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Testimony on Climate Change to the US Supreme Court


parmenides3

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Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    An important case is at the Supreme Court at the moment, State of Massachusetts vs. EPA. It is a ctually a case about pollution, but contains important elements relating to Climate Science. Presented to the court was a statement by climate scientists about climate change. The entire legal document is in the PDF below. For those who wish to see the relevant sections, I have cut & pasted the testimony below. It is very long, and my apologies for that, but it does represent an attempt to establish the current situation. I believe many will find the comments of value.

    This case could have important legal implications in the USA, so it is being discussed on at least four climate blogs/websites; there are many interesting comments on it already.

    Please feel free to comment on any of the sections or findings as you see fit.

    :)P

    I. The Science of Climate Change Indicates that It Is

    Virtually Certain that Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    from Human Activities Cause Global Climate

    Changes, Endangering Human Health and Welfare.

    Neither EPA nor the court of appeals correctly applied

    the science of climate change to the petition for

    rulemaking. In its report in 2001, Climate Change Science,

    a panel of NAS/NRC unambiguously stated that it is

    virtually certain7 that greenhouse gas emissions from

    human activities cause global climate changes. These

    emissions increase the risk of adverse effects on health and

    welfare. To aid this Court in understanding the foregoing

    conclusion, we first clarify what scientific knowledge

    informs us about anthropogenic climate change.

    [“IPCC”], Technical Summary of the Working Group I Report of the

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 28 n.4 (2001) (“In this

    Technical Summary and in the Summary for Policymakers, the

    following words have been used where appropriate to indicate

    judgmental estimates of confidence: virtually certain (greater than 99%

    chance that a result is true); very likely (90-99% chance); likely (66-90%

    chance); medium likelihood (33-66% chance); unlikely (10-33%

    chance); very unlikely (1-10% chance); exceptionally unlikely (less than

    1% chance). The reader is referred to individual chapters for more

    details.”).

    8 Water vapor is a greenhouse gas and is an important amplifier of

    climate change because its atmospheric concentrations tend to increase

    when the atmosphere and surface waters warm up. Anthropogenic

    emissions of water vapor to the atmosphere by automobiles and other

    combustion sources do not significantly affect global atmospheric

    concentrations of water vapor relative to the natural evaporation and

    condensation processes, and thus they do not “cause, or contribute,”

    to pollution implicated in anthropogenic climate change. 42 U.S.C.

    7521(a)(1) .

    1. The basic physics underlying the greenhouse effect

    is firmly established. Two principles in particular are as

    certain as any phenomena in planetary sciences. First,

    particular atmospheric gases (“greenhouse gases”) absorb

    radiation that otherwise would be lost to space, and

    re-radiate it back to the ground. A planet with those gases

    in its atmosphere is thus warmer at the surface than it

    would be without them. Second, greater atmospheric

    concentrations of greenhouse gases, all other things being

    equal, cause higher temperatures at the surface. The Earth

    is habitable for its current life forms in part because

    natural levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

    warm the surface.

    2. Over the last two centuries, it is virtually certain that

    human activities have increased amounts of important

    greenhouse gases (primarily CO2, CH4, N2O, and

    fluorocarbons8) in the atmosphere to levels not seen in all

    of prior human experience, and likely not seen for 3

    million years. 9 See note 7 supra.

    3. It is likely or very likely9 that human-induced

    increases in these greenhouse gases are already causing

    global climate to warm. Human activities likely caused

    most of the approximately 0.6 oC (1.1 oF) rise over the 20th

    century. J.A. 151, Climate Change Science at 1. The mean

    ocean temperature has risen by 0.05 oC (0.09 oF), global

    average sea level has risen by 0.1 to 0.2 meters (1/3 to 2/3

    feet) over the 20th century, and snow cover and Arctic ice

    have decreased by about 10% and 10-15%, respectively,

    since the late 1960s (when data first became available for

    this measurement). Id. at 16. A variety of other climate

    factors are changing consistent with warming induced by

    greenhouse gases. By contrast, we know of no measures

    of climate on the global scale that indicate cooling.

    4. It is virtually certain that what has been observed so

    far is only the beginning, and that continued greenhouse

    gas emissions along current trajectories will cause

    additional warming of the earth system as a whole. The

    average time for removal from the atmosphere of added

    carbon dioxide is measured in centuries. It is very likely

    that such perturbation would cause the rate of surface

    warming and sea level rise in the 21st century to be

    substantially larger and faster than that experienced in the

    20th century, without precedent in the past 10,000 years.

    5. The first sentences of Climate Change Science state:

    Greenhouse gases are accumulating in Earth’s

    atmosphere as a result of human activities, causing

    surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean

    temperatures to rise. Temperatures are, in fact,

    rising. The changes observed over the last several

    decades are likely mostly due to human activities,

    but we cannot rule out that some significant part of

    these changes is also a reflection of natural

    variability. Human-induced warming and associated

    sea level rises are expected to continue through the

    21st century. Secondary effects are suggested by

    computer model simulations and basic physical

    reasoning. These include increases in rainfall rates

    and increased susceptibility of semi-arid regions to

    drought. The impacts of these changes will be

    critically dependent on the magnitude of the

    warming and the rate with which it occurs.

    J.A. 151, Climate Change Science at 1.

