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Friday, November 27, 2009

CRUdGate - Why this can't be swept under the carpet

Posted by The Pedant-General at 11/27/2009 08:36:00 am

(NB, It's me, the P-G)

As others have commented, ad nauseam, the response from the proponents of AGW essentially boils down to the following main components:
  • The mail (often there is only one, not several thousand threads of multiple mails and it's usually only mail, rather mail, code, data and commentary) was hacked and that's frightfully naughty. Aren't hackers nasty? Particularly when they are Russian.

This does not merit any response beyond laughter.
  • The science is peer reviewed and it withstood that process.

Still an appeal to authority and, more importantly, dealt with damningly here.
  • This is but one part of the literature, it's only a handful of bad apples and the structure is utterly unchanged even without it.
This is the main charge that our great friend George Monbiot lays out here and that must be tackled. That is what, with your permission, I shall make a hesitant attempt to start the process to do.

Firstly, we must understand how the whole thing hangs together, because the edifice of AGW is very definitely not just pure science, boffins in white coats in labs and so forth. It spans the whole gamut from real pure science, through the applied sciences and Engineering, passing through economics and finally ending up in the dark arts of Politics and Diplomacy. That's a lot to take in, so I have created a handy diagram that explains. Never let it be said that your polymathematic Pedant-General makes you do the hard work.

Let's start at the top, and bear with me.
  • If the climate and recent changes are not unprecedented, then there's nothing to do. Let's go to the pub.

  • If it is unprecedented, then we need to know why. If we don't know if it is unprecedented or if we don't know why, we need to stop here until we can find out.
  • If it is unprecedented but it's not us, then we need to question seriously if there is anything that we can do about it and the answer to that is very very likely to be "no".

  • If it is us, we then to move into economics. Will the damage outweigh the benefit?

  • And even if the damage does outweigh the benefit, we still need to consider if the cost of stopping the climate change at source is less than the cost of adapting to the problem to minimise the damage.

  • And even if the mitigation does cost less than adaptation, we need to ask if our only option for mitigation is to subborn all our freedom to a putative benevolent world government.
Only if you can answer "yes" all the way down that chain can you get to Copenhagen. One misstep and you are looking at adaptation, either because we shouldn’t do anything, or it’s the best thing to do or the alternative is so appallingly ghastly, depending on which route you took to get there.

It is also useful to plot where you and your friends sit on this decision tree:
  • Whilst I wouldn't wish to claim to speak for our diabolical host, I suspect that he is in the box labelled, if not actually, "in the pub".

  • Steve McIntyre et al are in the "Find Out" box.

  • Interestingly, although the "Hockey Team" declare themselves to be at least on the "yes it is caused by man", they appear both to have been buggering about at the bottom in the politics and policy bits and yet the leak makes it clear that actually they are indeed right there in the "Find Out" box with the very chap they hate so much. They really don't actually know. They want to like to think they do, but they know that actually they don't.

  • Next, we get down to the economics and again, we find that there is a disconnect between stated and actual positions. The blogfather Tim Worstall—whatever his private views—maintains a carefully studied neutrality on the science, erring always on the side of "let's grant that it is correct". But he then falls off the "critical path" at the economics. If it's not clear that the downside of GW (whether "A" or not) are worse than the upside, it's similarly not at all clear that we have to do something (or that what we are already doing is not already enough). More importantly, the worse the climate situation is, the greater the cost of mitigation and the more attractive it is to go for adaptation. This is the oddity with the Stern Report. If his numbers are correct, we're either doing enough for mitigation already or we shouldn't be doing it at all. As the shrieking gets louder, the costs of mitigation inevitably rise and the argument gets stronger AGAINST mitigation.

  • Finally we get to the politics and the Bjorn Lomborg position. Even if it is all ghastly, there are many more important things to do with our resources. Millions really actually will die from preventable water-borne diseases, malnutrition and malaria and we really actually can do something about those. Buggering about with the climate, although it definitely will be expensive, is desperately uncertain both in terms of its effectiveness and the lives it will save. That's not a good trade off.

Simples.

Except of course it is and it isn't. If you do really accept the heavily-lauded consensus, then the decision tree changes quite a bit. Think about it in first aid terms. If it is the case that the climate is changing in an unprecedented manner and that change is driven predominantly by manmade CO2 emissions, then we really shouldn't be muddling about with adapting to effects: we should address the cause and that inevitably means finding a way to reduce manmade CO2 emissions. The problem with this is that everything becomes a bit too clearcut and the diagram now looks like this:

Because there is a skip from the straight science, straight to politics and policy, the science becomes absolutely essential.

As a result, no dissent can be tolerated because the wheels come off very quickly as soon as you have to make your way through the rest of the decision tree.

Suggesting that it's not unprecedented is straight denial and even doubt has to be censored.

But what of George's Knights Carbonic? How can this small number of scientists with "clever mathematical techniques", or "fudge factors" according to taste, affect the whole scientific foundation layer.

Richard North suggests historical parallels, but his analysis does not pull back the curtain, "Wizard of Oz"-style, on the Knights Carbonic.

Permit me to try. Here's how the process works:

Temperatures, CO2 levels, sun spot numbers et al are gathered currently using all the sophistication that we have today. We have the real measured data but only for a short (and geologically utterly insignificant) period.

Next, we try to see if we can find other things, with a longer history, that might be useful for telling us what those key measurements might have been if we had been there at the time with all our technology to measure them. We need proxies and we need to show that those proxies are a good match with the current data.

Once we have done that, we can then use the proxy data to fill back the history. At this stage, we can also say whether or not we believe the current data to be exceptional even without reading the entrails from the GCMs etc.

Now we can add some light seasoning of the real physics and chemistry that determine how things actually work, thermodynamics, mechanics, spectral absorption of different gasses and the lot.

Finally, we bake all the ingredients together in the models to try and tie all the inputs (CO2 levels, solar activity, orbital wobbles etc) with the outputs (particularly temperature, but also climate generally, plus sea levels etc). In particular you are trying to identify how the each thing interacts with everything else, given all the control theory horrors of signal delays (introduced by thermal capacity of the oceans that delays temperature rises by the massive amount of energy required to do so) and feedback couplings (that the solvency of CO2 in water changes with temperature, so the oceans absorb and release CO2 in response to temperature).

But this is where the game is. If the temperature today is NOT unprecedented, in particular relative to the MWP, then we have a big fat data point that says the unprecedented current level of atmospheric CO2 probably isn't tremendously relevant to climate. Or rather, there is some other input signal that is just as important that we are overlooking and therefore the impact of CO2 will be being overstated.

This is not about whether we are warmer than we were 100 years ago. That is undeniable. 30 years ago, almost every Christmas in Scotland was white. Memories of sledging after Christmas lunch cannot be false consciousness. That stopped in about 1980 and has not happened since. [UPDATE 23 Nov 2011 - actually scratch that. We have had two brutal winters since I wrote this and very little summer to speak of in between.] The question is whether or not we are warmer than we were when they spoke Norse in Perth. That we are denied post-prandial sledging tells us nothing about that.

