The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Scientist Sneaks Science into Heartland Meeting

Apparently Prof. Scott Denning of Colorado State has tricked the Heartland Institute into accepting a talk entitled "Debunking Common Myths About Global Warming" for their annual conference caucus this year.

The joke is on them. It turns out that the presentation is quite excellent! (Well, except that it's a Microsoft PowerPoint (with heavy use of Comic Sans) but if you can put up with that, here you go.)

h/t Baron von Monckhofen

Update: Apparently my impression relayed above that Scott Denning spoke to the Heartland Institute on the basis of some subterfuge, was incorrect. I apologize to all concerned.

I remain convinced that his slides are an excellent introduction to the science behind the concerns about climate change. I also think that his remarks to the plenary, kindly linked by Jim Lakely in the comments below, are extraordinarily insightful and helpful. I recommend careful attention to what he is saying to anyone interested in these matters.

78 comments:

Dan Satterfield said...

Gotta love that!

dan

Hank Roberts said...

Excellent up til the last page, where he says trust the free market to replace fossil fuel with new technology before the fossil fuel is all burned up.

He's encouraging them to chase the red herring in the story. It's the one thing "both sides" -- in the political framework-- seem to agree on, arguing over fossil fuel.

Everybody wants to talk about global warming, which is relatively far off in the future and relatively less well understood.

Ocean pH change is happening faster than temperature change, and inarguably clearly understood.

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, that last slide -- what he gives them is the familiar switch: coal is the problem, and technology can replace oil use.

"Alarmist politicians and pundits say: ... wealth is due to ... cheap fossil fuel. If we stop burning coal we will freeze in the dark!

I prefer to say: ... wealth results from ingenuity ... before we run out of oil, we'll invent ..."

Well, he had to give them something they'd recognize, I suppose.

jg said...

Great presentation and great stunt! I'd advise people to print a copy while supplies last. Heartland wouldn't take such a thing down, would they?

Arthur said...

That is a great talk - love the sea level rise bit!

coby said...

aren't you worried he'll be "outed" before his presentation? I am pretty sure they do not want to hear what he has to say!

Michael Tobis said...

Coby, not unless they have a time machine; the meeting ended yesterday.

Ben said...

What a fabulous presentation. Totally punked them and now they have the PPT file is squatting on the Heartland servers...

I wonder when they decide that they can sneak it off.

Michael Tobis said...

Coby, while that would require only a modest amount of time travel, still I don't believe it is within the capabilities of the Heartland Institute.

Nosmo said...

Strange, the main page says 8 comments on this thread but only one shows up here. Haven't seen that before.

Steve Scolnik said...

Kudos to Prof. Denning for wearing a hamburger suit in the den of the lion.

Steve Bloom said...

Why do you say that, Michael? As you know, they're living in the past.

John Mashey said...

I will be fascinated to hear of his reception.

John Mashey said...

I will be fascinated to hear of his reception.

DaveMcRae said...

That was an excellent presentation!

His CO2 molecule pictures were great too, I may look at using those - I have been trying to get deniers to, in the interest of driving that final nail in the AGW coffin for once and for all, to put their little finger in front of a CO2 laser - no such luck as yet. http://galahs.blogspot.com/2010/04/carbon-dioxide-laser.html A friendlier CO2 diagram may do the trick :)

Diane said...

The joke's on you, folks. The Heartland Institute knew exactly what it was getting when it INVITED Dr. Denning to address the group, and he was well-received. There was no trickery, no "stunt" involved.

Unlike you, we welcome dissent and understand that science is NEVER about consensus, but always about respectful disagreement.

Too bad you didn't attend; you might have learned something, as Dr. Denning said he did. If your mind is open to that, consider watching the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change videos. Keynote addresses are available now; all panels will be posted over the next couple days.

James Taylor said...

Scott Denning and I have publicly debated each other twice this past year. We learned quite a bit from each other, and although we disagree on what impact humans are having on global climate, I am proud to call him a friend. I greatly appreciate his willingness to speak at our conference.

I think Dr. Denning would say he was treated quite well at the conference, even though most of the presenters and attendees held a different view than him. I hope he comes back to speak at our next conference, as well.

I don't believe humans are creating a global warming crisis. Most of the scientists at the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change agree with me. However, I heartily welcome more opposing scientists -- like Dr. Denning -- to come speak at future such conferences. We don't fear open dialogue; we encourage it.

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow, Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute

Dr. Zaius said...

You guys are pretty funny. Heartland invites Dr. Denning, but you think the organization doesn't know what his views are on climate change.

Heartland takes the time and effort to post his PowerPoint presentation on its Web site ... and, again, you guys presume Heartland did so by mistake and will probably pull it down once we learn of our terrible gaffe.

