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« 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.

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Reader Comments (233)

John Brookes, how is the Arctic Sea ice that should have disappeared this year, and two years ago and whenever? The disappearing polar bears must be breeding like rabbits to have multiplied, not subtracted their numbers.

This is the warmest Christmas in the UK since 1948, which followed the coldest ever winter since WW2 in 1947. Was that global warming, or global cooling?

Was it only in 2010 when we had all that snow at Christmas? That was just 'weather'.

Dec 27, 2015 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Russell,
I hope you had a great Boxing Day.
It would be nice if you would take a few moments, without paid or edited comments, to answer the questions you have so carefully avoided so far.

Dec 28, 2015 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

hunter

But Dr Seitz has now quoted Dr Johnson: "no man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money" and has thus shut himself up.. :-)

Dec 28, 2015 at 1:24 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

Russels conversion seems to Tue in with his political conversion, hence his refusal to answer such a simple question from Steve Mac!

You can see why he would refuse to answer that question given Democrats usually view anyone who doesn't hold their political views as the enemy and there below contempt. What is concerning is that Russell is not unique in academia and is sadly exactly the kind of substandard lecturer that universities have become infested with.

Mailman
Mailman

Dec 28, 2015 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

As for me, I am an optimist. Perhaps it does require loss of moral compass to become a climate shill, but I am hoping that at the end of the day Russell will prove he has not lost his compass nor become a shill. His weak parody website is not worth reading. It is derivative and uninformed. Completely different from his pre-consensus days. Certainly someone who was bright enough to have known and worked with Buckley is not irredeemable.
But meantime, more Red Breast for me and my select drinking pals.

Dec 28, 2015 at 5:58 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

McIntyre has framed a tendentious question , mistaken in its assumption that scientists must chose sides in the climate wars between his Calgary cohort and Al's pals in la Jolla.

It just an't so-, years on the firing line have taught disinterested scientists to duck at the sound of two claques quacking , not pass rhetorical ammunition to both.

Never the less , for the benefit of those reluctant to read what I've already said in print, here per request are three things that militate for the view that we're watching a propaganda war conducted by ad men and PR flacks rather than a normative scientific controversy :


1.Steve's obliviousness to Spencer and Christy's published retraction in Science following the discovery that they got the sign wrong on satellite temperature trends

2.Singer's refusal to acjknowledge that arctic warming and loss of albedo consilient with radiative downwelling from C02

3. The Bish mistaking Jonah Goldberg for a philosopher.

Dec 28, 2015 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Cue bores complaining bout typos when their time might be better spent reading the scientific literature.

Dec 28, 2015 at 9:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

vvussell, you have no recollection of accusing somebody of dyslexia for making some typo's?

Your views on hypocrisy seem to switch aswell.

Dec 28, 2015 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Russell Seitz evasions of a simple question are bizarre. In 1990, Russell posed the question about whether the impacts of increased CO2 would be minimal (Snoopy) or extremely damaging (Cerberus). This is an important question for most "skeptics" and I asked him why he now believed that the impacts had been extremely damaging. For example, the following after one of his initial evasions:

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?

After several evasions, Russell writes:

McIntyre has framed a tendentious question , mistaken in its assumption that scientists must chose sides in the climate wars between his Calgary cohort and Al's pals in la Jolla. It just an't so-, years on the firing line have taught disinterested scientists to duck at the sound of two claques quacking , not pass rhetorical ammunition to both.

My question was not tendentious. It is one of the most important climate issues. Nor does it require someone to "choose sides". Nor am I part of Seitz' imaginary "Calgary cohort". I live in Toronto, nearly two thousand miles away from Calgary. It's as imaginary as talking about Seitz and his Texas cohort.

Seitz continued:

Never the less , for the benefit of those reluctant to read what I've already said in print, here per request are three things that militate for the view that we're watching a propaganda war conducted by ad men and PR flacks rather than a normative scientific controversy :

1.Steve's obliviousness to Spencer and Christy's published retraction in Science following the discovery that they got the sign wrong on satellite temperature trends

2.Singer's refusal to acjknowledge that arctic warming and loss of albedo consilient with radiative downwelling from C02

3. The Bish mistaking Jonah Goldberg for a philosopher.

In other words, in his final and belated response to my question: Out of everything, what one, two or three things do you regard as actually damaging about climate change over the past 25 years?, Russell has finally come up with damaging impacts of climate change:

- my supposed obliviousness to a corrigendum by Spencer and Christy;
- Fred Singer's disagreement with an Arctic argument, and
- Andrew Montford's alleged mischaracterization of Jonah Goldberg.

