 that team, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), has been independently evaluating the impacts of rising CO2 concentrations on Earth’s biosphere and evaluating forecasts of future climate impacts.’

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72. TinyCO2 says:

Paul, John, yes, it’s a no brainer to improve the legitimacy of the science but until the other side recognise it, it’s not going to materialise. It’s a travesty that sceptics have to fill a role that should be government funded. To me it demonstrates the lack of seriousness with which climate is taken. It’s the field the Conservatives farmed out to the Lib Dems after all.

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73. Raff says:

How would you select this group of well-credentialed scientists? They’d have to be totally disinterested, not supporting (or coming from) either the IPPC side or the NIPCC side. I mean you can have people who have already made up their minds, which excludes all prominent scientists who disagree with theIPCC.

So how much funding and resources would you give to Doug Cotton and his ilk to research and refute the radiative effects of increased CO2?

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74. TinyCO2 says:

There are plenty of experts that don’t work in climate Raff and why would Doug Cotton be a consideration? You could make the same arguments about regulators in any industry – but it’s still possible to get people to act as auditors if you have a budget to find them. But first you have to recognise that the field needs regulation. Regulators have the remit to catch their subjects out, not be their buddies. They have to have the power to demand their subjects co-operate.

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75. Yet aim to release a new headache treatment to the market, TinyC, and behold what checks and hurdles will be presented to you in order to protect society. Oh for a bit of that reviewing and auditing to be done routinely to the IPCC, and sundry government-funded scientists and advisers whose actions, and in some case intentions, seem hell bent on wrecking society in a wholesale fashion. Funny old world.

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76. TinyCO2 says:

John, I don’t think climate science will go down the route of auditing or quality control, I think it will go straight for irrelevance.

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77. Raff says:

The thing is you’d have to at least consider Cotton’s ideas and those of all other cranks. Maybe the auditors could just reject those ideas as rubbish, but the skeptic community has failed to reject any ideas no matter how cranky because that is against the spirit of skepticism. So the auditors rejecting them wouldn’t go down well. If you hired a group of unbiased scientists and they immediately junked all the skeptic suggestions, what then?

I guess the auditors could content themselves with a never ending audit – there would obviously good money to be had in that even if they don’t find anything wrong. It might be in their interest never to find anything wrong either, and since it is unlikely that the morals of your auditors would on average be any different from those of climate scientists, you would probably also expect them to be grant-seeking leaches. Just the problem you think you are fixing.

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78. I’m not sure that setting up a Red Team to challenge the Green Team is going to be too effective. The NIPCC have had very limited success so far from what I can see. Consensus climate science needs to be defunded in my opinion. At the moment, it is self-sustaining, feeding off of lavish state funding, attracting not students who are naturally curious about the planet and its complex ocean/atmosphere system and who want to make a genuine contribution to cutting edge research, but those who come with pre-conceived ideas about climate change, encouraged by the numerous research projects which are biased in favour of assuming a significant anthropogenic influence on global climate. This is the real problem. Stem this flow of government money into biased research projects and real science will start to reassert itself.

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79. Michael 2 says:

Raff commented “If you hired a group of unbiased scientists and they immediately junked all the skeptic suggestions, what then?”

Then whatever you want. I’d probably go for an ice cream.

The unbiased scientist — what is that? He’s to the right of the left and to the left of the right. Thousands of years of western civilization and we still have trial-by-combat; the adversarial system. Since you cannot have “unbiased” the best you can do is pit your bias against my bias and let the audience (jury) decide.

The result is not necessarily right or truth; it is merely acceptable to a sampling of society.

I’ve been watching this straining at gnats for years but its a smokescreen for “I live, you die” law of the jungle millions of years in the making.

Did you ever play the strategy game “Risk”? The winner isn’t strongest. The winner plays opponents against each other until they are too weak to resist the most patient and clever player. So who has stayed off the world stage until now? China comes to mind. US/UK? Turn off your industry; your light, your heat, your transportation! Do it in the name of Gaia!

Anyway, I have played Risk only once. It took me 9 hours to lose. It was an all-nighter. Everyone else but one lost before I did.

