April 10, 2006

More On Global Warming

There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998

A judicious quote:

Yes, you did read that right. And also, yes, this eight-year period of temperature stasis did coincide with society's continued power station and SUV-inspired pumping of yet more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

"In response to these facts, a global warming devotee will chuckle and say "how silly to judge climate change over such a short period". Yet in the next breath, the same person will assure you that the 28-year-long period of warming which occurred between 1970 and 1998 constitutes a dangerous (and man-made) warming. Tosh. Our devotee will also pass by the curious additional facts that a period of similar warming occurred between 1918 and 1940, well prior to the greatest phase of world industrialisation, and that cooling occurred between 1940 and 1965, at precisely the time that human emissions were increasing at their greatest rate."

"Does something not strike you as odd here? That industrial carbon dioxide is not the primary cause of earth's recent decadal-scale temperature changes doesn't seem at all odd to many thousands of independent scientists. They have long appreciated - ever since the early 1990s, when the global warming bandwagon first started to roll behind the gravy train of the UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - that such short-term climate fluctuations are chiefly of natural origin. Yet the public appears to be largely convinced otherwise. How is this possible?"

Good question. Read the Whole Thing as they say!

And now, Canada is dropping out of the Kyoto Accords

And a tip of the GM Derby to Glenn Reynolds

Posted by GM Roper at April 10, 2006 12:26 PM | TrackBack

G.M., this morning I made a comment over at Mark York's favorite fantasy site, Real Climate. They have a post over there slathering praise to cartoonists, cartoonists of all professions!, for their wisdom on global warming. I asked them if the cartoonists were more credible than scientists who work in the climate field, as does the one in that article--which I also linked to them. I actually was curious as to how they would discredit this person (after praising cartoonists), because he disagreed with them. But, my comment has not been approved for posting after most of the day, so it's taking them a while to come up with an intelligent response--or, any response. Actually, I don't expect it to be intelligent.

Posted by Woody at April 10, 2006 02:04 PM

Michael Crichton does a pretty good job calling into question the doomsday advocates within the so-called scientific community.

Granted, his story "State of Fear" is fiction, but he documents his case for debunking the myth of global warming and the resultant increase in ocean levels. I think he has also done a good job questioning the motives of environmental groups.

Is "fear" a tool that governments use to control their populations? Does global warming replace the threat of nuclear war as a fear factor?

Posted by Mustang at April 10, 2006 07:06 PM

You may be interested in this:


and this





Posted by Jack H at April 10, 2006 09:49 PM

I just checked over at Real Climate, and my comment and reference to this article have yet to be posted. Do you think that only people who worship the same Earth idols get to comment and that others are ignored? I tried to remain polite and professional at their site, out of respect, but it says something that they need over a day to think of a rebuttal or choose to ignore evidence from the other side. Why am I not surprised? Mark York is one of their key commenters.

Posted by Woody at April 10, 2006 09:55 PM

Yep. I'm a mild enviromentalist but I never bought into the global warming speel. Having taken a few geology classes in college I realized that the Earth has warmed and cooled many times.

On the Discovery Channel the other day they had a show about dinosaurs. They stated that at that time the Earth was 20% warmer than now. Could it have been the result of dinosaur flatulence? Maybe we should worry about global cooling. It would probalby be a greater threat to humanity.

Posted by DADvocate at April 10, 2006 09:55 PM

I also read something about how trees are partly responsible for global warming, but the left fights even the thinning of forests. Maybe we need to ban the planting of trees.

Posted by Woody at April 10, 2006 10:00 PM

I have a friend who is a widely published climatologist. His view on anthropogenic global warming is simple: the science behind it is junk, so we really just don't know.

Furthermore, Kyoto was always meant as a Trojan horse. Using the IPCC models Kyoto was based on, 100 years of strict adherence to Kyoto would only delay the (supposed) temperature trend by 6 years. The actual effect would still be in the noise - i.e. unmeasurable.

If you pin down a knowledgable advocate of Kyoto, they will tell you that its real purpose was to put a framework in place that would allow much more drastic emissions reductions. A slight understanding of economics is enough to provide the insight that these reductions (40% below 1990 levels) would throw the world into a dramatic economic depression, unless new technologies, currently unforseen, arise. The political consequences of such a system would no doubt result in the limits being overthrown. Hence, even if the science was good, there is really nothing we could do about it - the social engineering capability just doesn't exist.

