Yup

Of course a carbon tax/fee/whatever as espoused by just about everyone who’s thought about the problem and who does not have a vested interest in it would be the obvious starting point, and what matters from here is the start rather than the endpoint.

And what is he one thing our gargantuanly ignorant rulers have not done?

Had a carbon tax.

Twats.

52 comments on “Yup

  1. Utter bollocks, lots of very intelligent people have thought about the problem, realised it’s a non-problem and concluded nothing needs doing.

    What is particularly disappointing is that some ostensibly intelligent people who talk so much sense on other matters, approach the non-problem from the stance of “let’s assume there is a problem”.

  2. So, a problem that has been caused by inappropriate Government and EU meddling in the energy market is to be solved by imposing a tax ?

    Get a grip Tim.

  3. Can someone please enlighten me.

    As far as I see it, the idea of a carbon tax is to raise the untaxed price of fossil fuels to the point that the externalities of man man global warming are thus priced in, and people will use their ingenuity to devise ways to be more frugal with fossil fuels, or do away with them entirely, all based on the price mechanism. Am I right so far?

    Thus if we already have taxes that artificially raise the price of fossil fuels, even if those taxes are raised for other purposes (repairing roads, general taxation) we already have a carbon tax, because the price effects exist regardless of the reason for imposing the taxes in the first place, or what the revenue is spent on.

    Thus given that fossil fuels are already heavily taxed in the UK, we have already taken the measures necessary to account for the externalities that a carbon tax is there to compensate for. We’re done. We in the UK have already imposed a carbon tax, and can go merrily on our way, having done our bit (ignoring the fact AGW is all a load of bollocks anyway).

    Where am I going wrong?

  4. You’re very nearly right. Petrol tax works the way you say and we’re done there (in fact, we tax it too much). But coal for electricity wasn’t so taxed: it is roughly now. We do have emissions taxation of about the right size. It’s just not properly distributed. But the end point, that we’ve roughly already dealt with it, is correct.

  5. Except that the externalities of a non-problem are zero. Whereas the benefits to the world’s poorest of having cheap, reliable energy are very tangible.

  6. And you also need to adjust all the renewable subsidies, price the feed-in tariffs correctly….. And do everything else to fix the market that Milliband broke and Davey made worse. Good luck with that. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking a carbon tax fixes all the problems those masterminds created.

  7. Yes, but that’s why a carbon tax. So that you’ve already solved the problem before the idiots start tinkering.

  8. The problem has already been solved because it doesn’t exist. That is why we don’t need to turf decent, honest, hard-working coal miners around the globe out of work on the altar of greenie political correctness. That is why we don’t have to condemn the world’s poorest to endless poverty without safe water and medical services.

    So we don’t need a fucking carbon tax, or renewable subsidies or any other measures to solve this non-problem. Why is it, Tim, that an otherwise seemingly intelligent human bean has a complete blind spot on this one issue? When will you wake up to the simple fact that there is no problem and with no action whatsoever we can all sleep soundly every night? I do.

  9. I know that Europe has a bad history with Carbon trading. That was mostly a result of grandfathering in high credit grants to historically dirty plants, a pathetically flawed auction, and the market collapsing with a big switch from coal fired to natty fired plants. (I personally saw a similar dynamic happen in the SOx & NOx credit market in the States)

    But a tax is a rather blunt instrument. If one is determined to achieve a given level of emissions, carbon credits directly address that level … carbon taxes just “sorta drive” one towards that level. F’rinstance, had we been using carbon tax when WTI fell from the 130s-140s to the 30s-40s, a fixed carbon tax would become a smaller and smaller deterent to increased driving, ship bunkering, 6Oil fired electricity generation, etc.

    So why not carbon credit trading rather ghan a carbon tax

  10. Docbud>

    You’re an idiot. There’s no doubt that total rejection of the idea of man-made climate change is as absurd as total acceptance of every overly alarmist fantasy. The IPCC finally got to something approaching objectivity in AR5, which is why these days they say that climate change is only a moderate problem with moderate risks that do not justify taking any major action. You really should try to keep up.

  11. It’s like this, see. The politicians can control the weather, but only by shifting massive amounts of taxpayer money to their cronies. A carbon tax doesn’t do that, so it’s not a viable solution. Don’t argue, it’s Science!

