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January 21, 2008


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Wondering Aloud

Climate isn't my field, but scientific method is.

A theory is an explanation it must explain what has been observed and be useful to predict the results of future experiment.

By this standard, which is the only one a person can call scientific, the idea of carbon dioxide causing catastrophic global warming or being a major climate forcer on the earth is dead.

When are you going to take the pseudo scientists to task for the entire surface record; now clearly shown to have a huge upward bias?

This post is a personal attack on someone for holding a valid opinion which while not widely accepted is defensible from the data. The more widely believed opinion of imminent catastrophy can not be supportted from the data yet does not recieve your vitriol.

B.  Heart

Claims about the environment have become a fertile arena for media attention and political debate, supported by scientific studies. In the cause of the environment, unsound ideas are sometimes championed, based on incomplete evidence or narrow understanding. News accounts on environmental topics are a landscape ripe for satire by someone with facility in scientific methods. Within a democracy awash in claims based on studies, Milloy may serve a useful function as an entertaining debunker of eco-scares within the media.
Milloy sometimes raises good points. Nonetheless, there seem at least two possible downsides. Some people revere preservation of the earth and its living things. For them, a satirist of their beliefs could seem unkind. Also, Milloy aims to entertain. To this end, he may sometimes offer unsound criticisms. Caveat emptor.


Wandering Aloud:

If Milloy confined himself to real questioning, did not continue to propagate huge amounts of clear falsehood, or didn’t have such a trail of cash tied to him you might be able to balance on your peg leg while defending him. Your dismissal of the explanatory supporting data as being derived from "pseudo scientists", while urging Mr. Seitz to give credit to a claim found wanting after extensive reexamination, shows me an ideological basis for your angst, rather than your claimed objective one. Or, you haven’t looked very carefully at all the data.

Alternative explanations fail to show their signature in the observations. I find the relative increases in night and colder season measurements particularly compelling evidence for alteration of atmospheric chemistry being the strongest causative agent. The physics is rather straightforward and in agreement with distinctive features in the observations.

Wondering Aloud

I agree with you, I wasn't actually talking about Milloy. I was referrring to the deliberate slap at Roy Spencer; who for being honest and correcting a mistake is presented as an incompetent. I would be a lot happier if several others in the debate would quit using long disproven work as the basis of their arguments.

Wondering Aloud

Perhaps you find it persuasive, but a number of measurements notably stratospheric temperature measurements directly falsify the CO2 caused warming hypothesis. In order for CO2 to be the cause you must have a match. In other words the CO2 signature is also lacking.

Being occasionally right, sometimes, in some studies, is not enough to make something a Theory. Being wrong even once means discard or modify the theory. Honest scientists have been trying to modify the theory for 20 years. But the public still hears the sick fantasy stories.
I hastened to compliment Roy on his candid response to the discovery of the cumulative satellite error as published in Science in 2005, but that does not excuse what he has just said in NRO, which has the opposite effect.

If your comment refers to the much heralded news that the 3D GCM's still cant handle the tropopause near the ITC , so what- model parametrization problems in silico have nothing to do with the reality of the optical depth and multicomponent radiative equilibrium and transmission of the gases in the atmospheric column- what's wrong with the model needs fixing , but that's not to say the natural history it can't emulate dynamically is broke.

B.  Heart

The celebrated methods of Calaveras County, indeed. One wonders what Samuel L. might make of contemporary doings? Where would the great man find humor today? Would he be a columnist or offer a blog? Clemens enjoyed earning money from writing. Would Twain delight in the antics of leaders whose policies rest on the august foundation of Science?

B. Heart

A Connecticut Yankee in King Dubya's court? Thank you for smoking? How would George Barnard Shaw handle the topic of environmental politics? With zest?

Some dismiss Milloy as a flack owned by evil industrialists. This image may be reassuringly simplifying to some. One strength of Milloy is that he can communicate acessibly, making him a formidable opponent for advocates of junk science, whose ranks are by no means inconsiderable.

Science relies on skepticism and debate. Whatever Milloy opines can be critiqued: errors revealed, exaggerations clarified, etc.


The Irony is how you call for science to be kept in the realm of science yet constantly bash Dr. Spencer and Dr. Christy for sticking by their data until it was shown that their satellites might be effected by orbital decay. They then release a paper to this extent as you would request and you still chastise them? Yet the corrected Satellite record still shows a very weak warming trend and you fail to mention this but have no problem exaggerating what the actual error was. Yet no mention of the massive "adjustments" hansen has made to his record?


And no mention of the horrendous state of the land based temperature stations?



Russell Seitz

As a half dozen articles critical of Hansen have thus far appeared in this blog, the issue is hype onyourpart not hypocrisy on mine. Christy and Spencer are not the objet of criticismhere- this is



Then I fail to see the point of this comment:

"It's not a very comforting thought, because "for 20 years or so" he failed to detect the instrumental and software bias against climate change built into in the satellite data base he was tasked to manage, and which he pointed to as the ultimate arbiter of the question of man made climate change"

It took YEARS before the orbital drift issue was even discovered, with no doubt many scientists desperate to disprove the satellite record looking for errors. It seems a little ridiculous to use this as a measure of his competency. Dr. Spencer and Christy released their code upon request for peer-review as I presume you would want them to in the interest of science. They openly published their findings and you take issue with them using their evidence to question AGW?

It is clear Hypocrissy to demand adherance to science while criticizing someone for doing just that, whether you agree with their position or not.

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