Humanists of Colorado Message Board › Believers say 'NO' to Global Warming debate again? Why?

Believers say 'NO' to Global Warming debate again? Why?

Orson
user 3540941
Denver, CO
Post #: 62
On another thread, I mentioned that Al Gore ducked debating man-made global warming in Denmark when it turned out that his opponent was Bjorn Lomborg (February 2007). And last April, no Believer could be found to debate Canadian climatologist Tim Ball on "Coast To Coast" radio show with George Noory.

It seems this habit of Believers avoiding debate continues, as an IPCC lead author has demurred on debating skeptic Chris Horner in Spain, after a lengthy joint interview with an economics journal.


In "Green Advocates Failing in Climate Debate"" posted in April, the problem appears to be endemic. Blogger Mark Seal explains:

"When I launched the TalkClimateChange forums last year, I was initially worried as to where I would find people who didn't believe in global warming. I had planned to create a furious debate, but in my experience global warming was such a universally accepted issue that I expected to have to dredge the slums of the internet in order to find a couple of deniers who could keep the argument thriving.

"The first few days were slow going, but following a brief write-up of my site by Junk Science I was swamped by climate skeptics who did a good job of frightening off the few brave Greens who slogged out the debate with. Whilst there was a lot of rubbish written, the truth was that they didn't so much frighten the Greens away - they comprehensively demolished them with a more in depth understanding of the science, cleverly thought out arguments, and some very smart answers. If you want to learn about the physics of convection currents, gas chromatography, or any number of climate science topics then read some of the early debates on TalkClimateChange. I didn't believe a word of it, but I had to admit that these guys were good.

"In the following months the situation hardly changed. As the forum continued to grow, as the blog began to catch traffic, and as I continued to try and recruit green members I continued to be disappointed with the debate. In short, and I am sorry to say it, anti-greens (Reds, as we call them) appear to be more willing to comment, more structured, more able to quote peer reviewed research, more apparently rational and apparently wider read and better informed.

"And it's not just TalkClimateChange. Since we re-launched the forums on Green Options and promoted the 'Live Debate' on Nuclear Power, the pro-nuclear crowd have outclassed the few brave souls that have attempted to take them on (with the exception of our own Matt from TalkClimateChange). So how can this be? Where are all these bright Green champions, and why have I failed to recruit them into the debate? Either it's down to poor online marketing skills, or there is something else missing....

"The only feasible explanation that I can come up with so far is that perhaps Greens are less invested in the status quo, and therefore less motivated to protect it? The other possibility is that we are all completely wrong and we're deluded - please tell me this isn't so."

Thus Seal ends up with the possibility that Greens are less motivated to defend "the consensus" because it is the perceived status quo?

Yet, as Canadian environmentalist Lawrence Solomon demonstrates in The Deniers: The World Renowed Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Poligtical Persecution, and Fraud, plenty of scientists disagree with some (or all) of "the consensus."

For instance, when the Vatican assembled some 80 scientists and theologians in late April, 2007, it was Italy's most renowned scientist Antonino Zichichi - an AGW skeptic - who dominated the proceedings. "'There is a need to do more work, with a lot more rigour, to better the models being used,' he argued in a 60-page written paper that accompanied his speech to the seminar." Thus, the conference ended without endorsing "the consensus," and the Pope subsequently issued a statement opposing any efforts to place nature above human welfare in such matters.

If "Greens" do not do debate well, what do they do instead? Group think (as Jeanette, a Humanists of Colorado member, demonstrates), and smearing (as Richard shows by calling me a cut-and-paste plagiarist without any evidence). Naturally, these two are joined by many others, as shown in commentary on Solomon's "Wikipropaganda on Global Warming", which itself demonstrates the reality of Green fascism at Wikipedia.

