On Global Warming

Imagine if a visitor from another star came, right now in early 2018, to investigate our planet and our human civilization. What would he think? And what, in particular, would he think about the issue commonly called “global warming” or “climate change?”

 

I’ll assume that an alien civilization able to reach Earth would have sufficient knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry – as well as history and psychology – to understand the issue at least as well as we humans can. And that our visitor would be a predominantly objective and rational being. For I wouldn’t expect that a civilization in which most, or even many, were irrational could last long enough to develop the technology to voyage over interstellar distances.

 

The accusation

 

Again and again, so we’re told, the Earth keeps on setting new global temperature records. 2017, or some other recent year, was the second or third hottest evah! But so what, I ask? From roughly the 13th century, the planet was cooling, from a peak at least as warm as today – if not warmer – down to a trough in the 17th century. In the last quarter century or so, it has warmed gently; much as it has been doing for 350 years or so. So, what is there to worry about?

 

Ah, say the alarmists, it’s all the fault of that deadly “pollutant,” carbon dioxide! CO2 in the atmosphere, put there by human beings through burning fossil fuels, is trapping heat and causing the global temperature to rise – out of control! Ah, woe is us! These CO2 emissions will cause more and worse heat waves! More and worse floods and droughts! More and worse storms and hurricanes! More and more cold and snow! Huge sea level rises and coastal flooding! Children won’t know what snow is! (Nor the meaning of the word oxymoron). It’s unprecedented! And it’s all our fault! We have to act NOW! There’s no time left for “paralysis by analysis!”

 

At first sight, this ought to be a really easy issue to clear up. Shouldn’t it? All we need do is look at the facts of the case, and judge according to those facts. Either the alarms are justified, or they are not. And that decision can be made objectively, using honest, unbiased science. There shouldn’t be any clash of values between alarmists and skeptics. There shouldn’t be any need to bring politics into it, or to resort to dirty tricks or name-calling.

 

And yet, what we see is a highly charged rumpus (“debate” is the wrong word), in which virtually the entire political class and their hangers-on are vehemently on the alarmist side. Many ordinary people seem to think the whole issue is unimportant, and prefer to tune out all the hubbub. And those of us, who are and remain unconvinced by the alarmist rhetoric, are showered with pejoratives like “denier,” “heretic” or even “flat earther.”

 

So first, let’s be clear what the crime we are accused of actually is. The charge is that warming caused by human emissions of CO2 – warming which wouldn’t have happened without those emissions – will, beyond reasonable doubt, bring about the awful catastrophes alarmists so love to wring their hands about. But such a charge demands proof; and proof requires very strong, substantive evidence. So, I say to the alarmists: Prove your case, Sirrahs!

 

CO2 and warming

 

Now, there’s a believable scientific hypothesis that says more CO2 in the atmosphere can cause warming on a global scale. But how much warming? The direct effect from the “forcing” caused by a doubling of CO2, averaged over the planet, seems to be about 1.2 degrees Celsius (a little over 2 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

There doesn’t appear to be much dispute between alarmists and skeptics on the size of this direct effect. But does the warming feed back into the system, and cause more warming – or even much more, as the alarmists claim? Or do clouds, for example, reduce the overall warming effect to less than the direct effect of the forcing? Or is the truth somewhere in the middle? The alarmists seem to think the Earth’s climate equilibrium is unstable, not stable or neutral. I don’t find that at all believable, given how long the Earth has supported life.

 

And then there’s the question: how can we separate out human caused warming from other causes like ocean oscillations and the Sun’s activity? The alarmist position seems to be that “everything we don’t know about is caused by humans.” But surely human emissions of CO2 couldn’t have affected global temperatures before the 20th century? So, what were the causes of the mediaeval warm period and the 17th to 19th century warming? These must be independent of any human activities – must they not? Are those causes still in play? If not, why not? If so, how much of the modern warming is due to those causes, not to human emissions of CO2?

 

Moreover, as I showed in an earlier essay, the alarmists have taken the precautionary principle of “look before you leap,” and subverted it. They have cunningly moved the goalposts, so as to negate the presumption of innocence, and invert the burden of proof. Then, the alarmists don’t need to take the trouble to prove their case objectively and beyond reasonable doubt. Instead, they require those they accuse of causing catastrophic global warming through CO2 emissions – that’s us – to prove a negative. Doesn’t that suggest they may be behaving in bad faith?

 

Evaluating the case

 

To look at the global warming issue objectively, one must follow several strands. First, the science. Is the claim, that human activities cause (or will cause) significant global warming, scientifically sound? Second, the consequences if the accusation was true. How much damage would be caused if human activities were to raise global temperature by, say, one degree Celsius? And wouldn’t modest warming actually be a benefit to humanity? Third, the nature of the organizations promoting the case. Are they honest, independent and unbiased?

 

The IPCC

 

I’ll begin with the IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This is a United Nations organization. To me at least, that’s an obvious red flag; for the UN has been the primary driver of the green agenda since way back in 1970. The IPCC has issued five reports since 1990, the latest being in 2013. Along with each, there is a “Summary for Policymakers,” which tends to be more alarmist than the technical reports, and to gloss over the scientific uncertainties.

 

The IPCC reports are supposed to be based on the peer reviewed scientific literature on the subjects they cover. And yet, there have been conclusions stated with “high confidence” that aren’t supported by the scientific literature. And vitally important numbers are missing. For example, the latest report doesn’t even give a best estimate of how much warming the IPCC expect to result from a doubling of CO2!

 

Moreover, parts of the reports – including the Summary – are approved line by line by government officials. Back in 1996, one section of the Summary was re-worded in a more alarmist way at the request of governments. And the technical reports were then updated to match. That isn’t science!

 

The data

 

Beyond all this, there are issues with the quality of the temperature data on which a lot of the alarmist case rests. First of all, the claimed year on year differences in global temperature – of the order of hundredths of a degree – are far less than the error margins in the individual temperature measurements, on which they are based! But it’s worse. The raw data is noisy and full of errors. It includes readings taken by different means (for example ships, buoys and satellites), by instruments of different types, and at different times of day. And it includes readings from high and low quality sites.

 

Furthermore, many – if not most – of the numbers have been “adjusted,” in ways that are often documented poorly or not at all. And adjustment practices seem often to change, usually in the direction of showing steeper warming. Further, missing data is often filled in by averaging neighbouring sites; so, readings from areas of good coverage are extrapolated to areas of poor coverage. How can we be sure this data represents reality?

 

And it isn’t just temperature data that is being adjusted and interpreted in ways that might not be honest. There’s no doubt, for example, that sea levels are rising; as they have been for many thousand years. And the global rate of rise, over the last century or so, has been fairly stable. But just this year, sea level data has been newly re-interpreted in a way that claims to show a recent acceleration in sea level rise.

 

Models

 

Another issue is that climate science makes extensive use of models. These are computer simulations, that attempt to mimic the physics involved. But models must necessarily be built on assumptions. How do we know these assumptions don’t simply reflect the prejudices of the model builders? Like, believing that feedbacks to warming are strongly positive?

 

Moreover, the results of the models aren’t treated, as the scientific method would require, as predictions to be compared with measurements, and the underlying hypotheses falsified if the results differ by enough. Indeed, the IPCC calls a model-derived estimate of future climate a “projection,” and says “when a projection is branded ‘most likely’ it becomes a forecast or prediction.” All of which raises the question: is this really science?

 

Nonscience

 

In and around climate science and the global warming issue, there have been many examples of what I call nonscience.

