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?gate

Posted by Jeff Id on February 10, 2010

Well it looks like the IPCC was at it again. Up is down in climate science, proxy’s flipped, data chopped, sanity ignored and in this case loss is gain.  Just where did they get their numbers?  Again, I want to make the point written so many times here.  There are 3 working groups to the IPCC. Each of them MUST have a pre-determined conclusion in order for funding to flow in the organization.   It’s so simple.  The answers to the 3 groups are global warming is real and man made, global warming is dangerous, and global warming is difficult and expensive to fix.  Without those answers the whole debacle crashes.  This example was just the efforts of hard working bureaucrats making sure the problem was dangerous and expensive.

So it begs the question—Which gate would this be?

Guest post from Climatequotes.  Click the title to link to his blog.

———-

IPCC burned on claim of wildfires affecting Canadian tourism

In the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report, section 14.2.7 Tourism and recreation of WGII, they make the following claim (emphasis mine):

“Climate variability affects many segments of this growing economic sector [Tourism]. For example, wildfires in Colorado (2002) and British Columbia (2003) caused tens of millions of dollars in tourism losses by reducing visitation and destroying infrastructure (Associated Press, 2002; Butler, 2002; BC Stats, 2003).”

Lets look at the references they cited. Associated Press, 2002 is referenced as:

Associated Press, 2002: Rough year for rafters. September 3, 2002.

Butler, 2002 is referenced as:

Butler, A., 2002: Tourism burned: visits to parks down drastically, even away from flames. Rocky Mountain News. July 15, 2002.

BC Stats, 2003 is referenced as:

BC Stats, 2003: Tourism Sector Monitor – November 2003, British Columbia Ministry of Management Services, Victoria, 11 pp. [Accessed 09.02.07: http://www.bcstats.gov.bc.ca/pubs/tour/tsm0311.pdf%5D

That’s two newspaper articles and one tourism statistics newsletter. I can’t find the first two articles, one is an old AP story and the other was in a newspaper that folded last year. If anyone can find them, let me know. I assume those both deal with the Colorado half of the claim. However, the link to the BC stats works.

The claim is that wildfires in Colorado and British Columbia caused tens of millions in tourism losses. The first two references are for Colorado, and both are news stories. I don’t know how valid they are. That means the sole source of the claim of lost British Columbian tourism is the BC stats reference. Let’s take a look. Keep in mind that the fires in British Columbia were at their peak (according to this source) during the months of July, August and September. Here are quotes from their source:

The month of August saw room revenues
increase strongly (+2.9%, seasonally adjusted)
for the second time in a row. This
rise, driven by a strong performance in
Mainland/Southwest (+4.4%) and Vancouver
Island/Coast (+3.7%), was the strongest
since December 2002. Despite the forest
fires
raging in the Interior, revenues were
down or virtually unchanged in the affected
regions….The Increase in Room Revenues was the
Highest since December 2002
Despite the Wildfires

Hmm. Let’s read more.

It would appear that the summer
2003 forest fires only had a limited effect on the rebound that
started in July.

Limited effect. Interesting.

Province wide, room revenues continued to increase July (+1.0%)
and August (+2.9%) largely as a result of stronger growth elsewhere
in the province. The current rebound in room revenues
from the outbreak of SARS and the war in Iraq more than offset
the adverse effect of forest fires in regions far from the fires. It is
possible that the stronger performance of regions far from the fires
is due to travellers who changed their plans to visit these regions
instead of those heavily affected by the forest fires.

Oh! So tourism isn’t really negatively affected, unless the entire province is on fire.

Tourism is a seasonal phenomenon. The wildfires unfortunately
burned mostly during July, August and September, the three
months of the year when most room revenues are typically generated.
More precisely, establishments generated 38% of their
annual room revenues in these three months between 1995 and
2001. Moreover, the forest fires were at their peak in August, also
the peak month for tourism. Despite this bad timing, the peak of
the 2003 season does not appear to be lower than the peak of previous
years.

The Peak isn’t lower? Tens of millions in lost tourism doesn’t affect the peak? If the peak wasn’t lower, then tourism was the same (or higher) than last year.

It is difficult to isolate the effect of BC fires on room revenues since
the wildfires happened when the recovery from the SARS outbreak
and the Iraq War was underway. Despite this caveat, the
tourism sector did not suffer as much due to the wildfires as the
Iraq War, SARS or September 11th.

They then show a table which compares the wildfire’s affect on tourism to the effects of Sept 11’th and the SARS outbreak in Toronto. -10.8% for 9/11, -9.7 for SARS, +1.1% for July 03 (during the fires) and +2.9% for August 03 (during the fires). That’s right, positive numbers.

The only real lost costs they associate with the wildfire is in this passage:

Forest fires affected other industries besides the tourism sector.
Logging and forestry activities and manufacturing industries such
as wood and paper were shut down due to extreme fire hazard.
Fears of supply shortages and low inventories due to the forest
fires may have partially contributed to the jump in lumber prices
in August.
Government spending went up due to firefighting. By October 25,
the province had identified an estimated $550 million in total costs
related to wildfires. Government spending represents an offset to
the losses incurred in other industries in the BC economy. On the
bright side, the BC Government is currently studying the possibility
that wood affected by wildfires might be marketable timber for
China, which may increase BC exports in the future.

Government spending increased. The cost was to government, not to the tourism industry as the IPCC claimed. Tourism went up! Read it yourself. It does mention some negatives of the fires, but overall, tourism is up, and there is certainly no mention of “tens of millions of dollars in tourism losses“. If you can find something in their source that supports their claims, e-mail me or comment below.

Once again, I am not saying that their claim is wrong. I am only underlining that their sources don’t match their claims. This shows that the IPCC already had a point of view, and they simply wanted a source to back up their claims. They found this BC Stats, probably didn’t read it because they figured it must show that fires reduce tourism, and cited it as the source of their claim. The IPCC makes a conclusion, then looks for evidence that supports their claims, and cite it. Sometimes they even cite evidence that doesn’t support their claims. Since no one read it for 2 years, they almost got away with it. This isn’t how a reputable scientific organization works.

