18 July 2008

50,000 Physicists Can't Be Wrong

And Al Gore and his worshippers have to have their knickers in a knot.
Shoot that article full of holes, FlightFire!


nec Timide said...

I've always been amazed that people would take climate advice from a zoologist with a rather mundane career until he started broadcasting.

Anonymous said...

Please explain why you are so insistent that because you wish a thing to be so ( global warming a natural cycle ) that it must be so.

It seems ... well ... religious with some. No offense intended. Personally, I trust science and engineering and, well, evidence. It seems quite probable that human activity is the cause of warming. Polls notwithstanding.

Speaking of which, please note the correction on the bottom of the article you link to:

Updated 7/17/2008

After publication of this story, the APS responded with a statement that its Physics and Society Forum is merely one unit within the APS, and its views do not reflect those of the Society at large.

Greybeard said...

Ahh, once again "The all knowing, all omnipotent Anonymous!"

My point, and the point that the "Society" is trying to make, is that this manure is being jammed down our throats as "settled science." Anyone who questions the "all knowing, all wise" Gore adorers are rubes and should be ignored.
Well, we now know it is absolutely NOT settled science... far from it.

And the thing that FlightFire and all his ilk have never answered...
won't answer...
Why is the temperature of other planets in our solar system rising? Where is man's hand in that? And Anon, if you'll admit man has no hand in that, why will you not admit man MAY not have a hand in our warming also?

On top of all this, hasn't the temperature of earth's climate gone down recently as indicated by ocean probes, and isn't that driving the Heidi Cullens of the world crazy trying to explain it away?

And Anon, I agree with you wholeheartedly...
I referred to the "religious" aspect of all this in my post.

John said...

I really hope that Gore, the majority of the scientific community, and myself as well, are ALL wrong about climate change.

But look at this from another angle: We will need an "Energy Revolution", similar to the industrial revolution, to progress as a society. Renewable energy is going to be a requirement at some point. There is great opportunity for the US here. We could revitalize American manufacturing and make great leaps in scientific knowledge if we choose to be the leaders in this emerging field. (Getting today's youth away from the Xbox and into the engineering books is a separate problem). Why not us, why not now?

Where is the downside in being energy independent, and not polluting at the same time?

Greybeard said...

Many good points there John, and few argue about energy conservation and the need for alternate sources, freeing us from dependency on others. What is obviously in question is AGW.

(And by the way, since you asked...
Didn't I see a study where part of the problem with warming was because the environment had been cleaned up and more sunlight was reaching the surface of the earth? So, if we want to cool the earth, we need to pollute more!)

nec Timide said...

The problem with the vast majority of scientists that completely support anthropomorphic CO2 as the cause of climate change is they don't understand statistics and numerical analysis. This is the same reason one group of doctors can release as study showing that coffee exacerbates the effect of eating doughnuts with respect to type II diabetes, only days before another group releases a study that shows coffee protects one from the pro-diabetic effects of doughnuts.

The article which suggest that the carbon sensitivity was over stated by the IPCC is just one in a growing list of problems found in the climate data analysis the IPCC quotes to support its conclusions.

The scientific principle is based on the repeatability of experiments. If multiple credible researchers look at the same issue but arrive at different conclusions, then there is no scientific certainty. Science is not a democracy where who ever has the most scientists on their side is right.

But what looks more like a religion, people demanding critical examination of the data with an open mind; or people believing every pronouncement of an elite class, and shouting down any desention?

Flightfire said...

You set yourself up for a drubbing on this one Greybeard.

If you visit the APS website (http://www.aps.org/) you will find the following quote dead center on the front page:

"The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007:

"Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate."

Hole poked.

Now on to the broader issue of why you won't accept that this is truth. I don't know why you get all up in arms about this. Conservatives don't quibble about the settled science of the central dogma of biology, or about plate tectonics, or relativity, but when it comes to global warming, everyone thinks they're an expert.

When you go to doctor, you don't argue with them about your anatomy or the best surgical procedure to do to fix your problem. They are the experts who have trained for years, even decades, and you generally trust their opinion. You might get a second or even a third opinion, but if they all tell you that you need to have your appendix removed as fast as possible, you're probably going to believe them...or your going to die a very painful death.

So when we have thousands of credible experts, people who have been studying the climate their whole lives, saying that CO2 is causing the planet to warm up, I tend to trust them. It's not just Al Gore, I read these papers from the sources in Scientific American. Real scientists write these articles, who have been toiling hard trying to figure out why this is happening. There is little doubt in their heads that the majority of global warming is caused by humans.

