Sweet, Snowy Irony

Chicago Tribune (June 4):

MINNEAPOLIS -- Two Minnesota men who planned to cross the Arctic Ocean to call attention to global warming have abandoned their trek because of unexpectedly heavy snow, wind and ice.

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I don't really have an

I don't really have an opinion one way or the other on climate change, but I do suggest reading about the controversy, which is quite entertaining in its own right: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_controversy

Utter, disgusting bullshit.

Utter, disgusting bullshit.

I don't know about this particular story, but the problem with polar crossings is that the ice is getting too thin. Both the northern and southern polar icecaps, as well as many mountain glaciers, are dwindling.

Libertarians are out of power, but things like this show me that they'd be at least as bad as anyone now in power, given the chance. You're powerless liars and hypocrites, thank God.

There are better ways of finding out what's going on with global warming than just looking at what kind of people say what kind of thing and then asking whether you like that kind of people. There are actually facts.

Asshole.

Somebody's gotta case of the

Somebody's gotta case of the Mondays!

Lemme guess, you're a lefty? Hath humor lost its way with you?

There are actually

There are actually facts.

Like those one might find in a newspaper? Like the Chicago Tribune?

Patinator, your line of BS

Patinator, your line of BS is so old, and so often repeated, that a scientist bothered to make a Web page just to refute it. Here's the page for everything you ever wanted to know on "But people used to predict global cooling!"

http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/

As for weather vs climate, that one's not even worth a page. As I said above, weather is difficult to predict, climate is easier. Why? Because it's easier to predict an average, on the basis of basic physics, than it is to predict the day-to-day response of a somewhat chaotic process.

And lastly, if you really were individualists, you wouldn't all believe the same anti-scientific garbage, now would you? It's not surprising that a true individualist might agree with in the results of current science -- science is our best guess about reality, after all, which is important to individualists as well as conformists -- but when a group of people all believe the same false, poorly worked out ideas, they must have all swallowed the same propaganda.

Don't you dare even joke

Don't you dare even joke about the environment - we need to return to the land of mud huts and caves.

Heck, until my local weatherman can get the forecast correct 50% of the time one week out, I will be suspicious of statistical models that make 100 year predictions about GLOBAL WARMING. That is, unless weather has nothing to do with climate.

There are plenty of funny stories like this one. Go back to 1978-ish when both Time and Newsweek ran feature stories on GLOBAL COOLING. A few years ago, Al Gore was giving a speech in New York about global warming while the temperature was -15. I guess the formula for being a successful environmental activist is to make general catastrophic predictions many, many years in the future so that you cannot be proven wrong and cash in giving lectures and pouring Kool-Aid.

Rich & John - Please go buy the little kitten poster "Hang in there", hug an individualist and proceed to your nearest comedy club.

Hey, sorry to ruin the fun.

Hey, sorry to ruin the fun. I'll get back on the wagon now. My apologies to Henley.

What I said was pretty much on the money, though.

Sweet, Snowy Irony Here's a

Sweet, Snowy Irony
Here's a tip....

Gosh, with commenters like

Gosh, with commenters like this, who needs herpes?

Doug, did you read all the

Doug, did you read all the way to the end of that BBC article? To the part where they say that solar activity has been pretty much constant over the last 20 years?

Look, everyone knows that solar activity affects climate. For instance, here is an article on just that, one of whose authors was a principal author on the high-profile debunking of Soon and Baliunas:

http://www.people.virginia.edu/~mem6u/ssmrw02.html

If you are interested in historic sources of climate change, then changes in solar activity are indeed very important. If you are interested in the 20th century, they're not. There is no "additionally, [...] man also contributes" and "a combination of factors, big and small". The anthropogenic contribution is by far the largest factor, and while the mention of the other factors is in principle true -- sure, everything is a factor, no matter how small -- in practice and in this context, it's the same as the religious moralist who says that condoms really don't protect you against HIV at all because they sometimes break.

And your ability to come with these links on demand indicates, as if we hadn't known it already, that this really isn't just a joke for you. You didn't just suddenly decide that, oh, the title of the original article was ha-ha funny. On the contrary, you have a stereotypical libertarian attitude towards climate science. Well, those who support their politics with pseudoscience always eventually fail.

Your joke wasn't funny, as I

Your joke wasn't funny, as I said, and it's thousands of little bullshit squibs like that make American politics so appallingly stupid.

