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Climate Change Sceptics

What Bob Carter and Andrew Bolt fail to grasp

Increasing ocean heat content - where most of global warming is going
Increasing ocean heat content - where most of 'global warming' is going

Perhaps the most pervasive meme in the climate crank blogosphere is that the Earth hasn’t warmed for the last 10 years (or since 1998). You’ve not doubt heard this many times, or variants thereof (e.g. that the world has cooled since 2002, etc.). Flourishes on this theme include claims that the last century of global warming was wiped out in January 2008, or that we are in dire risk of plunging into a new ice age. There has been more refutations of this silly notion than I could possibly cite, but some good ones can be found here, here, here and here. I’ve even devoted a whole lecture to it in my Climate Change Q&A series and written a brief about it for AusSMC.

Despite these many careful and logical explanations as to why this meme is fatally flawed, it persists, and indeed remains a favourite recycled talking point among the sceptical elements of the mass media (I guess because it something so simple to throw out there, and yet requires some science or stats to show why it is unscientific tosh).  But say we, being generous folks or simply for the sake of argument, decide to give people like Bob Carter and Andrew Bolt the benefit of the doubt and accept that they really do believe that the Earth’s air temperatures haven’t warmed for a decade (or so). What would this mean for global warming?

Well, not a lot, as it turns out.

The exponentially increasing activities of modern civilisation is causing a build-up in the atmosphere of long-lived greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide produced by industrial emissions from coal and oil burning, methane belched out from livestock, and nitrous oxide emitted from soils after fertiliser application. (This simple fact is disputed only by the most weird fringe of denialism). Furthermore, fundamental atmospheric physics tells us that this will cause a planetary energy imbalance, which can only be ‘corrected’ (brought back into radiative equilibrium) by a raising of the global temperature.

Now, following this expectation, air temperatures have risen by about 0.5C over the last few decades. But that is not where the real action is. You see, most of the extra solar energy trapped by the Earth’s slightly thicker blanket of greenhouse gases has not gone into raising air temperatures. It’s poured into the vast oceans (which contain about hundreds of times the volume of the atmosphere), and been ‘used up’ in causing the phase change required to turn polar and mountain ice into water. This has lead to rising sea levels from thermal expansion of the water as it gains heat, as well as contributions from melting glaciers and mountain ice caps, sea ice albedo changes, and mass loss from major ice sheets (Greenland and West Antarctica).

Indeed, it has been shown that about 90% of this additional energy has be used to heat water and about 7% to melt ice. Only about 3% is left over to warm the air. So we shouldn’t be at all surprised if air temperatures show the weakest response to the enhanced greenhouse effect – at least in the short term.

Fred Pearce explains it very nicely in a New Scientist article:

Tricky oceans
Water stores an immense amount of heat compared with air. It takes more than 1000 times as much energy to heat a cubic metre of water by 1 degree Centigrade as it does the same volume of air. Since the 1960s, over 90% of the excess heat due to higher greenhouse gas levels has gone into the oceans, and just 3% into warming the atmosphere (see figure 5.4 in the IPCC report (PDF)).

Globally, this means that if the oceans soak up a bit more heat energy than normal, surface air temperatures can fall even though the total heat content of the planet is rising. Conversely, if the oceans soak up less heat than usual, surface temperatures will rise rapidly.

This is why surface temperatures do not necessarily rise steadily year after year, even though the planet as a whole is heating up a bit more every year. Most of the year-to-year variability in surface temperatures is due to heat sloshing back and forth between the oceans and atmosphere, rather than to the planet as a whole gaining or losing heat.

The record warmth of 1998 was not due to a sudden spurt in global warming but to a very strong El Niño (see figure, right). In normal years, trade winds keep hot water piled up on the western side of the tropical Pacific.

During an El Niño, the winds weaken and the hot water spreads out across the Pacific in a shallow layer, which increases heat transfer to the atmosphere. (During a La Niña, by contrast, as occurred during the early part of 2008, the process is reversed and upwelling cold water in the eastern Pacific soaks up heat from the atmosphere.)