This is where CRUdGate is so important. Just look at where CRU and more generally Phil Jones and Michael Mann have - and have had - an influence on the process:

The Harry Read Me file shows just how badly knackered the HadCRUT temperature series really is. HADCRUT is one of a tiny number of recognised ("peer reviewed" even?) global temperature sources. All of them feed off each other and the people implicated in the emails are linked to some of the others. RealClimate's Gavin Schmidt, for example, is a protege of the team, is extensively mentioned in the audit trail of shame and works for NASA's GISS - one of the other of this tiny number of recognised ("peer reviewed" even?) global temperature sources.

So that's goosed the first box.

"Hide the Decline" reveals the fact that the second box doesn't work properly, especially for the tree-ring proxies. Since there is almost no-one of any stripe publishing in the field of paleodendroclimatology (sod the trillions of dollars to be squandered, I want that on a triple word score) who is not very deeply implicated in this leak, it is clear that the failings of this step have been censored.

There is then ample evidence of the attempt to wipe the MWP from the dendro data and we now know that MBH relied on just 12 trees in North America and, when that was challenged, just 1 tree—one lone tree—in Yamal, Siberia.

In any event, the whole paleo data thing is probably onto a hiding to nothing as we can't trust the two steps that got it there. So (I'm being a bit flippant here) any genuine proxy data (ice cores, lake sediments etc) is knackered because it's trying to be matched to goosed temperature data. That's not to say that there aren't pre-existing shenanigans there too though. So even if you haven't actually attempted to censor your failings (and the mails contain plenty of evidence that this has indeed been happening), your results are going to be goosed anyway.

By this stage, you don't have to touch the actual hard science because, since all your input data is garbage, your models are going to be garbage no matter how carefully you understand the basic physics.

UPDATE 3 Dec: And that's not to say that there aren't pre-existing doubts there too, to accompany the doubts and shenigans in the current data, the calibration periods and the treatment of the paleo data - Squander Two reminds us of his excellent post on the dark arts of computer modelling. Note the dateline on the original post...

Lastly and as a slight aside, why so little from the MSM? That one is easy. You need to have a decent analytical brain just to deal with the chain of events. You need to have a decent analytical brain, a mathematical/scientific mind and a good grasp of some very hard statistics to understand what is being done to massage the numbers and to see how significant it is to the chain of events.

Slice your average environment correspondent through the middle and you're going to find a left-leaning liberal arts graduate who is utterly out of his/her depth. Their world view is being swept from underneath them and they are being shown—in ways that they do not really and have never had to understand—that the guys they thought were the goodies are in fact "at it" and that those they have spent a decade disparaging as deniers were in fact spot on.

I would find that hard to report too.

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Posted by The Pedant-General at 11/27/2009 08:36:00 am


96 Blogger Comments:

Blogger Francis Turner said...

This is truly excellent and needs wide dissemination.

I think you could make a nice powerpointy flash video of this to stick up on youtube.

11/27/2009 11:47:00 am  
Blogger neil craig said...

You must have been an Edinburgh boy. In the west of Scotland I remember Christmas in the 60s as normally being disappointingly snow free. I do remember a New Year where it started snowing in early afternoon & friends did not get home till after midnight because of the snow but that is memorable because it was exceptional.

11/27/2009 12:00:00 pm  
Anonymous dearieme said...

May I urge people to ignore the faux-sophisticated claim that "what's revealed in the e-mails is just ordinary science talk"? Yesterday I and two colleagues were discussing a referee's report on a paper of ours. We were able to deduce who the referee was - he is a pal of ours; we have recently published together. And yet he piled into our work, complaining of "platitudes", "short-cuts", omitted data, and "misunderstanding". Happily the misunderstanding was his, but the point is obvious: he gave a usefully critical scrutiny to our work, and it will result in an improved version of the paper appearing in print. It really shouldn't be assumed that the cronyism of these climate buggers is somehow normal. Perhaps there are parts of Physics with equally low moral standards, but it ain't universal.

11/27/2009 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

FT,

Cracking idea. Need to lob this at DK cos he will be rather better than me at it.

Neil,

Further north, but yes. :-)

Dearieme,

Quite. This is the tragic part of it: the scientific method has been horribly tortured.

11/27/2009 12:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Great stuff PG.

The diagrams are especially valuable because they highlight the aspects of this affair that are most misunderstood by and hardest to explain to the zealots.

11/27/2009 12:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"This is truly excellent and needs wide dissemination"

Seconded.

But, I think you have missed a vital step on your 2nd flowchart, the one ending " use the models to unravel". There should be a validate model box - run it backwards to retrodict, run it with the last 5 yesr, 10 years data missing and see if it gets them right, etc. It's not a priori the case that you will have correctly captured the chemistry-physics in your model and that the accuracy of the input data will be enough to give you whatever you are claiming is the output accuracy - this must be tested.

11/27/2009 12:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS - if you can't test it convincingly, you go back up the "don't know arrow " of your 1st. flowchart. It's not impossible that you could get stuck in an infinite loop here !

11/27/2009 12:55:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Why so little from the MSM?"

I entirely agree with your answer. The local paper in Norwich has left this story virtually untouched. But it also transpires that former MP and pro AGW activist Ian Gibson now writes for them!

As he used to work at the UEA, he's hardly the most unbiased choice.....

11/27/2009 01:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Millions really actually will die from preventable water-borne diseases, malnutrition and malaria and we really actually can do something about those.

Global warming may be nonsense but what about the increased respiratory diseases from vehicle emissions and other pollution? Shouldn't we do something about those? I guess only if the cost of healthcare is more than the benefits from continuing to pollute.

11/27/2009 01:02:00 pm  
Blogger Frank O'Dwyer said...

P-G,

I don't agree with your stance here (I would be called a 'warmist' in this company), but from a quick read I enjoyed the post and at least the first chart looks reasonable at first glance.

I think you make some errors of logic however. Why must current temperatures be unprecedented, in order to be a problem? The rate of warming and how long it will continue for is the issue.

Also, let's suppose for the sake of argument that in 2009 a third of the population of Europe died, or the Luftwaffe started bombing London. I think it would be cold comfort to point out that this happened before, and it would certainly not be a very good case for claiming it wasn't a problem and we could all go to the pub.

Lastly, independently of temperature concerns it is known that CO2 levels are higher than they've been in a very long time, and that this is acidifying the ocean.

I may comment more when I've had a chance to read in more detail

11/27/2009 01:05:00 pm  
OpenID Patrat said...

Good post P-G but might I suggest a correction?

'But he then falls off the "critical path" at the economics.'

11/27/2009 01:31:00 pm  
Blogger Gnostic said...

O/T but a subject close to the Devil's heart.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin

Shame we won't be seeing the stuff in Tesco or the local offie.

11/27/2009 01:40:00 pm  
Blogger Gnostic said...

PS this is some of the best CRUgate reporting I've seen outside of WUWT. Keep it up chaps.

