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Discussion > We are wasting our time; all of it.

Trying to have an intelligent discussion with Raff is a bit like man's search for intelligent life in the universe; we have done our best but there is nothing coming back.

May 21, 2015 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterDung

Tiny, I can't spend 100% of the day saving the world. Sometime I need to sleep, sometimes to exercise or eat, sometimes some light entertainment. You provide the latter now and then. Most warmists and probably most skeptics know that the best solution is a carbon tax, preferably revenue nuetral. We don't need to discuss that at length every day as it wont change. Energy efficiency and other personal stuff is nice for the conscience maybe but the issue of changing the energy infrastructure of the world is a little bit more complicated than that. Fossil fuels are a remarkable resource and their energy density and convenience relative to other fuels is not widely appreciated. Even by you, it seems. Making science more persuasive is not how science works. You can't change the results of research because it isn't persuasive. It is what it is.

Radical, quoting statistical significance is not the same as saying, "no they haven't" (changed). They (Jones etc) would likely also say that there is no statistically significant change in the trend - i.e. the trend since 1998 is statistically the same as the trend before 1998. This just means that when you look at the trend over the last ~15 years the error bars include both a zero trend (what you quoted) and the previous trend.

May 21, 2015 at 2:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff


The best solution is to know what you're talking about in the first place. Which includes getting good data.

Do you consider the temperature record a scientific dataset or an engineering dataset?

From what I've read and investigated the temperature record is treated as a scientific dataset i.e. Corrections and adjustments are made based on theory-heavy models rather than rigorous (and admittedly painstakingly boring) test and process characterisation. The bucket corrections are one example.

This is fine science wise except when the data is used for policy and human use it's dangerous. Climate scientists should be taught the difference. As should supporters of AGW. Engineering in all it forms are built on people caring enough about this difference so that you and I don't die in our cars when they are started.

May 21, 2015 at 3:33 PM | Registered CommenterMicky H Corbett

Raff, so we can confirm, you are wasting your time. Funny I'd have wanted to be doing better than that if the world was at stake before I had time off to muck about. You don't see it in the movies.

Micky H Corbett, has has hinted at how the science could be made better. Other fields have had to rise above the standards that climate science exhibits.

As for a carbon tax, we've already got taxes. They work to a certain extent to reduce use or change behaviour but eventually people rebel (see competing election promises to keep energy prices low). They would only work if a) all major countries applied the same. b) there was some way that the poor could afford a minimum energy without tax c) there was some other form of energy that was suitably useful (ie not the shambles we have now) d) the wider public accepted that it was necessary. So far none of those conditions have been achieved.

If you want to discuss either a carbon tax or improving the professionalism of climate science, start your own discussions.

May 21, 2015 at 4:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Nailed your colours to the mast, there, Raff: “…the best solution is a carbon tax…” The universal solution for the Socialist – yet more taxation! Quite how this is going to “solve” climate change is anyone’s guess, off course, but at least you can be seen to be Doing Something. (Which carbon do you wish to tax, by the way? That in your daily bread, perhaps? Or that in your cuppa? Or that in your glass of wine? Perhaps that in your clothing? Or, perhaps, in your pencil? ….aaah! You would want to tax it ALL! I do hope nobody ever lets you get hold of sharp implements.)

You might wish to contribute whatever you can to the bottomless money-pit that is Big Government; I, however, feel that I know better how to spend my money than any government agency, thank you very much. Do not let me dissuade you from sending more of your own money to the government but, please, do not expect me to follow suit.

This just means that when you look at the trend over the last ~15 years the error bars include both a zero trend (what you quoted) and the previous trend.
Do not forget the negative trend, either. Aaah, but that does not fit your narrative, therefore can safely be ignored!

May 21, 2015 at 6:42 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Your interpretation of what Jones said about no significant change is a nice try, but is not what he was saying.
The trend has, in fact, statistically broken in favor of the pause.
Your fibbing is sort of like the fibs the religious fundies tell when they claim the fossil record does not support evolution.

May 21, 2015 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Micky, there's the physics that says increasing CO2 is going to increase temperatrures and there's a temperature record, which is the best we have at quantifying the result.Sure we have lots of other evidence that temps are rising but for setting policy, I don't see how removing one measure in favour of a non-existent "engineering dataset" is going to help.

Tiny, there's lots of informed discussion of carbon taxes on the internet. I suggest you go and read some instead of engaging in your own special uninformed variety.

Radical, ditto. In particular research revenue neutral taxes. And yes the error bars sonetime includes negative trends. That should make 98% bigot Dung very happy - he can start storing up provisions for the descent into glaciation, although I'd bet his nuclear bunker already includes snow shoes, skis, sledges, ice picks and polar bear repellant.

