Cartoon by Josh
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep
them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
Phil Jones to Michael Mann, Climategate emails, July 8th 2004.
If you can’t spot what’s wrong with this email, don’t worry you’re in great company. Among the numerous luminaries who can’t are environmental activist and filmmaker Rupert Murray, celebrity mathematician Simon Singh, celebrity Nobel Prizewinner Sir Paul Nurse and celebrity Guardian doctor Ben Goldacre to name but four. To each one of them I have tried on occasion to explain why the corruption of “peer-review” is the issue that matters above all else in the Climategate emails. But none of them, sadly, was bright enough to get it.
Let me have one more stab. Here’s how I explain “Peer review” in my forthcoming book Watermelons:
Peer review is the benchmark by which most new scientific research tends to be judged. If that research is to be taken seriously by the scientific community then it must be accepted for publication by one of a fairly small number of academic or quasi-academic journals, such as Nature, Science and Scientific American.
Peer review is not a perfect system. In the golden era of Twentieth century science it wasn’t even thought necessary: neither Watson & Crick nor Einstein were peer reviewed. But in today’s abstruse, fragmented world where the various branches of science have grown increasingly recondite and specialised, peer-review has become widely accepted as the least worst method by which quality science can be sifted from junk science.
And nowhere more so than within the climate science community. In the run-up to Climategate, one of the main weapons used by those within “the consensus” against dissenting scientists was that their various papers picking holes in AGW theory had not been “peer-reviewed” and were therefore invalid. As Phil Jones himself puts it in one of his emails:
“The peer review system is the safeguard science has adopted to stop bad science being published.”
I think that’s pretty clear, don’t you? Now let us revisit that Jones/Mann exchange in the light of this knowledge. What we see happening is the deterioration of “peer review” into something more akin to “pal review.” The “peer review” process – at least in the debased field of “climate science” – has been corrupted. No longer can it be relied on as a guide to what is true or untrue, correct or incorrect, plausible or implausible. That’s because the scientists who control the “peer review” process – as revealed by the Climategate emails – are a self-serving claque, with rather less concern for the pursuit of objective truth than for their own vested interests.
With me so far? Good. Now we can move on to an incredibly complicated story which is causing much excitement at Watts Up With That?, Climate Audit and Bishop Hill at the moment. Some are saying its as damning of the “Consensus” as Climategate. It involves two people you’ve probably never heard of – Eric Steig and Ryan O’Donnell.
Eric Steig is a member of Michael Mann’s “Hockey Team” – the group of Warmist scientists who established a website called Real Climate, initially to rebut claims by McIntyre and McKitrick that Mann’s Hockey Stick wasn’t quite up to scratch, later to stick up for the Warmist cause generally.
In 2009 Steig et al published a paper considered so important that it made the cover of Nature. (H/T Barry Woods). The paper purported to counter one of the main arguments used by sceptics to dispute “global warming”, viz “if global warming really is as catastrophic and universal as some claim, then how come Antarctica remains as stubbornly cold as it was 30 years ago?” Steig’s paper showed that contrary to earlier claims, Antarctica was in fact warming too.
Or was it? Among the sceptics who suspected the reliability of Steig’s paper were Jeff Id (of the late-lamented Air Vent site) and Ryan O’Donnell. They pointed out that the statistical methods used to show this alleged warming were based on highly dubious extrapolations of data taken from small number of stations on the Arctic peninsula and coastline. (Something similar happened recently, you’ll remember, with NASA’s dramatic “warming” that took place in the Arctic – all of it, funnily enough, in places where there were no thermometers to check the reliability of NASA’s claims).
Steig suggested that rather than argue it out on the blogs O’Donnell, Id at el should publish a paper under peer review. So that’s what they tried. And guess which person it was who was selected to review O’Donnell et al’s paper. And guess which person it was – under the pseudonym Reviewer A – who tried to thwart the paper’s progression to publication with 88 pages of comments and obfuscation ten times longer than the original paper.
