Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, August 18, 2014

Climate-change science is "settled," say proponents of anthropogenic (human-induced) global warming, or AGW: the earth is getting warmer, and human activities are the reason. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), set up by the United Nations in 1988, has issued five assessment reports since its founding. In its most recent, in 2013, the IPCC stated that it was now "95 to 100 percent certain" that human activities -- especially fossil-fuel emissions -- are the primary drivers of planetary warming. Frequent news reports -- such as the story of the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, a process that some scientists say is irreversible -- seemingly confirm these conclusions.

And yet, highly credentialed scientists, including Nobel Prize–winning physicist Ivar Giaever, reject what is often called the "climate consensus."...

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Admin's note: Participants in this discussion must follow the site's moderation policy. Profanity will be filtered. Abusive conduct is not allowed.

This article is long but it's worth the read IMO.

It discusses at some length, among other things, an interesting theory that counters AGW.

#1 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 09:17 AM | Reply | Flag:

Here's a 2012 quote from Ivar Giaever, the first scientist used in the linked piece to discredit the theory of global warming:

"I am not really terribly interested in global warming. Like most physicists I don't think much about it. But in 2008 I was in a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it. And I spent a day or so -- half a day maybe on Google, and I was horrified by what I learned. And I'm going to try to explain to you why that was the case."

He's not credible on the subject, but that hasn't stopped him from spreading his poorly informed contrarianism. Here's a detailed critique of one of his presentations on global warming:

www.skepticalscience.com

"Listening to Giaever's opinions on climate science is equivalent to giving your dentist a pamphlet on heart surgery and asking him to crack your chest open. ... [I]ndividual scientists (even Nobel Laureates) suffer from cognitive biases like anyone else. That's why we don't rely on indvidual scientists or individual papers to draw conclusions about climate change. The only way to get an accurate picture is through the work of many scientists, peer reviewed and scrutinized over decades and tested against multiple lines of evidence."

#2 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-18 09:37 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Uh oh someone's in troubleeeeeeeeeeee fer shizzle

#3 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-08-18 09:43 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

The only way to get an accurate picture is through the work of many scientists, peer reviewed and scrutinized over decades and tested against multiple lines of evidence."

What I put in bold is important, particularly as the current warming 'pause' is pushing outside the boundaries of EVERY climate computer model.

It really seems like the whole intra-scientific debate occurs under the premise that the AGW theory itself is unassailable and thus explanations for everything are somewhat reverse-engineered.

#4 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 09:43 AM | Reply | Flag:

Giaver is mentioned but it's Salby's work that is cited extensively.

#5 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 09:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

From the article:

Unsurprisingly, the consensus view on the carbon cycle remains that human CO2 emissions are "virtually certain" to be the dominant factor determining current CO2 concentrations. Updating the global-warming catechism in a joint 2014 paper, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society declared: "Continued emissions of these gases will cause further climate change, including substantial increases in global average surface temperature."

If they adhered to the standards established three centuries ago during the Scientific Revolution, the academies would not be able to make such definitive claims. Nineteenth-century astronomer and philosopher of science John Herschel demanded that the scientist assume the role of antagonist against his own theories; the merits of a theory were proved only by its ability to withstand such attacks. Einstein welcomed attempts to disprove the theory of general relativity. "No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong," he is said to have declared. Because in science, the philosopher Karl Popper reasoned, we cannot be sure what is true but we can know what is false, truth is approached by discarding what is shown to be false. Popper articulated the principle of falsifiability, distinguishing scientific theory from the pseudosciences of Marx and Freud, whose followers, he noted, found corroboration wherever they looked.


Please read what I put in bold very carefully. Then, compare and contrast the approach to science that was advocated by John Herschel and Albert Einstein vs how AGW-proponents regard their theory in the present. The difference is stark. Why is that?

#6 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 09:50 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

"compare and contrast the approach to science that was advocated by John Herschel and Albert Einstein vs how AGW-proponents regard their theory in the present. The difference is stark. Why is that?"

Umm, cause its not 1871 or 1955 anymore?

#7 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-08-18 10:50 AM | Reply | Flag:

#7: So, scientific consensus is not factual and subject to correction?

#8 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-08-18 10:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

Jeff's view seems to be that if we can't prove that fossil fuel burning is the primary driver of global warming then we should do nothing about it until we can. Never mind we will all be drowning by then.
It is an EMERGENCY that we do what we can now and worry about absolute proof later, what's the downside of that? Too clean of an environment? Too much renewable alternative energy?

Real truth. Slightly less wealth for oil, coal and gas producers.

