the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Often Wrong

Posted by Jeff Id on August 25, 2009

Anthony Watts has a post on this article at WUWT but it deserves a bit of venting here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks trial on global warming

I wanted to highlight some of the leftists attempts at defining and marginalizing anyone skeptical of government funded science. The article was written by Jim Tankersley in the never right but often wrong LA times.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.

Sounds fine to me, there are valid reasons that government funded science claims of concluded science are false.   From my viewpoint the recent attempts to declare consensus only adds weight to the skeptics case.  There are many things to be skeptical about within the defined boundaries of climate science, the fact that these details are largely ignored by the declaration of consensus cannot be understated and should raise red flags everywhere.  Three critical items off the top of my head which are key to the global warming case and yet poorly defined are moisture feedback, solar forcing (past and present) and natural variability.  There are many others as well.

As an example, what is wrong about calculating or discussing the magnitude of natural variability?  Has it truly been defined?  So far the math I’ve seen says not just no but HELL no!  What should we do if we find natural variability  is far greater than CO2 warming can reasonably be?  Would we be capable of controlling the sun?  My own opinion is we would then not be capable of stopping the predicted disasters and should instead work on better quantifying and  coping with them.  From my reading there is good cause to believe nature is in charge still, hockey sticks and proxies are mostly garbage and previous ice melts are well documented. This cannot be ignored!  Well it shouldn’t be anyway.

Still that doesn’t prevent people from trying to marginalize reasonable debate.

“It would be evolution versus creationism,” said William Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”

I might actually agree with the sentence above if it is recognized that skeptics are on the side of evolution.  Of course in our ‘rush to socialism’ government disagrees and moves on presenting the party line.

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said the agency based its proposed finding that global warming is a danger to public health “on the soundest peer-reviewed science available, which overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare.”

I suppose the EPA report discussed here – Change You Can Believe In contains the best peer reviewed evidence government money could buy.  However, it was loaded with exaggeration and claims of disaster which have absolutely no method for verification.  It is disguised as peer reviewed science  though so you’re not allowed to point out the asinine conclusions are bull.

Environmentalists say the chamber’s strategy is an attempt to sow political discord by challenging settled science — and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end.

So the envirowhackos are still pushing consensus as if any challenge is extremist.  The same environmentalists who just came out and admitted their goal wasn’t as stated but rather to reduce the prosperity of the American people.  This is from Greenpeace CEO Gurd  Leipold who is probably the only leftist being honest in the debate.

Leipold said later in the BBC interview that there is an urgent need for the suppression of economic growth in the United States and around the world. He said annual growth rates of 3 percent to 8 percent cannot continue without serious consequences for the climate.

Of course the socialist front groups are weighing in, as well they should:

The chamber proposal “brings to mind for me the Salem witch trials, based on myth,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist for the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists. “In this case, it would be ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence.”

The only problem is that they don’t announce that they are government funded leftists, they seem like worried scientists to those who don’t know.  The Union of Concerned Scientists is a scam and a disgrace  in my opinion but they get to say, hey I’m a climate scientist  and everything is true.  Followed shortly by,  let’s expand government taxation and regulation.  Brenda disgusts me.  Claiming or even implying there is certainty in the severity of the problems a few C of warming will create is completely unreasonable.

Most climate scientists agree that greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities, are warming the planet. Using computer models and historical temperature data, those scientists predict the warming will accelerate unless greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced.

I agree too as do most people who study the issue, greenhouse gas is capable of causing warming and probably is causing some.   Where we don’t agree is how much warming it will create, how serious a problem warming is and what we need to do about it.  Governments never, never, never have trouble with those issues though.

The LA times again uses the false consensus argument

“The need for urgent action to address climate change is now indisputable,” said a recent letter to world leaders by the heads of the top science agencies in 13 of the world’s largest countries, including the head of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

In this letter the heads of 13 government agencies support higher taxation indirectly through the agreement that CO2 causes warming.  THIS IS NOT SCIENCE PEOPLE!

Then there’s the exaggerations of the EPA endangerment findings.  The report contains exaggerated temp curves, unverified projections and even the hockey stick was included in this report.  People need to understand that despite the claims, these glorified weathermen don’t have a clue what will happen next year let alone one hundred years in the future.

The EPA’s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, as proposed in April, warned that warmer temperatures would lead to “the increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more heavy downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, harm to agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems.”

