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Climate change

Climate change: Significantly limiting the right to be considered a “skeptic”

As opposed to a denier: I propose a basic test to determine who has earned the benefit of the doubt on whether to be labelled a denier or not. Does the person have an academic or professional background in atmospheric science or climatology? If the answer is yes, then they earn the benefit of the doubt and should not be called a denier. Does the person have an academic or professional background in another discipline and not a climate-related field? If the answer is yes, then they have not earned the right to be called anything other than a denier. Brian Brettschneider, “Climate Change Skeptic Or Denier?” at Forbes Reader Otto Pellinen writes to say, This article has an interesting take Read More ›

Why climate activist scientist won’t debate the science

From climate scientist Kate Marvel at Scientific American: Once you put established facts about the world up for argument, you’ve already lost In fact, as a general rule, I refuse to debate basic science in public. There are two reasons for this: first, I’m a terrible debater and would almost certainly lose. The skills necessary to be a good scientist (coding, caring about things like “moist static energy”, drinking massive amounts of coffee) aren’t necessarily the same skills that will convince an audience in a debate format. It is very fortunate that things like the atomic model of matter do not rest on my ability to be charming or persuasive. But second, and maybe more importantly: once you put facts Read More ›

Physicist complains that climate scientists are giving science a bad name

From James Delingpole at Breitbart: Professor Garth Paltridge, formerly a chief scientist with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Division of Atmospheric Research, says that the behavior of certain members of the climate science establishment is “seriously threatening the public’s perception of the professionalism of scientists in general.” Many climate scientists are much less sure about man-made global warming than they will admit in public, he says. But rather than reach out to skeptics in order to open up the debate and explore the uncertainties, they have instead closed ranks and rubbished anyone who disagrees with themMore. Many people are perceptive enough to see when a given position signals virtue well beyond the evidence that undergirds it. That Read More ›

Can Climate Scientist Do Climate Science?

Here’s a recent paper dealing with the deadly and devastating hurricane Harvey which hit the Gulf last year. I haven’t looked at very much of the paper; however, their basic take on it is that the ferocious effects of Harvey can be explained by the OHC (Ocean Heat Content) of the Gulf’s surface waters. And, of course, they want to blame ‘global warming’ (oh heavens, I should have said “climate change”). You know, more CO2 in the upper atmosphere reflects escaping heat energy back onto the ocean’s surface, causing more water vapor–the real culprit in ‘global warming.’ So, I simply invite you to look at Figure 1 (p 36). You will notice that the OHC calculated for ocean depths between Read More ›

“Burning” climate change dissenters

From Peter Rees at Quadrant: The Little Ice age was quite severe in Europe from 1550- 1700. After the prosperity and plenty of the medieval warm period, the LIA led to impoverishment, crop failure, starvation and a resurgence in witch burnings. Every misfortune was an excuse to accuse someone of being a witch working under the direction of Satan. Many of these accusations were the result of some calamity caused by an extreme weather event. For example, in 1626 a hailstorm struck Germany and dropped a metre of hail. Two days later an Arctic front descended on Europe. Rivers froze, grapes on the vine ‘exploded’ and rye and barley crops were destroyed. Then came a severe frost the likes of Read More ›

Postpone the climate apocalypse, will you, till we finish trimming the shrubs?

No, seriously, a sober view from John Horgan at Scientific American: In his Breakthrough essay, Pinker spells out a key assumption of ecomodernism. Industrialization “has been good for humanity. It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children. It has allowed people to read at night, live where they want, stay warm in winter, see the world, and multiply human contact. Any costs in pollution and habitat loss have to be weighed against these gifts.” Pinker contrasts the can-do ecomodernist spirit with “the lugubrious conventional wisdom offered by the mainstream environmental movement, and the radicalism and fatalism it encourages.” We can solve problems Read More ›

Breaking: Prominent science journal offers rational assessment of an unhinged climate claim

Specifically, the claim that global warming promotes violence. From the editors of Nature: Such retrospective analyses raise two questions related to cause and effect: did climate change alter the weather? And did the change in the weather provoke the conflict? Only a solid yes to both can justify bold statements that global warming promotes violence — and establishing this answer is difficult, if not impossible, in many cases. That hasn’t stopped such controversial claims being made. A decade ago, the United Nations went as far as to state that climate warming and desertification were one of the causes of the Darfur conflict in Sudan, which started in 2003 and led to the deaths of up to half a million people Read More ›

At the Guardian: A big problem with murky science journals is that they publish climate deniers

Oh? From Graham Readfearn at the Guardian: Deniers have found a platform in emerging publications that publish without rigorous review Journals that are “open access” make their money by charging academics or institutions a fee for peer reviewing and checking submitted academic manuscripts, and then publishing them. There are many reputable publishers working this way. But this murky world has a predator of its own – climate science deniers looking to take advantage of the questionable quality controls in return for getting their work published in what the publishers claim are “peer-reviewed journals” but that, in reality, are not. It might make very little difference if they were “peer-reviewed” according to Readfearn’s standards, given how things are going with peer Read More ›