I do not intend to get involved with any of these three topics, but merely observe that I do not regard any of these three disputes, even if correctly characterized which seems doubtful, as themselves being impacts of climate change, let alone ones that warrant major policy decisions.

Dec 28, 2015 at 10:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Of course the man with the brain the size of a planet could have just come out 4 pages ago and just said there was nothing in particular that made him change his mind.

Instead we got 4 pages of ducking, diving and going everything possible to avoid one of the most straight forward questions one will ever be asked here (insert rolling eyes for dramatic effect).

With a side step like that Russell, how is it Englabd haven't come knocking on your door to sign you up for the rugby team?

Mailman

Dec 28, 2015 at 11:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

Come on Russell, the first time most of us are likely to read anything you write and suddenly you've gone shy?

Dec 28, 2015 at 11:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Dec 28, 2015 at 8:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Looks like argument by sound bite to me

Dec 29, 2015 at 12:24 AM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

this is very disappointing.

Dec 29, 2015 at 1:31 AM | Unregistered Commenterjferguson

Not tendentious ?

Steve demands three examples of damage done by climate change in the last three decades when
the article linked notes that:

"Until such decadal-scale fluctuations are understood or are predictable, it will remain difficult to diagnose the specific signals of permanent climate change as they evolve. "

Dec 29, 2015 at 2:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

I could give a soft white damn why Seitz continues to snow, but he owes it to himself to examine the question.
============

Dec 29, 2015 at 2:41 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

The question you were asked by Steve was;


"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?"

It took you another 3 pages to eventually get to "there was nothing in particular that made you change your mind".

Stop being an and then there was physics twat and just answer the questions you are asked and not the questions you want to be asked (which actually have nothing to do with what you are being asked).

Mailman

Dec 29, 2015 at 10:55 AM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Russell, this internet thingy is not your friend. Your contemptible treatment of someone for their disability, plus your childish cynical- and failed- website and your inability to respond in any rational way, much less honest, to civil questions does not leave a pretty picture. Comparison to other scientists, like Feynman or Curry makes you look like a failed Community College remedial instructor flailing to get back on the syllabus.

Dec 29, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

I found this phrase by Russel a bit entertaining:


its assumption that scientists must chose sides in the climate wars ... It just an't so

Particularly in the light of the three points he then presents that allegedly changed his stance.

Presumably exactly to "chose sides in the climate wars"

Dec 29, 2015 at 11:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Jonas N,
Compare Russell, or Mann, or Hansen with Curry or Feynman or Lindzen. The character contrast becomes pretty stark.

Dec 29, 2015 at 11:40 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

So finally after days and days we get an answer (sort of anyway) as to why the good doctor went from thinking that "global warming" was not dangerous to thinking it will be a catastrophe --- if the present cooling stops and it ever warms again of course.



1.Steve's obliviousness to Spencer and Christy's published retraction in Science following the discovery that they got the sign wrong on satellite temperature trends

I fail to see how Steve's reaction to a minor matter would change one's mind on the effect of any global warming. Is Steve like a god or something?


2.Singer's refusal to acjknowledge that arctic warming and loss of albedo consilient with radiative downwelling from C02

What arctic warming? Are you referring to the boys at NOAA who just make up data for areas were we don't have any recording stations? And what albedo loss? Can you show "radiative downwelling" did anything or do you just parrot the latest academic fad?


3. The Bish mistaking Jonah Goldberg for a philosopher.

??? You changed your mind on and important scientific matter just because of the host of one blog and his characterization of one person? Wow!

I find the 3 items to be made up and not really the reasons. I have to think that or think that the good doctor has dementia.

Dec 29, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Stoval

I think there is probably a high level of certainty, that vvussell took a commercial decision, based on maximising his pension plan, rather than maintaining his professional integrity. Now his canards are coming home to roost, there is crap everywhere.

Dec 29, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mark, you have to be careful not to give evaders an excuse to change the topic. You wrote:

What arctic warming? Are you referring to the boys at NOAA who just make up data for areas were we don't have any recording stations?

Here, you have acquiesced in Seitz' trying to change the topic.

Also, in my opinion, recent Arctic warming is real enough and not attributable to data adjustment. While there may be no stations in some areas, I do not take issue with people trying to make estimates based on regional data. I haven't studied the NOAA estimates and have no opinion on whether their estimates are reasonable. Whether recent warmth is unusual in Holocene terms and/or seriously damaging is a separate and interesting question.