Yep. You got it. The mystery peer reviewer was none other than Eric Steig. Even in the monstrously corrupt world of “climate science” this was clearly a breach of protocol. Certainly, in no other scientific discipline would a reviewer with such a clear conflict of interest be invited to review a paper whose main purpose was to criticise one he’d written himself.
Now let us allow Iapogus (the commenter at Bishop Hill from whom I filched this summary: I’m an interpreter of interpretations, me) to continue the story:
Ryan guessed that Reviewer A was Stieg early on, but still remained patient and good natured. At one point in the review process, Steig suggested that Ryan and Jeff should use an alternative statistical technique, which they then did. But then later, Steig then criticised the paper, citing the example of the same statistical technique as an issue (the one he had suggested). So Steig has laid himself open to charges of unprofessional conduct, duplicity. And that was when Ryan decided to bring all this out in the open. Meanwhile Gavin and the other members of the Team at the Real Climate (RC) blog have gone into overdrive in moderating any commenter who ask any reasonable questions about all of this. Basically this was the evidence that peer review at least in climate science is broken.
Now you could argue that I shouldn’t be reporting on stories like this. It’s one of those “How many polar bears can dance on the head of the pin?” discussions of nuances of meaning which may be of tremendous interest to the “climate science” community – both sceptics and warmists alike – but which has little traction in the outside world.
Up to a point, I’d agree with this. The AGW debate – as I repeatedly argue in this blog – is essentially a political one not a scientific one.
Unfortunately, there are still lots of people out there – the Simon Singhs, the Sir Paul Nurses, the Ben Goldacres, the Robin Inces, and their Guardianista Twitter Posses, for example – who think otherwise.
And it’s important that these people are made to realise that not only are there no sensible political or economic arguments to support their cause, but passing few scientific ones either. If the science supporting AGW theory is really as rock solid as Warmists claim, why on earth would they need to resort to the kind of corruption and dirty tricks we first saw in Climategate and are now witnessing again in RealClimategate?
Give up, guys. The game’s over.
PS One more thing. Undoubtedly one of the best things ever to happen to the (somewhat dubious and generally second-rater-friendly) field of Climate Science has been the Watts Up With That? website. Not least among its achievements is to show the way forward after the death of “peer review”. The future is “peer to peer” review, at which WUWT excels. It has become a forum for experts from all scientific disciplines to assess various aspects of climate science rigorously and without the grotesque bias we’ve unfortunately seen so often among the “consensus” scientists at the IPCC. And now WUWT has rightly been put up for the Best Science Blog in the 2011 Bloggies Awards. It deserves your support. Vote early, vote often!
Let me have… (to read more, click here)
- Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?
- Simon Singh: is there anything he doesn’t know?
- Climategate: what Gore’s useful idiot Ed Begley Jr doesn’t get about the ‘peer review’ process
- The curious double standards of Simon Singh
On the whole……..I’d trust the blokes who don’t wish to over-regulate and over-tax our lives, and on balance these seem to be ‘realists’/’sceptics’.
Of course the climate is changing, it has done since the Earth was born – but I sincerely doubt that our emissions are responsible………..I’m far more worried about the effect on man’s intervention in respect of major lakes and river confluences, and of course the denudation of the oceans and fish stocks.
Thing is the big beasts of AGW are not at all interested in these problems – probably because there are no sinecure academic posts to be had because governments can’t tax and regulate schemes to clean up the oceans and cease diverting waterways.
The battle should be fought over water not air…….but there’s nothing in it for opportunistic political arseholes like Chris Huhne and Caroline Lucas, MSM wankers at the BBC and Grauniad and lastly opportunistic academics in the States and East Anglia plus that fucking shameless Indian geezer.
Band-wagon jumping Cameron is a disgrace too.
You clearly have no idea what you are talking about – why does that not cause you to pause and think – or does your pay cheque require yiu to simply say outlandish things to get attention?
