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Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience

The warm start to Australian spring has been accompanied by a deluge of pseudoscience. Anti-vaccination campaigners and aliens made appearances, but the deluge was primarily climate pseudoscience in the…

Dead science lives on, thanks to the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change. Scott Beale

The warm start to Australian spring has been accompanied by a deluge of pseudoscience. Anti-vaccination campaigners and aliens made appearances, but the deluge was primarily climate pseudoscience in the Murdoch Press and talk radio.

The deluge included interviews with, and an op-ed by, retired scientist Bob Carter, a lead author of the Non-governmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) reports.

What is the NIPCC? Is it just like the IPCC, but with an “N”?

Well, no. The NIPCC is a group of climate change “sceptics”, bankrolled by the libertarian Heartland Institute to promote doubt about climate change. This suits the Heartland Institute’s backers, including fossil fuel companies and those ideologically opposed to government regulation.

The NIPCC promotes doubt via thousand-page reports, the latest of which landed with a dull thud last week. These tomes try to mimic the scientific reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), right down to the acronym. However, unlike the IPCC, the NIPCC reports are works of partisan pseudoscience.

Consensus and adversaries

We know 97% of climate scientists have concluded, based on the evidence, that anthropogenic climate change is real. Contrary to recent claims in the media, there is remarkably good agreement between models of climate change and the temperature data.

There has been 0.12 degrees of warming per decade over the past 50 years, which is very similar to the expected warming of 0.13 degrees per decade.

The comparison between global temperatures (red) and models (grey) is actually very good, contrary to some claims in the media. http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/best-case-scenario/

How does the NIPCC spread doubt, given the temperature record and consensus of professional scientists? The answer is manufactured partisanship.

The IPCC (no N) produces a comprehensive and critical overview of climate change science for governments. It is written by hundreds of scientists, anyone can volunteer to review drafts, and those comments appear online.

IPCC reports openly discuss the strengths, weaknesses, criticisms and uncertainties of the science. The reports provide policy makers with a range of plausible outcomes given rising atmospheric CO2.

Heartland’s NIPCC partially mimics the IPCC, but with key differences. It is written and reviewed by dozens of people, almost exclusively drawn from the “sceptic” community, and is consequently highly partisan.

Indeed, the NIPCC advocates an adversarial approach to assessing climate science, with partisan “teams” arguing for different positions.

This call for an adversarial debate has also been repeated in recent op-eds by Bob Carter, Judith Curry and Gary Johns.

The call for adversarial debate is a variant of the debate ploy, a common pseudoscience tactic. At first glance having two teams present competing positions seems entirely reasonable, but this approach only works if the intended audience can effectively assess the arguments presented.

Can a general audience or policy makers distinguish truth from fiction when it comes to technical aspects of climate science?

Will a general audience know when someone is deliberately confusing transient climate response (TCR) with equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS)? Will they know that TCR and ECS differ by roughly a factor of two? Perhaps not.

Will they triangulate the truth, assuming technical arguments they don’t understand have equal merit? Quite possibly.

Did you get my point about aether and gravitational fields? Adversarial debate is not the most effective means of understanding science. Einstein by F Schmutzer

This is the fundamental problem with trying to resolve scientific questions via an adversarial approach, and this problem isn’t new. Back in 1920, a large audience was unable to assess competing claims about the general relativity when Albert Einstein debated Phillip Lenard. That debate generated column inches and acrimony, but did nothing to advance science.

In this context, the IPCC’s comprehensive approach to evaluating climate science makes sense, with experts providing an overview of the science for policy markers. It also explains why the minority wishing to delay action are promoting an adversarial approach.

Zombie science

Does the NIPCC fairly and robustly assess the science? No. It is all too easy to find “debunked” papers getting a second life in latest NIPCC report.

Sea levels around Australia have risen by roughly 100mm during the past century, but Boretti (2012) claimed sea levels rose by only 50mm over that period. However, John Hunter and I found that Boretti’s own flawed analysis gives an answer of 78mm. While Boretti himself grudgingly accepts that 50mm is wrong, this erroneous value is reported as fact by the NIPCC.

IPCC AR4 concluded that CO2 is the cause of increased global temperatures, with natural variability not playing a major role. It was thus surprising when McLean et al. (2009) concluded that global temperatures were varying largely in response to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation.

However, McLean’s analysis effectively subtracted out the long-term trend caused by CO2, so they only measured the (natural) causes of short-term variability.

Foster et al. (2010) thoroughly debunked McLean et al., and McLean perhaps debunked himself by predicting 2011 would be the coolest year since 1956. That year was anything but cool. However, the McLean et al. conclusions are reported as fact in the latest NIPCC report, with no mention of the Foster et al. commentary.

Dead science lives in the NIPCC reports: Boretti and McLean are just the tip of the iceberg. Houston & Dean (2011), Scafetta & West (2005) and others also appear, all without mention that these papers were followed by highly critical commentaries.

It is this deliberately partisan, selective, and uncritical approach to evidence that marks the NIPCC report as a work of pseudoscience.

Bob Carter’s op-ed for the Daily Telegraph was titled “Report gives the truth about climate at last”, but I prefer a different description of NIPCC reports – one that may not be fit for publication.

Join the conversation

249 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

    1. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Bob Beale

      "Scientific certainty"

      I'm almost fairly certain that phrase is an oxymoron. Science is an ever questing search for the truth.

      (Argument from authority are quintessential anti-scientific; for instance the Church's stance on evolution).

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    2. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "Argument from authority is the basis of our modern society"

      And yet evidence and reproducibility is the basis for science, not authority.

      An example of (Fallacious Appeal to Authority) would be relying on the authority of the IPCC, when significant numbers of its predicts had proven to be incorrect overtime.

      Fortunately the latest IPCC report goes some way to correcting previous mistakes.

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    3. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Quite so.

      My point is that those IPCC results differ significantly from those presented previously..

      This would indicate the science has changed as the evidence has unfolded in a manner differing from that originally predicted (this doesn't disprove human driven climate change only signifies that the more alarmist predictions were inaccurate).

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    4. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Bob Beale

      My understanding is that the draft report has been released for review (certainly there have been plenty of articles and news segments making reference to its contents).

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    5. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/10325562/Row-over-IPCC-report-as-nations-try-to-hide-lack-of-climate-change.html

      The draft says that a reduction in warming for 1998 to 2012 compared to 1951 to 2012 is “due in roughly equal measure” to natural variations in the climate and factors such as “volcanic eruptions and the downward phase of the current solar cycle.”
      But the documents, according to AP, show Germany called for the reference to the slowdown to be deleted while the US urged scientists to include as its “leading hypothesis” that the reduction in warming is linked to more heat being transferred to the deep ocean. Both countries’ governments have policies which state their belief in man-made climate change.
      Belgium meanwhile objected to using 1998 as a starting year for any statistics because it claimed it was a particularly warm year.

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    6. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      Shame there's nothing actually true in what you're saying there David, otherwise you'd at least have the beginnings of an argument.

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      David they simply don't 'differ significantly' - each one refines and improves on the previous, but the changes are quite small and mainly in fact add increased certainty.

      I don't suppose you'd like to actually ante up and offer us an example of an 'alarmist prediction' that has been proven to be inaccurate?

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    8. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Michael, how comprehensive is your identification of Denialist forces? It's just that from this article, they seem way, way infinitesimal, compared to what we have been led to believe.

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    9. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      50 million climate refugees by 2010.

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    10. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      The only pseudoscience I see is the claim that the models are "accurate" when all but the latest few years are hind-cast and those latest few years are wrong - evidence the pause. What the author is saying that they have successfully managed to curve-fit some data . People are waking up to who the zombies are as support for the global warming scam is waning across the globe.

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    11. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Hmmm... that's a good question.

      An alarmist position would be that the implementation of a Carbon Tax would completely decimate the Australian economy rather than saddle it with marginally more burden than previously.

      This did not occur (although there were generous subsidies for all kinds of carbon intensive businesses from the previous Government).

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    12. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Another sceptic from the hard science of engineering...

