IPCC report will make no difference in culture of denial

The Conversation

This week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report will be compendious, cautious, thorough and as authoritative as a scientific report can be. But it will not make much difference.

In the world we used to live in, the one in which the ideal of scientific knowledge held true, the report would give a further boost to an already valiant world effort to shift rapidly away from fossil fuels. It would give hope that we could head off the catastrophes of a hot planet.

But we no longer live in that world (otherwise known as the Enlightenment), the one in which we thought of ourselves as rational creatures who gather evidence, evaluate it, then act to protect our interests.

While the IPCC must continue to tell those who are listening what the science is saying, it ought to be obvious to any careful observer that the debate over climate change is not about the science.

Of course the deniers, who are out in force attempting to spike the IPCC report before it appears, must pretend that it is about the science, because to admit that they are on an ideological crusade would undermine their own position. Yet it is the weapon they hide that is most powerful.

Those who believe that more scientific facts will win the day cleave to the “information deficit” model of classical science. This says people act irrationally because their knowledge is deficient. Yet facts are no match against deeply held values, the values embedded in personal identity.

The debate has not been about the science since the early to mid-2000s. Then, climate denial moved beyond the industry funded lobbying campaign it had been in the 1990s and became entrenched in the new right-wing populist movement. This was represented by the Tea Party in the United States, and has subsequently been taken up by elements of the Liberal Party in Australia.

In the 1990s a citizen’s views on global warming were influenced mostly by attentiveness to the science. Now one can make a good guess at an American’s opinion on global warming by identifying their views on abortion, same-sex marriage and gun-control. That global warming has been made a battleground in the wider culture war is most apparent from the political and social views of those who reject climate science outright.

In the United States, among those who dismiss climate science, 76 per cent describe themselves as “conservative” and only 3 per cent as “liberal” (with the rest “moderate”). They overwhelmingly oppose redistributive policies, poverty reduction programs and business regulation. They prefer to watch Fox News and listen to liberal-loathing shock jock Rush Limbaugh.

Like those whose opinions they value, climate deniers are mostly white, male and conservative — those who feel their cultural identity most threatened by the implications of climate change.

A similar division has opened up in Australia, with more conservative voters deciding they must reject climate science in order to oppose the kinds of values they see environmentalism representing. Right-wing demagogues like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones have taken up the denialist cause as a means of prosecuting their war against progressive trends in Australian society.

The same is true here in Britain where the culture warriors of the conservative press have all felt it necessary to sacrifice their faith in science in pursuit a larger ideological struggle. Even the BBC repeatedly undermines public confidence in the IPCC by “balancing” the vast authority of climate science against the cranky views of a handful of unqualified “sceptics”.

Once the debate shifted from the realm of science to the realm of culture, facts were defeated. If the science challenges the values, the values will win. The braying donkeys of the Murdoch press understand this better than those of us who naively insist on the facts.

In fact it has been shown that, once people have made up their minds, providing evidence that contradicts their beliefs can actually entrench them further, a phenomenon we see at work with the upsurge of climate denial each time the IPCC publishes a report.

We are often preoccupied with visceral fears that are grossly exaggerated, and have to use our cognitive faculties to talk ourselves out of baseless anxieties. It’s the method of cognitive behavioural therapy.

In the case of climate change it is the other way around; we must persuade ourselves to be fearful using abstract information.

At present it seems easier to mobilise people by invoking fears of higher petrol and electricity prices due to carbon abatement policies than it is to persuade people to fear the vastly greater harms expected from climate disruption. We must use our cognitive faculties to take the evidence very seriously and talk ourselves into responding to something we cannot yet see. But isn’t that the essence of the Enlightenment?

So what will make a difference? When will science begin to count again? Perhaps we have evolved to respond only to immediate visible threats to our own safety, and so we are simply not programmed to react to abstract threats some way off into the future.

