Conspiracy theories surrounding human influenced climate change, what's up with that?


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Yuugasa wrote:

While the world(and specifically the internet) is filled with conspiracy theories about all sorts of subjects the subject that has struck me as just exceptionally odd is the controversy around climate change, specifically human influenced climate change.

Climate change is a well researched and understood subject, and while many of the particulars are still being learned and debated the fact that it is happening and is influenced by human beings is pretty well established, the science is in, as it were.

And yet a wide host of conspiracy theories surrounded it, the most common being that the whole thing is being faked by the scientific community for some unspecified purpose.

Well, a host of conspiracy theories have certainly come out on the thread you started.

Why on this topic? Well it has become very political. And people opposed to greenies and communists or whatever label they want are never going to believe them.

I don't know if politicising the issue was a deliberate move by the fossil fuel industry, but if it was it was quite brilliant.

Of course continuing to run an uncontrolled experiment on the biosphere of the only planet our species has to live on is the opposite of brilliant, even by corporations making lots of money from it.

And good luck to the digital content director trying to keep the discussion civil.

I have had a prophetic vision in which it was revealed to me that this thread will be locked.


Sissyl wrote:

Sooo... the only people who are qualified to discuss this AT ALL are those with a master's degree in environmental sciences?

I never suggested not doing anything. I was merely saying that having huge, international, unelected organizations made up from Greenpeace and WWF scum and letting them dictate the future of human energy production (spiking the steering wheel and the gas pedal stuck in the current position at 100 MPH while approaching that brick wall), plus letting them get rid of the only known effective low-emissions energy form (sawing off the brakes on the car)... just MIGHT not be the best idea in the history of human ideas.

Sissyl, here's my take.

When you talk about anti-democratic groups grasping for too much power. I'm with you, I don't like that either.

Where you lose me is when you try to use this as proof that AGW isn't happening. There's a disconnect there.

Do you think that increasing our reliance on clean energy would be a BAD thing? Do you think we NEED to pollute the world to continue existing? If you want to rail against HOW people like the IPCC and Greenpeace act and how they should not be the ones making decisions, I'm all in with you. But when you take it an extra step and make it sound like NOTHING should be done because these people exist, that's when you lose me.

That's the rub of how your posts come across. It sounds like because these people are idiots, we should do nothing.

I agree that the IPCC act like idiots, they put their foot in their collective mouths and they seem to purposely mismanage information in an attempt to get their point across. That isn't proof that AGW isn't real though. It's just proof that they're idiots and asses. Which I would agree with the latter.


AGW may well be real, though what has gotten out about it into mainstream information is too riddled with weasel-talk, idiot soundbites and screaming nastiness to tell. Lots of people have done a miserable job at communicating it. They have also strayed from proper scientific methods, as shown by their ideas about consensus relaying truth.

So, what is needed is INDEPENDENT research. After a serious investigation of the manners of research in the current climatology field and some serious transparency work, the field could start producing interesting results again.

These people demand the ages old dreams of the environmentalist mindset, which is a) a truly massive cost, b) won't solve the problem and c) will not get popular support. All of these mean it won't happen. Humanity is as it is, and it is possible we can't deal with this. Throwing out the good things we do have won't improve anything.

If the IPCC stopped throwing uncountable billions at the ghost of CO2 PPMs, which have not helped, and put a massive effort into developing the entire fissile cycle of uranium and fusion plants, the problem would be far more likely to be treatable. Solar and wind is cute, not a cure.


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Sissyl wrote:

AGW may well be real, though what has gotten out about it into mainstream information is too riddled with weasel-talk, idiot soundbites and screaming nastiness to tell. Lots of people have done a miserable job at communicating it. They have also strayed from proper scientific methods, as shown by their ideas about consensus relaying truth.

So, what is needed is INDEPENDENT research. After a serious investigation of the manners of research in the current climatology field and some serious transparency work, the field could start producing interesting results again.

These people demand the ages old dreams of the environmentalist mindset, which is a) a truly massive cost, b) won't solve the problem and c) will not get popular support. All of these mean it won't happen. Humanity is as it is, and it is possible we can't deal with this. Throwing out the good things we do have won't improve anything.

If the IPCC stopped throwing uncountable billions at the ghost of CO2 PPMs, which have not helped, and put a massive effort into developing the entire fissile cycle of uranium and fusion plants, the problem would be far more likely to be treatable. Solar and wind is cute, not a cure.

What exactly would qualify as independent research if hundreds of unrelated papers corroborating eachother using different methods wont satisfy you?


Unrelated papers? Sure. We will know once their work has been properly charted in a transparency process.


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The data is freely available on websites

Their emails were hacked and they still didn't find anything.

The only way to make the process more transparent is to have them drill arctic core samples naked, and no one wants to see that.

The fact is, this is as good as it gets with anything as complicated as the entire planet. Saying you want to wait until humans with no preconceptions or ties to any university government, environmental or business group graduate a university independently replicate decades of research (and have to use old data anyway) to make a decision is saying that you'll never make a decision.

Yes, the media white washes how messy science is (sausage, laws, and SCIENCE! Don't watch them made if you ever want to use them) but science is by far the best thing we have to reach a decision. In the absence of any remotely plausible explanation as to why someone would fake this i have to reach the conclusion that its real.