      Might have to update that wiki list to 1001.

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    13. John Newton

      Author Journalist

      In reply to Bob Beale

      A move I advocate for The Conversation. If any denialist or sceptical scientist has anything of real substance to say, there should be no problem with getting published here.

      But the columns full of twaddle do nothing to advance science, and everything ti advance the obfuscation methods of the denialist industry

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    14. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neuil, if you ever decide to enter the real world and endeavour to understand how the whole system works, begin by reading Paul N. Edwards's complex, difficult but very impressive 'a Vast Machine'. if you are able understand it, you will realise that the crap you spout about models is simply that: pure, unadulterated crap.

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    15. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to John Newton

      Agreed, John.

      Is the advancement of science at issue here, against the obfuscations of something called the denialist industry, or is it, even remotely conceivably, about actually doing something practical climate change and its effects out here in the real world?

      Thirty years ago it was the same thing as today. I have little doubt that in another 30-50 years it will still be no different.

      The progress we have made over the past 30 came about through practical implementation, not through ever refined data acquisition techniques up in the stratosphere somewhere, or in the oceans somewhere else, or in media columns full of twaddle, but out here on the ground.

      My view is that will always be the case. "Scientists" bickering endlessly with "non-scientists" are as much an impediment to getting any real ameliorative work done as any of them.

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    16. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      You might also enjoy Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 'The Black Swan' and 'Antifragile' among others.

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    17. Bob Beale

      Journalist

      In reply to David Elson

      So David, the report is now public. For you that's a big whoopsy.

      Reviewing your activities on this page in their entirety I conclude, as per my initial comment way back up at the top of this pile, that you are a cynic, not a skeptic.

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    18. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Argument from evidence by the IPCC?
      WRONG!!
      Where is the evidence to support the claim that the IPCC is 95% sure that man is the man cause of climate change?
      The 95% figure was not calculated from any science base using any known statistical methodology.
      It was simply a guess by interested parties promoting themselves.
      Ask yourself why they need to promote themselves.
      One possible answer, they know their arguments are weak and increasingly under challenge.
      What a sham!
      We do not even know…

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    19. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to David Elson

      David,
      One of the critical graphs is this one:
      http://www.geoffstuff.com/ipcc-ar5draft-fig-1-4%5b1%5d.gif
      This is from Steve McIntyre, who adds this caption:
      "Figure 2. IPCC AR5 Second Draft Figure 1.4 with annotations: red squares are 2012 and 2013 (to date) HadCRUT4. The orange wedge illustrates combined AR4 A1B-A1T projections. The yellow arrows show verified confidence intervals in 2005, 2010 and 2015 digitized from the original AR4 diagram (Figure 10.26) for A1B. Observed values have been…

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    20. Daniel Boon

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to David Elson

      'beware the hand you hold, doesn't hold you down'

      The fossil fuel industry is very much a behind-the-scenes player; funding politicians to write policy and also funding organisations purporting to be 'anti-government' ...

      its a 'knee in the nuts or a kick in the nuts' choice ...

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    21. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to David Elson

      "the more alarmist predictions were inaccurate"

      Since when is 2100 in the past? Or do you think the most "alarmist" predictions are now in the past?

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    22. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      "those latest few years are wrong - evidence the pause"

      A statistically insignificant variation is not "wrong". Models don't predict statistically insignificant variations.

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    23. Michael Petterson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      And your source for this statement is … where? I am shocked that you attack him for activities not related to his talk about the NIPCC report.But I will post this part below to show you what a special man he is and the work he did for science and Education that spans 60+ years)

      All this is from Wikipedia:

      1950: United States Navy

      After his masters, Singer joined the Armed Forces, working for the United States Navy on mine warfare and countermeasures from 1944 until 1946. While with…

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    24. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Careers don't count for much Ms Alice ... nor do positions held... it's what you do when you get there that counts not what is on the door... some footprints in history, a list of contributions to human welfare, environmental understanding and perception would be beaut. But just doing a good interview and having some well-placed referees really doesn't cut the mustard does it... or on that basis the greatest Orstrayans would be Clive, Rupert and Gina ... they think so anyway.

      So Michael Petterson, if you know anything about what this bloke actually did while sitting behind that desk being a shiney-arsed handsomely paid bureaucrat I for one would be far more impressed both with him and with yerself.

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    25. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Michael Petterson

      Your copy-and-paste buffer must have overflowed Michael. Here is some from from Wikipedia that you lost:

      "Singer trained as an atmospheric physicist and is known for .. his questioning of the link between UV-B and melanoma rates, and that between CFCs and stratospheric ozone loss,[2] his public denial of the health risks of passive smoking"

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    26. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      OMG, I've just been doing some real research on a poster here. I prefer watching weather, paint drying anything. There's quite an interesting conversation to be had about this zombie phenomenon. The history of horror movies tends to reflect the human psyche at any particular time. Thus zombie movies, walking dead banks, zombie science. I grew up feasting on japanese godzilla movies. You'd think an anthropological study would be interesting, y'no, as a study of the young, and horror. As for these zombie scientists all caught up as the enemy of mothra, zap. Fire needed, thanks.

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  1. Michael J. I. Brown

    ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

    A common pseudo-science tactic is to fit polynomials to data and make claims based on fits. For example, a claim by Boretti (based on such a fit) and repeated by the NIPCC is that sea level rise is decelerating, but Hunter & Brown show this claim is statistically meaningless.

    There is a simple exercise you can do to show this, even if you are unfamiliar with statistics.

    Boretti's polynomial to the 1992-2011 satellite data gave
    y = -0.058185 x^2 + 236.17 x - 239570

    Repeat the polynomial…

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    1. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      "A common pseudo-science tactic is to fit polynomials to data and make claims based on fits. "
      Michael, data mining and just-so curve fitting pervade any quantitative research area. It is one area I think the universities should devote more time to in undergraduate instruction.

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    2. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      A subtlety I absolutely should have mentioned is it is poor form using empirical polynomial fits when better physically motivated and constrained approaches are available. Polynomial fits can be poor approximations of data and extrapolations of them can be invalid.

      I agree universities do need to improve the teaching of curve fitting. Too often curve fitting is done without considering the scatter and correlations within the data. Uncertainties are often ignored too (this issue extends beyond science), and Boretti's papers are good examples of this problem.

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    3. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Michael, I did double Honours, and in both years deliberately took "methodology of modelling" seminars. One in Econometrics focused on replication of published studies. We were stunned to learn just how many papers are published whose results were not replicable, and how many of the one's that were replicable, revealed dodgy and biased curve-fitting polynomial equations. I am surprised this should also happen in Physics, where at least the Math has a very real rock-solid, invariant physical base…

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    4. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      Replication is crucial, and it is always good to have multiple groups reaching similar results and conclusions. It is one reason one should treat selective overviews of the literature with a great deal of caution.

      In a minority of papers I see examples where inappropriate functional forms have been used (including overfitting) and uncertainties haven't been properly applied (or at least considered). An interesting example is discussed (oddly enough) at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/23/congenital-cyclomania-redux/

      Nate Silver's "Signal and the Noise" is a good introduction to fitting, overfitting and uncertainties.

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  2. David Elson

    logged in via Facebook

    The following is an interesting counter point to the above:

    "Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct)"

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

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    1. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sheryl Gwyther

      "Half the authors of a controversial Wall Street Journal opinion piece denying the Earth's warming trend have ties to the oil and gas industry"

      That would hardly invalidate their arguments if they had research and evidence to support their positions (regardless of whether that research had been paid for by "big oil").

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    2. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      I've seen this asserted many times by many people that the numbers of sceptical scientists are either growing or declining.

      Has there been any recent research on this?

      All I can find on the subject is the following:

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

      http://www.climatedepot.com/2010/12/08/special-report-more-than-1000-international-scientists-dissent-over-manmade-global-warming-claims-challenge-un-ipcc-gore-2/

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    3. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      "I've seen this asserted many times by many people that the numbers of sceptical scientists are either growing or declining...."

