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Michael Mann - Unprecedented Attacks on Climate Research
Posted: 27 February 2010 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Doug,

Here’s a once-popular line of reasoning that nobody believes any more.

1. The police perform an important function for the public.

2. Felons often criticize the police, in order to more readily ply their trade.

3. All criticisms of police actions have the effect of supporting the criminals’ position.

4. Therefore, all critics of the police are either knaves or fools.

It’s now broadly recognized that this sort of reflexive cheerleading is one of the factors that contributes to wrongful actions by the police, including those due to “Noble Cause Corruption.”

Contrast Prof. Mann’s view of the Climategate emails with that of the (UK) Institute of Physics.  Their submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry is *here*.

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Posted: 27 February 2010 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Jackson - 27 February 2010 10:48 AM

Chris led off with an introduction noting a [ a special symposium organized at the last minute last week in San Diego at the AAAS annual meeting]; the symposium focused on the “feeding frenzy” following Climategate.

And the same day that Chris released the interview [ the Wall Street Journal had a front page story on the topic with quotes on Michael Mann and the hockey stick plot]

The front page WSJ article quoting Michael Mann touches a hot-button
[Chris Mooney mentions it in his blog with a link to]
[ ClimateProgress.org where Michael Mann rebuts the WSJ article point by point]

Mann’s discussion of the WSJ article is interesting because the WSJ is quoting another climate scientist as saying that they were suspicious of the hockey stick. In my opinion Mann should have contacted that guy directly to check facts before putting this rebuttal out, and if Christy agreed with Mann they would have the WSJ in a major misquote and error.

Both AAAS link above and WSJ noted the prediction ‘error’ that the Himalyan glaciers would disappear by 2035.  Mann didn’t bring that sloppy work up —something which should have been caught.

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Posted: 27 February 2010 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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caerbannog - 27 February 2010 08:46 AM

....Also, during the Q&A session (about 49 minutes into the video), Dr. Alley was asked what would happen to the Earth’s climate if we burned up all the economically recoverable fossil fuel reserves. His reply was, “some chance at getting above the Cretaceous level”. For folks not familiar with the Cretaceous period, that means no polar ice caps, a sea-level about 250 feet higher than today’s, and open-ocean sea surface temperatures in the neighborhood of 100 degrees F.
...

Thanks for this link—this was a question I was wondering about.

[ fossil fuels include petroleum, coal, and natural gas].  The oil reserves are thought to be relatively limited. Wikipedia says current use is 36% oil 27% coal 23% natural gas.


[climateprogres.org page on the same topic]with more detail

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Posted: 27 February 2010 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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AMac - 27 February 2010 10:05 AM

If more background would be useful, try Googling ‘Mann Tiljander’, or ‘Mann Tiljander AMac’ if you wish.  It’s a topical and fascinating story.

http://amac1.blogspot.com/2009/11/newly-discovered-jarvykortta-proxy.html
This Korttajarvi / Jarvykortta stuff was a little too cute….confusing to folks looking at it from the outside.

Thanks for links.

[ Edited: 27 February 2010 02:33 PM by Jackson ]
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Posted: 27 February 2010 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Jackson - 27 February 2010 02:25 PM
AMac - 27 February 2010 10:05 AM

http://amac1.blogspot.com/2009/11/newly-discovered-jarvykortta-proxy.html
why does this refer to Ruritania (I thought it was ficitonal), and where is this Jarvykortta River…

Sorry… Ruritania is fictional. The “Jarvykortta River” is fictional.  The data in that series is identical to the data of the Tiljander Lake Korttajarvi X-Ray Density proxy.  This explanation is near the end of the post.  I will move it to the beginning, for clarity.

The argument being discussed is this:  “A proxy is just a proxy, who cares whether a reconstruction has ‘higher X-Ray Density’ mapping to ‘warmer temperatures’ or to ‘cooler temperatures’ or to both at once?”

Well, it does matter, and it matters a lot.  What if I told you, “I’m going to do a temperature reconstruction, and I think when the river ice breaks up later in the spring, that means the winter was warmer!”  You’d tell me that assignment doesn’t make any sense.  I hope.

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Posted: 27 February 2010 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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AMac - 27 February 2010 01:42 PM

Doug,

Here’s a once-popular line of reasoning that nobody believes any more.

1. The police perform an important function for the public.

2. Felons often criticize the police, in order to more readily ply their trade.

3. All criticisms of police actions have the effect of supporting the criminals’ position.

4. Therefore, all critics of the police are either knaves or fools.

It’s now broadly recognized that this sort of reflexive cheerleading is one of the factors that contributes to wrongful actions by the police, including those due to “Noble Cause Corruption.”

Contrast Prof. Mann’s view of the Climategate emails with that of the (UK) Institute of Physics.  Their submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry is *here*.

This is a non sequitur. The police are a law enforcement agency, not a science organization. There is no a priori sense that the police are in an epistemologically superior position to any other designated third party in a dispute, and indeed they are not viewed as such by the law. This is why suspects are considered “innocent until proven guilty”.