#9 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-18 11:09 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#7: So, scientific consensus is not factual and subject to correction?
#8 | POSTED BY DANIEL

"factual" is the only word I have a problem with. scientific consensus on a theory is subject to correction....

When we take look at the history of scientific discovery, a model works fora period of time. But as data, technology and science progresses, the model falls apart. New theorys attempt to replace it, finally one fits the data enough that you get consensus behind it.

Scientific knowledge is the ebb and flow of this process, it is destructive and reconstructive in nature. What we have today is a hiccup in understanding the global climate. No models work, but people still want to hang on to the CO2 model because of Hypothesis Obsession Syndrome. They want to cling to their old model.

The idea that one variable (CO2) is the causation of climate change is an oversimplification of a very complex system. But its easy to explain to the public.

Even taking a local average isn't symbolic of what is happening locally, its a chimera. It is the regional responses, not a global average that produce drought, floods, and other important climate impacts.

The PDO is the largest heat capacitor on the globe, yet we don't understand how it works as we haven't even studied it through one complete cycle yet.

Let science work itself out, then offer a solution. We have politicization of science and in its wake destroyed the process of scientific discovery.

#10 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-08-18 11:19 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Jeff's view seems to be that if we can't prove that fossil fuel burning is the primary driver of global warming then we should do nothing about it until we can. - Danni

This is a false dichotomy, sure there are things we can do. But putting $$ in conservation will have a much better return on ecological preservation.

#11 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-08-18 11:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

The people who complain the most about the politicization of the global warming scientific debate are the ones who politicized it.

#12 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-18 12:28 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

" But putting $$ in conservation will have a much better return on ecological preservation."

Actually, putting $$ in alternative energy can actually return a profit. I highly approve of conservation efforts but they don't actually return a profit.

#13 | Posted by danni at 2014-08-18 12:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

The people who complain the most about the politicization of the global warming scientific debate are the ones who politicized it.

#12 | POSTED BY RCADE

That would be the warmers.

#14 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 12:34 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"Actually, putting $$ in alternative energy can actually return a profit. I highly approve of conservation efforts but they don't actually return a profit."

The only viable, cost-efficient alternative energy is reduced consumption. Wind farms and solar energy farms are boondoggles.

#15 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-08-18 12:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

#15: Nulli, reducing consumption is not viable imho. It might slow down the inevitable but that's it. If the US cut it consumption by 50%, China, India and all the up and coming countries would ramp up their use of the sudden abundance of oil, gas and coal. We need to find alternatives that can cost effectively replace fossil fuels. Just think, someone develops a super efficient power source that cost 50% less than oil, gas or coal. We'd be off fossil fuels so fast your head would spin.

#16 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-08-18 12:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

" Just think, someone develops a super efficient power source that cost 50% less than oil, gas or coal. We'd be off fossil fuels so fast your head would spin."

Let me know when that happens. There's no magic bullet on the horizon.

#17 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-08-18 12:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

The people who complain the most about the politicization of the global warming scientific debate are the ones who politicized it.

#12 | POSTED BY RCADE

That would be the warmers.

Dude, I'm sorry to say it but you've rapidly devolved on this topic to a position lacking intellectual honesty entirely.

The worst part is you have this self-righteous lecturing tone to how science should be.

Please read what I put in bold very carefully. Then, compare and contrast the approach to science that was advocated by John Herschel and Albert Einstein vs how AGW-proponents regard their theory in the present. The difference is stark. Why is that?

I would suggest you take your own advice.

But since you still hold up the East Anglia emails as some sort of damning evidence, I won't hold my breath on your analysis being objective.

BTW, what experiments/data have the deniers produced? Can you answer that, in light of the highlighted section in your post above. One experiment, indeed. Yet all deniers have is nitpicking individual methods, ideas or creating "scandals" as a means of undercutting perceived authority when they can't put a large enough dent in the actual data.

Note, I said data. Not models. Data. Something the deniers have yet to actually produce. On the rare occasions that one has at least tried to be an actual scientist and analyze data from NASA, they publish in an off-topic journal (red flag) that gets absolutely hammered by the community at large because they're either a. using improper pet methods to skew results or b. apply accepted methods with changed parameters to get desired results.

#18 | Posted by jpw at 2014-08-18 01:12 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

#17: This is true but, not too many years ago, instantaneous communications around the globe or putting a man on the moon was thought impossible as well.

#19 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-08-18 01:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

"This is true but, not too many years ago, instantaneous communications around the globe or putting a man on the moon was thought impossible as well."

Don't hold your breath for some miracle techno-fix. There's no replacement for cheap, accessible, liquid, high-grade petroleum. Industrial civilization is a bubble sitting on it, and it's gone. The oil doesn't bubble out of the ground these days like in the "Beverly Hillbillies" or shoot up in geysers like "Giant".