      I've seen it asserted many times as well - always by deniers. And the very fact that you linked to a denier website as 'evidence' is pretty telling, don't you think?

      Has there been recent research? Why would there be? The issue is not whether or not a scientist thinks something, its whether or not they have evidence for their view, and whether or not anything they write in regard to the subject stands up to scrutiny.

      And we all know the answer to that one, don't we?

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    4. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      No, David, that's not 'an interesting counter point', not least because it in no way actually relates to Michael's post - you see a 'counter point' has to actually have something to do with the original point, not merely be 'something different' - if that were true the word 'artichoke' woul dprovide a perfectly good counter-point to your post. Once again, please learn the meaning of terms if you're going to use them.

      What it is merely repeating some gossip from a blog site.

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    5. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Well the original point is that the science is unchanged and that there is growing pseudoscience in opposition to the science.

      The counter point (that I linked to an article expressing an opinion of) is that there is actual scientific debate around this and due to growing evidence to suggest that the science itself is beginning to shift as evidenced by the number of scientists beginning to support he alternative view.

      I am not in a position to be able to comment on either the article above or the one I linked to http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

      I merely thought it was interesting.

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    6. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "I've seen it asserted many times as well"

      Well then it would be interesting to see some actual research.

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      You really don't get this logic thing, do you?

      Michael's post was about fitting polynomials to data. A counter point would have had to have something to do with that issue.

      You merely offered an unrelated (and unsubstantiated) quote from the Wall Street Journal about some scientists disagreeing. that is not a counter point, merely some stuff you tossed in.

      And I'll take my scientific advice from scientists, thanks, not the Wall Street Journal which has repeatedly been shown to have misrepresented evidence and poublished unsubstantiated nonsense.

      but, in the spirit of your 'counter point', here's one of equal usefulness, relevance and authority: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zig_and_Zag_(Australian_performers)

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    8. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Elson

      David, the wall street journal is owned by R.M. And is not a credible source of information if anyone wants to learn anything at all about climate change
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/feb/01/wall-street-journal-climate-change
      If you don't believe me, google wall street journal wrong.
      The point some are trying to explain to you is that anyone can call themselves scientists, and the WSJ publishes a very high proportion of scientists who are not credible climate scientists and who are not climate scientist at all.

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    9. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Elson

      Well this statement has to be false, because many of the best, at the top of their field, are employed by the IPCC to submit research for IPCC reports. The latest according to leaks states that on the question of mankind being implicated as the cause of climate change, the bar has now reached "virtually certain" , which translates as 99% certainty. I would think that this is more reliable than wikipedia, newspapers , and blogs. Another way of looking at it is that if 1% disagree, then their opinions are in fact "exceptionally unlikely". Which position do you take, by the way 99% accept, or 1% disagree?, either way there are many who wish to listen to this 99% consensus position, and would prefer not to be have to argue with believers of the 1%. It becomes boring.

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    10. David Rennie

      IT Contractor

      In reply to David Elson

      But
      David there has been lots of actual research and it all shows that the climate scientists accept the evidence that AGW is reality.

      Your request for more actual research is just a case of someone asking
      well I lost one, lets make it two out of three;
      Oh I lost two, lets make it three out of five
      Oh I lost three, lets make it four out of seven
      and so on ad infinitum.
      There is plenty of actual research showing that climate scientists accept that AGW is occurring and the percentage that accept the evidence is not decreasing.
      You just won't accept the evidence!!!

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    11. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Polynomials were just part of the article mentioned in support of the article's overall argument that there's growing pseudoscience in opposition to the science (and expanded upon in one of the comments above).

      Thus a genuine counter point to this article would be demonstrate that genuine scientist (presumably using valid science) are also genuinely sceptic of either AGW or some of it's more inane predictions.

      Logic.. it would benefit you to learn some.

      Of course getting one's science from the WSJ would hardly be any less valid than getting it from this Conversation blog.

      http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

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    12. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      It's pointless, isn't it, Dabvid? You'll just keep changing the argument to suit yourself and never provide any actual evidence.

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    13. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      Then your understanding is completely wrong David.

      If you are going to publish abusive lies like this, man up with some solid evidence.

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    14. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to David Elson

      Actually this statement is factually wrong. The scientific statement had two sentences on either side of the sentence, which described the fact that it would take centuries. The social science part of the IPCC picked it up and mashed the original statement. This is the section which mis-reported it , and that you are still discussing. They are trying to do a better job of editing in the next, and overall the conclusions are the same.

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    15. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      I think I can help David out
      http://opr.ca.gov/s_listoforganizations.php
      http://climate.nasa.gov/blog/938
      This last one has an interesting discussion about the so called long list of scientists who are not in favour of climate change and AGW., but you need to click read more at the bottom of "The Oregon Petition: Manufacturing doubt." All started from a farm shed. This list has not been submitted for peer review. As wunderground states, the most prominent scientists like Dr. Frederick Seitz, "they…

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    16. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Ah Ms Alice ... that wellspring of human creativity and insight the farm shed. Who needs Centres of Excellence and Institutes chock full of white coats and gadgetry when all human progress and knowledge has its roots in the tinkerings of the shed?

      We emeritus fellas of the Woolibuddha Men's Shed will have no truck with ARC grants and suckling at the public teat of legitimacy. We scrounge our gadgets from the tip and use what's left of our diminished wits to second guess the experts and so called scientists.

      So Chris Pyne shut down these castles of conspiracy, starve them of funds, censor their press releases... and subsidise sheds ... the way forward if looking back is any guide. As it always is.

      You know it makes sense.

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    17. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Well in some sheds, like mine, some of my best is done "thinker like', while sitting on the electric composting loo. I wouldn't know about the "Oregon Petition", postal address at some big barn somewhere in farming middle america, big hats all standin around an
      findin some of them science folks for "their side", an all. But no, mine is in a corner, between the honey extractor and washing machine. A humble laundry shed which honours honest truth. Not like them fellas an their big monster of a barn secreting away at all the lies known to man, they kin git.

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    18. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to David Elson

      "Turns out that the science to support this wasn't sound"

      No that's not what the statement says at all. It says:

      "In drafting the paragraph in question, the clear and well-established standards of evidence, required by the IPCC procedures, were not applied properly."

      It had nothing to do with "the science". The problem was failure to properly apply standards of evidence in drafting the paragraph. There was nothing wrong with the science it came from which had the correct figure.

      But we can rely on you to dishonestly misrepresent that. It's what we expect from a dishonest person like you.

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  3. Tandra Lenley

    Engineer

    I can see little in this article but ad hominem attacks on those you don't agree with. You claim the other side is partisan, but are happy to overlook your own partisan bias.

    The statement that 97% of scientists agree with AGW is a lie. The actual number is 33% http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/05/17/to-john-cook-it-isnt-hate-its-pity-pity-for-having-such-a-weak-argument-you-are-forced-to-fabricate-in-epic-proportions/

    So you have proven to be every bit as biased as your opponents. You bring no credit to your argument or your side of the debate, in fact quite the opposite.

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    1. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jacob Bennett

      Willard Anthony Watts (born 1958)[1] is an American meteorologist[2][3] (AMS seal holder, certification retired by AMS),[4][5] president of IntelliWeather Inc.,[6] editor of the blog, Watts Up With That?,[7] and founder of the Surface Stations Project, a volunteer initiative to document the siting quality of weather stations across the United States.[8]

      Watts has expressed a skeptical view of anthropogenic CO2-driven global warming, believing the Sun, not man, is the driver of climatic change.[28][29] He has said that in 1990 he had "been fully engaged in the belief that CO2 was indeed the root cause of the global warming problem," but that he later changed his thinking after learning more about the science and "found it to be lacking."[

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Watts_(blogger)#cite_note-1

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    2. In reply to David Elson

      Comment removed by moderator.

    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Tandra Lenley

      Tandra, if you're going to accuse someone of lying, you better back that up with some actual evidence, otherwise it rebounds on you.

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    4. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to David Elson

      And here is Sou from Bundangawoolarangeera's daily rebuttal of WUWT.