Could they be wrong...sure, just like the doctors could be wrong about your appendix. But the appendix isn't really useful for anything and you can live just fine without it. You already agreed that we need to change our sources of power to renewables, so even if global warming turns out not to be true, if it scares us into converting to renewables en masse, would that really be so bad for the country?

But what if they are right? The consequences of missing appendicitis are severe. So too could be the consequences of not acting on global warming.

Greybeard said...

Yeah FF, except 50K of them voted to say the others were full of horse manure.
And you still have not answered my question...
Why is climate changing on several of the planets in our solar system?

the golden horse said...

Must be the toxins from our Bar B Que grills.

John said...

I spent a little time looking into this, and found three principal theories why Mars is warming. The most popular is put forth by a Russian scientist named Abdussamatov. His theory is that the sun is causing Mars to warm up (by the way, this theory has been rejected by the scientific community at large, since he ignores the greenhouse effect).

The other principal theories are by a Danish researcher, Henrik Svensmark, and an Israeli scientist Nir Shaviv. Both of these folks think it is cosmic rays that are causing the warming (cosmic meaning, something out of the solar system, that is, NOT the sun)

It is pretty much just these three guys on this side of the issue (vs the rest of the world). But these studies have been latched onto by Sen. Ifanhoe and pundits as the proof that rest of the scientific community has it all wrong. Thing is, their theories are at odds with each other. So which is it? The sun or cosmic rays?

Here is another interesting study that points to dust storms as the cause for the Mars warming.

So which is it? The Sun, cosmic rays, or dust storms?

I don’t see how we could have enough data on another planet to say ‘why’ the changes are occurring (at least until we start drilling for ice cores on Mars). And even if we did, the two things just can’t be compared. Its not just apples/oranges, it is Mars/Earth! We’re talking millions of variables! The good folks at Grist have a great article on why the Mars warming can’t be compared to the earth. I’ll paste a quote that sums it up nicely:

On Earth, we have poles melting, surface temperature rising, tropospheric temperatures rising, permafrost melting, glaciers worldwide melting, CO2 concentrations increasing, borehole analysis showing warming, sea ice receding, proxy reconstructions showing warming, sea level rising, sea surface temperatures rising, energy imbalance, ice sheets melting, and stratospheric cooling, all of which leads us to believe the earth is undergoing global warming driven by an enhanced greenhouse effect.

One Mars we have one spot melting, which leads us to believe that ... one spot is melting.


Flightfire said...

Nice work. I didn't know any of that myself and you've given me great talking points for my conservative friends.

To continue with the appendicitis analogy, you're just like the people who think they can take Vitamin C to treat appendicitis. This is how the conversation goes:

Patient: "Doc, I read somewhere that Vitamin C can be used to cure appendicitis AND cancer. Don't you think we should try vitamin C before we do the surgery?"

Doctor: "I don't know where you're getting your information, but in my professional opinion I think the risks of just taking Vitamin C and not having the surgery are severe."

Patient: "I think natural things are so much better for my body, and since surgery is so invasive, I think I'm going to try the vitamin C."

Doctor: "Sigh...."

I have some theories as to why you won't believe the science of global warming.

1). You have a distrust of liberals (like Al Gore) and since they are the ones preaching global warming it must be complete hogwash.

2). You distrust the media which constantly chalks up the latest disaster to global warming, therefore it must be complete hogwash.

3). You have a natural tendency to go against the grain, and since there is an overwhelming tide of evidence supporting anthropogenic global warming, it must be complete hogwash.

4). You're afraid of the change necessary to fix global warming. You're afraid the change will do serious harm to our economy.

It's time to reexamine why you believe what you believe.

Greybeard said...

(Smiles and realizes it's hopeless.)
I used to listen to a guy on the radio late nights. He was a financial guru... knew more about Real Estate and Wall Street than three people combined. Folks would call in to talk to him about some financial instrument they were being offered that would supposedly make them millionaires in short order, and he would show them why it was more than risky- maybe disastrous. Inevitably some callers would argue with him. His response?
"You WANT to believe! And if you WANT to believe, no logical argument I can give you will change your mind."

So there we are.
The APS says AGW is fact, and a very large, smart faction says okay, but this is NOT "settled science". John says dust causes warming on Mars...
I say baloney. Dust by itself won't warm a patoot. Most stuff I'm reading says sunspot activity is at a record lull, and that normally accompanies a warming period.
So to you that WANT to believe, you don't mind if I don't want to join your cult, do you?
(That's just me though.... I've never been a good follower.)

Greybeard said...

And here's another slap in the face of AGW as "settled science"...
This guy was one of the original proponents and now says, "Not so fast, Bunky!"

Not to mention the evidence of global cooling!