If so, the grim truth is that the world will give up its childish tendency to block its ears against the scientists’ unpleasant warnings only when we see large numbers of white-shrouded American bodies, the victims of climatic disasters.

Clive Hamilton is the vice chancellor's chair, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at Charles Sturt University.

The ConversationThis article was originally published at The Conversation. Read the original article here.

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Don't blame the community for the IPCC's incompetence in making its case. http://australiancarbonprice.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/is-ipccs-strategy-w...

We still live in a world in which science is highly respected, but the result of making an argument that consists only of "believe the science" is that climate action advocates are treating the public as mugs.

I hope we never approach public policy in such an arrogant manner again.

Yep

the Royal Society once supported the "fact" that blacks were inferior.

I guess the science was settled then too.

shoots

The proof is in the last 3 elections, people have short memories, the drought seems so long ago now. But when we were in the grip of it. The majority voted green.
Along with advertising works, and in the political world that is called propaganda. Tell some body some think for long enough and they will listen.
And when most of the uneducated outer suburban ignorant s, who have had a life time of being told that an authority will solve the problem. That they need not worry that makes them happy. It feeds their instant gratification desire effortlessly.

Don't blame the IPCC for the denialists' baseless accusations of incompetence in making its case. http://australiancarbonprice.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/is-ipccs-strategy-w...

We still live in a world in which dogma is highly respected, but the result of making an argument that consists only of "deny the science" is that climate action denialists are treating the public as mugs.

I hope we never approach public policy in such an arrogant manner again.

This article is typical of the patronising arrogance shown by The All-Wise, All-Knowing, Can't-Possibly-be-Wrong adherents of The Faith of AGW towards those who see a disconnect between the predictions and the outcomes and then have the effrontery to query it.

The public may be less sceptical of the "science" if, over the last twenty years, the IPCC had shown itself to be strictly objective instead of politically subjective, not to mention blatantly dishonest at times.

Yes despite the fact that science is supposed to be infinitely questionable and refinable,
it appears this is not so for supporters of AGW.

They're so scientific they couldn't possibly be wrong and used labels of "deniers".

Remember the cry of "heathen, witch, unbeliever, heretic".

It's all witchburning and not science at all.

It's interesting how a majority of climate change deniers. Also follow the churches stance on other social issues abortion, gay rights.
So Nevile you like to question the messenger, demonize science by ludicrously depicting individual's as a church. A question for you have you ever questioned the authority,? Do you know that the savior authority even exists.?
If your house was falling down would you fix it, or wait for an authority to save you fron your decaying building before it falls in on you.?

I thought we were talking about science.

So...

The established science is that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is increasing due to the burning of fossil fuels, and the global climate is warmer now than in the recent past. Further modelling suggests that it's quite likely that the two are related, and that in future we are likely to see an even warmer climate, acidification of the oceans, and rising sea levels. Obviously It's not certain that any of this will happen since it hasn't happened yet. Scientists will be watching with interest to see how their predictions agree or disagree with further observations.

Arguing against any of this is pure crankery. I don't care if you have a political opinion that nothing should be done about it, but at least don't be a crank and deny science.

Modelling is not science by definition.

Science needs hypotheses that are tested.

AGW hypotheses are so broad they are unscientific.

An hypothesis would be say a doubling of cyclones in Nth Australia in the next 10 years.

AGW models are a joke. They did not predict the halved rate of warming since 1998 and are in
permanent modification mode to fit the past.

No PhD student could publish anti AGW data without career suicide.

That's religion not science.

What is science besides data collection and modelling? If you've studied the clmate models in such detail and found fatal flaws, then get your results published. You'll be a hero.

Science is prediction at the least. At best it is manipulation via controlled experimentation.
Some sciences cannot do that e.g. astrophyisics.

Nevertheless they predict and observe. They don't persist in a crap theory and patch the model
forever.

This is the problem. The predictions are so coarse, so far ahead they are untestable hence it
is not possible to disprove them. Hence the gravy train goes on forever.