And if science IS such a good tool for figuring out things, it behooves everyone involved not to fall to sub-par methods, redefinition of the peer-review process, hiding declines, adding random numbers to various matrices of data, just to mention a few things that WERE found to be very significant with the Climategate emails.

Hiding the decline, for those interested, refers to having a decline in the sixties for the global warmth curves according to the historical data sets produced by the climate models. The sixties had no such decline for real, which would make the veracity of the climate model questionable. Instead of being honest about it, see, a prediction model that exactly matches in historical data will have very little if any predictive power, the originator of that email chose to replace the climate model data for the period in question with tree ring data from a study. The serious part is not what was done, because the model data from the sixties WAS wrong, but that it was done without clearly showing that it was done, and was done in a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the truth.

When stuff is leaked, the people it was leaked from ALWAYS claim that nothing was found. And it's never really true.


Sissyl wrote:

And if science IS such a good tool for figuring out things, it behooves everyone involved not to fall to sub-par methods, redefinition of the peer-review process, hiding declines, adding random numbers to various matrices of data, just to mention a few things that WERE found to be very significant with the Climategate emails.

Hiding the decline, for those interested, refers to having a decline in the sixties for the global warmth curves according to the historical data sets produced by the climate models. The sixties had no such decline for real, which would make the veracity of the climate model questionable. Instead of being honest about it, see, a prediction model that exactly matches in historical data will have very little if any predictive power, the originator of that email chose to replace the climate model data for the period in question with tree ring data from a study. The serious part is not what was done, because the model data from the sixties WAS wrong, but that it was done without clearly showing that it was done, and was done in a deliberate attempt to obfuscate the truth.

When stuff is leaked, the people it was leaked from ALWAYS claim that nothing was found. And it's never really true.

Hiding the decline

In other words, it's nothing like what you said.


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Its not that the methods are sub par, its that your idea of par is woefully idealistic and unrealistic on an undertaking that literally spans not "only" the entire planet and eons of its history but but also touches on involves every human endevor from atmospheric science to zoology while taking a detour through sociology and economics.

You demand people that you can't even make up aspersions about and they simply do not exist. You want them to only live, breathe, and think like neutral dispassionate beings with no opinions even in private, and if they say one thing that could be taken completely out of context as falling short of that you want them gone. You demand that they be independent of everyone and yet still miraculously have funding to cover their own salaries and some very expensive research.

That simply has never happened, its never going to happen, and given how readily believe anything badmouthing the environmental movement it CAN"T happen. Its not a fair standard to hold people up to.

Nothing was found. If you think something was found, post a page of it, not less than a full sentence.


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Sissyl wrote:
And if science IS such a good tool for figuring out things...

We've made more progress in understanding the world in the 400 years since Galileo than in the 40,000 years before before him (granted, Galileo as the father of the scientific method could be debated, but if anything, the advent of the scientific method is even more recent than 400 years).

So yeah, science is useful for "figuring out things." :P


Oh really? Well, your opinion is noted, thejeff. That doesn't make it valid, nor does your referring to an AGW propaganda site exactly infuse your opinion with rightness. Propaganda will be propaganda. By the way, the explanation given in your precious site is inconclusive.


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Sissyl wrote:
Oh really? Well, your opinion is noted, thejeff. That doesn't make it valid, nor does your referring to an AGW propaganda site exactly infuse your opinion with rightness. Propaganda will be propaganda. By the way, the explanation given in your precious site is inconclusive.

The site offers a clear description of what was being talked about in the emails, offers public sources for its discussion dating back more than a decade before the controversy, and you want me to believe you because you say it is propaganda while offering no counterdata?


thaX wrote:


The fact is, the last decade has seen the planet get a bit cooler, not warmer. This is why it is now called Climate Change, not Global Warming.

I thought they longer called it global warming because of Republican Strategist Frank Lutz. Frank did not create the term (it had been around for a long time), but he strongly advocated it's use.

Frank determined via focus groups that climate Change sounded like something that naturally occurs and less frightening. All the Republicans got memo (and apparently so did you) and used it. The media soon followed and began using it and I believe that's why Global Warming is no longer used.


bugleyman wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And if science IS such a good tool for figuring out things...

I'm really not sure how you're attaching an "if" there.

We've made more progress in understanding the world in the 400 years since Galileo than in the 40,000 years before before him (granted, Galileo as the father of the scientific method could be debated, but if anything, the advent of the scientific method is even more recent than 400 years). So yeah, science is good at figuring out things. :P

You don't have to convince me that the scientific method is a good thing. It doesn't mean the process is inviolable. Let's take an example:

The issue of negative results: Journals want people to buy their issues. So, they publish stuff that is as attention grabbing as possible. New! Spectacular! Interesting! That sells. However, one of the parts of the scientific method that can truly change our perception of something is when a study is replicated - and the original positive findings do not stand for scrutiny. Keep in mind that roughly one in twenty correlations found to be significant (at p < 0.05) ARE products of random chance. But, replications are no fun. They are very far from bestsellers, so journals don't want them, and scientists don't want to do them. Even worse: This applies to a much larger group of studies: those that did not find a significance. If you send in a study to a journal where you have diligently researched whether A correlates to B and you didn't get any significant results, it's not going to be a success story... even though from a larger viewpoint, it may well be a vital piece of information that there is no significant correlation. Sooo... what happens is that once the data is in, if the study design showed no positive correlations, the study gets dumped in a drawer and never sent in to a journal.