I work for The Heartland Institute. I was sitting right next to Heartland President Joe Bast on Tuesday afternoon when Dr. Denning approached him with a request to address the 800 people at the closing luncheon.

Dr. Denning wanted to express his gratitude for being invited to share his research and engage in a real debate with other scientists who disagree. Dr. Denning also took the time to point out the graciousness of his host, and encouraged more scientists who share his AGW conclusions to attend Heartland climate events. Heartland should have video of Dr. Denning's supportive statements about Heartland up on its Web site pretty soon.

When you guys hear it, will you then turn on Denning and mock him, too?

Michael Tobis said...

If that's how it happened, so much the better.

But it's still peculiar that a one-hour undergraduate-level survey of radiative balance should have been welcome at such a conference.

Marco said...

While I think Diane's presence likely was a one-off event, I'm trying this anyway (hope you allow it, Dr. Tobis):

Diane, could you please explain us how shouting "TO JAIL" is "respectful disagreement"?

Jim said...

Let's see what other luminaries of climate science spoke at this event:

Jay H. Lehr, Ph.D.
"Saving Science after Climategate: Recovering from the Loss of Scientific Credibility"

Lord Christopher Monckton
"Global Warming: The Trojan HOrse that Menaces Global Freedom"

Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D.
"Urban Heat Island Effects in the Temperature Record, and a New Satellite-Based Land Surface"

Patrick J. Michaels, Ph.D.
"Global Warming Science Now Compels EPA to Re-open its Finding of Endangerment"

Richard Lindzen, Ph.D.
"Global Warming: How to Approach the Science"

Stephen McIntyre
"Climategate: A Battlefield Perspective"

Prof. Denning's presentation is not posted.

Jim Lakely said...

Once again, you guys are jumping the gun. Dr. Denning's presentation hasn't been posted yet — because with a limited staff, we've prioritized by putting up the keynote speeches first. But sit tight, Jim. Every presentation at ICCC4 will be online eventually. When you have almost 100 speakers, and just a couple of staffers to load up the video, it takes a while.

Meantime, you can whet your appetite for Dr. Denning by watching him praise Heartland for inviting him to speak.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkL6TDIaCVw

Paul said...

Dr. Curry has a homework assignment for open minded scientists posted over in kloorville:

"Here is an exercise. If you are a scientist and like to regard yourself as having an open mind, go to the heartland conference website, listen to the scientific talks (they were much better this year than they have been in previous years), and try find one point in each of the presentations that is interesting and provides food for thought and is deserving of further examination. Yes there is alot of noise, but there is also some signal. Tribalistic behavior by many climate scientists results in missing some valid signals, and this is not good for science."

I look forward to someone extracting anything meeting Dr. Curry's criteria in Monckton's presentation. I not qualified since I am not a scientist and not particularly "open minded" on some things.

Pat Michaels has some interesting graphical magic to convince us that anthro CO2 has little to do with the observed warming.

Llndzen argues that climate feedbacks are probably negative. His bottom line:

"I avoid making forecasts for tenths of a degree change in globally averaged temperature anomaly, but I am quite willing to assure you that unprecedented climate catastrophes are not on the horizon though in several thousand years we may return to an ice age."

Gosh, I just feel so much better! Just really sorry I missed out on the Plimer book signing.

Paul Middents

Dirk said...

And yet, Lindzen gets to say this:

One suggestion I'd make is that we stop accepting the term 'sceptic'. As far as I can tell, scepticism involves doubts about a plausible proposition. I think current global warming alarm does not represent a plausible proposition." [Applause.] For 20 years – more than 20 years unfortunately, 22 by now, since '88 – of repetition, escalation of claims does not make it more plausible. Quite the contrary, I would suggest the failure to prove the case of 20 years makes the case even less plausible, as does the evidence of Climategate and other instances of what are essentially [inaudible, but it sounds like "overt cheating"].

I also find it curious that Judith Curry seems to think that these statements are worth discussing; but she's entitled to her opinion, I guess.

Steve Bloom said...

The unintended irony in that statement by Lindzen is something to behold given that he's been flogging cumulus drying/the iris effect for that entire period, and as time passes it just gets more disproved.

Steve Bloom said...

MT: "But it's still peculiar that a one-hour undergraduate-level survey of radiative balance should have been welcome at such a conference."

Well, they did send invites to various prominent scientists such as Jim Hansen, all of whom declined. I assume that subsequently they beat the bushes trying to find anyone at all (and it appears from a comment of Denning's that his expenses were taken care of). Presumably they think such participation will help the conference gain credibility with the media and funders. The latter may be more important just now, as moving the conference to Chicago is an obvious cost-cutting move. With this conference having gotten almost no coverage, I suppose it's an open question as to whether we'll be seeing another one.