Another killer argument against Kyoto is its arrogance - the idea that the world, which periodically goes through dramatic political and economic catastrophes and revolutions, could maintain such a system is pure folly. Just roll back time 100 years, look at the intervening years, and you can see the sheer blind arrogance in assuming that these programs could be sustained.

Posted by John Moore at April 10, 2006 10:26 PM

So...it was warming before it was cooling, LOL!
I can't laugh too hard though. So many buy into the fearmongering, it's almost sad to see their hopes dashed...almost. :^)

Posted by Ben USN (Ret) at April 10, 2006 11:45 PM

LOL Woody how dare you deride Mark York. He is a Biologist, Author, Boy Scout, and co inventor of the intraweb with Al Gore damn it!

His positions are beyond question.

If you guys aren't aware of this gentleman yet I highly recommend visiting Dr. Patrick Moore's website. He is one of the founders of Greenpeace, and former international president. He has walked the walk and says unequivocally Global Warming is Crap.


Posted by The Ugly American at April 11, 2006 09:41 AM

Ugly, don't forget that York's relatives came to America before most others. Maybe they started global warming--in addition to spreading small pox to Indians.

I'm pretty tired of science fads.

Posted by Woody at April 11, 2006 10:53 AM

Hey Woody - at least one of those Indians was MY relative. Shame on York's relatives :-)

Posted by John Moore at April 11, 2006 08:03 PM

With respect to the telegraph piece, why would you trust him?

Bob Carter writes for a foundation funded by big oil.

Actually I have done some research and it seems that Dr Bob Carter is a propagandist. A blogger called Skeptipundit also pulls apart Bob Carter's piece from a scientific point of view.

Posted by Wadard at April 12, 2006 07:30 AM

Carter cites the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, but conveniently fails to provide a graph of their dataset. The reason is clear, when you look at the graph -- it demolishes his argument at one glance.

Learn to seek out *all* the facts, GM, and learn to recognize when someone is cherry-picking the data. It'll make you slightly less foolish.

Posted by meatbrain at April 12, 2006 06:24 PM

Meatbrain, so, trolling over here since Kender won't play? How about reading this one

As someone who teaches stats, I can say that any stat can be twisted to say what you want it to say or at least imply what you want it to imply. Maybe Carter's figures (haven't seen them yet) are different. I do know that scare tactics and advocacy statistics tick me off. Ever hear of Alar? How about the coming Ice age of the 70's?

Posted by GM Roper at April 12, 2006 08:13 PM

As a scientist, I have found that many modern scientists are in ruts of their own making. Scientists who deviate from commonly-held theories are often publicly humiliated and individually chastised for their brash rejection of the group-think theories that dominate the modern scientific community. Scientists have become so specialized and narrowly focused in their pursuit of truth that they adopt and defend absurd, myopic theories with little critical evaluation and consideration for whether or not these theories conflict with natural laws or data that fall outside of the realms of their knowledge and expertise. Out-of-the-box scientific thinkers no longer need a Church clergy or other group to deride and imprison them; they have the group-think clergy of the scientific priesthood to persecute them and to rein them in.

For example, as a scientist, my evaluation of current biological evolution theories concludes that they cannot be reconciled with the known laws of probability and entropy. But, any critical discussion of this with the scientific/academic community is met with hostility and name-calling. Acceptance of the concept of an intelligent, creator-driven explanation for the origin of life is met with the "bad-scientist" label. If one accepts the concept of a creator as the scientific explanation for the order and complexity that we see throughout all living matter, one is labeled a mystic. Ponds and Fleishman were derided and publicly humiliated for their theory of cold-fusion, even though most scientists might acknowledge that the true nature of the subatomic world remains an unsolved mystery and that there is some evidence that subatomic interactions are taking place at “cold” temperatures that cannot be explained by the main-stream classical physics dogmas. So, it is not surprising that scientists who question the global warming hysteria are figuratively drawn and quartered in the scientific square and then dragged through the muck and mire of the scientific establishment’s unyielding, narrow-minded world.

Posted by NuclearPhysicist at April 13, 2006 08:46 AM


With respect to the telegraph piece, why would you trust him?