Technically, that just means that the process is not being properly followed, since a "replication" is supposed to replicate all the basic conditions.


The problem is that the reported results of the scientific work in the issue are skewed because certain results are not reported, and other results that would have needed a second look never get it, thereby distorting the conclusions in the issue.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

People do replicate the various studies that have gone into understanding how our climate works, via reanalysis of data using new methods, addition or use of alternative data sets, and tweaking models to include additional parameters. I come across dozens of papers a year in various journals and from various research groups looking at how climate change work, and that is me just looking for paper relevant to my own research interests in ocean climate change over the Neogene.


Sissyl wrote:
Solar and wind is cute, not a cure.

Solar is no where close, agreed. Wind is closer than you think.

If you remove taxes, subsidies, financing, etc... Wind energy is slightly more expensive than coal. Slightly. We're talking a 4% difference in costs over the life time of each type of generator per kilowatt produced. But we have to keep in mind that wind energy has fallen in cost drastically in the past 25 years, to roughly 1/4 of what it was in 1990.

Wind energy is cheap enough that some US utility companies are actually choosing it purely based on economics in their future expansion projects.

Right now, cost is not the prohibitive factor on wind, it's production on demand for peak usage hours. Yes the current capacity is still low, but that isn't a reason for it not to expand.

Also, solving the the major problem with wind, peak usage hours, could be done within a couple years. There's a European company right now that is in the process of bringing organic flow batteries to market by 2017.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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To the OP: It's because addressing the problem will cost money. And nobody agrees on who is going to pay.

Wealthy industrial companies would have to own up to the fact they did most of the polluting to get ahead. However, these countries are, in fact, doing more for the environment then other nations.

Second world nations, like, say, China, are polluting monstrously to catch up tot he first world nations. They don't want to pay because that would cripple their ability to catch up.

Third World nations want to be paid to not follow in the steps of the other nations, pointing at the fact that they are the ones hurt the most, yet they did not cause the problem.

The Issue is thus SEPTIC - Somebody Else's Problem, Think I Care? - to everyone that doesn't want to pay a dime to a problem they can't see is tangibly affecting them.

==Aelryinth


Tragedy of the Commons on a global scale. :-/


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Sissyl wrote:
Keep in mind that roughly one in twenty correlations found to be significant (at p < 0.05) ARE products of random chance.

This statement is not true.

I think that's one reason that conspiracy theories regarding science take hold so easily. A lot of people think they understand the science, when, in fact, they've grabbed on to a blatantly false idea that nevertheless fits well onto a postcard, and then they retell it to all of their friends instead of actually fixing their belief.

On a similar note, I once had an editor -- an editor -- change "we found no evidence to disprove" into "we proved" because it was tighter. Of course, it was also wrong.

Why that statement isn't true: one in twenty correlations tested in a situation where there is no significant correlations will be found (falsely) to be significant. But in a situation where there is a significant correlation, then most of them will be found (the exact number relates to the power of the test used). And most scientists are actually pretty good at not running experiments unless they have reason to believe that there's something there, if only because running experiments gets expensive.

So consider two scientists. "Adam" basically just throws data into a blender and publishes any time he gets a p value below 0.05. He will get about one "finding" per twenty experiments, runs a different experiment every morning and afternoon, and maybe publishes twenty papers a year.

"Beth," by contrast, is more methodical and has a theoretical argument behind every experiment she runs. She runs about one experiment every two weeks, and twenty of those twenty-six experiments show something -- so she also gets about 20 papers per year.

(I should also point out that Beth's lab costs are roughly 7% of Adam's, which one reason that Beth will probably make tenure and Adam won't.)

Out of Adam and Beth's joint lab, how many of those forty papers are (likely to be) the product of random chance?

In real life, there are a hell of a lot more Beths than there are Adams, of course.

Grand Lodge

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Irontruth wrote:


If you remove taxes, subsidies, financing, etc... Wind energy is slightly more expensive than coal. Slightly. We're talking a 4% difference in costs over the life time of each type of generator per kilowatt produced. But we have to keep in mind that wind energy has fallen in cost drastically in the past 25 years, to roughly 1/4 of what it was in 1990.

Keep in mind that the Petroleum industry also receives subsidies from the government, although I'm rather doubtful that they're still in need of them.


Sissyl wrote:
The problem is that the reported results of the scientific work in the issue are skewed because certain results are not reported, and other results that would have needed a second look never get it, thereby distorting the conclusions in the issue.

Oddly enough, scientists are aware of this issue and have developed methods to address it. Look up "meta-analysis" and "the file-drawer problem." I think the specific term "file-drawer problem" was coined in the 1970s, so this isn't exactly cutting edge, either.


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You know what would be a truly massive money-maker for a scientist or a journal right now? Producing a thorough, peer reviewed article detailing why the current (and alarming) models that predict climate change are wrong. At this point there would be far more money in a scientifically valid article debunking climate change than there would be in yet another science journal article warning people about climate change.