I wonder if Judy was asked to present? I assume so.

Neven said...

Did John Christy attend the conference? I vaguely recall him saying he didn't go to the last conference because he didn't want to look guilty by association, but I don't know if this is correct.

The only interesting thing for me about this whole free-market-delay-any-meaningful-action-so-the-rich-can-stuff-their-pockets-a-while-longer-PR-stunt is the question when, if ever, genuine skeptics get enough of their denialist allies and dissociate themselves. I hear some of McIntyre's comments and proposals didn't go down too well with the fundamentalists.

David B. Benson said...

I'm of the opinion that the proper approach for climatologists to the contrarians (or choose your favorite word) is to ignore them. After all, nobody pays any attention to the Flat Earth Society.

James Taylor said...

I love it. Some nobody named David B. Benson comparing MIT atmospheric sciences professor Dr. Richard Lindzen, one of the most brilliant and accomplished atmospheric scientists in the world, to the Flat Earth Society.

Dr. Lindzen has published groundbreaking research on ozone photochemistry, atmospheric tides, the quasi-biennial oscillation, and the superrotation of Venus -- all of which advanced scientific knowledge to new and unprecedented levels of understanding.

Among his many impressive credentials, Dr. Lindzen has been a NATO Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Meteorology, a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, a professor of dynamic meteorology at Harvard, and director of the Harvard University Center for Earth and Planetary Physics.

Dr. Lindzen has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He served on the 11-member panel organized by the National Academy of Sciences that published "Climate Change Science: An Analysis of Some Key Questions."

And David B. Benson, your superior credentials that support you comparing Dr. Lindzen to a member of the "Flat Earth Society" are....?

gravityloss said...

Organization with a long history of lying for money: I challenge you to spend a lot of time and effort to take me seriously.

Sorry, there's a limit to goodwill and naivety.

Heartland must do much much more to achieve even neutral credibility. At present it's negative - whatever they say, the reality is probably exactly opposite. You would get better science and public policy if you flipped a coin on every decision!

So I challenge the Heartland Institute to examine its own recent past with a critical eye. And do a lot of other work. Somehow I doubt this organization will become worth listening to at all.

James Taylor said...

Message between the lines from an anonymous mudslinger named gravityloss: "I really don't have anything to say about the science, about the strong credentials of the speakers at the conference, or Heartland graciously inviting scientists from all points of view to give presentations at the conference, so I will insinuate and smear -- while offering nothing of substance -- under cover of some made-up name. Don't listen to Dr. Richard Lindzen; he's not credble. I, an anonymous hack, am far more credible."

David B. Benson said...

James Taylor --- I plead not guilty as charged; read much more carefully.

I do not doubt Prefessor Lindzen's accomplishments as a meteorologist. I've seen enough of what he has attempted with regard to climate sensitivity to understand why it is almost, but not quite, pointless.

What Professor Lindzen refuses to do, it seems, is study enough paleoclimatology to understand what has happened in the distant past. Perhaps he stated its "not my job". Fine, but then since he hasn't looked, it seems, he is hardly in a postion to make such sweeping predictions about the future.

There is a phrase for those (of varying degrees of fame) who step out of their speciality to make pronouncements about another one without actually studying the subject first; the phrase is "gone emeritus". Unfortunately I find it applicable in this case.

But you could do somewhat better by doing a bit of reading: Mark Lynas on his "Six Degrees". It is about the remote past.

As for the period of the instrumental record, this simple climate model is intended to be accessible to the intelligent layman. James Annan pointed out to me that it is similar to Tol, R.S.J. and A.F. de Vos (1998), ‘A Bayesian Statistical Analysis of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect’, Climatic Change, 38, 87-112 [although intentionally rather simplier] so I find I am in good company. Do let me know what you think about it.

Steve Bloom said...

So James Taylor appeals to authority. OK, James, I'll see your Lindzen and raise you Kerry Emanuel, a more eminent sciertist by every measure except age, including, most importantly, current cutting-edge publication activity. Your turn.

Marion Delgado said...

Dr. Curry wants to talk about the tone, not the science. Therefore, the answer to her assignment is, as suggested above, to ask her what she got of scientific merit out of Monckton's presentation - or Schmidt's. And what the scientific implications of those useful points are. And be polite about it. But I think it should be done, and now.

Marion Delgado said...

I don't think James Taylor has read, for instance, this:

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/Iris/

because if he had, he'd realize the fuility of his ad authoritem argument.

James Taylor said...

There are much better comments to respond to now.