11/27/2009 01:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Kevin B said...

Frank: "Why must the current temperatures be 'unprecedented'?"

Beats me. But the 'warmist' side insists that they are. Perhaps because the historical accounts of the Mediaeval Warm Period show it was a time of expanding human prosperity, unlike the preceding colder Dark ages that followed the prosperous Roman Warm Period.

Why is warmer bad. Sure it will have winners and losers but the historical evidence is that there will be more winners than losers and if we are wealthy enough and technically advanced enough, then we will be able to adapt much better. Oh and wealth and technical advance appear to be a function of available cheap energy.

But all this is beside the point. If we cannot answer the fundamental questions of "Is the current climate change natural or anthropogenic and can we do anything to change it?" then forget about whether it's unprecedented or not.

And we cannot answer those questions with any certainty but the preponderance of evidence is starting to shift towards natural change and no we can't.

Kevin B

11/27/2009 01:45:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 01:02 said

Global warming may be nonsense but what about the increased respiratory diseases from vehicle emissions and other pollution? Shouldn't we do something about those? I guess only if the cost of healthcare is more than the benefits from continuing to pollute.

That is a question which should be discussed on its merits, of course. There may well be a significant benefit from reduced emissions (or indeed there may not...). But that question is neither being asked nor answered. Copenhagen actually sets up a world government with enforcement powers to control emissions, on the basis in significant part of the CRU research, their "peer reviewed science" and the "scientific concensus" they claim.

Do you still believe there is a scientific concensus about this?
Do you still believe that the peer review process hasn't been brought into disrepute?
Do you still believe that imposition of carbon taxes by the AGW rump will lead to anything other than huge corruption (a la the drug wars), huge "criminal behaviour" (a la smuggling, tax evasion, drugs) and possibly war?

Slowjoe

11/27/2009 02:13:00 pm  
Anonymous paul said...

While youve got your science hat on you might want to go out and re-fact check this little nugget.

"unprecedented current level of atmospheric CO2"

11/27/2009 02:42:00 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

Blimey.

Right. I'll try and get some answers but bear with me.

Generally though:
- this post is, I see now, littered with typos. I'll fix at some stage. Hey I don't get paid for this.
- model retrofit: precisely. This is a bird's eye view of the whole thing
- Frank: good question, politely posed (and we absolutely must give credit where that is due) and therefore eminently worthy of proper answer. Bear with me. Real life intrudes.
- Paul: say more. I wasn't aware that, beyond geological time, this was very seriously in dispute from either side - just the significance or impact of that fact.

11/27/2009 03:01:00 pm  
Anonymous Sam Duncan said...

“That is undeniable. 30 years ago, almost every Christmas in Scotland was white. Memories of sledging after Christmas lunch cannot be false consciousness. That stopped in about 1980”

What Neil Crag said. For me, as a kid in the West End of Glasgow in the '70s and '80s, snow pretty much began in 1985. (And stopped about ten years ago, right enough. I distinctly remember a bloke skiing down Great Western Road one Xmas Day in the late '90s, though.)

11/27/2009 03:02:00 pm  
Anonymous Sam Duncan said...

Neil Craig, even. Dammit.

(WV: amiable. Aaah, nice.)

11/27/2009 04:41:00 pm  
Anonymous caesars wife said...

Interesting DK , youve certainly got the drift of peer review (somthing I missed)

But the problem is not quite so simple as the physical effects change the ecnomics , ie if we move to bio fuels we will need more land that we use for food use , if we cannot crop with stability , ie 10 or 20 % loss every 5 years or if snow line rises and river flows decrease, given population it just puts more pressure on available land .

However with the uncomputable its all bollocks scenario and greenies getting door closed in face , not even the more pragamtic questions have traction .

a hurricane Katrina every 5 rather than 20 years is pretty serious ecnomically so dont forget that possibility.

CW says , best get a book on veg growing and dig designer garden up .

11/27/2009 04:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Frank O - "Why must current temperatures be unprecedented, in order to be a problem?"

I suspect most warmists are unaware of the answer to this question. It is why sceptics get so animated by the hockey stick graph and why it is defended to the death by 'the team'.

In short, the theory of dangerous climate change is not dependent on the greenhouse effect of increasing atmospheric CO2. On its own even a doubling of CO2 could only warm the atmosphere by about 1degreeC.

All the scary scenarios suggesting 2-6degreesC of warming are predicated on other effects that are linked to temperature NOT directly to CO2 level.

http://www.global-greenhouse-warming.com/climate-feedback.html

Quantifying these feedback effects is perhaps the most uncertain aspect of climate science because they are all interdependent and the error bars are huge.

If global temperatures have been higher in the past (for example during the MWP) these other effects did not cause runaway warming, quite the contrary, so why should they now? History would prove that we are not at a tipping point and the climate's sensitivity to CO2 has been grossly exaggerated.

I'm sure P-G will do a better job of explaining it than I could.

11/27/2009 05:20:00 pm  
Anonymous Kevin B said...

What increase in respitory diseases? If you mean the one from CO2 as reported in the Lancet, sorry, not buying anything from that junkscience rag.

As for acidifying the oceans, no. The rise in atmospheric CO2 is not acidifying the oceans. There is a theory that the oceans will get less alkaline, but precious little evidence to support that and probably more to refute it.

11/27/2009 05:27:00 pm  
Blogger neil craig said...

I suspect there may be some feedback effects on cooling since we have had an ice age as recently as 10,000BC years ago. However it has been as much as 4 degrees hotter than now for nearly half the time since (9-5,000BC) without a runaway effect so unless warming goes above that it is simply ludicrous to fear a runaway effect.

The entire non-beneficial warming thesis depends on that effect which is why they had to airbrush warmer periods out.

11/27/2009 05:28:00 pm  
Anonymous paul said...

Yes, I was talking geologically (is that a word?). 500-600 million years ago CO2 was about 7000ppm.
Theres a graph in this pdf - http://joannenova.com.au/globalwarming/skeptics-handbook-ii/the_skeptics_handbook_II-sml.pdf

11/27/2009 05:30:00 pm  
Blogger Dick Puddlecote said...

Anon @ 1:02pm: "But it also transpires that former MP and pro AGW activist Ian Gibson now writes for them!"

Christ! Not him again, he of the hysterical anti-tobacco zealotry would appear to be a bent scientist's wet dream.

Excellent article PG, I've e-mailed it around as it should be spread widely. Thanks.

11/27/2009 05:44:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an excellent explanation, and thoroughly entertaining. Thank you so much for this.

11/27/2009 06:06:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Found a link to this from camirror.wordpress.com

Excellent post and I think the slides are very good and capture the nub of the problem really well.

Your comments concerning humanities educated MSM journalists strongly echoes the views of Ben Goldacre in the book "Bad Science" where he is talking about reporting of medical studies. Too much geography and environmental science and not enough numeracy

11/27/2009 06:40:00 pm  
Anonymous Sam Duncan said...