The effect of CO2 on the atmosphere is very basic physics and has been known for over 100 years. 98% of all serious scientists agree on the seriousness of the situation we face. The 2% who don’t are left squabbling if it is serious / very serious / terminal.
Do you have children? do you feel no responsibility for them?
You can find any mount of rubbish on the internet to justify ‘climate change denial’ – don’t believe any of it unless you can quote me some serious science from a leading climatologist / physacist (and one not paid for by a lobby grour) – do you think this is all just a joke or that all scientists are wrong or that it is some great socilist conspiracy – grow up!
To put cost ahead of survival is unconchionable – yes I am cross, journalsits have great power – they should use it with responsibility.
And why do all these ’scientists’ still think it’s a science issue, rather than an economic one? It seems that the uncertainty of climate predictions is inversely proportional to the hundreds of billions of Euro, calculated by European bean counters, that we the people are worth screwing for.
You are simply wrong – none of the ‘facts’ you quote are facts they are ‘assertions’ – you of course did not answer a single point I raised – just gave the usual guff.
Go ask the government chief scientist, the previous chief scientist, the chief scientist of DECC or DeFRA – ask the president of the Royal Society – you are a clever ascerbic writer and no doubt this all gets you even more coverage from the nutty, ill informed conspiracy theorists everywhere. We ignore peer reviewed science at our peril – if we are to govern by emotion and tribal politics and not by logic and mature consideration of the facts we will indeed end up in a serious mess.
OOps – I have done it again – allowed myself to be wound up by your deliberate, stock in trade invective. More fool me.
PPS can you give me a link to your assertion re the 97/3 split being ’skewed beyond the point of utter meaningless’ (come on – get off the fence – what lies beyond uttter meaningless?)
Actually the 98/2 split was a result of a peer review poll of the views of the top 100 climate scientists worldwide – it was covered in New Scientist – I assume not on your reading list – not the 97/3 you disparagingly refer to – to quote yourself ‘do your homework first’
– Martin Wyatt
The “greenhouse effect” is a falsehood since we don’t live in a cloudless, oceanless greenhouse; cloud cover increases with ocean temperature, which gives negative feedback, cancelling out the CO2 effect on air temp. Try Roy Spencer’s peer-reviewed data on this.
“Actually the 98/2 split was a result of a peer review poll of the views of the top 100 climate scientists worldwide”
If you performed a ‘peer review poll’ of 100 priests, you may discover a small percentage of atheists, and a larger percentage of believers in god.
Will such a survey prove the existence of god, or merely demonstrate that most priests believe in a deity?
The AGW problem is just a repetition of “so many people can’t all be wrong”. If so many people can’t all be wrong, then clearly there are no political parties, no wars, no disagreements, no alternative ideas. We all think the same way. That’s the message of “peer”-review. You’re assuming that “peers” exist. Peers only exist if you’re part of a groupthink religion of consensus to begin with. You can’t ever have a “peer” if you’re unfashionable. How can that every be true if anyone ever has anything new to say? How can any fact ever be discovered and published if it first has to have support from bigoted “peers”? More important still is the fact that genuine criticisms from outside the box are never born as fully-developed rivals but are vulnerable babies in need of care, assistance, and nurture until they mature into fully-developed rivals. As Michael Faraday said when someone sneered at electricity in its infancy, “what use is a new born baby?” It’s even more important with theories. The AGW lobby’s approach is that of King Herod: kill off funding threats before they mature.
Another engineer here to add to your list here of “climate change believers”. And I’m a chemical engineer. The worst kind of engineer. The kind that traditionally goes round finding oil, coal and gas, and then encouraging people to burn as much as possible. Additionally, Steve Koonin, previously BP’s chief scientist, i.e. a man that worked for a company that makes its money by encouraging people to produce CO2, agrees that climate change is due to anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Even Exxon Mobil are now stating that they believe our CO2 emissions are a cause for concern, and they have a reputation for funding climate sceptics!