 

Under the heading of technical nonscience, we’ve seen the grafting together of unrelated data, without explaining what was being done. We’ve seen data inconvenient to the alarmist case dropped altogether. We’ve seen statistical methods that exaggerate the contribution of a small sample; even down to a single tree! (Or of less than 80 respondents to a questionnaire...) We’ve seen attempts to minimize, or suppress the existence of, the mediaeval warm period.

 

Then there’s media nonscience. 97 per cent of climate scientists, so we’re told, agree that human activity is causing global warming. This has about the same information content as “97% of communist supporters agree that communism is a good thing.” Every time an unusual weather event occurs – even if it’s extreme cold! – we hear cries that it’s all due to “climate change.” Journalists are exhorted to “avoid false balance” in discussing the issue (meaning: only tell the alarmist side of the story!) And the media love to play up the latest scare stories, and to make out that human emissions of CO2 are responsible. We’ve even seen faked alarmist pictures on the front covers of journals. Polar bear on ice floe, anyone?

 

And there’s political nonscience. We’ve heard repeated claims that “the science is settled,” when anyone who understands science knows that it’s never settled. And if it was, why are people still working on it? We’ve seen attempts to stop publication of skeptical papers. We’ve seen skeptical scientists and journal editors persecuted or even sacked. And we skeptics have been called nasty names like “denialists” or “conspiracy theorists,” and accused of being funded by Big Oil.

 

The economic case

 

So if, despite all this nonscience, human emissions of CO2 were responsible for significant warming, how much damage would be caused by that warming? The 2013 IPCC report gives a figure of 0.2 per cent to 2 per cent of goods and services produced worldwide, that would be lost as a result of a warming of 2 degrees Celsius. But it adds caveats that the cost may be higher, because the economic models used don’t include some potential factors, and others are poorly understood. And governments, particularly of the UK, seem to think these numbers aren’t alarmist enough!

 

Two things stand out for me here. First, my common sense tells me that a small amount of global warming, like 2 degrees Celsius, could easily have more positive economic effects than negative ones. For example, by allowing crops to be grown further north, or by reducing winter heating costs in parts of the world where many people live. And a warmer climate seems to have been beneficial to human civilization when it has occurred in the past, for example in Minoan and Roman times. So I’m not even sure that the sign of the numbers is right!

 

Second, I’m struck by the factor of 10 difference between the low and high estimates. And that’s ignoring factors that haven’t been quantified! If I was a businessman who had commissioned a cost-benefit analysis that produced such a result, I’d tell the analysts, in no uncertain terms, to go away and not to come back until they had some figures I could use.

 

Despite no certainty in either the amount of human-caused warming or its costs or benefits, the politicians still took it on themselves to set an arbitrary “target” of no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To be enforced by governments on ordinary people, of course, by loading us with lots of new taxes and regulations. When it looked, between 2000 and 2015, as if warming was lessening or even stopping, they decided to reduce this target to 1.5 degrees. The arrogance and effrontery of those, that could even contemplate setting such limits, are beyond the bounds of description.

 

Scandals and whitewashes

 

Then there was the Climategate scandal of 2009, when e-mails were leaked from a UK climate research unit (CRU). These e-mails showed, to those who bothered to look, that alarmists had interfered with the review and publication process for papers on which the IPCC was supposed to rely. They had dropped or misrepresented data to produce an alarming effect. They had refused to share data to allow others to replicate their work. They had deleted data to evade Freedom of Information requests. They had conspired against journal editors who published skeptical papers. And more. Whatever they were doing, it wasn’t science, and it wasn’t honest.

 

The UK government commissioned no less than three inquiries into the matter. First, a parliamentary committee, which seemingly chose to avoid the most important questions. Second came the Oxburgh inquiry. It failed to publish its own terms of reference. It did not interview any critics of the CRU. It claimed that it would assess the quality of CRU’s science; but the papers it chose to look at did not cover the controversial areas, and did not address work done for the IPCC. Yet the UK’s chief scientist at the time described Oxburgh’s inquiry as “a blinder well played.” The third review, by Muir Russell, examined the CRU’s scientific practices, but not the science itself. It avoided answering the important questions, and the ones it did investigate were largely irrelevant. So, the outcome of all three inquiries was no more than a whitewash.

 

The green mind set

 

There is a way of thinking, which seems to be rife among those that promote or support the green agenda, including the global warming ruckus. This mind set can be seen in the activists and their followers, in politicians that support the agenda, and in the alarmist “scientists.”

 

First, they don’t build support for their ideas by honest persuasion. Instead, they seek power, to enable them to impose their agenda by government force. And those, that already have power, also find the green agenda very useful as an excuse to increase their own power, and the power of their political state. The green activists and the politicians work hand in hand very nicely; for them, but not for us.

 

Second, they seem to have little or no sense of right and wrong, or of personal responsibility. This leads them to behave as hypocrites. For example, Al Gore tells us we should cut our energy use, yet consumes 20 times more electricity than ordinary people. Gore also rants about rising sea levels, yet buys property near the beach. And Prince Charles demonizes CO2 emissions from cars and planes, yet himself is chauffeured around in limos and goes on holiday by private plane. Moreover, Peter Gleick, chairman of a task force on scientific ethics, used identity fraud to obtain confidential papers from a climate skeptic organization. The ethics of the government officials involved in the IPCC process, and of the Climategate scientists and those in charge of the subsequent inquiries, are also very dubious.

 

Third, they are downers and troublemakers. They do not seek to solve problems or to contribute to solving problems, and so to make the world a better place. Instead, they rant about how bad things are; and they seek to raise the profile of existing problems, or to create new ones.

 

Fourth, they seem not to be interested in truth or rationality. All that matters to them is their narrative. This is why many green followers come over like religious nuts. It’s also why almost all the media parrot alarmist messages, even when to rational people those messages are crazy or even obviously false.

 

Moreover, when a skeptic raises a good point against an alarmist, the alarmist almost never acknowledges the point. Instead, alarmists usually obfuscate, change the subject, or resort to name-calling or other ad hominems. The alarmists’ “post-modern” lack of respect for the truth makes it all but impossible for skeptics to reach any kind of rational compromise or friendly agreement with them.

 

To sum up

 

So, what would our visitor from another civilization make of all this?

 

I think he would be appalled by what he found. He would be horrified that a species, at the technological level we humans have reached today, is still using a political system that allows unethical, irrational troublemakers with no respect for truth to acquire power over others. He would be repelled by the behaviour of activists, “scientists,” politicians and media over the global warming issue. He would be dismayed that not only do these individuals get away with their crimes, but they enjoy cushy and well paid jobs, and even fame and respect.

 

I suspect that he would look in his database, to find out about other civilizations who have been through, and survived, similar traumas. And he might even put in a Mayday call on our behalf.

 

Comments

Joe Chiang Added Feb 23, 2018 - 6:14pm
Global Warming is a non-issue.  First it was the claim that nations give control over power production because "they" had to control production so we would not have a modern ice age.  There was no ice age.
 
Then these SAME "scientists", like Al Gore, claimed we needed to give them control over power production because the planet was on its way to Global Warming.  There was no global warming/
 
So now these SAME "scientists" are claiming we need to give them control over power production because of "Climate Change".  They do not know if the change will be up or down, but we know from history that it WILL change.  LOL  This climate issue has NEVER been about the climate, it has been about gaining control over power production.  Only a fool would think there is something more serious than a global power play to control the lives of the entire planet's populations.
Neil Lock Added Feb 23, 2018 - 6:40pm
I'm well aware that this essay may spark some arguments. Bring them on!
 