#20 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-08-18 01:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

That would be the warmers.

That's complete nonsense. Climate scientists were doing what scientists always do -- test, learn, share their findings, peer review and see what their consensus is. Then when their findings became increasingly troubling for the future and politicians began to talk about what to do in response, big energy companies poured millions into a FUD campaign to delay their day of reckoning as long as possible.

It should tell you something that the main group paid to spread climate denial was once paid to attack the scientific finding that secondhand smoke caused cancer.

#21 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-18 01:22 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 5

^
OMG RCADE,
How many firms are direct beneficiaries of global warming largess either through government policy or research money? Pretty much all of them. So if you're using the follow the money argument then it just blew up in your face.

Incidentally, I would like a refund from ALL of the research firms that took federal money since EVERY ONE of their predictions has turned out to be wrong.

#22 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 02:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

How many firms are direct beneficiaries of global warming largess either through government policy or research money?

There's no such thing as global warming "largesse." A lot of science is funded in whole or in part by governments, but to suggest this is biased like the Heartland Institute is biased is spectacular absurdity. That group is paid millions by big energy companies to lie to the public about science. The fact you can't bring yourself to admit this suggest you're either gullible as hell or find something politically useful in believing the lie.

#23 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-18 03:12 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

but to suggest this is biased like the Heartland Institute is biased is spectacular absurdity. That group is paid millions by big energy companies to lie to the public about science.

Now I'm curious. What lies has this Institute been telling about AGW?

#24 | Posted by Daniel at 2014-08-18 03:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

There's no such thing as global warming "largesse."

Wind, solar and ethanol are all part of this largesse.

These types of energy could never compete against carbon-based fuels without government putting its foot on the scales in their favor. In the absence of climate alarmism, these forms of energy would die a quick death.

Also, the sale of carbon credits most definitely falls into the category of largesse.

BTW, what experiments/data have the deniers produced?

Did you read the article?

But since you still hold up the East Anglia emails as some sort of damning evidence

How would you characterize emails detailing how to 'hide the warming'? How would you characterize the creation of Mann's hockey-stick graph?

#25 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 03:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

23
I think it's naive to think that government funded research can't be equally biased. If there wasn't alarmism for global warming then there wouldn't have been over 100 billion American taxpayer dollars spent on the global warming industry since 2003.

Obama himself oversaw the capital outlay of $120 billion to the global warming industry. 80% of which went to his top donors. So don't even try to make the argument that there couldn't possibly be a financial incentive to stoke the alarmism and keep the global warming industry flush with cash. The researchers want the grant money and the cronies want the loans and grants.

#26 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 03:53 PM | Reply | Flag:

I think it's naive to think that government funded research can't be equally biased.

Ya think?

What is government pushing for out of all of this? Oh yeah, a 'carbon tax'. You know, more control and more money over all of our lives. But greedy and corrupt people only exist in the private sector. Scientists aren't human, they're angels. Ditto for politicians.

#27 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-18 04:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Scientists aren't human, they're angels. Ditto for politicians."

That's pretty much the impression that I get too. I don't expect it to change.

#28 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 04:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Isn't this what you Darwinists want? The earth's about to win its battle against its greatest enemy.

#29 | Posted by DeadSpin at 2014-08-18 04:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

It always amazes me that the biggest believers in evolution are the ones that most want to stop it from happening.

#30 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 04:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

#26 Show me a single example of biased government research. Even when the marijuana studies give them a black eye, they gets published.

But there are no studies supporting the deniers. Why is that? Due to facts, or that everyone in government is secretly a hippie.

Which explanation is easier to swallow?

#31 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-18 04:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

Just use RCADE's razor. Studies are designed to give the funding source its desired result.

#32 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 04:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

Studies are designed to give the funding source its desired result.
#32 | POSTED BY HUGUENOT

All studies? You don't give science very much merit, do you.

#33 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-18 05:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's RCADE you are talking about not me. He's the one that introduced the link between funding sources and outcomes.

#34 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 05:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

What lies has this Institute been telling about AGW?

They publish a lot of climate denial nonsense in the media and spread the views of ill-informed dilettante contrarians like Ivar Giaever.

Most of the time a climate denial link is posted here, if you dig into the sourcing you find Heartland.

#35 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-18 05:09 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

Here's a question. Why do 'scientists' and global warming alarmist actors claim that there is an increase in wildfires due to global warming when wildfires are actually down??