Read some basic philosophy of science, methodology and experimentation.

shoots

Controlled experimentation - I missed that. That doesn't seem very relevant to climate science though. I don't see how you could predict anything without a model to base predictions on. Ideally you'd have some elegant formulae like Maxwell's equations as the model, but not all modern sciences will be so lucky.

You're correct in one sense. Even the theory of gravitation is a model of sorts. It's just so simple that it's called a law. When hundreds of variables are thrown in, their interrelationships become important. That's when the modelling word emerges. Unlike models, the predictive utility of the
law of gravitation is simple, accessible and immediate.

Climate models are orders of magnitude more complex, nonlinear, using variables/processes
that may not be the most important (we only think we know what drives climate) and which
are fine tuned to account for the past.

When, they are used to predict the future they are grossly statistical with error margins
you could drive a bus through. Even then they failed to account for the halved rate of warming
since 1998 and logically are therefor invalid.

Your model of the economy is invalid if it overshoots prediction of GDP by 50%.

Logically, you don't really understand the processes driving your economy. Even if it accounted
for past GDP 100% correctly.

So, it's junk economics and AGW is junk science.

shoots

It is the new religion David. In the old days we behaved ourselves because we were frightened of going to hell. These days we are frightened of living it up as hell in the form of global warming will come to us or worse still will, because of our sins be visited on our descendants. is this for real or what?

Its typical human arrogance.

Once we were the centre of the universe, the centre of the solar system, god's greatest creation.

One by one we lose our specialness.

Now the climate is changing as it always does, so it must be humans.

What else could it be?

shoots

You hit the nail on the head with your comment "science needs hypotheses that are tested."

It is my complaint that the IPCC have not presented their arguments in that form, yet it can be done.

Let us develop a model of the global average temperature for the last 163 years (the limit of our detailed data), taking into account the likely influences on the temperature readings.

For starters they could be:

1. Greenhouse gases (GHGs), converted into warming forcing according to IPCC formulae.
2. Cyclic sea pressure changes (manifested in El Nino and La Nina events).
3. Volcanic eruptions.
4. Solar cycles
5. Cyclic temperature changes, linked to a long term (cooling) trend.

After having constructed such a model, it is found to return the following results:

a. Most of the temperature warming on the last 163 years (0.8 °C) can be attributed to GHGs.
b. A current cooling cycle can be detected that is currently plateauing.
c. Volcanic eruptions cause a temporary cooling influence.
d. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is a major pointer to year-to-year temperature changes.
e. Solar Cycles have an influence on year-to-year temperatures, but this is either minimal, or masked by SOI changes.

The model generated explains 90% of the variations in the temperature record (R² = 0.90).

Having established the general form of the model, it can then be recalculated as a blind test for the last 10, 20 and 30 years, yet the resulting parameters can still be used to explain the data for the future years.

Sounds like a testable hypothesis to me, yet climate scientists are not interested in it.

Such a model does explain the "halved rate of warming since 1988", and does not have to undergo "permanent modification mode to fit the past", although new data will always change the model to some minor degree. http://australiancarbonprice.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/defending-global-wa...

A model that works over 163 years is a model that should not be ignored.

That is science; it is not AGW religion.

Fortunately, I am a historian of independent means, so career suicide is not a problem for me.

Graham

You've obviously thought about this but basically all you're suggesting is testing the internal
validity of these models by randomly (or otherwise) selecting data subsets and seeing how they
back-verify the past.

The issue is the ability of models to predict the next 5 minutes, 5 years, 5 decaded. That's
all that matters.

Believe me I can build models that perfectly predict just about anything based on the price
of mars bars and beach towels as predictors- or anything else I choose. It's just parameter
adjustment. That's all.

However that does not mean mars bars and beach towels have anything to do with what I'm
predicting. That is the forward validity of the model.

Parameter adjustment in linear models is easy. The instability of IPCC models is that they are
nonlinear and this is why the fiddling takes longer and is more sensitive.

