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The Limits To Skepticism

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the sometimes-you-just-gotta-say dept.

Earth 1093

jamie found a long and painstaking piece up at The Economist asking and provisionally answering the question: "Does the spirit of scientific scepticism really require that I remain forever open-minded to denialist humbug until it's shown to be wrong?" The author, who is not named, spent several hours picking apart the arguments of one Willis Eschenbach, AGW denialist, who on Dec. 8 published what he called the "smoking gun" — it was supposed to prove that the adjustments climate scientists make to historical temperature records are arbitrary to the point of intentional manipulation. The conclusion: "[H]ere's my solution to this problem: this is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further 'smoking gun' claims begins with: show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you're a crank and this is not a story. And then I'll probably go ahead and try to investigate the claim and write a blog post about it, because that's my job. Oh, and by the way: October was the hottest month on record in Darwin, Australia."

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I am very sceptical... (2, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419112)

I am very sceptical with regards to a "not named" author claims... ;-)

Pitchforks and torches (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419270)

I wouldn't want to be lynched either.

Re:I am very sceptical... (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419302)

I am very sceptical with regards to a "not named" author claims... ;-)

Before everyone starts putting down the author for being anonymous, please observe that this is The Economist. For those of you not familiar with that particular publication, one of its distinguishing traits is that it does not publish bylines. Ever. Editorials in The Economist are backed by the reputation of the editorial staff of The Economist, not of any individual writer.

Re:I am very sceptical... (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419430)

one of its distinguishing traits is that it does not publish bylines. Ever.

A benefit of that policy is that it discourages showboating ala Geraldo. Within the biz, everybody knows who wrote what so the authors get their credit within their professional circles. But the general audience, for whom the articles are meant to be written, has no name to hang any hype on.

Re:I am very sceptical... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419360)

I am very sceptical with regards to a "not named" author claims... ;-)

Just happens to be The Economist policy not to name staff authors. Idea was to avert personal ad hominem attacks on ideas presented, and sidestep political attacks. There's some criticism noted in the wikipedia entry which i find both funny and, subjectively, true. Doesn't stop me enjoying reading it, nor fundamentally detract from the arguments presented, as you imply. Figure you know this, hence your ";-)" ;-)

gone (1, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419116)

How can you re-examine the original data when it's all been erased?

Re:gone (-1, Flamebait)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419206)

Oh, and by the way: October was the hottest month on record in Darwin, Australia.

I am thoroughly convinced that no amount of evidence at this point can convince the skeptics. They are traveling on faith. This is why they are ridiculed. They don't like it, but hey, neither do people who believe that they've been abducted by UFOs.

Re:gone (2, Insightful)

arpad1 (458649) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419246)

No, "they" are ridiculed because of the absence of anything approximating proof of the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming.

If there were proof there wouldn't be any need for ridicule but the absence of proof elevates the value of ridicule from mere fun to pivotal.

Re:gone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419300)

The emails in question specifically state that peer review would be prevented and data to review would be erased.

It all is very Galilean in style of suppression of inconvenient thoughts and ideas.

Re:gone (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419310)

So, what about NASA's climate data? What about NOAA's climate data?

Oh, but those weren't "debunked" so we're just going to conveniently ignore it. You cannot pick and choose what datasets you're going to side with. You have to either accept them all or debunk them all.

I'm waiting...

Proof by assertion (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419314)

No, "they" are ridiculed because of the absence of anything approximating proof of the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming.

Except the absence you assert exists, does not, in fact, exist. There is a total absence of the "absence of anything approximating proof of the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming".

...the absence of proof elevates the value of ridicule from mere fun to pivotal.

Since you have proven nothing by your silly assertions it is pivotal that I call you a goofball.

Re:gone (3, Insightful)

chebucto (992517) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419318)

All what original data?

You can't mean all data behind the climate models, because some huge faction of it is still available. You must be referring to the small subset of it that was deleted before Climate Change became recognized as the important issue it is.

Heck, a lot of the Original Data behind such famous theories as gravity and a round earth was deleted, too. That has no bearing on the fact that those theories were proven true. Exact same thing with human-caused climate change.

Ask Elvis Presley, he put it in Bin Laden's bunker (0, Flamebait)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419356)

You people are just as retarded as the Apollo denialists.

Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419118)

show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here

Of course, on of the issues revealed is that they were preventing dissenting opinions from being accepted in peer reviewed journals...

You can prove anything when you're allowed to select the peers reviewing.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (3, Interesting)

arminw (717974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419236)

...You can prove anything when you're allowed to select the peers reviewing....

Here is an article that would have likely been rejected by those who have control over the peer review process:

http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p36.htm [oism.org]

You will find other interesting stuff on this website, that many if not most on Slashdot would disagree with.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419278)

You will find other interesting stuff on this website, that many if not most on Slashdot would disagree with.

I completely disagree with their paper on deamidation of proteins [oism.org] ! Proteins were given to us by God and if he had intended them to be deamidified, he'd have deamidificated them Himself! We must stop these blasphemous acts by those who would play "god"!

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419252)

While labeled flamebait, this is something of a problem, even in less politicized fields of science. Most scientists are earnest truth-seekers, but a minority are not, and the peer-review system is not always robust to them. I work in an area of computer science that will never make Fox News, but even in this area things are sometimes suppressed for what's hard to describe as other than political reasons. At the very least, politically unpopular positions get all sorts of extra hoops to jump through that others don't--- e.g. if you're casting doubt on a position the journal editor or one of his friends staked his career on, better expect some random made-up requirements [scienceblogs.com] . If your paper scoops a large and well-funded group's work, there's a chance it'll be rejected by one of their friends, so they get to publication first--- and their publication might coincidentally borrow a few ideas or theorems from your rejected paper.

