Fielding on Wong’s Written Reply

OK, Tony suggested that some people might be getting bored of the story we’ve been following this week (Malcolm’s Email Spiral of Death!), and I can see why. It’s been going on for five days and we’ve yet to see anything but bad news for one side. Kind of bad for pro-Coalition morale which lowers the cut & thrust of political debate we love so much around here.

He made a good suggestion that we look at Fielding’s Written Reply to Wong’s Written Reply to Fielding’s questions. (I wanted to go on with more “replies” but couldn’t think of any!) Actually, as Tony points out, it’s Fielding’s Scientists’ reply to Wong’s Written Reply to Fieldings questions. Note it is in “DOC” format, but for those of you without Microsoft Office – feel free to download & install a free equivalent, OpenOffice.

Given that we’ve had the CPRS legislation delayed until after the Winter break, this is topical and of interest to alot of people hereabouts. I have yet to finish reading it myself, but there are a few things that stick out for me already:

  1. They claim there has been no warming since 1998 – this has been rebutted here and is a classic case of cherry picking the data (given 1998 has been the hottest year in recent record, that is, an outlier)
  2. They claim the infamous hockey-stick graph was debunked without mentioning the fact that it was corrected (with similar results) and that many other studies have shown similar conclusions (without being “debunked”). Information here for those interested.

There are probably others in there that people more forensic than I can dig out, but I get the feeling that the scientists were chosen for the fact that they already had their minds made up (and were hence a cover for Fielding’s decision to reject the legislation). I may be very wrong, but that is my initial impression.

Let the debate begin!

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123 Responses

  1. I posted in the Tuesday thread that – based on past history – you might not want to believe Fielding’s doc merely because the doc’s authors say so.

    Yes, they could be correct about some of their claims (which may or may not lead to the conclusions they imply), but given their history and research expertise you’d be smart to verify…and if you didn’t have time for that and were a betting person, well, given their history I know which way I’d bet.

  2. Responding to johnd’s comment on the Tuesday thread:

    As was stated, it was the IPCC who have previously denied the effect of natural variability.

    No. This is black-and-white thinking applied to a gray statement. The IPCC – even according to Fielding’s guys – stated that there was limited natural variability.

    If they refuse to distinguish between “limited” and “none”, then they have no credibility.

    And I believe their argument that the presumption of limited internal variability is required in order to support the A in AGW is disingenuous at best.

  3. I wonder if Lowes sells gift vouchers?

    This Redback poison is really kicking in now…yeeha!

  4. Well, I’ve got to hand it to you Lotharsson; you got in a thinly veiled ad hominem as insurance right up front. “Even if these guys sound reasonable, don’t believe them: One has been accused of accepting funding from Big [insert your choice of evil industrial cabal here].

    Wouldn’t it be a novel idea if we could just discuss what they’ve written in this paper, without resorting to logical fallacies?

  5. Tony, on June 25th, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    Not so fast, Tony; all anthropogenic activity, including the production and consumption of ‘scientific papers’, is apt for political economic analysis; that’s one of the hazy ‘interfaces’. I’m not sure that it’s possible to make the people ‘disappear’ from the (re-)productions, scientific or otherwise; as much as (objective) science always hopes that is how it is seen, and others draw on the cache of ‘science’ on that basis in a boot-strapped (but artificial) epistemological/ontological system.

  6. Legion,

    I”ve noted that you’ve defended these types of ‘arguments’ before, and, while I would agree that there are reasons other than the quest for truth and scientific purity motivating all sides of this ‘debate’ to some degree, my objection is when it’s suggested that an author’s arguments on a topic can be dismissed out of hand because of some percieved ethical dilemna brought about by their source of funding, or for some other reason not directly related to their actual work on the topic.

  7. Is it just me, or does the sudden importance of ocean temperatures represent a shift here? Until relatively recently, I understood that it was atmospheric temperatures, and the way that their increase broadly matched the increase in anthropogenic CO2 that were indicative of AGW. Then when atmospheric temperatures stabilised somewhat, we are being directed to ocean temperatures which are apparently still warming.

    Well my understanding of ocean temperatures is that they respond more slowly than atmospheric and even land temperatures and therefore if there was an atmospheric warming that stopped some years ago, it is entirely logical that ocean temperatures would continue to warm until they had caught up with atmospheric temperatures.

  8. …you got in a thinly veiled ad hominem as insurance right up front.

    Er, no, I did not. The comment on the authors and references in Fielding’s doc was AFTER I made a comment which examined some of their claims – with no mention of the authors or their history.

    Even if these guys sound reasonable, don’t believe them: One has been accused of accepting funding from Big [insert your choice of evil industrial cabal here].

    I’ve got to hand it to you – you have me saying something I don’t recall saying, such as that first quoted paragraph.

    Yes, their history certainly is of interest – especially when for some of them it is part of a longstanding pattern of spreading falsehoods that benefit their funders under the guise of “promoting science” – but
    (a) I actually said that we shouldn’t believe their case merely because they claim it is so. This is in contrast to you claiming I said we get to disbelieve their case because of – apparently – funding sources.
    (b) What I was primarily concerned about from their history is that some of these guys have a record of outright deception, falsification, incompetence and implying far more than their actual expertise in an area.
    (c) I furthermore said their claims could be correct, which implied that we should examine them, not dismiss them – but implied that given all of the aforementioned, I didn’t like their chances of being proved right.

  9. (By the way, that’s how I remember being taught to spell dilemna. I note the OED has it as dilemma. Does anyone else spell it my way, or am I just wr…wr…uncorrected?)

  10. Tony, on June 25th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    my objection is when it’s suggested that an author’s arguments on a topic can be dismissed out of hand because of some percieved ethical dilemna brought about by their source of funding, or for some other reason not directly related to their actual work on the topic.

    Agreed. And as I have stated previously, those kinds of things are the very kinds of things that I might consider as part of a meta-analysis, no matter how much ‘purists’ of one kind or another might like to define the bright-line boundaries of the ‘playing field’.

  11. Tony, dilemma and its incorrect not uncorrect (and you can’t be incorrected 😯 )

  12. Lotharsson,

    Perhaps I did mischaracterise what you actually said on this thread, although I got the feeling that’s what you meant, particularly when one of the websites to which you linked (at your Tuesday thread comment – which you linked here)went to great lengths to allege funding-caused-bias. It didn’t help, too, when your second link was to the first refuge of the habitual ‘ad-hom-er’, Sourcewatch.

  13. Thanks TB. (As for the second word, I made it up – that’s why I surrounded it by ‘ ‘s). 😉

  14. Oops. No I didn’t put in the ‘ ‘s. Sorry TB.

  15. Tony, fair enough.

    It’s not that the funding sources causing bias; it’s the historical association of those funding sources with documented bias (and spin, and outright deception) that serves as a warning to take extra care with claims.