May 21, 2015 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

hunter, link please.

May 21, 2015 at 8:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

LOL. Wating your time again Raff.

May 21, 2015 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Raff, you really do live in a strange dream world. Revenue neutral taxation? Yeah, right… and the government really wants people to keep as much of their heard-earned as possible. Grow up, child. “Revenue neutral” is a handy little phrase that appeals to the seriously hard of thinking as it hides the fact that the government has thought up yet another way to steal from us – like Dennis Healey’s “revenue neutral” rise in fuel duty, prior to the abolition of the road fund licence (“road tax”, to you). Well, the fuel duty went up, but we still have the road tax, nearly forty years later. Odd, that. Bottler Brown took his inspiration from Healey, and managed to introduce a huge swathe of new taxes, many of them “green”, all “revenue neutral” of course, but – hey! – we still end up paying a lot more. That might be your dream of a brave new world, but it is not mine.

May 21, 2015 at 9:07 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Radical Rodent, in the warmist world, as in the hard left world, the public meekly do as they're expected to. Well I've been laughing for almost two weeks at the mix of hurt, anger and bewilderment from those at the BBC and the media. It turns out us pesky little plebs have our own plans.

May 21, 2015 at 9:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


There's physics that shows CO2 effects saturate in 10 m for the intensities the surface of the Earth emits. Basic physics in fact. After that it's bulk emission. The same stuff that cautions about back radiation. We could play theory tennis all day but to be useful we need to start testing fundamental assertions turning them into characterised datasets. Science, really.

The temperature record only becomes useful when its uncertainties are confirmed and verified which is further work. If this can't be done then larger uncertainties are applied. Currently the best guesses are laden with lots of assumptions. In other words relying on verification by analysis if even that.

Why is the dataset this way? Because it's original use was not for climatology. To make it fit for purpose in a policy sense requires re-qualification.

There's no escaping this truth. Sadly too many people stick their heads in the sand and quote statistics. Worse some people call others names like denier.

May 21, 2015 at 9:23 PM | Registered CommenterMicky H Corbett

No, Raff.
You offered the new interpretation of Jones' famous admission.
YOU show the link that your new interpretation is what he actually meant.
I am not going to wrestle with your pig.

May 21, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Ah, taxation as theft. I used to be sympathetic to that dogma but then I grew up.

Revenue neutrality is possible, although admittedly the precedents are poor. Gather up the carbon tax and pay it out to all voters, pro-rata. The poor would benefit disproportionately of course - many would object to that as it isn't how things are supposed to work.

Micky, the past is gone, the temp data set is what it is.

Hunter you are not alone in not understanding the meaning statistical significance.

May 22, 2015 at 12:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Playing tennis against a wall is useful practice. However, eventually, you will miss a stroke, and the wall wins. So, who is the better player – you, or the wall?

You are aware of where this “carbon” tax is coming from, aren’t you? Perhaps not, as you want to gather it, and distribute it amongst the voters. It would save an awful lot of money if you just left it in the pockets of the voters to start with! Or can you not see that? Perhaps you think that “tax” is just a money-tree, where wealth grows magically, and all it takes is for governments to collect this mystical wealth, probably with the tax-harvesters galloping around on their fairy-dust powered unicorns. You really are on another planet, aren’t you?

Raff, you are nothing more than the wall against which we might bounce our ideas; all you do is return the ball. No added insight, no evidence to support your position, no true depth of analysis. All you can do is offer ad homs and rebut a comment with little more than, “S’not!” You seem to have the odd idea that belittling the other person will gain you kudos. Sorry, little fella, but it only gains you contempt. I have used you in an attempt to improve what few debating skills I might have, but realise that, like the wall, you now offer nothing but a return of whatever stroke I have served.

May 22, 2015 at 12:55 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent


This graph shows monthly Gistemp temperature anomlies since 1970 (purple) ,the linear regression trend (red) , and the 95% confidence limits for the trend in blue and green.

I note that the most recent monthly figure for April 2015 is sitting right on the trend line.

Unfortunately I am having trouble finding the pause you mentioned. Could you please indicate when it started, when it ended, its statistical significance and your reasoning.

May 22, 2015 at 6:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

And EM, are you wasting your time like Raff?

May 22, 2015 at 7:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


Answer the question, please. A scientist should be able to give a better answer than hunter.

I probably am wasting my time here, but lets give it one more try. See if you can discuss the science, instead of recycling the insulting bullshit you give Raff.