Meanwhile, Nobel Laureates in physical science gathering in Lindau, Bavaria, Germany, showed that "the consensus" has not yet reached them. (Find "Panel Discussion," #15 along the bottom and click to view the discussion on "Climate and Energy")

So the mystery endures: why can't Greens do AGW debate? Perhaps the environment has become our new secular religion, whose tenets are beyond question lest one be called a heretic or "denier"? As Nobel prize winner in physics Ivar Giaever said: ?....global warming has become a new religion. We frequently hear about the number of scientists who support it. But the number is not important: only those who are correct are important."
Jeanette M. N.
wickedatheist
Denver, CO
Post #: 316
Why "group think," because I asked you what kind of environmental scientist you are? It seems like it should be easier to clear up that question than to resort to ad hominem.
Tim B.
Tcsgrv
Denver, CO
Post #: 68
To all,

After receiving a complaint from a concerned listener, I've reviewed the posts contained in the threads "Global Warming NOT PseudoScience" and "Believers say 'NO' to Global Warming debate again? Why?" and have decided that it is best to remind everyone of the "Updated HOC Message Board guidelines" appended to the top of the message board. Specifically,

2. Please be inclusive and tolerant. Treat all opinions in a professional and objective manner. It is preferable to avoid making participants and readers feel like outsiders by berating their opinions.

3. If you disagree with statements in the messages, then address your arguments towards the position, not the person. Resorting to ad-hominem is inappropriate.

Please ensure that all posts adhere to the guidelines. We are all mature adults, and as such have no need to resort to ad-hominem in asserting our opinions.

Any questions can be directed to my email through the meetup site.
Cheers.
-Tim Bailey
Orson
user 3540941
Denver, CO
Post #: 66
Why "group think," because I asked you what kind of environmental scientist you are? It seems like it should be easier to clear up that question than to resort to ad hominem.

Jeanette~

When Richard claimed my other post (on the thread "Global Warming NOT PseudoScience") was merely another "cut and paste" by a denier, I believe you replied "that makes sense." My point with saying that's "group-think" is that merely making a claim about the source of an opinion (as risible and odious) is not the same as proving it. Endorsing Richard's unsubstantiated claim is pretty much going along with a socially approved point of view, hence my response.

And to prove it requires only a google search of a sentence (which profs have used for years to cull plagiarism from sybmutted papers from students) or maybe a few suspicious one. Is that expecting too much? Since plagiarism is a serious claim when people are taking themselves seriously, I don't think so.

Now, as for your original question "what kind of environmental scientist" is Orson? - I have puzzled over this for some time.

The training in environmental management is pretty much multidisciplinary (economics, geology, ecology, land-use planning, metrics, report-writing, ethics and politics, etc). I still don't really know what you mean, so - in the spirit of Tim Baileys reminder - let me take this opportunity to ask you: what do you mean by "what kind?" What do you have in mind? (There are many possibly relevant dimensions....) Are you asking for my interests and biography in pursuing environmental science? My philosophical or methodological attachments? Or my political biases?

As a judge would say to an attorney in open court, would you rephrase the question?

THANKS.

-Orson
Jeanette M. N.
wickedatheist
Denver, CO
Post #: 321
This is my post that followed the one in which Richard said that he believed you had copied and pasted some of your material on global warming:

Thank you, Richard. That seems to put things in a reasonable perspective. (And it was Tom Chase's appearance at HOC that triggered all of this. I didn't make that one, but since it didn't turn out to be a debate, that's just as well.) Everything you wrote about global warming sounds reasonable.

I don't know if I could agree that you're a spokesperson for the oil industry, Orson, or at least give you the benefit of the doubt that you don't intend to be any such thing. I would be interested in knowing what kind of environmental scientist you are, since you didn't notice that I'd asked that, because that's one of the important things to know when listening to someone claiming particular credentials on a topic.

Most of my post was not in response to his copy/paste accusation, which was early on in his post. In fact, I did say that we should give you the benefit of the doubt on the point of your motives. But for the most part I was responding to the bulk of his post on global warming itself.

Your statement above, "The training in environmental management... " is the first time we've heard you describe your job in this way. You called yourself an "environmental scientist," and evaded the question throughout the multiplying threads on the same topic on this message board. It is only now that you have addressed the topic.