A temporary fall in the heat content of the oceans at this time may have been due to the extra strong El Niño.

What next?

Since 1999, however, the heat content of the oceans has steadily increased again (despite claims to the contrary). Global warming has certainly not stopped, even if average surface temperatures really have fallen slightly as the Hadley figures suggest.

In the long term, some of the heat being soaked up by the oceans will inevitably spill back into the atmosphere, raising surface temperatures. Warmer oceans also mean rising sea levels, due to both thermal expansion and the melting of the floating ice shelves that slow down glaciers sliding off land into the sea. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which rests on the seabed rather than on land, is also highly vulnerable to rising sea temperatures.

So, next time a climate sceptic turns to you and says ‘Global warming is nonsense ’cause the Earth hasn’t warmed in the last 10 years’, you can simply reply ‘Errr – why are you ignoring 97% of the problem?’.

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By Barry Brook

Barry Brook is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Chair of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Tasmania. He researches global change, ecology and energy.

187 replies on “What Bob Carter and Andrew Bolt fail to grasp”

Why, oh why, do I bother…?

Neil Craig.

More than anything else, and ignoring the above slander of thousands of honest scientists, the things that you say are discredited pseudoscience, myths and paranoid ideologies that have circulated amongst the conservative picket-fencers and tin-foil hat brigade for many more years than their use-by dates should have permitted.

It is as simple as that.

As to the issue of personal attacks, I think that you will find that any such here are based upon the evidence that passing trolls provide, and as such they carry some justification. To repeat Perps’ comment, the tone of discourse here is mild compared with the Denialist side of matters.

And if you “have never seen sceptical blogs engaging in personal attacks on cemmenters (sic) in preference to debating factual comments that may have been put up” then you have never visited Marohasy’s blog, or Andrew Bolt’s, or Graeme Bird’s, or any of countless others where the level of rabid conservative hysteria and name-calling defies description.

I invite you to peruse such sites for yourself (if you have not in fact already done so); and if you can find no comments that pass for ‘personal attacks’, I am sure that readers here can help to improve your obviously lacking search skills, and link you to some entertaining examples.

Or perhaps they’ll just think to themselves “troll: in internet slang, someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community”, and ignore you, as is no doubt the most appropriate strategy.

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So if what I say is “discredited” give the facts that discredits ot rather than accusing me of wearing a tinfoil hat.

Put up the facts that “prove” we are currently feeling catastrophic warming, that the measurements that show it cooling since 1998 & cooling fast now don’t count, that McIntyre’s mathematical dissection of the Hockey Stick got its maths wrong, that there is a good scientific reason why arguments against warming are invalid if they can’t produce 30 years worth of downturn but an upturn of 10 years proves warming?

Or let somebody at least attempt to answer my earlier questions like

“It is said that the worth of a science is shown by its ability to correctly predict. On that basis engineering scores close to 100, astrologers just over 50%, a roomful of monkeys drawing lots 50%. On that basis can anybody name 15 global warming alarmists (out of the 31 million if claims that 99.9% of scientists accept catastrophic warming are truthful) who predicted, in 1998, that the next 10 years would, by the measures then being used, be colder.”

Facts are what matter.

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Neil says;

“I have never seen sceptical blogs engaging in personal attacks on cemmenters in preference to debating factual comments that may have been put up (though I have seen alarmists putting up insulting rather scientific arguments there) though it is possible I have been on the right blogs.”

Neil, have you ever looked at or engaged at Marohasy’s site? A simple yes or no will suffice.

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The link to Nielsen still doesn’t work!

I got it from Google “Ron Nielsen”+”Medieval Warm Period”
Barry – is there another way of entering links without labouriously typing (mistyping) them each time?

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Barry – is there another way of entering links without labouriously typing (mistyping) them each time?

Being able to preview a post would help.

Regards
Luke

Ed: agreed – but it’s not a standard WordPress feature right now and I don’t have CSS access since I’m running this site on the smell of a oily (microalgal biodiesel) rag

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On that basis can anybody name 15 global warming alarmists (out of the 31 million if claims that 99.9% of scientists accept catastrophic warming are truthful) who predicted, in 1998, that the next 10 years would, by the measures then being used, be colder.