For me, that's one of the stronger arguments why the conspiracy theories about the science being faked make no sense. At this point there is almost certainly more money in disproving climate change than there would be in perpetuating a 'false' model. At some point a large body of the multitude of 'conspirators' would have broken ranks to get some of that cash.


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SIssyl, I want you to imagine we're talking about literally anything else. Any other topic of study in the universe. Anything that isn't climate change. Pick an incredibly benign question that science can answer. "Can bananas turn yellow?" for instance! That's a good one. Science can answer that.

Now, imagine you had no personal experience with bananas. You sort of know that they're fruits, but you've never seen or eaten one. But imagine that many thousands of scientists have examined bananas in incredible detail. And imagine that nearly every single one of them has concluded that yes, in fact, bananas turn yellow as they ripen! And imagine that the media reported on how much scientists had studied bananas.

In this obviously ridiculous scenario, does it make a lot of sense to you for someone to resist the idea that bananas turn yellow as they ripen with the same persistence that you show here? Or would that sort of behavior strike you as unreasonable, and cause you to question why someone who isn't in a position to answer the question for themselves would feel such a compulsion to defend a conclusion that essentially none of the scientists reached?


Sissyl wrote:
The problem is, as I did get agreement on, that the media f!&+s things up. Simplified sound bites and idiot-level reasoning like "the science is settled" is simply not enough for a complex issue like this.

Even when the science is settled?

Of course the issue is complex. That doesn't mean the field hasn't reached a consensus. At a certain point, after literally thousands of experts have wrestled with the question and, independently, reached the same conclusion, doesn't it make sense to put that question to bed so that we can start answering the far more pressing questions that come after it (for example, "How can we prevent the catastrophic damage this phenomenon threatens to inflict?")?


Scott Betts wrote:

SIssyl, I want you to imagine we're talking about literally anything else. Any other topic of study in the universe. Anything that isn't climate change. Pick an incredibly benign question that science can answer. "Can bananas turn yellow?" for instance! That's a good one. Science can answer that.

Now, imagine you had no personal experience with bananas. You sort of know that they're fruits, but you've never seen or eaten one. But imagine that many thousands of scientists have examined bananas in incredible detail. And imagine that nearly every single one of them has concluded that yes, in fact, bananas turn yellow as they ripen! And imagine that the media reported on how much scientists had studied bananas.

In this obviously ridiculous scenario, does it make a lot of sense to you for someone to resist the idea that bananas turn yellow as they ripen with the same persistence that you show here? Or would that sort of behavior strike you as unreasonable, and cause you to question why someone who isn't in a position to answer the question for themselves would feel such a compulsion to defend a conclusion that essentially none of the scientists reached?

This is an excellent demonstration of the situation, and one that I'm keeping in the back pocket for future annoying discussions like this.


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Sissyl wrote:

The problem is, as I did get agreement on, that the media f!@$s things up. Simplified sound bites and idiot-level reasoning like "the science is settled" is simply not enough for a complex issue like this. Even so, one would have thought that the people responsible for spreading the message would have an interest in NOT dumbing it down too far, and especially problematic is the promotion of a solid lack of grasp of what the scientific method means. Science is a way to systematically observe the world to divine (probable) truth. To do this job, however, there is a whole infrastructure of people and processes. Usually, they stay in tune and function as intended. However, the system has MANY weaknesses. With the exact wrong people and policies involved at the exact wrong positions, the result is NOT truth. Factors that can skew the process are legion. Bad science is nothing new, nor is entire fields falling to pseudoscientific junk and becoming propaganda machineries for the state.

It is NOT enough to say "science says" these days, and especially not in the field of climatology. Go figure.

Well, first off for the thread in general and not the specific post I quoted, there is no conspiracy among the scientists and I always feel a little burned when someone claims that there is.

I don't think I agree with all your posts on the subject, but overall with the first paragraph of yours, I think you hit the nail on the wall for some of the it in regards to the media.

On other things not related to your post, but with the main topic...

IN regards to Climate change itself...I don't really know where to begin. I suppose the most simple and easiest thing to start with, is the climate is ALWAYS changing. There are short term changes and long term changes. If you look out your window, you'll notice short term that some days it rains, some days it does not, some days are hotter and some days are cooler.

I think MOST people would agree with that assessment.

So the next step is to ask, do you really think it's all that hard to imagine that this also occurs on a more long term basis. That the climate in general can change on a long term state in a slower, but still rather noticeable trend as the short term climate does?

I think MOST people would also think this could be a reasonable idea, if not completely agree with the assessment.

The question then comes up...what causes these changes. Short term, it's rather easy to say...earth's position to the sun, the tidal influences of moon and ocean, the movement of the earth comparative to the winds that are caused, and various other reasons.

How about if you live in a city? Does pollution ever cause a change in your environment. Have you gone to someplace like Salt Lake City where they have days where it appears completely cloudy (it's not normal clouds in many times folks). Occasionally this is basically a cloud of pollution that is caught in the valley. It's caused by an inversion and makes it so though it appears cloudy, it's really just a fog of pollution. This fog has very real effects on temperature, humidity, and other weather and climate conditions. In addition, it can adversely affect health. I mention Salt Lake City because it is one of the most noticeable areas of this effect, but it is not the only one. Almost EVERY large city also has this effect of the pollution on the area around it and can affect the weather on a daily basis.