Steve Bloom challenges my “appeal to authority.” I agree that appeals to authority carry only limited weight. However, when the assertion is made on this blog that skeptics are comparable to “Flat Earthers,” I think the person who makes such a claim needs to explain how his science credentials are superior to researchers and professors at NASA, NOAA, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, MIT, etc., all of whom have spoken at our conference and all of whom believe humans are not causing a global warming crisis. An appeal to authority is not the basis of my beliefs, but the credentials of these authorities are quite impressive. Drawing an analogy between highly accomplished skeptical scientists and “Flat Earthers” is ignorant and moronic.

Steve Bloom, David B. Benson, and Marion Delgado address the credentials and research of Dr. Richard Lindzen. As an initial matter, Kerry Emanuel is a very accomplished hurricane scientist. However, his credentials are about 10 percent as impressive as Dr. Lindzen’s. Fortunately for your point of view, truth is not a slave to the advocate with the best credentials.

Delgado says the NASA article exposes the “futility” of my argument. The article in question states, “Currently, both Lindzen and Lin stand by their findings and there is ongoing debate between the two teams. At present, the Iris Hypothesis remains an intriguing hypothesis—neither proven nor disproven.” There are many scientists within NASA who agree with Dr. Lindzen. There are many who disagree with Dr. Lindzen. This would seem to call for more research, discussion, dialogue, and debate – exactly what our conference seeks to accomplish. Rather than name-calling the participants or seeking to “ignore them,” wouldn’t it be something if scientists from all points of view actually got together to study the unresolved questions?

Regarding specific critiques of the “skeptic” position, let me summarize one of the “skeptics’” most powerful points: Scientists from all sides of the issue agree there would only be about 1 degree Celsius of global warming – all other things remaining equal – from a full doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The IPCC computer models predict so much more warming because they assume a little bit of CO2-induced warming will result in higher atmospheric humidity and more cirrus clouds, which will in turn cause much more warming than the CO2 itself. In the real world, however, atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds are not behaving as the models predict. Moreover, NASA satellite data show far more longwave radiation is escaping into space than the computer models predict. Given a choice between speculative computer models and real-world observations, the “skeptics” choose to assign more credibility to real-world observations.

Indeed, if temperatures are going to rise 3 degrees Celsius during the 21st century, why did they only rise 0.6 degrees Celsius during the 20th century, and why have temperatures not risen at all this century?

There are good scientific arguments for and against the “alarmists” and the “skeptics,” and open, honest debate is good. I believe the tone of this and other blogs should be to encourage such open and honest debate rather than to diminish it through demeaning name-calling and incendiary rhetoric.

krabapple said...

OK, Mr. Taylor, it appears from what you write here, that your beef is with the *science*-- specifically that the mainstream climate science is missing or ignoring 'real world' observations (i.e., data).

My question then is, are conferences sponsored by an ideological *policy* think-tank, funded mainly by conservative donors/foundations, as well as tobacco and energy corporations, and espousing this mission statement : "to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems"

the place to look to for 'open and honest' debate on the *science*, especially science that stands a very good chance of leading to something the Institute is ideologically opposed to: increased regulation of the energy market?

Wouldn't scientific conferences and journals be the better place for debate the *science*?

NewYork said...

James Taylor touches on why they would want to include Dr. Denning in their political conference. It gives the impression that they are open-minded and "hey look - a real scientist who isn't a denialist fanatic is speaking here". Now I doubt Denning is likely to convince anyone there but maybe he's optimistic enough to consider that it's worth a try.

I'm not sure if the Heartland Institute (a disgraceful political organization that has been in the business of disputing smoking's link to lung cancer) still states this explicitly, but the purpose of their conference is PR - not science.

"The purpose of the conference is to generate international media attention to the fact that many scientists believe forecasts of rapid warming and catastrophic events are not supported by sound science, and that expensive campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not necessary or cost-effective."

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/01/what-if-you-held-a-conference-and-no-real-scientists-came/

Scientific conferences don't have such an agenda or pre-ordained conclusion. Perhaps Heartland is trying to soften that image. Their goal of media attention certainly has been reached. AGU conferences are almost entirely ignored.

NewYork said...

"Wouldn't scientific conferences and journals be the better place for debate the *science*?"

That doesn't get them media attention. It also opens themselves up to genuine scrutiny. Preaching to the choir at a political conference is much easier.

NewYork said...

James Taylor: "Indeed, if temperatures are going to rise 3 degrees Celsius during the 21st century, why did they only rise 0.6 degrees Celsius during the 20th century"

Closer to 0.8 C

http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/nhshgl.gif

In 1900, someone might have declared:

"Indeed, if temperatures are going to rise 0.8 C during the 21st century, why was there only negligible change the last 50 years? We skeptics are about observations."

See the fallacy? This is the typical depth of rationality at the Heartland Institute - pure rhetoric.

James Taylor said...

Krabapple does a disservice to constructive discourse and debate. No tobacco or energy corporation funded our conference. But why should Krabapple bother to explore or tell the truth when he can lie about it and score points with narrow-minded supporters of his point of view and with people who don’t know any better?