For context, I used to be a serious left-liberal blogger with the bad habit of flaming people. Then about a month ago I burned out and quit the serious political blogging. During the last two weeks of my career I flamed four well-known liberal bloggers (at Crooked Timber, BOP, Mother Jones, and Brad DeLong).

Every once in awhile, alas, I fall off the wagon and revert to my flame-war persona. So this isn't "humorless liberals vs. all right-thinking people". It's me against the world. "The Liberals" are innocent of this one.

I don't think that my serious-blogger persona will ever return, though. I really think the game is over. Even though he's stumbled recently, Bush has too many cards in his hand, the Democrats are too weak and too lame, and about 50% of the electorate doesn't know and doesn't care.

And then there are the libertarians.

Rich, Isn't it interesting

Rich,

Isn't it interesting when the BBC parrots manufactured stories about sunspot activity and its influence (albeit limited influence) on global temperature?

Additionally, the article indicates that man also contributes to the temperature increase, generally confirming what I said about a combination of factors and to what extent - big or small - each of these factors has on climate change.

Doug, your paragraph was

Doug, your paragraph was perfectly understandable. It shows that you are either ignorant or a denialist. You're still parroting manufactured doubts about "sunspot activity", for instance, long after Soon and Baliunas has been put to bed. See

http://www.csicop.org/doubtandabout/deja-vu/

if you want a suitably popularised explanation of how the paragraph you wrote is similar to an Intelligent Design person writing about how they're not against microevolution per se, but they have questions about the rest of the theory of evolution.

As for Max T and his grade-school taunts -- grow up.

Doug - I think there is

Doug - I think there is something in the water.

And thank Jim Henley for sending such (humorless) mental giants your way.

FWIW, I’m not against the

FWIW, I’m not against the claim of global warming, per se. Though I (and many others) question how much is man-created, how much is the result of the natural cycles, how much are due to the recent high sunspot activity, etc. ... The term "Sweet Irony" is a very common expression that I just tweaked a bit to fit the subject matter.

John, what part of this are you not understanding?

EDIT: There are many contributors and guests alike who would enjoy a discussion on global warming/climate change with you or anyone else. But your name-calling bravado and insult-packed tirades will not only destroy any semblance of lively discussion, but weaken whatever platform you are promoting by association.

Your little squib was no

Your little squib was no different than Rush Limbaugh would have written, and he's not funny. (Wingers are always claiming that their most stupid and unjustifiable things are "just humor", but it's seldom humor of the "funny" type. That's just an evasion. Chappelle is safe from those guys' competition, and yours.)

Your "sweet, sweet irony" told me that you think that environmentalists are silly, that global warming is a myth and (apparently) that if it's ever cold anywhere anytime, then global warming is disproven. What bullshit.

It's an real issue, it's an intelligible issue, and a lot of people who claim to be thoughtful adopt moron kneejerk positions for ideological reasons. Your views about the free market or government regulation should not determine on what you think about climatology.

I bet you hate kittens too.

I bet you hate kittens too. :razz:

Max T, you hit the nail on

Max T, you hit the nail on the head. What was supposed to be a knee-slap chuckle of irony is interpreted as a massive dissertation on my thoughts of global warming.

FWIW, I'm not against the claim of global warming, per se. Though I (and many others) question how much is man-created, how much is the result of the natural cycles, how much are due to the recent high sunspot activity, etc.

Rich, the term "Sweet Irony" is a very common expression that I just tweaked a bit to fit the subject matter.

Is something in the blogosphere water today? :dizzy:

Try not to justify John

Try not to justify John Emerson's language in the first comment, Max T. There is no reason to label the story "Sweet", as the title does, unless you implicitly support the constellation of denialism and ignorance that most libertarians have on this issue, and think that the article means something.

Yep, it's confirmed.

Yep, it's confirmed. Liberals have no sense of humor whatsoever. I bet you guys get angry reading the Onion.

I just know that I should

I just know that I should stay away from this one. But let's see if I can get through it without linking to the IPCC report.

Look, any irony in the newspaper article is due to the fact that journalists don't know how to write science articles. Global climate change is the term that scientists use to refer to the phenomenon in question rather than global warming, because although increased CO2 in the atmosphere will indeed lead to a rise in global temperature, that doesn't mean that the temperature will rise everywhere. In fact, some places will have a substantial *drop* in temperature. Only the average for the planet as a whole will rise.