I've been looking at the global warming issue since 2008. I started out going back and forth between alarmist and skeptical websites, trying to work out which was right, and who I could believe. After several weeks, I came down on the skeptical side, mostly because I picked up the scent of what eventually became "The green mind set" section above. And I haven't seen any facts since then to change my view.
 
I'm going to set an unusual comment policy on this thread. I don't want people posting links to any websites outside WriterBeat, whether they are alarmist, skeptical or middle of the road. If you want to argue your side of the case, please do it in your own words. I will delete any comment that includes a link outside WriterBeat.
 
Oh, and I usually only respond to comments in the morning UK time.
 
Now let the battles begin!
Rusty Smith Added Feb 23, 2018 - 8:39pm
A visitor from another place would probably conclude we are foolish and easily misled.  They might also be smart enough to notice that the earth has never stopped changing it's climate, and wonder if anything we can do to try and stop our climate from warming a bit more is worth the money and effort.  If asked they might suggest we be better off spending our time and money looking for ways to co-exist with whatever change happens.
 
They might even notice benefits to things like a CO2 increase like increased farm productivity, and wonder if the production gains would offset negative losses like may occur in low lying seashore areas.  Since sea level rise seems to happen so slowly they might even wonder way we're so excited about changes that take generations to have a significant effect.  By the time the sea encroaches in most places the buildings that are there now will need to be rebuilt, and just maybe they will be built a little more inland.
EXPAT Added Feb 23, 2018 - 9:21pm
In North America and Europe, Global warming is definitely on the way.
I call it Summer! A welcome relief from that temporary Ice age, called Winter.
And I predict Hurricanes and flooding on a grand scale!
Why does our government not act? Bush flew over a flooded Louisiana, and Obama watched as the north east was devastated by Sandy. But they did nothing to stop it!
Year after year politicians allow the destruction of vast areas, and the death of thousands. Why doesn't Trump build a Sea Wall along the entire East Coast?
The truth is our government just doesn't care. Perhaps your Aliens will bring the answer.
Joe Chiang Added Feb 23, 2018 - 9:35pm
I'm not going to argue.  The historical evidence shows that no ice age followed the scare tactics of the 1970s.  The historical evidence shows the oceans did not overflow the nations as a result of the ice caps melting.  Observation shows the ice caps declining on one side, the only side the media ever shows, but increasing on the other side for a net zero gain or loss of ice.  The term of "Climate Change" is a joke being used to cover the fact that these pseudo-scientists have no idea what they are talking about.  Then consider President Obama's attempt to take over the energy industry based on this foolishness is the proof that there is no climate danger, just a political power grab.  
 
Aliens would understand all of this.  If they had a sense of humor, they would laugh at the stupid humans.  They would likely determine that humans were too stupid to do more than they have already in space travel.  Indeed the everyone needs to be equally poor and stupid groups means man is now too stupid to have the math and engineering knowledge to build interstellar space ships.  
Doug Plumb Added Feb 23, 2018 - 10:14pm
re "Imagine if a visitor from another star came, right now in early 2018, to investigate our planet and our human civilization. What would he think?  "
 
They would think we were all idiots and that they could take over our society with the use of propaganda, not firing a single shot.
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2018 - 12:55am
 
Since you included terms like "alarmist" and "green mind set", it is obvious that you are not open to discussion.
This subject has been thrashed out here on WB for as long as I can remember. Since it has now become a politically-programmed "platform" issue, those on either side will just go with what their "commanders" have decreed as the "truth".
If it is possible (I doubt that it is), I suggest that those of you who are open enough to do some real unbiased research, do some reading concerning the present rate of warming compared to events in the past.
Flying Junior Added Feb 24, 2018 - 3:21am
Don't waste your time, Neil.
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:39am
Joe Chiang: You're right, it's all about control. But I'm not so sure that they would simply condemn all of us as stupid. I think they would be able to separate the stupid humans (the ones that are making the whole issue into a political ruckus) from the non-stupid (those who mostly ignore it all, along with the few of us do what we can to fight against the stupidity). They might be more sympathetic to the non-stupid than you think.
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:41am
Rusty: You are very nearly spot on with what you say. My only small disagreement is that I think they would be able to distinguish between the foolish and the rest of us.
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:46am
EXPAT: Where I am, the forecasters are telling us we'll get the first snow of the winter next week. But yes, I'm all for hemispherical warming.
 
As to the idea of a sea wall along the US eastern seaboard... I think the people would probably tumble to the fact that such walls are designed, not to keep foreigners out, but to keep Americans in.
opher goodwin Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:47am
Neil - how would you explain species creep, ice thickness depreciation, sea level rise and the effects of sea temperature rise on corals? The changes in seasons, record temperatures, record droughts, floods, storms and so on.
Surely if nothing else all these things need carefully monitoring?
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:50am
Doug: As I said to Joe and Rusty, I don't think they would think all of us are idiots, only some. Furthermore, I think a civilization that had developed interstellar travel would have put politics long behind them. They wouldn't see any reason to "take over our society."
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:58am
Bill H: I have no political program, and certainly no "commander." I seek to understand reality as best I can. And to do what I can against bad politics and its attendant lies and propaganda.
 
As to reading up on the subject, I've done that over about 10 years. And as I hope I made clear in the article, the question is a lot more complicated than just "is it warming?"
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:59am
Flying Junior: My time is my time, and if I waste it, that's my problem. But I do thank you for your concern.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 24, 2018 - 5:58am
@ Opher re "Neil - how would you explain species creep, ice thickness depreciation, sea level rise and the effects of sea temperature rise on corals?"
 
How do you know that is even true ? They have been caught lying so much and putting temperature sensors near heating ducts and near dark surfaces to skew results - how do you know they are telling the truth about anything?
Neil Lock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:56am
Opher: If by "species creep" you mean species changing their ranges, I'll reply with an aphorism some frustrated biologist once came up with: "Under the most controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases." The biosphere is always in flux!
 
As to sea ice, amounts go up and down. Sea ice extents have been higher than now in the past, and a lot lower also (notably around a century ago, if I remember right).
 
As to sea level rise, that has been going on for about 12,000 years, since the end of the last ice age. For most of that time, sea levels have been rising faster than they are now. The best info I've been able to find on recent sea levels is that they are continuing to rise at an average rate of about 3 millimetres a year, and that rate isn't changing much in either direction.
 
As to corals, as far as I can tell, when the issue was first raised there were enormous unknowns in just how much coral was out there; and without knowing that, stories were just stories. More recently, and particularly in regard to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, there have been lots of scare stories about large areas of coral dying off; but most have been without foundation. There seems to have been no nett loss of coral from the reef in the last 20 years or so.
 
As to record high temperatures, you'd expect a few as long as it continues to warm as it has done for the last 350 years or so. Droughts, floods and storms, as far as I'm aware, have overall been decreasing in recent times rather than increasing. And as to season changes, well, we should be coming up to one right now (they're forecasting snow next week down here in the soft South).
Dave Volek Added Feb 24, 2018 - 10:12am
Neil
Although I don't agree with your take, the essay is well laid out. I like the parts where you state climate change scientists undermine their own efforts with various kinds of political interference.
 
I have to agree with Bill H that the tone of this essay is obviously biased, which then leads to the assumption that its author is only going to seek out information that suits his agenda.
 
There is nothing in this essay that caused me to consider changing my position. There is very little educational value to this essay.
 