Very well put, Diogenes.

It strikes me that there should really be a lot more investigation into the likes of the MWP instead of pretending they didn't happen. Not least to try and find out why they ended, since clearly something kicked in to prevent those feedback effects from “running away”.

11/27/2009 07:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Bruce said...

As a reporter with a Scottish newspaper, I would like to take issue with your contention that environment correspondents are out of their depth here. Except I can't. On the few occasions I've had to write anything in-depth to do with the environment, such as wind turbines, I've had to spend a good while on the internet educating myself. That's how I became a sceptic.

I admire your rational, cool, analytical mind. No wonder you're in the sceptics' camp. Keep up the great work.

11/27/2009 08:44:00 pm  
Blogger AndrewSouthLondon said...

The real question to be answered is not the minutia of paleoclimatology, it is why the BBC with £3.2bn of our money is failing to report a single word of the total discrediting of the threat to the planet of so-called global warming, garbage they have been shoving down our throats for a decade.

The real headine: "Planet does not need to be saved. Its all been a dreadful mistake, a computer error. Everything is all right.You can all now just get on with your lives."

Who looks happy now, relieved their grandchildren wont boil or drown, and who looks spitting furious mad?

This is the moment when Mark Thomson, DG, BBC shows how he isn't worth a bent farthing of his £800,000 a year salary.

Or the thirty five BBC staff heading for Copenhagen. Easyjet to save the pennies, with carbon-offsetting paid I hope? Or just cancel it, because its all bollox.

11/27/2009 08:59:00 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Part of the problem is that climate change must operate in probabilistic space and not boolean space.

There isn't truth or false in climate change, its a fuzzy question.

Unfortunately, what is very fuzzy has been put out as truth and the consequences (failure to believe science is serious as with all the other consequences)

On a separate issue I quite like the idea of a contamination index. Just like the Kevin Bacon game or 6 degrees of separation.

Which papers are contaminated because the cite the crap out of the CRU? Recursively. If you cite a contaminated paper, your contamintated.

Might be possible to mash that up.

Nick

11/27/2009 09:27:00 pm  
Blogger Katabasis said...

Great work as always PG.

I just encountered this piece on the idea of "post-normal science" vis-a-vis AGW.

Say goodbye to nasty, anachronistic "truth" and hello to nice new shiny "quality".

It really is mind-blowing, essential reading and I urge everyone to take 10 minutes out to read it.

11/27/2009 09:40:00 pm  
Blogger Frank O'Dwyer said...

Diogenes,

"If global temperatures have been higher in the past (for example during the MWP) these other effects did not cause runaway warming, quite the contrary, so why should they now"

What do you mean if? Temperatures have been higher in the past. This is already known and not really controversial.

However your broader point is simply logically invalid. Similar effects can have different causes. One obvious difference between now and any previous time when temperatures were this high is that we continue to raise the levels of GHGs, i.e. the increase in GHGs is not just due to increase in T but fossil fuel burning etc.

Nor does it need to be 'runaway' warming to be a problem. I think most people would concede that 6 degrees warming would have an undesirable effect on their home insurance premiums.

11/27/2009 09:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Eric said...

Frank. If I understand you correctly - you believe that a manmade increase in "greenhouse" gases is going to cause a 6 degree increase in temperature? Please share with us what and how the feedback mechanism is that will cause this.

11/27/2009 10:25:00 pm  
Blogger Frank O'Dwyer said...

Eric,

I wasn't arguing for a 6 degree rise, just using it as an example of non-runaway warming that would constitute a huge problem.

That said 6 degrees is certainly possible - if you take the standard estimate of 3C for climate sensitivity then doubling CO2 twice would lead to it. I don't know how long that would take however nor how likely.

11/27/2009 11:29:00 pm  
Blogger AndrewSouthLondon said...

FOD: "doubling CO2 twice would lead to it.."

Baloney.Since CO2 has risen in the last decade, temperature has DECLINED. So is temperature doubled, or is it halved?

This is all nonsense. No warming, CO2 is innocent. Stern, on the other hand, is guilty.

11/27/2009 11:39:00 pm  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

Frank,

"I wasn't arguing for a 6 degree rise, just using it as an example of non-runaway warming that would constitute a huge problem."

It might do. But it ain't going to happen without "runaway warming".

"That said 6 degrees is certainly possible - if you take the standard estimate of 3C for climate sensitivity then doubling CO2 twice would lead to it."

That standard of 3C includes positive feedbacks—"runaway warming" as commenters are calling it. The climate just isn't that sensitive to CO2 only.

There is no way that you could realistically get 3C warming from CO2 alone. None. See the penultimate paragraph here for details.

DK

11/27/2009 11:41:00 pm  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

P.S. We have no real idea what CO2 concentration was in the past.

However, general figures are about 280ppm 150 years ago, and about 450ppm now.

That has supposedly rendered a temperature rise of slightly less than 1 degree C.

As you will know, temperature to CO2 concentration is not a straight line: it is more of a logarithmic scale.

So, if you double CO2 from 200ppm to 400ppm, that gives you a 1 degree C rise; however, doubling it again to 800ppm will only give you a (roughly) half degree C rise.

Anything else comes from positive feedbacks in the rest of the system.

DK

11/27/2009 11:45:00 pm  
Blogger adamskirving said...

DK you've double dipped there. For each doubling of CO2 concentration there will be a the same rise in temperature of approx 1 degree C.

That is of course not taking into account the likely negative feedbacks.

11/28/2009 12:05:00 am  
Blogger bewick said...

Well oooh aagh and all that.
I'm a Derbyshire man and we always had snow in Derbyshire. Every winter.
I moved to the North East in 1970. I was amazed that on the VERY few occasions we ever had significant snow here that drivers had absolutely no idea on how to deal with it - proving that it was a very new experience.
In about 1978/9 we DID have a severe winter here and the temperature was -14C. so bad that we had no water since the supply froze.
BEFORE that we had a really hot summer - still unsurpassed I think.
In 1990 I happened to be in Derbyshire doing some consultancy. I wanted to return home but was snowed in for days. At the same time the NE was largely snow free.
I can tell you that only ONCE in 40 years have I been unable to leave my village in the NE because of the weather.

Is that info useful? Does it prove anything? Possibly not but it does indicate that "climate" is rather variable even within and over the British Isles. Always has been as history shows. Likely the same worldwide.
Scientists DO lie, has always been so, and particularly if so doing gains them some fame.
I have a surname namesake pyschologist who, late 40's/early 50's, manufactured/manipulated data to match his theory.
His fame held for well over 20 years until someone proved that he had lied and manipulated and a theory followed religiously for 20+ years bit the dust. Fame turned to notoriety. How many other lives did that ruin?
I seriously hope that Prof Phil and his colleagues are either proven right OR, more likely, shown to be cheats and SOON. At least it won't have taken 20+ years to debunk the "supported" theory.
The problem though is that the politicians are so far up the arses of the scientists that it is unlikely to happen. Would stop the tax opportunity you see.
On Question Time last night only Melanie Phillips thought that the data was a problem. Even Brigstock, someone I mistakenly thought might be clever, was even more up the arses of the scientists than they are up their own.
I note that China this week joined the fray. Truth is though that China, alone in the world, have already taken the MOST effective step by limiting their own population. IF GW is a fact and anthropogenic then unbridled population explosion, rather than Co2 on its own, IS the issue
Ah well you live and learn. At least I do.

