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I think the 500th comment on this epic thread must go to someone timeless and relevant:


Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin
To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess;
Having commenced, be a divine in show,
Yet level at the end of every art,
And live and die in Aristotle's works.
Sweet Analytics, 'tis thou hast ravished me! [Reads.]
Bene disserere est finis logices.
Is, to dispute well, logic's chiefest end?
Affords this art no greater miracle?
Then read no more; thou hast attained that end

Christopher Marlowe; Dr Faustus

Faustus didn't get it either. And look what happened to him ;-)

Nov 26, 2011 at 12:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Most people express an opinion/belief and then if needed give a reference to a statement or proof that backs them up. Right the way through this thread you have expressed no opinion and simply told people to "go find out" or "go read this post that I read"
It seems fitting indeed that the 500th post is you get again looking for someone else to speak for you.

Nov 26, 2011 at 2:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterDung

Alternative re-statement of the consensus (h/t to a comment by Redbone on

1) Humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere.
2) The increase in atmospheric CO2 affects the climate. How much it affects the climate is uncertain.
3) The major climate research scientists have conducted their research in a dishonest and unethical fashion.

This appears to be an update on the consensus as I stated it on p5 of this thread, but is one I can just as easily buy into, particularly since the latest Climategate revelations.

For example, Steve McIntyre points out that

the new emails show that Bradley thought that this series was, to use the technical term preferred by climate scientists, “crap” and should not be used in multiproxy studies.

Needless to say, Bradley did not publish a comment criticizing the use of this series. It has subsequently been used over and over again in IPCC multiproxy studies

All the while maintaining that the science was settled.

Nov 26, 2011 at 2:08 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu


I approximately agree with you (and Redbone), although I think the fault involved in #3 is better described as being a drop in scientific standards and norms of behaviour amongst a minority. To me at least, it looks like an academic tiff about who is right, but focused by the stakes involved (power; planet saving) and the public nature of the argument. In the posting containing the comment, Curry said:-

The partisanship in the climate debate has become increasingly shrill. But there is a growing "middle" in the climate debate.

I hope she's right about the "middle".

Nov 26, 2011 at 3:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Found this wonderful short talk by David Deutsch from a few years back. Well worth watching from the beginning if you haven't already; his comments about global warming start at about 15:30. He has it spot on IMO; see also Laughlin and of course Matt Ridley. See you on Wednesday HoC, if you are able to go!

Nov 28, 2011 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

That was a good one, Philip. "Problems are solvable. Problems are inevitable".

Yesterday, the little one at home turned the lock on a bedroom and pulled the door shut from outside. Of course she got an earful initially. Then I sat down with a screwdriver, ...and worked out how to open it from outside. (You won't believe how easy it is).

The precautionary-principle mongers need two things to work against, what they call, 'techno-optimism': [a] a belief that CO2 'forcing' would become so dominant that putting up mirrors in space (aka geoengineering) is actually a form of postponement, whereas 'cutting CO2' is the real healing of the world
[b] geoengineering would only encourage rich nations and rich people to consume more fossil fuels, which is an evil thing

So, Deutsch's surprise that research into 'solutions' is fringe, is in a way naive. These are people who are drawn to the movement for its exquisite self-flagellation potential in the first place and do not actually want to solve any problem

Nov 29, 2011 at 5:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

I think you're right.
Who was it not long ago who (allegedly) asked a room full of greenies if they would be happy to discover that the AGW theory was wrong and that there was not cause for alarm after all? They all supposedly looked kind of shifty and refused to answer.
It's quite apparent from some of the quotes about what they think mankind would do with sources of cheap energy that at least some of them don't want a solution, one of the reasons why they are so all-fired opposed to nuclear power, even thorium, assuming that thorium would be the clean, practical and safe fuel that it is being touted as.
But I never understand how they reconcile that stance with their own affluent lifestyle which would take a major hit if they had their way. And as we know, any of the solutions that have been proposed or are even half-way practical would have a negligible effect on the climate.

Nov 29, 2011 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Nobody who puts scare quotes around 'CO2 forcing' is right, Mike. It just shows that they have absolutely no idea whatsoever what they are talking about.

Nov 30, 2011 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

You really do need to get out more. Your obsession with CO2 is becoming unhealthy.
Shub's final paragraph (just in case you "forgot" to read it) was:

These are people who are drawn to the movement for its exquisite self-flagellation potential in the first place and do not actually want to solve any problem
a statement with which I happen to agree and which has sweet f--- all to do with CO2 and everything to do with a group of people who are a part of the problem and are not, never have been, and never will be, part of the solution.
And I speak from experience.
Of course we know that you have imbibed the warmist culture; I didn't realise that you had done so to the extent that someone who disagrees with you is ipso facto wrong, regardless of what he actually says.

Nov 30, 2011 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Dear professor BBD

It is not scare quotes. It is just quotes. All the hanging around with the warmists' really messing your brain man. And I happen to think that those who don't put such things in quotes think they know what they are talking about, but probably don't.