I'm less interested in your interests and biases than in what you actually do, and in your specific employment and educational background relevant to this discussion. What do you do specifically in the field of climatology?

Thank you,
--Jeanette
Orson
user 3540941
Denver, CO
Post #: 68
Jeanette-

As described elsewhere (via a link, described as "in progress"), I am doing the MSc in environmental management at the University of London. (This degree is env management at Yale and Harvard, env studies at CU, and env science at UCLA and Minnesota - three different names, yet similar in most places. But doesn't "environmental studies" sound like it could mean art to you?)

My professional interest is in teaching American History (I retired from real estate to go into acadamia after editing a buddies tenure winning book in 20th C US history at the Univ of Alabama, Tuscaloosa), because env history is one of the few growth fields in history. Most people teaching env history teach from a literary or social science perspective - not natural sciences. Thus the masters is a career boost, as well as an entre into teaching science history at college and universities.

I have given papers on the US West, film history, and world politics at regional and national conferences. I am now working on my first papers in science history, especially AGW and the Hockey Stick debate. (Nothing yet announced - I missed a lovely conference in Cornwall, England this summer!)

Thus, I am not directly involved in climatology. I do, however, have a professional interest in understanding it and conveying it to lay audiences. (And having lived in Boulder for 20 years, ie, ever since James Hansen's original alarms, I have had actively followed the field.) Hence, my input here.

As to any "benefit of the doubt on the point of your motives," this searching for motives instead of searching for facts, evidence, and logical reasons, is precisely why I have hesitated to reply directly to your question. The latter are far, far more important than the former.

The implied notion you and Richard have apparently entertained, that E-Vile oil interests might pay someone hang out here and debate, is frankly unmoored from reality.

-Orson
.
Jeanette M. N.
wickedatheist
Denver, CO
Post #: 325
The implied notion you and Richard have apparently entertained, that E-Vile oil interests might pay someone hang out here and debate, is frankly unmoored from reality.

I repeat, I never said that. Richard said that, and I essentially said that we don't know any such thing. Hence my confusion when you accused me of "group think." I kind of felt spit on, out of the blue.

If you are still under the impression that I stated or implied a link between you and any "oil interests," please quote me here so that I'll know what you're talking about. I re-re-reiterate that the only thing I said in response to Richard's suspicion was that we can't assume any such motives on your part, which is at least 180 degrees off from the position that you're ascribing to me.

As to any "benefit of the doubt on the point of your motives," this searching for motives instead of searching for facts, evidence, and logical reasons, is precisely why I have hesitated to reply directly to your question. The latter are far, far more important than the former.


If you worked for an oil company, your skittishness would seem well-founded. But since that's not the case, your refusal to reply directly is still mystifying, and seems a bit paranoid. But I'll be glad to consider the matter closed.

I'll have to go back over your previous posts with a fine-tooth comb over time to figure out what you're talking about, as I've been busy lately, you've written at great length on the topic, and your political opinions aren't separated from possible scientific facts and explanations thereof, and the handful of us who are following these threads don't have your same educational background, so it's laborious and time-consuming to try to follow your writing. But I'm going to try to see if I can make sense out of any of it.

Please be patient with me. I am not any kind of environmental scientist, and don't have any relevant education, so I'm going to have to do a bit-by-bit dissection of your posts, which is going to take some time.

Thank you,
--Jeanette

*****
Orson
user 3540941
Denver, CO
Post #: 69
Jeanette~

I stand corrected: you did not allege I stood for oil interests and you did indeed standup for my benefit of the doubt. You are right because I conflated you with Richard's charge. (I confess to having read you this way at first, but in subsequent re-readings got you wrong: I'm sorry.)

I believe my "group think" charge you so adamantly reject, and truly feel offended by, entered my mind when you wrote "that makes sense" about one (two?-or more different points?) Richard made, when in fact the referent is unclear. I am wrong to assume so much. Sorry again; my bad.

I must sincerely thank you for nonetheless remaining interested in this subject while tolerating my excesses. Please do take your time.

