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Global Warming and The Scientific Method

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birdie1971 | 04:22 Sun 04th Jan 2009 | News
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I recently posted an answer to a question on Global Warming. I was told I was, "...extremely stupid and ignorant..." because I don't believe that Anthropogenic Global Warming (ie. man-made global warming) [AGW] is happening.

So my question is... is the age of reasoned argument over? Do we now live in a world where a sober, scientifically argued point is now irrelevant?

Is Global Warming a new kind of religion?

Are we in danger of slipping from an age of reason into an age of irrationality whereby scientific research, no matter how rigorous, is treated with distain if it disagrees with the polemic?


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Has anyone considered the major player in all this. After WWII the ratio of males born to females dramatically shot up to restore equilibrium.

To keep certain disadvantageous species going they have been provided with retaliatory methods and even camouflage.

So what is the situation now. Global warming is primarily due to over excesses which may be curtailed. So who knows where this global crunch will lead us but it will certainly cut down our emissions.
.....yes well and what about those cows farting? They ain't helping much either!
Jake, as much as i respect your opinions (usually) in this case you're just, well... wrong. You know, or should know that at the flick of a wrist (or mouse) one can produce a long list of credentialed scientists of all stripes that disagree with the "consensus" crowd.

Such as this by Richard Lindzen, who is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT
"...So what, then, is one to make of this alleged debate? I would suggest at least three points.

First, nonscientists generally do not want to bother with understanding the science. Claims of consensus relieve policy types, environmental advocates and politicians of any need to do so. Such claims also serve to intimidate the public and even scientists � especially those outside the area of climate dynamics.

Secondly, given that the question of human attribution largely cannot be resolved, its use in promoting visions of disaster constitutes nothing so much as a bait-and-switch scam. That is an inauspicious beginning to what Gore claims is not a political issue but a �moral� crusade.


Lastly, there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition. An earlier attempt at this was accompanied by tragedy. Perhaps Marx was right. This time around we may have farce � if we�re lucky." (Emphasis mine)

Another well footnoted report includes this bon mot:

"A general characteristic of Gore�s approach is to assiduously ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse. Regardless, these items are clearly not issues over which debate is ended � at least not in terms of the actual science."

Slowly, at first, the dissenting opinions began to come out of the woodwork. Lately, however, it has become a near cascade.

(Hope you're having an auspicious start to a Happy New Year!)
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LazyGun � I broadly agree with you on many of the points you raised. Some things I take issue with though.

In point two you state, �To suggest, as your post does, that because there is a consensus the science is therefore suspect or wrong is itself a huge logical fallacy.�. If my post did suggest that then I would agree with you. Maybe I wasn�t very clear on this point. I�m not suggesting that because there is a supposed consensus then there must be a conspiracy. What I was trying to say is that whenever this subject is brought up, the GW supporters almost always bring up the �consensus� argument in an effort to close down any debate on the matter. I have lost count of the number of times I have read and heard people say, �The science is settled�. It is not settled by any means. There are a growing number of eminent people who now question the orthodoxy and are raising their heads above the parapet � much to the annoyance of the GW supporters, who almost never want to discuss the science at all � because the science is shaky to say the least.

It is shaky because most of the alarm generated by the GW lobby is based on computer models. The models claim to predict the future. Increased temperature, mass migration of people creating a humanitarian crisis, catastrophic crop failures, rising sea levels, etc. All of these predictions are based on what the models say will happen.

But the modes are almost worthless. Even the IPCC admit that their models are �...subject to substantial uncertainty.� [ref: The Physical Science Basis, 2007]. It�s akin to consulting an astrologer and on their predictions, make multibillion dollar economic decisions which could well do more harm than good.
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Another of the GW supporters favourite fall back positions is the �precautionary principal� � it might happen, so we should do something to try and stop it, on the off chance we�re right! This is the most disgusting piece of psycho babble in the history of politics. One could argue that the precautionary principal compels us to castrate all our male babies because one day they MIGHT commit rape. And no one wants that do they? So chop �em off.

The whole GW debate is bedevilled with hypothesis posing as hard facts. The debate is almost entirely one sided. The mainstream media have accepted AGW as a fact. Our elected politicians (most of whom could not tell �good� science from �bad� science) have accepted it because it gives them a colossal new revenue stream.

All I want to see is a bit of objectivity in the debate � from both sides.
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jake-the-peg �� I'm sure this won't stop the sceptics but let me ask what would it take to convince you? �

A rational, reasoned debate.

I would like someone from the GW lobby to explain the following and refrain from ad hominem attacks of those who disagree.

1. The computer models (on which most of the world�s economic decisions concerning GW are based) are at best inaccurate and at worst, complete nonsense (see above comment). Why are they reported in the press as being factual?