Compare for example the nonlinear explosion and collapse of mosquito populations.

Now expand that by a few thousand variables and project it forward a century.

Like I said, science is prediction. A hypothesis is a predictin about the future- not just
endless internal stability checking on a model you've tuned to fit the data you have and
which may work well on this past data, but fails to predict the future with any fidelity and
accuracy less than a barn door.

shoots

I have heard these arguments before, but they do not resonate.

Firstly, on the non-linear aspect of the IPCC models. Yes, the formulae they use for calculate forcing is logarithmic for CO2, Methane and Nitrous Oxide, but linear for CFCs and HCFCs. Irrespective of this, the result is close to linear in any case. Furthermore, since the relationship between forcing and warming is predicted to be linear, who cares? Who finds it too hard to calculate the forcing using the IPCC formulae?

I challenge you to use your mars bars, or some other ridiculuous and entirely unrelated variable, to "explain" the temperature variations for the last 163 years. No-one has been willing to meet this kind of challenge in the past, but I wish you luck with your efforts. Also I hope you are able to achieve a R² of around 0.90. Come back to me when you have done the work. BTW, your variables have to be independent of the temperature itself.

You will then be ready for the next test. Use your mars bars independent variables, to develop your formula using only the data for the period 1850 to 1983, and then use that formula (unchanged) from that model to explain the result over the next 30 years.

Come on, I dare you to put your rhetoric to the test!

If that is not prediction, I don't know what is. Perhaps you can explain this to me. It would be very useful to me to know your reasoning, since I find very baffling your concept that I can create a formula that can be used to explain data into the future but I cannot consider the formula to be predictive.

I have had the same (non-predictive) argument from climate scientists, and this rebuttal still remains incomprehensible to me, especially since it is effectively the approach used by the IPCC. Can you help me out here?

Yes, I can help you out here, especially since it is effectively the approach used by your fellow denialists. Pseudo-scientific drivel dressed up as the epitome of the scientific method is your approach.

Graham

You fail to understand the most basic concepts of model building and stats. There is internal reliability and external validity. The former is where the the model if made to fit the data. You can take as
many subsets of the data as you like and show that the model works well (R squared in the most
simplistic case). If it can't do this then u have nothing. It's the same principle as taking subsets of an IQ test and showing it correlates with the other subsets. In this case it's actually called
reliability and shows that all the data is reliably describing the same phenomenon.

THEN the data is projected forward to PREDICT and these predictions are matched with the real world as it unfolds. In the case of IQ tests for example the model is used to predict say school performance. If the model does not account for this new data, it fails.

What is your problem with this very very basic understanding? By taking an infinite number of subsets of data you are just testing the reliability of the model. Look up cronbach's alpha and the KR-20 fomulae for examples.

It is extremely common in factor analysis for example to take subsets of the data and reanalyse
to see if the same model emerges. Big deal. You have reliability but validity lies in its predictive
power when you project the model into the future.

BTW in terms if nonlinearity, the models are so unstable they are run hundreds of times so that the dramatic fluctuations in output are averaged out.

This too is a statistical con since all natural variabliltiy is eliminated by aggregation of this
kind. e.g. the correlation between raw family income and IQ may be 0.2 but if I aggregate
across say cities so that the real number of data points collapses to say 10 cities with 10
median income levels and 10 median IQ levels, the correlation is artificially boosted.

Believe me it IS possible ti model anything with anything, including mars bars prices.
You just don't know enough or are not sophisticated enough in the art to know how it is done.

shoots

At least I can agree with your comments on predicting future temperatures out to 2100: it is too difficult, with the potential error being massively on the side of even higher temperatures if nothing is done to cut GHG emissions.

However, we already know that even a 2 °C temperature increase is too much. Yet the world has already arrived at a consensus position that GHG emissions have to be managed. This means that it is unlikely that we will get even to that point.