Given the other philosophical topics you have posted on WB, this essay does not fit with what you are trying to accomplish. Taking a firm stand on a controversial issue will only detract from the rest of your work. I can see climate change deniers using your work as proof: "this philosopher says climate change is a hoax", and they will never read the rest of your work. Climate change supporters will also not read your good stuff as well: "If he denies climate change, then the rest of his works is also not worthy of consideration." In essence, this one essay will cause you to lose at least 90% of your audience.
 
As you know, I do have opinions on various issues--and I do like to have those opinions challenged. But I left them out of my book about an alternative system of governance. I am certain that new kind of elected representative, working in a new culture of decision making, is going to come to a better understanding and better resolution than I can ever concoct with my limited knowledge, wisdom, and experience. So I will defer my faulty opinions to this new way, whenever it is built.
 
Cast this essay aside for the sake of your other good work.
 
 
 
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 24, 2018 - 10:25am
Kudos to you for raising this one Neil, I gave up writing about climate several years ago. Belief in AGW has become a quasi religious cult for some, and their beliefs are as nutty as the scientologists.
My last article on the topic was in 2011 when, prompted by an article in American Spectator, I asked innocently, "So where are the 50 million refugees we were promised would be displaced by climate change. Being a decent sort of person I'd been willing to take in two or possibly three, young, reasonably well educated, good looking females from Thailand, Philippines or Indonesia would have been perfect. We have plenty of spare bedrooms.
Warmageddonists, as might be expected, were outraged at my implying these refugees simply had not materialised because sea levels are not rising catastrophically.
Nobody in the comment thread was able to tell me where these 50million refugees were however, so I have to assume that is a wonderful and selfless act of philanthropy J. K. Rowling gave then all a Harry Potter style cloak of invisibility so they could slip into the U.S.A. or E.U. unnoticed.
In the same article as I questioned the disappearance of these millions displaced by climate change I also referred to the appearance of an entirely new island off the coast of Germany. Again there were some amusing explanations of how this could occur at a time when sea levels are rising so quickly.
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:10am
Doug, I have to ask....who are "They"?
Even A Broken Clock Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:12am
Day after day,
The fool on the hill,
Sees the sun going down,
And the eyes in his head
Sees the world spinning round
 
The fools are the ones who observe. Both historical records and current observations. We live on a planet where severe oscillations in climate can occur, and some of those changes can occur in a blink of an eye (global time scale wise). Now humanity, in the form of our science, has developed understanding of the physics governing our climate. And science has shown the ability of man-made chemicals to significantly affect the composition of the atmosphere. I'm not speaking of CO2, but of chlorofluorocarbons, which were instrumental in causing the ozone holes in the polar atmospheres. Science proposed a fix which caused disruption in many peoples lives (what, no R12 refrigerant for my car's A/C?). But 30 years after the initial banning of these compounds, the recovery of the ozone layer is becoming clear.
 
So science has shown the ability to detect and recommend a fix for a global problem. Politicians believed the words of the scientists and put in place a fix that caused economic disruption. It is being shown to be working. Now science has detected another problem. The act of releasing the carbon stores in a few centuries that had been isolated from the environment over the course of geological eras, is reasonably believed to cause a warming effect on the atmosphere. There are vast uncertainties, in that the effects of the sun and it's relation with earth's orientation to the sun can overwhelm the effects of atmospheric composition. There are uncertainties regarding the effects of water vapor and cloud formation within a warming environment, and the albedo effect of more clouds may offset a chemical composition change. But given the potentially enormous economic and human welfare effects that can result with warming and resultant sea level rises, we owe it to our near-term posterity to consider this issue seriously. If we ignore it and it does come to pass, and we just kept on fossilling away, we will be correctly viewed as having brought on a horrendous situation because we were too greedy and selfish to even consider other options.
 
Of course, some of us might enjoy the irony of Mar-A-Lago becoming submerged, but that won't happen during this 4 year administration.
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:20am
Ian - The "new island" you are referring to is named Norderoogsand, and was formed by tidal actions and ocean currents. It has nothing to do with changes (or "lack of") in sea levels.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:34am
Bill H re "Doug, I have to ask....who are "They"?  "
 
They are the UN communists pushing this - it all started with them and their ideas for a unifying idea to united people under a world government. See The Open Conspiracy, The Report From Iron Mountain. Its the same old people, the descendents of the folks who started the Bolshevik Revolution - the banks and the oil companies.
  They are anyone that is working off grant money to create more stupid and wasteful technologies like solar and wind power.
  They are every professor who has to keep his or her mouth shut regarding what they really think just to keep their jobs.
  They are the people who own the press, which is nothing more than a giant propaganda arm that tells stories in such perfect unison you would think they were getting their stories from the same sources.
  They (the big press) are the ones Rockefeller thanked for keeping quiet in his well known quote.
 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:38am
From Rockefellers Memoirs:
 
“For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure--one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
 
 
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 24, 2018 - 12:41pm
Bill H, why do you say, "The "new island" you are referring to is named Norderoogsand, and was formed by tidal actions and ocean currents. It has nothing to do with changes (or "lack of") in sea levels."
My comment never suggested it did, I was simply illustrating that things change all the time - and often we have little idea why. The low lying areas that Warmageddonists predicted would be swamped (displacing 50 million invisible people) have not been, and new land areas are being formed.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 12:45pm
Neil Lock dont' get me wrong,  I never ignored the potential posed by things like CO2, but instead read all the arguments and tried to put them in perspective because initially I thought what they were saying might be true.  
 
I concluded the vast majority of the evidence is badly flawed, time is proving lots more wrong, and we are spending far more to try and "get our CO2 emissions under control", than it would cost to live with the earth's constantly changing climates.  
 
I've got degrees in this stuff, I actually do understand it scientifically, and I also know enough about the earth to know everything we seen now and in the recent past fit well within the earth's normal climate cycles.
Bill H. Added Feb 24, 2018 - 2:02pm
 
Ian - This is what you wrote: "In the same article as I questioned the disappearance of these millions displaced by climate change I also referred to target="_blank">the appearance of an entirely new island off the coast of Germany. Again there were some amusing explanations of how this could occur at a time when sea levels are rising so quickly."
As I read it, you were wondering "how this could occur at a time when sea levels are rising so quickly". To me, you were trying to counter the argument from the "Warmageddonists" as you call them that sea levels are rising by stating how could new islands appear if sea levels are rising.
Sea levels are rising at a rate of about one eight of an inch per year at the present time.
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 24, 2018 - 3:19pm
Bill H,
"Again there were some amusing explanations of how this could occur at a time when sea levels are rising so quickly."
I have known since studying geography in school over 50 years ago that some parts of the British coast are rising and some are sinking, what's more I know why. I was never in any doubt about why the new island appeared off Germany.
But us Brits are noted for being a nation of wind up merchants, and because the fashionable Warmageddonist wail of the week at that time was about rising sea levels, many British climate science sceptics posted comments saying "OK, if sea levels are rising so fast, how do you explain this?" What I was saying is it was amusing to see the Warmageddonists tying themselves in knots trying to explain it because being mostly younger generation they did not learn geography at school, they got human rights studies or something instead.
Warmageddonists BTW simply means people who constantly predict disaster because of CO2 emissions. See, it's a pun on Armageddon in which God destroys humanity because we keep ignoring him and which has not happened yet though people have been saying it is imminent for 2000 years, warmageddon is the destruction of humanity by a slight increase in mean global temperature, which also has not happened yet but people have only been predicting it for 20 years.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 24, 2018 - 3:23pm
@Rusty: What kills me is that when you look at the climate models they use FFT's instead of PCA, they use lumped parameter models dor this distributed system...they screw around with the numbers.
  I don't see why they just cannot do PCA. I'm not data expert but if there is a definitive model regarding CO2, there is enough data to extract it and use it to make better predictions on future climate data instead of shovelling bullshit all the time.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 24, 2018 - 3:24pm
Ie: they would know their models aren't any good AND not lie about it all the time. History shows their models to be garbage - they shouldn't have garbage models if they are right.
Dino Manalis Added Feb 24, 2018 - 4:03pm
Temperatures fluctuate, the climate is evolving, no one can be certain, just reduce pollution and waste as much as possible without ruining the economy.  We shouldn't go bonkers over it!
Joe Chiang Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:36pm
All good points.  May I address what I believe is the BIG one.  Several here have asked who "They" are.  
 
