Thread: Global Warming oops itself again

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Sorry grumpy, unfortunately that's a common type of argument and it kind of epitomizes the reasons why I've come to accept the theory of global warming as likely valid.
    That statement doesn't even make sense. I described a (partial) list of reasons for my doubt. You have not rebutted them, but claim they justify your acceptance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    First, referencing zealots is counter-productive when discussing whether the theory of AGW is valid. Who cares what a lot of climate change zealots assert? A lot of zealots assert a lot of dumb things, that doesn't make them relevant to a more serious discussion.
    Referencing zealots is relevant in pointing out that the argument is often one-sided. A lot of the claims about global warming do cite justifications that are unsupported by either reasoning or evidence. But, somehow, questioning those claims or their justifications is not permitted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    But separate from that, you just gave a bunch of general reasons to be skeptical of AGW itself (which is fine). Yet every time I've seen people bring up similar concerns to climate scientists they are routinely rebutted with detailed evidence and reasonable conclusions.
    Sure, some of the claims are rebutted by evidence and conclusions. However that is not true of all of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    The "97% of climate scientists agree that man-made global warming is real" claim is actually quite powerful.
    Not on its own, it isn't.

    What do climate scientists mean when they use the term "man-made global warming"?

    Does the term mean that activities of man contribute to global warming? Or does the term mean that activities of man have impacts on global warming that dominate other contributors?

    Logically, if most scientists think in terms of the first, a fair majority would answer in the affirmative - it is hard to mount a logical argument to dispute that. But if they use the term to mean the latter, it is harder to provide evidence.

    It is also not stated how the statistics were (or, in this case, the statistic was) gathered. Is it based on a rigorous survey method, or is it done by a show of hands at a conference? If such statistics are gathered at conferences concerned with global warming, can they really be considered representative of the community of climate scientists?

    I can't say what those answers are - there is no such information on that other than the cited statistic. But that doesn't stop people citing such figures as a "powerful statement" .... when it supports the conclusion they want.


    There is a saying "Lies, damned lies, and statistics", which refers to the usage of statistics to bolster weak arguments. The thing is, many things influence statistical results other than the truth. In surveys, the manner in which a question is asked can significantly affect the responses. Selection and sampling biases can affect who actually gets surveyed. Even if the survey process is completely unbiased there is a systematic difference between people who choose to complete the survey and those who don't. Once the numbers are gathered, there are interpretation biases - such as equating correlation and causality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Scientists are fallible like the rest of us, but as a group then tend to be fairly reliable, especially when large numbers of them agree.
    Do you have evidence to back up that claim?

    It is true that, when a group converges on a viewpoint, that some of the more divergent possibilities are filtered out. Some contributors to that are statistical - by definition, calculating statistics based on a collection of samples filters out the outliers. Others are not - the group often converges on a viewpoint held by dominant members of that group. For example, a collective view of a lot of scientists will give greater weight to a senior scientist than to a junior one. In any group, scientific or otherwise, the stated view of a few extroverts will tend to be better known to the group than the stated view of a few introverts.

    A group of scientists is no more immune to politics and influence of other scientists than any other group of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    There's really no need to get into the weeds of various global warming arguments, just as there's no need to get into the weeds on why quantum mechanics or evolution are accepted scientific theories.
    There is a need to "get into the weeds" when the theories are cited as fact, and used as the basis for policy, lobbying, and browbeating people.

    The theories of quantum mechanics and evolution are cited as exactly that. The theories concerned with global warning, however, are often cited as the basis of truth - and anyone not accepting that truth is deemed ignorant. There is a logical difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    It's pretty useless without real experts.
    You have no knowledge of whether there are experts on global warming on this site or not. There is nothing that excludes a professional software developer from being a recognised expert in global warming.

    In the end, that argument cuts both ways. Without the presence of (or knowledge of the presence of) experts on global warming, you have no basis for claiming that the questions and doubt of people here are invalid either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Suffice it to say that the existence of questions and skepticism here doesn't mean they haven't been answered pretty definitely elsewhere, and all signs I see point to that being the case.
    That's your belief - but you have provided no supporting evidence for that.

    The existence of questions and skepticism here also does not mean that they have been properly answered in some rigorous manner elsewhere.
    Last edited by grumpy; 10-10-2014 at 09:07 PM.
    Right 98% of the time, and don't care about the other 3%.