It may be of some comfort to listen to the "Nobel Laureates in physical science" link to the panel in Lindau, Bavaria, Germany, heading this thread. These great scientific minds are similarly polarized by the subject of AGW, like most interested people are. Three are pro-AGW, three skeptics (and one I can't tell, except that he hates biofuels). Only the moderator makes it a pro-AGW majority (or even split).

What I found dismaying (or perplexing, or even disappointing?) is that these Great scientific minds did not think much beyond familiar (at least to me) soundbites. What are the fundamental scientific issues at stake? What would it take for you, the great scientist, to change your mind? What sort of evidence would it take? What should WE look for to change our own minds? ("At the very end [reports physicist Lubo Motl], someone asked what the scientists can do for politicians to follow their recommendations. Steinberger honestly said that the panel revealed disagreement between the scientists so what the politicians should 'hear' is not obvious.")

To me, the absence of consensus is telling. Between your posts here, Jeanette, and this Nobel Laureate panel at Lindau, I have been forced to think through the counter-factual evidence I want to see in order to change my mind about AGW. To join a bandwagon is (or can be) comforting. (Atheistic humanists ought to know and appreciate this if anyone does.)

As Roger Pielke, Sr, has written, the AGW train has left the station. How does a critic and skeptic live with this evolving socio-political fact?

Now, here's something you write that is unclear to me:

If you worked for an oil company, your skittishness would seem well-founded. But since that's not the case, your refusal to reply directly is still mystifying, and seems a bit paranoid.

My "refusal to reply directly" to what? "No" I am not employed by an oil company? Furthermore, I have to ask, if I was, what difference would that make about the truth-value (of falsehood) of what I write?

What to suggest, if I may, as the best, simple and direct brief against AGW? What would help frame what I've written as you reread?

The Youtube video of Bob Carter that I linked to here­ is not the best.

A different version with enhanced graphics (but at the price of poor resolution and inferior sound) is better. Nevertheless, this 37 minute lecture from September 2007 by a marine geologist and paleoclimatologist presents a lot of scientific points. At 18-20 minutes, Carter discusses the John Christy's (and Roy Spencer) study on the homeostatic character of tropical clouds, and how radiative forcing imbalances like added CO2 are shown to, empirically, contradict the IPCC-pro AGW Believer case of positive feedbacks in the climate.

Carter weaves a great deal of scientific information into a concise brief against AGW. His background as a geologist shows in how he enjoys million year time-scales; he repeatedly emphasizes that Ice Ages are the earth?s climactic norm. But other than presenting us with a larger context of how the earth changes climate regimes naturally, to my mind he over emphasizes this. Thus, the more germaine portion of his lecture is perhaps at 12-15 minutes forward.

For instance, in making her pro-AGW case, Naomi Oreskes misleadingly claims in her lecture claims in her lecture that evidence of faster increasing temps at the poles is consistent with AGW. What she doesn?t add is that such warming is also consistent with outside, natural warming, because either way, solar reflective white snow and ice, called albedo, is lost, whatever the real cause, producing increased polar temperatures. In other words, these effects do not single out AGW as its cause.

To summarize, the AGW brief is only a surmise, based more on the theory and unsubstantiated model of positive feedback loops from added CO2. The evidence doesn?t support this effect, nor alarm based on it. (I am ready and able to discuss further claims of about this.) It evidence supports the possibility of an almost benign warming, but one we still can?t detect with any certainty (ie, the attribution problem I discussed on Paul's thread).

-Orson
Orson
user 3540941
Denver, CO
Post #: 71
BELOW is a teaser of a short, clear, and concise dissent from a scientist who, while working within the AGW establishment since 1999, recently changed his mind. I commend this 2-3 pager in full because his rationale appears to me to be unassailable because so cleanly based on an evaluation of the changing and most relevant evidence. Does her deserve to be labeled a "Denier"? I think not.