    6. Although the general link between increased

    greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and increased

    warming of the earth system is virtually certain, the

    complexity of the climate system means that predictions of

    specific details that follow from this general link are

    subject to varying degrees of certainty. Among the more

    certain predictions are the following:

    a. It is likely, based on both models and on data from

    the ice ages over the last 400,000 years, that if atmospheric

    carbon dioxide doubled from pre-industrial times, and

    rose no further, the long-term rise of global average

    surface temperature (the “climate sensitivity”) would be

    between 1.5 and 4.5 oC (2.7 - 8.1 oF). J.A. 166, Climate

    Change Science at 7.

    b. In the absence of emissions reductions, however,

    carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are very

    likely to increase to much more than twice pre-industrial

    values, and the consequent rise in global average

    temperature during the 21st century, projected to be 1.4 to

    5.8 oC (2.5 to 10.4 oF), will likely continue to higher values

    beyond the year 2100. IPCC, Technical Summary, at 69.

    c. This amount of warming in 6.a and 6.b is very likely

    to drive melting of arctic ice sheets and further increases

    in global average sea level by 2100, with continued sealevel

    rise in the decades and centuries following 2100.

    d. The anticipated sea level rise, especially when

    combined with likely increases in hurricane intensities,

    would exacerbate storm surges and have direct, negative

    impacts on health and welfare in the United States, and

    globally. These negative impacts would be concentrated in

    low-lying coastal regions, such as Cape Cod,

    Massachusetts, the Gulf coast, and southern Florida.

    e. Rising temperatures are also likely to lead to

    increases in extreme weather events (especially heat

    waves, and associated heat-related deaths) and altered

    patterns of rainfall (e.g., droughts and floods) that will

    disrupt natural and agricultural ecosystems, and increase

    the risk of extinction of animal and plant species.

    f. Ocean acidity is very likely to increase by several

    tenths of a pH unit due to continued uptake of carbon

    dioxide, and this acidification is likely to cause substantial

    stress to key marine organisms, and hence to whole

    marine ecosystems, particularly in cold water regions.

    Although this is an impact of increasing levels of

    greenhouse gases, it is not an atmospheric climate change

    and therefore was not addressed in Climate Change Science.

    g. Ground level ozone (“smog”) levels (and associated

    risks to human health) are very likely to increase with

    temperature, especially in the Northeastern United States,

    where many areas currently experience ozone levels that

    exceed EPA Clean Air Act standards on hot summer days.

    7. The possibilities of the climate changes above have

    been carefully and extensively assessed, and there is a

    broad scientific consensus that these changes are likely or

    very likely. This consensus is clearly expressed in Climate

    Change Science. It is harder to determine how long it may

    take for these changes to occur, and what the precise

    magnitude of the impacts may be. The climate system has

    a great deal of inertia (especially in the ice sheets and

    oceans), and thus the effects of greenhouse gases already

    in the atmosphere are delayed. Emissions of GHGs

    commit the climate to future warming long after release to

    the atmosphere.

    8. Apart from the likely, very likely, and virtually

    certain gradual climate changes outlined in points 1-7,

    there is also an as yet unquantifiable probability that

    continued greenhouse gas emissions will trigger abrupt

    climate change surprises that could very rapidly impose

    large impacts on ecosystems and human welfare and

    health. The NAS/NRC issued a detailed report (Abrupt

    Climate Change) on this matter in 2002, showing that

    abrupt climate changes (e.g., large regional cooling or

    warming, widespread droughts, shifts in hurricane

    frequency or flood regimes that occur in only a decade or

    so) are possible because they have happened in the past,

    at the dawn of human history and before. We do not

    understand these switches very well, but there is a finite

    but unknown risk that continued emission of greenhouse

    gases will trigger a climate change surprise.

    9. The science of climate change (including the

    uncertainties) implies that delay in reducing greenhouse

    gas emissions will very likely increase the risks to human

    societies. Early steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

    to levels below current trajectories will certainly reduce

    the magnitude of climate change that would otherwise be

    caused. Because of inertia in the climate system, it will be

    many decades before effects of emission reductions are

    realized.

    10. Delaying reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

    heightens the risk to human welfare because climate

    inertia commits us to large-scale, long term (centuries)

    climate change consequences before the exact nature of

    those consequences can be known. The heightened risk of

    delaying emissions reductions is clearly expressed in

    Climate Change Science. J.A. 151-152, Climate Change Science

    at 1.

    11. Stratospheric ozone depletion and the Antarctic

    “ozone hole” illustrate how both surprise and inertia may

    increase the risks from unmitigated global environmental

    change. Models predicted that the emission of

    chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other chlorinated

    halocarbons by human activities would gradually deplete

    stratospheric ozone. No model predicted the stratospheric

    ozone hole in advance of its discovery in the mid-1980s.

    The reality of ozone depletion turned out to be worse than

    even the worst-case modeled scenario because none of the

    models anticipated the novel chemistry of ozone depletion

    via polar stratospheric clouds above the south (and north)

    poles. The CFC phase-out of the 1990s should allow the

    ozone hole to recover, but it will take about 75 years, a

    time lag reflecting the long lifetimes of CFCs (inertia

    preventing recovery). It is noteworthy that early regulation

    by the United States (beginning in the 1970s, before the

    ozone hole was discovered) certainly reduced the risks

    and damages that unfolded in the case of stratospheric

    ozone depletion.

    10 See, e.g., Joint Science Academies’ Statement: Global Response to Climate

    Change, available at http://www.nationalacademies.org/onpi/

    06072005.pdf (June 2005) (signed by the presidents of the national

    scientific academies in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India,

    Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States). The

    Statement begins:

    Climate change is real. There will always be uncertainty in

    understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate.

    However there is now strong evidence that significant global

    warming is occurring. The evidence comes from direct

    measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface

    ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in

    average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to

    many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of

    the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human

    activities (IPCC 2001). This warming has already led to changes

    in the Earth’s climate.

    Id. (emphasis added).

    11 J. Hansen, M. Sato, R. Ruedy, K. Lo, D.W. Lea & M.

    Medina-Elizade, Global Temperature Change, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci.

    (forthcoming); J.C. Comiso, Arctic Warming Signals from Satellite

    Observations, 61-3 Weather 70-76 (2006).

    12. Developments since the NAS/NRC reports of 2001

    and 2002 have only reinforced the finding that recent

    climate changes are “likely mostly due to human

    activities.”10 J.A. 151, Climate Change Science at 1.

    a. The five warmest years since pre-industrial times

    were 1998, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 (2005 is the warmest

    overall), and the reduction of ice cover in the Arctic has

    accelerated.11

    b. A recent NAS/NRC report confirmed temperature

    trends discussed in Climate Change Science, concluding that

    the global mean surface temperature during the last few

    17

    decades of the 20th century was higher than any

    comparable period in the past four centuries, and, likely

    so, in the past 1000 years. Reconstructions at 2, Report in

    Brief; id. at 3.

    c. The question of the apparent discrepancy between

    late 20th century temperature rise at the surface, versus

    satellite-derived temperatures above the surface, regarded

    as a puzzle in Climate Change Science, has been resolved. A

    recent comprehensive scientific reevaluation, which

    corrected errors in the initial satellite estimates, concluded

    that “all available data sets show that both the surface and

    the troposphere have warmed.” U.S. Climate Change

    Science Program, Temperature Trends in the Lower

    Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling

    Differences 1 (Apr. 2006).