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80. TinyCO2 says:

“The NIPCC have had very limited success” Jaime

But the NIPCC has no authority AFAIK. Part of the job of proper audit/inspection teams IS to defund or shut down bad behaviour. A HSE inspector can issue an improvement notice, where an organisation has a timeframe to improve, and if they don’t they are required to stop operation until the problem is rectified. They can also issue a demand for immediate suspension of operation until the problem is rectified. The same idea can be applied to funding.

Part of the way such bodies work is that they check systems and procedures, not necessarily detailed results. The UEA losing the raw station data would be an absolute no, no. Data archiving is important. What is their procedure for it and do they follow it religiously? Are there standard operating procedures for tree ring sampling or model testing? It’s where you go from a bunch of people randomly doing their own thing to recognising there has to be common standards. Peer review would not pass muster as a form of quality control. Inspectors also understand how things should work, so they’d be qualified to check what procedures were being done – eg they’d know that splicing trees to thermometers was wrong. They are able to take tips from the public and investigate potential wrong doing. That doesn’t mean they necessarily find in favour of the public but if the complaint is credible they will act on it.

Raff does anyone take Doug seriously? Isn’t he banned from several sites? Is he in receipt of government funding? Is his work used for public policy? The HSE are unlikely to come and inspect you making cookoo clocks in your garage unless you sell them and people get hurt. So no, Doug would be unlikely to be inspected.

Yes, auditing is never ending. It’s not perfect but it does improve things when people know that they are subject to inspection. The organisations do the bulk of the work, not the inspectors.

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81. TinyCO2 says:

As an example of how the HSE works – the place I worked for had a new cooling water chemical treatment system installed to prevent stuff like legionella. Just after that, we had an inspection and while the guy was very impressed with the system and wasn’t worried about public health, he issued an improvement notice because the documentation referred to the old system, not the new one. He gave us two weeks to rectify the problem or he’d shut us down. Two days later he signed off on the two inches of documentation that included diagrams, chemical safety sheets, operating procedures and manuals.

We didn’t just have to get things right (the new system), we had to demonstrate we’d keep things right (the documentation).

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82. Paul,

If you have difficulty understanding what C \dfrac{d T(t)}{dt} is, consult an undergraduate, who will tell you it’s the rate of change of T, multiplied by a constant! It doesn’t have to be “typically taken” as anything at all, certainly not the “planetary energy imbalance”. Though unfortunately they are a bit vague about exactly what T is.

If you read the next bit of Spencer & Braswell, it says

where Cp is the heat capacity of the system (here assumed to be ocean only), T is the temperature, and t is time.

The term on the LHS of the equation is

$C \dfrac{d T}{d t}.$

So, if I take a heat capacity (which in this case is J/K/m^2, because this is globally averaged) multiply it by a change in temperature and divide by a change in time, I get J/m^2/s, or W/m^2. Admittedly, they assume “the system” is only the ocean, but this pretty much dominates the heat capacity of the system. So that term is the change in energy per square metre per second, which is essentially the system heat uptake rate which is an approximation for the planetary energy imbalance. If Spencer & Braswell have a term on the RHS which represent internal processes, then they would need to explain where this internally generated energy is coming from, since it has to be from outside the system that is being represented by the LHS.

Of course, I may have made some silly mistake above, so you can probably find it, jump up and down and call me an idiot, a liar, and a hypocrite (as appears to be the only manner in which you can respond to anything anyone you disagree with says). Of course, if you are remotely interested in actually thinking about this, you could read some of Isaac Held’s posts, like this one.

[PM: This is a falsehood that you regularly regurgitate. You know it’s not true. I’ve given you examples before and here is another example, which you should be aware of because you commented there too. I reserve terms such as ‘idiot’ and ‘hypocrite’ for idiots and hypocrites. ]

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83. Raff says:

does anyone take Doug seriously

You tell me. He is part of the spectrum of “skepticism” that some people here apparently want 10% of current climate research funding spent on. If you are telling me that he is not included, tell me by what principle and which other skeptics or their ideas are also excluded. Salby, Nova/Evans, Svensmark, Monckton, who? And how do you or whoever judge that? Who gets to say?

Michael2, Risk sounds tedious. You forget that the West has already spent the last 30 years “turning off its industry” in favour of China et. al., in the name of higher corporate profits and fewer environmental controls. Skeptics were probably highly in favour of that, as it has resulted in great reductions in poverty in previously poor countries, something that skeptics claim to care about. I’d imagine you’d probably want that trend to continue, or are you saying you favour returning manufacturing to the West?