You are in no position to claim that you have read around the subject when you yourself have claimed that you’ve never read any of the peer reviewed material! This whole refutation of anthropogenic climate change is because you are scared. You don’t want to admit that it is happening because that would mean you actually have to alter your lifestyle. I’d actually respect you more if you said “yeah, climate change is our fault, and I don’t give a shit, I rather like killing foxes, burning oil and generally being irresponsible.”
P.S. “But even if you were to double atmospheric CO2 the forcing effect on global temperatures has been estimated at 1 degree C. Not scary.” This is the average increase, and if you had any basic grasp of statistics and the normal/Gaussian distribution, then you’d know that a 1 degree shift would cause a substantial increase in the number of high-temperature weather events. But you haven’t, because you haven’t read around the subject. Since you like “peer-to-peer” material so much, I suggest you look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution
“Well son/daughter I spread fallacious rumours about the future of our planet, your future planet, and try to make people very angry. When they argue against me, instead of engaging them in mature, sensible debate I make sarcastic rude comments that in no way support my original argument.”
Don’t give up the day job, matey.
No mention that the whole basis for all the IPCC ~3C warming forecasts for 2100AD is not CO2 but H2O vapour assumed to evaporate and amplify (positive feedback) the much smaller CO2 effect!
No mention that NOAA data from 1948 indicate negative feedback, with (a fall by about 1% in integrated column water vapour in clear skies).
No mention of Spencer’s peer-reviewed paper showing strong negative feedback from cloud cover increases after heating of the ocean (which covers 71% of the Earth, unlike a “greenhouse”).
No inclusion of the buoyancy of sunlight absorbing humid air which rises to form clouds that shade and thus cool the surface and the air below, providing homeostasis which compensates for CO2 emissions!
No mention that the tree ring temperature data is fake since tree growth isn’t a pure function of air temp but depends on cloud cover and rain!
No mention that the satellite temperature rise data is fake since it fails to survey surface air temperatures under cloud cover, where negative feedback occurs!
See the negative feedback in the analysis of the 15 strongest tropical intraseasonal oscillations: Roy Spencer et al., Figure 4 of Spencer, et al., “Cloud and Radiation Budget Changes Associated with Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations,” Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 34, August 9, 2007.
For every 1C warming of the ocean, the cloud cover increase was enough to cause a fall in solar radiation at the surface of 6.5 watts per square metre.
The 1 C temperature rise itself was only due to a solar radiation rise of 3.3 watts per square metre, thus strong negative feedback was caused, i.e. if you cause a small temperature rise by say adding CO2, the negative feedback from increased cloud cover will be enough to more than cancel out the effect of CO2!
The Emperor’s New Clothes are not very impressive, but it’s startling how many people are resistant to facts they don’t want to hear about. I vote that Delingpole should include a chapter on negative feedback in his next book.
Yes, clearly obfuscation, given there’s an entire article devoted to the subject detailing most of the topics you’ve covered, and many of the individual topics have their own articles and are classed under positive feedback. Hmm…
“No mention that the tree ring temperature data is fake since tree growth isn’t a pure function of air temp but depends on cloud cover and rain!”
I’m no expert, but I hear they also measured the oxygen isotopes present in ice cores to determine historic temperature changes, which are independent of rain and cloud cover. Also the tree ring data isn’t fake, it’s invalid. Fake means it never existed, which it clearly did because the trees are there.
You go on and on about how feedback counteracts the presence of CO2, but looking at prehistoric temperature and CO2 data shows a strong connection between CO2 levels and temperature. If there was such a high degree of damping, one wouldn’t expect such a close relationship.
If there were so many negative feedback effects in the climate system, it would be very very very stable. Such stability is rarely encountered in nature. Look at the weather. Look at the complexity of a food web and the drastic shifts that occur if one species’ population decreases dramatically.
No mention anywhere there that H2O has fallen by 1% since 1948 (NOAA data), equivalent to a 30% fall in CO2, which is enough to more than compensate for the measured 25% rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1948!