    And similarly it’s the documented M.O. of certain individuals that leads many people eventually to say “fooled me once….” and give up on their claims entirely. Some of them are paid to pollute the noosphere with plausible sounding allegations that cost readers time and effort to disprove. This is effective because most of the audience don’t have the time and patience – let alone the expertise – to do, especially given that they’re not being paid for it.

    And many such individuals are not above reporting or even implying qualifications that might lend them credibility in the eyes of casual readers – so finding out whether that is a reasonable deduction is not ad hominem; it is addressing the veracity of the claims to credibility that they make.

  16. Update.

    The Federal Opposition and an Independent senator are to spend tens of thousands of dollars of their own money on research into emissions trading.

    Nick Xenophon and the Coalition are concerned the impact of the Government’s emissions trading scheme has not been adequately modelled.

    They also want more modelling of alternatives to what the Government calls its carbon pollution reduction scheme.
    ———————————————————————–

    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25688686-12377,00.html

  17. Scaper,

    It can’t hurt, and it’s not costing the taxpayer a cent. (I do suspect the good senators know exactly what they’ll be getting for their money, though: a paper they can table as justification next time they vote against the CPRS bill.)

  18. Wow, and having personally paid for the research – we know it’s going to be fair & balanced don’t we?

  19. Heh. You blokes and your funding-bias. 😉

  20. You’re telling me that you don’t expect the funding to influence the result in this case? 🙂

  21. I am under the impression the Senators will be looking at the effect of the government’s proposed ETS and an alternative.

    I don’t particularly like the government model and have been saying for near a year that there should have been alternatives investigated.

    If you guys are still debating the science, fair enough but the reality is there is momentum to reduce pollution and to work on alternatives to fossil fuels, I still believe this can be achieved without a churn or cost being put on the average person whilst the rich will possibly benefit financially because of the lucrative market that will eventuate!

  22. Wow, and having personally paid for the research – we know it’s going to be fair & balanced don’t we?

    Assuming that “fair & balanced” was sarcastic, one could also apply that – your – standard to the Garnaut report: It was commissioned by Labor when in opposition, so very likely was paid for by the party. Who’s to say, for argument’s sake, they didn’t know what kind of report they were going to get before it was commissioned?

  23. Tony, funny you mention the Garnaut Report…I lodged two submissions, one in relation to GSC and another on an alternative to an ETS and not one was published which was surprising considering the quality of some other submissions.

    Same with the 2020 submission that I was invited to submit until I complained!

  24. It was my impression that the Garnaut report was (and I quote) “an independent study conducted by economist Professor Ross Garnaut, commissioned by Australia’s Commonwealth, state and territory governments in 2007.”

  25. Tolputt, you are correct but I believe it was innitiated before the last federal election by Labor.

  26. You’re right Scaper,

    The Garnaut Climate Change Review was a study by Professor Ross Garnaut, commissioned by then Opposition Leader, Kevin Rudd[1] and by the Australian State and Territory Governments on 30 April 2007. After his election on 24 November 2007 Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd has confirmed the participation of the Commonwealth Government in the Review.

    Commissioned by the Labor party, paid for by you and me. Nice.

  27. James of North Melbourne, on June 25th, 2009 at 2:47 pm Said:
    “Is it just me, or does the sudden importance of ocean temperatures represent a shift here?”

    James, there is a shift, but it is to ocean HEAT rather than temperature. Auditing the planets total heat content rather than measuring temperature is the correct approach.
    However even as they try and focus on ocean heat content, there are some doubts about heating there also.
    There are still a lot of assumptions being made and it may be a long time before they are able to accurately audit all the heat contained in all the earths solid, liquid and gaseous components.
    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/index.html

  28. Tony, on June 25th, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Got a link for that selected quote tony? 😉

  29. Tony

    Commissioned by the Labor party,

    No Tony, when ‘commissioned’ it was to be paid for by the State and Territory Governments who showed some responsibility and decided not to put their collective ‘heads in the sand’ unlike the PM of the day.

    The fact that those Governments were from the Labor Party is coincidental not causal. There is a difference.

  30. James of North Melbourne, on June 25th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    James, further to my earlier reply, apparently there is also little indication of land surface warming on continental USA, South America, Antarctica or Africa leading to the idea that warming may be more regional than global.

  31. Funnily enough, kitty, I found it via Google… it’s from a Wikipedia article. I’d believe it, but I quoted mine from the Garnaut Report’s official website, hence the slight difference in focus.

    The differences I am seeing between the two reports (as private funding does tend to affect outcomes) are the reasons for the report & the researchers/authors of said reports.

    The Garnaut report was commissioned because the Liberal Party refused to look at the issue of climate change and how it could economically affect Australia. It is my impression that it simply takes for granted that global warming is accelerated by anthropological processes (keep that in mind). The Liberals would appear to be getting Frontier Economics to put a report together as a method of stopping legislative action from occurring.

    Please note that neither of the above actually impugns the integrity of the reports, but highlights the reasons for the reports commission.

    The authors of the report are important for the reasons Lotharsson mentioned, as indicators of how much you can trust the assumptions, methods, & conclusions of the report without verification.

    Professor Ross Garnaut has a distinguished academic & professional career with variety of honors for his work. I think it is safe to assume that he will not impugn his good name with deliberate shonky science.

    Frontier Economics is a commercial research institution, with a focus on making money from their ventures. They do this in two ways – making quality reports and making reports that say what their clients want them to. One of their current clientele for Australia just so happens to be power companies and I doubt anyone here believes this will say anything but what they want to present to the government. It was also five seconds search to find a critique of their methodology when used to support their client’s desired outcomes.

    As Tony mentions, facts are facts regardless of who mentions them (others sometimes forget this). However, as Lotharsson mentions, we can use someone’s reputation as a yardstick as to whether we can simply trust them at their word or need to verify the claims & assumptions they make.

  32. However, as Lotharsson mentions, we can use someone’s reputation as a yardstick as to whether we can simply trust them at their word or need to verify the claims & assumptions they make.

    I take a slightly more nuanced position, but it doesn’t fit into a nice clean simple sentence.

    1. I’m willing to consider claims from just about anyone, (and from any funding source,) but…
    2. I only have limited time and expertise, so I try to filter out the obvious crap, which means that…
    3. People who clearly have a history of deceptive conduct are the very first level of the filter. (Fred Singer, take a bow.) Furthermore…
    4. If your material trips my bulls**t filter, I tend to be more skeptical of your claims (and may even ignore them if I don’t have time). In addition…
    5. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you’re going up against the considered depth of works of a significant majority of the experts in the field, you’d better be able to back up your case. And then…
    6. If I judge a non-trivial possibility of an attempt to pre-determine the outcome of the process, then I consider funding sources, institutional reputation, individual qualifications etc. to be relevant to make a judgement as to how reliable the claimed results might or might not be. I might also consider the same factors if I’m short on time, energy, or expertise. And if I prematurely dismiss your claims and they are actually correct, they will eventually gain credence via other people (especially experts in the field who generally have far more sophisticated bulls**t filters in the area of your claims than I) evaluating them – and will likely come to my attention in the end.