Bob Carter writes for a foundation funded by big oil.

Why would you trust scientists who are funded solely by government when their findings tend to increase government funding. Just because oil paid for it doesn't mean automatically it is not true. See NuclearPhysicists comment above.

I'm currently taking chemo-therapy for cancer. The particular drugs I'm taking were "discovered" by "Big Pharmaceuticals." So, should I not take them?

That is the problem with anyone who adhears to any particular belief system. It too often robs you of the ability to look at other possibilities.

Posted by GM Roper at April 13, 2006 12:57 PM

Nuclear Physicist...

A few comments...

"Out-of-the-box scientific thinkers no longer need a Church clergy"

First, you denigrate Christianity when you casually mention it as the previous persecutors of science. In fact, although scientists at times have been persecuted, the scholastic tradition and modern science were a direct result of the Roman Catholic Church. In the "dark" ages, the church (and especially its belief system about progress and learning the details of God's works) created the first Universities, the concept of academic freedom (even to the extent that scholars could travel through hostile lands safely) and science itself. This is well documented (it started around 1100 AD) but very few people know it - including academics.

It is popular history that science was either Greek in origin, or from the Enlightenment (or perhaps from the Arabs). That, however, ignores the facts, just as "the dark ages" is a misnomer. The rise of science (not just observations) in EUrope but nowhere else is not an accident - the causative factors were the Catholic belief system, the church's ability to set up institutions, and the monastic system which gave many scholars the time and place to do their work, not to mention providing other folks to write and duplicate work before the age of the printing press.

Also, contrary to what almost everyone believes, Galileo was "persecuted" (house arrest) not for his ideas, which were not even original - he just found suggestive evidence by discovering the moons of Jupiter - but because he applied his science to denying a religious miracle (which is not logically consistent) and doing so in a pseudo-fictitious work that directly ridiculed and attacked powerful people in the church. That sort of thing is always dumb, and especially when the Church held a whole lot of temporal power.

On to other issues...

Intelligent Design is like any other religious or quasi-religious idea: it is outside the realm of science. If you postulate an intelligent designer, you both leave materialism (the realm of science since the Catholics invented it) and you postulate an uninvestigatable causative factor. It just doesn't work. It may, in fact, be the truth - but it ain't science.

It is certainly true that science is very conservative, which leads to "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." And unfortunately, because of both the system and the egos involved, it leads to suppression of new ideas (and a whole lot of bad ideas).

On to Pons and Fleischman. You could hardly have picked a worse example to buttress your argument. First of all, they didn't have a theory of cold fusion - they had a very suspect (see below) experiment and a vague hand-waving explanation. Theoretical physicists have posed all sorts of different and contradictory theories to explain the supposed results.

The Pons and Fleishman experiment was faulty because (at a minimum):

-they used open cell calorimetry, requiring heat loss to be calculated with some dubious assumptions rather than measuring the total system heat flow.

-they did their calculations based on the 1.53V (i think, it's been many years) energy of D2O, but the open cells guaranteed that, though diffusion at the liquid surface, the D2O was quickly replaced by H2O - rendering the theory and the experiment incorrect

-they obtained their impressive energy gains by using a denominator of the difference of two large quantities which large error bars - a well known fallacy in scientific work.

-they did not properly measure the temperature in the test tubes - relying on a thermometer that could have been in a hot or cold spot

-they assumed the electrical voltage and current going into the cells were DC, when my own simple measurement showed that they have significant frequency components to them (probably due to the bubbling).

Even so, many scientists decided to attempt to reproduce their results. As is typical in pathological science cases, the results were mixed, with the most accurate experiments (closed cell calorimeters and continuous, automatic precision measurements of all parameters) having the greatest problem reproducing anything significant. There are still a lot of people out there playing with this, because experiments can be done well within the *personal* budgets of scientists or hobbyists - and people are still claiming positive results. I think big science was right to be highly skeptical of the claims, while allowing scientists to investigate them on both a theoretical and experimental basis, and then dismissing them as nonsense.