Stop for a second…

…let me see if I have this right – you choose to select the warmest year ever recorded, and you want to compare it with the next ten years? Or to put it another way, you cherry pick the most extreme peak recorded, and then attempt (emphasis: in a post hoc fashion) to compare it with the overall temperature of the following ten years?

And there are still some who wonder why even the most phlegmatic of the educated posters here find it difficult to not lambast you…

For so many reasons Neil Craig your question has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with distortion and misrepresentation. It is no wonder that folk here long ago abandoned the excuse of ignorance on your behald, and recognise your trolling for what it is.

And if you seriously want to answer your own questions, follow the advice of the last few responses and do some study: track down the links provided, or go to Barry’s many instructive summaries of the science. Or wade through the countless threads on countless blogs such as this one, RealClimate, Deltoid, Rabbet Run, Tamino, and many others – the Denialist myths have been sliced, diced and barbequed ad nauseum many, many, many times before.

If you are truly ignorant of this, then you are reflecting your ignorance of the science.

It is as simple as that.

Ed: Hear, hear, Bernard, hear hear.

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[deleted]

Ed: Sorry Neil, but the amount of mangled disinformation and recycled claptrap that was packed into that last post was the last straw. As such, I’ve decided not to torture my audience any further with your ravings.

Feel free to continued reading on this site. There is just a small chance that you may yet learn something by doing so. But don’t bother to post here again unless you have something sensible to say. Commenting rights hereby revoked.

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Here is something good I stumbled on which is notable for two reasons:

1. It is an excellent breakdown of the recent denialist conga line marching through the once-respectable Quadrant magazine.

2. In the comments, some new poor souls bang their had against the curtain wall in trying to break down the excruciating illogic of ex-BNC commenter, Tim Curtin.

Read and be amused – or perhaps glad that Tim no longer graces our threads.

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Ah – Tim – how we miss you.
May we dare to hope that last effort over at Harry Clarke was his “curtain call”.
Silly of me – he is probably related to Nellie Melba – didn’t she have numerous farewells and say, of her fans, “give them rubbish” Seems Tim took note. :)

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OK, for the record, I would like to note that:

1) I told Neil Craig at #84 that I have not seen An Inconvenient Truth

2) at #82 I said that “if Gore has made any errors in his film productions, I do not ‘need’ to ‘dissociate’ myself from them.” Craig omitted the phrase in bold when he selectively quoted me at a later date in his blog.

To couch it in a fashion that he might be able to comprehend, I said that I am not acquainted with Gore’s production, and therefore I am not in a position to comment upon, nor to repudiate, errors which I have not seen. I was making no statement as to the presence or otherwise of errors in Gore’s film – and Craig implies on his blog that I was.

The fact that I noted at #84 that I hadn’t seen AIT, after my comment about errors, does not alter the meaning of my post. The comment is sufficient to validly stand alone as long as the emboldened phrase is not deleted, irrespective of the subsequent post at #84.

Neil Craig has misrepresented me and, given my care in stating my case about Gore, it can be nothing other than a deliberate attempt to do so.

In my eyes this makes the man a mendacious liar.

But we all knew that already…

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Whereas I think that I agree with most of what MontyA says, I must point out that there is nothing scientific about taking any particular year as the beginning or end of a century. It is as arbitrary as the zero point of the Fahrenheit or Celsius scale. And Dionysius Exiguus got it wrong anyway, trying to establish the date of birth of Jesus of Nazareth. For genuinely scientific purposes, the Common Era, which is indeed arbitrary, should have both zero and negative numbers to designate years. BCE would then be unnecessary. So I take the year 2000 as indeed the convenient beginning of “the current millennium”.

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After wading through the entire exchange with Neil Craig it strikes me that his intent from the very beginning was to get banned from this site.

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If this site is still open I would recommend that everyone does actually see the short video made by Bob Carter and available on YouTube to set his comments in context. The criticism levelled at him on this site does not seem justified, even if you disagree with some or all of his eventual conclusions.