Seitz has gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid answering on what impacts of climate change over the past 25 years have been so dire to cause him to change his position from his skeptical 1990 position. He has shown that he will try to seize any distraction to change the topic.

Dec 29, 2015 at 3:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Mark S

Presumably the Bish allegedly (mis?)characterized Goldberg as a 'philosopher' on Dec 27th 2015.

I find it quite amazing that this, after a question by Steve McI on Dec 24rd, on the 28th is presented as one of the causes (3rd on the list) that made Russel change his mind sometimes after 1990.

Apart from none of those 'reasons' having anything to do with any hypothesized climate calamity.

BTW, I cannot find one instance where our host is (mis)taking anybody for a philosopher. The closest resembling phrase might be:


.. setting out in mind-boggling detail the links - both historical and philosophical - between fascism and the ideas espoused by modern day liberals and progressives

Curiouser and curiouser ...

Dec 29, 2015 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

hunter

I haven't been paying that much attention, but I don't think I've ever seen Russel engaging in any kind of argument about the hard science and/or data, observations, facts etc. Somebody above made the comparision but I think aTTP still is slightly better att pretending to be interested in the actual science.

Here, we've spent close to a week trying to extract some meaningful comment about how and why Russel went from reasonable to ... well, what he has become now, and what his 'answers' demonstrate.

But hey, I generally expect people to come up with and bring the best arguments they have (left) and I don't think it is different in any way this time ..

Dec 29, 2015 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Steve McIntyre,

I do see your point. Sorry.


Jonas N,


I find it quite amazing that this, after a question by Steve McI on Dec 24rd, on the 28th is presented as one of the causes (3rd on the list) that made Russel change his mind sometimes after 1990.

Apart from none of those 'reasons' having anything to do with any hypothesized climate calamity.

Yes, it is utterly amazing that a blog host referring to anyone's abilities in philosophy could have anything to do with one's views of how catastrophic "global warming" may or may not be.

Dec 29, 2015 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Stoval

Jonas N,
Yes, sadly you make the point very well.
Is there any "there" to it?
I leave unconsidered the implications he made that he is in it solely for the money.
But the contrast of his position in comparison with of Feynman is stark and unflattering.

Dec 29, 2015 at 5:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

"Until such decadal-scale fluctuations are understood or are predictable, it will remain difficult to diagnose the specific signals of permanent climate change as they evolve. "

Translation:

"Sorry Steve, in answer to your question, I do not have any evidence to support my position but I live in hope some could show up"

Dec 29, 2015 at 6:36 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Well another prediction of mine comes true: The Bish's ill-advised post about Goldberg's revisionism has put him into the same crazy bag as the neocons in the eyes of scientists and anyone left of Goldberg (ie most folk).

Dec 29, 2015 at 7:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

  Out of everything, what one, two or three things do you regard as actually damaging about climate change over the past 25 years? Bit of a Straw Man there, surely? As Russell replied

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.

CO2 has gone from 354 to 400 ppm and global surface temperature has risen by 0.37C in the quarter century (HADCRUT4), I'm not aware that anyone projected any particularly dire or catastrophic impacts under such a change. In his essay Seitz talks of 'generations to come, 'one of these centuries' and large scale change occurring 'over 5 generations'.

The IPCC TAR, incidentally, projected a change of 0.35C from 1990-2010 under scenario A2, the linear trend in HADCRUT over the same period was 0.18C/decade. A2 projects surface warming of between 2.0 and 5.4C by 2100, the lower figure frequently being described as dangerous and the upper with impacts that could reasonably be described as 'catastrophic'. Every economic analysis, including those commissioned by Bjorn Lomborg, indicate a positive benefit cost ratio for mitigation and adaptation action.

I don't want to attack Russell in particular, but he sums up this debate for me.A jobsworth academic who values an academic consensus very highly and an interdisciplinary consensus above all else. even elbow patches.
Absolutely refusing to accept that there might be truth outside this structure, or that this way of seeking the truth might even be an obstacle

I speculate you have not read that much of his output, if that is genuinely your view. But you are right about one thing; he can turn to the literature and to the position statements of 100% of professional academic bodies if he required citations to support his position, a luxury unavailable to the 'sceptics'. I am interested in what is meant by 'this way of seeking the truth', the scientific method seems to me to have served us reasonably well.