11/28/2009 12:36:00 am  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

adamskirving,

"DK you've double dipped there. For each doubling of CO2 concentration there will be a the same rise in temperature of approx 1 degree C."

Whoops, you're right.

DK

11/28/2009 12:47:00 am  
Blogger John O'Sullivan said...

You're doing well- not as highbrow as the Air Vent or WUWT but certainly 10 out of 10 for a slick easily digested summary of the stuff journos and sheeple need to know.

11/28/2009 01:02:00 am  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Yes YES YES Devil all very technical , sometimes reasonably interesting.

HOWEVER

You are forgetting to look for the wood for all of the massively dense trees.

You state;....ending up in the dark arts of Politics and Diplomacy.

Politics and Diplomacy are indeed controlled by The Dark Arts, they are not Dark Arts in themselves. Science itself, is the greatest dark art of them all. Darker indeed then even monarchy, which has been controlled by past so called scientists more often then the other way around since and maybe before recorded civilization first began.

These chaps have gone by many names over the years, including, priesthoods, witches, witch-doctors, alchemists, astrologers, gurus, sharmen, theologians, social scientists, nuclear physicists, and these days climatologists.

As these chaps can rarely if ever actually achieve anything positive or otherwise without the help of big business very preferably along with a compliant and over generous authoritarian state. They go to, or simply have always worked for the highest bidder, with the worst intentions, and the most amount of unquestioned power at the time.

THEREFORE

If you REALLY want to get to the bottom of what this now obvious scam is all about. Then like so many other EXTREMELY cruel and nasty power and/or money making corporate conspiracies.

All you have to do is FOLLOW the MONEY.

The person who has been mainly, if not indirectly exclusively, financing and promoting this scam from the very start, is............

Come on you really did not expect me to make it that easy for you, did you?

Although it really is not at all difficult to find out for yourself. His own son publicly heads up the entire ecological movement, and has been lecturing national and pan-national governments all over the world on the dubious merits of CO2=AGW for many years.

Now of course where this grey haired old City gent got all his incredible influence/power and countless billions from is another story. However the answer is well documented public knowledge, even if 99% of the British public especially, do not have so much as a foggy clue.

In other words Devil, C-, could do better, see me after class, nice try but no cigar.

11/28/2009 01:14:00 am  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Frank, it is confusing to talk of GHGs when you mean CO2. This is sceptic territory we have standards.

I am gratified that you concede that current temperatures are not unprecedented. And in the spirit of reconciliation, I concede that CO2 levels are rising, that this is likely caused by the burning of fossil fuels and that this was not the case during the MWP.

As to your 'substantive' point. None of your platitudes in any way invalidates the logic of my comment.

11/28/2009 01:18:00 am  
Anonymous Sam Duncan said...

Katabasis, that article is dynamite. All the more so for being written before the leak.

For those who haven't followed the link (and you should):

“The concept of post-normal science goes beyond the traditional assumptions that science is both certain and value-free…The exercise of scholarly activities is defined by the dominance of goal orientation where scientific goals are controlled by political or societal actors...”

Guess what branch of science is up to its eyeballs in this eyewash...

So we have motive (“post-normal science”) and method (shown in the leaked material). I reckon reasonable doubt is six feet under by now. The Hockey Team are as bent as a nine-bob note.

Which is not to say that the climate isn't warming, or that mankind isn't causing it. But the science is very far from “settled”.

11/28/2009 01:47:00 am  
Blogger Frank O'Dwyer said...

DK,

"That standard of 3C includes positive feedbacks—"runaway warming" as commenters are calling it."

Yes it includes feedbacks.

That's not what I would understand by 'runaway warming' though, so this is just a terminology thing. [To me runaway warming means either what happened on Venus (which nobody seriously proposes will happen on earth anytime soon or even at all), or (more usefully) it is the out-of-our-control warming that happens if natural feedbacks start to overwhelm the manmade contribution. At which point nothing we did with emissions would possibly make any difference, we would no longer be in the drivers seat. It would no longer be AGW but a new regime entirely, caused by AGW. For clarity I am just defining the term here, not arguing for this].

As to your main point even if you take the bottom end of the standard estimate then doubling CO2 twice would lead to 3C. So anything from 3C to 6C is well within the bounds of possibility using the standard estimate. Which, yes, includes feedbacks, but so what. It is still the estimate best supported by the current evidence.

Diogones,

"it is confusing to talk of GHGs when you mean CO2"

Well I meant GHGs tho :-)

As for unprecedented temperatures - regardless of whether the MWP was warmer than today or not, I don't think anyone seriously argues for it being more than 2C warmer than today. But, it was that much warmer and more at several points during geological time. (And to be slightly facetious it was certainly a lot warmer shortly after the big bang :-)

That doesn't mean a return to those conditions today would not be a problem.

11/28/2009 09:00:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice explanation--thank you!

11/28/2009 01:09:00 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

All,

I composed a huge and comprehensive list of responses to lots of your comments, replete with repartie, wit and illuminating links.

But it was late and it got munched and I can't keep up.

:-)

I did also manage to expand some points and correct the typos as well - ought to flag this as an update in the main post too. mea culpa.

11/28/2009 02:29:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DK--When you say "each doubling of CO2 will result in a 1-degree increase in temperature" (response to "double-dipping" charge), that's not necessarily true.

Prof. Lindzen points out it's more like your original statement (1/2 degree increase for each doubling) using the analogy of multiple coats of paint over glass--the first one blocks most of the light, while subsequent ones have less and less effect, because most of the light is already blocked.

So your original statement is closer to the truth. It's not a straight linear correlation--there's actually NEGATIVE feedback involved.

Yet most of the models only work if you assume POSITIVE feedback.

11/28/2009 03:50:00 pm  
Blogger iain said...

God, mate, you ain't half a windbag.

I'd rather be beaten to death by a copy of the Stern Report than read through a thousand words of you stating the bleeding obvious.

Stick a wind turbine by your keyboard and you could power London.

11/28/2009 03:54:00 pm  
Blogger AndrewSouthLondon said...

iain, thats not very civil. Change your moniker to "inane"?

Calling people "windbags" - by what right do you define yourself as the arbiter of the right amount of comment? Tell you what. Shut-the-fuck-up, iain.

There, how did that feel?

11/28/2009 07:56:00 pm  
Blogger Bastiat said...

I'd like to second the motion for this post to be used as material for a slide presentation. And it couldn't hurt to have some kick ass music too.

11/28/2009 08:34:00 pm  
Anonymous John O'Sullivan said...