In my last post titled "The Anti-Christ and Common Core", I cited a series of movies that establish, I think unquestionably, that the Catholic Church is behind the globalist movement with the intent that the Catholic Church is to be THE CHURCH globally.  It would only make sense that there is a political arm to this movement.  It is this political arm that constitutes the "THEY".
 
If you consider that the goal of "THEY" is global political and religious domination, much of the arguments and events worldwide fall into place.  In this case, the purpose of  "Climate Control" is "Energy Control" which in turn is control of the population.  If "THEY" get control over energy production, they control electricity, air, land and sea vehicle movement, mass food production, home and business lighting and heating.  Essentially, modern life grinds to a halt except under the terms "THEY" dictate.  The excuse "THEY" use to trick the general population into turning over control of energy production is "Climate Disaster - too hot or too cold" if they don't get control.
 
A close second to energy control is life itself.  We already have world wide abortion, that as the founder of Planned Parenthood said, and I am not quoting here, is to reduce the population of the undesirables.  The purpose is to only keep productive citizens that "THEY" can control.  By permitting the poisoning of food sources which cause cancer and other ailments, the general population can be reduced, culled if you will.  But the goal is mainly control.  So government control of health care permits "THEY" to determine who lives and who dies, by determining who receives funding for health care and who does not.  This started with Hitler's national health care system.  ObamaCare is such a modern plan causing control over health care for the US, to include death panels to decide who is worthy, by their standards, to have their health care funded and who is not.  Please note that the Blue Party alone established this over the US population, but the Red Party alone funded it.  Both red and blue parties are globalist in nature and together are trying to move the US into a "New World Order".  Hitler eliminated "undesirables" and established the way to accomplish this goal.
 
Then there is education which is no longer education, but indoctrination.  US individualism which made this nation great, is being replaced by socialist/communist collectivism.  This is taking the name of "School to Work" indoctrination and "Social-Emotional" education to teach students how they should "feel" about collectivism.  We are seeing in North Dakota where special education students are being harassed by students with the winking authorization of school administrators, police and state government.  These are "undesirables" to the "New World Order".  So the regular students are encouraged to ostracize the "different" students to prepare them for the genocide of larger groups of undesirables in the near future.  I have links I can provide should they be desired.  Please note that Hitler also controlled education and had children taught to turn in their parents for essentially wrong thinking, not agreeing with what the state was doing.
 
This is scary stuff.  
 
This reminds me of the story of 3 blind men "looking" at an elephant.  One holds the tail and says an elephant is like a snake.  Another holds a leg and says an elephant is like a tree.  Another holds a tusk and says an elephant is like a spear.  We are like the blind men, in that we look at a small part of the global problem and try and identify that one part, then argue about the whole based on that one part from our limited point of view.  LOL
 
These are plans which have been generations in the making.  It is only the modern technology that is making this kind of global control within reach.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 6:59pm
George N Romey as I said a lot of the "evidence" has been misleading statements made by people who don't fully understand the bigger cycles, or what they are looking at.  They talk like a young child who predicts in July that it will be 120 degrees by the following July, without ever realizing winter will come like clockwork and wreck their prediction.
Rusty Smith Added Feb 24, 2018 - 7:00pm
Sorry, my last comment was addressed to Doug Plumb 
Katharine Otto Added Feb 24, 2018 - 8:07pm
Neil,
A most entertaining discussion.  In my book, "climate science" is like "political science" or "social science."  It is theoretical and not based on scientific method.  Now, I have my own problems with scientific method, but these are not pertinent here.
 
Most scientists agree that carbon is an element, and we have no more or less carbon than ever before.  It is perpetually going through combinations and re-combinations, as it is the basic building block of life.  Whether human activity is increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is debatable, and whether this is causing a temperature change can't be directly proven.  We are led to assume, if the above is the case, that fossil-fuel power plants, automobiles, ships, trucks, wars, and other fossil-fuel-driven human activity is to blame.  
 
No one considers the fact that we have more humans exhaling CO2 than ever before, so maybe we should limit exhalations.  Also, for every molecule of CO2 produced by fossil-fuel burning, two molecules of water are formed.  If human activity is responsible for releasing more CO2, it may be generating enough water for the oceans to rise, too.  
 
Another factor that may contribute to "climate change," including weather extremes, may be the mass effect of cities and pavement that have replaced grasslands and forests.  Anyone who understands "thermals" knows that hot air rises, and cities (not just Washington, DC) produce lots of hot air.  This affects climate locally and radiates outward.  
 
On the other side of the equation, I understand we are at the end of an ice age.  Also, higher levels of CO2 are good for plant life.  Anyone concerned about excessive CO2 should consider the massive deforestation of the planet, as plants absorb CO2 and water to produce the sugars that ultimately feed us all.
 
Also, higher levels of CO2 are good for plant life.  Anyone concerned about excessive CO2 should consider the massive deforestation of the planet, as plants absorb CO2 and water to produce the sugars that ultimately feed us all.
 
I'm way more concerned about global poisoning and destruction of habitat than global warming.  Maybe controversy about "climate change" will encourage more people to study real science.  I hope so.
 
By the way, your alien would probably be a "she."
 
 
Mustafa Kemal Added Feb 24, 2018 - 8:22pm
Neil, I can give personal  scientific account here.
 
To begin, driving across the west at night when you come to a town at 3am and it is lit up like a spaceship, killing millions of birds, my gut tells me that we humans are surely ruining this planet and the cause of Climate Change. Fukushima and the water in Detroit. If you dont believe humans are doing real damage, go swimming at the beach near Houston on the gulf. Better take your shots.
But I will speak no more of my gut, but speak of science, the pursuit of truth.
 
I worked as a mathematician at Los Alamos National Laboratory for 26 years and I knew many people that worked on these climate models. My field was statistical inference  and Machine Learning (mea culpa, mea culpa).
 
Now the way they design these codes is that most of these people are physical scientists -physics, chemistry, hydrodynamics, etc who have learned to program. They then build models where they incorporate their knowledge, which is often quite substantial, regarding the physical processes which are occurring. They get grants to purchase huge machines. Then they run these models and see what happens. The pictures can be impressive and they spend alot of money on graphics.
The way they try to tune these models so that they work reasonable well on historical data is that they leave a whole slew of free parameters available. Then they run the models and select paremeters which “fit” the data in some group sense, they call it regression. 
 