56 Responses to “?gate”

  1. Anna said

    I like the sound of WildfireGate🙂

  2. JAE said

    LOL!

  3. Ian said

    Well there’s a London borough called Forest Gate, and then there’s Adam & Eve being prevented from returning to Eden by an angel with a flaming sword “every way turning”; but surely the answer to this is… Hotgate (Thermopylae)! Just don’t worry ’bout the plural, my Greek dictionary only lists it as plural anyway…

  4. PhilJourdan said

    DanteGate.

  5. Hi guys, we’ve just put together new data we’ve received from Queensland, Australia and it ties in beautifully with the 2 degrees anamoly in the ‘homogenized’ GISS data exposed last month on WUWT re: Darwin Zero. Thus we can confirm two independently analyzed data sets for two Australian states both showing that GISS inexplicably ramped up a hundred year trend by 2 degrees C. with no substantiation whatever. We’ve run it here as ‘Australiagate’

    http://www.climategate.com/australiagate-now-nasa-caught-in-trick-over-aussie-climate-data#more-3821

  6. Craigo said

    Jeff

    It is simple – if there was no war and there was no SARS and the pixies continued to dance around the glen at midnight, we would have seen year on year continued growth. The wild fires significantly affected this growth resulting in a reduced increase. It is simple – the reduction is real but hidden and will emerge in a really significant way when we get the 30 year trends. You will see – there will be a tipping point – soon.

    (Note: The bit about pixies was inserted for the benefit of those who struggle to detect sarcasm.)

  7. BarryW said

    Smokey(the bear)Gate

  8. mack520 said

    The Hayman Fire (2002) in Colorado certainly did have a major effect on tourism. Global warming caused that fire by driving a Forest Service employee so nuts she committed arson.

  9. timetochooseagain said

    BurnGate.

  10. Margaret said

    There is a link to the Rocky Mountain News article here but you have to pay to see it – so I have only seen the first free bit:

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-90026911.html

    Its unclear from this whether the figures are for the week or for the season.

    Article: TOURISM BURNED VISITS TO PARKS DOWN DRASTICALLY, EVEN AWAY FROM FLAMES.(City Desk/Local)

    Article from:
    Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO)
    Article date:
    July 15, 2002
    Author:
    Butler^ , Andreya CopyrightCOPYRIGHT 2002 Rocky Mountain News. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Dialog LLC by Gale Group. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. (Hide copyright information)

    Byline: Andreya Butler

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

    Colorado’s tourism industry is sweating out the summer as visits to some parks and monuments during June dropped by half and campgrounds were hit by cancellations.

    “It is absolutely because of the fire,” said Jean Rodeck, superintendent of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, which is near the Hayman Fire. Rodeck reported a 50.63 percent decline in attendance at her park, which was closed the first week of June because of a wildfire.

    “The smoke is so bad that even the staff stayed inside,” Rodeck said. “We didn’t want anybody on the trails in case the fire jumped the highways.” …

  11. R Dunn said

    Pyrogate?

    Pantsonfiregate?

  12. actually thoughtful said

    Hmmm. I sense a lack of rigour in the attack on the IPCC.

    The blog author wrote:

    Butler, A., 2002: Tourism burned: visits to parks down drastically, even away from flames. Rocky Mountain News. July 15, 2002.

    Please note the first link here:

    http://tinyurl.com/yhdaxrl,

    That produced this hit (as I said first hit)
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-90026911.html

    And that link has this:

    Byline: Andreya Butler

    ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS

    Colorado’s tourism industry is sweating out the summer as visits to some parks and monuments during June dropped by half and campgrounds were hit by cancellations.

    “It is absolutely because of the fire,” said Jean Rodeck, superintendent of the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, which is near the Hayman Fire. Rodeck reported a 50.63 percent decline in attendance at her park, which was closed the first week of June because of a wildfire.

    “The smoke is so bad that even the staff stayed…

    Read the rest of this article with a FREE trial to HighBeam Research

    Related newspaper, magazine, and trade journal articles from HighBeam Research

    Now I personally don’t feel the need to pay to read the rest of the article.

    But my irony meter has moved way off of zero to think that the IPCC is being hit for shoddy research with a blogpost that has shoddy research (I randomly picked the one to look for). If this article bears out the claim you have the much weaker story that they relied on journalism to report what happened.

    Even though I don’t work for the IPCC I will make a prediction. The main charge spreads like wildfire (pun fully intended).

    The fact that the original claim that there is something wrong with the IPCC report is most likely false (like I said I didn’t pay to read the rest of the story) will not spread.

    The fact that it is very easy to check it will not spread.

    All that will spread is that there are what, now 3 problems out of how many 1000s of pages of IPCC report will spread.

    I personally don’t understand how there are ANY problems – they had to know every word would be dissected – but on the other hand I see a lot of broad brush stroking here.

    People attack the hockey stick and a few errors in the non-peer reviewed section of the document, but no one has connected the dots (that I have seen). How does an error about when the glaciers will melt in India affect the science that they will melt? How does the hockey stick graph affect what is happening now? These are the questions I have not yet seen answered.

  13. Dr. Robert said

    GardenGate?

  14. W. W. Wygart said

    If British Columbia is anything like California during fire season, hotels, motels and restaurants in the immediate fire affected areas that didn’t actually burn down probably made out like bandits catering to the fire crews on fat government contract basis, news media personnel, and fire watchers. A good wild fire can book a local motel solid for weeks on end, not to mention how much gets spent locally on foodstuffs, have any of you actually SEEN how much these wild land fire fighter guys [and gals] eat? They can really pack it away, as much as a lumber jack, maybe more.

    It would be interesting to find out what the total inputs to the local economies due to spendings directly attributable to controlling the fires and disaster recovery aid actually were, net positive or net negative?

