Mod+ 234. GLOBAL WARMING, CLIMATE CHANGE AND OUR ILLUSION OF CONTROL

I think you miss the import of LoneShaman's theory (which is of course not original to him, and is wildly popular with many climate deniers). He's saying that the whole idea of global warming is a hoax intended to serve nefarious political purposes. In other words, every aspect of the science which underlies the idea of global warming is false; is faked.
Yes, and I don't think it can work exactly like that - remember that I am not a fan of large scale conspiracy theories. Start by thinking about the analogy with the AIDS issue - which has the advantage of being quite crisp at the level I presented it. There is no question that most AIDS researchers do not realise that nobody ever came forward with a proof that HIV causes AIDS. I GOOGLED "original paper showing HIV causes AIDS" as I wrote this just to check! They do what they do in a cocoon of fellow travellers that believe the same things. The same thing must apply in CC, but it really is easier to think about the analogous case - just to clear your head of politics.

One way I began to understand the problem with corrupted science was in connection with yet another science scandal:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/file_on_4/7104070.stm

Cancer researchers did large amounts of work on cell lines that were not of the right type*. When I first heard this, I thought as you probably do, that surely they would notice if they used the wrong type of cells because their results would make no sense.

In fact they didn't notice (at least that is the generous interpretation), and many were extremely reluctant to retract their papers that were based on that mistake even when they knew the truth, and indeed the whole scandal went on for another 3 years before the BBC exposed it again!

Think about what that really means about modern scientific research - and indeed human psychology. Most of us are terrifyingly easily inclined to go along with the herd.

You need to grok some of this before you can understand why Alex have his book the title "WHY SCIENCE IS WRONG About Almost Everything ". I think if he had only added the the qualifier "Modern", his title would have been the literal truth! Remember that Rupert Sheldrake wrote a book "The Science Delusion" - basically for the same reason.

David

Edit: Searching my GOOGLE results a little further, the best I could come up with was this:

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp038194

This is not a scientific paper, and neither are either of the two references at the bottom of the article.

* When a cell line becomes contaminated with another type of cell, the contaminant cell either grows more slowly than the correct cells and so dies out, or it grows more quickly and quickly takes over the culture.
 
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Yes, and I don't think it can work exactly like that - remember that I am not a fan of large scale conspiracy theories.
OK, great - agreed on that much.

Start by thinking about the analogy with the AIDS issue - which has the advantage of being quite crisp at the level I presented it. There is no question that most AIDS researchers do not realise that nobody ever came forward with a proof that HIV causes AIDS.
I was not already familiar with the HIV/AIDS "controversy", but a bit of googling, plus reading the article that you ultimately found, convinces me that there are abundant lines of evidence for the theory that HIV produces AIDS. Many of these lines of evidence are presented on the NIH page, The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS, which I stopped reading after that much became clear.

So, yes, it seems that the HIV-AIDS link is analogous to the CO2-warming link, in that both are scientifically supported.

Cancer researchers did large amounts of work on cell lines that were not of the right type*. When I first heard this, I thought as you probably do, that surely they would notice if they used the wrong type of cells because their results would make no sense.

In fact they didn't notice (at least that is the generous interpretation), and many were extremely reluctant to retract their papers that were based on that mistake even when they knew the truth, and indeed the whole scandal went on for another 3 years before the BBC exposed it again!
OK, but let's try to go beyond mere analogy here. I want nuts and bolts. What is (are) the analogous error(s) in climate research? Be precise, at the level of "researchers accidentally used the wrong cell lines in their research".
 
I was not already familiar with the HIV/AIDS "controversy", but a bit of googling, plus reading the article that you ultimately found, convinces me that there are abundant lines of evidence for the theory that HIV produces AIDS. Many of these lines of evidence are presented on the NIH page, The Evidence That HIV Causes AIDS, which I stopped reading after that much became clear.
So if there is such strong evidence, why was it not gathered into a paper? Karry Mullis clearly expected it to be so, and that is the normal procedure.

The point is that a paper is a definite scientific statement, opinion pieces on the internet are not. The page you refer to doesn't seem to contain any references to a scientific journal, but to things like "CDC. HIV AIDS Surveillance Report 1999" - which isn't a scientific paper. I hope Lone Shaman will comment on this, because I think Karry Mullis is right - you would definitely expect at least one journal paper - probably in Science or Nature - spelling out the evidence for the assertion HIV causes AIDS in humans.