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Mr. Brooke, As a confused layman already, after only a few minutes of reading your article I find I have many questions.

1. You speak of “excess heat”. Precisely how much heat is EXCESS heat? What would be the presumed “right” amount?

2.a. With a given amount of heat radiation trapped within the atmosphere, why does 90% of it get absorbed by the ocean rather than the land? Another one just came to mind – is not the Antarctic a land mass? And does that mean that it is subject to only 5% approximately of the available “excess” heat?

2.b. When the IPCC or others maintain that “the globe has warmed by 0.7C” (0r whatever) and make comparison with a period, say prior to 1900 or 1850, why do they not separate the land and the sea as you appear to be doing? Is the stated temperature rise only the ocean, only the land, both added up, or some sort of mean or other average?

3. Whereabouts is located the greenhouse gas blanket you refer to?

4.You talk of “the oceans” having warmed (apparently a great deal). How is this measured? Is it the same all over all the oceans and to all depths (they are, after all three dimensional)? At how many points is the temperature measured?

5. I read an oceanographic treatise by Nils-Axel Morner which maintained that the IPCC had rather manipulated a putative sea level rise, and told how, though none exists. How does your own thesis accommodate this?

6. The answer to my next question may come later in your paper, but if not, what has been the proven effect of the putative global oceanic temperature rise?

7. Finally, pro-tem, as a person on the sidelines, why is it that so many writers on this subject are so angry all the time: why are so many of you so insulting to anyone who does not agree? It seems to happen on both sides. I find it rather odd. I always imagined that scientific enquiry would be dispassionate.
If yours is a serious scientific site (I am not saying that it is not, by the way) why is it suffused with emotional epithets like “denialist conga lines” etc? Where on earth did this “denial” stuff come from? It amazes me. Someone on the other side of a discussion from one, is surely entitled to their view, provided of course that both of your hypotheses are backed up by empirical evidence ( which in my view does not include computer model scenarios which are no better than fancy spread-sheets with too many opportunities for selection of something that supports a belief, rather than an agnostic approach that investigates hard evidence).

8. One final point, if I may: whilst no amount of additional “evidence” improves a hypothesis, only one firm piece of counter evidence will completely undermine it. Again, as a layman, the exposure of the hockey stick graph as a clear and deliberate distortion intended to fudge the facts, was sufficient for this enquirer to question the motives of the “scientists” who knowingly employed it.

If anyone out there is willing, respectfully, to answer any of my questions, then that would be appreciated. Thank you, in advance.

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Bobski: I’ll deal with 8. You talk about the
hockey stick being exposed as a “deliberate distortion” and wonder
why people get annoyed. After the hockey stick was published, there
were indeed questions and doubts. Mann and others didn’t ignore these doubts or
sweep them under and carpet. A bunch of
researchers in countries all over the world
went out with different methods and different proxies
and repeated the work. The results of 11 are presented in
the 2007 IPCC report,
Chapter 6, page 468-9
, 8 in the figure and 12 in the table over the page.
The reason I call people denialists is because they just blindly believe
what they read without checking and that’s annoying. I know that it isn’t
possible to check everything, but before people throw mud — as you
did — they should check. You have repeated an opinion, probably of somebody
else who didn’t check, but who got their opinion from somebody else, and
so it goes on. If you want to throw mud and Michael Mann then read his work,
find yourself a “deliberate distortion” and go for it. Don’t just recycle rubbish. Have you ever read Mann’s paper?

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Mr Russell,

Well, I regret that your reply leaves me with the feeling that I have been needlessly insulted, which is precisely what I was getting at. You now sound angry at me; why, I cannot imagine, all I am doing is asking questions to try to educate myself as fully as possible in this matter.

I feel it not unfair to observe that I seem to have upset you not because I disagree with you ( I am as yet agnostic ) but because I have not volunteered to “believe”, but to keep questioning.

I apologise for having apparently upset you, it was not my intention – indeed my questions were not addressed to you. So, as you may imagine, your own clear anger leaves me further puzzled.