Between now and 2050 our main resource is to try to manage emissions downwards. This is likely to be seen in the GROWTH of CO2 atmospheric levels stabilising in the next year or so, and then declining after that. CO2 levels will continue to grow well into the future, since even much reduced emissions have nowhere to go except into the earth, sea and air.

As we approach 2050 it is certain that technology will have already come to our aid, making it possible to economically cut emissions radically.

On this ground, I think it is silly to talk about emissions in 2100, except as theoretical possibility if nothing is done. However, it should always come with the caveat that action is being taken around the world, including in Australia.

David, do you know what modelling is?

Let me deal with this "climate models" argument by explaining in physics what a model is. To build a climate model one starts with the extremely well established and experimentally verified laws of physics. These laws cover the convective movements of gases on a spinning planet, the absorption of heat from the sun in the atmosphere, the re-emission of heat from the earth, the absorption of that heat radiation by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (including water vapour) and much more. From these laws a set of partial differential equations are built which describes the interactions and movements.
Now for the nub: these partial differential equations cannot be solved algebraically - it is not possible to derive formulas that predict the outcomes; the equations are too complex. However it is possible to solve the equations numerically - to take a set of initial conditions and move the ensemble represented by the equations forwards in time by small steps, calculating the state at the next instant of time. This technique is very well established - it's used in finite element analysis to assess the strength of structures, for example. This numerical calculation approach is all that a climate model is - a set of calculations all based on the known and experimentally verified laws of physics. If you have a problem with that, stop driving across bridges, because the same calculation techniques are used to check their designs.

Please, don't teach me to suck eggs.

Take this. Model for me trans-sonic airflows and then tell me that it really gets very unstable
very quickly. Wow, you can do some PDEs. Tell me why flow around a propellor is a lot harder
than we thought and out predictive ability is actually pretty constrained.

Now take another fact of nature, just like CO2 drives greehouse, model for me the health
effects of a 2000 calory increase in diet for the whole world 100 years ahead.

Hmm westernization=calories but also-GDP=health systems=immunisation=reproductive control=environmental regs=.....

complex isn't it? Oh, you thought it was just a chemical process like some gas in a jar?

Not oceans, cleans, suns, population growth, agriculture, fishing, ice, glaciers.

If we cannot predict the car popultion in china by end of century how can we predict the
climate.

Please, go back to excel.

shoots

Sorry I owed u a better explanation. I had to bolt and my last post was confusing.

You cite engineering but don't recognise that the bulk of engineering is concerned with linearising
systems. i.e. building devices/structures that behave with tame, known properties and where
change is largely linear. Much of engineering is just rule of thumb/tables of properties that
yield designs that stay right away from discontinuities i.e. sudden, abrupt states since these
generally are associated with catastrophe.

The climate is not a linear system and most thing really aren't. Biological systems aren't.
Most people will cope aerobically up to 10,000 ft. Indeed aircraft cabins are pressurised to that
level.

Above 10,000 and the wheels quickly fall off for many people and the rate of illness becomes exponential.
The decibel scale is a scale that maps the attenuation of human perception/response with
increasing amplitude of sound. It is nonlinear.

The human heart is a nonlinear system that can suddenly transit to a new, stable pattern
of beating which just so happens to kill you.

Climate modeling is unstable and difficult because the phenomena are inherently nonlinear,
tightly inter-related with feedback loops and the mesh sizes for geographic areas means that
the volume of data quickly swamps computational power. The instability demands many runs
so that highly averaged outputs yield :"scenarios". rather than predictions.

In addition, the fact that the model accounts for past climate behaviour does not mean it is
valid in predicting the future. This is where they fail since the behaviour of the climate since
1998 has not been predicted by those models. They are invalid.

BUT more tweaking will go on, more runs, more fiddling and more "research" jobs will be
funded instead of funding real technology and pure science jobs that might yield the cleaner
and more efficient technologies we need.

We certainly don't need infinite tweaking of highly unstable models so that we can get them to
a point were governments have an excuse to tax.