It's not all bad, and in fact most is probably good. But there are some very rotten parts of the scientific-publishing apparatus. It doesn't help that most journals are run by for-profit companies that are a bit shady themselves (Kluwer, Springer, etc.) who have no real interest in the quality of the science they publish or how to improve it. And it doubly doesn't help that the academic rat-race has gotten increasingly cut-throat, so people feel they need to resort to dirty tricks to get/keep a job, get tenure, get grants, etc.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (5, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419332)

They weren't preventing dissenting opinions from being accepting into peer reviewed journals - they expressed disappointment in the fact that the peer review process wasn't doing its job: weeding out bad science.

The main paper in question was a literature review paper (funded by the Marshall Institute [wikipedia.org] and the American Petroleum Institute [wikipedia.org] ) full of bad science, where the actual authors of the papers cited claim to have been profoundly misintepreted, and in which severe methodological flaws have since been found. One of the authors doesn't even believe that CFCs affect the ozone layer. It should have stood as a textbook example of why we have the peer review process to begin with - it's not a platform for anyone to publish scientific nonsense.

Scientists actually are pretty skeptical people by nature, those who seem to be saying "I'm a skeptic! I don't know the science, but I'm absolutely certain it's a liberal hoax and we're all being lied to"... not so much. Most "skeptics" are nothing more than contrarians; skepticism to me implies a willingness to investigate the issue for one's self, but most of the denial movement shows such a poor grasp of the science that they clearly haven't done so.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419390)

show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here

Of course, on of the issues revealed is that they were preventing dissenting opinions from being accepted in peer reviewed journals...

You can prove anything when you're allowed to select the peers reviewing.

No, you can't. You can stonewall outsiders at best, and only until they are willing to circumvent your avenue of peer review despite the hardships and go public.

At that point, provided there is demonstrable merit to the work, the establishment can't just keep claiming that there isn't demonstrable merit without risking their credibility as 'Peers' qualified to do review.

Anyhow, whoever penned the response comes across as someone not directly involved with the talent in the field, only involved with normals. Anyone having been exposed to enough abnormal cognitive talent would understand that pinning a bar to entry on PHD status will get your ass alienated and your career prospects dimmed. Whoever wrote this was most likely trained to see what they see, and therefore attaching undue importance to the training. That is how most normals are. The others choose to apply preexisting cognitive talent to a field of interest and gain credentials in the process. My experience is that these types attach importance to rigor and precision, find these qualities lacking in many of their titled peers, and are therefore ready to recognize it untitled individuals when they come to their attention.

All that being said, I have no idea if there is any merit to the particular works being discussed.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419420)

No, you can't. You can stonewall outsiders at best, and only until they are willing to circumvent your avenue of peer review despite the hardships and go public.

Which may be what's happening now.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (4, Insightful)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419416)

More to the point, peer review is NOT theory validation -- it is supposed to be a final edit by an impartial party to find errors of fact, reason, and presentation. It is never supposed to be the "Stamp of Approval" about the topic, it is only a filter to weed out papers not yet ready for publication.

Theory validation comes from those who read the papers and use the information to test, retest, or modify their own experiments to either confirm, deny, or suggest alternatives to the information presented.

Re:Enter the closed loop you cannot enter. (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419438)

But similarly, you can prove anything when you're allowed to use anything anyone's ever published on the internet.

Trying to put some sense in the head of the guy from the Time Cube is nothing but a waste of time for all those involved. And since peer-reviewed journals are the best way we've found yet to determine who knows what they're talking about and who doesn't, that's the method they're gonna use.

reply by Willis (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419120)

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/sticky-for-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

Re:reply by Willis (4, Insightful)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419280)

Thanks for the link. I know that on Slashdot you're not actually supposed to read the articles, but nonetheless, I found the Economist post and the author's response illuminating. The author raises good points about the dangers of over-reliance on the peer review system. It's a good system but it is not doesn't always work - crap gets through and good articles aren't published. Simply ignoring any non peer-reviewed work puts far too much faith into the system.

Re:reply by Willis (4, Informative)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419298)

Why the hell did this guy get moderated down? He posted the author's response to the Economist article! It's directly relevant.

Isn't this precisely the risk of overreliance on the peer review system? Unpopular opinions get silenced. I would mod up the parent but can't as I have posted in the thread. So, I'm going to repost the link:

Willis Eschenbach's Response to the Economist Article:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/sticky-for-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/ [wattsupwiththat.com]

Re:reply by Willis (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419448)

Speaking strictly as a layperson I prefer to read peer reviewed literature. It's like there aren't enough hours in the day to chase down every little fact.

I'd thought of myself as a pretty skeptical reader but to be honest these emails from FOI2009.zip have eroded my confidence in the peer review system and consequently I question the quality of my skepticism. It appears in some regards I've simply been lazy and gullible. Since I'm being honest, I have to add that I've regarded AGW somewhat skeptically for a few years now. I just never suspected to discover such a level of guile. The idea of peer review is wonderful. The current system doesn't seem to be working so well.

Re:reply by Willis (1)

jasonwc (939262) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419368)

Just in case anyone is wondering, when I saw the post it was at "1". Somebody moderated as "Overrated" after I responded to the link.