    ClimateScientistsAmicusFinal.pdf

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    An important case is at the Supreme Court at the moment, State of Massachusetts vs. EPA. It is a ctually a case about pollution, but contains important elements relating to Climate Science. Presented to the court was a statement by climate scientists about climate change. The entire legal document is in the PDF below. For those who wish to see the relevant sections, I have cut & pasted the testimony below. It is very long, and my apologies for that, but it does represent an attempt to establish the current situation. I believe many will find the comments of value.

    This case could have important legal implications in the USA, so it is being discussed on at least four climate blogs/websites; there are many interesting comments on it already.

    Please feel free to comment on any of the sections or findings as you see fit.

    :)P

    Hi P3 :blush:

    No doubt this will turn out to be an interesting case, and the outcome will fuel the fires for further debate, especially for the side that "wins". Of course, before going any further it is worth noting that there is a distinct probability that this won't prove anything - a legal dispute, which this basically is, generally has little to do with proving the guilt or innocence of either of the two parties (boy, I'm cynical!) but often boils down to who has the better lawyer. Should OJ Simpson have been convicted? Who knows? But OJ certainly had the better lawyers. In that case I wasn't convinced of his innocence, but nor was I convinced of his guilt.

    That said, if we're going to talk about this it makes sense for me - the fence-sitter (!) - to play Devil's Advocate and argue the case for the defence. The defence, of course, don't have to prove that AGW isn't happening, just prevent the prosecution from proving that it is. I suspect it may also be difficult to find an unbiased jury (in fact the odds are on there being a hung verdict, especially since it takes only one dissenter to prevent there from being a conclusive outcome). In any group of twelve people, the odds are that at least one of them will be Anti-AGW.

    (Out of interest, who are the jury? Or is it one of those situations where the two sides only have to convince the judge?)

    Anyway, I've had a read through the case for the prosecution that you quoted, though not the full document yet. Interesting reading, though I contest several points. Now, I wouldn't make a very good lawyer because I haven't read the following links fully yet, but I thought I'd post them now so that they're available for people to read. Mostly they come from a site called "Heartland.org". I haven't looked into their credentials thoroughly yet, but they claim to be a non-profit organisation which has no affiliation with government or industry (which makes them fairly unbiased, politically speaking, one would suppose - although it does rather depend upon their own personal bias). (NOTE: These articles are not necessarily all up to date, but still make for interesting reading!)

    Link 1: Survey Shows Climatologists Are Split on Global Warming

    http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=17181

    Link 2: Himalayan Glaciers Are Growing ... and Confounding Global Warming Alarmists

    http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId...FTOKEN=87304193

    Link 3: The Questionable Science Behind the Global Warming Scare

    http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId...FTOKEN=87304193

    Link 4: Regarding bias in the Scientific Literature (do a search for the term "turned down")

    http://www.aeeny.org/news/newsletters/2005..._Newsletter.doc

    Finally, taken from Link 4, a quote:

    In January [2005], Dr Chris Landsea, an expert on hurricanes with the United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, resigned from the IPCC, claiming that it was "motivated by pre-conceived agendas" and was "scientifically unsound".

    Anyhoo, that's enough from me for now. More to look into, as always!

    Catch you later! ;)

    C-Bob

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    Hi P3 :D

    . Mostly they come from a site called "Heartland.org". I haven't looked into their credentials thoroughly yet, but they claim to be a non-profit organisation which has no affiliation with government or industry (which makes them fairly unbiased, politically speaking, one would suppose - although it does rather depend upon their own personal bias). (NOTE: These articles are not necessarily all up to date, but still make for interesting reading!)

    C-Bob

    Somebody call a cynic?

    Here you go CB

    Sourcewatch on Heartland

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title...tland_Institute

    and Exxonsecrets

    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41

    I found this, for me, particularly damning:-

    "Walter F. Buchholtz, an ExxonMobil executive, sits on Heartland's Board of Directors. (4/04) "

    According to Heartland's website he is still sitting there. I would think in order to remove doubts about their desire to remain independent they could simply remove old Walter. :D

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    An important case is at the Supreme Court at the moment, State of Massachusetts vs. EPA. It is a ctually a case about pollution, but contains important elements relating to Climate Science. Presented to the court was a statement by climate scientists about climate change. The entire legal document is in the PDF below. For those who wish to see the relevant sections, I have cut & pasted the testimony below. It is very long, and my apologies for that, but it does represent an attempt to establish the current situation. I believe many will find the comments of value.

    This case could have important legal implications in the USA, so it is being discussed on at least four climate blogs/websites; there are many interesting comments on it already.

    Please feel free to comment on any of the sections or findings as you see fit.

    :)P

    What is staggering for me (and I suspect anyone reading the document) is the amount of virtually certain (greater than 99%) given to the statements by the climate scientists. It is both a clear statement of where the science is at the moment and a fundamental challenge to the sceptic community. I pray that this can be picked up by major media so that we can have a public and well reported commentary on this case.

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    You're right that legal cases don't necessarily prove anything, but if [and it is an if] the Supreme Court (justices only, no jury) accepts this testimony, it means that a precedent has been set in the US courts, which could have some significant knock-on effects. As it is unlikely that the current administration will do anything about climate policy in the next two years, it's probably a moot point, but it does keep the issue in the public eye (New York Times), and it does allow a starting point for emissions policies to be worked on in the USA. Whether emissions policy is of any value is a separate issue.

    As EA says, Heartland is well known as a generally right-wing, pro-smoking, anti-Kyoto 'think tank'. None of this means necessarily that its posts are false, but it does suggest that their motives might be considered suspect.

