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  •  Your comment suggests an extraordinarily (0+ / 0-)

    naive understanding of the nature of scientific research and the use of consensus  as a means of suppressing dissent.  This topic is covered thoroughly in the history and philosophy of science literature, where you might spend a few productive hours.

    None of the credible skeptics of the IPCC consensus, assuming that is the consensus at issue, deny that anthropogenic CO2 (or methane) increases in the atmosphere are warming the climate.  Their arguments group in a few  general areas.  What do paleoclimate reconstructions tell us about past variability that can't be attributed to fossil fuel burning, what are the other external forcings or internal oscillations that might explain such variability, how do feedbacks and internal dynamics of the system behave, and how well do the GCMs capture the actual behavior of the system.

    These are all active research areas.  The consensus is designed to support a set of energy and environmental policy objectives, many of which I support in any case.  But the attempt to smear rational critics and intimidate researchers who stray from orthodoxy can have terrible consequences.

    Looking at the other comments in this thread, one might ask what sort of masochist would keep pounding his forehead on this particular wall.  When the old earth sciences consensus fell apart in the 1960s, I was an undergraduate physics major.  When the consensus concerning the cause of gastric ulcers disintegrated in the 1980s, I had friends fighting with internists to get antibiotics.

    The issue is not really whether a particular sensitivity estimate is correct or not.  It is the attempt to suggest that there is no serious disagreement about the future of earth's climate, and that those who raise questions are either stupid or evil.

    Where are we, now that we need us most?

    by Frank Knarf on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 08:28:25 AM PDT

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    •  Bull. (4+ / 0-)
      "But the attempt to smear rational critics and intimidate researchers who stray from orthodoxy can have terrible consequences."
      What would have terrible consequences would be to assume an 'under estimation' of the effects of climate change in order to offset the preception that to do things quickly and dramatically to address climate change MIGHT have a negative economic impact.

      In other words; it is better to over-estimate the potential effects and address them accordingly. To under estimate and be wrong would be suicidal.

      Besides, I don't think anywhere in paleoclimate records can any evidence be found of such a radical rise in CO2 in such short order. Can you take any sliver of ice taken from an ice core going back 400,000 years and with certainty say this is a 100 year sample that has the same dramatic level of CO2 rise?

      What humans have done was to take millions and millions of years of sequestered carbon and release it into the atmosphere in less then a century. I may be mistake, but I think paleoclimatologists would be hard pressed to find a natural event that can equal that. At least during a time when there was complex life forms.

      Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

      by Pescadero Bill on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:12:56 AM PDT

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      •  Actually, I have no problem with invoking the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        A Siegel

        precautionary principle when advocating energy and environmental policies.  There is risk that AGW will cause huge problems for humanity so we should do x is a perfectly honest position.

        We know that the earth can warm or cool suddenly for a variety of reasons.  You are very likely correct that we have not seen such a sudden increase in CO2 before, with possible exceptions like major impacts or extensive vulcanism episodes.

        What is uncertain is how much  the climate will warm as a result of this forcing, and what the regional impacts will be.  

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:51:18 AM PDT

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    •  It is true that all climate models are wrong. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nowhere Man, FarWestGirl

      The reality is always worse. The atmosphere is warming faster than projected. The oceans are warming (and becoming more acidic) faster than projected, and therefore rising faster than projected. The land is warming faster than projected. Ice and permafrost, from the poles to equatorial high-mountain glaciers, are melting faster than projected.

      Storms are more frequent and worse than projected—hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, all of them. Because of increased evaporation in the tropics, winter snowstorms are worse than projected, and spring melt is faster than projected, with worse flooding than projected, leaving little to melt later in summer. Droughts due to faster spring melting and to lack of rain in summer are more frequent and worse than projected. Fires are more frequent and worse than projected. Species are migrating to stay in the temperature range that suits them faster than projected. Summer heat waves are hotter and more frequent than projected. Winters are milder than projected, allowing more overwintering pests such as bark beetles to do more damage to forests than projected.

      Worst of all, stupidity and willful ignorance about all of this are worse than projected.

      It is Republicans, particularly those in the carbon fuels industries, who are out to stifle scientific investigation and even public discussion, not scientists. Scientists welcome challenges to theories based on real data and real alternative theories. But not pretended challenges based on pseudo-science that rises no higher than crank pursuit of perpetual-motion machines or Creation Science.

      It is Republicans who refuse to permit the use of correct terminology, such as "rising sea levels" and "anthropogenic global warming", in favor of "recurrent flooding" and "climate change". It is Republicans who pass laws forbidding the use of current data in evaluating the threat of rising sea levels caused by anthropogenic global warming. It is Republicans who reject all of the facts cited above, and insist that nitpicking the theories allows them to reject the theories, the models, and all of the facts.

      You have sipped the Kool-Aid. You know enough to be dangerous, but not enough to be helpful, and you are dangerous to yourself as well as to others.

      Hands off my ObamaCare[TM]

      by Mokurai on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 09:49:45 AM PDT

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      •  Even the core consensus group will call you on (0+ / 0-)

        the errors here.  I'd go round up the links for both the accurate and false claims, but I know it won't help.  Stop repeating what you've been told and do the work yourself to avoid embarrassment.

        Republicans make all kinds of crazy statements about lots of subjects.  Get your facts straight and don't be like them.

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 11:39:16 AM PDT

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    •  There is ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl, trumpeter, billlaurelMD

      a difference -- as I have stated multiple times -- a difference between "skeptic" and "denier".

      I think, however, that you exaggerate "rational critics" and the path to "intimidate researchers".  Michael Mann, for example, receives explicit death threats and is lambasted by such intellectual powers as Glenn Beck.  Is this happening to Judith Curry or Pielke, Jr?

      There is a big difference between true skepticism and the frequent repeating of falsified material, raising already debunked arguments, (seriously) selective use of evidence, etc ... Some people "enjoy" the "skeptic" mantle to the point where they are skeptic to be skeptic and have little interest in how shallow their arguments can become and the potential consequences of their 'gamesmanship'.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 01:36:49 PM PDT

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      •  I agree with you, in general. And I have nothing (0+ / 0-)

        but contempt for Glenn Beck and other crazies.  But here is a case that is playing out in the national media right now.  Cliff Mass goes after one of the extreme weather attribution papers:

        He links to the papers from his post; all are worth reading.

        Is he a legitimate critic or just playing games?  His home page is here:

        Where are we, now that we need us most?

        by Frank Knarf on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 02:11:12 PM PDT

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        •  RE Cliff Mass's piece (0+ / 0-)

          1.  Far from my specialty.

          2. Examine the paper he critiques: many of his criticisms look, in fact, to be within the paper.

          3.  Looks like his critique would have been better placed remaining with discussion of the press reporting than the discussion of the paper which, on first glance, seems not to do justice to that paper's authors / their work.

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Mon Jul 16, 2012 at 04:43:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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