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/

      Very entertaining and unlike WUWT, you get to learn some science.

      PS I googled it just now but have no special knowledge or familiarity with it ;-)

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    5. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      It would appear that the moderators don't like me calling Anthony Watts a liar.

      But I am not sure what else I can call someone who says categorically that he would accept the findings of the BEST project even if it went against him, and as soon as it did find against him he repudiated that position and rejected the work out of hand.

      Watts has zero credibility. His regular 'authors' have no climate science qualifications (they include massage therapists and a well known British peer who also lies repeatedly about his qualifications), and the 'articles' published on his site often contradict each other.

      Whenever anyone links to WUWT as supposed support for their position on climate change, they automatically forfeit any credibility.

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    6. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      Wow David.

      I see you have moved on from WUWT to Forbes and American Thinker now, quoting an article published in a petroleum industry journal which had surveyed engineers working in the petroleum industry. I particularly love the first "reference" in that paper - a quote from James Inhofe.

      You truly don't understand what the word 'evidence' or 'science' means do you?

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    7. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to David Elson

      David.

      Continually linking to opinion pieces in the conservative USA press is not doing what you think it is doing. We already know that there is a sustained campaign against the science from fossil fuel interests. You just continue to confirm it.

      There is not a significant scientific academy on the globe that supports the views of the climate cranks.

      If there was, the cranks would be trumpeting it to the roof tops. There is not and no amount of linking to right wing ideologues will change that.

      http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus

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    8. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Bentley

      Pls demonstrate that they are only employed within the oil producing region of Albert Canada

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    9. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      I'm curious as to explanations as to why the warming effect has not kept pace with original predictions, that revisions of these predictions have not been more greatly emphases and why increasingly scores of scientists are sceptical are emerging from within the hard sciences.

      Personally I believe and accept the underlying assumptions that man's actions (and emissions) effect the climate, and not always for the better.

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    10. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sherry Mayo

      There are now quite a few geologists that are critical of the data and the time-frames used to justify (or exaggerate) the effect of AGW.

      Personally I think sceptics/deniers are wrong to dismiss AGW entirely, as the green house effect is easily scientifically demonstrated. - http://climate.nasa.gov/causes

      But politicising the science won't result in the optimal policy outcomes.

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    11. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Sherry Mayo

      Muller was the last person who deserved the title 'skeptic'; everyone since then is simply a denier.

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    12. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Felix MacNeill

      Well there's significant benefits to multiple parties in terms of increased gov regulation, compliance, trading schemes, and renewable alternative energy providers who wouldn't otherwise get a look see.

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    13. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      (just as there are those that benefit from the status quo)

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    14. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      "....I'm curious as to explanations as to why the warming effect has not kept pace with original predictions...."

      No scientist says that the warming effect has not kept pace. And if you are truly curious David, how about you read some science instead of WUWT, Forbes and Amerian Thinker?

      You know - live up to your claim about how you understand science and evidence.

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    15. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      The latest IPCC report states this, as outlined above by another commentator.

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    16. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Elson

      No it doesn't David.

      Firstly, the IPCC report has not even been released yet, so if anyone says that the report says this or then, then they are lying. They do not know for a fact what is in the report.

      Secondly, the supposed slow down that you are referring to is only the trend in surface temparatures. That is not nor has it ever been the total picture for global temperatures, and does not include the largest components of the climate system. In fact, if you analyse the full trend in the global energy budget you will find it not only has not slowed - it has accelerated.

      But then, as I said, ir you read science instead of blog and right wing opinion pieces you would already know that.

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    17. Sue Ieraci

      Public hospital clinician

      In reply to David Elson

      ''I guess it is unsurprising that hard headed engineers, physicists etc.. are unswayed by the theories of AGW.'' says David Elson.

      Why would we rely on engineers or physicists' opinions on an area outside their expertise?

      In my field, there is internal disagreement about the safety and efficacy of the use of thrombolytics (clot-busting drugs) in stroke. To resolve this, should we check what the engineers and physicists think - hard-headed or not?

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    18. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      Yup, that would be pretty much enough to ensure no competent scientist would dare to do anything as silly as win the next Nobel Prize and become more famous than Albert Einstein by actually producing some even vaguely substantial evidence against the fundamental principles of anthropogenic global warming...i'm sure than would frighten all the mining magnates or all those with vast fortunes invested in coal, oil, etc. from funding any contrary action...no wonder the pesky alarmists have managed to take over all the world's science academies and frighten even most of the worlds' governments...

      Meanwhile, back in the real world...

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    19. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      "It would appear that the moderators don't like me calling Anthony Watts a liar."

      It's a bit strange really because he hasn't even been commenting here. MPs aren't allowed to call each other liars in parliament and The Conversation wants to apply that standard here. As with parliament, it doesn't matter if you have proof that someone is a liar. It is a truth that cannot be stated. Ironically, when someone tells a lie, others are not allowed to tell the truth about who said it.

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    20. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to David Elson

      "I'm curious as to explanations as to why the warming effect has not kept pace with original predictions"

      There is no statistically significant difference between observed warming and the rate of warming over the past 40 years.

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    21. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Thanks for that link Neil - that's hilarious!

      What is even funnier is how you - and the deniers at that blog - claim that the Met Office said that the trend is not significant, when the actual quote - which is even on the blog - says that it is.

      It takes a special sort of denier to lie like that. Were you born that way, or does it take training?

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    22. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Don't believe everything you read at Bishop Hill. Just put the 1850 starting date into this calculator:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

      and let us know how many standard deviations of global warming you come up with.

      By the way, please spare us the ad homs.

      Also by the way, I'm glad you do not deny that there is no statistically significant difference between recently observed warming and the rate of warming over the past 40 years. You'd prove yourself a mathematical ignoramus if you did.

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    23. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      "....Don't believe everything you read at Bishop Hill...."

      Close Chris. What you should have said was:

      Don't believe anything you read at Bishop Hill....."

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    24. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike,
      Yet another profoundly closed mind, unscientific comment from you.
      Don't judge books by the cover. There are many references at Bishop Hill that are simply reports of data of interest with a minimum of editorial. There is good information if you limit your search to the data, if the editorial worries you.

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    25. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      "....Yet another profoundly closed mind, unscientific comment from you..''

      Oh, the irony Geoffrey!

      And if I want information, I will read science papers thanks. I already know how to search Web of Science.

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    1. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      And yet this would in no way invalidate Bob Carter's analysis if he were to publish scientifically valid findings.

      (Not saying that he has, just pointing out the fallacy of attacking the man and not his science, after all David Suzuki is funded by big Salmon)

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    2. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      That's true, but David Suzuki does regularly pontificate on matters pertaining to climate science.

      That age article linked to regarding Bob Carter, does not address his arguments (sceptical or otherwise) and merely smears him as being paid climate "denier".

      References to Bob Carter's work on the subject can be found here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Carter#Selected_publications):

      Selected publications

      Carter, Robert M. (1998). "Two models: global sea-level change and sequence…

      Read more
    3. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to David Elson

      The most relevant paper i.e. the one that addresses climate science as opposed to opinion is

      "McLean, J. D.; de Freitas, C. R.; Carter, R. M. (2009). "Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature". Journal of Geophysical Research "

      Here is the comment that pointed out that paper was absurd.
      http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/FosteretalCommentJGR10.pdf

      Nevertheless, lead author McLean put his money where his mouth is with the prediction
      "It is likely that 2011 will be the coolest year since 1956, or even earlier, says the lead author of a peer-reviewed paper published in 2009"
      http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=7349

      That went well.
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/mclean-exaggerating-natural-cycles.html

      These days almost any post at WUWT equals McLean for outright nuttiness but at the time McLean was a clear leader in those stakes.

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    4. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      David, if you're 'not saying that he has' then what, in the name of everything holy is the bloody point of quoting him?

      Why don't you quote the opinion of the milkman or the last cabbie you spoke to, if you're not concerned with whether or not someone has published scientifically valid findings?

      That must rate as the most breathtaking piece of foot shooting I've seen in years!