Not as well known is that at the same time as the Pons & Fleischman results were announced, a physicist (Steven Johnes) also in Salt Lake City, also announced a discovery of cold fusion using similar apparatus. He was trying to explain the excess helium three appearing in volcano gasses. But claimed only a slight increase in neutron flux, and when he took his experiment into low-neutron flux areas (tunnels used for particle physics experiments), his excess neutron flux also reduced substantially. His results were always close to the ambient neutron flux and were probalby a statistical anomaly. As far as I know, he didn't suffer for his work, because he did it very responsibly and carefully.

A related phenomenon is the scientist who gets things wrong and then paints himself into a corner. P&F appear to have done this. Duesberg (spelling?), a retrovirologist, did the same thing when claiming early on that HIV didn't cause AIDs. As far as I know (and I'm not a scientist in either field), he still holds that position. At the time he made the claim, it was not an unreasonable hypothese, by the way. Sticking to it was.


On another issue - when the government (guided by a science community with vested interests) doesn't want to fund climate research that denies anthropogenic global warming, of course the researchers are going to seek alternative funding. The claim that research is bad because of the funding is simply a disguised ad-hominem attack.

I know some of these "warming skeptics" and they are either not publishinig in this area, or have left academia for corporate financing. This was especially a problem when Al Gore was VP. Naturally, of course, you don't hear that form the Main Stream Media - you only hear about the Bush Administration supposedly politicizing science.

Posted by John Moore at April 13, 2006 08:31 PM

Mr. Moore:

Definition of Science from Webster's 1913 Dictionary:


1. Knowledge; knowledge of principles and causes; ascertained truth of facts.

2. Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws; knowledge classified and made available in work, life, or the search for truth; comprehensive, profound, or philosophical knowledge.


In short, science is the pursuit of knowledge and truth concerning what we experience in the physical world. It is not limited by what our five senses can measure. If it is true that a creator was instrumental in the origin of what we find in the physical world, then this truth is central to the pursuit of all knowledge and truth. The group-think approach endorsed by the modern scientific community seeks to separate the possible existence of a creator from the pursuit of science, but this approach is in direct conflict with the fundamental aim of science to find the truth.

Regarding my reference to the persecution of scientists in the past by church clergy, this was clearly not intended to be a dig against any church. My point was that scientists were persecuted in the past by those who allowed ignorance and preconceived notions to justify the rejection of new ideas. In the past, such persecution came primarily from those outside of the scientific community. In modern times, the scientific establishment itself has become so myopic and intransigent, that those with new ideas find themselves fighting with the very society that should be the most willing to listen and debate such new ideas rather than ridiculing them.

Regarding Ponds and Fleishman, in spite of their obvious mistakes with respect to scientific method, they proposed an idea that was worthy of consideration. What they found instead was a multi-billion dollar high-energy physics community that was quick to dismiss their work as nonsense. The fact is that the study of nuclear reactions at “cold” temperatures has not gone away and may someday be proven to have some merit. It is even quietly being funded at some small level by the Department of Energy. But, if this field does produce results, it won’t be because the broader scientific community welcomed the new idea and assisted in its development. It will be because a few dedicated scientists continued to look for the truth of what is possible, without allowing their thinking to be limited by the built-in biases of the broader scientific establishment.

Posted by NuclearPhysicist at April 14, 2006 11:54 AM

Thanks for the insight, Nuclear Physicist.

I hope you are feeling better soon, GM.
you are in my prayers.

Posted by Ben USN (Ret) at April 14, 2006 04:20 PM

Just letting you know that I check back every day to see what's up. I hope it's just busy-ness that keeps you from posting.

Posted by Assistant Village Idiot at April 15, 2006 08:37 AM

Meathead, an apt name ... you are quite clever. The graph appears to support the contention that temperatures have not increased ... I would suggest that the the correct way to generate inferences would be to say that temps may increase, they may stay steady or they may decrease ... which way they will go is dependent upon the drivers ... If we believe man made gases then the platue is difficult to explain given the steady increase ... If we beleive ...

Posted by lulu at April 15, 2006 03:51 PM

Check this out GM - "60 accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines wrote an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister.... Climate change is real' is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural “noise.” The new Canadian government's commitment to reducing air, land and water pollution is commendable, but allocating funds to “stopping climate change” would be irrational."

Even the Canadians want to back out of Kyoto.


Posted by Espella at April 15, 2006 05:14 PM

Oops, just saw the post on this - nevermind. How about them Cowboys? No climate change there.