Meterologists must take into account this effect in their forcasts and observations.

Now this pollution does not simply just disappear. It dissipates into the environment around it. The atmosphere is so large, that it basically has it spread around. A good way to demonstrate this would be to drop a few grains of salt into a glass of water. If you can taste that area immediately after you drop the salt you may taste some of that salt. However, if you taste it an hour afterwards, a grain or two in a large cup of water is really not going to be as detectable.

Now as I said, the pollution doesn't simply disappear, it gets absorbed into the environment. What happens when this pollution is not just a one day thing. What happens if you continually have pollution going into the atmosphere. How long will it be until something from that starts to affect it?

Is it predictable?

Perhaps, you could continue the salt experiment with the water. The Earth is basically a closed system with our atmosphere. So is the glass with water. Drop a little salt every minute continuously. After 24 hours (or less, depending on how long you can stay up) IF the glass isn't overflowing with salt yet (past the absorbency rate)...taste it. Can you detect the salt now? Has anything changed?

Would there be people that would say...even if it tasted salty, there is no change in the taste?

Now, is it pollution causing the climate change? Is it something else? IF nothing else, one would think, they would know climate is always changing at the very least. Just like if you add salt to the glass, something changes noticeably, in the long term, the climate changes.

The bigger question isn't whether climate is changing, but what is causing that change. One could postulate it is the pollution...or one could say it is the natural cycle of change, or one could hypothesize that it has something to do with the sun, or myriads of other things.

Of course, you can also ask the question about the glass and the salt. What caused the water to become salty? What are the explanations?

And that is my short explanation of why people have conspiracy theories about climate change.

It might not seem related...but think about it.


MMCJawa wrote:
People do replicate the various studies that have gone into understanding how our climate works, via reanalysis of data using new methods, addition or use of alternative data sets, and tweaking models to include additional parameters. I come across dozens of papers a year in various journals and from various research groups looking at how climate change work, and that is me just looking for paper relevant to my own research interests in ocean climate change over the Neogene.

Off topic...

Do you do research into the ocean climate change topics?

There's something that's been floating about that I've heard touched upon, but haven't gotten much information on as most of those I know research in other areas than Oceans and water.

I've heard that currently there is a thought (and research into it, but I haven't seen it) about how the oceans may be acting sort of like heat reservoirs, with the heat building up within them.

It's sort of like water insulation (some places use it as water is a great insulator in that it retains heat longer and can hold more energy in that way).

Have you heard of this and what impacts do you think or have you noticed that this is causing on the oceans themselves?

Sorry, off topic, but this is something that my slightly geeky side is sort of interested in.

My relatives closest thing would be involved with animal life in these areas, or the spread of pollutants and other items...not the heat transfer and absorption of the ocean itself and the effects it will or may have on the environment at large (though there is supposition that it will reach a breaking point and then the effects will be strongly felt). It's been touched upon but not gone into depth with me, and as it isn't there area of expertise I don't think they go into as much detail with it.

Just interested on more of a summation and summary of it.

Thanks.


Sissyl wrote:
The problem is that the reported results of the scientific work in the issue are skewed because certain results are not reported, and other results that would have needed a second look never get it, thereby distorting the conclusions in the issue.

How do you know about results that are not reported?

And how do you know in which direction these unreported results skew the results? The results being unreported and all.

So much of the case against climate change seems to be based on "knowing" about the supposed bias and general naughtyness of scientists collecting data.


Indeed, you won't know that. What could make it easier to determine the direction of the skew due to unreported results is to see if the researchers have a vested interest. And of course, they do. Given the scrutiny of the field by the sceptics, and given the importance to give the impression of "the science is settled", it's a simple matter of the politicos at the top of the dung heap getting the money to the various researchers, who in turn know enough not to rock the boat by publishing things that could be interpreted as "the science is NOT settled". Given this, we can comfortably and confidently say that if real results were not being reported, it would be those NOT supporting AGW. True, it COULD be a career move to debunk AGW - but believe that each and every one of those involved know the field would be completely dismantled if that were to happen.


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So your logic is that because there is a possibility that somebody MIGHT have a reason to not report some results, that means it is an absolute certainty that there both ARE unreported results, and those results just happen to prove the point you're trying to make, which is that climate change is false.

Uh...huh. Please, go on. If we go deeper down this rabbit hole we may reach Time Cube levels.


I did not say that, Rynjin. Don't put words in my mouth. It's rude. If you had arguments to discuss with, you wouldn't need to be rude and insulting.


Looks like what you said to me. Because there is motive, there must be crime. That's pretty much what I'm reading from that.

Evidence of wrongdoing? Pshaw, who needs that.

Somebody could benefit, therefore somebody is benefiting, therefore the results have been skewed, and therefore the conclusions are invalid.

It may superficially resemble a logical train of thought, but it's really not.


What I said was that IF there is a distortion due to unreported results, it is pretty clear which direction that would take. I did not say anything about the existence of unreported results beyond that it is a rather common thing in science, common enough, as was pointed out above, to be called "the File Drawer problem".

If you wish to contend what I say, you therefore need to either attack my argument that conclusions could be drawn about the direction of the skew, or the existence of unreported results. Anything else is merely you sitting on that train of thought you describe and putting up straw men. You can do better than that, Rynjin.