Amazing how this article is identical to those written by anti-AGW bloggers and anti-AGW proponents except Clive seems to have used a search and replace function to reverse all references to warmists and deniers... plagiarism with a difference?

So this is where all out hard earned cash is going to finance corrupted science in our higher education institutes. Surprised he hasn't quoted Lewandowsky or the ABC as authoritative contributors to the argument!

Well I guess these responses confirm your assertion - "In fact it has been shown that, once people have made up their minds, providing evidence that contradicts their beliefs can actually entrench them further, a phenomenon we see at work with the upsurge of climate denial each time the IPCC publishes a report". Remarkable.

The IPCC continues to shoot itself in the foot by making ridiculous claims - e.g. 95% confidence that man is responsible for most of the global warming over the past 50 years or so. What a ridiculous claim.

The estimate of 95% is the gut feel of "experts" who suffer from groupthink, herd mentality and bias. From AR4:

"The approaches used in detection and attribution research described above cannot fully account for all uncertainties, and thus ultimately expert judgment is required to give a calibrated assessment of whether a specific cause is responsible for a given climate change. The assessment approach used in this chapter is to consider results from multiple studies using a variety of observational data sets, models, forcings and analysis techniques. The assessment based on these results typically takes into account the number of studies, the extent to which there is consensus among studies on the significance of detection results, the extent to which there is consensus on the consistency between the observed change and the change expected from forcing, the degree of consistency with other types of evidence, the extent to which known uncertainties are accounted for in and between studies, and whether there might be other physically plausible explanations for the given climate change. Having determined a particular likelihood assessment, this was then further downweighted to take into account any remaining uncertainties, such as, for example, structural uncertainties or a limited exploration of possible forcing histories of uncertain forcings. The overall assessment also considers whether several independent lines of evidence strengthen a result.”

Exactly.

And the public is led to believe that this "science" is as unbiased and error free as arithmetic.

Have they dropped the pollen counts and tree ring counts from the models yet?

Luckily dinosaurs did not play football or they'd put the scores in as a proxy for heat stress
in players from ambient temperature.

Junk science.

Damning with faint praise; another favoured trick from denialists unable to face up to the reality of their silly thinking.

Do you denialists have any idea how silly your increasingly deaaperate attempts to justify your years of flawed thinking sound?

Look at temperature graphs of the last 65 million years and tell me if we are cooler or hotter than
that average?

Most of earth's history has been cooling periods. The warming of the last century on those graphs
is a joke.

Oh heck I'm a heretic, witch, DENIER, unbeliever, unclean.

Go back to witch hunting or just engage in the debate.

The forlorn hope that Australia could lead the World in reducing carbon emissions is the reason we have so many people against the policies. CSIRO drill cores are supposed to show the World being eight degree's hotter, 128 thousand years ago, very few humans at that time, and yet,we still exist
Believe the science or not, you can only change a Global problem with Global commitment. First thing that needs to be implemented is a reduction in World population growth, as, if the population continues to grow at its present rate, there will be little left of the planets resources to worry about climate change. China is the only Country with the courage to implement that policy to date, time for the rest of the Worlds Governments to do likewise.

Exactly Richard.

Population has always been the elephant in the room.

But governments like taxes from anything and people drive consumption and taxes.

Onwards, onwards to the next election.

shoots

The same old denialist cherry picking of data.

And you have the nerve to criticise science and then try justify your inability to face an unpleasant reality, with an almost perfect example of bad scientific thinking.

Face it, you denialist are wrong, have always been wrong and now you have nowhere to run to.

Time for a reality fix kiddies.

How can it be cherry picking to show the last 10,000 years or 65 million tears of temp data?

That clearly shows the temp variations the earth has had in the past have been enorrnous
compared to the current warming.

Cherry picking is focusing on the last 2000 years.