Posted by Espella at April 15, 2006 05:17 PM

Well haven't we been the busy little bees? I'm finishing the Crichton book. He's an idiot on this one. Much better with the imaginary dinosaurs though. He's my go to guy on that.

Here's little game for you children to play. See if you can make a counter global warming argument without using them. I'll eagerly await your learned response. NASA or Woody? That's a toughie.


Posted by Mark A. York at April 15, 2006 08:22 PM

Unfortunately for blind followers with no science backgrounds these shell gamers are perfect fodder. They count on it.

Carter Files

Be Sure to take the challenge and make your best arguments. They will be analyzed at Real Climate for accuracy according to the scientific literature. Unfortunatewly that's not on your collective reading oile it seems.


Posted by Mark A. York at April 15, 2006 08:38 PM

"I tried to remain polite and professional at their site, out of respect, but it says something that they need over a day to think of a rebuttal or choose to ignore evidence from the other side. Why am I not surprised? Mark York is one of their key commenters."

They, Woody, were polite in not calling you the oblivious idiot you are, but then they are professional scientists and have jobs doing this work so it's not like playing hooky from tax cheating consulting like you do all day and night.

Happy Easter. You won't be rising from the dead, [as if anyone ever has] even though from the neck up you're already DOA. You dish it out you get it back with interest. Certainly a tax cheat expert knows that?

Posted by Mark A. York at April 15, 2006 08:50 PM

Oh yeah that evidence on the so-called other side? It's debunked BS. Show us something "real." Hint:


Posted by Mark A. York at April 15, 2006 08:53 PM

GM wrote: "I can say that any stat can be twisted to say what you want it to say or at least imply what you want it to imply."

And that's exactly what Carter did in this case: he deliberately chose endpoints that represented the two warmest years in recent record, and ignored all data outside those endpoints. Do you teach your statistics classes about the concept of "outliers", GM? If so, what do you teach them about using outliers to test a hypothesis?

"Maybe Carter's figures (haven't seen them yet) are different."

No, they aren't different. Pay attention. Carter specifically states he is using "the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia" -- the same data underlies the graph I referenced.

Lulu wrote: "The graph appears to support the contention that temperatures have not increased..."

Well, no, it does not. There is little one can do in the face of such blatant dishonesty, other than name it for what it is.

Posted by meatbrain at April 16, 2006 05:53 AM

Yes meatbrain that's correct. Cricton did the same thing with James Hansen. 300 percent off they said. No he wasn't but I'll let him set the two straight. How they try refute it should be interesting and equally Carteresque.

Hansen Responds

Posted by Mark A. York at April 16, 2006 09:31 AM

If one accepts the concept of a creator as the , one is labeled a mystic.

Nuclearfizzicist - of course you are a bloody mystic if you scientifically assert the hypothesis of a creator being the scientific scientific explanation for the order and complexity that we see throughout all living matter yet provide no peer-reviewable data. How stupid are you for thinking otherwise given your alleged scientific background?

I can certainly see a link between the thinking behind global warming denialists and intelligent design advocates. An aversion to hard facts would seem to be necessary for both.

Posted by Wadard at April 27, 2006 08:52 PM


With respect to the telegraph piece, why would you trust him?

Bob Carter writes for a foundation funded by big oil.

Why would you trust scientists who are funded solely by government when their findings tend to increase government funding. Just because oil paid for it doesn't mean automatically it is not true.

HI GM - I am sorry to hear of your cancer, I wish you all the best in your recovery.

With respect to your comments:

1) How do you explain then, that the scientific consensus is at odds what government's position of global warming? Could it be that grant applications are based on methodology which guarantees a conclusion that is independent of the politics of the funder (and researcher)? I can guarantee you that big oil will not be funding anything is adverse to it's own position on global warming. When I weigh up the two sources of information I see Big Oil is behold to shareholders only and Mainstream Science is beholden to the accountability provided for in Scientific Method.

2) Forgive me for using this example but it is most apt: do you believe research funded by big tobacco saying there is no causative link between smoking and cancer? Well believing the global warming opinions of oil-funded non-global warming scientists (Bob Carter is a geologist) who publish in newspaper opinion journals rather than in peer-reviewable respected science journals is exactly the same thing.

Posted by Wadard at April 27, 2006 09:56 PM

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