As part of this change in global climate, some places will recieve less precipitation on average, and some more. It is entirely consistent with theoretical predictions that the amount of snowfall in the arctic might become more unpredictable over short time-scales.

In general, changes in weather are more difficult to predict than changes in climate. (Climate is weather averaged over a long time-scale). The consensus of scientists at the moment is the global climate change will lead to more severe weather events in certain areas. However, taking any one weather event as either proof or disproof of global climate change is invalid. Neither a single warm winter nor a single cold winter in your home towm means anything definative in terms of climate, although a number of them do.

And Doug Allen, if you actually read that Nature article, you will find that it talks about East Antartica and West Antarctica. If what you are concerned about is a rise in sea level, then West Antarctica is the primary concern, and it is indeed getting thinner. To understand the geography involved, try this link:

http://www.radix.net/~bobg/faqs/sea.level.faq.html

John, Dictionary.com defines

John,

Dictionary.com defines irony (take a moment to scroll up and see title of post) as "incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity."

Does the leading sentence in the Tribune story represent irony, regardless of what anyone thinks of global warming?

:roll:

BTW, your claim about the southern polar ice caps getting thinner may not be entirely true.

Patinator, I'll try to

Patinator, I'll try to handle these one by one and trust that you just don't know about this stuff -- no one can know everything -- rather than that you're purposefully working your way down a checklist. But you should know that metaphorically there is a checklist of various bad arguments, you've clearly picked them up from the propaganda going around, and that you're going through them.

First, "there are plenty of scientists on both sides". No, there aren't. There are something like five on the denialist side. And they are heavily paid by the coal and oil industries to appear in every public forum and make it look like there are scientists on both sides. These industries have a known strategy to create doubt and buy time. Just do a Google search on "Baliunas", say, and look at the pages and pages of political propaganda that will come up. The "other side" consists of all other climatologists. And before anyone starts coming up with "but one person might be right" scenarios -- the denialists have fought it out within peer-reviewed journals and lost; their evidence and theory just does not hold up. Thinking otherwise would mean that either a physical science is in the grip of blind orthodoxy -- difficult to believe, when there is so much evidence of various kinds that would have to be fudged -- or a truly implausible grand conspiracy.

Second, "we just don't know enough". Forget about the details of modelling climate for a moment. The "greenhouse effect", (somewhat misnamed), the mechanism of CO2 causing the Earth to retain more solar energy, is *very* basic physics. In fact, it isn't even 20th century physics -- it's 19th century. (OK, extending into 1900-1910 if you want to be picky). There is no doubt that increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have to eventually raise the average surface temperature of the Earth. There is also direct experimental evidence that the CO2 level is going up and that it is anthropogenic (i.e. from a human source). Modelling climate is a way to try to figure what will happen to various regions of the Earth, how fast. But there is no doubt that if CO2 keeps going up, temperature must eventually follow. There is never a scientific report that has been written for politicians where the scientists do not include a quote complaining about how little they know -- but the most basic mechanism really is known. There is no way that Venus would have the temperature that it does without it.

Third, "models don't work". It's just not true that any bogus assumption anywhere in the model makes it not work at all. Sensitivity analysis reveals which assumptions the model is sensitive to. You can Google "IPCC climate models" or something similar and find all the background reading material that you might like. But things like misestimation of solar variability just aren't that much of a factor, unless the Sun starts to vary much more than it has in the 20th century. Technological innovations and population changes are handled by using a range of estimates. With all of this, modelling climate does remain difficult. However, several successful predictions have been made. And modelling provides a best guess around which things might turn out either better or worse. Wall Street models are in some respects more difficult because human decisions and psychology are injected into the system, and because economics is not as well understood as physics. (And by the way, you're right that the volatility of weather is greater than that of climate.)

Fourth, "The Day After Tomorrow". You may assume that some scientist somewhere signed off on the movie, but to my knowledge, none did. Many scientists vaguely approved of the idea of a disaster movie that might bring public attention to global climate change. None thought that the dramatic, rapid events depicted were anything that could occur anywhere but within fiction.