    This is similar to what most people do all the time in real life – unknown people are given the benefit of the doubt, but reputation accrues (especially negative) – and due to limited time/energy/expertise we make probabilistic judgements about people’s reliability based on other factors that we can quickly assess.

  33. Thanks for the nuanced view. It pretty much reflects mine and was what I thought of yours. As you said though, it takes more than a single sentence to describe it. 🙂

  34. I am somewhat different from other commenters, Tony. It’s my belief that thinkers like Fielding bootstrap their arguments, with his first and last sentences yielding a self-serving and thought-terminating round. It’s possible to escape that round by accepting a range of possible outcomes for the science and proceeding on; it’s an intellectual sleight of hand for policy and policy frameworks to terminate thought on the basis that there might need to be none, which seems to be Fielding’s default position even as he injects a range of policy couldas.

  35. I guess what I’m trying to say is, the close focus on the minutiae of the science, is a political decision in itself. It’s completely unnecessary to be bogged down there, if the kinds of outcomes for the science can be modelled as part of a meta-model for the policy; it serves some interests better than others never to move onto the other half of the debate, imho.

  36. Ben, it occurs to me that my description:

    3. People who clearly have a history of deceptive conduct are the very first level of the filter. (Fred Singer, take a bow.)

    should be more general than that. It extends to organisations that clearly have such a history of deceptive and dishonest conduct.

    And it applies (at the very least) increased skepticism about the claims made by those individuals/organisations that are funded by serial funders of said deceptive/dishonest conduct – especially when short of time etc.

  37. I wonder if the Opposition want to talk to the US Congressional Budget Office, who found that the proposed cap-and-trade program (Waxman-Markey) would only cost about $175 per household per year, creating 1.7 million jobs, and saving low-income families money.

    But given Fielding’s apparent predispositions, perhaps they’ll listen to Republicans instead, who – despite being told over and over and over again that they’re mistaken – are still saying it will cost $3100 per household.

  38. The Republicans are simply utilising a truism about lies & the public. If you want the public to believe a lie, make it a whopper and repeat it as often as possible… You know, like Tony Abbott’s claim that Turnbull had a good week this week 🙂

  39. Speaking of the US, here’s an interesting article about a government agency apparently suppressing the results of their own dissenting climate studies for political, not scientific, reasons:

    Sixty days ago yesterday, EPA chief Lisa Jackson released the Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. The proposal initiated a statutory period of public commentary – ending yesterday – providing a forum to experts and interested parties on both sides of the “CO2 as pollutant” issue prior to any regulatory action.

    But on the final day of the public commentary period, a dispatch was submitted to the EPA accusing them of attempting to cover-up an internal study that imperiled the outcome predetermined by both the agency and its puppeteers – the Obama administration.

  40. despite being told over and over and over again that they’re mistaken

    By who? Their political opponents? And, over and over again! Why won’t they just take their word for it?

  41. By who? Their political opponents?

    IIRC by the author of the study they misrepresented in order to come up with their bogus figure, by some media analysts/interviewers – and yes, by their political opponents.

    And, over and over again!

    Yes, over and over again. This lie about the study has been coming out of Republican mouths for months, and each time various people point out that it’s a misrepresentation – often directly to the party making the false claim.

    But if you’re out to fool a bunch of people, it doesn’t matter much if only a few hear that you’re lying, as long as you repeat the lie often enough and it mostly goes immediately unchallenged.

  42. One wonders whether the internal critique (98 page PDF) had any merit, which would have been particularly difficult to assess given that we couldn’t see it until it was independently released (after initial requests were denied by the CEI).

    The employee in question, Alan Carlin, appears to think that global warming is real, that CO2 is a significant part of the problem, but that CO2 level management is not the best way to deal with it. This is certainly a useful question to ask – especially when you’re developing public mitigation policy (but it isn’t quite the way the CEI letter portrayed the issue – and the letter looks much closer to the PDF’s concerns).

    It’s not a good look for the EPA, at least the way it’s portrayed in the CEI press release – which may slow down/disrupt global warming mitigation policy, a plausible motive for the CEI – the guys who produced the infamous pro-CO2 ads – “Carbon dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life.”

    Meanwhile a journalist has talked to the EPA, who claim that Carlin’s opinions were heard and considered as part of the process. The same journalist then communicated with an anonymous EPA employee who claims knowledge of the matter and says Carlin’s claims were essentially true.

    This story will probably have further developments.

    That said, a very quick scan of references in the 98-page PDF include Monckton – a first-class idiot and perennial climate-change denier who has been shown guilty of frequent distortion of scientific data and outright deception. I once had cause to correspond with him on another forum, where he proved that he
    (a) clearly knew nothing of what he was saying in an area that I was reasonably familiar with, but
    (b) was quite willing to try and throw his self-perceived intellectual “weight “around anyway, and
    (c) felt the need to back that up with empty threats of lawsuits on laughably spurious grounds.

    The first citation is titled “Sattelite [sic] data show that there was no global warming before 1997”, a contention that most climate scientists would find laughable.

    The infamous Fred Singer is cited, along with papers hosted at the almost equally infamous Lavoisier Group.

    My bulls**t detectors are beginning to quiver. I’d wait for someone with more expertise to trawl through this doc before I seriously claimed that scientific dissent was being suppressed by the EPA. It sounds to me like a standard delaying/dissenting ploy…

  43. Lotharsson,

    Nice balanced summary, right up to “The story will probably have further developments”. You lost me after that when you criticised the paper’s references based on a “quick scan” of the referred papers’ authors.

  44. Nice balanced summary, right up to…when you criticised the paper’s references based on a “quick scan” of the referred papers’ authors.

    I’m not trying to be balanced. I’m trying to be probably accurate.

    Those particular authors are well known bulls**t artists. Google for critiques of their work. They operate by putting out a lot of bulls**t and hoping some of it will stick; that it takes too much time and energy to refute all of it; and that any refutation will take place well after their claims are made and won’t be seen by more than a tiny fraction of their original audience. Very occasionally their critiques have merit – even Monckton once found a typo in an IPCC report, although it had already been found by others. He dined off that for ages though – claiming it meant that the report was politically biased and non-scientific when the typo showed no such thing. (McKitrick did almost exactly the same with the hockey stick graph.)

    If Carlin believes those authors, then his judgment – and hence his credibility – is suspect. That doesn’t prove he’s wrong; merely indicates that it’s unlikely that he’s right.

    If, in fact, Carlin and some of his references are correct in some of their claims, then others with more time and expertise will certainly bring that fact to light, given how motivated he and the CEI are to push his claims. Life is too short for me to examine every claim in detail, so culling out known bulls**t producers – and those who apparently uncritically believe them – is a good heuristic.