Moreover, we encourage open and honest debate, and hosted a science conference in which we extended speaking invitations to dozens of scientists who agree with Scott Denning, precisely because we believe the truth is on our side.

New York commits a similar disservice to constructive discourse and open debate by engaging in gratuitous name-calling while spewing outright lies. New York claims Heartland is “a disgraceful political organization that has been in the business of disputing smoking's link to lung cancer.” Really? Where does Heartland say there is no link between smoking and lung cancer? But then again, why should New York bother telling the truth when he can tell an outrageous lie that would be so much more effective?

Most of the alarmist posts here cite very few facts, very little science, and are instead focused on narrow-minded mud throwing. They would rather vilify and lie about the people who disagree with them than address the areas of disagreement. No wonder you are losing this debate in the court of public opinion.

Krabapple and New York claim journals are a better place to debate the science. Journals are important outlets for discussion and debate, but so are public conferences. Would you want health care policy decided solely in the pages of the New England Journal of Medicine? Would you want our Iraq strategy determined solely in the pages of Jane’s Defence Weekly? Also, if the journals should be the sole place of discussion and debate of important public policy issues, why aren’t you vigorously condemning Michael Mann and company for seeking to subvert fairness in these journals by pressuring the journals to fire any editor that publishes scientific studies disputing global warming alarmism?

It is funny that New York links to a Real Climate post. After Real Climate posted snide comments about our first conference, I wrote a cordial, polite, and factual response. When they responded to my cordial, polite, and factual response with more snide comments, I wrote a summary of all the times their arguments were destroyed in open debate. They responded by erasing my comments and blocking me from ever submitting another comment on their blog. Now what does this tell us about who is interested in open dialogue and scientific truth, and who is instead afraid of it?

New York claims 20th century temperature was 0.8 degrees Celsius rather than my report of 0.6. Even your alarmist friends say 0.6. See http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories/s1113.htm: “Since 1900, global surface temperatures have risen at a rate of 1.0 degree F/century (0.6 degrees C/century)…” Also, check out meteorologist Anthony Watt’s study, “Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable” (http://www.heartland.org/books/PDFs/SurfaceStations.pdf) for indications that even this is likely overstated.

joe said...

James Taylor writes: "Indeed, if temperatures are going to rise 3 degrees Celsius during the 21st century, why did they only rise 0.6 degrees Celsius during the 20th century, and why have temperatures not risen at all this century?"

Maybe its because the oceans have been storing a large portion of the heat energy to date?

And his argument that temperatures haven't risen at all this century is disingenuous. The identification of a statistically significant trend in mean annual temperature requires more than 9 years of data.

NewYork said...

I'm not sure who you're expecting to fool on this blog, Mr. Taylor.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Heartland_Institute#Tobacco_ties

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=James_M._Taylor

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Defenders_of_Property_Rights

Your organization treats science like lawyers defending a weak case for a guilty party.

And please try to get your facts right regarding Dr. Mann.

http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/deja_vu_all_over_again/

I'm also surprised some are still referencing Watts, who to this date has not published his noise.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/On-the-reliability-of-the-US-Surface-Temperature-Record.html

Taylor speaks of "snide remarks", yet the tone of his remarks here appear to be quite snide. Stones and glass houses...

Steve Bloom said...

More foaming at the mouth than snide, I'd say.

John Mashey said...

As I've pointed out before, once a person or organization helps tobacco companies, which only stay in business by addicting 12-18-year-olds, confusing people about climate science is child's play by comparison. heartland is applying the long-practiced skills.

Steve Bloom said...

The Beeb has a long piece on the conference, more human interest than news but enlightening in several regards. I don't think potential funders for next years conference will find it very motivating.

FWIW I sent in a complaint to the Beeb about the assertion that climate science remains in turmoil as a result of the CRU business, but I suppose I should be happy that that there was just that one not-very-prominent point to quibble about in a long article on that subject.

Tim Lambert said...

Fox News reports
James M. Taylor, an environmental policy expert and a fellow at the Heartland Institute, said that global cooling is already happening. Based on figures provided by the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, he noted that snow records from the last 10 years exceeded the records set in the 1960s and 1970s.


Compare Taylor's claims with what the Rutgers Snow Lab data actually shows

Neven said...

Is it true, Mr. Taylor? Are you hiding the incline?

Other question: Let's say you finally become convinced that AGW is real and is increasingly becoming a problem to the economy and society at large (never mind the ecosystems, we're taking one step at a time here). What would your free-market solutions to this problembe?

Could it be that a completely free market simply cannot handle a problem of this scale, because its players are only interested in the short term, profit and all that?

gravityloss said...