    If I seem grumpy or unhelpful in reply to you, or tell you you need to demonstrate more effort before you can expect help, it is likely you deserve it. Suck it up, Buttercup, and read this, this, and this before posting again.

  2. #32
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I'll throw my two cents into this one.

    There seems to be a, frankly, surprising amount of skepticism for AGW in this thread. Daved started off a lot of what I would have said which has led me to form my opinions so I won't repeat them in detail. I like to measure the validity of a concept by how well a person can support their side of an issue, and from what I've seen and read, climate scientists have done a very good job at rebutting whatever skepticism comes their way in any new data or discovery. I don't reject the skepticism of AGW... frankly, unless you're a climate scientist yourself, I'd consider you naive if you didn't have some degree of skepticism when new, seemingly contradictory evidence comes out. Skepticism just shows me that you're actually thinking about the issue rather than pretending you understand the issue and accepting everything you hear like 99.99% of all climate change supporters.

    That said... I deem myself a skeptic of climate change alarm not because I don't believe in anthropocentric global warming, but because I'm not convinced there is enough realistic data to believe we are not already on course to avert a majority of the alarming consequences. I accept that my skepticism could be due to a lack of research on the subject, but I frankly don't see it addressed enough in the articles that I've found the time to read on the subject. Climate change alarmists constantly throw out the high risk of these horrifying long term effects of global warming; Effects that they claim will happen in 50 or even 100 years. All of these effects they'll tell you will happen if we continue down the "business as usual path" that we're currently on. My question to them is: What is business as usual? Am I to really believe that these people are realistically modeling the penetration rate of alternative energy over the next 50 years? What percentage of the residential and commercial real-estate will be solar or wind five decades from now? What percentage of commuters will be driving electric vehicles? Do they really have any idea what kind of technologies will be developed in that time to reduce or even combat the effects of climate change without any substantial increase in public (government) investment in clean energy? Are they considering at all what kind of major problems will effect us long before 2065 that could probably use our tax dollars too?

    I'm not a statistician -- if you are, you probably don't need me saying that at this point in my post... but I just don't get how these scientists are taking these studies on what effect humans have on the environment, which in itself has a margin of error... then apply that to a time scale of a half a century, which should then have an even greater margin of error... then factor in all of the other things that will happen in that time which effect the original problem... and somehow there isn't a gigantic margin of error in that data. I have to believe even the more devout climate scientist must have some degree of skepticism as to what events will occur in fifty years due to AGW. If I'm being naive, then someone please explain.

    All that aside... I support clean energy regardless of climate change. Firstly, for the reasons said by others -- we should just want to have clean air to breath. Secondly, I believe if humans are really trying to stick around for the long haul, we should be striving for complete and total equilibrium with our environment. The only way we can survive as a species is if we do everything in our power to stop getting in our own way and relying on a depleting resource for survival when we can harness the power of the sun of all things is just small-minded.

    P.S. To play devil's advocate to myself, there is a book coming out this December titled 'The Oxford Handbook of the Macroeconomics of Global Warming' which might answer the very questions I posed here. Hopefully I'll get a chance to read it, but I think everyone should know that it exists if my opinions here have been considered at all.
    Last edited by SlyMaelstrom; 10-10-2014 at 10:24 PM. Reason: I said "could be do"... I could be due an English lesson.
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  3. #33
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    >> Christopher Monckton is pretty full of it I know, I was just giving him as an example of a person giving counter claims
    Many people give counter claims. Somebody earlier posted a long video by a meteorologist. But I give much more credence to the authority of those actually in the climate science field.


    >> Referencing zealots is relevant in pointing out that the argument is often one-sided ... But, somehow, questioning those claims or their justifications is not permitted.
    It's permitted, but it's not relevant to the real questions: Is the earth warming, is that primarily caused by human behavior, and will that warming have significant effects on human societies? Zealots might make exaggerated claims and you're welcome to rebut those. I might agree with you on many of those issues. Those rebuttals don't apply to the scientific theory of AGW, though.

    >> It is also not stated how the statistics were (or, in this case, the statistic was) gathered.
    Sure it is stated. You just have to do some research. For example, here is one source: Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature - Abstract - Environmental Research Letters - IOPscience

    >> "Lies, damned lies, and statistics"
    I certainly agree with you that statistics on their face don't mean much, but if they are backed by appropriate methods and have been replicated, then it's fair to give them a certain weight. This is especially true of a number like 97%. Even if, for the sake of argument, biases in the data collection increased that number somewhat, it's still pretty clear that the vast majority of scientists, and especially climate scientists, believe AGW is real.