    On your first link, I am aware of the Oreskes study (which was an analysis of published articles and papers from a social studies perspective), but don't remember the Times riposte. However, I do have time for Benny Peiser, who is nobody's fool. Like him I was suspicious of such unanimity, but I'm not sure either about his 50/50 split; so much depends on how one does the analysis. My guess, from googling extensively, would be that 70-80% of climate scientists are pretty certain about most of what is commonly said about AGW, maybe 20-25% have one or more concerns about important details, whilst not contradicting the underlying science, and maybe 5-10% are uncomfortable with the whole thing. Outside the USA, I'd guess that the balance was even more in favour of the AGW consensus.

    Latest on Glaciers (this week) that I have read says that there are no longer any glaciers which are growing; I'll look out the link. Bear in mind that some glaciers are linked more strongly to local precipitation than global climate, so these need to be analysed in relation to their specific conditions, as did the Kilimanjaro case, where it seems that the melting is not necessarily linked to GW.

    On the 'questionable science' article, unfortunately, almost all of this is either false or misrepresenting/ wilfully misunderstanding the science. All of the points have been discussed hundreds of times over on dozens of websites. The 'anti-GW' sites repeat the claims, the 'pro-GW' ones refute them. I've studied most of the individual points previously in some detail, and they don't stand up well to serious logical scrutiny, never mind scientific analysis.

    There have been problems with the IPCC since its inception. One of the problems is that it was set up to be an apolitical 'neutral voice', independent of political pressure, but has been pressurised from the outset by lobbyists, political interest, industry and business and green groups, as well as internally, by various climate science 'factions'. That it manages to produce anything at all is remarkable in its own way. But this is not to say that its output is bad, only compromised. On that subject, it is important to consider that, in general, the final reports are compromises and innately conservative, rather than 'extreme' or 'alarmist'; this description is a deliberate misrepresentation by one of the lobbies, the 'anti-GW'ers.

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    On your first link, I am aware of the Oreskes study (which was an analysis of published articles and papers from a social studies perspective), but don't remember the Times riposte. However, I do have time for Benny Peiser, who is nobody's fool.

    Yes I'm unfamiliar with the Bray work but a summary is here on Fred Singer's site

    http://www.sepp.org/Archive/NewSEPP/Bray.htm

    And a link to Professor Bray's work

    http://w3g.gkss.de/G/Mitarbeiter/bray.html...surveymenu.html

    I'm not sure what was wrong with his work with regard the rejection; was the sample too small or selective??/

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Yes I'm unfamiliar with the Bray work but a summary is here on Fred Singer's site

    http://www.sepp.org/Archive/NewSEPP/Bray.htm

    And a link to Professor Bray's work

    http://w3g.gkss.de/G/Mitarbeiter/bray.html...surveymenu.html

    I'm not sure what was wrong with his work with regard the rejection; was the sample too small or selective??/

    Thanks for the useful links, EA. On questions 7 & 8 ('GW is real at present' and 'GW is real for future', to paraphrase), I note 82% and 81% agreement to strong agreement. These are close enough to my estimates above to cheer me up no end. Notable also is the response to Q.11: 'Uncertainty is currently too great to recommend policy action', very, very few agreed. Nearly half strongly disagreed.

    Certainly not Oreskes' 'unanimous' verdict, but then she was measuring something different; it does show that her conclusion was not well-founded, though.

    Postscript: Hans von Storch is an interesting scientist whose work and opinions are often at odds with the consensus, particularly with respect to the degree of warming attributable to CO2. He is also highly respected in the community. Perhaps he is a good example of a 'maverick'?

    :)P

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Blimey! That's some serious replying there! I haven't had a chance to sit down and read my own links yet! As I said, I haven't read them or checked their validity, but I found Heartland a potentially interesting source. If, indeed, they do have a board of directors with ties to various industries then it really doesn't look that good for them, does it? Time to find another source... Though, as you say P3, it doesn't invalidate their comments if they are true... But then I can't accept them if they have these ties, for the same reason that I am dubious of Realclimate - I can't pick and choose my sources! Though it seems to be becoming increasingly difficult to find unimpeachable sources... :D

    With regards to Sourcewatch, though, I have noticed that their entries all seem to be about people who oppose things. Not necessarily those who wrongly oppose things, but all people who oppose things. Interesting, also, to note that they have no entry for Michael "Hockey-Stick" Mann. (Sorry to go on about him!) But surely a figure as well-known as Mann should have an entry on sourcewatch, if only to prove his reliability as a source? That caught my attention. (Trust No One!!)

    You're right that legal cases don't necessarily prove anything, but if [and it is an if]the Supreme Court (justices only, no jury) accepts this testimony, it means that a precedent has been set in the US courts, which could have some significant knock-on effects.

    Sorry, didn't have my thinking hat on - justices, no jury, right! Doh! I do worry that a "guilty" verdict will set a legal precedent that allows any Tom, Dick or Harry to sue his/her local government for millions because of their failure to act on GW. Can anyone say "Ruined Economy"? (Okay, once again this is a worst case scenario, but if the IPCC can do it then so can I!) Once again, though, I look forward to seeing how the case pans out.

    For now I think I'd better go and check my own links and see what I think of them... :D

    Back later

    C-Bob

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    You won't find Mann on Sourcewatch, because it is principally a US-oriented liberal website dealing with political issues and lobby groups, rather than climate science per-se. An interesting [though not always unbiased] alternative is to look at the biogs on Wikipedia.

    Once again I repeat my concern that you feel that there is something wrong with Mann, or the hockey stick. What about Bradley and Hughes, the co-authors of the original paper? What about the BASC acceptance of the hockey stick? What about the fact that fourteen independent subsequent proxy studies show pretty much the same thing as the MBH graph? What about the Vostok ice cores?

    AGW doesn't need the hockey stick to demonstrate its validity. That it was chosen to be used by the IPCC to illustrate a point has been unfortunate for Mann and his colleagues, as it has led to a disproportionate emphasis on what is, in the end, just another scientific paper. If you don't like the hockey stick, ignore it, but don't use it as a stick to beat the 'uncertainty' drum; it isn't that significant, now.