Moderation 0
    50% Insightful
    50% Overrated

What? (4, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419122)

For some reason I don't think going, "Lalalalalala, I can't hear you" instead of refuting the points they bring up is going to engender somebody to change their viewpoint, rather the opposite. If somebody is already believing there is a cover-up this is about the only thing you could do, besides admit it, that reinforces that idea.

like trying to offer proof to a Birther (1, Insightful)

Uberbah (647458) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419178)

For some reason I don't think going, "Lalalalalala, I can't hear you" instead of refuting the points they bring up

Because it's a waste of time, that's why. Offering evidence to a denialist ostrich is like showing a copy of Obama's birth certificate and birth announcements to Birther Republicans: no matter how much hard evidence you provide, it's never enough. Denialist ostriches aren't disagreeing because they have a qualitative or quantitative argument to the contrary, because their objections are based on ideology, not science.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (5, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419202)

Because it's a waste of time, that's why. Offering evidence to a denialist ostrich

Not every climate skeptic is a denialist ostrich. Many of us can be converted with patience, lucidity and openness.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (-1, Troll)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419288)

Not every climate skeptic is a denialist ostrich. Many of us can be converted with patience, lucidity and openness.

Patience we have shown in abundance, but my god man, we're not Mother Fucking Teresa! Take a look at the data for your fucking self, but quit doing the bidding for Exxon Mobile.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (1, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419384)

Take a look at the data for your fucking self, but quit doing the bidding for Exxon Mobile.

I'm not so worried about Exxon Mobil. I am worried about the economy as a whole if we tie both our hands behind our collective backs. Particularly when we can't promise that the nations that compete with us on the global stage (*cough* China *cough*) will do the same.

What good does gutting our economy do when China continues to bring a new coal fired power plant online every week? What will that accomplish in the long run other than to disadvantage the next generation of Americans and reduce our standard of living?

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (3, Informative)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419442)

Particularly when we can't promise that the nations that compete with us on the global stage (*cough* China *cough*) will do the same.

I work for a global mining giant, so I really can't be considered a tree hugger, but China is starting to kick our ass on green technology. Maybe it is inevitable, but I really believe that if we implement some of the policies sooner rather than later - and we know they're coming - that we will be at least as competitive if not the leader in these things. I really love this country (the US). Damn, the better it does the better me and my children do.!

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419404)

I have. It's not very convincing. In fact, based on your dogmatic certainty, I suspect it is YOU who has not read the research carefully. [www.ipcc.ch]

When you get done, you will realize: everyone knows that CO2 makes the earth warmer because of the greenhouse effect. Not everyone acknowledges that there will be catastrophic effects if we don't limit CO2 output. In fact, depending on how we limit CO2 output, it is not even certain that the effects of the limitation won't be worse than doing nothing at all. Certainly the opportunity cost is worth taking into consideration.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (2, Insightful)

metacosm (45796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419418)

#1. Some of the data was deleted (obviously, it has been mentioned many times).

#2. Some of the data was contractually banned from being shared (the Met is working on getting this fixed, sent requests to 180 counties).

Secret and deleted data is NOT a good basis for anything, and the Met agrees, and wants to redo it transparently over the next three years.

I hope the Met gets permission to do that, I would love some really transparent / open process work around this.

I was shocked when I found out that stuff based on "secret" or unpublishable data, or deleted data was allowed to be written up in a peer reviewed journal. How the hell do you review something you can't see the data to?

While this is a 'pressing' issue in the west, and they there is a strong bias for action, screwing it up and having bad science will have a huge impact on how it is viewed by India and China in the future... it is worth doing it all in a hyper-transparent and straightforward way.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (0)

Draek (916851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419350)

Pity that most of you, alleged converted-to-be, are just closet ostriches who try to make themselves feel better about it by either demanding unreasonable levels of evidence before converting, such as asking for accurate temperature readings from everywhere around the world for the past 500 years, or simply apply a vague and/or subjective criteria such as "make me feel you're right" so they can answer "I don't think it's enough" to anything they show.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (5, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419396)

The "birthers" would say the same of themselves. Most irrational people don't think of themselves as irrational, of course that's just another example of them being unable to face reality.

Some of them are different, but when I come across them... let's just say I'm skeptical.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (5, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419204)

Yes, but you're not trying to convert them, as you said it wont happen. What you're doing is trying to convince the people on the fence. They see, somebody laying out refuting the points of the AGW crowd, which then responds with basically "U STUPID", that isn't going to gain any more fans.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419224)

Denialist ostriches aren't disagreeing because they have a qualitative or quantitative argument to the contrary, because their objections are based on ideology, not science.

The hard part is differentiating between the ideologues and the merely vociferous. Refusing to consider anything that has not been peer-reviewed is an ideology all of its own. Ultimately it comes down to a judgment call for anyone who is less than a perfect expert in the field. Although I am a big fan of applying the little boy who cried wolf criteria - the more unsupported claims someone makes, the less weight their opinion should carry. Of course that requires investigating prior claims which is generally more work than most press-release reporters are willing to do.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (3, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419230)

because their objections are based on ideology, not science.

From where I sit, it's the people putting arbitrary "corrections" into the programs to make them come out the way they want and refusing to accept any articles that don't toe the party line into their "peer reviewed journals" who look like religious zealots, and the soi-disant "deniers" are the ones who are trying to do things in a proper scientific manner. Remember, boys and girls, if the facts don't support your theory, a scientist changes the theory, while an activist conceals the inconvenient facts.

How is this flamebait? (2, Interesting)

Puff_Of_Hot_Air (995689) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419394)

Why was this modded flamebait? The scientific community is still a human institution, and thus vulnerable to the various human weaknesses. My concern is not with the science behind climate change research, it is with the politicising and extremist ideological behaviour on _both_ sides. To me, this is the issue with these emails. I know the political bullshit goes on, but it worries me when bullshit looks as though it may be influencing the scientific process. A rationalistic approach is the only hope we have for determining the actual reality of climate change, and so I don't like to see "delete that data", or "hide that trend". I don't care if the scientists in question believe they need to do this for the "greater good". I want my science to be science.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (2, Funny)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419266)

Oh, please, you liberal god-hating scumbag, Obama has yet to provide proof that his birth certificate is not a clever hologram. Until then, I'll just continue believing he was born in Indonesia/Kenya.

