Saturday, March 21, 2009

Shonky Science? Shonky Journalism? or both?

Appearing before the emissions trading scheme review select committee yesterday, he said climate science dealt with a very complex system.

Some things were well established, in other areas there were competing explanations, and in yet others only speculation.

"The fact that there are speculative components does not eliminate the fact that there are well-established bits," Schneider said.

"System science works on the preponderance of evidence and you have to make risk management assessments."

In the well-established basket are the so-called "hockey stick" graphs showing steep rises in levels of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide since the dawn of the industrial era.

Is the above line an actual quote from "expert" Schneider or Brian Fallow's humble opinion. The absence of exclamation marks makes it very unclear.

Either way, along with some dozy TV1 "news" reporter on a beach with a tape measure, we are being fed BS.

It is my understanding that the hockey stick graph is in the not-so-well established basket. Or more likely the fear mongering basket.


Andrei said...

It is my understanding that the hockey stick graph is squarely in the not-so-well established basket. In fact more in the fear mongering basket.

actually it is in the discredited basket

Sally said...

"The fact that there are speculative components does not eliminate the fact that there are well-established bits,"

These so called experts just keep harping on and on with their dangerous drivel.They will never admit to being wrong!

Lou Taylor said...

Not as long as they get paid anyway , Sally

harpoonz said...

Lou and Andrei, The "hockey stick" model is not "in the discredited basket". There is a continuing scrap over a single study, published eight years ago, focused on paleoclimate. If you feel the original 'hockey stick' study study may be tainted, simply ignore it.

Why do I suggest this? Because there are dozens of other temperature reconstructions. Although they tend to show more variability than the original hockey stick (their sticks are not as straight), they all support the general conclusions the IPCC TAR presented in 2001. The essence of those conclusions:
(1) late 20th century warming is anomalous compared to the last one or two thousand years,
(2) the 1990s were likely warmer than any other time in that period (including the medieival warm period).

Sally, if they are scientists, they WILL admit to being wrong, if they find evidence that contradicts their findings. That's what it is to be a scientist; all of your conclusions have to be deniable, otherwise you aren't doing science. If you are saying absolutely that your position is totally certain (isn't that your position?) then you are subscribing not to a scientific position but to an idealogy.

Lou, here's a fact you might like to consider: any scientist that can find and show evidence that the theory of anthropogenic climate change is untrue, will make a shitload of cash. despite this, the vast majority of scientists ascribe to it, and the bulk of people objecting are ranting rightwing bloggers and big businesses in whose interest it is for people to think it isn't true. Go figure.

davidinnz said...

The Mann hockey stick graph is not only about extremely bad science (and Andrei is right -- it is officially discredited). It is also about the betrayed trust in the IPCC, which published and pushed the hockey stick graph for political purposes.

The MSM needs to find reporters willing to investigate BOTH SIDES to a story. There is always more than one side. Here's a site where they can learn more than Al Gore knows...

harpoonz, the IPCC never admits to being wrong. The IPCC writes its summaries first -- before the scientific papers that are meant to support the summary are even written! The summary is written by policymakers (ie NOT scientists). How can this be science?

Barnsley Bill said...

Schneider was a "new ice age" alarmist in the early seventies.
Stop shitting on my face and fuck off.

Anonymous said...

The "hockey stick" graph is a completely discredited *temperature* graph. Nothing to do with CO2, which does show a steady increase. By the way, the CO2 increase is extremely good, as this boosts vegetation growth rates - will be very helpful as the world population keeps increasing and food resources need boosting.

davidinnz said...

There is also some evidence to indicate that CO2 levels increase as a result of temperature rising. Not as the cause.

emmess said...

Look at this bullshit
If they can predict a crisis in 2030, why didn't they predict the crisis we are in now or the food crisis last year? Where has that gone by the way?

harpoonz said...


Davidinnz and Anon, didn't you read the bit where I said, "If you feel the original 'hockey stick' study study may be tainted, simply ignore it ... there are dozens of other temperature reconstructions." The only study that has been shown to have some wrong bits is the one several years ago. And it was not "extremely bad science"; it just had some errors. There have been others since, that have been examined and and that have not been found wanting -- at least, not by scientists.