    :)P

    Edit: there is a large range of temperature reconstructions available here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

    In addition, there is a lot of good material on Wikipedia, under 'temperature reconstructions for the past 1000 years', as well as articles on Mann and his critics.

    You might also enjoy the piece on Bjorn Lomborg's 'The Skeptical Environmentalist'.

    :)P

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    Guest Viking141
    Somebody call a cynic?

    Here you go CB

    Sourcewatch on Heartland

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title...tland_Institute

    and Exxonsecrets

    http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php?id=41

    I found this, for me, particularly damning:-

    "Walter F. Buchholtz, an ExxonMobil executive, sits on Heartland's Board of Directors. (4/04) "

    According to Heartland's website he is still sitting there. I would think in order to remove doubts about their desire to remain independent they could simply remove old Walter. :D

    Dont believe everything you read! Sourcewatch (formerly Disinfopedia) themselves, their parent organisation the Center for Media and Democracy and associated groups like PR Watch are not exactly the guardians of truth they like to paint themselves to be. Indeed they seem to delight in demonising all things corporate whilst they are not above taking large sums of money to fund their activities from some of the richest families in America, riches funded on their corporate activities. Heres a bit of "Soucewatch" on Sourcewatch!

    Activcash article on Sourcewatch

    Article on Sourcewatch, CMD and PR Watch

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    Posted
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    You won't find Mann on Sourcewatch, because it is principally a US-oriented liberal website dealing with political issues and lobby groups, rather than climate science per-se. An interesting [though not always unbiased] alternative is to look at the biogs on Wikipedia.

    Once again I repeat my concern that you feel that there is something wrong with Mann, or the hockey stick. What about Bradley and Hughes, the co-authors of the original paper? What about the BASC acceptance of the hockey stick? What about the fact that fourteen independent subsequent proxy studies show pretty much the same thing as the MBH graph? What about the Vostok ice cores?

    AGW doesn't need the hockey stick to demonstrate its validity. That it was chosen to be used by the IPCC to illustrate a point has been unfortunate for Mann and his colleagues, as it has led to a disproportionate emphasis on what is, in the end, just another scientific paper. If you don't like the hockey stick, ignore it, but don't use it as a stick to beat the 'uncertainty' drum; it isn't that significant, now.

    :)P

    The Hockey stick and Mann are both still bugbears of mine, but there's no point in flogging that particular dead horse - I am not going to convince you of my suspicions of them and you are not going to convince me of their validity. If, indeed, the hockey stick isn't that crucial to the argument then it should be possible to convince me with other information :D In this case I wasn't using it to "beat the uncertainty drum" but merely to illustrate a gap in Sourcewatch's information - if Michael Mann (or anyone else for that matter) is a valid source then surely they should let people know this fact.

    (Are those the same Vostok Ice Cores that show CO2 increasing after temperature? :D )

    Those survey results make interesting reading - shame they're in such an awkward format to read. Perhaps I'll copy and tabulate them sometime when I have far too much free time on my hands. There seems to be a fairly conclusive "Yes" as an answer to whether we know enough about climate change to make policy decisions, but when asked if we know various aspects of the climate system with any accuracy there seems a fairly resounding "No". How, precisely, can we think we know enough about climate to make policy decisions while accepting that we know little about various crucial aspects?

    I'll give some quotes on this tomorrow...

    Enough for now!

    C-Bob

    PS - Thanks for that update, Viking! I'm a little skeptical about Sourcewatch, for the reason I make above...

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Just as a quick update, here's what I found out about Walter F Buchholtz from Zoominfo.com:

    Walter F. Buchholtz is the Senior Issues Advisor in the Public Affairs Department of Exxon Mobil Corporation. He began his career at ExxonMobil in 1981 as an Industrial Hygienist at the Exxon Baytown Chemical Plant. In 1985 he became manager of the Environmental Affairs Department at the Chemical Plant where he coordinated Exxon Chemical legislative and regulatory support on environmental and health issues in Texas. Buchholtz then became Manager of the Government Relations and Issue Management Department in Exxon Chemical Company where he continued to emphasize safety, health, environmental and trade regulations at the state, federal and international levels.

    Today he is the Senior Issues Advisor and he works to coordinate global policy, manage activities to address issues of global climate change and directs activities to promote the use of sound science, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis in the development of treaties, legislation and regulation. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Heartland Institute in Chicago and the National Policy Association in Washington, D.C.

    Industrial Hygienist? Manager of Environmental Affairs? Emphasised safety, health, environmental and trade regulations? Promotes the use of sound science?

    Yup, he sounds like a highfalutin, Earth-pollutin' loony to me... Or does he sound like someone more concerned with ExxonMobil's impact on the environment? Hmmmm.....

    :D

    C-Bob

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    Does this help to explain the reasoning behind CO2 as a forcing? http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/20/21248/499

    The previous post mentioned in the article [with a link] might also be helpful.

    The links I posted before from NOAA; compare and contrast the various measurements; does a pattern emerge? A look at three or four should make the point.

    :)P

    Edit: this is one example from the NOAA datasets: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/darrig...arrigo2006.html

    :)P

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    Does this help to explain the reasoning behind CO2 as a forcing? http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/20/21248/499

    The previous post mentioned in the article [with a link] might also be helpful.

    The links I posted before from NOAA; compare and contrast the various measurements; does a pattern emerge? A look at three or four should make the point.

    :)P

    Hi, and thanks for the link - it explains the process in simple yet clear detail. However, I have no problem understanding the reasoning behind CO2 as a forcing, I just fail to see the necessity of invoking CO2's "forcing ability" when the continuation of CO2 increase can be explained by the continuation of temperature increase. Further, this does not explain the occasions when CO2 and temperature have diverged from one another rather than following in tandem. (Admittedly neither does the "direct correlation" approach, so presumably another force is at work during those periods.)

    The links you have posted to NOAA I have had a look at - several of the reconstructions are by Mann et al, which means that I must disregard them if I am to maintain my belief that Mann's work may not be accurate. (I know you refuse to accept my view, but there you have it.) There are various other datasets that Mann has not worked on (as far as one can tell), with data in tabular format. I have started looking through these and will make my conclusions when I have finished.