    As for damage to industry and infrastructure, the lumber industry is itself monolithic enough that the big players can reap back in higher lumber prices elsewhere some of what it loses in the fire affected regions. The smaller independent and mom & pop operations can of course be completely wiped out which is unfortunate [the big guys love that though].

    I’m not an economist, but I wonder to what degree disasters, both natural and man made, might be necessary or positive drivers in innovation or creation of new wealth in the economic cycles of economies. Any research done on this anyone?

    From a certain point of view, disasters might also be looked upon as a potentially positive form of wealth redistribution [due to government spending on mitigating the effects of the disaster], if you happen to be a socialist isn’t that a GOOD thing? Then too, disasters can be a tremendous driver of charity which does wonderfully virtuous things for all involved – socialist hate it though – takes away some of their raison d’être, they would much rather be seen distributing OTHER people’s money.

  15. Jeff Id said

    First, I’ve got a partially installed working computer again. I’m baack!! and can participate in discussions rather than just read from an iphone.

    #13 — perfect — hahaha.

    #12

    The article references fires as they are occuring not millions of dollars of losses. How is that fire connected to man made global warming or even to global warming in general? It’s nuts.

    To even consider that there are only 3 errors in the IPCC is nuts too. I’ve personally confirmed dozens. That’s not even the beginning.

    As far as the meaning of the hockey sticks,there are several and the meaning is deeper than even the curves suggest. First, the hockey sticks described here are different from those create by PCA. Decentered PCA is a variance selection process, the CPS and MV methods here are proxy selection processes. Both are hideously, horribly, obviously, hit you in the head obvious, bad science. It’s not a close call to say, I like this data but not that data. I’ll just delete the stuff I don’t like and keep the rest. Yet the latest hockey sticks do just that.

    The implications to the science are several fold, what if we were 2 C warmer in 1100 AD than today? That would have significant implications toward the tipping point arguments. The one which drives me nuts, and I mean really nuts, is the fact that this kind of paper passes unmolested through peer review — repeatedly. This is NOT a minor event and it does say a great deal about the heavily corrupted nature of the science.

  16. ClimateQuoter said

    To those who found the first few sentences of the rocky mountain news articles; so did I. But just like you, I wasn’t going to pay for it. Since I couldn’t determine whether or not the article verified the claim, I just left it alone and worked on the claim that I could find, and what I did find is a claim that is at odds with the citation. Also, I noticed you didn’t mention the AP article? Any luck finding that?

  17. actually thoughtful said

    As far as the meaning of the hockey sticks,there are several and the meaning is deeper than even the curves suggest. First, the hockey sticks described here are different from those create by PCA. Decentered PCA is a variance selection process, the CPS and MV methods here are proxy selection processes.

    I am sorry to report I don’t know the jargon – what is PCA, CPS and MV (multi-variable?).

    But I get that people don’t like the cherry picking of data – I’ve seen people complain about that in the modern era – it appears to be cherry picking to say it is cooling by saying “compared to 1998 the earth has cooled.” – so I get the main point, even if I don’t understand the statistics or science well enough to comment intelligently.

    I am curious if anyone can give a charitable version of Mann’s argument – I presume he considered the problem with his data before publishing.

    <blockquote?The implications to the science are several fold, what if we were 2 C warmer in 1100 AD than today? That would have significant implications toward the tipping point arguments. The one which drives me nuts, and I mean really nuts, is the fact that this kind of paper passes unmolested through peer review — repeatedly. This is NOT a minor event and it does say a great deal about the heavily corrupted nature of the science.

    Ah. So you if the Medieval Warming Period was global we would know that we had at least +2C breathing room before all hell breaks loose? But if we don’t trust temp reconstructions or tree rings or ice cores, how can we know what the past truly was?

    And what of the studies about methane being released (reinforcing the temperature rise) and the measured reduction in polar ice and glaciers – are we to just assume that natural processes will fix this?

    Unless you are saying there is perfectly good data about 1100AD and the hockey stick folks ignored it (vs the data simply can’t be obtained for a period that was 900 years ago) then you seem to be placing a lot of blind faith in natural processes – at the same time researchers are documenting those natural processes behaving AS IF climate change were happening according to the IPCC script (unless you are ice – then you are melting faster than the script calls for).

    I guess I am looking for one side or the other to have some academic rigour in their claims. I see the AGW crowd as having an internally consistent argument (with a few quibbles – but nothing has really touched the basic science – lots of interesting (and meaningful) arguments about past warming/cooling and whether glaciers will last 50 years or 300 years and how long before the oceans flood but not – “look – CO2 is not causing warming or even it is not human-caused CO2. And here is the science that supports the claim.”

    I hope I don’t sound strident. I don’t have a personality that comes across as meek. I am seeking the truth and I appreciate folks spending their time sharing what they know.

  18. Jeff Id said

    #17, Strident is not an issue. People of questioning mind don’t naturally agree, this includes scientists — see the URL🙂 Half the people who have written guest posts here are completely comfortable telling me I’m full of crap.

    You say you are not familiar with the nomenclature. That’s understandable but if you want answers, only you can find them. There are people everywhere on the subject who will tell you what is true, who to listen to, what to think. I won’t. What I can do is send you to some places where you can establish the foundations of knowledge which you can use to build and ask the right questions. This is not an easy adventure as I started a couple of years ago asking questions at Real Climate and am still going.

    It would be fun to blog more but my 3yo is ready for bed and wants to play a racing game with dad.

    Take a moment to read the hockey stick posts linked in the header bar. If you understand them you may find some answers.

  19. Oslo said

    HappyCampersGate.

