the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Real Climate: Spin and Facts

Posted by Jeff Id on February 16, 2010

“As far as we’re aware, so far only one–or at most two–legitimate errors have been found in the AR4:”

Which is more error than Real Climate has admitted since inception.  Think about where you have to be at mentally to make this claim.  They then go on to try and explain away several other obvious IPCC exaggerations.  Hell, these are the two errors the global warming biased MSM was bright enough forced to figure out and publish and RC is only saying one or maybe two.  hahaha.

Link here – IPCC errors: facts and spin

They even point out 16 million in Exxon funding allegedly to create confusion, with the money spread between 43 different groups, when Phil Climategate “hide the decline” Jones himself received 22 million over the same period.   What a joke!


64 Responses to “Real Climate: Spin and Facts”

  1. Carrick said

    Jeff ID:

    They even point out 16 million in Exxon funding allegedly to create confusion, with the money spread between 43 different groups, when Phil Climategate “hide the decline” Jones himself received 22 million over the same period. What a joke!

    The Union of Concerned Scientists also left out ExxonMobil’s $100 million grant to Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford, among other groups.

    Nothing like a bit of exaggeration to make a point, eh?

  2. Jeff Id said

    Yup, Way, way over the top.

  3. michel said

    Someone needs to explain to the folks at Real Climate that the issue is not who funds who, or whether their own funding is ‘greener’ or more righteous than anyone else’s. Which it does not seem to be, it is from as compromised and interested source as any skeptics’ funding, not that it matters one way or the other to the logic and the science of warming.

    The issue is what a doubling of CO2 will do to global average temperatures, long term, and what effects this change in temperatures, if any, will have on human life. This is a standalone question of science. Proving that the whole skeptical movement was entirely and universally funded by Exxon or Saudi Arabia would not have any logical bearing on this question. Proving that RC was funded by China would have no logical bearing on it.

    The usual rants about funding, denialism, tobacco, evolution, neoconservatism, have very much the same feel as the repeated denunciations of the ‘running dogs of capitalism’ and eulogies of that mythical creature ‘Soviet man’ that used to be trotted out every few days in Pravda. They express dislike of one’s opponents, but they do not affect the correctness of his beliefs one way or the other.

    So we are left with the usual conclusion. The deeply puzzling questions about AGW remain sociological. How has it happened that a scientific question has become laden with this sort of baggage?

  4. Paul said

    Who pays for your blog Jeff?

    Who pays for Steve’s or Anthony’s blog?

    What group pays for Tom Nelson’s blog or which governments or lobby groups fork over untold dollars for the good work at Mr. E. M. Smith’s blog?

    How can one compare the science blogs that I read every single day with the likes of industry funded rags like Real Climate?

  5. kdk33 said

    “They even point out 16 million in Exxon funding allegedly to create confusion, with the money spread between 43 different groups”

    This is a feint. Also a marker… for blatant untruths.

  6. rob m said

    “The actual work of the IPCC is done by unpaid volunteers – thousands of scientists at universities and research institutes around the world who contribute as authors or reviewers to the completion of the IPCC reports.”

    So billions upon billions of dollars are riding on unpaid volunteers?

  7. stan said

    “As far as we are aware” — pretty much sums up the problem right there.

    Do you realize how much reading and thinking would be required for them to get up to speed on the facts of climate science? Do you realize how much mental dead wood would have to be cleared out? How much cognitive dissonance would have to be overcome?

    For them to be “aware” would require more effort than they will likely ever be able to muster. “Some people would rather die than think. And they do.”

  8. Dr. Robert said

    Jeff, it gets worse:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/daily-mangle/

    RealClimate is now trying to cover the article about Jones’ Q&A session. It’s funny that they are covering the article about the Q&A, but not the actual Q&A. The only points they address are the 15 years of no statistically significant global warming and the MWP. They didn’t dare touch the points of global cooling and fraud.

    I struggle every day trying to understand how an honest, open-minded, intellectual reader could look at their website and not see what a disgusting propaganda fact-spinning pile of poop RealClimate is.

    It seems like since this Q&A has come out, the alarmists have been in overdrive mode trying to push the lies. It’s really been a bizarre weekend.

    -DR

  9. Dan Hughes said

    “The actual work of the IPCC is done by unpaid volunteers – thousands of scientists at universities and research institutes around the world who contribute as authors or reviewers to the completion of the IPCC reports.”

    This statement is absolutely false. How can anyone believe that thousands of person-years of work are not funded. The universities could not afford that situation to arise.

