Tuesday, July 31, 2007

[climate sceptics] step this way

There's virtually no doubt that climate change is occurring.

Too many phenomena are going on which palpably have not happened before, especially in this neck of the woods. I would love to have had my sceptic friends here during the wild storm a couple of weeks back.

It's easily checked against the records which don't go back twelve years - they go back over a hundred. More tenuous records exist before that in the literature of the nation.

Blame whom you like - blame the huge increase in population, blame logging, blame natural causes, blame the cabals [close to the truth here and here], blame anyone you like but it is happening, folks.

I characterize sceptics as in the photo below right and address them as in this post but Oddiya goes much further, quoting this source as one sceptics should read first before coming to a debate and that's provocative stuff:

While deniers arguments gain coverage in the mainstream thanks to so called "balanced reporting", bloggers are to blame for freely publishing deniers comments regardless of how demonstrably false they are - a practice that gives the false impression of a debate about the facts of climate change when in reality there isn't one.

Thunderdragon answered with:

I do not "deny" that there is something going on, but I think it is extremely arrogant to say that it is humans who are the primary or only cause of it. We have been industrialised for little more than two centuries.

I just find it incredible that we could have been the only cause of it - we have undoubtedly affected it is some way and sped up the process, but I doubt that we alone could have possibly "caused" it.

The simple question in reply, TD, is that if "we" didn't, then who did? Now I'm going to work my way through the "grist" articles and see what they have to say.

Please don't ignore the evidence, people, especially this and then start saying "climate change, my ass" or swiftly trot out the facile "climate porn" whenever you're challenged. That's as much debate as my cartoon to the right.

25 comments:

Odiyya said...

Articulate and pointed, well said.

Any argument is a valid one, provided its well informed and focuses on the issue at hand. Our feelings on what we would like to believe change nothing. Best to be familiar with the facts of reality and not indulge in how we'd like things to be.

ThunderDragon said...

Very simply, I don't know what is causing climate change. Most likely it is just a natural readjustment of the planet - accelerated/exaggerated by us, but not CAUSED.

Tom Paine said...

Since you blame bloggers for not censoring comments, are you sure you want debate? The use of the word "denier" is loaded language designed to smear those with opposing views by subconscious assocation with neo-Nazis. It is entirely unscientific, utterly immoral and raises doubt as to the credibility of those who would stoop to such tactics.

We have been on this Earth for a mere fraction of its existence. Had the dinosaurs had the ability to ratiocinate, no doubt their dying thoughts would have been "shit, what did we do to cause that?"

Assuming, unfairly, that they were as vain as Man.

Wolfie said...

Part of the problem with debating Climate issues with anybody who is sceptical of the science has a lot to do with their understanding of mathematics, modelling and science.

If you gave-up science and mathematics at high-school much of it doesn't make that much sense in the Newtonian/Cartesian logic you are familiar with.

This is again complicated by the overly-simplistic and highly politicised accounts we see in the press, which naturally infuriate. For the life of me I am baffled by the idiot Guardian readers who support Climate Change theory along with Globalization - the lack of joined-up thinking is remarkable.

Wolfie said...

Tom @

The vanity argument is vanity in itself, it is a philosophical argument but not a rational one only one step from the "God clause".

Daimyo Higham-Baka-Ohta said...

Odiyya - the issue from the climate change exponents, like you and I is that the other side is arguing not from the available literature but from a narrow sceptical literature presented to deny the human element in the phenomenon, which less deny.

TD - you say you don't know but if you read all the literature for and against human agency, you still wouldn't know but you'd be closer to an informed view. You are an honest guy and that is the first prerequisite for a sound scholar.

Tom - you said: "The use of the word "denier" is loaded language designed to smear those with opposing views." And what of "Climate Porn"? You say "you", meaning JH and so I can say that my view is Odiyya's above here:

"Any argument is a valid one, provided its well informed and focuses on the issue at hand."

This is the beef - that most arguing the opposite are not citing science but jargon, as are many supporting the government's jingoistic position which is equally as bad.