The final statement in the paragraph after multiple declarations of consensus and numerous examples of government collusion and exaggeration comes across as so weak it’s hard to describe.

Critics of the finding say it’s far from certain that warming will cause any harm at all. The Chamber of Commerce cites studies that predict higher temperatures will reduce mortality rates in the United States.

Some of the CRITICS BELIEVE IN SCIENCE!!!

Where is the evidence for any disasters due to warming.  So far the only disasters which have been conclusively related to global warming is the OBVIOUSLY corrupted science, the money sent to the IPCC and Euopean cap and trade.

If you’re in the mood, here’s the author’s email – jtankersley@latimes.com

Ah, there I feel better now.


29 Responses to “Often Wrong”

  1. Arn Riewe said

    Here’s something that’s always bothered me and I don’t know if I have gotten a definitive answer to it. My investigation to this point has indicated that the feedback the Hansen has “nailed” was reverse engineered. To arrive at feedback, all 20th century warming was assumed as a result of only CO2 increases, and to make make the numbers work, feedback had to be defined at a specific level (~3). In other words, all natural variability was assumed as insignificant, and CO2 first order forcing and second order feedbacks were totally responsible for temperature rise.

    Am I right on this or did I miss something?

  2. Gary P said

    The entire EPA attempt to declare CO2 a hazardous substance is based on unverified peer reviewed papers.

    Maybe its just me, but when I now see the term “peer reviewed” red flags go up and I start with the assumption that I am about to get a huge dose of BS (bogus science).

    Peer review is not verification. In climate science it means it has been judged to be politically correct or it would not be published. In climate science peer review now is a gate to prevent contrary evidence and science from being published.

    The same peer reviewers are too often government scientists who have been caught hiding or shredding data. When it walks like fraud and quacks like fraud, I am going to call it fraud. I don’t care what that actual intent was. To many of these guys are down to arguing, “Its wasn’t fraud. I am just incompetent at keeping the raw data.” The reputation of both Science and Nature have been badly tarnished by not insisting that the original data and methods are available.

  3. Not Sure said

    Equating climate skepticism with creationism is particularly pernicious cynicism. Note that evolutionary biologists never claim that there’s a “consensus” on evolution. They systematically attack and dismantle the creationism arguments case by case.

    Contrast this with climate “science” and the pervasive “dog ate my homework” attitude when anyone wants to check their findings.

  4. kuhnkat said

    Not Sure,

    ” Note that evolutionary biologists never claim that there’s a “consensus” on evolution. They systematically attack and dismantle the creationism arguments case by case.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    You are a very funny person!!!!

    So, when are evolutionary biologists going to come up with a PLAUSIBLE theory for a mechanism for evolution?? Darwin believed in Adaption. This was discredited. The Mutationists came along. This has been discredited. Then they tried both. Discredited. A monstrosity called Punctuated Equilibrium was tried and laughed at.

    Currently evolutionists are trying modifications of Punctuated Equilibrium. Have I missed any of the THEORIES that have been floated??

    If you are not a TRUE BELIEVER, watching the Evolutionists scramble for believability is a COMEDY!!

    I especially am appreciating that they would rather believe PROTEIN can survive in the open for a million years rather than dinosaurs were alive within a believable survival time for that protein!!! At least the ones who claim the protein is a contamination aren’t buffoons, just liars protecting their turf.

    Do you still believe that human embryos have gills???

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. Jeff Id said

    #4

    Wow!

    Let’s keep the thread on climate change instead of evolution. You wouldn’t like my views on that. It also tends to be full of emotion with little science. You are welcome to believe as you wish.

  6. mondo said

    J

    Jeff, your post reminded me of the document “Warm Words – How Are We Telling The Climate Story And Can We Tell It Better?” by Gill Ereaut and Nat Segnit, AUGUST 2006. This is a PR specialists assessment and critique of the campaign to raise concerns about AGW.

    Conclusions and Recommendations

    Many of the existing approaches to climate change communications clearly seem unproductive. And it is not enough simply to produce yet more messages, based on rational argument and top-down persuasion, aimed at convincing people of the reality of climate change and urging them to act. Instead, we need to work in a more shrewd and contemporary way, using subtle techniques of engagement.