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84. Michael 2 says:

Raff writes (in part) “Skeptics were probably highly in favour of that, as it has resulted in great reductions in poverty in previously poor countries, something that skeptics claim to care about. I’d imagine you’d probably want that trend to continue, or are you saying you favour returning manufacturing to the West?”

Skeptics are not a thing that can be meaningfully described except in reference to the thing that is a thing that can be meaningfully described.

Let us say you assert the existence of “TWO”. Along comes a skeptic and doubts there is a “TWO”. What might he believe exists instead of TWO? We have no idea and very likely neither does the skeptic; the word simply expresses a doubt in what YOU believe and makes no assertion about what HE believes.

But after some thought, the skeptic decides “THREE”.

Time passes. You meet another skeptic, and having learned from the first, you say, “I believe in TWO but you believe in THREE. Defend your believe in THREE!” and he says, “Say what? Why do you believe I believe in THREE? I have not told you what I believe; but if I think on it for a while, it is probably closer to FOUR.”

And so on.

I defend no beliefs other than my own.

As to manufacturing: It is part of a complete breakfast. Make stuff, use stuff. Keep it balanced and keep the cycle turning; for in that cycle is life for 7 billion people. Now if all the making is on one side of the planet and most of the consuming is on the other, that’s sort of okay since that is what we have already, but it places a huge burden on transportation — which is okay with the providers thereof — but consumes vast quantities of energy that shall soon enough be in short supply.

Therefore, if you want to make something, do so. If not, then not. But in the USA if you want to make something you will require many permissions and have to make it a certain way and you’ll have to pay your workers what the state tells you and if you cannot afford to make the thing you wish to make because of all that maybe your idea will play better in China.

I was contemplating idiot Democrats and “minimum wage” and Detroit. I sense that there’s a threshold effect; if the regional productivity is such that the actual possible or potential productivity of an employee is below his “load” cost (payroll, benefits, taxes) then the employee cannot be hired.

The farther north you go the more marginal becomes the productivity of the land, generally speaking. By the time you reach Hudson Bay the margin is survival; there is no “wage” possible. Would I hire you for minimum wage when I’m not even making that myself?

Thus at high latitudes you’ll see some entrepreneurs and most will subsist on hunting and fishing, effectively working *below* minimum wage in the only way permitted by government: Working for yourself.

Minimum wage is a bludgeon wiping out friends and enemies alike. I can see somewhat a regionally flexible minimum wage that takes into consideration local economic reality.

Now you have a few of my beliefs.

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85. Paul,

This is a falsehood that you regularly regurgitate. You know it’s not true.

Was it too difficult to recognise that as appears to be the only manner in which you can respond to anything anyone you disagree with says was my perception, which is not something that can really be untrue. My perception is indeed that you call people who says things with which you disagree hypocrites, idiots, or liars, so I don’t know it’s not true, because I think it is true. That you seem to be unwilling to recognise this is slightly bizarre. I don’t think I’ve ever come across anyone who accuses so many other people of being hypocrites, liars or idiots as you do, and it does indeed appear to be something that you aim at anyone who says anything with which you disagree. A mistake, in your book, is a lie. Someone saying something and not sticking to it as you think they should is a hypocrite (“I want to engage with those who disagree with me” is interpreted by you as “I want to engage with everyone on the whole planet who disagrees with me”). If you don’t like that this is my perception, you could stop doing it. On the other hand, it’s reflects entirely on you, and not on those who you choose to malign, so carry on if you wish. Only you will be responsible for how you’re regarded, and noone else.

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86. TinyCO2 says:

Raff, I already explained how you determine who needs to be audited. It relates to what affects the public. So if Doug’s work is used for public policy, then yes, it potentially needs to be audited. Not all of the work needs to be checked, often it’s enough for people and institutions to know they could be checked.

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87. Raff says:

Michael, yes clearly skepticism is not monolithic. But you complain that the West is now “turning off its industry” while we’ve been doing so for decades in the name of higher corporate profits and fewer environmental controls. Was the past “turning-off” good but anything that follows bad, or was it all bad?