I said in the post that Odiyya is more provocative on the matter. TD used the word "arrogant". You said:

"unscientific, utterly immoral and raises doubt as to the credibility of those who would stoop to such tactics".

Again I return to the call to base the argument on the known literature, not jingoistic positions and strong terminology ad hominem.

Wolfie - you say:

Part of the problem with debating Climate issues with anybody who is sceptical of the science has a lot to do with their understanding of mathematics, modelling and science.

This is the point I'm constantly reiterating. I'm charging many who argue that there is no human agency here to argue from known literature which is available. Some was posted here.

If for example, one argues that HAARP never occurred and this is ignored in our reply, then either:

1] you don't know what HAARP is because you didn't bother reading it through or
2] you are denying it.

On what basis are you denying it? That you don't like the idea and think it doesn't sound right?

Tom zeroed in on the usage of the word "deny" but I zero in on whether the literature has been read or not and on what basis it is denied?

I scarcely see what this has to do with nazis. I won't comment on Wolfie's last comment.

So to the debate. You say there is no significant human agency and point me to a link. OK - I read it and then point you to HAARP and Woodpecker. Where are we both?

You're accepting your literature and I'm accepting mine.

What makes one of our literature's correct and the other not?

Daimyo Higham-Baka-Ohta said...

OK, so here is what I mean. Apart form a little name-calling from a sceptic to the site author, there's not too much and it is mainly scientific argument too and fro.

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/
2006/12/22/222357/40

This is the sort of thing we shoould be doing, not descending into jargon or singling out provocative language to attack.

Attack the scinece with science, if you wish to attack anything.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

It wasn't until recently when I understood the chemistry behind what is happening, that I saw the problem.

Basically, pre-life, there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere.

It all comes from plants. Plants took the carbon from CO2 and released the Oxygen.
Put bluntly, the huge surplus of free Oxygen that we breathe exists because of the huge weight of dead plants buried in the rocks- fossil fuels.
Burn all the fossil fuels, you return the atmosphere to the way it was two billion years ago.
when there was no Oxygen, and no life forms to breathe it.

It's simple chemistry.

Tony said...

Anthropogenic climate change is not a proven fact. We have had warmer weather in history. We have had colder weather in history. We have had floods in history. We have had droughts in history.

The earth clearly has variations in climate over the course of hundreds and thousands of years. Change happens. I am sure future generations will experience cooling rather than warming. All the focus on CO2 still does not change the fact that it only makes up a tiny proportion of atmosphere in parts per million.

When the IPCC stops censoring the findings of scientists and starts to allow the review of scientific evidence rather than just reports that are published, we may be able to afford that organisation more credibility. Until then, people have every right to question whether mankind is the cause of what we are seeing today.

youdontknowme said...

No doubt climate change is happening however climate change is natural. It is not man made. The planet's climate is constantly changing. Greenland was called that for a reason. When the vikings conquered Greenland it was green with forests and now it's full of snow. How did man achieve that?

In Britain there is evidence that we used to grow wine in the warm weather. Did we put an end to that?

What about previous ice ages? Are we to blame?

Climate change is just natural climate fluctuations.

IanP said...

When you look at the ancient towns that were recently flooded, did it not strike anyone, and especially those who would have us believe that 4x4's are the cause, that the Norman built churches where always on high ground.

Why do you think that is?

The Normans used their churches as both rallying points and places of safety, and they knew that the lands around the churches were always prone to flooding on a cyclical basis, which gave them the high yeald crops and therefore the churches tythe.

If the recent floods have anything to do with Global Warming (or the Al Gore carbon offset fund), then it is just as cyclical, as the earth moves on its axis, ice ages and warming, and floods appear and go just as the sun comes up and goes down, and absolutely nothing to do with the 4x4's.

Lord Nazh© said...

You do the exact same thing that others do James; you imply that people don't agree that the climate is changing.

You don't point out the fact that the climate is indeed ALWAYS changing and you are convinced that MAN has caused it. The debate as such is over cause not effect.