You yourself only offered a reply to # 8, and Mr Brooke to # 2b. Which leaves quite a bit unanswered.

With respect, Mr Russell, is it not true that Macintyre et al exposed the Mann hockey stick as a deliberate corruption of the science? Is it not true that MBH attempted to hide key data in a separate computer file? If it is not true I would appreciate your alternative explanation if you would be kind enough to share it with me.

Is it also not true that the same team Macintyre (and I think McKittrick) similarly exposed the attempted recovery embodied in the “spaghetti” graph? As I wrote earlier, I am not a scientist, so if you are a specialist climatologist yourself, or a qualified statistician I would much appreciate receipt of your own destruction of their work.

Thank you in advance for your kind reply, should you be willing to provide one.

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Bobski: You accuse people of deliberate distortion and feign
surpise at the tone of my response. There is plenty of
he-said-she-said about the hockey stick here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy

Regardless of anybody’s view of
the proxies or the stats of the first Mann
results, there are plenty more and they are in reasonable
agreement.

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Mr Brooke,
Would you be kind enough to point me to the proof of your following assertion, I would like to review it for myself. Thank you.

“Indeed, it has been shown that about 90% of this additional energy has be used to heat water and about 7% to melt ice. Only about 3% is left over to warm the air. So we shouldn’t be at all surprised if air temperatures show the weakest response to the enhanced greenhouse effect – at least in the short term.”

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Click to access ar4-wg1-chapter5.pdf

Hansen, J., Nazarenko, L., Ruedy, R., Sato, M., Willis, J., Del Genio, A., Koch, D., Lacis, A., Lo, K., Menon, S., Novakov, T., Perlwitz, J., Russell, G., Schmidt, G.A., and Tausnev, N. (2005) Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications. Science (308) 1431-1435.

Willis, J.K., Roemmich, D., and Cornuelle, B. (2004) Interannual Variability in Upper Ocean Heat Content, Temperature, and Thermostatic Expansion on Global Scales. Journal of Geophysical Research (109) C12036.

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Thank you Mr Brook, and my apologies for having inadvertently added an “e” to your name.

Do you by any chance have any answers to my other questions.

I have looked at the reference you suggested. It rather leaves unanswered how it is that some 3500 or so actual empirical ocean temperature gauges have shown an oceanic cooling over the five years they have been in place.

Would you be kind enough to let me know the explanation for that?

Thank you for the courtesy of your earlier reply.
Regards

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Hope that PDF file from the IPCC cleared it up for you Bobski. If you want the science go to the real sources not pseudo-scientific blogs.

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Dear Perps,

Well, you see that is the difficulty isn’t it?

One is constantly referred back to the IPCC, but the IPCC is not a scientific body, it is merely advised by other scientists and scientific bodies. Its selections are precisely that – selective.

The IPCC has already been conclusively shown to be untrustworthy. As any decent barrister will tell you, once a person is caught out in a lie, their testimony is forever suspect. If they are then guilty of trying to cover up that lie, their situation is rendered even more perilous.

For that reason I continue to read everything I possibly can on the subject. What matters is not whether or not a source is “pseudo-scientific”, but whether or not, any source of any kind offers a proof of empirical ( and I stress, empirical) dangerous global warming, outwith fluctuation amplitudes already seen over geological time, and which can show an anthropological signature the proof for which stands up to examination by anyone at all, and proves robust enough not to be knocked over.

Not much in the IPCC’s publications seems to have withstood this test, from I can glean. If it had, there would not I think still be the amount of argument there is. If nothing else is crystal clear to a layman such as myself, the fact that “the science is not settled” certainly is.

One fervently hopes that the discussion might be conducted a little less angrily than appears to be the norm – indeed already, just by having asked perfectly innocent questions I have myself been subject to (an admittedly mild) attack. This surprises me, and does not seem conducive to level headed sceptical, non-dogmatic, empirical scientific discovery.

My own view, giving regard to the severity of the economic and social costs attendant upon making poor policy decisions, is that as much questioning as possible ought to be encouraged, rather than discouraged.