I would be interested in a 'sceptical' response to Mr McIntyre's question. What two or three things from the last quarter century do you regard as evidence that the IPCC consensus (to use that shorthand) is in fact wrong, and that AGW is not worthy of a robust policy response.

Dec 30, 2015 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

"What two or three things from the last quarter century do you regard as evidence that the IPCC consensus (to use that shorthand) is in fact wrong, and that AGW is not worthy of a robust policy response."

1) lack of any definition from the proponent side for the falsification criteria for agw
2) flat line in satellite temp records
3) lack of published validation and verification standards for individual climate models at the level of policy relevant outcomes

Dec 30, 2015 at 3:19 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Over the last 25 years:-

1)failure of all projections to be born out

2) lack of any worthwhile correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere and temperature increase

3) Failure to robustly demonstrate that natural variation can not explain temperature variations over at least the last century

Dec 30, 2015 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterSpectator

1) lack of any definition from the proponent side for the falsification criteria for agw 

Statistically significant failure of the planet to warm in response to the radiative imbalance would do it. Not happening so far.

2) flat line in satellite temp records

Trend in RSS +0.12C/decade, UAH +0.14C/decade

Carl Mears, VP and Senior Research Scientist at RSS says he believes the surface record is more reliable.

3) lack of published validation and verification standards for individual climate models at the level of policy relevant outcomes

Really? https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter09_FINAL.pdf


1)failure of all projections to be born out

The global mean temperature has never left the 95% uncertainty band of the models. The models have been warmer than observations since around 2000, however the current surge is causing the two to converge again. Note that for the 15 years ending 2006, the warming trend was about 50% higher than modelled. Maybe we need to look at sufficiently long intervals?

2) lack of any worthwhile correlation between CO2 in the atmosphere and temperature increase

click

3) Failure to robustly demonstrate that natural variation can not explain temperature variations over at least the last century

Hard to prove a negative but what do you think is causing the increase if not the enhanced greenhouse? All known natural factors have been examined and found to be flat or slightly negative.

Dec 30, 2015 at 5:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil,
You can torture the data all you want to make your points but they are not what you wish.

Dec 30, 2015 at 7:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Phil C, that last paragraph gives it all away: It's not about any real science for you guys ...

Dec 30, 2015 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Phil Clarke:

1) Please can you make that specific and testable?
2) yep - I'd call that a flat line.
3) Please can you provide specific references in Ch9 which demonstrate that individual models have been validated and verified at levels appropriate for policy decisions?

Dec 30, 2015 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Please can you make that specific and testable?

It is. According to theory, if the radiative forcing remains positive and there is a period of zero trend that achieves statistical significance, absent any natural negative forcings (e.g. volcanoes, insolation), then the theory must be wrong.

yep - I'd call that a flat line.

Freaky. 0.13 <> 0.00
 
Please can you provide specific references in Ch9 which demonstrate that individual models have been validated and verified at levels appropriate for policy decisions?

Sure, just as soon as you describe, with reasons, what level of validation you think that is. The models certainly have enough skill to inform, say, Paris. :-)

Dec 30, 2015 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

What happened between roughly 1940 and 1970 to temperature and CO2? How is that explained by the CO2 is the control knob hypothesis?

Dec 30, 2015 at 8:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

Phil, you can't even define 'radiative forcing' and thusly can't measure it either ...

You are just rehashing memorized talking points. As so many of you ...

Dec 30, 2015 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

Phil Clarke: No testable criteria specified, near as damnit zero and no references supplied. Yep - I'm convinced.

Dec 30, 2015 at 9:17 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Jonas : https://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-2.html

NBY, Your inabilty to calculate the significance of a trend is not the subject of this thread, You were meant to be convincing me.

Dec 30, 2015 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Heh.
1. McIntyre's falsification of the Crook't Stick.
2. ClimateGate.
3. Phil Clarke and the like.
===================

Dec 30, 2015 at 10:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Hee, hee, the climate models are validated and verified enough for policy use at Paris, where there was unanimous consent to say anything and do nothing.
===========

Dec 30, 2015 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Is Phil Clark a Russel sock puppet?

Mailman

Dec 30, 2015 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered Commentermailman

Phil - nope, I'm not meant to be convincing you. You asked for "sceptical" responses to the position that agw does not require policy responses and I gave three off the top of my head. Instead of engaging with them you have turned to the game of refutations and restatements. I suggest you take your arguments up with these guys rather than me:

1) http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/statistical-models-and-temperature
2) http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/recent-pause-in-warming
3) https://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/978/ and
http://www.euclipse.eu/Publications/Stevens,%20Bony_What%20are%20climate%20models%20missing.pdf

Dec 30, 2015 at 11:29 PM | Unregistered Commenternot banned yet

Phil, by 'you' I meant you ..