Rich, as an individualist I

Rich, as an individualist I don’t believe in global cooling either. I think that it is fair to say that we just don’t know. Science is our best guess, but this particular topic is so all encompassing that there are plenty of scientists on both sides and every side at the same time. Here is a telling quote from the website you listed and in the article I mentioned:

"Our knowledge of the mechanisms of climatic change is at least as fragmentary as our data," concedes the National Academy of Sciences report. "Not only are the basic scientific questions largely unanswered, but in many cases we do not yet know enough to pose the key questions."

If the scientist from this website uses this quote to dispute global cooling, doesn’t the same argument apply against global warming?

I am not a scientist, but to create a climate-predicting model you would need to account for sun flares and other astrological events, meteorology, physics, chemistry, biology, population, technological innovations, consumption patterns and probably a host of other things. Even individually, the theory and assumptions used in each model could be debated quite vigorously, but put all of these into one model? After testing for multicollinearity and heteroskedasticity and other model busting statistical problems, any bogus assumption input in any of those modules would yield poor results. Wall Street spends far more money on their models and they didn’t predict a flat yield curve after a cumulative 200 basis point rate increase by Greenspan.

If you can cite one climate model that has been correctly predicting climate changes around the globe for at least 5 years, I will eat crow, buy the model and make millions in the commodities markets.

Just a thought, but isn't climate guessing easier than weather guessing because its volatility is lower?

Someone in Hollywood probably got some scientist somewhere to sign off on the validity of the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” and if that isn’t propaganda, I don’t know what is. Did you believe it? Of course you didn't, that is why this article is funny.

Don’t worry, I take public transportation and voluntarily water my lawn one less day because I do care about something I can see, smell and taste - pollution.

Like Scott, I don't have an

Like Scott, I don't have an opinion on this. I don't really see it as a libertarian vs. socialist issue. Most of us libertarians do acknowledge that there is some need for restrictions on what can be released into the air, so it's not as though my whole world view would come tumbling down if you were to prove to me that the threat from anthropogenic global warming were real.

The reason I don't have an opinion is that I don't know enough about the facts, nor have I the time or inclination to try to sort out the facts from the hype and propaganda the inevitably grow up around an issue as politicized as this. However, there is one point I'd like to address, as this charge is a constant source of annoyance to me:

There are something like five on the denialist side. And they are heavily paid by the coal and oil industries to appear in every public forum and make it look like there are scientists on both sides.

"X is just an industry shill" is not a good argument. If a scientist is promoting a hypothesis whose broad acceptance would benefit some industry, then of course that industry is going to give him money. It doesn't necessarily mean he's corrupt; it could just mean that the industry appreciates the work he's doing and would like to make sure that he's able to continue.

When a scientist is, like

When a scientist is, like Willie Soon, a registered lobbyist for ExxonMobil, an employee of right-wing think tanks, and a paid writer of op-eds, then it is both accurate and relevant to describe them as an industry shill.

Scott, why play that game?

Scott, why play that game? That they were "faked" into signing it is already supported on the Wiki page; the petition was "designed to be deceptive."

As for it being used to discredit gradual anthropocentric heating, that seems clear enough- it just is, on this thread for instance. It also appears on the "global warming controversy" wiki page. To pretend that it's still technically about Global Warming (even though it's about "catastrophic" global warming, a phrase with a scientific meaning, but- let's be honest here- very concrete and misleading implications) is dishonest. Obviously you know that people are using this report discredit the climate change movement, let's not play a semantic game about whether "catastrophic global warming" is still technically "global warming."

As I've said before, do you guys doubt that HIV causes aids? There's every bit as much serious controversy about that. You don't (and I don't) because HIV causing AIDS is simply the conclusion of mainstream science, yet it doesn't have dangerous political implications. If you want to disagree with mainstream science in a serious manner (rather than just picking and choosing among dissenting minority opinions to suit your own ideological framework) you should learn the basic science and read the technical literature. Then write a serious article in a scientific journal about it. If you're right, scientists and oil companies would be happy to embrace it.

You wrote: “they faked

You wrote: “they faked people into signing something that say that there will be no catastrophic heating, which no one believes will happen, and then use it to try to discredit gradual anthropogenic heating.”

The wiki page says that the Oregon Petition mentioned catastrophic heating, but it does not, as you've asserted, support your claim that people were "faked" into signing it, nor does it say that those who "faked" those signers into doing so used it to "discredit gradual anthropogenic heating."