Evolution is a Fact; So is Climate Change

For those of us who have been critiquing evolutionary theory for a long time, and hence, long-time observers of the kind of reasoning evolutionists/Darwinists employ, you can’t help but see the absolute parallel that exists between evolutionary theory and the “science” behind “global warming.” [N.B. If you have to change the name of the ‘science’ from “global warming” to “climate change,” then just admit you’ve lost the argument, else why change the very name you use?.] Both involve ‘consensus’ thinking; both involve criteria that used in one manner provide a solution given ONE SET of facts, but which, given a new, different, and conflicting set of facts, are used in almost the opposite manner; both involve an almost faith-like allegiance Read More ›

Google’s Truthbot gets upended by reality

From Eric Worrall at Watts Up With That?: Google’s efforts to filter out positions which they think are fake news, like climate skeptic posts, have hit an unexpected snag: Google have just noticed large groups of people across the world hold views which differ from the views championed by the Silicon Valley monoculture. Like we said, the snag is people. As a climate skeptic and IT expert I’m finding this Google difficulty highly entertaining. What people like Google’s Schmidt desperately want to discover is a generalised way of detecting fake news. They believe in their hearts that climate skepticism for example is as nutty as thinking the moon landings were faked, but they have so far failed to find a Read More ›

Hurting a scientist’s feelings could cost a journal $10 million?

From Alex Berezow at American Council on Science and Health: Climate scientist Mark Z. Jacobson of Stanford University has sued the National Academy of Sciences, which publishes the prestigious journal PNAS, for publishing an article that disagreed with him. The lawsuit claims that Dr. Jacobson was libeled and slandered. He is suing to get the journal to retract the article. For his hurt feelings and bruised ego, he also wants a big bag of money, $10 million to be precise. To understand this, one must factor in the growing influence of post-modernism in science: There are no facts, only feelings. So unsupported claims are not a problem but hurting someone’s feelings is a big problem, if not a crime. The Read More ›

Nature paper from 2012: Education is not the answer in the war on dissent

A friend drew our attention to this: From a 2012 letter to Nature: Among egalitarian communitarians, science literacy and numeracy (as reflected in the composite scale Science literacy/numeracy) showed a small positive correlation with concern about climate change risks(r = 0.08, P = 0.03). In contrast, among hierarchical individualists, Science literacy/numeracy is negatively correlated with concern(r = −0.12, P = 0.03). Hence, polarization actually becomes larger,not smaller, as science literacy and numeracy increase (Fig. 2and Supplementary Table S4 and Fig. S3). As the contribution that culture makes to disagreement grows as science literacy and numeracy increase, it is not plausible to view cultural cognition as a heuristic substitute for the knowledge or capacities that SCT [Science Comprehension Thesis] views the Read More ›

Conformists: Why dissent is bad for science

Pos-Darwinista writes to call our attention to several preprints on why dissent is bad in science. Okay, okay, there is good dissent, which is accepted by the Establishment, and then there is bad dissent, which is not accepted by the Establishment. Text Galileo. 1. Climate Skepticism and the Manufacture of Doubt: Can Dissent in Science be Epistemically Detrimental?: Biddle, Justin and Leuschner, Anna (2015) [Preprint] Abstract: The aim of this paper is to address the neglected but important problem of differentiating between epistemically beneficial and epistemically detrimental dissent. By “dissent,” we refer to the act of objecting to a particular conclusion, especially one that is widely held. While dissent in science can clearly be beneficial, there might be some instances Read More ›

Forrest Mims: Skepticism now gone from science

At at Watt’s Up with That: Traditional science required a skeptical view of one’s own findings until they could be replicated, especially by others. Unfortunately, skepticism has been deleted from the latest edition of “On Being a Scientist,” a widely-read booklet published by the National Academies of Science. When I asked the NAS about this unfortunate deletion, they explained there was insufficient space to include this fundamental aspect of doing science. Yet I counted nearly 10 pages of white space in the new edition. Despite the NAS change, I’ll continue to view science, including mine, through a veil of skepticism. That’s why I am concerned about what has become of the global warming/climate change movement, which is rapidly assuming the Read More ›

Is Bret Stephens right about progressives and science?

Readers may not have heard the explosion when the New York Times’ remaining subscribers discovered that their Tree Deathstar had published a columnist who questions global warming hysteria. Publisher Sulzberger has been begging the enraged elitists to quit cancelling their subscriptions ever since. Possibly, the enraged ex-Times readers are too young to recall the era when newspapers routinely published non-editorial board opinions on the op-ed page. That is why it was called the op-ed page (“opposite” the “editorial”). That oppressive ancient custom predates the war on free speech. Formerly, Times readers would have felt somewhat foolish if they explained in polite company that an opposing opinion was a “trigger” for their latest emotional meltdown and/or lifelong freakout. In the 1990s, Read More ›