    The work on the IPCC reports, and all the papers behind the Great Literature Review, are all done on the basis of funding for related work. Some ‘grants’ might even call out specific funding for specific IPCC tasks. Some of the tasks might be bootlegged off ‘grants’ that are somewhat related to Climate Science.

    We could test the hypothesis by suggesting that the taxpayer’s money that supports research institutes be stopped and then check to see how long it takes to get the next papers out the door.

  10. Mark T said

    Yeah, it’s not that the IPCC “volunteers” are unfunded, it’s just that they are not funded by the IPCC directly.

    Mark

  11. AMac said

    Tilo Reber’s comments failed moderation at here and here.

    RomanM documents rejection of his comments at RC and Tamino’s here.

    Some day I’ll compile my nixed remarks from Stoat‘s Tiljander threads.

    It’s a pain in the neck to make local copies of all comments submitted to AGW Consensus blogs, but seemingly necessary, given their typical mind-set.

    RealClimate comment threads stand out because of their kludgy format, high traffic, and low S/N ratio. These reasons mean they’re hardly worth reading. Adding in the Soviet-style moderation makes them a waste of time.

  12. Dr. Robert said

    AMac, yup! I tried posting asking why they didn’t just reference the actual Q&A and pointed out all the other things Jones said. Comment deleted!

  13. Mark T said

    I am extremely impatient with ideologues and I don’t take antidepressants which renders me incapable of posting at RC.

    Mark

  14. Phillip Bratby said

    Christopher Booker gave some examples of how much the unpaid volunteer work for the IPCC was costing UK taxpayers:

    “British taxpayers poured out money for the section of the IPCC report for which Dr Parry was responsible. Defra paid £2.5 million through the Met Office, plus £330,000 for Dr Parry’s salary as co-chairman, and a further £75,000 to his consultancy”.

    See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7231386/African-crops-yield-another-catastrophe-for-the-IPCC.html

  15. Ron H. said

    From the Real Climate article regarding the one and only real error in the AR4 report regarding Himalayan glaciers.

    “Fixing this error involves deleting two sentences on page 493 of the WG2
    report.”

    Actually, I think the entire AR4 could be made absolutely correct by ADDING the following three sentences:

    “We cannot vouch for the validity of information used to create the foregoing report as we have used many sources that may be incorrect including newspaper articles, graduate student theses, and off-handed comments by scientists made many years ago. In some cases we have drawn conclusions from actual scholarly studies that are, in fact, the opposite of the conclusions drawn by the study authors. In any case, there is so much we don’t know about Earth’s climate that it is impossible to reasonably predict what it may be like in the future.”

  16. JAE said

    Ron H: You could also add:

    The “scientific” parts of AR4 were completed only months after the Summary for Policymakers was written, so that the “science” would agree with the politics.

  17. PhilJourdan said

    IN the USSR, Pravda Meant truth, yet gave none of it. In the post cold war era, Real Climate suffers from a similar oxymoron. There is nothing real about it, nor is it about anything scientific on climate – just another Pravda publication by the bolsheviks.

  18. Gary said

    RealClimate becomes more and more like the John Cleese character, Basil, in Fawlty Towers.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fawlty_Towers

  19. timetochooseagain said

    RC makes the seemingly legitimate point that the errors are in the Working Group II report, which deals with impacts, so the science isn’t wrong. Two counterpoints:

    1. Impacts are arguably the only thing which justifies interest in climate change at all. That part of the report is, basically, the IPCC’s raison d’être and the movement’s raison d’etat.

    2. It is not the case that the WG I is free from error. For example:

    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2010/02/16/another-ipcc-error-antarctic-sea-ice-increase-underestimated-by-50/

  20. windansea said

    realclimate is irrelevant, a discredited PR agency for the Team

    here’s what’s happening in the big leagues

    Three Major Firms Pull Out of Climate Change Alliance

    ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups pushing for climate change legislation on Tuesday, citing complaints that the bills under consideration are unfair to American industry.

    The sudden pullout of three corporate giants from a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups could be the death knell for climate change legislation languishing on Capitol Hill.

    and this:

    Texas Takes Legal Action Against Federal Government Over EPA CO2 Mandates

    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today announced that the state is taking legal action in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

    “With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Prominent climate scientists associated with the IPCC were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data. In light of the parade of controversies and improper conduct that has been uncovered, we know that the IPCC cannot be relied upon for objective, unbiased science – so EPA should not rely upon it to reach a decision that will hurt small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the larger Texas economy.”