There are other references to journals, including Nature, but none of them seem to correspond to the paper KM was searching for.

I mean, Karry Mullis must have written a fair few papers on his way to a Nobel Prize - he knows the procedure.

David
 
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OK, but let's try to go beyond mere analogy here. I want nuts and bolts. What is (are) the analogous error(s) in climate research? Be precise, at the level of "researchers accidentally used the wrong cell lines in their research".
Well let's start with the incident itself - how exactly do you imagine scientists could behave in that way?

David
 
So if there is such strong evidence, why was it not gathered into a paper?
I don't know. But the evidence obviously exists, so why deny that on the basis that it isn't all gathered into a single scientific paper? [ETA: I mean, I might concede that you had a point if, when asked, "What is the evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS?", proponents got all shifty, looked down at the floor, and tried to palm you off - but, instead, it appears that they have a strong, uneqiuvocal response. It's not like they're coming up empty-handed. They can clearly point to multiple lines of evidence.]

OK, but let's try to go beyond mere analogy here. I want nuts and bolts. What is (are) the analogous error(s) in climate research? Be precise, at the level of "researchers accidentally used the wrong cell lines in their research".
Well let's start with the incident itself - how exactly do you imagine scientists could behave in that way?
That's a dodge of my question.
 
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I don't know. But the evidence obviously exists, so why deny that on the basis that it isn't all gathered into a single scientific paper? [ETA: I mean, I might concede that you had a point if, when asked, "What is the evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS?", proponents got all shifty, looked down at the floor, and tried to palm you off - but, instead, it appears that they have a strong, uneqiuvocal response. It's not like they're coming up empty-handed. They can clearly point to multiple lines of evidence.]
Well if you REALLY think you have a point, why not address your question to Henry Bauer (who is obviously getting on, but if you ask him a question on his website he will probably respond) or Karry Mullis. I mean you are not really arguing with me, but with a Nobel Prizewinner and a guy who is an emeritus professor of chemistry.
That's a dodge of my question.
Well it isn't really - I want you to address the clear evidence that research scientists behaved in the way those people obviously did. Once you face that, it may be easier to see the analogy with CC. I mean, yes, the conclusion is pretty awful!

David
 
Well if you REALLY think you have a point, why not address your question to Henry Bauer (who is obviously getting on, but if you ask him a question on his website he will probably respond) or Karry Mullis. I mean you are not really arguing with me, but with a Nobel Prizewinner and a guy who is an emeritus professor of chemistry.


Well it isn't really - I want you to address the clear evidence that research scientists behaved in the way those people obviously did. Once you face that, it may be easier to see the analogy with CC. I mean, yes, the conclusion is pretty awful!

David
Kary Mullis has deceased some months ago. So, I don't think it's possible to reach him now in any way - except mediumship or some other form of (supposed) afterlife communication...
 
Well if you REALLY think you have a point, why not address your question to Henry Bauer
But my question was rhetorical, and I personally have no need to bug Henry Bauer with rhetorical questions. It seems to me that the evidence for the HIV-AIDS connection clearly exists, so why should I care whether it is gathered into one place in a peer-reviewed scientific paper? (Again: that question is rhetorical).

OK, but let's try to go beyond mere analogy here. I want nuts and bolts. What is (are) the analogous error(s) in climate research? Be precise, at the level of "researchers accidentally used the wrong cell lines in their research".
Well let's start with the incident itself - how exactly do you imagine scientists could behave in that way?
That's a dodge of my question.
Well it isn't really - I want you to address the clear evidence that research scientists behaved in the way those people obviously did.
Don't be disingenuous. In no way is that an answer to my direct question - it is simply a counter-question.

David, this is the second (arguably third) time that you have engaged in this dynamic with me: I ask you a direct, simple, straightforward question, and you avoid it and ask me another question in return. The first time it happened (just recently, regarding whether accusations of sexual assault against powerful men such as Donald Trump should be heard or not) I told you that I was perfectly happy to answer your question if you would do me the decency of answering mine first, given that I had posed mine first. You ignored me, so I followed up - several times. You ignored me each time. Then you complained in another thread that I was disrespecting you. So, tell me, how respectful is it to ignore a simple, honest question, especially when it is repeated to you multiple times so that you understand that an answer is genuinely being sought?