  12. There must be something about top politicians that they want to be thought of as Saviours not as liberators. Tony had something of the Messiah about him, Gordon saved the world, and now the Paris politicians want to claim credit for saving the earth. Nobody likes them.
    In my simplistic history book filed in my head, which I can’t be bothered to check, Thatcher seduced Reagan to stop the hole in the ozone layer from getting worse, and she pushed through the Antarctica for science only treaty.
    But people hate her for stopping free secondary school milk and selling council houses.

  13. “a fixed carbon tax would become a smaller and smaller deterrent to increased driving”
    I don’t see the problem with that. Price of fuel drops, carbon tax remains constant per unit of fuel, more fuel is consumed, more carbon tax is collected by the Exchequer who can then spend it on activities that mitigate its effects ( building a road bridge/tunnel to Ireland, diverting the Congo river, or whatever is in vogue at the time ).

  14. How are you going to build the benefits of higher CO2 levels into the tax? Fact, plants love CO2 and in the majority of cases will grow much better with more CO2 rather than less as long as the other inputs they require water, sunlight etc) are not restricted.

    BTW, is the death of a non-productive person seen as a cost or benefit when measuring externalities? I only ask because increasing the cost of energy further will lead to more deaths, many of them the elderly, in this country and I want to know if this is a good thing or not.

  15. Dave

    When the cooling trend becomes more pronounced over the next few years, it becomes more difficult to hide it with “adjustments” and it gradually gains general acceptance, will the cooling be the result of human or natural activities?

  16. The climate will change. It’s what it does. Is man responsible for some portion of that change? Possibly. (Though as time goes on and the evidence comes in and the science evolves I become less and less convinced of this.) Will the temp go up or down? We don’t know. Will it become stormier or calmer? We don’t know, (but the evidence – and the science – seem to suggest less ‘extreme weather’).

    So to the big question; can we change the climate? Or stop the climate changing? Or run a modern economy on rainbows and unicorn farts? Or help the millions of energy-poor people by bribing their leaders? No! No to all that? No fucking way!!

    So when the climate changes we must adapt and in my view we will be wealthier and thus better able to adapt to change if we have cheap and reliable energy, which for the moment means fossil fuel based generation.

    Will a carbon tax help in any way?

    So we use the tax set up a fund to help people adapt when the climate changes. Administered by the UN. With an enforcement arm to ensure everyone pays their dues. No chance of corruption. No chance of mission creep. No sir!

    And what are the odds of one B. Obama being a future UN Sec. Gen, eh?

  17. And another thing: water vapour is a far more potent and widespread greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

    Are we also going to have a “steam tax”- perhaps a one-off levy on kettles ?

  18. “BTW, is the death of a non-productive person seen as a cost or benefit when measuring externalities?”

    Presumably a benefit, and in which case it’s a strongly negative feedback and should reduce the price of carbon to less than $80 / tonne? Did Stern take it into account?

    “perhaps a one-off levy on kettles?”

    levy on lefties has a nicer sounding ring to it…

  19. Take 100 one litre bottles. Fill 78 of them with nitrogen. Fill 21 of them with oxygen. In the last one, put 957ml of argon. In the remaining space, put 38ml of CO₂ and 7ml of neon, krypton, hydrogen, methane etc. That’s what the atmosphere looks like a few years ago. Over the last few hundred years we’ve moved the amount of carbon dioxide you need to add to make the sums come out right from about 2.1 cubic inches to about 2.4 cubic inches (the other gases go down by two tablespoons to adjust). Add in the fact that any forcing (in the absence of positive feedback effects thus far not in evidence) is necessarily (constrained to be by the physics) logarithmic and I simply do not believe the case has been made that the sums of money that are being proposed to be spent are commensurate with the problem, if indeed there is one. There seems to be this demented insistence among essentially every member of the political classes that have any actual power that we must, simply must transfer a trillion dollars a year from developed countries to the the Third World, most of which despises us. At present what this largesse is supposed to accomplish is not really stated. It’s an appeal to magic.