    >> A group of scientists is no more immune to politics and influence of other scientists than any other group of people.
    Right, this is what I said. At the same time, there is plenty of incentive to provide an alternate point of view in this case. And yet, those alternate points of view are extremely rare.

    >> The theories of quantum mechanics and evolution are cited as exactly that. The theories concerned with global warning, however, are often cited as the basis of truth - and anyone not accepting that truth is deemed ignorant.
    I don't see the difference. All three are cited as scientific theories with strong evidentiary and theoretical bases. Global warming might be more politicized than quantum mechanics, but otherwise it really isn't treated that much differently. And again, we're not talking about the politics, we're talking about the validity of the theories themselves. If one's argument is that the theory is invalid, wrong, or unsubstantiated, then the use of that theory in policy discussions has little relevance.

    >> There is nothing that excludes a professional software developer from being a recognised expert in global warming.
    Well, sure. If anybody wants to provide evidence that they are an expert and explain why their expertise is relevant, I'd be happy to listen. I'm not holding my breath, though. And while a software developer might have familiarized herself with the global warming science enough to be considered an authority, it's much more likely that an individual posting on a message board here lacks the years of training and experience necessary to achieve that designation.

    >> The existence of questions and skepticism here also does not mean that they have been properly answered in some rigorous manner elsewhere.
    You're right. My belief is based on the evidence and discussions I have seen. There's certainly the possibility of information outside of that which I (and ~97% of climate scientists) have not seen or do not consider convincing.

    >> That's your belief - but you have provided no supporting evidence for that.
    Again, you're right. I'm just expressing my belief. I'm not trying to convince anybody of anything. My belief is that the preponderance of the evidence points to AGW being a valid scientific theory.

  4. #34
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    The "97% of climate scientists agree that man-made global warming is real" claim is actually quite powerful.
    It is indeed a powerful claim, to bad it's a lie.

  5. #35
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
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    [Edit]
    I tried to edit this to remove some redundant comments and organize a little better, but the database apparently went wonky while I was editing.

    I'm too ........ed at CBoard to care anymore so instead TL;DR: I'm grumpy (heh) that I see so many people who've clearly not looked into either side's claims before regurgitating click bait nonsense.
    [/Edit]

    The theories of quantum mechanics and evolution are cited as exactly that. The theories concerned with global warning, however, are often cited as the basis of truth - and anyone not accepting that truth is deemed ignorant. There is a logical difference.
    O_o

    Wow. This thread just got weird.

    The theory of evolution is not a theory; it is a scientific theory. A scientific theory is an established explanation for given phenomena backed by such a preponderance of evidence that the assumption of validity is sound until new evidence shows that the theory is flawed by presenting a new theory which better accounts for the given phenomena.

    Evolution is constantly cited as the basis of truth for a wide range of phenomena. Evolution is our best explanation for a multitude of traits. In this regard, evolution is fact. The theory of evolution is not "Evolution is a thing."; the theory of evolution is an explanation of "the thing".

    The theory of evolution is also misconstrued by a lot of people. You can find any number of idiots with manipulated images claiming some or other nonsense about evolution, but those comments about the interpretation. The interpretation is largely drawn across religious and political boundaries. Those interpretations may or may not be correct, but the interpretations do not change fact.

    As you can see, I just called a large chunk of the population idiots because they choose to misconstrue the science of evolution. I did not do that for the sake of this post. A lot of people are will tell you how ignorant some people are in so misconstruing the theory of evolution as to fundamentally misunderstand the facts and inability to separate fact from interpretation.

    The question is if you agree with the methods, explanation, and interpretation. The acceptance or denial of the theory of anthropocentric global warming is whether or not you believe that humans are the best explanation for the differences between the current situation, current predictions, and earlier predictions as considered against the methods of measurement and interpretation of those measurements.

    With regards to the comment I've quoted, there is no real difference between evolution and anthropocentric global warming. You can even find situations where the theory of evolution has been "used as the basis for policy, lobbying, and browbeating people".

    The points of all this is, there is indeed a crucial need to get "into the weeds". I don't much care if someone agrees or disagrees with the anthropocentric global warming, but the overwhelming number of "climate change deniers" or "climate change alarmists" who've clearly never got "into the weeds" is terribly frustrating.