I say "arguably third" because you similarly ignored my direct question to you earlier in this thread, (paraphrased) "Where's the evidence?" with respect to your oft-repeated claim (again, paraphrased) that groups of climate change proponents parachute in to Skeptiko with no intent other than to muddy the truth around climate. Again, I repeated this challenge to you, and though you responded in a fashion, you failed to offer a response with any integrity - namely, to either provide the evidence or to retract your claim.

I am beginning to question your intellectual honesty.

Let me be clear: again, if you do me the decency of answering the question I asked you (as quoted, above), then I will return the favour and answer the one you have asked me in return (again, as quoted above). Fair enough?
 
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But my question was rhetorical, and I personally have no need to bug Henry Bauer with rhetorical questions. It seems to me that the evidence for the HIV-AIDS connection clearly exists, so why should I care whether it is gathered into one place in a peer-reviewed scientific paper? (Again: that question is rhetorical).
I guess you haven't worked in science?

1) People actually want to write a paper if they discover something!

2) If you write a paper that others object to, you kind of take responsibility for the idea. Quite clearly KM expected to find such a paper. Normally
if you write a paper that references a discovery of that sort, you reference. This is considered good manners, and it also enables someone new to the field to plough back to the ideas that gave rise to it.

Kary Mullis has deceased some months ago
Thanks for letting me know. I hope he is enjoying the great discovery of the beyond.

David, this is the second (arguably third) time that you have engaged in this dynamic with me: I ask you a direct, simple, straightforward question, and you avoid it and ask me another question in return. The first time it happened (just recently, regarding whether accusations of sexual assault against powerful men such as Donald Trump should be heard or not) I told you that I was perfectly happy to answer your question if you would do me the decency of answering mine first, given that I had posed mine first. You ignored me, so I followed up - several times. You ignored me each time. Then you complained in another thread that I was disrespecting you. So, tell me, how respectful is it to ignore a simple, honest question, especially when it is repeated to you multiple times so that you understand that an answer is genuinely being sought?
I get the feeling you are less interested in winding me up than you are in the truth here - so perhaps we will leave it at that.

David
 
But my question was rhetorical, and I personally have no need to bug Henry Bauer with rhetorical questions. It seems to me that the evidence for the HIV-AIDS connection clearly exists, so why should I care whether it is gathered into one place in a peer-reviewed scientific paper? (Again: that question is rhetorical).
I guess you haven't worked in science?
OK, so, you answer a rhetorical question with another rhetorical question. You still haven't invalidated the fact that the evidence for an HIV-AIDS connection is out there.

I get the feeling you are less interested in winding me up than you are in the truth here - so perhaps we will leave it at that.
David, I am asking you questions because I want to know how you answer them, not because I want to "wind you up". If you want to "leave it at that" then you are leaving it at a situation in which you are ignoring the honest questions I have put to you. I don't think that that speaks well of you, but it's your choice.
 
OK, so, you answer a rhetorical question with another rhetorical question. You still haven't invalidated the fact that the evidence for an HIV-AIDS connection is out there.
Well a distributed feeling that something is true is not the same as someone (or a group) asserting that fact in a paper.

I think it is remarkable that no such paper exists, and clearly Karry Mullis thought so too.

If you beg to differ, I think it is probably because you have never worked in science.

David, I am asking you questions because I want to know how you answer them, not because I want to "wind you up". If you want to "leave it at that" then you are leaving it at a situation in which you are ignoring the honest questions I have put to you. I don't think that that speaks well of you, but it's your choice.
Well introducing President Trump into this discussion didn't seem very constructive.

Analogy:

Nobody has written a paper giving a scientific proof that that all things ψ do not exist, yet many scientists will assert this as a fact, and people are lead to believe that science has ruled this out. This would be very hard to do, as the Hard Problem makes it super tough to even explain ordinary consciousness within science!

Nobody has demonstrated that changes in CO2 levels are causally linked with the tiny observed temperature changes. This would be particularly hard to do because on longer timescales CO2 rises generally follow temperature changes, and the global temperature has changed over human history.

No person or group, it would seem, has staked a claim on the theory that HIV causes AIDS.

Furthermore I would claim that the cell lines scandal shows that scientists closeted among like-minded individuals can deviate massively from scientific norms. I mean how could it be right to publish papers knowing that the material you worked with was the wrong cells, and how could it be right to leave such publications in the literature once someone brought this to your attention? Remember, this work was part of the effort to combat cancer!