    To help address the chaotic nature of the climate change discourse in the UK today, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won, at least for popular communications. This means simply behaving as if climate change exists and is real, and that individual actions are effective. The ‘facts’ need to be treated as being so taken-for-granted that they need not be spoken.

    The disparity of scale between the enormity of climate change and small individual actions should be dealt with by actually harnessing this disparity. Myth (which can reconcile seemingly irreconcilable cultural truths) can be used to inject the discourse with the energy it currently lacks.

    Opposing the enormous forces of climate change requires an effort that is superhuman or heroic. The cultural norms (what we normally expect to be true) are that heroes – the ones who act, are powerful and carry out great deeds – are extraordinary, while ordinary mortals either do nothing or do bad things. The mythical position – the one that occupies the seemingly impossible space – is that of ‘ordinary hero’. The ‘ordinary heroism’ myth is potentially powerful because it feels rooted in British culture – from the Dunkirk spirit to Live Aid.

    More generally, the challenge is to make climate-friendly behaviours feel normal, natural, right and ‘ours’ to large numbers of people who are currently unengaged, and on whose emotional radar the issue does not figure. The answer is not to try to change their radar but to change the issue, so it becomes something they willingly pick up, because it means something valuable in their own terms. This can be achieved by shaping communications in several key ways, including:

    ● Targeting groups bound by shared values and behaviours rather than by demographics – making desired climate friendly behaviours feel simply like ‘the kinds of things that people like us do’ to large groups of people.

    ● Reflecting the fact that a large proportion of the population have esteem-driven needs – they want to feel special and are accustomed to achieving this through what they do and buy, rather than what they do not do or do not buy.

    ●Working on the basis that people increasingly trust other people more than governments, businesses and other institutions.

    ● Using non-rational approaches like metaphor as well as more rationalistic approaches to enable people to engage emotionally and make desired behaviours appear attractive.

    Ultimately, positive climate behaviours need to be approached in the same way as marketeers approach acts of buying and consuming. This is the relevant context for climate change communications in the UK today – not the increasingly residual models of public service or campaigning communications. It amounts to treating climate-friendly activity as a brand that can be sold. This is, we believe, the route to mass behaviour change.

    Thomas Fuller of SF Examiner would argue that the AGW proponents are doing a terrible job of getting their story across.

    Lord knows that those talking up the scare stories about global warming don’t seem as though they should be taken seriously–I’ve written repeatedly about what I consider to be their slapstick communications strategy, which seems to consist of getting statistics wrong and insulting everyone who disagrees with them.

    And

    The behaviour of many of the scientists has been pretty miserable, but the bar is set lower for them as they can’t be expected to understand how modern politics works. They have shot themselves in the foot numerous times by withholding data and code, cherry-picking data and creating scary hockey sticks, by sounding arrogant and dismissive of skeptics, and quite often by letting politicians make outlandish statements without offering corrections. They have been tonedeaf and deeply ignorant of process. Meanwhile, the eclectic and open nature of the Internet has proven ideal for skeptics, who after all only need to point at flaws in the science–it really is a lot easier to criticise than to propose a new theory.

    None of this has anything to do with the science. Until the advocates of radical change understand this, the skeptics will win most battles, fighting as an insurgent force against a staid and slow establishment.

    The first thing that AGW proponents could do is change their attitude. Public opinion will move (slowly) towards whatever truth there is to be seen on this issue, but high-handed dismissals don’t work as well in the court of public opinion as admissions of uncertainty, pleas for cooperation and assistance, and going overboard in pursuit of transparency.

    Bring on the trial!!

  7. Hank Hancock said

    Peer review as a proof of point is merely a smoke screened call to authority. Peer review in most science and medical fields is nothing more than a glorified spell check. The reviewers generally aren’t checking the facts presented, they’re checking presentation and, to a smaller degree, methodology and objectivity. They rarely confirm the results through independent verification (who’s going to repeat a two year study in two weeks?). To say an abstract was peer reviewed means it passed the reviewer’s “smell test.” It doesn’t mean the hypothesis isn’t already dead – just not dead enough to stink at the time of review or the reviewers were selected on the basis of having nasal congestion. When someone resorts to the “peer review” argument, I realize their argument can’t stand up to critical inquiry. It’s a lame response, side steps the question, and professionally lazy.