Do you have any support for that claim?

For the NAS claim, see their

For the NAS claim, see their own words at:
http://www4.nationalacademies.org/news.nsf/isbn/s04201998?OpenDocument

Note that my characterization was understated, if anything, they don't just disavow the petition, they say "The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy".

For the catastrophic heating claim, see first the wiki page itself, where the text of the petition is given. "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate." The problem is that "catastrophic heating" is what people think happened to Venus, it's generally associated with a "runaway greenhouse effect" where higher temperature makes more greenhouse gasses go into the atmosphere, making the temperature go very, very high. Some members of the public did worry about this at one time, but the chances of it happening on Earth are very small. The non-runaway effect is far more gradual. The petition, instead of being charactized as a reassurance against the runaway scenario, is characterized according to a link on the wiki page as "See over 17,000 scientists declare that global warming is a lie with no scientific basis whatsoever."

Clearly I can't know what the individual motivations of all the signers were. But this was a reference to the fact that the petition is itself primarily political, not scientific, in nature, as it urges a particular policy outcome.

Next, "some vanishing few". The makers of the petition cleverly didn't release contact information, so it's very difficult to check the names. However, some surveys have been done. Here's one by John Quiggin:

http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2002/09/02/expertise-bias-and-argument-ad-hominem/

He surveyed 30 names at random from the supposed pool of 2600 physical scientists, and found no climatologists. Based on this he estimates that about 50 names on the list may be climatologists. I think that this is an overestimate, because if these climatologists existed, we would see them publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, and we don't.

I can continue on if you prefer. I haven't even gone into all of the problems with this particular petition. But you can see that it's very easy for someone to write "17,100 shills ... that's a lot more than 5", while it takes a longer to present a more complicated reality. The purpose of responses like Patinator's is to overload the reality-based person with claims. If Patinator was really looking for the truth him or herself, they would have seen at least the basic points of these same cautions on the wiki page.

As for it being used to

As for it being used to discredit gradual anthropocentric heating, that seems clear enough- it just is, on this thread for instance.

I have no doubt. But Rich's claim was that those who had "faked" people into signing the petition had gone on to use it to "discredit gradual anthropocentric heating."

You wrote: "they faked

You wrote: "they faked people into signing something that say that there will be no catastrophic heating, which no one believes will happen, and then use it to try to discredit gradual anthropogenic heating."

Perhaps true, but not supported by the wikipedia article. You're welcome to supply your own evidence.

Additionally, you assert: "some vanishing few number of signers are actual climatologists, with most of them being scientists in other fields who simply opposed the Kyoto agreement for political reasons."

Perhaps there are political reasons, and perhaps you have evidence that most of the signers opposed Kyoto "for political reasons" but that is not evidence in the wikipedia article.

Nor is any hint given to the number of signers who are climatologists, beyond it being clear that there are less than 13%. Whether the number is "vanishingly small" or not, is not evident from the wikipedia entry.

Doug, did you read all the

Doug, did you read all the way to the end of that BBC article? To the part where they say that solar activity has been pretty much constant over the last 20 years?

Yes, I did. Of course, we could say that "abnormally active" solar activity has been pretty much constant over the last 20 years. To wit, if I sat on the beach in a constant 100 degree temperature for 6 consecutive hours, my skin would gradually burn and continue to burn worse... even though the temperature held at exactly 100.

Look, my thoughts aren't too different from Brandon's. I'm not insisting that global warming doesn't exist. In fact I would say it is. I'm also not insisting that man/industry isn't at least partially responsible. But I don't immediately dismiss alternative viewpoints that assert that man's responsibility may be greatly overstated or that hard-nosed politics/ideology/lobby money have mucked up reasonable debate. Author Michael Crichton basically based his latest book centered around the latter.

It was presumptuous on the part of John to insinuate my thoughts based on my cut n' paste Chicago Tribune opening line, which - you have to admit - presents irony not in a burst-out-laughing Ha-Ha way, but amusing irony nonetheless. I do not believe that environmentalism is "silly" (if you knew my lifestyle, you'd know how goofy that comment was), nor do I assume that a snowstorm or a cold day automatically proves global warming "a myth". That's just bollocks.

I'm not a scientist. I'm just an average guy who enjoys hearing all sides of the issue, minus the fire n' brimstone rhetoric. Scott's link to the wikipedia site was a good resource.