Yes, I did an ad hominem. The Heartland Institute deserves one. I've long since stopped believing in any honest intentions for better science from these certain paid think tanks. If someone produces enough of nonsense, you can dismiss all they produce without looking into it. It doesn't matter if they occasionally and accidentally produce something that is right. To just go past them is the path of least resistance and cost to truth. You don't believe Nigerian scam e-mails coming to your inbox either. They would of course like to challenge you to examine in depth their claims, some of which I'm sure are actually factual and also irrelevant, but that's just part of their game. It's just a distraction.

How much are you getting paid for this, James Taylor?

The only way to gain a better reputation for any anti-science institute would be, as a first step to look at yourself critically and say, "yes, we have produced a lot of nonsense".

Or how about the reverse:

Actually, if you pay me some tens of thousands of dollars, I might turn around and write to newspapers and blogs about how CO2 is life or tobacco or asbestos is not really harmful (despite having two relatives dead at around age 50 from the latter two). Sorry, I might be mixing up the think tanks a bit here. It gets confusing at times. There are so many after all. Maybe some people there even believe what they write.

Of course, if I were to work for the Institute or Organization or Group or whatever the business arrangement, this should be all completely open as a social experiment. No NDA:s. I can give you my IBAN account number. Do you need samples first? After all, after having read about the subject of global warming, I know most of the fallacies and lies so I can spew them out like few others.

There's no warming. Warming is natural. Warming stopped in 1998. Sea ice is increasing. 500 glaciers are growing. How can you predict the temperature 100 years into the future when you can't predict the weather a few weeks from here? It's El Nino. PDO. Cosmic rays. Mars. Pluto. Chinese sailing in the north pole. Or Vikings. In the future, we will be thousands of times richer and have genetically engineered trees producing diamonds so we can take out the extra CO2 from the air easily. Everything at the same time, happily in a totally incoherent and self-contradictory world view.

Actually, one could produce a headline making script that follows all the data feeds that are online. Every time when sea ice goes up or temperature down for a while, it can generate a headline - another nail in the coffin of AGW! This would happen many times a year of course.

There's so much unrealized potential and so much great business ideas.

James Taylor said...

Gravityloss, hiding behind a fake name, proudly admits his attacks are ad hominem smears and states, "you can dismiss all they produce without looking into it." New York and Krabapple have had their smears exposed as lies as well. This lack of substantive discussion pretty much summarizes most of the posts here -- ad hominem attacks lacking in scientific substance. Accordingly, this will be my last post here. As I stated before, no wonder you guys are getting creamed in the court of public opinion.

Snow cover: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/02/2001-2010-was-the-snowiest-decade-on-record/

Best regards,

- James

Jim said...

@James Taylor: The classic "declare victory and leave." Dee-lish.

Michael Tobis said...

Re Gravity Loss's anonymity:

Google "gravity loss". Feel lucky. Click "about".

Personally, I agree that people should sign their names to things, but some people have jobs to lose or businesses to damage and don't want to enter controversies under their own names.

GL is not such a person.

Michael Tobis said...

Brave Sir Robin ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely turned his tail and fled.
Yes, brave Sir Robin turned about
And gallantly he chickened out.
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, Sir Robin!

He is packing it in and packing it up
And sneaking away and buggering up
And chickening out and pissing off home,
Yes, bravely he is throwing in the sponge..

The Blob said...

Citation to Steve Goddard and then ragequits

"let me summarize one of the “skeptics’” most powerful points: Scientists from all sides of the issue agree there would only be about 1 degree Celsius of global warming – all other things remaining equal – from a full doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. The IPCC computer models predict so much more warming because they assume a little bit of CO2-induced warming will result in higher atmospheric humidity and more cirrus clouds, which will in turn cause much more warming than the CO2 itself."

The models don't assume higher atmospheric humidity - it's something they find. Ie it's an output, not an input. I am sure you could make a model show no change to atmospheric humidity if you violated physics, but can it be done without violating physics?

"In the real world, however, atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds are not behaving as the models predict."

I have no idea about clouds but atmospheric humidity has risen - as predicted by models.

"Moreover, NASA satellite data show far more longwave radiation is escaping into space than the computer models predict. Given a choice between speculative computer models and real-world observations, the “skeptics” choose to assign more credibility to real-world observations.""

Except when those real-world observations show warming. Then they are examples of bad siting and instrumentation bias.

I don't see the models predicting less longwave radiation is escaping into space than is measured:
http://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/allmodel-error-olr-by-lat-compared-all-models.png?w=499&h=433

Tim Lambert said...

Taylor links to a Goddard cherry pick to try to justify his claim. But Goddard showed statistics for winter only and failed to mention what was happening to snow cover in spring and summer. In winter snow cover has not fallen significantly, but that's because increased temperatures, while melting snow, also cause more evaporation and hence more snow to fall.