    AGW alarmists frequently claim peer review as their final answer and they’re sticking to it. Challenge the question any further and you can see them stacking the wood around the binding post and platform with torches in hand in the great tradition of heretical reformation reminiscent of the Monty Python scene where the town’s folks are intent on burning a witch:

    Town person: “She turned me into a newt!”
    Inquisitor: “Well you don’t look like a newt.”
    Town person: “I got better.”
    Town mob: “Burn the witch!”

    Climate “consensus” is built on much hysterics, lost and withheld evidence, calls to authority, and gathering of firewood on behalf of those who might see a problem with the aforementioned.

  8. MikeN said

    Off topic, but the author of this site went to Tamino to ask for help defending hockey sticks.

    http://climatesight.org/2009/08/13/by-your-own-logic/comment-page-2/#comment-731

  9. timetochooseagain said

    Ugh. Typical. Well, you know, I actually like this:

    “in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end.”

    Well, no, Scopes lost the case. This is only true if “in the end” means “well afterward”. BUT, there was already a case: automotive manufacturers took the state of California to court over their state mileage standard plan which was meant to reduce emissions. The science wasn’t the issue in the case but the Judge was curious. So John Christy testified, unpaid and on unpaid vacation from his university position and job as Alabama State climatologist, to testify on behalf of the automotive manufacturers, with James Hansen on the opposite side. This was a real clash of titans. And John Christy’s major point, that no matter what one believes the effect of the bill would be negligible, was conceded by the Judge, the opposition, Hansen, and of course the manufacturers. But the manufacturers lost anyway-the science wasn’t the issue, it was more of a state’s rights matter. But you know I still like this example. Why? Well, who was William Jennings Bryan? Why he was the wacko far left socialist who took control of the Democrat party away from the Classical Liberal Bourbons like Grover Cleveland. Who was Darrow? A civil libertarian! I think it is rather obvious who is on the side of science once again, and history will see it to.

  10. JAE said

    In case you haven’t seen the update on Carlin/EPA:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-9111-SF-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2009m8d15-An-update-from-Alan-Carlin-on-global-warming-and-the-EPA

  11. JAE said

    Oh, I liked your rant! :)

  12. Jeff Id said

    #8 I checked it out Mike, I don’t know this site well but it has a young author who apparently has bought hook line and sinker into government control. We’ve poisoned the younger generation with our asinine schools and media. I’m hoping that my post will receive an open response, if she’s honest I might even give my first link to a believer blog on the blogroll. I would have a long time ago but it’s impossible to find any who discuss science and don’t clip reasonable disagreement.

    Do you know if it’s just another censor site?

  13. Peer Reviewed

    Peer review is just a ‘spell check’
    Of ‘politically correct’ dreck
    It doesn’t make a study right or wrong,
    But it only serves to further
    The aims of folks who defer
    All their thinking to droning of the throng
    Well engaged in burning witches
    That they beat with ‘hockey stickses’
    And they only want us ALL to sing along…

    ©Dave Stephens 2009

  14. [...] http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/often-wrong/ [...]

  15. MikeN said

    I only learned of the site from the request on Tamino’s site.

  16. Page48 said

    Fantastic rant, Jeff – you really save me a lot of time and energy by taking the thoughts right out of my brain, organizing them, and putting them up to post! (I would put a smiley face here if I knew how to)

    Bring on the trial! I would like to see the “true believer” scientists grilled by skeptical experts.

    For example, wouldn’t it be fun to watch Jim Hansen, who often steps into deep time to justify his CO2 driver thesis, questioned by a skeptical geologist with broader knowledge of the eons, or to watch a biologist grill Michael Mann on the dark reactions of photosynthesis, which are temperature dependent over a specific range of temps, but also temperature restricted at a relatively “cool” temp. Gee, I can think of hundreds of fun questions.

    Related Trivia:

    Anyone interested in how the Scopes trial was structured ought to read The Great Monkey Trial by L. Sprague de Camp (1968). It’s a good read for any reason.

    Also, there’s a great movie based on the trial, Inherit the Wind(1960) with Spencer Tracy.

  17. Jeff Id said

    She cut my post also. Just like all the other leftist blogs. Nobody can argue reasonable dissent.

    I’ve got enough experience with leftists now that I saved my post so everyone can see. I’ve asked the reason for the snip, so I’ll wait for that.

  18. Jeff Id said

    I’m going to have to do the same thing I did to deep C and publish the mess. She’s a Hansen fan and before you figure out if it’s the band or the scientist, it’s probably both.