  20. Peter of Sydney said

    It’s very sad to see the debate all boils down to whether the climate will get warmer or not. If the climate warms considerably then the AGW alarmists win. If the climate cools dramatically, the other side wins. I find this both childish and stupid. Whatever the outcome, it does not answer the question of how much man is influencing climate, and therefore what if anything we should do about it. I find the debate amongst virtually all scientists corrupted. It goes to show the essence of scientific research, that is to search for the truth, is all but forgotten, and that we’ve entered a new dark age where lies are turned into truths. George Orwell would be very proud of us all in fulfilling his warnings. I’m still waiting for fraud charges to be handed out to the leading clowns of the AGW scam since they have proved nothing and yet they have convinced much of the world that we are facing a global warming catastrophe. It may be true but there is absolutely no evidence to support this hypothesis, no more than there’s evidence that we are being invaded by aliens in UFOs, as some claim. The difference being is the UFO believers are not forcing a new super tax on us that might very well destroy our economic future. The AGW con artists are trying to do so, all based on an unproven ideology, hence they must be brought to account, ideally behind bars.

  21. […] – should they stay or should they go, IPCC climategates spreading faster than a wildfire, New voices urge UN IPCC chief to step […]

  22. Mark T said

    Whatever the outcome, it does not answer the question of how much man is influencing climate, and therefore what if anything we should do about it.

    Actually, if you read around a bit you’ll notice that many of us agree that this is the question that should be answered, not whether it is or is not warming. It is just an unfortunate result of the polticization of climate science that “cooling” is the only way to “prove” the problems with AGW alarmism.

    From my perspective, I’d actually much rather the world to be warming. Nobody ever bothers to consider the benefits of a warmer world, one that ultimately would require less energy use to live in.

    Mark

  23. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 10, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    I am sorry to report I don’t know the jargon – what is PCA, CPS and MV (multi-variable?).

    PCA = principal component analysis, CPS = composite plus scale, MV = multi-variate.

    Basically, PCA and CPS are variations on linear source extraction methods (without going into details). Multi-variate just means what it says, some method/system/whatever with multiple variables (as you surmised). PCA and CPS are both MV analysis tools. So are a host of other methods.

    I am curious if anyone can give a charitable version of Mann’s argument – I presume he considered the problem with his data before publishing.

    I can’t provide a charitable version, and I’m certain he considered the problem with his data before publishing. Go over to climateaudit.org and search for the words CENSORED and R2. Review all the climategate email discussions.

    So you if the Medieval Warming Period was global we would know that we had at least +2C breathing room before all hell breaks loose?

    Not at all, which makes this a bit of a strawman. If the MWP was global, that just means you can’t claim “unprecedented in the last 1000 years” and have anybody believe you. FYI, we know for a fact that it has been much more that 2 C warmer in the past, anyway, during times in which there were far more species alive than modern humans have ever witnessed.

    But if we don’t trust temp reconstructions or tree rings or ice cores, how can we know what the past truly was?

    That’s the whole point. Knowledge of the past is what alarmists are clinging to in order to justify claims of unprecendented warming now, and thus circumstantially connect CO2 and current warming. In other words, “it has never warmed this much or this fast before, and CO2 has never risen so fast, therefore…” Even if these reconstructions are correct most statistically minded people understand that correlation does not equal causation. Unfortunately, the people such reconstructions ultimately appeal to are not statistically minded in even the remotest sense. That’s why you’ll hear people talk about the hockey stick’s PR value, rather than its scientific value.

    Unless you are saying there is perfectly good data about 1100AD and the hockey stick folks ignored it (vs the data simply can’t be obtained for a period that was 900 years ago) then you seem to be placing a lot of blind faith in natural processes – at the same time researchers are documenting those natural processes behaving AS IF climate change were happening according to the IPCC script (unless you are ice – then you are melting faster than the script calls for).

    This statement, as well as some of what I did not directly quote from you, largely amounts to a strawman argument. Mostly criticisms of reconstructions say exactly what I just noted above: it may be warmer now, but you can’t use the reconstruction as evidence of that if the data and methods are truly as flawed as they appear to be.

    C’mon man, this point has been made repeatedly and you still don’t seem to understand it for what it is.

    I guess I am looking for one side or the other to have some academic rigour in their claims.

    The onus is on the original claimant to provide sufficient evidence in a clear enough manner for learned people to understand. You can’t expect “the other side” to prove a negative, it is simply their job to point out what is wrong with the original hypothesis with sufficient evidence and in a clear enough manner for learned people to understand (which has been done, at least in the case of the hockey stick, which was your original concern).

    I see the AGW crowd as having an internally consistent argument (with a few quibbles – but nothing has really touched the basic science – lots of interesting (and meaningful) arguments about past warming/cooling and whether glaciers will last 50 years or 300 years and how long before the oceans flood but not – “look – CO2 is not causing warming or even it is not human-caused CO2. And here is the science that supports the claim.”

    Now you’ve just moved the goal posts to include all of the science rather than your original question of the importance of the hockey stick. It is impossible to address all of climate science in a few paragraphs on a blog. Tsk, tsk. Stay on task, please. Reconstruction arguments are not “internally consistent,” btw, not even close.

    Mark

  24. Joel said

    Hello Jeff,
    One flimsy half-truth after another-gate. Liar, liar, pants on fire-gate.

    But another thing… where were the skeptics (myself included) during the two years when this crap was floating around in the bowl waiting to get flushed? Why didn’t we immediately begin investigating their “cites” as soon as they published them? It seems to me that these flaws are so easily identified that any of us with the inclination could have pointed out these issues and had it all over the blogosphere in a matter of weeks. I am sure there were a few voices, but it seems like most of the attention was away from the IPCC and looking more at the individually published papers and claims. How has it taken this long?

  25. Mark T said

    They were all hanging out in the “nobody will listen to you” room with a locked door. The Climategate email release unlocked the door, and now they’re all hanging out in the “everybody is listening to you” room.

    Mark

  26. actually thoughtful said

    Mark T wrote:

    From my perspective, I’d actually much rather the world to be warming. Nobody ever bothers to consider the benefits of a warmer world, one that ultimately would require less energy use to live in.