  21. David Adamson said

    “As far as we’re aware, so far only one–or at most two–legitimate errors have been found in the AR4:” So the rest are illegitimate errors.
    Dr. Robert when you said QandA Jones Interview, at first I thought you meant this one http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2811552.htm?clip=rtmp://cp44823.edgefcs.net/ondemand/flash/tv/streams/qanda/qanda_2010_ep1.flv.
    It is interesting to see our Prime Minister squirm and to be the butt of sarcastic laughter.

  22. windansea said

    Three Major Firms Pull Out of Climate Change Alliance

    ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups pushing for climate change legislation on Tuesday, citing complaints that the bills under consideration are unfair to American industry.

    The sudden pullout of three corporate giants from a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups could be the death knell for climate change legislation languishing on Capitol Hill.

    and this:

    Texas Takes Legal Action Against Federal Government Over EPA CO2 Mandates

    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples today announced that the state is taking legal action in the U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) endangerment finding for greenhouse gases.

    “With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Prominent climate scientists associated with the IPCC were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data. In light of the parade of controversies and improper conduct that has been uncovered, we know that the IPCC cannot be relied upon for objective, unbiased science – so EPA should not rely upon it to reach a decision that will hurt small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the larger Texas economy.”

  23. windansea said

    oops

    Gavin’s got a new rant, he is starting to lose it

    whatevergate

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/whatevergate/#more-2806

    see what I mean about RC is just a PR firm?

  24. David Adamson said

    Dr. Robert
    When you said “the Jones q amd a”, I Thought at first you meant this one
    [video src="http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s2811552.htm?clip=rtmp://cp44823.edgefcs.net/ondemand/flash/tv/streams/qanda/qanda_2010_ep1.flv" /]

    It was good to see PM Rudd a target of derision.

  25. Alberto said

    “So what is likely to happen now? As the various panels and reports on the CRU affair conclude, it is highly likely (almost certain in fact) that no-one will conclude that there has been any fraud, fabrication or scientific misconduct (since there hasn’t been). Eventually, people will realise (again) that the GW hoaxers are indeed cranks, and the mainstream window on their rants will close.”

    Well, I for sure do not realise that yet. This is “move along, nothing to see here” ad absurdum.

  26. Paul Z. said

    I think I finally understand why Obama is pushing so hard for carbon trading in the US. Obama was one of the persons responsible for the creation of the Chicago Climate Exchange, along with other people like Al Gore and Maurice Strong (involved in UN Oil-for-food scandal). Obama is pushing for a carbon trading bill in the United States because he stands to makes millions if not billions of dollars from this scam, trading in carbon credits (a made-up solution for a non-existent problem). Note how Obama is using the EPA to force through his carbon controlling agenda, even while the carbon trading bill has been stopped for now in the US congress.

    I think Obama wants to become the first black man who is WEALTHY. Obama wants to be the first black Bill Gates. I mean, let’s face it, there are no wealthy black people in the world. There are rich black people like Oprah Winfrey, but she’s not WEALTHY in the way that Bill Gates or the Rockefeller family is WEALTHY. Maybe Obama thinks by being WEALTHY, he can make a real difference for black people in the world. Maybe he thinks he can become the first black Rockefeller or Bill Gates, and have huge influence on the world. And his best chance to amass this wealth is through this carbon credit trading scam, which will make the subprime crisis look like peanuts in comparison once it all unravels 20-30 years in the future.

    Meanwhile, Obama can also scare the masses and control them by blaming CO2 (a harmless gas that plants need for photosynthesis) for being the cause behind global warming. Obama: “CO2 bad, therefore government must take control of CO2 and regulate all CO2-related concerns” — meaning EVERYTHING. Meaning that Obama can control EVERYONE by being in charge of who can use energy and how much energy they can use. If this is not Big Brother, than I don’t know what is. 1984 was off by about 30 years. Let’s see how things turn out in 2014.

    In a country like the UK (which no longer has natural resources or manufacturing capability), the only main way for them to make money and stay relevant to the world at large today is to be a player in the various world financial markets. Because the carbon market is expected to be worth trillions in the next 10-20 years, this why Gordon Brown is pushing hard for global carbon trading exchanges, as he wants the UK to get in early and be a player in this market.

    As usual, the middle class will end up paying for all of this while a handful of politicians and bankers become megarich. Consider the subprime mess recently where all the greedy banks who caused the crisis were bailed out with taxpayer cash, and still the bank execs were given huge bonuses using the taxpayer’s money.