Re:like trying to offer proof to a Birther (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419358)

I hate to tell you this, but I fucked your god in the ass last night!

Let's waste time on YEC (2, Informative)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419364)

Sure, and all biologists should spend time repeating the same arguments proving that earth is over 6000 years old instead of doing science.

No matter what is said and done, denialists will deny, it's a genetic disorder, nothing can be done about it.

It would only be fair... (5, Informative)

HebrewToYou (644998) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419136)

...to link to Willis Eschenbach's response [wattsupwiththat.com] in the summary. It appears that The Economist didn't even bother to contact Eschenbach before publishing this article by an apparently unnamed author. That isn't exactly what I would consider high-quality journalism.

Re:It would only be fair... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419242)

That isn't exactly what I would consider high-quality journalism

I would. You are talking about journalism (where what matters over all is to sell), not about scientific papers.

AAGGHH! More flamebait stories please! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419146)

Thank you Kdawson, we all love the trollish stories you post so we all have to read flamebait comments all night!

re Time for open discussion (5, Interesting)

jelizondo (183861) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419148)

I beg all of you to please see this TED Talk [ted.com] before modding me down again. Ive been labelled heretic for posting on related stories in the last couple of weeks, actually modded insightful until the thought police arrived and modded me troll.

The weather exhibits chaotic behavior [wikipedia.org] and to find precisely one single cause for variation is futile, like CO2 emissions from human activities.

The hottest day on record! screams the summary. Er, well since 1941. Well and good, how do you know the hottest day last century in Australia didn't happen in 1940?

The Earth has been getting warmer [wikipedia.org] since about 10,000 years ago. Truth. AGW doesn't explain that. But it does follow that the Earth was getting warmer while we humans still lived in caves and were probably numbered in the thousands, not in millions of people. No, we are told. AGW is about the speeding up of warming. Really? We know for sure what the speed of variation would be without humans around? Let us not confuse premises with facts.

The variables are many and not one of them is well understood: ocean currents, atmospheric currents, solar radiation (insolation), the effect of the strength of the Van Allen belt, volcanic eruptions, etc. No weather model can correctly predict past, known, climate; how can one believe that the future predictions are correct?

We need a more open discussion and a lot less cries of burn the heretics. We are talking about science, not religion.

BTW, if anyone knows of a climate model that correctly predicts past, known weather, please post a link.

Re:re Time for open discussion (1, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419212)

unfortunately the heretic repsonse is all too common. here in australia it's so out of control we actually have a department of climate change (thanks kevin bloody rudd). we sent 60 people to the summit, even a baggage handler. this whole thing is going to be a big waste of money, i can already see it.

Re:re Time for open discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419228)

But your opinion doesn't matter, because people who don't want to looose their funding won't let your perspective through peer review.

Re:re Time for open discussion (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419232)

BTW, if anyone knows of a climate model that correctly predicts past, known weather, please post a link.

At your service [sciencemag.org]

Time for open discussion (0, Flamebait)

ambrosen (176977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419312)

BTW, if anyone knows of a climate model that correctly predicts past, known weather, please post a link.

It's called hindcasting. It's done quite frequently. I point this out not because I know lots about climate science or anything, rather to show that you know even less than me.

Re:re Time for open discussion (5, Insightful)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419324)

The article's point isn't to ignore all that. It's that to say that some random blogger likely doesn't have the tools to correctly analyze the data, and may well be doing their own shaping of the facts. And proving that to yourself is going to take a couple of hours (at least) of research and your time. The end result of which is probably going to be that the people who posted the data were aware of the factor in question, went and checked what the source was, and have a good explanation for what's going on with the data and why they did what they did.

All of which is public record, and has been analyzed six ways from tuesday, by people with far better credentials than you or the blogger is likely to have.

So, in this writer's opinion, it's not worth his time. If someone can get into the peer-reviewed journals, where the standards of competence and knowledge are much higher than on a random blog, he'll pay attention. Because every time he's gone and done the background check on some blogger's new climate data scandal, he's found it isn't a scandal at all, and quite often (like in this case) the blogger already knew that. But was posting it as a scandal anyway.

So it was a waste of time, both to read the blog and to take it seriously.

Re:re Time for open discussion (1)

evil-merodach (1276920) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419326)

Yes, we need the hoi polloi to discuss global warming; we need to teach the controversy in our schools. We can't let the experts spend all those years out of their lives doing all that sciencey stuff without the rest of us putting in our uninformed two cents and deciding the matter.

While weather is a chaotic system and can't be predicted with precision, the trend in climate change can be discerned. Sure, we don't know how bad things are but we do know that if things continue as they have been, we can expect unpleasantness at the very least.

And 10-11K years ago? That's when humans invented agriculture.

Re:re Time for open discussion (1)

kevin7kal (698673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419352)

Doesn't Look like trolling to me. Maybe I'm naive, but I was using dial up when that meant dialing into a BBS.

Fucktard: Weather is *NOT* climate (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419428)

the thought police arrived and modded me troll

You have been labeled a troll not because of some "thought police", but because you're a fucking moron who doesn't even understand the basic terminology. (And unfortunately there is no "fucktard" moderation to accurately moderate you.)

The weather exhibits chaotic behavior

Weather IS NOT CLIMATE.

Simple Explanation: Darwin was bombed in 1941 (4, Informative)

highways (1382025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419156)

A little history. Darwin was bombed and mostly flattened in 1941 by the Japanese during WWII. And, most likely, the weather station with it.

Hence, it was probably re-built at a different site with different local effects.

Next?

Re:Simple Explanation: Darwin was bombed in 1941 (1)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419234)

Actually, in the article it specifically says that the climate station was moved from the post office (downtown, and near the harbor, both of which are heat centers for different reasons) to the airport.