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    5. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Wasn't Tim Flannery getting $15,000 per month from the taxpayer?

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    6. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "merely smears him as being paid climate "denier"."

      It is not a smear. It is true. He admitted it.

      "Professor Carter did not deny he was being paid by The Heartland Institute, but would not confirm the amount, or if the think tank expected anything in return for its money"
      http://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/scientist-denies-he-is-mouthpiece-of-us-climatesceptic-think-tank-20120215-1t6yi.html

      Although in NZ in a sworn affidavit he was not as forthcoming.

      "I, Robert Merlin Carter, of Townsville in Queensland, Australia, research professor, make oath and say:

      2. […] I receive no research funding from special interest organisations such as environmental groups, energy companies or government departments."

      http://sciblogs.co.nz/hot-topic/2012/03/01/the-carter-controversy/

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    7. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike, right, but $15,000 per month is nearly ten times what the Heartlander has to play with. See where I'm going with this?

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    8. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "To disseminate the science. Science teachers get paid as well."
      Indeed. But no article on TC about that. Instead endless shrieking about one dude on pin money.

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    9. David Rennie

      IT Contractor

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Wasn't 2011 , one of the 10 hottest years on record, and the HOTTEST La Nina year on record.

      McLean simply left out the qualifier "in the absence of global warming 2011 would have been the coolest year since 1956"

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    10. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to David Elson

      Yeah, by .01 degree per decade, 1 degree every thousand years. Go back to your first year high school science text book and look up "scientific method" Does the expression "big deal" occur in your dictionary?.

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    11. David Elson

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Indeed that is a big deal.

      Every degree over is leading the earth closer to catastrophe, that can only be avoid if we all forsake fossil fuels....

      Does your dictionary contain the word "alarmism"?:

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    12. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to David Elson

      You see, David, that's why you are completely unable to understand any of this; you can't tell the difference between a meaningful error and a tiny variation in a complex calculation. the fact that the earlier predictions were, in fact, so close to what transpired is ringing endorsement of their accuracy but you retreat into an absurd pedantry and describe it as being 'wrong'.

      What if a financial adviser recommended that you buy a certain stock because it would double in value over the next five years. So you bought a thousand dollars worth. In practice it only rose 95%, rather than 100% over the five years. You made $950 profit but not the $1,000 'promised'. Was that a wrong investment? Was the advisor discredited?

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    13. Philip Dowling

      IT teacher

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      Yes, indeed. There was also the matter of conflict of interest in his shareholding of a publicly listed company, that I was forced to subsidise through my taxes.

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    14. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike,
      Heartland have disclosed financials from long ago. The influence of tobacco is close to zero. There is little value in repeating busted myths. They are non-by definition, anti-climate science when they publish a lengthy report on climate science, as they have done. Their authors include some very distinguished climate and other scientists.
      So, what's your beef? Is it merely that you disagree with their science, or does your ideology enter your comments?

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    15. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike,
      Should Michael, in the interests of balance, also link to an article debunking Suzuki?
      Did you squirm with embarrassment at Suzuki on ABC Q&I? You would not have been alone.

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    1. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Chris McGrath

      Chris, the only time I EVER read anything deniers say, is on forums like TC. Free publicity. Go figure.

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    2. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Chris McGrath

      Sorry, Chris, "zombie analogy"?

      I thought a lecturer was a teacher, and this is the way you regard other people?

      Or is it only people who are not in your class, and then some?

      Why don't you just teach, lecture, explain, argue, present evidence, invite debate, and refrain from the labeling and abuse?

      Such cynical misconduct by academic staff I find unacceptable.

      I shudder at the idea of being taught or worse assessed by you. I would certainly avoid your classes, and post warnings to other students on what to expect at your hands.

      Which is precisely the topic of a current and closely related thread here on the state of our universities.

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    3. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Chris McGrath

      Yes, my apology, just looked you up.

      An environmental lawyer.

      Mate, all you're doing is upping the ante.

      That's the crud game you want to play, so be it.

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  4. Sheryl Gwyther

    logged in via Facebook

    Don't forget that half of the so-called scientific bods who penned a 2012 Wall St Journal article against man-made climate change have links to oil and gas industries, or climate skeptic groups. Some of the others could've been misquoted - it's happened before.
    But check out the Australian involved - Journal co-author William Kininmonth, "former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology" – he similarly fails to mention his affiliation as science advisor for two climate-skeptic groups: The Australian Climate Science Coalition and the Science & Public Policy Institute.
    http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2012/02/industry-influence

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    1. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Sheryl Gwyther

      "or climate skeptic groups"
      Well given the WSJ "scientific bods" ARE climate skeptics, is this really all that shocking?

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  5. Rene Oldenburger

    Haven't got one

    I still like to know what percentage of the 97% of scientists purely and solely lay the blame on human activity only is current cycle of global warming

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    1. David Bentley

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      This is an oft mis quoted number. It isn't 97% of scientists, but 97% of published research papers. It's a very different thing. If it was the former, one could be considered to be applying the logical fallacy of appeal to authority, but when it's actually 97% of reserach papers, that's just pointing to the evidence.

      I won't go into John Cook's methodology here or try to provide a full synopsis, but I would suggest you read the analysis and make up your own mind.

      http://skepticalscience.com/97-percent-consensus-cook-et-al-2013.html

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    2. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene, remember that 97% figure does not come from a current day sampled experiment. It comes from what is always a suss methodology - "meta analysis". It would be really good if somebody conducted a properly sampled study on the same actual question/s.

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    3. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to David Bentley

      Isn't John Cook a Media Studies teacher?

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    4. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Mike, it actually comes from high school and undergrad science teachers, in topics, like, you know, "methodology" and stuff.

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    5. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      The profile suggests even worse. "Communications" and "Psychology And Cognitive Sciences (17)"!!!!

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    6. Mike Hansen

      Mr.

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      Worse than what "Marketing Research"? You can create a sock puppet David but you cannot change your politics.

      For the record, John Cook has an Honours degree in Physics.

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    7. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to David Bentley

      I'm always a bit sceptic when these sort of percentages are being dished out as if they're facts.

      97% to me means 97% of ALL scientists in this area, so if there are 100.000 scientists around the world in this area, then there must be 97.000 totally agreeing with each other

      And if anyone wants to argue with these numbers, then they have lost credibility already

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    8. David Bentley

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene....please confirm....did you read what I wrote? Did you read the John Cook article?

      It's not 97% of scientists, it's 97% of published research on climate science.

      Capiche?

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    9. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to David Bentley

      yes David, I read what you wrote that's why I can't comprehend why they keep mentioning that 97% figure as if it is fact.

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    10. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to David Bentley

      From https://theconversation.com/its-true-97-of-research-papers-say-climate-change-is-happening-14051

      Two more recent studies have sought to measure the level of consensus in the scientific community. A survey of Earth scientists found that among actively publishing climate scientists, 97% agreed that humans were significantly changing global temperature. A compilation of scientists making public statements on climate change found that for the scientists who had published peer-reviewed climate research, there was 97% agreement.

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    11. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      That creates even more confusion - so the percentage is based on actively publishing climate scientists which sort of means there non active publishing climate scientists.

      So what would be the percentage of active and non active publishing climate scientists be?

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    12. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      "For the record, John Cook has an Honours degree in Physics."
      Do you really want to run with this? Do you know how deniers and sceptics have PhDs in Physics and cognate areas?

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    13. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      He may be but aren't you a geographer? The point is that you do not have to be a climate scientist to report clearly, accurately. As long as you report peer-reviewed science.

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    14. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to David Bentley

      I often wonder why we bother to engage with some people, David. It's quite plain that they only want to carp endlessly,

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    15. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      The fair and critical assessment of the science is far more important than the particular qualifications of particular people.

      Has the NIPCC correctly reported the science? No. It was far too easy to find examples of debunked science getting a second life in the NIPCC report. 78 mm should not be reported as 50 mm, particularly when this error has been flagged in the peer reviewed literature and is (grudgingly) accepted by Boretti himself.