  45. Lotharsson,

    Have you seen Steve McIntyre’s submission to the EPA? Yes, I know: He’s been known to co-author papers with Ross McKitrick, even claiming to have debunked the hockey stick graph. Nevertheless, I found his comments on due diligence and peer-review most interesting.

    (Via this post at Climate Audit.)

  46. Lotharsson, on June 26th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    You forgot their other “trick”.

    Raise something contrary, have resources and time wasted in debunking it then just jump to something else, and continue ad infinitum, thus dragging the whole thing out and widely sowing doubt.

    Lot’s of these old thrown up and scientifically refuted propositions by the opponents are still active and being used in fora around the world as theyr’e cherry picked as a debating point.

    How many times have you seen that here, where the opponents just jump from one thing to another and harvest the net finding anything that remotely looks like it makes sense to an unscientific mind?

  47. I’ve always questioned if depleting water tables and introducing the resource to the water cycle has any effect.

    I believe the water transfer has diversions to recharge the aquifer as flood mitigation.

  48. Yes, Adrian, I’ve seen far too much of that.

    IIRC Monckton(?) and/or various others in his circle have used another trick in the past. They wrote up some sort of paper claiming that some scientific positions on global warming were all wrong (that was extremely dubious, again IIRC), submitted it to some sort of conference or forum, and made a big stink about “suppression” of dissent when they were not admitted. The purpose did not seem to be to legitimately attack the science – or if it was, the attack was scientifically incompetent. It seemed to be more about generating press giving people the idea that the science might be politicised. This is a standard denialist technique.

    If (note: _if_) the Carlin paper proves to be of similar quality, we might wonder whether we’re seeing the same play in action.

  49. Carlin is right when he claims that perhaps we don’t know all there is to know about climate change.
    Thinking outside the square definitely pits him against those who claim the science is all settled.
    He doesn’t go into the technical application of SRM, though the idea has been out there for a long time, but I imagine it could possibly be tested quite cheaply and quickly. Simply switch off the sulphur scrubbers that have been fitted to power stations over the last 40 odd years, though that mightn’t sit too well with the EPA.

  50. Carlin is right when he claims that perhaps we don’t know all there is to know about climate change.

    Trouble is, you’d have difficulty finding a climate scientist who would disagree with that statement. That’s not the point of contention.

    Thinking outside the square definitely pits him against those who claim the science is all settled.

    Again, you’d be arguing with a straw man by attacking the idea that it’s “all settled”. Most climate scientists would say that we are pretty sure about a number of things, very sure about others, less sure about others still.

    And I’m not so sure he’s “thinking outside the square”. I’d say most of what he argues has been argued before, at least in basic form, although perhaps there is more recent data and evolution of the arguments to add to the debate now.

  51. Sorry for the length. Scroll on by if you aren’t interested in Monckton.

    For anyone who thinks Monckton might be a serious reputable resource on climate change, Google some of his greatest hits.

    You can get quite a lot in one spot from this one post – he:
    – falsely claimed that the Southern Hemisphere was cooling
    – falsely claimed to be a Member of the British House of Lords (and again)
    – falsely claims to share the Nobel Prize with Al Gore by virtue of (falsely) claiming to be a contributor to the IPCC report for noticing a typo that he falsely claimed no-one else had noticed. (Fred Singer also falsely claims to share the Nobel.)
    – falsely claims the typo to be “dishonest political tampering”
    – incorrectly claims the IPCC’s past sea level rise measurement to be their future prediction
    – incorrectly alleges the IPCC is wrong when it says the CO2 radiative forcing increase from 1995-2005 was 20%, probably because he didn’t understand the definition or the equation.

    (That post also covers his interesting position on AIDS, and his falsehoods regarding DDT and malaria – including calling for the “hockey stick” authors to be put on trial for genocide, whilst lying about the hockey stick…and more.)

    Monckton appears to have trouble denying that he fabricated a claim on his Wikipedia page.

    He seems to have quite a lot of trouble with graphs – particularly attributions, scales, cherrypicking and making stuff up, drawing unjustified inferences, and the like. And that’s when he’s not having trouble with his arguments expressed in words, let alone with his attempted rebuttals.

    He falsely claims his article in an American Physics Society newsletter was peer-reviewed. This publication and controversy was used to push out the meme that the APS reversed its stance on global warming, which was not true. You can see his own unique correspondence style on display at that link, objecting to the newsletter adding a disclaimer about lack of peer review and disagreement with most scientists to his article. Some of the reasons why the article clearly hadn’t passed peer review are developed here.

    He claims the IPCC and the UN want to rule the world using climate change as an excuse. And his recent address to the US House Ways and Means subcommittee was a breathtaking classic. There’s plenty more out there out there (trust me, check out the florid language in that last URL!), and you can dig into his organisational links and how they operate too, if you have time.

    But if you want a fairly comprehensive description of one example of the use of denialist PR techniques to massively spread clearly false memes, check out this 40-page PDF. Monckton is a participant – note the particulars of his modus operandi, and those of his Institute and those organisations they cooperate with. This sort of thing is why it’s well worth your time to identify the worst serial offenders and filter out their claims rather than wasting time and energy on them.

  52. Lotharsson, don’t forget the politicians. They, and the mob, are following the IPCC who have only one solution, turn down the thermostat knob that controls CO2 emissions.
    I get the impression that has been all settled. If not, what alternative solutions have they proposed?
    Carlin is looking at it from a totally different perspective.

  53. Tony, on June 26th, 2009 at 6:59 pm Said:
    “Have you seen Steve McIntyre’s submission to the EPA? ”
    “I found his comments on due diligence and peer-review most interesting.”

    Tony, I too found them interesting, but also disturbing. For a matter such as climate change, it is vital that the foundations are fully open for inspection, and it appears that they may not be.

  54. As the title of this thread is Fielding then in the latest Morgan face-to-face poll he has taken a hit, down 1.5 points from 2.5% to 1%. The Greens went up 1.5 points.

    Fielding’s on a loser, not that I thought he has a chance in hell of being reelected anyway.

  55. johnd, on June 27th, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Again the huge world wide conspiracy theory. I didn’t think you would fall back to this one John.

    Of course government’s around the world haven’t got their own scientific panels and access to independent research organisations, public and private? They to a tee have been duped by the IPCC and so mesmerised by that single organisation they just blindly follow its tenet without listening to or seeking any other advice.

    Bullshit John.

  56. Mobius Ecko, on June 27th, 2009 at 7:20 am Said:

    Mobius, this gets a bit tedious. I didn’t fall back to any such thing, but you seem have a fixation with conspriracy theories, you see them everywhere.

    Why don’t you first read and digest the Carlin paper and related articles linked to and then offer some worthwhile comments about them instead.
    Especially read Steve McIntyre’s submission to the EPA.

  57. Sorry John you are getting just as tedious and yes you did with this statement:

    Lotharsson, don’t forget the politicians. They, and the mob, are following the IPCC who have only one solution,

    That directly implies that governments and “the mob”, whoever the fuck they are, are just following the IPCC and not making any independent decisions or engaging in any of their own research, thus a global conspiracy.