Your link describes a (unphysical) concept, something that cannot exist as it is described. And therefor cannot be measured either.

I don't think you've read and understood your own linked IPCC-quick-fact-sheet. You offered that (concept) 'forcing' as a a falsifiable part of your pet hypothesis, but you got it all wrong:

You see, the hypothesis says that 'the climate' responds to the alleged 'forcing' in a simple predictable way, and then they go looking for 'forcings' that could have made it to fluctuate and change as it has. And on top of that, go looking for (essentially) the missing heat.

It's all a circular reasoning. Besides the fact that you didn't offer any quantifications of what your hypothesis even says.

As I said, it is just memorized talking points.

Which BTW was obvious from your 'can't prove a negative' too, where you even appeal to ignorance: 'We've racked our brains, and just cannot come up with anything else'

But hey, that's what I expect ...

Dec 30, 2015 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonas N

So what has happened in the last half century or so to make one exceedingly cautious, well, people have made major changes in the atmosphere, surface and oceans so that the Earth is no longer the planet that existed in 1950, let alone earlier. This alone should give pause to the idea that nothing can go wrong,

Given the good Bishop;s claims that no government can do anything right, how confident is Steve Mc that going along the same track everything will be just fine. And the rest?

As to Russell, well, in 1990 it could have been a family thing.

Dec 31, 2015 at 12:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

I suggest you take your arguments up with these guys rather than me:

Why would I? The first is a discussion of statistical models of temperature time series used by the Met Office, therefore it has 'no bearing on our understanding of the climate system or of its response to human influences such as greenhouse gas emissions', to quote the paper itself. The second is a two and half year old discussion of the reasons for the then slowdown in GW, but clearly misses the extraordinary warming that has occurred since, especially this year. The same Met Office indicate that 2015 will be the warmest on record - by some margin - and 2016 will be even warmer. Third is a paper by hydrologists Koutsoyiannis et al, the flaws in whose methodology were laid out here and the last is Bony and Steven's 2013 opinion piece on what the models don't do well, mainly cloud feedbacks. But nobody claims perfection, we have this concept of 'good enough' BTW Bony, Stevens et al published another paper this year which stated 'ongoing advances in our capacity to observe, simulate and conceptualize the climate system now make it possible to fill gaps in our knowledge.' 

Dec 31, 2015 at 3:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Your link describes a (unphysical) concept, something that cannot exist as it is described. And therefor cannot be measured either.

Au contraire, radiative forcing is a real and useful concept, it arises out of the basic physics, and is accepted by even the most sceptical of scientists.

I fear further engagement with someone who denies even the basics would be futile.

Dec 31, 2015 at 3:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Eli,
Even for a Rabbet that yours is a weak circular claim of damage and crisis.
California is widely populated in non-native trees in many places. In others, forests are missing.
Is California in a crisis from this?
Not by any rational definition of the term "crisis".
Parts of the atmosphere has changed over the past few hundred years of human industrial growth.
So?
Lifespan- up.
Population- up
Health-up
Weather related deaths- down.
Stop pretending to be a clever Rabbet.
Just deal in facts and stop the bs

Dec 31, 2015 at 4:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

how confident is Steve Mc that going along the same track everything will be just fine.

I've never made such an assertion, let alone made such an assertion confidently. You appear to be fabricating once again.

I certainly agree that there have been enough changes that serious changes could have already occurred. But it seems to me that, through good luck rather than good management, we have not incurred "serious negative" impacts over the past 25 years. This does not imply that I believe that one can count on relatively limited or benign impacts in the next 25 years, but neither does it preclude the possibility.

However, attitudes towards whether there have been serious negative impacts over the PAST 25 years seems to me to be almost a litmus test for distinguishing the broadest group of skeptics from warmists. I was interested in what Seitz regarded as the one, two or three major such impacts. In particular, I was interested in whether some of these impacts where one could agree on the empirical phenomenon, but where the disagreement was about whether it was "serious" - as opposed to a social cost.

As to "confidence", I have very little confidence in anyone's opinion on these matters. I am certainly not so convinced of my own opinion that I would reject policies that provided actual insurance. However, I fear that the policies being sold as "insurance" offer nothing of the sort.

Dec 31, 2015 at 7:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

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