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Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby logicalview » Jan 30th, 2013, 7:56 pm

Curry, Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology is less interested in the much-proclaimed consensus than how it was arrived at. Curry thinks striving for a consensus can distort the scientific process.
Goodwin’s paper states that scientists appear to have “manufactured consensus” on CAGW as a non-scientific tool to win support from the public for policy goals.
“The consensus claim, furthermore, appears to be an elaboration of the appeal to authority specifically designed to heighten its force. “Credit what I say, because I say so” is the minimalist version of the appeal to authority. I have argued elsewhere that the force of this appeal is based in a kind of “blackmail”: it puts the audience in a position such that they will appear imprudent if they conspicuously go against the view of someone who obviously knows more  . . . If, however, all the experts say the same thing, the layperson’s “plausible excusability” is restricted. In such a case, the experts’ statements do seem to constitute the unavoidable “foundation” for policy-making.”
Curry comments that this approach is evident in the works of advocates such as Naomi Oreskes, a historian at UCSD who in recent years has lobbied for the “consensus” view on CAGW.
Oreskes’ tack is to portray the global warming skeptics as giant bullies aided by fossil fuel money, beating up on scientists whose main motive is to find the truth. Of course, the truth is a lot more complicated that than – it’s the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming activists who get the approval of authority for sometimes thinly sourced and alarmist claims.  Science that challenges the consensus is the real underdog against an establishment that has already made up its mind about the truth.
Curry also quotes Goodwin’s paper, which argues that manufacturing a consensus requires a self-appointed team of scientists to decide who is qualified to judge climate science and who is not.  In other words,  this team had to draw boundaries to delineate the experts:
“Even when successful and legitimate, boundary-drawing created additional problems. If indeed every scientist within the consensus agreed that policy action was urgent, and every scientist outside thought otherwise, a strong appearance of politicization was created—i.e., that the boundary between “insiders” and “outsiders” was based on political views, not scientific relevance.”
Curry says the only way to dispel this concern that the “consensus” is a political act and not a scientific one, is for the scientists running the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change to reveal their data, methods and criteria for judging what is legitimate climate science. This hasn’t been done, she says, and the IPCC has retreated behind its appeal to authority. That has only diminished the credibility of climate science in the public’s eye.
And Curry says bluntly:
I have argued previously that the IPCC is torquing (and even corrupting) climate science, and this article clarifies that the source of this corruption is the consensus building process.
As I would put it, you can be a scientist, you can be an advocate, but mixing advocacy and science is a dangerous combination of church and state. In the words of CAGW “lukewarmer” social scientist Roger Pielke, Jr, such a mixture is fertile breeding ground for “stealth advocates“, who advance political goals while pretending to be just objective scientists.
Unlike Curry, who has made a good-faith effort to understand and meet the concerns of global warming skeptics, most of the science activists  such as Oreskes are still fixated on the appeal to authority. They haven’t realized that the growing wave of “deniers” is a result of attacking critics’  motivations and credentials, when they should be answering critics’ concerns and honestly dealing with inconvenient observations of failed CAGW predictions.
To the contrary, the global warming activists are upping their propaganda campaign. They have enlisted supposedly objective entities such as Google into their climate crusade. Anti-science extremist Neanderthals that we are, we CAGW skeptics still know how to read. The predictable result of this propaganda campaign will be to increase distrust of Google. Considering Google’s disturbing power, that may not be a bad thing.
In their arrogant folly, these activists are pouring gasoline onto the fires of CAGW skepticism.

I wonder how long it will take, if ever, before the likes of Oreskes, Michael Mann, James Hansen, Kevin Trenberth & Co. figure this out.


http://sdrostra.com/?p=18514.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby ForestfortheTrees » Feb 1st, 2013, 11:05 am

Just to clarify some of the points about Judith Curry. Just because she sees some problems with the process do not mean she thinks there is no such thing as anthropogenic climate change. To quote Judith Curry on ClimateDialogue.com:

I’ll kick off the discussion, focusing on the follow question: 5) What percentage of the recent decline [in Arctic Sea Ice] would you attribute to anthropogenic greenhouse gases?