    With the advent of The Internet, it will be harder than ever for the elitist in power to hoodwink the masses, but do not underestimate the influence that these corrupt elitists hold. Look at how they have managed to shut up the mainstream media in regards to the unraveling global warming scam. They may one day find a way to control The Internet, so we all need to be wary. Remember that Al Gore is on the board of advisors for Google. Once we lose The Internet, we will lose our freedom.

    A special note on Al Gore: Al Gore is behaving like a jilted lover who wants revenge. Al Gore: “OK, you didn’t want me as your POTUS, so I’ll scam the whole world with my global warming scare. And I’ll make billions of dollars while I’m at it. You’ll see. I’ll have the last laugh. I’LL SHOW YOU.” The thing is, even the people in his own state didn’t vote for him because they know that he is a liar and hypocrite of the highest level. He keeps warning people that mega waves will engulf the coasts of the US; meanwhile he is happily buying and keeping beachfront property. He is such a liar to the extent that he even photoshopped non-existent hurricanes unto his latest book cover. His academy-award winning documentary has been legally declared in the UK to have nine glaring factual errors that mislead people about global warming. Companies that he is involved in regularly get huge million-dollar grants from the federal government, related to his global warming scare. He is a partner in the company behind the Chicago Climate Exchange, which stands to make trillions of dollars in carbon-trading commissions. How is it that some people still believe this charlatan and want to shake his hand?

    Be wary of the ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing.

  27. POUNCER said

    It’s time to look at claims by Paul Reiter about IPCC’s misuse of entomology. In fact, abstracts of James Patz’s papers, cited by IPCC AR4, say the opposite of what the Health section do, regarding warmth, mosquitoes, and malaria. (Patz explicitly claims local land use changes affect bug populations more than warming. IPCC, of course, reverses that causal priority.)

  28. ADE said

    If the “mistakes” are not “errors”then they must be “lies”,they are not the “TRUTH”

  29. Priceless said

    So, what has the GW community learned from this? Perhaps that talking down to their scientific inferiors as if they were village idiots does little to help sell your message. Or that pushing the end of human civilization as a given outcome wins few converts. The GW debate was hijacked by elites who live in exclusive mansions and own private aircraft but advocate living in caves for the rest of us – it is only natural that there be a rebellion from the other side.

    [Response: None of those things are true. Read the IPCC reports and point me to one such statement. Instead, you are guilty of making up strawman debating points to push back against. I can’t argue that this isn’t a useful political tactic but don’t confuse it with the truth. – gavin]

    This from real climate. Maybe it’s just me, but I find Gavin’s reply “read the IPCC report” the perfect exclamation point. Probably it’s just me.

  30. Fred said

    What we do know is that Gavin is funded to be part of NASA but spends all his time running a blog.

    C’mon Gavin, fess up. . . you’ve been fiddling around doing the blog thing when you are supposed to working.

    A confession will help relive the pinheaded pressure in your skull.

  31. Steve McIntyre said

    Hmmmm… why isn’t the Union of Concerned Scientists objecting to the presence of an oil company executive on the East Anglia Inquiry?

  32. windansea said

    Tamino unhinged:

    When global warming becomes so obvious that Joe sixpack can no longer deny it — which will happen before this decade is out — the backlash will be ugly. I hope it doesn’t reach the heights of abusiveness that struck the nobility class after the French revolution — but I wouldn’t bet on it. Even pacifists like myself will probably be unable to stem the thirst for revenge.

    My advice to Monckton: prepare to flee the pitchfork-and-torch-carrying mob.

    Comment by tamino — 17 February 2010 @ 8:40 AM

  33. AMac said

    Let’s not forget.

    The behavior of AGW Consensus scientists and supporters changes nothing about the physical processes that underlie weather and climate.

    It doesn’t alter physics, one whit.

    The AGW social movement is suffering a series of setbacks. Yeah, they are almost entirely the result of self-inflicted choices, given that the movement flatters itself as being science-based. As opposed to its deluded/evil opponents, who are sheeple with pitchforks led by oil-fattened radio talkers intent on accelerating the Second Coming.

    Or something.

    Schadenfreude is reliably enjoyable to experience.

    But we’re still left with trying to understand what’s happening with the, y’know, climate. What human impacts have been, and what they portend.

    That task is made harder as much as easier by all the sound and fury.

    A prominent scientist is quoted in today’s Wall St. Journal.

    It’s important to say that the scandals we’ve had don’t change the fundamental point that global warming is man-made and we need to tackle it.

    That scientist’s first name is Bjorn.