    Not sure how true this is. Cooling usually requires AC (or well built buildings). And AC requires electricity, which comes from coal or gas, which, by the time it reaches your house has lost 85% of the energy (inefficiency of combustion, line losses) – by the way about the same efficiency as on-site solar (15% efficiency). Whereas heating is usually burned on site and you get efficiencies of 80% plus (you really should be getting 95%+ at this point).

    So if it is a choice between heating the same structure 10 degrees or cooling it 10 degrees – it seems that heating it is actually less energy use and therefore less pollution.

    And I think your comment ignores a lot of research on ocean levels rising – which is going to be expensive (New Orleans gives us an example of what that might look like).

  27. actually thoughtful said

    Now you’ve just moved the goal posts to include all of the science rather than your original question of the importance of the hockey stick. It is impossible to address all of climate science in a few paragraphs on a blog. Tsk, tsk. Stay on task, please. Reconstruction arguments are not “internally consistent,” btw, not even close.

    Sorry if I did that – I realize people get confused (including myself) when a bunch of issues get thrown into the mix. So let me ask just one question here – why do we care about the hockey stick? If the data is bad then lets just stick to instrumented data – that is where I think the story is internally consistent.

    BTW – I don’t think I’ve constructed any strawman arguments. I’ve asked questions as there seem to be folks who know more than I do. It doesn’t mean I agree with what folks know. I agree with true facts and valid logic. In a previous discussion someone told me that that CO2 is 97% man-made (and they “knew” this to be true…).

    Not at all, which makes this a bit of a strawman. If the MWP was global, that just means you can’t claim “unprecedented in the last 1000 years” and have anybody believe you. FYI, we know for a fact that it has been much more that 2 C warmer in the past, anyway, during times in which there were far more species alive than modern humans have ever witnessed.

    A period that included humans? We certainly know that it was warmer when dinosaurs roamed – but I question the relevance.

    So my specific question here is what is the trusted data source that shows +2C in the “hockey stick period”?

  28. Tilde Guillemet said

    I see the AGW crowd as having an internally consistent argument (with a few quibbles – but nothing has really touched the basic science – lots of interesting (and meaningful) arguments about past warming/cooling and whether glaciers will last 50 years or 300 years and how long before the oceans flood but not – “look – CO2 is not causing warming or even it is not human-caused CO2. And here is the science that supports the claim.”

    I think you miss the point a bit with the AGW crowd. They tend to rely only on science that supports their point of view. There is actually a fair bit of hard science that does say that CO2 is not implicated, or is only marginally implicated in present climate change. See Pielke below.

    The AGW crowd’s other main problem is relying on global climate models to ‘fill in the holes’ where there is no data and worse, to make long term predictions. There is a bunch of very serious scientists who know that this is just not possible and have published articles and papers saying so. It’s not a matter of ‘you can’t predict the weather for next week, so how can you say what will happen in 100 years time?’. It is ‘you haven’t been able to predict the global climate over any climate scale period, so how do you think you can be accurate over the long term?’

    Pielke senior has publicised quite a few of these peer-reviwed papers on his blog http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/

  29. JAE said

    #15, Jeff:

    “The article references fires as they are occuring not millions of dollars of losses. How is that fire connected to man made global warming or even to global warming in general? It’s nuts.”

    The AGW bullshit also served to get the environmental-extremists off the hook for their STUPID ideas about forestry. The fires (and the beetle attacks) are a result of the STUPID idea that you can preserve (i.e., freeze-in-time) a dynamic ecosystem. The fires are a direct result of the tree-hugging morons that don’t believe in actively MANAGING the forests by using all methods: fire, harvesting, etc. Make no mistake, the environmental-creeps are entirely responsible for the devastation that is seeen in the West.

    Let’s look at Rocky Mountain National Park, which I know something about. Virtually every tree in that park is now infested with dwarf mistletoe, which stunts trees. As new trees grow they become infected. Mother Nature used to control this problem with fire. But we have suppressed fire. If no “events,” like fire or logging occur, then within 100 years or so, virtually ALL the trees in the park will be stunted. There are solutions for these problems, but they all involve killing trees. And it is plainly STUPID to just burn them, when the wood can be used for many uses,INCLUDING, IRONICALLY, generation of electricity and less reliance on fossil fuels. There is absolutely no logic in the liberal/socialistic mind (too much pot?).

  30. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 11, 2010 at 12:21 am

    Cooling usually requires AC (or well built buildings).

    AC is not required to live.

    So if it is a choice between heating the same structure 10 degrees or cooling it 10 degrees – it seems that heating it is actually less energy use and therefore less pollution.

    Heating is required to live, and you’ve constructed your argument incorrectly, btw. It’s not just warming 10 degrees or cooling 10 degrees. It’s dropping the average minimum down from 40 to 30, below freezing, or raising the average high from 70 to 80.

    And I think your comment ignores a lot of research on ocean levels rising – which is going to be expensive (New Orleans gives us an example of what that might look like).

    What? Besides the fact that your NO statement is nonsense*, I made no claims about specific cost/benefit analyses, I simply noted that the benefits are largely ignored. How can I be ignoring a specific example if I did not make claims about any specific examples? Hint: another strawman.

    *NO was built under sea level to begin with and its flooding has absolutely nothing to do with rising sea levels, unless you’re arguing 2-3 mm per year – less than five inches since man supposedly started causing sea level rise – is why they flooded? Oh, that’s two strawmen in one single sentence, btw. Perhaps you do not realize it, but you do construct strawmen, and I’ve now pointed out at least four.

    why do we care about the hockey stick?

    How many times to I have to answer this same question? This is getting moronic.

    Mark

  31. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 11, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Sorry if I did that – I realize people get confused (including myself) when a bunch of issues get thrown into the mix.

    FYI, moving the goal posts, which you just apologized for doing, is an example of a strawman. Just thought you might like to know.

    If the data is bad then lets just stick to instrumented data – that is where I think the story is internally consistent.

    Um, first, the instrumented data only goes back about 150 years, and is only reliable after the satellite era. It is not “internally consistent,” it is merely data.