Regarding media coverage, are you suggesting journalists don't want to find fault with the climate change hypothesis? That would be to go against every journalistic instinct, since if it really were a massive lie, it would be a big story. But serious journalists have looked at it and generally found that the vast majority of scientists in the field are acknowledged to be doing good science, that the policy makers are responding in the right diection, and that people in your camp are founding their beliefs not on facts or science, but on a desire for the hypothesis not to be true. You're in denial.

Also, don't you think governments would dearly love the hypothesis not tobe true? Dealing with it is hard, requires politically risky decisions and policies, costs money that has to be diverted from other programs. The fact that governments reluctantly move down the track of adressing the imperatives created by the expectation of a changing climate shoud be evidence enough. Climate change is true.

Regarding your accusation against the IPCC -- Is that the basis of some sort of conpiracy theory?

Anon: yep. Rising CO2 is probably good for crops. So? With the rise in CO2, the whole globe is going to get unpredictably fluctuating temperatures on a rising scale and rising sea levels. Those are not good for either crops or people.

DavidinNZ, regarding your CO2 is the result, not the cause meme. There is no "proof" in science. That is a property of mathematics. In science, what matters is the balance of evidence, and theories that can explain that evidence. Where possible, scientists make predictions and design experiments to confirm, modify, or contradict their theories, and must modify these theories as new information comes in. In the case of anthropogenic global warming, there is a century-old theory based on well-established laws of physics. It is consistent with mountains of observation and data, both contemporary and historical. It is supported by sophisticated, refined global climate models that can successfully reproduce the climate's behavior over the last century. What would consider "proof" that global warming is caused by rising CO2 levels?

Andrei said...

the vast majority of scientists ascribe to it, and the bulk of people objecting are ranting rightwing bloggers and big businesses in whose interest it is for people to think it isn't true. Go figure.

the vast majority??? of scientists ascribe to it, and the bulk of people proposing are ranting leftwing bloggers and big government types in whose interest it is for people to think it is true. Go figure.

Get a grip man, charlatans throughout the ages have predicted catastrophes ahead unless their agendas are followed - truth is nobody can predict with any accuracy the weather a week from now - let alone do anything to modify it and here we have the sky is falling people trying to tell us (for example) unless the warehouse charges us 10c for a plastic bags the sea will inundate London 100 years hence.

Sooner or later the human race is going to be overwhelmed by some catastrophe, of this there is absolutely no doubt. The best way of making it later is not to retreat from the technologies that have raised us up from the muck.

davidinnz said...

harpoonz: didn't you read the bit where I said, "If you feel the original 'hockey stick' study study may be tainted, simply ignore it ... there are dozens of other temperature reconstructions."

This is the type of thinking that gets IPCC supporters into trouble: if the data does not support our cause, ignore it. Pretend it doesn't exist. Leave it out.

The hockey stick graph was THE big thing in the IPCC report in 2001. The Canadian government sent it to every household, along with the line about the 1990's being the warmest decade of the millenium, in order to elicit public support for Kyoto. Without the hockey stick graph, the TAR could not have convinced world leaders to take the action they did.

You cannot "cherry pick" scientific data. You have to have some explanation for the outliers (or say, "we can't explain that, yet").

It was extremely bad science, because it used a data processing algorithm that could produce a hockey stick graph, even with random data fed into it. It was extremely bad science, because it was not adequately peer-reviewed before being published. It was extremely bad science, because the source code to the data processing algorithm was not published.

But what made it particularly odious was that Michael Mann, the principle researcher, MADE UP data to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period, and INCLUDED tree ring proxy data from a source that had said it was unsuitable for climate study. Mann found though, that the latter series, had to be included to make his graph dramatic (by analysing without it -- a result he stored in a folder labeled "CENSORED" and never dared to mention, otherwise his paper would've never been published).

Now, your challenge, harpoonz, if you are willing to consider evidence that contradicts your views (and then "admit to being wrong", as you say), is to read the paper by McKitrick, one of the hockey stick debunkers, and return with your conclusions.

Lou Taylor said...

Thanks Davidinnz, that was a great response..Little lies always turn out to have big consequences in life.

harpoonz said...