No mention of Spencer’s published, peer-reviewed result from 15 weather oscillations that the ocean evaporation due to warm air causes negative feedback, because the moist air rises and condenses into cloud cover (instead of staying put at sea level and simply heating the air further without rising, which is the nonsense believed by 100% of IPCC models, which all assume positive feedback from H2O evaporation).
It’s fakery to pretend tree ring data indicate air temperature, when cloud cover and global dimming effects are a more important contributor to changes in the rate of tree growth.
Even Phil Jones admitted (in January’s BBC Horizon pro-AGW propaganda movie) that since 1960, it’s not been possible to correlate tree ring growth with temperature. Where Jones goes wrong is in not investigating why the tree ring growth is slower after 1960; it’s because of global dimming due mainly to increased cloud cover.
No, because the earth rotates and 71% of the Earth is ocean and 29% is land; negative feedback is due to evaporation of water from warmed surface waters (only the top 50-100 metres mixed layer of the ocean is warmed, extending down to the thermocline depth). The constant change in the areas being irradiated with sunlight as the earth rotates, and the effect of dry soil areas where there is no negative feedback, produce instabilities. CO2 will cause very slight warming in dry land areas, where there is little water to evaporate and thus little positive or negative feedback from H2O unless clouds are blown overhead from ocean areas. Over and nearer to oceans, get more negative feedback from cloud cover.
Right. First of all you claim that H2O creates negative feedback, then you say the 1% decrease offsets the CO2 increase. Make your mind up!
Anyway these are relative statistics that give no indication of the quantities involved. Additionally I present you with this: http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1993/93GL02935.shtml. Steady atmospheric H2O increase of 1% per year for the past half century. Anyway let’s ignore that for a moment and get back to your figures.
I’ve done a little digging around myself and present you with the following back of an envelope calculation:
Mass of Earth atmosphere: 5.14*10^18 kg
Current mass fraction of water in upper stratosphere: 0.000373%
Current mass fraction of CO2 in atmosphere: 0.0577%
From these we get current masses of H2O and CO2 as 1.92*10^13 kg and 2.97*10^15 kg respectively. Using your figures the changes from 1948, I can calculate a decrease in water vapour of 1.94*10^11 kg (corresponding to 5.81*10^12 kg of CO2) and an increase in CO2 of… drum roll please… 5.94*10^14 kg! So a net increase in GHGs of 5.88*10^14 kg of CO2 equivilent GHGs. Why stop there? I mean the global warming potential of methane is 21 and for nitrous oxide it’s 300. Perhaps I’ll leave you to do the numbers on those and we’ll see if you get it right this time.
For someone with a thorough understanding of quantum field theory (hence group theory, complex analysis etc etc) you don’t seem to grasp numbers very well. Don’t worry, I won’t be buying the book .
Your “calculation” based on stratospheric H2O content is bull, because most of the water isn’t in the stratosphere but is at low altitudes, and in any case heating in the stratosphere has no effect on surface air temperatures. Hot air rises buoyantly, so it doesn’t mix downward.
Best of luck with the book etc anyway.
Educational pundits have confused the consensus of expert opinion with fact. The whole reason why these scams persist is that they don’t rely purely on strong leadership. They have massive number of acolytes who are liars behind them. The dirty little secret of the Nazi regime was that Hitler told millions what they wanted to hear about eugenics, and they wanted to believe it. The first rule of marketing is to tell people what they want to believe, not what the facts really are, which is usually less inspiring.
Let’s assume that AGW is a complete lie. Who will profit? How will it cement Guardian reading intellectuals together into a marvellous new version of Marxist revolutionism? These people want to do bad things for a good objective, “the ends justify the means”. This is precisely the eugenics argument behind WWII. Any critic of eugenics was not to be argued with, but dismissed as someone who failed to understand the basic principles of the subject. It might well be pointless for you to argue with me because you’re simply deliberately self-deluded.
With regards to quantities it IS important. For example, your 30% reduction mitigating the 25% rise thing. If the 30% reduction correlated with a relatively small amount of water being removed, and yet the 25% rise correlated with a large volume of CO2 (hypothetically speaking), then you can’t really say one will cancel out the other.