    A period that included humans? We certainly know that it was warmer when dinosaurs roamed – but I question the relevance.

    I said that in response to your comment to Jeff about having “+2C breathing room before all hell breaks loose,” which was the strawman (because Jeff did not say this nor did he imply this). You know, direct refutation of your strawman with proof that “all hell” won’t break loose even with much more than +2C.

    So my specific question here is what is the trusted data source that shows +2C in the “hockey stick period”?

    Huh? There is no data source to compare for past temperatures, which is the whole point of the hockey stick (for what, the fifth time now?). This question doesn’t even make sense.

    For someone pleading with us to learn the “truth,” you sure don’t seem like you’re listening. In fact, you’re not really asking, you’re bordering on trolling with pointless arguments repeated ad infinitum.

    Mark

  32. Mark T said

    Aw crud. Jeff, I blew a blockquote in there. I think it should have been ended after “consistent” in the big box, then I said “Um”, then he said “A period,” etc.

    Mark

  33. actually thoughtful said

    Tilde Guillemet

    The AGW crowd’s other main problem is relying on global climate models to ‘fill in the holes’ where there is no data and worse, to make long term predictions. There is a bunch of very serious scientists who know that this is just not possible and have published articles and papers saying so. It’s not a matter of ‘you can’t predict the weather for next week, so how can you say what will happen in 100 years time?’. It is ‘you haven’t been able to predict the global climate over any climate scale period, so how do you think you can be accurate over the long term?’

    Thanks for the Pielke link. On a cursory review I don’t see him dramatically disagreeing with the IPCC story – to say CO2 is the only forcing is obviously ridiculous – methane, black carbon, reduced ice coverage (and going the other way – aerosols, others?) are just a few I am aware of). He does move the goal posts by saying no warming in the upper oceans = warming has stopped as I don’t think the claim is that the oceans are warming – although you would expect the oceans to move with land and atmospheric measurements. I do wonder if that is dated – I recall headlines that the ocean was “warmest ever” last summer.

    As to the statement: No prediction has worked on a climate scale – given that models started in the late 80s – not sure there has been enough time for that? I do recall this post pointing out that climate scale predictions were actually working (synopsis: Hansen’s first serious model gave 3 options, of the 3 the actual measured temps have faller roughly between the middle and bottom option (but all showing warming)
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/

    So I don’t think it can honestly be said that all the models are wrong or don’t correlate with real world measures. I also recall quite a bit of discussion that Greenland and the arctic were showing more warming than IPCC predictions were indicating (hmmm – IPCC wrong again…). So model failure can be in the direction of being too conservative as well.

  34. actually thoughtful said

    Mark wrote:

    How many times to I have to answer this same question? This is getting moronic.

    I personally don’t think that insulting people is the best way to persuade them. I have an open mind (open>< gullible). I am very logical and don't do well with BS arguments. You haven't, to my mind, given me a reason to care about the hockey stick vs caring about what is happening now, which is higher CO2 and higher temps. I think the hockey stick has been discussed to death and I am ready to move on – call all data before instrumentation hogwash and look at what we can figure out.

    You also seem to see straw men where I see simple questions. I never claimed New Orleans was caused by global warming. I claimed it was expensive to deal with flooding, which is one of the commonly discussed ramifications of global warming.

    The AGW folks tell us we are about 1.5-2C into a 3C warming based on doubling CO2. They wonder outloud whether a tipping point will be reached or not.

    I tried to make my questions specific at your request and your response is to call my questions moronic.

    If you can help me understand this stuff I am in your debt. If you have only name calling in your arsenal it wouldn't hurt my feelings if you didn't respond to my posts as they seem to aggrevate you. [BTW – wasn't the majority of the "climategate" email story about people calling each other morons and the like?]

  35. actually thoughtful said

    MArk T

    (actually thoughtful)Sorry if I did that – I realize people get confused (including myself) when a bunch of issues get thrown into the mix.

    (Mark T)FYI, moving the goal posts, which you just apologized for doing, is an example of a strawman. Just thought you might like to know.

    This is getting ridiculous. You are purposefully misrepresenting my words to feed into your story. I didn’t “move the goalposts” – I asked for a solid statement and facts/data/logic science to back it up.

    YOU decided that was moving the goal posts. I then graciously (in my mind at least) APOLOGIZED and stated a very specific question – knowing that it is sometimes easier to focus in on some details than try to look at the whole puzzle.

    The same with my +2C >< all hell breaking loose – I was restating Jeff's point to be sure I understood it. I think I got his point. You seem to have taken that as me twisting his words or creating a strawman. Didn't happen that way where I sit.

    You pick and choose what you will answer and call anything you don't want to deal with a strawman. That may win you points in a debate, but I personally would rather have specific questions answered, rather than ridiculed. I guess I am looking for a discussion (where questions are answered, and new questions asked) rather than a debate. If that isn't your style you don't have to respond. Hopefully other folks will be able to explain the skeptic's position. It is sometimes the answers to the most basic of questions that leads to the "aha" moment.

    thanks,
    Tom

  36. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 11, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I personally don’t think that insulting people is the best way to persuade them.

    I think you need to reread what I said. I did not insult you. Really, think about it.

    Mark

  37. Mark T said

    actually thoughtful said
    February 11, 2010 at 3:19 am

    This is getting ridiculous.

    AHA! How is this any different than me saying this is getting moronic? Hypocrisy is not a good way to indicate an interest in learning.

    You are purposefully misrepresenting my words to feed into your story. I didn’t “move the goalposts” – I asked for a solid statement and facts/data/logic science to back it up.

    Bullshit. You started your inquiry asking direct questions about the hockey stick then “moved the goalposts” to all of AGW. Many in here, including me, have provided solid statements regarding the hockey stick, but that is impossible to do with all of AGW.

    I’ve explained this, you apparently just don’t understand.

    YOU decided that was moving the goal posts.

    Because you did. I’ve explained how twice now.