As far as minimum wages go, it is obviously true that if the minimum is set at $100 per-hour, it would kill most employment while if set at$1ph it would kill none. There was much debate about it in the UK several years ago before its introduction, but I think it had little measurable effect on employment in the event. A lot of those receiving the MW are shop workers whose jobs are never going to move to China. Many others are agricultural workers – increase their wages and you either get more agri imports or more expensive food or a combination. If the latter you might get more US workers and fewer illegals working on farms, which would be a plus, perhaps.

Also, a carbon tax would equalize the costs somewhat as far as the transportation costs you worry about.

ATTP, perhaps Paul typifies the behaviour of faculty at Nottingham University. Maybe blind accusation is the “Nottingham Way”.

Tiny, the checking you desire comes from other teams researching the same or related areas and publishing their work. If it overturns previous work it is likely to be of wide interest (within the field) and get published, if of high quality. Over time a body of work builds up and scientists assess new work on its merits and relative to older work. Understanding of the subject moves along organically according to what is considered good and bad work. Explicit auditing is not part of the process although I think teams do sometimes try to replicate older work. But I imagine replication is not likely to lead to new publications and hence is likely to have lower appeal than new work.

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88. Michael 2 says:

Raff wrote: “Michael, yes clearly skepticism is not monolithic.”

Clearly.

“But you complain that the West is now turning off its industry while we’ve been doing so for decades in the name of higher corporate profits and fewer environmental controls. Was the past turning-off good but anything that follows bad, or was it all bad?”

It is whatever you wish it to be. Any action (within broad limits) is perceived as good by some, bad by others, and not observed by most. There’s another aspect not here considered so far; in the case of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing; there’s not much mining hence not a lot of manufacturing. The mines are played out. One of them, the Tower Soudan mine, now hosts a neutrino detector and dark matter detectors.

Hardware stores now carry Chinese-made tools of acceptable quality and astonishingly low prices which is good for me. The people in America that used to make tools generally no longer do so, although the very best tools (available in the USA anyway) at least have American names (Snap-On, Craftsman) but I have not checked whether they are still made in the USA.

Now if import tariffs were increased (or established), the price of tools would rise, perhaps dramatically. This would be bad for almost all tradesmen but provide employment for some American workers, but not perhaps as many would be employed as negatively impacted.

An infrequently encountered cost is that of national security. In World War 2 it was impossible to assure that shipments sent overseas, or brought from overseas, would arrive. Everything was domestically produced and that infrastructure survived through the 1960’s but not much longer after that.

“As far as minimum wages go, it is obviously true that if the minimum is set at $100 per-hour, it would kill most employment while if set at$1ph it would kill none.”

It depends on more details than are here presented. The economy would adjust to the $100 per hour or$1 million per hour by simply adjusting all prices. Your actual purchasing power is unlikely to change. What happens with any minimum wage is that it places a floor on cost of goods produced. Should the demand price fall below that floor then the commodity or service cannot be produced; at least not in that location.

“A lot of those receiving the MW are shop workers whose jobs are never going to move to China.”

However, customers of those shops will consume less of those services because of the resulting higher prices. Those jobs won’t go to China; they’ll simply disappear.

“Many others are agricultural workers – increase their wages and you either get more agri imports or more expensive food or a combination.”

That is correct. The ripple effect is that citizens will divert income into food purchasing and away from luxuries. The extreme limit of this is no luxuries at all and the only employable persons will be farmers anyway. Most citizens won’t be able to work at anything. At that point the economy is in a subsistence state and trade of all kinds collapses.

Substitute energy for food and you get basically the same outcome.

“Also, a carbon tax would equalize the costs somewhat as far as the transportation costs you worry about.”

Well, I suppose. The ripple effect would be enormous but I don’t consider it an “equalizer”. Essentially everything would become more expensive, reducing discretionary spending, shrinking the economy as non-energy and non-farming jobs would gradually cease to exist.

As most citizens in western nations are not employed in agriculture the result would be terrible. It would be like Detroit but on a national or even global scale. It would be a recurrence of the Time of Troubles after the French Revolution.

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89. TinyCO2 says:

Raff “the checking you desire comes from other teams researching the same or related areas and publishing their work.”