When I discovered this I went to some higher ups in this effort who I had known a long time and I said
“Do you know that in inference, you are using cave man ,methods?” I did not use such abrasive language but that is what they are. The problem in learning is that: given enough parameters you can essentially fit anything and the model run on the resulting parameter value may actually be a very poor model. This is called the overfitting problem. This indeed, was their experience. I told him that in Machine Learning that we had essentially solved this problem of overfitting. When we spoke about what that might entail it became clear to him that the changes in their program would be huge. So instead of going down that road he made a polite wave off to get me to go away. I got the hint.
 
Let me tell you a little about the “science” of simulation., I put scare quotes because they use this word but there is no Science of Simulation. For example Los Alamos was one of the first to develop numerical methods for hydrodynamic field equations. Their analysis for accuracy is good for one time step. When you take many  time steps the errors at best add and worst grow exponentially ( think chaos theory). I went to some of these guys and said “This is the field in which I was trained. Would you like me to work on long term accuracy estimates and simulatin methods which obtain good long term accuracy? I would love to do that. Crickets. After many years of this it finally dawned on me.The reason they dont like this sort of thing is that if you prove their method is not working well then they have to explain it to a customor who was enjoying their graphics. But worse is that they may have to change how they do things, and maybe learn some inference. I do not know one climate scientist who knows inference 101. And since they are using these codes and measurements to make inferences that should give serious pause.
 
After 20 years of this an opportunity finally came around. I got work with someone setting sensors near a coal plant in Farmington and they were going to set up a sensor and start making inferences.
They said,”go give us some estimates on our accuracy or good accurate methods” My response was 
“hold on there. can you please tell me the problem that I am to solve before you task me with coming up with solutions? He said what do you mean? I said it this way: suppose Mary gives you a solution and Tom gives you a solution. How do you tell which one is better? His answer was, and this, other than my name is a quote “ Mustafa, why do you have to make things so difficult?”  Finally after they got the sensor set up and gave a presentation
to the group, we all saw something strange, but since I had learned a long time ago to keep my mouth shut, someone else said. “Why did you set up the sensor  on that side of the prevailing wind?” There was alot of nervous laughter but it was made clear that we were not going there.
 
G.K.Chesterton once said “Its not that they cant find the solution, its that they cant find the problem”
 
and for a mathematician, living in such a world is death. We solve problems, or at least that is how we are trained.
 
Here is another. I was in a high level meeting in one of these climate e
Mustafa Kemal Added Feb 24, 2018 - 10:57pm
I guess there is a word limit to these posts. here is the rest.

Here is another. I was in a high level meeting in one of these climate efforts and someone spoke up on something dear to my heart, so I came out of my slumber. He said “How do you know that your methods are producing a good solution to those equations?” The answer was a stunning “It does not matter, we all know they are the wrong equations”
 
More generally, in stattstics it is well known that we can establish correlation, but we have no way to establish causality; Causality IS the question of Anthropogenice Climate Change.
 
So, when I hear the deniers I hear a continous string of  logical fallacies. And when i hear the believers I hear a competely different string of logical fallacies. And the debates are like that battle of logical fallacies. It is very clear to me that few in those worlds care anything about the truth. It is mostly prescience, where prescience is you take a conclusion and the go find data to support it. The dark ages did this very well.
 
The terrible trajedy is that we have the talent to solve many of  these problems, for example choosing between different policy options,  and make reasonable assessments but just like our congress, no one seems interested.
 
 
Finally, I can say one scientific thing about this debate; if anthro CC is real and we dont act soon, our grandchldren may inheret a real mess. On the other hand if anthro CC is not real and we do act, the wrong people get rich.  Such a situation is very similar to
 
Pascal's Wager
 
 
 
Joe Chiang Added Feb 24, 2018 - 11:58pm
Mustafa, Very good.  :)  I was aware of the fake data collection to try and justify climate change, but you have given personalized examples.  Thank you.
Bill H. Added Feb 25, 2018 - 1:49am
 
The possibility that man may be responsible in some degree for the recent obviously accelerated climate change event should be looked at carefully and logically, not thru politically polarized conclusions.
During my lifetime, I have witnessed local changes in timberlines, drastic changes in average air and ocean temperatures, precipitation amounts, types of precipitation events,  and changes in predominant local plant life, ocean fish species, insect varieties, bird species, and other obvious observations. I have talked with many older people around the world on Ham Radio that have witnessed the same thing in their countries over their lifetimes.
I can't simply ignore what I observe and pretend I don't see it. It is pretty obvious to me that something is drastically wrong, and it would be wise for everyone to be concerned.
But I also realize that there are many who would rather just ride the bus to the end of the line.
 
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 5:44am
Broken Clock: CFCs are an interesting case. It seems plausible that they were indeed responsible for a thinning of the Antarctic ozone layer, and that the recent apparent recovery of that layer shows that the Montreal Protocol measures worked. Right now, that seems to be the "consensus" wisdom. On the other hand, there are also those saying that, in other parts of the world, the ozone layer isn't recovering at all. I personally haven't spent enough time looking at this issue to make an informed judgement, on either the science or the politics. But, as always, I have at the back of my mind the thought that it's possible that the consensus view might turn out to be wrong after all, or at least not entirely right.
 
I hear what you say about issues with a small chance of potentially enormous effects. It comes down to deciding, is a very small number (the chance) times a very big number (the cost) greater than or less than one? But such things, unfortunately, work both ways. It would be at least as bad (actually, in my view, far worse) to take premature action that seriously damages our civilization and causes suffering that turns out to have been unnecessary, than it would be to let things ride until it's clear beyond reasonable doubt that action is necessary. Particularly if the people suffering (the ordinary people) were not the same as those pushing the "solution" (politicians, activists, dishonest "scientists.") That's why the precautionary principle, in its true form, says we should look before we leap.
 
For me, the deciding factor on the issue of global warming is not so much the science, but the unethical actions of the parties that have been pushing the alarmist case. As I made clear quite early in the article, if they had a good case, they should simply have put it forward and supported it with facts. But instead of that, they did inexcusable things like fudging data and interfering with the scientific publication process.
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 5:53am
Nicholas: You're one of the two people I know of (Phil Greenough being the other) who has been brave enough to put out your views on this matter as headposts on this very forum. I respect that.
 
Looking at some of your links, your interest appears to be mainly in the science. But my interest is more in the big picture - and, in particular, in the ethics and politics that go around the science. In my view, the science is important, but it isn't everything.
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 5:56am
Ian: Yes, "climate refugees" is maybe something I should have mentioned. I'll plead lack of space...
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 6:03am
Rusty: As I said in my comment up the top, I went through much the same process as you did; back and forth between the two sides of the argument, trying to work out which made more sense. My own degree, long ago, was in (pure) mathematics, so while I had some of the tools necessary to drill down into the detail, I didn't have them all. But I do have a significantly better than average BS detector. I find it comforting that you, with your expertise that is more directly relevant to the science of the issue, came to much the same conclusion I did.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 25, 2018 - 6:29am
Mustafa re "Finally, I can say one scientific thing about this debate; if anthro CC is real and we dont act soon, our grandchldren may inheret a real mess. On the other hand if anthro CC is not real and we do act, the wrong people get rich.  Such a situation is very similar to
 
Pascal's Wager"
 
No if its fake and we go along to get along, the commies are that much closer to implementing a mass depopulation agenda. For that they also need all the guns taken away. See the Georgia Guidestones.
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 6:35am
Katharine: Thank you. You are spot on that much that is called climate "science" isn't based on the scientific method. That's why I wrote, and published here a few weeks ago, an article on "Science and Nonscience." I should perhaps have made more explicit connections between this article and that one, but I was tight for space.
 