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Posted: 27 February 2010 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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AMac - 27 February 2010 02:38 PM
Jackson - 27 February 2010 02:25 PM
AMac - 27 February 2010 10:05 AM

http://amac1.blogspot.com/2009/11/newly-discovered-jarvykortta-proxy.html
why does this refer to Ruritania (I thought it was ficitonal), and where is this Jarvykortta River…

Sorry… Ruritania is fictional. The “Jarvykortta River” is fictional.  The data in that series is identical to the data of the Tiljander Lake Korttajarvi X-Ray Density proxy.  This explanation is near the end of the post.  I will move it to the beginning, for clarity.

The argument being discussed is this:  “A proxy is just a proxy, who cares whether a reconstruction has ‘higher X-Ray Density’ mapping to ‘warmer temperatures’ or to ‘cooler temperatures’ or to both at once?”

Well, it does matter, and it matters a lot.  What if I told you, “I’m going to do a temperature reconstruction, and I think when the river ice breaks up later in the spring, that means the winter was warmer!”  You’d tell me that assignment doesn’t make any sense.  I hope.

thanks for your patience—I did figure it out!....  wow…this was a good catch…

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Posted: 27 February 2010 03:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Amazing to hear a Penn State guy dis his Harvard and MIT peers and it be accepted as gospel that the Cambridge crowd are fools .


Don’t talk to me “climate science” until you show me the physics .  For an introduction to the essential Stefan-Boltzmann & Kirchhoff relationships , see my http://CoSy.com

Frankly , I think think the understanding of the physics apparent on both sides of the debate is pathetic .

All I’ve seen is a mathematically amateurish one dimensional physically impossible assumption that without an atmosphere the earth would absorb with approximately its 0.7 absorptivity , but emit as a black body with an emissivity of 1.0 . How did this intractable mediocrity become the standard starting point ?  More relevant and tractable is that we are about 8C warmer than a gray body in our orbit .

Beyond that , I’ve never found the equations by which forcings are calculated .  Surely someone could post the essential equations online and not just allude to them being somewhere in some paper textbooks .

And the alarmists claim that their greenhouse effect is essentially unconstrained by the energy being received from the sun . They claim that despite all heat equations flowing from hot to cold , they can make a blanket which makes heat go up hill , offering Venus as an example .

If you’re going to claim that , show us the equation . This is a phenomenon which can supply infinite energy .

But , of course , you can’t show us the equations . Because if you really calculate the effect of even doubling the CO2 available to the biosphere , the change in our spectrum will still cause well less than 1C change in temperature .

So stop with the ad hominems ; show us your quantitative science preferably in a form which we can play with on our PCs .

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Posted: 27 February 2010 08:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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dougsmith - 27 February 2010 02:39 PM

.
...an epistemologically superior position to any other

We agree.  Police aren’t epistemologically superior.

But then, neither are the people called “scientists”.

Priests are epistemologically superior.  Not scientists.

What distinguishes “science” is the Scientific Method, not the credentials of the people fitting the job description.  Most (not all) PhDs will be better at using that method in dealing with issues related to their specialty.  Some (not none) of the people without a PhD will turn out to be pretty good at it, too.

Richard Feynman’s essay “Cargo cult science” is not about the PhD degree (which he had) or about the Nobel prize (which he won).  It’s about how hard it is to discipline oneself to stay true to the Scientific Method.

1. The police perform an important function for the public.
  Climate scientists perform an important function for the public.

2. Felons often criticize the police, in order to more readily ply their trade.
  Fossil-fuel-company-funded shills often criticize climate scientists, in order to increase fossil fuel sales.

3. All criticisms of police actions have the effect of supporting the criminals’ position.
  All criticisms of climate scientists’ work have the effect of supporting fossil fuel companies’ position.

4. Therefore, all critics of the police are either knaves or fools.
  Therefore, all critics of climate scientists are either knaves or fools.

By this reasoning, no action of the police—no matter how suspect—may be criticized.
By this reasoning, no publication of a climate scientist—no matter how flawed—may be criticized.

So, I don’t think this is a non sequitor.

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Posted: 27 February 2010 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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AMac - 27 February 2010 08:34 PM

Priests are epistemologically superior.  Not scientists.

With the recent proved worldwide sex scandals and cover-up by the higher ups, the priesthood has no claim to epistemological superiority. You will need to use another example!

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 27 February 2010 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I enjoyed the interview very much.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 28 February 2010 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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AMac - 27 February 2010 08:34 PM

Police aren’t epistemologically superior.

But then, neither are the people called “scientists”.

Priests are epistemologically superior.  Not scientists.

You got that one backwards, AMac. Priests just make stuff up. They aren’t chosen for their superior knowledge of anything, nor does their job involve careful investigations of anything. They don’t even have epistemological superiority when it comes to the contents of the Bible (professors of the relevant religions, arguably, would). A priest is first and foremost a sociopolitical position.

Scientists are trained in knowledge of the data and theories relative to their own particular field of study. They spend their working lives doing investigations into that field, and writing papers which will be reviewed by their peers for accuracy and objectivity. There is nobody who knows more about a field of study than the scientists who are active in that field.