Somewhat hyperbolic? I made

Somewhat hyperbolic? I made three claims about the Oregon Petition, two of which are directly supported by that wikipedia page ("catastrophic heating" and the NAS flap) and one of which is at least consistent with it (note the way that the number of actual climatologists is buried within the number of "physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers and environmental scientists"). If you're going to diss wikipedia, go ahead, but nothing that I wrote was in contradiction to it.

Could be. Although I

Could be. Although I believe the founder of Wikipedia is an Ayn Rand fan.

Scott, Didn't you know that

Scott, Didn't you know that Wikipedia is a progagandist shill except for those who believe in global warming?

Googling around, his

Googling around, his criticism of the Global Warming Petition seems to be somewhat hyperbolic.

One is welcome to look for themselves:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Petition

Rich, there are 160 shills

Rich, there are 160 shills from academia who have signed the Leipzig Declaration; 4,000 shills from 106 countries including 72 Nobel prize winners who have signed the Heidelberg Appeal; 17,100 shills (2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers and environmental scientists; 5,017 chemists, biologists, biochemists and other life scientists) who have signed the Global Warming Petition. Even if they are all denialists, wrong and shills (and assuming some signed all three), that is a lot more than 5 who are not all climatologists. It is a good thing that there are dissenters in order to keep the science honest.

I will check out the IPCC models for your claim to their accuracy.

Patinator, with this I'm

Patinator, with this I'm moving you from the "good faith" to "bad faith" column.

1. Leipzig Declaration "160 shills from academia" -- do you know how many signers SEPP had to remove from that list because they turned out to be fraudulent (in the sense that when contacted, they said they'd never signed it), not from academia (like the 25 TV "weather presenters"), or had no connection to climate work? The list was down to something like 20, last I'd heard, with many of those being "climate" related employees of industry.

2. Heidelberg Appeal -- You do know, right, that the Heidelberg Appeal says nothing about global warming or global climate change? And that 49 of those 72 Nobel Prize signers also signed on to the the "World Scientists Warning to Humanity", which explicitly warned about global climate change, that same year? Are you just hoping that no one will ever check up on what you cite, like the M@ke M@ney F@st guys who cite the Postal code that supposedly says that it's legal, when it actually says that it's not?

3. Global Warming Petition -- Did you know that the signers faked the petition to look like a NAS reprint, and that the National Academy of Sciences had to disavow them? Or that they faked people into signing something that say that there will be no *catastrophic* heating, which no one believes will happen, and then use it to try to discredit gradual anthropogenic heating? Or that some vanishing few number of signers are actual climatologists, with most of them being scientists in other fields who simply opposed the Kyoto agreement for political reasons?

You're rapidly working your way through the propaganda pile.

I think I should point out

I think I should point out that government intervention in the economy has done much to increase pollution. The state built numerous roads (and ralroads and airports) and charged nothing at the point of service, subsidising long-distance transportation and urban sprawl. It has also been heavily involved in the electrical generation industry, and very likely has subsidised higher electricity and energy use, especially among those who live in out-of-the-way places.

- Josh

Scott- so the entire point

Scott- so the entire point about Global Warming has dwindled to "can you name two 'signers' or the oregon document who used said document to discreditgradual anthropocentric heating?"

I mean, I'm not sure what this proves either way, but I find it highly likely that this happened.

People still read/believe

People still read/believe Wikipedia?

Actually, I found even the

Actually, I found even the post on the global warming controversy to be very well done and fair.

Thanks, Rick

Thanks, Rick Puchalsky!

Wikipedia is a wonderful source for non-controversial stuff, but by its nature it cannot be used to settle controversies.

Matt27, so the entire point

Matt27,

so the entire point about Global Warming has dwindled to “can you name two ’signers’ or the oregon document who used said document to discreditgradual anthropocentric heating?”

I'm not sure what you mean. I never made any claim to be debating Global Warming as a whole. It would be strange if I had, since I largely agree with Rich. The point hasn't dwindled--it just never expanded beyond what I was disputing.

Scott, which of the many

Scott, which of the many meanings of “faked” do you prefer?