You say: Whether human activity is increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is debatable. That's true, but I don't think it's a particular bone of contention between the two sides. The increase in measured CO2 is less than you would expect from the estimated emissions. It seems that some of what is emitted is taken up by, for example, plants. (You're right, more CO2 is good for plants!)
 
You also mention human exhalations of CO2. If my memory serves me right, these are only a small fraction of the human emissions of the gas overall. Something like 5 per cent or less. But it's fun to be able to say to alarmists, "You want to reduce human CO2 emissions? You stop breathing, then!" :-) As to water vapour, one of the reasons for looking closely at temperature feedbacks is that warming tends to release more water vapour into the atmosphere, and water vapour is a strong greenhouse gas (stronger than CO2).
 
The urban heat island, too, has a warming effect; but, even though it can be 5 degrees Celsius or so warmer in the city than in the countryside around, this is offset by there being (on a global scale) so much bigger an area of countryside than of city.
 
Pollution (real pollution) is, of course, an issue. But you'd be surprised at how much progress we have made on that score over the last 50 years or so. Destruction of species habitat is a difficult one; although those that scream "humans are extinguishing thousands of endangered species!" are certainly overstating their case grossly. And in any case, are not even those measures already taken to reduce CO2 emissions causing damage to our civilization, and so destroying our habitat?
 
Lastly, I didn't know the gender of our alien visitor, but I chose to avoid calling hesh "it!" :-)
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 7:11am
Mustafa: Thank you for your comments. It comes over very clearly that you know all this from personal experience.
 
Of course, some human activities do cause damage to the environment. But many of these things also improve our civilization, and so improve our environment. It's ironic that things the political class are forcing on us supposedly to reduce CO2 emissions actually damage the environment far more than those emissions would. For example, wind power kills birds, and uses inordinate amounts of rare earth elements.
 
You say that mathematicians solve (or, at least, set out to solve) problems. How right you are! I know that, because I myself was trained as a mathematician (though I have made my career in software). Contrast this with the behaviour of the media and the alarmist "scientists." They live by hyping problems, or even creating problems where none existed before. They are the ultimate pessimists; for them, everything is a problem. That is why I called them "downers" in the article.
 
You're also right when you talk of hearing logical fallacies from both sides. In my view, the alarmist case is one huge logical fallacy; and that is what I've been trying to show in my article. But there are also those on the other side that peddle their own logical fallacies (for example, saying that CO2 cannot cause warming because of the laws of thermodynamics...) And you're absolutely correct that too many don't care about truth, or reason, or making judgements objectively. That, I think, is one of the fundamental problems of our times.
 
Your last paragraph is spot on, too. Indeed, I said very much the same thing in my reply to the Broken Clock above. (That was before I had read your comments).
 
And finally, a small technical thing. Yes, there is a hard limit on the length of comments here. Not sure exactly what it is, but hopefully this one will sneak in just under it...
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 7:25am
Bill H: I completely agree that these issues should be addressed rationally and not politicized. I said as much in the fifth paragraph of my article.
 
But my perception (from an English perspective) of weather or climate changes over the decades isn't the same as yours. I can remember beautiful summers like 1959, 1976, and 2003. I can remember horrible winters like 1962-3, 1978-9 and 2010-11. I can remember it being hot, cold, wet, dry, calm, stormy and every which way in between. I can even remember the "hurricane" we had in 1987! But I am not left with any impression of decadal scale change in any of these things. And if there have been any such changes, I must have adapted well enough for them to pass under my radar. For me, the weather - and so the climate - has always been changing, and continues to be changeable.
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 8:06am
Dave: Thanks for appreciating the technical merits of my article. I can tell you that it was an awful lot of work!
 
Let me say first that of all the commenters here, you are the one who most frequently makes me think. Opher sometimes makes me think too, of course; but you have a far better "hit rate" on things that I have mis-thought, mis-stated or haven't considered. That's why I have left my answer to you until last.
 
In working out my attitude to this issue, I did go through quite a long and quite an objective process. In fact, it took more than a month of evenings! As I said at the top of this thread (please excuse the boilerplate!): "I started out going back and forth between alarmist and skeptical websites, trying to work out which was right, and who I could believe. After several weeks, I came down on the skeptical side, mostly because I picked up the scent of what eventually became "The green mind set" section above. And I haven't seen any facts since then to change my view."


What that means is that the "bar" an alarmist has to reach to get me to take his arguments seriously is higher than the corresponding level a skeptic has to reach. That's perfectly natural, and everyone does it. You yourself, based on your own researches, have gone the other way. And obviously, I haven't reached your "bar" in this case.
 
I would, however, like to repeat for you what I said above to the Broken Clock, as follows: "For me, the deciding factor on the issue of global warming is not so much the science, but the unethical actions of the parties that have been pushing the alarmist case. As I made clear quite early in the article, if they had a good case, they should simply have put it forward and supported it with facts. But instead of that, they did inexcusable things like fudging data and interfering with the scientific publication process."
 
For me, this essay is vital to the full expression of the foundations of my philosophy. You'll see in my next article (once I have recovered enough to get it started!) where it fits in. To date at WriterBeat, I've concentrated mostly on areas where my ideas are on the radical side; so it's not surprising that you have liked a lot of what I've said, and many of our rightist friends seem to have been bemused by it. When I get to things where I'm closer to the conservative point of view, such as this particular article, or topics such as economics, I expect that see-saw may well reverse a bit. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Feb 25, 2018 - 9:16am
Glad you told us that your one of the stupid humans. "Joe Chiang: You're right, it's all about control. But I'm not so sure that they would simply condemn all of us as stupid. I think they would be able to separate the stupid humans (the ones that are making the whole issue into a political ruckus) from the non-stupid (those who mostly ignore it all, along with the few of us do what we can to fight against the stupidity). They might be more sympathetic to the non-stupid than you think."  This statement speaks for itself.  
 
Now I do not think your stupid or even consider it.  But we still can disagree.   A stupid human as Einstein said is one that thinks that the outcome will be different if he repeats doing something.  
 
I think this is the best comments about global warming by  George Carlin  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB0aFPXr4n4
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 25, 2018 - 9:50am
Neil,
"Ian: Yes, "climate refugees" is maybe something I should have mentioned. I'll plead lack of space...  "
Plea accepted. I think we are all aware that long posts on the web are not read to the end by many people.
 
In your reply to Katherine you mention the urban heat island effect and point out that there is a lot more countryside and wilderness than urbanisation. Some research I helped with a few years ago (I did the hacking,) found that the alleged increase in temperatures shown in the notorious hockey stick graph coincided with many weather monitoring stations being moved from remote locations to urban sites (e.g. next to the runway at Heathrow Airport or on the roof of a university, close to the air conditioning outlet) to reduce costs.
Dave Volek Added Feb 25, 2018 - 10:37am
Neil
 
I think if Writerbeat is to be used to its full potential, writers should this forum to get feedback on their own work. I have run articles for my blog here, and after a few responses, I can see reasons for making BIG changes or not posting the article in the first place. I can sense that you are onto something bigger than just Writerbeat, and I'm glad to help you along. Whether you include your controversial piece on climate change with your more philosophical teachings is up to you.
 
I have come to certain position on AGW. I see bad science and political interference on both sides. And I see that I could do more research on this, but I don't have the time, energy, and perhaps interest in getting further knowledge. When Mr. Schoeder makes his points using W/m^2, it would take me a lot of time to get the background to verify whether he is correct or not. In essence, I have put my trust in the science world and political process to make the decision.
 