Re:Simple Explanation: Darwin was bombed in 1941 (1)

highways (1382025) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419342)

I stand corrected.

My take (0, Redundant)

RJBeery (956252) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419158)

It's possible that the CRU of East Anglia grossly manipulated the data in an attempt to influence the public, AND that their presumptions that they are trying to make the data fit to happen to be true anyway. Ironically, bad science does not make it wrong necessarily

Nevertheless, Climategate was a blow to scientific integrity. If you don't think so then you haven't read enough about it.

Requires a PHD .... HAHAHAH (-1, Troll)

brainchill (611679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419162)

Climate science is nothing but voodoo/interpretation of existing data. The truth is that we only have 50 years of semi-reliable data that proves that the climate changes over time. It gets warmer, it gets colder, but none, not one of these people has been able to reliably prove that humans have anything to do with climate change.

Re:Requires a PHD .... HAHAHAH (0, Troll)

brainchill (611679) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419180)

Oh .. .and where I live it began snowing earlier than ever ... mid october and is now experiencing the coldest temperatures in recorded history.

Re:Requires a PHD .... HAHAHAH (0, Troll)

arminw (717974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419408)

... where I live it began snowing earlier than ever ....

And where I live, we have had the coldest early December in about 20 years. It must be caused by all this global warming.

Re:Requires a PHD .... HAHAHAH (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419258)

none, not one of these people has been able to reliably prove that humans have anything to do with climate change.

And why would that matter? If we believe the climate will change to reduce our living space thorough riding sea levels then we should do something about that, regardless of the root cause.

Re:Requires a PHD .... HAHAHAH (2, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419264)

No, we don't:

Ice bubbles reveal biggest rise in CO2 for 800,000 years

By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Tuesday, 5 September 2006

The rapid rise in greenhouse gases over the past century is unprecedented in at least 800,000 years, according to a study of the oldest Antarctic ice core which highlights the reality of climate change.

Air bubbles trapped in ice for hundreds of thousands of years have revealed that humans are changing the composition of the atmosphere in a manner that has no known natural parallel.
Related articles

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        * Search the news archive for more stories

Scientists at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in Cambridge have found there have been eight cycles of atmospheric change in the past 800,000 years when carbon dioxide and methane have risen to peak levels.

Each time, the world also experienced the relatively high temperatures associated with warm, inter-glacial periods, which were almost certainly linked with levels of carbon dioxide and possibly methane in the atmosphere.

However, existing levels of carbon dioxide and methane are far higher than anything seen during these earlier warm periods, said Eric Wolff of the BAS.

"Ice cores reveal the Earth's natural climate rhythm over the last 800,000 years. When carbon dioxide changed there was always an accompanying climate change," Dr Wolff said. "Over the past 200 years, human activity has increased carbon dioxide to well outside the natural range and we have no analogue for what will happen next.

"We have a no-analogue situation. We don't have anything in the past that we can measure directly," he added.

The ice core was drilled from a thick area of ice on Antarctica known as Dome C. The core is nearly 3.2km long and reaches to a depth where air bubbles became trapped in ice that formed 800,000 years ago.

"It's from those air bubbles that we know for sure that carbon dioxide has increased by about 35 per cent in the past 200 years. Before that 200 years, which is when man's been influencing the atmosphere, it was pretty steady to within 5 per cent," Dr Wolff said.

The core shows that carbon dioxide was always between 180 parts per million (ppm) and 300 ppm during the 800,000 years. However, now it is 380 ppm. Methane was never higher than 750 parts per billion (ppb) in this timescale, but now it stands at 1,780 ppb.

But the rate of change is even more dramatic, with increases in carbon dioxide never exceeding 30 ppm in 1,000 years -- and yet now carbon dioxide has risen by 30 ppm in the last 17 years.

"The rate of change is probably the most scary thing because it means that the Earth systems can't cope with it," Dr Wolff told the British Association meeting at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

"On such a crowded planet, we have little capacity to adapt to changes that are much faster than anything in human experience."

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/ice-bubbles-reveal-biggest-rise-in-co2-for-800000-years-414711.html

The answer is yes. (3, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419170)

The moment you demand all skeptics believe "just because", it stops being science. global warming is a perfect example of something with questionable science reaching the point it's being treated as a religion, and anyone questioning it is a heretic.

we are in serious trouble if someone can't question manual manipulation of dataset's which are the basis of spending trillions of dollars of tax payers money on carbon trading. it's even more disturbing is the fact they get labels such as "denialist" - if you are incapable of leaving the emotional responses at the door, then you aren't fit to be argueing the science.

Re:The answer is yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419330)

It amazes me how people will simply follow the latest "fad". It was "Global Warming", but then when the temperatures started to decline, as many had predicted, it became "Climate Change". If government can demonize one of the elements of life, then they can have a greater level of control over the world. This has been the trend for hundreds of years, more government. If we think back to the 70s gas crunch, it was a well held "belief", but industry, the population and government alike, that we were "running out of oil"... This Climate change BS is nothing more than the latest attempt to TAX and CONTROL everyone, and if Copenhagen is successful, then we will be very close to a tyrannical world government. Yes, the "New World Order" is real, do your homework, it is not what you have learned that is it, it is not a movie plot, a "conspiracy theory", or a complete crock. It is just the modern equivalent of imperialism. Google "Kennedy secret society speech" ... he describes it well. However, no matter what I say here, those who do not want to be objective and do their OWN research will just think I'm a nut. But, for those of you that that have the slightest suspicion that things are not as they should be.. research it!!!