    Is he right or wrong? I dunno. It’s (still) important to figure that out.

  34. Bad Andrew said

    AMac,

    “It’s important to say that the scandals we’ve had don’t change the fundamental point that global warming is man-made and we need to tackle it.”

    Do you realize that this is the same line all the criminals involved in this hoax used?

    Andrew

  35. Kenneth Fritsch said

    At what point can we finally agree that the evidence rather conclusively shows that the IPCC and RC are motivated to show evidence for AGW and its detrimental effects to accelerate the mitigation process and not give equal time to contrary evidence- and once agreed can we merely note on these occasions that the IPCC and RC are merely being the IPCC and RC and move on to more interesting and challenging climate science issues?

    The latest revealations about the IPCC are not so important from the standpoint of being right or wrong, but rather of the extremes they will go as a collective body to push their agenda.

  36. Brownedoff said

    21 – Windansea.

    We can add this to the list of business fighting back ….

    This is a petition to the US Environmental Protection Agency from Peabody Energy Company.

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/no_legal_option

    They are complaining about the EPA “Endangerment….. Greenhouse Gases”, 15 Dec 2009.

    Lots of quotes from the e-mails.

  37. Living_Right_In_CA said

    30 Winandsea

    Tamino is a Wuss. He creates his echo chamber and does not let anyone who disagrees with him post. Tamino could not chase away a small wet dog nevermind a person.

  38. lucia said

    Re: windansea (Feb 17 11:06),

    I hope it doesn’t reach the heights of abusiveness that struck the nobility class after the French revolution — but I wouldn’t bet on it. Even pacifists like myself will probably be unable to stem the thirst for revenge.

    A pacifist. Planting images of angry mobs sending innocent people they dislike to the guillotine. Yes. That’s what pacifists do: write prose inciting others to make war.

  39. Jeff Id said

    #36, Exactly what I was thinking. Grant Tamino Foster is a very angry little man with extremist political views that make me look like a kitten. I self snipped a comment at Roman’s blog yesterday regarding the fact that I wouldn’t feel safe around him.

    Can someone point to where this tamino quote is from?

  40. Mark T said

    Pacifists like Tamino are nothing of the sort.

    Mark

  41. windansea said

    Can someone point to where this tamino quote is from?

    Jeff, It’s in comments on Gavin’s new rant “whatevergate”

  42. WRT Tamino.

    A while back Tamino accused someone rather benign of being a criminal, basically thought crime. At that point I decided it was time
    to push up the volume on outing him as Grant Foster. If people want to flame I have no issue with it. Put down your real name and cal me a liar cheat and bed wetter I dont care. Anonymous assaults, like those from Lorax and his ilk, are different. Anyways, it was after reading Tammy’s tribe that it became clear to me the darker side of their tribalist thought.

    hey, I’m on TV. PJTV

    http://www.pjtv.com/video/Specials/Climategate%E2%80%99s_Frost|Nixon_Moment:_Steven_Mosher_Follows_The_FOIA/3100/

  43. Squidly said

    By the way, in the end, who actually is paying for unRealClimate.org? and Gavin Schmidt, and James Hansen, and.., and..

    Like the UN-IPCC, SHUT IT DOWN!!!

    I am sick and tired of wasting MY time on this crap. I am sick and tired of bureaucrats, power grabbers and ponzi schemers spending MY money on this sh!t. Shut it down, shut it all down, shut it down NOW!

  44. PhilJourdan said

    WindandSea #21 – Virginia just piled on with Texas.

  45. […] Real climate, real crap, […]

  46. dougie said

    they also have this post in the UK Gardian at

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/15/ipcc-errors-facts-spin

    you may be able to add a comment if anyone wants to
    just give the UK public another perspective

  47. RB said

    From Lucia, this is interesting: anti-AGW denialism is a leftist conspiracy.
    http://jimidundee.blogspot.com/2009/12/for-past-18-months-i-have-been-proudly.html

  48. Peter of Sydney said

    Given the IPCC has been discredited so many times now, why isn’t it shut down immediately? If a corporate business behaved the same way, the directors of the company would be behind bars by now; and that’s a fact not just an opinion.

  49. actually thoughtful said

    I find it interesting that the RC post discusses each factual error and supplies some background and facts about why the perceived error may or may not be an error and may or may not be important.

    On tAV the original post and all comments (excepting – charitably – 4) ignore the underlying factual issues (for example no one says “Nepstad’s response on Africa’s drought does not exonerate the IPCC…”).