Regards,

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Bobski

”IPCC is not a scientific body, it is merely advised by other scientists and scientific bodies. Its selections are precisely that – selective.”

A peculiar non-scientific body, where the central people are the leading scientists, who peer review and synthesize the current peer reviewed literature. But I take your point, it also includes politicians.
The odd thing is that this combination has led to the IPCC making conservative assumptions (e.g. sea level rise). Which I suppose is understandable, as there don’t seem to be a cue of governments lining up to do more than or even match the action called for at the COP.

The IPCC has already been conclusively shown to be untrustworthy. I assume you wouldn’t slander the IPCC without evidence. What is your evidence for this?

What matters is not whether or not a source is “pseudo-scientific”, but whether or not, any source of any kind offers a proof of empirical ( and I stress, empirical) dangerous global warming, outwith fluctuation amplitudes already seen over geological time, and which can show an anthropological signature the proof for which stands up to examination by anyone at all, and proves robust enough not to be knocked over.

Now I assume you are demanding empirical proof as we would gain from a double blind placebo controlled trial? Or a post mortem perhaps? With one planet we will have to stick with the later, the results should be in around 2100.

In the mean time we’ll have to work with all the available evidence, which predominantly stacks up in favour of the anthropogenic induced warming.

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Bobski: “I continue to read everything I possibly can on the subject.”

You’ve claimed to be a lay person but without your real name, how can we know? If you are a lay person, then you won’t be
able to follow the Mann V McIntyre debate anyway … unless
lay people understand principle component analysis
these days (it was at least 2nd year applied maths when
I did it).

My advice is to try a text book and forget reading all
the polemic until you have some background. So
try

http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~rtp1/ClimateBook/ClimateBook.html

Just download and read away. This isn’t easy reading by
any means, but I’m guessing it will open your eyes on
a few issues.

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denial(n) a state of mind marked by a refusal, or an inability, to recognise and deal with a serious problem.

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alarm(n) a warning of approaching danger

WORLD BOOK DICTIONARY

As scientists are not warning us NEEDLESSLY they cannot be accused of being alarmist!

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That very much remains to be seen.
Mainstream climatology gets its funds from the state, which is itself the prime beneficiary of alarmist analyses. And alarmism is what keeps the research grants coming.

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The real problem is pseudo-science, such as the IPCC practices (two thirds of whom are spin doctors rather than scientists).
Political funding of science cannot but put a political angle on it, tending to
* favour that science that boosts the state – such as climate alarmism, which provides excellent excuses for more taxes and bureaucracies
* pass over science that does not boost the state

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So just how does climate alarmism boost $$ for research, as opposed to concern but uncertainty, requiring more research to be certain? How do scientists benefit from more taxes and bureaucracies? Do you suppose scientists don’t pay taxes? And do you imagine that scientists get the research $$ in their own hip pocket? Your alarmist conspiracy theories are laughable.

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As another climate scientist said to me recently:

“This loopy claim is so easily dismissed as we only stand to lose funding by stating the science is done & dusted (European colleagues tell me, for example, that EU funds are being diverted from studying the problem [us] to solving it, as the perception there is that we have enough science and certainty to move on from the analysis of change and get squarely behind GHG reductions – unfortunately the public here think climate scientists also build solar cell panels!).”

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BFJC, you say “Mainstream climatology gets its funds from the state, which is itself the prime beneficiary of alarmist analyses.”

This is incorrect.

The state ultimately derives its revenue from national income.

If, as the deniorati claim, global warming is a myth, then efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will reduce potential gowth in national income, albeit slightly, for no offsetting benefit in future years.

In that case the state would not, as you claim, be the main beneficiary of policies designed to mitigate emissions and it would therefore have no incentive to promote them by sponsoring so-called “alarmism”.

Therefore the state only has an interest in pursuing mitigation policies if the scientists are right.

Anyway, it’s not as if the state needs global warming to justify a new way of raising revenue.

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> scientists are not warning us NEEDLESSLY [so they] cannot be accused of being alarmist!