In my essay, I state:
My assessment is that it is likely (>66% likelihood) that there is 50-50 split between natural variability and anthropogenic forcing, with +/-20% range. Why such a ‘wishy washy’ statement with large error bars? Well, observations are ambiguous, models are inadequate, and our understanding of the complex interactions of the climate system is incomplete.

http://www.climatedialogue.org/melting-of-the-arctic-sea-ice/#comment-27

I think we can all agree that this has become a hugely politicized issue and there are many people (on both sides of the argument) who do not have a firm grasp on the science, who are making broad sweeping statements that they can't support. Some of them are even posting on Castanet!

Yep, Curry is pretty negative about our ability to make predictions, but she does not say that humans are having not effect on the world we live in. It is just the amount of influence we are having that is in question, and this has been the question for some time. You really must have you head stuck in the mud if you truly believe that humans are not having some form of negative impact on the planet. So the question is, what are we going to do to make it better?
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby logicalview » Feb 2nd, 2013, 2:19 am

Forrest - good post. As you've seen, people have jumped all over luke warners like Matt Ridley and Judith Curry in this thread, without even reading what they are saying. The mantra seems to be either support every lie we tell, or you are funded by "Big Oil", or some such logic. These people aren't saying that using fossil fuels is a good thing, just that claims of a consensus are wrong, and anti-science. They also say that alarmist grossly exagerated predictions from extremist loons like James Hansen do far more harm than good. Finally, Ridley has been going out of his way to say that the billions upon billions being spent right now is worse than the actual problem, and I think he's dead right. People would be well served to go back and read his 10 questions. I posted the link earlier.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby StraitTalk » Feb 4th, 2013, 9:59 pm

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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby Glacier » Feb 4th, 2013, 11:21 pm

The main reason the vast majority of scientists think AGW is real is because the vast majority of scientists think the vast majority of scientists think it's real.

P.S. If you look at the wording of the question posed in the survey, the vast majority of "climate deniers" would also answer "yea" to the question.

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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby jennylives » Feb 5th, 2013, 12:05 am

Now that doesn't sound very plausible at all, it goes against the basics of what science fundamentally is. The vast majority of scientists who's job it is to figure what is real and what is not, are completely disregarding that to agree to the dialogue suggested by 95+% of scientists? Based on what? Why have scientists at all?

I just can't agree with people who tell me they have a better understanding, than the vast majority of scientists have. Scientists have more access to data, peer review, facts and the means to analyze it over forum posters. My gut tells me to stick with scientists and try to make the environment a cleaner place. Even if man made climate change is not true the outcome is a cleaner environment. I'm ok with that.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby Glacier » Feb 5th, 2013, 12:15 am

If I were answering the question, I would also agree that CO2 is contributing. 97% of castanet posters would likely as well. The question should be not whether or not humans are contributing. Rather, it should be: to what degree, and what are the long term consequences?

Personally, I don't care about consent. While some groups run around trying to show there is no consent, and other groups run around trying to prove there is consent, I'm too busy reading the actual data.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby jennylives » Feb 5th, 2013, 12:23 am

We won't know the long term consequences until it's too late to reverse them. Whether climate change is occurring quicker by humans or not is besides the point. The only question should be how can we function with minimal impact to the environment. Just in case, let's keep the environment clean anyways.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby logicalview » Feb 5th, 2013, 7:56 am

Then of course we get into the definition of "clean". Clean of particulate pollution? Definitely. Clean of CO2? Sure, if you want all plant life to die. Part of the issue is what is pollution? CO2 isn't dirty. Its a necessary gas required for life on earth to function.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby zzontar » Feb 5th, 2013, 9:19 am

Oxygen is necessary too, but too much will kill you.

http://www.wri.org/publication/content/8468

Worldwide, motor vehicles currently emit well over 900 million metric tons of CO2 each year. These emissions account for more than 15 percent of global fossil fuel CO2 releases


That's a lot of extra C02 for the Earth to digest. I can see that being more bad than good.

http://www.gizmag.com/shipping-pollution/11526/

April 23, 2009 The Guardian has reported on new research showing that in one year, a single large container ship can emit cancer and asthma-causing pollutants equivalent to that of 50 million cars. The low grade bunker fuel used by the worlds 90,000 cargo ships contains up to 2,000 times the amount of sulfur compared to diesel fuel used in automobiles.


I can't see that being too good either.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby underscore » Feb 5th, 2013, 10:07 am

^ and that's why emissions testing, etc is a bit of a joke.

jennylives wrote:We won't know the long term consequences until it's too late to reverse them. Whether climate change is occurring quicker by humans or not is besides the point. The only question should be how can we function with minimal impact to the environment. Just in case, let's keep the environment clean anyways.