You said that those who faked people into signing the petition used it to try to discredit all global warming. Wikipedia contains a link to some group that used the Petition to try to discredit all global warming. However, the group linked to is not the "they" who faked people into signing the petition, but rather some other "they." That some people can misstate a report is not particularly interesting, and surely not a phenomenom unique to either side.

To repeat, saying those who engineered the petition not only faked people into signing it but also used it to try and discredit even non-catastrophic heating is not substantiated by anything in wikipedia, nor any other information I've been able to find. Perhaps you have some evidence--some report by those who engineered the Oregon Petition claiming that their signatories dismissed the idea of global warming as a whole.

But if such is the case, you've yet to present any evidence.

Hence, I described your summary as somewhat hyperbolic.

Your rant about pseudoscience and politics is irrelevant, as the only claim I've made was in regards to the Oregon petition: that you seem to have exaggerated circumstances around it. I did not question any of the other "twigs" you presented.

What I could "just as easily" have asked is beyond the point.

A reasonable response from

A reasonable response from Josh / Wild Pegasus. And matt27, thanks for attempting to cut short the flow of demands for proof of things I'd already mentioned. Brian Doss, we've had Patinator try to claim that I was somehow wrong for supposedly not believing wikipedia, now we have you making fun of believing it -- why don't you two hash it out amongst yourselves? Wikipedia is convenient, but all of the claims that I made can be substantiated with sources outside wikipedia, if you really distrust it on principle.

Scott, which of the many meanings of "faked" do you prefer? The fact that they included a paper with the petition that had been faked up to look like a reprint of a peer-reviewed paper, when it wasn't? The fact that the letter sent along with the petition was signed President of the NAS even though the NAS didn't support the petition and the President had retired 30-some years ago? The fact that the petition refers to "catastrophic heating", a term with a particular meaning, that could have made a petition signer decide that it was worth signing to reassure the public about, but that isn't the same as the gradual warming that scientists think really will happen? The fact that the wiki site contains a link to a misrepresentation of this claim that I already quoted and referred you to -- the sentence about how a petition against catastrophic heating means that "global warming is a lie with no scientific basis whatsoever"?

Really, look at this thread for a moment, and the amount of substantiation put into my claims vs the two-line sarcastic remarks by the people who doubt them. Right now we're foliating only one twig on one branch of the tree -- claims about the Oregon Petition. Patinator or you could just as easily ask for proof of something I wrote about the Leipzig Declaration, or about models, or about some other branch of denialist propaganda such as supposed beneficial effects on plant life from higher CO2. If you're really seeking truth rather than corruptly trying to bolster your politics with pseudoscience, let's see you do some more work on your own and present these issues less one-sidedly.

Rich, I checked out the

Rich,

I checked out the PCMDI website (home of the IPCC model). There is a ton of information here and I readily admit that most of it is over my head. I went to the publications/report series and picked out a report that sounded like what we were discussing (Report 68: On the Potential Predictability of Seasonal Land-Surface Climate). Most of the other reports, which I didn't read, seem like data fitting and model vs. model comparisons rather than reality checks.

Since I was looking for the 60,000 foot level answer, I just went straight to "Forecast Skill Measure" and here are some highlights:

b. Forecast skill measure
...effectively skillful seasonal forecasts of both global and all-land sea-level pressure occur in only a few seasons during the AMIP decade figures 18a, b). The prediction of continental pressure is more frequently skillful in the Tropics, sometimes for several seasons in a row (Figure 18c), but even here there are wide inter-seasonal swings in c(k), with a number of negative-valued correlations.

...The c(k) for global precipitation are all positive-valued, but there is only a single instance of an effectively skillful forecast (Figure 19a).

...There are no effectively skillful predictions of continental precipitation, however, even when evaluation is limited to the Tropics (Figure 19b, c).

Thanks for the laugh, Rich. This was even funnier than the article that started all of this. The extra bonus laugh was the link for the report spelled “predictability” incorrectly. Telling! The only way it would have been funnier is if you would have been the author on this study. Either you are some kind of evil genius of comedy or this was not what you intended me to find.

I know, I know, the author is probably some shill who forced his way onto the website. Joking aside, since I am a non-scientist can you just point out an area on this website that shows how accurate these models are when compared to reality?

In the interests of

In the interests of fairness, I should say that my assertion about Willie Soon being a registered lobbyist for ExxonMobil is incorrect. I misread the document that I thought supported this assertion. I regret the error.