Re:The answer is yes. (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419370)

I believe that the climate science isn't the problem in terms of AGW; the problem is that the solutions to AGW are arguably economically questionable. Hence the issue has become intensely politicized. People who strongly oppose the proposed solutions to AGW are often the same ones who tend to argue aainst AW as a whole regardless of their actual knowlede of the topic. People need to be able to separate the two issues from one another, that is to say that the existence of AGW is a separate issue than any solutions to AGW. However, it will never ever happen. Both ends of the issues will not yield ground and everyone ends up losing something in the bickering.

Re:The answer is yes. (2, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419378)

The moment you demand all skeptics believe "just because", it stops being science.

Understanding why the speed of light in a vacuum is the universe's speed limit requires a 300 year history in scientific advances, and that's considered dogma.

Sometimes you just have to accept that the other person just might know more about a topic than you.

Re:The answer is yes. (1, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419432)

if they do know more about the topic then answering the skepticism shouldn't be a problem should it?

Gravity: teach the CONTROVERSY (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419386)

Who says that fellow Newton was right? Why are the so-called "scientists" believing his "theories" (they're just theories, people, wake up!) blindly? Just yesterday I saw an apple floating UP instead of down as Mr Newton claims. Surely if one apple does not move down, why should we believe him as far as the movement of heavenly bodies are concerned?

kdawson is a douche (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419174)

Round here, we don't appeal to authority as a way to argue your point, and we should not degrade people asking legit questions by calling them "denialist" - as if they "deny" for living or something.

Except maybe those FSM loons, but that's cthulu's business to take care of.

Hottest month in Darwin... (2, Informative)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419184)

They've been keeping records for what, 150-200 years? That's a lot by our puny standards, but not in geological times.

And when you say, "tree rings!", I ask, "How precise are they?" A cool but sunny summer, or hot but dusty/cloudy/smoky summer could produce anomalous results.

Re:Hottest month in Darwin... (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419286)

Re:Hottest month in Darwin... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419460)

That's a very interesting article. I just bookmarked it.

However, note "we have no analogue for what will happen next."

Also, (dark, heat-absorbing) Chinese soot has been found in Arctic pack ice, the Himalayas and the Colorado Rockies. Trapping that soot (like the US did in the 1970s) would restore ice levels.

They never thought of that (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419402)

An amazing number of poorly educated Fox News watchers like yourself stunned scientists worldwide by coming up with such an objection. They never thought about it, them fancy pansy learned people! That'll learn them!

Re:Hottest month in Darwin... (3, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419422)

It's only anomalous if there's only one set of data points. YOu can take samples from all over the planet if you wish and compare the various samples which significantly reduces any local effects that skew the data. Isotope ratios can also be used to give an idea of the climate as well. Just because we haven't been keeping direct temperature records does not mean that the data set just stops.

What a stupid post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419198)

If you need a Phd to be able to say anything about climate, tell Al Gore to shut his big mouth, especially considering all the wrong graphs he has show.
If this guy claims that he knows and others don't why does he write "Oh, and by the way: October was the hottest month on record in Darwin, Australia.". This is a weather forecast of a local event, this has absolutely nothing to do with the current debate, and proves that the author is a jerk.

If it requires a PHD (4, Interesting)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419214)

If the dissenters are morons who don't understand it, what does that make the believers? Blind-faith followers? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Peer Reviewed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419218)

Oh, so we put a bunch of people in the same room that (usually) have the same opinion about the science their doing? Here is the problem I see: Right now Climate change is popular, if you do publish a paper that says "Wait guys, you might not be right..." you get it peer reviewed and it will get rejected 100% of the time... If the board is all one sided like it is now, what is the point?

You Don't Need a PhD to Know When a Chart's Bogus (1, Troll)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419226)

In my Inconvenient Truth Analysis [chrisoleary.com] , I point out how Al Gore and/or his graphic designers use a set of information design tricks to try to increase the visual impact of their money slide. For instance, on the right side of the chart you can see where they overlaid one set of data (the red peaks) over another (the blue peaks).

Science (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419248)

Most of the anti-AGW crowd is simply doing armchair, a-priori reasoning behind why AGW is false. "Humans are too puny to have an effect!" they say, or "The climate has changed drastically fast even without humanity being around!" Often there are political reasons for holding this position--certain arguments on how to deal with GW are certainly political in nature, and may come into conflict with one's own dogma, and thus psychologically one may be predisposed to oppose GW on that basis.

HOWEVER, that does not mean that some people that argue for AGW do not fit into the same shoes. Remember, just because you are "correct" does not mean your reasoning is. Naturally, someone that hates big business and "the man" may also psychologically have a reason to believe in AGW--another reason to rage on about the status quo.

If I was a betting man I'd bet for AGW, but really I know the science behind it is quite complicated and I know I'm nowhere near competent to make a good, solid argument on the matter, so I must approach the issue with a tempered agnosticism while leaning a bit towards the AGW side because that's the verdict by a vast majority of hard-working PhDs, and I highly doubt that climatologists consist of some dark, left-wing communist sect of economy-destroying conspirators. That is what true skepticism is, noncommitance (particularly emotionally) to a position particularly when you are not an expert on it. Many on both sides of the GW debate are not skeptics but reactionaries with their thought ruled by political underpinnings. Most of the people I know that rant about how AGW is a fraud no absolutely nothing about the mechanisms scientists go about acquiring the data on past climate conditions.

Re:Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419450)

I am instantly skeptical of any scientist that makes statements such as "this can only be understood by someone with a PhD in a related field"

In my experience, people making these kind of claims don't know nearly as much about the subject as they want people to believe they know. That, or they believe they are a god, and then they are just as likely to have made up the data to begin with.