    As for Heartland's "Faulty Science" bit, exactly what parts are wrong? Certainly their proposal that there is far from a "scientific concensus" is on fairly solid ground.

    :closedeyes:

    C-Bob

    PS - When I refer to Mann, I am not singling Mann himself out per se. This is not a personal vendetta. Obviously anyone associated with the hockey stick graph would be included in my reasoning - I do not hold any personal grudge against Michael Mann, but his name is the most prominent.

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    Let's deal with the seven conclusions as a baseline:

    Seven Things You Should Know

    About Global Warming

    1. Most scientists do not believe human activities threaten to disrupt the Earth's climate.

    2. The most reliable temperature data show no global warming trend.

    3. General circulation models are too crude to predict future climate changes.

    4. The IPCC did not prove that human activities are causing global warming.

    5. A modest amount of global warming, should it occur, would be beneficial to the natural world and to human civilization.

    6. Quickly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions would be costly and would not stop global warming.

    7. The best strategy to pursue is one of "no regrets."

    And remembering that this dates back to 1998.

    Point 1. the '17000 scientists' survey is almost infamous now; it has been shown to be , without messing about, fraudulent. There are several references on various sites, but the bottom line is that the survey and results as Heartland presented never happened. Bearing in mind that Von Storch, co-author of the earlier mentioned survey on this thread, is no 'friend' of the 'consensus scientists', the more recent survey showing 80%+ broad agreement, whilst I think it could still be conservative, is probably a more representative guide to current scientific thinking about AGW.

    Point 2. A no-brainer. Choose a metric or dataset; look at the figures. Take the CRU as an example; what does it show? The claim of unreliability is unsubstantiated. Some records are not as reliable as we would like them to be. Some figures have had to be adjusted to account for external variables, but there is no current measure of global temperature which does not show a warming trend. Check the NCDC climate reports if you need standard measurements.

    Point 3. Nobody is claiming that any GCM can 'predict' future climate. They are simplifications of complex systems. They make certain assumptions. But why does every GCM show the same, broad warming for the future? How is it that hindcasting can replicate past climate shifts but the same methods cannot model future climate shifts? There is still work to be done on the climate models, but uncertainty about their output needs to be put into the context of the huge amount of work and analysis done on them in the last twenty years; they are as good as we can get them, and we don't have anything else. They all show a very high probability of a future warming trend. They are quite good at modelling past and current large-scale patterns, and at matching trend patterns from reliable datasets. They'll do for me.

    Point 4. So what? The IPCC TAR, summarising the available science, concluded that AGW was very likely. The AR4, due out next year, may well conclude that AGW is virtually certain [99% probability]. What it did show is that human-induced warming is the best [and currently only] explanation for recent temperature trends.

    Point 5. Plausible, but it is highly dependent on where you live. How much is a modest amount? Given the uncertainties that they themselves mention, what is the basis for this claim? A 2C warming will, without doubt, cause substantial problems. 3C would be a mojor problem. More than 3C is very, very bad for all of us. Don't even ask about a 6C warming.

    Point 6. True. A problem for policy makers, this is specifically aimed at Kyoto. But it misses the point. Not reducing emissions very soon will almost certainly lead to many more, and more serious, problems down the line, in 100-200 years, if not sooner.

    Point 7. What does this mean? Do nothing? Sustain existing first world lifestyles at the cost of currently uncertain future problems? Very enlightened. Isn' this just ostrich reaction?

    More later. Off to lunch.

    :)P

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    Point 7. What does this mean? Do nothing? Sustain existing first world lifestyles at the cost of currently uncertain future problems? Very enlightened. Isn' this just ostrich reaction?

    More later. Off to lunch.

    :)P

    I'll have a look into your post later, but I can quickly address this last point. The "No Regrets" idea does not say "Do Nothing"!! Far from it. The Heartland website quite clearly states what the "No Regrets" policy is - in fact it is even explained at the end of the very article you have just dissected. It is not an "ostrich reaction", it is a sensible stance based on the absolutely unequivical evidence we do have.

    Don't dismiss something without examining it first. I think that's what you keep telling me ;)

    C-Bob

    Quick update, here's a link to an article I found through Zoominfo. Once again, an interesting article - especially the part where it says some climate scientists were to boycott a couple of science journals that published a competing viewpoint (the audacity!). Very professional behaviour...

    http://cache.zoominfo.com/cachedpage/?arch...;lastName=Seitz

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Re point 1 - I was under the impression that the 17,000 scientists thing was effectively a petition, not a survey - a "read this and sign at the bottom if you agree" kind of thing. The wording may have been "misleading" (as I have read elsewhere) with regards to how the petition was to be used, but surely the fact that anyone signed shows some degree of dissent in the ranks. Or are you saying that the petition was never even circulated, and that the 17,000 names were put on without the consent of the scientists in question (or are the names all made up too?).

    On to point 3 (I'll return to point 2 at a later date), why do the GCMs show the same, broad warming for the future? Perhaps because one of the assumptions is that the climate will continue to warm? Or that the data taken as input is faulty? Or the models themselves are missing something? I'm not saying that this is the case necessarily, but there are plausible reasons for the GCMs throwing up the same things. I don't know enough about climate models to be able to pinpoint specific inaccuracies in them, I confess - a point for future research, me thinks.

    Point 4 - this is more of a political/media thing to my mind, but the general viewpoint among politicians and journalists does seem to be "Climate Change is happening because the IPCC says it is". If the IPCC haven't actually proven anything then it is wrong for the politicians and journalists to act as though they have.

    Point 5 - Dependent on where you live? In what respect? Granted it might (possibly) be impractical or inconvenient to live in coastal regions, but the "modest amount" of GW they are referring to is the amount that would make vegetation more lush and more widespread, which has legitimate positive knock-on effects for the Earth's whole ecosystem. As the degree of future warming is unknown, it is not irrelevant to consider the positive effects of modest temperature increase.

    Point 6 -

    Not reducing emissions very soon will almost certainly lead to many more, and more serious, problems down the line, in 100-200 years, if not sooner.