That said, a scientist in field X need have no particular reliability in field Y. This is, for instance, why CFI’s Credibility Project is so particularly relevant when it comes to issues such as debating climate science. (NB: in that linked brochure, you have to start reading from the second page of the .pdf).

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Posted: 28 February 2010 08:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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dougsmith - 27 February 2010 02:39 PM

...This is a non sequitur. ..... There is no a priori sense that the police are in an epistemologically superior position to any other designated third party in a dispute, and indeed they are not viewed as such by the law….

Doug I think AMac is describing a variation on the fallacy of authority using multiple ideas from the Science of Persuasion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini

1. climate scientists are authorities
2. other people believe climate scientists—shouldn’t you?
3. if you criticize the climate scientists, bad things will happen, and if we have only a limited time to act to follow their suggestions or bad things will happen.
4. climate scientists are likeable. People who criticise them are unlikeable shills for petroleum companies with suspicious motives.
5. climate scientists are doing you a favor by trying to understand the fundamentals of climate change. You should reciprocate by not criticizing someone who is trying to do you a favor.

etc etc.

It doesn’t matter if it is a logical fallacy if people believe (act) accordingly—Can you give us some examples of TV commercials which you consider “epistemologically”  correct?

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Posted: 28 February 2010 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Jackson - 28 February 2010 08:40 AM
dougsmith - 27 February 2010 02:39 PM

...This is a non sequitur. ..... There is no a priori sense that the police are in an epistemologically superior position to any other designated third party in a dispute, and indeed they are not viewed as such by the law….

Doug I think AMac is describing a variation on the fallacy of authority using multiple ideas from the Science of Persuasion
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini

1. climate scientists are authorities
2. other people believe climate scientists—shouldn’t you?
3. if you criticize the climate scientists, bad things will happen, and if we have only a limited time to act to follow their suggestions or bad things will happen.
4. climate scientists are likeable. People who criticise them are unlikeable shills for petroleum companies with suspicious motives.
5. climate scientists are doing you a favor by trying to understand the fundamentals of climate change. You should reciprocate by not criticizing someone who is trying to do you a favor.

Not sure I get the relevance of Cialdini here—I’ve read his book, so know in general his take on persuasion. The point re. the supposed fallacy of appeal to authority I’ve dealt with at some length elsewhere on this forum—that is, it is indeed a logical fallacy, however that does not mean it is a bad argument. Appeal to authority is necessary in virtually every field, since no one person can know all there is to know. The only pertinent question is how to determine the proper authority.

When it comes to scientific issues, however, the proper authority is clear. It is the community of scientists who study that particular subject.

Jackson - 28 February 2010 08:40 AM

It doesn’t matter if it is a logical fallacy if people believe (act) accordingly—Can you give us some examples of TV commercials which you consider “epistemologically”  correct?

I have no problem with commercials that discuss true properties of the products they sell. There is a role in any society for truthful advertising. My only problem is with ads that mislead.

But again, not quite sure I’m getting your point. Perhaps I’m being dense.

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Posted: 28 February 2010 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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scepticeye - 27 February 2010 08:45 AM
GdB - 27 February 2010 08:34 AM
scepticeye - 27 February 2010 08:24 AM

Please. It was so much nonsense.

Are you a climate specialist? Do you have the data available that show it is all ‘nonsense’? Please present them to us. No opinions, please.

GdB

Please spare me your instructions. I have no interest in them. Your arrogance in suggesting that only Climate Specialists deserve to have a voice in this debate is unacceptable to me. Next we will be told that only ministers of the church can contribute to the Religious debates and only doctors can opine on CAM topics.
Read the forums and discuss the data and it’s origin if you are interested in it and if such debate is allowed on this forum, which unfortunately it is not.

No, everybody has a voice, but if your not a specialist, your main job is to question, and listen to the answers. In the climate debate there are many models, many (independent) data, and they all point in more or less the same direction. More: 5 degrees Celsius warmer, less 2 degrees. More: 4 meters higher sea level, less 1 meter. Maybe the lower figures are not a big problem, maybe they are. The higher figures are a huge problem. So do we bet with the life of millions or billions of people? But what does it matter, you have your opinion already, and you trust only your own voice.

Jackson - 27 February 2010 10:48 AM
GdB - 27 February 2010 08:34 AM

...No opinions, please.
GdB

In my opinion it was another excellent interview by Chris Mooney, who is drawing on his contacts for terrific guests and his experience to carry a pretty insightful discussion.  Chris is putting a lot of effort into the prep and it shows.

Just for the record…. your citing seems to suggest that I think Mann is giving just opinions. It was just my reaction on cyniceye’s posting I commented on above. I am convinced from the seventies onwards that global warming will happen, based on my astronomical interest. Both Venus and Mars are warmer then should have been if they had earthy atmospheres. However, both atmospheres are mainly carbon dioxide… That does not make science of course, but it is frustrating to see how all indicators add up that it is really happening now and so called ‘sceptic eyes’ don’t take this for granted. In fact scepticeye is highly dogmatic. Sometimes he agrees with science, and then science is great, and sometimes he doesn’t, then science is wrong.

GdB

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