> That very much remains to be seen. Mainstream climatology gets its funds from the state, which is itself the prime beneficiary of alarmist analyses. And alarmism is what keeps the research grants coming.

> …the motives of those who benefit from pushing pseudo-scepticism

The initial problem though is the pseudo-science climatology resulting from state funding. It is pseudo because it is funded from vested interest, exactly like tobacco-funded tobacco science was.
Here though we have the added problem that state spending on climatology outranks all other spending on climatology by a factor of some thousands, so the chance of balance or objectivity emerging is very slim indeed.

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There is no pseudo-science climatology – do you honestly believe that the vast majority of scientists, Universities, National Scientific bodies, and Governments are colluding in some giant funding conspiracy? If so then there is nothing anyone can say to change your mind. We can, however, wonder about your state of mind, mired as it is in conspiracy theories. That is very sad and I feel sorry for you, but not so sorry that I won’t hold you, and other deniers, responsible for holding up action needed to avert climate catastrophe for our kids and grandkids and maybe even ourselves. I hope you can live with that on your conscience. That is all the interaction I intend to have with you!

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No conspiracy need be assumed, just a bit of realism.

He who pays the piper calls the tune, and those government departments with funding authority would naturally give money to the scientists who most pleased them. Being government departments themselves, they would naturally favour science with findings that most justify an expansion of the state – more taxes, government departments, regulations, nationalisations. Which is of course exactly what the theory of AGW does.

In addition, scientists looking for money are more likely to succeed if they say there is a problem that needs investigation, versus if they say all is ok.

Given the common source of funding, it would surprising if an apparent consensus did not emerge.

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What a perverse worldview you have. I can just see John Howard telling his Cabinet, “To advance our plans to expand the State, we’ve decided to create fear about global warming so we can build a bigger bureaucracy. So I want Treasury and all Departments to find ways to get money to the climate scientists, and triple the csiro funding at once. And start a grassroots PR campaign to soften everyone up for closure of the coal industry.”

Because thats the ludicrous process you’re suggesting. Here on planet Earth, show any government a study of climate change, and they’ll run as hard as they can in the direction of away. Try subjecting your “realism” to a bit of reality testing.

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Bravo John!
Next BFJ will tell us it’s all a Communist plot to take over the World and its banking systems etc. If the situation wasn’t so serious we could all have a good chuckle over BFJ’s rants :)

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Once again, it’s not about conspiracy. It’s about systemic bias, and the framework within which science is done.

The issue is systemic bias, and the fact that the supposed consensus all emanates from the same paymaster. Today’s mainstream climatologists are in the same position as tobacco scientists who once argued that smoking didn’t cause cancer – they need not necessarily have been academic charlatans, but they certainly were originally selected by their paymasters for their approach.

Governments get money to their climatologists already, via state-funded universities.

And you are mistaken if you think governments and bureaucracies don’t look more favourably on ideas that justify their own expansion, or that scientists who present an apparent problem aren’t more likely to get funds than those who say all is well.

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The consensus doesn’t emerge from the same paymaster. There must be a hundred different countries each with their own possible spin on where their interests might vest. The idea that they’d all align in the same direction is ridiculous. The EU countries couldn’t even agree on what constitutes a sausage, let alone a coherent multidiscplinary scientific fabrication.

Consensus emerges from hundreds of researchers in different societies around the world because they’re looking at an objective external reality, and it emerges in spite of the vested interests of their diverse and unconnected funding bodies.

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The consensus does emerge form the same paymaster, to the extent that all states have the same underlying nature (the monopoly on legal violence in their domain). And the vested interest of the state permeates all the scientists it has bought and paid for, which must limit the scope for objectivity.

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All western governments have an intimate relationship with the meat industry and
that industry buys academics by funding research and can even buy incredible
influence over official government level committees (E.g., Marion Nestle, “Safe
Food” and “Food Politics”).

Nevertheless, despite amazing pressures like these, the scientific research
is absolutely clear and the equivalent of the IPCC in the cancer field — the
World Cancer Research Fund — in 2007 came out with a report which
said quite clearly (yes, 150 scientific authors) that red meat causes bowel
cancer … no ifs, no buts, no caveats.