Can we please stop with the "denialist" crap? (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419250)

It really does weaken the position of those who support the AGW theory. Why? Because it is name calling and over simplification. Pretending that everyone who doesn't agree with you is simply in denial of what is happening and then making up a cute little label is not the sort of thing that speaks to a rational debate. It is the kind of thing a con man would do, and thus makes people wonder, why would you use those tactics?

So as a start, you have to understand that there are some major differences in terms of what people believe who are skeptical of the AGW thing. These are just some examples:

1) There are people who believe the whole thing is a crock, there is no warming, it is all made up, etc, etc. These are the only people who could be called in denial, by any stretch of the imagination.

2) There are people who believe that there has been a warming trend recently, however the trend is entirely natural. It is right in line with the kind of trends seen historically, and thus there is no cause to believe this is anything but a natural occurrence. They are skeptical that humans are contributing in any significant fashion.

3) There are people who believe that there is warming, and indeed man is contributing to it, but that the result will not be problematic, and perhaps beneficial. They do not accept the conclusion that the warming will lead to catastrophe, even though they do accept that humans are at least partly causing it. They are skeptical that a warmer Earth will be bad for humans.

4) There are people who believe that people are causing the warming, and that it will lead to worse conditions, but that it would be even worse to attempt to stop it. They believe that the money spent on trying to stop such a thing could be better spent on other things to improve human life. The sort of thing that while warming might cause X additional deaths per year, spending money on that instead of other things would lead to 5X additional deaths per year. They are skeptical that the proposed solutions are the best.

5) There are people who believe that people are causing the arming and that it needs to be stopped, but that reducing output won't do that. We need a different solution like geoengineering or something. Reducing CO2 output wouldn't help, at least not enough to matter, so we've got to find another solution. They are skeptical that the proposed solutions would do anything.

6) There are people who believe that people are causing the warming, and that it will be bad, but there is fuck-all we can do about it. We are too far along, shit is going to happen anyhow, so we might as well apply our energies and money to surviving the change, not to trying to prevent it, since that it impossible. They are skeptical anything can be done at all, other than to try and survive the change.

So a big part of the problem with trying to frame everyone as a "denialist" is the simplification of the argument, to try and say "Oh they all just ignore everything that is said." No, in fact, many don't. They simply come to a different conclusion. Also they may well find enough evidence to sustain part of the argument, but not all of it. You find people who say "Sure, I'll buy the world is getting warmer. We've got pretty good instrumental data on that. However I'm not so sure about CO2 being the cause. The data on that is more shaky. Either way I'm really skeptical that a warmer Earth will be a bad thing, there's essentially no data to support that." They aren't just saying "La la la, I can't hear you!" They are just not convinced by all the arguments.

Well, when you simply dismiss them as a "denialist" and act as though they are a moron, that does nothing to convert them. In fact, it may do the opposite. They say "Hmmm, this is the kind of thing con men do. When someone questions them, they just attack and shout down their questioner. They are afraid of scrutiny. They want you to accept what they say, unquestioningly. Why are AGW proponents acting like this? Could they be con men?"

So seriously, knock it off with the label. You are doing nothing to help.

Re:Can we please stop with the "denialist" crap? (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419414)

It really does weaken the position of those who support the AGW theory. Why? Because it is name calling and over simplification.

It's also a blatant attempt to demonize and marginalize them by linking them implicitly to Holocaust deniers.

Re:Can we please stop with the "denialist" crap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419444)

Misguided liberals hijacked W's tactics. Liberal, conservative, doesn't matter - it's stupidity, stupid.

Only Logical Solution to Wacko Skeptics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419262)

You may borrow my tinfoil hat. Just remember to re-energize it before you return it.

Is this an issue outside the US? (1, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419268)

Outside of the United States (other than some ignored sectors in England) this is not even a problem. Scientists and the intelligentsia know about global warming and how it is caused by humans. I'm not even sure how data from the last century could be manipulated - anyone with a thermometer can verify it, and the so-called "disputed" data is all very recent. All of this is really more of a window into the American psychology or politics or what have you than anything to do with peer reviewed climate change. Even if one scientist was manipulating data, which is not the case anyhow, that would not change the laws of physics where the burning of gasoline produces carbon dioxide. Some anonymous criminals break into a university's computers, hold onto the data for months while they cherry pick certain quotes, then release it just before the Copenhagen summit. This has no effect anywhere except in the United States, where a Senator from a fundamentalist, rural state demands the anonymous criminal's accusations be investigated. In a country where people have to battle to teach evolution and common descent of life, and not that some magic man in the clouds created all living things several thousand years ago; where we have a $27 million dollar museum in Kentucky showing this latter theory or faith or whatever, is this the country where we want to hear the opinions of the amateurs from?

Re:Is this an issue outside the US? (0, Flamebait)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419392)

And that's why I'm living in the freest spot in the known universe - New Hampshire, USA. (Google "Free State Project" for more info.) The rest of the world is hopelessly enslaved.

The data the government claims is unverifiable and not disprovable - only through blind faith in the criminal enterprise that calls itself "government" can anyone believe it. Much of it came from weather stations in the Soviet Union and the third world, which introduces a greater margin of error than the temperature changes they're claiming, and they are completely ignoring the possibility of little-understood natural cycles, which are very probable given that climatology wasn't very advanced until a few decades ago. Why don't you at least try to be objective and read from the sources not controlled by the government before you sell yourself and your children into communist slavery?

Re:Is this an issue outside the US? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419426)

"anyone with a thermometer can verify it,"

That same thermometer (a satellite really) has shown a decrease and leveling off of global temperatures over the past 10 years which disagrees with all global warming climate models. But I guess that FACT is only part of the American Psychology. It is people like you with attitudes like yours that ushers in fascism. The mass murder of people and the rejection of facts based on emotional appeal is part of the European/Asian psyche.

PhD required? (4, Insightful)

TheCaptain (17554) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419272)

Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand.