    What is the basis for this statement? How much of an impact is, say, 10 years going to have? In 10 years you would expect climate science to have come on in leaps and bounds, making any conclusions more accurate and reliable. How much of a difference will 10 years make considering that China, and others, won't agree to Kyoto anyway? How much of a difference will 10 years make, especially if the "No Regrets" strategy is implemented post haste?

    More later ;)

    C-Bob

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I'll have a look into your post later, but I can quickly address this last point. The "No Regrets" idea does not say "Do Nothing"!! Far from it. The Heartland website quite clearly states what the "No Regrets" policy is - in fact it is even explained at the end of the very article you have just dissected. It is not an "ostrich reaction", it is a sensible stance based on the absolutely unequivical evidence we do have.

    Don't dismiss something without examining it first. I think that's what you keep telling me ;)

    C-Bob

    Quick update, here's a link to an article I found through Zoominfo. Once again, an interesting article - especially the part where it says some climate scientists were to boycott a couple of science journals that published a competing viewpoint (the audacity!). Very professional behaviour...

    http://cache.zoominfo.com/cachedpage/?arch...;lastName=Seitz

    Hmm. Baliunas and Soon again. Here's the Wikipedia take on this well-known paper:

    In 2003, Baliunas and Soon published a paper which reviewed a number of previous scientific papers and came to the conclusion that the climate hasn't changed in the last 2000 years. However, 13 of the authors of the papers Baliunas and Soon cited refuted her interpretation of their work, and several editors of "Climate Research", the journal which published the paper, resigned in protest at a flawed peer review process which allowed the publication. The observations used by Baliunas and Soon in respect of MWP and LIA are often not temperature proxies but indications of wet or dry; Mann et al. argue that their failure to ensure that the proxies reflect temperature renders the assessment suspect [8]. More recently, Osborn and Briffa repeated the Baliunas and Soon study but restricted themselves to records that were validated as temperature proxies, and came to a different result [9].

    This is a slightly different version of what you imply.

    This is a well-known paper in the climate science discussions and is, as Wikipedia suggests, not highly regarded for the accuracy of its science. The last point in particular is significant; their results are not replicable, which probably invalidates the paper. It was not 'mob-handedness' which motivated the scientific anger, but outrage that such a scientifically suspect paper was published in the first place.

    I'll come back to your second post asap.

    :)P

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
    Hmm. Baliunas and Soon again. Here's the Wikipedia take on this well-known paper:

    This is a slightly different version of what you imply.

    This is a well-known paper in the climate science discussions and is, as Wikipedia suggests, not highly regarded for the accuracy of its science. The last point in particular is significant; their results are not replicable, which probably invalidates the paper. It was not 'mob-handedness' which motivated the scientific anger, but outrage that such a scientifically suspect paper was published in the first place.

    Regardless of the accuracy of the paper, resigning from, or boycotting, the publication is hardly the most professional way to proceed. It does rather make them appear to be aghast at the thought of a competing idea appearing in a scientific journal. Refute the paper, make complaints or enquiries into the apparent failure of the peer review process, but don't resign. Make sure the perceived injustice doesn't happen again, don't throw your arms in the air and walk out. Where are the dispassionate scientists?

    Also, the authors of 13 of the cited papers refuted Soon and Baliunas' claims, but the study covered over 240 different papers. About 5% of the papers' authors were unhappy about the findings of the study. So the concensus is on Soon and Baliunas' side?

    Any thoughts on the "No Regrets" policy?

    ;)

    C-Bob

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Quick question P3 - what are your thoughts on The Scientific Alliance, as I see Benny Peiser sits on their Advisory Forum? A quick check shows me that Martin Livermore is viewed with some derision, but I recall that you have some time for Benny Peiser and that he's "nobody's fool".

    Do you think the site is worthy of any credence?

    C-Bob

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    I'm not in a position to make judgments on the decisions of the scientists in relation to the journal. Please note, though, that the resignations were by members of the editorial board of the journal, who felt that the journal's integrity had been compromised by the publication of the paper, not by the authors who complained about being misrepresented. Your comment about the other authors and consensus is disingenuous and you know it. :)

    For those who haven't read the link, here is the bullet point summary of the 'no regrets' policy. Side note that it is referred to by the authors as a response to an imagined 'save the day' policy by 'some environmentalists', as opposed to a response to any proposed policy by climate scientists, who generally appear reluctant to recomment specific policies in relation to CO2 emissions [there are notable exceptions].

    Fund research on the effects of higher CO2 concentrations on plants and agriculture.

    Break the federal monopoly over global warming research, which currently has the effect of funding only those researchers who support the catastrophist view of global warming.

    Lower capital gains taxes and make other changes to tax policies and regulations to encourage new investments in capital and technology, thereby speeding up the process of phasing out inefficient machinery.

    Repeal regulations that stand in the way of energy efficiency, such as restrictions on operating small businesses at home, and zoning ordinances that lead to urban sprawl. <60>

    Carefully target investments where they are needed to accommodate climate change. For example, higher sea levels, should they occur, could be addressed by modest improvements to dikes and seawalls in some areas, and by relocating homes and businesses in other areas. This cost--spread out over the course of a century--would surely be less than the cost of attempting to prevent climate change through energy taxes or emission caps. <61>

    Replace "command and control" regulations, which tell businesses what they must do to reduce emissions, with flexible and incentive-based rules that allow the use of lowest-cost options. This would end the pure waste of billions of dollars a year, allowing some part of that savings to be invested in research or ways to accommodate climate change.

    There has been quite a lot of research on the effects of higher CO2 concentrations on plants and agriculture. The vast majority, if not all of the research, indicates that increased concentrations of CO2 will have a detrimental effect, globally, on agriculture. recent research also indicates that, contrary to the suggestions by some, increased CO2 does not contribute to increased plant health beyond a very small increase, after which it is detrimental or has no effect, depending on the quantities involved.

    There may once have been a 'federal monopoly' in the USA in GW research, but there is little indication of it in the diversity of programmes and centres which study it across the USA. This also assumes that there is no research going on anywhere else in the World. As this is patently false, it can be seen that, even if it were true in the USA that the funding supports 'catastrophists' [yeah, like the Bush administration would do that!] it would be a misrepresentation of the current international state of climate research, so it is a null point.