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    16. David Rennie

      IT Contractor

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      The 97% figure came from several studies, one of which was a meticulous study of US Scientists involved in Earth sciences. All registered scientists were asked to respond and over 30% did.
      The questions were analysed to ensure they were not biased towards one view. 97% of climate scientists and 82% of all the scientists who responded accepted the evidence that AGW was occurring.

      Meteorologists and Geologists were the least accepting with less than 60% accepting the evidence.
      http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

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    17. David Bentley

      logged in via LinkedIn

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      "So what would be the percentage of active and non active publishing climate scientists be?"

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    18. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene, you may have read it but you didn't understand it. There is a difference between published papers and scientists. published papers are collections of words printed on paper or on websites. scientists are peoople, with livers and toe nails.

      Do you need any other blindingly obvious things explained to you?

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    19. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      No Rene, there are three different pieces of research being quoted.

      By the way, if someone were actually able to answer your final question about the number of active versus non active climate scientists, precisely what difference would that make to anything?

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    20. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      No, Michael, he raised it because you decided to launch on a childish ad hominem attack on Cook, based on the assumption that his qualifications in fields like psychology or media studies rendered him incompetent to deal with sceintific matters. Mike merely pointed out that he also has solid scientific qualifications, despite your pointless abuse.

      To then try to twist this around to make the spurious point that some deniers also have scientific qualifications is a wonderful illustration of the cheap rhetoric you like to sink to. Nice piece of dishonest bait and switch.

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    21. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to David Rennie

      David, thank you for the Tigger link. I hadn't heard of that study before. It looks like the sort of thing I am talking about.

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    22. David Rennie

      IT Contractor

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      Three studies that have all confirmed the 97% figure, that was reconfirmed by John Cook's paper. How many more studies do we need before the deniers stop denying.

      W. R. L. Anderegg, “Expert Credibility in Climate Change,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Vol. 107 No. 27, 12107-12109 (21 June 2010); DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1003187107.

      P. T. Doran & M. K. Zimmerman, "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change," Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. 90 Issue 3 (2009), 22; DOI: 10.1029/2009EO030002.

      N. Oreskes, “Beyond the Ivory Tower: The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change,” Science Vol. 306 no. 5702, p. 1686 (3 December 2004); DOI: 10.1126/science.1103618.

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    23. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to David Rennie

      David, I have no idea why you directed that post at me.

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  6. Mark Pollock

    Analyst

    Well I suppose that’s one way of hiding one’s head in the sand. Any criticism of the orthodoxy is pseudoscience. Associate the criticism with “aliens” and “anti-vaccination campaigners”. Invoke the Great Murdoch Satan and finally claim it’s a consipiracy run by the evil fossil fuel companies and those ideologically opposed to government regulation.
    Tack on a few links to enthusiastic websites, and for good measure throw in the meaningless magic 97% number.
    It’s hardly a conversation though. One of these days there is going to be a serious discussion on the climate. On this evidence, it going to be a while.

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    1. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      "....One of these days there is going to be a serious discussion on the climate...."

      I think that day is tomorrow Mark. There will be a very large document published which summarises the science.

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    2. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      There is a serious discussion. It's called science. It's summarised by the IPCC. Next irrelevancy, Mark?

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    3. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      "Any criticism of the orthodoxy is pseudoscience" is absolutely not true. I've seen science rapidly change as a consequence of unexpected but convincing results, such as the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe.

      The approach to evidence distinguishes science from pseudoscience. Pseudoscience studiously avoids those parts of the literature that it does not like (e.g., critical peer-reviewed commentaries). It also is sloppy, such as the 78 mm of sea level rise erroneously being reported as 50 mm.

      The Murdoch press is merely where much of the climate pseudoscience has appeared over the past 10 days (and the references to the NIPCC in particular).

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    4. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Mike Hansen

      Nothing to say again.

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    5. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      10 days? I have been reading junk from the alarmists for what seems like decades. Your's bad as it is, is nowhere near the worst. I could go into details but quoting the ridiculous 97% survey indicates you haven't a clue.

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    6. David Rennie

      IT Contractor

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      Mark,
      Certainly the evidence for climate change has been around for a couple of decades, and the Murdoch press has been lying about it for many years. However as there have now been numerous studies validating the 97% figure quoted'suggesting the figure is ridiculous is delusional.

      You analytical skills don't seem to extend to researching the evidence in anything but blogworld. You are like the deniers who still claim the 'hockey stick' graph has been repudiated despite the factor that every analysis of the temperature record, before and after Mann's paper confirms it.

      You're entitled to your opinion Mark but please don't keep claiming to be an Analyst, you obviously lack basic skills in this area.

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    7. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      I see your now down to abuse once more, Mark - didn't take you very long to run out of spurious pseudo arguments, did it?

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    1. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Peter Turner

      Peter, this site is very unusual in the amount of publicity it gives deniers and sceptics. But what really confuses me is that they seem to think the deniers/sceptics are not being sincere. I think that might be a very dangerous misunderstanding of what is going on.

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    2. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Peter Turner

      Always hard to judge motivations from afar.

      One has to wonder about the sincerity of "deniers/sceptics" who drop aspects of the scientific method, such as fair assessment of the literature and basic statistics. That said, in other cases one has to wonder if the relevant "deniers/sceptics" are so convinced of their conclusions they no longer feel the need to rely on the fundamentals of the scientific method.

      A possible instance of the latter is discussed (oddly enough) at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/23/congenital-cyclomania-redux/ which raises legitimate concerns about Scafetta's (too many) parameter empirical model. Is there reason to doubt Scafetta's belief in his model, even though he has disregarded all sorts of aspects of the scientific method?

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    3. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Michael Sheehan

      Is there an award out there for evidence-free generalisations? Michael, any chance of some evidence to back your puzzling and rather pointless claims?

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  7. Geoffrey Henley

    Research Associate

    What a patronising and disingenuous article.

    The reference to the John Cook pseudoscientific consensus article shows only 0.5%, not 97% of papers (which are by no means representative of all articles on climate change) explicitly endorse the consensus that humans are responsible for most of the recent warming.

    Just about every analysis shows that the models have significantly overestimated the true extent of increases in global temperatures.

    Unlike the IPCC, the NIPCC is not infested with…

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    1. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Geoffrey Henley

      From https://theconversation.com/its-true-97-of-research-papers-say-climate-change-is-happening-14051

      Two more recent studies have sought to measure the level of consensus in the scientific community. A survey of Earth scientists found that among actively publishing climate scientists, 97% agreed that humans were significantly changing global temperature. A compilation of scientists making public statements on climate change found that for the scientists who had published peer-reviewed climate research, there was 97% agreement.

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    2. Mark Pollock

      Analyst

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Cook's paper is rubbish. That you defend it shows you haven't looked at it.

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    3. Barry Woods

      logged in via Twitter

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Hi Michael
      referencing an article written by the AUTHOR (John Cook) of the 97% paper! well that's me sold....

      an alternative view of John Cook's paper by Prof Mike Hulme:
      http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/23/whats-behind-the-battle-of-received-wisdoms/#comment-182401

      "The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy…

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    4. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Mark Pollock

      So, that's your definition of proof then, Mark: "I don't agree with it so, if you do, it proves you haven't read it." Hmm, that explains quite a lot.

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  8. Barry Woods

    logged in via Twitter

    As the comments have drifted onto the subject of John Cook's the 97% consensus paper:

    Perhaps Professor Mike Hulme's thoughts on the paper are worth pointing out. Prof Mike Hulme was a founding Director of the UK's Tyndall Centre for climate change,(so not exactly a sceptic!)

    Mike Hulme:

    "The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy…

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  9. Gil Hardwick

    anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

    Surely, Michael, eventually one must begin to ask whether all this is in fact "zombie pseudoscience" or whether there might just be some intelligence behind it.

    The reasonable, valid and scientifically rigorous question, albeit from the social sciences rather than the so-called 'hard sciences', is why would the people behind the NIPCC bother?

