Manning the Battle Stations

Climategate: Phil Jones accused of making error of judgment by colleague – Telegraph

Nothing to see here. Just another major Climategate scammer trying to whitewash a fellow con man.

While climate change sceptics argue the emails are proof scientists have been hiding evidence of temperature decline, Prof Mann said he believed the incident “false controversy” manufactured by sceptics “to distract the public and to distract policy-makers to try to thwart efforts next week in Copenhagen”.

“The emails are genuine and have been misrepresented, cherry-picked, mined for single words and phrases that can be completely twisted to imply the opposite of what was actually being said, manufactured controversy and the timing of it is not coincidental as far as I’m concerned,” he added.

Yeah, yeah, it’s all a big conspiracy by the big oil companies – who stand to make billions off cap and trade.

By the way, you do know who dreamed up the current iteration of cap-and-trade in the first place don’t you? That’s right.


About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Manning the Battle Stations — 4 Comments

  1. I’ve been agnostic on AGW because 1: CO^2 is a greenhouse gas, so on the first face of it, you would expect increasing CO^2 to cause a temperature rise. But 2: the Le Chatelier-Braun principle from chemistry says that a chemical equilibrium disturbed by a change in its reactant concentrations, product concentrations, or temperature will shift its equilibrium balance to reduce the change. That suggests that the impact of a CO^2 increase would be less than what would be expected from a naive analysis of CO^2 emmissions. (The Earth’s environment is not really an equilibrium, it is more like a changing steady state, but le Chatelier’s principle should still operate to mitigate change.) OTOH 3: Non linear effects, like the impact on biological activity, could completely overwhelm any calculation based on 1: and 2: in either temperature direction. For example, with increasing heat, forests could burn down adding to the CO^2 or deserts could bloom reducing it or humans could launch rockets and spread orbiting reflectors resulting in a cooler temperature than there was before the CO^2 started to increase. So, as I say, I’m agnostic on AGW.

    Who knows?

    Having said that, I am completely skeptical on the science, and the reason for that is that I don’t think predicting climate is possible. Simple recursive models of weather showed long ago that weather is almost certainly chaotic, which is to say that small differences in initial conditions (today’s state of the weather and its controlling factors like ocean temperature) grow into large differences (within bounds provided by the attractor) within a few days. In other words, no matter how accurately we measure all the inputs all over the globe, the uncertainties in the measurements and the extrapolations for the regions between the sensors result in huge uncertainties in the weather a week later.

    Now Carl Sagon famously made his “yes but” comment a couple of decades or so back. Yes, but, he said, we are not talking about weather, we are talking about climate, which is predictable. Well Mr. Sagan, may you rest in peace and your book Pale Blue Dot was beautiful, but … weather and climate are exactly the same thing with one small difference which does not impacts the chaotic, hence unpredictable, nature of both.

    The small difference between weather and climate is that the first is driven by the daily cycle consequent upon the Earth’s rotation about its axis. The second is driven by the annual cycle provided by the Earth’s orbit about the sun with axis of rotation inclined 23 1/2 degrees to the axis of the ecliptic.

    Both weather and climate are inherently unpredictable beyond a few driving cycles.

    There are other minor cycles, such as the lunar cycle, the solar sunspot cycle, the precession of the equinoxes, the precession of the Earth’s axis of rotation, and others, and there are also currently noncyclic unpredictable inputs such as variation in the sunspot cycle, solar storms, and volcanic activity. As well, anyone who thinks he can predict the reaction of the biosphere, which has a huge impact on weather and climate, to changes in weather and climate, is just nuts.

    All these things were obvious to me decades ago.

    I recall, it must be 35 years ago now, talking to some guy who was going into the biological sciences “to save the Earth”. Hmmm, the purpose of science is to learn the truth, not to fulfill some mission. Of course, saving the Earth from climate change, we all remember, came a little later than saving the biosphere from human activity. Rachel Carson came before Sagan et al, but note that from my experience the sciences have been infiltrated by saviours of the Earth for at least 35 years. I doubt that most of them have a malicious bone in their body. They were just insufficiently skeptical going in, and too ignorant of the indispensible importance of skepticism to be able to find the truth rather than what they wanted to find. From personal experience, I know how hard it is to keep bias out of your work. Do you accept a result, or throw it out because “it wasn’t set up right” ? And remember, just because the results were not the ones you predicted, it doesn’t mean the experiment was set up right. Double blind experiments are an indispensible part of the development of drugs, for example, because of the huge difficulty of taking bias out of an experiment. It is similar to conflict of interest, which is not an evil state of mind, but a situation which is of sufficient negative impact on fair decision making that it is unethical to not try to avoid it.

    What it means is that in fields like climate science, people going in with an uncontrolled prejudice for certain results are likely to find them. Since fields looking for a destructive impact from human activity upon the various systems of the Earth have had ‘believers’, some of them fanatical, entering them for decades now, it means that the results must be suspect. Add to that the well known funding feedback, which will certainly impact results when the field becomes politicized. Add to that the inherent unpredictability of weather, climate, and the biosphere in the first place, and the fact that predictions are being made anyway just confirms that there is something wrong in these fields.

  2. youknowwho, your efforts to insert science into Global Warming Science are misguided. Global Warming Science is about power and money^H^H^H saving the planet, and science has no business there.

    Did I say your efforts are misguided? I meant “evil”. Because Global Warming (which is True! even if the data supporting it had some slight problems) will have a disparate impact on women, minorities, and fluffy bunnies, your Denialism makes you worse than Hitler!

  3. I’m sorry SteveF (hmmm, let’s see – SteveF, StaveF, StaleF, StaliF, Stalin. There, I’ve exposed you with an incredibly bright proof that’s probably impressive enough to get me into climate research – and I’m not being sarcastic either).

    Actually, that misguided effort of mine is so badly written, especially the last paragraph, that if you had it play Russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver, I wouldn’t mind.

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