My claim is that people as a whole tend to need to belong to a herd, and so do as the herd does. I can't think of any other explanation for what clearly happened in this example. I suspect this mentality covers many things - such as, for example Wiseman's treatment of Rupert Sheldrake's experiment.

David
 
Well a distributed feeling that something is true is not the same as someone (or a group) asserting that fact in a paper.
The lines of evidence put forward are objective, not mere "distributed feeling". If you want to tackle any of them, then feel free to do so. Present your counter-argument.

Well introducing President Trump into this discussion didn't seem very constructive.
Ha! Says the man who introduces President Trump into practically every discussion that he can, regardless of relevance! - to the point that I joked about it in a thread in which your own irrelevant post on Donald Trump ultimately got split out into a new thread.

I didn't introduce Donald Trump into the discussion: I introduced your intellectual honesty into the discussion. It just so happens that that - just barely - tangentially touches on a discussion in which Donald Trump was relevant.

Analogy:

Nobody has written a paper giving a scientific proof that that all things ψ do not exist, yet many scientists will assert this as a fact, and people are lead to believe that science has ruled this out. This would be very hard to do, as the Hard Problem makes it super tough to even explain ordinary consciousness within science!
Indeed: just as nobody has written a paper giving a scientific proof that CO2 does not cause temperature rises, yet some dissidents will assert this as fact.

Nobody has demonstrated that changes in CO2 levels are causally linked with the tiny observed temperature changes.
Nonsense. It was demonstrated way back in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius.

But, to repeat: you ignore (or rather: continue to ignore) my honest questions. Just what kind of a discussion do you presume we are having, where you can just fob me off when I inquire into your position?

To repeat, my question was: let's try to go beyond mere analogy here. I want nuts and bolts. What is (are) the analogous error(s) in climate research? Be precise, at the level of "researchers accidentally used the wrong cell lines in their research".
 
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Nonsense. It was demonstrated way back in 1896 by Svante Arrhenius.
Demonstrated in 1896? With a projected temperature in increase of 5 or 6℃ at an even higher climate sensitivity than the older IPCC models, this would only demonstrate he was wrong. That "demonstration" was then amended in 1906 to the range of 1.6 to 3.6℃. Much closer to current IPCC projections. As we have seen with more accurate data this has also been "demonstrated" to be wrong.

Svante Arrhenius' 1896 calculations on the effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) on global warming are frequently cited by proponents of Anthropogenic Global Warming as evidence that it was known more than 100 years ago that significant or catastrophic warming would occur due to a rise in CO2. Arrhenius first paper, in 1896, was written in a period when the world was just recovering from the Dalton minimum (1790-1830), a period of low solar activity, many volcanoes and global temperatures about 1°C degree lower than that of the subsequent 1900’s. His paper was directed mainly towards determining the influence of carbon dioxide—which he called ’carbonic acid’ — on global cooling. Warming was considered as a corollary. The temperature change in the event of doubling CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was predicted by Arrhenius’ first published paper on the topic, to be potentially as high as 5 or 6 ℃.
Much discussion took place over the following years between colleagues, with one of the main points being the similar effect of water vapour in the atmosphere which was part of the total figure. Some rejected any effect of CO2 at all. There was no effective way to determine this split precisely, but in 1906 Arrhenius amended his view of how increased carbon dioxide would affect climate. He thought the effect would be much less in terms of warming, and whatever warming ensued would be beneficial. He published a paper in German. It was never translated at the time or widely distributed, though many European scientists knew of it and read it.
What follows is the 2014 Friends of Science Society English translation of Arrhenius’ 1906 paper. http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius 1906, final.pdf

The paper makes difficult reading because of the numerous uncertainties involved and the lack of scientific resources that we today would consider normal. But one can conclude that he lowered his estimates of maximum warming by several degrees. The IPCC has now lowered its estimates as well to be within range of Arrhenius’ revised view. This would give the range as 1.6 to 3.9 ℃, but the same qualifiers persist.
A number of physicists were struggling to define all of this throughout the first half of the 20th century. Researchers like Beck, Callendar, Jaworowski and others for decades even disagreed about the actual physical CO2 measurements themselves.