    There seems to be a groupthink that the IPCC report (all 2800 pages) is bogus so the actual facts don’t have to be addressed.

    I thought that the enlightened skeptic’s (which is what how I perceive this blog) perspective was to avoid groupthink, not encourage it.

  50. Jeff Id said

    49, I don’t know your familiarity with the issues listed but we have discussed them here endlessly. After a year and a half of blogging and reading, AR4 is so full of error and exaggeration and RC’s replies are so sophist…icated it was simply too hard to address. I just put the most obvious one right from the beginning of the post b/c many here are very well versed in the points RC makes.

    I’ll take a bit of a risk. Your opinions seem honest so far, most warmers don’t have the ability to consider counter points while my favorite blogs will carry both. I would like to invite you to write your own post on any AGW topic to start a discussion here. Just keep it real and you’ll find a lot of agreement and plenty of good blog drama. I think that we get too many skeptic posts anyway so if there is anything you have of interest you have a good question about, give it a shot. I’ll moderate more heavily if required. My email is on the left.

  51. Mark T said

    People don’t seem to realize that you can’t just walk into a blog one day and expect that there is not some history or background that the majority (or a large portion) of posters are already aware of. You can’t expect every single post so run through the highlights of everything that has been discussed to date.

    That’s a hasty generalization fallacy, Actually.

    Mark

  52. AMac said

    Actually Thoughtful #49 —

    Refreshing to read your comment. I hope you take up Jeff Id’s offer.

    People say stuff, and coming new to an issue, it’s hard to know how the arguments pro and con weigh. Whether one side or the other really does have the preponderance of the evidence on its side.

    As you look into RealClimate’s stance, it’s instructive to compare “flags” of complaints of disallowed comments between RC and ClimateAudit.

    The pro-AGW Consensus bloggers loathe CA, but there are few if any claims of “censorship!” (*) that have any legs.

    In comment #11, I link to instances of comments submitted to RC that failed moderation. It’s a claim that one reads again and again, e.g. recently at Pielke Jr’s blog (comment #24ff).

    Notably, the comments don’t fail because they’re intemperate or full of f-bombs or stupid. Quite the opposite.

    If you do write a guest post here, I hope it’s a defense of Mann et al (PNAS, 2008)’s use of the Tiljander proxies. It’s a flagrant example of what’s wrong with climate science. It’s what converted me into a Skeptic/Lukewarmer: “If this is the way a scientific community handles mistakes, it’s not to be generally trusted.” For background, read CA on the subject or Google ‘Tiljander AMac’.

    – – – – –

    (*) “Censorship” is the wrong word, since any spurned commenter is free to start their own blog. Gavin & Co. own the RC “printing press” and are of course free to offer/deny it to whomever they please.

  53. actually thoughtful said

    #52 AMac,
    Thanks for your thoughts on the issue.

    I think the censorship (using your caveats) claims against RC (which I don’t have proof of but consider more likely than not) are actually the most damaging – especially if they are of reasoned arguments that don’t fit the current RC view. In my mind that is much more damaging than allegations that the hockey stick is broken (which could be bad science, which will get fixed by time and better reconstructions). I am curious if sites that document these events will have any effect on RC policy.

    I appreciate Jeff’s offer and am considering it. I don’t have any expertise on the hockey stick debate. With much respect to our host and his work on the it – I consider hockey stick, IPCC bashing and much of the emotional arguments (like the Prognostication thread) to be in the 20% category – things that are hard to figure out, very debatable and not at the core of climate science. I am much more interested in the argument:

    CO2 is higher from man’s actions
    CO2 leads to higher temperatures
    higher temperatures will cause problems for man
    because the higher CO2 is man made, man can stop the higher CO2 and therefore the warming

    and if the above argument is valid and true, what are we going to do about it.

    So something in that area is more likely than pulling the veil off of the latest twist in the hockey stick.

  54. Mark T said

    Your last point is wrong, unless you think man can survive on the same CO2 output as we had in the 1800s.

    Mark

  55. AMac said

    Re: RealClimate’s heavy-handed moderation policy —

    That it exists is “pretty well known,” but hard to document. Folks with failed comments usually shrug and move on, sometimes mentioning it in passing in a comment at a “friendlier” site. You can find many such remarks at ClimateAudit. “An Inconvenient Comment” tries to collate climate-related failed comments, but its format is awkward and it is not well-subscribed. Link.

    It seems that Climategate has led to a partial relaxation of RC’s policy, in that recent threads contain many more dissenting voices than those tht are more than a few months old.