Yes it’s just like the Third Reich: note that in this case however there’s no Brown Shirts, no Night of the Long Knives, no SS, no rallying cries for a new world order, no Gestapo, no mysterious disappearances etc etc (or analogous things).
I fail to see much distinction between consensus and fact. Of course if you want to get metaphysical then you can argue there are no facts. Leaving this aside and taking fact to mean anything that is almost certainly true, I fail to see the difference between consensus and fact. There’s a general consensus that the world is roughly spherical, that it goes round the Sun, that germs cause disease, the list goes on. Point is that if you can show that there is some statistical significance in your data and provide a plausible explanation for the observed correlation, and no on can find fault with your method or analysis etc (the consensus part) then the best you can do is accept the correlation and the hypothesis as being fact (“whatever is left, however implausible…” etc). Part of it becoming “fact” requires consensus!
Of course there are going to be paradigm shifts now and then that challenge everything: Copernicus and Galileo, Pasteur, Einstein, Schrödinger et al, Lorenz, the list is long, but you get the idea. Heuristically, these shifts have always involved a dramatic change in perspective. The current challenges to various theories: climate change, MMR vaccines, AIDS and more are nowhere near as radical, and are more nitpicking over details. Facts and consensus may change because new areas are explored and new boundaries are crossed, not because someone picked a hole in someone else’s paper: that’s how theories are refuted, not accepted.
In short, we stand on the shoulders of giants, we don’t go around treading on their toes. Newton’s work, in spite of Einstein, for example, gives us accurate predictions on day-to-day mass and length scales (let’s leave Mercury out for the moment).
Think I’ve made my point as best I can. Look forwards to your response.
Look at the facts: the NOAA graph shows a large amount of fluctuation in water vapour since 1948, but overall the linear trend is a decrease by about 1% over 60 years. This is not an “exact” number when you take account of fluctuations from one year to the next; but the key point is that it falsifies the simple notion of positive feedback. Even if the “exact” amount of negative feedback contains uncertainties, at least the NOAA data do not support any of the positive feedback from water vapour since 1948. In order for positive feedback to occur, there must be an increase in water vapour as CO2 emissions rise. Seeing that most of the ~3C predicted IPCC temperature rises for 2100 AD is assumed to be postiive feedback from water vapour, where the hell is the evidence? The data show the opposite.
“As for gravitons, I gather the current trend goes something like “IF they exist, they can only have spin 2″, based on the rank 2 stress-energy tensor in GR. Neither of these things are dogma and are still open to scrutiny.”
Wrong, the string theorists who are used for peer-review insist on spin-2 gravitons as dogma because string theory’s main selling point is incorporating a spin-2 graviton mode. I go into the rank-2 (2nd order differential equation) issue here: http://nige.wordpress.com/2010/01/21/woit-and-the-spin-2-graviton-lie-of-pauli-and-fierz/ Basically, GR uses rank-2 equations because it describes forces in terms of spacetime curvature (2nd order differential equation), but Maxwell’s field equations are 1st order and satisfied by spin-1 field quanta. Assuming the simplest possible exchange of field quanta, a purely attractive gravitational field would imply spin-2 gravitons. However, as I pointed out in 1996, you can get repulsive gravity using spin-1 gravitons to do the job of gravitation plus cosmological repulsion (acceleration), which predicted dark energy accurately ahead of its observational discovery. Dr Campbell and Dr Zemelis rejected my paper on 25 Nov 96 predicting the dark energy and a~Hc acceleration because of string theory (spin 2 dogma), as did the editor of QCG after sending my paper for peer-review, and also the editor of PRL. The rank-2 argument is trash because it’s just one mathematical model; you can use rank-1 Maxwell type field lines instead of spacetime curvature to describe gravitation instead of rank-2 tensors. Rank-1 equations are just 1st order gradients (divs and curls). Alternatively, you can remold Maxwell’s equations into rank-2 spacetime curvatures with no rank-1 divs and curls. Thus it’s possible to model a field by different ranks of differential equations, so it’s untrue that spin-1 photons imply rank-1 field equations and rank-2 equations imply spin-2 gravitons. Ignoring this to hype string theory spin-2 groupthink is unphysical obfuscation. However, we can expect “shoot the messenger” politics here.