    I then graciously (in my mind at least) APOLOGIZED and stated a very specific question – knowing that it is sometimes easier to focus in on some details than try to look at the whole puzzle.

    Good for you. I did not continue to complain, I merely explained why moving the goal posts is a strawman argument.

    What specific question did you ask that was not answered?

    The same with my +2C >< all hell breaking loose – I was restating Jeff's point to be sure I understood it. I think I got his point.

    No, you did not get his point. I’ve explained why you missed his point, did you even read that? One last time: Jeff did not say we have headroom before all hell breaks loose if the reconstructions are wrong, his point is much more simple than that – if the reconstructions are wrong, one cannot claim that today’s temperatures are unprecedented based on the reconstructions alone. That is the point, not what you said. So, you admittedly restated his statement, and got it wrong, guess what that is? Hint: that is a strawman, even if you did not intend it to be.

    You seem to have taken that as me twisting his words or creating a strawman. Didn’t happen that way where I sit.

    Clearly you do so because you do not understand how to discuss things without doing so. I would recommend fallacyfiles.org (Wikipedia articles are woefully inadequate and generally refer you back to fallacyfiles anyway).

    You pick and choose what you will answer and call anything you don’t want to deal with a strawman.

    Nonsense. Let me explain something: it is impossible (and silly) to respond to a strawman because the response would regard a point that was not made. You did not get Jeff’s point right, not even close. I did not avoid it, nor did I simply say “strawman, move along.” No, I explained what you got wrong about it and clarified what the real point is. You asked a question about hockey sticks, which I have answered directly repeatedly (as have others). You have somehow not read the response, and then you proceed with some comments about how the argument for AGW is more consistent, which has nothing to do with the legitimacy (or need for) the hockey stick. That’s moving the goal posts, as I have now explained twice and you (graciously, apparently) apologized for. I avoided nothing – I explained what was wrong with your argument and addressed it directly, again. You accused me of ignoring sea level rise (as evidence of a detriment) when in fact I made no claim that there were not detriments. Again, I addressed that directly, even pointing out that your “example” was not evidence of your point, then I explained why that was a strawman.

    I did not “pick and choose” what I wished to answer (I did leave out a couple quotes that were really irrelevant). I have answered even your strawmen, explaining what was wrong with your arguments in detail.

    but I personally would rather have specific questions answered

    Again, I ask, what specific questions do you want answered that have not been answered?

    rather than ridiculed.

    Which I have not done.

    I guess I am looking for a discussion (where questions are answered, and new questions asked) rather than a debate.

    No, you don’t, actually, or you don’t seem to. You really have asked only one question: what is the purpose of the hockey stick? Of course, I have answered that question repeatedly, but you refuse to either read it, or understand it. If there are other specific questions you want answered, why not list them? Seriously, list the questions you want answered.

    If that isn’t your style you don’t have to respond.

    I answered your questions as well as legitimately possible.

    Hopefully other folks will be able to explain the skeptic’s position. It is sometimes the answers to the most basic of questions that leads to the “aha” moment.

    It has been explained, you are simply refusing to listen.

    Mark

  38. Mark T said

    Argh. Blockquote hell again. Miss one slash or fail to close out a blockquote and it’s all over.

    Mark

  39. Ron H. said

    And the positive outcome of this discussion? Well, Mark T. has gotten some excellent practice using blockquote.🙂

  40. Mark T said

    Indeed.

    Mark

  41. OYD said

    Mark, Clearly Actually Thoughtful may not be what the name is suggesting after all. I think he or she should just own up and tell us that he or she believes the AGW theory hook line and sinker and not try taking everybody off course

  42. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Mark T (Feb 11 12:38),

    CA Assistant will solve (let’s see if strikeout works here) help with your problem because it has quick tag buttons for things like links and quotes. It’s still possible to screw up, but it’s less likely.

  43. Mark T said

    I knew about CA Assistant, but I did not know I could apply it here. Thanks, DeWitt.

    ^OYD: unfortunately, while this may be true, his comments indicate to me he is not intentionally doing so, at least not completely. That doesn’t make it any less tiring to repeatedly explain even the simplest point (I responded to what the hockey stick means, or at least its refutation, three times in post #23, for example).

    Mark

  44. Jeff Id said

    Actually thoughtful,

    Sorry that I haven’t had time or a computer recently for blogging. Your question on the hockey stick (without reading all the posts) seems reasonable.

    You haven’t, to my mind, given me a reason to care about the hockey stick vs caring about what is happening now, which is higher CO2 and higher temps. I think the hockey stick has been discussed to death and I am ready to move on – call all data before instrumentation hogwash and look at what we can figure out.

    There is data though before the current instrumentation record but when handled properly it gives a different result. My opinion of it though is that the majority of the data is complete garbage to begin with but you can only come to that conclusion after looking at each type of temperature proxy individually and understand their background.

    Now you have a logical mind but you make this statement – is higher CO2 and higher temps

    To which I reply, higher than what? Higher than 100 years ago? Higher than 25 years ago?

    When you look at the state of thermometer data, there is even reason to doubt the voracity of these claims but if we assume they are correct what does that say?

    My answer is not very much. Now if you say it’s higher than it was 1100 years ago, you suddenly can claim unprecidented, tipping points and imminent irreversible doom. If it was actually warmer 1100 years ago, then you can go back to considering how dangerous a bit of warming really is.

    All that means is that until they admit the improper math and stats prove nothing and that the proxy’s are not temp, we will continue to be foreced to beat up hockey sticks.

  45. Mark T said

    Ah, Firefox required. Yay. I used to have it installed, but there are enough websites I frequent that had problems I abandoned it on this rig (I do prefer Firefox to IE8, btw, but tabs have helped IE immensely). Of course, I now have to hit the “compatibility mode” button in IE8 to properly render many of the same websites so maybe the “edge” no longer matters.🙂

    Mark

  46. Mark T said

    Jeff Id said
    February 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    To which I reply, higher than what? Higher than 100 years ago? Higher than 25 years ago?