No, it’s a totally different thing. That’s like saying that the banking system doesn’t need auditors because the different institutions will keep an eye on each other. Things go wrong when everyone relaxes and the inspectors get too chummy with those they are inspecting.

“although I think teams do sometimes try to replicate older work. But I imagine replication is not likely to lead to new publications and hence is likely to have lower appeal than new work.”

Peer review is specifically designed to prevent people duplicating the work.

“Understanding of the subject moves along organically according to what is considered good and bad work. ”

Exactly why auditing needs to happen. Critical issues shouldn’t be handled this way. They need to be much more professional, systematic and intensive. If you’re contemplating spending trillions on something you need more than assurances that the science will get there eventually, give or take the scientific fads. Who trains the next generation of scientists on what’s good or bad? The previous one. What rewards are ther for bucking the trend? None. We see what happens to people who say they want to explore a different side – the majority treat them like pariahs. Who’s offering millions to prove CAGW wrong? Worse, those who explore that side are now being threatened with RICO or worse. Organic my arse.

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90. Raff says:

Michael, your story about Risk implied that you think China will benefit from Western countries turning off industry. You seem to enjoy the cheap Chinese tools that have resulted from that process so far and perhaps think the process has been a net benefit. What changes going forward?

There is always a floor on the prices of any goods. MW may raise the floor – or it may not, depending upon the relative power of consumer and retailer and the level of competition (among other things no doubt). We have no way of knowing the effect raising MW will have on balance.

The idea that you might fear a return to subsistence living as a result of a proposed $10-15 MW for farm workers is very funny. And the idea that a carbon tax would have such dire consequences is equally so – the money from a carbon tax doesn’t disappear, it just gets moved to other parts of the economy. And capitalist economies are excellent at dealing with change. Tiny, there are plenty of rich philanthropists who could fund research if they wanted to. And there is of course the example of BEST which was funded to do exactly what you want. It got the same result as the existing research and has passed from being the bright hope of skeptics, some of whom said they’d accept its results whatever they were (and then didn’t), to part of the conspiracy. That is the future of any auditing that doesn’t overturn existing science – people like you will reject it as having become part of the system and call for auting of the auditors, etc. Like 91. TinyCO2 says: Raff, you clearly can’t get to grips with the concept. Auditing isn’t duplicating the science, it’s looking for bad practice (that might include spotting mistakes but isn’t restricted to it). A rich philanthropist can’t fund the auditors because a) that wouldn’t give them access to the scientists’ work, b) there’s nothing to be gained, for anybody (not even oil companies) to fund parallel science, but a lot of abuse and c) the work wouldn’t have any power to change things, no matter how good it was. It has to be driven by governments. You comment about auditing the auditors isn’t invalid. Madoff happened because the auditors weren’t doing their job. It’s not perfect but surely a system that is good enough for business, medicine, banking, etc is good enough for climate science? You know, that biggest problem the world faces? Like 92. Raff says: Money buys access, you should know that. There’s no barriers if someone rich enough wants to audit science. Some reasons it doesn’t happen are that a. it would probably yield little, b. if it did yield little the science would have to be accepted (which was doubtless embarassing for BEST’s sponsors and supporters), and c. there are better ways to disrupt progress. Like 93. TinyCO2 says: Tut tut Raff, your warmist slip is showing. The money has to come from governments in the same way they pay for all the other inspectors, it’s part of what makes the science credible. BEST just set out to duplicate the work of others. Auditors would conclude that no matter how good the scientist, you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Like 94. Michael 2 says: Raff wrote “Michael, your story about Risk implied that you think China will benefit from Western countries turning off industry.” I think they think it. “We have no way of knowing the effect raising MW will have on balance.” The study of economics suggests knowledge can be approximated or modeled. Your mileage may vary, but not by a lot. “The idea that you might fear a return to subsistence living as a result of a proposed$10-15 MW for farm workers is very funny.”

I defend my own assertions; not the claims of other skeptics or your own caricature of mine.

“And the idea that a carbon tax would have such dire consequences is equally so – the money from a carbon tax doesn’t disappear, it just gets moved to other parts of the economy.”

Most money does not exist in the first place and thus CAN be made to disappear.

“And capitalist economies are excellent at dealing with change.”