  58. As to reading Carlin and others this is something else you do. You dismiss out of hand any of the proponents science and sites but time after time bring up these others, which you implore us to read as though that’s the answer. When one is raised and even if criticised or countered, you just go onto another and say “read this one”, and debate on that, but you won’t debate the other way. What you do is always attempt to make the debate on your terms and on your grounds.

    After Carlin who next John?

    I’m not a scientist, and that’s where this is being properly debated, especially by experts in the area of climate and geology. So I’m not going to get into a debate on the science and “my scientist is better than your scientist”. In fact I’ve been arguing this for so long now and across so many boards, forums and blogs I’m debated out on it. There is nothing new here, the same things are being raised and the same apposition tactics are being used so I’m getting off the merry-go-round and putting my trust in the majority science and consensus.

    I would like nothing better than for the consensus to be overturned but until it is I’m sticking with Xenophon’s and many others view on this. If there is just a 1% chance that AGW is a fact and we can do something about it then I will always err on the side of doing something. I will not become an ostrich and hope the opponents have it right and that when I stick my head up my arse hasn’t fried.

  59. Mobius, has the IPCC offered any other alternatives other than carbon reduction to the governments?
    Has your government offerred any other alternative other than carbon reduction to you, being part of the mob?
    Has the IPCC, or your government considered any other alternatives other than carbon reduction?
    If so what are they?

  60. I don’t know and neither do you. Are you privy to all the IPCC deliberations and reviews, and to that of all governments and scientific organisations?

    As far as I can discern carbon is the only greenhouse gas that man is able to do something about on any great scale, that is unless we kill every ruminant on the planet and/or go in for a massive human cull.

    So you now admit you are advocating a world wide scam perpetrated by the IPCC, who single handedly has everyone (the mob) fooled, and you not being a part of the “mob” know better?

  61. Mobius Ecko, on June 27th, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Mobius, there is always something new to learn, some of us want to, others don’t.
    Blindly following others, and letting others make decisions that I don’t understand that affect my future is probably why, unlike you, my background doesn’t include the defence forces.
    A lot of what you claim as being science, is not science at all, but simple common sense. When science is involved, whilst it can get beyond the average citizen, a lot of the basic science should be understood by anyone who ever did science in secondary school.
    The paper by Carlin is not science, he doesn’t get to the technical details or application. He simply presents an alternative to the consensus view of carbon reduction that may or may not have merit, but is worthy of being considered.
    One of the things that you learn in private enterprise is that often what kills good ideas is not science or engineering, but economical viability.
    According to RIRDC, at the planned penalty of $25 per tonne of CO2 emissions, farm cash incomes will drop by 60% for beef producers, 45% for sheep and wool producers, and 35% for dairying. Given Australia is so far from European and other world markets, it is easy to see that the observation that Australia could become the poor white trash of SE Asia is likely to come true.

    Here is a conspiracy theory for you, is the 20 percent Budget cut recently handed to RIRDC connected to their earlier release of their report of the real impact on the rural sector of the ETS?

  62. “According to RIRDC, at the planned penalty of $25 per tonne of CO2 emissions, farm cash incomes will drop by 60% for beef producers, 45% for sheep and wool producers, and 35% for dairying.”

    Surely no government would do this economic damage to our agricultural industry.

    If this is correct then I will not pursue my plan to become a beef producer, I’ll most probably work to self sustainability instead and as far as I’m concerned the rest of Australians can eat gum leaves as no agricultural enterprise will be viable!

  63. Has there been a policy implemented that this government has got right?

    There must be one.

  64. wow, I love how everyone makes the assumption that reducing carbon emission should somehow be free… If it was, do you think anyone would be against it?!?

    Seriously, bringing up the fact that the scheme would cost money is ridiculous as nobody is claiming it won’t… Debating the science (properly) is a proper response. Complaining because it is going to cost money is like claiming governments shouldn’t maintain a military because it’ll be funded by tax-payers money! If the need is there, the money should be spent.

  65. B. Tolputt,

    Debating the science (properly) is a proper response.

    We could debate the science; we could debate the politics; or, we can mix the two together and debate the politics of the science and vice versa. We could also debate “If the need is there” and whether “the money should be spent”.

  66. Um, I think I said that…

    I pointed out that stating “money will be spent” is not a logical counterpoint to whether a CPRS should be implemented. We know that – it’s an axiom accepted by both sides of the debate.

    To be clearer, perhaps I should use johnd’s link as an example. The report claims that there will be less money made by agriculture (i.e. money will be spent complying with the new legislation). That is not an argument against implementing the legislation.

    If the report showed that there was another method of cutting the same amount of carbon emissions that cost less &/or showed why cutting carbon emissions was not required (i.e. showed AGW as false or would not negatively affect Australia) – that would be contributing to the debate. Simply stating that it will cost money is like stating new criminal laws would require police to enforce. It’s a given.

  67. there will be less money made by agriculture (i.e. money will be spent complying with the new legislation). That is not an argument against implementing the legislation.

    Of course it is. Even if you start with the assumption that the promoters of the legislation have delivered a convincing argument as to why it’s needed at all, they then need to demonstrate that the value of any benefits derived exceeds the costs of implementation.

  68. B.Tolputt, on June 27th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Ben, perhaps you should go back in the thread and read about the alternative SRM proposed by Carlin

  69. Wasn’t talking about that link, johnd. I was talking about the RIRDC one. As I made clear in my post (referencing agriculture as I did)

  70. B.Tolputt, on June 27th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Ben, in that case then, the report wasn’t offering solutions, thats for governments.
    The intention of the report is “to contribute to the debate of greenhouse policies by providing more insights into the likely economic and financial impacts on agriculture.”
    In doing so, they quantified that cost.

  71. Something does not sit right with me.

    When the GST was introduced produce was excluded and now that an ETS is being attempted to be introduced, produce will be taxed through an ETS?

  72. scaper…, on June 27th, 2009 at 6:15 pm Said:

    When the GST was introduced produce was excluded

    No! Your ‘produce’ was never excluded and still isn’t, particularly if it involves human ‘produce’ in the form of services or is processed ‘produce’.

    Scaper, get in front of the curve and read this primer:

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iCrlkWb6ccyqhj-6Iw-sY-2abzMAD992OG601

    Seems like the US and Australia are proposing similiar remedies. How strange is that, LOL.

  73. Surely no government would do this economic damage to our agricultural industry.

    Surely no government would allow such serious environmental damage to occur to the entire country?

    Oh wait, I get it…we have to sacrifice the environment, otherwise the agricultural industry would have to change. And we could never allow that!

    It’s not as simple as thinking about only one factor at a time. The whole point of greenhouse-gas limiting legislation (in theory, if not in practice) is to force the market to respond to an externality (e.g. emitting gases that cause environmental damage has been free, so industry has done so with merry abandon) and thus use the market forces to make industry and society adapt.