May 22, 2015 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic man

Radical: "It would save an awful lot of money if you just left it in the pockets of the voters to start with"
You mean in terms of the cost of collecting it? Probably not, depends how it is done. You are right that the tax would cost those using large amounts of CO2 - but that is the point of it. And it is possible to reduce one's exposure to such a tax. It also would benefit the poor, which I know is a major preoccupation of this blog, although a UK tax would not help the poor in Africa which is perhaps why you don't like it. We could modify it so that the revenue from the tax was paid instead to the poor in Africa, then I'm sure you'd all be on side.

EM, nice to have the company of a sane mind. The discussion started out with Dung claiming that the EU is the new USSR but that stupidity quickly turned into my trying to point out to these geniusses that their organisation has a dark history and present of corporate lies. It turned out that there were indeed at least two geniusses, but one apparently has no common sense (Rhoda, 96% quotient IQ) and the other simply has no sense (Dung, 98%). Commenter MartinA put up weak defence of Salby (don't remember how Salby came up) but it turned out he hadn't read his own graphs and didn't really believe his own spin. The Big Yin James pops by now and then to insult me and he seems ready to believe that we have charlatans to 'thank' for the existence of "skepticism" but that they have all disappeared in a puff of smoke... leaving a selection of others who don't like temperature indices or do like things Phil Jones said 5 years ago which they don't really understand. Usual sort of stuff.

May 22, 2015 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterRaff

Welcome back EM. Glad to see you are still in circulation.

May 23, 2015 at 8:14 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A: well said! At least he is prepared to offer evidence to support his argument, and does not resort to the usual oh-so-clever petty put-downs. Following my tennis theme, he is not a wall but an opponent, one whose returns are measured and calculated, not just a rebound off an uneven surface.

As for the EUSSR – all but the simplest fool can see that is the way it is all going. Perhaps there are some for whom it will only dawn on them as they are heading for a gulag – the surprise even more so as they were expecting to be offered their own Zils.

May 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"Answer the question, please. A scientist should be able to give a better answer than hunter." EM

Or perhaps you could start your own discussion since the subject of this one is 'ARE we wasting time' not 'CAN we waste time'.

While most of us drift off topic when the relevant issues have been adequately discussed, you and Raff don't even start. He tossed off a lie about coming here in his spare time away from persuading the undecided about AGW. Funny how I don't believe he spends any time at all. What's your excuse? Why not wave your graph at the disinterested instead of us?

May 23, 2015 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

TinyCO2: do you mean uninterested? There is a difference: true scientists should be disinterested in the results of experiments, even though they might be utterly fascinated by them.

It is this lack of disinterest that is causing so many of the problem with the “science” of global warming/climate change/call it what you will. Witness Mann’s pursuit though the courts of one who questioned his results; then there is Jones’s infamous, petulant response to one who wanted to have the data in an attempt to replicate Jones’s results: “You only want to prove me wrong.”

A serious lack of scientific disinterest, on both counts.

May 23, 2015 at 10:31 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent


"Micky, the past is gone, the temp data set is what it is."

It's a nice sentiment. Sadly that's not the view of all those in charge of constructing the temperature record as they seem to be continually changing it. It also shows to me that you don't really understand what I'm talking about but that's okay. I've spent 15 odd years having to not assume data is correct and having to justify everything to customers and auditors. It teaches you a lot about responsibility.

EM, yes there is a trend in the data you show. But what does it mean in real terms? As we've discussed before the 0.1 degree uncertainty represents what the Met Office thinks and has published. And on a previous thread I noted that a lot of that is based on assumptions with only cursory experiments. The bucket correction uses a 20 year old experiement on ships that in itself is not to qualification level. It's a start and it's good for science but that data should in no way be used for policy. However that's not what the MO are tasked to provide so I'm not blaming them for doing science. The trouble is there are no in-between gatekeepers, no quality assurance. Science is being used raw. That's a very bad thing.

We can discuss scientific data all day but it doesn't actaully mean that AGW is real or demonstrated in any sense as the quality of the source data does not justify saying so.

I think the problem with many commenters here is that they aren't exposed to the differences between science and engineering or the ethics involved in using data in their day to day life. There's a knowledge that comes from experience and a respect for the scientific process that you don't learn by running models and doing theory all the time.

It's also why people like Tamsin Edwards can do a talk on uncertainty but not realise it's purely academic. Uncertainty like that shown in models automatically means they are useless for real world applications. The fact that people actual listen to climate scientists at all shows how political and opportunistic AGW is. I like what Tamsin is doing by the way but it's not really addressing the elephant in the room.

I hope that soon the penny will drop but then having recently started reading economics books it doesn't look like the penny has dropped for a lot of people in that field in many years, so I'm not that confident it will for climate science.

May 23, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Registered CommenterMicky H Corbett