Why I Bet against Global Warming
Dr David Evans, PhD engineering, Stanford University

I devoted six years to carbon accounting, building models for the Australian government to estimate carbon emissions from land use change and forestry (Google on "FullCAM"). When I started that job, in 1999, the evidence that carbon emissions caused global warming seemed pretty conclusive, but since then new evidence has weakened the case that carbon emissions are the main cause. I am now skeptical. As Lord Keynes famously said, "When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?"

[scientific evidence cited]
- - -
...[T]he political realm, in turn, fed money back into the scientific community. By the late 1990s, lots of jobs depended on the idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic, but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train, making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn't believe carbon emissions caused global warming. And so were lots of people around me; and there were international conferences full of such people. And we had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful (well, I did anyway). It was great. We were working to save the planet!

[what changed? scientific evidence cited]
- - -
I emphasize that we are making a bet involving odds and judgment. The evidence is not currently conclusive either for or against any particular cause of global warming. I think that it is possible that carbon emissions are the dominant cause of global warming, but in light of the weakening evidence I judge that probability to be about 20% rather than the almost 90% as estimated by the IPCC.

I worry that politics could seriously distort the science....

Some people take strong rhetorical positions on global warming. But the cause of global warming is not just another political issue that is subject to endless debate and distortions. The cause of global warming is an issue that falls into the realm of science, because it is falsifiable. No amount of human posturing will affect what the cause is. The cause just physically is there, and after sufficient research and time we will know what it is.

SOURCE
http://www.lavoisier....­
Jeanette M. N.
wickedatheist
Denver, CO
Post #: 331
Jeanette~

I stand corrected: you did not allege I stood for oil interests and you did indeed standup for my benefit of the doubt. You are right because I conflated you with Richard's charge. (I confess to having read you this way at first, but in subsequent re-readings got you wrong: I'm sorry.)

I believe my "group think" charge you so adamantly reject, and truly feel offended by, entered my mind when you wrote "that makes sense" about one (two?-or more different points?) Richard made, when in fact the referent is unclear. I am wrong to assume so much. Sorry again; my bad.

It's all good.

I must sincerely thank you for nonetheless remaining interested in this subject while tolerating my excesses. Please do take your time.

I will, as long as possible. The question is an interesting puzzle. Or, maybe you're the interesting puzzle. I hope that adding this to my list of projects will keep me out of trouble for a little while.


What I found dismaying (or perplexing, or even disappointing?) is that these Great scientific minds did not think much beyond familiar (at least to me) soundbites. What are the fundamental scientific issues at stake? What would it take for you, the great scientist, to change your mind? What sort of evidence would it take? What should WE look for to change our own minds? ("At the very end [reports physicist Lubo Motl], someone asked what the scientists can do for politicians to follow their recommendations. Steinberger honestly said that the panel revealed disagreement between the scientists so what the politicians should 'hear' is not obvious.")

To me, the absence of consensus is telling. Between your posts here, Jeanette, and this Nobel Laureate panel at Lindau, I have been forced to think through the counter-factual evidence I want to see in order to change my mind about AGW. To join a bandwagon is (or can be) comforting. (Atheistic humanists ought to know and appreciate this if anyone does.)

What is it that you would want to see, in order to change your mind?

Now, here's something you write that is unclear to me:

If you worked for an oil company, your skittishness would seem well-founded. But since that's not the case, your refusal to reply directly is still mystifying, and seems a bit paranoid.

My "refusal to reply directly" to what? "No" I am not employed by an oil company? Furthermore, I have to ask, if I was, what difference would that make about the truth-value (of falsehood) of what I write?

Your previous refusal to respond to the question about what kind of "environmental scientist" you are, which you appear to have answered at this time, so never mind.

Why it might be relevant if you were employed by an oil company: because that would indicate a clear bias. Which would not necessarily put the veracity of your statements in question, but that's something that might be worth knowing. Companies have been known to employ experts to lie for the company, or to hire honest experts who share outsider opinions that would be useful to the company, or to employ "experts" who have no expertise in a given area based on their willingness to say what the company wants the public to hear.

You have provided an example, which I will get to in my next post.
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