  74. …over and over again.

    And they’re still trotting out the same $3100-per-family lie. Meanwhile cap-and-trade passed the US House – but only just.

  75. Meanwhile cap-and-trade passed the US House

    House shmouse. It’ll be annihilated in the Senate, imo.

  76. One issue with proposing global warming mitigation strategies that don’t reduce greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere is this. How do you know they will work, and what their side effects might be? Are you going to end up introducing cane toads to combat beetles, only to find your well-motivated actions have caused more damage than the problem you were trying to combat?

    You could start out by running climate models that incorporate your strategies…which is a problem for some fans of alternate mitigation strategies, because they believe the models are useless.

  77. House shmouse. It’ll be annihilated in the Senate, imo.

    Quite likely. Too many Republicans who wouldn’t know science if it bit them on the fundament, and too many of both parties in political hock to industry…

  78. only to find your well-motivated actions have caused more damage than the problem you were trying to combat?

    The same might apply to cap-and-trade and ETS schemes, bearing in mind the Law of Unintended Consequences.

  79. The same might apply to cap-and-trade and ETS schemes, bearing in mind the Law of Unintended Consequences.

    It might, but at least it is addressed directly (in theory, if not in practice) to the identified source of the problem, not at trying to create a compensating offset for that source.

  80. Meanwhile cap-and-trade passed the US House – but only just.

    Washington Examiner:

    By all appearances, the House is about to vote on a very long bill of which it has no completed official copy. . . .

    Through a series of parliamentary inquiries, the Republicans learned that the 300-plus page managers’ amendment, added to the bill last night in the House Rules Committee, has not even been been integrated with the official copy of the 1,090-page bill at the House Clerk’s desk, let alone in any other location. The two documents are side-by-side at the desk as the clerk reads through the instructions in the 300 page document for altering the 1,090 page document.

    But they cannot be simply combined, because the amendment contains 300 pages of items like this: “Page 15, beginning line 8, strike paragraph (11)…”How many members of Congress do you suppose have gone through it all to see how it changes the bill?

    I’m guessing none.

  81. Tony, not a good look, although IMHO only due to timing. (But as noted below, Republicans can hardly complain because they’ve done much worse.)

    If I understand correctly, amendments are frequently offered in this form, so there’s nothing unusual about that. And due to the form they appear longer than their embodied changes are. Furthermore, Members of Congress rarely personally read through an entire substantive bill, which frequently run to hundreds of pages. That’s what they have staffers for 😉 So it’s frequently – likely predominantly – true that no members of Congress have read the entire bill on which they vote – regardless of which party submitted them.

    At least this time the amendments are being added before the bill is voted on. During the Bush administration the Republicans attempted to quietly change the text of a law that had been voted on after the vote, when no-one was looking. On another occasion they inserted fake debate transcripts into the record. So this is progress, although more is needed – it would be smart to mandate a reasonable time period to digest bills and amendments before the vote.

    In this case, Republican minority leader Boehner attempted to make sure that everyone had read the amendment by reading the entire 300 pages into the record, verbally. I guess he figured it was more of a symbolic than substantive gesture though – he stopped reading after an hour. There was some speculation he was merely holding out until the East Coast broadcast news deadlines had passed. Others suggested it was a delaying tactic designed to stall the legislation until after the July 4th break, or hoping that Democrats in favour would leave for the vacation before the vote.

    There are an awful lot of people not happy with the final outcome, from both sides of the issue. Apparently Matt Taibbi thinks Goldman Sachs will do very well out of it, which should concern everyone given their recent history.

  82. Wow – back to the exact topic 😉

    A couple of comments on Fielding and his advisers’ response to the government. Tamino’s analysis is worth reading.

  83. Sen Fielding makes the Wall Street Journal

  84. Lotharsson, on June 28th, 2009 at 6:27 pm Said:
    “Tamino’s analysis is worth reading.”

    I find this quote from the analysis a bit hard to fathom.

    “Of course Carter chooses to start with 1998; that was the year of the huge el Nino, causing it to be quite a bit hotter than the prevailing trend due to a random, and entirely natural, fluctuation.”
    Tamino using El-Nino as an explanation for 1998 makes his rebuttal a bit suspect.
    His claim that it was “huge” is a bit dramatic, officially 97-98 was designated “strong, but so was 94-95, 41-42, 40-41, 14-15, and 1905-06.
    The “hugest” ever was 82-83 which was rated as very strong.
    Other significant ones rated moderate to strong are 91-92, 87-88, 65-66, and 1911-12.

    When you check these years against the graphs on his rebuttal, his claim about El-Nino and 1998 just doesn’t gell, thus for many people, apparently discredits his whole argument, so people tell me.

  85. …his claim about El-Nino and 1998 just doesn’t gell, thus for many people, apparently discredits his whole argument, so people tell me

    Shorter “people who tell johnd things”:

    Let me distract you from the cherrypicking expose with a minor quibble about a tangential statement.

    Shorter johnd:

    Oooh, bright, shiny!

    😉

  86. The “hugest” ever was 82-83 which was rated as very strong.

    It’s orthogonal to the cherry-picking tutorial, but I note that the quoted assertion is not universally supported. Check out this graph of annual Oceanic Niño Index from 1950-2008, and the underlying data set from the NOAA.

    Before you hit the link, any guesses as to the year with the largest value in that period?

    How about combining with this one (a bit hard to interpret, but it can be figured out) showing the index categorised into seven different buckets from 1525-1987. Note 1982-83 is in the highest category; look at the previous graph to compare 1982-83 with 1997-98.

    Anyone still think that ’97-’98 wasn’t large enough to be called (roughly speaking) “huge”?

  87. Oops, left out the link for the 1525-1987 data set.

  88. Lotharsson, I take it you are referring to the cherry picking by Tamino, because certainly that is what he was doing.
    If he was going to use just one El-Nino event to suppport his rebuttal, then he must also account for not only every other significant El-Nino, but also every significant La-Nina, which he never included in his argument, not even once, even though he claimed it was significant that Carter used it as his ending year.

    The ratings for the El-Ninos were taken from our own BOM, backed up by data from the Queensland NR&M.

    I haven’t got time to analyse the differences, but your tables are using a 3 month running average, perhaps BOM/NR&M data is raw monthly data, I’ll have to check later.

    Interesting looking at the 1525-1987 data set. It seems as if the 1900’s were one of the periods of lesser El-Nino activity, and the 1800’s much greater, which would tend to support many of the reports of droughts and hot weather conditions experienced here in Australia.
    That in itself begs the question, is what we are being told as being abnormal weather events, really just normal?

    Of course all of this now hinges around whether the present understanding of El-Nino is correct or not, as much of it’s reported influence could actually be that of the IOD, or even other systems in other ocean regions.