#36 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 05:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why do 'scientists' and global warming alarmist actors claim that there is an increase in wildfires due to global warming when wildfires are actually down??
#36 | POSTED BY HUGUENOT

Let me guess. My inability to answer your arbitrary question will lend you credence to believe "scientists" have no credible reason to make such a statement. Am I right?

#37 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-18 05:43 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Seriously,
WASHINGTON -

As firefighters continue to battle wildfires around the West, a group of scientists is claiming that climate change is fueling the costly blazes and the costs of fighting them.
www.ktvz.com

Although thousands of fires have ignited across the country in 2014, to-date this year's fires have burned fewer acres than other fire seasons since 2004.
wildfiretoday.com

Who's lying?

#38 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 05:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Who's lying?
#38 | POSTED BY HUGUENOT

I can't tell. From my perspective, you're pointing to apples and bitching that the scientists are calling them oranges:

"to-date this year's fires have burned fewer acres than other fire seasons since 2004."

This has nothing to do with the overall number of fires that have been sparked. Could it be there has been more resources funneled into our nation's firefighting capability, resulting in less acres burned (such is the case in Southern California post wild-fires of 2004 and 2007)? Or is it evidence that "a group of scientists" is cooperating in a government-scientists-of-the- world-wide conspiracy?

But like I initially asked, just because I'm unable to offer a logical explanation (see apologist) for "a group of scientists" that you seemingly extrapolate to the entirety of the scientific community (quite lazily I might add), you're going to steadfastly believe that the group of scientists is purposely lying in order to garner (I'm taking a guess here) more funding for their (scam-worthy) global warming research?

I mean I'm flattered and all, but I just don't think that's a very smart way of learning about the world around you.

#39 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-18 06:04 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#38 they're just saying that hotter temperatures mean dryer brush, and more forest fires. Temperatures have been breaking records for generations now, have you ever seen a NOAA chart of global temps? The super-trend continues to rise.

#40 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2014-08-18 06:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

Hotter temperatures could mean a wetter climate too. In fact, that was the settled science before California began it's record breaking drought. We were supposed to have MORE rain - not LESS rain due to global warming.

#41 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 06:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

I mean I'm flattered and all, but I just don't think that's a very smart way of learning about the world around you.

No it isn't. But if you want to hold on to your pre-conceived notions, spreading random anecdotes where some scientist or meteorologist was wrong once about something minor, then claiming it discredits an entire massive body of scientific research, is a good technique.

#42 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-18 06:31 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

LOL
You mean I shouldn't believe in 'settled science'?

#43 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 07:12 PM | Reply | Flag:

You mean I shouldn't believe in 'settled science'?
#43 | POSTED BY HUGUENOT

It's nothing to believe nor disbelieve. The evidence exists. There should be no disputing that. It is what it is.

The question is this: is it a safe approximation to suggest that evidence within climate science points to anthropogenic climate change? The vast majority of those who are credible to comment on the matter (i.e. not you or I) say the answer to the aforementioned question is "yes."

Should there be evidence that mitigates or even refutes that approximation, it will (and does) be taken into consideration. As of yet, that evidence is not overwhelming enough to sway the support for said approximation.

#44 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-08-18 07:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

Great! It sounds like you and I and Charles krauthammer would be in full agreement regarding settled science and the consensus fallacy.

#45 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-18 09:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

would be in full agreement regarding settled science and the consensus fallacy.

That you only find it infallible if it supports your precious opinions?

#46 | Posted by jpw at 2014-08-19 01:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

Did you read the article?

I did.

It sounded like a lot of reanalysis and alternative explanations, which is hard to judge given the author of the piece is clearly in love with these guys (if the flowery, overly-confident language this article gushes is to be believed).

#47 | Posted by jpw at 2014-08-19 01:06 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

given the author of the piece

heartland.org

Most of the time a climate denial link is posted here, if you dig into the sourcing you find Heartland.

Indeed.

#48 | Posted by jpw at 2014-08-19 01:12 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#48 Genetic fallacy

#49 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-08-19 10:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

That you only find it infallible if it supports your precious opinions?

#46 | Posted by jpw at 2014-08-19 01:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

Like what?

#50 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-19 10:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

Most of the time a climate denial link is posted here, if you dig into the sourcing you find Heartland.

Indeed.

#48 | Posted by jpw at 2014-08-19 01:12 AMFlag: | Newsworthy 1

#48 Genetic fallacy

#49 | Posted by HeuristicGratis at 2014-08-19 10:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Sure,
and conversely the research funded by government gives them the result they are looking for.

#51 | Posted by Huguenot at 2014-08-19 10:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

Given that predictive models have yet to be accurate, but the response is to tax... gives me pause.

#52 | Posted by kwrx25 at 2014-08-19 01:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

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