    Are they being compromised in some way by 'climate science', or merely climate scientists, that they find unwarranted and justified, on non-scientific…

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    1. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      There is quite a diversity of opinion within the scientific community about climate change. For example, there continues to be robust and forthright discussion about the value equilibrium climate sensitivity. Scientific discussions like this should continue and will continue.

      I think this robust discussion has to be distinguished from those who are practising pseudoscience. The NIPCC is unable to even mention most commentaries that are critical of (and debunk) papers favourable to the NIPCC agenda. This is a major failing. How does one collaborate with people who cannot even acknowledge significant parts of the scientific literature?

      Some have attempted to bridge the gap, but with little or no success. The BEST project could be considered an attempt at this, and the BEST team was thoroughly rejected by the "sceptic/denier" community when they confirmed the past century of temperature rise.

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    2. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      Gil, there are a few scientists who submit research, and who have differing thoughts. But most, are not at the top of their game, are in unrelated fields, are statisticians etc., and when delving into the so called research links provided by those people here who don't wish to acknowledge the accepted facts of climate change, one finds a pattern. Distorted understanding , glaring error, lies. I'm sure you wouldn't think we should give a lot of attention to mis-truth.
      The trouble is there are many…

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    3. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Alice Kelly

      Again, Alice, I dare point out to you that the question is not concerned with scientific method as the key discipline in examining these issues, but with the scurrilous and unprofessional manner in which some who call themselves scientists choose to address other people.

      I have no issue with science, and never did have, until experiencing for myself the often vicious infighting, bullying and arrogance, on campus and off; I can only assume over funding and access to political clout.

      I spend…

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    4. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      It zombie science/papers (the reappearance of "dead" results from debunked papers), not people. Please look at the relevant sections of the article.

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    5. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      No, because I read the physical science which is passed by peer review, and agreed upon. Within this community there is not too much disagreement. This is not social sciences. Nasa is a good source of most world study and research including collaborative work done with Australian scientists. What I read bears no resemblance to the poorly constructed science being discussed here.
      I have for 35 years, employed methods of soil improvement which is being recommended now. I use woody plants. It is a…

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  10. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    The author's attempt to equate those opposed to climate change scientific consensus to the misguided physicist Phillipl Lenard who described Einstein's Theory of Relativity as a 'Jewish Fraud' backfires when we remember Einstein's theories were not always correct.

    When the young Danish physicist, Neils Bohr set himself against the great Einstein in his views on Quantum Physics, he also battled the world's physics community who were in awe of Einstein.

    In the end, Bohr's view of Quantum Physics prevailed illustrating that so called 'scientific consensus' is no guarantee that the 'majority view' is correct.

    Gerard Dean

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    1. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Gerard Dean

      Gerard Dean's argument is pure strawman. I focused on the problems with the debate format and I never discussed Lenard's anti-semitic beliefs (which Lenard did not discuss during the Bad Neuheim debate). http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Translation:The_Bad_Nauheim_Debate

      The examples of quantum mechanics, general relativity and (more recently) the accelerating expansion of the Universe illustrate how quickly the scientific community accepts new ideas when convincing evidence is presented.

      The "sceptic/denier" community has never presented compelling evidence to support their view on climate change. The selective and uncritical use of the literature by the NIPCC illustrates that the NIPCC's case does not stand up to scrutiny.

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  11. Gerard Dean

    Managing Director

    The photo accompanying the above article would make any of Murdoch's British tabloid's proud.

    Truly pathetic.

    Gerard Dean

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  12. Steve Phillips

    Nurse Practitioner

    Climate change and man made warming is funded to the tune of billions. Sceptics are lucky to get a crust. In the interests of fair reporting how about citing how much each group gets and we can all then decide if "big oil" or "big coal" is trying to destroy the world through scientists who dont like concensus science.
    Copernicus did'nt like concensus science either and look where it got him.

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    1. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Tim Mazzarol

      Another reference which says that climate sceptics have something wrong with them. The reference actually says that if you believe that success comes from hard work you are more likely to believe climate change hysteria is claptrap ie the more practical you are the less inclined you are to believe propaganda.

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    1. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Mr Ormonde I congratulate you and dips me lid.
      As someone whose whole working life has been invovled in the harnessing of science and technology (usually cutting edge) to the needs of industry I usually stay out of discussions like this, as do most seriuos scientists. The old saying works - never argue with idiots, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. The only people that can usually drag me out are Bob Carter and Ian Pilmer.
      This has been the long foreword…

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    2. Michael Sheehan

      Geographer at Analyst

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "Science requires respect. It requires an acceptance of facts and observation - respect for the data. A respect for those who report it. And a genuine discussion - even heated argument - about the best fit of theory to explain those facts- a respect for reason and logic."
      Sorry, Peter, the world you are describing is not the world of academia, where the scraps are so vicious, because the spoils are so small.

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    3. Tim Mazzarol

      Winthrop Professor, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Marketing and Strategy at University of Western Australia

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Excellent post Peter, well done.

      The IPCC Climate Change report for 2013 has just been released. It raises some well founded concerns over the future of our planet if we don't take climate change seriously. It will probably not convince the climate science deniers and skeptics, but nothing would. However, It suggests we must take action now if we are to avoid problems of a massive nature down the track.

      It is a pity we find ourselves in a political environment that wishes to deny the science and avoid taking any serious action.

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    4. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Tim Mazzarol

      Tim, I do expect much better of you than this. I find myself thoroughly disappointed.

      We have been taking verifiably and measurably effective action for at least the past 30 years, but it all gets knocked on the head most conspicuously by "scientists" and academics, who pointedly ignore the facts and sprout that we have to start finally.

      The problem here is "scientists" proclaiming that only their little bit of science is valid, and everyone else is some sort of zombie, or idiot, or somehow…

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    5. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "This is really hard to do ... to ignore lies and provocations"

      If people telling the truth ignore the lies then the liars win.

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    6. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      No you still don't understand... you have this idea that Truth, Justice and Freedom win ... you just keep on slugging away face to face toe to toe. This is a comic-book notion of politics and history.

      Politics and history is won by strategy and tactics - not by truth... or even Truth ... no matter how often we must chant it and argue and confront the lies. Are you suggesting for example that the WW2 holocaust could have been averted if only Truth had been spoken to power, that reason would prevail…

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    7. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      God, Mr Ormonde. I wish I had said that!
      That's two comments you've dragged out of me.
      When I put up the barricades and start lifting and stacking the flagstones I might call on you as press officer.

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    8. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      "you have this idea that Truth, Justice and Freedom win"

      Au contraire.

      Unless you're trying to say that Tony Abbot is a paragon of Truth.

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    9. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Chris O'Neill

      "If people telling the truth ignore the lies then the liars win."

      Unpalatable and incovenient truths will lose out every time to a sweet, comfortable, sugar coated lie. For a lie to work it must be convenient and easy to believe. Like there is no temperature rise... it's all happened before... no evidence, bad method.... etc etc etc ad infinitum...

      A lot of folks put the origins of the Big Lie technique down to Goebbels... notably “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people…

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    10. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Er, I already implied that Tony Abbott did not win with Truth, Justice and Freedom.

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    1. Gil Hardwick

      anthropologist, historian, novelist, editor and publisher at eBooks West

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      No, Michael, you had us all turned off in dismay before you even started.

      Mate, show a modicum of respect finally, if indeed you aspire to being respected yourself.

      As to your concern with "the inappropriateness of the recycling debunked papers (and ignoring other relevant papers)", yes, astonishingly enough we are already long onto it.

      We don't even bother reading then, and would barely know of their existence until you yourself rub our noses in them, calling people zombies and worse in the process.

      There is all sorts of drivel out there. So bloody what?

      BORING!

      Again, can we get back on with the job finally?

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    2. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      I never equated climate "climate change sceptics/deniers" with zombies, the article only mentioned zombie science/papers (the recycling of debunked/dead papers).

      While some are switched onto the issue of debunked papers being used in promoting climate change denial, the recent media coverage suggests some are not aware of the issue (or do not care).