I'm not sure what argument there is to attack. Can't really debate with you the potential ramifications of the type of skew in unreported results that may or may not exist.

There's no argument to be had. Either they exist, or they do not. Making predictions on what kind of bias something that may not exist may or may not have is an exercise in futility.

So why do you and others keep bringing it up? What is there to gain from discussing fine details of something nobody knows exists or not?

It's like debating how much money could be in a check that might be in an envelope, that is possibly in your mailbox.

Maybe figure out whether there's even an envelope (much less what's inside it) before trying to argue how big the check is, eh?

There comes a point where discussing hypothetical scenarios just serves to muddy the waters and does nothing to further discussion of the topic at hand. When you've reached hypothetical Inception, that point has long since passed.


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Sissyl wrote:
What I said was that IF there is a distortion due to unreported results, it is pretty clear which direction that would take.

Not clear. There's also a very large and well-funded set of pressure groups, that, like Big Tobacco, are certainly willing to distort the results in the direction other than what you mention. The IPCC, for example, has an annual budget of about $10 million dollars. The US Department of Energy has an annual budget of about $30 billion dollars.

Exxon Mobil has an annual revenue of about $500 billion dollars.

Tell me again which side has the ability to distort the field?

Quote:
I did not say anything about the existence of unreported results beyond that it is a rather common thing in science, common enough, as was pointed out above, to be called "the File Drawer problem".

And, once again, you're latching on to something you don't understand.

Yes, "the file drawer problem" is a named entity. It's not by any stretch of the imagination "a rather common thing in science," and in fact, it's something covered in the first year of graduate school across most disciplines as a rookie mistake that should be avoided. It's also very easy to detect by simply looking at the published literature (as I said, this issue has been looked at since at least the 1970s).

If you think there's substantial publication bias, do a systematic review of the literature and do a funnel plot of the reported results.

Or, you could save your time, as this kind of study is already a routine part of the literature. I would be very surprised if you found any evidence supporting substantial publication bias, because it's an easy experiment to run, and there are lots of graduate students who would be happy for a publication in Nature and then a nice sinecure at Exxon. And,.... I've read the literature and seen the results.

We're back to a conspiracy theory, with literally no evidence to support it:

* The literature is unreliable; people might not be publishing negative results.
* That's true, publication bias is a thing. Have you looked at the literature?
* Well, no.
* So you haven't actually looked for publication bias?
* Well, no.
* Would you know how to detect publication bias if it exists?
* Well, no.
* Did you know that there are fairly simple statistical tests to detect it?
* Well, no.
* Have you run any of those tests?
* Well, no.
* Can you even name any of those tests?
* Well,.... someone upthread mentioned "the file-drawer problem" and a "funnel plot."
* Have you done a funnel plot?
* Well, no.
* So you don't actually have any evidence of publication bias, then.
* Well,.... no.

Sheesh.


Rynjin wrote:
I'm not sure what argument there is to attack. Can't really debate with you the type of skew in unreported results that may or may not exist.

Actually, you can. Unreported results is a serious problem, which is part of why scientists raised this issue forty years ago, why tests have been developed to try and quantify the degree and significance of publication bias, and why doing some sort of systematic review is standard practice in the field.

Quote:


There's no argument to be had. Either they exist, or they do not. Making predictions on what kind of bias something that may not exist may or may not have is an exercise in futility.

So why do you and others keep bringing it up? What is there to gain from discussing fine details of something [s]nobody knows exists or not[/i]?

Especially when the people who have looked for this kind of effect haven't found it.

Quote:


It's like debating how much money could be in a check that might be in an envelope, that is possibly in your mailbox.

Maybe figure out whether there's even an envelope (much less what's inside it) before trying to argue how big the check is, eh?

The envelope has been looked for. It does not appear to be in the mailbox.

The Exchange

This video, I find, raises the point in a succinct and convincing manner. The speaker is an educator with a very firm grasp on the scientific method and with current scientific knowledge. He most certainly is not a high ranking member of Greenpeace or any other organization.

Climate change has to do with measuring an incredibly complex system. One can't expect the scientific community to reach the same level of agreement on it as they did on, say, Newtonian mechanics, at the time. The picture is always going to be messy and hard to see in its entirety. It is only a matter of statistics that some scientist would go down routes that lead to counter evidence. Mostly that comes from just not understanding (and quite possibly not having the capability of understanding) such a system to its fullest. Too many parameters.

Is Climate Change being mishandled by the media? Yes, of course. Is it being tugged at by politicians on both sides? Obviously. Has it been inspected rigorously by actual experts with good methodology and pure intent? Yes. It was. And the results speak for themselves. To the best of human knowledge there's a good reason to suspect human intervention may be a key component of a global change of climate.


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All your conspiracy theories surrounding human-influenced climate change are wrong, you idiots.

We're doing it with with our weather machines and chemtrails.

Humanz, you've had your chance, now get out!
Make way for the gobbos!
Die, pinkskins, die!!!


Lord Snow wrote:

This video, I find, raises the point in a succinct and convincing manner. The speaker is an educator with a very firm grasp on the scientific method and with current scientific knowledge. He most certainly is not a high ranking member of Greenpeace or any other organization.