In spring and summer snow cover has fallen significantly. As a result Taylor's claim that the past decade has set a record for largest average snow extent is 100% false.

Michael Tobis said...

Really... so much for engagement I guess.

It is amazing how thin-skinned people are who are perfectly willing to seriously entertain the point of view that CRU scientists ought to flogged and hung out to dry.

Neven said...

What a shame, you guys chased James away. I was really curious what his free-market solutions would be, supposing AGW is happening and potentially problematic.

Somehow I never get past this stage in the discussion with libertarians ('but AGW isn't real, so there is no use wasting time going over hypothetical scenarios').

So long, James, may your actions not be judged too harshly, in this life or thereafter.

Mal Adapted said...

Steve Bloom:

"So James Taylor appeals to authority. OK, James, I'll see your Lindzen and raise you Kerry Emanuel."

It's possible that James Taylor, as an attorney by profession, feels the argument from authority is persuasive. Maybe that's because matters of law are decided by judges, with the justices of the SCOTUS as the final authority in this country.

Very well, if appeals to the credentials of his marquee denier is his argument, why match one denier with one credible scientist? Why not stack the accumulated credentials represented by the world's scientific societies against his handful of contrarians? The prosecution rests!

James Taylor, Esq., should keep in mind that the jury in this case consists of the ecosystems and economies of the world, deliberating for decades as the effects of AGW unfold. This court will be in session for a long, long time to come.

David B. Benson said...

It rather seems that James Taylor didn't bother to read the link(s) I provided.

I wonder why not?

Steve Reuland said...

Heartland should have video of Dr. Denning's supportive statements about Heartland up on its Web site pretty soon.

And now we see the reason why he was invited.

S said...

I suspect anonymous internet identities would be supported by James Taylor and Heartland if big businesses made money from selling them.

More seriously, I find it quite interesting that these people "don't fear debate", yet they refuse to answer some pretty direct questions. I hope Denning or somebody goes next year and spends their entire talk going over falsehoods, cherry-picks, etc presented at the 2010 conference.

Steve Reuland said...

"Indeed, if temperatures are going to rise 3 degrees Celsius during the 21st century, why did they only rise 0.6 degrees Celsius during the 20th century..."

Um, maybe because the rise isn't linear? If I had to take a crazy guess, I'd say that because GHG concentrations are increasing exponentially, and since there's a lag time involved, then the rate of temperature increase must accelerate over time. Actually, this is a straight-forward prediction based on a rudimentary understanding of the underlying physics.

I'm not a hot-shot Heartland fellow or anything, but this answer occurred to me pretty much instantly. I find it difficult to believe that it didn't occur to you too.

Jim Lakely said...

The conspiracy deepens! Steve Reuland says Heartland invited Dr. Scott Denning because it knew he would find the conference intellectually stimulating and he'd do Heartland the favor of saying kind things about the organization publicly.

That's some imagination you have, Steve. No wonder you believe man is quickly destroying the earth.

Jim Lakely
Assistant Communications Director
The Heartland Institute

Neven said...

Ah, another libertarian from the Heartland Institute. I better be quick.

Dear Jim Lakely,

A hypothesis: Let's say you finally become convinced that AGW is real and is increasingly becoming a problem to the economy and society at large. What would your free-market solutions to this problem be?

gravityloss said...

Reuland, especially funny considering that it was one of Denning's points - that it's physics, not a linear temperature extrapolation that gives us reason to expect warming with CO2.

Michael Tobis said...

Well, see, they agreed to invite Denning and act polite to him. They didn't agree to listen to him.

Jim said...

Jim Lakely, please watch this TED presentation by Jeremy Jackson and then tell me that humans aren't quickly destroying the earth:

How we wrecked the ocean

Hank Roberts said...

'ibbertarians can't read this science and understand it. Head esplodes when they try.
http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=shifting+baselines+ecology

Hank Roberts said...

Lakely:

"... Here we survey three generations of fishers from Mexico's Gulf of California (N=108), where fish populations have declined steeply over the last 60 years, to investigate how far and fast their environmental baselines are shifting. Compared to young fishers, old fishers named five times as many species and four times as many fishing sites as once being abundant/productive but now depleted (Kruskal–Wallis tests, both p<0.001) with no evidence of a slowdown in rates of loss experienced by younger compared to older generations (Kruskall-Wallis test, NS in both cases). Old fishers caught up to 25 times as many Gulf grouper Mycteroperca jordani as young fishers on their best ever fishing day (regression r2=0.62, p<0.001). Despite times of plentiful large fish still being within living memory, few young fishers appreciated that large species had ever been common or nearshore sites productive. Such rapid shifts in perception of what is natural help explain why society is tolerant of the creeping loss of biodiversity. They imply a large educational hurdle in efforts to reset expectations and targets for conservation...."