“Yes it’s just like the Third Reich: note that in this case however there’s no Brown Shirts, no Night of the Long Knives, no SS, no rallying cries for a new world order, no Gestapo, no mysterious disappearances etc etc (or analogous things).”
By the time we see the Fourth Reich Nazis herding us into concentration camps, it will be too late. Eugenics preceded Hitler and inspired Hitler. If eugenics “science” had been ridiculed earlier, much of Hitler’spower base and evil would have been undermined before it began. The problem with “Godwin” arguments is that they suppose the evil of the Nazis was apparent to all and sundry before WWII began, and it is “obvious” when a science is a danger. Not so. AGW has not found its Hitler yet, but it’s well into the eugenics “science” dictatorship already. I’m not against AGW as a theory, just against it being lying used as “peer-reviewed” or “consensus science” by politicians bent on creating a new world order. There are two kinds of science: (1) the groupthink stuff designed to churn out papers, suck in research grants, and (2) the more unfashionable stuff which is needed to probe for errors, omissions, contradictions, etc.
“I fail to see much distinction between consensus and fact.”
A proved mathematical theorem or experimental or observational data point with estimated error limits is a “fact” until or unless an error is found in it. A consensus of opinion is unfounded upon fact, or is founded upon alleged fact which is provably wrong.
E.g., CO2 emissions on earth warm the planet like CO2 pumped into a greenhouse. This is incorrect because 71% of the earth is water, and sky is high enough to allow evaporated water to rise to form increased cloud cover. To take an absurd exaggeration to see the physical mechanism, suppose the oceans start boiling. Very soon you’d get clouds of steam over the entire oceans and beyond, which would shadow the surface and cause cooling of the surface (negative feedback). This mechanism still works in a scaled down way for more moderate oceanic temperature rises due to CO2, and this mechanism doesn’t exist in the case of a greenhouse. Do any of the IPCC climate models include such negative feedback? No. They all assume that sunlight warmed moist air stays as heat-absorbing water vapour and doesn’t rise to form light-reflecting cloud cover. That’s not a fact. It’s a wrong consensus.
Galileo said 400 years ago: “I find it absurd to explain natural phenomena by false causes.” His words today ring true for the entire AGW liars enterprise.
This we have a compound problem where a false theory can be fiddled to meet the facts and can be defended by dismissing as false the correct theory, doing this by using false arguments. Newton’s laws of motion were needed to answer Ptolemy’s 150 AD criticisms of solar system theory, and they were only published in 1687, long after Copernicus’ rebirth of the solar system in 1500. So it an historical fact that you can put forward a correct theory and be “ridiculed” for being wrong, if your opponents use laws that are wrong.)
We’re clearly never going to agree on this. So I’ll try to live more sustainably and you can go and write your book and we can reconvene in 40 years and see what’s happened.
“We’re clearly never going to agree on this. So I’ll try to live more sustainably and you can go and write your book and we can reconvene in 40 years and see what’s happened.”
We’re not even going to agree that facts exist, since you won’t face them. There’s no greenhouse effect if you’re living in the real world where clouds form from evaporated ocean water when the temperature starts rising a bit due to CO2. I’ve always lived sustainably anyway, cycling and running wherever possible. It’s kinda fascinating to see the paranoid and morally superior “ends justify the means” justification for believing in pseudoscience and vilifying as immoral anyone who doesn’t share your dogmatic belief in the absence of facts. To you science is a political consensus of expert opinion. In that case, why not abolish laboratories altogether and decide on all cancer treatments and all knowledge by political processes? If factsdon’t exist, you can save a lot of money searching for them, and spend it instead lining the pockets of carbon credit traders.