  19. Mark T said

    Their excuse is that your dissent is unreasonable. Clipping unreasonable dissent makes sense. What they don’t realize is that it is not up to them to determine what is and isn’t reasonable. At least, if they want to make the claim of being objective, they can’t be in charge of content control, too.

    Mark

  20. Mark T said

    Btw, that last sentence is known as a conflict of interest.

    Mark

  21. Jeff Id said

    She clipped me again without explanation. Why are the leftists always the ones against free speech. She probably brags to her friends how she supports free speech or reasonable discussion.

    There was nothing in my 3 new posts they were single sentence questions which started with What did you find wrong with my original post in particular? I wasn’t sure what she felt needed censorship. And they ended with a request to know if I would be allowed to comment at all.

    I didn’t save them but it’s another leftist blog which can’t handle criticism.

  22. JAE said

    I got censored there, too, for disagreeing with a very minor point in the latest post. That site seems to be worse than RC, relative to publishing different points of view.

    I thinnk you can give up trying to find a “warmer” site that allows a fair discussion of the science. Anyone who tries to run such a site will soon be a lukewarmer at most (are lukewarmers “skeptics,” too?). The “science” simply does not support some type of catastrophic warming or “climate change.” So the science IS actually settled! LOL.

  23. JAE said

    “Why are the leftists always the ones against free speech.”

    Everyone, except leftists, knows the answer to this one. It’s because they are very afraid of truth and facts. They specialize in emotions, “feelings” and “empathy.”

  24. Jeff Id said

    #23 That’s kind of funny, I think in the thread she said something like she read the arguments for and against Mann’s hockey stick and talked to Tamino. She ‘felt’ that tamino’s argument was more compelling. Feelings are not decisions, they are feelings. It’s very easy to claim that McIntyre’s arguments against the HS were not correct, but since they were correct the claims are specious and motivated by stupidity or more likely in tamino’s case – intent.

    I’m pissed but not pissed enough to write much about her.

    I just completed a new post on the distortions in the HS from Mann 08 which is still an absolute POS paper.

  25. timetochooseagain said

    23-That, and as Milton Friedman pointed out, It would be a pain in the butt to subsidize subversive propaganda!

  26. stan said

    Jeff,

    The beauty of a “trial” is that it would focus on the shoddy, unscientific methodology of the alarmists. Too often, the arguments about the science take as a given that the “results” announced in the papers are considered to be valid. As you have seen with Mann, Steig, Jones, et al, the studies are very often poorly done or outright frauds. The trial style cross examination is a great way to expose the shoddiness that underlies so much of the alarmist case.

    A similar benefit would be the opportunity to point out the railroad that climate science has become. Mann comes out with an obscure study of tree rings and purports to completely change everything that the science world believes about the global temperature record. In the real world, such a declaration is viewed with skepticism and the study would have been examined very carefully for errors. It would have been audited and replicated. People don’t do a 180 without any more than someone else’s say so. Yet, climate science (IPCC) completely adopted Mann’s conclusions without anyone checking anything. Even if Mann’s hockey stick had not been such a quality disaster, the rush to adopt his findings without question implicates the climate science community for a failure to behave as scientists.

  27. rcrejects said

    Stan. I would like to accord you the approbatory Aussie salute: “Onya Stan!” I have been impressed by your various astute contributions to the debate, and encourage you to do more!

  28. j ferguson said

    Jeff,
    Part of the problem with liberals is that they don’t see themselves on the left, but more centrist. They only read and hear commentary from the left and do, indeed, have positions which may center in their own universe. That their universe isn’t THE universe doesn’t occur to them.

    Conservatives don’t seem to have this same problem.

    All that said, I can testify that even liberals can be skeptical of the alarmist hysteria.

    Maybe some people revel in hysteria.

    You’d be astonished at Nature Conservancy’s “Climate Wizard” which is able to forecast heat and drought in Iowa in 2030.

    See Huffpost for this irresponsible product of alarmist hysteria.

  29. ZZMike said

    Here’s the problem with the “trial”:

    “… and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.”

    Judges can be influenced by more than evidence. (See any number of Supreme Court opinions since about 1800.)

    As long as we’re talking about trials and debates, how about we bring Al Gore out of hiding and debate his views? After all, he’s an “eminent climate scientist”.

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