  20. Pingback: Paris Pow Wow Heap Good – Stoat

  21. Dave,

    Who says that it is only a moderate problem with moderate risks? That has not been reflected in the rhetoric pre-COP21, quite the opposite.

    Condemning hundreds of millions to a life of extreme poverty and poor health seems pretty drastic to me, as does throwing people out of jobs to please people who’ve never had a productive job.

    The influence of human CO2 emissions on the climate is so small as to be undetectable and that this influence is malign rather than benign is far from clear. Since anything humans do will not make a measurable difference and as it is not clear we’d want to make a difference if we could, climate change is, to all intents and purposes, a non-problem. Far better to devote all the effort to growing the economy and lifting the world’s poorest out of poverty, and to leave the wasted money in taxpayers’ pockets.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica & DocBud

    +1

    Dave, do you really have that much faith in the IPCC? I look at the graphs which give the low to high temperature rises they claimed we were going to have and the real measurements pottering along below and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!

    BiCR give you an idea of the volumes we are talking about.

    The equivalent of 15 people scattered around a full football ground. Another leg is going to make a real difference.

    And CO2 is plant food. We have had nearly 20 times as much (when we didn’t exist) and temperatures didn’t shoot up what happened were green flourishes. Tempratures are not shooting up now.

    Yes we know it is a greenhouse gas but it seems that a lot of other factors are more important.

    Still, lets just give vasts amounts of money to other countries and let them squander it. The weather won’t change an iota.

  23. the point of taxes these days is to stop the ‘well to do’, and in particular , the white from breeding. Nobody likes them.

  24. Tax is never the right answer unless the question is, “how can we raise necessary revenue for essential government functions?”. It is most specifically never, ever the answer to the question, “how can we achieve some outcome we consider desirable?”.

    Pigou Taxes are a fundementally broken idea, because they start with the assumption that some parties A are incurring a cost due to some parties B, but instead of having B compensate A, you work out what A ought to be given by B, then give it to the government instead.

    Which is twattishness of the first order.

  25. The problem here is that a lot of people were convinced into believe in global warming in the 95-05 period when the rise was steep (fractions of a degree, but steep for a 10 year period) and before the skeptics really got going in digging into the “science” being used to prove it. But since then there has been no rise, possibly even a slight decline in global temperatures the people who bought into this nonsense early on are psychologically unable to process that they’ve been sold a scam. We’ve also seen the “science” torn to utter shreds with quite blatant fraud and deception going on in support of this scam. AGW believers are just cultists now, their god hasn’t appeared at the appointed time but they continue their chants and just move the date forward a bit. They are dangerous statists, but they are also fools.

  26. I could solve the “problem” of man-made global warming very quickly and at almost zero cost… Simply sack the fuckers at GISS who keep adjusting the historical temperature record downwards. The raw data is to all intents and purposes flat, it’s only the adjustments that create the warming trend. In business terms this is known as “fraud”.

  27. Pogo

    “The raw data is to all intents and purposes flat,”

    I don’t think that is true

    see http://judithcurry.com/2015/02/09/berkeley-earth-raw-versus-adjusted-temperature-data/

    DocBud

    “Why is it, Tim, that an otherwise seemingly intelligent human bean has a complete blind spot on this one issue? ”

    Well, no scientific body of national or international standing maintains a dissenting opinion

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    How, as a non scientific expert, would you be able to judge

    I notice how “green” activists challenge National Science Academies pronouncements on Nuclear Power / GM Crops – I think they are being blinded by their own prejudices – and I suspect a similar thing is happening here

  28. @PeteB

    Looking at the graphs in that report very clearly shows that the historic temperatures have all been revised downwards. Also, take a look at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/13/ncdcs-new-ushcn-hockey-stick/ .

    Well, no scientific body of national or international standing maintains a dissenting opinion

    Doubtless the RS fully supported the Phlogiston theory as well. Also, it’s slightly surprising how many eminent scientists appear to “go rogue” from the consensus once they’re retired and don’t have carreer progression to worry about.

