Kendra on the last thread suggested a discussion of our various backgrounds and how we came to be interested in climate science. It’s not my normal around here but neither is arguing for the true warming effects of CO2 to be recognized by skeptics. I think it would be interesting to hear from some of you on your backgrounds and what got you into the science.
My background education is Aeronautical Engineering BS and a partial Masters, after running out of money trying to pay my way through school I left college. So I’m sitting at a party a couple of years ago and someone tells me something about AGW. I told him I thought the whole thing was a political scam. That was the end of the conversation as he agreed with me, but at the time I’d only looked into the basics. I thought if I’m going to shoot off my mouth about it, I had better learn some more.
I searched the internet and started reading. The first person I asked questions to was at RC, gavin – who I had no idea who the guy was other than he seemed to think he knew what he was talking about – answered a few questions on ground temp data. I kept looking and reading and decided after a while to blog on it. Blogging is like teaching, which I’ve done a little of, in that you are forced to learn the subject better than you otherwise would before you can write a thing. Half the people here are equally or more educated as myself in different aspects of AGW. It was really unfortunate that one of the first things I ran into was Mann’s 08 work. I mean that guy stinks to high heaven and for that work to go through peer review, is absolutely unconscionable.
So instantly I’m seeing fraud rather than stepping into uncertainty first. I really see his work that way but there is always the possibility he’s just incompetent. I have a great deal of difficulty accepting that he doesn’t know what he is doing. There are too many papers of his which use bad math to create unprecedented warming. I’ve learned one proxy type after another for temp thanks to CA and there isn’t one single proxy which doesn’t completely suck.
Despite my rocky introductions to climate science, I’ve continued reading and have had enough background in science to know that you have to force yourself to accept results as they are. Climate science has obviously lost that aspect of reality to politicization. Today, my interests in climate science revolve around the math being used and the meaning of the data collected. It’s like I’ve learned enough to know all I really wanted and am messing around in the corners for entertainment.
My opinion is that we don’t have a single thing to worry about with respect to climate change. It’s not dangerous or controllable in any way, our technology will change whether the government gets involved or not. The sea ice, won’t melt, Antarctica land ice is in no danger of melting whatsoever, we couldn’t flood the Maldives from CO2 if we tried, acidification data is bogus, sheep aren’t shrinking, fish aren’t shrinking, hurricanes aren’t increasing, droughts aren’t happening, not one single disaster paper I’ve read is true in any way whatsoever and whole sections of the IPCC report are therefore bogus – including economic impact sections. If we created enough warming to change the climate, we might produce some flooding (from rain) or drought but nothing else of consequence and I’ve seen no evidence that we are producing any measurable warming whatsoever outside of models, which are nothing but reasoned guesses by people with a bias. The bias is created in the (potentially correct) assumptions of aerosols and water vapor feedback.
Most likely any warming we would experience would be entirely beneficial, opening up farm land and resources for easier usage. Unfortunately, even if I’m wrong, we cannot and will not stop producing CO2 in the near term and reductions with respect to the populations energy consumption (potentially not total reductions) will happen naturally in the next 100 years as technology improves with or without government involvement.
It is absolutely no coincidence that the single solution to global warming presented is reduction of economic output and strengthened governments. My preferred solution to climate change is to remove any regulations on CO2 and stay the course until we need to change. My guess is that by the time anything needs to change, it already will have done so.
So this is a bit of an open thread, I’m curious how you all got interested in climate science and what you’ve learned since starting the adventure.