Now tell us why we need anything besides jellyfish, algae, and cockroaches to share the earth with. After all, those cover all the major food groups.

C'mon. I want to hear the Heartland communications expert explain biodiversity and the rate of loss, in terms you and yours can understand.

Show us you can communicate this:
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/272/1575/1957.full

Try.

gravityloss said...

Hank, that Royal Society link is broken.

Lazar said...

Lindzen says...

"As far as I can tell, scepticism involves doubts about a plausible proposition. I think current global warming alarm does not represent a plausible proposition."

That would be because "global warming alarm" is not a proposition? What a lawyer.

Steve Reuland said...

The conspiracy deepens! Steve Reuland says Heartland invited Dr. Scott Denning because it knew he would find the conference intellectually stimulating and he'd do Heartland the favor of saying kind things about the organization publicly.

Conspiracy? This is a low-grade propaganda technique commonly employed by creationists and crackpots of every stripe. Invite a serious scientist to take the stage alongside the crazy people in an attempt to legitimize your conference.

You give it away when you brag about how Denning's presence means that there's a real "debate" going on, and then make a big deal out his perfunctory gratitude. At normal scientific conferences, a polite thank you from a speaker is not something worth highlighting. But I guess assistant propagandists don't go to many scientific conferences.

Jim said...

Hank's link works for me:

Rapidly shifting environmental baselines among fishers of the Gulf of California

Abstract

Shifting environmental baselines are inter-generational changes in perception of the state of the environment. As one generation replaces another, people's perceptions of what is natural change even to the extent that they no longer believe historical anecdotes of past abundance or size of species. Although widely accepted, this phenomenon has yet to be quantitatively tested. Here we survey three generations of fishers from Mexico's Gulf of California (N=108), where fish populations have declined steeply over the last 60 years, to investigate how far and fast their environmental baselines are shifting. Compared to young fishers, old fishers named five times as many species and four times as many fishing sites as once being abundant/productive but now depleted (Kruskal–Wallis tests, both p<0.001) with no evidence of a slowdown in rates of loss experienced by younger compared to older generations (Kruskall-Wallis test, NS in both cases). Old fishers caught up to 25 times as many Gulf grouper Mycteroperca jordani as young fishers on their best ever fishing day (regression r2=0.62, p<0.001). Despite times of plentiful large fish still being within living memory, few young fishers appreciated that large species had ever been common or nearshore sites productive. Such rapid shifts in perception of what is natural help explain why society is tolerant of the creeping loss of biodiversity. They imply a large educational hurdle in efforts to reset expectations and targets for conservation.

gravityloss said...

Thanks Jim, the pasted address was partly cut off for me.

ourchangingclimate said...

Excellent talk by Denning indeed, esp for the Heartland type audience. E.g he reframed the debate in terms that should really resonate with self professed anti-alarmist market fundamentalists:

- The science is about common sense and basic physics

- Who is being ‘alarmist’?

- Being so ‘alarmist’ about the consequences of mitigation efforts is antithetical to having faith in the ‘magic of markets’, entrepeneurship and the power of innovation.

I commented on his talk here:

http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/05/21/scott-denning-to-iccc-heartland-%e2%80%98conference%e2%80%99-gathering-%e2%80%9cbe-skeptical%e2%80%a6-be-very-skeptical%e2%80%9d/

Bart

krabapple said...

I wasn't lying, Mr. Taylor.

I wrote:
"My question then is, are conferences sponsored by an ideological *policy* think-tank, funded mainly by conservative donors/foundations, as well as tobacco and energy corporations, and espousing this mission statement : "to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems"

Perhaps your confusion is grammatical.
The part that begins with the word 'funding' all refers to the Heartland Institute. Tot he best of my knoweldge, everything I wrote about Heartland there, is true, to wit:

HI
- is an ideological, policy-focused think-tank
- is funded mainly by conservative donors/foundations, as well as tobacco and energy corporations
- espouses this mission statement : "to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems"

Do you dispute that?

-Steven Sullivan

krabapple said...

Mr. Taylor objects:

"Krabapple and New York claim journals are a better place to debate the science. Journals are important outlets for discussion and debate, but so are public conferences."

Actually I claimed scientific journals AND CONFERENCES are a better place. Scientific conferences I've been to tended to invite the press. Indeed, they'd be thrilled if there was more press coverage. The 'public' can often attend too, for a fee (the scientists attending have to pay a fee too, except for the few invitees).

Was the Heartland conference different in this regard?

Ed Darrell said...

Has anyone checked? Is this guy still alive and in his office doing science?

Not to be all Anthony Watts about it or anything . . .