    The cleansing effect of failing well-written dissenting comments is greater than it might first appear. It takes time and effort to lay out an argument and dig out supporting citations. “Well,” I think, “I won’t convince committed partisans, but at least they will acknowledge that there are valid criticisms, and people who make a good-faith effort to engage them. And maybe it will factor in to other readers’ judgments.”

    When the comment is never acknowledged and never appears, it’s disheartening. “Why did I bother?”

    For further attempts, I have to be sure to copy-and-paste my remarks locally and save them, so that I can repost them at some other site. That’s a pain in the neck. It’s a handicap that home-team commenters don’t have.

    Result: the conversation gets tilted towards more and better comments in support of the blogger’s point of view. That’s fine — his/her printing press — but it’s not a “contest of ideas” on a level playing field.

  56. A few responses to some points in this thread:

    Funding to research organizations pays for research and institutional overhead; funding to PR groups pays for PR. The correct comparison is how much PR funding is available to attack organized science vs how much is available to defend it. A typical research grant is very tightly budgeted and the “outreach” money that exists within grants is controversy averse. So the PR playing field is indeed tilted against the scientific community.

    The question as to whether WG II and WG III are reliable should in my opinion be kept very separate from the question of the reliability of WG I.

    The net CO2 output of civilization will eventually go to zero because carbon fuels are consumed when used. The question at hand is whether this happens before or after a climate crisis.

    The climate science community needs to learn to deal with a group of people who vastly outnumber us who are very interested in what we do. It would be better for all concerned if the default assumption were that we are in unfamiliar territory and, already overtaxed, asked to cope with new demands. No doubt this is sometimes handled badly, but the presumption that we are hiding anything or misconstruing anything is not helpful, and the idea that we do it for personal gain is simply ludicrous.

    Given the importance of the question, it is certainly arguable that we are vastly underfunded. Most of the public money which people think goes to “global warming” goes to satellite observation or to energy engineering, two areas which should be funded generously in my opinion, but which have nothing to do with funding the community which produces WG I reports.

    Of course, IPCC participants are not unpaid; most of them are salaried, However, their time is not explicitly covered by IPCC. De jure it is volunteer time. De facto many scientists really don’t track their hours in any serious way, so some of it is probably covered by the totality of their grants. It is indeed the case that IPCC work is insufficiently rewarded, but there is still (at least within the field) some cachet for being involved.

    Peer review time is totally unfunded, and this is an even bigger problem.

    I won’t be responding to followups here because my time is limited, but I hope these comments are taken, at least by some, in the constructive spirit in which they are offered.

  57. AMac said

    #53, my two cents.

    > CO2 is higher from man’s actions
    Agree

    > CO2 leads to higher temperatures
    Agree. The direct effect of CO2 is rather modest. What’s the indirect amplification of rising CO2’s effects, via water vapor, albedo, and other things? That’s subject to a fair amount of uncertainty.

    > higher temperatures will cause problems for man
    Agree. But the extent of problems is partly a function of the extent and rate of warming. How drastic might those problems be? What’s the level of certainty of the projections?

    > because the higher CO2 is man made, man can stop the higher CO2 and therefore the warming
    All other things being equal: Agree. But the plausible return for every dollar (euro, peseta) invested in lowering CO2 emissions is a function of the answers to your earlier questions.

    I’m thinking of investing $6,000 in a domestic solar hot water system. If the projected energy savings run about $800/year, I’ll probably do it. If I calculate them at about $300/year, I won’t.

    We’re having broader society-wide debate about the same general issue. Those on the left/alarmist side of the AGW Consensus are in effect saying, “the science is settled, the savings are huge (cf. the looming disaster), anyone who claims otherwise is an oil company dupe, get in line and do what we tell you to do.”

    Not everybody agrees with this plan.

  58. Mark T said

    AMac said
    February 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm
    #53, my two cents.

    All other things being equal: Agree. But the plausible return for every dollar (euro, peseta) invested in lowering CO2 emissions is a function of the answers to your earlier questions.

    This is really a short-sighted view. We require energy to live, period. That energy demand is currently, and for the forseeable future, satisfied primarily by the use of fossil fuels which necessarily requires a continuation of the release of CO2 into the atmosphere. The population of the world is increasing, and demand for such cheap, abundant energy (fossil fuels) likewise is increasing (particularly so in third world countries). Thus, we are “addicted” to CO2 in the same way as we are “addicted” to food: we cannot survive unless we continue to release it into the atmosphere. The only way we can stop this is to run out of fossil fuels. It cannot happen purely because we want it to happen (the silly pragmatist viewpoint), no matter how hard we try.