I like what I see so far but how about putting into context how important the CRU is to the AGW theory put out by the IPPC?
The CRU is one of the most important and influential academic centres for climate research and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN’s most vociferous proponent of global warming theory, has given prominence to its views. The Hadley Centre has a very close relationship with the IPCC on several fronts.

In conjunction with the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia the Hadley Centre supplies the IPCC with a key temperature dataset that claims to prove global warming but which has never been independently audited. Hadley Centre has also provided climate modelling for most, if not all of the IPCC's report and its modelling has been readily accepted by the IPCC. The pivotal chapter of the 2007 report, the chapter in which human activity was blamed for warming, had 53 authors of whom 10 were from the Hadley Centre. According to the IPCC's Third Assessment Report (2001), seven of the eleven chapters had at least one lead author from the UK and their Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia. At one stage the IPCC even had offices in the Hadley Centre building. You cannot overstate how crucial the work of the CRU is to the theory of man made global warming.
http://www.apec.org.au/docs/zillman.pdf

11/28/2009 09:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@John O'Sullivan - if you haven't seen it yet, you might like to have a look at the Word document entitled "AR4SOR" in the leaked folder. It's a 175 page review for the 4th assessment report. I started going through it, but gave up! However what I did read was very illuminating - there are many more examples of doubts being cast on data & methods. Lots of names mentioned as well.

11/28/2009 10:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Matt London said...

This is just to thank you for this impressive piece of analysis. Though not much more than a sceptical scientist before all this, the content that I've seen of these emails is likely to turn me into what the warmists call a "denier".

George Monbiot sneeringly set out the sort of email that would have convinced him of a "warmist conspiracy" - but as a scientifically educated science administrator some of what I've read from CRU and their correspondents is far worse than I could ever have expected. The main thought I have at the moment is not only that they ARE in a dishonest conspiracy - but that they have, thank goodness, gone about it in a pathetically amateur and stupid way, not having, fortunately for the rest of us, the sense to hide their tracks.

Thanks again - keep spreading the word!

11/28/2009 10:15:00 pm  
Blogger Borepatch said...

Pedant-General, I've put your post into a Powerpoint slide deck. It doesn't have any changes you've made since your original post, but it should be a good start.

Please email me at borepatch [at] gmail [dot] com, and I'll send it to you.

11/29/2009 01:10:00 am  
OpenID yokel said...

Excellent analysis. Should be a valid contribution, if the issue was the validity of the AGW science.

But it isn't. So long as the MSM can hold this bag of c**p together until the Copenhagen Treaty is signed, then the climate scientists will have done their bit. At which point they can be thrown to the wolves, no problem. The issue is to get that world government treaty, by hook or by crook, by damn lies or by statistics.

Let us waste no further time enjoying the discovery of falsified science. We must be onto that traitor Brown and his henchmen who would sell us into UN governed slavery. The hour is late; very, very late.

11/29/2009 01:24:00 pm  
Anonymous microdave said...

I know the Daily Mail/ Mail On Sunday are normally regarded with derision, but they (at least) have been covering this issue.

There are 3 different articles today, including a (new?) story suggesting that the CRU are going to release the data they held back:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1231788/U-turn-climate-change-cover-university-says-publish-leaked-email-data.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1231673/Global-warming-Dont-wait-The-Earth-tricks-carbon-count-control.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1231694/The-inconvenient-truths-Mr-Gore-fanatical-friends-DIDNT-tell-climate-change.html

11/29/2009 02:02:00 pm  
Blogger neil craig said...

I again say that I believe the Mail to be easily the best newspaper in Britain. This is not the only subject which they, alone among national newpapers, report on. On can see why the BBC denigrate them.

11/29/2009 02:09:00 pm  
Blogger sierra said...

environment correspondent['s] world view is being swept from underneath them...

As a species, journalists are slow to adapt once deprived of their favored habitat, and are in grave danger of extinction.

11/29/2009 03:14:00 pm  
Anonymous John O'Sullivan said...

The medical profession has discovered that a poison contained in a United Nations variant of fudge was the cause of a debilitating brain disease among scientists.

The disease is known to have steadily spread among the scientific community for over two decades and taken a terrible grip over the reasoning powers of many. Victims can readily be identified by a green complexion. Other side effects include an irrational hatred of mankind and a Tourette syndrome-like verbal abuse of anyone who uses fossil fuels. Threats of violence may occur. But as leaked over the Internet on November 20th 2009, a break through treatment to the affliction has been found at the UK’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). A vast community of Internet surfers soon sought to memorialise this profound happening by naming it, ‘Climategate.’

From leaked documents we understand that the catalyst for this epoch change in scientific understanding occurred when a climatologist and self-taught computer programmer known as ‘Harry’ was sat at his laboratory computer chewing on some fudge. It was then, after three years mulling over the problem and in a Fleming-like eureka moment, it dawned on him. In Harry’s hands was the cause of brain fog mystery.

“Fuck! It’s the fudge! It’s serial!” he cried.

Inadvertently, Harry has become the hero the public associate with the solving one of the great mysteries of modern science. Since those findings have appeared on the Internet the world has quickly accepted that it was foul fudge that caused scientists to suffer that dreadful disease.

Pyschologists have been quick to identify the hallucinagenic properties of the offending fudge and unravel this whole mystery. The fudge has been found to contain a psychotropic substance that acts primarily upon the central nervous system where it alters brain function, resulting in changes in perception, mood, consciousness and behavior leading patients to feel delusions of grandeur and a sense of spiritual purpose in their lives.

It appears lone-wolf Harry, after a debilitating three years wasted in the CRU laboratory had inadvertently and subliminally faced the truth and by a process of ‘cognitive dissonance,’ shocked himself out of the effects of the psychotropic intoxicant that in some causes the hallucinogenic appearance of a mythical beast known as, ‘Man-Bear-Pig’. Apparently, most recovering ‘addicts’(for the fudge-eating was clearly an addiction) soon notice a change in the physical appearance of their eyes which begin to lose their tainted green colouration once they come off the fudge.

Climate scientists, who have been identified as the worst fudge sufferers are reporting the same side effects as Harry. Patients routinely exhibit anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other negative emotional states until the disease clears the system. The recovery process, say psychologists, is always accompanied by a thought pattern change they term, ‘cognitive dissonance.’ A new name has been coined to describe the fudge-induced malady and “Climate War Syndrome” is fast following “Climategate” into common usage as the world gets a new handle on what was one of the great mysteries of our time.

Of course, like any serious disease, there will always be cases that won’t respond well to treatment. Those worst cases permeated with the deepest shade of green are alleged to be James Hansen, Michael Mann and Phil Jones whom may all need to be quarantined in isolation for several years.

11/29/2009 04:48:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indian climate envoy resists emission targets


http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5glERjaQVnepz3Bm3UO5OlArPD0EA

So come on China !
Go on China, bury this nonsense now !
India will agree i'm sure.
Your the one's that are gonna suffer the most.
Just a thought .

11/29/2009 08:19:00 pm  
Anonymous cbullitt said...