  89. The Washington Post:

    The Spanish professor is puzzled. Why, Gabriel Calzada wonders, is the U.S. president recommending that America emulate the Spanish model for creating “green jobs” in “alternative energy” even though Spain’s unemployment rate is 18.1 percent — more than double the European Union average — partly because of spending on such jobs? . . .

    Calzada says Spain’s torrential spending — no other nation has so aggressively supported production of electricity from renewable sources — on wind farms and other forms of alternative energy has indeed created jobs. But Calzada’s report concludes that they often are temporary and have received $752,000 to $800,000 each in subsidies — wind industry jobs cost even more, $1.4 million each. And each new job entails the loss of 2.2 other jobs that are either lost or not created in other industries because of the political allocation — sub-optimum in terms of economic efficiency — of capital. (European media regularly report “eco-corruption” leaving a “footprint of sleaze” — gaming the subsidy systems, profiteering from land sales for wind farms, etc.) Calzada says the creation of jobs in alternative energy has subtracted about 110,000 jobs elsewhere in Spain’s economy. . . .

  90. Tony, will this government follow the US on this fine model?

    So, a few thousand will lose their jobs…the revenue the government will rake in will pay their dole.

  91. If he was going to use just one El-Nino event to suppport his rebuttal, then he must also account for not only every other significant El-Nino, but also every significant La-Nina, which he never included in his argument, not even once, even though he claimed it was significant that Carter used it as his ending year.

    Now you’re nitpicking, while the point he was making sails way above your head.

    No, Tamino was not cherry-picking. It’s cherry-picking to take the largest near-term value you can find to start your series, the smallest such value to end it (especially when you keep your series short enough that noise is what dominates your trend). Or do the converse. It is not cherry-picking to calculate trends over long enough periods to remove most of the effects of noise – including natural variability. Check out his 2nd-last graph and compare it to those of the people he is critiquing. If you don’t understand this point you’ll get bamboozled over and over again.

    And no, he does not need to account for every El-Nino/La-Nina when he’s pointing out trends must be calculated over long enough periods to average out natural variability, of which those events are a part. He doesn’t need to account for ANY of them to point out that cherry-picking was occurring.

    Go back and read it again. Feel free to ignore any comments about El Nino and see if it makes sense.

  92. That’s a useful question.

    But I’m more interested in whether the climate is abnormal, and that’s a different question entirely.

  93. Does the US Temperature Record Support Global Warming?

    . . . It would appear that the temperature rise profile claimed by the adjusted data is largely if not entirely an artefact arising from the adjustments applied . . .The warming over the last 3 decades is completely unremarkable and if present at all is significantly less than occurred in the 1930’s. It is questionable whether any long term temperature rise over the 20th century can be inferred from the data but if there is any it is far less than claimed by the AGW proponents.

    The corrected data from NOAA has been used as evidence of anthropogenic global warming yet it would appear that the rising trend over the 20th century is largely if not entirely an artefact arising from the “corrections” applied to the experimental data, at least in the US, and is not visible in the uncorrected experimental data record.

    This is an extremely serious issue. It is completely unacceptable, and scientifically meaningless, to claim experimental confirmation of a theory when the confirmation arises from the “corrections” to the raw data rather than from the raw data itself. This is even more the case if the organisation carrying out the corrections has published material indicating that it supports the theory under discussion. In any other branch of science that would be treated with profound scepticism if not indeed rejected outright. I believe the same standards should be applied in this case.

  94. ^Entire comment above: quotes from linked article^

  95. Many have lampooned the WSJ article that mentions Fielding – and with good reason. One suspects that the US anti-AGW industry are using Australia as a bulwark against change. This was probably in part why the Heartland Conference had an unusual sponsorship model – sponsors don’t have to pay anything, but can provide input on topics and speakers and send up to 20 people for free. Given the total number of sponsors, it is plausible that everyone attended for free. It’s almost like they wanted people to drum up attendance and make noise about it.

    The WSJ article mentions Sen. Inhofe counting “700 scientists” who don’t believe AGW. IIRC the last time he presented a large number of “scientists” like that it turned out that most of them were either not scientists, or were in entirely different fields. He apparently adds you to the list if he THINKS you’re dissenting with AGW, and won’t take you off even if you say you’ve been misrepresented.
    I’d bet good money the same happens this time. And comparing those 700 with the number of people who authored the IPCC report might be good propaganda, but it’s a bad argument. (Besides, if it was persuasive how many qualified scientists supported your position, then this survey of actual earth scientists – especially climate scientists – would seem to support AGW – on your own terms.)

    The WSJ argue that temperatures haven’t increased since 2001, echoing a common fallacy about climate trends (see Tamino and countless others pointing out over and over and – yes – over again that this does not make a trend, and that the GISS data shows 2005 to be the hottest on record.)

    The WSJ approvingly references Plimer’s embarrassing pseudo-scientific attack on actual science, thoroughly reviewed elsewhere. They give implicit endorsement to Will Happer, who thinks the world needs more CO2, there’s been no warming over the last 10 years, and (if you search for his quote on this page):

    This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the Earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” he told the campus paper. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.

    Yes, because we breathe it out in small volumes with higher concentrations, it doesn’t affect global warming in large masses spread throughout the atmosphere in much lower concentrations, right? And invoking Godwin’s Law really smells of desperation to distract…

    Any news organisation or reporter or editor who gives a crap about the reality of climate, as opposed to (say) shilling for big business, would be deeply embarrassed.

  96. So Tony, does the author of that article bother to examine the corrections to find out whether there is any basis to disbelieve or believe them? Or does she just see a pre-determined outcome and presume that the corrections were biased to produce it?

    There’s nothing inconsistent with:
    (a) applying valid corrections to data
    (b) agreeing with interpretations that flow from the corrected data

    But you do want to be confident that the corrections were done correctly.

  97. But you do want to be confident that the corrections were done correctly.

    Indeed. These corrections seem to be clouded in mystery. If there was a greater degree of transparency, and perhaps some kind of uniformity between the different agencies, one might have greater confidence that nothing sinister was occurring.

  98. Correction – that author is a he, not a she.

    He makes some silly statements such as:

    It would be more accurate to lower the earlier city readings to match the airport readings rather than vice versa.

    No, it would not, if you’re doing a trend analysis. The maths work out exactly the same because you’re comparing temperatures taken at different points in time.

    But besides that sort of nitpick, he confuses global mean temperature with US temperature – which invalidates his entire premise.

  99. These corrections seem to be clouded in mystery.

    So shrouded in mystery are they that there are apparently more than a dozen peer-reviewed papers by the NOAA describing them (page currently inaccessible to me, Google cache version here).

  100. To me, at least, this is mysterious.

    Before the post-1999 GISS adjustments to the Contiguous U.S. GISTEMP data, the linear trend for the period of 1880 to 1999 was 0.035 deg C/decade. After the adjustments, the linear trend rose to 0.044 deg C/decade.