    Which actually applies to both CO2 and temperatures. Both have been much higher in the distant past and not necessarily at the same time. What was so different then that the correlation did not exist?

    You are correct, too, in noting the questions regarding the data we have. What does it mean if the actual temperature series are off, even if only by a little bit? Everything is based on these, even the hockey sticks. Everything gets called into question, even if only the CIs are too narrow.

    Mark

  47. actually thoughtful said

    Jeff said “Sorry that I haven’t had time or a computer recently for blogging. Your question on the hockey stick (without reading all the posts) seems reasonable.”

    Thanks. I must confess to trusting in the scientific method until proven otherwise.

    I appreciate you have taken the time to go through the data and the code. Good science can handle questions being thrown at it. I reviewed your hockey stick posts late last night – in no mental condition to follow all your points. My questions below are not the only thing I got from reading through it – but for whatever reason this popped up first/loudest in my brain.

    One approach that seemed obvious is -what happens if you put in all the data points (you point out that Mannn tosses 60% of them)?

    I am sure you thought of this as well, so a follow on question is why not include all data points (given that some of the data is a little crazy – but it seems like either all the questionable data should be thrown in or all the questionable data should be thrown out (ie all of it). Otherwise aren’t you doing what Mann did (with a different set of criteria)? – and now we are arguing about what – 1800 separate data points!

    <blockquote? Jeff said: "Now you have a logical mind but you make this statement – is higher CO2 and higher temps

    To which I reply, higher than what? Higher than 100 years ago? Higher than 25 years ago?

    When you look at the state of thermometer data, there is even reason to doubt the voracity of these claims but if we assume they are correct what does that say?"

    Good point. It hasn’t escaped my notice that we are talking tenths of degrees. I work in a field that uses 10k sensors and I OFTEN have to calibrate a temperature sensor (and I am never sure if I am moving the “bad” one to the correct temperature or making everything equa-bad – just getting internal consistency).

    This issue, to my mind, makes non-temperature readings INCREDIBLY important – are glaciers receding? Is the ocean getting more acidic? Are fish and corral reefs dying? Are sea levels rising (not that any of these are amazingly easy to read either). Non-temperature information should either corroborate or deny the temperature and CO2 claims.

    I think if we find those things happening in the real world, we must give the AGW camp their due (even if some (or even all, for the sake of argument)) of their methods are questionable.

    I do appreciate the courteous response. As some have noted I am not a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic. But I am here, rather than hanging out at realclimate exclusively to see if some of the counter arguments make sense to me. While I have a strong bias towards logic – I find it is easier to get to the right answer if I am not attacked for every question. And a logic engine does you no good if you feed it bad information.

    This subject raises a lot of questions – in part because it doesn’t seem like it should be this hard to get a handle on what is going on.

  48. TW in USA said

    The real way to look at this is, what happened in 2004 and 2005. Short term tourism losses due to active fires make sense. If the losses rebounded the following years, then there is no cause for panic, and no reason to make a GW issue of it. The fires are caused by arson and lightning strikes. 1 or 2 degree difference isn’t going to stop either.

    Yellowstone had a huge fire back in the late 90’s. Has it made any lasting impact in the parks tourism? No.

    Ever notice how the IPCC data is 3 or more years old. Why would they quote 2003 data in a 2007 report. haven’t they heard of the internet?

  49. […] How humans deal with and survive the cold, Whitewashgate, Inconvenient truths – the NZ perspective, Inconvenient truths in Australia, Inconvenient truths in Canada, […]

  50. Anna said

    @ Joel no 24: “How has it taken this long?”

    I think this is the best evidence available supporting the claim that there IS NO well-funded “Big Oil” skeptic community!

    The first thing such well-funded skeptics would have done when a new IPCC report showed up would be to scrutinize it and try to find as many faults as possible, one would think.

    This hasn’t happened. Instead it took two years, despite the fact that there seems to be quite a lot of incorrect statements and shoddy citations in the report..

  51. MrPete said

    Re: JAE (Feb 11 01:45),
    I live at the base of the Colorado Front Range. Downwind from the where the Hayman fire began. The forest service regularly updates our neighborhood on tree management issues (plus my wife teaches on these issues.)

    1) JAE is exactly right. Either you allow the fires to periodically burn through, or you must actively manage the forest (we’re required to keep a defensible space around our home, clear all undergrowth up to 8 feet, etc… or they won’t even attempt to save our house in case of a fire!)

    2) The Hayman fire came in a time of drought… in between very wet years. We get extended periods of wet and dry. Put together a set of drought years along with an overabundance of fuelwood in the understory, and you’ve got a hair-trigger for a huge wildfire.

    3) In this case, as another commenter has noted, ironically it was a park ranger (upset about a “dear John” letter IIRC) who started the fire.

    It is the height of irony that inane environmental policies for fire suppression led to such extreme wildfire conditions…and now we have inane environmental reporting that blames it all on AGW.

    Perhaps they should have also blamed the Yellowstone fires on AGW? 1988 might almost fit the meme. 1979 a bit harder😉

  52. Mark T said

    While I have a strong bias towards logic – I find it is easier to get to the right answer if I am not attacked for every question.

    Show us where you have been attacked?

    Mark

  53. […] there is Wildfiregate, via the Air Vent In the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report, section 14.2.7 Tourism and recreation of WGII, they make […]

  54. […] there is Wildfiregate, via the Air Vent In the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment report, section 14.2.7 Tourism and recreation of WGII, they make […]

  55. […] Air Vent discovers another supposedly impeccable, peer-reviewed source for the IPCC’s alarmist claims in its 2007 report. The claim in question: Climate variability affects many segments of this growing […]

  56. John M said

    Well, for what it’s worth, I accidently clicked on “Nuphedrine’s” name in the preview and Malawarebytes identified his site as malicious. Obviously, a spammer.

    REPLY: Sorry, I didn’t get it quick enough.

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