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    3. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Obviously debunking is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe sceptics don't believe that their ideas have been debunked especially by the Climategate crew and associates .Alarmists don't recycle - they move on when the old argument has no traction. Global warming becomes climate change which moves on to extreme events . The problem is that the average Joe is not buying any more. As the global temperature drops it will be interesting to see what the next meme is.

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    4. Alice Kelly
      Alice Kelly is a Friend of The Conversation.

      sole parent

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Michael, I really appreciate this article you've written. I don't mind the term zombie paper, and understand the context. Weren't there zombie banks a few years ago? It's a term that's all. I think that denier movement historically for Australia, with links to the US, as I showed gil above, should be explored as a comprehensive topic of discussion. Details facts organisations, media, miners, and all. Because there is a reason fighting has increased between 'sides'. I intend to fight less here because it's pointless. But a comprehensive exposure of the debates hijacking is a good thing?

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    5. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Eye of the beholder? How does one resolve the discrepancy between the erroneous 50 mm and 78 mm? Ditto McLean's prediction that 2011 would be the coldest year since 1956 and reality.

      I care more about the science than the labels. Plenty of indicators for continued climate change (or global warming if you prefer), including long-term trends in surface temperatures, cooling upper atmosphere, sea level rise and Arctic sea ice loss.

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    6. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Are you kidding in quoting McLean getting it wrong? What about the "snow will be a thing of the past" or the "arctic will be ice free in 2013" predictions. Climate "scientists" carry on as if arctic ice started with the satellite era in 1978 when there are many instances of arctic meltdowns before then. Those melts are as inconvenient as the MWP and have been similarly ignored An example is 1923: THAWING IN ARCTIC.

      DISCOVERY OF ISLAND.
      PREVIOUSLY ICE BURIED.
      CHRISTIANIA, September 1…

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    7. Peter Ormonde
      Peter Ormonde is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Farmer

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Outstanding! Such erudition and detail ... such a grasp of truth and science... but wait! I've read all this before ... yeah ... here it all is word for word scattered through Steven Goddards 'Real Science' ... every word.... sandwiched in between articles such as how gun control sparked the holocaust in Germany...
      stevengoddard.wordpress.com/spectacularly-poor-climate-science-at-nasa/‎

      I note you don't credit the source of your inspiration - and text. Where I come from we call that plagiarism - what do retired electronics design engineers call it I wonder.

      More scrapings from the deep end of the looney Right.

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    8. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter,
      Raving on about the source of information rather than its veracity is the domain of the loony left on this site. If those many newspaper articles are correct then the unprecedented Arctic melting claim is BS.
      You are correct in saying that those articles were on the Goddard site but the original articles are on the Google newspaper website.

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    9. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      The Watson study was misrepresented by The Australian, as noted by Watson himself (http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3282940.htm).

      There are also risks fitting polynomials to tide gauge data without robust error analysis, as discussed in Hunter & Brown (and on The Conversation).

      One shouldn't rely on anecdotal evidence when quantitative evidence is readily available. Also, given newspapers can have erroneous stories, a selective reading of newspaper articles can obviously paint a very distorted picture.

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    10. Bob Beale

      Journalist

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      Neil, I'm not going to engage with you or try to challenge you about your ideas on what is happening to the planet's climate. Because it is pointless. You have made up your mind and no fact will change it. Indeed I fully accept that you truly believe, as you seem to do passionately, that it's all a scam, that scientists the world over are collaborating on a monstrous fraud, that the world is actually cooling, that Arctic ice is actually expanding etc etc. I think that being from the Right (as you…

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    11. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      Peter
      As usual you attack the poster not the post contents.

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    12. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Michael J. I. Brown

      Michael
      A masterful effort but nowhere have you said that the newspaper reports (and there are many of them) are wrong or that the Watson data was wrong. Watson himself has not said in any way his report was in error . His comments on it's use are understandable as any association with climate scepticism is a bad career move in the AGW obsessed academia.
      Quite simply his data disagrees with the alarmist position.

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    13. Neil Gibson

      Retired Electronics Design Engineer

      In reply to Bob Beale

      So you only want people who agree with the hive mentality of global warming alarmists to post here and insult me in claiming that my objection to poor science is caused by my political persuasion.
      Climate gate was a wake-up call showing the true behavior of climate " scientists" and anything they tell us should be viewed very sceptically.

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    14. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Neil Gibson

      "Are you kidding in quoting McLean getting it wrong?"

      Next thing Neil will be telling us that two wrongs make a right.

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    15. Chris O'Neill

      Retired Way Before 70

      In reply to Gil Hardwick

      "you had US all turned off in dismay before you even started."

      This man has a lot of hubris.

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  13. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    After all those $$$ spent on researching climate, the effect of CO2 is so obscure that the latest word, in AR5, is -
    "The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multi-century time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely…

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  14. Alexander Rosser

    Philosopher

    Oh dear,
    this article will produce the usual rabid response from the deniers. Please don't waste your time arguing with them. As my grandmother would say "you can't argue with a fool".

    My preferred argument goes thus.
    If you are crook and three doctors of medicine tell you that you have cancer, do you
    a) Believe them and seek therapy?
    or
    b) get a fourth, or fifth, or sixth opinion until you find someone to tell you "don't worry mate, it's only nerves"?
    or
    c) find a not-a-doctor who promises a cure? (Steve Jobs, a very smart man indeed, chose this path. He died.)

    So if one thousand doctors of climate science tell you that we are cooking the planet, which of a) b) or c) do you choose?

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  15. Oksanna Zoschenko

    logged in via Twitter

    Your and Hunter's (2012) report responding to Boretti's original (2012) article cherry-picked the last 20 years and ignores natural oscillations in the longer term. Boretti says as much when he later refers to "selective assessment of the sea level rise by fitting only the few years of data useful to support the positive acceleration claim". But you don't let up, do you?

    You focus on the straw-man of millimetres increase, which distracts from Borelli's main point, his silver bullet, the absence…

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    1. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Oksanna Zoschenko

      Boretti (2012) just happens to be the flawed climate paper I am most familiar with, and it just happens to be recycled by the NIPCC despite being debunked.

      There is an exceptionally good reason why Hunter & Brown don't discuss oscillations. Hunter & Brown is a commentary on Boretti (2012), and that paper does not discuss oscillations in any meaningful way (the word "oscillations" appears just once in Boretti 2012).

      Boretti's fits to the Sydney tide gauge (his Figure 1), taken at face value, do show a positive acceleration. He just claims "no acceleration" without quoting the relevant values nor checking their significance.

      A fundamental problem with Boretti's approach is polynomials are poor fits to 100+ years of tide gauge data. It is for this reason we only fit to 20 years of data. Those data don't show significant accelerations nor decelerations, which is not unexpected given the behaviour of sea level rise.

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    2. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Boss

      In reply to Oksanna Zoschenko

      Oksanna,
      Here is a recent paper that analyses long term tide gauges around the world and has graphs, many of them, seemingly showing no acceleration. I had the original on file, but it I can't open it at present, reason unknown; so a description of it is here -
      http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/09/24/new-paper-finds-sea-levels-rising-at-less-than-4-inches-per-century-with-no-acceleration-study-finds-global-mean-sea-levels-rose-at-only-1-mmyear-equivalent-to-less-than-4-inches-per-century-ov/
      Perhaps it could be used additionally to Boretti.

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    3. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      It would be good to see the manuscript of Beenstock et al., so its merits can be assessed.

      Boretti should not be used, given the flaws discussed above and in Hunter & Brown (i.e., 50 is not equal to 78, the polynomial used is a poor fit to 100 years to data).

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    4. Michael J. I. Brown

      ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Monash University

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Beenstock et al. appears to be a manuscript that either hasn't been submitted or hasn't been accepted for publication.

      I've only had a quick look, but it plots monthly averages of the sea level data rather than annual averages. It does not model the regular seasonal variations in sea levels but instead seems to treat them as noise. Doing this would erroneously lower the significance of trends.

      For example, one of the datasets Beenstock et al. surprisingly claims has no trend is http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/stations/351.php

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