I think I have a much better knowledge of fracking than AGW. I believe this is a process that requires a lot of government regulation. Yet when its opponents proffer their technical expertise to show the world how bad fracking really is, their presentation is so immature that it's not hard to imagine why the petroleum companies can continue with getting away with this technology with little regulation. With little regulation, externalities will happen which then gives activists more ammunition for an outright ban. And if and when the activists manage to get fracking banned, we are not making the better decisions with our natural resources. 
 
I bring up this fracking example because it is one of many issues our societies face that are not getting the facts to make the better decisions. 
 
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 11:11am
Ian: My understanding is that it wasn't so much that weather sites moved from one place to another. It was more that a lot of weather sites were closed down in the 1980s and 1990s - and those tended to be more rural ones than urban.
 
BTW, I added the words "Millions of climate refugees!" to the fourth paragraph of the essay in the version I am keeping for the future. Thanks for the suggestion.
Mustafa Kemal Added Feb 25, 2018 - 11:33am
Doug, re
"Pascal's Wager"
 
No if its fake and we go along to get along, the commies are that much closer to implementing a mass depopulation agenda. For that they also need all the guns taken away. See the Georgia Guidestones."
 I fear that you are correct
Neil Lock Added Feb 25, 2018 - 11:46am
Dave: You're right, it's a big strength of WriterBeat that you can get excellent and to the point comments, from all kinds of people and most portions of the political spectrum, and then feed that back into your work. Most of the comments are polite, too! Only yesterday I was adding a few paragraphs to some of my earlier essays, based on comments raised by a number of individuals here (including you).
 
On fracking, I haven't looked into the detail. But I suspect that the nub of the issue may be that in a situation where there's a very small chance of a very bad outcome, the anti-frackers are overstating and hyping their case. After all, I know that's what activists do; not just on the global warming issue, but also (at least) on the toxicology behind pollution controls. The error bars on the estimates of toxicity for pollutants like PM2.5 and NO2 are almost as wide as those on the predicted costs of global warming. And in places like London political plans are being put into effect, on the basis of these useless (and probably biased) estimates, that aim to make driving so expensive that it will in effect force people out of their cars.
 
Dave, I think it would be a great idea if you could write something on fracking for this forum, just as TBH did on the subject of energy when I asked him way back about 4 months ago.
Doug Plumb Added Feb 25, 2018 - 12:29pm
Mustafa re "I fear that you are correct  " Same Bolsheviks, different generation.
Mustafa Kemal Added Feb 25, 2018 - 2:38pm
Doug, I stand corrected.
 
 I think you might enjoy this Fetzer interview on Guns and Butter
http://www.gunsandbutter.org
 
Here is a KGB agent discussing things you might find interesting
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJQlvsP4Xp0
 
and a conversation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-hIVnmUdXM&t=9s 
between
Jordan Peterson and Camille Paglia regarding neo neo marxism coming our way.
Ian Thorpe Added Feb 25, 2018 - 2:43pm
Neil, I think you are right on that, but the overall effect was the same. Move a weather station from Top Withins (in fiction Wuthering Heights) to within the Bradford University campus, the outcome should be obvious to even the most fundamental Warmageddonist.
Joe Chiang Added Feb 25, 2018 - 6:42pm
You need to give ME charge over ALL energy production because I predict the climate will change.  If you want proof that I am correct, just check the temperature outside where you live.  Is it the same or different from yesterday?  If it is different, you need to give me global control over energy production.  Check tomorrow to see if it is the same as today and yesterday.  See, thats proof that I need to be in charge!!!!  LOL  My argument has as much validity as the Climate Change alarmists.
Neil Lock Added Feb 26, 2018 - 4:55am
Joe: It's just started snowing here. First significant fall for more than a year. The forecasters say it will go on for the next four or five days. Where's that guy in charge of energy production? What's his name - Joe? He needs to ramp up production in this part of the world. PDQ, before we all freeze. It's all Joe's fault! Sack Joe!
 
And yes, you're right, your argument (and mine) have just as much validity as the climate alarmist ones.
Dave Volek Added Feb 26, 2018 - 3:31pm
Neil
There is a part of me that really wants to write an essay on fracking. The anti-fracking lobby is foolish, and the petroleum industry need only to point the foolishness of the anti-fracking lobby to get minimal regulations on this industrial process.
 
But to do a good job on this topic, I estimate I would need about 10 hours to write it. And since I have a few questions on modern fracking techniques (I've been out of the petroleum industry since 2001), I should do some research, which means another five hours.
 
Although I think I would do a fantastic job with this essay, I don't think it will have much of an audience beyond Writerbeat. So I'm not sure I should put the time into this project.
 
All my other Writerbeat articles take about an hour to put together, followed by about 15 minutes of review.
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Feb 26, 2018 - 8:40pm
re "I think you might enjoy this Fetzer interview on Guns and Butter
http://www.gunsandbutter.org"
 
Guns and butter are a bunch of commies. Be careful listening to them.
 
Mustafa, look at the Bolshevik revolution if you haven't. There is some good stuff on Red Ice Radio. Red Ice is a great source usually. Sometimes they have ridiculous stuff on like UFO's. The whole Oligarchical program for us is in The Report From Iron Mountain, you can get it as a free PDF. Its the age of information and they do tell us what they are up to.
Joe Chiang Added Feb 26, 2018 - 11:39pm
Dave, I have very little knowledge on Fracking.  But I do know that is the way most oil here in the Bakken Oil Field.  The techniques are very modern and there have been no complaints in the news or social media as there had been while this technique was first being developed.
Mustafa Kemal Added Feb 27, 2018 - 12:33am
Doug, thanks for the pointers
Mustafa
Mustafa Kemal Added Feb 27, 2018 - 12:44am
Doug,  I have been reading a new history of the Russian revolution
by McMeekin. Its main premise is that the idea that this was some kind of organic peasant revolt is bunk and that the revolution was actually precipitated by a very small group of people; It is a good read.
 
If you havent already, you might check out The Red Symphony
https://www.amazon.com/Red-Symphony-J-Landowsky/dp/1939438314/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519709896&sr=8-1&keywords=red+symphony
 
I think you will enjoy every one of its 56 pages. For me, it is riveting. It is so good, sometimes I think it is a bit too well written for what it is supposed to be. Nevertheless, It changed everything for me. 
 
Mustafa
 
Neil Lock Added Feb 27, 2018 - 4:36am
Dave: No problem if you don't feel like writing that essay now. Just remember, next time you have 10 or so hours to spare, there's something useful you can do!
Dave Volek Added Feb 27, 2018 - 8:17am
Joe
Actually these new fracking techniques were pioneered in Canada. One of my friends was one of the engineers on multiple fracks for horizontal well (20 years ago?). But I think the Americans were the first to use those powerful chemicals, which I need to research to do proper job of that essay.
 
North Dakota has a high density of horizontal fracked wells. So while the reports you have been reading seem OK and the reports the activists have been reading seem disastrous, the final effects won't be know for a couple of decades. One of my contentions with this new industrial process is that we should have kept it small for a decade and watched how it all unfolded. From our observations of the first oilfield or two, we could have learned how to implement this process in a much more environmentally sound way. Instead, we just let the petroleum industry go full bore once they figured out how to do it. 
 
And the anti-fracking lobby is its own worst enemy. They can't even differentiate between fairly safe fracking and controversial fracking.  
Joe Chiang Added Feb 27, 2018 - 9:15am
Good info, Dave