Coincidentally perhaps. “Arbitrage” requires change, capitalism requires production and trade. Change is not a necessary part of capitalism but I will agree that the rapid response of investment and manufacturing to change is superior to centrally managed five-year plans.

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95. Raff says:

BEST was set up because skeptics and their backers wanted to show that climate science was producing temperature indices wrong (deliberately, according to many). BEST found that nothing of the sort and was swiftly disowned by people who still called themselves skeptical. The same would happen with any “audits” of science that showed nothing amiss.

Audits are paid for by the companies being audited. And they don’t aim to “make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” or even to improve anything. Science has been credible for centuries without government appointed auditors.

Michael, you discuss future collapse from action against AGW but you seem to have little confidence in your own predictions of doom. Or little desire to defend them.

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96. TinyCO2 says:

All BEST found was the using the same crap data, you get the same crap result.

“Science has been credible for centuries without government appointed auditors.”

All of it? Gosh you are trusting. I could list countless science cock ups but I’m sure you can think of plenty. Noweadays, very little science that matters is allowed to be released to the public without intermediate testing. Medical science doesn’t do it, pharma scientists don’t do it, product designers don’t do it, chemists don’t do it. And at the end of the day, if they get things wrong they often have to take responsibility for their mistakes. Only bankers and politicians have a more charmed life and even they can end up in prison if they get it seriously wrong.

The only reason not to treat climate science like a significant issue impacting the public, is if it isn’t a significant issue impacting the public. Warmists have to stop seeing climate science like astronomy or dinosaur research. Those things have credibility because they don’t matter a damn. Only when things impact on the public (eg rocket science) does the work get serious testing, at which point the science has to get it right, not just do its best. eg the US, UK teams that worked on the same rocket project, only the Americans worked in miles and the Brits worked in km. Oopse. Or the rocket that went up and then down in a perfect arc because there was an itty bitty minus sign in the wrong place. I’m sure that the excuses of thove people didn’t include ‘science is a process of learning and sometimes you gain as much from when you get it wrong as from when you get it right’.

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97. Raff says:

All BEST found was the using the same crap data, you get the same crap result.

When BEST was announced, peple like Anthony Watts proclaimed that they would accept whatever it found, not that there was no chance of finding anything worthwhile because the data was crap. When it found that temperatures had risen as the other indices said, they threw their toys on the floor. So unless you got your repudiation in early, before the results were available, you are just presenting an excuse to avoid having to accept its results. That would be the outcome for any so-called audit as well. Wherever the science was found to be sound, you and others would find other reasons to reject it and the auditors would become part of the conspiracy.

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98. TinyCO2 says:

I don’t need an excuse – I can just say no. Problem for warmists is lots of people say no. They’ve never heard of BEST or Watts. Now you can pretend that the issue just needs more PR or scare stories or you could grow up and use tried and tested methods for improving trust.

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99. Michael 2 says:

Raff wrote “you and others would find other reasons to reject it and the auditors would become part of the conspiracy.”

Maybe. So why are you here if there is no hope of changing anyone’s mind?

But people change. Not many; some.

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100. Raff says:

I don’t need an excuse – I can just say no. Problem for warmists is lots of people say no.

Do they? I doubt many even know there are multiple indices and I doubt they deny that temperatures are rising. They say no to caring or doing anything about it, which is quite different.

You on the other hand reject the research instead of your prejudice when the latter is shown to be wrong.

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101. TinyCO2 says:

“They say no to caring or doing anything about it, which is quite different.”

All I say is that the science isn’t good enough or the hazard isn’t big enough to make people care or do anything about it. Including me. You even agree with me. You can throw your hands up and say that warmists have done everything they can to persuade people, in which case resign yourself to the future.

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102. Michael 2 says:

Raff “Michael, you discuss future collapse from action against AGW but you seem to have little confidence in your own predictions of doom. Or little desire to defend them.”

Yes; you have it correct. Your mileage varies. Evolution requires doom. Mankind exists because of doom. Without doom it is likely dinosaurs would still rule the Earth. What is less clear to me is whether mankind will negligently allow this doom or impose upon itself an immediate doom.

I believe it is more likely that some humans wish other humans to impose upon themselves some sort of doom, so that the former, not dooming themselves, obtain advantage. That some other doom is still in the future for them as well is a different problem for a different day.

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