  101. Before the post-1999 GISS adjustments…

    And the authors think this is evidence of … well, what, exactly? They don’t provide any analysis of the data adjustments in order to argue that the adjustments were botched; merely that they’ve changed in a way that they don’t like.

  102. So that these particular adjustments might become less mysterious to me, and don’t just appear to be some (convenient) arbitrary change, can you tell me whether and where they’ve been explained?

  103. Tony, I don’t know about these particular recent adjustments, but I would imagine that using Google for yourself might be instructive – if only to see how hard it is to find anything other than masses bloggers writing almost exactly the same text – it’s almost like there’s a network publishing the same material from a small number of sources 😉

    You might start with the GISS’s own description, or download the source code and its documentation yourself. I believe you can also download the data sets.

  104. I seem to remember Barry Brook writing something like “those who deny AGW what to pick over 5% of the data that supports their case whilst ignoring the 95% that supports climate AGW”. And that is the problem (as I see it) – we fight over the 5% which means that nothing is being done to limit carbon emmissions. We need to act (IMHO) now.

  105. I believe you can also download the data sets.

    The data sets were there in my previous link. It’s just that somewhere along the line the later version appears to have mysteriously (to me) changed when compared to the earlier version.

  106. I forgot an older paper (PDF) on the GISS adjustments. Maybe there are more…

  107. No, I’m saying I thought I saw a link to the data sets that are used by the GISS source code, which is very much different to the outputs that were referenced in your link.

  108. those who deny AGW what to pick over 5% of the data that supports their case whilst ignoring the 95% that supports climate AGW

    Did he supply data sets to support those percentages?

    /half-joking

  109. LOL Tony

    As the Goodies used to say – “9 out of 10 doctors say that if you do not eat white bread you will be trampled by elephants… mind you, it has taken us a while to find those 9 doctors…… and the elephants”

  110. The blog post about the adustments says its the “post-1999” adjustments. I presume these are covered in the 2001 paper that I linked to…

  111. Oh, wait, maybe not. The text said “post-1999” but they may have meant adjustments to the measurements taken after 1999. Meanwhile, their animated graph shows adjustments taking place much more broadly than this.

  112. joni, on June 29th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Isn’t that half the fun of Bayesian -like calculations and classifications when applied to/through decision trees?

  113. Lotharsson, on June 28th, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    The difference in magnitude of the El-Nino events is due to my using the standard ENSO index whilst you used the relatively new (Dec 08), and relatively obscure (doesn’t even rate a mention in Wikipedia) defacto standard, the ONI.
    Here are the ENSO graphs for the events in question, as shown the 1982 event is rated stronger than the 1997 event.
    In terms of effects on Australia, the 1982 event was rated very strong, devastating actually, whilst the effects of the 1997 event was rated weak at best.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soi-1977-1984.shtml
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/soi-1993-2000.shtml

    With regards to Tamino, perhaps if he is going to use the conditions prevailing during the beginning years and ending years to counter argue a point perhaps he need to consider that 1945 was the beginning of a cooler and wetter IPO period lasting until 1977 when the IPO entered a hotter and drier period which may only be reversing about now.
    If he was to use his own applied standards, then any trends beginning from about the mid 70’s, an unusually wet and cooler period, until the late 90’s, by his own observation, an unusually warmer and drier period, are not valid.
    Of course the other point that he tends to overlook is how much of recent warming is due to the reduced SO2 emissions that progressively began back in the 70’s. There are estimates that it alone could account for a high percentage of recent warming.

  114. B.Tolputt, on June 27th, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Off topic a bit, but you did mention defence, like climate change, there is more than one side to the argument that needs to be considered.
    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/peace-is-our-best-defence-20090628-d17h.html?page=-1

  115. The difference in magnitude of the El-Nino events is due to my using the standard ENSO index whilst you used the relatively new (Dec 08), and relatively obscure (doesn’t even rate a mention in Wikipedia) defacto standard, the ONI.

    That is not exactly the case.

    The term “ENSO” refers to both atmospheric and oceanic effects. However the NOAA definition of El Nino and La Nina is defined purely with regard to sea surface temperature anomalies over a specific region (and hence anyone writing from the US in particular would use this definition). Furthermore, this definition appears to be widespread. Even the Wikipedia page you appear to refer to uses this definition. (True – they don’t explicitly call it the ONI, but it’s essentially the same definition as used by the ONI pages I linked to earlier.)

    Your links to the BOM graphs were for the Southern Oscillation Index which is defined by the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. This is different measure – which the BOM says is “associated with” El Nino/La Nina, but does not claim DEFINES them.

  116. With regards to Tamino, perhaps if he is going to use the conditions prevailing during the beginning years and ending years to counter argue a point…

    You still don’t get it because you’re focusing on the gnat and missing the log.

    His argument doesn’t “use the conditions prevailing” to refute the point; it merely points out the obvious cherry-picking.

    In this case, cherry-picking means selecting “favourable” locally extreme points (i.e. extreme compared to surrounding points) as endpoints in order to calculate a trend that misleads the reader, because the resulting trend is unrepresentative of the overall trend.

    This is true whether Tamino uses a good explanation for why those endpoints were locally extreme, a bad explanation for the same, or no explanation at all. In all three cases it’s still cherry-picking.

    …perhaps he need to consider that 1945 was the beginning of a cooler and wetter IPO period lasting until 1977 when the IPO entered a hotter and drier period which may only be reversing about now.

    This is why long term trends are preferred to short.

    Feel free to argue that the effects of IPO account for all of the observed global warming. I look forward to your paper being published 🙂

  117. Heh.

    The Obama Administrations Energy Czar, Carol Browner, has NOT read the heavily debated climate bill.

  118. Thanks for that link, Scaper.

  119. AGW…the modern day peptic ulcer!

  120. The rather bizarre US Senator Inhofe thinks there should perhaps be a criminal investigation into the EPA’s refusal to incorporate Carlin’s submission into their report. He’s also under the impression that
    (a) Carlin’s “work” validates his anti-AGW position
    (b) The EPA is “suppressing science”

    Gavin Schmidt merely begins counting the ways that both of these beliefs are bogus.

    One can see a number of basic flaws here…

    But it gets worse…

    They don’t even notice the contradictions in their own cites. […] Even more curious, Carlin appears to be a big fan of geo-engineering […but then] we need models to be able to predict what is likely to happen, and if you think they are all wrong, how could you have any faith that you could effectively manage a geo-engineering approach?

    So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. …

    I guess my impression gleaned from the citation list and a very brief scan of the argument held up – it was unlikely to have anything of substance, and someone with far more scientific knowledge would helpfully take a closer look 🙂

  121. Scaper, I take it Plimer is pushing essentially the same line in his talk as he apparently takes in his book? AGW is a belief system unsupported by science, it ignores contributions from numerous scientific fields, it gets basic physics wrong, and no-one will argue the science (contains pages of links, or try this PDF, or this PDF) with him…and all that?

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