    Even the quote here is frustrating. Yes. The theory of anthropocentric global warming is used as a foundation for planning. (I'll leave the browbeating aspect; I don't feel the politics is relevant to my point.) Given that a lot of people agree that it is currently the best explanation for differences in predictions and reality, why shouldn't we move forward with that information as such a foundation until we have more information? If it turns out we are wrong, we can always course correct as we find better explanations.

    The mindset (I'm not claiming that grumpy feels this way, but a lot of people expressing similar sentiments do feel this way.) of doing nothing until somehow we obtain absolute proof is painful.

    Soma
    Last edited by phantomotap; 10-10-2014 at 11:59 PM.
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomotap View Post
    Given that a lot of people agree that it is currently the best explanation for differences in predictions and reality, why shouldn't we move forward with that information as such a foundation until we have more information? If it turns out we are wrong, we can always course correct as we find better explanations.

    The mindset (I'm not claiming that grumpy feels this way, but a lot of people expressing similar sentiments do feel this way.) of doing nothing until somehow we obtain absolute proof is painful.

    Soma
    If by plans, you mean laws, there is some problem just with the way governments tend to react to things. There's usually some simple cost-benefit analysis type stuff (nothing formal, I'm talking things like "We need to invade Iraq before the smoking gun becomes a mushroom cloud").

    When you have a problem that has the potential negative effects of Global Warming, laws that wouldn't ordinarily even be considered all of a sudden look like a proportional solution. This is a reason not to rush into responding through law. I wish government worked more rationally, but their responses to things are usually not reliable to produce the desired result.

    If by planning you instead meant the development of new technologies, I can't disagree with that (It would be good to have better sources of renewable energy even without Global Warming.).

    the database apparently went wonky while I was editing.
    I've noticed it does that around 1:30am eastern every night, I thought about making a post to see if other people knew of it. Maybe it was the same thing?

    Edit: Forgot to mention something on the evolution thing. I might be wrong, but I think Grumpy was using it as sort of a false equivalence type of argument. I think I'm the one who originally mentioned evolution, I did so as an example of another theory that needs data from large spans of time. I wasn't equating the validity of the two theories (evolution is one of the more robust theories, probably because so many people disagreed with it at first).
    Last edited by Alpo; 10-11-2014 at 12:48 AM.
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    A theory is only scientifically valid if it is falsifiable. In other words, it must make predictions that can be verified as true or false.

    The problem with AGW is it is NOT really falsifiable; no matter what happens the supporters claim it supports AGW.

    Tim S.
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  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarin View Post
    It is indeed a powerful claim, to bad it's a lie.
    Looks interesting. I'll have to check out the claims in more detail when I have some time.

    Until then, can I ask you (and others) something?

    What do you think the actual level of scientific agreement among climate scientists on AGW is, if it is not 97%?

    Feel free to give a broad range if you're not sure. Do you think it's 5-10%? 25-49%? 75%? 96%? It's fine to want to discredit that one study's number, but the real question is whether there is large agreement among scientists.

    Quote Originally Posted by stahta01 View Post
    A theory is only scientifically valid if it is falsifiable. In other words, it must make predictions that can be verified as true or false.

    The problem with AGW is it is NOT really falsifiable; no matter what happens the supporters claim it supports AGW.

    Tim S.
    I'm not sure why you think AGW is not falsifiable. Just because the predicted events are complex doesn't mean they aren't predicted, or that they haven't occurred.

  9. #39
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    I've noticed it does that around 1:30am eastern every night, I thought about making a post to see if other people knew of it. Maybe it was the same thing?
    I wanted to let you know that the forum does nightly backups. I remember reading this: Recent Downtime I'm not sure if the process has changed much in ~3 years give or take, but that would explain regular slowdown times. I've noticed the performance slump for months/years too and never commented on it. Frankly I don't mind...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Looks interesting. I'll have to check out the claims in more detail when I have some time.

    Until then, can I ask you (and others) something?

    What do you think the actual level of scientific agreement among climate scientists on AGW is, if it is not 97%?

    Feel free to give a broad range if you're not sure. Do you think it's 5-10%? 25-49%? 75%? 96%? It's fine to want to discredit that one study's number, but the real question is whether there is large agreement among scientists.