  29. “Well, no scientific body of national or international standing maintains a dissenting opinion”

    We wouldn’t expect them to. First, because they are essentially trade unions for scientists looking out for the commercial interests of their members, and all the money at present is in supporting global warming orthodoxy. Academic scientists are paid by governments, who pursue it for political reasons. Second, because the function of such statements is not to deliver a scientific opinion, but to project the public relations image of the society and its members as caring and responsible, and the current moral fashion is to support belief in global warming. It’s no different to the way pop stars make similar ‘right on’ statements. Third, because the way these things work isn’t any sort of dispassionate scientific enquiry, but some enthusiast saying to the committee members “Hey, maybe we should make some sort of statement in support of global warming?”, it getting delegated to a sub-committee for climate change filled with a half-dozen volunteers who all volunteered for it precisely because they’re fanatical about global warming, who then regurgitate the orthodoxy verbatim citing the authority of the IPCC, which then gets rubber-stamped by the main committee. Hardly very scientific. And fourthly, because nobody’s got time to track down and actually examine the so-called “evidence” – I’ve been trying for about 10 years and I’ve still not dug all the way to the bottom of the compost heap. The bits that are published are buried in piles of papers filled with obfuscation and equivocation. There are large sections of the supporting data and methodology that are simply not published anywhere, and not available to outsiders. (And those few bits that have leaked out despite their efforts indicate major quality problems – e.g. ‘Harry_readme.txt’. And when it came right down to it, even the IPCC was forced to say they couldn’t quantify the uncertainties scientifically and therefore any conclusion was ultimately based on “expert judgement” – i.e. the personal opinions of people specifically selected for their support for the agenda of the IPCC. It’s for sure that no committee told to generate a statement for the media by the week after next is going to have time to chase down all the evidence, counter-evidence, and obfuscation. No, they’re going to do what any 12 year old kid could do – download the IPCC summary report and quote blindly from it. And their statement will have all the same level of assurance and quality.

    “How, as a non scientific expert, would you be able to judge”

    How are any of the many believers, likewise as non-scientific experts, able to judge? And yet they all seem to be able to, and are even convinced that they’re being ‘scientific’ to do so.

    The correct ‘scientific’ answer for anyone who isn’t a scientist who has personally studied the science is always “I don’t know”. What people on both sides are actually doing is to “take somebody’s word for it” – precisely the opposite of science. Some people take the word of politically-funded climate scientists that it is. Other people take the word of independent, sceptical scientists like me that it isn’t. On the question of whether there’s really any danger from climate change, there’s no real difference between the two sides. The question is only, who’s the better judge of expertise?

    But while the deep science is fairly inaccessible to most people on both sides, there are a lot of parts that are accessible to any reasonably educated layman. The shenanigans with the Hockeystick paper are relatively easy to explain. The photos of temperature monitors sat next to aircon vents and incinerators being used for constructing the climate records by the climate scientists were a joke anyone could get. The issues with the CRU TS2.1 database are easily understood by anyone who knows about software quality, and even non-software people can easily see that there’s a major problem with climate data becoming corrupted and/or meaningless (When the scientist in charge says of one procedure involving making up false data to get round corrupted inputs: “In other words, what CRU usually do. It will allow bad databases to pass unnoticed, and good databases to become bad, but I really don’t think people care enough to fix ’em” it is pretty explicit). The upper troposphere hotspot is likewise easily understood as a falsification of the models – although probably only a few would be able to explain why the models predict it. The ‘hiatus’ is a concern even to climate scientists. We can go on and on and on.

    The truth is, nobody knows. The science is relatively new, very uncertain, and rather amateurishly done, but it’s been oversold as being second only to the 2nd law of thermodynamics by a politically-inspired bandwagon seeking to overturn industrialised Western society and distribute the spoils to the poor- what they call ‘Climate Justice’. A lot of the science is of poor quality. Some of it is outright fraudulent. And while there are few people who know enough to comment intelligently on the deep science, there are lots of people who can recognise statements like “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it” for exactly what it is.

    But everyone should have freedom of belief. You can believe in it if you want.

  30. NiV,

    Surely if they were acting as a trade union for scientists they would be asking for more research. I can’t see what benefit there would be to strongly asserting something that they weren’t sure about. They would just be opening themselves up to complete ridicule when it transpired they were wrong. Their authority is based on giving a careful and considered advice.