Jeez

IPCC reports are compiled by UN bureaucrats, not scientists. As such, they are a Bovrilisation of many scientific papers of varying value, depth or probity. This report is no different from the previous four, in that it is essentially a political not a scientific document. It is hugely ironic for Hamilton to deny the prostitution of science by the IPCC and lament the end of the Enlightenment in science.

Unsurpringly, the instant armchair scientists who persist in their childish denialism, also persist in shooting the messenger.
Ever fly in a plane?
Ever had an operation?
Ever taken an antibiotic?
Ever driven a car?
If the answer to any of the above is yes, then your selective attitude to science as evidenced by your absurd criticism of the science in climate science and its clear conclusions, is nothing more than hypocricy.

With more than a small dose of needing to be paid attention to like a kid throwing a tantrum when ignored.

Because as the science in climate science becomes more and more incontravertable, being ignored is what the denialist kiddies will have to get used to.

Nah, actually the IPCC is in retraction mode. The models were overstated by a wide margin.

Trouble is their arrogance never diminshes.

THIS TIME, the science is really in. Truly it is.

Anthony You are confused.

Most of us would love it if climate science was real science or engineering.

You cite the benefits of planes, antiobiotics etc but seem confused in believing that climate
science is anything like that.

I can get a scale or full scale aircraft, put it in a wind tunnel, clamp umpteen instruments to
it and the model I derive from that data will quite accurately predict the behaviour of the
plane in real life. Note however that even in this simple system (no glaciers, oceans, seasons,
el nino, tides, forests, cloud reflection etc) STILL these models are quite imperfect.

That's why we still use test pilots and don't just run a model and tell the factory to produce
200 copies of an airbus we designed from a model.

The planet can never be put inside an experiment. The number of variables used to predict
flight dynamics is tiny compared to the number needed to describe planetary climate.
The relationships of these variables to each other is known. In climate "science" they are
guessed at or fudged to make the model work.

As a real flight dynamicist like Burt Rutan (multiple designs for NASA and elsewhere)
and he will tell you climate science data is junk.

He makes real aerial vehicles and knows what even his simple models are worth.

Don't lump clmate science in with the kind of science that benefits your life in other
domains.

Climate science is no different from scientific racism where the royal society knew that
blacks were inferior, just based on skulls and bones.

Theories that can't explain facts or predict things well should be revised or dumped. When one does look at the global warming campaign one finds it hard to get entirely rational answers to some questions.

1. Is the world warming?
2. If so, by how much?
3. Does human activity have much to do with it?
4. Is it a bad thing?

Take the last question, the allegedly horrible end game of all the ice caps melting. The latest National Geographic shows an inland sea back in Australia and recovery of the Aral Sea. That might lead to more rainfall and less drought in some parts of the world and it will take several thousand years to get to the result so we have time to adjust. A small cost per year over a long time for a wetter and greener Australia might be seen by some as a good thing.

You see the point? There is so much hypothesis and speculation in all this over thousands of years that the only possible verdict is "not proven".

Before we punish people with carbon taxes and vastly expensive renewable energy targets and subsidies, we should insist they be found guilty on the weight of tested evidence, not model projections.

Dr Terry Dwyer
Dwyer Lawyers
www.dwyerlawyers.com.au

PS Before I am accused of scientific ignorance, I do have an Honours degree in Pure Mathematics as well as a Harvard PhD in Economics. Models that can't produce testable predictions which pass muster aren't worth much.

Correct.

The AGW hypothesis has been extended out of a glass jar CO2 causes greenhouse effect to
encounter the thousands of variables that affect real climates. Part of this includes the unknowable
behaviour of people.

My exanmple of an increase in calories across the world is a good example. Calories cause
weight gain and ill health. But try to extrapolate that across the world for 100 years hence
and you see that some counties health improves, others have the effects of weight gain
ameliorated by GDP and better health, education, immunisation and regulatory systems
that come with westernisation.

It's complex. More than some CO2 in a jar with a heat source irradiating it.