    Lower taxes and deregulate industry, repeal zoning laws? That sounds like a good recipe to encourage responsible, climate-friendly industry, does it? Or maybe it is just a license to do what the hell you like to make more wealth now.

    Targetting investments in local building, such as coastal defences, could have some short-term and highly regionalised value, but this didn't help New Orleans much, and is really only addressed at the issue of sea-level rise, rather than issues such as drought, flooding, extreme weather events or developing diseases, suich as malaria. Not enough, not global, very expensive, in spite of the use of the term 'modest'. The insurance industry, amongst others, is already aware that such a strategy is going to prove more expensive in less than twenty years, even where it might have some benefits.

    I don't really have much of an opinion on the last point. Would regulation 'waste billions of dollars'? Would anyone pay attention to 'flexible rules', or would they simply stick with providing the shareholders with their dividends?

    There is no doubt in my mind that the current range of policies being offered in the UK are inadequate, and that taxing people to use their cars is an irrelevance, but I don't have a policy solution; I'm not expert enough on Economics or Climate to be so bold. But I'm not overly impressed with 'no regrets'; all it says to me is 'no action'.

    Going back to the very first post, do you have any comments or disputes with the testimony of the climate scientists to the Supreme Court?

    :)P

    Edit: just seen the post on The scientific Alliance; I don't know them - good find - I'll get back to you. :)P

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Hi P3 - I'll keep this brief as it's getting kind of late and I suppose I should sleep! Firstly, in case you haven't already found it (which I'm sure you have, well-versed as you are in the art of Googling!), here's a link to the Scientific Alliance website:

    http://www.scientific-alliance.org/

    Your comment about the other authors and consensus is disingenuous and you know it.

    :) Sorry - couldn't resist a little poke!

    As for "No Regrets", I'm not suggesting that the outline as they have it (and you have neatly summarised) is, in and of itself, perfect, but many of the objections you raise could be ironed out by careful wording of the Policy. An example could be, with reference to "Lower capital gains taxes and make other changes to tax policies and regulations to encourage new investments in capital and technology, thereby speeding up the process of phasing out inefficient machinery", imposing certain regulations that would urge industries to actively pursue updating machinery and implementing research into newer technologies. Just a thought. As for New Orleans, their defences against flood were under-maintained and desperately in need of repair - with appropriate funding they could have suffered far less in their horrible tragedy.

    Anyway, enough of that - I don't want to make any specific comments on the case for the prosecution just yet. I want to make sure that I have some legitimate information to counter with first! If we're going to do this properly then I'd better make sure that what I say will hold up in court!

    Anyways, off to bed now. Night!

    C-Bob :)

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  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Quick question P3 - what are your thoughts on The Scientific Alliance, as I see Benny Peiser sits on their Advisory Forum? A quick check shows me that Martin Livermore is viewed with some derision, but I recall that you have some time for Benny Peiser and that he's "nobody's fool".

    Do you think the site is worthy of any credence?

    C-Bob

    Not what it seems. Too political for my liking. It's 'staff' is a certain chap called Adams, who used to be Blair's private secretary, among other things, is pro-nuclear and GM, and anti-CO2 capping. The contact details used to be based in an aggregates quarry, the organisation funded by the quarry's owner. Has 'technical advisors including Baliunas, Fred Singer, Lindzen and Livermore, all pretty much singing from the same climate songsheet, but no 'advisors' who have a different point of view. Has links to the right-wing US, Exxon-funded George C Marshall Institute. Publishes material by Pat Michaels, and like James Inhofe. Phil Stott was once a member but left, because it was too political.

    For any environmentalist the above list of personnel is pretty much a 'roll of infamy'.

    This reads like another 'denialist'/ subversive political entity dressed up to look legit. But I could be wrong. As it hasn't done anything I can find since March of this year, it may well be inert anyway, so all this could be irrelevant.

    :)P

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  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey
  • Location: A small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Guildford, Surrey

    Lots to do today, so I may not make it online for the rest of the day, but here's a quick thought. If Benny Peiser's presence on The Scientific Alliance offers them no mitigation then I would say we have run into a bit of a problem, namely that we two cannot seem to agree on reliable sources of information. I propose, therefore, that henceforth we argue facts and details without making reference to the source of the claims. This may seem stupid at first, I agree, but if the information we present is accurate then it should withstand scrutiny regardless of its source. No more should we dismiss an article because it comes from a "notably unreliable source". It should be dismissed on its inaccuracies, not on its origins.

    If the source is unreliable and distorts facts then those facts should be easy to refute (in theory!).

    Does this seem like a reasonable proposal to you? If you agree then, in return, I will not dismiss a paper by, for example, Michael Mann out of hand but rather compare it to other studies. Next chance I get I will have a closer look at temperature histories from various sources (including Mann) and see where the investigation takes me. Deal? :)

    C-Bob

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  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL
  • Location: Steeton, W Yorks, 270m ASL

    Hats off to you both for thorough research. I thnk credentialising will always be hard, and even peer review of data at this early stage in the evolution of the current climate change. Two things interfere: political expediency is always chasing the short-term buck; not all politicians, but enough, and the US in particular is a pretty corrupt political system; the history of legislation being passed, or not passed, correlates not insignificantly with donations made by major industrialists and political affiliates. Trust nobody I'm afraid.

    The second problem is that it is early in the cycle of change to be absolutely sure about what's going on when viewed in the historical perspective - in addition this backwards view is bound to be flaky the further back we go. There is just too much scope for reasonable challenge, even before all the unreasonable scepticism which is then heaped on for a variety of reasons.

    If this were a debate about crop rotation, or what colour to paint the Town Hall, it really wouldn't matter, these things are easily reversible. The worry I have here is that the longer we wait to take decisive action, the less chance that action has of making worthwhile difference: yes, I know that none of the warmng might be anthropogenic, but until the fateful night when the Herald of Free Enterprise sank leaving port with the bow door open had never caused a problem either. The analogue is a swimmer determined to swim as far out to sea as (s)he can, but eventually reaching a point where they have insufficient strength to return to shore. At what point is enough evidence enough?

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