    If you ignore the global warming advice, what do you think of the other topics that they cover? It seems to completely contradict the current fashionable thinking and instead advise gm crops are safe, nuclear power is safe, there is no danger from mobile phones etc, why would they make up a danger from global warming ?

    https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/publications/

    Politicians have got no hope of figuring it out from the primary literature, they need advisors to process it for them.

    I notice that green activists attack the royal society for being in the pay of gm food companies and nuclear power interests

  31. “Surely if they were acting as a trade union for scientists they would be asking for more research.”

    They do. Vitally critically important to saving the world, it is.

    ” I can’t see what benefit there would be to strongly asserting something that they weren’t sure about.”

    Depends whether you’re talking about short term or long term benefits. In the short term, it means not having a swarm of global warming flying monkeys descend on you screaming “Denier! Denier!” and getting the guy responsible sacked. In the long run, the guy responsible will have retired many years previously and be enjoying his pension.

    “They would just be opening themselves up to complete ridicule when it transpired they were wrong. Their authority is based on giving a careful and considered advice.”

    I present for your consideration Professor Paul Ehrlich, who won the $250,000 Heinz Prize for his services to environmental science, the man responsible back in the 1970s for predicting that the world was going to starve, resources were going to run out, the wildlife was all going to die, and Western civilisation was going to collapse before the end of the 20th century unless we immediately introduced compulsory mass sterilisation programs across the third world.

    He got elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2012.

    QED?

  32. Sorry – missed a bit.

    “If you ignore the global warming advice, what do you think of the other topics that they cover? It seems to completely contradict the current fashionable thinking and instead advise gm crops are safe, nuclear power is safe, there is no danger from mobile phones etc, why would they make up a danger from global warming ?”

    Because they’re not (generally) funded by green activists, they’re funded by governments. If the government lets it be known that they’ll pay handsomely for ‘helpful’ global warming research, what do you think will happen?

  33. Good comment, NiV.

    I’m a member of three professional engineering institutions. Two wisely chose to be neutral in the climate change debate, recognising that their membership hold differing views on the matter. The other decided to make a statement in support of the “science”. It did not conduct an assessment of the literature, it did not consult the membership, it simply issued a political statement. These statements are not researched and not peer reviewed yet warmists cling to them as being authoritative.

    Arnald,

    The climate says. The existence of a significant human influence is only found in numerical models, not in reality.

    Numerical modelling of processes that have numerous uncertain parameters is fraught with difficulty and engineers use them as their sole design tool at their peril (or somebody else’s peril). Too often, the model outputs differ from reality yet many trust the models over the evidence of their own eyes. Modellers fill their reports with caveats about uncertainty but rarely their presentations to management.

  34. Well, no scientific body of national or international standing maintains a dissenting opinion

    Not one of the computer models even comes close to predicting the actual temperature changes of the last twenty years.

    Back in my day, when I was studying Physics at Oxford, we had a technical term for ‘research’ like that. The term was ‘complete and utter bollocks’. I honestly can’t understand how anyone takes it seriously, unless they’re making a living from doing so.

  35. “I present for your consideration Professor Paul Ehrlich, who won the $250,000 Heinz Prize for his services to environmental science, the man responsible back in the 1970s for predicting that the world was going to starve, resources were going to run out, the wildlife was all going to die, and Western civilisation was going to collapse before the end of the 20th century unless we immediately introduced compulsory mass sterilisation programs across the third world.”

    No, I’m sure individual members (or even Fellows) of the Royal Society (or any other national science) academy have weird views on some things. What I am asking is has the Royal Society provided policy advice on other subjects apart from global warming that you consider wrong / biased / etc or is it just global warming? :

    https://royalsociety.org/topics-policy/publications/

    “Because they’re not (generally) funded by green activists, they’re funded by governments. If the government lets it be known that they’ll pay handsomely for ‘helpful’ global warming research, what do you think will happen?”

    I can’t really understand why a government would want to make up a risk, certainly if they had big reserves of fossil fuels. Previous US governments have put pressure on scientists to downplay global warming, but the scientists definitely didn’t produce “helpful” research – quite the opposite, they produced research contrary to what the government wanted

    DocBud – what are the two engineering institutions that remain neutral on global warming ?

  36. “No, I’m sure individual members (or even Fellows) of the Royal Society (or any other national science) academy have weird views on some things. What I am asking is has the Royal Society provided policy advice on other subjects apart from global warming that you consider wrong / biased / etc or is it just global warming?”

    Yes.
    https://royalsociety.org/news/2013/avoiding-global-civilization-collapse/

    Like I said, the Royal Society supported Ehrlich’s apocalyptic millennarian predictions, despite them having been known to be rubbish back in 1980. And Ehrich’s views weren’t considered weird. They were the scientific and political mainstream back in the 1970s, they were the sort of stuff that “everybody knows”, just as global warming is today.

    Ehrlich is a counterexample to your proposal that scientists and scientific bodies wouldn’t hype the certainty of bad science for fear of appearing ridiculous when they’re proved wrong – they’ve done it before many times and they *have* got away with it. Ehrlich was about as wrong about everything as it’s possible to be, and he’s still got a job, and respect from the scientific community. There are still people expecting his nonsense predictions to come true.

    I’d suggest reading Lomborg’s ‘Skeptical Environmentalist’ book for the full story on the 1970s eco-apocalyptic predictions, or Julian Simon’s ‘Ultimate Resource’ book that inspired it.

    That’s the thing about end-of-the-world predictions: – it doesn’t matter how many times they fail to come to pass, there’s something so appealing about them to a certain mindset that they’ll continue to be believed indefinitely. Nothing will budge them, and anyone selling one knows they’ll be excused.

    “I don’t believe you know anything about the subject.”

    Based on what evidence, precisely?

    “Have you actually read any of the science?”

    Yes. Extensively.

    “This is as good a place as anywhere.”

    No, I don’t think so. Realclimate is operated by an American PR firm: “Environmental Media Services”, a subsidiary of “Fenton Communications” which specialises in campaigns to shift public opinion on specific topics for their clients. Mainly Democrats – George Soros is one of their bigger clients.

    The site was originally set up specifically to defend the (thoroughly bent) Hockeystick paper when the scandal first hit the internet – to get their spin out there ahead of the media wave. They’re noted for censoring and editing critical comments they don’t have good answers for, or letting through one comment, issuing a bogus ‘rebuttal’, and then blocking any follow up comments. The scientists who write on it certainly know the subject well, but they’re less than honest in how they present it.

    There are plenty of decent pro-consensus sites who deal honestly with contrary viewpoints – Realclimate isn’t one of them.

    You can judge for yourself whether I know what I’m talking about. Here’s one on the greenhouse effect physics (it gets followed up on two posts later). And there’s a nice discussion here in comments on the Met Office statistics of detection/attribution, in which I argue that Ross McKittrick got it wrong (!). Doug gives a reference in there to an earlier discussion where we went into the technical issues in a bit more depth (the long debate with ATTP) which is worth reading too.

    Any time you want to argue climate physics or statistics with me, you just go right ahead! 🙂

    Frankly, I don’t care whether you believe me or not. I find your sort to be generally immune to debate. But other people might find it useful in deciding which of the two of us probably knows more of what they’re talking about. 🙂

  37. I don’t recognise the comments as you describe them on RealClimate, there is always healthy debate and the various papers are challenged professionally. They also respond to errors and provide rewrites.

    Yes, there are loads of consensus sites. Some are easier than others to read.

    “The scientists who write on it certainly know the subject well, but they’re less than honest in how they present it”

    But you know more and are more honest? That’s quite a claim. How come there isn’t more noise about what you know that’s different? It’s something that is very difficult to fathom, the fact that apparently so many relevant academics are so deluded, under some sort of coercion, uniformly and globally applied.

    Surely it would be a scoop for any media outlet to “lift the lid”, but even the UEA hack (which was a couple of personal emails out of thousands and thousands) failed to knock the science. You may know your field very well, but you are not winning your argument. If the science is as clear cut as you want it to be, then are you suggesting that all those other research scientists with the same skillsets as you are liars?

    Next you’ll tell me that the conspiracy now includes the whole of MSM, all of the governments in the world, a vast majority of university research facilities and independent researchers are all following a script.

    I can’t see why decent researchers would jeopardise their reputations by misrepresenting and rigging experiments and data over something that is, as you and others on here would have it, utterly wrong.

    This idea that climate change theories only exist to get government grants is also nonsense. If all consensus scientist were in it for the money it would surely reflect in wider society. There would be queues of enthusiastic entrepreneurial graduates after a piece of that pie.

    No, I can’t buy that.

    Believing that humans have altered the natural rates of change in the driving components which would cause systems to alter faster than would be observed according to historic data is not a “religion”. Neither is it “leftist”. It cannot be compared with, say, Galileo vs the church etc.

    I would be quite happy if most of the whole world was found wrong.

    I notice on Judith Curry’s site that her comments policy is very much like Murphy’s.

  38. “Surely it would be a scoop for any media outlet to “lift the lid”,”

    “How come there isn’t more noise about what you know that’s different?”

    There is Arnald, you just don’t read it (or you naturally dismiss it, and which is self fulfilling, as it tends on balance more to be right of centre media!).

    “Next you’ll tell me that the conspiracy now includes the whole of MSM”

    No – see above.

    “Grants”

    You don’t understand human nature.

    “You may know your field very well, but you are not winning your argument.”

    So, now that the argument has unambiguously been won, remind me, what did everyone actually “contractually sign up to” in Paris…;)

  39. PF

    I’m not bringing the politics into the argument. Science is as science does.

    “you just don’t read it” Well yeah I do. Noise was the wrong word, I should have said substance.

    The points scored against the consensus tend to be highly technical and within a very narrow field. If proven then they get added to the sum of the knowledge. Or else they are plain lies, painting the consensus as end-of-the-worlders.

    I am of a mind that any change is matched by natural processes and that humans can adapt to those changes. But any chance to mitigate pollution in all its forms should be applauded.

    and blah blah environmentalists want everyone to live in a mud hut, is such a rubbish opinion that belongs in the playground. (see – if you’re a socialist why haven’t you given all your money away).

  40. Arnald

    Nor was I trying to bring politics into it, simply observe – in response to your “all the MSM” type comments – that on average and for whatever reason there does seem to be a political divide of sorts between those influenced by contrary positions on the science.

    Re noise versus substance – your interpretation.

    3nd para (points scored) – there are masses of arguments against..:) A key one (for me) is on sensitivity, and which is crucial to the big picture. I’m not going to do this justice in terms of taking the time (and if NiV comes back, he’ll do a far better job in any case), but even the “actual” data evidence simply refuting every “model forecast” (ie predicted by the science) previously carried out is hardly “highly technical and within a very narrow field”…

    4th para (ie adaptation) I completely agree with you, if we are happy there is no C in CAGW. And re pollution, most effectively, fission followed by fusion… If we chucked even a fraction of the money at fusion that we are throwing and looking still to burn on windmills etc, personally I’m convinced we’d make much quicker progress. Too many vested interests (both old and new energy) against committing to solving that problem. Just can’t get away from the politics…

    5th para – Yes, it’s all a bit like “baby eating, planet destroying deniers”, and “must all be in the pay of big oil”..:)

  41. PF

    I can only be led by scientific consensus until proven wrong. I am not convinced with any of the denier evidence. Some of the sceptic arguments are fine, as they mainly tweak existing propositions.

    We put that sort of trust in science every day as we live our lives. There is no real backlash against the science of medicine. Those that do are the likes of Jehovah’s Witnesses or homeopaths. Would a climate sceptic think along those lines.

    Astrophysics? Cosmology? etc We certainly put a lot of faith in scientists, without being religious.

    Look at the faith most on here have of a dry interpretation of economic theory. And that really is faith.

    Denying there is a significant impact by humans in the last three hundred by unlocking vast carbon sinks is puzzling. The scientific evidence is plain, it’s just the detail that is being argued about among the sensible researchers.

    It reminds me of the arguments Creation/ID adherents use. Differences within the ‘norm’ that need a lot of explaining using the accepted theories that seem to back up ID etc The variations in C14 dating I seem to remember was contentious.

    I think that people on here are so anti State that the fact that States are backing the consensus makes the consensus void in their eyes.

  42. “How come there isn’t more noise about what you know that’s different?”

    There is. It’s called climate scepticism.

    ” It’s something that is very difficult to fathom, the fact that apparently so many relevant academics are so deluded, under some sort of coercion, uniformly and globally applied.”

    Not really. The figures in favour of the consensus (“human activity is a significant contributory factor in changing mean global temperatures”) are 82% of scientists generally, 76% of non-climate science scientists, 64% of meteorologists, and 88% of climate scientists. Quite a lot of them will say so, too. But like me, a lot of them are chary of doing it too publicly, given what usually happens to the career of anyone who does.

    “Surely it would be a scoop for any media outlet to “lift the lid”, but even the UEA hack (which was a couple of personal emails out of thousands and thousands) failed to knock the science.”

    Of course it was a scoop – journalists like David Rose have made a career out of it. And of course Climategate knocked the science. Have you ever actually read the Harry_readme file?! How do you justify that as science?

    “If all consensus scientist were in it for the money it would surely reflect in wider society. There would be queues of enthusiastic entrepreneurial graduates after a piece of that pie.”

    Yep. All those businesses selling ‘renewable energy’ schemes for a start…

    “The points scored against the consensus tend to be highly technical and within a very narrow field.”

    Some are, a lot aren’t. Even the deeply non-technical can spot what’s wrong with this bit of “high quality” science.

    “If proven then they get added to the sum of the knowledge.”

    Nope. When Steve McIntyre demonstrated that the Nature paper that appeared as a headline in the IPCC reports was full of errors (that somehow the peer review process and thousands of climate scientists had totally failed to spot) their response was to reject it because it was too long.

    And then then proceeded to publish a whole chain of new papers using the same methodology, the same sources, and even citing the original paper as one of their sources.

    Anyone can make a mistake, but failing to correct it after it’s been pointed out is a far more serious issue.

    “(see – if you’re a socialist why haven’t you given all your money away).”

    It’s a good question.

    The answer, of course, is that socialists always want to spend other people’s money. They have a looter mentality.

    “There is no real backlash against the science of medicine.”

    Medicine has done it lots of times. The dietary advice against saturated fats was recently reported to be bogus – I knew it five years ago, but the evidence was ignored by much of the medical establishment. For decades people thought stomach ulcers were caused by stress – a researcher had to give himself a stomach ulcer before they would listen. The guy who discovered endorphins actually had to set up in the gents lavatory because nobody would give him lab space. And there’s the classic story of Semmelweis whose advice on hygiene was ignored by the medical establishment, or Joseph Goldberger, who had to eat the shit and pus from pellagra victims before the medical establishment would believe it wasn’t an infection, but a vitamin deficiency.

    “Astrophysics? Cosmology? etc We certainly put a lot of faith in scientists, without being religious.”

    Absolutely classic example. Black holes were first identified as a solution of general relativity by a young student called Chandrasekhar – but the astrophysics establishment led by Eddington rejected it as nonsense, and ostracised his work. Several other prominent physicists privately agreed that his solution was correct, but wouldn’t go public when that would start a war with Eddington’s clique. It took decades for black hole research to recover, basically when all the old guard had retired or died. As Max Planck put it: “Science advances one funeral at a time.”

    “Denying there is a significant impact by humans in the last three hundred by unlocking vast carbon sinks is puzzling. The scientific evidence is plain”

    The scientific evidence is non-existent. The current theory makes it quite probable (in my opinion), but actually detecting and attributing it to human action requires a validated statistical model of the background variation, which nobody has. All the climate models are falsified by their disagreement with observation. And nobody has identified a unique statistical model that fits it, either. It’s not currently possible to do this.

    The mainstream attribution depends on the validity of climate models to predict natural background variability, and even the IPCC only rate it 50:50 that their speculative explanations for the disagreements between theory and observation are correct.

    The science is uncertain. If you read the scientific papers, or the IPCC technical reports (and can interpret their rather obfuscatory language), they admit that it is uncertain. But all those expressions of uncertainty vanish like the mist when you get to the executive summaries, press releases and political campaigning. It’s all third-hand hearsay.

    But there’s no convincing some people. You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.

  43. I’m a member of three professional engineering institutions. Two wisely chose to be neutral…

    And I suspect that the one who took a position did not poll the membership before adopting a position in their name.

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