Contrary to popular belief of today, CO2 concentrations remain highly variable in the different levels of the atmosphere, by geographic location and by season.
Apart from the fact that that changes in CO2 concentrations follow temperature changes throughout geologic time, it is ironic that the effect of water vapour in the atmosphere is still a hot topic: Does it cause a positive or a negative feedback in the "greenhouse"? Upper Troposphere water vapor is a major ‘wild card’ in global warming theory. As recently as 2010, NOAA found that Stratospheric water vapour is also a ‘wild card’. One hundred years later—so much for settled science.
https://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/Arrhenius 1906, final.pdf
 
Demonstrated in 1896? With a projected temperature in increase of 5 or 6℃ at an even higher climate sensitivity than the older IPCC models, this would only demonstrate he was wrong. That "demonstration" was then amended in 1906 to the range of 1.6 to 3.6℃. Much closer to current IPCC projections. As we have seen with more accurate data this has also been "demonstrated" to be wrong.
Well, we can quibble about the exact figures, but the point is that the mechanism by which increased CO2 caused temperature to increase was known well over a hundred years ago. There are all sorts of other factors that models need to take into account, which is why projections vary and have margins of uncertainty.
 
Well, we can quibble about the exact figures, but the point is that the mechanism by which increased CO2 caused temperature to increase was known well over a hundred years ago. There are all sorts of other factors that models need to take into account, which is why projections vary and have margins of uncertainty.
Yeah, sorry but it is intellectually dishonest to state it was demonstrated. How can you be certain these other factors are not giving misleading interpretations of said mechanism? How do we justify the fact CO2 follows temperature change in geological time? How does this not equate to a runaway warming effect? Increased temperature, followed by increased C02, and then increased temperature again?

There are many observations that do not fit with such a mechanism, such as in periods of modern times when temperatures have remained generally constant, while CO2 rises? Does the mechanism take time off?
 
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Yeah, sorry but it is intellectually dishonest to state it was demonstrated. How can you be certain these other factors are not giving misleading interpretations of said mechanism? How do we justify the fact CO2 follows temperature change in geological time? How does this not equate to a runaway warming effect?
I mean that the basic mechanism by which CO2 affects temperate was demonstrated independent of confounding factors. Here's an analogy. I am saying something like "If you kick this ball (cause), it will fly off on a certain parabolic arc (effect)". You are saying, "Ah, but what if somebody stands in front of the ball? Or, what if somebody adds a heap of weight to the ball - then it will follow a different parabolic arc. See, there are other factors like that that affect the causality. You can't be sure they're not affecting your interpretation of causality".

My response? Well, sure, but we are talking about the basic mechanism in relative isolation from those other factors. Without confounding factors, when you kick a ball, it will fly off on a certain parabolic arc, just like when you add CO2 to the atmosphere, the temperature will increase in a certain way. And, as the Wikipedia page to which I originally linked put it, Arrhenius used "basic principles of physical chemistry" to demonstrate this basic mechanism. As I understand it, those basic principles haven't changed to this day.
 
To elaborate a little from the Wikipedia article:

The following formulation of Arrhenius's rule is still in use today:[27]


where
is the concentration of CO2 at the beginning (time-zero) of the period being studied (if the same concentration unit is used for both
and
, then it doesn't matter which concentration unit is used);
is the CO2 concentration at end of the period being studied; ln is the natural logarithm (= log base e (loge)); and
is the augmentation of the temperature, in other words the change in the rate of heating Earth's surface (radiative forcing), which is measured in Watts per square meter.[27] Derivations from atmospheric radiative transfer models have found that
(alpha) for CO2 is 5.35 (± 10%) W/m2 for Earth's atmosphere.
(ETA: What I want to draw your attention to is the "still in use today". In other words, the essence of what we know today about how CO2 affects temperature was already known over a hundred years ago.)
 
Let me help you a bit there Laird.

CO2 is a linear molecule, it is the oscillations of the "bending" through the absorption of infrared radiation. Radiant thermal energy is a function of these oscillations of the bonds that hold the molecule together. Not a function of bandwidth or amplitude.

For this reason it was also Arrhenius who I think first suggested the logarithmic effect of CO2. Meaning a heating effect is not linear, so for example if a doubling of Co2, say 300 ppm to 600 ppm causes one degree of warming then in order to get another degree of warming you would have to double 600 ppm to 1200 ppm and so on.

It gets decreasingly less significant as it increases.

Probably why Arrhenius was not concerned and actually thought it was a good thing.
 
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