A splendid dissertation for the logically challenged in the "Shut up, he explained" group.
I doubt those who really need a lesson in critical thinking will actually read it--they are in the emotionally-driven AGW is a religion box and unlikely to be swayed by logic.
Me, I've been in the pub for years. I phone in my derision from there.

11/30/2009 01:00:00 am  
Blogger Dave said...

WUWT has a link to the Science Museum's "Prove it" campaign.
We are invited to be counted in or counted out.

Here's your chance to show them all what you think
http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/proveit.aspx

11/30/2009 10:16:00 am  
OpenID sjgibbs said...

One minor nitpick that may improve the charts, adaptation is not the correct destination for the big final No arrow. That would be something like "Voluntary mitigation" or something, no?

11/30/2009 10:18:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the second graphic showing the decision making flowchart, you've used the name "Keith Bradley". Did you mean Keith "Briffa"?

Cheers.

11/30/2009 10:35:00 pm  
Anonymous Michael said...

If I "Don't know", do I have to "Find out" if AGW is unprecidented? Can't I just go to the pub? If not, can we really find out in time...before the Pub closes?

11/30/2009 11:51:00 pm  
Anonymous DocBud said...

P-G,

When you said "it got munched" do you mean it got dumped when you moved house in the 80s?

For those who haven't seen it, this is a useful tool for looking at the MWP:

http://pages.science-skeptical.de/MWP/MedievalWarmPeriod.html

12/01/2009 02:02:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

General, sir, you just do not realize that lying is in the service of the Greater Good. Just read Goebbels.

12/01/2009 02:17:00 am  
Anonymous AFY said...

Reading this article and then scrolling through the comments was almost as enjoyable as my last trip to Great Britain ... and I had a blast on that trip.

Cheers. I'm off to my favorite pub in California.

12/01/2009 04:39:00 am  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

Anon at 10:35pm

Rats: I do mean Bradley, but he's Ray not Keith. Bradley is the "B" in MBH, the (in)famous Hockey Stick paper.

DOcBud:
[wipes coffee from screen]
BEST
COMMENT
EVAH!


iain on friday:
I'm sorry that you found it verbose.
I'd be delighted if you could summarise quite as much background context and inference in fewer than 2000 words and (essentially) just 2 diagrams (with variations).

This would be a very useful service to us all as we know that the MSM can't process more than the two para abstract at the top of the press release that distorts the research being published.

Or perhaps you were not offering constructive criticism? ;-P

sjgibbs,
A sound point. A very sound point. Hmmm....
What I think I mean here is that if you answer "no" to World Govt at the last box, your goal is not to reduce CO2 emissions - it's to find an efficient alternative for fossil fuels. Not the same thing, so although the effect may be the same, the outcome (in terms of the impact on the economy and general usefulness to human kind) is compeltely different and it feels more like adaptation than punishment.

But I was already conscious of the word count (sorry iain!) and that didn't sound snappy.

And besides, by the time you are at that last box, you are there because "the alternative is so appalling ghastly", and that definitely still stands...

As for the rest of you, thanks for all your comments - blimey. Didn't expect quite this response.

Have I missed anything important?
PG

12/01/2009 09:52:00 am  
Blogger nottoobrite said...

May I ask, Does anyone have any idea how to get a politician to admit that he was wrong? You know, that 5 or 6 billion pounds we spent on AGW was a mistake.
(But it sure was fun while it lasted.)

12/01/2009 04:42:00 pm  
Anonymous Troll Feeder said...

Frank @2009-11-28-0900

Earth would not have the temperatures of Venus even if Earth's atmosphere were entirely CO2. The atmosphere of Venus is approximately 90 (IIRC) times as dense as that of the Earth because Venus has practically no axial rotation.

And while I'm listing silly arguments, if the Arctic (not Antarctic or Greenland) ice cap were to melt, sea levels would fall, not rise. What the balance would be if all were to melt, I do not know, but I've yet to see anyone acknowledge that opening the Northern Passage is a "good" (by the warmists' criteria, anyway) thing.

12/01/2009 05:24:00 pm  
Anonymous Troll Feeder said...

Yeah, OK, fine. I looked up the size of Antarctica and it is a bit bigger (order of magnitudeish) than the Arctic ice sheet.

Bygones. Venus still barely rotates.

12/01/2009 06:39:00 pm  
Anonymous Philip Meguire said...

We should commute to work, and run errands, using electric cars that recharge from the grid at night. There already exists technology that can recharge an electric car in 25 minutes at a petrol station. If that technology is implemented, the number 25 will creep down.

China and the G7 nations should gradually replace all power plants combusting some kind of fuel, with nuclear power plants. France has shown the way here.

We need to make incremental changes to reduce methane emissions. Possibly including keeping beef steers and dairy cows in sealed buildings with air filtration systems.

An excise tax on CO2 and CH4 emissions, at a rate that rises gradually over time, should motivate what I propose. There are also good reasons other than GW for doing what I advocate above.

12/01/2009 10:50:00 pm  
Anonymous DocBud said...

Phil, it maybe that this blog has gone quiet since it is a few days since the original post. If others are still watching I suggest you duck, apart from your post completely ignoring the original content, dickhead ideas and talk of taxes do not generally go down too well here. And what did cows ever do to you that you want to stick 'em all in prison? This is a much better plan:

http://www.physorg.com/news135003243.html

And would create some of those wonderful green jobs we hear so much about, though probably best not be a smoker and chronic sinusitis would be an advantage.

12/01/2009 11:51:00 pm  
Anonymous Chris Edwards said...

I do not think our political and enviromental leaders believe the evils of CO2 one bit, if they did they would beugently urging an embargo on all goods made in CO2 dirty places, also we drive round with a rare metal device that turns some more benign pollutants into greater amounts of CO2 but not a whisper so it is a lie. Also I went to school before history was "corrected" and was taught about the Vikings being frozen out of Greenland but recenty a documentry found some of their artifacts were still ice bound therefore it was warmer there back when they farmed.

12/02/2009 03:59:00 am  
Blogger neil craig said...

Chris i think if they really believed it their first priority woould be pushing for massive new nuclear since it is the only way to produce reliable power without CO2. Either way they aren't doing it, all they are doing is using it as an excuse for taxing & regulating us more. Either way the conclusion is inescapable that it is an entirely deliberate fraud & that our political leaders & the media are whooly corrupt.

12/02/2009 10:46:00 am  
Anonymous microdave said...

"also we drive round with a rare metal device that turns some more benign pollutants into greater amounts of CO2"

@ Chris Edwards - I'm glad someone else has noticed this as well!

Actually I don't, my car's 22 years old....

12/02/2009 12:03:00 pm  
Blogger Hello Birdy said...

"Global warming may be nonsense but what about the increased respiratory diseases from vehicle emissions and other pollution? Shouldn't we do something about those? I guess only if the cost of healthcare is more than the benefits from continuing to pollute"

You will be hard pressed to find any 'denier' who will argue that point. Of course we have a pollution problem and that where money should be spent. Tons of it already has been and that is one reason why our cost of living is so high now.