I agree, to a point. Scaring people about global warming is big money for some companies, so I'm hesitant to believe in anything that promotes the purchase of products/"carbon credits" etc for a "problem" that may be completely natural.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby ForestfortheTrees » Feb 5th, 2013, 11:41 am

underscore wrote:I agree, to a point. Scaring people about global warming is big money for some companies, so I'm hesitant to believe in anything that promotes the purchase of products/"carbon credits" etc for a "problem" that may be completely natural.


While, for some companies, scaring people about global warming might be big money, you must also agree that promoting uncertainty about climate change is advantageous to many other companies. Resource extraction and the consumption of fossil fuels is a multi-trillion dollar industry. If society demanded a move away from fossil fuel based energies, the companies who make their money out of this consumption would be threatened. These just happen to be some of the most powerful companies in the world. Spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is a great tactic to slow down this change. To think that the only people who might gain from global warming are the "lefties", "communists", "greens", "socialists", etc and not the "capitalist"s, "corporations", "neo-liberals", "1%", etc only reveals your own ideological bias.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby underscore » Feb 5th, 2013, 12:00 pm

ForestfortheTrees wrote:While, for some companies, scaring people about global warming might be big money, you must also agree that promoting uncertainty about climate change is advantageous to many other companies. Resource extraction and the consumption of fossil fuels is a multi-trillion dollar industry. If society demanded a move away from fossil fuel based energies, the companies who make their money out of this consumption would be threatened. These just happen to be some of the most powerful companies in the world. Spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) is a great tactic to slow down this change. To think that the only people who might gain from global warming are the "lefties", "communists", "greens", "socialists", etc and not the "capitalist"s, "corporations", "neo-liberals", "1%", etc only reveals your own ideological bias.


Agreed, the problem is that both the polluting industries and the greenies are both effectively corporations now, so I believe the truth lies somewhere in between. The trouble is getting the useful truth that lies in between, but right now the green side is the one that seems to have the most swing. And to top it off, a lot of "green" ideas aren't green at all (ie electric cars and car recycling programs aren't green at all)
Last edited by underscore on Feb 5th, 2013, 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby ForestfortheTrees » Feb 5th, 2013, 12:02 pm

logicalview wrote:Then of course we get into the definition of "clean". Clean of particulate pollution? Definitely. Clean of CO2? Sure, if you want all plant life to die. Part of the issue is what is pollution? CO2 isn't dirty. Its a necessary gas required for life on earth to function.


This whole argument about "Sure, if you want all plant life to die" is so ridiculousness. Nobody with any credibility has ever said that we need to eliminate CO2 from the atmosphere. The idea of pollution is that we create artificial emissions of something. There is nothing wrong with the natural process of the Carbon Cycle, and it has evolved over time and is part of the overall system that makes life possible. What we are doing is extracting the carbon from various sources and releasing it into the atmosphere in such a way that we are overloading the ability of natural systems to processes it and maintain a balance. That is pollution. We are artificially changing the carbon cycle and it will have consequences.

Think about Arsenic. It is a naturally occurring element. Would you like to have a build up of arsenic in your body beyond what you can naturally accommodate? It's natural, what could go wrong? Well, you would die. Some might say that your body was polluted with arsenic. You get the idea.

I have no doubt that the Earth will survive and that life and the natural systems will continue to operate. But, it is my view, that the natural systems will move to a new equilibrium. This process may not be all that pleasant for humans and other forms of life on the planet in the short term. Check out Systems Thinking and its application to ecology and geosystems.
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Re: Billionaires fund attacks on climate science

Postby SurplusElect » Feb 5th, 2013, 1:25 pm

underscore wrote:Agreed, the problem is that both the polluting industries and the greenies are both effectively corporations now, so I believe the truth lies somewhere in between.


When was the last war fought on behalf of "the green companies"?

What countries military machine and foreign policy was last directed at "Green energy resource security"?

Yes, there are larger "Green Companies" out there. However, the smallest energy companies dwarf the largest "Green" companies 1000 fold. There is exponentially more money to be made by prolonging fossil fuel dependance and casting doubt on "call to action" clean up efforts.

Nobodies dies for "good solar panel position real estate". Who dies over controlling the middle east?

The answer is obvious.
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