Of course this started when MAN was blamed for Global Warming, of course that had to go fast as it wasn't true, insert Global Climate Change... a new man-made, man-caused religion.

The biggest reason for climate change seems to be the sun, yet the GW priests and priestesses don't seem to ever focus on that heavenly body. It's all about CO2 with you guys. You can't explain the rise in CO2 with the decline in temps pre-1970, yet you have it all figured out.

You claim a storm happened that had NEVER before happened. As in there is new weather and not just recycled weather. Your proof isn't up to par (for me) but I'll let that go. You claim lots of things, yet like the rest of the GW crowd, you are still using the 'Earth-destroying' technology that the rest of us use.

If MAN is indeed 'changing' the ever-changing climate, then why haven't you (the ones that KNOW it) stopped helping it?

Wolfie: Funny how those 'mathematical and scientific' models can tell us FOR SURE that the earth will heat up some time oh next century or so, but can't let me know if it will rain in 2 weeks :(

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

No one doubts it's happening but I am fed-up with being blamed for it. A friend had a go at me for the amount of kitchen roll I use the other day - "Think of the trees" [I'm a city girl - what's a tree?] when her household has 4 cars! I'm also fed-up with turning on BBC World and every programme is like a boring geography lesson on the issue. Why don't we all just do what we can in what little ways we can and stop going on at each other about it? Like the cartoon - I guess that's me!

Nigel Sedgwick said...

Over here on Wikipedia, there is an article on sea level rise. If one believes this article (and please say why if not), it's rising. It's been rising at around the same rate for 8000 years; before that it rose much faster.

Now, I know James is (only) taking about 'climate change', and not blaming it on us people through CO2 emissions (unless he is using 'climate change' in its common and modern interpretation), but I'm not sure that sea level rise at a fixed rate over 8000 years is indicative of climate change over those 8000 years, whatever its definition.

Best regards

Daimyo Higham-Baka-Ohta said...

Nigel first - here is one you should look at which addresses the question of warming over 8000 years:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/
2006/12/13/215043/37

Tony - it is very much as proven as any scientific theory and on the best authority. Please read this:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/
2006/10/26/232046/03

and this:

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/
2006/10/25/181237/51

YDKMW - however climate change is natural. It is not man made

Please read this chapter:

http://gristmill.grist.org/
skeptics

[The section on "Climate change is natural"]

Ian, Crushed - good points.

Lord Nazh - read the literature first before you say that - there are enough references above to make a start but I can give you others on any specific point if you like.

Now to this:

Your proof isn't up to par (for me) but I'll let that go.

Weather that has never been recorded and not just one storm but the shift in seasons and the loss of the winter which has NEVER been recorded here before. I think that's getting on for fairly substantial evidence.

Welshcakes - No one doubts it's happening but I am fed-up with being blamed for it.

Precisely. That's why I included the reference to HAARP and Woodpecker. These are jsut two examples of governmental collusion and culpability. It is they who are to blame and then they turn round and blame it on us.

In all of this in these comments, there is clear evidence that the Grist links [and i admit there are many] have not been read and are not being addressed.

And there is the problem. we are arguing from lack of literature but the literature is right there at the end of the links, if you'll only look at it.

Having said all that, I am delighted that you would stop by to give your thoughts and don't think I dismiss them in the least. All my comments above are only in the nature of debate.

In the words of Lord Nazh anyway - let's wait and see.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

YDKM- Greenland was named so, because the Vikings first landed on the only Green Coast.
They were misled a little.

It is true that there is one major aspect of the global warming thing that is often ignored.
This is that since Mid Pliocene times, Ice ages have ben the norm. In fact, the term ice age is misleading. Most of it has been Ice age, with warm spells lasting a few thousand years every fifty thousand years or so.
this warm spell (the entire ten thousand years of human civilisation) should be due to end soon.
Will this cancel out global warming?

Doesn't change the fact the C+O2 =CO2

Odiyya said...

Lord Nazh - Where to begin?

The number one reason for change is not the sun. This has been consistently, and once again recently, demonstrated.