Andrei, yes, the vast majority. Why do you think papers challenging the climate cange hypothesis are:
-- rare as hens' teeth in peeer reviewed scientific journals and
-- quite common on self-published websites, right-wing non-scientific journals and corporate-sponsored propaganda? LOL!

Davidinnz, I realise thorough reading is a challenge for you, but you should read my comments more thoroughly. The original 'hockey stick' paper was published ten years ago. There have been numerous further scientifically peer-reviewed papers showing variations on the hockey stick theme, and many other papers debunking M&M's rejection of Mann's hypothetis. I've read the work of economist (note: not a scientist) Ross McKitrick and mining industry shill Steven McIntyre.

Since you're so strong on robust peer review, why do you think the peers in a politically biasedsocial science journal (where their 'debunking' of mann's work was first published) are suitable people to peer review a science and maths paper?

Lou, you should give more credit to the real scientists talking on scientific matters. As I said in a previous post, science is about the weight of evidence rather than absolute proof.

davidinnz said...

I'm getting the impression, harpoonz, that you only come to stir. You're not interested in reading anything challenging. You're quite content to parrot the "Team Gore" line. If that is the case, you're a lost cause who has given up on thinking for yourself -- just keep on going to Greenpeace, Green Party and Anti-Globalisation meetings.

Don't forget to participate in Earth Hour, in which "slacktivists" replace electricity for candles (to reduce their CO2 footprint... yeah, right) or drive their cars(!) to look at all the pretty lights (and grumble about all the unenlightened ones who haven't "seen the light yet").

If Earth Hour is so great, why not make it Earth Day? Or Earth Month? Just don't force it on me.

I'll be turning all my lights on. And power tools too.

Why do you think papers challenging the climate cange (sic) hypothesis are:
-- rare as hens' teeth in peeer reviewed scientific journals

Because the alarmists have "captured" the journals. M&M's paper debunking the hockey stick was submitted to "Nature" who took 8 months to reply with a refusal to publish, as it was "too long". A shortened paper was similarly rejected.

Why are they published on the internet? Because the warmists have not managed to shut down free speech there, yet (despite the attempts by the Greens and Labour via the Electoral Finance Act).

I want to know: HOW MANY YEARS OF GLOBAL COOLING WILL IT TAKE for the public to realise that Al Gore and the IPCC are wearing no clothes?

harpoonz said...

David, on the Nature rejection issue: M&M had a contribution rejected by Nature, but it was rejected from the correspondence section, and because it wasn't good enough. Also, correspondence to all sorts of publications frequently gets rejected for being overlong. Hardly a conspiracy.

Re the "HOW MANY YEARS OF GLOBAL COOLING WILL IT TAKE" blurt, please don't insult me with a "when did you stop beating your wife"-type question. When will you understand a fluctuating rising trend?

re 'Earth Hour' don't realise it's a consciousness-raiser, not a planet-saver in and of itself?

And don't you realise you sound silly when you allege that the editors of Nature are corrupt?

Spam said...

so, harpoonz: you're on one-hand (correctly) pointing out that science isn't about proof, but then you're quick to point to 'the vast majority'. Well, science isn't about what 'the vast majority' think.

Oh - and on the hockeystick: of course realclimate discredit McIntyre & mcKitrick. They are all inter-twined with Mann et al. There's a surprise. And like you, realclimate frequently resort to ad-hominem attacks on mcintryre & mckitrick. Like you.

BTW - the 'revised' hockeystick also appears to be under threat. Analysis was used to identify which recontructions had the biggest impact, and it basically shows that the shape is due to 1.) Cherry-picking of which data to use, and which not to use; and 2.) that the shape is heavily dependent on the inclusion of a couple of series that are known to be dubious (at best) proxies.

Of course, the analysis of this is difficult, because mann et al aren't really ones for publishing their methods or data....

WWallace said...

Backing up Spam, M&M found that Mann's "unconventional" method of data analysis had the effect of weighting any data series with a recent temperature rise as almost 400x more important than other data series! (That is not ethical science.) And the only such data series were for bristle cone pines, in USA. From that, he concluded that the entire Northern Hemisphere was in a hockey stick curve!

The Mann's a fraud.

Earth is in a cooling phase since 1998. Don't be surprised if it continues along that trend, despite all the "green" doomsayers and rising CO2 levels.