Climate change has to do with measuring an incredibly complex system. One can't expect the scientific community to reach the same level of agreement on it as they did on, say, Newtonian mechanics, at the time. The picture is always going to be messy and hard to see in its entirety. It is only a matter of statistics that some scientist would go down routes that lead to counter evidence. Mostly that comes from just not understanding (and quite possibly not having the capability of understanding) such a system to its fullest. Too many parameters.

Is Climate Change being mishandled by the media? Yes, of course. Is it being tugged at by politicians on both sides? Obviously. Has it been inspected rigorously by actual experts with good methodology and pure intent? Yes. It was. And the results speak for themselves. To the best of human knowledge there's a good reason to suspect human intervention may be a key component of a global change of climate.

Okay, question. Let us assume all climatologists are squeaky clean. It sounds as if the IPCC are most of the source of what is wrong with climate science. Why do the key scientists then not speak out against them?


Sissyl wrote:


Okay, question. Let us assume all climatologists are squeaky clean. It sounds as if the IPCC are most of the source of what is wrong with climate science. Why do the key scientists then not speak out against them?

Because the IPCC generally gets the science much righter than the media, and because most scientists are self-aware enough to know that they aren't very good at the political game themselves.

The IPCC may not be very good, but the alternatives are seem all to be substantially worse.

Sczarni

Far from the "Science being in" its not even science

Well the main reason is that the so called science is based upon computer modeling that give worst case scenarios and well that's not how you do science.

A science would be backed by a theorem.
A theorem that provides accurate and verifiable predictions, Climate change based as it is on inaccurate computer models makes no such predictions.

The problem with the theory of "Man made climate change" is that it is not spoken about in the language of science but it is constantly spoken of in the language of Politics, that's because its a Political theory not a Scientific theory

The conspiracy is that some "scientists" in conjunction with politicians have discovered a way to keep their snouts in the public funding trough forever, base a case for continued funding on a unverifiable proposition, spread constant fear and panic among the voting public so that they demand political action that lines the pockets of co-conspirators and feeds the campaign of fear and panic, pushing the public to further support the conspiring politicians, getting them more power and push for further "scientific" funding and so the conspiracy continues to feed, the unverifiable proposition becomes more diverse demanding more funding so more power is required to the point that world government is required and soon after that emergency powers are required to deal with the panic and fear that the conspiracy was designed to cause, democracy gets suspended and tyranny is instituted the politicians become entrenched and their co-conspirators are voted more and more funding and on it goes.

If you want to prove it as a science you will need to provide a scientific proof that is accurate and verifiable, then we can pull the plug on all the research funding and pass the whole mess over to practical scientists and engineer a solution , ahh you can spot the problem there now cant you , if the science is done properly the funding gets stopped and that would be that all those "important scientist" would be out of a job and need new funding


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jakolol wrote:

Far from the "Science being in" its not even science

Well the main reason is that the so called science is based upon computer modeling that give worst case scenarios and well that's not how you do science.

A science would be backed by a theorem.
A theorem that provides accurate and verifiable predictions, Climate change based as it is on inaccurate computer models makes no such predictions.

The problem with the theory of "Man made climate change" is that it is not spoken about in the language of science but it is constantly spoken of in the language of Politics, that's because its a Political theory not a Scientific theory

The conspiracy is that some "scientists" in conjunction with politicians have discovered a way to keep their snouts in the public funding trough forever, base a case for continued funding on a unverifiable proposition, spread constant fear and panic among the voting public so that they demand political action that lines the pockets of co-conspirators and feeds the campaign of fear and panic, pushing the public to further support the conspiring politicians, getting them more power and push for further "scientific" funding and so the conspiracy continues to feed, the unverifiable proposition becomes more diverse demanding more funding so more power is required to the point that world government is required and soon after that emergency powers are required to deal with the panic and fear that the conspiracy was designed to cause, democracy gets suspended and tyranny is instituted the politicians become entrenched and their co-conspirators are voted more and more funding and on it goes.

If you want to prove it as a science you will need to provide a scientific proof that is accurate and verifiable, then we can pull the plug on all the research funding and pass the whole mess over to practical scientists and engineer a solution , ahh you can spot the problem there now cant you , if the science is done properly the funding gets stopped and that would be that all those "important...

Someone really doesn't understand how science works. You don't do all the science first, then stop research and only then let "practical scientists" (Whatever they are, since they're apparently not doing science) at the results to try to do something with them.

That would be stupid. You do some research, publish it, other scientists, both practical and theoretical read it and try to duplicate it to test it and build on it theoretically and at the same time, make use of it in practical ways.

It's not like biologists stopped doing any more basic research on plants and animals before letting anyone make use of what they'd already learned.

In the case of climate science, theoretical researchers would continue to refine our understanding of the climate and also study the results of anything the "practical scientists" did to try to fix the problems.

And of course, there is a strong theoretical foundation for climate change that makes verifiable predictions: The greenhouse effect is well known and studied.
Greenhouse gasses trap more heat, increasing the temperature.
Humanity is added such gasses to the atmosphere on an unprecedented scale.
Thus warming is expected and has been detected.

The problem is that planetary climate is fiendishly complex, full of feedback loops and chaotic elements and thus while general predictions are pretty straightforward, nailing down specific details is really hard.
And then the media grabs specific more sensational predictions, even ones with a very low level of confidence - worst case scenarios, and trumpets them, leading the public to think climate science fails again when the low probability worst case doesn't happen.