Nov 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Classic Shub BS:

It's 'just quotes'.

Why put 'forcing' in quotes, Shub? Eh?

Nov 30, 2011 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


What I find objectionable about your 'discourse'* is that it is an avoidance strategy that also seeks to distract.

*See what I mean about scare quotes?

Anyway, don't let me distract you from your fulminations and mutterings.

Nov 30, 2011 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Spoken by a past master of the arts of obfuscation and "avoidance strategies". You could give my cat lessons in displacement activity.
As for fulminations and mutterings, I do at least try most of the time to keep a civil tongue in my head, something that becomes more difficult by the day when trying to deal with your irrelevant blunderings and insult-loaded invective, precious little of which has anything to do with the subject you claim to be discussing.
Have you not noticed that I am not trying to debate with you? Your views on climate change have become so off the wall that any attempt at sensible discussion is pointless. You have become your own echo chamber. You pay not one scrap of attention to what is going on in the world around you, capable only of repeating, like some mechanical parrot, demands for meaningless answers to your pointless questions or demands for citations, references and "peer-reviewed" evidence — but only ever from sources of which you approve.
Your mind is not just closed but hermetically sealed. The only point in engaging with you as for light entertainment.
You have become a joke.

Nov 30, 2011 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

You have become a joke.

You aren't laughing.

Nov 30, 2011 at 9:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Maybe because we have a mental picture of you as 'Jo Brand' - and she ain't funny.

Nov 30, 2011 at 11:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAnon

Why put 'forcing' in quotes, Shub? Eh?

I gave the answer above, professor. I will continue to put words like forcing, sensitivity in quotes, to make my stance towards such concepts clear. Don't be 'scared' of them, ok.

Nov 30, 2011 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

@Mike Jackson Nov 30, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Your mind is not just closed but hermetically sealed. The only point in engaging with you as for light entertainment. You have become a joke.

Dropped in several hours ago, and I couldn't believe this thread was still going ... but, I had given some thought to the many intelligent signs of life in this part of the (alas no more) zealot-free cyber-universe.

Philip's Deutsch video was very thought-provoking and enlightening. His Laughlin reference I very much agree with (and had posted so on my own blog several months ago ... although I haven't read the book from which this was excerpted [and which I recall somewhat disappointed Shub, but I could be mistaken ... it has been known to happen!]

I gave a lurk on Roy Spencer's blog the other day. And I noticed a number of comments (for want of a better word) from a pseudonymous twit who calls her/himself "Obscurity". I was quite struck by the remarkable similarities in the "content" and "style" [again for want of better words] between those of our resident zealot and this pseudonymous "Obscurity" twit.

But I've also noticed that our resident zealot seems to have found a very comfortable home-away-from home on the hypocritical plains of Kloor-land. Quelle surprise, eh?!

Dec 1, 2011 at 7:14 AM | Unregistered Commenterhro001

You aren't laughing.
You want a bet on that?

Dec 1, 2011 at 8:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Hilary, This thread has definitely taken on a life of its own - I just wish I could explain why. Relevant to the earlier discussion about the Zaliapin and Ghil paper, is a very good guest post by David Douglass at Climate Etc. If this stuff interests you or anyone else (BBD...?), then I also recommend the contributions from one "w. m. schaffer" and his very nice review paper.

Regarding Obscurity, I think I am right in saying that there was some suggestion it might be Kevin Trenberth! Probably not true, but amusing.

Dec 1, 2011 at 8:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip


Has it ever crossed your mind that your commentary here is rather over-zealous?

I'm not 'Obscurity' but I do strongly agree with that commenter's astute, scientifically informed critiques of Spencer's idiosyncratic position.

It's a shame, Hilary, that you lack the necessary depth of knowledge to challenge Obscurity's scientific perspective directly in comments at Spencer's blog. As opposed to snarking on in your usual poisonous way here, that is.

Dec 1, 2011 at 9:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


You want a bet on that?


Dec 1, 2011 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


Douglass is at it again, and as usual, I'm not buying. Like Koutsoyiannis and others, he seeks to introduce complexity where none is required. It's a manifestation of 'ABC syndrome' - Anything But Carbon.

I said this well upthread and I'm surprised you can't see what is really going on. But then, you are a slave to your (vehemently unacknowledged) bias, aren't you?

Dec 1, 2011 at 9:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


I gave the answer above, professor. I will continue to put words like forcing, sensitivity in quotes, to make my stance towards such concepts clear.

Okay, since you have stopped using my screen name, can I call you 'Mr Stupid' or similar? Or could we just switch back to 'BBD'?

The reason you put scare quotes around 'forcing' and 'sensitivity' is that you reject best scientific understanding of both terms. That is your 'stance' towards 'such concepts'. Just to be clear.

Dec 1, 2011 at 9:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

BBD: Still no bite on the science then?

Dec 1, 2011 at 9:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

The last time BBD commented on uncertainy in science, he used scare quotes around 'uncertainty'. That says it all really.


Dec 1, 2011 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu