Buy

Books
Click images for more details

Support

 

Twitter
Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing
Links

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« Happy Christmas! | Main | US usurps EU's role of climate fool »
Wednesday
Dec232015

Seitz is no guarantee

Readers are no doubt familiar with Harvard physicist Russell Seitz, a frequent commenter in these parts. If so you may be interested in an email I received today:

Take a look at this 1990 article by Russell Seitz, placed online recently here. It's colourfully written, but ironically it sets out a sceptic position rather well. Does this sound like something that you might have written?

A disturbing reality confronts us:  the deliberate creation of a double standard, with one set of facts for internal scientific discourse and another for public consumption.

On whether CO2 is a "big" problem:

Clearly, a sharp-toothed carnivore is on the prowl. But we've yet to see a full-grown specimen.  Are we dealing with Snoopy or Cerberus? It's hard to tell- it's only just a foundling pup, and the question of its diet remains to he wrestled with-it might grow into either. But grow it will-slowly, and for a long while undetectably. One of these centuries, we're going to have a real dog in our front yard. But what kind?  And when?  An interdisciplinary consensus on the magnitude of the "greenhouse effect" and its impact on sea levels in the next century won't come cheap-or soon.

On activists and scientists:

On CO2, some [scientists] have cast objectivity aside and openly made common cause with the eco-politicians. The salvation of the world affords an enchanting pretext for those predisposed to societal intervention. They have already raised the abolitionist banner, pointing to the prospect of Bangladesh awash and water  skiing down the Mall to the Capitol-a prospect no more likely in my lifetime than nothing happening.

On nuclear:

Rather than embarking down the soft energy path that leads back beyond the Industrial Revolution's roots into a future dark age, the Greens should pause to consider the effect on the environment of renewing and perfecting our mastery of the atom's pale fire.  The prospect of nuclear power's second coming presents environmental millenarians with a real source of cognitive dissonance: it is they who are the problem. It is their delaying tactics that wasted years and squandered billions at Seabrook and elsewhere. And it is their past indifference to the environmental consequences of the fossil fuel that the reactor might have saved that makes a mockery of their present rhetoric.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (233)

I'm sorry, I can't follow this.

Name calliing and all that is rather immature.

But to quote Russell:

"we need not he idle while awaiting newer and more elegant generations of climate models and nuclear technology-or that Holy Grail of applied physics, hot fusion that truly emulates the power of the sun.
So there may indeed be a solution to the profound uncertainty that engenders reluctance when we are offered insurance against C02 bracket creep-at a trillion-dollar premium. "

Can somebody please tell me what this actually means?

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterWally

Kestrel27

Hoping in vain for proof of man made climate change is what climate scientists have been doing for 25-30 years. For the last 20 years, the climate has steadfastly refused to change.

It is better to hope in vain, than to have never hoped at all, but for climate scientists, what does the climate have to do, to prove climate scientists wrong? I am hoping to find out why vvussell was right, when climate scientists were wrong, but vvussell now sides with the climate scientists, when they are now demonstrably wrong.

It could be that climate science is a triumph of hope, over reality. In which case, it is not a science, and reality is winning.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:16 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Athelstan,

"Lets hear from someone who can encapsulate his thoughts, delivering them in a precise idiomatic English and with pleasing alacrity."

I guess that rules out Russell.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:29 AM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Aethelstan

As I was saying earlier about ellipsis ....

Now read the 3,000 words in between.

As to politicization ,get you to you tube to watch Happer and Titley square off in front of Cruz, who at his best much resembles Gore at his worst.

The climate wars are a bipartisan reminder that now as in the days of the Thirty Year War
"A politician is the devil's quilted anvil. He fashions all sins on him, but not a blow is heard."

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I read your 1990 article. Most of your former objections to alarmism and your former dissatisfaction with scientists being coopted by eco-politicians are ones that ring true today for most readers here.

In your article, you wondered (quite reasonably) whether the impact of additional CO2 would be "Snoopy" or "Cerberus".

No one in 1990 anticipated the overwhelming rise of China or its tremendous increase in CO2 emissions.

Yet in the quarter century (exactly) that has passed since your article, Yes, there have been temperature increases, surely the impact is Snoopy, rather than Cerberus.

And yet you seem to have changed your mind since 1990 and now ally yourself with the worst of the eco-activists. Other than not liking George Bush and Ted Cruz, is there any other reason?

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Yes , Wally- you can -- after you read the paragraphs following - just hit the 'here' link near the top of this post.

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Steve McIntye cannot have read A War Against Fire at all thoroughly, for while he writes

" I read your 1990 article...No one in 1990 anticipated the overwhelming rise of China or its tremendous increase in CO2 emissions."

what it says is :

" any denial that unrestrained C02 injection can transform the world within five generations lies beyond the pale of both-especially if China's vast coal reserves are exploited at a per capita rate approaching that of the U. S. today."

It also says: " I reserve the right to change my mind if the facts do. "

I wrote that six years after my first publications on climate science and policy appeared in Nature and Foreign Affairs. After 25 further years of reading the literature, >25,000 man years of IPCC research, and 25 powers of 2's worth of Moore's law making models ever less wrong and more useful, the facts have indeed changed, and so has my mind.

Unfortunately, that evolution has had next to no effect on the rhetoric of those paid to placate, or to alarm the public about the policy consequences of radiative bracket creep in the Antropocene age. The tragedy of the commons here is that neither side in this ideologically -- and fiscally-- driven debate pays more than lip service to objectivity.

Which is why I'm relieved both are mad at me .

Dec 24, 2015 at 3:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

"The purpose of writing in a pretentious style like this is not to explain but to impress and confuse. It is supposed to inspire respect but has exactly the opposite effect on me. The result is that I have little interest in what his views once were or are now. Those hoping for any clear explanation of why his views have changed will, I am sure, hope in vain." --Kestrel27''

It's an academic thing. Academics all write like that, "inebriated by the exuberance of their own verbosity*," and look down upon those who don't. They aren't trying to be obfuscatory; it just comes out like that, after so many years of pedantry and trying to sound like Noam Chomsky.

* or perhaps just inebriated...

Dec 24, 2015 at 5:13 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

I rather like Seitz's style of writing.

It engages the lay reader as well as the academic with some lively imagery and a little wordplay.

Just saying.

Dec 24, 2015 at 6:13 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

Russell, as usual, you evade the question.

I asked you why you believed that the impacts over the past 25 years had been extremely damaging (your Cerberus), rather than minimal (Snoopy). I didn't ask you how much you had read or to itemize everything in those articles.

Out of everything, what one, two or three things do you regard as actually damaging about climate change over the past 25 years? I am not asking rhetorically, but with a desire to understand.

Dec 24, 2015 at 6:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Not many of the Bishop's postings have received so many well-founded comments so quickly - I'm partial to those of tarrant and Athelstan. I suspect that Seitz has contrived something we might call a Seitzometer and is giving it a quick test before using it more widely.

Dec 24, 2015 at 6:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Spilligan

I see it now; Russell is the Dork of Cork.

Dec 24, 2015 at 7:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constable

Steve can best satisfy his desire to understand my views by reading the rest of my bibliography.

Dec 24, 2015 at 7:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Russel, what a lame and weak response to Steve's very simple question!

Is it really so hard for a smart man like you to sum those up in a few (english) words?

Dec 24, 2015 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

I've parsed the posts. The words are all currently used in normal English conversation and writing, and there is indeed a shadowy meaning lurking in the mists of the excessive verbiage, but it's difficult to articulate what it, the meaning, is in normal English because every attempt at articulating it results in another meaning appear that wasn't obvious in at first blush.

The only conclusion to be drawn is Russell learned his English surrounded by people who neither understood nor spoke the language and has developed a form of communication in English intended to make himself understandable to these non-Englsh speaking/understanding aliens.

Dec 24, 2015 at 8:52 AM | Registered Commentergeronimo

The greatest threat ever to face humanity (see Obama, Pope, DiCaprio, etc) demands the recruitment of the best minds in the world suited for the job. And the size of the job befits Russell Seitz.

Dec 24, 2015 at 9:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterAila

The climate scam started in Wang etal.1976 (available from NASA's repository), the first GISS modelling paper. They invented 'negative convection' as a Down energy flow. It doesn't exist.

Dec 24, 2015 at 9:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

JC

"Russell is the Dork of Cork"

You beat me to it! I was just going to ask if they'd ever been seen in the same room together.. :-)

Dec 24, 2015 at 9:56 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

I have the honour to share with the great Steve MacIntyre the ignorance of Seitz who, when faced with simple questions, merely piles on shovel-loads of his own self-importance. When I posted: "CO2 - Thermostat or thermometer? What's your intuitive answer?" his pathetic response was to claim that it was not a sentence. So, for the man with a brain the size of his ego, maybe Seitz could try this:

Do you consider that, metaphorically, CO2 is best defined as a thermostat or a thermometer? What's your intuitive answer?

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

Latimer

"I rather like Seitz's style of writing"

I quite enjoy reading it, too (Bish calls it 'colourful'), but as with our Irish friend, the meaning is not always obvious. I'm thinking of collecting their posts and reading them aloud to my grandchildren when they want to stay up. Tonight might be a good time to start!

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:06 AM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Jamesp: Seen in the same room? Nope, but they may have shared the same vvomb.

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:06 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

Steve McIntyre. My apologies for mos-spaelling your nome. Doh!

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:08 AM | Registered CommenterHarry Passfield

This is interesting; "anticipated the overwhelming rise of China or its tremendous increase in CO2 emissions" because the rise in Chinese emissions is currently one of the 50+ excuses for the pause/hiatus/plateau/slowdown. Of course fossil fuels have this magic ability to cool or warm depending on whether scientists need to invent a reason for cooling or warming.

I can understand the base stupidity and stubbornness of most climateers but when you get someone who obviously understands the underlying political nature of the 'consensus' and the abject flakiness of the science it is especially frustrating that they have become cheerleaders for bad science. How can someone possibly become more convinced by the models whilst they have diverged ever more from reality? It tells us only that the real reasons for this Damascene conversion are little to do with science.

Dec 24, 2015 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Russell:

"The sooner their paranoia about nuclear waste disposal is laid to rest alongside that waste itself-deep in the and badlands, well secured, and as soon as the criminal mischief of Chernobyl is buried under the foundations of a reactor both safe and sanely contained, the sooner will civilization cease to he obliged to make a chemical waste repository of the sky..."

"well secured"?

http://pbadupws.nrc.gov/docs/ML1212/ML12122A949.pdf

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201512150079

http://nuclearhotseat.com/2015/12/16/nuclear-hotseat-234-honorable-retreat-ftokyo-olympics-ambassador-murata/

When given the choice of which "chemical waste" they prefer, do plants go for CO2 or caesium?

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201512220004

Dec 24, 2015 at 11:27 AM | Unregistered Commenterjolly farmer

Imagine the scene, It's the front line and captain Russell is in the 'hot-zone'

CinC - 'Come in R. Do you require fire support. over'

Capt R - 'R here. We need a more contemporary reimagining of our holistic logistical alignment and It's time that we became uber-efficient with our systemised defensive alignment. er..over'

CinC - 'Sunray here. I say again. Do you require fire support. over'

Capt R - 'R here. our functional organisational matrix approaches need to be reexamined and my exploratory research points to deconstructed organisational flexibility. have you even read my bibliography. er..over'

CinC - 'Sunray here. yes or no R. over'

Capt R - ...'ow aaaarrrgghhhhh ow ow ow'......<the crackle of radio static>

Dec 24, 2015 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterEternalOptimist

@Russell
...Steve can best satisfy his desire to understand my views by reading the rest of my bibliography....

I have much of the training needed to understand the wide range of evidence, both for and against, the hypothesis of dangerous AGW. Unfortunately, I do not have the time necessary to examine it in depth, and so I often rely, as all humans do, on interpretations written by others, only looking at original work when I have some specific query or issue to settle.

When I do this, I find, in general, that 'sceptics' are happy to provide precise references which explain the concern I have in greater depth, while the 'warmist' response is frequently to state that: "There is overwhelming evidence for this position", or "Read the IPCC papers", or "Go to this web site". Sceptics often characterise this as 'hand-waving' - apparently providing an answer while in reality not addressing the question.

This technique reminds me of talking to a good double-glazing salesman, who is anxious to divert attention from a possible weakness in his product but who has no clear answer to give. It breaches Feynman's exhortation to 'bend over backwards' to examine flaws in a hypothesis. And I see an example of it clearly in the response that Russell gives to Steve McIntyre above...

Dec 24, 2015 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Russel's use of the term Anthropocene instead of the long standing Holocene clearly displays that he is fully in the camp of those who believe that the human race is now in control of and responsible for all changes in the planetary environment , from the Stratosphere to the abyssal plains of the ocean bottom and from the polar ice to the equatorial rain forests.

I too am waiting breathlessly for him to answer the very simple and relevant questions posed by Steve McIntyre.

In the absence of a cogent response from Russell I will be inclined to assume it has something to do with peer pressure and the asymetric distribution of research funding.

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

Name calliing and all that is rather immature.

But to quote Russell:

"we need not he idle while awaiting newer and more elegant generations of climate models and nuclear technology-or that Holy Grail of applied physics, hot fusion that truly emulates the power of the sun.
So there may indeed be a solution to the profound uncertainty that engenders reluctance when we are offered insurance against C02 bracket creep-at a trillion-dollar premium. "

Can somebody please tell me what this actually means?

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:10 AM | Wally
==================================================

Pace your reference to "name calling", it means that the author has got his head stuck up his fundament.

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

Apart from stroking the ego of an academic that few seem to have any liking of or respect for, what is the point of this thread?

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

..."we need not he idle while awaiting newer and more elegant generations of climate models and nuclear technology-or that Holy Grail of applied physics, hot fusion that truly emulates the power of the sun.
So there may indeed be a solution to the profound uncertainty that engenders reluctance when we are offered insurance against C02 bracket creep-at a trillion-dollar premium. "

Can somebody please tell me what this actually means?...

We need not wait for better climate models or nuclear power. There may be a way ahead now.

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

LOL at EternalOptimist

Dec 24, 2015 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

I agree with Russell when he says neither side pays more than lip service to objectivity. However, the warmists have a chronic syndrome of inductivitis and an aversion to deductive reasoning. At least skeptics are trying occasionally to succumb to the scientific method. If one reads the evidence in totality, including what has been happening for thousands of years, at a minimum there have to be a lot of unanswered questions.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDenny

"The greatest threat ever to face humanity (see Obama, Pope, DiCaprio, etc) demands the recruitment of the best minds in the world suited for the job. And the size of the job befits Russell Seitz."

A lawyer/politician, a cleric and a film actor? And the size of the job befits Russell Seitz? You're a diamond Aila.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterGavin

A new consensus survey reveals that the very existence of 97% of the world's population, causes offence to Naomi Oreskes. What is interesting is that 97% of the world's population feel the same way about Naomi Oreskes.

If vvussell considers incurring the wrath of Naomi Oreskes constitutes some kind of 'Medal of Honour for Scientific Integrity', he only demonstrates his own lack of science, and integrity.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Not exactly, Mike, the Bish's good and great forebear Archbishop Usser pegged it at 4004 BC.
This lot are amateurs- I've stood harsher raillery of late from Naomi Oreskes, for dissing politically correct one dimensional climate models back in the '80s, when Schneider and I made common cause in critiquing 'nuclear winter'

Deliberate misquotation is the ground state of politicized science."

Uh Schneider promoted ardently Global Freezing until he saw the way the thermometers were changing. There is a great documentary where Schneider said he had not been an advocate of Global Freezing, the interviewer showed the slippery Schneide a copy of the book/article he wrote. Schneider's face in that one moment revealed his fragrant characcter for all to see. Sorry don'y have the link.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to our patient proprietor of this site and all who wail in it :-)

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterStacey

Again he views the age of the satanic mill as a period of glowing mercy and abundance.
There is a historical confusion here.
Capitalism was agrarian before it became industrial.
It created the ranch.
Be it Cistercian or Tudor in character.

This displaced the peasant class who had both rights and responsibilities and replaced them with serfs / Roboten.

Nothing against Nuclear as a method of creating a surplus but you must be able to sell your product also.
The nuclear industry in France is having difficulty recovering it's costs through sales.
Also the banking state is intervening indirectly creating capex costly electrical transport in France which I am sure is planned to eat the present nuclear elec surplus.
Be it urban trams or perhaps the biggest Turkey of all - high speed rail.
The Tours high speed line construction rivals the channel tunnel in cost.
French total investment in Rail equals or betters their 70s and 80s investment in Nuclear.
Its the classic capitalistic production without (human) consumption.
This investment = present consumption forgone

The French would have better lifestyles if they returned to their village past.
To the local ritual of their daily bread at the boulangerie within walking distance and drinking copious quantiles of wine as they did in the past.

The wizards would have you believe that human wants and desires are unlimited, they are not.
Instead of fulfilling people's wishes they give us austerity.
This is the rationing process required to sustain the war or consumer war economy.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Russel: "After 25 further years [..] and 25 powers of 2's worth of Moore's law"

Just for future reference : Moore revised his 1965 prediction (of a doubing of transisitor counts every year) in 1975, to a doubling every 2 years for the following decade, a prediction which has held relatively well. Your figure is out by a factor of approximately 2 to the 12, over three orders of magnitude.

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commenteroneuniverse

Wally wrote:

"Can somebody please tell me what this actually means?"

It means he has been exposed to a lot of social 'science' and the writings of social 'scientists'. It's all like that, unexceptional insights dressed up to sound profound.

JF

Dec 24, 2015 at 1:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulian Flood

Putting the Greens all in one net is unfair.

We have the capitalistic greens who are in the ascendency.
They typically wish to add costs via unneeded effort.
I.E - diverting present consumption toward "investment " be it wind or indeed nuclear ( cleaner air was a attraction for many in the 50s smog years)

Agrarian greens who think the costs of industry is too great.

And finally wilderness greens who wish to preserve or expand remaining wilderness ecosystems.

These 3 groups have very different political outlooks although many have shared beliefs despite the inherent conflict between these green philosphies

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

I am not asking rhetorically, but with a desire to understand.

Mr McIntyre, the issue you face is that Dr Sietz likely doesn't care if you understand or not. If he were to have an open and straightforward dialog with him he might convince you that he is right. But there is a chance you would show the world that he was wrong.

I suspect that he views the latter to be too great a risk for him to take. He might look a fool! He is a tenured professor at Hahvahd! You are a mere retired engineer with no position! His is supposed to be the superior intellect!

He would prefer to leave you unenlightened and grumbling about his unhelpfulness to a world where he has been publicly shown to be wrong. In fact, I suspect the grumbling give him great pleasure! In his mind, he is a clever fellow beset by inferior minds whom he is easily shaking off. His inner eight year old delights at all the lovely negative attention his disruptive behavior is drawing his way.

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commentertarran

Julian Flood, or it means that if he hadn't changed his views to waging war on CO2, Harvard would have pensioned him off, as part of an early retirement package.

The 'Make Love, Not War' campus crusaders of the Vietnam war, seem to have evolved into 'Make War on CO2, and Love Money'.

Those who campaigned for peace on earth, have no goodwill for all mankind.

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

... and 25 powers of 2's worth of Moore's law making models ever less wrong and more useful ...
Dec 24, 2015 at 3:13 AM | Russell

Does this mean model estimates of CO2 sensitivity are better than they used to be? By what measure?

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterJake Haye

Russell went quiet and the Dork showed up. Surely this cannot be coincidence?

Dec 24, 2015 at 2:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

I asked Seitz the following simple question: "Out of everything, what one, two or three things do you regard as actually damaging about climate change over the past 25 years?"

His unresponsive answer: "Steve can best satisfy his desire to understand my views by reading the rest of my bibliography".

I courteously asked a relevant question. It wasn't a trick question.

The conviction that there have been terrible adverse changes to the world's climate over the past 25 years seems to be a firmly held opinion among academics, so it should be easy to answer. So I re-iterate my question to Russell: Out of everything, what one, two or three things do you regard as actually damaging about climate change over the past 25 years?

Dec 24, 2015 at 3:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

On the one hand there is the climate, which I believe is the accumulated data from at least 30 years, and then there is weather which is the variation of the data over shorter time scales. What we get from alarmists are examples of extreme weather events, such as floods, storms, etc. Of course there are plenty of examples of past climate change, but I don't know of many recent ones. Perhaps Russell can give some.

Dec 24, 2015 at 4:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek

Can someone with multiple personality disorder recognize his other self while occupying his present personality ?

All I can say is that Russell is not part of this Dork.
I am sure Russell will concur with my observation.....

"Russell Russell , get the f£$k over here - your other hemisphere needs you"

Dec 24, 2015 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Where scientists fall down is understanding economics.

They accept conventional scarcity based economics as correct while also dealing with the physical reality of a massive Industrial surplus.

This leads to a massive breakdown of understanding and therefore predictive ability.
They should start reading the works of social credit , in particular Oliver Heydorns work on the subject.

Dec 24, 2015 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” ~ Albert Einstein (or so they say)

Steve McIntyre asked Dr Sietz a reasonable question that any man should be able to answer. In other words, Mr. McIntyre asked Dr. Sietz, 'what changed your mind over these last decades'? It is a reasonable question and one that would be reasonably easy to answer unless the answer is shameful to Dr. Sietz.

Since Dr. Sietz is supposed to know something about physics, thermodynamics, and the scientific method one would think that he could answer what possessed him to believe that a small rise is a trace gas would doom the planet. Yet, he waves his hand and refuses to tell us what evidence (if there is any) convinced him of our impending doom.

Dec 24, 2015 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Stoval

“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” ~ Albert Einstein
The one I recall, Mark Stoval, was from Lord Rutherford: 'If you can't explain to the cleaning lady in the laboratory what you are doing, you don't know what you're doing.' (Apologies for the gendered microagression, but that was the language of the times).
This is an interesting thread that I came back to on the warmest Christmas morn in Hobart for many years, after the coldest winter in 60 years (both of which have, of course, been claimed as evidence for looming catastrophe).
I like Dr Seitz's 1990 article. Yes - at times he reads like he's channelling Robert Hughes writing art criticism for Time magazine, but his basic argument is insightful, and provides some useful insight into the phenomenon of political enthusiasm running ahead of science. If I had read it before I wrote my book on 'virtuous corruption' or 'noble cause corruption', I would have included it in my discussion.
Together with the narrative of the 1988 James Hansen Congressional testimony, it tells us much about the politics driving very meagre scientific evidence. To recall: the testimony was arranged between Democrats like Gore and Wirth and Friends of the the Earth's Rafe Pomeranz; it was rescheduled from fall 1987 to what was chosen as likely to be the hottest day in a Washington summer; a Democratic staffer left the windows open overnight to overpower the air-conditioning system; result - televised hearings with sweat dripping from participants. That one episode speaks volumes of how the politics has driven climate 'science' from the outset.
Like Steve McIntyre, I am simply mystified as to why Dr Seitz has changed form his early scepticism, whereas I have transitioned from a believer in 1996 (stated explicitly in the conclusion to my book on electricity planning) to a sceptical 'luke warmer' - which is where I think the evidence leads one.
Yes, I am a political scientist, but was an A student in my first year university Physics and Chemistry, but I find the observational evidence has falsified the key hypotheses of climate change: that CO2 forcing, amplified by increased water vapour, will cause CAGW. The evidence for positive feedback is weak and the observations appear more consistent with the non-catastrophic hypothesis that doubling CO2 will force the mean GT by a degree or so. There might be other factors that become apparent with further observations, in which case I will change my mind.
But Dr Seitz's reliance on the emergence of China will not wash. As I recall (and I heard it form someone in the coal industry) the models in IPCC FAR assumed all the known coal reserves in the world would be consumed over the next century, so it does not matter where they might be consumed. (Bearing in mind reserve estimates are economically determined, not just on the basis of geology).
So I just cannot how Dr Seitz made the journey from 1990 to the present. Perhaps he can explain why, in the face of evidence which falsifies the theory, he now has greater confidence in the theory.
Happy Christmas to all!

Dec 24, 2015 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAynsley Kellow

Ooops: 'So I just cannot how Dr Seitz made the journey....' missed out a 'see' there.

Dec 25, 2015 at 12:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterAynsley Kellow

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>