We need to get the socialist elites and their rabid, dependent, scared half-to-death followers out of the world of science and technology and relegate them to protesting the pollution which is all they are actually mentally capable of ... then the responsible adults in the capitalist world will have their real scientists figure out how to make it happen .... as always.

12/02/2009 03:45:00 pm  
Blogger Paul said...

"Their world view is being swept from underneath them and they are being shown—in ways that they do not really and have never had to understand—that the guys they thought were the goodies are in fact "at it" and that those they have spent a decade disparaging as deniers were in fact spot on."

Lenin sent a million Russian leftist to the camps, and then Stalin sent millions of Communists to the camps. Ditto Mao, Castro...

Our lefties get away lucky, this time, but they want to believe, and someone will fill the void for them. Next time, maybe, they'll really pay.

12/02/2009 03:51:00 pm  
Blogger nottoobrite said...

Hello Birdy,
You may like to ponder a moment,
in Europe (including the ex soviets) more than 73% of households use coal, wood, peat, for heating, the ex soviets the average car/truck is 20 years and non of the owners have the money to change

12/02/2009 04:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great flowchart. Loved it. One bit is confusing me.

If the costs (of mitigation?) outweigh the benefits then why doesn't the "yes" arrow point to the "adapt" box?

12/02/2009 06:57:00 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

Anon,

Good spot - perhaps this isn't entirely clear.

Let me expand:
It's not the costs of _mitigation_ at that stage: it's the costs of the damage caused by AGW vs the benefits of AGW.

If the damage outweighs the benefits, then you need to think about what to do. If they don't, you answer "no" and you go into the "because we shouldn't do anything" bit of Adapt - you actually _want_ AGW because it will, on balance a la MWP, be good for mankind.

Does that explain?

12/02/2009 07:10:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PG - re your last paragraph.
Be aware that the entrance requirements for J-school are not shockingly high (at least, not in North America). Hence most journalists/correspondents are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. The typical journalist has a very limited ability to write intelligently about complex subjects and consequently publishes simplistic nonsense. Time to take away their Chomsky primer and make them read a basic physics textbook.

12/02/2009 08:19:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PG says:

"Let me expand:
It's not the costs of _mitigation_ at that stage: it's the costs of the damage caused by AGW vs the benefits of AGW."

I see. Yes. Agreed! Thanks.

12/02/2009 08:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Dave said...

Nicely and logically written. -I will have to link to this from my blog. I really like your diagrams.

*Hey, we had a nice November snowfall in Aberdeen about 4 years back! Everyone in the dormitory went out a built snowmen...

12/02/2009 08:35:00 pm  
Anonymous maxivory said...

Pah. All very cutely and elaborately argued, but this is largely a verbal conjuring trick , alas.

Say what you will, the elephant remains in the room: since the explosion of global population and industrial pollution over the last 100 years the global average temperature has risen sharpy.

And youre telling me this is a conincidence or some freak of nature? I sure hope so too but only a brave man would 'bet the farm' on this hypothesis. Stupid as they are govnerments are not so stupid as to ignore the problem forever.

You can have your opinon, but not your own facts.

12/02/2009 11:39:00 pm  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

"Say what you will, the elephant remains in the room: since the explosion of global population and industrial pollution over the last 100 years the global average temperature has risen sharpy."

You just haven't been paying attention, have you?

There is no objective proof that "over the last 100 years the global average temperature has risen sharpy" [sic]. That's the point.

Please do go and find some facts before you start airing your ignorance in public.

DK

12/02/2009 11:51:00 pm  
Blogger unaha-closp said...

Nice graph.

Have I missed anything important?

We all have.

As said previously by sjgibbs.
The big RED arrow at rhe bottom of your graph should not point at "Adapt".

In this box should be the climate change response of the political class that oppose World Government - us lot. Unfortunately for the most part we have spent our time arguing the merits of scientific endeavour (something which frankly we are seldom better qualified to do than J-shool drop outs) and so no box. If I were optimistic I'd write "small government solution" on a box and stick it there.

...the outcome (in terms of the impact on the economy and general usefulness to human kind) is compeltely different and it feels more like adaptation than punishment.

No. It would need to be a massive realignment of our economies to confront climate change. It would be painful. We could put in place a high carbon-footprint VAT to make the market the driver to solve climate change, strip all possible impediments to market function and enlarge the size of the market by reducing the size of the state (hence cause immense pain to our many state supplicants).

12/03/2009 12:35:00 am  
Anonymous DocBud said...

Maxivory said:

"You can have your opinon, but not your own facts."

CRU can so why can't everyone else?

12/03/2009 10:55:00 pm  
Anonymous DocBud said...

One (hopefully distant) day, when Phil Jones meets Keynes in the afterworld:

Keynes: "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

Phil Jones: "I change the facts."

12/03/2009 11:01:00 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

Docbud,

Brilliant.

We might also note that it is possible that the participants to that conversation may be experiencing the effects of runaway warming in the location in which they find themselves...

12/04/2009 12:59:00 pm  
Blogger The Pedant-General said...

unaha closp:

[cracking name by the way. What on earth is it?]

I agree that, in the event we are at the last box, adaptation may not be the answer and that we need some other "bottom-up" solution to reduction of fossil fuel consumption.

But...
"We could put in place a high carbon-footprint VAT .... strip all possible impediments to market function"

Is it just me or do those two things appear to be almost entirely mutually exclusive?

See my next post also...

12/04/2009 01:03:00 pm  
Blogger Devil's Kitchen said...

P-G,

unaha closp:

"[cracking name by the way. What on earth is it?]"


Unaha Closp is the name of a character—a drone—in an Iain M Banks Culture novel called Consider Phlebas...

DK

12/04/2009 01:45:00 pm  
Blogger Brian H said...

Peruse http://arxiv.org/pdf/0707.1161v4
It's WAY worse than you think. The GH effect doesn't exist, either in atmospheres or glass greenhouses (those depend on trapped warm air, not IR).
Excerpt:
"In case of partial differential equations more than the equations themselves the boundary conditions determine the solutions. There are so many different transfer phenomena, radiative transfer, heat transfer, momentum transfer, mass transfer, energy transfer, etc. and many types of interfaces, static or moving, between solids, fluids, gases, plasmas, etc. for which there does not exist an applicable theory, such that one even cannot write down the boundary conditions [176, 177].
In the "approximated" discretized equations artificial unphysical boundary conditions are introduced, in order to prevent running the system into unphysical states. Such a "calculation", which yields an arbitrary result, is no calculation in the sense of physics, and hence, in the sense of science. There is no reason to believe that global climatologists do not know these fundamental scientific facts. Nevertheless, in their summaries for policymakers, global climatologists claim that they can compute the influence of carbon dioxide on the climates [of planets]."
There's not a scintilla of valid science or math to be had in the entire warmist position. Nada.

12/05/2009 09:31:00 am  

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