2. Why has fraudulent research not been openly ridiculed in the mainstream media? [Mann�s �hockey stick� graph]

3. The correlation between temperature and CO2 levels is weak and inconclusive. Why is this not discussed openly? [Climate cooled from 1947 � 1975 while CO2 was rising rapidly. There has been no recorded global temperature rise since 1998. Why?]

4. The global temperature record is unreliable. Why is this not a well known fact? [Ground based temperature studies show no warming in rural communities, a slight warming in suburban communities and a rapid warming in urban counties (ref: Goodridge 1996). An error in the analysis of the NASA-GISS surface data for the US was discovered by Stephen McIntyre in 2007 � the year 1934 has emerged as the warmest of the 20th century for the US and the 1930s the warmest decade]
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5. The rate of sea level rise is unreliable. Why does the public at large not know this? [Condemned to disappear, The Maldives sea levels have fallen by 20 to 30cm in the past 30 years (based on both satellite altimetry and tide-gauge records)]

6. Polar bears and many other animals are not doomed to extinction because of melting sea ice. Why is this never stated in the media? [In the past 400 thousand years, the temperature has been significantly higher (5 degrees, in fact) than today � but the polar bears still exist today. How can that be? They should have died out thousands of years ago if rising temperature is threat to their survival]

I could go on and on. What I have given you is a very small sample of the many problems with the GW hypothesis.

The evidence for dangerous anthropogenic global warming does not stack up.
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Sorry for the long posts everyone, but as Jake says, �It's an area of immense complexity.�.

And as such, it often requires quite verbose answers.
No No No, it's no longer 'Global Waring' because the earth has been cooling for ten years. It is called 'Man Made Climate Change' much more difficult to disprove because, as stated, the climate always changes!
Google 'Manhattan Decleration'
Read Bishop Hill and Climate Audit.
When the AGW lot stop fudging their figures, misreporting and misrepresenting I will take them more seriously. Some of these computer models are fantastic but rubbish in always means rubbish out. The AGW fanatics have been proved to cherry pick data over and over again. They hide the workings and statisical cross references, fiddle the control numbers and use temperature probes in Urban Heat Islands or sited next to methane flares or metal buildings.
When accurate research shows higher past temeratures or CO2 levels they ignore it or try character assasination on other scientists. It is truly like a religion or cult that cannot be seen to be wrong.
I started out convinced of AGW but the more I read the less I believed, now I think it is bunk.
We should be looking at other forms of pollution than CO2, goodness knows there is enough out there.
Ahem. 'Global Warming'
'Global Warring' is actually more likely!
not havng a good spelling night.
Manhattan Declaration
I also have a problem with the media.
Going crazy about the low arctic ice in spring, even though it happened many times in the past few centuries. Then virtually nothing about the record polar sea ice this winter.
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BillyBB - Thanks for the post. Don't worry about your spelling!
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BillyBB - The media. Oh dear...

I remember watching the morning news last January (2008). The BBC had flown a �news� reporter to the south pole to report on the ice melting. The news was dire and apocalyptic � melting sea ice in winter, etc. I was watching it and I suddenly thought, hang on; he�s at the SOUTH pole. It�s winter in the northern hemisphere, but it�s high summer in the southern hemisphere.

Of course, this was never mentioned in the �news� report. It was a quite cynical attempt to �prove� GW is happening.

Melting ice in �winter!� My God, the sky�s falling in!
The deniers continue to repeat the lies they have swallowed. The average temperature of the planet continues to rise. The Arctic icecap is melting at 14,000 square klilometres per year and getting thinner. This is providing a thermal buffer as the latent heat involved in the melt is astronomical. Once it is gone the temperature will rise dramatically.

The four or five percent EXTRA greenhouse contribution by humans is accumulating year by year.

The scientific issues are not complex. Increased atmospheric carbon dioxide causes the earth to retain more heat. You can argue all you like about how that heat is distributed and the local effects but the simple fact is the globe as a whole is gaining heat. Add heat = Temperature rise.

Deniers also pretend that Climate Change is a religion based on faith. In fact the deniers' argument is based on a faith that there isn't a problem.
Thanks beso
You provide a perfect example of man made global warming disciple I posted about.

Average global temperatures have been falling since 1998.

Even the BBC admit this.
Try doing some actual research
Only tonight BBC 6pm news said that 1.4 per cent of global warming was due to 'human activity'. Not at all sure what '1.4 per cent of global warming' means. Does it mean a percentage of increase? But if that is the case does it mean that 98.6 per cent of global warming would happen if there was no human activity? And if so, aren't we wasting our time taking measures to cut down on carbon emissions?

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