    I'm not sure why you think AGW is not falsifiable. Just because the predicted events are complex doesn't mean they aren't predicted, or that they haven't occurred.
    Some AGW supporter predicted more storms; less storms happen and the AGW supporters said that was because of AGW.

    Tim S.
    "...a computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are,in short, a perfect match.." Bill Bryson

  11. #41
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Until then, can I ask you (and others) something?

    What do you think the actual level of scientific agreement among climate scientists on AGW is, if it is not 97%?

    Feel free to give a broad range if you're not sure. Do you think it's 5-10%? 25-49%? 75%? 96%? It's fine to want to discredit that one study's number, but the real question is whether there is large agreement among scientists.
    The article doesn't deny or suggest that there isn't a consensus on AWG, but rather that the large consensus does not correlate with a consensus as to whether AWG poses a major threat to life on this planet. In fact, there hasn't been any major polls that try to draw that consensus and through anecdotal research one could conclude just as easily that the consensus is that of uncertainty of the dangers. Skeptics often get fumed about the 97% because it's a big number that climate alarmists (and by that I mean climate change supporters that support solely on the faith of smarter people) use the number to push their agenda of public spending and criminal liability for those who do not comply with stricter environmental standards.

    I've seen contradictory claims to the "97% is a lie" evidence, but the claims generally fall in the suggestion that it would be impossible to calculate through analysis of peer-reviewed studies what the publishers felt about the dangers of AWG and to suggest that there is no consensus on the dangers would be unfounded. I'm personally not satisfied with a rebuttal of that nature.
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  12. #42
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    Again, who really cares about arguing over whether or not global warming is real? The treatment for so-called global warming is the reduction of carbon emissions and various pollutants, yes? It's not a cop-out to agree that we need cleaner air regardless.

    I took this picture yesterday while I was up in the mountains: imgur: the simple image sharer
    Notice how the mountains barely peak out of the layer of ........? That's not fog, it's still summer here in the central valley of CA. It's the permanent ........ cloud that looms over me on a day to day basis. It wasn't there (as badly) 10 years ago. I used to be able to get really nice pictures of mountains off in the distance.

  13. #43
    Devil's Advocate SlyMaelstrom's Avatar
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    I would argue that there are likely cheaper, more localized solutions to smog than there would be for climate change prevention. Stopping climate change isn't necessarily as simple as cleaning the air above Los Angeles and China. Also, small-government supporters would argue that the federal government should not be expected to foot the bill for Los Angeles in cleaning up a pollution problem that it created. Smog is a local problem, AWG is a global problem (maybe... probably... I'm so confused right now...).
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    >> Some AGW supporter predicted more storms; less storms happen and the AGW supporters said that was because of AGW.
    Scientists predicted that global temperatures would continue to increase. Global temperatures continued to increase. (This does not prove AGW any more than your comment disproves it, but the point is that falsifying a scientific hypothesis is much more complex than these kinds of simple statements. Also, my understanding of the science is that it predicts more intense storms and weather, not necessarily more storms.)

    >> Skeptics often get fumed about the 97% because it's a big number that climate alarmists ... use the number to push their agenda of public spending and criminal liability for those who do not comply with stricter environmental standards.
    I mentioned earlier to another poster that it doesn't make sense to argue against zealots if the question is whether AGW is real. If we have already established that it is real, then there is a reasonable discussion to be had about how dangerous it is (note that I'm not making an argument about its danger in this thread). However, the people I responded to don't seem to agree that AGW is real, so it's important to note whether they think there is a consensus that they disagree with, or whether they disagree that there is a consensus.

    >> That's not fog, it's still summer here in the central valley of CA.
    ? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think I've seen plenty of fog/low clouds in the central valley during the summer.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    >> That's not fog, it's still summer here in the central valley of CA.
    ? I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think I've seen plenty of fog/low clouds in the central valley during the summer.
    First off, specifically, I'm talking about Kern county.

    It's extremely dry here yearround and so clouds and fog are very rare. We do get some low clouds, but probably 360 days a year, there's a layer of ........ haze that makes it look like you're looking through tracing paper. When down in the valley, it looks blue when you look straight up, but trying to look at the mountains in the distance you definitely see the ........ haze. Once you get up into the mountains, above about 3,000 feet, it's much more apparent you can see this layer of crap. That picture might not be clear enough. In person, it looked more like smoke from a forest fire more than anything else. Distinctly gray and sooty, not white.

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