And as for man causing global warming that is false, as is your assertion that this is the reason the terminology has changed from 'global warming' to 'global climate change'. That PR move was done by right wing PR consultant Frank Luntz who is the man responsible for crafting the Republican spin on global warming. BTW, even he now believes that man made global warming is real and is a problem

To reiterate my stance, which i posted at TD's site as well, I draw a very clear distinction between 2 types of people:

1. those who are genuinely misinformed or under-informed about global, &

2. those that knowingly perpetuate lies (deniers), or stubbornly refuse to consider new information

The information I'm talking about is readily available on a 5 second google search. I'm providing it directly and asking people to read it. If they have new information to bring to bear, then great, if not then by definition you don't have a rational debate going on.

Lord Nazh© said...

"And as for man causing global warming that is false,"

thank you

James, just how do you know that the storm was unlike any other? What did you (they) use to measure it, what characteristics made it NEW?

Yes there is plenty of literature that shows man-made GW, as there is plenty of literature that shows it is not man-made. You happen to belive that it is.

Nigel Sedgwick said...

Some Higham pseudonym wrote: "Nigel first - here is one you should look at which addresses the question of warming over 8000 years: http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/12/13/215043/37".

Well, I looked there and found an unsupported assertion about temperature and causation thereof, presumably in refutation of my reference (supported) about sea level (which was in refutation of your link about sea level).

Being here is difficult for me if our perceptions of the reality of evidence and rational deduction differ too much. We have crossed swords on this sort of thing before; maybe we should just have a (silent) drink together to celebrate the difficulty of it all.

Best regards

Daimyo Higham-Baka-Ohta said...

This is getting just a little silly now. Racing in, looking and racing to print a comment "unsupported assertion" when it is crammed with stats and graphs and links to other info from all the major sources is not worth debating.

Better to have the drink.

ThunderDragon said...

The problem with all of this sort of discussion on climate change is that the facts are all from inevitably biased sources. By the time it has been dumbed down enough to get onto the internet and so that someone with little or no scientific knowledge can understand it, it is inevitable that it has a slant. Believing everything unequivocally a source like that says is like believing word for word a Labour Party [or any other parties'] press release. It's almost as bad as trusting the bar chart on a Lib Dem leaflet!

Steve said...

Speaking as someone who did not take science beyond O-level (that's what we called GCSEs in my day, kids) I think Wolfie has a point. I find the scientific arguments and counter arguments on global warming mind-boggling and I don't have time to go into the detail and compare them. Neither do most of the people who have commented here, I suspect.

On the basis that the overwhelming majority of sceintists accept than humas are in some part responsible for golbal warming I err towards their view. I also can't see what these scientists could possibly gain from perpetuating a lie.

On the other hand, the sceptics have quite a lot to gain from their stance. Oils company money and an excuse not to have to change their lifestyles, for example.

Not a very scientific way of drawing a conclusion, I know, but It's the best I can do.

Steve said...

Wolfie's comment about the Guardianistas who can't join the dots is interesting too.

Complaining that we are frying the planet while arguing for globalisation and demanding that Africa is given aid to help it develop, is somewhat contradictory.

But many on the right can't join the dots either. Demaniding your right to fry the planet while complaining about the hordes of refugees that will be displacedfrom Africa and elsewhere as a result is also contrdictory.

Lord Nazh© said...

Steve, your arguments look similar, but aren't.

Someone who believes in man-made GCC and wants globalization, etc. yes I can see that as being contradictory.

Someone who doesn't believe in mmgcc but complains of the influx of refugees I can't see as contradictory because they do NOT believe that man is causing it, therefore their 2 assertations don't collide.

(neither argument has to do with whether man is causing gcc or not, just that if you believe it does or not)

Lord Trafalgar Rock Pigeon said...

...I don't have time to go into the detail and compare them. Neither do most of the people who have commented here, I suspect...

Good point, Steve. That's why the Grist series patiently goes through the sceptics' arguments and gives the scientific evidence and stats to show that they're talking through their proverbial. :)