Personally I'll believe the Climatology Club's alarmism the day the IPCC comes out with an edict that forthwith no publicly paid official will remain air-conditioned on their watch and the Clive Hamiltons of the world immediately take sledgehammers to their HVACs in total agreement, leading the carbon revolution from the front in order to persuade we ignorant masses.

Hamilton is relying on two false premises with his thesis:

(1) Pseudo science: The Precautionary Principle
(2) Political Bias: Skeptics of AGW are right wingers

(1) Pseudo science: The so-called Precautionary Principle is a modern aberration that is anti-intellectual, anti-science and anti-progress. It requires us to plan for any and all amorphous 'what if?' scenarios. It is applied specifically to climate alarm as an implicit admission that scientists just don't know what future climate change will do. But, 'just in case' it could go bad we should insure ourselves against catastrophe by de-industrializing. By such antediluvian 'what if?' reasoning mankind would have had to have forestalled indefinitely all technological advances from the steam age, plus electricity, nuclear power, modern surgery and antibiotics, etc.

(2) Political Bias: In point of fact, many AGW skeptics are non-political organisations disavowing political advocacy. Hamilton, on the other hand, is not only anti-democratic but balso politically active and professionally invested in the climate scam. In 2009 he stood as the Australian Greens candidate for the by-election in the federal seat of Higgins and he supports internet censorship in Australia.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Hamilton

Yes

Notice how the precautionary principle is NOT applied to well known threats to our species
including:

1. Pandemic. despite the fact we know 18 million died around 1918 from spanish flu.
Vuruses have been the no.1 killer of humans in history. Followed by..

2. Bacteria. We are 2 antibiotics away from dying from a cracked tooth. i.e. the 1920s
due to growing antibiotic reistsnce.

3. Big rocks form space. The holes are there. The extinctions are known.

We don't do too much precautionary stuff for these. Maybe we can't get up enough guilt
to tax ourselves to death.

shoots

Good article Clive. But I don't think you'll ever convince this lot, despite the abundant evidence of rapid change in our climate in recent decades, and the need to act. They seem too busy questioning the models and the predictions, which can never be totally accurate, just like economic forecasts.

There has been 65 million years of change.

The issue is what causes it.

The models are not convincing for many because they failed to account for the slowing of
warming since 1998.

If the models were useful they wouldn't fail this way.

Even worse is the arrogance of AGW supporters who claim the science is in- when it wasn't-
and simply use witch burning, denier, heretic, unbeliever language to discredit real skeptics.

NASA data shows that 2005 was a record and 2010 was another record. The years 2011 and 2012 were considerably higher than anything before 1998. In fact, global temperatures each year since 1995 have been higher than anything we saw before 1995 (and going back several thousand years at least). Short term levelling off occurs, e.g. first half of the 1980s, first half of the 1990s, and arguably in some recent years, but the overall trend is upwards. If it can be construed that there has been a slowing in the rate of increase in temperature rises in the last 15-20 years, then it’s probably due to the actions of various countries to ease the effects of climate change. The CSIRO states: “All measurements of the climate system indicate the long term warming trend is continuing. It is inappropriate to use short term data sets to determine long term trends.” http://www.csiro.au/en/Outcomes/Climate/Has-Global-Warming-Stopped.aspx

Wow! so here we are arguing about the validity of science when do we really all think that transitioning to a greener more environmentally positive future would be a bad thing to do?
Wake up people. why are we arguing little details when we could be setting up the infrastructure of the future.

Because it costs more and those energy costs feed thru the economy.

If you are happy to pay more for your lifestyle just make an extra donation to the ATO.

Meanwhile the real solutions are in technologies yet to be developed. Not slightly more
efficient wind farms.

So what will make a difference? When will science begin to count again """ The plain fact is, the science counts right now, however, given that business as usual takes precedence, few people of influence are bothering with it - Indeed, have relegated it to futureology.

Unfortunately good planets are hard to come by, so there will be a price attached to this wilful apathy. Ergo, an extinction event on a grand scale. Welcome to the Anthropocene