    Until people get over this ridiculous notion, we will not progress in terms of the more important question: how do we adapt to the changes that are imminent?

    I’m not even going to address the possibility that a warmer world would actually be of net benefit to all life, not just humans. That should be obvious to anybody that realizes what has been published in documents such as the Stern report are one-sided and wholly unrepresentative of the truth.

    Mark

  59. AMac said

    Mark T #58 —

    One plausible and achievable policy option would be to follow France’s lead and substitute nuclear for coal in electricity generation. This isn’t happening today in the US to any great extent because current-generation nuclear plants are too expensive, take too long to build, and face too much public opposition.

    But “too expensive/too long” aren’t inherent qualities of nuclear, they are the results of societal choices about what dangers are greatest, how risks should be evaluated, what risks we are willing to take.

    If there was widespread agreement that CO2 emissions from coal-fired stations was of greater concern than radiation release (etc.) from nukes, then we’d discover ways to address the problem of building sufficient nuclear generating capacity, at reasonable cost and in a timely manner.

    France has already done this, albeit for reasons of energy security (etc.), not out of concern for CO2 emissions.

    So views of AGW can and should impact some policy decisions, in my opinion.

  60. PhilJourdan said

    Michael Tobis #56 –

    The net CO2 output of civilization will eventually go to zero because carbon fuels are consumed when used. The question at hand is whether this happens before or after a climate crisis.

    I disagree with your basic premise. I do not believe that we will have a “climate crises” as a fact. We may, but then that is what this debate is all about. if we are headed for one or not. I agree that eventually we will have to wean ourselves of fossil fuels. Pretty much how man has weaned himself of the hunter/gatherer stage, burning forests for fuel, and of course then whales. The oil age is barely 100 years old, so it will take time. But the worst thing to do is to manufacture a crises to scare them off of their dependency. If indeed that is what is happening (and regardless of the truth of AGW or not, clearly some are doing just that).

    Once you lose the trust of people, it is 10 times harder to win it back than it is to gain it in the first place. Right now, we have a handful of charlatans that are going to destroy AGW as a viable hypothesis, not out of any scientific evidence, but due to their lies and deceit to push their agenda.

  61. RB said

    The acidification of the oceans has to be a consideration too besides the temperature increase (or not):
    http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2241

  62. actually thoughtful said

    #57

    I’m thinking of investing $6,000 in a domestic solar hot water system. If the projected energy savings run about $800/year, I’ll probably do it. If I calculate them at about $300/year, I won’t.

    Family of 2-3 natural gas fired water heater costs ~30/month. Payback is better if you use electric (unless you live in the South/Southeast – cheap ‘lectrics) or propane. This is my own analysis based on observing systems and usage. That means if you saved every bit of energy that normally goes into heating water (highly unlikely) you would save $~$360

    OG-300 ratings from SRCC indicate ~$210/year for natural gas. (savings jump to ~$400 with electric). Savings are dependant on system specified and local energy costs. I am guessing a 6k system is a single flat plate and that you have a mild freezing climate. If so your results will be worse (less savings) than indicated here. I think solar should be sized to the house, rather than the number of current occupants, so I tend to upsize.

    If you don’t find government incentives abhorrent the feds will kick in 30%. That gets you to $468 (adding the 30% to your monthly savings). Some state and utilities are also encouraging a switch. Check out http://www.dsireusa.org for incentives in your area.

  63. Mark T said

    AMac said
    February 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    One plausible and achievable policy option would be to follow France’s lead and substitute nuclear for coal in electricity generation.

    I don’t disagree. Nuclear doesn’t run a car, unfortunately (electrics just ain’t gonna cut it for a while).

    This isn’t happening today in the US to any great extent because current-generation nuclear plants are too expensive, take too long to build, and face too much public opposition

    They are too expensive and take too long to build because of activist environmentalists, not so much public opposition.

    RB said
    February 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    The acidification of the oceans has to be a consideration too besides the temperature increase (or not):

    You really should try to understand what differentiates an acid and a base – less basic is not more acidic nor vice versa. The oceans are not acidifying, in spite of pleas to the contrary. At best, they are becoming less basic (alkaline). When the pH crosses below 7.0, then the term acidification means something. Until then, it is merely a term used to frighten unwitting people into thinking all manner of bad things occuring in the oceans. Apparently, they fooled you with it.

    Mark

  64. RB said

    A refresher on terminology:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_acidification

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