Aye, there's the rub...

I think the author is overlooking two simple facts: not everyone with a website is an "average guy", and that there are more than a few people in the world who are capable of understanding advanced mathematics and statistical methods who don't have the related PhD that apparently enables one to do so.

Re:PhD required? (2, Interesting)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419456)

You don't need a PhD to publish in a refereed journal. If you find an article you disagree with, publish a different analysis.

Most science really is difficult. You don't need a formal education, but you do need to be able to read the real journal articles (not some condensed version) and write coherent objections. Even better - join a climate research group.

My field (high energy accelerators) has nothing to do with with climate change, but it has similar problems. When we propose a multi-billion dollar, 10s of kilometer long accelerator, someone will argue we should use NEW laser acceleration technology - it would let you build the accelerator on a tabletop. The arguments as to why this doesn't work are quite technical - but are nonetheless true. (BTW - its just to dang expensive IS a perfectly valid argument)

Everything You Need To Know About AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419282)

Here is everything you need to know about global warming. Pay attention to the time scale.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/12/historical-video-perspective-our-current-unprecedented-global-warming-in-the-context-of-scale/#more-14034

The biggest problem facing humanity isn't unprecedented warming, it's unprecedented hubris.

Same as argument against Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419284)

The problem is the denialist seem to feel one inconsistency and you HAVE to throw out an entire theory. With Darwin if there's any piece of missing information then the entire theory is false. And of coarse the Bible needing no proof is correct. With weather if one area gets cooler and the rest hotter than of coarse the Earth isn't heating because one area is cooling. Weather simply doesn't work that way. You can have a severe drought east of the Rockies "because" there is flooding West of the Rockies so the fact there's rain on the west slops doesn't mean there is no drought on the eastern side. Weather is complex and scientist know that but the lay person doesn't. It's easy to cherry pick evidence and make it say whatever you want. My question to the deniers is how many once in a hundred year events has to occur in a single decade before you acknowledge there's a problem? Weather and temperatures have to be viewed as a whole and over time not a single event. You can have one year of cooling and not mean the trouble is over. It's taken several decades to confirm the change but the change is traceable to the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Peer review is not everything (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419294)

There are tons of examples of peer review not working. Even ignoring papers that are outright fraud but still manage to get through, scientific journals are places for debate, they don't establish truth. Any particular paper (that is good) will be looking at certain evidence, and possibly be considering its implications, it doesn't establish the final word on the matter.

Now, you can choose to rely on the opinions of scientists to form your opinions, and often that is enough, but if you really want to be sure of any particular topic, you should investigate it yourself. It might take a lot of work, but you will be rewarded with knowledge.

That said, global warming isn't all that inaccessible. If you have a basic background in math and physics, you can get close to the cutting edge just by reading the IPCC report [www.ipcc.ch] since its such a great summary of the field. I guarantee you will quadruple your understanding of the topic just by reading that alone, and it will give you a good launching point to dig deeper, because everything it talks about is directly referenced to real peer reviewed papers.

Some interesting things I found reading the IPCC report:
  • It isn't entirely certain that the net effect of human pollution is warming, it could also be cooling (see chapter 2).
  • Despite some sensationalistic propaganda floating around, sea level rises are happening slower than geological processes (plate tectonics etc) on any given coast (see chapter 5).
  • There is no reliable knowledge of how much CO2 has affected the current warming trend. The report says 'most of it' based on the logic that they can't think of another explanation.(see chapter 9)
  • The writers of the IPCC report aren't very confident of their main conclusion, which is that it is very likely that most of the recent warming is human caused. In the report, they are very careful to qualify that statement; although they are not so careful in press conferences (see the synthesis report).

Every self-respecting geek who is willing to opine on the subject of global warming should read that report. Otherwise they are leaving themselves uninformed.

Wake up, sheeple, Global Warming is a commie hoax! (-1, Troll)

AlexLibman (785653) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419328)

I've lived in the Soviet Union, but I must say that the communist brainwashing is now much worse than ever before! The alarmists' claims are completely baseless and unscientific! (Click my name to see my previous posts on this issue.)

The assertion isn't just that the "climate change" is significant and anthropogenic, but that their proposed socialist agenda is the ideal cure, even though it clearly has tremendous economic and social side-effects. This has been entirely lost in the government-licensed media's coverage of the issue - any problem the government alleges is guaranteed fatal if treated by anyone else, and any cure the government is pushing is a guaranteed panacea. How does that compare to real scientific traditions, like the Hippocratic Oath / primum non nocere?

It is perfectly clear that free market advancements are improving efficiency and reversing out-of-control population growth (in fact higher first-world fertility rates would be a good thing now). The only problem of the free market system is the part that government took it upon itself to monopolize: the attribution of liability for pollution and other negative externalities. (Not to mention retarding nuclear energy and trillion-dollar wars for cheaper oil.) This is yet another case of the government imposing its "solutions" by force, screwing up, and then using that as an excuse to impose even more tyrannical "solutions". How scientific is that?!

"AGW denialist"? (0, Troll)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419338)

So what European country will be first to make "AGW denial" a crime?

Look. These guys are wrong, ok? So just say so. Once. And then move on. Do eminent geographers launch into frenzies of analysis whenever some loony asserts that the Earth is flat? Acting defensive just makes you look defensive.

I see... (3, Insightful)

Treeluvinhippy (545814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419454)

The author is a skeptic only as long as their skepticism and logic leads to conclusions that match the authors personal beliefs. As soon as it doesn't, well lets put a damper on critical thinking. Mmkay?

Sadly, this explored the limits of credulity (1, Troll)

crmartin (98227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30419458)

... and demonstrated the anonymous Economist author was a little short of the facts [wattsupwiththat.com] .

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