Sissyl wrote:


Okay, question. Let us assume all climatologists are squeaky clean. It sounds as if the IPCC are most of the source of what is wrong with climate science. Why do the key scientists then not speak out against them?

Because the philosophically tentative nature of science is completely incompatible with any sort of public or political outreach. If science says that it "Assumes" a universe where the rules of physics today will work tomorrow scientists know that the assumption is more rock solid than observation, but some yahoo with a website or a fox news station that doesn't like their conclusions will be drumming it up as a scary word "ooo, they're making assumptions! I thought science was supposed to deal in FACTS! Well you may have made an ass out of you but you're not gonna make one out of me, am i right?"

The Exchange

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Sissyl wrote:


Okay, question. Let us assume all climatologists are squeaky clean. It sounds as if the IPCC are most of the source of what is wrong with climate science. Why do the key scientists then not speak out against them?

Because the IPCC generally gets the science much righter than the media, and because most scientists are self-aware enough to know that they aren't very good at the political game themselves.

The IPCC may not be very good, but the alternatives are seem all to be substantially worse.

Orfamay Quest said it better than I could.

Essentially, popular science related journalism is almost always on the scale at some point between bad to inexcusable. Details are glossed over, and carefully phrased passages that explain the constraints of a new research are ignored because they don't sound as nice as big sweeping headlines the media is after.

This happens all the time with all fields of science, but you don't see biologists wrestling with the media to correct and refine details about their fields. The same is true with physics (the number of sensationalist "we found a new X that completely changes everything!" articles I've seen in regards to astrophysics and particle physics is dumbfounding).

In each of these case sceintists correct where they can if they are being asked, but they aren't media professionals. They don't spend their time and energy on something that isn't their jobs.

In relation to another recent affair, when the Charlie Hebdo people were executed by a bunch of Muslim fanatic nutjobs, non Muslims kept saying "Well if most Muslims aren't like they why aren't they condeming the murders."

Well, many many Muslims were, but not always in the most visible manner. The two situations have much (though of course not all) in common.

In my previous post I linked to a video of someone who knows actual science talking about climate change. If you approach a scientist that actually researches the phenomenon that's what you are likely to hear. Not "we will all be doomed in X years nurr nurr nurr", but an intelligent examination of known facts and their apparent consequences.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Okay, question. Let us assume all climatologists are squeaky clean. It sounds as if the IPCC are most of the source of what is wrong with climate science. Why do the key scientists then not speak out against them?
Because the philosophically tentative nature of science is completely incompatible with any sort of public or political outreach. If science says that it "Assumes" a universe where the rules of physics today will work tomorrow scientists know that the assumption is more rock solid than observation, but some yahoo with a website or a fox news station that doesn't like their conclusions will be drumming it up as a scary word "ooo, they're making assumptions! I thought science was supposed to deal in FACTS! Well you may have made an ass out of you but you're not gonna make one out of me, am i right?"

And that's making the assumption that there are horrible things wrong with climate science that the scientists should be speaking out against.

Which is at best unproven.

The Exchange

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thejeff wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Okay, question. Let us assume all climatologists are squeaky clean. It sounds as if the IPCC are most of the source of what is wrong with climate science. Why do the key scientists then not speak out against them?
Because the philosophically tentative nature of science is completely incompatible with any sort of public or political outreach. If science says that it "Assumes" a universe where the rules of physics today will work tomorrow scientists know that the assumption is more rock solid than observation, but some yahoo with a website or a fox news station that doesn't like their conclusions will be drumming it up as a scary word "ooo, they're making assumptions! I thought science was supposed to deal in FACTS! Well you may have made an ass out of you but you're not gonna make one out of me, am i right?"

And that's making the assumption that there are horrible things wrong with climate science that the scientists should be speaking out against.

Which is at best unproven.

After seeing how mass media handles itself for about a hundred years now, do we even really need proof that it grossly mishandles anything that is complex and multifaceted?


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thejeff wrote:

And that's making the assumption that there are horrible things wrong with climate science that the scientists should be speaking out against.

Which is at best unproven.

This thread itself is exhibit A in proving that there are horrible things wrong with climate science. It's not well-understood and there is an unconscionably large number of people that are both utterly wrong and actively hostile to it.

It's hard to make that sound like an accomplishment that climate scientists should be proud of. ("Hey, congratulations, people! We're finally the most misunderstood science in the world, displacing evolutionary theory!")


Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

All your conspiracy theories surrounding human-influenced climate change are wrong, you idiots.

We're doing it with with our weather machines and chemtrails.

Humanz, you've had your chance, now get out!
Make way for the gobbos!
Die, pinkskins, die!!!

Yep, we've bribed Snow Miser Freehold and convinced him to turn his Weather Dominator on the Sun to jumpstart Little Ice Age II: Goblin Boogaloo! You can either freeze to death here or be deported to a new life in the offworld colonies. Alton is enjoying a lovely subterranean working vacation in the dilithium mines of Rura Penthe, and Joss is having a rustic excursion at the foggy but romantic terraforming colony, Hadley's Hope.

Make way for the gobbos!

Die, pinkskins, die!!!

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