I take this as a wonderful example that while you can buy committees and
you can buy individuals, you can’t buy the entire scientific process. Not
in large fields with plenty of players. It is just a silly idea.

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It’s not a question of buying it lock, stock and barrel, but rather a question of overall bias. There are some sceptics and some denialists in amoungst the alarmists in the state fold, but not many, and they are often under pressure to toe the line or face losing their positions.

And it’s hardly surprising that government scientists produce reports that, rightly or wrongly, harm some industry sector’s prospects – governments delight in finding more reasons to control or lecture us. What would be interesting is if they said the opposite.

The idea that government science, the IPCC included, is free of the vested interests of its paymasters is just naive. And bear in mind in climatology, the state outspends all private groups taken together by a factor of some thousands.

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…. and the climate scientists are giving the state exactly the message
the state DOES NOT want: close down huge industries which employee huge (voting) labour forces, redesign the entire infrastructure of society. Hardly evidence that money gets what it wants.

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BFJ Cricklewood,

Have you determined which way the bias is directed? Or is this a pet theory with no data?

My hypothesis is that the current bias is towards inquiry and advancement of understanding.

I am concerned about a developing trend requiring universities to partner with commercial institution. However this bias would be in favour of established industries (like big coal).

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Wow, you continue to make claims about how the Earth, on balance, is warmer yet offer no understanding or clarity on how oceans should or will transfer this heat to the surface temps that have recently decreased. It’s fascinating how you can continue to fill the public with fear over something so poorly understood.

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The real problem is pseudo-science, such as the IPCC practices (two thirds of whom are spin doctors rather than scientists).

This is just name calling and assertions. Everything the IPCC reports is peer reviewed, from leading journals. It represent a conservative summary of the evidence avaliable.

The real incentive for profits is from the fossil fuel oligarchs who are trying to sell doubt. That is where you can find the pseudo-science, pushed by the pseudo-skeptics.

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> So just how does climate alarmism boost $$ for research, as opposed to concern but uncertainty, requiring more research to be certain?

Alarmism implies there’s a problem, and solving problems obviously needs money.

> How do scientists benefit from more taxes and bureaucracies? Do you suppose scientists don’t pay taxes? And do you imagine that scientists get the research $$ in their own hip pocket?

No, your regular scientists doesn’t stand to make millions like Gore and others high up in the green-industrial complex. They will though keep funds coming to bolster science jobs and research grants.

> Your alarmist conspiracy theories are laughable.
I claim no conspiracy, merely systemic bias.

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[…] The perfectly obvious explanation is global warming is also warming the ocean (it being part of the globe … a little fyi for the authors who apparently did not know that), which stores and transports it. Of course Carter has a history of being pretty clueless about heat and the oceans; What Bob Carter and Andrew Bolt fail to grasp. […]

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[…] The perfectly obvious explanation is global warming is also warming the ocean (it being part of the globe … a little fyi for the authors who apparently did not know that), which stores and transports it. Of course Carter has a history of being pretty clueless about heat and the oceans; What Bob Carter and Andrew Bolt fail to grasp. […]

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neil

i for one confess to cashing in on global
warming

as can anybody with access to the sharemarket

(that is anyone with internet access )

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I didn’t see anyone mention Dr. Roy Spencer, who along with Lindzen has done quite a bit of research lately concerning Feedbacks. Most of the research shows that feedbacks are nearly zero or negative.

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An increased ocean temperature will result in an increased evaporation, which will result in increased snow fall and ice formation. It’s the homeostatic effect.

If, as I believe, that man is not largely the cause of global warming, then our governments will waste an estimated 30 Trillion dollars on the fallacious crisis.

The belief in the man-made cause is unbelievable political, obstinate and unscientific. Sure there is science supporting the contention, but it has become more of a religion than science.

The established nature of scientific revolution is that it takes a long time for the mindset to change to the new consensus. So we will be stuck in this current mindset for sometime longer. I just hope we don’t waste 30 Trillion dollars before the world wakes up.

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